Tuesday, February 26, 2019

A Three Pack, Progress, and a Wantlist

Before I begin, I'd like to dedicate this blog post to my grandmothers, Leonor Anama (nee Filoteo) and Gloria Y. Nichols. Both were born in February, Leonor on February 24, and Gloria on February 25.

My daughter and I traveled to the local big box store to do a quick shopping run. While she went through the clearance aisle, I sauntered over to the card section, thinking about what to buy. I thought of buying a couple of packs, but for what purpose?

By now, I have a full set of the eponymous first series, and buying random packs wasn't as motivating. Same goes for blasters. Was the thrill already gone? I mean, yes it is now Heritage season, but I don't collect the brand. And short of the Pat Neshek tribute card to Lowell Palmer, I probably won't be starting on that set anytime soon.

But then, I saw...this:

And suddenly, I found what I wanted to buy for the evening.

A three-pack of Series 1 with a bonus green parallel card. This one, with Sandy Koufax, came home with us along with the other things my daughter was looking for.

I am also in the process of putting the cards and sets I have into a binder. It's a 3-inch binder, but I'm starting to think it's not going to fit everything. I get the sinking feeling that a 6-inch binder isn't going to fit this set when all is said and done. I have almost all the cards. I'm missing one card from the Superstars retail set because the seller didn't realize it and gave me an extra card of a player already in the set, but he's aware of it and when he gets back from vacation he will be sending me the missing card. I also have the 50-card Iconic Reprints set coming soon (I have something to say about this too, but I'm going to need the set to arrive first).

In the meantime, until prices of the 150-card 150 Years of Baseball set go down to reasonable prices on the Bay (and this is before part 2 shows up in the next series), I have decided that I am going to build this set from scratch. Whether it be by buying lots or cards online or by trading. By now, I have enough base and insert cards, from a number of years, that I can trade to get my hands on the 67 cards I need to complete this set. Now, the big show coming to the convention down the street, the same one that is going to host the National in July/August, will take place in March. I just want to go to that show and take in the atmosphere. I would prefer to complete this set before then.

So, to the people who still manage to come to this humble, little blog. I need help. I am willing to trade for the 67 cards listed below. I've been known in the past to trade for everything I can find in a large want list just for one card. Base, insert, even autos or relics. It doesn't matter. If it's on your want list, and I have what you need (within reason...I still collect too you know), I will send all of it for whatever you can spare.

Here is the list of cards I need:

Greatest Moments
150-1 Babe Ruth Boston Red Sox
150-2 Babe Ruth New York Yankees
150-3 Lou Gehrig New York Yankees
150-4 Roger Maris New York Yankees
150-5 Cal Ripken Jr. Baltimore Orioles
150-8 Jackie Robinson Brooklyn Dodgers
150-10 Nolan Ryan Texas Rangers
150-11 Cal Ripken Jr. Baltimore Orioles
150-13 Babe Ruth New York Yankees
150-16 Nolan Ryan Houston Astros
150-18 Ichiro Seattle Mariners
150-19 Roberto Clemente Pittsburgh Pirates
150-22 Cal Ripken Jr. Baltimore Orioles
150-25 Ozzie Smith St. Louis Cardinals
150-26 Derek Jeter New York Yankees
150-27 The Topps Company Brooklyn
150-34 Ted Williams Boston Red Sox
150-35 Hank Aaron Atlanta Braves
150-37 Bill Mazeroski Pittsburgh Pirates
150-42 Ted Williams Boston Red Sox
150-47 Sandy Koufax Los Angeles Dodgers
150-48 Ted Williams Boston Red Sox

Greatest Players
150-51 Babe Ruth New York Yankees
150-55 Robin Yount Milwaukee Brewers
150-56 Tom Glavine Atlanta Braves
150-61 Roger Maris New York Yankees
150-65 Adrian Beltre Texas Rangers
150-68 Bryce Harper Washington Nationals
150-73 Derek Jeter New York Yankees
150-78 Albert Pujols Los Angeles Angels
150-79 Wade Boggs Boston Red Sox
150-80 David Ortiz Boston Red Sox
150-82 Tom Seaver New York Mets
150-86 Pedro Martinez Boston Red Sox
150-87 Juan Marichal San Francisco Giants
150-88 Nolan Ryan Houston Astros
150-91 Bob Feller Cleveland Indians
150-98 Jim Palmer Baltimore Orioles
150-99 Harmon Killebrew Minnesota Twins

