Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Hyun-Jin Ryu Bobblehead

I'm sure most of you have seen this upcoming bobble of our favorite Korean pitcher Ryu but I thought I would show it here just in case you haven't.

If I was still in the bobblehead game I would be acquiring it and tracking down Ryu for him to autograph it. With that said I won't be attending this game as I already sold the tickets for a nice profit.

The bobble is scheduled to be given out on Tuesday May 27th when the Dodgers host the Reds. Next year I want to see one of Ryu as a batter as he is quite good with the lumber.


Card of the Day - 2009 SP : Matt Kemp Legendary Cuts Autograph ( 89 / 125 )

Do I need another Matt Kemp Autograph? No
Do I want another Matt Kemp Autograph? Yes
Did I get a good deal on this one? Oh yeah

I have been watching this card for months on eBay but was never going to purchase it at the price the seller had it at. Book has its value at $40. Way too much in today's market. Seller went back and forth between buy it now auctions and traditional auctions and it never sold. Original asking price was over $50. Week in and week out he dropped the price $5 and yet no one bid on the card. It finally had an asking price of lower than $20. Thought to myself maybe I can get him to lower it even more to just move it. I messaged him and gave him an offer which he accepted shortly after. In the end it was over 75% off of book. A win in my eyes. Got to add yet another great looking Kemp autograph to the collection at a meager price.

Another great on card autograph

89 of 125

Trade with Fellow Blogger - DodgerBobble ( Second Trade ) : 2012 Topps Tribute : Matt Kemp Base Autograph Blue Parallel ( 7 / 50 )

Josh aka DodgerBobble and I have done a trade in the past and one day when I was talking to him about something else he sent me a text picture asking if I was interested in this card. Well hello beautiful.

It was ironic that I just lost two separate auctions on this same card the day before on eBay. I wanted this because it is an on card autograph of Kemp and it shows him in the Dodger's alternate Brooklyn uniform. It being the blue parallel is just icing on the cake. As most of you know I have for the most part stopped getting balls signed but that didn't mean I was just going to get rid of my inventory of blank balls. I knew I could use them for trades like these. Josh wanted 3 balls for this card and if you go by market value for this card and the price I paid for the balls it almost came out even.

Finally added this beauty to my collection. Thank you again to Josh for offering and holding onto the card till we could complete the trade.

Seven of Fifty

Monday, April 21, 2014

Card(s) of the Day - 2013 Bowman Chrome : Base Blue Parallels ( Multiple Players )

Another day on the bay.
Another small bulk purchase of needs for the 2013 BC Blue Parallel set.

Nothing special other than checking off 4 more off my list of needs for the set. All were had for less than 70 cents a copy and that was because the Votto was $2. The other 3 were only 25 cents each. Slowly but surely I intend to complete this set no matter how long it takes me.

Attended Game Recap - DIAMONDBACKS 4 @ Dodgers 2 on 4.18.2014 Also Photo of the Day : Hyun-Jin Ryu

Our first night game of the year and it did not go as planned game wise but apart from that I did get a first for me in my life but more on that later. The wife, father in law and I arrived at the stadium a little after 4 for our first batting practice of the year and it ended up being a complete bust for us as only a couple of balls made it our way and we didn't snag any of them.

Got a chance to see Clayton rapidly heal from his injury. He looked good and you could tell he was anxious to get back to the team. A lot of reports think he won't be back till late May or early June but it would not surprise me to see him back on the mound by mid May at the latest. He is just that determined.

Love how the Dodgers show what place the teams are in and seeing Arizona in last could only be beat with seeing the Giants in that place instead. All is right in the world seeing the Dodgers in first though. Sad to say today the dog had it's day.

While batting practice was a bust the autograph scene seemed to only be marginally better with a few here or there but not anyone I was really looking for but then I noticed that a pitcher was signing in the bullpen and I headed over and saw that our Korean phenom Hyun-Jin was signing for fans. He had almost finished but I was able to acquire a photo of him. I happened to be second to last of the lucky fans to get an autograph. Thank you again Mr. Ryu.

