Sunday, July 31, 2016

A Couple of big trades with a new trading partner

Over a month ago now, I got into something I rarely ever do, and that is a three way trade. Not that I'm not willing to trade with anybody, but the opportunity almost never presents itself. In the 15 years or so that I've been trading online, I think this is only the second time I've been able to pull off a trade involving more than two people.

It started with a message from a frequent trading partner of mine from the Trading Card Database, Mark Z. aka mzentko. He asked me if I had anything on his friend's tradelist, would I be willing to make a trade by sending his friend some cards and he (Mark) would send me some. Sure! This became the first trade I'd ever been involved in where I didn't actually know the other trader, but it worked out very well.

His friend Joel maintains an online wantlist that is set up very well- you can see it here. I liked the way it looked so much that I, with some modification, adapted it for My Own wantlist! (still a work in progress).

So I went through my duplicates box and pulled out all the Topps NBA cards I had that he needed, and packed them up and sent them away. I have been on the receiving end of surprise card mailings in the past, (My PO Box is listed publicly on the NASCAR card forum) but I rarely get to make them, and I did here.

Shortly after, Joel sent me back a thank you package, filled with lots of good stuff. About half of it was NASCAR, but, not knowing what I really collect, he sent me some baseball and some football, too. Since I don't have a lot of either of those, they were all new- not a single duplicate! Since I will accept any card, I was pretty happy with what I got- and that's not even taking the cards themselves into account!

Here is a collage of just some of the baseball cards he sent me. There was one from every set from 1957-77 and a bunch from 1978. Previously, I had one card from 1963 and one from 1978, all the rest were new to me! This was the first time I ever held examples from most of these sets. I did not scan all of the sets/cards but did two pages only.
I can post bigger scans if anyone wants to see them
 They aren't all in perfect shape but I don't care. I may not actively collect baseball but getting these vintage cards was really a thrill! It's really great how you baseball collectors can build a complete (or at least, mostly) history of your sport. My two sports have lots of empty spaces- NASCAR didn't get cards until it's 4th decade, and the NBA has more than a decade without any cards produced at all. As someone who collects mostly to document the sport, you guys have it WAY better than I do. 

The football cards all came from 1993 Topps, and with the shipment I hit #1000 in my football collection. That's pretty amazing because in my life I've purchased exactly 1 football card! The rest all came as gifts, freebies and randomly mixed into the mixed boxes of NBA I like to buy. I don't mind, I will accept any sports cards for my collection.

This was #1000
1993 Topps #108

but this one is my favorite. I think photography wise it's my favorite football card in my whole collection actually. Speaking as a photographer, this one is perfectly timed, if not perfectly cropped.
1993 Topps #8
I mean, just look at the photo. He's flying through the air, getting ready to crush the guy in blue, who appears to be totally oblivious. It's just....spectacular. How could you not like this card? If only they had not cropped out his other foot, so you could see that he's totally in the air....

Since then, Joel and I have chatted on the Database and we ended up doing another big trade. I went through his Fleer/non Topps flagship wantlist and was able to pull a lot of cards for him. I was able to fit them into one of those $5 if it fits-it ships boxes from the USPS and it was full- not any spare space at all, and I didn't even see his Upper Deck wantlist until the box was sealed and ready to go. I didn't bother to count the cards but it was well into the triple digits.

He then sent me another box, with more NASCAR and this time basketball- a large selection of 1995-96 Collector's Choice Portuguese II, a set I had one card from, that I had gotten from COMC during their sale recently. I now have 86 cards from the set!

In just two trades Joel has moved into the top 5 of people who I've gotten the most cards in trade from. Not that I keep actual statistics on that but I can only think of two or three people I've gotten more cards from off the top of my head.

Now, with everything that's been going on lately (See most of my posts in the month of July) the NASCAR cards got mixed together from which shipment was which. I could figure it out- I have it in Excel- but, meh, I'll just post them in any order.

The majority of the cards are Mark Martin and Darrell Waltrip but there are other drivers included as well.
This card really scanned well- you can even tell the gold foil IS gold foil! I've always loved Action Packed. And this paint scheme is the iconic Mark Martin scheme in my opinion.

