Saturday, April 30, 2016

Card of the Day - 2016 Gypsy Queen : Clayton Kershaw Base Mini Parallel Gold Variant (16/50)

This year has been refreshing as I have refocused my collecting habits to just 3 current players. Makes my checklist so much smaller and more possible to complete and actually collecting more fulfilling as it's not just collecting anything and everything Dodger related. So when this year's Gypsy Queen's checklist was released I noticed I needed less than 10 cards and this is the 1st one I was able to acquire.

With only 50 copies of this Kershaw card I knew that the window was somewhat small to pick up a copy for myself but even with that mentality I didn't expect too high of a cost nor an auction war. A couple sold prior to this one popping up on eBay as a BIN auction and thankfully with a best offer option attached to it. Didn't feel like playing the auction game so I sent over a low offer which he promptly declined with mention of the closed sales of the other 2. I said I understood and countered with something closer to those which we both agreed was acceptable.

I hoped to get this in a BGS case with a gold banner but it might be destined for silver. With the naked eye it looks OK but under a loop you can see 2 corners with small white tips. If they can somehow hold onto a 9 sub grade then I might squeak out a gem mint return. We shall see.


Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Friday, April 29, 2016

BGS Submission Result Number TWELVE - 2016 Topps : Corey Seager Base Black and White (Photo Negative) Parallel Now BGS Graded Mint 9.0

2016 Topps Corey Seager Black and White

With all my issues with Corey's cards in this years Topps release I was pleasantly surprised when this card came in with no flaws that could be seen with the naked eye. Only once under the loop can you see the smallest of imperfections. 

Even though this card is not numbered it would a great piece to have in a gold banner case which I think this card has a great chance of earning. Since this year is his "rookie" year that would make this card a nice little investment piece. 

With all the card issues I've had with Topps flagship issue from this year I am happy that this came back as mint as even though I didn't think there was anything wrong it I half expected it to come back in near mint (8.5) condition.

While there were 2 sub grades with 9.5's the other 2 came back as a 9.0 and an 8.5. While I didn't see anything while it was in my possession I am not surprised on the corners getting the lowest grade due to quality issues. The corner is where I saw the imperfection I stated in the opening paragraph but I thought they would come in as a 9 not an 8.5. Oh well, this is still a great looking card and I am happy to own it in this condition.

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Thursday, April 28, 2016

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

The off season is quickly coming to a close (at the time of writing this post up) and during these past few months it was my goal to get as many graded Trout and Kershaw cards as I could and with this card now in hand I am just 1 card short from the 2011 Bowman Chrome base set. That just happens to be the blue parallel which is numbered out of only 150 so to be quite honest I didn't expect to acquire that one as it has a high price tag but I am glad to say I have this one now.

There are 2 Trout cards from 2011 Bowman Chrome sets but this is the one that is considered the one to have compared to the Draft version (even though I want both and still in search for that one). Even though this cards is plentiful I have had a hard time locking one down but finally the card Gods smiled down on me as I landed this on a traditional eBay auction at a reasonable price. While I don't expect it rise too much in price I believe it will inch up in the coming months rather than inch down so it was nice to finally win this and move on to other wants and needs for the Trout collection.

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

BGS Submission Result Number ELEVEN - 2015 Topps Strata : Clayton Kershaw Base Autograph Black Parallel (42/50) Now BGS Graded Mint 9.0

2015 Topps Strata Clayton Kershaw Black Autograph (42/50)

Still a handful more Kershaw autographs in the batch and from here on out I expect aka hope they all come back with a minimum of a 9.5

I have not seen a single Strata Kershaw graded yet so I hope when this comes back it is the 1st gem mint one as well. Unlike the Strata Koufax this one does not have an edge issue or any other issue for that matter that I can see. Corners sharp, edges clean with a non smudge auto.  

Guess the most "disappointing" part of this whole batch is the numerous Kershaw autographs that have come back as "just" mint and with that said here is another one to add to that pile.

Unlike the Koufax Strata which I knew had a slight issue I thought that this Kershaw would gem and it was ever so close. As I said in the above paragraph, edges, and corners were good and the autograph was perfect. The only thing that came back as a surprise was the surface grade which clocked in as an 8.5. With that return this card becomes the 1st of the batch that I might try to get a bump as the other 3 subs are indeed 9.5's so if I can get that 8.5 to a 9 then the card moves from silver banner to gold which would be nice.

