Thursday, April 30, 2015

Card of the Day - 2015 Topps : Yasiel Puig Base Silver Frame Parallel (4/20)

Another slightly mis titled eBay auction and another steal or is it?

The mis label is not in question as all the auction stated was that it was a Topps Puig frame(d) card with no mention of parallel or it being numbered to 20. Beckett has this pegged at $60 and sales out of the gate were as low as $45 and as high as $75. I personally thought that is a decent window considering the player and scarcity of the card. I expected to "pay" at least $45 but more like $55.

Why I wonder if its a steal or not is that the Andre Ethier parallel I am still searching for books for $25 and I have yet to win a single one that has popped up on eBay as they continuously sell for $40+. Yet when I was able to secure this one it only cost me $27. What? I can account some of that to the labeling of the auction but that is very low and considering the hobby popularity difference of Ethier and Puig this card should have costed at least twice as much and I shouldn't have to be still searching for Ethier as that should have come easier.

Well my search continues for that Ethier card as I can't believe I won this for such a low amount. I always intended to submit this to BGS for grading and when it came in there is no reason not too as I don't see a flaw on the card. Hoping for another gem mint limited card of Mr. Puig.


Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

BGS Result Update Number Four - 2014 Topps Dynasty : Mike Piazza Autograph w/Relic Now Graded Mint 9.0

2014 Topps Dynasty

With a card being uncirculated it would seem to me that it should get a gem mint grade as it has not been handled but I have seen plenty of uncirculated cards earn lower grades. Hopefully that does not happen to mine but when I acquired this I did my research and from the pictures and with card in hand I do not see any problems here. Nice crisp signature on what seems to a perfect card. Here's hoping my one and only Dynasty card in my collection will be gem minty. 

Results and thoughts :

UGH !!!

The biggest disappointed of the whole batch. This was second on the submission post which meant I was pretty damn sure that it would grade out to gem mint yet it did not.

What I also found interesting is that the graders did not open the case that it came in. These Dynasty cards come in a sealed case and I never touched the card when I acquired it. I submitted it to BGS in the still sealed case and they did their review without breaking the seal. Interesting to say the least. 

The perfectionist in me is irked that I did not get to add a gem mint Piazza autograph to the collection but the collector in me is happy nonetheless that the card did earn an overall 9 and as expected the autograph grade is a 10 as it is flawless. 

As with all raw grades you never know what the sub grades are so you don't know how close you are to a higher grade or how close you were to earning a lower one. This like most of the cards from the submission went to BGS to get slabbed so in a month we shall see how close I was to gem mint on this one. 

Full Submission Results and Thoughts :

While I want all my cards to grade out to gem mint this one is really disappointing. When I 1st received the raw grade and found out it was a 9 I was miffed and couldn't believe this "uncirculated" card would grade that "low". Now with the full grade back I am even more ticked off.


With one of each possible sub grade it makes this card an overall mint 9 but not a strong one at that. Again, disappointing. If there would have been a little hiccup on edges I would have ended up with a near mint card of Piazza. Sigh, you can't win them all but damn if this one wasn't one that I really wanted and expected to be a gem mint or at the very least .5 from it. 

A disappointing and "unexpected" 9

At least the autograph is a 10

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Card of the Day - 2015 Topps Heritage : Dee Gordon Base Chrome Black Refractor Parallel (64/66)

Like with my Matt Kemp collection going forward this year, the pursuit of Dee cards is reaching its end and with this card's acquisition it might already be here.

While Dee is featured in the Heritage set he was not in the in the 1st series of Topps cards which means he will be in series two but by that time he will/should be in Marlin colors and not Dodger blue so I won't be getting that card. Kemp may pop up in an issue or two in blue before the switch over to Padre colors but I don't see the same thing happening with Dee. If this is really my last Dee card then I couldn't ask for a nicer one as this is a great, limited and black chrome from this year's Heritage set.

There are only 66 copies but I had already lost out on 5 of them. This one popped up one morning on a 24 hour auction with no reserve and by the next day the high price was $5 with a hour or so left in the auction. 60 minutes and a few bids later I won it for a reasonable price as the card books for $25.