This latest batch of cards included three Serially numbered parallels. I love serially numbered cards, always have, and am always happy to get them.
 This is my first Badge of Honor Reflector, SN0959/1350. Oddly, the basic version of this insert is die cut, while the parallel is not.
 A Platinum Red from 1997 Totally Certified. And it shows a special paint scheme! This was, in fact, the first special paint scheme of Robby Gordon's career. It is SN1600/2999
This Platinum Blue from the same set scanned really well, and is SN0098/1999.

Something interesting I just noticed when posting these- both Press Pass and Pinnacle used the exact same font and color on their "Peel off" sheet. Hmm...I wonder if there is a connection there. I will do some research.

There were several First Gear parallels from various Wheels High Gear sets. Here's one from 2001 and 2003.

1998 VIP was a 50 card set and Mark got 6 cards in the set. I didn't have any of them before, and now I have 5 of them! For some reason, despite 1998 being my favorite year in NASCAR history, I have very few cards from that season.
This is an insert from 1995 Maxx Series 2 retail. I did not have a single card from the insert- either retail or hobby- before!
This die-cut insert from 1999 Premium is a great set.
Can you tell I favor the cards that show cars? Even though he drove other schemes and for a longer amount of time, the pink and black cars of 1998-99 are the ones I think of when I think of Jeff Burton.

Since I wrote up most of the post I got a gift of 1127 NASCAR cards from a different friend and now I truly am mixed up on which cards came from where, so I am done posting scans in this post.
I will say that I just mailed out another box to Joel today, (Saturday, July 30th) and it cleaned out what I had for him that he needed. I will be getting another package from him shortly, it will probably be waiting in my PO box when it's checked again next Saturday. I have no idea what'll be in it, but I know it'll be good.

Check out his wantlist- he has lists for everything he collects but favors baseball, especially the Red Sox . He's trustworthy to trade with and let him know I sent you! His email is jefreedman1 at He's also on the Trading Card Database.

PS, this also counts as my Trade Recap for both May and June. I have not been able to complete any other trades during the past two months, but I've now done three with Joel.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

COMC Bonanza Part 4: The End...and the Beginning?

Editorial Note: I wrote this post up back in June, but with all the stuff that's gone on- my remote hard drive crashing, the huge NASCAR gift, continual health problems, deaths of family and friends, and neighbors causing trouble, I just have not been in the mood to write or even post out of my completed drafts, of which I have more than 20 posts ready to go.  I need to force myself to post or else it will just slip away from me so here you go. I sure wish more of the things going on were good things like the NASCAR gift...

This is the final post in the COMC Bonanza series, and also shifting a MAJOR stance on something that has held true for some 28 years. Read on...

Here are the first three posts. 

While the first post showed cards that were needed to complete sets, the second post showed SN, AU and Relic cards, the 3rd post showed the sets and people I added to my collection...this post is going to show the other cards that don't fit those above categories, cards I just liked and wanted to have as part of my collection...and then the change.

 I was 5 cards short on the Die Cut parallel of 2001 Trackside, and I got 4 of them. (Not shown: The censored cards of Mark Martin and Dale Earnhardt Jr.). The last card I need is Dale Jarrett's car, but the one on COMC was ridiculously overpriced- I think he wanted $18 for it, or maybe it was just $8. The card shouldn't even cost $1, so I left it.
 Card #100 from 2010 Premium, showing the 2010 Daytona 500 victory celebration.
 The short prints in 2010 Press Pass are a pain in the butt. I got two (Not shown: Juan Pablo Montoya) and still have 2 left to hunt down, to complete the set.
 This is the Salute to Dale card I mentioned in post #1. It was a three card set, of which I pulled multiple copies of each of the first two cards, but this one was short printed.

I discovered that COMC has Racing Champions cards! I didn't expect that (most people ignore them, because they did not come in packs) and they actually had three I needed. This Stock Rod, I don't even know what SET it goes to. That's surprising, as I worked for almost 25 years to get every Racing Champions issue I could. The last time I found a set I didn't know existed was probably 1999. Not trying to brag but RC was my specialty. I have since found out they were exclusive to stores that were either not in my area or that we didn't go to. The TRU promo is neon by the way!