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Card of the Day - 2016 Topps : Corey Seager Base Black Parallel (40/65) BGS Graded Gem Mint 9.5

I had it.
Then I didn't
I had it again.
Then I didn't once more.
Now I have it for the last time and I am finally happy with what I have in hand.

I have had a copy of this black parallel of Corey from this year's Topps release a couple times before. I originally picked it up on an auction where the seller didn't know what he really had but once in hand I was not happy with it's condition so I ended up selling it for 5x what I spent for it. A little later I picked up another copy but wasn't happy with that so off that one went as well. Now my patience has been rewarded as I finally picked up one that I am very happy with.

The previous 2 cards had corner issues that I expected Beckett to dock big time if I submitted it to them for grading so instead of wasting time doing that I sold them off. Well this card has the same corner issue as it received a 9 from BGS but everything else checks in quite nicely and I knew I had to make a play for it before the season started (picked this up about a week prior to opening day). Seller was a bit stubborn on price as he didn't really want to come off his asking price but I was able to wiggle him down a bit and since I still had the funds set aside from the previous sales this was no cost to me. Boom. Finally got my black parallel of Seager. While not really a rookie card in my eyes it is a limited black parallel from his rookie season. Now if it can go up in value like Trout's black parallel from the 2011 Topps Update set I would crap my pants. = )

Forty of Sixty-Five

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Monday, April 25, 2016

BGS Submission Result Number TEN - 2015 Topps Five Star : Clayton Kershaw Base Autograph Gold Parallel (20/50) Now BGS Graded Mint 9.0

2015 Topps Five Star Clayton Kershaw Gold Autograph (20/50)

Another Kershaw autograph and another thick card and this time it is from last year's Five Star release.

What can I say? I just love me some high quality Kershaw autographs and this one definitely fits the bill. While centering might not be perfect that looks to be the only thing that looks "wrong" with this card. No bent corners or edge issues to speak of so even though its a thick card I am hoping and thinking this comes back with a 9.5 attached to it.

Another Kershaw that I thought cornering could and would be an issue and in fact was but just like the previous Topps Chrome black of Clayton this one also came back with an overall 9.0 due to another sub grade coming in lower than expected.

Edges and surface came back with the expected grades of 9.5 but the corners earned a disappointing 8.5. I didn't see an issue with them under the loop so unless I totally missed something I think the grader under graded and/or something happened to it while it was in transit. 

Even with that 9.0 attached we are at the point in the batch were all the grades are either expected or accepted and I am happy with all of them. So with 10 that fall in the "bad" category I can't be mad with this or the other 50 after it.

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Sunday, April 24, 2016

Card of the Day - 1959 Topps : Sandy Koufax Base BVG Graded Very Good 3.0

The hunt for 12 years worth (1955-1966) of graded Koufax cards continues with this latest addition to the collection. While this card is not in the best of condition that is not what matters to me the most. What I wanted was the card in a case no matter what the grade was at the best price I could find it for. After watching a few auctions go by without me winning I finally won this baby for way under book.

A seller on eBay finally put this card up for a reasonable starting price aka 99 cents so when I saw it I was quick to add it to my watch list. Literally a last second bid netted me this 57 year old card and even with a 3 attached to it I couldn't be happier. I have to do a recount but I believe I am now officially halfway (6 of 12) to picking up all the vintage Koufaxs I have set out to obtain.

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Saturday, April 23, 2016

Card of the Day - 2015 Bowman's Best : Mike Trout Base Blue Refractor Parallel (102/150)

I recently picked up the Kershaw blue from this same set at what I thought was a great deal at the time. There was no book and I ended up paying $4 for it and when book did come out for it it checked in at $8. Not too shabby but this Trout blue beats that by a mile.

As with the Clayton card I picked up this Mike one not knowing what the book value would be when it was assigned but when it came in at $25 that put a nice big smile on my face as I won this on a traditional eBay auction for a tidy little sum of $9. To get to that total it took 15 bids. Talk about nickel and diming an auction to death but thankfully I was the winner.

I didn't plan to get this graded but considering the book value and low cost of acquiring it and that it looks to be in great condition I just might send it in. I'm on the fence but we shall see.

