Flea Market Fail, Retail Mostly Win

The Big Hurt..

So yeah, if you heard on twitter, there was no flea market on Saturday, and apparently there won’t be one at all this month.  It’s okay though, I took my what basically amounted to my entire monthly card budget to Target and Walmart, and had the good fortune of it turning out fairly well.  We all know how hit-or-miss doing that can be, but it can turn out rather nicely at times too.  I picked up a 33%-off ($20 instead of $30) blaster of 2009 SP football (the only dud of the bunch) and a Heritage value box (should’ve doubled up on these) at Walmart, and the last two 3-pack value rack pack things of Gypsy Queen at Target.  So let’s see how it all turned out, shall we?

Just uh, pretend you didn’t read my tweets from Sunday afternoon.  They were spoiler city for this post.  We’ll start with the Heritage Value Box.

The value box bonus refractor. Classy design with rather subtle and subdued refractoring that perfectly highlights without being gaudy. End result: An excellent bonus card.

The only card of note from the Heritage hobby packs..

There weren’t even any SPs that I know of.  Nothing wrong with getting an insert of a legendary pitcher, but the design is snooze inducing, so without chromeyness or a hit (or some sort of super SP variation nonsense), Heritage tends to be… forgettable.  It’s cool though, the regular topps was on point.

Start it off with a much-needed mini, because I think I'm still in single digits on this set, unless this McCutchen gets me to 10.

A Frank Robinson card is ALWAYS a welcome addition to my collection. 60 Years of topps.

A diamond parallel of a star. No longer collecting this set (just Cubs and my other player collections), but Cruz is probably worth one of bigger players I am after, to the right trader.

topps60 > Peak Performance, I'm just sayin'. Fairly classy design. These are for trade..

Another cool insert for trade..

I also pulled two Diamond Giveaway cards from the packs, so I ended up with four instead of two.  That was nice.  Oddly, they were both the same as the two that came with it (’77 Reggie, ’50-something Jackie).  I ended up with an ’88 Tony Gwynn, an ’05 Reds team card, an early ’90s cards so forgettable I can’t even remember which of my three forgettable early ’90s cards was the one I got in this bunch, and a ’70 Don Young (Vintage Cubs!).

Other cards of note were base of Beltre and King Felix for myself, a Steve Carlton/CC Sabathia Diamond Duos, ToppsTown of Mauer, Markakis, Carlos Santana, and two David “I hit a game-winning home run with a broken freakin’ back!” Wright.  Oh, and this:

A jersey card of The Ace of the Angels staff! Weaver is 6-3 with an ERA in the low 2s and a WHIP below 1(!) so far this year. Bonus: It's a nice red swatch. None of that white or gray business here.

Great to pull a great player when you hit on a 1:96 pack card, that’s for sure.  He’ll be added to the For Trade page when I get around to it.

Now, for the dud blaster… Presenting 2009 SP Signature Edition Football:

Purple swatch is nice & all, but John David Booty is so very not worth the price of admission, even at 33%-off.

What can I say?  Even with a better hit, this wouldn’t have been very exciting.  There were Bears base, but this was just disappointing overall.  Why would anyone ever be willing to pay $30 for one of these, when the vast majority of them were most likely just as lame as this one, which stunk on ice at $20?  It was a mistake, plain & simple.  I would’ve been much better off going with a second Heritage value box, even if it turned out to not be any good itself.

Needless to say, only the Bears in the top row are keepers.  The other 57 cards in the blaster can’t be gotten rid of fast enough.

Putting the failure of the day behind us, let’s get to the main course and do us up some Gypsy Queen!

You saw one of my keepers up top.  Frank Thomas with the White Sox is an official player collection now.  I’ll take hits from anywhere he played, but base and inserts and such I’d prefer be of the White Sox variety.

Anyway, everyone always says “Since you’ve already seen the base on countless other blogs, we’ll just skip to the inserts and hits”. No, EVERYONE says this, so no one that doesn’t break down single packs shows the damn base at all (save for the occasional shortprint)!  So here are three more base cards (okay, Markakis is a shortprint).

Kyle Drabek RC, Andruw Jones in what has to be one of the least flattering pictures on a baseball card this year, and a Nick Markakis SP. The base isn't getting as much love as I expected, but it's got style and is anything but boring.

With that taken care of, now here are some inserts.  Was that so hard?

Pujols, Alexei, Rollie, McGee RC, and the Gypsy Queen back is Chris Carter.

I'm suckered in and collecting this set, so if you have any extras, the nine I have will be posted on the set wantlist page later, so you can see what I be needin'. Also, STARLIN!

It wasn’t all Hot Pockets and singing frogs with sombreros in Gypsy Queen land though.  The second of the two value rack pack things had about a half dozen damaged cards, the worst two being the best two cards I pulled from thing.

This is a Gypsy Queen-backed shortprint. Difficult to see, but the damage is visible on my oldass low-def monitor at least. The bottom of the left vertical edge is slightly raised on the front, as if someone tried sticking a finger nail in the edge or something.

Jackie Robinson Framed Paper #'ed 100/999. Then it got worse. The card came out of the pack with that little chunk below the words at the bottom ripped up and barely hanging onto the card. What the hell, pack searcher and/or lollygagging topps quality control person?! Like half of the inserts in this same rack having minor damage on *two* corners, and my short print and Aroldis Chapman base having far worse on one of theirs wasn't bad enough, let's screw up the two best cards too... Will be sending these back for replacements.

Fortunately, there was a saving grace with the Gypsy Queen.  Behold!

The Man!

There was a lot of good in this little binge, and plenty of bad, but it can’t be denied… Retail has it’s occasional moments.  A lot of my better hits seem to have come from retail, and this… well this card is right up there amongst the best of them, team allegiances or not.

