Monday, July 25, 2016

BGS Submission Result Number FORTY-NINE - 2016 Topps Heritage : Clayton Kershaw Base Chrome Black Refractor Parallel (55/67) Now BGS Graded Gem Mint 9.5

2016 Topps Heritage Clayton Kershaw Black Chrome Refractor (55/67)

Another Kershaw card that sadly falls into the borderline pile of 9.0 or 9.5 when it comes to what grade BGS will give this.

Last year I bought my one and only Heritage black of Clayton and sent it to BGS and it came back with a nice gold banner across the top of the slab. While I was confident that card would earn a 9.5 I am not that sure on this one. Centering, surface and edges look to be good to me but there is a corner flaw on the backside of the card. While I hope it can hold to a 9 past history lends to the fact it might receive an 8.5 on that sub grade. We shall see if I will be hunting for another copy in the future to get a 9.5 but hopefully it won't come to that.

A sigh of relief could be heard coming from me when I learned of this card's grade as I now no longer have the thought that I might have to go find another copy to insure I have a gem mint in my collection.

The 3 sub grades that I thought would have no issues indeed had none with even surfaces earning a 10. The 1 issue I thought might arise did to a point. A corner on the backside gave me pause but in the end it wasn't bad enough in Beckett's eyes as it earned a 9 and in turn the card earned an overall gem mint 9.5 grade. The black chromes from Heritage are always a popular parallel and I didn't want to have to find another one and now I officially can say I won't have to.

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Sunday, July 24, 2016

Card of the Day - 1965 Topps : Sandy Koufax Base BVG Graded Excellent 5.0

12 years, 12 cards and with this 1965 beauty of Koufax in hand now I can make the claim I am 3/4 of the way to finishing my vintage Sandy project.

1955 through 1966 were the playing years of the immortal Sandy and I set out to get a card from each of those years in BVG cases and this is card number 9 of 12 for the set. I now have all the 60's cards and just need 1956,1957 and 1958. It might be awhile till I can complete this project as those almost 60 year old cards are not easy to come by in graded form.

I had only seen a handful of these 1965 cards in graded cases on eBay so when this one popped up I made it my week's mission to pick it up. Thankfully all it took was 2 bids and I was declared the winner. Looking back at all the pictures and design of these cards this is probably my least favorite but the project would not be complete without it.

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Saturday, July 23, 2016

Card of the Day - 2015 Topps Update : Clayton Kershaw Base Black Parallel (1/64)

I wasn't even looking for a copy of this for my collection as there are too many other black parallels of Kershaw that I am looking for but when I was approached on Instagram about picking this up I couldn't pass up on such a good deal.

It's getting around I guess on social media that I love me some black parallels and a follower of mine DM'ed me asking if I might be interested in this. I looked up the book value (a high of $25) and since his asking price was way below that I said sure why not and had it in hand a few short days later. The only complaint I had was that it came in a PWE (plain white envelope) with nothing other than a top loader for protection. Maybe I am being a little too picky but when I send out a card in a PWE (which is not very often) I put it in a top loader AND wrapped it in card board to give it a little more support during transport. Just food for thought for anyone that does the PWE shipping.

First of Sixty-Four

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Friday, July 22, 2016

BGS Submission Result Number FORTY-EIGHT - 2015 Topps Finest : Mike Trout Base Gold Parallel (22/50) Now BGS Graded Gem Mint 9.5

2015 Topps Finest Mike Trout Gold (22/50)

Gold parallel
Gold banner
Golden day

Adding a gem mint Trout card to any collection is a cause for celebration but when I can add a limited (50 print run) one that is even better. This card will look great with the matching colors of banner and card.

Another "known" grade return but unlike a couple of the others this one is a "stronger" gem mint rather than a "weak" one.

No matter what the grade would have been this card is still a steal as when I acquired it it was on an under explained eBay auction which meant less traffic towards it. I ended up picking it up in this raw graded form for less than what raw copies had been going for. Now with it in slab form I have learned that it even has a 10 in the sub grades. Another great gold/gold card added to the collection.

