Saturday, April 30, 2016

April 2016 Trade Recap

April's trade recap is on pace to be one of the largest since I began doing recaps of a month!

The first trade arrived to me on April 2nd, when I got a package from BOBZCARDS on the Trading Card Database. I posted about this in a rare baseball post earlier this month, where I stated he only had two cards or 8 depending on how you want to look at it. (no comments on that, so I can only assume nobody cared,'s my blog so I'm going to talk about them anyway!)

These are what I was trading with Bob for...

Two promo panels from 1990-91 Hoops, still in panel form! (although in both cases the Taco Bell ad is a little "loose" on the connection). I had never seen these before but this is one of my favorite sets. I wonder if there are more than just these two panels out there...

The cards are not numbered, so I count them as one panel. I am actually glad I didn't get these until later in my life/career, because if I had gotten them when I was younger, I would have separated them. I'm still kicking myself for separating the Fleer promo panels, and the 1996-97 Collector's Choice Mini-cards. Not to mention years worth of Sports Illustrated for Kids! At least I had enough sense not to separate the 1980-81 Topps cards I have. (I use Photoscape to edit the scans down into each individual card, and can finally see them in numerical order that way)

On April 6th, two more trades arrived to me! The first was from Jon of A Penny Sleeve for your Thoughts. I have traded with Jon in the past and I always get topnotch stuff from him.
The first card out was 1993-94 Upper Deck #162, which was the last card I needed to complete the set! The set, at 510 cards, is now the second largest I've ever completed, after 1991-92 Hoops at 590, which I detailed in a previous Trade Recap.

Following that were two Hoops cards, one each from 2015-16 and 2012-13, my two favorite years of the Panini-era Hoops. I am inching ever closer to completing both of them.

After that was a big stack of 1991 Marvel Universe. Now, I'm a DC guy, but Marvel has done much better with cards over the years, doing comprehensive sets on a regular basis while DC has been absent from cards for years. (DC's managerial team is highly inept but that's a whole different topic!). For some reason I never got any of the 1991 Marvel Universe cards. I have a complete 1990 set, I am 6 cards away from the 1994 set, and I have several packs worth from 1992 and 1993, but 1991 was totally absent from my collection, until 2015, when I found a couple of bent but free examples in a local dealer's "junk" box. Jon sent me more than 50 of them! Here are just three of them.

Following that was a graded copy of Elton Brand's 1999-00 Stadium Club Chrome rookie card. I already have the card, but, perhaps surprisingly, it's the first graded Elton in my collection. As you probably know by now, Elton is my all-time favorite player. It is going to be one of the rare instances where I keep a duplicate as part of my collection. Normally duplicates- even of Elton- become trade stock so I can get more non-duplicates. This one will remain part of my collection.

Also on the 6th, I received my first completed trade from SportsCardForum. As I mentioned recently, in my first HOST of April, I joined the SportCardForum in the last week of March. Since then, up to April 7th when I am typing this portion of the post, I have completed one trade, one small purchase and had completed another trade but then got talking with the other person and realized we each had a lot more cards the other person wanted so are building it into a much bigger trade- that way we only have to ship once, and considering the other person lives in Slovenia, saving on shipping is a good thing for both of us!

The first trade was all 2015-16 Hoops cards, getting me very close now. Although I'm still waiting on them to arrive in the mail, I'm only two away from the complete set after this month's activities!
Here are some of the cards I got (but not all)

Photo from game held in Africa, one of two in the set

Only card to depict the Rockets' Chinese New Year jersey I am aware of

In a funny coincidence, the trade from SportsCardForum included a copy of the same 2015-16 Hoops card Jon sent me, so I went from having no copies of the Paul Pierce card, to having a duplicate, in the same day!

Update on Hoops: After writing this post, I completed 2015-16 Hoops, the final card I needed arriving in the mail on 4/30/16.