Perfect placement of the autograph in my opinion.

With my one signature in hand we were off to our seats. For the 1st time in years I sat right behind home plate on the Loge level. Tickets can be pricey but I scored a great deal a couple months prior to the season beginning. Probably the best view in the stadium.

View from the seats.

Side view from the seats. Lady does not look happy she is in the picture.
= )

While our starting pitcher Zack Greinke was on his game and only made one real mistake, a solo home run by Miguel Montero. In the end the Dodgers lost a long game that went 12 innings. The highlight for me came in the fourth inning though as I finally acquired something that I have been trying to do for the 32 years that I have attended baseball games.

I have tried and tried at multiple stadiums to catch a foul ball. I know a lot of people think that isn't a big deal but to me it is something I have always wanted to do. This was a main reason for seating here as well. To up the chance to get a foul ball. In the first 3 innings a few screamed near our seats but none in our section. That all changed in the fourth as Miguel Montero stepped up to the plate and hit a ball that went to the right of me and the wife and behind us and ended up hitting someone/seat and came back towards us on our left and I happened to catch it on the rebound. A little tricky but in the end I finally got the first foul ball of my life. After a few high fives from fellow fans I tucked it away and it now has a place in my collection. 

Game did not go as planned but getting Ryu's autograph and the foul ball made up for it. 

My 1st foul ball ever.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Card of the Day - 2012 Topps Tribute : Felix Hernandez Base Autograph Blue Parallel ( 48 / 50 )

Another reacquired autograph for my collection where the first one never saw a blog post due to the back log of the que.

I had a single signed ball of King Felix and was able to sell it and acquire this card and still had money left over to buy a few more things. The ball's signature was starting to fade a little so I unloaded that at the right time and now have this great looking, crisp, blue on card autograph of King Felix.

Could have picked up the non blue version but for $3 more why not have the blue one right?

48 of 50

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Card of the Day - 2014 Topps : Clayton Kershaw League Leaders ( card #294 ) Base Blue Parallel

With just a few days left before the Dodgers opened their season abroad I was down to one last card from my want/need list for the 2014 Topps set.

I had all the inserts handled, the base cards were all acquired via box breaks and the red and blue parallels were all acquired, except for one. Clayton Kershaw's blue parallel of the league leaders subset. Now I had one of the two already which was easily obtained but the this one for some reason was hard to find. I have seen a few on eBay for awhile and most times it was on BIN auctions and they wanted north of $3. I just did not want to pay that amount even though it was the last card that I needed.

Finally one day a seller had it up for sale at $2. Probably still 50 cents or more than I "wanted" to pay for it but I wanted to be done and pulled the trigger. With the season now in full swing I can just sit back and wait for new set releases and don't have to try to catch up with a past set since it is now complete. Woo Hoo.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Card of the Day - 2013 Topps Chrome : Adrian Gonzalez Base Blue Refractor Parallel ( 25 / 199 )

The off season purchases continue and the bargain hunting for blue parallels of Dodgers players is still the main objective from all the higher end releases.

I've been trying to get my hands on all of these before the 2014 season starts so I have put more effort in it now to acquire them. The first one to make it to my house is Adrian AKA our Mickey Mouse first baseman. Book value for the card is sitting at $6 and I was able to negotiate with the eBay seller for a little less than half of book. A good buy indeed. One blue down many more to go.

25 of only 199

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Card of the Day - 2014 Topps Tribute : Vladimir Guerrero Base Autograph ( 98 / 99 )

Another member for the reacquired collection even though the original autograph post never saw the light of day due to being stuck in the que and since has been deleted.

I had a Vladimir signed ball that was slowly toning and was another of the multiple reasons why I stopped going after signed balls. I always enjoyed Vladimir as a player and wished he was a Dodger. Had to settle on watching him rake for the Angels down in Anaheim.

