Friday, June 24, 2016

BGS Submission Result Number THIRTY-SIX - 2016 Topps Heritage : Clayton Kershaw Base Color Swap Variation Now BGS Graded Gem Mint 9.5

2016 Topps Heritage Clayton Kershaw Color Swap

If this earns a 9.5 then it will be a major shock and a coup for me.

Most of this batch is made up of chrome cards but this Heritage is good old paper and there is a suspect edge that I think at best earn a 9. That would be fine but with centering obviously not 50/50 then I fear that this will come back with a silver banner. Damn..

This is when I am happy that I am 100% wrong as not only did this receive a gold banner it also had no issues with centering and edges like I thought it would.

Since centering earned a 9.5 I am going to say it made it by a the hair as I still don't think is centered 50/50. What was more surprising is that the edge I thought would be an issue never materialized so that was a good thing. What is not a surprise was there was one sub grade with a 9 and that would be the corners once again on this paper card. Not going to complain as its another gem for my collection. Woo Hoo.

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Thursday, June 23, 2016

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

Even though the post will go "live" sometime during the baseball season this card was acquired at the end of March aka the end of the "off season" and with it I accomplished my goal of getting most of the Trout rainbow from the 2011 Topps Update set.

I am surprised that I picked up most of the colors and even more surprised that this was the last one as it is the base one aka least valuable one. I have in hand the red, blue, diamond and now this base. That is 4 cards with only the cognac parallel missing but that was last on my list anyways. I never expected to pick up the red as that is in very high demand and the black is basically unattainable with its scant print run of 60. So for the time being it looks like I am done as I have other needs to fill and the cognac one will have to wait.

This base card has been going up and up in price so color me surprised when this popped up on a search and it was a BIN auction with an asking price of $20 less than what every other copy had been selling for. Didn't think twice and locked it in and had it in hand a week later. Looks great next to the other colors and I can consider the off season a success.

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

BGS Submission Result Number THIRTY-FIVE - 2015 Allen Ginter : Mike Trout Base Mini Parallel Flag Back Variant (5/25) Now BGS Graded Gem Mint 9.5

2015 Allen Ginter Mike Trout Flag Back (5/25)

Lookie... another mini Ginter Trout card and another one that I believe should earn a gold banner.

This was one of the last cards I acquired prior to submitting this batch and glad that I received it just in time as I see nothing really wrong with this card and think and hope that I scored another great deal on a limited card which will be certified gem mint.

Even with my bravado of thinking there was nothing wrong with this card I am always cautious when I submit a paper card for grading. Not saying Chrome cards aren't damageable but there is more of a chance with paper. 

I expected a gem return and I indeed did get it but not without squeaking by with corners picking up a 9. Thankfully everything else earned a 9.5 with surfaces evening picking up a 10. With the limited print run of just 25 I am glad this earned the gold banner and I don't have to go searching for another copy.

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

BGS Submission Result Number THIRTY-FOUR - 2016 Topps Heritage : Clayton Kershaw Base Mini Parallel (16/100) Now BGS Graded Gem Mint 9.5

2016 Topps Heritage Clayton Kershaw Mini (16/100)

I may or may not move away from grading these paper cards as it seems more times than not there is some small issue and this one is no different. Unlike Ginger which I seem to have pretty good luck on Heritage here does me wrong when I buy/acquire them and this one comes with a slight flaw on a corner on the back side. While everything else looks great will that one issue drag the overall grade down? Hopefully not but not holding my breath.

While I hit it on the head that there would be 1 issue that might cause the grade to go down I was wrong on which sub grade that would be as I expected a fraying corner on the back to give me an issue but instead it was centering that earned the lower grade.

Under the loop I swear I could see a corner that had an issue but Beckett did not as they gave them a 9.5 and thankfully they did as if that would have been coupled with the 9 centering received I would have been left with a silver banner but instead though I have another Kershaw gold banner. 

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day,


Monday, June 20, 2016

"Trade" with Instagram Friend Gavino aka gs_dodgercards_17 - 2013 Topps Tribute : Clayton Kershaw Base Autograph (59/99)

It has been nearly 2 years but I have finally acquired another Kershaw autograph from the 2013 Tribute release. As I am trying to achieve my goal of 100 Clayton autographs a byproduct of that pursuit now has me picking up cards of his in various colors. I have a blue parallel from this set and now I have the base version to call my own.