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Thursday, July 21, 2016

Card of the Day - 2016 Stadium Club : Clayton Kershaw Base Autograph Gold Parallel (8/25) and Quarterly eBay Bucks Purchase Number TWO

... and now for the 2nd of 2 eBay eBucks "purchases" and how can you go wrong when you get to pick up a Clayton Kershaw autograph for free? Yeah, you can't.

When I decided to use my eBucks for a Kershaw card I knew it had to either be a rare graded one or an autograph so I can add to my quest of having a 100 signatures from the Dodger great. Didn't find a graded card to my liking so I turned my attention to the newly released Stadium Club as I knew there was an autograph of Kershaw that I wanted to get my hands on at some point and what better time than now when it would be "free" to me.

The 2015 release of Stadium Club has an autograph of Kershaw that celebrates his no hitter and I am still waiting to receive that from Topps as I acquired it in redemption form. Other bloggers have stated it might be a very long wait as the black parallel hasn't been produced yet and that is the one I am waiting for. Well this year's release again celebrates that special moment but from a different view and I knew I wanted this card as it was NOT in redemption form and is live and ready to purchase. A few copies have popped up here and there but I could see that their were chipping problems on some corners. This one popped up on the bay one day on a BIN for $200 but thankfully with a best offer option. The seller and I went back and forth for a couple of hours but at the end of the day I snagged it for 35% less than what he originally wanted for it.

Now that it is in hand I can say it will probably earn a 9 from BGS when I submit it. The autograph is flawless but there is a corner issue but even though it is minor I think that sub grade earns a 9. There is always an outside chance of a gem mint return but I'll shoot low and hope for a high.


Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Wednesday, July 20, 2016

BGS Submission Result Number FORTY-SEVEN - 2011 Topps Heritage : Clayton Kershaw Base Chrome Black Refractor Parallel (21/62) Now BGS Graded Gem Mint 9.5

2011 Topps Heritage Clayton Kershaw Black Chrome (21/62)

... and now we reach the best part of this any other batch that you can submit. The guaranteed gem mint grade which this and the next 3 cards will receive. The only question is will it be a weak or strong gem as I will not know the sub grades till they are graded. With that said I am going to say this Kershaw Heritage card will come back as a weak 9.5 as I can tell that centering is off too much which is what I think the one 9 sub grade will be on this card. Even with that its still a gem. = )

When I submitted this to BGS for a raw review I "knew" that centering would be the issue and I hoped that it would earn a 9 as I believed everything else would grade out as 9.5's. The card came back as a 9.5 from the review which I then sent to BGS for the full slab treatment. When you do a raw review you do not know what the sub grades will be until you receive it back from Dallas. Again, I "knew" what it would be in my gut. Low and behold look what sub grade indeed earned a 9? Yup, good old centering. And as expected the overall 9.5 is a "weak" gem mint but it is still a gem mint and that is all that matters. 

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Card of the Day - 2016 Stadium Club : Clayton Kershaw Base Photo Variation and Quarterly eBay Bucks Purchase Number ONE

The only thing that is same this time around is that this most recent quarter is finished which means more eBay eBucks for me to pursue a card or two. Recently I had been focusing on Mike Trout cards every quarter as his are pricier but this time around I acquired not 1 but 2 Clayton Kershaw cards which is another difference as the last few quarters it has only been 1 card that I have acquired. Another difference is that I did not have a card lined up and agreed to acquire prior the eBucks becoming available as I couldn't find anything I really wanted. This card and Thursday's were both "purchased" within 72 hours of their release which should give you a hint on what Thursday's subject matter is.

First up though is this beautiful photo variation of Clayton which was the 1st one to hit eBay. Nowadays I normally wait a week or so to see where the market takes a new product but with eBucks in hand and a reasonable asking BIN price I had to pull the trigger. To this day this "purchase" is the lowest cost one that has sold on eBay so not only did I get a deal I also picked it up for free. Always a plus.

I was halfway expecting some condition issue with this card but other than 1 corner on the back that has a tad flaking issue there is no problem. I believe this will receive a 9.5 from Beckett and I will put that to the test in 2 months when they are back in town.

