27 July 2013

July eBay Binge Part 1

With the recent acquisition of a real job, I've been a little bit fast and loose with my eBay spending of late. Personally, I think it's justified, as I'm not spending a terrible amount, nor is there anything decent on the shelves to pass the time of late. One of the players I have been chasing after lately is Syracuse Chiefs CF/LF Eury Perez.

Eury is a very fast Dominican prospect in the Washington Nationals organization. Since he plays nearly every time we witness a game, and usually plays quite well, I've decided to start acquiring some of his cards. 

The above Futures Game relic and the aside 2010 Bowman Chrome Purple Refractor (likely the best year for Bowman Chrome refractors) were had together for around $5. I am particularly fond of the purple refractor. Good looking card right there.

If you've followed this blog closely through the years, you've likely noticed by affinity for purple baseball cards. Even better are purple cards with some of my favorite backstops in the game. While I posted the Salvador Perez one already, it was with my old scanner, which has nothing on the premium quality of my new scanner and this 2013 Bowman Purple Ice of Carlos Santana. I've really been upping my Carlos Santana collection of late. This one might be my new favourite.

However, this one is quite excellent as well. The victim of a late afternoon "let's see whats ending on ebay in the next hour" mission, this patch/bat/uni relic from some year's Topps Marquee was had pretty easily due to an odd afternoon end time.

Speaking of patches being had easily, this one had had my eye on it since it's release in June. It's Jose, it's a patch, and it's a maple leaf. Win, win, win. This was another one with a strange ending time, which I believe was about 8am on Wednesday morning. It seems to me that the best time to grab cards is during strange end times like this, but unfortunately, it is a rarity that they are listed as such.

And what would one more patch hurt? Not much at all, I say. Thus, for your enjoyment, I present another 2013 Tribute World Baseball Classic patch. This one is of Team China-Taipei's Hung-Wen Chen, who was also with the team in previous WBCs. This was had for around $7 (that's just a guess), which was surprising as Taipei cards usually seem to do quite well on the 'bay. This is the basic refractor version, but features a very nice three-colour patch from the Taipei jersey.

Yet as you can see from the title, this is only part one. It's not that Part 2 will blow you away, but it those "pieces" haven't yet arrived, nor are they baseball cards. So, you know, for the sake of being consistent, you may have to wait another day.

25 July 2013

Seven of #9

Look, it's been a tough year for JP Arencibia. The Blue Jays are awful. The season has boiled over to spew out some incredibly ugly baseball, and it seems like my man JPA is always in the middle of it.

And he should be. He's the homegrown catcher, most important player on the field, and he has played just slightly above replacement for 2013, and also, the previous season of his career. He has a poor batting average and OBP, but so do most catchers - we've been spoiled the past few years with Yadier Molina, Buster Posey, Wilin Rosario, Salvador Perez and my new favourite - Carlos Santana. Aside from dingers - many likely aided by the shitshack that is Rogers Centre - JPA can't hold a candle to these new hotshots.

And I'm fine with that. I love JP. He's a team player, he the backstop of my favourite team, he tries like hell, he is a charitable, wonderful bloke, but in the end - he's just not the catcher everyone in Toronto wants or believes he could be. And again, I'm fine with that.

Starting last year around this time, I started a JPA-centric personal collection, with one major goal in mind: beat this deal

If you don't want to read that, fine. I'd be surprised if you made it this far. The jist: All seven of JP Arencibia's (attainable) 2011 Topps Chrome Autographs for under $215. That is:

Base Chrome
Refractor /499
Blue Refractor /199
Black Refractor /100
Sepia Refractor /99
Gold Refractor /50
Red Refractor /25

Well, here's six of them:

Click to embiggen.

And here's something that came in the mail last weekend:

Click to embiggen.
Challenge: Completed.

I did it in less than a year. Actually, more like 10 months.

And for half the cost of the original auction, spending about $98 on the entire project.

