Sunday, January 31, 2016

2016 Dodgers Fan Fest Recap and a White Whale Finally Caught After EIGHT Years

What thankfully is now a yearly traditional in Dodger land, yesterday was the annual Fan Fest which each year is getting bigger and bigger. There were so many people there it felt like it was game day. Line for the bathroom, food was slow to acquire but surprisingly the beer line was non existent. Interesting to say the least.

Every year though I seem to get less and less autographs but this year there was a one I just had to have. The problem was that I was sure everyone had the same idea. Since that happened 30 minutes after I entered the stadium I will recap the day backwards.

My good friend Jimmy and his beautiful wife Michelle and their happy little boy helped me acquire an autograph for a project that is now more than half way done. I was planning to get my one and only autograph of the day and leave but Jimmy said he had no real use for Bill Russell and that I could have it. Couldn't pass that up and I decided to pay him with with a beer.

This is my 1970's photo of the Dodgers which I hope to complete one day. I haven't been lucky enough to see Bill around the stadium lately but I also didn't want to pay $25 for his autograph but a beer and some time with good friends is a great deal and I got to add Bill to this photo. That is now 6 of 10 players I have acquired. Should be able to get Monday this year but Dusty, Don and Reggie will be harder to track down.

Thursday the wife and I went to Select a Set for Season Ticket Holders and though I upgraded my seats I did not get a chance to sit in them at the event. Usually when you upgrade you take the tag on an available seat and take it to the office and get your seats changed. Well I did pick up a couple of tags but when I sat down with the Dodger rep I asked if there was anything that wasn't advertised and surprisingly there were and I was able to move over 1 full section and 10 rows down. I can not move over anymore without going into the next price bracket which I will not be doing so this might be my final upgrade.

Walked up to Loge 157 and saw that the row had a marker which not all rows have which I think is kind of cool. Plus if for some reason a friend or God forbid I get lost I can find my way back to my seat by looking for this marker. Ha ha.

My new view from row F in 157. I still believe the Loge level has the best view in the stadium and I am happy to say I am a season ticket holder in the this wonderful section.

Now to the big event of the day. It was announced a day before the sale for Fan Fest that there would be 3 meet and greets at the event. They have had these before but I was never interested in any of them and the cost of them ($150) was/is cost prohibitive. This year was different though.

There was a Lasorda meet and greet and a Valenzuela meet and great. That's nice and all but I am not paying that amount when I get them for free on almost anything I own. This year though they announced that none other than CLAYTON FREAKING KERSHAW was going to be one of the 3 meet and greets. Hot damn. I was lucky enough to be at his MLB debut back in May of 2008 and I have been carrying the ticket from that game since then trying to get him to sign it. Year in and year out I have been close but each time I was denied by him. Now was my chance to get him.

$150 was worth it to me but as many of you know I am a hustler online and while many would frown upon a practice I like to do, money does not grow on trees and where there is demand I hope to come in with a supply. I knew that Puig would sell so when the 12 p.m. sale went on for autograph tickets I secured tickets for Yasiel for the sole purpose of selling them to pay for the Kershaw event. I indeed bought the Puig tickets and flipped them on eBay which made the cost of the Kershaw event ZERO dollars for me.

When the Kershaw event went on sale there was no mention of his name (nor Lasorda or Fernando for that matter) so you had to know which event each player was in. I could have ended up paying 150 for Fernando. Now that would have pissed me off royally. I noticed when I went to go pick up my tickets that I was "seat" 7 which is cool since that is my marriage number. Lucky number 7 strikes again.

Now for the amazing part. When I arrived to the Stadium I assumed/expected that for a 30 minute event that there would be maybe 75/100 tickets sold for it. Considering there are 30K of Season Ticket Holders and countless more fans I considering myself immensely lucky I snagged 2 tickets for this event. While my friend and I waited for the time to go see Clayton we noticed there were just not that many people. Everyone was in pairs, which I expected as most would buy 2 not just 1 ticket for this, and there definitely not 75/100 people. We all started to talk and found out the highest ticket number was 30. 30? That's all for this event? Holy crap. Upon further conversing it was rumored that only 20 were offered to STH's at 10 and there were 10 left over for the general public at 12 so the Dodgers could not be accused of giving everything to STH's. I personally met 3 from the group at 12 purchase time so it seems this story rings true. That means if the 20 tickets sold at 10 were bought in pairs that would mean that only 10 people out of literally thousands of people were lucky enough to get their hands on tickets for this event. Man, I beat the odds and yes I went and bought lotto tickets yesterday to see if my luck will transfer there. Lol.

