Friday, May 27, 2016

BGS Submission Result Number TWENTY-FOUR - 2014 Topps Chrome : Clayton Kershaw Base Sepia Refractor Parallel (42/75) Now BGS Graded Gem Mint 9.5

2014 Topps Chrome Clayton Kershaw Sepia Refractor (42/75)

Another Kershaw parallel from the 2014 Topps Chrome set and another one that I believe should come back as a gem mint.

Centering 50/50
Corners, sharp
Surface, scratch free.

With that I am thinking this is a lock for a gold banner.

I called it a lock to gem and gem it did though it was a little closer than I thought it would be,cc

While there was a 10 in the sub grades as edges were perfect I was off on the centering as I believed it was perfect but it barely received a 9. No matter as the other 2 sub grades received 9.5's and with that this card indeed come back with a gold banner. Love low serialized parallels with a gold 9.5 attached to them.

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Thursday, May 26, 2016

Trade with Instagram Friend Robert aka Huskys.Sportscards : 2013 Topps Tier One : Sandy Koufax Autograph Copper Rose Ink Parallel (16/25) BGS Graded Gem Mint 9.5

This is the 3rd time I have held this specific card in my hands but this is the 1st time I can claim it as my own as I was finally able to secure it on a trade after it had been handled by many hands.

Frankie was the original owner of this card as he sent it to me to be included in our joint BGS submission batch and I thought it would have a decent chance of earning a 9.5 from Beckett. The only thing that worried me was the autograph but it indeed earned a gold banner and a 10 on auto. When I received it back from Beckett I informed Frankie that if we could ever come to some type of deal I would love to have it, With that I sent it back to Frankie and we had some soft trade talk but before I could acquire it he traded it to Robert. I turned my attention from Frankie to Robert and hoped to trade for it from him. Once it became available he and I completed the trade within a couple of days as I had to wait for funds that were due to me from eBay as I did not want to use any out of pocket money.

While I would have loved this to be a 1 for 1 card trade I knew that I had to include some money to make it happen. In the end I sent Robert over some cash and a card and I finally picked up this limited, gem mint beauty of Koufax. When I first looked into getting a Koufax autograph for my collection I was going to be content with just one great copy but now with this addition my Koufax count is up to 5! I barely have more Trout auto cards than I do Koufax autos and I consider Trout more primary than Sandy. Go figure as you never know how the card world turns.

Thank you again to Frankie for submitting this and letting me know of its existence and to Robert for the trade. This is my first trade completed with Robert but I doubt it will be the last.


Perfect ten on the autograph

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Wednesday, May 25, 2016

BGS Submission Result Number TWENTY-THREE - 2015 Topps Chrome : Mike Trout Base Purple Refractor Parallel (213/250) Now BGS Graded Gem Mint 9.5

2015 Topps Chrome Mike Trout Purple Refractor (213/250)

Purple and gold aka Los Angeles Lake colors or for the purpose of this post what hopefully this Trout card comes back as.

More and more I love these purple parallels and this Trout copy has perfect centering and no corner issues whatsoever so I am expecting a gold banner here. Since the print run is "high" its not really a investment piece but it nonetheless it will/would great in a gold banner.

My wish came true as I indeed have the color combination that I was seeking for Mr. Trout's Topps Chrome card.

Purple is probably my 3rd favorite color now as black and blue will always be my primary loves when it comes to these colored parallels. That said purple looks better with a gold banner than a blue parallel does and this one looks great in its new case. Another gem return for the best every day player in baseball.

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Card of the Day - 2011 Topps Update : Mike Trout Base Target Red Parallel BGS Graded Gem Mint 9.5!!!

As we near(ed) the 2016 baseball season (at the time of this write up) I thought I was done with picking up graded Trout cards from the 2011 Bowman Chrome and/or Topps Update sets. Over the past 5 months I was able to get my hands on most that were on my checklist but I still had a few biggies left to get and was resigned to the fact that I would not get them all before the new season started. I thought I did quite well and was happy with what I was able to pick up and between the 2 sets I had a total of 5 cards left I wanted to acquire. Well that number is now down to 4 with this big acquisition on what I believed was going to be the hardest one to find.

Unlike the Bowman Chrome blue parallel that I am still trying to find this red parallel from the Topps Update set is not numbered but it seems to be more rare and considering it was only available at Target and it is a paper card (unlike the thicker chrome stock) which makes it more condition sensitive, I thought I would never be able to land a BGS 9.5 anytime soon. Guess you can never say never.