One Hundred and Two
One Hundred and Fifty

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Friday, April 22, 2016

BGS Submission Result Number NINE - 2013 Topps Chrome : Clayton Kershaw Base Black Refractor Parallel (34/100) Now BGS Graded Mint 9.0

2013 Topps Chrome Clayton Kershaw Black Refractor (34/100)

Now for back to back black chromes of Mr. Clayton Kershaw.

I put these higher up on the list not because they are in better condition than the other chromes but because they are black. No matter how many colored parallels I acquire black to me is still the best and the ones I hunt down the most. Only centering here might be a slight issue but other than that I hope and expect another gem here.

Well I was right about centering as that did indeed come back with a 9.0 which was fine and while there were multiple 9.5 sub grades in the end I still ended up with an overall 9 card of Mr. Kershaw

While I needed 3 subs of 9.5 to offset that 9.0 on centering I only had 2 that earned that grade as surface came in with a surprising 8.5 which dragged the overall grade to a 9.0. While I considered this a borderline card to acquire a gold banner I had the feeling it had more a chance than not for that but I did not expect surface to come in with such a low grade. Still a great looking card with its silver banner.

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Thursday, April 21, 2016

Card of the Day - 2016 Topps Heritage : Mike Trout Base Gum Stain Back Variation

When you see this card from the front you might think that this is just a plain ole Trout card from this year's Heritage set but you would be wrong and that is what makes the Heritage brand so fun to collect as you have to inspect what you pull from packs.

As you can see on the back side there are marks which are there to represent gum stains. I know some of you might not be old enough to remember when Topps had gum in their pack of cards. Sadly I am old enough that I do. Ha. Mike had a gum stain variation in the 2015 set but I was never able to land one but I saw that Topps was doing another one of him in this year's release and I hoped to land a copy for my collection this time around. I found one of my favorite sellers on eBay had a copy for sale and knew that his cards always come in great condition and he didn't disappoint as usual. This was a nice little BIN auction and the card was in hand a few days later. Looks better in person and can't wait to send it to BGS for what I believe will be a gem mint return.

Stained but that is a good thing

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

BGS Submission Result Number EIGHT - 2014 Topps Dynasty : Clayton Kershaw Base Autograph (10/10) Now BGS Graded Mint 9.0

2014 Topps Dynasty Clayton Kershaw Autograph (10/10)

Another encased card from Topps and unlike last years Piazza from this same Dynasty brand I hope this Kershaw comes back with a gold banner unlike Mike's which earned a 9.0

To be fair under the loop you could see a slight issue with Mike's card but I didn't think it would hinder it that bad but it ended up coming back as a strong 9. Rather have a weak 9.5 than that 9 and I expect that this Kershaw might end up as that. There is 1 corner that is a tad fuzzy which might hurt the overall grade a little but I don't enough to make it a mint 9.0.

Well I was right when it came to that corner as that sub grade did in fact earn a 9. The problem though was that 2 other sub grades earned a 9 with only edges coming back with a 9.5. On the bright side at least this didn't up in the overall 8.5 category but it would have been nice if this would have gemmed.

Solid mint

Considering this came from a trade I am not that disappointed with this card's return and it still is a mint card which qualifies it to stay in my collection per my "rules" but at some time I really would like a 9.5 Dynasty Kershaw card to call my own. Maybe the 2016 version will look better than the 2015 as I stayed away from those black ink autographs.

The all important 10 on autograph

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Card of the Day - 2012 Bowman Chrome : Corey Seager 8x10 Exclusive Base Autograph Purple Refractor Parallel (10/10)

An itch and a glitch lands me this very big card of the Dodgers budding star at shortstop aka Corey Seager.

I had a couple of Corey cards that I had decided I no longer wanted but I didn't want to lower my Seager collection count so the intention was to always buy another autograph of the young man. I looked on eBay to see what might be enticing but nothing stroked my interest. A friend of mine from Instagram who is a big Corey fan had informed me of these big 8x10's of Corey (other players as well) as he had purchased one for himself. I went to the Topps site to see what they might have that I would like. All of the cards are 2012 Bowman Chrome designed and have colored parallels just like their regular sized brethren. My friend bought the base but I wanted a colored parallel. My favorite color, blue, had already sold out and that card's print run was 99. The other colors were too high priced but this purple one with its print run of just 10 caught my eye and I decided if I was going to pick one up this would be the color I would acquire. So I decide to just check in daily to see if the price would go down as what they were asking for was too steep for me to cover from the sales of the others cards. Then one morning the price moved and did it ever.