Off the group went to the club level to meet the best pitcher in baseball. Clayton was more than nice with every fan that he met and I gave him the thumbs up for him showing up. This may be the only time he ever does Fan Fest as every previous year he has been with his wife in Africa doing his charity work. The thinking among fans is he stayed in the country this year as he had his first kid last year so she might be too young to travel for a year or two. If this is the only time I meet Clayton then it was a great one time event.

Of course here is the ticket which will soon be slabbed by BGS and stored away and even though it is not the most valuable Kershaw piece in my collection it is my most cherished one.

I debated on which color to use as I just didn't think blue would pop on this ticket since it is mostly blue itself. I settled on black and I think it came out great.

I can't believe I finally own this completed piece. Thank you again to the Dodgers for hosting Fan Fest and a special thanks to Clayton for taking the time to meet a handful of fans.

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Saturday, January 30, 2016

Card of the Day - 1963 Topps : Sandy Koufax Base BVG Graded Excellent 6.0

The time finally arrived for me to acquire my first graded vintage card of the legendary Dodger and Hall of Fame member Sandy freaking Koufax.

With my new collecting focus being on just Kershaw, Koufax, Trout, Corey Seager and vintage cards this particular one fit into 2 of those 5 categories. The 1963 Topps release is one of the best looking sets Topps ever released (in my opinion) and since this card is 8 years younger than Sandy's rookie year of 1955 that meant this card would be easier to acquire price wise. That said Koufax cards still command top dollar in the eBay world and this was no different.

Found this card on a BIN auction and after 2 days of a lot of haggling with the seller we were able to lock in a favorable price for the both of us and within a week I had my first vintage Koufax card and I couldn't be happier. Unlike most older Dodgers I will try to collect multiple cards of Koufax so hopefully this is the first of many of the Dodger great.

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Friday, January 29, 2016

Card of the Day - 2014 Topps : Mike Trout Base Sabermetrics Variant BGS Graded Gem Mint 9.5

On one of my daily hunts for graded gems of Trout and his cards in general had me come across this variant. One that if you weren't looking for it you would think it was just the normal base card but it is not.

Topps made variants of some of the players in their 2014 release where their stats on the back of the card weren't the traditional ones (home runs, hits, et al) but the newer ones (OPS+, WAR, et al) that people use in assessing players nowadays. While unique it doesn't really mean all that much to the value of this card which books from a low of $8 to a high of $20. Unlike photo variations these stat variants don't excite me that much, unless I can score it at a deal.

This auction started with a 99 cent asking price and while I didn't focus too much on it I kept it on my watch list to see what it would go for or if I could snipe it at the end for a steal. I ended up the winner for the grand total of 6 dollar bills and 1 measly penny. That is less than what the cost is to grade a card. I couldn't pass up on that good of a deal for a variant of the best everyday player in baseball today.

Sabermetrics Stats

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Thursday, January 28, 2016

Card of the Day - 2013 Bowman Draft : Corey Seager Base Chrome Blue Refractor Parallel (75/99) BGS Graded Gem Mint 9.5

While my main rainbow project for Seager is coming along quite nicely for the base Bowman Chrome release from 2013 the Bowman Chrome Draft version is severely lacking but I am trying to fix that and this card's acquisition is a step in the right direction.

There are almost no differences between the Draft and base Bowman Chrome sets BUT this blue refractor parallel is an exception as the base version has a print run of 250 and the Draft one has a scant run of just 99. All the other colors have the same print run between the two sets so this makes this card the one outlier between the sets. I already have the base one in gem mint form and was hoping to add this one at some point.

I have been looking for a raw version of this card for well over a year and not one in a condition I was happy with has popped up anywhere. When this one showed up on the bay I quickly put all my attention on it as it might be a long while till I saw another one, raw or otherwise. With that mentality I gave myself a little more of a ceiling and thankfully I did as it took all of it and a bid at the very end of the auction to lock in this card. It was close but I finally got my hands on this elusive blue beauty.


