Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Ending 2019 With A Bang!

2019 wasn't as big of a year as 2018 was for me with card adds, but it wasn't the worst year I ever had either. I was able to at least cross some needs off from my checklist and some of that was from help with others.

One of them that helped me knock a few cards down was my buddy @StephenJFurlong recently.

Some Rodney's that were on my want list

Kerry Collins Starting Lineup. I believe he only has two so I am only one away from having both now. This is believed to be his rookie one.

And finally, a Fred Taylor autograph. Fred has been on my list for a couple of years as a 90's guy I have been needing. I really loved watching Fred run and the Jags were my second favorite team in the 90's so it was an obvious need. I also like Fred's signature and added jersey number. Gavin, from Baseball Card Breakdown blog may also take note this is a "Christmas Card".

Glad to finally cross Taylor's autograph off but still have many more to go!

Thanks @StephenJFurlong for the mail day! I know there is more on the way but I will post that at a later date.

Up next, generosity was shown to me to end the year as @heyitsTMurph grabbed a card for me that @BrilliantCards had for sale on Twitter as a Christmas gift. It was a dual booklet autograph featuring a NY Giant and that other NY team.


Shonn Greene on one side

Andre Brown on the other. He actually signed his on the patch. My hope is that the autograph don't fade over time. I have a couple Letterman signed by Brown and they have faded badly on the fabric that hasn't seen the light of day.

This marks only my third Giants booklet in my collection. Thanks @heyitsTMurph for the mail day!

And finally, my last trade of 2019, I did have one trade before this one which I plan to show tomorrow, but this was the literally final one of 2019 and was done with my buddy @CrattyPatty25 who posted some Lamar Jacksons FS/FT.

And knowing me, I had to have them. It's a very, very small slight side PC I have.
First Down parallel /99

 Timeless Tributes /99 parallel

Bonus card he nicely tossed in!

I am still looking for an autograph card of Lamar and Mahomes but doubt I will ever be able to get one at this point.

Thanks for the trade @CrattyPatty25 and here's to more in 2020.

I hope all of you have a Happy, safe New Years Eve. Don't make stupid decisions like being under the influence and driving. Be smart, be safe and see you next year! (I plan to be in bed by 9:30 like usual)

The Origins Of A Cardboard Addict: Closing Time Part 3

Closing time
Time for you to go back to the places you will be from. 

It was 2001-2002. I had been dating the girl for a couple of years now.

My card collecting days were gone and now I was into rap music, girly music (you know, Britney Spears etc), WWE (used to watch all of the TV events with her brother) and NASCAR (her father was into racing big time so I watched every race and went to a few also) . Not something I had ever pictured myself getting into. 

I was a changed person, except on the inside. I still felt something wasn't right.

And boy was I right. The relationship started to hit a few bumps in the road after I had graduated from high school and began a full time job working in a meat department. I think she began losing interest in me despite everything I had given up for her. I had given up everything I knew and changed into what she turned me into. I was cooking her family meals, carrying her books around at school (she was really smart so she had lots of books from big classes) and pretty much everything you would consider a maid or butler to do, I was doing.

In February of 2002, it finally came to an end. The relationship was over. And even though I didn't take it easily, I sobbed for a few weeks, I got over it with time. I think my favorite part was when I went out and spent my entire paycheck a week later just to despise her and used it all on cards. To be honest, it was sort of a relief after the initial break up like I could get my life back together again. Question was, was it too late.

So gather up your jackets, and move it to the exits
I hope you have found a

I  moved out and back home with my parents. I went around and tried to find the friends I once had and tried to make amends with each one. Things seemed to had finally turned back to some normalcy. I got back into card collecting, but this time without my father who had sold all of his off after I moved out and no longer collected. He did watch me do so from afar though. I gained back at least one of my good friends and made some others at work.

Most importantly of all, I was happy again. I felt I left a lot of that behind once I got with that girl.

I also began reading a Bible that my boss at work had given me as I was in the search for answers in places I never looked before. Work also changed my life as a month later after my breakup, I met another girl. I know it sounds crazy, after all that I had been through for those two years, but this was different and when you just know, you know. A girl who forever changed my life in a good way. She became my best friend and still is today, 17 years later. This, this was the girl I needed to had met in the first place. 

One who loves me for me. One who lets me do this blogging and card collecting and even Madden. Let's me be my geeky self. One I didn't have to change for or let anything go for. The One.

It's like find that 1/1 in card collecting. Once you see that pop up on eBay, you have to grab it or you may never see it again. So glad that I did.

So there was my story of my dark age of collecting. Two years I missed out on. Including a big year in 2000 when I should have been owning some Tom Brady rookies instead of being a slave. However, 2002 was the new 1995 for me as I began picking up steam with my soon to be wife by my side and here I am today collecting more than ever.

