Thursday, June 13, 2024

$188.47 in COMC funds got me what?

I hadn’t done a full purge on my Upper Deck e-pack account in almost 2 years. One Sunday afternoon in March, while my wife went to a baby shower and my kids were over at my parents' house making homemade pizzas and having a dance party, I decided to do just that. So, I put on some 80's tunes and went into "purge mode." I figured while I was purging, I could also do some trading. A buddy of mine who I deal cards to in lots every 6 months or so just loves Young Guns Canvas cards. So, I sent out some trades to some e-pack people and gathered up around 28 Young Guns Canvas cards for him. I also had quite a few cards that I had locked in the intended purpose of sending them back to myself, or dangling eventually for something I had my eye on. Instead of trading those cards, I just put them in my transfer cart to send to COMC and moved on to the next task. While I was on the site browsing, I decided to buy a pack of SPx hockey to see what I’d get since I would be sending a bunch of stuff home thru my COMC account. Boy, was I glad I grabbed that SPx pack…

2021/22 SPx Radiance F/X Auston Matthews Auto /15

After the excitement of pulling such a nice card was gone, I decided to get down to business and sent all my transferrable inventory over to my COMC account to start selling. After day 1, I had accumulated $16.83. Score! For a few days I let it ride without checking it and decided to check it one Thursday night and I had made $51.49! It showed that I still had 68 cards in my inventory, so I was hoping that I would have at least $150 to spend once my inventory was gone. The next week, I was busy learning a new job, caulking our sunroom, filling a few dings and repainting some walls in the kids' rooms, my son also had floor hockey games, so I was occupied with other things. That following Monday, I checked it to see I had 9 offers sitting there waiting on me. WHOOPS! I accepted them all and saw that I had a whopping 11 cards left in my inventory and my COMC account had $159.02 in it! It was overwhelming to see. The stuff I had sent in wasn’t anything really that special, so this was awesome! One of the things I sent in was a printing plate of Cody Glass and I wasn’t too sure on what to price it at, and my price seemed high, so I decided to lower it. Within minutes that thing was gone! Another $20.40 in my account! I then repriced a lot of the stuff I had left and undercut everyone else on the site and checked it 3 days later to see my total of $188.47!

So, what the heck did I get for $188.47? Let me show you:

This first card I spent a little bit of money on, but there is a reason for it. My wife had purchased a game used Brett Connolly stick from the 2016 Winter Classic game for my birthday last year. I had put a bug in her ear when I saw it was on sale for $70 on Meigray and she jumped on it, thankfully. One night I saw this card on COMC and I put it in my cart for a rainy day. Well, today, it was rainy and dammit, I’m buying it! 

First, here is my Brett Connolly stick in all its glory!

Here is the card I bought:

2016/17 SP Game Used Brett Connolly Winter Classic Net Cord /35

So, I own a piece of net cord from that game with Brett Connolly on the front of the card that encases it using the stick that...I own. SO COOL!

Money spent: $17.24. Total Remaining: $171.23

I decided that if I had enough money that I should just buy the crap in my COMC cart, so here is the crap from my cart I bought:

This card is a double for me, but at the price, I couldn’t leave it there. From what I remember this card was priced at $3, and by the time I logged back on to COMC months after throwing it in my cart, the seller lowered it to $2.25. I sent the low-ball offer below and got it!

1988/89 O-Pee-Chee Joe Nieuwendyk RC #16

Money spent: $1.95. Total Remaining: $169.28

The next card was a what the heck buy. I threw it in my cart months before and hadn’t thought about it. It had been a card I had previously, but when my wife and I were building our house, I sold it off for $20. Well, I bought another one!

1988/89 Fleer Scottie Pippen RC #20

Money spent: $13.68. Total remaining: $155.60

The next card was a steal. This guy should be in the hall of fame! It's a shame it will never happen for him. 

1992 Bowman Carlos Delgado RC #127

Money spent: $3.11. Total remaining: $152.49

The next card I had in my cart was a card I really wanted for my personal collection, but it was kinda pricey. I took a day to think about whether I really wanted to shell that much out for it, but after showing the card to my oldest son and asking, “Bud, should daddy buy this thing?” His answer was, “You’re the best dad, you should get yourself anything that is nice.” After I put the boys the bed, I bought it, but the seller did take my offer, which was $12 cheaper than the price listed, so…win!