Thank you for reading and have a blessed day


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Card of the Day - 2011 Bowman Chrome : Mike Trout Base Refractor Parallel BGS Graded Gem Mint 9.5

This off season I made it a goal to round up as many "bargain" deals on eBay and other sites for Mike Trout cards in general and graded ones specifically. This one in my eyes became the best of the batch so far and it happened to be on a traditional eBay auction,

While I already picked up a pristine refractor copy of the draft version from the same year I still needed a copy from the base set which is still considered the more desirable one to have. With the pristine draft in hand I didn't need to have the base to have that grade as well but it did have to be a gem mint 9.5. No exceptions on that front. Most times when this card comes up for sale it is on a BIN auction with a price north of $225 and I would have none of that. So when this one popped up on the bay for a starting price of $9.99 with no reserve I zeroed in on it and hoped for the best.

I was armed with enough funds from my non core 4 liquidation auctions that I had a soft ceiling that I thought was reasonable for this card. I looked at recent past completed sales of this card and while they were lower than $225 it was still closer to $200 than $100 so when I landed/won it for barely above book I was giddy. Another gem mint Trout for the collection. With the 2 base refractors out of the way I can now concentrate on the non refractors from both sets which are much cheaper. Might even make it around to the purple refractor if all plays out right. I'm sure the wife will claim that one immediately considering the color. Ha Ha

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Card of the Day - 2011 Topps Triple Threads : Clayton Kershaw Base Autograph (82/99) BGS Graded Gem Mint 9.5

That's right, another Kershaw autograph for the collection. Right place, right time as I had just sold a couple of cards in my collection refocus sell off that I was/am doing at the time this card became available. Also looking for graded cards of this Dodger great and this one fit the bill to a "T".

While I don't actively pursue relic cards anymore I will try to acquire them if an on card autograph is attached to which is what this card is. Though this relic is a plain white version I like how "LA" and "22" are shown on top of it. A nice touch.

Gold is beautiful

When I acquired this card it was officially off season and Kershaw recently "lost" the CY Young award so I didn't expect as much of a bidding war for this card and even with 18 bids the cost was still low when compared to what it probably would have gone for if it was in season or if Kershaw would have secured his 4th CY Young award. I gave myself a little more of a ceiling price wise considering my other card sales but in the end it wasn't necessary as I won this card for what I thought was cheap considering it books for a low of $50 and a high of $100 and I was closer to the lower end than the high and it has already been certified as gem mint 9.5 which makes it even more of a bargain in my eyes.

My new goal, which will probably take at least 10 years considering how picky I am on autographs and cards, is to have 100 Kershaw autographs in my collection. I haven't done a recent count but with this card now in the fold I am nearing 30 I believe. A long way to go for me but a fun journey it will be I'm sure.


Perfect ten on auto

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Monday, January 25, 2016

Card of the Day - 2015 Topps Chrome : Mike Trout Base Blue Refractor Parallel (119/150)

It took me to the off season to finally land this beauty from the 2015 Topps Chrome reason. I had been hunting down a copy of this blue Trout for months but the asking price was always too much for my tastes. That finally ended when I locked in this card on a traditional eBay auction.

For some reason this books for a high of $50. Even though it is a limited parallel of the best everyday player in baseball there is no way I could rationalize that amount or even the low book of $20. That thinking is what caused the absence of this card from my collection till now.

I bargained with sellers on BIN auctions but no one bit on my offers and the few auctions I partook in ended up going over my price cap. That is until this one landed at my doorstep at the cost of 3 foot longs from Subway. Took awhile but my patience prevailed as I won it for less than low book which wouldn't have happened it it was baseball season.

One Nineteen
One Fifty

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Sunday, January 24, 2016

Card of the Day - 2014 Topps : Clayton Kershaw Base Throwing Variant BGS Graded Gem Mint 9.5

I had acquired this card in raw form back in 2014 but then I ended it up selling it in a group sale of base Kershaws that I didn't "need" anymore but now that I am back into acquiring numbered, limited or variants of Kershaw (and Trout for that matter) I was back in the market for this card.

This is variant of the base card from the Topps set but even though its more "rare" than its base counterpart the book value is only moderately higher with a low of $6 and a high of $15. I was planning to pick this up in raw form once again with my price ceiling being somewhere in the $3-5 price range considering it is a year old and its the off season. I starting looking for it on the bay and came across this copy and thought what the hell, might as well try if I could snag it for cheap. It being graded probably adds zero value to the card as its not one for investment purposes. That said I'd pay a couple more dollars for it if it meant I could store it away easier. I didn't even have to that as the final cost was a mere $3.25 which was within my personal price range for it in raw form. Nice little eBay steal for ole Penguin.