Closing time
Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end. 

And speaking of ends, this marks the end of the two year long storytelling adventure of my collecting origins. The series has hit its finale which is why I called this three-part series Closing Time.

****Closing Time was a great song released by Semisonic in the 98-99. If you haven't heard it, go grab their CD or check out the music video on YouTube. *****

Monday, December 30, 2019

The Origins Of A Cardboard Addict: Closing Time Part 2

I know who I want to take me home.
Take me home

It was another year of high school as we dig deep in my Junior year. A year I thought was my greatest year of high school.

In the fall, I joined the varsity football team hoping to make an impact. I had switched my position from being on the oline to finally being able to show off my hands at Tight End. However, the coaches went with their "favorite" once again to start and I was left on the bench to rot. Even though I felt I was a better player between us.

As fall moved on, I started breaking out of my shell some and started being more of the class clown I was in graded school. Others started to take notice. Including a girl who began giving me hugs once a day which built up over month before she finally became my girlfriend. My first one! And I was going to do everything in my power to keep her. So I gave up a lot of my "fun things".

I sacrificed my true friends to spend all my time with her. I put my toys away. I moved out of my parents house and split my card collection up with my father. I tossed away old papers (a ton of writing pieces I had done in my youth) that had meaning to me from graded school so I had room to move in with her family. I also gave up card collecting as she wasn't a fan.

So what she didn't like, I didn't.

At about the same time in the MLB off season, my favorite player Ken Griffey Jr, had been traded to the Cincinnati Reds for a bunch of players that would never equaled his greatness. He also signed a long term contract with the Reds as well.

You realize what that meant don't you.....KEN GRIFFEY JUNIOR STINKIN' REDS CARDS!!!!

The only problem, I had the girl now.

How was all of this supposed to work now? Everything was changing in my life and it was coming even faster at me than before. Growing up was more of a challenge then it was led on to be.

Luckily, my father wasn't too mad about me leaving home and was able to snag me a couple of the hottest Griffey cards in Beckett at the time.
The first was this Upper Deck Ovation

the second was this Aurora

Both served as his first two true Cincy Reds cards and I believe they were number one cards in the Beckett back then upon their release.

Much longer after that the Spx version came out and he was nice enough to grab me that one as well. Of course all three had to be snuck to me so the girl wouldn't see. But, at least I had them and still do.

As my relationship with the girl grew longer, the other parts of my life grew shorter. I became very distant from everything I had once known to growing closer to everything new. Would this be a good decision in my life? Was I even happy after I finally got what I thought I wanted?

Closing Time was coming and I knew it. But, how long and how would I handle it. That's a story for another day.

Sunday, December 29, 2019

The Origins Of A Cardboard Addict:Closing Time Part 1

Closing time
Time for you to go out go out into the world. 

1999 was a different kind of year in the hobby for me.

1995 was my rocket year in collecting and it continued to grow in 1996,1997, and 1998 but 1999 was a bit stagnant.

I was going into my sophomore year of High School and some of my focus wasn't on cardboard anymore, it was increasingly on girls. The only problem I had was, cards were so much easier to acquire than a girl. You see, I wasn't the ladies man. I wasn't the QB of the football team. I was an awkward Batman loving, cardboard collecting, toy playing geek without the glasses and some of the weirdness. It was not an ideal situation for girls.

The other part of that is I set my goals way too high for them. I didn't want an equal partner, I felt I could go into the higher class of them at the high school. The girls who would date the QB of the football team. So you combine all of that and you had a single guy who had never had a girlfriend.

At least I had other things to fall upon when I was feeling down about that. Like my favorite football line back in the 90's, Topps Chrome.

I recently found a pack for $1.99 and couldn't turn that down. This would mark me opening one pack from each year of 90's Topps Chrome football products. Baseball is next at some point.

Here was the front of the pack of Topps Chrome for 1999. Once again, a bit of a gamble back then as prices were higher than the $1.99 I paid and you relied on four cards to get you there. But, with a rookie class that had Donovan McNabb and Ricky Williams, you were hopeful.

Back of the pack with the odds listed.

And here is what I pulled:
Peyton Manning base.

Rickey Proehl base. Remember how big of a role he would play for the Rams?

Rod Smith who was a beast for the Broncos

And Steve Young who was fun to watch. Was my second favorite lefty to watch besides Mark Brunell.

Not a terrible rip, but no rookies and no refractors this time to brag about. I think I did pull a few rookies back in 1999, but I didn't get to bust much of it as my time was spent like I said trying to get a girl.

And try did I ever.

And failed every time.

I wasn't sure what would happen to me as my years of high school went on. Was I finally going to land a girl? Would card collecting continue to play a big role in my life? Would I ever grow up? Would/Could I add to my friend circle? The first two years of high school weren't easy for me and all I could hope is that the final two would be. Life was coming at me fast and I didn't know which direction to go. Just was hoping I would figure it out soon.

