Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Card of the Day - 2004 Sweet Spot : Odalis Perez Base Autograph

I went into the way back machine to pick up this autograph of Odalis who was part of a trade that brought him to the Dodgers from the Braves for Gary Sheffield.

There are many autographs of players that played for the Dodgers that I can never remember them all but once I stumble across one then it stays on my wish list till I can find a decent copy at a decent price. When I first saw this card most sellers were asking at least $6-7 for it. Yeah, no. I love me some autographs but I am not going to sink "big" money into a card just to have said autograph.

Various copies of this card kept popping up on the bay and each time I passed till this one showed up with a starting bid of a penny. Now that is more up my alley. I set myself a low ceiling that I was willing to live with. In the end there were only 2 bids on this card with mine being the high one for a grand total of 5 quarters. Definitely a price I could live with.

Card isn't perfect but was expecting or needing it to be for that amount.

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day

- Penguin

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Lucky Trade Number 7 with Alex of Chavez Ravining

Another month and another trade completed with Alex of Chavez Ravining

Second to last post of the year and with it my final trade of the year as well. Alex and I have stepped it up this year with multiple trades and this is the seventh overall between us. May it not be the last.

Awhile back Alex posted about some of his 2014 Stadium Club hits and had an autograph of Joe Kelly from it available for trade.

I don't go out of my way to purchase autographs of non Dodgers or non stars but if I can get my hands on one without any money out of pocket I'll do it as autographs are the main focus of my collection.

The trade was going to be a simple one with a couple cards for Joe's autograph but then we ended up expanding it to include a Kemp autograph that Alex had his eyes on. In return I ended up with some more autograph cards for the collection.

2014 Bowman Inception of Eddie Butler

2014 Triple Threads of Mike Olt 

Love the fact that both of these are on card autographs as I loathe sticker ones which I am sure everyone knows by now.

To top it off Alex also included a Dodger to the batch.

2013 Topps Tribute of Andre Ethier

Though I have many Ethier autographs why not add another?

As with all past trades with Alex this one also went about without a hitch. To see what I sent him you can take a gander HERE .

Thank you again to Alex for the great cards and I look forward to more trades with you in the new year.

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day

- Penguin

Monday, December 29, 2014

Card of the Day - 2014 Topps Chrome : Erisbel Arruebarruena Base Autograph Black Refractor Parallel (81/100)

A mini project within a bigger project is officially done.

I am still looking for the non autograph blue and black parallels of Erisbel but for some reason I have been able to pick up the autograph versions of blue and black at highly reasonable prices.

The assigned book value of this card is $40 and there is no way in my mind I can rationalize that cost. Again, I believe the Cuban factor comes into play here and that is why it is so high.

Even with only 100 copies I was determined to get myself a bargain on this card and that is exactly what I accomplished as I picked it up for less than $9 on a traditional auction. Don't even know if Erisbel will ever make an impact in the majors but since he wore the blue I had to have his autograph on some cards.

One Hundred

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Card(s) of the Day - 2013 Topps Chrome : Paco Rodriguez 2 Base Autographs and Base Blue Parallel Autograph

But wait, there's more.

Awhile back I showed off my black parallel Paco acquisition, but the auction contained more than just that card which made the purchase even better. Along with the limited black card came 3 autograph (though in redemption form) cards. I won't need all three as I have a few other Paco's coming in from Topps (knock on wood) but I couldn't pass on a lot that included some cards I could use to trade out to acquire other cards that I really want. When all was said and done I won all 4 cards for a little over $12. Not a bad per card average considering that one of them is a limited parallel and the others are autograph cards. 

Now like all my other redemptions that are in the system, I sit and wait for the "real" card to arrive. Why can't Paco and Seager be more like Puig and Ryu? I have one Paco and one Seager card that I have been waiting over 3 months for yet Puig can get me his autograph within a few weeks in between?

= )

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Card of the Day - 2014 Topps Chrome : Hyun-Jin Ryu Base Blue Refractor Parallel (180/199)

Card if limited to 199 copies
Seller was asking 199 pennies for it
I had 199 pennies
Nice simple transaction.