And now...a major change for me. I've been in this hobby since 1988. I was 4 years old, and I've never stopped collecting. Even when I was mostly out of it in 2007 and 2008, I was still in a little bit...I've always considered myself a collector, even if I wasn't able to add to my collection.

In that time I've never sold a single card. Not one. I've given away thousands, traded away thousands more, but I've never sold one....until now. I had a lot of fun going through COMC and picking out cards. Most of which you've now seen over the last 4 posts. It proved to be immensely fun for me. I spent $200 and I got 144 cards, 139 of which were new, and the others replaced cards that were damaged, including two of the worst from my flood of 2/5/15. It took me about 5 hours to create the order of cards, and they have given me literally days of enjoyment. I got the order on June 22nd and I'm STILL working on them now, and enjoying every minute of it.

It got me to thinking. I've been adding cards to my collection non-stop for years. I viewed it as something to be proud of that I've never sold any cards. But I got to rethinking that. Seeing how much enjoyment it gave me to hunt down these cards- most of them that I got were common cards, to fill sets, even ones I wasn't able to complete- it gave me great joy. What if my duplicates that I've been storing all this time could bring somebody else that same feeling of joy? So,  I started to dig into my duplicate stash, which is extensive, but not as extensive as it could be, as I've given away lots of cards. I selected a random assortment of cards (mostly random, anyway) that were duplicates, and which I had not entered into my tradelist on the Trading Card Database, and selected 100 cards, which is the minimum that COMC requires. By the time this post gets published (I usually write up posts several days in advance- to be honest all the posts in this COMC bonanza series were written on the same day) my first shipment of cards for sale on COMC will be in possession of the USPS en route to COMC. There's nothing too spectacular there- I made sure to put in a couple of Jordan, Kobe and LeBron, but all college sets. And one thing for sure is that they are all duplicates. A card I only have one copy of is still going to be part of my collection as if my life depended on it! 

I don't know how it will work out. I hope it will work out well, but I'm not going to be asking for much on these. I am planning to ask for 30 cents a card for base cards, most of which they are, 40 cents for parallels and 50 cents for inserts- regardless of player or card subject. I wouldn't even ask that much if COMC didn't charge 25 cents per card, to be honest.  I'm aware that if all 100 cards sell, which I think is unlikely, that would give me a profit of ....wait for it....Five dollars. It's not a lot, but it's $5 more I have to spend on cards than I have right now. (A little more, actually, as there are some non-base, but you get my drift)

One of the reasons I've decided to do it is that I don't have anywhere near as much money to spend in the hobby that I once did, or would like to have. There are lots of cards I want- thousands upon thousands- but can't afford. I'm specifically targeting a card from Panini Eminence. The cheapest one on there is $150. The most I'll spend on a single card is $20...maybe $25. If I can come anywhere close to that, to me mentally I could justify it because it wouldn't really be spending $ would be trading a bunch of cards and then adding some cash to the deal...even though I don't know who the cards will be going to. It works for me, mentally.

I do have some trepidation. This is a major change from the stance I have held pretty much my entire life. I'm not going to be selling cards on Cardboard History (though a link to my COMC listings WILL appear, when it's ready) nor on Ebay or the Facebook groups, but I will no longer be able to say I'm solely a buyer. 

The other possible con I can think of is that, if it works well and I end up funneling most of my duplicates to them, I won't have anything new to trade, or to fill out random trades with new people I meet. I just "met" a collector through the Database and I've sent him about 350-400 that, otherwise, would have been in line to eventually get to COMC...if I like doing it. 

Pros are that I won't have to store the dang things anymore. I have somewhere north of 150,000 cards in my possession, and that's not even counting the ones that are too badly damaged to list on my tradelist or offer up on COMC or elsewhere, which outnumber my tradeable duplicates by about 2 or 3-1. And I keep finding cards I didn't even remember having in my storage units, of which we have 3. (Some of which were duplicates and are now headed to COMC!) 