You were always a class act on and off the field Dee and the few times that I met you, you always went out of your way to make sure everyone was happy around you and accommodated all autograph and picture requests . You will be missed out here in Los Angeles. Good luck in Miami.

64 of 66

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Monday, April 27, 2015

BGS Result Update Number Three - 2013 Topps Museum : Prince Fielder and Al Kaline Dual Autograph Now Graded Mint 9.0

2013 Topps Museum Dual Autograph of Al Kaline / Prince Fielder

In hindsight I probably shouldn't have submitted this for grading but since it was such a bargain I couldn't resist considering the "rarity" of the card. I think Prince is going to have bonce back year and this is a great card with a Tiger HOF as well. Even with that I look back and think that I know the corners are not the best and probably won't get better than a 9. Hopefully everything holds up enough to get an overall 9 but the idea of another limited numbered gem mint card for the collection is pretty much gone.

Full Submission Result and Thoughts :

As expected the corners did indeed come back with an 8.5. For good or bad I guess I know my conditions for the most part.. Edges also suffered a little as they came back with a little better grade of a 9. While this was the expected result I knew the minute I signed off on the submission form that it was a mistake getting it slabbed. My delusion of hoping to squeeze out a gem mint got the better of me. To make that happen the corners would have had to at least earn a 9 which I knew they wouldn't. Why did I do it then? Guess I got caught up in the moment of all the goodness this batch gave me. Oh well, at least this card is now easier to store as it's in a nice hard case.

Wanted a 9.5 but knew in my gut that after submitting it would come back a 9

At least the autograph came back as a 10

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Sunday, April 26, 2015

Card of the Day - 2013 Topps Five Star : Tom Glavine Base Autograph (115/333)

The pursuit of acquiring one on card autograph from various stars whether current or past continues as I was finally able to secure one of 2014 HOF inductee Tom Glavine at a reasonable price.

Tom was a part of the great Braves teams of the 90's and as I have been searching for an autograph of his it had to show him in a Braves uniform. During his 22 year career he had a brief stay with the New York Mets for 5 years but his glory days were with the Braves and he retired as one in 2008. As the new norm it seems I went searching the database of Topps Five Star cards and found this copy. Beckett has this valued at $50 and I noticed most on eBay sold for north of $30. There was not going to be a great deal it seemed so I just had to work on getting a decent deal.

Lost out on multiple auctions as my price ceiling was not over $30 and each one exceeded that. When this card's auction ended it was for a tad less than $25 and thankfully I was the one with the high bid. Won't be searching for anymore of Tom's autographs but it is nice to finally have him represented in my collection with (this) one.

115 of 333

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Saturday, April 25, 2015

BGS Result Update Number Two - 2014 Topps Chrome : Yasiel Puig Base Photo Variation Now Graded Mint 9.0

Original pic and thoughts :

2014 Topps Chrome Photo Variation

Another card that I am positive won't earn a 9.5. Like Seager I am still hoping it holds enough to get a mint 9. Just like his I only see one flaw with the card but I don't want to risk a full submission hence the raw review route instead. The lower right corner has a surface "smear" which I know will garner at least a 9 if not 8.5. If all the other sub grades get at least a 9 then that is fine by me. 

Result and thoughts :

When does a card earn a mint 9 result considered perfect and brings a smile to my face? When said card has a visible flaw and crossing my fingers actually worked.

My original thought was that the "smear" would down grade the card to at least a 9 and in my mind the more likelihood of an 8.5. The card indeed come back with an overall 9 which means that either the smear "earned" an 8.5 or another one of the sub grades got a lower than expected grade. But if that was to happen the smear would have earned a 9 so I am going with the thinking that it earned an 8.5 and the others at least a 9 for an overall 9 grade.

I did decide to send this to BGS for slabbing. If it came back an 8.5 I would have kept it as is but I am happy to add another photo variation card to my graded card collection. Even though this is a 9 it is one that I expected and a result I am more than happy with.

