Monday, September 30, 2019

Moving the rest of the baseball cards

So the Jays are done for the year and Justin Smoak may be done with the Jays. A rough year, and though they seemed to start fairly strong, it didn't hold up too well and they couldn't get to 70 wins, let along .500 for the year.

A good year for developing talent though, and the future does look bright for the next few year. I think there is enough there that, depending on the off season moves, a .500 record would be the goal for next year with possible playoff push the year after, but that's if all goes well.

Vladdy Jr. had a solid debut campaign. He didn't light it up the way expectations were looking for him to, but I think the expectations were a little too high really.

So, as the playoffs start for some teams, for the Jays, it is back to the drawing board until the next season.

Well, something keeping me busy (whether baseball playoffs are on or not) is the refocusing of my collection. This is a bigger project than I thought as far as separating out the cards from sets I am not going to collect, and keeping track of what sets I am still keeping (which is quite the hodgepodge as it were). As it works out, I "narrowed to just under 100 baseball card sets I will still take cards from - though a handful are very near completion as it is. It may narrow further, but I think this is a good start as I knocked out about 150 sets that I will no longer have cards from.

Most of these sets, I am not going to call the rest of the cards "wants", but moreover, cards I will take if nothing else when trading with someone. I think there is enough variety in the baseball cards for that to work.

Well, what would a post be without some card scans, so here is a glimpse of some of the rest of the baseball cards I moved out of the collection - nothing too fancy, but from about 1995 to 2010, there aren't too many sets I have a good start on for keeping purposes.

He, were start getting into the mid-90s where, I really just have bits and pieces, so many cards that I just donèt need to keep as there arenèt a lot of sets I am passionate about completing as a whole.

You do at least get some different designs (well from other baseball sets - the 1997-98 Donruss design was used for hockey too, and that set I did complete).

A number of sets where I do only have one card, are likely from the various Dollarama baseball card repacks I have picked up on and off the last couple years....Hi Frank!,  am looking at you.

I only have the one 2009 O Pee CHee card - but the stadium card is a really nice one. Not a set I will likely complete, or really have a desire to so, it goes too.

Hard on some of the Heritage and Archive sets to get rid of cards (I do like the Molitor for example), but just doesnèt make sense to keep. My justification is, worst case, I may have to pick up the few cards I am getting rid of now, later, if I change my mind, and I can handle that when it's only a hand for of cards like this.

Too many other sets I put ahead of it though, so again, still feel like these are all good decisions.

Yeah, many more of the Honus Bonus cards, but even with about 40-50 of these, it is a large set, and one I really don't overall like the design for, so off it goes too.

With those out of the way, time to go through hockey, and can knock this reorganization off the to do list.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Bringing Collecting Into Focus

I have talked about starting this a few times this year. Starting what? Getting a bit more focused on my collecting.

Easiest way to look at this is to break it down by genre/sport that I collect, from easiest to define to, well, less easy.

Magic Cards
This one I am happy with, and not intending to change my focus or collecting at all. As it stand, I collect:

1) One unopened booster from each expansion set which was released in a booster format (so this knocks out things like buying complete sets, deck themed or duel deck boxes, etc).

2) Artifact cards (including tokens), up to 4 for each separate card (and if foiled, four of those too) as that is the number allowed in standard play.

As you can see, very concise and easy to follow as I then trade or get rid of every non-artifact card, and every artifact once I exceed that magic 4 number.

To be honest, right now I do have three decks built which I have aside and will likely keep there in case my son gets into Magic (and if he does, I'd just give him all my non-collection cards then as well), but otherwise, everything is trade bait until future notice.

Wrestling Cards
I want one of everything. Since getting back into collecting wrestling, and avoiding the "PC" route, I just want to collect one of every card. I know I won't be able to, but it does mean just keeping one of everything and trading duplicates.

The only cards actually, I will keep a dupe of would be for the error binder if such come up.

Now, this is where it gets tougher...

Hockey / Baseball Cards
First and foremost, I collect and keep all Leaf and Jays cards, including dupes. Beyond this I also collect all insert/parallel/variations/short prints/oddball (as I define them), error cards, and past that, will work on completing base sets.

Parallels - Standard definition here - any and all I keep

Inserts - same as the parallels above, any and all kept - heck, I will include the advertisements in this as well (where those still happen)

Short Prints - A bit tougher here - what is really short printed or not? For these, I am really looking at the alternative short print photo cards, or sections of base sets which are shorter printed (I probably won't worry about the few in 1988 Donruss though), and anything in a base set that is SN would qualify

Variations - I am NOT looking to complete three different 1991 Donruss sets, so not looking at complete set variations here, but any other variations (though may also be under short prints).

Oddball - includes food issue and odd/random sets, typically quite small in size and not a major release or related to a major release.

Errors - Corrected and uncorrected error cards here. Sometimes these may be called variations, but I do try and separate the two and just keep error cards separately. I also consider printing errors as error cards (missed foil, miscut cards, crimped by packaging cards, etc).