I checked in a few days later and saw that the price literally went down 50%!!! There was no announcement of a sale and I couldn't pass it up and with that I sent over the funds from my eBay sales of the other Corey cards and purchased this purple beauty. I decided to check in all day with Topps and the price of all the Corey cards kept going up and down. The following day they finally reset back to their original price. There was obviously a glitch in the system because there is no way that they would have fluctuated that many times in a day. Topps computer problem was my gain and man is this thing massive in my hands. I checked with Beckett and they actually grade items this big so you know where this is going. Obviously I would love a gem mint return (I think there is more of a chance than not that it does) but the main thing is to have this in a case for safety and storage purposes.

Matched up with a regular sized card for scale purposes

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Monday, April 18, 2016

BGS Submission Result Number SEVEN - 2014 Topps Chrome : Mike Trout Base Blue Refractor Parallel (50/199) Now BGS Graded Mint 9.0

2014 Topps Chrome Mike Trout Blue Refractor (50/199)

Another chrome, another Trout card.

I put this up higher up on the list as when I look at it in hand I really can't see anything wrong with it. Centering is perfect (I believe), corners are sharp and no surface issues. Can this earn a 10? Possibly but I think at worse it should come back with a 9.5 attached to it and with that it will be another fine addition to my gem mint Trout collection.

Well I missed the boat on this one as I was totally off base. I had hoped to add another gem mint chrome card of Trout to my collection but instead added a so so mint 9.

I honestly thought that centering was perfect and as you can see from the above picture it still looks pretty good to me but BGS said it wasn't even mint and instead gave it an 8.5. The card still had 2 sub grades of 9.5 but that 8.5 took away any hope of earning a gold banner. I have not had much luck with the 2014 Topps Chrome issue as my black parallel of Trout also came back as a 9.0. Maybe I need to stay away from that year's cards. Ha ha.

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Sunday, April 17, 2016

Card of the Day - 1957 Topps : Carl Furillo BVG Graded Excellent Plus 5.5

Small or not a hit is a hit and I am glad I was able to add this Furillo card to the collection at such a low cost.

While Carl might not have the same name recognition as Koufax, Snider, Drysdale et al he is a 2x World Series champion and played his entire career for the Dodgers organization and amassed almost 2000 hits.

While my focus on vintage cards are mainly the bigger names I am not ignoring the players that didn't routinely make the bigger headlines. On a routine Dodger search I came upon this BVG card of Carl and the asking price was highly reasonable considering the age of the card (59 years) the player and grade that I promptly hit the BIN button and had my newest addition to my expanding graded vintage collection.

While I probably will never add another Furillo card to my collection I am very happy I was able to pick up this great looking card of a past Dodger great.

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Saturday, April 16, 2016

BGS Submission Result Number SIX - 2015 Topps High Tek : Clayton Kershaw Low Diffractor Insert Now BGS Graded Mint 9.0

2015 Topps High Tek Clayton Kershaw Low Diffractor (38/50)

Now for back to back very similar Kershaw cards with only one distinct difference but I still expect both to come back with a gold banner affixed to each of them.

Absolutely no issues on this card can be seen under the loop and only centering is off just a tick but I don't think it will be enough to knock it down grade wise.

With the 5 cards that earned less than a mint 9 done we now turn our attention to the mints from the batch but that doesn't mean there are still not any more disappointments as this qualifies as one.

This is the only High Tek card of the batch to not earn a gem mint so it really is the biggest disappointment of the mint 9 group. I expected at worst a weak 9.5 but instead I have a weak 9.0 as surfaces earned an 8.5 and corners only came in as a 9. Won't be selling it anytime soon but I am looking for a replacement as these Low Diffractors look great in gold banners cases and someday I will have one of these Kershaws in one.

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Friday, April 15, 2016

Card of the Day - 2012 Bowman Sterling : Mike Trout Base Autograph Refractor Parallel (101/199) BGS Graded Gem Mint and eBay Bucks Quarterly Purchase

Wife's birthday.
New computer.
Unexpected car repairs.
Daily expenses.
All these things add up but I was able to get most of those items and more on eBay and after all was said and done I had my biggest quarter ever (other than the quarter with Christmas cards being included) for eBay bucks and I knew I wanted a nice piece that was going to have ZERO out of pocket costs. I knew what I was tracking and what I probably would end up at the end of March so for the earliest time ever I locked in a card for acquisition on the 7th of March. Almost a whole month prior to the bucks being available.