I wanted to acquire Vladimir's autograph with him in an Expo uniform and luckily the new 2014 Tribute set had this great looking on card autograph. There are a few parallels to this card but I only cared to have an autograph so it didn't matter what parallel I got my hands on. At the end of the day I ended up with the most common of the bunch but thankfully at a great price which was way under book which is $30.

98 of 99

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Card(s) of the Day - 2013 Bowman Chrome : Jeremy Moore Base Blue Parallel ( 141 / 250 ) and Cory Hall Base Blue Parallel ( 162 / 250 )

Went looking to fill in the blue holes of my Dodger collection from last year's Bowman Chrome blue parallel set and came across Jeremy's card. It was grouped together with Cory's card. I ended up winning them both a little over $3 delivered to me. Not a bad price. I will be trying to complete the Bowman Chrome set but only in the blue parallel way. The blue cards only have a print run of 250 which will make it a very long project to complete but I thought what better way to celebrate my reentry into the hobby in 2013 by doing a set of my favorite color in my favorite set. So I am now on the look out for all the blue I can get my hands on. With me having most of the Dodgers I have a decent yet small start but there are over 400 cards to collect so it will probably be a very long time till I see myself anywhere close to completing this project. Any fellow bloggers that have spares and would like to trade with me it would be greatly appreciated.

Jeremy and my first non Dodger purchase

141 of 250

162 of 250

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Contest Being Held Over @ Cubs Cardboard

Kalib over at Cubs Cardboard is holding his first ever contest.

Obviously he is a big Cubs fan but that shouldn't deter you from heading over and reading up on the great cards he has picked up. After you enter the contest make sure you take a look at the 2 box of 2014 Allen and Ginter box break he will be doing in a couple of months as well. He needs a total of 15 entries and needs 6 more to get to that total. I think it is a great idea and might do the same thing myself for this year's Bowman Chrome release.

Contest is found HERE
While the box break is found HERE

Did You Send Me This Card ? - 2008 SP : Matt Kemp By The Letter Autograph " M "

An interesting envelope arrived at my P.O. Box a couple days ago and as normal I just opened up the package and tossed it out as I put the card to aside.

Well when I went back to the stack to organize it I realized that I already have this card twice as that is what is needed for my Kemp project. I do not need it thrice. Someone had sent me a card and for the life of me I can not think of any unfinished trade with anyone. I am still seeking these letters but the "M's" were completed already so I did not need anymore. So someone out there sent me this and I am now looking for its original owner.

So if this letter/card looks familiar to you please contact me and inform me that you sent it so we can discuss a trade. I probably will just sell it on eBay as I don't need it but whoever did send it thank you for thinking of me in the first place and I appreciate the help in trying to complete my project. If no one steps up at least I tried.

= )

Card of the Day - 2013 Topps : Jackie Robinson Commemorative MVP Relic Insert

Had my eye on getting my hands on another manufactured relic card of Jackie and just had to find the right auction at the right price to pull the trigger.

This one caught my eye as it had a nice little metal medallion on the card. I could have paid a couple dollars cheaper for a "silk/fabric" card but I still prefer the these award reprint cards over those. I had a little bidding war on the bay for this card but when all was said it done it still only cost me a little more than a pack of Bowman Chrome cards. Reasonable deal for a great Dodger.

Player Appearance Recap : Bill Madlock @ Harry's Dugout On 4.13.2014

Lunch was consumed at El Teyepac and now it was time to head south for the second of two signings this past Sunday. Back to Harry's Dugout for yet another signing. Love this place as the atmosphere is always chill and Eddie the owner is always pleasant and there is never a problem here. Just autographs and fun.

