Saturday, November 27, 2010

I feel like I've sorted cards for days...

I literally just finished putting together sets from my 2010 Topps Update jumbo case. Everyone said you'd 5-6 base sets and that was exactly right. I was 16 cards short of the sixth base set, I'll pick those up on The master set was a different story, I was way short of that. I had to pick up somewhere between 40 and 50 insert cards to complete that. I was able to pick all of those up on for just under $30.

All in all, I'd say it took me between 6 and 7 hours to put these sets together. I think the next time I buy a case like this I'll put cards in order as I open them, as lame as that sounds. I just can't stand sitting down at a table for hours on end sorting cards. Anyway, the picture below shows the aftermath of the sorting.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Awesome Mail Day!

I came home from work today and was greeted by a mailbox full of padded envelopes. I got a few orders from filled with 2010 Topps Update inserts to complete my master set. The rest were full of prospects that I'm collecting. Here is the list followed by the pictures.

BGS 9.5 2010 Donruss Elite Extra Edition Status Signatures Stetson Allie 29/50
2009 Bowman Sterling WBC Game Jersey Gold Refractor Liam Hendriks 07/50
2010 Bowman Chrome Refractor Autographs Liam Hendriks 277/500
2009 Upper Deck USA 18U Autographs Nick Castellanos - Lot of 11

Interesting note about the Castellanos lot, you'll notice he added his number to two of his signatures. I'm not sure if that would command a premium or not down the road.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

2010 Topps Baseball Update Jumbo Case Break

You really get a lot of of cards out these cases. Wow! I mean that in a good way as it's a really fun break and prices are incredibly reasonable on these right now. I picked up my case last week for $355.

Topps did a great job this year with their core baseball product. The insert sets were all really cool and the Million Card Giveaway was the best hobby promotion ever created. These jumbo cases are loaded with inserts and the really cool bat barrel cards. You also have the chance at the always popular SP veteran base variations that seem to run 3 to 4 per jumbo case. Of course, the black and gold parallel cards are there as well. One last bonus is the Topps Chrome Rookie Box Toppers.

I beat the odds on this case. You're supposed to receive one autograph and two memorabilia cards per box. I ended up with seven autographs, one being a redemption, so you could argue that I got six autographs. I also ended up with seven bat barrel cards which are supposed to fall one per box. The seventh bat barrel replaced one of my All-Star jersey cards, which I only got five of. I also got two silk cards and two black parallels. The case only yielded four of the original back CYMTO cards.

I've read that you can make six base sets out of a jumbo case. I'm assuming that's true as I got six of the #661 Stephen Strasburg rookies. I'm not so sure about completing a master set. I got a lot of doubles in the Turkey Red and CYMTO sets. I'll report back after I've had time to sort all of these cards. I don't know how I'd manage breaking multiple cases of this stuff.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

I picked up by BGS shipment this morning

Here are the scans as promised. I'm really happy with the grades.

Friday, November 19, 2010

2010 Bowman Chrome Baseball Retail Box Break

I know, you're already asking yourself before reading this, why did this guy get a retail box of 2010 Bowman Chrome Baseball? Well, I didn't just buy a box, I bought three cases. I pre-ordered these back in July for a really good price, well before Strasburg got hurt and the price plummeted. It was also long before I knew how bad the odds would be on the retail packs. I had faith that Topps would continue to release retail products with decent odds as they've been doing for a couple years. The odds are horrendous on retail this year. Pulling a prospect autograph, which are one per box in hobby, are 1:191 packs in retail. Even pulling a prospect or USA non-autographed refractor are 1:110 packs. Just insane!

I decided I'd open one box before I started selling these off a box a time. The first thing I noticed after opening a couple packs was that the top card in each pack was scratched. Scratched actually puts it mildly, more like gouged. They look like someone ran a nail down the front of each card. I have 24 like this, one for each pack in the box. I already sent them all back to Topps for replacement. The good news is that the other two cards in each pack were free of defects.

Enough of the bad news. As I started ripping packs I started getting good cards, defying the odds on the back of the packs. I first pulled Jason Heyward and Carlos Santana rookie refractors (1:6 packs). The next card that came was a Corban Joseph Autographed Prospect Blue Refractor (1:2,850 packs). I would have been happy at this point if nothing else came out of the box. Next came the A.J. Vanegas Team USA Autographed Refractor (1:1,620 packs) and an Andrew Cashner Gold Refractor rookie (1:837 packs). Amazing!