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Saturday, January 23, 2016

Card of the Day - 2015 Topps High Tek : Mike Trout Bright Horizons Insert (25/50)

As I stated earlier and if you happened to miss that you could probably tell by all the Trout cards recently I am trying to hoard up on limited and/or graded cards of the Angel great this off season and I ended up with this card because I was looking for a different one and for some reason this popped up in the search.

I am very picky when it comes to the Tek brand as the basic card design is not overly pleasing to me but some of the inserts that are "toned" down compared to the main set are quite nice and this is one of them. I knew that the "Bright Horizons" insert set would be released but since I didn't know what it looked like I didn't put it my want list. That changed when I finally saw one on eBay and decided I wanted this numbered beauty.

Past sales gave me an idea what I would be comfortable with parting for it and one day this showed up on a BIN auction with a price that was within my comfort range. Clicked the button, received the card and due to its nice condition I put it into my BGS pile. Another day, another Trout for the collection.


Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Friday, January 22, 2016

Card of the Day - 2015 Topps High Tek : Clayton Kershaw Low Tek Diffractors Insert (38/50)

As I patiently await the autograph version of this card from Topps and their redemption program I was on the look out for the non autograph version and with only 50 copies it was irritating that I kept missing out on it copy after copy.

It books from $6-15 but each one I tried to pick up went for at least $15 which I just wasn't going to do. I love me some numbered Kershaw cards and I find this card very appealing but I wasn't going to fork over $15 for it. I probably lost out on at least 10 copies but finally one day as I refreshed my eBay feed this copy popped up on a BIN for $10. Finally one for a reasonable price. Clicked the button, paid the $10 and had the card in hand a week later.

This card will look great lined up with its autograph brother whenever that one makes it to me. Till then I am content with this one that I can finally call my own.


Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Thursday, January 21, 2016

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

For this year's off season I wanted to secure a few key Trout cards when the market would be softer before heating up once February/March rolls back around. I already picked up a pristine refractor from the 2011 Bowman Chrome release so now I turned my eyes over to the Topps Update release from the same year but even though I (still) want the base card I really wanted this diamond parallel but the trick was to secure it on a deal or not at all.

Unlike most current players Trout's card prices don't dive too much during the off season so it gets tricky trying to secure a deal. I have seen multiple copies of this card sell before on eBay but I wasn't ready to jump into the fray until now. This one popped up as a BIN auction but no best offer option was attached to it. eBay was running a promotion where you earned 4x eBay bucks than you normally would for a purchase but the BIN price was too high to my liking. I had funds in hand and wanted to add this to my collection so I contacted the seller via email and asked if he would lower it to a price that I was comfortable with. Didn't hear back from him till literally an hour was left in the eBay bucks promotion but thankfully he agreed to my offer and with that I sent over the necessary funds and at the same time earned an extra $20 to use when the current quarter ends.

Though this card is not numbered it is very desirable in the aftermarket and luckily I was able to lock one down at a bargain before it rises once again which I think it will during and after the 2016 season.

Sparkly and golden

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Card of the Day - 2015 Allen Ginter : Mike Trout Base Mini Parallel EXT Variant

I finally was able to pick up one of the harder Trout cards to get but one that is not overly pricey as it is not numbered nor has a sparkly colored border. This is the EXT variant mini that can only be found in rip cards from the Allen Ginter brand. If you don't know what those are they are cards with player(s) on the outside and you have to choose to open (rip) the card open to see what other card is contained within it. You could get a limited (#/3) metal card, a 1 of 1 card, maybe even a red ink autograph or lastly another mini version of a player like this Trout. What also makes these somewhat rare is that not all rip cards are ripped so only so many of these make it to the open market.

This EXT has been on my want list for quite some time but prices were never low enough for my tastes until this one popped up and that is after I almost acquired a different one at a higher price. The day before this one showed up on eBay another copy of this card was made available on eBay with a decent enough BIN price but I had to wait till my comic book auctions to end so I could use those funds. A day past and funds were in hand but before I purchased that other card I did a search on eBay and this one popped up on a BIN for $10 less than the other. Quickly snatched this one up and had it in hand days later. Condition looks very good and I think it has a better than not chance of earning a 9.5 from BGS. We shall see, yes we shall.