Another pro is that it opens up a wide variety of people I would not have access to otherwise. I basically know only a handful of people in the's not like it was back in the early 2000s when Trader Retreat was going strong. Most of the NASCAR collectors I know already have everything I've got to offer, so hopefully the NASCAR collectors perusing COMC will be people I don't know who want my cards.  

The biggest pro, though, is that I should be able to turn some of my duplicates, of which I really have no need, into cards I DO need, so in a way it's really like just trading them. As I stated my goal is to get a Eminence card, but that is not something likely to happen this year....especially as I'm starting out small with the very minimum COMC allows a seller to send in. And, knowing myself, I'll spend it on the first serially numbered Elton Brand I see anyway.

Here is a photo of the cards I selected, most of them chosen simply because there were easily accessible, IE, the Donruss cards, which all were duplicates out of a blaster my mom bought me last week.  
after taking this picture, I put the cards in the penny sleeves that my COMC order of 6/22/16 arrived in!
 With the $25 minimum it would take me a while to send them all my duplicates...I literally could not afford to pay the fees required to list them, which is humorous in a way. 
I have to admit, I selected a lot of college cards because I had no intention of ever listing most of them on my Tradelist on the Database. Let them deal with them, LOL.  I won't be sending in anything on my tradelist currently either, it was way too much work to get them listed so they are going to stay there until I trade them all away. (IE, never)

I hope it's a success, so I can turn these duplicates into new cards for my collection!  

Editorial Note Part 2:The "last week" I mention in relation to the blaster of Donruss is now over a month ago. I finally got the cards into the mail today, July 30th, even though I printed out the shipping slip on June 28th. Over a month...tells you a little about my mindset right now, but I will keep going forward. 

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Correcting a mistake I 1995

I'm sure everyone who has been in the hobby has mistakes...regrets, things they wish they hadn't done. I know I do!

One of the things I did back in the day, in 1995 to be exact, I've finally addressed today.

As you may remember I've been a comic collector literally my entire life- my brother read me my first at 5 days old and I've never stopped. Naturally, I also collect comic based cards, and I have for more than 25 years now. I favor DC but I also have more than a few Marvel cards. Over the years Marvel has done a much better job with cards than DC has.

One thing you used to be able to get is promos, which seem to be a thing of the past. They used to issue an advance version of a set, sometimes with differences, sometimes looking exactly like the production card does. They were issued all throughout the 1990s and into the 2000s, but the last ones I remember getting were around 2005. Maybe 2004.

For a time in the 1990s, they would issue panels, ranging in size from 2 to 9 cards, but most DC and Marvel sets were 4 card panels, with one side looking like 4 cards from the set and the back having info on the coming set.

(I bet you can figure out where this is going already...)

Anyway, in 1995, I got my hands on one of the 4 card panels for 1995 Marvel Metal. And I cut them down into 4 standard size cards. I don't have any memories of doing that...but I must have. I remember having them in my first time with non-sports cards (I didn't collect non-sport from roughly 1997-2009, which I now regret immensely) but I don't remember getting them, I don't remember cutting them apart for sure.
To be honest, it's possible I got them that way already. The cut is perfectly straight and I was 11 years old in 1995, so that leads me to believe somebody else may have done it. At this late date, there's no way to know. I remember wishing I had the full panel back in the 1990s but I don't remember if I was regretting cutting it myself or wishing I had gotten it that way.

Either way, it was something I've been very unhappy about since I got back into non-sports in a big way in 2009. Since then I have enjoyed the world of non-sports more than I have either of the two sports I collect.

Flash forward to today- it's the hottest weekend in years, and I have trouble with the heat. You'd think I'd stay in the AC but no...I braved the heat and visited a comic show on Saturday- when it was 97 degrees out- (no cards I needed at the show) and today, the temp was lower at only 94, but the humidity was higher, making it nearly unbearable. But I still went to one of my favorite places to shop, and visited my non-sport dealer for the first time in several months. I'm sure glad I did, because...I found a replacement panel of the Marvel Metal set!! I have been looking for a replacement for years, and now, finally, I have one. The corners may not be perfect but I don't care. One of the bigger regrets in my collection has now been solved! I may not be able to walk for the next week or so, was worth it!