I figured this box was all a fluke but decided to open one more to be sure. I was right, nothing came out of the next box other than the four expected regular refractors and a couple purple refractors. The box did yield a Stephen Strasburg base rookie as well as a Jason Heyward and a Starlin Castro. I decided to stop at that point as I realized I had simply run into a hot retail box with that first one.

Hopefully this information is somewhat helpful to people reading. My advice - go with hobby boxes as they're down around $40 per box now and you're guaranteed an autograph per box. Don't count on being as lucky as I was with that first box of retail.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

My Friend's Amazing Topps Chrome Football Value Rack Break

I just got this picture in my email and couldn't believe it. My buddy Bill presumably stopped at Target or Wal-Mart tonight and bought a single value rack of 2010 Topps Chrome Football. We should all have this luck. Congrats Bill!

eBay Rant

Why do people win auctions and not pay for them? I've never understood this and never will. Every time I win an auction I'm genuinely excited to add the card to my collection and pay for it immediately. The only exception is if I win something while I'm asleep or out of town. My payments may take up to 12 hours in those cases, never longer.

I got a message from a buyer tonight that made me laugh. The buyer paid today for an auction that ended on November 4th, that's twelve days from auction end to payment. The total including shipping was $12.16. The buyer had the audacity to leave me this message after they paid - "I am very, very Sorry for the delay. Thank you for the great card. Please lmk when you ship it, I need this by Sunday for a Birthday present. Thank you again"

You've got to be kidding me, right? You wait twelve days to pay and then ask for the item to be sent right away!? Of course, I'm going to send the card tomorrow because I also ship all items that I sell promptly. In cases like this I opt to not leave any feedback for the buyer. I won't leave a negative because they did end up paying, but I'm certainly not going to leave a positive either.

The Results Of My Latest BGS Submission

I took advantage of the great 10-10-10 deal Beckett Grading had last month. It was 10 cards for $10 each on 10-day service. I had just opened some 2007-08 and 2008-09 Upper Deck Hockey and a case of 2010 Topps Chrome Baseball. I also had a couple cards from recent eBay purchases that looked good enough to send. You'll see below that did really well evaluating my cards. I was hoping for at least one pristine but that didn't happen. I guess you can't complain when 9 out of 10 come back gem mint.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Retro Break - 2000 Fleer E-X Baseball

It feels funny to say "retro" when referring to a box from 2002, but that's really how it felt opening this box and pulling cards of players from that year. Aramis Ramirez was still on the Pirates!

I purchased this box on eBay for $37 shipped. The allure of pulling some really great low numbered inserts was too hard to resist for that price. The Fleer (Skybox) E-X brand always seems to be most popular with basketball collectors. Low numbered Michael Jordan cards from this brand always sell for big bucks. I decided to roll the dice and hope for something comparable in the baseball line.

I was guaranteed three game used cards out of this box. There aren't any autographed cards in the set. You can also pull a low numbered Essential Credentials Now or Essential Credentials Future card. The first hit I pulled was a Tom Glavine Essential Credentials Future numbered 015/110. The second hit I pulled was a Jose Video Hit & Run bat card. The third hit I pulled was a Behind The Numbers Ivan Rodriguez game worn jersey card. The fourth hit I pulled was a Essential Credentials Now Jason Giambi game used base card numbered 05/46. I also pulled two no-name nEXt Prospect cards numbered to 2499 and 2999 respectively.

The Glavine and Giambi cards would have been really nice hits back in 2002. I still have a feeling there are some player collectors out there that will pay some decent money for these cards. I think I'll mail both off to and add them to my account.

All in all, this was a really fun break. The anticipation of pulling the low numbered inserts was great. I'd definitely buy another one of these for the same price to take another crack at some nice rare inserts.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Missing Hit Replacement Has Arrived From Topps

I was happy to see an envelope in the mail from Topps today. It was too small to be my Red Hot Rookie Redemptions. It was way too small to be my Topps Chrome Redemption packs. The only thing left could be the replacement for my missing autograph hit in my 12th box from my 2010 Topps Chrome Baseball case.

I wasn't expecting much, even though a small part of me was holding out hope for a Strasburg. Well, as you can see, it ended up being Wilson Ramos. Ramos is a nice catching prospect that was blocked from making the bigs in Minnesota by Joe Mauer. The Twins traded Ramos to the Washington Nationals late last season. Ramos should get a chance to play in DC very soon.

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