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Monday, July 18, 2016

BGS Submission Result Number FORTY-SIX - 2015 Topps Chrome : Mike Trout Base Green Refractor Parallel (93/99) Now BGS Graded Gem Mint 9.5

2015 Topps Chrome Mike Trout Green Refractor (93/99)

Like most of the chrome cards in this batch I expect those and this green Trout to receive a 9.5 or better. The reason this is higher on the list is because of the the print run being so low (99) if it were to gem or possibly pristine then the value of it would get a nice bump. Again, I'm not looking to move it but if I ever had to it's nice to know that I could get a nice figure for it in return.

Well I expected a gem and would have been more than content with that return I was kind of surprised that it earned a strong 9.5.

I thought this would be a better than average gem but did itself better as 2 sub grades came back with 10's and the only "blemish" was centering which earned a 9. That 9 can't take away my smile as I just love when a serialized parallel of less than 100 comes back with a gold banner attached to it. Another hit for my Trout collection.

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Sunday, July 17, 2016

Card of the Day - 2014 Allen Ginter : Sandy Koufax Base TTM (Through the Mail) On Card Autograph

I went and did something that I decided a long time ago that I wouldn't do again due to unsavory people on the internet but 2 things made me change my mind for this one time, Koufax and a money back guarantee.

I love Koufax autographs and they are a pricey endeavor as other collectors know. On card versions from Topps can range from a couple hundred to well over $1000 while trying to get him in person is a hard process in itself. So when I first saw this card up on eBay I didn't really thing twice about is but a few days later I saw it again and decided to click on the auction. His asking price was $40 OBO but what caught my eye was that he guaranteed it was/is authentic as he received it from the man himself AND IF the buyer would send it to a 3rd party authenticator i.e. PSA/JSA and it didn't pass he would refund the whole cost. Hmmm.... now I'm interested but of course only if if could be had at a deal. What happened now I really didn't expect.

I sent over an offer of $30 and if he accepted great if not I wasn't interested in negotiating. He declined my offer by taking someone else's which I found out was $35. Well he contacted me a day later and said that the buyer backed out and if I still wanted it I could send him an offer. Well I wasn't changing my offer so I sent him the same $30 one and he rejected that AND INSTEAD sent me a counter of $25. What? He messaged me and said he should have taken the original one from me and felt "bad" so he wanted to sell it to me for the lower amount. Well with the money back guarantee still in place I took his offer and will now get it authenticated by JSA.

So either I just picked up a great Koufax autograph for $25 which I think is a steal or I am just loaning him $25 as if it comes back from JSA as not real I will get my money right back. To me either way is a win win situation but I am for sure hoping for the former and not the latter.

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Saturday, July 16, 2016

Card of the Day - 2014 Topps High Tek : Clayton Kershaw Base Black and White Parallel (15/15)

A 3 player project I didn't know I wanted to do/complete until I picked one up as a steal of a deal on eBay and now with this card's acquisition I am 1 away from completing said project.

I won a Koufax black and white which also has a print run of just 15. I submitted it to BGS and it came back with a great gold banner and of course now I wanted to add Kershaw and Trout and even though the print runs are the same I knew Kershaw would be the easier one to come by than Trout hence why I picked up Clayton's up first. I have yet to see a Trout one so Lord knows when that will pop up.

We are in season now but I picked this up during the off season and with minimal effort I locked in this card for even more of a steal than the Koufax. So just like that Koufax this one will be off to BGS next time they are in town and I am expecting the same result as Sandy's.


Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Friday, July 15, 2016

BGS Submission Result Number FORTY-FIVE - 2012 Bowman Sterling : Corey Seager Base Autograph Now BGS Graded Gem Mint 9.5

2012 Bowman Sterling Corey Seager Autograph

Whether this earns a 9 or 9.5 it is all gravy for me as my good blogger buddy Frankie gave this card to me out of the kindness of his heart last Christmas. If he actually reads this there will be a little something for him in the box I am shipping back to him with his cards from this joint batch. That said I think this card earns a 9.5 but the autograph is giving me slight pause as there is 1 streak in it. Most of the time you can get away with that and still earn a 10 but I shall see what type of grader I get the day he looks at this card. 

