Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Dealing with Poor eBay Sellers

In my last trade post recap I posted about a Collector's Choice oddball I hadn't seen before.  I also mentioned that I found the complete 40-card set on eBay for $12 and purchased it immediately.  I received the cards a few days later. 

The cards were packed in a bubble mailer, which is always a great sign.  However, the cards were placed loose in a plastic sandwich bag that had clearly been used in shipping multiple times.  The bag was soft and wrinkled.  Nothing like a new plastic bag would look and feel. 

Due to cards being packaged loosely, over 25% were damaged in some sort of manner.  Dinged corners and bent edges.  The eBay listing did not disclose any such damage so the only possible explanation is that they were damaged in shipping. 

I sent the eBay seller a message explaining the situation and asking if he might have any replacement cards.  I didn't receive a response after several days so I then filed a refund request.  Again, I didn't hear a response for a couple days so I sent one more message.  After I didn't hear back, I escalated my claim to eBay.

Within an hour, eBay refunded my entire purchase.  Although the whole ordeal was a slight headache, the end result is that I received the complete set for free.  The cards are little dinged up but I think I can live with it.

This is the first time I've ever had to file a complaint with eBay.  Hopefully it will be my last.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

My First Hockey Relic

I never been an active hockey card collector.  I love watching the sport and rooting for the Boston Bruins.  Without a hometown team though, it's hard to feel the same level of emotional investment as I do with the Mariners or Seahawks.  The chances are high that sometime within the next 10 years, Seattle will get its own team again.  Until then, the Seattle Thunderbirds of the Western Hockey League will be the main hockey event in town. 

I've been to probably a dozen games over the years.  I even went to a Thunderbirds game as part of my bachelor party.  The games are a lot of fun. 

2013-14 In The Game Heroes & Prospects - Game-Used Jersey Black

Mathew Barzal is the most recent NHL product to come from the Thunderbirds.  The New York Islanders drafted him #16 overall in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.  After he helped the Thunderbirds win the 2017 WHL Championship, earning WHL Playoff MVP honors along the way, it was finally time for me to purchase my first hockey relic and first Thunderbirds card.

This big blue swatch is from a game-used Barzal Thunderbirds jersey. 

His autograph can be had for under $10 so it might be time to pick up one of those as well.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Day 10: Gone But Not Forgotten

30-Day Challenge: Day 10

  • Card: One of your favorite cards from the 1960s
    • 1993 Upper Deck All-Time Heroes - #13 Paul Blair
  • Music: A song that makes you sad
    • STRFKR - Basically (2017)

This photo is likely from the 1960s

Another decade that is entirely absent from my collection.  Like the last post, I'm going to call an audible and borrow from a 1993 Upper Deck set, this time it is All-Time Heroes. 

Paul Blair made his debut with the Orioles in 1964, became a starter in 1965, and won a World Series in 1966.  In Game 3 of the 1966 World Series he was the sole offensive contributor, hitting a solo home run, in the Orioles' 1-0 shutout over the Dodgers.  As he was known for his defense in center field, he also contributed to the World Series victory by robbing the Dodgers of a potential game-tying home run in Game 4.

All in all, Blair is a solid player to represent from the 1960s for today's card.

Sadly, Blair passed away in 2013 the day after Christmas at the young age of 69.

Unfortunately, death is all around us. 

The lyrics describe the physical and emotional heartache I've felt with the passing of my father:
Every day is basically the same now
Get so sad when I think about you
All the things you showed to me
All the things I couldn't do without you
Only one verse in this song as no other words need to be said.  The drum machine and guitar loop throughout the song, never changing.  Only toward the end of the song with the addition of a synthesizer do we get some feeling back into the song.  The repetition sets me into a daze making me feel like truly, every day is basically the same now. 

Friday, September 8, 2017

Color Coordinated

Two recent purchases have made me appreciate the art that is a color coordinated parallel.  Occasionally a card's colored parallel will match up well with the player's photo/team colors.  

Here are two such examples that I can think of off the top of my head:

2005-06 Upper Deck Rookie Debut - Gold

I'm loathed to actively seek out a Los Angeles Lakers card.  The 2008 and 2010 NBA Championship Finals with the Boston Celtics and the Lakers are the primary cause behind my dislike for the Lakers.  The Celtics should have captured their second title with the "Big Three" (or four if you counted Rondo). 

Anyway, I'm a Gonzaga basketball fan, which is the primary reason I was drawn to this card.  The other reason being that I think the set design is top notch.  With the photo of Turiaf in his college uniform I consider this part of my Gonzaga PC.  Even though it is properly listed as a Lakers card. 