That being said, ol’ Stan here is going to be available, seeing as how I am a Cubs fan and have no love for that whiny team from St. Louis, but I’m not in any rush to get rid of him.  You’ll maybe want to set about blowing me away if you’d like to add Mr. Musial to your collection. 😉

So there you go, my latest binge.  I think I would’ve preferred taking another $25 to the flea market, but aside from the SP and what should be replaceable damaged cards, I am exceedingly pleased with the Heritage value box and Gypsy Queen, and it only amounted to $10 more.  We’ll just call SP a $20 learning experience and try to be smarter in the future.

And this overly long post is finished!  Sorry it’d been a couple days without posting by the way.  My sleep got JACKED UP by a linebacker that goes by the name Ray Insomnia.

EDIT: Forgot the Gypsy Queen inserts, and the sign off!  Here you go:

How could I have forgotten these funderfulriffic cards?! These are the undamaged inserts. I am definitely collecting the Sticky Fingers set entirely because the design is so utterly perfect. Just now noticed the spider motif on the Wall Climbers too! I was going to collect it, but probably not now because I'm so utterly terrified of spiders. Admittedly, that is a terrible excuse, because bees are actually the thing I had a traumatic incident with in my youth (one somehow got in my shirt and stung me on the back several times DURING a little league game). My dad lost a toe to a Brown Recluse bite though, so my spider fear isn't misplaced though. Ah, screw it, I'm not collecting either one. Crap.

Now that’s a wrap.  I’ll post up the two insert sets I will be collecting later on tonight.  Thanks, as ever, for stopping by!

Also, I got my new computer, baby!

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A Couple Small Trades

The come from Baseball Dad and Da Rook, respectively.  I will find the cards I’m looking for and send them to them in return for these beauties sooner or later.

Here’s what Baseball Dad sent:

A couple Rynos, Rod Carew for K-Mart, Frank Robinson, the First Clementes I've ever gotten in a trade, the rare set need card (Nobunaga), and LT aka the reason for the trade in the first place.

And, though I still can’t find the missing Alomar, this trade is finally mailer’d up and ready to go.  I did call his bluff and throw in an extra case & a half of random Indians cards though.

Now for the cards from Sarah:

Ichiro & Vlad toppstown golds, old school Ted, probably the coolest Tales of the Game insert, and possibly the only meaningful ticket in Ticket to Stardom..

Man, remember when everyone thought the Cubs horribly overpaid for Lilly?  He’s only gone on to become the most reliable pitcher in one of the better starting rotations in the league.  He’s like… the anchor that keeps them afloat.

And I mentioned the Shin-Soo Choo card might be the only one with a ticket to a meaningful game to the player depicted in the entire set.  Behold!

The only way it could've been better if the ticket was from the semifinal, but it's Ticket to Stardom, so I'll take what I can get. Also, it's #'ed 1/90, which is nice. Also, Jackie's legendarytastic World Series moment in text form. Reading is good.

Don’t see too many tickets from this where the player actually did something, so I was pleasantly surprised to get a memorable one.  Hopefully I can find the straggler and get the gaggle of Chippahs sent on their way soon.

Oh, my wantlist has been updated quite a bit.  Be sure to check it out!

Adieu, homies.

Always Listen to Jackie

I’m sure blogger Dean of Vintage Dayf or Dean of Vintage Dodgers Night Owl could’ve told me that, but when I saw that lone cereal box at K-Mart with Jackie Robinson staring back at me, I… ignored it.

"If you don't buy me now, you'll be sorrrrry..."

I thought my luck at actually pulling some  stinkin’ Million Card Giveaway codes might have changed by now, and maybe I could pull two or three.

Yeah, no.  Went 0 for 5 again, bringing my total to about 1 for 15 or 16 (including two fat packs) pulling Million Card Giveaway cards.  I suppose it wasn’t a total loss, I did pull three Red Back Minis I needed from the Target Packs, bringing my total to 6 of the first 15, so I’m almost halfway finished with that set.  But dang it, I wanted some codes!

So I went crawling back to K-Mart and Jackie, humbled and ashamed and an unnecessary $10 broker for ignoring him.  But Jackie is a classy fellow and forgave my foolish ways.  And thus the purchase was made.  Within the box bearing his likeness contained, the 40-some base cards I have no place to put (Seriously, I’m sick of this mess if cards and want 90% of my collection gone!  Want to start over!  More on this soon…), the promised mishmash of low-level inserts, plus an original back Yo Momma card of Eddie Murray (1:3 cereal boxes) and a When They Were Young of… someone.  Johnny Damon maybe (1:2).  The Platinum Refractor was Ty Cobb.  I’m not sure if pulling maybe the meanest jerkass in baseball history out of a box bearing the classiest dude in baseball history is ironic or not.

Not classy...

(Jackie box & Cobb pics box yoinked from ebay)

And then, what I came for, my golden ticket, my sweet sweet Million Card Giveaway redemption code.  Surely Bob Gibson wouldn’t let me down the way Mike Schmidt did.  I planned to hold on to my little piece of cardboard gold till it started raining ’50s again, but I saw it was dropping almost entirely ’60s and ’70s, with intermittent ’50s when I checked in shortly before starting this post.  So I logged in my card and what did I pull?

La... LaCock?!?

To be fair, though I was impatient and went for it immediately, I was apparently only one code late on redeeming a 1962 Richie Ashburn… I got LaCockblocked!  All that trouble in really freakin’ cold weather to pull a LaCock (insert immature giggle here).  I bet Cobb was behind this.  That bastard. 😡

What a serious waist of money.  I’m an idiot and I hate myself right now.