Full Submission Result and Thoughts :

Even though this card is the 2nd of the 18 card submission batch it really isn't a disappointment as when I submitted it I knew at best it would come back a mint 9 though I did expect it to be a stronger 9 which it wasn't

As expected the corners did indeed receive an 8.5 but I thought everything else would get a 9.5 but in the end surfaces received only a 9 which might be accounted to the "damage" on the corner since that fraying affects the surface in general.

Expected and satisfying mint 9

While I would have loved to pare a gem mint Puig photo variation with my Kershaw and Kemp photo variation gem mints from the same Topps Chrome brand I can't complain considering this card books for $150 and I picked it up for $20+ and it is now certified mint.

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Friday, April 24, 2015

Card of the Day - 2015 Topps Museum : Clayton Kershaw Archival Autograph (29/99)

Though is not my first acquisition from the newly released Topps Museum issue it is the first one that gets its own post and that is due to yesterdays terrible BGS return on an Allen and Ginter mini frame autograph of Mr. Kershaw. If you missed it you can read it HERE

As stated in that post I was highly disappointed in its return grade and decided right then and there to crack it open and sell it raw as I would get more in the transaction than I would if I sold it in the BGS case. With those funds in hand and knowing what I had to work with I went about in search of another Kershaw autograph. If I am going to sell one I am going to get one to replace it. No subtracting here.

As I've stated in previous Kershaw autograph posts I will be searching each card year (2013, 2014, 2015 etc.) for a Kershaw autograph released in that year. I want/need one represented for each year he has had one released and now that we are in 2015 I have renewed my search for this year's card and unlike the previous two years I have already landed one early in the year.

I first had my eye on a 2015 Strata but that got very pricey very fast so when I saw the checklist for Museum and saw that he was represented in it I knew this was another chance to get my 2015 copy. Only 99 copies of this card exist and when I acquired it the Museum issue had only been on the market for a week or so. Two other copies had sold near the $100 mark which was too much for me. This one though happened to have it's auction end at 5 in the morning Pacific time which meant I was asleep. I have scored many of deals with these odd ending time auctions and I can now add another to the list as I came out the winner for a "mere" $66. Of course with the Allen Ginter sale it meant I paid ZIP for this blue beauty. Now I will try my luck once again as this has been ear marked for BGS.

Prices haven't been released by Beckett yet but I think it will be safe to say that this card will "book" for at least $100 if not $125-$150 which makes this another steal for me.

Edit : Prices have just been released and this has a book of $120. Score !!!

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Thursday, April 23, 2015

BGS Result Update Number One - 2009 Allen and Ginter : Clayton Kershaw Mini Frame Autograph Now Graded Near Mint 8.5

. . .  and here we go.

I just received my cards back from BGS and will now post the results and my thoughts on the grade of all 18 that I submitted. I will do one every other day so it will take a little over a month to get through them all. As always I will cut and past my original thoughts and photos from the previous posts for reference. With that we start off with a major disappointment.

2009 Allen and Ginter Kershaw Mini Frame Autograph

Now I am just being down right greedy. I already have one of these Kershaws in a gem mint grade so why submit another? Why because 2 is better than 1. Ha Ha. Unlike the McCutchen mini this one seems to be devoid of corner issues so I hope to earn my 2nd gem mint 2009 A/G mini of Kershaw for the collection. Nothing like a little trade bait for the future as well.

Final Submission Result and Thoughts :

I was being greedy as stated in the above paragraph and it bit me in the ass. I picked this up on a major discount and wanted to pare it with my other already graded gem mint of this exact card so I would have Kershaw brothers. Well the infamous Allen and Ginter curse hit me again and with it I have cracked this card open and will be selling it on the bay. Thankfully what I originally paid for is about $30-$40 less than what it is going for now so in the end no harm no foul.

I could have lived with a mint 9.0 grade but another near mint 8.5 is not going to "pollute" my collection. I have a 2012 Allen and Ginter mini frame of Kershaw that also came back an 8.5 as it received an 8 on centering. Well same thing happened here and like that 2012 if it would have been a minimum 8.5 I would have earned an overall mint as the other sub grades were gem mint. Ugh once again. 

