Monday, November 12, 2018

The Secret Santa field is set

The 2018 Secret Santa is officially closed to anymore new entrants. The good news is, we ended up with 30 people, which is far more than I thought we'd get. The bad news is, well, there is no bad news, so...

There are a couple of things that I wanted to mention real quick, so hopefully some of our participants will actually click on this post.

First off, thank you to everyone who helped promote this year's Secret Santa, I truly believe that was the real difference maker, especially when multiple people mentioned that they found out about it from other people's posts.

I would also like to thank the couple of non-blogging members of the TCDB for signing up, I was hoping that a few of you would join, and hopefully your participation will lead to more members of the site getting on board with future Secret Santa's (no matter who's hosting).

Also, a special thank you is in order for Peter, who offered to take two names if we ended up with an odd number of participants. Thankfully I didn't have to take him up on his offer, but it was still very generous of him to put that out there.

I will randomize all of the names sometime in the next couple of hours, and then start sending out emails. I've never sent out 29 emails before, but I would imagine that it's going to take a little bit of time, so I'll probably do half today, and get the other half done tomorrow (Tuesday).

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Tales from the Thrift Store vol. 9

Before I jump into today's post, I of course have to plug the Secret Santa real quick. As of this morning we're up to 30 confirmed participants, and there's plenty of room for more, so if anyone else is interested, you've still got until Monday morning to sign up.

This past Saturday was yet another one of the monthly 50% off sales at the Goodwill, and like everyone else, I was there bright and early, hoping to find some neat things at heavily discounted prices. [spoiler alert: I did!]

No matter how hard I try though, I just can't seem to get there when it opens. They're supposed open to at 8am, I arrived at 7:20, the parking lot was completely full, and it was already full on Supermarket Sweep inside (I have no idea what time they're actually opening).

As per usual, my first stop was the media section in the very back of the store. To get to this area, you've got to walk down one of 7 or 8 aisles/sections (knickknacks, holiday stuff, kitchen, etc.), it should come as no surprise to anyone reading this, but I always opt for the toys and games aisle.

Normally there isn't anything in the toy aisle for me to even stop and look at, let alone buy, but this day was different, as I noticed a bit of bright yellow sticking out from some sort of weird fuzzy stuffed animal-backpack thing -- turns out that that yellow thing was the base of a 1987 California Raisins bank.

If you're of the right age, you probably remember how big the Raisins were in the mid to late 80's. It seemed like they were everywhere for a couple of years there, and as a wee lad, I could not get enough of them, so much so that my mom even went out and got me the 45 of Marvin Gaye's " I Heard it Through the Grapevine" -- which also just happened to be my first record.

As far as the bank goes, I think it might of been a mail-away premium, but I'm not a 100% sure on that. There's quite a few on eBay, so that tells me that there were quite few of them made and distributed. One thing I know though, I absolutely adore this bank, and consider the $5 price tag to be quite reasonable.

Since this post is already starting to get pretty long, and I haven't even gotten to all of the assorted media that was purchased, I will skip over the part about the woman that literally tried to take this bank out of my hand, in what I can only imagine was some sort of fit of anger for not finding it herself (she's very lucky that she wasn't a dude trying that).

Finding that bank was only the beginning, and it was probably a good omen too, because the media area was absolutely packed with good stuff... stuff that nobody else was caring about.

It's not often that I come across a non-western Barbara Stanwyck film that I haven't seen, but apparently I did on this day, and I couldn't be more pleased about it!

I had completely forgotten about this picture, I've only seen it once, and that was many (many) moons ago. At this point I don't usually remember when and where I first saw something (unless it was in the theatres), but I'm pretty sure I saw this one on WGN sometime in the early 90's, my memory tells me that they were on bit of Chuck Norris kick (pun not intended) for a year or so, because I remember staying up late on more than one occasion to watch his older films.

There were an awful lot of sports videos there on Saturday, all of which were still sealed. As an aside, did you notice that old price sticker on the front of this one, apparently that was the bargain price too.

A lot of tapes were NBA related, but this was the only one that looked like it would be of interest to me, as a lot of the other one's were just like "The best of Shaquille O'Neal" or "The best of Charles Barkley" aka stuff I don't care about.

There probably won't be a single play shown on this tape that wouldn't draw a penalty flag in today's NFL.

This was just a backup copy. I think I might be one of the few people who can honestly say that they genuinely like this film.