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Card of the Day - 2011 Topps : Sandy Koufax Base Diamond Anniversary Parallel BGS RCR Pristine 10

Though Koufax is now 1 of only 4 baseball players I collect I am sorely lacking in graded cards of the pitching legend so whenever I can pick one up for cheap even if it's not one that might go up in value much I do it.

These diamond parallels are not numbered but they are pretty and somewhat limited. I picked up the Trout version awhile back in BGS 9.5 form so other than me getting a Kershaw one I thought I was done. Well I went looking for Koufax graded cards one day and came across this BGS raw card review of Sandy and it has a beautiful 10 attached to it. The card was on a BIN auction but thankfully it had a best offer option attached to it as it books for a high of $15 and the asking price was $30. This would be my first pristine card of Mr. Koufax and I wanted it if I could bargain down the seller. Back and forth we went until we were able to agree to a price that was only slightly higher than high book price. That is a win in my eyes.

When I attend the next BGS event I will submit this for a full slabbing treatment. The question now is do I final get to add a black label 10 (all sub grades earn a 10) or will it be a "boring" ole basic 10? Either way I love this card and glad I "won" it.

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Monday, January 18, 2016

Card of the Day - 2015 Allen Ginter : Mike Trout Base Mini Parallel Black Border Variant

The past half year I have been able to secure some more expensive Ginter cards from the 2015 release but this one took forever to get my hands on as I just wasn't going to spend what book said it was valued at. Beckett hasn't budged on their $4-10 assessment since the card first came out but most sellers wanted north of $4 and that wasn't going to be my buy point. Finally though this one came along which I believed was more reasonable.

Seller put this up on eBay with a starting price of just .99 cents which promptly got my attention and up till the last hour of the auction no had placed a bid on the card. Finally someone did but I was still going to put mine in with a few seconds left in the auction and hopefully that would do the trick. I hit the bid button with the amount of $3 and some change and seconds later I was confirmed as the winner for the grand total of just $1.25. The pursuit of this mini finally came to a close and I can now move on to bigger and "better" fish.

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Sunday, January 17, 2016

Card of the Day - 2014/15 SP Authentic : Jari Kurri Base Autograph

It has been awhile since I have acquired a Hockey card for the collection. Now I have posted about other Hockey cards in the past couple of months but those posts had been in the que for countless months as I waited till Hockey season rolled around to go live with them. This Kurri card though is brand spiffy new to the collection.

Unlike my new 4 player only focus in baseball I am still collecting multiple players in Hockey but they have to have played for the Los Angeles Kings AND the card I acquire has to have them in a Kings sweater. Unlike the baseball players though I am 1 and done when it comes to the Hockey autographs.

Jari was a great player that spent some very good seasons with the Kings and has been on my want list for awhile. One day when I went looking for former Kings autographs I came across this Jari card on a traditional eBay auction and considering most Hockey autographs can be had on the cheap I didn't expect too much hassle on acquiring this card. 2 bids later I won it for pennies over $5. Not too shabby. Wish star Baseball autographs were this simple and cheap.

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Saturday, January 16, 2016

Card of the Day - 2013 Bowman Draft : Corey Seager Base Purple Ice Parallel (2/10) BGS Graded Gem Mint 9.5

The card that is welcomed into my household by husband AND wife. Why you ask? Well for me its yet another limited and numbered parallel card of Corey Seager. For the wife its even simplier than that, its purple. = )

The wife loves purple and she has put her claim on any purple card that I have added to the collection. Corey actually is one of the few players she has met in person and thinks he is pretty nice "kid". I on the other hand love me some rainbow colored/graded cards/limited/parallel/Seager and this one fit all those categories and then some.

While most of my focus for my Seager rainbow project is Bowman Chrome based I always saw this one on eBay as a BIN auction with no best offer. It never sold and rolled over each month for another 30 days. The Bowman Draft rainbow is simpler as there are only 4 obtainable colors (there is a 5th, black, which is a 1 of 1 so I don't count that one) and this purple has the second lowest print run of 10. This is the only copy I have ever seen (graded or not) but I wasn't going to pull the trigger at his continuing asking price. That finally changed.