I have not scanned it yet, but here's a picture. These cards are really hard to photograph, don't be surprised if you see a scan at some point in the future as well.
Here's another photo, which is more angled, but you see Wolverine better on the bottom left.
I got a lot of other neat cards today- including some holograms, which I have always considered the best "hit" in trading card history. I got like six of them today, and you will see them at some point, I just wanted to get this post up about means a lot to me to correct that regret!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

NASCAR gift: looking at the numbers

So, I've been working with the NASCAR cards I was given as a gift almost non-stop over the past several days (with a break out for the Eldora truck race- NASCAR needs more dirt racing!) and I have now finished entering them into the three places I track my collection. #1. My paper listing, this is the most important. I've been keeping the paper listing since I was 14 years old and is the backbone of my collection. #2, the Excel chart where I track the order I get the cards. I don't really have any purpose for this except that I'm OCD. I keep track of the order I get them, the date I get them and what number they rank in my collection...which is troublesome as it rarely matches my paper listing. I somehow got them all typed in in one day, which is a bit Herculean in and of itself, as there were 1172 cards to type. No, that is not a typo, 1127 were NASCAR but the box included a smattering of the NBA cards my brother bought me the day after the NASCAR gift. (Which will get their own post soon because there is something really cool about them- stay tuned).

#3 is the Trading Card Database. It's the only place my collection is listed publicly, and is my internet home. When I joined in 2012 I listed my entire collection, at least what I could at the time, and I've been working on filling in the peripheral stuff ever since, and naturally updating new acquisitions as well.
For a while now, instead of entering everything as I get it, I scan them first and then add them to my collection on there as I post the scans. But there were too many to do that with here....I won't finish scanning these anytime soon. I originally speculated a month or more, but after entering them...and seeing how many are mirror foil...I know it won't be this year. So I entered them all in, sorting them out as I went. Cards that are not yet posted went in one stack, mirror foils went into one stack, die cuts and clear plastic went into another stack, die cut mirror foils got their own stack, and the cards that were already scanned and posted by other people got a stack- which turned out to be the largest stack. Those went into a box and will be scanned at some future later date. Even breaking them out, I'm looking at roughly 600 cards than need to be scanned, with about 3/4ths of them needing to be done on my "new" scanner, which is slow and a pain to work with, adding to the time.

I thought to take screencaps of my collection stats page on the Database before and after entering the cards. I didn't do any actual thinking on my own, but the biggest jump appears to be Mark Martin, who saw about 40 new cards added and moved into 2nd place in my collection, passing Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Here are the before stats for drivers, and remember, you can click on it to make it bigger. Sorry it's so small, but I wanted to capture the top 100.
Now, here is the after.
Since it's so hard to read, here is just the Top 25 before and after.
Jeff Burton went from 537 to 579 and still couldn't crack the Top Sometimes my collection even amazes me, not to sound like I'm bragging or snooty or anything...I feel very fortunate and lucky to have been in the right place at the right time multiple times to help me build this collection. I don't know what I've done to receive the kind of generosity  I've been shown over the years, and I hope to be able to repay people at some time. Being able to have a collection like this is a privilege especially considering the health stuff I deal with on a daily basis.

I need to work on getting more Ernie Irvan cards. Ernie was my favorite driver when I discovered the sport, and remained so until he retired in 1999, now he is my favorite retired driver. I need to get him higher than 19th in my collection...getting him past Kenseth is a new goal for the remainder of 2016. Luckily, there are a lot of cheapo base cards I still need of him, so I should be able to move him past Kenseth with a $20 COMC spree. Of course since it'll be a while before I do something like that again I will probably be distracted by cheap SN parallels when I finally do put anything into there. I'm a sucker for SN cards, but I digress. 