Bill Madlock was the subject of today's autograph signing and I have never personally seen him do a signing in the Los Angeles area prior to Sunday. Had to make sure I swung by and acquired the autograph of the four time batting champ. Arrived and there were no more than a few people milling around. Went over to see what photos were for sale and picked one of the two Dodgers ones. Went over to see Eddie and paid him the fee and talked for a few minutes. Bill was just signing away for what I assume was store inventory as I approached the table and said hello. I asked for him to sign the photo in silver ink as I think blue on this particular photo wouldn't look too good.

Bill signing away
Also, a Dodger at one time but a Pirate at heart. Nice hat Bill.

After the photo was done I asked Bill if he wouldn't mind a photo with me and he said no problem.

Bill and I

Finished product

Said thank you to Bill and headed out after another successful Sunday in autograph collecting. In the span of just under 90 minutes we were in line for autograph one, went inside and had a sit down lunch and then drove to get another autograph and were back in the car to drive home. If only all appearances were this simple.

Thank you again to Harry's for hosting another fine event and thank you to Bill for coming out and signing for fans. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Signed Ball of the Day : Mike Trout ( ROMLB Sweet Spot ) AKA eBay Bucks Quarterly Purchase

Its that time of the year once again. Time for me to cash in the eBay bucks that I earned in the last 3 months and yet again it is a big acquisition for ole Matthew here.

Though the last quarter purchase of the 2013 Bowman Chrome Autograph Blue Parallel BGS 9.5 of Yasiel Puig as seen HERE was my largest purchase value wise when it came to the actual card/ball this purchase, if you can call it that, is the biggest now as I did not spend a penny out of pocket and paid for it in full with eBay bucks. I so love buying things for friends and co-workers with their money through my account as I get to earn more and more eBay bucks for myself.

As it is known I am out of the ball signing part of the hobby but I will collect certain black balls and when I saw this beauty I knew I had to have it.

That is a sweet looking Mike Trout MLB authenticated black baseball. No streaking, no blemishes. Just a great looking ball of the best everyday player in baseball. Not many of these are for sale on eBay and others that closed on traditional auctions have sold for more than $175. The problem I had was that I wanted to lock in the price prior to the season before his performance could make the price skyrocket. The seller that had this up on a BIN auction allowed me over 3 weeks to pay him. He had to wait till April 3rd until my eBay bucks were available to use. Once again I stood by my feedback as my word that he would be paid and he was on that day. A few days later I became the proud owner of this black ball.

With that quarter now done I am working on the next one which will end on June 30th. I don't know what I can find that will top the last two purchases but either way I am glad that I have finally been able to land this.

Card of the Day - 2013 Bowman Chrome Draft Picks : Chris Anderson Base Black Wave Parallel

Finally acquired a card of the Dodgers top pick from the 2013 draft. I have had my eye on various autographs cards of Chris but have yet to land one due to the high closing cost on all of the auctions I've seen. Till then I wanted to at least get a non auto card of some sort. I did a little better by picking up a black wave parallel. It is not a numbered parallel but at the same time it is not as abundant as the regular cards. I am not the biggest fan of either of the wave parallel ( black or blue ) but the cost of the card was so low and the wanting of an Anderson card trumped the likability of the card. I am sure I will get my hands on a more desirable one in the future which will make this card expendable. Till then welcome to the collection Chris.

Player Appearance Recap : Jerry Reuss @ El Teyepac Cafe On 4.13.2014

A nice clear Sunday with the Dodgers in first place. Why not go out and acquire some new autographs for the collection. It was a two-fer Sunday as there were two separate signings of former Dodgers just a few miles apart from each other. First up was Jerry Reuss at the El Teyepac Cafe.

The wife and I headed over to Cafe right of the 60 fwy and we arrived about 10 minutes prior to Jerry's scheduled appearance time. Mr. Reuss was right on time and started signing. Thankfully I paid well in advance and just had to talk to the promoter and acquire my autograph tickets along with the book and hop into the front of the line. The line wasn't overly long but it seems everytime an event is held here it just goes so slow. The game plan was to be in the front of the line and then head in for some lunch.