There have only been a handful of raw version of this to pop up on eBay and 1 actually said it was damaged so I had no interest in those. Graded copies are even more rare and doing a quick check on Beckett there are only 11 9.5's of this card. Small population indeed. A seller put this up on eBay (later I found out she had 2 which means she almost had 20% of the total population of this graded card) and it went unsold for a couple of weeks even though it had double digit watchers. I was actually surprised. She finally relisted it with a best offer option and I sent over an offer for less than what a raw one went for. Wasn't surprised she rejected it but was happy she sent over an offer that was pretty reasonable. I decided to try to nickel and dime her a little and sent over another offer and stated that if she would take it I would pay right then and there. She accepted and with the final cost being only slightly over the raw cards that had previously sold I say I came out pretty good.

Of all the non autograph rookie cards this is one of the nicer Trout cards to have and think it is a pretty good investment piece. Can't believe I picked this up before the season started but happy I did. I plan to revisit this card for a price check in October and I bet it will have gone up in value as I predict Mike is going to put up a monster year in 2016.

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Monday, May 23, 2016

BGS Submission Result Number TWENTY-TWO - 2015 Topps Chrome : Clayton Kershaw Base Purple Refractor Parallel (220/250) Now BGS Graded Gem Mint 9.5

2015 Topps Chrome Clayton Kershaw Purple Refractor (220/250)

Another purple chrome card but this time its of Kershaw but just like Trout I expect it to gem.

The reason this one gets a higher billing is that under the loop the corners look extra sharp. Even more so than the Trout version. So nice that this might be a candidate for a pristine 10 but I'll try not to get ahead of myself.

As expected this indeed earn a gem mint 9.5 and even had one sub grade that came back as a 10 but it was not close to earning an overall 10 as I had hoped in my preview paragraph.

Purple is king but what is a king without his gold? Well the king of baseball pitchers now has another gold banner for my collection and I just love the color combination and can't wait to hunt down more purple cards of the players I collect. This year adds another to that list as this will be the 1st year that Corey Seager will be in Topps Chrome. 

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Sunday, May 22, 2016

Card of the Day - 2015 Topps Chrome : Clayton Kershaw Culminations Insert BGS Graded Gem Mint 9.5

It's numbered
It's not overly limited
It's not a parallel . . .
But it is a graded, gem mint Kershaw had for a deal so now I call it mine.

While I've been scouring the internet for any and all Kershaw graded cards that could be had on a deal I have steered away from non colored parallels and insert cards in general but I couldn't pass up on this one as timing was everything.

This card had been on eBay a few times but every 7 days it failed to sell so the seller kept relisting it. One week I had sold a few other cards that netted me a lot more than I thought they would and I thought if I could score this card at the seller's starting asking price (and not a penny more) than I would acquire it. The price was lower than what the card books for in raw form so it would be a nice little get for me. Not an investment piece obviously but a nice one nonetheless. Final day of the auction and once again no bids had been put on the card. I put mine in at the last moment and was declared the winner a second later. Not too shabby.

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Saturday, May 21, 2016

Card of the Day - 1959 Topps : Gil Hodges Base BVG Graded Excellent Mint 6.0

For shame Penguin for shame.

As I search and try to acquire a card of almost every "major" players that played for the Dodgers during the 50's and early 60's I totally forgot about Gil. Mr. Hodges while not in the Hall of Fame (hot debate for years) he was instrumental in all the Brooklyn post season runs and I can't believe that he was not on my watch list.

I came across an article on some Dodger blog and reading it jogged my memory and made me realized I had to have at least 1 card of Gil in my collection. Thankfully since he is not a big as name as other Dodgers the cost to pick up a graded card is/was quite minimal and I just had to find the best deal in a decent condition. Plenty of cards to choose from on eBay and this one was on a BIN auction for at least 60 days and no one had picked it up. I hoped that would work in my favor as maybe the seller would sell it just to get it off his hands. Sent over an offer in the single digits and secured my first and probably only Gil Hodges card a few hours later.

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Friday, May 20, 2016

BGS Submission Result Number TWENTY-ONE - 2015 Topps Chrome : Clayton Kershaw Base Blue Refractor Parallel (39/150) Now BGS Graded Gem Mint 9.5

2015 Topps Chrome Clayton Kershaw Blue Refractor (39/150)

Another borderline chrome card and this time its Kershaw's turn.