3 9.5's and still a measly overall near mint grade

Thankfully I already have one of these 2009's in gem mint form so this one is going bye bye. Oh well, can't win them all. 

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Actual Prizes For The #kershawwalletcardcontest

I have been running my #walletcard contest here on the blog and on Instagram for the past couple of months but held off on showing what you are all playing for. On the blog I ran a poll on what Kershaw autograph you would prefer. An 8x10 signed photo or a team ball that includes his autograph but has smudges on some of the other signatures. The ball won out in a 2 to 1 difference so finally here are the prizes you have your choice from at the end of the contest. For reference on how these will be dolled out and "rules" on the contest feel free to read about it HERE . I might add an autograph or two as the contest continues but no guarantees. I will say that every 5 follows that the blog adds I will FOR SURE add an autograph. Pimp it !!!

Pedro Baez signed card.
Acquired by Austin at the 2015 Dodger Fest and generously donated.
Thank you again Aus.

Topps Ricky Nolasco
I'm kind of curious which will be the last taken. This or the Baez card.

Topps Paco Rodriguez

Topps Finest orange parallel Jerry Sands

Bowman Chrome refractor parall Chris Withrow

Topps mini Hanley Ramirez


and now the ball

Matt Kemp underneath the logo

Smeared Shane Victorino
Luis Cruz
A.J. Ellis on the sweet spot

Chris Capuano
Andre Ethier
Mark Ellis
Josh Lindblom

Tony Gwynn Jr.
Aarong Haran
Kenley Jansen
and the man himself
Clayton Kershaw

So there you go. I hope everyone likes the prizes and as always good luck to you all and thank you for playing. Remember, pimping out the contest on your blog earns you points and the more followers the blog receives the more autographs I will add.

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Card of the Day - 2012 Bowman Chrome : Corey Seager Base Autograph BGS Graded Gem Mint 9.5

So this is a card post so why is there a phone as the lead photo in it? That kind of looks like my phone. Actually that is my old phone and I am no longer in possession of it and for it I received this spiffy card in return. Now I am trading phones for cards? Not technically but close.

Couple weeks ago I upgraded my phone from the Samsung S5 to the new S6 model and what usually happens is that I offset the cost of the new phone with the sale of the old phone when I sell it on eBay. Well Sprint is now doing a leasing option which since I have an old grandfathered plan comes out to nothing more out of pocket with the new phone. So I get a new phone, no cost and I still have my old phone to sell off. The only bad thing with the leasing option is that I do not own the S6 so this is the last time I can sell a phone but I wanted to make sure when I did I would pick up something nice for myself. Why not reacquire a card that I let go last year that I would love to have again. So that's what I did.

I had this card in my collection but I sold it to acquire it's blue parallel brother as seen HERE but since I have decided to do various rainbow parallel collections of Seager and Urias why not pick this bad boy up once again and if it was nothing out of pocket more power to me.

First things first as I had to complete the phone sale on eBay which I did. Second I made sure to take the wife out to dinner. Check. Now with what was left over I would search for a copy of this card. I scanned auctions and didn't want to do a bidding war but late one day I saw this pop up from a seller that had two copies on a BIN auction. Clean signature and a gem mint grade. Couldn't ask for more so I went and "purchased" the card. Nothing out of pocket and I welcomed back an old friend that I didn't want to see leave the 1st time around. Another Seager autograph added to the collection and on the hunt for more.

Thank you Sprint for the assistance on the purchase. Keep the good programs coming.

Gold banner day

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Card of the Day - 1999 SP Signature : Greg Maddux Base Autograph BGS Graded Gem Mint 9.5 AND eBay Bucks Quarterly Purchase Number Two

And now the second and final day of my most recent eBay bucks quarterly "purchases".

While yesterday's Edgar Martinez autograph card was a nice addition at no cost out of pocket he was not the main pursuit for me when it came to using my earned bucks from eBay. While the main get from the Christmas time eBay buck "purchases" was Urias with a look to the future when it came to that acquisition, I wanted this quarter to be a look back to the past with hopefully it being a hall of fame member. Searched and searched and I came up with the immortal Greg Maddux.