Since Jerry was and always has been personable it took about 10 minutes to get up to his table as he posed for pictures with adults and babies alike. I had wanted to purchase a photo for Jerry to sign but I did not like anything that was for sale so I went to my backup plan of him signing one of my team bats. Handed him the bat and informed him he could sign wherever he felt like above the blue line.

He signed as close as you could above the blue line.

With the bat done I handed him my copy of his book. As I have stated before I love to read former players books and get a little insight to their and the Dodgers careers. It's a short book with the page count of less than 300. Have to finish another book and then I will get into this one.

Personalizing the book with the promotional picture in the back.

I wanted to get a closer picture of the 1981 World Series Ring that he still wears.
Hopefully 2014 will bring one back to Los Angeles

With the book signed I hoped to get a picture with Jerry and he was more than willing to accommodate me. With Jerry being a tall person and with me crouching into the photo it made me look that much smaller. Ha Ha.

Jerry and I.

A smooth albeit slow signing done it was time to head into the Cafe for lunch until it was time to head down to Harry's Dugout for the second autograph of the day. 

Thank you to Jerry for coming out and chatting it up with the fans and taking the time with each one and not just signing and pushing them aside for the next person. 

Book cover

Now I want to know what's not in the book.
= )

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Card of the Day - 2014 Topps : Clayton Kershaw League Leaders ( card # 113 ) Base Blue Parallel

One blue card down
One blue card left to go
One overall card left for the personal collection.

The 2014 Topps set has been out for a couple months and I had my list of wants ( parallels, inserts, etc ) and I really hunkered down and have arrived to the point that I only need two cards left to finish the list. They both happen to feature Kershaw and they are of the blue parallel variety.

I finished the red foil parallel set and just needed the two blue Kershaw cards. The blue ones tend to go for a little more than their red foil brothers and that held to form here as this one cost me a resounding 89 cents delivered compared to some red foils only costing me 50 cents.

Almost done. I wanted to complete my wants by baseball season and I think that shall happen.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Card of the Day - 2011 Bowman Chrome : Bryce Harper Base Autograph

A biggie that I wanted to acquire prior to the baseball season. One Bryce Harper.

I am in the Trout camp when the two are compared but at the same time I think Bryce will have a fine career and I think this upcoming year might be his breakout one. I've tried to get my hands on this card for years but it never was at a price I was comfortable with. Now with me selling the autographed ball that I had in my collection of him I had funds to try to finally get this card.

Unlike some years the refractor and non refractor versions are not that far apart in price. For Bryce it is only $50. With that I focused on the non refractor as I just wanted a Bowman Chrome autograph of Bryce and didn't care if it shined or not. Prices were starting to jump on this card when I began my pursuit so I had to make my move. Stipulation was that it had to be a copy that looked like it would grade out to a gem mint 9.5. That made it that much harder.

Found this copy and the seller had it on a BIN with best offer and I sent in my offer and noticed 30 minutes later that there were 3 other offers. Bidding war anyone? Seller countered me and two others and in turn I countered back and sat and waited. I guess my counter was better than the other two and I finally got my hands on an autograph Bowman Chrome of Harper.

Centered, non frayed edges, four sharp corners and the surface is defect free
Looks like this card will grade out well.
Knock on wood.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Card of the Day - 2014 Topps : Yasiel Puig Manufactured Patch Insert

I can be a cheap bastard sometimes or I can look at it as being frugal or just smart with my card purchases. Probably a little bit a both but it has done me well in the past and has so once again with another Puig card. 

Book and eBay values for Puig cards can and are usually too pricey right out the gate so you have to be patient. This card, which could only be found in retail boxes, has a book value according to Beckett for $25. No way no how. Most eBay sales have been at least $10 and some approaching $15. Again, way too much for my taste. I was just going to wait this particular card out for the price I wanted to pay. 