On April 19th the big package from my new friend in Slovenia was a big one, and covered a wide variety of sets- just check out this breakdown of the trade below!
  • 7 cards from 2012-13 Hoops
  • 17 cards from 2004-05 Upper Deck
  • 21 cards from 2014-15 Hoops
  • 4 cards from 2010-11 Panini Season Update (I now need only one to complete the set)
  • 7 cards from 2012-13 Panini
  • 15 cards from 1994-95 Flair
  • 5 cards from 2012-13 Past & Present (and almost 10 more that I forgot to remove from my wantlist when I got them in 2015)
  • 4 cards from 1998-99 Stadium Club
  • 6 cards from 2001-02 Hardcourt
  • 5 cards from 1994-95 Finest
  • 3 cards from 1997-98 Metal Universe
  • 3 cards from 2006-07 Bowman, all of which are new people for my collection
  • 2 cards from 1996-97 Stadium Club
  • 2 cards from 1997-98 Stadium Club
  • 4 cards from 1996-97 Fleer
  • 2 cards from 2006-07 Topps
  • 1 card from each of the following sets: 1995-96 Flair, 1996-97 Z-Force, 2003-04 MVP, 2000-01 Stadium Club, 1999-00 Skybox Apex, 2014-15 Panini Prizm, 2004-05 Hoops, 1999-00 Flair Showcase, 2002-03 Ultra, 1999-00 Stadium Club Chrome, 2009-10 Crown Royale, 2009-10 Upper Deck, 2008-09 MVP, 2014-15 Select, 2012-13 Hoops European, 2013-14 Panini European. The final 3 sets are new to my collection, and the cards from 09-10 UD and 08-09 MVP are also new people! 
Here are some highlights:

 This Mile Ilic card also completed the letter I for me...I now have at least one card for every person who has a last name beginning with I to get an NBA card, at least as far as I know!
 The back is shown instead od the front. There are two ways to tell the European card from the American card, one of which shows in the scan. The line of copyright says designed in the USA while the American version says "©Panini America Inc., ©2012 NBA Properties, Inc., Printed in the USA". The other difference is the card itself, which is glossy on both sides and is a different thickness. I had no idea there were different versions of 2012-13 Hoops.
 I did know that there was a 2013-14 Panini European seat based on the American Hoops design, but I was not able to get any before this one.

On April 23rd, I ended up getting a lot of cards. I visited a local place that has multiple card dealers, and I also received a trade in the mail from cabz05 on the Trading Card Database. This trade saw me take in 25 new cards, and also moves him into the lead of people with the most trades with for me on the Database- this was our 3rd deal. First out was a selection of historical inserts from Allen & Ginter. I know these are technically baseball cards but the non-sports they include is really something I love. I know this year's set will have a lot of Ancient Rome in it so I may not be able to resist chasing the set some, but all these are from 2014. My favorite is, naturally, the one about Rome.

I finally got around to putting the cards I needed from 1990-91 Hoops onto my wantlist on the Database- and I got three people offering me the missing cards in the span of a week! Cabz05 was the first and from him I got all but two of the cards I needed from one of my all-time favorite sets- a trade I am waiting on should complete it for me!

I also got 5 of the cards in the 6 card NBA Schoolyard Stars insert from 1991-92 Fleer. I already had card #2, which means I now have the complete insert set! That's not something I have happen very often.

5 cards from 1992-93 Ultra now brings me under 10 needed to complete the set! This is another set that made it onto my Top 20 Countdown.
I received two trades on the 28th, both from the Database. The first one, which was larger, left me a little unhappy so I won't say who it was with- the cards were physically dirty and just put loose into a bubble mailer- a couple of them also came with water damage that was clearly like that before they went into the package. It was mostly common cards from the 1998-99 through 2000-01 season, with the largest part of the trade being 1998-99 Hoops, not a set I particularly like anyway. The highlight of the trade was an Andrei Kirilenko rookie from 2001-02 Ultra, which is SN. You can see in the gold foil area of the name where I used a damp paper towel to clean the card- it look like it needs some more work. I find this strange because I've traded with the person before and that other time was perfect. I have not decided if I want to say anything to him yet- perhaps he will read the blog and contact me.

