Saturday, April 13, 2024

Sender Unknown

Back in 2020 I received my first ever envelope from a person, or persons, unknown. Now, a little over four years later, I've received my second. 

I've recently decided, mostly because I never finished it as a kid, to start working on the 1989-90 Fleer basketball set again. I'm not starting with much, but I did take my Terry Porter out of his collection to add it to the set, so this Terry will now replace that one in his collection. Detlef is a nice addition to the set build as well. And this is two posts in a row with Otis Thorpe sighting; I could get used to that. As for the card itself, I never noticed the precarious placement of that unknown Buck's hand 🙈.

A few of the cards in this envelope are as mysterious as the sender himself. It's still nice to be thought of though.

My first three 2023 football cards. For a modern set, the design of this Legends subset isn't that bad. I like the the bright blue and green elements. And of course, the Prizm looks much better in person than it does here. 

My favorite card of the envelope is the one I led off the post with. Normally, I probably wouldn't like this sort of card, but for some reason it just works for me. Plus too, I so rarely get any Dickerson's anymore, so I really appreciate being able to add something new to his collection.

Many thanks to the mystery sender, whoever they may be. If you were going for the element of surprise, you've certainly achieved it!

And as for who may've sent this envelope, I only have two clues...

I guess it's a good thing that this envelope was deliverable, because that's all there was for a return address. Seems like this would narrow down a bit, but I don't have my address visible to everyone on the site, just friends, I think, but I don't think any of those people are in Hartford...

The only person that I know of who has ties to CT is Chris, but this doesn't feel like a Chris sort of mailing. Well, that, and in all of our years of sending things back and forth, Chris has never gone the mystery route, and I don't think he would start doing so now.

[Fun fact: A grandpa of mine, with many greats in front of that title, was one of Hartford's founding fathers]

Not a lot to go on, but more than there was last time. Though, I'm guessing that these mystery envelopes came from two different people, as the contents of said envelopes were polar opposites of each other. Thanks again to whoever went through the trouble to send this!

And on a completely unrelated note...

After over a year in the making, and many months of delayed shipping, my latest COMC shipment has finally arrived! Happy day!

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

An act of generosity leads to a trade

I woke up one morning a few months back to find a transaction proposal, of the TCDB variety, in my email. Not currently having anything listed on there for trade, I must admit that my curiosity was piqued. At best, it would be a fellow blogger looking to send me something, official like; and at worst, it would be some rando trying to sell me something. Turns out that it was neither.

The message was from a fellow called, Marc, or as the cool kids call him, iusedtohavethatcard (an odd nickname for sure, but I'm not one to judge), and he had a card that he wanted to send me; with no desire to get anything in return. That was certainly different.

The card in question was a 1994-95 Majeur Magazine Otis Thorpe (it's a French magazine). Marc had an extra copy that he was looking to giveaway, and apparently I was the only one who had it on my wantlist (how is that possible!). He did mention that one of the corners was a bit chewy, but since this one of those sets that I never expected to even own a single card from, I wasn't about to turn it down over a condition issue.

As you can see above, the corner in question isn't that bad, especially considering that these were magazine issued cards. I was expecting much worse.

The magazine sure didn't skimp on the backs. For this sort of thing, you really couldn't ask for a better write-up. 

Having never seen one of these cards in person, I always assumed that they were similar in size to the SI for Kids issues. That assumption was just a tad off...

Here's Otis next to a regular sized 1990-91 Fleer Shawn Kemp, which also came from Marc (more on that in a second though). As you can see, these Majeur cards are rather large. Given their size, I'm even more forgiving of any condition issues than I would've been previously. I can imagine how difficult it would've been to store these for European collector during the mid 90's. 

Before accepting Marc's offer, I took at his want lists, ostensibly to try and find something that I could send in return (despite his assurances that nothing was needed, I was still gonna try). I noticed a few things on them that I had, which then got me to thinking about a possible trade. A quick glance at his trade list made up my mind, and thankfully Marc was open to the idea.

Even though I don't do a lot of trading on the site, this was the card that made me want to try and put something together with Marc. The 1999-00 Metal Emerald parallels were one of three parallel sets that I was actively working on when I walked away from collecting back in 2000. I can't tell you why exactly, but in the last couple of months, for reasons unknown to me, trying to go back and finish those three sets has felt like something that I have to do. In the case of the Emerald's, I only had a few from my original attempt, so for the most part I've had to start from scratch. Vince Carter is card #1 in the set, which, given the hype around him the year before, wasn't that much of a surprise. 

My scanner completely washes out the green on these, hence the photo; which still didn't capture this particular shade of green very well.

I'm now sort of working on the 1997-98 Ultra Gold Medallion set as well. A couple of decent names here. I always liked the photo that Fleer used for Rodman's card. 

I'm sort of working on the '98-99 Gold Medallions too. 

I forgot to scan my copy of this blue Starquest that came in the trade, so I had to "borrow" this image from the TCDB. If I remember correctly, one of the teams that Marc is a fan of is the Rockets (or possibly just the 90's Houston teams), so he had a number Hakeem duplicates. 

I've mentioned before that during my early years of collecting I was pretty much only interested in building base sets. Inserts and parallels meant very little to me, and when pulled from a pack, were just stuck in the back of the sets binder. Often times I wouldn't even give them a second glance. One of the few exceptions to that was the Pan for Gold inserts that came from the 1995-96 Topps set. For whatever reason, these really caught my attention at the time. Not enough to try and complete the set mind you, but I did spend a bit more time looking at them than usual. I don't know if I'm even trying to complete the set now, but I have been picking up a few cheap copies (thankfully no one cares about this set anymore) here and there, even if I already have a copy of said cheap copy. This was my second Rodman.

These were all freebies from my want list that Marc was kind enough to surprise me with. Much like the Pan for Gold's, the '92-93 Upper Deck Team MVP insert set was another rare one that stuck out to me way back when. I can remember trading one of the MJ's from the set (the one where he's holding the trophy) to fly by night card shop (in Gresham, OR) for five packs of 1998-99 Topps basketball series 2 in 1999. I can't remember if the packs yielded anything of note, but it felt like a good trade at the time. And even though I never collected it, I've always like the 1997-98 Hoops design. I noticed last year that I had a few of the "key" cards from it, and decided what the heck, I might as well give it a go too. I haven't gotten very far with it yet though.

Also included in the trade was the Fleer Shawn Kemp up top. A few of you know how fond I am of that particular card, and that I kind of hoard it. It's been a while since I got a copy, and I've lost count of how many I have, but I think it's somewhere between 150-200 now.

Many thanks to fellow Otis Thorpe fan, Marc, for offering me the awesome Majeur card free of charge. It's been a few months, and I still have it displayed on one of my bookshelves. I'm also very grateful for the trade, as I was able to add some pretty neat cards to multiple set builds.