I always enjoy finding movies that I hadn't heard of. The odds are high that I'm not gonna be digging this one too much, but for a quarter it's certainly worth giving it a go.

Somehow this one had flown under my radar too. As you can probably tell by the synopsis, it was yet another Invasion of the Body Snatchers clone, because there just isn't enough of those out there. Not a terrible movie though (I watched it Saturday night), without giving away any spoilers, I will say that the last ten minutes or so was completely unnecessary, but it's still worth seeing, especially if you're into these kind of pictures.

One of these days I'll actually remember to remove the plastic before taking the pics! This is a movie that you usually find in one of the public domain multidisc sets, so it was kind of cool to find a standalone copy (still sealed too).

One of these days I'll actually remember to... ! I thought the California Raisins bank was going to be the most obscure find of the day, that was until I found this sealed copy of Ladron De Cadaveres. Talk about unexpected, I mean I wouldn't have been overly surprised to find this in a thrift store back in Portland, but here in Tennessee this feels very out of place (like me). I haven't watched it yet, but I already know that there's almost no way that this movie will be able to disappoint me.

I thought I already had all of the PS1 games that I wanted, apparently I was wrong though! This is the second of a three game series, and while I vaguely remember the series, I don't remember ever playing any of the games -- which is a real shame, because I've played this for about two hours so far, and as much as fun as it is now, I can only imagine how much more I would've enjoyed it twenty years ago. I don't keep up with game prices anymore, but I would have to think that finding a copy of this game in such great shape (no scratches on the disc) for $3 was a pretty good deal.

I have to say that overall this was the best half-off Saturday so far, I just hope it's greatness doesn't spoil in any future trips, I'll just have to try and remember that this particular Saturday was probably an anomaly.

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

A plug, and a small eBay purchase

It should come as no surprise that I'm going to start off today's post with another quick Secret Santa plug.

As of this typing, we're now up to 22 confirmed participants, and I sent out a couple of invitations this morning, so hopefully those will yield a few positive results as well (one already has, thanks AJ). If any interested parties still haven't signed up, you've got until Monday morning to do so.

It seems like it's been awhile since I've shown any cards here on the blog, so now that the plug is out of the way, let's get to the cardboard!

I recently (maybe semi-recently at this point) had a terrible experience with Kruk Cards on eBay. I don't want to bore anyone with all of the details, but it was a fairly large lot of cards that I bought, which I had been quite excited about getting... at least until they arrived.

One would think that a card shop would know how to ship cards, but apparently not, as the box they ended up sending me might have been the most poorly packed group of cards that I've ever received. They had been described as NM overall, but literally every single card showed up with a dinged corner. And if that wasn't bad enough, there was some sort of soda (I hope that's what it was) that been spilled on the cards at some point in time, which of course wasn't mentioned in the listing either. I don't know about the rest of you, but things that are sticky from an unknown substance, really gross me out.

Anyway, the cards ended up going back, but it was still a very disappointing experience.

As far as the cards that I'm gonna be showing today go (yes, I will be showing cards), well, normally I probably wouldn't even be showing them on here, but I think after that terrible experience with Kruk Cards, it might be good to occasionally highlight one of the good guys -- especially since they're becoming harder and harder to find on eBay.

Even though I haven't gotten too many cards from the set (yet), I have been a big fan of this year's Panini Classics, especially the Legends portion of the checklist. They've got some names in there that you don't see very often in modern sets (not necessarily these four though), and some of the photo selections are just amazing. Like any modern set, there are plenty of parallels (doesn't bother me at all), and Classics is no exception. The four cards above are from the Timeless Tributes gold parallel, which is numbered to /99.

There's also Optichrome cards, which is just a fancy way of saying chrome refractor. The Optichromes have parallels as well, this Eric Dickerson is of the gold variety, which are numbered to /65. My scanner doesn't do shiny very well, so you'll just have to take my word for it when I say that these look amazing in person. An I love this particular card so much, that I have two more copies of it currently sitting in my COMC account -- so by my count, there is only 62 more copies out there :)

Speaking of shiny! This card has so much going on, that I couldn't even get a decent photo of it. This one hails from a set that I was completely unfamiliar with called, Panini Unparalleled. It's a Hyper parallel from the Pioneers insert set, and the bad boys numbered to just 25 copies. This was definitely one of those cards that I didn't need, but I was big fan of Tim Brown's when I was young, and it was only 99 cents... so why not? The only minor complaint that I have about it, is the photo, apparently both Panini and Topps don't realize that there is more than one image of Tim Brown in existence, as this one has been used ad nauseam.