Final Results:
2011 Topps Chrome J.P. Arencibia Autograph Rookie 
# Variation Available $
182 Base NNO 4.99
182 Refractor of 499 4.74
182 Blue Refractor of 199 9.32
182 Black Refractor of 100 7.75
182 Sepia Refractor of 99 15
182 Gold Refractor of 50 8
182 Red Refractor of 25 48


20 July 2013

Showing off.

A few months ago, my sturdy as nothing HP printer/scanner committed its final atrocities and died a painful death of suffering and repentance. At the time I had just started up my seasonal work again, so funds were low. I had my eye on a couple scanner combos at Target, but nothing came into place.

On Tuesday, things changed. I received a call from the Director of our local Cornell Cooperative Extension office...with a job offer. I gladly accepted, and have taken that final (or possibly, first) step into true adulthood: a career.

That's pretty fun to say finally, and am glad that I can finally be a productive member of society for twelve months a year, rather than seven.

Anyways, we celebrated with a copious amount of chicken wings on Thursday night, but I wanted to take a trip to Target to blow some dough on...whatever. There were some kiddies hanging out in the card isle (in front of sports cards!!1) so I wandered into the back to check on scanners. To my wonderment, I found a brand new Epsom wireless "Small-in-one" scanner-printer for $40.


For a wireless printer.

I was sold, immediately, and paid for it by lugging the damn thing around Target while the girl looked at clothes and magnets and whatevers.

So here I am now, sharing my new fortune with ya'll. And yes, I bought baseball cards, but they were quite terrible. So it goes.

The first card, your splash, if you will, is a scanned version of the Andrelton Simmons patch from a week ago. Sadly, this is a case where a photo is better than the scan. However, I have new patches to show off:

Un Cubano! I don't remember Darien Nunez from the WBC this year. The Cubans played first round in Asia, and were quickly bounced upon returning to our side of the globe by these guys:

Okay, so maybe I've shown this one before, too, but lay off me, I have a new toy that I am playing with. You'll notice Schoop's far right edge is trimmed a bit tight. Still some growing pains.

This guy has experienced no growing pains this year - as he's been the best Blue Jays far & away. This card is stunning in blue.


These ones, too - but they're in gold..or yellow...or orange:

I'm hearing Andre Rienzo is a sneaky prospect for the White Sox as a quality late-inning guy, and when he arrives he'll be the first ever Brasilian-born pitcher in Major League Baseball (Yan Gomes was the first position player.) The best part about this one is you can see exactly where the patch comes from on the jersey. 

I'll let you try and find out where.

So cool, in fact, I like it more than this card, I think:

...and that's a pretty great card. I accomplished one of my biggest JPA collection goals recently, which means I am likely to stop going all out on collecting him, concentrating on Jose Reyes and others. But not before picking this up:

These had so much potential, but the stickers absolutely murder the card quality. Ugghh.

14 July 2013

Going Dutch

As I remarked almost a week ago, posting will be a bit sparse here lately. As will trades and such, but I will still be around. Especially when material for a decent post begins to pile up, and it becomes too oppressively hot to do anything but bang away at my Samsung keyboard.

Before I get too far into this one, I'd like to express my congratulations to Timmy Lincecum on last nights baller effort versus the Padres. But seriously, you San Francisco Giants fans are spoiled. No hitters, World Series titles, ideal baseball weather and a breathtakingly beautiful ballyard...why don't you share some with the rest of us?


In my last post I mentioned the completion of a few uninspired trades of late in which I received piles and piles of clearinghouse-style Blue Jays cards from the 90s and 00s. It led to this comment from blogger favorite Jeroen of Dutch Card Guy fame:

Go for the dutch guy Schoop !! By the way, i respectfully send you a small junk wax package last week :-)) hope you like it :-))

Now some may have been deterred by that comment, but I knew the package on its way across the Atlantic Ocean would be a pleasant surprise, not an envelope full of junk wax and ricin. We've exchanged cardboard a few times, and every time it works out well for both sides.

And no, it certainly was not junk wax.

To me, Griffey Jr is beyond junk wax. Especially when he is battling aliens weightlessly in the dark space between seemingly molten planets of metal.

