Friday, August 28, 2015

A positive eBay review

eBay can be a lot like going to restaurants. Most of my eBay transactions go perfectly smoothly, so there is no need to write about that portion of it. Similar to when you go to a restaurant and get good service, you aren't inclined to write a review. Good service is expected. But when something bad occurs, release the hounds! Off to Yelp or some other site to let everyone in the world know about it.
I'm as guilty as anyone. Just a few weeks ago, I had an exchange with a nincompoop on eBay and shared the experience with all of you.
Well, I'd like to post a positive review of an eBay seller who was a pleasure to deal with.
A while back, I won a Ryan Nassib autographed card (above). While I don't really collect football, and I'm not a Giants fan, I keep waiting for him to get a shot to play. He was fairly highly-touted coming out of Syracuse, and many expected him to go in the first round of the NFL Draft. He slipped a bit and fell to the Giants to serve as Eli Manning's backup. Not ideal. Had he gone to Buffalo like originally expected, he may be starting for them right now. But now he sits. And waits.
Figuring that at some point he'll get his shot, whether Eli gets hurt or just stinks up the joint, I decided to pounce on an auto. It was a couple days before I moved, so I gave my new address when checking out.
I waited and waited but no card showed up.
The seller did provide a tracking number, and everything went perfectly until it reached my local post-office, then all tracking updates stopped for 13 or 14 days. I checked with the post office and they had no idea. It had vanished.
The seller was most helpful. He thought it was unusual too. He even opened up a ticket with the USPS and had a few email exchanges with my local post office. Ultimately, he gave me my money back after we decided the card was just lost somewhere in space. You know, this is Northern NJ. Maybe it "fell off the truck."
Then, randomly, it showed up in my mailbox a couple of days ago. The envelope was perfect, no wear or tear. So odd. Maybe there was just a stack of mail that never got delivered or it was lost on a truck.
I reached out to the seller and let him know it arrived, and offered to re-send a payment. He told me not to worry about it.
He was a pleasure to deal with, and I appreciated the reminder that good customer service does exist, even on eBay.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Housewarming gift from P-Town Tom

Sweet mesh trucker hat, Tino.
After I moved, P-Town Tom reached out request my new address. He sent me a very welcome house-warming gift!

Tom is one of those guys who always pays attention and keeps an eye out for cards that fit your PCs. This package had a little of everything.

First off, some cool Tinos. The 1994 Fleer is a personal favorite of mine. I love the design - one of the best of the 1990s - and it also reminds me of the summer of '94 when Sunoco offered their Fleer set for filling up with gas. I used to get some many of these cards from my dad's co-workers.

And as far as I can tell, this Tino is from an away game at Yankee Stadium. Tino looks to be in a HR trot - he went deep against the Yanks on May 1 and 2, as well as July 21. However, he could have also been scoring off of someone else's HR. Part of the reason Tino was brought to NY was because he always torched them as a visiting player. The Yanks took notice.

Tom also included a few minor league autos, including Ty Hensley. The Jagielo is very cool too.
And as he usually does, Tom included something for Joey - a full set of 1980 TCMA All-Time Yankees. This set is awesome! I'll definitely add it to Joey's binder.
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Thanks for the gift, Tom!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Treat Yo'self to Tinos

In early July, I found a cool Tino Martinez I didn't have on eBay. Turns out, the seller had a bunch of Tino inserts listed, and of course, I had to take advantage of combined shipping and treat myself to some new Tinos. Seriously, combined shipping is really a worth it sometimes.

So I'll keep this post lite, as it's completely a "look what I got" post without much to say, other than a lot of these insert sets bring back memories of collecting as a kid. Most of them are rarer parallels to an insert or card I already have.

And I know a lot of people don't love cards from the late '90s or early '00s, but I always will. These are the brands I knew as a youngster, and are the sets I lusted for as a 12-year-old when flipping through a Beckett. Some seemed so high end, I could never have imagined that I'd one day own them.

Without further ado, check out some shiny beauties:


Thursday, August 13, 2015

Bird is the word

In what is becoming a weekly occurrence, the Yankees have recalled another top prospect. This time, 1B Greg Bird gets the call.

I was a bit surprised by this one, as I didn't hear many rumblings. However, with a putrid offense over the last week and playing with a 3-man bench, perhaps Bird can give the team a shot in the arm. Bird started the season in AA, but was called up to AAA a few weeks ago where he hit .301/.353/.500 in 34 games. Bird is a lefty with a sweet swing and a good eye.

Drafted as a catcher, he is purely a 1B now, so he won't back-up any other positions. He's going to spell Mark Teixeira at 1B and ARod at DH, and hopefully let those two recharge the batteries a bit. In fact, he's starting at 1B tonight and batting seventh.

I'd love to see him come up and do what he does best - hit and hit and hit. Go win a job, like Shane Spencer did in August/September of 1998. While that's unlikely, it would be great to see him give the team an offensive jolt when they need it most...right now.
Congrats to Greg Bird, and best of luck!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Take me back

Like a song, a certain card or player can take you back to a particular time in your life.

