Saturday, January 13, 2018

Wes Takes Me Back

Back on Christmas Eve, I put up a post on how I was bombarded by Wes of Willinghammer Rising blog with this packed box of goods.

I explained in that post how the cards would be split up into many sections. Some trade, some keep, and many to give back to the hobby community. 

Today I wanted to focus on some of the ones I kept.

These I decided to keep didn't hold much value in terms of money, but they held a different kind of value to me personally which means a lot more.

Up first, this rookie year insert of Peyton Manning. There isn't a whole of explaining here to do. I love collecting late 90's inserts and Peyton was one great player.  Seemed like a win-win keeper. Not to mention, who can ever forget the great debate of the 1998 NFL draft on who should the Colts draft.
Should it be a guy named Peyton or a guy named Ryan. Well, the Colts obviously made the right choice.

I remember my father and I chasing down both guys but leaning more towards Peyton as well and glad we did.

Press Pass always brings back a lot of great memories and always put out a solid product with on-card autographs. This player doesn't really have any meaning to me, but it's a Press Pass card and from 1997 a year I liked to collect from.

This one is another late 90's gem from 1998. This card is more about it being from the great Collectors Edge than it does about the player who I have never heard of. Collectors Edge put out a million great football products, it wasn't until the last couple of years I found out they made some basketball cards as well.

Glod ole Greg Ostertag. He was drafted in the first round in 1995 and played on many great Jazz teams in the late 90's who made Finals runs against the Bulls. I remember watching those series with my father and falling in love with the Jazz as a second favorite team to my Knicks. The only problem, they couldn't ever beat the Bulls which is really what I wanted. MJ always had an answer for them or at least a buzzer beater. As a Knicks fan then, I understood how that felt as well.

Powerful defender and one that left the hated Heat of the late 90's to my Knicks. Thomas helped the Knicks go to two Eastern Conference Finals and one NBA Finals that they lost to the Spurs who went on to become the Bulls of the 2000's. I remember not being able to stay up for the late night playoff games and waking up the next morning to a note left behind my father before he went to work telling me how the game went.

And finally the one card that isn't from the 90's in this post, this Sweet Spot Classic Ken Griffey Sr . This has a connection to the 90's however as that's when I started collecting Ken Griffey Jr and I also collected his father when I came across any of his cards. I would store his in the way back of the binder marked off by a tab from Juniors. 

This card is my first relic of senior. Now I just need an autograph and I think that part of my PC would be complete.
It's amazing what little pieces of cardboard can do for you. Each one of these held some kind of memory from my past as many cards do. Other than music, I can't think of anything else that makes me more nostalgic than looking back at some of my cards.

Some memories are good and some are not so good. I just look at them as pieces of who made us who we are today.

Friday, January 12, 2018

The Low Budget Collector Part 1: TTM

My budget for card collecting the last couple of years has been so stingy, it's basically enough money to cover shipping prizes and mail days. That's it.

So if I wanted to add or buy an autograph with my funds all tied up just for postage could I?

That answer is yes!

It's called Through The Mail or as most of us call it, TTM.

For the price of a stamp, which goes up soon to .50 by the way, you can send a handwritten request asking a player, actor, etc for their autograph along with a SASE (self addressed stamped envelope) and an item to sign. My usual go to is an index card but sometimes I will search the internet for a black and white photo.

My success rate is pretty high for actors/singers with a 95% return rate. Athletes on the other hand, I have had less success from scoring a atrocious 10% return rate. And it wasn't like I was trying to reach for super stars like Mike Trout and Tom Brady, it was NFL rookies before training camp and players from the NY Giants. But, I have seen many other collectors do pretty solid with former players and MLB prospects.

So let's take a look at my top scores in the mail so far from doing this. I have mainly been focusing on celebrities the last couple of years to help my non sport PC and because of the great return rate.

Not a big name, but it's the ONE NY Giants player ever to respond to one. I scored this after R.W. helped lead the Giants to the Super Bowl 42 playoff run. Thanks again R.W.!

Tom Selleck. I grew up watching him with my grandmother on Magnum PI. I was also lucky that Tom was generous and signed two of these for me so I could also gift one to my mother-in-law.