You don't have to go home but you can't stay here.

Saturday, December 28, 2019

$25 A Week Challenge: A Giant Pick Up

Well I hope you guys have enjoyed this new segment towards the end of the year, I hope it can continue through next year as well!

For the final $25 purchase of 2019, I went NY Giants.

With so much disappointment in this team in 2019, I have been able to grab some cheap cards of some of their top players as prices have dipped some.

Today's lot I felt I got for an absolute steal. Of course I got it from a seller who didn't have many transactions with less than 20 which is totally against my normal. I usually go for buyers over 100 and they have to be at least 98% rating as well. I don't want to be ripped off and haven't been yet because of my rule. But, I have also missed out on some deals.

Not this time.

This lot was originally listed as a Saquon Barkley lot but it had a few nice bonuses in it that were the deal makers for me.

Like this 2019 Saquon lot, I do have them all but hey why not.

However these are all new to me and includes a blue press proof parallel.

Saquon rookies. Prizm is the hottest rookie card out there for base card rookies so can't go wrong with another one of Saquon. The Luminance and Passport ones I didn't have.

More Saquon rookies. I have most.

But not this rookie numbered to 399.

Or this Playoff Red Zone parallel

Or even this Optic rookie.

The lot alone right there felt worth it but then came the extras

Evan Engram relic

Saquon Barkley Certified New Generation Orange /299 relic

Whaaaa DeSean Hamilton (whoever that is) and Saquon Barkely dual relic from Immaculate. Can you imagine how much this must have been last year?

This one was interesting. Sterling Shepard auto? Sterling usually signs his name S.Shepard but I noticed that some of the Select autographs from this year were full names. Just kind of curious to me whether these are real or not.

And finally a Jeremy Shockey signed Elements metal autograph numbered to 99.

All of this....was for $25 and $3 shipping til I made an offer of $20 that was accepted! So all of this was for $20 and $3 shipping for this weeks grand total of $23. $23!!

More great pickups to show off in 2020. It felt weird and looks weird typing that out.

Friday, December 27, 2019

Cards On Cards Sent Me cards

In recent weeks, Cards On Cards posted a break of 2019 Panini Black Friday packs and fortunately for me one of my loyal readers and fellow Blogger Jon from A Penny Sleeve For Your Thoughts noticed a card from the break I would be interested in and commented I would be. Next day, Cards On Cards contacted me about the said card and off went a trade.

Not only did Kerry from Cards On Cards sent me the card from that post, but he also loaded me up with so much more. I was blown away. I felt like I under did what I sent him. I will just have to send more at a later time and definitely check his most wanted list as I may be able to help there.

Here was the cards I was sent hitting a few PC's,

 Gleyber gold from Big League. Didn't have that.

Or the other one in that base set. Or any of these actually. When it comes to landing PC material for myself, it never works that way.

Nice Canvas Collection reproduction card. The artist did a great job with this one.

A pair of framed Diamond King cards of Gleyber

 90's insert I didn't have. I do remember this insert line though.

 Two new Griffeys including the Topps Baseball Card Day one I have wanted for some time.

 Aaron Judge

 Totally loved this Judge, beautiful shot and it's chromed. Doesn't get any better than that.

A pair of Aaron Judge refractors. Base and sepia. Anytime I can add chrome refractors I will especially of player I collect.

And finally, the card he pulled from the Black Friday packs, Saquon Barkley jersey card. Was glad it was able to get into my hands. Great piece for my Saquon and Giants PC.

Huge thanks to Kerry for the trade and for all of the awesome extras!! I will have to hit you up again when I go searching.

Now it's time to update my player numbers again!

Let's Talk About Sets Volume 21:1998 Topps Chrome Football

@Cardpocalypse and myself recently pulled off a good size trade, well a big trade since it will take two rounds of mailing to complete it for both of us.

In my end of the trade, Tim did me good with sending some major set help. One of those sets was from 1998 in Topps Chrome.

I have set myself a big task by trying to collect all of the Topps Chrome sets from 96-99 from all sports. I have done this with a couple other products as well.

There are 165 cards in the 1998 Topps Chrome football set including hot rookies of Charles Woodson, Fred Taylor, Randy Moss and of course Peyton Manning. Luckily for me I have nailed down the big ones.

Now it's down to the smaller stuff.

Tim send this gigantic stack of set help.

There were some stars and plenty of other rookies

Imagine how hot this card was in 1998??!

Out of my Topps Chrome chase, the 1998 is the one I am closest to collecting.

Here are my updated numbers for haves
1998 Topps Chrome HAVES

If you have any of this set to help me out, just let me know! 

That does it today for sets talk. There will be plenty of sets ahead!