As much as hate to admit it, the card matches the Lakers' purple and gold colors very well.  As a bonus, this card is low-numbered out of 50. 

2017 Topps Chrome - Green

Whereas the previous card look nice due to the design elements coming together, here the photo matches up with the parallel color.  The Mariners' "Northwest Green" uniforms debuted in the 90s and hung around for a couple years.  After some sporadic appearances in the 2000s, these jerseys became a regular fixture in the Mariners' uniform rotation in 2011.

The greens don't match up perfectly (side note: at one time my wife legitimately thought I was color blind) but I think they match up enough to consider this a color coordinated parallel.

Do you have any favorite color coordinated parallels?  

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Day 9: Blast from the Past

30-Day Challenge: Day 9

  • Card: One of your favorite cards from the 1950s
    • 1993 Upper Deck - Then And Now #TN18
  • Music: A song that makes you happy
    • Super Mario 64 - Bob-omb Battlefield

I don't own any 1950s cards.   This card will have to act as my best substitute, featuring Willie Mays from 1951.  I've had this card since I was a kid and it was one of my most prized possessions.  At the time it was booked in Beckett as something like a $4 card!  That is a lot of money for an 8 or 9 year old.  

The card scans flat looking.  In person, the card has a holographic effect with what I'm guessing is the San Francisco skyline.  

After playing on a Sega Genesis, the Nintendo 64, in particular Super Mario 64, was revolutionary.  3D graphics! Huge worlds! Freedom!  When I saw footage of Super Mario 64 I knew I wanted that game.  For my 12th birthday my parents gifted me an N64 along with a copy of Super Mario 64.  I was the happiest kid in the world.

The most iconic song from the game is the overworld theme for Bob-Omb Battlefield, the first level in that game.  I spent a lot of time riding around on a Koopa shell like it was a skateboard just because I could.  That kind of experience was entirely new with Super Mario 64. 

Another contender for today's song was the Hyrule Field Main Theme from the Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time.  OoT was highly anticipated as it was the first Zelda game on the N64.  Zelda simillarly promised expansive worlds with freedom to go wherever you wanted.

The first hour or two of the game was spent in the tightly controlled Deku Woods. Once you make your way through the woods you reach Hyrule Field.  Hyrule Field was where the game opened up. As such, hearing the Hyrule Field song takes me back to the feeling of awe when I first made it there.

If I had not recently moved my N64 up to the attic, I'd probably go play some right now.  

Monday, September 4, 2017

Trading With a King

After showing off a very small part of the haul I won from Gavin of Baseball Card Breakdown, I found a trade partner in Billy Kingsley of Cardboard History.  I happily sent him a lot of cards and I was happily surprised to see the stack of cards he sent back.

Billy has been the #1 contributor to my SuperSonics collection and this trade was no exception.  The cards span across all sort of sets and include a handful of other teams as well.  I'll highlight a few of my favorites.

1972-73 Topps

This card has the honor of becoming my oldest basketball card.  Considering that Topps did not start putting out basketball sets on a regular basis until 1969-70, this is a cool feat.

2014-15 Panini Threads / 2013-14 Hoops

Combining old school photos with new school cards.  These photos pop on new card stock as compared to how they would look on say a 90-91 card.  

2005-06 Upper Deck Rookie Debut

I was first turned on to this set thanks Tony L. at Off Hiatus after he sent me a graded Andrew Bogut rookie card.  These cards still look sharp.  Radmanovic was fun to watch as he wasn't afraid to throw up a 3-point shot.  This card would mark the last time we would see Radmanovic in a Sonics uniform. He was traded the Clippers mid-season.  

1990-91 Hopps

Rookie of the Reign Man! Enough said!

2004-05 Topps Total

A mascot card of the high-flying Sasquatch.  I'm biased but I think the Squatch is one of the best mascots out there.  He plays on a local urban legend, he doesn't look overly fake, and he can DUNK!

2000-01 Topps Chrome

Finally, I get my first card of Patrick Ewing in a Sonics uniform.  The Sonics had been in decline a few years before Ewing arrived.  This move reeked of a "ehh, fuck it" type move. Ewing had no business playing for the Sonics, let alone the in the NBA.  Unsurprisingly, he only lasted one season with the Sonics.

By the way, this card is purple.  This whole set is purple.  WHY?

2007-08 Topps - Rookie Set

Durant rookie! Many basketball fans resent Durant for the way he left the Thunder and taking the "easy way" to a ring by joining the Warriors.  I say to hell with those fans. The Thunder didn't deserve Durant. I look forward to Durant returning to the Sonics when they eventually return (yeah right).

