Thursday, June 30, 2016

Card of the Day - 2016 Topps Heritage : Corey Seager Base Autograph Red Ink Variant (20/67)

The biggest autograph that is/was currently on my 2016 checklist has finally been tracked down and acquired after a long search. As always timing came into play and hopefully I can turn this into a BGS gem mint but that I believe is a 50/50 scenario.

Other than limited Kershaw and Trout autographs the 2 other "must have" autographs I was after were the upcoming Allen Ginter mini frame of Corey and this Topps Heritage red ink variant of Mr. Seager. With only 67 copies for red inks this year I knew when it was announced he would be featured in the set it would be a challenge to pick up 1 of them for my collection and I wasn't wrong. Right out the gate these were flying off the eBay shelves as I decided to sit on the sidelines and watch and hope for them to go down in price. They did but not as much as I would like.

Almost a couple months went by and this one popped up on eBay with a very high asking price. But after a week or so the price had dropped so far that with current auctions I was running I could pick it up if I could talk the seller down just a little more. I contacted him about moving it for just a little lower and he was accommodating and sent me a private offer which I had 2 days to accept. I hustled my auctions and made sure they would sell and with that I picked up this red beauty. He guaranteed that it was in tip top condition and for the most part he wasn't lying. Everything checked out except for 1 corner that had a fraying problem. The good thing is that you can't see it with the naked eye but only under a 10x loop. My hope is that corners can hold the line at a 9 with everything else coming back a 9.5 so I can have an overall 9.5 for this great card.


Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Wednesday, June 29, 2016

BGS Submission Result Number THIRTY-EIGHT - 2014 Bowman Draft : Corey Seager Base Chrome Black Refractor Parallel (22/75) Now BGS Graded Gem Mint 9.5

2014 Bowman Draft Corey Seager Black Chrome Refractor (22/75)

The first of 2 colored parallels of Corey from the 2014 Bowman Draft release. Reason this one is up first is that I believe the centering is just a little more off than the blue version that I also submitted. Everything else looks good under the loop but I still feel this one falls short of gem mint status by half a point. Prove me wrong Beckett. 

Well this was a nice little surprise when the results were revealed to me. I expected this to miss the gold banner mark by half a point but instead it makes it by said half a point.

I believed the blue version had a better chance of earning a 9.5 but instead that earned a 9 and this black and more limited one earned the coveted 9.5. I figured that centering would be an issue and in fact that indded came back with a 9 and I had a gut feeling that one of the other 3 subs would also earn a 9 but it didn't happen and with that I have a gem mint low numbered Seager card. Nice little get for the collection.

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Card of the Day - 2013 Bowman Chrome : Corey Seager Base Magenta Refractor Parallel (5/35) BGS Graded Gem Mint 9.5

... and the upgrades begin.

With the Seager rainbow project for the 2013 Bowman Chrome base set officially complete I am now going back and hoping to get all the cards that weren't encased in a BGS gem mint 9.5 holder into one. Out of all the colors this was the biggest one to pick up as the print run is a scant 35 and you just don't see these come up for sale on the bay. Luckily I was armed with funds so cost would be a minimum.

I already have this card in a BGS 9.0 form so obviously I didn't need 2 of this "pink" parallels and with all Seager cards hot in the market right now I just had to figure out how to close the price gap from what the seller of this card wanted and what I could get for my 9 on eBay. Seller had a very high asking price but also had a BIN option so we went back and forth for a couple days as he stated he didn't want to sell it too low. He knew this was a jersey numbered card as well but when he countered my offer at only $25 over the price that this card has sold for raw I promptly accepted it. Now I had to get rid of my card which I did which covered most of the cost of this one.

A week later this beautiful card came in and I have officially made my 1st upgrade in my rainbow of Corey. I hope to someday have all the parallels in a gold banner case but thankfully with this acquisition all the low numbered colors are already in said cases. A handful more to go but I believe it is much more manageable since I have this one now.

His Jersey number !!!

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Monday, June 27, 2016

BGS Submission Result Number THIRTY-SEVEN - 2015 Topps High Tek : Mike Trout Drama Tek Performers Insert (36/50) Now BGS Graded Gem Mint 9.5

2015 Topps High Tek Mike Trout Drama Tek Performers (36/50)

Same insert set (drama performers), same small print run (50) and same brand (Tek). The only difference between this one and the previous one is the player show on front. The only reason this one gets a higher billing is that Trout has a better resale value in the market than Kershaw does. Other than that I see this Trout receiving a 9.5 as well.