All of these cards came from the eBay seller, gopackers79. The cards were packaged extremely well, the combined shipping rates were excellent, and the cards arrived very quickly -- I don't really care about that last point, but some people do, so I figured I might as well mention it. I added this guy to my favorite sellers list, and wouldn't think twice about purchasing from him again.

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Secret Santa update

I just thought I'd let everyone know, that in the first 24 hours we've gotten 18 confirmed participants, and possibly one more that I'm waiting to hear back from.

I think it's been a pretty good start so far, but obviously there's plenty of room for more, so if you have signed up yet, you can do so here.

And thank you to everyone who has helped promote it so far, your efforts seem to be paying off :)

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Introducing Secret Santa 3.0

Back in 2016, Matt, of Bob Walk the Plank fame, created a Secret Santa gift exchange for all of the card bloggers, as well as friends of the card bloggers. Not surprisingly, this was met with much fanfare, and proved to be quite popular for the two years that he ran it.

As many of you know, Matt took a leave of absence earlier this year (I'm convinced that he'll come back to blogging someday), and I don't know about the rest of you, but upon hearing of his unpaid sabbatical, I couldn't help but wonder about the future of our beloved Secret Santa. There hadn't been any word as to whether or not Matt would be coming back to host it again this year, so I contacted him and asked if he was? And if he wasn't, would he mind if I hosted it? Since I'm here talking about it, you've probably already guessed that Matt gave me the okay to run it this year, and I'm very grateful for him doing so, now if I can just not mess it up.

Since Matt's original concept has worked so well, I don't see the need to change anything, so for those of you who have participated in the past, everything will be just as it's been - save for a different person hosting it.

It will be a little weird to tell whoever gets my name that they have to buy me something, but I really enjoy shopping for other people, so there's no way that I can just host it and not participate in the exchange too (hopefully that doesn't bother anyone).

New participants might be wondering if there are any rules, there kind of is a few, but there not terribly difficult to adhere to, so don't worry. [note: the first two points were copied verbatim from one of Matt's old posts]

- The limit is $10 for the actual gift.  Feel free to add extra trade bait to take full advantage of the envelope.

- Please reveal your identity at some point to the recipient of your gift. This helps me do a nice wrap up post at the end and may help introduce some new trade partners to our community.

- Apparently there has been some problems in the past with people not acknowledging their gifts. I can certainly understand if you're too busy to write up a post (or tweet) before the end of December, but you can't tell me that you're too busy to at least send a quick email (or a DM via Twitter) thanking whoever it is that sent you your gift, so in an effort to keep things running as smoothly as possible, let's see that this past problem stays where it belongs... in the past!

I figure a week should be long enough for all interested parties to sign up. The names will then be randomized and by Wednesday night (the 14th) you'll have received an email with the name of the person that you'll be shopping for. Oh, and if you're signing up, and you and I have never had any contact before, could you please send me an email ( with your address.

This post is already way longer than I had planned, but real quickly, I'd like to ask all of my fellow bloggers for a favor and help me promote this via your blogs. I'm not asking for a whole post, but if you could just mention -- say at the end of a post -- that the Secret Santa is indeed happening again this year, and where it can be found, I'd be most appreciative. Matt has a much larger audience than I (as he should), so I'm just a little concerned that people who have participated in the past, and would like to again, won't even know that it's being held, if only because Matt's not hosting it this year.

I think that covers everything, if not, feel free to voice any concerns or questions down in the comment section.

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.

Friday, November 2, 2018

The Captain

After a couple of successful TTM's a few years back, I got the ill-fated notion that it would be fun to try and get as many signed cards from the 1978-79 Topps basketball set as I could.

Now I use the term "ill-fated" for two different reasons, the first being that there are number of deceased players within this set, which isn't terribly surprising given that the set is now 40 years old. Obviously guys that have passed can no longer sign cards, therefor if one were to want a signature from one of said guys, one is going to have to pay a little bit to acquire it -- one of which, Pete Maravich, would likely require some lottery winnings to obtain.

And the second reason that this project might not have been the best idea, is that there are a number of guys in this set who just don't sign, unless of course they're being paid to do so by one of the big card companies. Thankfully though, there is a way to get around this second problem, at least when it comes to a pair of very popular non-signing players:

Sometime back in the mid to late 90's, Scoreboard partnered up with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Julius Erving. As part of this partnership, both players signed 1978 copies of their original 1978-79 Topps cards, which were then sold via QVC (a home shopping channel).