Beyond those, we get to set completion which is a sticky point - what do I complete? What do I try to complete? What do I give up on and not bother with? What criteria do I use?

So where I ended up on this is, taking a good hard look at all the sets I have cards for and deciding whether I will actually collect each one or not. Some factors will be, how many cards of the set I currently have, is a significant set by number of cards (so yes, I have 30 cards, but the set is 900 versus 40), or alternatively, deals mainly in players still in the minors or sets that may not be too big, but that may be hard to actually complete. Obviously, will also have some personal bias in keeping ones I like by design and may want to build later.

I started with baseball since I have a bunch of sets from repacks where I picked up a handful of cards in a set, and really have no interest to collect the set as a whole. I won't show everything here, but hit a number of different items in case anyone is interested (and also, check my trade stuffs on TCDB for exactly what I have).

I don't have many vintage cards, and being a Jays collector born in 1980, I don't have the childhood ties to these sets that many do. Most of these came from repacks (though the Vida was from Value Village, I do remember that).

I may have already sent the Expos cards off as I know Mike at Not Another Baseball Card Blog could use each and every one for his million Expos collection goal.

Through the 80s, not much from Fleer in my collection, so a number of sets I am knocking off of my collecting.

Not sure where I got these UK Minis, but I may have about 10% of the set, but not looking for the set, and not likely to find many I don't think. EIther way, getting those out of the collection as well.

A number of Classics sets, given their size and minor league content, are off the collecting radar now, as well as Star and 1989 O Pee Chee.

Ah, the Nolan Ryan sets - year, not my thing, but can see them being a necessity for any Rangers or Ryan player collector.

Even through the 90s, a number of sets I could have more of, but don't, and have no real interest for finishing up like Collector's Choice.

This is a start - I'll go through some more tomorrow, but probably looking at having pulled about 1,500 cards which is a decent reduction for baseball, and hopefully I can do the same with hockey afterwards.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Another missing SN

Today, another quick 15 cards from Dollarama - of the hockey variety. I have pulled a couple "should have been SN cards" from these recently, and today we get another.

This is a ruby parallel which should be SN to 200 on the back, but isn't. The red ruby does go really well with the NJ team colours as well.

As for why I picked up the pack to begin is the Leaf I saw...

I wasn't sure if I had it or not (I did), but either way, it works for me.

Rest of the keepers...

Not too many actually. No surprise by the early 90s cards and token newer offer.


I seem to get one of those Going For Gold Juniors cards each time lately, but here we get the first dupe, which is likely the best of the bunch in Luongo.

I think that the next few days, I am going to start my collection cutting project. Essentially, I want to go through my "keeps" and cut out sets that I really have zero interest to actually complete. Should add a few more traders and save a bit of space on what I keep.

Friday, September 27, 2019

Finishing the Magic

Today, let's look at the second half of the 401games common/uncommon card pick up to see if I do in fact get my "artifact cards" money worth.

So yeah, definitely worth the money on this one as half of these were new to the collection as well. Also nice to get a couple more Golems - not the biggest of baddies, but decent creatures.


Very similar start to the first half as far as years and sets. Definitely some decent red cards.

These 9 start and end with interesting cards. Elvish aberration is a solid creature with a higher casting cost because of the mana it can produce. On the other end, Bring Low does some solid damage for the 4 mana casting cost.

The good news - there are 51 cards here, so I wasn't short changed a card or two - not that I would be overly upset given the artifacts that I got out of the pack.

Not sure I would buy one of these again, but did well enough on this one.

Those not too interested in Magic cards - back to some sports cards tomorrow!

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Looking for some Magic

Today, the first half of the 100 Magic card commons/uncommons pack I picked up from 401games. One of the last packs I picked up there before they moved (again). They moved far enough up Yonge Street I am probably only headed there once or twice a year by subway over lunches now. Still good to have the option, but would have been nice if they had stayed put...but then again with all the redevelopment down Yonge Street in Toronto, I understand that wasn't really an option.

So let's see if I can score some artifacts in the first 50 today.

Yeah..this isn't too bad...

I'll take six out of 50, no problem. If you consider each wopuld cost a quarter, and the whole 100 cards was $2 - won't take much tomorrow to make it worthwhile from a dollar perspective.

I like the Primal Clay - a card I played with in the initial incarnation of the card some 25 years ago. Interesting to see how the artwork is different now - understandably so, but does make me miss the old style.

Add in the nice reminder that flavour text on Magic cards can be pretty neat with the Ronaway Carriage.

The rest...

So the cards go back to about 2011, which is alright I guess. WOuldn't expect too many going back much further when we are looking at common and uncommon cards.

There are some ruins of cards from similar sets as you can see by the card symbols (middle right of each card).

Yeah - one dupe here, but that is to be somewhat expected. Heck, I'm happy there was only the one in this half.

Pick The Brain....a bit literal name to the card.