For some reason the blues of this year's Topps Chrome set seem to be in less supply on eBay and the starting asking price is about the same or more than the black parallels. I want/need both parallels so this seems like its going to be a slow burn for the next couple of months in trying to acquire them all.

This was the first Ryu I came across that the asking price was less than $5 so when I saw it I jumped all over it. Week later the card was in hand and I checked off another name on the hit list. One down many more to go.


Friday, December 26, 2014

Card of the Day - 2013 Allen and Ginter : Don Sutton Mini Frame Autograph Red Ink Variant (39/66)

Right card at the right time.

I just love these red ink variants from the Allen Ginter brand as luckily I have acquired a couple since I jumped back into card collecting. These always have a low number as my Trout one is numbered to 31 and the Hamilton and Braun ones are numbered to 10. Well I always knew this card existed but I wasn't going to spend an arm and a leg for it.

Since I sold Sutton's signed ball I guess this counts as a reacquired autograph even though I do have a Sutton Museum card from earlier last year. Due to the fact that there are only 66 copies of this card only so many pop up on eBay to bid on. I have lost the couple I have tried to win as book has the card valued at $50. A card I wanted but never intended to pay a lot for.

Two auctions prior to this card's auction closed at $49 and $40. An auction after this one closed at $33. I was in on all of them but each surpassed my price ceiling. One night before I was about to go to bed I searched for this card and it came up on a BIN auction. The cost? $15 delivered. Was it a mistake by the seller? Don't know, don't care. I clicked the button to lock in the price and sent him my payment using comic sales funds and had this beauty show up a week or so later.

It pays to just hit the search button at random times during the day or in this case night.

39 of 66

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays To Everyone

It's Christmas day once again and as in the past I want to wish each and everyone of you the happiest of days and hope that you are as lucky and blessed as me and the above penguin who are sharing this day with our loved ones.

We celebrate the birth of Christ today but also importantly we spend today with our friends and family doing whatever or nothing at all just as long as we are with each other. I chose to be with my wife, mother, father in law and friends and I hope that you are with people you want to be with.

We are blessed to be in the greatest country in the world and for the most part go to sleep every night without the fear of lose of life. I am surrounded by loved ones day in and day out and have more than a lot of people in this world and for that I am beyond thankful.

Again, Merry Christmas to all, be safe and have fun today !!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Clayton Kershaw Project Update

. . . Is it Baseball Season yet?

Even though its not I am now ready as I have received my jersey back from Pro Image with the customization that I sent it in for.

When I scored this jersey for a great deal on eBay as shown HERE the intention was to always get Kershaw's name and number sewn onto it. While all of my other jerseys have my name on the back but Kershaw is in a league of his own and I think even though he will opt out of his contract when he can he will resign and eventually retire as a Dodger and enter the Hall of Fame as one as well. It was finally time to get a jersey with his name on it.

As stated in the original post, the price was prohibitive coming from either the stadium or online stores so I went the blank back route and then once in hand have the numbers and name sewn on it. Took a little more than 4 weeks to get back but it is now back in my possession and it looks great. I have tossed it into my dry cleaner pile and will get it cleaned and pressed shortly. I will then put it on a hanger and it will wait there in the closet till the season begins to finally be worn.

This was my birthday gift to myself and at a fraction of the cost it would have put me back if I were to have purchased it at the stadium. Bring on the 2015 season already . . .

Have a blessed day and thank you for reading.

- Penguin

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Card of the Day - 2014 Topps Chrome : Kenley Jansen Base Black Refractor Parallel (15/100)

It's been awhile but I finally picked up another limited parallel for the handful of change of 99 cents. These black parallels seem to be more plentiful this year compared to last year. Though both years have the equal amount of 100 I have seen more copies of each player this year. Go figure.

Even with that though people are setting most of their auctions at a higher than reasonable starting amount in my eyes. So when this copy came up with a starting asking price of 99 cents I knew I would be in on it as I suspected there would not be many people bidding on this card and to no surprise at the end of the auction I was the one and only one to do so.