Greatest Seasons
150-104 Ichiro Seattle Mariners
150-106 Rickey Henderson New York Yankees
150-107 Frank Thomas Chicago White Sox
150-110 Albert Pujols St. Louis Cardinals
150-112 Pedro Martinez Boston Red Sox
150-116 Carl Yastrzemski Boston Red Sox
150-121 Clayton Kershaw Los Angeles Dodgers
150-123 Sandy Koufax Los Angeles Dodgers
150-125 Randy Johnson Arizona Diamondbacks
150-127 Ernie Banks Chicago Cubs
150-132 Mike Trout Los Angeles Angels
150-134 Nolan Ryan California Angels
150-137 Mike Trout Los Angeles Angels
150-140 Nolan Ryan Texas Rangers
150-141 Mike Piazza Los Angeles Dodgers
150-142 Cal Ripken Jr. Baltimore Orioles
150-143 Willie McCovey San Francisco Giants
150-146 Babe Ruth New York Yankees
150-149 Babe Ruth New York Yankees

Email me at bdj610@hotmail.com, send me a DM on Twitter @bdj610, or leave a comment on the blog and let me know if you have any of the cards I need along with a want list of cards that you are looking for, and I will see what I can find for you.

I'll even put the bonus Koufax card on the trading block.

For now, I am just happy to have some packs to open.


JayBee Anama

Monday, February 18, 2019

Responding to Comments...Two Days Later

I should probably make more of an effort to post often. The comments I received were great and (ego...enough already...)

After reading the comments on my last post, I think it would be best to respond to them. Here goes.

SumoMenkoMan: While it's not necessarily overkill in terms of the number of insert sets (12), having a couple of insert sets that consist of more than 100 cards (150 Years of Professional Baseball, 1984 Topps 35th, Superstars) is a bit absurd. Okay, it wouldn't be the first time that there are 100-card insert sets within a series. But in the past, a set that would consist of 150 cards would be split among three series (1, 2, Update). The 150 Years set is this year's version of Topps Salute. Why put all 150 cards in one series??! The set itself consists of three distinct subjects (moments, players, seasons). I wouldn't have minded the set split this way. Topps has done it so many times. Why not with this set??!

bbcardz: Agreed. It's kind of misleading. Yes, there are more cards in a pack, but less packs in a box??! And you're still getting fewer cards in a box? It used to be that if you bought a jumbo box, you had a great shot at completing a set (or at worst, be short a card or two). Now? With the number of insert cards??!

Jeremya1um: We already emailed. Yes, I have the card:

It is yours. You already sent me your address, and I will let you know when it gets shipped (as soon as I can get to the post office...hopefully tomorrow...if not by Wednesday).

Fuji: I wouldn't spend $1500 on a master set, especially when it doesn't have ALL THE SETS!!! But hey, I don't judge either. You spend what you want. But I do agree, I miss those days too. Inserts are supposed to be that bonus "wow" card that comes in a pack. Sadly, with the focus on relics and autos, these have become as ignored as the base cards.

Base Card Hero: We'll see if box prices drop. Heritage is coming soon, and people tend to go nuts when THAT product comes out. I'm keeping tabs on the two sets I still need on the Bay. One looks promising, the other might just become the set I will have to build card by card...unless of course prices drop like I hope they do.

Bulldog: If you've never done a master set, there is nothing wrong with it. I think if you're a set collector, you need to at least try for one. If you have the patience, and there are lots of sources for you to do it (shows, shops, trading, etc) in your world, pick a year and go for it. Right now, I'd recommend something from 2012-2015. By now, demand should be down for cards from those years, and cards and sets should be selling at decent (lower) prices than the year they were created.

Phil: I know, right??! The last two years have been brutal. Yes, again, I know this isn't the first time that Topps didn't put the full stats on the back of the card. But still, it was shocking not to have all that information on the back.

Swing And A Pop Up: Thanks. If I pull it off, I'll make sure to post.

Have a good night.


JayBee Anama

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Two Weeks Later...

The official Opening Day of Baseball Card Season was Wednesday, January 30, 2019.

I would have been out there with the rest of the collecting world. Celebrating. Opening packs. Watching videos of box breaks. Reading Twitter feeds (you can follow me @bdj610) to see the first cards they opened from a pack. Catching the Bay to see what master sets were initially going for.

But I live in the Chicago area. And...the temperatures here reached -27 below Fahrenheit at one point. I wasn't going to go out. Heck, if the Chicago Public Schools decided to close for the day, you know it's trouble. In fact, it was so cold, and I'm sure you saw video of this, but they set the train tracks on fire.

Courtesy of WGN-TV. 

The reason behind this is, according to news.com.au, "Snow and ice can clog the points used to keep the train rolling, so the gas-fuelled flames — which technically run alongside the tracks — keep the switch points warm so they don’t get clogged. It’s actually not uncommon for Metra to resort to the practice when the mercury drops below zero."

Okay, back to the point.