Just like the Kershaw Drama Tek Performer brother that received an overall 9.5 I expected this Trout version to also receive a gold banner and BGS did not disappoint me.

Love that plastic cards seem to have less problems than chrome or paper versions and this one fell right in line with a 10 on edges with corners a tick lower at 9.5. The only "problem" with card were the surfaces that came back with a 9 but it wasn't enough to deny me another Trout gem from the batch. Keep them coming Beckett. 

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Sunday, June 26, 2016

Card of the Day - 2015 Topps Chrome : Clayton Kershaw Base Gold Refractor Parallel (42/50)

Now that I think I have my collection goals situated I can concentrate on acquiring cards that I will appreciate more rather than just picking up anything that tickles my fancy at that particular moment.
I can now concentrate on picking up "older" cards that I passed up the first time around instead of picking up "everything" when it is first released.

I wasn't planning on picking up gold parallels but now I am as they are usually numbered and are a nice pursuit as they don't show up very often. That said Trout is a lot more pricey than Kershaw to acquire so I always seem to feel like I received a bargain when I pick up a Kershaw version which is exactly how I felt by winning this copy. This was literally a last second win as my phone's signal was going haywire when I put my bid in and it didn't take till there was a 1 second left in the auction and I won it for less than the cost of a lunch.

How do you make a gold bordered card better? Why have it encased in a gold banner case from BGS that's how and I believe this would/will earn at least a 9.5.


Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Saturday, June 25, 2016

Card of the Day - 1964 Topps : Sandy Koufax Base BVG Graded Very Good-Excellent 4.0

8 down and 4 to go or in other words 2/3rd done with the vintage Koufax checklist that surprisingly hasn't been that hard to acquire. Of course 3 of the remaining 4 are from the 1950's which have a higher price tag so it might be awhile till I finish this project.

This is one of the better looking card years from the old days and still looks good today. It's simple but it works. I have only seen a few copies of this card in graded condition but after trying to pick this up from another seller who tried to nickel and dime me I finally landed this at a much better "cost". The other seller would counter my offer by lower his price by 50 cents or a dollar. What is the purpose of a best offer if you really don't want to work with a potential buyer? Whatever. At the end of the day I wound up with this one and I couldn't be happier.

Koufax unlike Trout, Koufax and Seager in my eyes has a finite amount of cards I will be hunting down. After I pick up the remaining 4 needed for this project there really is only a handful left of modern day cards I want of Sandy since he is not in every set. Hopefully more will be released in the coming years by Topps.

Four as in four more vintage Koufax cards left to acquire

Old school vintage grading by BVG
Wish they went back to it

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Friday, June 24, 2016

BGS Submission Result Number THIRTY-SIX - 2016 Topps Heritage : Clayton Kershaw Base Color Swap Variation Now BGS Graded Gem Mint 9.5

2016 Topps Heritage Clayton Kershaw Color Swap

If this earns a 9.5 then it will be a major shock and a coup for me.

Most of this batch is made up of chrome cards but this Heritage is good old paper and there is a suspect edge that I think at best earn a 9. That would be fine but with centering obviously not 50/50 then I fear that this will come back with a silver banner. Damn..

This is when I am happy that I am 100% wrong as not only did this receive a gold banner it also had no issues with centering and edges like I thought it would.

Since centering earned a 9.5 I am going to say it made it by a the hair as I still don't think is centered 50/50. What was more surprising is that the edge I thought would be an issue never materialized so that was a good thing. What is not a surprise was there was one sub grade with a 9 and that would be the corners once again on this paper card. Not going to complain as its another gem for my collection. Woo Hoo.

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Thursday, June 23, 2016

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

Even though the post will go "live" sometime during the baseball season this card was acquired at the end of March aka the end of the "off season" and with it I accomplished my goal of getting most of the Trout rainbow from the 2011 Topps Update set.

I am surprised that I picked up most of the colors and even more surprised that this was the last one as it is the base one aka least valuable one. I have in hand the red, blue, diamond and now this base. That is 4 cards with only the cognac parallel missing but that was last on my list anyways. I never expected to pick up the red as that is in very high demand and the black is basically unattainable with its scant print run of 60. So for the time being it looks like I am done as I have other needs to fill and the cognac one will have to wait.