I can remember watching QVC quite a bit during the 90's (thanks mom), primarily because of all the collectibles that used to be featured on the channel, this was the 90's after all -- everything was collectible, and everything was an investment, that is if you were just able to hold on to it for long enough. Some folks look back on those times and laugh, but god do I miss them!

Anyway, I don't recall seeing these particular offerings from Scoreboard at the time, in fact I only became aware of them once I decided to start collecting autographs from the 78-79 set. It took a couple of years for a decent priced Kareem to pop up on eBay (there are always high priced copies in stores), and about six months ago I was finally able to get one, the final price... $20.50!

Most of the time you'll find the cards loose, like mine above, but they originally came in a stupid looking holder like this:

Image pilfered from Google
You can see why so many of them have been taken out of those holders, right? That thing is just flat out ugly!

Even though I finally got one of the big names out of the way, this project has still sort of fallen by the wayside, primarily because of my slacking off when it comes to sending out TTM requests, maybe that can be my first ever New Year's resolution.

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Baseball from the budget boxes

In case you haven't heard, there's a World Series going on, with that in mind, I thought it would be an appropriate time to show off some of the baseball cards that I got at the big show a couple of weeks back.

I did pretty good at this show as far as not spending too much on a single item goes (well, other than the Bob Woodward autograph), in fact everything in this post (and the coming basketball/football posts) came from either a dime box, 5/$1 box, or a 6/$1 box. It was definitely a good show for the budget collectors (they always are, but this one was better than usual), I know this because a) I found a boatload of cheap things, and b) I encountered quite a few other people who were doing quite well for themselves just by sticking to the budget boxes.

I was a big fan of Jose's as a kid, this '86 Topps Traded was still a $20+ card during my peak baseball card collecting years, I never owned a copy back then because of it's hefty price tag, now thanks to a 6/$1 box... I own three!

Someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe this Bo is still up there when it comes to one of the more popular cards from the overproduction era.

Here's a couple of lower end, but still very fun, inserts.

The previous couple of shows had been pretty good Ichirowise, this one not so much, although it's entirely possible that I just wasn't looking at the right tables. I also broke my streak of finding/getting copies of his 2012 Topps Chrome refractors, but I still managed to find at least one shiny, and one not so shiny (unless you count gloss as shine), Ichiro.

Cheap Junior inserts are always a good thing, especially now that I'm sort of collecting him again.

I'm not entirely sure as to whether or not I want to collect the 2013 Cooperstown Lumberjacks anymore, but either way, I was gonna be passing these up at 15 cents apiece. I actually found ten of them, with the four shown being the best (see, I'm trying).

Double the sexy!

I showed great restraint by not buying every single one of the 2013 Emerald Green's that I came across, the same thing could be said about the Platinum Diamond Anniversary's above, because there was plenty of each to be had... another sign that my set collecting days are coming to an end.

There's always plenty of cheap shiny cards to be had at pretty much every show, everywhere! This is a small sampling of the bright stuff that I brought home with me.

I thought I'd do something a little different to finish off this post, something that's sort of Fuji-esque, and count down my top three favorite baseball cards from this show:

3. 1997 Topps Stadium Club Rey Ordonez Patent Leather: This is just a really cool insert, and it was the first time that I had seen one in person... it didn't disappoint!

2. 1995 Score Bo Jackson Gold Rush: What's not to like about this card, it's a Bo sunset card, and it's gold (it also had a bunch of dust on it that I didn't see until I added the image to the post).

1. 1987 Topps Jackie Gutierrez: Now I know some of you are probably going "Whaaaaaaa???????????", before any heads start exploding, let me just turn this bad boy over and show why it's #1...

... now do you get it? If you've been coming around here for awhile, than you already know of my affinity for blank backs -- if you're new to these parts, well, I have quite the affinity for blank backs! Finding a true blank back in the wild has become pretty uncommon for me, so this was very unexpected, and pretty much worth the trip alone (and yes, I know it's not really worth anything, but that's not the point).

For anybody who's waiting to see the basketball and football portion of things, I have no idea when I'll be getting to those, I don't plan on going to another show for a couple of months, so I'm not in much of a hurry to get those two posts done.

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.