Thursday, April 28, 2016

Time to get to work

As much as I love the NFL and my Carolina Panthers, I don't follow college football so I can't get excited about tonight's NFL draft. So what does one do instead of watching young guys become millionaires?

He puts on the Braves game (holy crap, are they actually leading the Red Sox?!) and gets ready to put a large chunk of 2016 Gypsy Queen in pages.

I'm really enjoying this years GQ set. The base design looks great and the inserts are a little more interesting this year. I love the MVP mini set, however I've only pulled 4 so far and I've bought a good bit of retail blasters. Once I'm done with this tonight, I need to go through a large box that arrived last weekend from a deal I made with a Facebook user. More on that later. Well, I better get to work.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

These Nachos Grande are so good! (and so are his trades)

Every now and then I come across some things that the crazy Reds fan that runs NaA lotchos Grande doesn't have and we are able to strike up a trade. My latest deal with him consisted of sending him some Reds cards along with some Lego mini figures from the latest series. In return he helped me out with my 2016 Topps want list of both base cards and some of these awesome Perspective inserts.

A lot of the inserts from the flagship Topps set have really been lacking in originality the last few years in my opinion, but these Perspective cards are beautifully done. The sharp photography and full bleed design makes me think this is something from Stadium Club (minus the regular thickness card stock) and is a set I'm eager to finish.

I also got a few more inserts from this years Topps set including Berger's Best (not sure why I'm actively working on this set since this has been done before), Pressed into Service, the Wrigley Field set and the last Wacky Packages sticker I needed to finish the preview set.

These custom Allen & Ginter mini cards were a complete surprise! Personally I love the Freddie Freeman and the autograph card of his truly, Chris was a nice touch too. I'll have to find a place for these in one of my A&G binders. Thanks for such a great swap!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Player Collections - Trials and Tribulations

Most collectors have at least one player they collect. This player or players may be collected for a myriad of reasons - hometown team, childhood idol, shares your birthday, etc. Many of the players I collect I admire their talent on the field, but I collect some of these players because of their impact off the field or for who they are as a person.

In the past I've made the decision to omit cards of players from my player or team collections due to something that happened off the field. Early in the Carolina Panthers history, promising rookie wide receiver, Rae Carruth, murdered his girlfriend and hid in the trunk of a car trying to evade the police. He was a high draft pick and I had a good many of his cards. Today, they have been purged from my Panthers collection. Same thing for Greg Hardy. I think I only had one or two cards of him in the first place, but those ended up in the garbage.

Now I'm faced with this whole Hector Olivera fiasco. Charged with assault two weeks ago in Virginia while the Braves were in town playing the Nationals, Hector has been suspended from the team while his case is being investigated. While he was arrested, he hasn't been formally convicted of the crime he is accused of. If he is charged then there is a very, very good chance the few cards I have of him will be pulled from my Braves collection.

All of this just got me wondering if others have felt compelled to pull or sell cards of players you may collect when they run into serious off the field issues. Do you look the other way and keep the cards? Do you even want these cards in your collection or does it not bother you what players do in their personal lives? Why do you collect who you do and if you were in my shoes how would you react?

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Trade with Finding Time for Cardboard

Andy from Finding Time for Cardboard and I recently helped each other by sending each other some cardboard we wanted. This package from actually came in about a week ago, but I was sitting on the white sand beach of Half Moon Cay last week this time.

Inside the package was a nice mixture of cards from a few want lists such as 2016 Topps, 2015 Allen & Ginter and 2015 Gypsy Queen, plus several cards from various players I collect. Much thanks for the 2016 Topps as I creep closer and closer to finishing series 1.

In the PC stack were a few cards of David Justice, Jeff Francoeur, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz. I particularly like the Fleer Sports Illustrated card of Justice. I always loved that set...the great full bleed photography, simple design and glossy thick card stock.

Andy even tossed in one of the Braves cards from the new 2016 Wacky Packages MLB set. I'm actually working on this set so it was nice to get another of this card for my Braves collection.

I appreciate the deal and better yet, I got a new blog to put on my blogroll! Thanks for the cards Andy...let's do this again sometime.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Home Field Advantage - A New Facebook Group for Bloggers!

