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!

Gypsy Queen is Sexy

Some stuffs from my retail value pack:

Mariano Rivera Framed Paper parallel /999. Pee Wee Reese, Josh Hamilton, and DerekGreen Framed bonus parallels. Johnny Mize SP. Alex Rodriguez Jersey! Hank Conger & Rogers Hornsby regular minis, Edwin Jackson Gypsy Queen back mini..

Not the best picture, but as with the binder pages from the flea market, pretty solid for webcam.  Doesn’t even begin to do these beauties justice though.  Not even scan do these bad mamma-jammas justice, though.  You gots to see them in person for yourself.  I’m going to make a most likely futile attempt at collecting either the bonus or Framed Paper parallel sets, so if you got, I’m after ’em.  Everything else except Hornsby is available, but you better come right if you want ARod.

In other news, I FINALLY got some packages sent.  My Cardboard Mistress, Punk Rock Paint, Sooz, and Paul‘s stuff is on the way.  Marie‘s will be going out once I find out if I should include any Lakers.

Guess that’ll do it for this one.  Gonna bust a (full 24-pack) box of Upper Deck Disney-Pixar Treasures that I picked up for $9.99 at Target last night, and possibly call the police on my upstairs neighbor if the f***ing thumping doesn’t stop (and will be logging my 4th complaint [not counting two or three other occasions I intended to, but didn’t get to it] with the office regardless, all in less than two damn months!).

Rant mode off.

Seriously, Gypsy Queen is worth buying…

Countdown to Return

No ETA, but I’ll be back soon.  Until then, enjoy this ridonkulous serendipitous blaster pull and the jibba-jabba after:

The reason I find it serendipitous is because I bought the blaster I pulled this from at K-Mart (came out of the very last pack, no less), and while I was there I also found (and bought) a Derrick Rose jersey in the right size on the clearance rack for 1/2-price.  Maybe it was meant to be.

It is a sticker auto if you can’t tell, which some may find disappointing, especially considering the card isn’t glossy, but it’s chicken scratch from one of the best young stars in the NBA, so I don’t mind.  After finding a checklist, it looks like there were only a handful of better possible pulls from this 60-card set (LeBron, Kobe, MJ, and the like), but he’s definitely in that top-tier of 10 or 12 you’d be absolutely thrilled to beat the odds and score.  This card slides in very near, and depending on if Gordon Beckham gets around to playing like he’s capable, maybe at the top of my all-time best retail pull list.

I didn’t even know there were autographs in that year’s Fleer.  There wasn’t even a mention of them on the blaster anywhere, only jersey cards.  From what I can tell, the autos aren’t an every hobby box occurrence either, so the retail odds are probably pretty crazy.  It’s nice to know that nice hits do exist in retail though, and it’s even nicer to pull one every now and again.

And for the record, shouting “MOJO!!” never crossed my mind.  I was too busy nearly hyperventilating for that nonsense. 😛

Won’t be long now…

Retail Hit of the Year!

Finally it is time to post my big retail hit from Walmart.  It comes from 2009 topps Heritage High Numbers, and falls 1:650 packs.  Ladies and gentlemen, behold!:

Gordon Beckham Real One Autograph!

And the back...

I opened the four packs I picked up (this, a topps Chrome, and a couple 206s) in the car on the way back to my place, and I nearly missed this at first.  The only light was from the passing streetlights, so it was hard to see.  I did notice there was something different about the card, but it didn’t click till I got to the next to last card in the pack (a Neftali Feliz rookie).  I went back and looked at it again, my eyes getting big as stared at it.  I managed to stammer in a high than normal, flustered voice, “I think I just pulled a Gordon Beckham autograph…”

It took at least a good minute before I noticed where it says TOPPS CERTIFIED AUTOGRAPH (I had been up around 27 hours straight at that point, so that explains my flakiness during the whole thing), unable to stammer anything but the above, and “Oh jeez” and “Oh my god” for most of the rest of the trip.  You will be happy to know the word mojo never once crossed my lips.  Surprisingly, considering how foul-mouthed I can be, no joyful “holy sh*t!”-type cuss words did either.

Anyway, even now, a week or so later I still geek out whenever I look at it.  It’s one thing to pull an autograph, and another entirely for it to be on-card.  But the fact that it is on-card auto in the style of one of the best looking sets topps has ever produced, that puts it on a whole other level entirely.  This card really is amazing, and I’d think even pulling the lowest-tier guys in the set would make anyone who can appreciate a quality card smile, let alone probably the best guy in the set.

I have been fortunate enough to pull some nice hits out of retail in my lifetime, and this year has been no exception.  Heck, I pulled Joe Mauer & David Beckham jerseys just this fall.  I don’t know what I’ve done to be blessed with good luck of late, but I am always thankful whenever fortune decides to smile upon me.  And so it has…

But now I have a dilemma.  What do I do with this card?  It’s always great to get an unbelievably cool card like this, and I most definitely appreciate this pull, but he isn’t on my team, and I don’t really have any desire to collect him.  I could sell it, to my knowledge, only my ’05 topps Pack Wars A-Rod box topper chip (#’ed /10 red parallel version) has ever sold for more on eBay.  I am way poor, so an influx of cash is always welcome.  I could also try trading it, perhaps I’d even prefer to, but it’s going to take a pretty insane package to pry it away from me.  I dunno, I dunno.  A card like this doesn’t come my way very often.

Until I decide what to do with Mr. Beckham though, I think I will leave it with the cheap White Sox hits I used to occasionally pick up for my dad on eBay.  He’d never accept the card itself, but I think he’d enjoy it being on display with his cards until I finally get around to doing something with it (though he will probably want me to sell it eventually).

As I head out, soliciting more commentary for the eventually upcoming “Collecting for Beginners” post as I go, I will also ask you all what I should do with this Gordon Beckham autograph card.

Wow, what is it with me and hits of dudes named Beckham?  lol…

Good News, Everyone!

I’m back on track sorta with the bloggin’ and tradin’ & stuff.  The joy.  Here’s what all is happening.

Within the next couple hours, five bubble mailers with cards in them will be going out to the following peeps:

Marie of A Cardboard Problem (and I totally forgot the sketch card, so you’ll be due for another eventually), Shot Not Taken, Stats on the Back, Nachos Grande, and umm, someone else (sleep-deprived brain can’t remember last one).

That still leaves soon to be sent packages to Sooz also of A Cardboard Problem, Night Owl, Great Sports Name Hall of Fame, Roll out the Barrel, and… I’m pretty sure there are a couple more.  If I did miss anyone else, please let me know!

More good news!  I finally got that last bunch of scans with trades & stuff, and did a couple more of the I picked up from Check Out My Cards.  So I will have some pretty pictures to go with my pithy commentary again, lol.

Side note: Lacking scans and not having much card stuff to write about lately, and seeing this recent post from Ms. Latina gave me much to think about, and I actually started a post along the lines of that subject (race/ethnicity if you don’t want to click the link).  I’m sure it would’ve been interesting, and I may still do it if I can find the words.  And not that it has or ever will stop me from writing about other things, but I am curious about something.  Does anyone even care or pay attention when I write about anything besides cards?

Finally, despite massive sleep problems of late, I do have personal good news too.  I got a HUGE hit out of a retail pack at Walmart last night.  Let’s just say, I also picked up a couple Topps206 packs in the hopes of maybe getting lucky with a relatively easy to pull (1:41 pack) auto, but I ended up pulling something considerably harder to get than the hardest pull from 206 retail, which itself is a little over 1:500 packs.  Oh, and it’s someone good too.

Was that a great tease or what? 😉

Write on, ride on…