Greg had a tremendous career which even included two separate stops with the Dodgers. While I did acquire a signed ball by him it was not in person and said ball was part of the ball purge of last year so Greg has been on my list to reacquire for quite some time. I anticipated that I would only have one autograph of Mr. Maddux in my collection so I had to make it count when I locked in on one.

Even though he played for the Dodgers his hall of fame resume was cemented while playing for the Braves. That meant I wanted/had to have his autograph with him in a Braves uniform. Obviously it also had to be on card as well. What also has become the norm or requirement for any star player that I only have one autograph of is that the card should be graded by BGS as a gem mint or mint 9 at worst. With those 3 "needs" I set about looking for a card that would satisfy those needs. Only a day in and I found what I wanted.

Gem minty

With it being roughly March 20th and the eBay bucks not being available till April 2nd (almost 2 weeks later) I was hoping the seller would accept what I seem to have patented a lot of these eBay buck purchases of late. Lock in the card and pay two weeks later with the trust that I would not back out of the transaction. I contacted the seller and asked if he would do it and he said sure but informed me that no one else has every asked him to do that and not that he didn't trust me it just seemed odd and asked me why I wanted to do this. I explained to him that the reason being was I wanted to take the card "off the market" (as it was on a BIN auction and already had 6 watchers) and didn't want to lose out on it prior to the eBay bucks being available. He said no problem so I locked in the card and told him I would contact him in two weeks and send payment.

Ten baby,,,

The card books from anywhere from $60-$120 in raw form with an obvious bump with a gem mint grade attached to it but when April 2nd rolled around I sent payment to the seller with not a single penny out of pocket or Paypal funds. I so love these "purchases" every 3 months.

Two cards for this quarter but this was the one I truly had to "have" and now I can say I do.

That's it for this quarter and the countdown continues for the next one which ends on June 30th. What autograph can I find at that time?

Before Wil Myers there was Greg Maddux
(scribble signatures that do not resemble anything near their name)

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Monday, April 20, 2015

Player Appearance / Signing Recap : Tommy Lasorda @ Dodger Stadium On April 18, 2015

Dodger fan's favorite, former manager and always pleasant to talk to Tommy Lasorda made an in store appearance at Dodger Stadium this past weekend to promote his current book "My Way".

He "co-wrote" it with his former assistant Colin Gunderson who was also on hand to sign copies for fans. I wanted to pick up a copy sometime this year and just had to find the right opportunity to do so and this was that time. I wanted to go to the Grove a week earlier but life happened as I was needed elsewhere. I learned of the signing earlier in the week and thought if I could piggy back it with an actual baseball game then I could kill two birds with one stone. I had yet to attend a game this baseball season so it gave me more reason to want to go this Saturday so I could take in a game and get an autographed book from Tommy.

Lasorda and Gunderson autographs.

With the Dodgers hosting the Rockies with no stadium giveaways I thought I could score a deal on some tickets to the game which I did and ended up with front row seats in the Loge level. Great view to a great game as the Dodgers beat the Rockies 6-3. It felt great to be back for live baseball. It's been too long. 

As a season ticket holder (STH) I can enter the stadium an hour prior to the general public and I planned to use that perk to get in line early as I expected a crowd for the Dodger great. The signing was scheduled to begin at 4:30 and last for about an hour. The wife and I were in the stadium at 3:15 and once 4 p.m. approached we headed towards the left field New Era store. Not as many people as I expected as we were about 20th in line. Tommy and Colin arrived 10 minutes earlier than scheduled and promptly started to sign for fans.

Like a few other people in line I tried to get an outside item signed and was denied by four different people (security, store employee, handler and Colin himself). Oh well, guess I will have to hit up Tommy in Arizona next year. Approached the table where they were sitting and Tommy happened to be in a good mood this day (I'm going to attest that to this being a public event where he has his best face on) as he even engaged with a few fans. They both signed my copy and Tommy was eyeing my black and white photo I had hoped he would sign and wondered if he would ask to see it and maybe sign it anyways. It wasn't meant to be. I said my thank yous to both gentlemen and headed back to the stadium. 