This base card has been going up and up in price so color me surprised when this popped up on a search and it was a BIN auction with an asking price of $20 less than what every other copy had been selling for. Didn't think twice and locked it in and had it in hand a week later. Looks great next to the other colors and I can consider the off season a success.

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

BGS Submission Result Number THIRTY-FIVE - 2015 Allen Ginter : Mike Trout Base Mini Parallel Flag Back Variant (5/25) Now BGS Graded Gem Mint 9.5

2015 Allen Ginter Mike Trout Flag Back (5/25)

Lookie... another mini Ginter Trout card and another one that I believe should earn a gold banner.

This was one of the last cards I acquired prior to submitting this batch and glad that I received it just in time as I see nothing really wrong with this card and think and hope that I scored another great deal on a limited card which will be certified gem mint.

Even with my bravado of thinking there was nothing wrong with this card I am always cautious when I submit a paper card for grading. Not saying Chrome cards aren't damageable but there is more of a chance with paper. 

I expected a gem return and I indeed did get it but not without squeaking by with corners picking up a 9. Thankfully everything else earned a 9.5 with surfaces evening picking up a 10. With the limited print run of just 25 I am glad this earned the gold banner and I don't have to go searching for another copy.

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

BGS Submission Result Number THIRTY-FOUR - 2016 Topps Heritage : Clayton Kershaw Base Mini Parallel (16/100) Now BGS Graded Gem Mint 9.5

2016 Topps Heritage Clayton Kershaw Mini (16/100)

I may or may not move away from grading these paper cards as it seems more times than not there is some small issue and this one is no different. Unlike Ginger which I seem to have pretty good luck on Heritage here does me wrong when I buy/acquire them and this one comes with a slight flaw on a corner on the back side. While everything else looks great will that one issue drag the overall grade down? Hopefully not but not holding my breath.

While I hit it on the head that there would be 1 issue that might cause the grade to go down I was wrong on which sub grade that would be as I expected a fraying corner on the back to give me an issue but instead it was centering that earned the lower grade.

Under the loop I swear I could see a corner that had an issue but Beckett did not as they gave them a 9.5 and thankfully they did as if that would have been coupled with the 9 centering received I would have been left with a silver banner but instead though I have another Kershaw gold banner. 

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day,


Monday, June 20, 2016

"Trade" with Instagram Friend Gavino aka gs_dodgercards_17 - 2013 Topps Tribute : Clayton Kershaw Base Autograph (59/99)

It has been nearly 2 years but I have finally acquired another Kershaw autograph from the 2013 Tribute release. As I am trying to achieve my goal of 100 Clayton autographs a byproduct of that pursuit now has me picking up cards of his in various colors. I have a blue parallel from this set and now I have the base version to call my own.

Gavino is a friend from Instagram that I have done business with before so I know he is trustworthy. Last week he reached out to me (others?) about unloading some cards and wanted to know if anything of his perked my interest. Knowing he had just posted about this card on his feed I promptly inquired about its availability and he quickly said it was available. After a little negotiation our "trade" was complete and he put the card in the mail and 2 days later it was in my hands.

Like all Kershaw autographs I hope to get it graded at least a mint 9 by BGS and I can't see that not happening for this one. Maybe a gem? Maybe. Till then thank you again to Gavino for making this card available to me and helping me on my quest to a 100 Kershaw autographs.


Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Sunday, June 19, 2016

Card of the Day - 2015 Topps Tribute : Mike Trout Base Black Parallel (21/50)

Being in the grading game you sometimes win and sometimes lose when you score a "deal" on a limited card transaction and I feel that while I didn't lose on this one I surely did not hit the jackpot on a future gem mint card,

This card comes from the much maligned Tribute release from last year. The whole product was recalled due to quality issues but even with that knowledge I hoped to land me one of these black parallels of Mr. Trout if I could get it on the cheap. After numerous attempts at another copy (that the seller wouldn't budge on price) this one popped up on the bay with a much lower price and a best offer option as well. After a hour the seller and I agreed on a price and soon after I had the card in hand. While not in terrible shape it definitely is not in pristine or gem mint condition as 3 separate corners have fuzziness. While not frayed they are not pointy. Does that make this card more likely to earn an 8.5 or could it possibly squeeze out a 9 as there is nothing else wrong other than said corners? I might end up doing a RCR when Beckett is back in town in Oct. instead of a full submission to see what they think.


Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Saturday, June 18, 2016

Card of the Day - 1962 Topps : Sandy Koufax Base BVG Graded Very Good 3.0

Inching closer and closer to my desired goal of a copy of each card from every year Koufax played (1955-1966) in the majors and with this acquisition I am now sitting at 7 of the 12. Over half way there.

Of all the 12 cards I am hoping to pick up this is probably the least visually appealling card of the bunch. I am not a fan of the color brown but the completest in me had to have a copy of this no matter the color. Not many copies of this card in graded form have popped up on eBay and the few that have were either too pricey or worse had a crease down the middle. While I don't care about the grade I didn't want a crease on the front of the card either. Finally this particular copy came up for sale and had a low enough starting price I had a little breathing room on the cost ceiling. Thankfully that was not needed as there was only 1 bid for the card and that happened to be mine. Another notch in the vintage Koufax belt and now I am down to just 5 cards needed to finish my project.

One of the few times Koufax is labeled "very good"

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Friday, June 17, 2016

BGS Submission Result Number THIRTY-THREE - 2016 Topps : Corey Seager Base Gold Parallel (586/2016) Now BGS Graded Gem Mint 9.5

2016 Topps Corey Seager Gold (586/2016)

Another paper card for the batch but unlike some others if this comes back as a 9 I won't be as disappointed. Yes, a silver banner for a gold card is not color coordinated but considering the low acquisition cost for this card was just $2.75 I can't complain all that much. That said I think this is either a strong 9 or a weak 9.5. Come on weak sauce.

Can this card get any better?

The seller's mistake on eBay just keeps getting better and better for me with this gold banner return. To this day other gold copies sell on eBay for $25-30 yet I scored it for just $2.75. Yes, that is not a typo. I had to say it again, I just love when sellers don't elaborate in detail what they are selling. His loss once again is my gain as with this card's return in 9.5 condition the value probably shot up to at least the $50-$75 range depending on a given day. I expected a 9 sub grade somewhere and it did indeed pop up in the always susceptible condition sensitive corners area as they earned a 9. Everything else came back with at least a 9.5 and with that my $2.75 investment has really paid off...of course this card is going nowhere though.

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Thursday, June 16, 2016

Card of the Day - 2011 Bowman Chrome : Mike Trout Base Blue Refractor Parallel (72/150) BGS Graded Gem Mint 9.5

... and another mini rainbow project is done and that is only because of luck and timing as if those two things did not happen I have no idea when I would have acquired this card.

Though this post won't go live till well into the season it is being typed up in late March at the end of the off season. In season the cost of this card would have been a lot higher I assume so securing it now was important. This mini rainbow only consists of 3 cards, base, base refractor and this blue refractor. I will not be going after the gold parallel with its small print run of 50. I already had both the base and base refractor in hand already but was still on the hunt for this card but with the high price attached to it I did not foresee myself landing it anytime soon. Of course then lady luck with a little bit of timing intervened and I couldn't be happier.

I had this card on my watch list and for months it stayed there as no one else anted up to the seller's asking price. He lowered it a couple times but I contacted him to see what his absolute minimum he would take for it and once I knew that I informed him that if I could ever come up with it I would contact him back. Back in March I had a very limited (15/16) 2016 Topps Framed parallel of Corey Seager who I would like to point out is a PC player of mine. Well knowing the market I decided to submit it to BGS for a raw grade and hope that it would come back as a pristine 10 or at the very worst a gem mint 9.5. My thinking was that if I could get one of those grades I could clear enough on the secondary market to pay for this and maybe even more..

Well I received even more than I thought I would (imagine if the Seager card would have earned a 10?) and it was more than enough to pay for most of that BGS submission batch AND the full amount for this card. My thinking is that even though I love Seager's upside, Trout is a proven talent and this card can only keep going up while I believe that framed parallel of Seager's was inflated at the time. Like I said perfect timing a little luck.

With this card now in hand for the double mini rainbow from 2011 Bowman Chrome products I just need the purple refractor from the Draft release. Thankfully that one is not numbered and is somewhat plentiful. I probably will wait till I get enough in a future eBay quarter and use the eBucks to pick that one up.

One Hundred and Fifty

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Card of the Day - 2015 Topps Chrome : Clayton Kershaw Culminations Autograph (18/50)

As I wait for my own redemptions to be fulfilled by Topps and Clayton I come across ones that have made it to other people and shortly after put them up for sale on eBay. My goal of having 100 Kershaw autographs continues with this addition.