Great horizontal card of an underrated closer. Now if we can just build a bullpen to get to the 9th so we can use Kenley more efficiently.

15 / 100

Monday, December 22, 2014

BGS Submission Update Eighteen - 2009 Allen and Ginter : Clayton Kershaw Mini Frame Autograph Now Graded and Slabbed a Gem Mint 9.5

Original Submission Post
Beckett Book Value : $80

What better way to finish off the submission posts than to go back to back with Kershaw autographs that also happen to be both Allen and Ginter cards.

I had low expectations for both cards which made the returns that much sweeter. Two days ago I showed off the 2010 A&G and how it earned a gem mint grade and now its the 2009's version that gets its time in the spotlight and claims the number one slot from the 18 card submission batch. What does this card have over the 2010 card? First and foremost the border is not orange. Hate that color. Secondly I just love that the glove is prominent in the photo.

The grades were almost identical with this one not having a 10 in the sub grades like the 2010 version. I have to go over my cards again but I believe this is my 6th gem mint autograph card of Clayton and I can't wait to add another one whenever I get a chance.

Preparing to mow down some batter

... and there we have it. 18 cards shown over the past 36 days. At the present moment I do not have a single card left in my collection that I would like to get graded so it will be awhile till I do another submission. Thank you to everyone that checked in every other day to see what the results were for all the cards. Thank you in general for reading the blog and may you and all your loved ones have a blessed day.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Card of the Day - 2005 Topps : Tom Niedenfuer Retired Player Autograph

Batter Jack Clark
Pitcher Tom Niedenfuer
Managerial decisions of Tommy Lasorda
Dodger Penguin all of the age of 10 years old.

Back then all I knew was that the team that I started rooting for back in 81 lost to that terrible team in red from St. Louis. I didn't understand all the ends and outs of baseball as of yet but as the years went on I kept reading about this game and series in general and came to a better understanding of what did and did not happen back in 85. Wasn't into autographs back then but now that I am I looked back at the Dodger teams from the 80's and the players I needed autographs from. Look what I found?

I have never seen nor heard about Tom being in the Southern California since at least the early 2000's so I assume I would never get his autograph in person. At the same time I haven't seen many of his autographs online. This one though has popped up here and there and as he was more of a luxury and not a necessity so I capped my cost ceiling pretty low. Lost out on a few auctions but finally locked down this particular card for a few pennies over $3. Very reasonable in my eyes.

Some fans would say that it is $3 wasted and that Ned should pay us for him to autograph something for us. Haha. Hence why the term "fan" is short for fanatic. Welcome to the collection Tom.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

BGS Submission Update Seventeen - 2010 Allen and Ginter : Clayton Kershaw Mini Frame Autograph Now Graded and Slabbed a Gem Mint 9.5

Original Submission Post
Beckett Book Value : $80

Second to last post and spoiler alert they are of the same player. THE best pitcher in baseball today. One Mr. Clayton Kershaw.

When I did up the original post I had all my Kershaws near the bottom of the pile. I was expecting very little and when it came to the 2012 Museum card that's exactly what I got. Allen and Ginter cards have always been a mixed bag for me as sometimes I think one should grade out high and it doesn't and then one that will barely and hopefully make a mint 9 comes back as gem mint. These have always been my Achilles heel when it comes to pre-submssion grading.

While I saw nothing wrong with the card I still tempered my expectations. As I've stated before I want all my Kershaw autograph cards to come back as at least mint 9's (they don't) and gem mints are just pleasant surprises. Well this came back as a pleasant surprise as it earned the coveted gem mint status with one sub grade of 10. Autograph was perfect as well and I now have another gem mint Kershaw card to call my own.

Only thing wrong with this card is its border which is punk ass orange.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Card of the Day - 2014 Bowman Chrome : Yimi Garcia Base Photo Variation

Another staple of my collection that I will still collect, even with the refocus, are photo variations.

I have a couple of the big names (Kemp, Kershaw) and still looking for others but within the Bowman Chrome brand they like to spotlight the variations on up and coming players. I luckily picked up Corey Seager earlier in the year from the 2013 release but this year's release has a few that hold my interest and I was able to pick up my first one.