With my rearranging of my collection I had some extra funds to pick up other cards and this one was about to do another month roll over but as it did this time he lowered the price $25. Now I was really interested. eBay was doing another eBucks promotion but I wanted just a little more of a discount. I contacted the seller and asked if he would drop his price another $10 which he did within a few minutes of the email. I quickly clicked the BIN button and earned 4x as many eBucks and locked in yet another limited Seager gem mint card.

While I do love Bowman Chrome more this purple card does look better in person than on the computer screen. Of course now with this 1 in hand I have to hunt down the other 3 colors. Damn, another project. Ha Ha.

Gem mint with a dash of 10


Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Friday, January 15, 2016

Card of the Day - 2015 Topps Tribute : Mike Trout Base Autograph Black Parallel (43/50) and eBay Bucks Quarterly Purchase Number Two

While yesterday's Topps High Tek Trout card was nice that to me was the appetizer while this card is the main course and then some. I wanted a nice big hit of Trout for my quarterly eBay eBucks "purchase" and this card fit the bill and damn if it isn't prettier in person.

When I finally decided I wanted to use my eBucks to pick up another Mike Trout autograph for the collection I still had a cap of what I could "purchase" as I was not going to spend a single penny out of pocket to pick one up. At the same time I wanted a copy that would probably grade out as a gem mint 9.5 from BGS when I submit my next batch in March. And of course it had to be an on card autograph as well.

So the search began and not surprisingly there were not may copies that fit my criteria as most were cost prohibitive. Couple weeks passed and this one popped up on the bay with a very high BIN price. Thankfully it had a best offer option but still, the starting point was high. This card hails from the re release of the 2015 Tribute brand which was notoriously recalled due to quality problems. As you can see they were re released in non circulated cases which supposedly preserves the card's condition. This is the black parallel which is numbered out of 50 and with the signature looking perfect and non streaky I decided this was the one I wanted. It was now negotiating time.

It was mid December when this came up for sale and all I can say was that it was perfect timing (luck) once again on my part when I contacted the seller. First off I had to ask if he would let me lock in the card at an agreed price so I could use my eBucks 3 weeks later when they became available. Once he agreed to that I crossed my fingers he would accept a very "low" offer. What I didn't know till after we agreed on everything is that he was basically leaving eBay as he was getting his internet service cut off so I think he was trying to unload his inventory at any reasonable cost and I popped in at the right time. He took my offer and was a man of his word and honored our price and when my eBucks became available on the 3rd of this month he promptly shipped out the card to me and I couldn't be happier. Card looks to be at the very worst a mint 9 card but I think there is a 50/50 chance that it could gem which is obviously what I am hoping for.

Another quarter done and I picked up 2 great cards at no cost to me. Already working towards the next quarter but as always the Christmas one is always the one that bares the biggest "purchase" but I am sure I can find something I will like in April.


Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Thursday, January 14, 2016

Card of the Day - 2015 Topps High Tek : Mike Trout Base Pyramids Parallel BGS Graded Gem Mint 9.5 and eBay Bucks Quarterly Purchase Number One

It's that wonderful time of the year again aka eBay eBucks freebie "purchases". On top of that I get to add my Christmas gift cards to that total which makes it even bigger than the other 3 quarters of the year. What to "buy"? Decisions, decisions. Would I just pick up 1 really nice card which I do most quarters or would I try to pick up multiples? On top of that which player would I focus on or did I want multiple players in my haul? Well after much debate in mind and after looking on eBay to see what I could pick up for "free" I decided to make it a Mike Trout quarter. I thought I would only be able to score 1 real nice card but I ended up being able to pick up another on the lower end of the scale and this is that one.

Once I secured my other Mike Trout purchase (which see its own post tomorrow) I had $ 25 left over to snag another Trout card. I wanted to secure a colored parallels from Topps Chrome but what I saw didn't meet my standards so I looked for what I could get on the cheap when it came to some graded Trout cards. Almost all were higher than the $25 but this pyramids card which has a book value of $12-30 was on a traditional auction and with it being already graded I hope to snag it on the cheap.

I wouldn't normally go that high on this card as it is not a numbered parallel but with it still being limited I was drawn to it and at the end of the day I came out on top with no room to spare.

Another gem for the Trout collection

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Card of the Day - 2014 Bowman Chrome : Clayton Kershaw Base Green Refractor (14/75) Parallel BGS Graded Gem Mint 9.5

The off season quest to add more Kershaw and Trout BGS graded cards on the cheap adds yet another limited parallel from Bowman Chrome.