Here are the seasons- 1998 was the largest increase. Fitting as 1998 is actually my favorite season in NASCAR history. Every set that could have new cards got some except SP and Pinnacle Mint, although come to think of it I thought I remembered getting a Mint card when I was first going through them, now where did it go...?  Must have turned out to be a duplicate. Note that these numbers are for all forms of racing, not just NASCAR. While NASCAR is my thing, I also have a collection of Indy, Sprint, Drag, F1, monster trucks, pretty much anything I can get my hands on. If it has wheels and competes in contests of speed, I'm all for it.
I'm still reeling from all these cards. I'm not sure that's the right word...but they came at a much needed time when nothing was going right, and I was in a pretty bad state of mind. But it turned into my best day in the NASCAR side of the hobby ever (and top 5 all time)...even though 2016 is my 24th year collecting NASCAR!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016


THAT is how many new NASCAR cards I got from my friend on July 16th...making it the #1 day all time in my NASCAR collection! The previous record was 990 new cards, which took place on January 10th, 2010, when my local diecast shop was closing and he gave me every card he had left in the store.

The day now ranks 4th all-time in documented new cards in one day for me. (I only began keeping records in 1999, but only one day would rank higher- my birthday in 1997 when my brother gave me 20 200 count boxes of NBA!) I also bought a nearly full 5000 count box of NASCAR cards in 1998 but  I don't think it would go that high- there were a lot of duplicates, up to 10 copies of the same card was not unheard of, and of course all the Earnhardt and Gordon cards had been removed. I probably should have looked in the box first, but when I saw a box that size for $25, I grabbed it!)

Most of the cards I just got are from the 1996-2000 period, which is something I was really sorely lacking. 1998-2000 are some of the least represented years in my collection, despite the fact that 1998 is actually my favorite NASCAR season. The biggest gain was, I believe, 1999 Stealth. I had 2 cards, and now I'm under 10 away from completing it! I also completed at least one insert set.

I completed 1 set- 2011 Element. Pretty much every regular Cup driver from that time frame and nearly every set saw new will be a while still before I know who made the biggest jumps, but I am taking a screencap of the stats for drivers and years, you will see much difference in the post-entry screencaps!

This is just some of the cool cards...there will be more to come. This is just a cell phone picture and I know it's terrible, sorry about that. Still learning the phone, and how to trigger the camera flash...

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Surprise mail day!

Got a big surprise in the mail today... check the picture!

I had no idea these cards were coming, a gift from a friend. They are pretty much all NASCAR and range in age from 1995 to last year. These are a lot of great cards here, some are even sets I don't recognize! There are also 4 new people for my collection including one who I did not think had any cards produced. It's going to take me a while to process these cards, it may be days before I learn how many are new...but I would make an educated guess that today is now in the top 5 for new NASCAR cards in one day!

There will be a lot more to come from this surprise mailing in the near future. HUGE thanks to my friend for sending them to  me!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

No Nationals for me- a request for help!

The National Sports Collector's Convention is in Atlantic City next month, as I'm sure most of you are aware. I really thought I would be able to go this year, which would have been my first National and my first card show of any sort since 2005.

But it's not going to happen. To be honest, I can't afford it. It's too far to travel to and back from in one day, and the motels in Atlantic City are very expensive. Plus they charge you to park, which is a crime. Add in the fact that we don't have a working car, and may not have one for any time in the forseeable future if ever again, so we would have to rent one.
And that's not even taking into account the fact that you need money for cards at a card show.
I don't have $1000 to drop on something fun by frivolous. 

I really, really wanted to go, and I know by missing it this year, I may never get to one. But it can't be helped.

So, I am wondering if I could get some help from the card blogging community. If Panini issues a NASCAR promo set, can somebody help me get a copy for my collection? I figure there is a chance they will do one since they will be launching their NASCAR cards a week before the National.

They may include them in a multi-sport set...that's fine too.

I would trade in your favor of course, I've got more than 15,000 cards available and a well-stocked Target if you want some modern baseball, football or hockey packs instead.

I'm sorry to beg but the NASCAR promos issued at the National are always very hard to track down. I only have one of the many sets issued and got that through the kindness of another collector as well.

Thanks in advance.