Yimi Garcia was called up this year for the first time and with that I thought this card would command a little more than I paid for it. Book has this card valued at $10 but I only paid a quarter of that which makes this a nice little pick up at a reasonable rate.

Hope to see him with the team next year.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

BGS Submission Update Sixteen - 2014 Topps Chrome : Jose Abreu Base Autograph Refractor Parallel (312/499) Now Graded and Slabbed a Gem Mint 9.5

Original Submission Post
Beckett Book Value : $120

We now come to the last non Dodger of the batch and the 2014 AL ROY Jose Abreu.

With so many of his autographs out there now the value of his cards are being watered down but I still had no intention on buying his cards as they didn't hold that much interest to me. Now if I could score it at a major discount and flip it into a gem mint grade and then possibly flip it again for something that does hold my interest then that is another matter all together.

I originally "won" this on a 4 box break held by Alex of Chavez Ravining much to the chagrin of a few people. Though it was a redemption card I had already seen them pop up on eBay so I didn't think it would be that long till Topps redeemed it. I was right as within 2 weeks I had it in my hands and I knew I would submit it for grading. I was confident it would earn a gem mint grade as I was only worried about a small potential flaw on the surface. Guess BGS didn't see or care about it as surface received a perfect 10 as centering did as well. Only knock on the card were the corners which got a 9. No matter as it still ended up being a gem mint card.

A nice investment in a random box break. Was my plan all along and it worked to perfection. Now, to flip or not to flip? You know I will and did.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Trade with Fellow Blogger : Frankie of My Life In The Sports Card Hobby

A new reader of the blog and a blogger himself, Frankie of My Life In The Sports Card Hobby fame and I have done our first trade and it couldn't have gone smoother.

A little awhile ago Frankie posted about some acquisitions of his and one of them caught my eye. Though it is not a parallel which is what I am after mainly, if I can acquire a Dodger autograph with no money out of pocket I have to take a stab at it. I approached Frankie to see what he was looking for but originally we couldn't come to a deal. A couple weeks passed and we reconvened and he stated the card was still available.

With a little back and forth of what he would find acceptable in return Frankie ended up stating just send me some cards my way. With a rough figure of what the Guerrero card is worth I picked out 5 cards that hopefully he will like. Instead of mailing me the redemption card he emailed me the code and I have gone and redeemed it already. The waiting game begins and hopefully it won't be too long.

Thank you again to Frankie for the smooth trade and hopefully it won't be the last. More importantly I hope he enjoys the cards I sent his way.


Have a blessed day and thank you for reading.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

BGS Submission Update Fifteen - 2003 Topps Tribute : Kirk Gibson Series Signatures Autograph w/Relic Now Graded and Slabbed a Gem Mint 9.5

Original Submission Post
Beckett Book Value : $80

We are down to the last 4 submission results and it's only autographs from here on out. Woo Hoo.

When I first stumbled upon this card I knew I had to have it. I had been looking for a Gibson autograph to replace the signed ball I had of his but it had to have him in Dodger blue and if at all possible on card. The Dodger blue requirement was hard enough as most have him in a Tiger uniform but the on card autograph I thought was just a long shot. Well low and behold this one came up on eBay and after some back and forth with the seller we settled on a price. Well below book. As a Dodger fan how can you not love this card? It shows Gibson in his post home run trot on his two bad knees, has a relic in the shape of 88 and a nice clean and crisp autograph.

When I purchased it I didn't have an intention of having it graded but I did want it in excellent condition which the seller promised me it was. Well when it came in I saw no flaws and thought that someday I would have it graded. I knew the autograph would grade out to a 10 as there is no issues whatsoever and BGS agreed with me once again as each sub grade received a 9.5.

This is one of my favorite autograph cards and now it just looks even better in a gold banner BGS case.

