Saturday, December 31, 2016

Through The Mail

In the summertime, a used book store near my house was going out of business. My wife and I had frequently gone there some weekends to grab CD's, DVD's, and the occasional book or two. The last weekend they were open for business we decided to see what they still had left. While I was in the sports book section, I noticed they had a book called "The Baseball Autograph Collector's Handbook". Intrigued, I decided to buy it. What this book does is give the address for retired and current players so you can obtain autographs through the mail using a self addressed stamped envelope. So, as of today (December 31st), I have sent out 10 cards to be autographed. 2 of them came back within a few weeks stating that I had the incorrect address, but after the first week, I had already received my first response.

It came from a guy named Jack Heidemann. This guy in my opinion is a class act. He even sent his business card autographed back with the card I sent him (to the left of the Topps card is his business card - I have only showed the back of his business card, I wouldn't want Mr. Heidemann to receive phone calls because some guy in PA posted his personal phone #). If you don't know who Jack is, he was a former first round draft pick of the Cleveland Indians in 1967 (11th overall). He had a .211 Average, with 9 HR's and 75 RBI's. I sent Mr. Heidemann a card I had purchased off COMC for .43 which just so happened to be his rookie card and BAM...Autographed. Pretty awesome right?!

After a few months had gone by I still hadn't received another autograph back. I began to worry that everything I had sent had either gotten lost or the player just threw away the card I had sent along with my SASE. The day after Thanksgiving came and the wife and I decided to put up Christmas lights outside. The mailman came so I went to go grab the mail. To my excitement, I had received 2 more replies!

The first was from a player named David Clyde and the next from a player named Pete Broberg. Both had played pro ball in the 70's. Both autographs look like the guys used the same marker! Either way, I don't care, I was just excited to receive a response.

As of right now, I have 5 outstanding requests from J.T. Snow, Matt Brunson, Ben Davis, Mike Ivie and Jerry Reuss.

So far I am having a blast with this. I have already purchased more envelopes and stamps for future requests. I am going to hold off for now until I receive a few more responses from the players listed above, but I fully endorse this idea to anyone who has the itch to try something different with their collecting habits!

COMC grabs

Right after the Penguins won the Stanley Cup, I ended up selling off one of the cornerstones of my collection (Cup Black Kris Letang 1/1). With a little bit of the money I had received from the transaction, I bought a new trash can, computer desk and also added some funds to my COMC account and paypal account. I picked up so many small grabs (30 cents here and 40 cents there), but had also grabbed quite a few cards that I had my eye on. Below are the COMC cards that cost me either close to $1 or more

1999 SP Authentic Future Watch David Boston Excitement Parallel RC /250

I just love these! I now have Ricky Williams, David Boston, Jermaine Fazande, Cade McNown and Rob Konrad. I'm going to continue to pick these up. That foil just looks amazing when you look at it from the side. The scan never does this parallel set justice, I assure you.

The next card is of a HOF Left Wing that was drafted after former Atlanta Braves ace Tom Glavine. Give up? It's "Lucky" Luc Robitaille. I have had this card a few times and have traded it every time. This one, however, is going to stay with me for now.

1987/88 O-Pee-Chee Luc Robitaille RC #42

I just love COMC, it's so cool to pick up vintage baseball cards (especially rookies!). These next 2 cards that I picked up, I believe I spent less than $7 on the pair! Both cards are in excellent shape.

1974 Topps Dave Parker RC #252

1977 Topps Andre Dawson/Gene Richards/John Scott/Denny Walling RC #473



Growing up, Andre Dawson was one of my all time favorite players. In 2nd grade, I traded my friend Josh for his beat up, creased to crap 1978 Topps Andre Dawson (2nd year) card with that Topps Trophy on it. I loved that stupid card and even carried it around in my Mario Brothers wallet. Sadly, it's probably no longer in existence.

Staying with the baseball theme....