After countless lost auctions the day finally came where for some reason there wasn't a lot of action on this card and I ended up the winner at pennies over $5. A fraction of book and another Puig card has been added to the collection.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Card of the Day - 2011 Finest : Dee Gordon Orange Refractor Parallel Autograph ( 31 / 99 )

Punk ass orange. That it is always my first thought when I see this color. Never liked it and never will. So of course Topps would come out with a parallel in that color which is needed to complete my rainbow collection of the two rookies ( Dee and Jerry ) from the 2011 Finest set.

Orange was the last non "hard" one to acquire for my set. What is now left are red and purple which will be a long time coming if ever in my getting my hands on them due to the scarcity of them. This orange one doesn't come up much on eBay due to only 99 being made and Dee not the most popular of players which I'm sure adds to the scarcity of auctions. With that in mind I put in a higher amount than I normally would to make sure I won this card and at the end of the day I won it for just a tad over $6. Not too bad of a purchase and with this I can slow down now on the Dee cards. Now if Topps can never make an orange card again I will be ecstatic.

Orange.... Ahhhh.. My eyes

31 / 99

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Card of the Day - 2014 Topps : Mike Trout Base Red Foil Parallel

The only non Dodger that I collect makes another appearance. This time in his red foil parallel form from the 2014 Topps set.

Still needing to finish off the Dodger set of these but I had to add Trout to the collection but as always he was one elusive fish. For the most part that was because I just refused to pay a penny over $3 for the card so I lost out on at least 20 different auctions prior to this one. As with the other ones I put in my max bid and just waited till the end of the auction to see if I would receive another "you lost" email or finally a "congratulations" one. Thankfully it was the latter and not the former this time.

Guess the "demand" for this card has died down enough that I was able to acquire this for a couple dollars delivered. Now back to the Dodger red foil set.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Card of the Day - 2009 Ultimate Collection : Matt Kemp Jumbo Jersey Relic Autograph ( 5 / 50 )

Yet another hit on Kemp's current low prices on eBay. A card I have never seen on the bay and the seller had described wrong so I had to find out what year it really was to see what book value was on it. After finding that out and then for what I paid for it all I can say is I have a nice smile on my face.

The seller had this labeled as a 2008 card but after further review I found out it was a 2009 issue. That might have helped me out as I noticed that there were not many views on the auction prior to its end. When all was said and done I was the only one to place a bid on the card and it arrived in a nice screw down holder just a few days later. Book has this valued at $100. That is way high for Kemp right now. I assume its because of is numbered scarcity of just 50 copies. I won this at over 80% off of book. Oh yeah, happy dance.

edit : since I first wrote this up the card value has plummeted to $40 but my purchase price was still over 50% off of that
= )

On jersey/card autograph the Bison

5 of only 50

Upcoming Player Appearance / Signing : Paul Lo Duca @ Dr. Liu's Optometry Practice On April 26, 2014

Dr. Liu is holding another meet and greet of a former Dodger in a couple of weeks at his office in Rowland Heights. This time it is 4x All Star Paul Lo Duca. If you haven't been to one of Dr. Liu's events you are in for a smooth time with fellow fans and Paul. If you have any questions or would like to pre purchase your autograph ticket feel free to contact Dr. Liu's office or email him.

  • Autographs - $20
  • Inscriptions - $8
  • Photo Op with Paul comes with all autograph purchases 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Card(s) of the Day - 2014 Topps : Zack Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu Base Red Foil Parallels

One righty.
One lefty.
One transaction.

Closing the gap between unfinished and completed I was able to pick up 2 of the red foil parallels of the Dodgers for the minimal cost of just 4 stamps.

I didn't want to deal with any traditional auction as this seller had both of these cards up on BIN's with a best offer option. Sent him a low enough amount for me and enough for him to accept and had these two red beauties in hand within a week. Easy peasy deals are the best.