I collected baseball cards from the late '80s through 2002. Then I went to college and when I came out, I was lost. There were too many brands, sets, choices, relics, autos, parallels, variations. It was a turn off. Slowly I'm coming back.
So here is my lame attempt to venture back into the hobby. I'll buy a few packs of cards here and there, comment on some cards I have, send out some TTMs, and follow the progress of my Topps Yankees Project.
Recently, Jared from Catching Up With Collecting reached out. He wanted to get rid of a few Yanks, and you know I'm always game for that. He collects Red Sox, so I'm happy to have another Boston fan to ship my unwanted Sox cards to.
Jared's package was cool because it had a lot of cards/brands that you don't see in typical trade packages. It was a lot of fun to sort through.
But first, some Chipz! I didn't have any of these.
This Jeter immediately caught my eye. Unlicensed, yeah. But awesome as hell, yeah. Anything with flames is cool in my book.
Some framed beauties!
El Duque. If you didn't catch the ESPN 30 for 30 Brothers in Exile about Orlando and Livan Hernandez, do yourself a favor and watch. It was incredible.
I really like these Munsons. It's not so much the designs as much as it is NEW IMAGES. Topps recycles so many images, and it's nice to see photos of Thurm on cards that aren't common.
How did I not have this Deion? This card is so cool.
Ted Williams! Ok, all Red Sox hate aside, these were really nice sets. Classy designs, and great checklists.
And a Ted Williams minor league Jeter. No joke, I almost bought this card the other day, and to have it show up in a trade package was fate. It's easily one of my favorite Jeter cards ever. There's so much to love about it...the uniform, the stance, young Jeter in the background. So money.
Jared, thanks for the trade! I'll get your cards out to you shortly (if I haven't already).
A while back, Brad from Brad's Blog broke a case of 2014 Topps Chrome. I claimed a few Yankee autos (three to be exact), and Brad sent though a large chunk of other Chrome cards and inserts, as well as a second team bag full of Yanks.
It was the first bit of Chrome base cards I've received this year, and I know have the full team set thanks to Brad.
These Sepia Refractors are so nice. I'm really impressed with them.
Here are the aforementioned autos. Sadly, only Murphy is still with the Yanks. I'm happy to have this certified auto, as the TTM auto I have of him is a bit light and hard to read. Anna and Solarte both made the Yanks Opening Day roster, but were not with the team by the end of the season.
Tanaka time! Up to this point, I only had one Tanaka. Brad doubled that for me.
I hope I keep receiving Jeters in future trade packages. I'll never have enough.
Lastly, I just thought this card looked really nice with the red border. It fits.
On Monday, I shared a Tyler Austin TTM success that I was (and still am) really excited about. It got me thinking a bit. Why was I so excited? I already owned a few Austin autos.
I realized it's like this for me in a lot of instances. Although I may own a certified autograph, I'll still try the player TTM. Part of it is the thrill of the chase. Putting in the effort to write and send a letter, choosing the card to send, and waiting patiently for it to return, not knowing if you'll ever see the card again once you drop it in the mailbox.
It's a risk. It's a rush.
And the reward makes it that much more worth it. It's not to say that I don't enjoy an auto I buy on eBay for $1.99 + $2.50 shipping. I just like the TTM process more.
It's sort of like growing your own veggies in a garden. It can be more satisfying eating them instead of store-bought veggies, knowing you saved a few bucks and put in the work to grow the produce.
Here are a few more instances of cards I own both a TTM auto and a certified auto.
I've still been picking up cards of HOFers for Joey, my two-year-old son. I don't show them off as often as I used to, but building a collection of HOFers is still a priority of mine. I have no idea if he'll be into cards when he's older, but even if not, I hope he one days appreciates the binder I've got going for him.
Anyhow, most of the vintage cards I've grabbed him are beat up. Maybe one day I'll focus on condition, but for now, I just want him to have originals, regardless of condition. So when I came across a 1970 Topps Willie McCovey with surface damage, I pounced. I won it on Listia for a few credits - not much - and was happy to get it. I already had a McCovey set aside for him, but this will still find a home in the binder.
There are a few players that I've tried multiple times to get TTM, but have struck out each time. Tyler Austin is one of those players. I believe I was 0 for 4 with him in the past. Normally I wouldn't keep trying, but I repeatedly saw some successes from him. I couldn't figure it out.
I shot off a request to Tyler while he was playing in the Arizona Fall League. On Saturday, I got this back:
Boom! It felt good when I opened the envelope. Mind you, I have several Austin certified autos, but for some reason, I still wanted to have a TTM success. I'm thrilled to have this back.
I came into possession of a Dallas Cowboys relic card recently. I really had no need for it, so I reached out to Nerdy Girl on Twitter, who collects Cowboys cards. I offered to send it her way with no expectation of anything in return, but she decided that wasn't acceptable and send me a great lot of Bengals.
Being an NFL Sunday, here are a few highlights from the package.
I have to start with this Cobi Hamilton auto. On-card goodness of the former Arkansas WR drafted by the Bengals in the 6th round of the 2013 Draft. He had a good pre-season, but has since found himself of the Bengals practice squad. Regardless, it's a very nice card.
Topps Inception football cards are really nice. Even if Andy Dalton is really bad, the card elevates him. It's a great set, although I wish the cards weren't as thick.
Camo! I think the Topps football camo cards are a lot more "camo" looking than this year's baseball.
A couple of AJs! My name is AJ. Their names are AJ. What's not to love?
From time to time, Wes at Jaybarkerfan's Junk would show off some treasures sent to him by Uncle Tiny. Honestly, I have no clue if Tiny is actually Wes' uncle, cousin, friend, etc. All I know is that he always sent Wes some really thoughtful stuff.
At some point, I made a comment about Uncle Tiny's generosity and asked if he was taking applications for new nephews. It turns out he was. I should know better than to make a comment like that when dealing with JBF or anyone who may or may not be his uncle.
Tiny reached out through Wes, and of course a bubble mailer landed on my doorstep.
It was chock FULL of Yankees. Look!
And also had a very, very sweet Michael Pineda green refractor. Holy smokes is this a nice green!
Uncle Tiny also found out I was a Bengals fan, and hooked me up with some really cool football cards. Not being a very active football collector, it's always fun to see some football releases from the past few years. One thing I've noticed is that a lot of football sets are really classy in design.
I really like this Darqueze Dennard RC. I'm a little disappointed he hasn't had more of a impact after a great college career, but sometimes it takes corners a little longer to establish themselves in the NFL. I hope that's the case here.
I also have an irrational love for this Darnay Scott card. See, growing up, the only time I could watch the Bengals was when they played the Giants, Jets, or Bills...which was never. They got zero highlights on ESPN because they stunk, so I was left with reading boxscores about the mythical WRs Darnay Scott and Carl Pickens. I knew all of their stats, despite never seeing them play.