And once again let me take the opportunity again to say thank you for the card Frankie.

The gift that keeps on giving.

As stated up above I received this from Frankie as a Christmas last year and knew the minute I looked at it I would be submitting it to BGS for grading as I expected it would gem (Frankie thought the same as well). I also knew going in that the signature was borderline 9/10 as there was a streak in it and depending on the grader is what grade it would receive. It/I got the unlucky inspector as the autograph earned a 9. That though does not diminish the overall 9.5 that it received. Thank you once again goes out to Frankie on this card as it is much appreciated and looks great in its new gold banner case.

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Thursday, July 14, 2016

Card of the Day - 2012 Topps Tribute : Clayton Kershaw Base Autograph (43/99) BGS Graded Gem Mint 9.5

So yeah, I so wasn't happy with a few of my returns on Kershaw autographs from my most recent BGS submission batch so to fix that I cracked and sold them and went on a slight Kershaw auto binge to offset the bad taste in my mouth that Beckett left.

I sold 2 of my Kershaw autographs (including other cards from the batch) and decided to pick up 3 Clayton autographs and this is the 1st and easiest to make it into my hands. Of the 3 two of them I made sure they were gem mint as they had already been graded as such from Beckett. There was no cost for this card as the sale of 1 autograph card and 1 other non auto covered the full cost for this gem from 2012.

Gem through and through

I am highly picky when it comes to CK's autographs and while I will accept plain old mint 9's I just can't accept anything less in my collection so this 9.5 fits nicely in my Kershaw stack. 1 autograph down and 2 more to go with a biggie coming up.


Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Wednesday, July 13, 2016

BGS Submission Result Number FORTY-FOUR - 2014 Bowman Chrome : Mike Trout Base Gold Parallel (20/50) Now BGS Graded Gem Mint 9.5

2014 Bowman Chrome Mike Trout Gold Refractor (20/50)

If this gold Trout earns a gold banner not only will it look really nice since its a gold card coupled with a gold banner but it will be a major coup price wise as I picked this up basically on a fluke as I think people forgot to bid,

While other chromes in this batch have been having centering problems this one does not look to be affected by that problem. The issue with this one is that there is slight fraying on the back side of the card. Expecting an 8.5 on that sub grade but if somehow it can pick up a 9 then I think the overall grade is a gem mint. 

Well my hoping for a gem mint based on one sub grade squeaking in with a 9 did in fact come true just not the sub that I expected but in the end it doesn't matter as this card is now color coordinated with a gold banner.

I expected a corner on the back side to hopefully sneak by with a 9 but it received a 9.5 as it was centering which I expected no issues to arise to actually come in with a 9. While I knew it wasn't 50/50 I still thought it was more 9.5 than 9 but even with that lesser than expected grade this card now is a bona fide steal as I picked it up in raw form from an under bid auction and have turned it into a gem mint. Nice...

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Card of the Day - 2016 Topps Heritage : Corey Seager Real One Autograph Red Ink Variant (31/67) BGS Graded Gem Mint 9.5

The pickiness aka perfectionist in me has struck again as even though I have/had this card in raw form (which I showcased recently) I went and sold that one so I could get my hands on this one instead. Why? Because of all the cards that are coming out this year (which some people like to call his rookie year in cards which in my mind its not. That would 2012 Bowman Chrome in my opinion) this is probably 1 of a handful that will hold its value and will be a key piece to own down the road.

When I acquired the raw version I had visions of submitting it to BGS with the hope of a gem mint return. Once the card made it to me I looked at all the areas and came away with the thinking that even though one corner was a little soft I believed it had a decent chance at a 9.5 return. I tucked it away and then for some reason something gnawed at me to look at the back of the card. So when I went home one day I flipped it and noticed one of the worst centering or lack thereof jobs I have seen on any of my cards. It might have been 85/15 at best. No way with that would I get my gold banner. I was bummed but then I remembered that this graded card was on eBay and I sent over an offer on a day that eBay was running a special eBucks program and thankfully he took the deal. I sold the raw card to compensate for most of the cost of this graded one.