There are songs that remind me of college. Or a roadtrip with my cousin when I was 13. Or that my high school soccer team and I listened to Nelly's "Ride Wit Me" during our magical run through the state playoffs in 2000. These songs don't need to have anything do with those events, but more likely it was just on the radio frequently at the time and you associate it with that memory. We've all got songs like this.

I've got baseball players and cards like that too. The 1997 Bowman Jose Cruz Jr reminds me of taking a trip to the Pocono racetrack with my Dad, and I had a Beckett I read in the car that featured that card (it was a big card at the time! Remember? Him and Travis Lee).

I still remember El Duque's debut for the Yankees. I had just had a Babe Ruth league game that night, then went to my old middle school for an event that my mom was working. I was still in my powder blue uniform, but remember vividly begging her to go home so I could watch the game. I also remember that it was just after I finished 8th grade, and I met a few of the girls who attended my soon-to-be new high school that night at the function, and I remember thinking "man, that's what high school girls look like?!"

I definitely made it home for some of the game and got to see that crazy leg kick in action. El Duque would go on and be a vital part of that 1998 Yankees team. Everytime I get a card of him, I can't help but think of that random June night.
This card doubles as a memory lightening rod because of the wacky '90s design, which certainly brings me back to my heyday of collecting. I picked this up for about a quarter (with free shipping!) on eBay, and I'm glad I did. It's loud, its bright, it's ugly, and it's glorious. I feel old these days for various reasons, but every now and then, I appreciate a card taking me back to simpler times.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

JBF shocks me again

With nearly 700 different Tino Martinez cards, I'd like to think I'm a fair expert in Tino cards. I can pretty much spot ones I don't have when I see them. I know the early cards like the back of my hand, receiving many as throw-ins in various trades and card packages.

Tino's 1991 Donruss may be one of the most frequent cards I receive. It tends to pop up in every couple packages. Its fine. I don't mind. So while flipping through a recent Jaybarkerfan's Junk bombing, I saw the familiar blue 1991 Donruss borders:
However, that's not Tino's pose in the one from JBF. This is:
Gasp! I've never, ever seen that. Turns out it's a 1991 Donruss Preview card. I felt foolish for not knowing this existed after 19 years of collecting this guy. Leave it to JBF to find one! Tino's not a Yankees rookie in this one!

There was also this Tino from The Lost Years that I didn't have:
The package made its way to me after I claimed a Bobby Abreu Yanks relic. I really liked Abreu as a Yank. He fit the team perfectly. It was one of Brian Cashman's best moves. BOBBY YOU GET ON BASE AT A 40% CLIP NO BUNTING!
Like Wes would stop there. Next, this sweet CC Sabathia quad relic popped out.
Like Wes would stop there. This crazy cool Deion Sanders manu-coin weighed the package down. These are pretty cool in person. I wonder if there's chocolate inside?
Like Wes would stop there. Say hello to a dual-jersey of Jeremy Hill, the guy who will be the best running back in the NFL this season.
Like Wes would stop there. A David Cone mini /199.
Like Wes would stop there. Don Mattingly in a frame!
Like Wes would stop there...
He never stops. Wes, thank you, my friend!

Monday, August 10, 2015

A momentary shift in focus

While boxing my cards up and moving them to the house, I realized I just had so many. Do you ever think about that? What the hell am I doing with all these cards?

I have every intention of passing my cards down to my kids, specifically my son. My dream is that he'll one day want them and cherish them. However, there's always a little voice in my head that says he might not care for thousands of Yankees cards, but rather a handful of "nicer" cards. I know we all have our own definition of what a "nicer" card might be, but to me, it's either a vintage card, rare insert, or autograph.

I won't shift focus for myself. I love being the dumping ground for your unwanted Yankee cards (and you all do have a lot of those). However, with the above in mind, I've decided to periodically splurge on some "nicer cards that might be a little more appreciated at some point in time by someone other than me. Plus, with the HOF binder I have started for him, I should have a nice collection for him that isn't too overwhelming.

So equipped with a few extra bucks in my Paypal account, I snagged three certified autographs from newer products.

The first two come from 2015 Stadium Club, which put out some really nice on-card autos. As soon as I saw the David Cone, I wanted it. It's actually my first signed Cone card. I have a small 4x6 signed picture of him that was a TTM success, but nothing on a baseball card. The photo is obviously from his 1999 perfect game vs the Expos.
I have several autos of Dellin Betances (thank you, Zippy Zappy), but I submitted a fairly low "best offer" for this one, and the seller surprisingly took it. I was willing to go a few bucks higher if he countered.
Lastly, I snagged this Paul O'Neill Topps Museum on-card auto. I had a great TTM success from O'Neill, but felt like a certified autograph would be a nice addition. He seems to be signing for several of Topps' products these days, so it wasn't too tough to acquire.
All-in-all, the three of these ran me less than the price of a blaster. All are on-card too. I'm not a sticker snob, but I do enjoy a good on-card signature.