Centering while not perfect looks like it should earn a 9.5 but what gives me pause is that one of the corners looks a bit rounded. That said I have been seeing BGS graded cards on eBay lately with obvious chipping (white showing) on corners and they get a 9 on that sub grade. Using that as a measuring stick this should be a gem but you just never know what grader you get the day your card gets inspected.

Another day another colored parallel from Topps Chrome of Kershaw and I hit the grades on the head with this one.

In my original post I knew centering was not perfect but should 9.5 which it did and I had a feeling that corners would not. Guess what? That too came true as they indeed came back with a 9 but both of those coupled with another 9.5 and a 10 earned me yet another overall gem mint card for my Kershaw collection. Woo Hoo.

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Thursday, May 19, 2016

Card of the Day - 2014 Topps Five Star : Mike Trout Base Autograph (3/50) BGS Graded Mint 9.0

The perfectionist in me has stuck again and that is why I am now in possession of this wonderful BGS graded autograph of Mike Trout. Thank God for eBay and the ease of swapping out cards that may not reach my (high) standards.

I did a trade awhile back for this card in raw form and when it arrived while the condition of the card looked to be borderline mint I knew with past history that Five Star is a touchy brand to get graded and there is always a 50/50 chance it might come back as a disappointing 8.5. I could have risked it  BUT what made me pause was the signature. BGS "usually" gives a pass on autographs if there is 1 streak (to be fair I have seen some without streaks and they get a 9) but if there is more than 1 there is no way that it earns a 10. Well that other card had 2 streaks and I knew it would annoy me to no end with a 9 attached to the label. Had to fix that "issue" and here is the solution.

Thankfully Trout autographs have a great aftermarket resale value so I knew I could get "rid' of that streaky card but I wanted to replace it with a similar Five Star card in graded form. Problem was/is that they don't come up for sale that often. Lucky me this one did a couple days after I decided to unload the other card.

This card has a 9 overall grade but the big thing is the 10 on the flip side which applies to the autograph. No issues with this card. The seller and I negotiated for a few days on this till we came to a satisfactory middle ground and the sale of the other card finalized a day later.

A nice no cost even swap and I have yet another graded Trout autograph for the collection .


Gem autograph

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

BGS Submission Result Number TWENTY - 2014 Topps Chrome : Clayton Kershaw Base Black Refractor Parallel (50/100) Now BGS Graded Gem Mint 9.5

2014 Topps Chrome Clayton Kershaw Black Refractor (50/100)

And now the final Topps black chrome of the batch and of course it is of Kid K aka Clayton Kershaw.

Just like the 2013 version I think and hope this 2014 one comes back with a spiffy gold label affixed to the case. The reason this one gets a better place in line is that unlike the 2013 one I do no see a centering issue here. Someday I would love to have a black parallel to have a black label (four 10 sub grades) maybe this could be the one?

My delusion of this possibly earning a black label was dashed pretty quickly when I saw the report that it came back as "just" a plain gem mint. With that I still await the day that I have a black parallel card with a black label.

Not only did this not come back as a 10 it barely made it as a gem mint 9.5 but barely is still good enough for me as at the end of the day all I care about is the 9.5 attached to any card I submit no matter how unrealistic that is. Another gem for a gem of a pitcher.

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day,


Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Card of the Day - 1955 Topps : Sandy Koufax Base BVG Graded Good-Very Good 2.5

The condition of this card is far from mint, not even close by any standards, but it is the perfect card in my every growing Koufax collection and THE card to have if you are a serious Koufax collector. This fine readers is my new crown jewel (non autograph) of my Koufax collection, his rookie card from 1955.

I am very surprised I have been able to lock down a copy of this card in such a short time of my original pursuit of it. My goal since I decided to acquire vintage BVG graded cards of the Dodgers from the 50's and 60's and especially Koufax was to have Sandy's base card from every year between 1955-1966. A total of 12 cards. I have been lucky enough to pick up a few at a reasonable amount but I knew getting this 1955 copy would be the biggest hurdle yet in the end I barely broke a sweat as I was at the right place at the right time.

I had seen similar graded versions of this card sell for over $200 and even some in "worse" condition sell for that amount. Too much for my tastes but along came this one which the seller put up for sale for $200 on a BIN auction. There it sat for weeks unsold till he altered it and added a best offer option. That's when I dove in and sent over an offer way below any other similar card sold for in recent months. A day and half past and no answer from the seller until I received an email stating he accepted my offer with no counter. Happy day happy day.