Chevy Chase. Love the guy. Love his movies. Love National Lampoons Christmas Vacation all around. I really want to land a Leaf Autograph card of him at some point. So if you are ever wanting to start up a trade and have one or wanna snag one for me, let's talk! But for now, this will have to do.

Kelly Clarkson. I will admit to liking some of her music.

Carrie Fisher...well Debbie Reynolds from what I have been told signing for Carrie. Either way, a legend signed this card.

Tim Allen. Had to try twice but he signed these for me the second time. I wished I had chosen index card or something brighter.

Melissa Joan Hart. She actually posted her address out there for everyone to writer to her on Twitter. I grew up watching her on TGIF as Sabrina The Teenage Witch so this was a cool return.

And probably my favorite return ever, this Betty White signed photo inscribed to me. I had sent her an index card and she mailed me this. Incredible career, lady and thank you!

As you can see, for a price of a stamp it can lead to something pretty exciting. There are so many celebrities and athletes out there you can write to that this alone can be a hobby all on its own. It's also affordable and could only cost you less than $5 a month depending on how many you want to try and snag all at one time. The waiting and anticipating can be fun as well as the return. Some return faster than others remember.

Some things to remember again to help with success,  always do a handwritten note (it's more personal), always send an item to sign, and always include an SASE (self addressed stamped envelope ).

Before I close, you may be wondering where I get the addresses, well, there are many sites to use but I have a tendency to stick to Autograph Blog. He has 1000's of them on his site and is very reliable. He is also a book of knowledge on these as well so giving him a follow on Twitter or his site is recommended. He is always up to answering questions as well if you have any.

I hope Part 1 of this will help you in some way today to keep on collecting no matter the circumstance. This is the point of these posts and even though some may be obvious like this one, it will hopefully still get you in the right direction without wanting to quit the hobby. I am also hoping it may give you a new way to save money and collect.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Season CARDings Part 3

Well, here comes the final part of my box breakdown from Sport Card Collectors reader Grady M. Today's is a mixed bag of stuff we traded and some bonus cards. Once again I must mention that this isn't even close to the amount of actual cards he sent. That box was just simply loaded.

First, let's take a look at something odd before I go onto the cards. For some reason this summer my bird feeder had been empty of birds. I usually get hundreds a day but they all went away. Then the bitter temps and big time snow hit and kaboom, they made a return. Maybe the winds blew them back up here...who knows.

But they are back and appear are here to stay. I am just hoping the weather can warm up soon and it appears it's heading in the right direction by weeks end. Supposed to hit 30 degrees, time to break out the t-shirt and shorts in the heatwave!

Speaking of heat, let's take a look at the cards in this finale.

First up is some new cards for my growing Aaron Judge PC. It's roughly 40 cards deep now.

Optic rookie I was super happy to add. Now if only I had some of the parallels.

For the second year in a row, I missed out on the Topps holiday boxes but was happy Grady was able to trade the Judge to me. I need to find the snowflake parallel now to.

And an Allen and Ginter since I didn't land one in my box break.

Another part of the trade was for these Griffeys. Like I said earlier in this series, I didn't get a chance to open any Optic and adding two Griffeys I needed was up my alley.

This wasn't the end of the new Griffey adds but was the end of our trading part. The next cards are more cards from the box. Not only does Grady cover my shiny card addiction, he also covers multiple PC's like NY Yankees, NY Giants and Ken Griffey Jr.
Two NASCAR relics. I love the tire one. Really dig the look of those. So far Panini has done a great job with NASCAR line. I still miss Press Pass, but Panini has stepped up well so far.

Nice Jason Sklar addition to my Non Sport relic PC.

Time for some Gmen! Adding new Giants cards to my PC this year has pretty much been my highlight of my 2017 NFL season.

All new adds here including two great looking cards from Phoenix football. I like the Landon Collins as well.

More additions to my 2017 Giants rookie class. I didn't have any of these ones either. I was really hoping the Giants would see what Davis Webb had before this draft, but I guess they are just gonna most likely draft a guy. Still don't know if that's the best idea, but what do I know.

This guy really is an unsung hero. He honestly should have made the Pro Bowl. Best run defender in the league as he is always "snacking" on running backs.

The Eli bunch. All new as well.