I also received a trade from  jlcre2003 on the Database, which was a small trade- 6 cards total, 4 coming to me and two going to him, (it's all he asked for) but the highlight of that trade was a card of Shavlik Randolph, which is my first of him. It isn't too often I can trade for somebody missing from my collection but it worked out perfectly here.
This was the largest month for me for trades in over a decade! I have no real idea the last time I made this many trades, but it was likely around 2004 or 2005.
Thanks for reading!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

My first Hockey Relic! Sort of...

I got my first hockey relic this week! Um, kind of...

This past Saturday my brother took me to a local place that is a source for cards, and for the first time there were 2013 Goodwin Champions packs marked down into the $1 pack bin. I grabbed 4 of them and when I got home I set out to open three of them. (The other will be scanned first, then opened, but I have not gotten to it yet). First pack out, second card....

A hockey jersey relic! Cool! It doesn't count towards my hockey collection, because it is from a multi-sport set, which I count as a separate collection. It also doesn't appear to be licensed even though UD has the NHL license, which is strange, but I knew that going in. Unlicensed cards also don't count towards my pro sports collections, but I do count them towards my multi-sport collection. Yeah, it doesn't make sense, but that's the way I've always done it so it must have made sense to me at one point. Maybe.

It's been a busy week for my collection. I got my first hockey relic, as shown above, I completed a letter in the NBA (More in this month's Trade Recap) and I got my first Tobacco card duplicates. I am also surely over 100 tobacco cards now, but I don't have an exact count...yet.

I also got a new scanner which will lead to it's own post a little bit down the line, I am not even going to open it for a week or two. More on that when I post about it.

Here are the base cards I got from my three packs that I opened. I got a couple of duplicates so I ended up with 9 new cards, perfect to fit on one "page" of scans.







#159, the Trading Card Database says this is an SP
If anybody needs a #23 John Havlicek or #40 Reggie Theus card, I've got spares.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

3 Years ago today I almost died.

Literally, 5 minutes later and I would not have survived. As I've alluded to in the past, I have health problems...Well, one I didn't know I had was diabetes, and it turned into Ketoacidosis. At the NNL East the week before, I had purchased a Mountain Dew out of the vending machine and by the time I was halfway through with it I was feeling really sick. (that didn't stop me from finishing it, however). As the day went on I was feeling worse and worse, to the point where eating anything made me nauseous. I blamed it on the Dew, sure that it had been tainted.

Over the next week, I got worse and worse, but I refused to go to the doctor. I have...issues...with doctors and will not go as a general rule.

Finally, on the 26th of April 2013, I could no longer stand up, I could barely see, I was having trouble breathing- it was bad. A call to 911 and a trip to the hospital led to the discovery that I was diabetic, and that I was suffering from DKA.

My blood sugar was so high that the ambulance could not read it; the doctors at the emergency room speculated that it was over 1200. The healthy range is 80-120. I had a 5% survival rate, and my mom was told that if 911 had been called 5 minutes later, it would have been too late.

I don't really remember much of that day- I was pretty well out of it. I do remember having them put the Knicks-Celtics playoff game on in the ICU and, bizarrely, I remember seeing Buffalo Wild Wings out the ambulance windows, but I was basically out of it all that day.

But I did survive....and I am actually in better health now than I've been in years, although there's still work to be done, and of course, there's the other stuff that insulin injections can't fix.

To celebrate the fact that I'm still alive, I decided to break into my pack stash and open up a few cards today. I opened up 2 packs of 2012-13 Panini Contenders, 2 of 2015-16 Complete, 1 each of 2009-10 Panini, 2010 Wheels Main Event, 2009 VIP, 2012 Press Pass (flagship) and 1988 Leesley Bigfoot, which, as you may recall, was the set that got me started in the hobby when it was new.
Normally I like to celebrate on May 1st, because that was my first day home, the start of a new life, if you will, but I decided to do some celebrating today too. For me, opening a few packs is a celebration!

Here are some highlights.
Could there be a more fitting tagline for today?

I actually got 1 Bigfoot card I needed- rare, the set is the worst ever for pack collation I've ever seen!

 This card is die cut.

My only new card from 2012 Press Pass flagship or 2009 VIP, where even the insert in the pack was a duplicate.

I'm sure glad that I am still here!