So there we are - 49 cards instead of 50....but maybe they were miscounted when they were split between halves, so maybe 51 tomorrow?

We shall see.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Hail to the Chef and Dollar Store Blog Cards

Another trade post today as I want to cover a quick PWE trade I had with Hilochef at TCDB which brought me some new Jays for the collection...

A lot of cards from sets I should really get more Jays from - Gypsy Queen, A&G, and Heritage. I really like the added blue of sky on the Heritage cards. I do have one big question for Topps on the background though...could no one figure out how to put a cloud or two into the sky? I think that is the most off putting part of the background to me. I haven't looked hard at other cards from the set to see how sparse clouds are, but....not a one here.

Also, guess this was a Russell Martin hot PWE as I received two. It's not my favourite Gypsy Queen design, but does keep with the similar design from prior years.

Either way you cut it, that's another 9 Jays cards that I didn't have before - always appreciate when someone can cook up a winning PWE like that - thanks 'chef!

Heck, that wasn't the only package to come across. I also received a thank you package from Doug over at Sportscards From The Dollar Store. I had sent across a few O Pee Chee cards that were on his want list, and a few Bills from football, but I got way more back in return - simply humbling.

Let's start with the, very cool to get, but likely not to stay in my collection cards...

I may be a Raptors fan (and not just from the recent Championship which will be - difficult - to repeat, but that said, I don't collect basketball. Definitely appreciate that this here is a homegrown talent from Toronto and a nice design...and a nice signature actually. I find it is becoming harder and harder to find a solid signature with the next generation as half of them, if not more, never learn to write cursive. Man, that made me feel old to say.

Doug wasn't sure who I follow in CFL football - Burlington is right between Hamilton and Toronto. To answer that question, definitely the Argos as I grew up in Toronto and moved to Burlington when I got married (though I first spent a year in Hamilton to be fair).

These are actually a pretty nice design - almost makes me want to collect football.

All appreciated and nice thoughts...then there were these....

An awesome assorted bunch of Leafs which include my first 2019-2020 O Pee Chee card, first 2018-19 O Pee Chee Platinum card and a nice Titanium set Sundin. Awesome bunch of cards and would have been way more than I could have expected right there.


My first Vladdy Jr. rookie card and a sweet Lind mini jersey relic circa 2010. Yeah - pretty speechless when I saw these as I wasn't expecting to come across my first Vladdy, or any type of relic.

Going to have to see what I can put together to send a thank you for the thank you back to Doug!

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Not Another Completed Set

A very small PWE today and a bit larger wrestling PWE as well.

First a small PWE that I have had for a while, but have not been able to put away yet, so first, apologies to Mike for taking so long to post this one. Probably the smallest trade I have had with Mike from Not Another Baseball Card Blog, but the best as it finishes a set off for me - yay!

Not exactly a star card, but just happens to be the last card of the base set that I needed to finish off 1988 Donruss. This is the 12th set I have been able to complete this year which is, by far the largest number of sets I have completed in a year (yes, I do include insert sets as sets, but my rules).

There happened to be a couple other cards for the collection as well, but not of the same level of need.

An error card (wrong listing for number of games on the back)

The cards then finish with a food issue Jays card of Dave Winfield.

Much appreciated Mike - some times it isn't the number of cards in a trade that matter.

The second PWE trade was with TCDB member mrmike and is all wrestling as I start on the 2015 WWE flagship set.

With the base set being only 100 cards, this is a good bunch to add to a set that I will likely finish one of these days. Only about 30 cards in so far, but definitely one I plan to complete.

Bray Wyatt, in a couple incarnations, has been great from the personality/character side, but just hasn't been able to reach and stay at that next level long term. That said, the current Fiend persona is a great, unique character which does come across as downright freaky/scary. Nice seeing him here though even in the pre-Fiend, post-Husky phase.

Until next time - follow the buzzards!

Monday, September 23, 2019

A new to me Walmart Product

One of the repack products I have seen at Walmart for a while and haven't bothered picking up are the 35 random hockey cards (okay, not so random...). Here is the back of the product as it was easier to scan...

You can tell that there are really "chunks" of cards rather than completely random packs, just by looking at the side of the packs. I was guessing that the large chunk on this one was early 90s Upper Deck and I could see some 2012-13 Score which I am slowly building, so I figured why not.

The downside of the pack then ended up being that Upper Deck chunk that I was right about...because I had most of them...

I was also right about the Score, but a couple dupes there too.

At least it does show that these include some inserts which is about the only redeeming part of the pack.

These are the inserts that I didn't have yet, so the best of what was in there. 35 cards and not a single Leaf card. As for the rest of the keepers...

The surprise part of the pack are the Leaf and Samsonov cards as those I couldn't see them from the side.

The pack was $5 - probably not worth doing again, but for the interest to figure out what was in these, it was worth getting the one at least.

Maybe I can save you from bothering, unless these sets are your thing.