1996 Upper Deck Slam Dunk Series

SLAM DUNK SERIES?? 1996-97 COLLECTOR'S CHOICE DESIGN?? I can 100% say I have NEVER seen this card before!  WHERE? WHEN? HOW?? I am a huge fan of 1996-97 Collector's Choice so my mouth was agape when I saw in this the trade stack.  

According to Trading Card Database user Billy Kingsley, this set was issued with Nestle chocolate bars.  I haven't cross-checked every card but the photos appear to be different from the base set.

I'm looking on eBay right this instance and I see this complete set 40-card set for $12 shipped. Yup, that's an instant buy for me.

There were many, many more cards but these are a small sampling of my favorites.  Thanks Billy for all the excellent cards!

Friday, September 1, 2017

Cleaning Out the Draft Folder

If you blog like me, sometimes you start to type up a post and stop part-way through for whatever reason.  Maybe the blog post was only half thought out, you ran out of time that day, or you just needed to scan some cards.  

And if you're also like me, you don't have the desire to finish the draft when you return to it days, weeks, or months later.  Maybe the "moment" is gone, the post seems too out of date, or you just never felt like scanning those damn cards.

In an attempt to clean out some draft posts, I've decided to throw them all in one convenient post, warts and all. If you're reading this, it also means that *this* post made it out of draft purgatory as well.


Working Title: CFL
Last Draft Date: December 17, 2016
Cause of Death: Lack of scans

Recently I made a purchase on Dave & Adam's Card World (aka DA Card World) for a couple boxes that I will share at a later date [Ed. I don't think that ever happened].  When ordering from DA Card World, they include bonus gifts depending on the purchase amount.  The bonuses range from 1 pack for a more desirable set to several packs for the less wanted items.

There were single packs available for various sports but the higher quantity items included 12 packs of 2012 Upper Deck MLS or an 8-pack box of 2014 Upper Deck CFL.  As an added bonus, they were offering double bonus gifts so I would get two times whatever gift I selected.

I strongly debated the MLS cards given the Seattle Sounders' recent MLS Cup victory. I looked at the Sounders checklist and didn't see any names that jumped out at me.  So I decided to take a chance on some cards I would otherwise never purchase--Canadian Football League cards.

I have actually watched a game or two of the CFL.  I was driving up to Alaska in late August, which requires a very lengthy drive through Canada.  During one of my motel stays in what surely was a small town, the only good thing on TV happened to be football; Canadian football.  I don't recall any specifics of the game as this happened over 5 years ago now.  I do remember not being that interested in the game as I didn't know of any of the teams or players but in defense of the CFL, there are a lot of NFL games I do not have any interest in, either.

Obviously, this post was about Canadian Football League cards.  Here is the O-Pee-Chee insert that I only scanned recently.  Upper Deck did a nice job with the look and feel of these insert cards.


Working Title: Obama Cards
Last Draft Date: December 29, 2016 (I suspect I started this earlier)
Cause of Death: Lost the "moment" / Lack of scans

2009 President Obama Inaugural Edition
'Tis the season for ad-nasuem election coverage.  I don't mind it though it though as I consider myself a political junkie.  I studied political science in school, volunteered for campaigns, and worked for a couple state senators.  Election season is always my favorite time of year.

When I was sorting through all of my cards I came across a few cards from this Obama Topps set.  I don't know if any other president ever had their own full fledged set but assuming not, this is quite remarkable.  It made sense for Topps given all of the buzz surrounding Obama's campaign and his historic victory to become the first black U.S. President.

Everyone has their own opinion on Obama and I don't intended to make this a political post.

bought a box for $20
great collation as I completed the entie 90 card set and 1 card short fo the 18 card sticker insert

I'm pretty sure I started the post before the results of the November 2016 election but I tried to come back to the post.  I still never scanned my Obama cards.  Plus, due to my dad's passing shortly after the last draft date, I lost my motivation to blog and the "moment" had passed on this topic.


Working Title: 2016 Best Of
Last Draft Date: March 20, 2017
Cause of Death: Too untimely

2016 has been a fun year of collecting for me.  I started collecting cards again and I've become more involved that I could anticipate.  I never imagined it would lead me to start blogging.  The card community is great.

Panini Classics
Panini Diamond Kings (Cruz relic, I think)

Chasing 3K and Griffey inserts [From 2016 Topps]

FP insert, Brownstein [First Pitch insert from 2016 Topps of Sleater-Kinney guitarist Carrie Brownstein]

I didn't have the energy to make this post before the start of the New Year and I never could get it done afterwards.  In addition, several of these cards had been shown previously so I felt less of an urgent need to show them off.  


Now that these posts are out in the wild, I feel better about not having my work go to waste.  These were never going to turn into full-fledged posts.  It's only right that they get posted in some form or another.