Gavino is a friend from Instagram that I have done business with before so I know he is trustworthy. Last week he reached out to me (others?) about unloading some cards and wanted to know if anything of his perked my interest. Knowing he had just posted about this card on his feed I promptly inquired about its availability and he quickly said it was available. After a little negotiation our "trade" was complete and he put the card in the mail and 2 days later it was in my hands.

Like all Kershaw autographs I hope to get it graded at least a mint 9 by BGS and I can't see that not happening for this one. Maybe a gem? Maybe. Till then thank you again to Gavino for making this card available to me and helping me on my quest to a 100 Kershaw autographs.


Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Sunday, June 19, 2016

Card of the Day - 2015 Topps Tribute : Mike Trout Base Black Parallel (21/50)

Being in the grading game you sometimes win and sometimes lose when you score a "deal" on a limited card transaction and I feel that while I didn't lose on this one I surely did not hit the jackpot on a future gem mint card,

This card comes from the much maligned Tribute release from last year. The whole product was recalled due to quality issues but even with that knowledge I hoped to land me one of these black parallels of Mr. Trout if I could get it on the cheap. After numerous attempts at another copy (that the seller wouldn't budge on price) this one popped up on the bay with a much lower price and a best offer option as well. After a hour the seller and I agreed on a price and soon after I had the card in hand. While not in terrible shape it definitely is not in pristine or gem mint condition as 3 separate corners have fuzziness. While not frayed they are not pointy. Does that make this card more likely to earn an 8.5 or could it possibly squeeze out a 9 as there is nothing else wrong other than said corners? I might end up doing a RCR when Beckett is back in town in Oct. instead of a full submission to see what they think.


Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Saturday, June 18, 2016

Card of the Day - 1962 Topps : Sandy Koufax Base BVG Graded Very Good 3.0

Inching closer and closer to my desired goal of a copy of each card from every year Koufax played (1955-1966) in the majors and with this acquisition I am now sitting at 7 of the 12. Over half way there.

Of all the 12 cards I am hoping to pick up this is probably the least visually appealling card of the bunch. I am not a fan of the color brown but the completest in me had to have a copy of this no matter the color. Not many copies of this card in graded form have popped up on eBay and the few that have were either too pricey or worse had a crease down the middle. While I don't care about the grade I didn't want a crease on the front of the card either. Finally this particular copy came up for sale and had a low enough starting price I had a little breathing room on the cost ceiling. Thankfully that was not needed as there was only 1 bid for the card and that happened to be mine. Another notch in the vintage Koufax belt and now I am down to just 5 cards needed to finish my project.

One of the few times Koufax is labeled "very good"

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Friday, June 17, 2016

BGS Submission Result Number THIRTY-THREE - 2016 Topps : Corey Seager Base Gold Parallel (586/2016) Now BGS Graded Gem Mint 9.5

2016 Topps Corey Seager Gold (586/2016)

Another paper card for the batch but unlike some others if this comes back as a 9 I won't be as disappointed. Yes, a silver banner for a gold card is not color coordinated but considering the low acquisition cost for this card was just $2.75 I can't complain all that much. That said I think this is either a strong 9 or a weak 9.5. Come on weak sauce.

Can this card get any better?

The seller's mistake on eBay just keeps getting better and better for me with this gold banner return. To this day other gold copies sell on eBay for $25-30 yet I scored it for just $2.75. Yes, that is not a typo. I had to say it again, I just love when sellers don't elaborate in detail what they are selling. His loss once again is my gain as with this card's return in 9.5 condition the value probably shot up to at least the $50-$75 range depending on a given day. I expected a 9 sub grade somewhere and it did indeed pop up in the always susceptible condition sensitive corners area as they earned a 9. Everything else came back with at least a 9.5 and with that my $2.75 investment has really paid off...of course this card is going nowhere though.

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Thursday, June 16, 2016

Card of the Day - 2011 Bowman Chrome : Mike Trout Base Blue Refractor Parallel (72/150) BGS Graded Gem Mint 9.5

... and another mini rainbow project is done and that is only because of luck and timing as if those two things did not happen I have no idea when I would have acquired this card.