There are only 67 copies of this card and only 3 (as of this writing) that have earned a gold banner and only 1 of 2 that has a 10 sub grade. There will be many autograph cards of Corey this year but the Heritage red inks continue to hold much interest and value through the years and this one should be no different.

Minty !!!


Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Monday, July 11, 2016

BGS Submission Result Number FORTY-THREE - 2014 Topps High Tek : Sandy Koufax Base Black and White Parallel (13/15) Now BGS Graded Gem Mint 9.5

2014 Topps High Tek Sandy Koufax Black and White (13/15)

Now we get to the interesting part of the batch. The next 7 are all from the High Tek brand and if you don't know they are plastic cards which minimizes corner issues. Of course even with that thinking nothing is guaranteed.

All my High Tek cards are of the numbered variety and this Koufax has the lowest print run by far with a scant 15. With minimal Sandy cards in my collection and availability in products I would really like to see the ones I do have gem from BGS. Nothing looks wrong with this card up close so I am thinking this is an easy 9.5.

I expected an easy gem on this card and for the most part it was as there was only one area that caused any problem.

In the back of my mind I thought maybe this would finally be the card that would receive a black label as I thought that it would be cool with a black and white card but it wasn't meant to be. There was 1 sub grade that earned a 10 but the other 3 came back as 9.5,9.5 and 9. While it might not be black label "unicorn" that I am still trying to acquire it is a nice gem mint being added to my growing Koufax collection.

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Sunday, July 10, 2016

Card of the Day - 2016 Topps Now : Clayton Kershaw May 17, 2016 (#/421)

... and so I start another set to collect but one that I don't know how many will be in it or how long it will run. Topps has introduced a new online exclusive card brand called "Topps Now". They produce card(s) each day showcasing a big highlight from the day prior in baseball. That means in theory you could have a card made everyday of your favorite player if he is lighting it up on the field.

There is no stated print run the day of the card's release as Topps will produce as many that are ordered within their 24 hour time limit. At present there is a Colon card that has a print run of 8826 and a Gattis with 212. As you can see there is a wide range. Surprisingly this Kershaw is on the low end of the spectrum with a stated run of only 421. They are not numbered but knowing there is a small number is still kind of cool.

With only 3 current players I collect I think I can end up getting all of these as I have found a trusted eBay seller that buys them everyday and resells them on the bay and he and I have agreed on a fair price for each one no matter the player or print run.

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Saturday, July 9, 2016

Card of the Day - 2013 Bowman Chrome : Corey Seager Base Green Refractor Parallel PSA Graded Mint 9.0

Another replacement for an unsatisfactory return grade from my BGS submission. Unlike other cards in the bath where I sold them off and picked up Kershaw autographs I still needed a green refractor of Corey for my rainbow project so it had to be a lateral move.

My green copy came back as an 8.5 which was no good for me so I promptly cracked that open and sold it on eBay. Of course at the same time I was looking for a replacement on eBay and this was one of a handful up for sale but all the others were in raw form while this was the only graded one. So do I pick up another raw one and try my luck or for the same price acquire one that was certified mint even though it wasn't by Beckett? I went the later route as I will get this transferred over to a BGS case the next time they are in town. Once again my rainbow is complete even though technically it was only "incomplete" for the few hours it took me to sell one green and acquire another.

Not BGS but still mint

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Friday, July 8, 2016

BGS Submission Result Number FORTY-TWO - 2016 Topps Heritage : Mike Trout Base Action Photo Variation Now BGS Graded Gem Mint 9.5

2016 Topps Heritage Mike Trout Action Photo Variation

Another Heritage card and another expected so so return.

Just like the Kershaw before it I think this Trout will have a hard time earning a gold banner and if it does its only because the one flaw on the back side holds at a 9 while everything else comes in with a 9.5. Not holding my breath but I can still hope can't I?

I was way off on the prediction of what this card was going to receive. So much that even Beckett decided to make a blunder itself as well.