As an aside, I've updated my Top 10 Most Wanted card list on the right side of the page, before the list of card blogs. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Tim Duncan Tribute

We knew it was coming. We knew it would be soon...yet when the news broke on July 11th that Tim Duncan had retired, I was still saddened by the news. Duncan came into the NBA in 1997, and while the Spurs have never been my favorite team- he has personally never left my Top 10 Favorite players list (although I've never actually committed that list to paper or blog post- he'd be in there for sure.)

It's not really much of a stretch to say he's in the running for the greatest of all time in his position, and it would be hard to argue against him- over 19 years, after all, how many other people can say they:
  • Led their team to 5 NBA Championships
  • Winning the NBA MVP award twice and the Finals MVP award three times
  • Making the All-Star Game and All-NBA teams 15 times
  • NEVER missing the playoffs
  • Making 14 All-Defensive teams
  • Rookie of the Year in 1997-98 and All-Star Game MVP in 1999-00
  • 7th All-Time in games played (1392)
  • 10th all-time in minutes played (47,368)
  • 6th All-time in rebounds (15,091)
  • 5th all-time in blocks (3020)
  • 14th All-Time in points scored (26,496) This is even more impressive as defense was his specialty
  • With Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili, holds the NBA record for most wins scored by a trio of players. 
  • According to NBC Sports, since he joined the team the Spurs have won 71% of the games they have played- which is the highest percentage of wins in ball sports since 1997 when he entered the NBA. 
It's safe to say, with no disrespect to David Robinson (another favorite of mine) and George Gervin, Duncan is the best player in Spurs history and arguably in the top 10 of all time.

There is no question that he is a first ballot hall of famer, and his #21 will be going up in the rafters in San Antonio in short order- probably the upcoming 2016-17 NBA season.

While he was never flashy, never made a big deal about anything, never caused trouble, (In all the years I've been watching him play I can count the time he even argued a call on one hand!) he quietly did what he did and he did it very, very well. If it wasn't for a strange twist of fate, we may never have had the pleasure of seeing him play; his dream was to be an Olympic swimmer, like his older sister, but the only Olympic sized pool in his native US Virgin Islands was destroyed by Hurricane Hugo in 1989. He chose basketball over the shark-infest ocean and that set him on a course toward the NBA and the rest, as they say, is history.

I have a lot of Tim Duncan cards in my collection. The Trading Card Database shows 522 although that's somewhat padded as it also includes team cards, cards shared with other people and college cards, none of which I count towards the total of what I have in my collection. (but my stats are long gone, working on recreating them but it'll be years before I get them back. I digress) He ranks #9 in my NBA collection as per the Database. For a while, in the late 1990s and early-mid 2000s, he was being included in just about every insert and there are many cards of him to choose from; many of them ended up in my collection. Interesting side fact: According to the Database, he ranks 6th all-time in basketball cards produced, as well.

Although I have some rarities of him, my favorite is probably this one, card #40 in the 2003-04 Bowman Signature set. It may not be an action shot, but this card is Tim Duncan. Even though this celebration was from beating my Nets for the NBA Championship, how can you not love this card?
The best and rarest card of him in my collection though, is this one.
It's hard to see in the scan, but it is indeed his autograph, from 2004-05 Luxury Box. Not only that, but it's the Tier Reserved parallel and is SN to 75. Add in the silver alternate jersey, and this card is a winner. I pulled this one, from my box of the set when it was new. He rarely signs autographs, so I was thrilled to get this one. It's the only time he appears in my autograph collection.

One of my favorite memories is of when I got his first Starting Lineup figure. I was unable to find it at retail, but my local card shop had it available, but it was pricey- at least to me. I think it cost $25 dollars. I don't remember for sure but I remember that we put it on layaway. I remember the anticipation of finally getting it, and the fact that it doesn't really look too much like him didn't detract from that at all.
Since I posted a base card, an autograph and a figure, how about a relic?
This comes from 2014-15 National Treasures, a set that is too expensive for me to purchase outright. I got this card as a single from one of the Facebook groups, and is the only card I have from the set. The text that appears black is really silver foil.

Thank you for 19 years of excellence.