When it comes to hobbies...I have a lot of them! I often find myself not sure how to spend my free time as I have several different things that all fight for my attention. I also like to share whats going with my different hobbies, thus this blog and others that can be found in the left hand side bar. While this blog has no problems attracting readers or finding people to interact with and make trades with, that couldn't be said for some of my other blogs.

Enter Facebook. I quickly started to find different themed groups where I could eventually share my blog posts and help spread the word. I've been doing that a lot lately for my newest blog on video games. I'm not sure why, but it never occurred to me to look for baseball card groups on Facebook until the other day. However once I started to look, all I could find was a plethora of B/S/T groups. While there is nothing wrong with those, I was hoping to find a group that was maybe more trade friendly or just somewhere would I could post links to my newest post. After a lot of searching I couldn't find anything so I decided to make my own group.

The group is called Home Field Advantage. I know there are others that operate blogs that also keep up a Facebook presence so I'm hoping to find others that will find the group beneficial for their blog and/or for trading and what not. If you are on Facebook, have a trading card blog and are looking for another outlet to get more exposure for said blog or just want to chat or post want lists, join the group. It's currently set to Public so it should be easy to find.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Let's Talk Binders

I'm not sure if it's my un-organization that has me so worked up or just the fact that I'm excited about the new baseball season just around the corner and the new cards it brings, but I've been trying to get more and more cards sorted and placed in binders.

Just today I sat down to sleeve 2013 Gypsy Queen as I worked on my Want List and it hit me...maybe I'm using the wrong binder? I'm not talking O-ring versus D-ring. I'm using a 5 inch binder to hold on average two years worth of sets that I build...mainly Allen & Ginter and Gypsy Queen.

These big binders work well, but let's face it - they aren't cheap and they get heavy once fully loaded. It's also hard to turn a lot of pages at one time if I want to go to the set in the back of the binder. 

My question is for those of you that put sets or PCs in pages and binders, what do you do? Large massive binders for multiple years, like above? Or do you use smaller binders for each year of a set? If Topps made those nice padded binders for A&G and GQ each year, I'd consider buying those (even though those can be expensive). 

If you do use binders, do you stand them up or lay them down. If you lay them down, do you stack?

Currently I have about 6 of these 5 inch binders, laying flat on a bookshelf. I alternate the binders when stacking so they can kind of remain flat on the shelf, but it's starting to take it's toll on the bookshelf. Some of the shelves are sagging in the middle due to the weight...and the fact that it's a cheap particle board shelving unit.

I'm always curious to see how other collectors keep their collections organized so 1) they can enjoy the cards and 2) make it easy to find what they are looking for.

I would appreciate it if you'd share your thoughts, comments and collection/storage tips in the comment section below!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

New Francoeur Cardboard

It's been a few seasons since Jeff Francoeur appeared on a Topps baseball card, but with a pretty solid season in Philadelphia last year Jeff returns to cardboard in 2016 Topps...even if he's in a Phillies uniform.

I've collected Francoeur since his rookie season w/ the Braves and I have tried to follow his career when he left the team, however in 2013 his games played w/ the Royals dropped to only 59. I'm not sure if he was benched, hurt or sent down to AAA, but until the 2015 season he only played in 32 games since he was traded to the Giants in the 2013 season.

When it was announced he signed a minor league contract with the Atlanta Braves in the winter of 2016 with an invitation to spring training, this baseball fan / collector was happy to hear the news. I still don't know what his chances are of actually making the team, but it's good to see Frency in a braves uni and having fun on the field again.

There are many reasons why I'm rooting for him to make the team, but one of those reasons is more baseball cards! Right now I'm chasing his 2016 Topps rainbow...


inverse negative

black (23/65)

I still lack his several parallels: gold, Toys 'R Us purple, pink, clear and the framed version. I doubt the Platinum (1/1) will ever cross my collecting radar. While scanning these cards today I realized I bought two of the black parallel so after I return from vacation I'll be listing the extra on eBay - unless someone here wants to trade for it.


In my excitement of new Frency cardboard, I also went back and picked up this beautiful 2008 Upper Deck SPx Winning Materials patch card for cheap! 

Have you ever had a favorite player "disappear" from the majors for a few seasons, only to catch lightning in a bottle and return to the league? I guess with reprints and using retired players in baseball there is a good chance you can still find new cards of some players people collect, but when I picked up my last 2013 card of Francoeur I thought that would be my last.

I'm glad I was wrong.