Odell. Man I really missed this guy on the field this year. He always made such explosive plays and that offense really lacked those.Once again, can't wait til next year.

A couple new Sterling Shepards. I think with him Beckham and Engram that Giants offense should move the ball better next year. Especially if Eli Manning stays.

And to finish up today's post, some more new Griffey additions. Been needing the Gallery ones and I like those Homerun derby cards.

A big thanks goes out to Grady again for his generosity. I look forward to our next trade and mail day exchange!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Season CARDings Part 2

Like I said yesterday, we will pick up where I left off. I will also start out with some more pictures from the storm.

It's a beautiful site from a distance but you step out and well, you freeze to death.

So let's warm up with something and kick this post back off with some Topps Chrome.

Regular refractors including Trea Turner and a Gary Sanchez for my Yanks PC.

Prism refractors with Bruce and Kershaw. I love the flow on these.

Pink Refractors. Betances for my Yankes PC, along with Rizzo, Puig and Abreu.

And to finish up the chrome, some of these throwback refractors. Really like how sharp these came out.

I think after this mail day and other 2017 chrome mail days I need to see what sets I may have or working towards. Even if I don't have any, I just need to gather the chrome together so I have it in place just in case.

Up next, Prizm, Prizms, this time for baseball.

And even More Prizm baseball. This time with some color.I really like the color ball parallel or whatever Panini may call it.

Topps Heritage refractors including 2 different Langorias.

Donruss inserts from The Elite Series to Ground Force to The Legends Series. I still think it's so weird not to see Adrian Peterson in a Vikes uniform. I find it's weird that they used the same design for all three sets. they should have done something different with these.

Some hockey inserts/parallels

I hadn't seen these 2017 Topps Fire parallels before but I totally dig em. Of course I do bleed blue for my sports teams so these ones attracted me first,

Then I saw these. The gold is so MIND BLOWING cool. Collecting both blue and gold as separates sets would look impressive in a binder.
Well, that's it for today. Still another round for tomorrow which includes the trade portion of the mail day. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Season CARDings Part 1

It's been quite the stretch of weather where I am. Feels like I live in Antarctica with the continuous below freezing temps with an even colder wind chill factor and the non stop snow that falls on a daily basis. We already had a good amount before Snowstorm Grayson left it's fury behind.

With this kind of weather, I was glad to see another mail day from reader Grady M in my mail box. Knowing I wasn't going out too far with these temps and bad roads I was glad I had something to do and I knew his kind of mail day would take a few days.

As with all of my postings from Grady, I don't always post all of it. Why? Well, it will take a good week to post it all. He covers all of my PC's and more. So I usually narrow it down to the bare shiny essentials. That alone is three posts still. So get ready for the next three days of this and battle the storm with me as we go along.

 So I opened up the box he had sent to find this,

Then I removed the top layer leading to a card onslaught. There was so much in here that I couldn't even post it all because we would be here for weeks. So instead, I pulled out some shiny stuff and some key items to post about instead. Even still, this is a three-part series.

Kicking it off are these Prizm Prizms. Odd name for a parallel I think since the product name is that. But, what do I know. We find four solid players as well with Landry, Gurley (who I hope wins NFL MVP despite his teams playoff no-show), Khalil Mack and Von Miller.

Next some wavy shiny things and a cool Illumination despite my no love of him or his team.

Panini parallels. We find Julio and Gurley again.

We dive into a few NBA inserts and a low numbered Thomas Rawls.

These Hoops inserts are pretty cool. I have always been a fan of the product.

Donruss Optic baseball. I didn't get to bust any of this stuff this year, mainly cause of Aaron Judge cleaning off card shelves, but I get my first taste of it. These are purple parallels that includes a good group of players like Correa and Cano,

Some regular parallels with Cano here as well.

Some more purple parallels with Jose Altuve and possible future Yankee Machado, I can dream can't I,

and regular parallels can be found here and includes some big time players like Pujols, Snider, Sale and Langoria.

Future Stars. Love the design of these and they look even cooler side by side.

Some Chrome parallels including an reverse Altuve that will haunt me with his glowing eyes.

And to end today's round, some X-Fractors.

There will be more to come tomorrow and I will pick up where this chrome finished off. Much more shiny stuff to come.