Though this post won't go live till well into the season it is being typed up in late March at the end of the off season. In season the cost of this card would have been a lot higher I assume so securing it now was important. This mini rainbow only consists of 3 cards, base, base refractor and this blue refractor. I will not be going after the gold parallel with its small print run of 50. I already had both the base and base refractor in hand already but was still on the hunt for this card but with the high price attached to it I did not foresee myself landing it anytime soon. Of course then lady luck with a little bit of timing intervened and I couldn't be happier.

I had this card on my watch list and for months it stayed there as no one else anted up to the seller's asking price. He lowered it a couple times but I contacted him to see what his absolute minimum he would take for it and once I knew that I informed him that if I could ever come up with it I would contact him back. Back in March I had a very limited (15/16) 2016 Topps Framed parallel of Corey Seager who I would like to point out is a PC player of mine. Well knowing the market I decided to submit it to BGS for a raw grade and hope that it would come back as a pristine 10 or at the very worst a gem mint 9.5. My thinking was that if I could get one of those grades I could clear enough on the secondary market to pay for this and maybe even more..

Well I received even more than I thought I would (imagine if the Seager card would have earned a 10?) and it was more than enough to pay for most of that BGS submission batch AND the full amount for this card. My thinking is that even though I love Seager's upside, Trout is a proven talent and this card can only keep going up while I believe that framed parallel of Seager's was inflated at the time. Like I said perfect timing a little luck.

With this card now in hand for the double mini rainbow from 2011 Bowman Chrome products I just need the purple refractor from the Draft release. Thankfully that one is not numbered and is somewhat plentiful. I probably will wait till I get enough in a future eBay quarter and use the eBucks to pick that one up.

One Hundred and Fifty

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Card of the Day - 2015 Topps Chrome : Clayton Kershaw Culminations Autograph (18/50)

As I wait for my own redemptions to be fulfilled by Topps and Clayton I come across ones that have made it to other people and shortly after put them up for sale on eBay. My goal of having 100 Kershaw autographs continues with this addition.

A few of these culminations autos have made it their way to eBay but this is the first one that was reasonably priced for my taste. Traditional 7 day auction was needed to pick this up as my bid at the very last minute barely held on as someone tried to snipe me at the very last second but I held on and landed this copy. Hoping to add yet another future gem mint copy to my collection I changed my tune once this made its way to me. While it still might earn that coveted 9.5 gold banner it borders on picking up a silver 9 instead as there is a corner that has a fraying issue but thankfully it can only be seen under a look and not really by the naked eye. Hopefully a 9.5 but "for sure" a 9.


Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Tuesday, June 14, 2016

BGS Submission Result Number THIRTY-TWO - 2014 Allen Ginter : Sandy Koufax Base Mini Parallel Red Border Variant (24/33) Now BGS Graded Gem Mint 9.5

2014 Allen Ginter Sandy Koufax Mini Red (24/33)

Another Ginter for the this big batch of cards and another one that I hope and expected will return to me with a gold label affixed to it.

Still working on the quantity for my Koufax collection as the quality is for sure there and my thinking is this will come back with a minimum of a 9.5 as I could not see anything wrong with it. This is definitely the strongest Ginter of the batch and anything less then a gem mint return will be considered a disappointment. 

My comment of this being the strongest Ginter of the batch was far off but more on that a down the road. Even though this was not the strongest it still earned the coveted gold banner even if there was a 9 sub grade.

When I acquired this centering looked almost 50/50 under the loop and BGS agreed as it handed it a 9.5. Surface did it one better with a 10. The only grade that suffered were the corners as they came in last with the aforementioned 9. No worries though as overall it still is a 9.5 and that is all that matters at the end of the day.

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Monday, June 13, 2016

BGS Submission Result Number THIRTY-ONE - 2015 Topps Museum : Mike Trout Base Blue Parallel (80/99) Now BGS Graded Gem Mint 9.5

Eighty of Ninety-Nine

Well as you can tell by the non red paragraph that there was no previous write in my BGS submission post. That's because I forgot to do one up. I knew my count was off when I was double checking the cards being submitted.

From the hip I knew what I would have said considering it is from a paper brand (non Chrome). I would have expected all the sub grades other than the corners should come back as a 9.5 at the very least and hopefully the corners could hold at a 9 which would give me another gem mint Trout card. Well if I would have said that then I would now say that I hit it right on the mark as that is exactly what happened. I knew the corners weren't ultra sharp but they weren't fraying either. Beckett gave them a 9 but everything else earned a 9.5 so another gem has been added to the collection.