Tommy signing my copy

Surprisingly as I left there were maybe an additional 20 people lined up for the signing and it was only 4:40. I expected a bigger turnout but maybe because of the late announcement people were unaware. 

Thank you again to Tommy and Colin for the signed copy.

A Tommy signing can't be complete without an attitude attached to it.
Pleasant but I still got the stink eye.

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.



Card of the Day - 2014 Topps Five Star : Edgar Martinez Golden Graphs Autograph (49/50) AND eBay Bucks Quarterly Purchase Number One

Oh yeah, it is that time of the year again. Time for my quarterly eBay bucks purchase and this card is a bonus as I had only expected to acquire one card this quarter but ended up with two with this one being the last minute acquisition.

Tomorrow's post is about the big card that I had my eye on and what I had in the eBay bucks "piggy bank" would cover that card's "cost" to a T. Well towards the end of March I ended up buying some stuff on the bay for friends and family which earned me a little more to look for another autograph card, I so love earning credits on other people's dime.

I had a Jorge Posada card from this same issue that I really wanted but I couldn't lock in for a reasonable price aka FREE so I went to option two which is Mr. Edgar Martinez here. I have never pursued Edgar's autograph in any kind of rush (though I still wanted one at some point) but I knew this great card existed when I first saw the Five Star checklist so when I was to acquire his autograph this would be the card I would want. Well that time was now.

Book value has this pegged at $50 which I wouldn't never pay any type of funds for but I did have a little more than $20 to play with if I wanted to acquire the card for free. This was on a traditional auction and at the end of the day the total price was just the right amount to make it free. Another hit for the collection and it looks beautiful.

49 / 50

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Sunday, April 19, 2015

Card of the Day - 2015 Topps : Matt Kemp Base Silver Frame Parallel (18/20)

I feel like the little boy that cries wolf as I keep stating that this or that card is my last Kemp card that I will acquire in any new product but I still seem to be able to get my hands on some parallels that I thought I wouldn't be able to. Case in point with this beauty.

I assume there will be a Kemp card in series 2 of Topps with him in Padre gear so my thinking is that this would be the last Topps card in their flagship brand that I would be pursuing when the set came out. This is at least the 6th or 7th copy of the 20 that I have seen on eBay and with my losses on the previous auctions I assumed I might be just assed out on getting my own copy. I am sure not all copies make their to eBay as some people keep cards that they actually pull out of packs (shocker, I know) so with only 13 or 14 copies left I wasn't sure when I would see another one pop up for sale. Thankfully this one did.

Still need a few of these framed parallels for my collection so I am searching daily for them and Kemp came up again for a reasonable low price which was less than any auction had closed at. Put it on my watch list and assumed on the last day I would be in a mini bidding war. The last minute arrived and yet no bids. Interesting to say the least. Seconds left and I put in my bid which was a tad higher than I put on the other auctions I lost out on and surprisingly I was the only one to bid on it. Woo Hoo. One bid, one winner.

Seriously now, I don't see any more Kemp cards in 2015 issues that I will pursuing but of course that could change.

18 of 20

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Saturday, April 18, 2015

Card of the Day - 2002 Topps 206 : Kazuhisa Ishii Mini Frame Autograph

It's always fun to be on a pursuit of an autograph that is new to you. Kershaw, Kemp, Trout etc. are always on the watch list and always hunted for but when you search for an autograph of a player for the first time there is something about that search. Former Dodger Ishii became that focus for me a couple months ago.

I am always searching for older Dodgers that I never had the chance to meet in person or that normally pop up on generic Dodger autograph searches but until recently Ishii never showed up on any of those searches due to what I assume is the scarcity of demand for his autograph and his cards in general. One day I saw a fellow blogger (can't remember who, sorry) post about his purchase of an Ishii autograph and realized I never have looked for one for myself. Challenge accepted.

Off to eBay I went and found myself wanting. Not much to chose from and what was there I felt were of lesser quality. Off to few other places but in the end I ended up back at COMC and found this card for way off of book which is $40. Anything more than $10 would have been too pricey for me which this card was not thankfully.

Ishii finally has a place in my collection.

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.