1986/87 Fleer Akeem Olajuwon RC #82 PSA 6

Money spent: $70.26. Total Remaining: $82.23

In the days after this purchase, cards would randomly pop into my head, and I would search and let me tell you, many offers were sent and rejected. This next card is one where my offer was actually accepted! I had wanted to upgrade this card in my personal collection for a few years now. The copy I had was creased and I bought it from an older guy at a card show when I was 9. I probably only had $2 in that purchase. This one cost me a little more.

1971 Topps Bert Blyleven RC #26 

Money spent $5.20. Total Remaining: $78.03

My dad had talked up Blyleven when my brother and I first received that boot box full of cards from my grandfather and his card was on top of one of the rubber banded stacks. My dad thought really highly of him. In his rookie photo above, I always thought he looked like Franki Muniz from Malcolm in the Middle. I'm sorry if you can't unsee that now that I said something. Blame the internet for allowing me to spew out the thoughts in my head.

On to the next one! I will admit, I know nothing about who is currently in the NBA, so please don't jump down my throat about this purchase. Around 2015, I had a neighbor who really liked basketball. He was a tall guy in his early 50's with knees that were completely shot (his words, not mine). One night he invited me to watch a game and shoot the crap. My wife was out with her friend from college, and we didn't have kids yet, so I decided to hang with him. We indulged in some pepperoni and jalapeno pizza and drank White Stripe beers; it was a good time! What you need to know about Ed is that he is a big Duke fan and had ordered the NBA League Pass package on TV, so he could watch Jabari Parker. The game we watched was against the Pelicans, I think. Parker played decent and I think they won, and he had 15 or 16 points. That was Ed's guy though. So, when I saw this pop up when I did a search for Recent Additions on COMC, this was the first card that showed up in the list. I thought of Ed immediately and bought this thing. I must say, it's a beautiful card in person.:

2014/15 Panini Prizm Jabari Parker Gold Pulsar Prizm RC /10

Money spent $26.01. Total Remaining: $52.02

During that search of Recent Additions, another card caught my eye. I had never had an autograph from this player, so I was sort of excited to see one relatively cheap of the HOF defenseman. It's upsetting that Brendan Smith is on the back of it, but either way I'll take it at the price point. 

2011/12 Panini Elite Passing the Torch Niklas Lidstrom/Brendan Smith Dual Auto /100

Money spent $35.85. Total Remaining: $16.17

With my funds dwindling, I decided to look at my cart for some smaller items and seeing if I could snag a few with offers (since shipping would cost me a bit). I had added a Brian Cole SPx due to it being in better condition than mine, but it was over $10, but when I went back to my cart, it was for sale for $2.45? What! Ummm...I couldn't jump on that card any faster. 

2001 SPx Prospect Jersey Autograph Brian Cole RC #141

Money spent $2.45. Total Remaining: $13.72

After getting busy a little bit with kids and work training, I had to put away my COMC spending spree on hold. However, when I got back, I noticed that another card from my cart was now on sale as well. So, I bought it! I had this card a while back along with his Future Watch Auto Rookie, but once he won his 2nd Norris Trophy, and then the Stanley Cup and the Conn Smythe Trophy, I admit it, I cashed out. Thinking back, I think someone paid me $25 for this card back in 2015. Craziness! I got this for the price of a can of Pringles at our local Shop N Save (my kids LOVE the Cheddar Cheese ones).

2005/06 SPx Rookie Jersey Duncan Keith RC /1999  #133

Money spent $2.91. Total Remaining: $10.81

Keeping with hockey, I started to look at some 2023/24 Upper Deck Series 1 Young Guns that I didn't have and came across one that although I live in Pittsburgh, I still wanted to own (rival team). It was listed for $5. With only $10.81 remaining and thinking I still had to keep some money for shipping, of course I wasn't going to take up half my budget and buy it at that price. Nope, I sent an offer and the seller countered with 13 cents more than my initial offer. Ok, then! Bought!

