Saturday, June 2, 2018

Speed Dating at the Card Show

With a baby at home, my free time during the day is limited.  Fortunately, I was allowed to attend the biannual card show that happens right in my back yard.  Unfortunately, I was given a hard deadline of two hours.

That might seem like a lot of time but with this show there are quite a number of tables.  To maximize my time, I had to treat the show like it was a round of speed dating. 

Don't spend too much time at one table and make superficial judgments about what's for sale.  Looks like mainly sports memorabilia? Don't even bother.  Heavy vintage? Sorry, not into the older stuff.  Cards in glass cases?  Too rich for my blood.  Boxes of wax? Forget about it!  Unorganized boxes of cards? Actually, that's probably what I'm looking for.

First purchase was these game-used jerseys and autograph.  2 for $5 which I guess is a decent deal but still not a screaming deal.  Still, I was happy with getting some game-used material from two of my favorite players.  Marcus Moore goes into my WSU collection, thus it was a necessary pick up.

My next purchase came from a dealer who is an older guy, loves to talk, and is friendly as all can be.  I initially wanted to purchase the two 2008 Topps uncirculated cards when he then handed me a stack of cards that were to go into his 50% off box.  I plucked out the Tulo autograph and he offered me $5 for the lot.

He asked me if I thought that was fair and I said that was more than fair.  I looked on COMC and the Tulo autograph goes for $8.  I'd say I got a good deal.

The next dealer is a guy I've bought from before so I knew he would have some decent cards. On the top row we have some shiny chrome cards.  On the bottom row is a nice selection of serial numbered cards.  Ever since I pulled an autographed relic of Kluber I've taken a bit of shine towards him.  

1992 Topps is one of my favorite designs so I'm trying to complete the portion of 2017 Topps Archives that uses the 1992 design.  

I'm also always on the lookout for 2008 Topps cards I need.  I rarely see 08-09 basketball chrome cards and at a quarter a piece, these were a no brainer.

To close out the day I was torn between a completed set of 1993 Upper Deck All-Time Heroes and this box of 2018 Score.  As you can see, I ended up with the Score.  I don't like to buy retail boxes but this one has exclusive green parallels.  I noted in my last post that I'm going for the Luke Falk Score rainbow and green is a parallel I have never seen for sale.  I'm hoping I can pull one from this box.  Plus, I still need plenty of cards to complete the base set.

I bought the Score box was from the older, friendly dealer I mentioned above.  He owed me $1 as change from the Score box and instead said I could grab 2 or 3 nice cards from his baseball box that he had just restocked.  I figured for $1 I could find a couple good cards.  I'm pleased with my trio of all-stars. 

In two hours I was able to find a nice selection of cards.  It was a speed dating success!

Friday, June 1, 2018

When the End of the Rainbow Is Hard to Find

Washington State Cougars football is one of my card collecting passions.  Sometimes, just sometimes, a WSU football player is good enough to be included in card releases.  Last year, wide receiver Gabe Marks was fortunate enough to be included in a couple Panini releases.  This year, quarterback Luke Falk has the honor.

So far he has been included in 5 Panini releases featuring him in his college uniform.  Typically I'll only collect the player in their college uniform but this year I might make an exception for Falk.  He was a great quarterback to watch, even if he had his struggles, and he embodied the Cougar spirit.  I honestly don't know how far he will make it in the pros but I wish him the best.

Anyway, I've picked up a lot of Falk cards--44 and counting.  Including duplicates.  The one set I've really focus on is 2018 Score.  Score is basic but the cards look sharp.  I therefore decided I would pick up as many of his Score cards as I could.

At some point, I decided I would go for the rainbow of his cards.  Excluding printing plates, there are 14 total cards in the rainbow Easy, right? Wrong.


Like I said, a rather basic design.  However, the photo selection is something a little different.  Quarterbacks aren't usually featured scrambling outside the pocket.

The crimson bar under the photo adds some flourish to what otherwise could have been an even simpler design.  There is a touch a gray in the border around the photo, next to the position and team designation, and behind the name.  These gray elements are present in all the cards but given that WSU colors are crimson and gray, it really fits well on Falk's card.

Based on everything above, I was drawn to the card.  I even want to put together the rest of the set.


The gold parallel is a blaster box exclusive.


These scorecard parallels are the most common.  I've pulled a handful myself in my Falk search.  This one was picked off eBay.

Gold Zone /50

Out of all the numbered parallels I've seen on eBay, this one has shown up the most.  I have no idea why given it's low numbered.

Red Zone /20

I've also seen this parallel a couple times on eBay. The red border was a must have since it matches the school colors.

Gem Masters /1

If I was a betting man, I would have guessed that I would have picked up other retail exclusive parallels before I found the one of one.  With the 1/1 secured, I thought that the rest of the rainbow would come easily.

Instead, this is the last card I've found and it has been a couple weeks.  I check every day, multiple times, for needed parallels.  Nothing.  It's rather discouraging.  Score is a common set! Cards should be popping up on eBay left and right.

If you counted, I have 6 out of 14 cards needed.  It's going to be a long journey.  I won't give up though.