This card is 61 years old. It is a piece of baseball history as this bonus baby would become one of the greatest pitchers in baseball. A 2.5 has never felt like a 9.5 till today and I am ecstatic that I have this beauty in my collection finally

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Monday, May 16, 2016

BGS Submission Result Number NINETEEN - 2015 Topps Chrome : Mike Trout Base Pink Refractor Parallel Now BGS Graded Gem Mint 9.5

2015 Topps Chrome Mike Trout Pink Refractor

Another chrome and another expected gem mint return for Mr. Mike Trout here. 

I snagged this for a great deal on eBay and think it will have no problem earning a gold banner and while it won't drive the value all that much up it would double my or possibly triple my profit if I were ever to move which I have no plans to.

When pink becomes gold which in turn can make more green.

I won this card on the bay for a mere $5 and with a gold banner now attached I could easily flip it for a minimum of $25 as that is what I have seen it sell for. Of course I have no plans to move it but seeing a plan work out so smoothly is a nice thing.

I expected this card to come back as a gem and that it did so in fine fashion as it earned 3 9.5's with a 10 to put a cherry on top of it. 

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Sunday, May 15, 2016

Card of the Day - 2013 Topps Chrome : Mike Trout Base Purple Refractor Parallel BGS Graded Gem Mint 9.5

While it's not a numbered parallel nor a photo variation I couldn't pass up on this purple refractor of Mike from the 2013 Topps Chrome set when the cost was cheaper than what it would be to send it in myself to get graded.

Raw value is pegged at a high of $15 but I would say fair market value for this purple beauty would be in the $7-$10 range and that is just what I "paid" for this particular copy but since it is already been certified as gem mint it made the deal that much better.

While I prefer my parallels to be numbered I welcome this to my collection and since it is purple and Mike Trout I guess my wife also welcomes it into the collection as she continues to claim all purple and Angel cards.

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Saturday, May 14, 2016

Card of the Day - 1954 Topps : Billy Herman Base BVG Graded Very Good / Excellent Plus 4.5

The smallest "name" for my vintage collection was picked up for the mere cost of a cheap lunch. Even though Billy is not in the same league as the Koufaxs, the Jackies and the Drysdales he is just like them as he is a member of the baseball Hall of Fame and that is an awesome club to be in.

I am being truthful when I state that before I came across this card on eBay that I had never heard of Billy. A quick google search revealed that his credentials were deserving to be in my collection. Of course if this card was in raw form I wouldn't have given it a second thought of picking it up but it being in a BVG case and with the cost so low I couldn't pass up on the deal. I had to wait a week but I ended up winning the card on a traditional auction with my one and only bid.

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Friday, May 13, 2016

BGS Submission Result Number EIGHTEEN - 2013 Topps Finest : Clayton Kershaw '93 Retro Insert Refractor Parallel (21/25) Now BGS Graded Mint 9.0

2013 Topps Finest Clayton Kershaw 93 Retro Refractor (21/25)

I would so love to this earn a gold banner (just like every other card I submit) but I know its almost impossible but weirder things have happened before so you just never know.

This is the refractor version of a retro insert set of one of my favorite sets of all time, the 1993 Finest set. There are only 25 copies of this card so in the end I am just happy that I have 1 of them to call my own. When I acquired this card I knew full well that centering was off on the front as you can plainly see in the photo. Everything else looks fine to me but I fear that centering will end up with an 8.5 which means the overall can't be a 9.5. Of course if centering somehow sneaks in with a 9 then I think the card earns a 9.5 but I am not holding my breath.

And with post number 18 of this massive batch we come to the final non gem mint card of the batch. That means there is a whole lot of gold banners ahead but first we have this last silver one to go over.

When I submitted this I knew there was almost no way this earns a gold banner and BGS agreed and handed centering an 8.5 which was expected. With a print run of just 25 I basically just wanted a nice mint copy for my collection and that is exactly what I have now. Maybe some point down the road I will be able to upgrade but for the time being I am more than satisfied with this copy in my collection.

And now onto the gems of the batch.

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Thursday, May 12, 2016

Card of the Day - 2015 Topps Museum : Clayton Kershaw Archival Autograph (55/99) BGS Graded Mint 9.0

With this year's release right around the corner (at the time of this write up) I was finally able to land an acceptable copy of Kershaw's Archival autograph from last year's set. I say acceptable as I owned a different copy of this same card but once it came back from BGS with an 8.5 attached to it I cracked it open and resold it as I can only have 9's in my collection when it comes to Clayton autographs.