I had my eye on a couple of cards but my focus always came back to this particular one. A seller had this on a BIN auction with a best offer option and thankfully this was early March and not mid season as I am sure I would not have been able to score such a deal. The only kicker and what might have driven people away from this card was that the case has a chip on it. I could care less as it does not affect the integrity of the card and if and when I want to change it out I can send it back to Dallas with one of my future grading submissions.

I reached out to the seller and did my quarterly routine of asking if I could lock in the card and take it off the market if we could come to an agreement on price. He said sure and I sent him an offer which I expected him to reject which he did but thankfully his counter was right in the area of what I expected my eBay eBucks total would be by the end of March. I accepted his offer and so the wait began. As I have written before I have done this numerous times in the past but this is the 1st time I've done it weeks before the quarter was to end. Most times it was a week at most but this was a big card for me and I believe the price would and will skyrocket as time goes on. My main fear was that after a while the seller might think he could make more from another buyer and back out of our agreement and considering I was a "non-paying" buyer mid month he could have had eBay cancel the transaction. Thankfully non of that transpired and on the 2nd of April I sent him the full amount paid with eBay bucks and had this in hand 3 days later.

Unlike Kershaw I can only get my hands on so many Trout autographs as his prices are too high but ever quarter I can help subsidize a purchase with eBay bucks and with this one the whole cost was paid with said bucks. I don't foresee another big eBucks total next quarter but whatever I do earn I hope I can score another great card.

One Hundred and One
One Hundred and Ninety-Nine

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Thursday, April 14, 2016

BGS Submission Result Number FIVE - 1953 Topps : Johnny Podres Base Now BVG Graded Very Good 3.0

1953 Topps Johnny Podres

The first of 3 "cards" that I don't care what grade is attach to them no matter the grade and that is good when it comes to this 63 year old card of the Game 7 winning pitcher of the 1955 World Series.

This was my 1st vintage card purchase from a couple years ago and now that I have gotten more into the yesteryear cards I wanted to slab this beauty. I have no idea what grade this card will get as it could be anywhere from a 1 to a 3.5 in my mind but that all depends on the person who grades it. The card is fragile and old and that is the reason I want it in a case. Easier to care for and easier to file.

The first of 2 cards in the batch that I did not care what grade it received as I just wanted it in a case as this particular Podres card from 1953 is very fragile due to its age and condition.

Not sure what grade it would receive but I believed it would come back between a 1 to 3.5 and I hit it right on the mark as it earned a 3. That grade does nothing really for value or a resale price as it's not going anywhere. With it in a case now though I can store it much easier than the top loader it was in. Podres will always be remembered for being the winning game 7 pitcher of the 1955 World Series and I love that I have his rookie card in the best condition possible for my collection.

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Card of the Day - 2015 Topps Strata : Clayton Kershaw Clearly Authentic Relic Autograph Black Parallel (36/50)

Last week I posted about the redemption card for this card and when I published said post I found out that it was inbound to me and I would have it shortly. Since I just did the 1st post there was no reason to put the actual card in the back of the que so here is the beauty.

I had hoped I would receive at least a 3 color patch but I won't complain as I am not really a relic guy but since this product was sold with the promise of authenticated relics I was very curious to what game my relic would come back from. My fantasy was it would be from his no hitter game in 2014 but I knew I wouldn't be that lucky but the game it did come from was a great game in itself.


On June 6th, 2015 the Dodgers were hosting their playoff archenemies the St. Louis Cardinals and Clayton took the mound with his uncharacteristic record of 4-3 and preceded to mow down the red birds. He went 8 strong innings and gave up only 1 measly run. So close to another no hitter. Since my patch has red in it we know it comes from the numbers part of the jersey. There could be worse games this relic could have come from so having it from a classic Kershaw dominating game is kind of cool.

Unlike the Strata inserts in other Topps products these aren't too think for slabbing so this bad boy is ear marked for that treatment. Decent chance at a 9.5 return I believe.

138294 JB = authentically a great game

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.