A few of these culminations autos have made it their way to eBay but this is the first one that was reasonably priced for my taste. Traditional 7 day auction was needed to pick this up as my bid at the very last minute barely held on as someone tried to snipe me at the very last second but I held on and landed this copy. Hoping to add yet another future gem mint copy to my collection I changed my tune once this made its way to me. While it still might earn that coveted 9.5 gold banner it borders on picking up a silver 9 instead as there is a corner that has a fraying issue but thankfully it can only be seen under a look and not really by the naked eye. Hopefully a 9.5 but "for sure" a 9.


Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Tuesday, June 14, 2016

BGS Submission Result Number THIRTY-TWO - 2014 Allen Ginter : Sandy Koufax Base Mini Parallel Red Border Variant (24/33) Now BGS Graded Gem Mint 9.5

2014 Allen Ginter Sandy Koufax Mini Red (24/33)

Another Ginter for the this big batch of cards and another one that I hope and expected will return to me with a gold label affixed to it.

Still working on the quantity for my Koufax collection as the quality is for sure there and my thinking is this will come back with a minimum of a 9.5 as I could not see anything wrong with it. This is definitely the strongest Ginter of the batch and anything less then a gem mint return will be considered a disappointment. 

My comment of this being the strongest Ginter of the batch was far off but more on that a down the road. Even though this was not the strongest it still earned the coveted gold banner even if there was a 9 sub grade.

When I acquired this centering looked almost 50/50 under the loop and BGS agreed as it handed it a 9.5. Surface did it one better with a 10. The only grade that suffered were the corners as they came in last with the aforementioned 9. No worries though as overall it still is a 9.5 and that is all that matters at the end of the day.

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Monday, June 13, 2016

BGS Submission Result Number THIRTY-ONE - 2015 Topps Museum : Mike Trout Base Blue Parallel (80/99) Now BGS Graded Gem Mint 9.5

Eighty of Ninety-Nine

Well as you can tell by the non red paragraph that there was no previous write in my BGS submission post. That's because I forgot to do one up. I knew my count was off when I was double checking the cards being submitted.

From the hip I knew what I would have said considering it is from a paper brand (non Chrome). I would have expected all the sub grades other than the corners should come back as a 9.5 at the very least and hopefully the corners could hold at a 9 which would give me another gem mint Trout card. Well if I would have said that then I would now say that I hit it right on the mark as that is exactly what happened. I knew the corners weren't ultra sharp but they weren't fraying either. Beckett gave them a 9 but everything else earned a 9.5 so another gem has been added to the collection.

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Sunday, June 12, 2016

Card of the Day - 2016 Topps : Clayton Kershaw Base Black Parallel (14/65)

I think I can, I think I can, I think I can... and I finally did pick up a copy of this card that is.

For months I had been trying to acquire one of the 65 copies of this card for my collection but each time I was either out bid or people were asking way too much for it. I have found a new little pocket of "fun" on eBay that seems to be working out for me in recent auctions.

If I happen to find an auction that has a listing for days and has a BIN with a best offer option I will put it on my watch list and if I can't find another at a reasonable rate I will contact the buyer within the last few hours of the auction to see if he really wants to move it or deal with a relisting. More times than not the sellers have been wanted to unload it and this time was no different. After a hour or so of hee hawing the seller agreed to a price that I was comfortable with and I had this in hand a few days later. Borderline gem mint but not sure if I am even going to go that route but a nice card nonetheless.


Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Saturday, June 11, 2016

Card of the Day - 2016 Gypsy Queen : Mike Trout Base Mini Parallel Gold Variant (1/50)

With Seager in hand the only high priced gold mini to get from this year's Gypsy Queen was Mike Trout and I was finally able to lock one down for the collection.

No surprise here as Trout still commands a high dollar amount for any numbered parallel from a newly released product and this of course was no different. I have learned some patience in the past year or so and unless the card is a 1 of 1 or its print run is is no more than 10 I bide my time to wait for prices to come down and once again that thinking has paid off. 

50 copies of card is not that much in this day and age but I still held out hope that I could score a deal and after a few of these sold and the newness of the set wore off a little I was able to swoop in and secure this on an eBay steal. I held out hope that I might be able to turn this into a gold banner grade from Beckett but I think it will come back as a 9 if I do send it in for grading. 


Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.