2023/24 Upper Deck Young Guns Tyson Foerster RC #225

Money spent $2.23. Total Remaining: $8.58

After the Foerster purchase, I went in to my items that were to be shipped to decide which ones I would put a 35 cent toploader on. Luckily for me, the Brett Connolly, Scottie Pippen, Jabari Parker and Nik Lidstrom cards all came with toploaders already on them, so that saved me some loot! I decided to toploader the Blyleven, Cole and Duncan Keith cards. So, there goes $1.05 off my spending spree. Also, since I purchased a graded card, they charged me $1 extra to ship. Ugh:

Money spent $2.05. Total Remaining: $6.53

Since shipping was $5.99 (not counting the toploaders that I had subtracted from my total above), that would mean I had a grand total of $.54 to spend. This next card took days to decide what to actually buy. I had loaded up my cart with cards that ranged anywhere from $.45 to $.70 thinking that I could maybe swing an offer on a few. I left the final decision up to my oldest son. One night while my wife was downstairs with our youngest son, my oldest sat in my lap and on my laptop, we went through 11 pages of my cart. He came across the final card which was $.70 and said, "Ohhhh, daddy, I like that one. It's clear!" I said, "Ok, bud, I'll show you how to send an offer." I added .54 in the offer box and hit "Send Offer." Thinking the offer would just auto reject, to my surprise, the screen was green at the top saying the offer went through. I was very confused. After a full day, I checked my email to see my offer was accepted! Really!? So, thank you goes out to fungi2510 for accepting my lowball offer and giving me one more cool card to add to my collection!

1999 Skybox EX Century Champ Bailey RC #70

Money spent $.54. Total Remaining: $5.99 (for shipping)

So, that was my order. I hope you enjoyed reading about my haul of crap from COMC. It interests me what you guys buy on that site too. I have been reading a lot of your blogs for a while now and I'm sorry if I don't comment. I get embarrassed commenting on blogs, and I do feel bad about it, but I think I will start coming out of my shell to comment more. Before I go to bed each night, I always read a ton of blogs. It puts me in a relaxed state, and I want to say thank you all. Trust me, I read all of your blogs and I hope you enjoy reading mine as well.

Like always, thanks for reading.

Monday, June 10, 2024

Good ol’ May 25th

When May 25th rolls around now I get a bit cranky and sometimes sad. That day happens to be my birthday. Usually, folks love to celebrate the day they were born and for me, well I used to. After a string of awful birthdays in my 20’s due to some mean ex-girlfriends, a party when I was 20 where I had to hide from the police in someone’s crawl space and my nephew being born the very next day (May 26th) back in 2006, and I rarely celebrated anymore as it was my nephew’s time for the spotlight. My family would usually have a big celebration for him and my birthday kinda got pushed to the side. I get it, I’m older, so it’s basically going to be my nephew's weekend to celebrate. I hadn't been upset by this at all until my wife started asking why my family never celebrates my birthday. She noted that in the past year we celebrated for my mom and dad's birthday, nephew's birthday, brother’s birthday, sister-in-laws birthday and even celebrated my wife's birthday. I told her how I was pretty used to it. So, when May 25th rolls around, I usually just ask my mom to make me a lasagna. I would cut out 3 large slices, put them on plates in the fridge and put the rest of the lasagna in my freezer to eat anytime I had the craving, and that's how I celebrated. No fanfare, just lasagna.  

Last year during my birthday (2023 - I know this blog post is a bit late), I got a strange call from my dad around 9am while I was at work saying, “We need to talk!” Not “Happy Birthday!” Nope, none of that. I asked what he wanted to talk to me about, but he said we would talk after I was done with work. A few minutes later my wife popped her head in my office to let me know she may have accidentally stirred up some family drama with my dad while she was dropping off the kids for the day at my parents' house. So, after my work shift was over, I headed over to my parents' house to get the family drama over with. If you have read my blog, I do not like family drama and tend to stay far away from any of it. When I arrived at my parent's place, my dad started pointing a finger at me and yelling. My dad and I had a few heated exchanges and eventually hugged it out. He realized what my wife said to him was true and both of my parents had felt horrible about the whole ordeal (that I won't even get into on here, but yeah, my wife was right). Then, my mom handed me a birthday card and told me they forgot to get me a gift. No big deal for me. I’m not about gifts, just a simple acknowledgement is enough for me, but my mom also forgot to make my lasagna. I was pretty upset about the lasagna to be honest, but I just sucked it up, got the kids packed up and I headed home. We didn’t have cake or ice cream that night either or any sort of celebration. Nope, my wife worked until 8pm and then the awful company I used to work for made me log back on to work and I put in 2 more hours until 10pm. After my OT shift, I jumped in the shower and then went to bed. It was just another crappy day. 