The acquisition of this card firmly falls in the "I just wanted a graded parallel of Kershaw" category and not the "it's an investment piece" category as this card only books for a high of $12 raw. I never considered picking this card up in that form but when I could pick this copy up for less than $10 and the fact that it was already graded then why not? Found it on eBay on a traditional auction and as expected there wasn't a bidding war for it and I ended up the winner with the funds coming from my own cards sales of lesser players.

Green gem

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Card of the Day - 2014 Bowman Chrome : Mike Trout Base Black Static Refractor Parallel (19/35) BGS Graded Mint 9.0

Oh how I love people that can't stand mint 9's and will only accept gem mint 9.5's for their collection.

As I try to build my BGS graded Trout collection up this off season I am scouring the bay for any deals that may be had. I am basically looking for any rookie year cards or like this one, a numbered colored parallel. This card showed up on the bay one day on a traditional 7 day auction with a 99 cent starting bid and I promptly put it on my watch list to keep an eye on it. I checked the book on it and Beckett has it valued from a high of $100 to a low of $40. Pretty damn high for a non rookie and even at the low end I would never look to acquire this card in raw form. Maybe on a good day I would consider it in graded form hence my watching this particular one. A look back at past eBay sales shows that one of these sold in raw form for $52 so it would be interesting to see what a graded one would go for.

Oh so close to a gold banner gem mint grade

This card is only .5 from being a gem mint and with the sub grade needing a bump being centering it would take another grader's opinion being more sympathetic than the original grader's which is always the luck of the draw. You can see where I am heading with this as I plan to send in for a review when BGS is back out here in March to see if I can get that bump.

As the days dwindled on the auction the price never budged as only 1 bid had been placed up to the final day which saw the most traffic with 4 bids with mine being the final and highest one which netted me this black beauty. Final cost was no where near the raw book low of $40 as it was below $28 delivered. Not too shabby if I do so say myself. Another minty Trout for the collection.


Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Monday, January 11, 2016

Card of the Day - 2008 Allen and Ginter : Clayton Kershaw Base BGS Graded Gem Mint 9.5

Just because that's why.

There are plenty of Kershaw cards I am still searching for and this 2008 Allen Ginter was not on my list to acquire. It's a very bland card visually that only holds a small monetary value as it books for a high of only $12 which means it can be had for probably half if I searched hard enough for it. With all that "going for it" there was no need for me to get me a copy...

... but when I did a generic search for graded Kershaw cards this gem came up on a BIN auction with a cost just a tad over raw high book value. A graded Kershaw rookie card for the cost of a raw Kershaw rookie card? Yeah, why not. Hit the button and card was in hand a mere 2 days later. It slots in nicely with all my other Kershaw graded cards.

Strong subs for a solid gem mint

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Sunday, January 10, 2016

Card of the Day - 2007 Allen and Ginter : Miguel Cabrera Mini Frame Autograph (#/100) BGS Graded Mint 9.0

A partial thank you has to go out to Matthew of Bob Walk The Plank fame as I looked for a card like this the day after he commented on my other autograph post of Miguel Cabrera and stated he hasn't been able to lock in one of Miguel in a Tiger's uniform but did have one of him in a Marlins uni. Hmm.... Yup, yet another mini project but one that thankfully only took one auction and one bid to finish.

I decided awhile ago to try to pick up some more Cabrera autographs but Matthew (great name by the way) got me to thinking I wanted one of him in the only other uniform he has worn which meant I had to look for an older card. The hunt was on but it only took about 5 minutes to zero in on this and I expected to acquire it at a deal and that is what I did.

Using my "proven" theory that a lot of buyers steer clear of non gem mint BGS I didn't expect too much a hassle on this card's auction. It was perfect for me I thought. It has Miguel in Marlin colors, it was in BGS case and graded mint which was fine by me, it's from Allen Ginter which is a brand I adore and it has an announced print run of just 100 though it is not numbered stating that fact. Once again armed with some eBay sales I looked to pick this up at no money out of pocket and with a low book value of $75 I was highly surprised I won it for more than 30% off of that. Man do I love deals on future Hall of Fame members. My second Cabrera autograph and first and probably only one of him in a Marlin uniform is welcomed into my collection with open arms. Thank you again to Matthew for "turning" on the idea light bulb in my head to pursue this.

Solid nine with a print run of only 100

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.