There was a certain card, I don't know why, but I just never thought to pick up/buy. Well, I can now say that I own this card of the Iron Man himself...

1982 Topps Baltimore Orioles Future Stars  Bob Bonner/Cal Ripken/Jeff Schneider RC #21



And now to the biggest purchase I have ever made on COMC. This is the first time I was specifically drawn to COMC for a card. When the seller and I decided on a price is whenever I started filling my cart with the other cards in this post. I have always been a college football fan up until a few years ago. It just wasn't fun to watch (to me, anyway) anymore. When I did watch it was usually an Iowa, Michigan State or USC game. Those are the teams I have always liked. In 2014, I had been watching this CB from Michigan State make play after play. He's probably my favorite player in the NFL currently on the defensive side of the ball. Hopefully he will fully nail down that starting CB job. Anyways, here it is, the best card of the bunch (in my opinion)...

2015 Panini Contenders Super Bowl Ticket Trae Waynes RC 1/1

Panini really outdid themselves with the design and overall glamour of these cards. The foil just shines for days on these! Since this pickup, I have grabbed 2 other Super Bowl tickets from this year. It's by far my favorite of the contenders sets. Well done Panini!

Sorry for the about a few pack rips?

Hello everyone and Happy Holidays!

I had been on a little bit of a hiatus and also have removed the Cup Black 1/1 portion of my blog. I realize that not everyone is as passionate on collecting those as I am. You may see me post them as pickups in blog posts, but for the most part, I will just make a milestone post once I get to 50.

So today while I have some time free with the wife out shopping (spending the plethora of gift cards she received this Christmas), I have decided to blog. Since there are so many things I have picked up in the past few months, I will try to break the posts up as COMC grabs, Trades, Pack rips and eBay purchases. Enough about my life, let's get on with the show of various cardboard items full of ink and cloth!

I am going to start this post with my various pack rips. Shortly after my last post, I had a day off work and decided to go to my local card shop. You know the story, you go there to grab a few packs of toploaders and sleeves and end up spending $60 on toploaders, sleeves and packs. I ended up grabbing 50 toploaders and a pack of sleeves and 2 packs of 2015/16 SP Authentic hockey, 1 Pack of 2003 Playoff Contenders Football, 2 packs 1996 Topps Chrome Football and 1 pack of 1997 Bowman Chrome baseball. I had fantastic luck and should have bought a lottery ticket immediately. Instead, I went home and added cards to the toploaders I purchased and cleaned up my desk. Enough rambling, here is the loot:

In the 2015/16 SP Authentic packs, I was obviously shooting for a McDavid, but I ended up getting the consolation prize and was still extremely happy...

2015/16 SP Authentic Future Watch Jack Eichel /999

After ripping the SP Authentic I decided to try a 1997 Bowman Chrome Baseball pack. I pulled a few rookies that I wasn't sure who they were (Geoff Goetz & Chris Stowe), but I did get a former #1 overall pick!

1997 Bowman Chrome Kris Benson RC Refractor #R167


I tried to scan this thing over and over, but above is the best I could do. It's a nice looking refractor. I really like the design of these cards and if there were any more of these packs left at the shop, I probably would've bought them.

Lastly, I ended up ripping the football packs. The Topps Chrome packs were a blast from the past to see those names I haven't seen in a while (Drew Bledsoe, Heath Shuler, Ben Coates, Erik Kramer, etc.)...just awesome! The card I was hoping for, I didn't pull which was a Keyshawn Johnson rookie. However, I did end up with something better..

1996 Bowman Chrome Marvin Harrison RC #156 

....and finally the lone 2003 Playoff Contenders pack. Although the auto that I pulled wasn't an actual player, I was still pretty pumped on what luck I had:

2003 Playoff Contenders Season Ticket Mike Martz Auto /574

As you can see, I had a pretty good day. I don't normally rip too many packs, but on this day I was glad I did. You can say I got my $60 worth!