This card sat on eBay for a good month on a BIN auction with the asking price in the triple digits which I was not going to have anything to do with. No best offer was available so I just let it sit on my watch list as I wanted to see what it would eventually go for as I knew that it would never sell for what the seller was asking for.

Finally the seller made some adjustments to his auction. He lowered the price by $25 but I still wasn't interested. Then a few days later he lowered it again and also added a best offer option. Now it had my attention and I sent over an offer which he quickly declined. The seller paid hard ball for a few days as we went back and forth but finally we settled on a reasonable price to both our liking. With that I added yet another Clayton Kershaw autograph to the collection.

The question now is will I hit my 2016 goal of 40 Kershaw autographs for my collection or possibly be closer to 50? I think I will unless I get overly picky.


Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Wednesday, May 11, 2016

BGS Submission Result Number SEVENTEEN - 2014 Bowman Draft : Corey Seager Base Chrome Blue Refractor Parallel (32/399) Now BGS Graded Mint 9.0

2014 Bowman Draft Corey Seager Blue Chrome Refractor (32/399)

... and the second colored parallel of Corey. Unlike the black version I believe the centering is better on this blue one but I still think they both earn a silver banner of 9.0. That said if either one would earn a 9.5 I think this one is more likely as the corners look much sharper than the black so maybe it squeaks into the 9.5 club. 

As expected this card has returned to me with a silver mint 9.0 banner and though I was right I was also wrong at the same time.

While I knew the odds of a gem mint return were remote I thought the corners would be the biggest issue and while they did come back as a 9.0 it was the centering that took the biggest hit on this card card as it came back as an 8.5. I didn't think it was that bad but I guess BGS did. The card still has 2 9.5 sub grades and if it came back as a gem then that would have been a bonus but in its current grade I am more than satisfied.

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Card of the Day - 1957 Topps : Don Drysdale Base BVG Graded Very Good-Excellent+ 4.5

Sandy Koufax's partner in pitching crime Mr. Don Drysdale.

With me wanting at least one card of former Dodger stars from the 50's (some 60's as well) at some point I was going to get my hands on a Drysdale card and that time was now.

There are plenty of Don cards to pick from but I decided that if I was only going to have one of him I would make it from his rookie season of 1957. Of course it being his 1st card meant that it would be costlier than any other card which meant I had to chose wisely and with not that many graded copies up for sale I also had to have good timing.

I had this card on my watch list as it was on a BIN auction and thought I might pick it up at some point using eBucks but I didn't have to wait as one day the seller dropped the price 40% which meant it now could be had for more than 50% off of book. No time like the now for this card to be added to my collection and I now have my one and only Drysdale card and it's a beauty.

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Monday, May 9, 2016

BGS Submission Result Number SIXTEEN - 2015 Topps Strata : Sandy Koufax Base Autograph Black Parallel (26/50) Now BGS Graded Mint 9.0

2015 Topps Strata Sandy Koufax Black Autograph (26/50)

This is my 3rd Koufax autograph in my collection and the first that I am afraid might actually earn 9. I was lucky enough to pick up a Topps Five star in raw form and submitted it to BGS and it came back with a 9.5. Nice! I then picked up an already graded gem mint of Koufax from Topps Finest and thought I was nearing my cap on Koufax autos as they are pricey to come by. Well I ended up with one on hell of a deal and hoped to add it as my 3rd 9.5 Koufax auto but depending on one sub grade that streak may or may not end.

With the naked eye everything looks fine but under closer inspection on the back side of this card one of the edges has an issue. Enough to knock its sub grade to an 8.5? If so then this card has no chance at a gold banner but if somehow it can hold the line at a 9 then I could claim my 3rd gem as I do not see anything else wrong with this card. Hoping for a 9.5 but expecting a 9.

The streak comes to a close.

I have never owned a non 9.5 autograph of Koufax until this one but even with the "disappointing" return here there is no way I am unloading the card as it is still a great piece for my collection. You know you have it good when a 9 is the worst one in your collection.

I knew going in that the corners/surface would be an issue and I expected an 8.5 on at least one of those subs and surface was the lucky recipient of an 8.5. Corners didn't do too much better but at least they earned a 9. All said though I am satisfied with this card the way it is and glad that I own it.

The all important 10 on autograph

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.