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Sunday, June 12, 2016

Card of the Day - 2016 Topps : Clayton Kershaw Base Black Parallel (14/65)

I think I can, I think I can, I think I can... and I finally did pick up a copy of this card that is.

For months I had been trying to acquire one of the 65 copies of this card for my collection but each time I was either out bid or people were asking way too much for it. I have found a new little pocket of "fun" on eBay that seems to be working out for me in recent auctions.

If I happen to find an auction that has a listing for days and has a BIN with a best offer option I will put it on my watch list and if I can't find another at a reasonable rate I will contact the buyer within the last few hours of the auction to see if he really wants to move it or deal with a relisting. More times than not the sellers have been wanted to unload it and this time was no different. After a hour or so of hee hawing the seller agreed to a price that I was comfortable with and I had this in hand a few days later. Borderline gem mint but not sure if I am even going to go that route but a nice card nonetheless.


Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Saturday, June 11, 2016

Card of the Day - 2016 Gypsy Queen : Mike Trout Base Mini Parallel Gold Variant (1/50)

With Seager in hand the only high priced gold mini to get from this year's Gypsy Queen was Mike Trout and I was finally able to lock one down for the collection.

No surprise here as Trout still commands a high dollar amount for any numbered parallel from a newly released product and this of course was no different. I have learned some patience in the past year or so and unless the card is a 1 of 1 or its print run is is no more than 10 I bide my time to wait for prices to come down and once again that thinking has paid off. 

50 copies of card is not that much in this day and age but I still held out hope that I could score a deal and after a few of these sold and the newness of the set wore off a little I was able to swoop in and secure this on an eBay steal. I held out hope that I might be able to turn this into a gold banner grade from Beckett but I think it will come back as a 9 if I do send it in for grading. 


Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Friday, June 10, 2016

Card of the Day - 2008 Topps Update : Clayton Kershaw Base Chrome Parallel BGS Graded Mint 9.0

As my pursuit of more Kershaw and Trout cards to acquire during the off season I tend to come across cards that were not on my initial list to pick up and as most things in life you just adjust and move forward and doing that landed me this beautiful "rookie" card of Kid K.

Clayton has cards dating back to 2006 but in 2008 Topps had their yearly update set and included Kershaw in it and with it also had a chrome parallel. While the base card can be had for a minimal amount the chrome is hard to come by and that is probably why it wasn't on my watch list as I didn't know about it. There are just so many cards in existence and you can't know them all. Well during a graded card search this came up and even though I was about to win another auction I backed away and put my efforts towards this one as I wanted it more. The card was on a traditional auction and it took to the very last second to declare a winner and thankfully it was me.

I excepted a lot of traffic and desire for this card and the auction having 14 separate bids proved my thinking was correct. I was bid 13 but it held up even when bid 14 came in at the very last second trying to swipe it from me.

While not a "strong" mint 9 it is still a mint 9

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Thursday, June 9, 2016

BGS Submission Result Number THIRTY - 2015 Topps Update : Mike Trout Base Snow Camo (95/99) Parallel Now BGS Graded Gem Mint 9.5

2015 Topps Update Mike Trout Snow Camo (95/99)

Can a great deal with a blogger friend get even better with a 9.5 return on this limited Trout card? I hope so and halfway expect it to. 

I picked this up from Judson on a trade/purchase a month ago and like he said this card looked to be in great condition and I agreed with him once I had it in hand. Now I hope BGS agrees with us. It is well centered with no surface issues and the only thing I see "wrong" per se is that one of the corners is slightly dinged and that can only be seen under a loop. So 9.5 please Beckett people.

All great minds think alike as Judson, BGS and I thought this was a gem mint card and it was confirmed when I received this back from Beckett encased in a gold banner holder. I was actually a tad wrong as the only sub grade not to earn a 9.5 was centering which came in as a 9. Judson and I both believed it was slightly off but I still thought it would come in as a 9.5. The corner that I thought would be an issue was not though. Great pick up from a friend got better with a gem grade return.

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Wednesday, June 8, 2016

BGS Submission Result Number TWENTY-NINE - 2015 Topps High Tek : Clayton Kershaw Base Home Uniform Variant Now BGS Graded Gem Mint 9.5

2015 Topps High Tek Clayton Kershaw Home Uniform Variant

The only non numbered Tek of the batch but it still a variant as this shows Kershaw in his home whites not his road grays as that is the base card in the set.