When I first looked at this card I swear I saw a flaw on the back but they saw no such thing and this card ended up with 3 9.5's and a 10. A strong return. What is funny is that if you look at the gold banner you will notice that they labeled it as a 2015 when in fact it is a 2016. Wording to me doesn't matter as it is the grade that does and gold is all that I am looking and hoping for.

On a side not by the time this post goes live I might not have this card. Why you ask as Trout is a PC? Money that is why. I noticed a PSA 10 on eBay selling for almost 5x what a raw version is selling for. Damn. So I decided to put this one up on the bay to see if I can get the same amount. If I do then I will just buy another raw version of this card and use the excess funds for some other cards. I just love to do the eBay hustle.

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Thursday, July 7, 2016

Card of the Day - 2016 Topps Heritage : Clayton Kershaw Base Gum Stain Back Variant

Searching and hunting for fewer cards now it's more fulfilling when I finally do land one even though I could have had this anytime I wanted as it was acquired on an eBay transaction with zero hassle.

I had secured the Trout gum stain awhile back and wanted to pick up the Kershaw to complete the mini 2 card project but I got side tracked looking at other cards. When I finally realized I forgot to pick this up I ventured back onto eBay and saw this copy had been on the bay for at least 2 go arounds on 30 day BIN auctions. The seller had a higher than book value asking price which is probably why it hadn't sold yet. Hoping that would be in my favor and he would let it go at a lower price I sent over an offer of half of what he was looking for and not a hour later I was sent an email from eBay confirming the auction win. A win without countering is always a good thing.

Even though it wouldn't raise the value all that much I am sending this bad boy to BGS hoping for another gold banner for my Kershaw collection.

Ahh... It's stained...

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

BGS Submission Result Number FORTY-ONE - 2015 Topps High Tek : Mike Trout Base Gold Rainbow Parallel (10/35) Now BGS Graded Gem Mint 9.5

2015 Topps High Tek Mike Trout Gold Rainbow (10/35)

Exact same situation with the Finest gold of Trout but the only reason this receives higher billing is because this one has a lower print run (35 vs 50) than the Finest version so this one is more "rare" which means it probably holds a higher value. Either way both are great and glad I have them to call my own.

Another guaranteed gold return for the submission batch and like the others the only question was this going to be a weak gem or a strong one bordering on a pristine 10. For this one it was the former not the latter.

I low numbered parallel of superstar Mike Trout in what ever gold banner it might be is a good thing so even though this was .5 from being a silver banner mint 9.0 it having a gold one makes all the difference. Scoring this one on a deal months ago just got better now that it is officially encased. 

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Card of the Day - 2016 Gypsy Queen : Clayton Kershaw Mini Framed Autograph (19/25) BGS Graded Gem Mint 9.5

Only 25 copies of this card exist and considering it is from a new and very popular product line (Gypsy Queen) as well as a handful already popping up on eBay and selling I was very shocked I picked this one up so fast and at a steal of a price considering it is the only graded one as of this write up (Apr. 22). Edit : as of today this is still the only one graded.

I had hoped to score a deal of this card in raw form and actually had an agreement locked in with an eBay seller but I told him that I needed a few days for my own eBay auctions to end so I cn pick it up. He said fine but a fellow Kershaw lover swooped in and scooped it up at a slightly higher price. Can't blame the seller as I would want the highest price too. So I was back on the hunt for another copy and not 2 days later I found this on eBay.

I was willing to pick this up in raw form and try my luck with BGS but if I could get it already in gem mint condition that would be way better. The seller had this on a BIN auction with no best offer and the asking price was way too much for my taste. So I decided to send him an email and told him if he ever wanted to move it at a price I was comfortable with then I would be here waiting for him. I expected he would let it sit on eBay for awhile before entertaining my offer. I was wrong. A day later he sent me an email stating he was willing to meet my price as long as we did the transaction off eBay as a direct pay through Paypal. Uh, yeah. I didn't wait an extra minute as I didn't want him to change his mind and within a week I had this beauty in my hands and I only "spent" $20 more than I would have on my agreed amount for the raw card that I lost out to on a fellow Kershaw collector. I couldn't be happier.


Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.