The same with these blokes. There's some heavy hitters in there, including the best DH of all time (THERE, I SAID IT), a first baseman with a helmet and pretty boy Alex S. Gonzalez. These cards are very awesome in-person, so I think in this case the non-scanned images work to my advantage.

This one is a bit of a confession. I really enjoy cards of current Blue Jays in Blue Jays uniforms. It's a simple thing, really. The Rajai is a duplicate, but will fit nicely into my small Raj collection as the first of this one is in my 2013 Topps Rainbow binder. Sergio Santos cards are always welcome. 

But it hasn't been all trades lately, as I have pretty much abandoned ripping packs for buying singles. Fitting into a small player collection of up-and-coming Diamondbacks backstop Stryker Trahan is this beautiful slab:

These are very nice, but do not warrant the price tag associated with them. I picked this up for less than $5 I believe - which is an incredibly diminished resale value for this set. I will say, though, that parallels and memorabilia cards from this set are selling for nauseating amounts. 

But let's keep with the Dutch theme.

As you may know, I am a huge proponent of International baseball competition, with nothing falling as dear to me as the World Baseball Classic. And while I generally despise Topps Tribute, holy sweet molasses they blew all other high end sets away with the treasures of 2013 Tribute World Baseball Classic.

Wow. I mean, that is majestic. At least 75% of the patches in WBC Tribute are 2-3 colors, with the solid patches actually in the rare and selling for low dollar amounts.

But it gets better:

This is actually a green, and least necessary, colored parallel from the patch inserts. And it's Jonathan Schoop, who I really, really like. And seriously, look at that patch. Breathtaking. 

Thanks for the cards, Jeroen. Some aces headed your way....eventually.

07 July 2013


I thought of a few ways to start this post, but nothing really worked out the way I wanted.

Quotes, rants, whatever.

I believe the best way to convey my recent exhaustion with collecting baseball cards is the above screen grab, taken from an ebay auction earlier this week.

Stunning, and for no damn reason at all.

The JP Arencibia market has been absolutely destroyed by two ebay buyer in a constant pissing contest over his cards. I tracked one of their successes, and said buyer (the one who won the above patch card) has spent over $2000 in JP Arencibia cards in the past two weeks.

Must be nice to have disposable income, eh?

But it's not just JPA cards. 

I recently purchased two boxes of 2013 Pro Debut. I love the base set, but they took the best part about the set and ruined it.

Last year I was all about the patch cards. This year I cannot find more than one which I wish to own.

Oh, and they're all short-printed, repeat logos from 2012 Pro Debut and Heritage Minor Leagues set. They just extended the checklist.

And added mascots. If you want kids in the hobby, Topps, keep the mascots to stickers or Opening Day, not in a $60 box in which one of your "hits" is likely a poorly-printed photo-patch of a mascot from Podunk.

What all of this boils down to is a reevaluation of my place in the hobby. I'll still be around, but not nearly as consistent as before. Last time, I stopped blogging entirely - that won't happen this time. But it makes sense to tone it down a bit. Here's why:

  • The thrill of opening packs was gone with those two boxes of Pro Debut, my one hobby splurge of the year.
  • The JP Arencibia market is dead to me, and my "favourite" player has been kind of a shithead lately, along with playing rather terrible baseball.
  • Financials, of course.
  • I've taken to growing hops and chile peppers, and their maintenance takes up quite a chunk of every day.
  • Storage.  I bought two 3000 or whatever count boxes at my last card show, and they're full, while stacks of other cards have just been piling up.
  • Poor trades. Aside from a few good ones here and there (Jedi Jeff and DHoff, Waiting 'til Next Year), my trades lately have been duds. I've been giving up a lot to get nothing in return more than 1990s and other junk-wax cards. I apologize if that offends anyone, but hey, be respectful of your fellow traders.
I'll still be here, mostly writing negatives, but less so. That's all that's really changing.

Oh, and since I'll probably never win another JPA card, I'm thinking of new, primary player collections:

  • AJ Jimenez
  • Salvador Perez
  • Marcus Stroman
  • Adalberto Mondesi
  • Jonathan Schoop
  • Aaron Sanchez
...and some others.