Raise your hand if you love gem mint cards

Monday, December 15, 2014

Card of the Day - 2014 Bowman Chrome : Yimi Garcia Base Autograph Blue Refractor Parallel (34/150)

The Yimi autograph collection continues in its backwards fashion. First the limited black bowman collection, then a side step to a photo variation and now this blue refractor parallel. I am still on the hunt for the base refractor but that should be easy enough to pick up.

I expect Yimi to be on the big league club next year as I thought he proved enough this year to earn a roster spot. If he is not on the club then I expect him to one of the 1st to be called up if something is not working at the major league level.

Blue is always the best parallel when it comes to Dodger cards and this one is no different. So when I finally was able to lock this card in for a mere five bucks after multiple losses I was more than happy to scoop it up and take another step to completing my 2014 Yimi autograph collection. Only one more to go.

34 of 150

Sunday, December 14, 2014

BGS Submission Update Fourteen - 2013 Topps Chrome : Matt Kemp Base SP Photo Variation Now Graded and Slabbed a Gem Mint 9.5

Original Submission Post
Beckett Book Value : $50

One of if not the best card purchase money wise just got a little bit better.

As stated before I picked this card up in the middle of the 2014 baseball season for a mere 99 cents. The seller had mislabeled his auction (have I told you how much I love these types of auctions?) and had it as a BIN. Had to rub my eyes but I did and the card in the picture happens to be a $50 card of the Bison himself. This is a great looking card by itself as it shows Kemp in jersey number 42 for Jackie Robinson day and is perched right next to the Robinson banner at Dodger Stadium. He even has his socks up high which is always a great look. Great card indeed.

When my Kershaw photo variation card came back as gem mint in the last batch that made up my mind to also get this one graded and hopefully pair it up since they are both from the same year. Didn't see any issues on the card and BGS agreed with me as all four sub grades came back at least with a 9.5 with edges scoring a 10.

A very nice return on 99 cents.

One of my favorite non autograph cards of Kemp

Strong 9.5

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Card of the Day - 2014 Topps Chrome : Erisbel Arruebarruena Base Autograph Refractor Parallel (131/499)

Erisbel makes his second autograph appearance on the blog and this time it is regular refractor version.

Already have the blue one in hand but still needed the black and base refractors to complete the 3 card project. For some reason this card has an assigned book value of $25. Little steep there for a player that has done almost nothing at the big league level. I still attribute these high prices on him for being Cuban. The same thing is happening for Alex Guerrero autographs and I do not think any of them are in line with what they have produced on the field. That said, I still wanted this card.

Onto the bay and with numerous options I just had to pick the right auction to bid on. Locked in on a few and I ended up winning if for a mere $3.94. Now, that seems more like it price wise. $25? Phssh. Onto the final piece of the autograph puzzle, Mr. black border.

131 of 499

Friday, December 12, 2014

BGS Submission Update Thirteen - 2013 Bowman Chrome : Corey Seager Base Blue Refractor Parallel (32/250) Now Graded and Slabbed a Gem Mint 9.5

Original Submission Post
Beckett Book Value : $25

If Corey ever (or should I say WHEN) hits it big I will be very happy with my graded collection of Seager cards. BGS has been very good to me in the returns of all the Corey cards I have submitted so far and this one is no different. Granted I have been a tad irritated by the autograph grades on a couple of cards but other than that it's been gem mint all the time.

I picked up this card on a wicked deal back in early 2014 (think it was in the $5 ballpark) and wanted to have it graded. Just had to wait for the right batch to include it in and this happen to be the one. I originally thought that this card was in excellent condition with the exception of some centering problems on the back of the card. Well I was right as BGS gave centering a 9 but all the other sub grades came back with at least a 9.5 with edges scoring a 10. Yet another gem mint card for my Corey collection.

Keep the gem mints coming

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Card of the Day - 2014 Topps Chrome : Yasiel Puig Base Black Refractor Parallel (98/100)

Book value : $15
Yeah, no.
I love me some Dodgers and love me some black parallels but the assigned prices to some of these new releases just boggle my mind at times. Even though the card is limited and numbered to only 100 I just can't see how people would spend that much for a new card that is not a rookie but to each their own I guess.

