Sunday, June 28, 2015

They Did a Blog Bat-Around...Without Me??! My Biggest Regrets

I don't trade a lot. I keep telling myself I should. I have a lot to offer and am willing to go above and beyond to ensure that I fill out someone's wantlist to the best of my abilities. Even if it's for one measly card, if someone has a huge wantlist and I have 100 or so cards on his or her list, I'll be more than happy to send all of what I have for that one card.

But it's been a while since I traded cards online, and I really should get back into it (didn't I say that in the first paragraph??!).

Anyway, I'm bringing this up because someone has brought back the Blog Bat-Around and it's a topic that I probably can contribute to. If you (whatever readers I have left) don't know what a blog bat-around is, you can look it up on the tags for previous posts. Basically, SCU's Gellman started this idea where someone would bring up a topic to write about and the Hobby Blogging Community would go to town writing an article about said topic, and then send the link to the host so that the articles can all be gathered and shared in one easy-to-find place. I haven't participated in a while, and I can only assume that there have been more done since my last.

This one was brought up by the gentleman over at garveyceyrusselllopes and it's a good one. It's about the cards we owned but no longer possess in our ever growing collections. Whether it was sold, traded, damaged, or just lost in the bowels of time, what card or cards do you regret no longer holding in your collection.

There are a couple that come to mind. One example is of a card I never really owned, but apparently gave away (with a huge package...explanations forthcoming) in a trade.

There was a blog from a guy named John Arnold who ran a blog called THE PURSUIT OF 80's(ness). He's from England, and a devoted Red Sox fan. Now, in 2008, my first year in the blogging pool, I had mentioned that I was a Cubs fan. So bloggers like him asked me if I was interested in a package of Cubs cards. I said sure (even though I'm not much of a team collector). I promised I'd send him something in return.

After his package of Cubs cards arrived, I sent him back a care package. One that included nine unopened packs, three each from 2008 Series 1, Series 2, and the Update and Highlights. I made sure to throw in as many Red Sox cards that I could find as well so there was something to go with the unopened packs.

After opening the three Series 1 packs, he found two Boston Red Sox cards. One was of Jason Varitek. This was the other:

That's right. Had I thought for a second to rip those packs open, I would have been the proud owner of the 2008 Topps Red Sox SP Red card with Rudy Giuliani in the middle. I was in tears, let me tell you.

I rarely have luck with getting SP's and cards like this when I buy loose packs. This would have been a great card to own (or sell...then I'd regret it later). But at least it went to a Red Sox collector, and the card is no longer in the US so that's one less card you'll find at your next card show.

What other cards. How about this one:

In 1991, Upper Deck, one of four "that other companies" that produced cards made a baseball card one of their spokespeople, Michael Jordan. It was the perfect storm of a card.
  • I actually liked the 1991 design and had bought a factory set AND the Final Edition set (what was I thinking??!)
  • Jordan and the Bulls had just won their first NBA championship
  • The White Sox' new stadium Comiskey Park was going to be opened soon
  • I'm from Chicago...AND IT'S MICHAEL JORDAN!!!
I thought I'd never get one of these in a pack, so I actually bought one at a card store for a steal ($20.00 saved for this). It's Upper Deck, I know. But I was also in to Score, so what does that tell you.

So I had the above card in my possession. And as a 15-year old kid, I was thrilled.

Then disaster struck. And it was my fault.

You see, somehow, I found a box of laminating sheets in the basement. The box said "protect your important documents and other important items from wear and tear." So I thought, what better way to protect this card than to put this card under two laminating sheets (you didn't need the machine for these adhesive sheets, just peel, trim, and you're done).

Can you see where I'm going with this??!

So I took my $20.00 Jordan card, and placed it between two layers of laminating sheets. It made the card thicker, which was fine. The only problem was that there was an air bubble on the front that was clearly visible. No amount of pressing would "pop" it. But I was happy it was now protected.

Then I read in some book (I know I have it somewhere can't remember the name of it though) did mention that altering the condition of the card (including laminating it) was a big no-no and that the card's value would decrease to nothing.

And my heart sank.

In my mind, I just threw away $20.00. I was mad at myself more than anything. I put away the laminating kit and never saw it again.

I also regret giving away that 100-card UD Final Edition set. Never did get around to buying another set.

Another card I regret...because I had a chance to get this card for a heck of a price but wasn't sure (will explain shortly).

I look around on the Bay from time to time to find cards that I need for my collection. One guy with a fairly low feedback and a very iffy picture put up for a $99.00 BIN a 2012 Topps Bryce Harper #661 (the extremely SSP card found in packs). This was long after the mini cards came out, and based on the picture, it was hard to tell if it was the real one or not. The pictures themselves were blurry, and you couldn't even read the code on the bottom to distinguish.

Now, this card must have been listed more than 15-20 times at least. Each time, the price changed. It was at $99.00 one time, to $109.00 the next, back down to $99.00 OBO. But it never sold. Then one day, somebody apparently took a shot at it, bought the suspicious card...and left positive feedback because it turns out that it was the real thing!!!

There was also the matter of 2003 Topps All-Time Fan Favorites Doug DeCinces autograph card.

As many readers of this humble, little blog also know (I still have readers, right??!) I don't really collect autographed cards. Never really took an interest to it.

Until 2003 Topps ATFF came along. It was a set of 150 cards of players, most who are never going to touch the Hall of Fame (although there were a number of them in the set) with unique pictures never used before but utilizing the designs during their playing career. Some made sense, others not so much...but that ship sailed (or did it...stay tuned to a later blog post).

Now 21 players were not included in the base set, but somehow managed to have autographed cards included. Brief bit of trivium: in the original checklist, there was supposed to be 200 players on the autograph checklist, which included almost all of the subjects in the base set plus about 50 or so extras. By the time the product came out, that number was whittled down to about 165 or so.

Well one of the 21 players who didn't have a card in the base set was the Doug DeCinces of the Baltimore Orioles. Now I had heard of the name, and when I bought my box of 2003 Topps ATFF (back when I could afford boxes), I pulled this card as one of my two autographs. The owner of the Friendly Card Finds (the baseball card shop I frequently visited before its closing in regards to Brian Proulx) was an O's fan, and I thought what better way to thank him than to give him this card as a thank you for helping a fellow collector out (he spoiled me, you know, by giving me sell sheets and promo cards).

Later on, when I decided to go after the 21 "extra" autograph cards, I realized that one was of DeCinces. The card I gave away. Now I wasn't about to ask for the card back...that would be wrong. So I regretfully spent some money on a card that I had in my possession. But hey, another collector has it (possibly) and he was happy with it. Isn't that the point of this Hobby?

I could go on and on.

But regretfully, I have to get going (see what I did there). I look forward to reading all of the other posts from this bat-around. Thanks GCRL for starting it up again.


JayBee Anama


gcrl said...

crap. i need one of those decinces cards for my 1978 topps master collection.

thanks for posting!

Mark Kaz said...

You've still got at least one reader (and many more I'm sure!).

Good stories, thanks for sharing!

Fuji said...

I never used laminating sheets... but I did use scotch tape on some cards in the early 80's. Great post!