Like all the other Tek cards I expect this one to gem as the only thing I can see on this particular card that might be an issues is a fuzzy corner which shouldn't cause too much trouble. 

Guess I need to change my glasses as I was right that this would come back as a gem mint but I was wrong on my guess that a fuzzy corner potentially could have been an issue. The corners came back as a pristine 10. No issue there. The only grade that was marked down were the surfaces which checked in with a 9 but with everything else at least a 9.5 I still added yet another gold banner Kershaw to the collection.

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Card of the Day - 2016 Gypsy Queen : Corey Seager Base Mini Parallel Gold Variant (46/50)

And the final Seager card off of my 2016 Gypsy Queen checklist which was acquired from a trusted seller on a BIN auction. As usual he had a best offer option and thankfully once again he took my offer after we discussed what we both thought it was worth and we came to a happy medium.

As with the other Seager cards I picked up I acquired this one without an assigned book value to go by so the seller and I went with past eBay sales and as a long time buyer I was able to score it at an amount that was lower than the other sales on eBay.

Considering I like to grade all my low serialized cards I held out hope this would come to me in great condition and other than 1 corner with a slight fraying issue it looks to be in great condition. Now hopefully that 1 issue can earn a 9 and everything else props it up.


Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Monday, June 6, 2016

BGS Submission Result Number TWENTY-EIGHT - 2015 Bowman's Best : Mike Trout Hi Def Insert Atomic Refractor Parallel Now BGS Graded Gem Mint 9.5

2015 Bowman's Best Mike Trout Atomic Hi Def

Though unnumbered this card only shows up every 50 cases so it is semi rare. Unlike other thick Topps cards these seem to come out of the pack in better condition and thankfully mine seems to be in pretty good shape.

I noticed on the population report that there have already been 2 of these submitted to BGS and both received a 9.5. My copy looks void of any issues and I hope to be number 3 of the gem mint group. The only thing that "may" cause an issue is that centering is not 50/50 but at worst it should still pull out a 9 on that with the other subs coming with a 9.5

I was right about centering not being perfect but that did not hinder it too much as it still earned itself a 9.5. I was right though that one of the sub grades might not come back as gem mint and for this card it happened to be the edges as those garnered the "dreaded" 9. No worries though as the other 2 both earned 9.5's which means I added yet another gold banner Trout card to my collection and that is always a good thing. 

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Sunday, June 5, 2016

Card of the Day - 1960 Topps : Sandy Koufax Base BVG Graded Excellent 5.0

With my Seager rainbow project finally completed I think this is the next project that will be finished sometime in the near(ish) future. Though I want more and more Koufax cards my main focus has been acquiring all his base cards from his playing years (1955-1966) and they must be in BVG cases. The good thing for me is that the grade does not matter to me as I am just looking for the best deal and I finally was able to find one for the 1960 version.

I have a friend, and he knows who he is = ), that for the better part of 7 months I have tried to unlock his grasp on his copy and trade it to me. He is a Dodger fan so it was expected but I kept trying. Finally one day though this card, which had been on my watch list for months, had it's asking price lowered by 20% on a BIN type auction. Click here, payment there and a few days later I finally have my own 1960 copy of Koufax. Card could have been a 2 or a 3 or even a 7 but all that matters is that I have one to call my own.

On a side note, with Sandy retiring from his role within the Dodgers organization I will probably never get the chance to meet the man himself in person and I make that point as the aforementioned friend has and I am jealous of him for it. Good for him though. A memory that can't be taken away.

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Saturday, June 4, 2016

Card of the Day - 2016 Gypsy Queen : Corey Seager Base Photo Variation

The 2nd of 3 Seager cards that I won on the same day during a buying binge during a couple hours on a slow eBay day.

This actually is also part of another project stemming from this year's Gypsy Queen set. I no longer collect base cards but I continue to chase after the photo variations of base cards and Seager along with Trout and Kershaw all have these in the 2016 Gypsy Queen release. Since it was a Seager day Corey is the 1st of the 3 to make it into my hands. Just like the Heritage photo variation I plan to send this to BGS for grading and hopefully it will come back with a gold banner as there doesn't seem to be anything wrong with the card.

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.