On Friday, February 2, after making the trek to work and logging in some hours at the office, I made my way to a card shop, Target, and Walmart (in that order) and bought a few packs from each location (okay, the Walmart didn't have them yet, but I had to check). So now, I was in the game. After dinner, I opened my first pack.

And what a way to begin 2019!!! My first card of 2019 is CARD #1 of the eponymous set, Ronald Acuña, Jr!!!

The 2018 National League Rookie of the Year, and winner of the Card #1 vote, is my first card for 2019. What else showed up in this 14-card pack?

  • #9 Ben Zobrist, 2B/OF, Cubs
  • #111 Reynaldo Lopez, P, White Sox
  • #237 Seth Lugo, P, Mets
  • #263 Always Sonny, Checklist 109-144
  • #317 Kevin Gausman, P, Braves
  • #65 Derek Dietrich Gold, OF/1B, Marlins
  • #294 Dynamic Duo, Checklist #73-108
  • #158 Byron Buxton, OF, Twins
  • #44 Jay Bruce, OF, Mets
  • #45 Nick Pivetta, P, Phillies
  • #207 Richard Bleier, P, Orioles
  • #234 Austin Hedges, C, Padres
  • #153, Hunter Strickland, P, Giants
Initial thoughts on this pack:

My second Cubs card is World Series hero Ben Zobrist. This makes this pack a winner. Third is a pitcher from that other team from Chicago, so that works out very well.

I am so happy that Topps listened to their customers as the card backs (very nice by the way) include COMPLETE YEAR STATISTICS!!! After two years of partial stats (nothing wrong with that...it's not as if it was a precedent and all...but still), we get complete MLB (and MiLB if it applies) statistics again. And for those who still wanted them, the Twitter and Instagram accounts for players who have them (Jay Bruce apparently has neither, so he gets a #TOPPSBASEBALL on his social media profile line).

Within the last two weeks, I have purchased five regular, two jumbo packs, & one hanger box, from Target, three regular packs from WalMart, and twelve Hobby packs. I have a lot of good insert cards (which I am willing to trade), a couple of Home Run Challenge cards, and one SP (Mookie Betts).

I also decided to take a different approach when it comes to acquiring a master set this year.

There are 12 insert sets with cards scattered in packs of 2019 Topps Series 1. Adding the 350 base set, there are 940 cards that comprise what I will consider a full master set.

On eBay, prices for auctions of master sets consisting of just the base plus seven Hobby insert sets (1984 Topps 35th Anniversary, Greatness Returns, Evolution, Revolution, Topps Now Top 10, Iconic Reprints, 150 Years) ranged from $499.99 to $1099.99 Buy It Now. The scary thing is that people were actually paying those prices. I get that regular Hobby and Jumbo boxes have less packs even if the number of cards per pack are up (you still get less cards overall). I get that the odds for insert cards are ridiculous. I also get that case breakers are having a hard time making full master sets. But this is overkill.

Now, if you have the money and bought a 770 card set for over $1000, more power to you. Cheers. 

But you're still missing five retail-exclusive master sets!!!

There was one auction that I saw that had 10 insert sets included (the seven Hobby sets plus the 2 Spring Training sets and the 100-card Superstars) for $1499, and SOMEBODY BOUGHT THAT!!! 

That's well and good, but that auction doesn't have the Ronald Acuña and Gleyber Torres Highlight sets. Yes, the Walmart (Acuña) and Target (Torres) exclusives. 

Of course, I'm going after all 12 sets, and as of this writing, I now have the 350-card set, plus the following complete insert sets:
  • 1984 35th Anniversary set
  • Greatness Returns
  • Evolution
  • Revolution
  • Topps Now Top 10
  • Gleyber Torres Highlights
  • Cactus League Legends
  • Grapefruit League Greats
Plus I am waiting on these two sets:
  • Superstars of Baseball
  • Ronald Acuña Highlights
With shipping, I have spent a grand total of $622.11. I am pretty sure if I wait it out a bit, I can acquire all 12 for under $900. The 150-card 150 Years of Professional Baseball set has been going anywhere from $350-500 BIN (with auctions currently at over $150.00) and the 50-card Iconic Reprints set goes for $125-$220. I might have to wait a bit for demand to die down because many collectors will be focusing their energies and money on Heritage. 

The prices on the Iconic Reprint set and for individual cards are, honestly, ridiculous. I mean, a number of these cards have been reprinted to death, and the last time Topps highlighted reprint cards of Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, et.al, was in 2011. Regardless, I think I will play the patience route. Maybe wait until the Spring Collectibles show at the convention center down the street to build the sets.

In the meantime, there are two sets that are on my collecting radar. The 2019 Gypsy Queen, and, as tentative checklists were posted this past week, the 32 Topps Team Sets. 

This is already getting to be a very interesting, if not expensive, year Hobby-wise.

But I am always up for the challenge.


JayBee Anama