Well I sat on the sidelines till this card became more reasonable in price and once Bowman Chrome was released this card's price did indeed plummet. I watched various auctions and prices continued to go downward until it hit the $5 mark and with that I jumped back into the auction pool to see what I could pick it up for. This one showed up on the bay for a starting asking price of just $2.99. Very reasonable in my eyes and on the last day with no bids on it I put mine in and ended up being the only person to do so and with that I won my black Puig for the set.

$15- not so much
$2.99 - all day everyday

98 of 100

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

BGS Submission Update Twelve - 2013 Bowman Chrome Mini : Hyun-Jin Ryu Base Blue Refractor Parallel (96/99) Now Graded and Slabbed a Gem Mint 9.5

Original Submission Post
Beckett Book Value : $10

The only reason I added this to the batch for grading is because I thought I had an outside chance at a Pristine 10 grade on it.

I already have Ryu in gem mint form on another card and though I collect his cards I don't need more than what I already have in graded form but when I pulled it out of the box and looked it over I thought it looked to be in the best shape of all the cards I was going to submit. I was almost 100% sure that it would come back gem mint (which it did) but held out hope on earning my second Pristine grade. That will have to wait as it "only" earned a gem mint grade.

All the sub grades earned at least a 9.5 with one earning a 10 so it is a solid gem mint grade but I would have needed 2 of the other grades to earn a 10 to get my Pristine grade. No biggie. I tried and didn't get what I wanted but I still received a gem mint in return. Can't complain about that.

Somewhat close to Pristine

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Trade with Fellow Blogger : Jesse of Section 117 @ Banner Island Ballpark - 2014 Bowman Chrome Kris Bryant Base Autograph

Jesse and I have known each other since we first met on the last weekend of the 2013 baseball season at Dodger Stadium. I have done 11 contests and he has won at least 3 if not 4 of them. I am too lazy to go back and check fact so we will go with that. This though will be our first trade. I say will as it's technically not done yet. Jesse can found on Twitter or seen posting baseball topics at his blog Section 117 BIB which is where I found this card.

His wife and mine both bought us a box of 2014 Bowman Chrome recently. While mine did not yield a "great" card his luck was definitely better than mine. Shout out to the wives again for investing in our habit, I mean hobby. Ha Ha.

I soon found out and saw that he put this card up for sale on eBay. Kris is a super prospect of the Cubs and he has a chance to break camp next year with the big league team. Though not a Dodger I did/do want an autograph of his and what better brand than the rookie haven better known as Bowman Chrome. So with my wanting the card and Jesse with having the card I approached him to see if we could work something out.

With no bids on the card as of yet he took it off eBay and said we could do something. He was looking for more $$$ than cards so this now became a trade of a few cards and more $$$ but to his credit he was kind enough and trustworthy enough to send me the card before payment has been paid in full. I sent him a few cards to offset a little of the cost but I am in the process of selling digital comic codes and to send the proceeds of the sales his way. A couple of payments have been made with more to come.

Once the card was in hand I figured it is almost guaranteed to earn a mint 9 from BGS with an outside chance of a gem mint 9.5. A corner gives me pause so we shall see. It has been almost 15 months since our first meeting and finally our first trade is done (almost). Thank you again and hopefully this isn't the last trade we do.

Monday, December 8, 2014

BGS Submission Update Eleven - 2014 Bowman Chrome : Julio Urias Base Blue Refractor Parallel (203/250) Now Graded and Slabbed a Gem Mint 9.5

Beckett Book Value : $ 15

I added a couple of cards to the batch that normally I wouldn't do but considering that the total number of cards was getting bigger and bigger I thought why not. 

As stated I already have this card as a black parallel which I also got graded and it came back in gem mint form. I so love me black and blue cards so I thought why not couple it with a blue one if I was confident that it also would come back gem mint. I took out my loop and scanned this blue one and came away thinking it would grade out 9.5. I put it with all the other cards and as predicted it did in fact come back gem mint. 

Having black and blue gem mints makes me want to go after the other colors of the card rainbow but that would constitute me starting a new project. I am not ready to do that just yet. 

Another gem mint Urias added to the collection