A week later when I was picking up my kids at my parent's place, my dad hands me a bubble mailer and says, “I felt really awful about not getting you anything for your birthday and your mom feels even worse about the lasagna. We usually go all out for your brother’s birthday every year and it really hasn’t been fair to you for years. I hope you like this gift.” I asked him if I should open it there or wait, and he said he wanted to see my face so open it immediately. This was one of the best birthday gifts ever!

1909-11 T206 Sweet Caporal Doc Marshall PSA 4

What makes this card special is Doc Marshall is my great uncle. I never met him, neither had my dad, but I heard stories about what a great man he was from Doc’s sister (my great grandmother). Growing up, I spent a lot of time with my great grandmother (or Grammie as we called her). She was old, but I found her interesting! She certainly loved the snot out of me. My parents had a hard time finding cheap, reliable babysitters when my brother and I were kids, so a lot of times, we would get dropped off at her house. Of course, you couldn’t eat the cheese from her fridge (due to mold) and you had to jiggle the handle if you flushed her toilet, and if you sat in any of the furniture in her “sitting room” your butt would get smacked for sure! One afternoon in 1987, my parents dropped only me off with my great grandmother because my brother was having his first sleep over with his new friend Danny and my mom and dad wanted to go out for a nice dinner alone. During this visit, I decided to bring the famous “boot box” full of cards my grandfather had found in a field. I could spend hours looking at the photos and sorting them. That day "Grammie" decided to look at some of the cards with me. This is the day she would tell me about her brother William. 

William “Doc” Marshall was a schoolteacher and later on a doctor who grew up with my great grandmother in Butler, PA. She told me how he went to 4 different colleges (Grove City, Slippery Rock, Penn and a med school back in Chicago). During his baseball career, he would suit up for the Philadelphia Phillies, New York Giants, Boston Beaneaters, St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago Cubs and the Brooklyn Superbas. I guess during his career he made a promise to my great grandmother that he would get her a spoon from each city he played in or visited for vacation or for whatever reason. Once his career came to an end, he gave her a huge haul of these spoons. She got up from her chair and walked back into the “sitting room” and opened a drawer in the China cabinet. She asked me to come help her with these 2 wooden boxes. I grabbed both and we went back into the living room. When the boxes were opened, there they were…the spoons! She could see my eyes flash with pure excitement! Here I am looking at spoons that my great uncle (who now was a celebrity in my eyes) had once had in his possession. So cool! She went on to tell me stories about when they were kids, about how he was always kind and how he would practice at a baseball field right down the street from where I currently live now with Honus Wagner! Wow! We had such a great time that day and I really believe that day brought she and I closer together. After that day, I would frequently ask her about him, and she just loved to talk and tell me stories about when they were little kids. 

In April 1994, my great grandmother sadly passed away. It was the first time I had experienced death. A few months after she had passed, my parents came home with a bag. My dad called me into his bedroom and said, “I have no idea why and this caused a fight between your grandfather and your uncle, but ‘Grammie’ left you the elephant's statue and all Uncle Doc’s spoons in her will. No other great grandchildren received a thing, so make sure you take good care of these.” So, he handed me the bag. I noticed immediately that spoons were missing. I guess my grandfather's brother had taken the spoons he felt were the most valuable and left the rest for me. It’s ok, I still have the leftovers and haven’t sold them off like he probably did! As for the elephant's statue, my "Grammie" she let me hold it once and I told her how special I thought it was. It is currently a staple in my living room. I look at them every single day.



So, this is a story about my Great Uncle Doc and my "Grammie" and how a day in 1987 turned my birthday around in 2023 (although a week late). Crazy how that happens. If I hadn't brought over those baseball cards that day to her house, I probably would have never known about my Great Uncle. Just another day in My Cardboard Life.

Thanks for reading.