Friday, July 8, 2016


Why do you do what you do? It's something I've been pondering for the past several days as I have been working to salvage as much as I can of my files.

In the grand scheme of things, writing a blog about cards, scanning cards (and other stuff) and even collecting cards, is not really all that important. It doesn't make the outside world a better place.

But it - usually - provides and escape from the pain of the real world, something normally fun to take your mind off your troubles.

And troubles I've got. Aside from all the horrible stuff going on in the world which doesn't affect me personally, but is troubling anyway- which I will not comment on beyond this (the blog is supposed to be fun, remember) I am in pain 24/7/365. And I have been now for more than half my life.

I'm not a particularly happy person- you may not get that from reading my posts - but it's hard to be happy when you feel terrible all the time.

Collecting cards is supposed to be fun. Usually, it is. This week, it has not been. I am now on day #10 of attempting to recover my scans, photos and files. I still have several days of recovering ahead of me, and that's not even counting having to relabel every scan, as the program I used to recover them did not save file names. It also didn't save the many folders I had sorted everything into- all my pictures, scans etc. got dumped into one giant folder, which had more than 302,000 photos in it!

Ever since I got my digital camera in 2003, I've been photographing anything and everything. So much so that I've picked up the nickname "The Mad Documenter" Now, though, I had to go through every single one of my photos trying to find my scans that were not backed up anywhere but the usb drive. And it have to it worth it? Nobody cares about my photography except for me. I can tell, definitively, because my website, which I have maintained since 2004, tells me exactly how many times my images have been looked at.

Quite a few have been up for over a year with a grand total of zero views.

It's made me question if it is even worth doing what I do...and that's not even taking into account that when my life eventually'll all disappear. Fotki is something I pay for, every year- quite a bit actually, $96 a year to be totally accurate- and when you stop paying, it disappears. I have no heirs to carry on my work, or even just to maintain it - and no prospects, either, as it's been very long time since I've been able to attract attention of the female kind.

That's hopefully going to be a long way off, but...I've already come within 5 minutes of dying. The future is not set in stone. Health related stuff has already forced me to give up: Driving, my NASCAR diecast collection, dreams of being an archeologist, dreams of being a race car driver, being able to breathe when it's more than 75 degrees out, etc. Walking. (sometimes) Oh yeah, not to mention being able to collect cards like I once did.

On the other hand, say I stop photographing everything, stop working towards scanning my entire collection...then what? I spend most of my time working on documenting my collection, IE, scanning cards, with the occasional photograph thrown in- I still have quite a few action figures left to be photographed. The rest of my time is spent reading, and I've already pretty much finished the history section at my local library.

And some of my reading pursuits have been ended in ways I am not particularly fond of. As I've mentioned in the past, I had my first DC Comic read to me at 5 days old, and I've been reading comics ever since. However, DC's leadership is sorely lacking, and they have thrown out their entire history, and are currently telling horrible stories that are not anywhere near worth reading. On July 1st the monthly comic order arrived, and in it was the last DC Comic I will be getting for the foreseeable future. I never imagined a life without DC Comics, but they lost me by producing nothing worth reading, year after year.

Star Wars is in a similar vein. My earliest memory of anything is watching Empire Strikes Back, but Disney bought it, threw away the entire history, and began publishing/producing, to put it bluntly, crap. 2016 is going to be the first year of my life- I'm 32, or will be in October- where I don't watch a single Star Wars movie. Again, something I never thought would ever happen. I still read a couple of the Star Wars comics, but the best one- Darth Vader- was just cancelled, with issue #25 being the final installment. (it hasn't come out yet, but it's been pre-ordered). That leaves me with one ongoing Star Wars comic series to read, and since I'm not really enjoying it...I could see myself walk away from it, as well. I can't bring myself to do that yet, but I can envision it happening.

I never imagined a life without DC Comics or Star Wars- and yet, outside circumstances I have no control over have parsed them from my life, or darn close to it.

I will keep working at recovering my stuff, but it takes a long time...and some of it is corrupted, taken down by a faulty "My Passport" brand remote hard drive. Unfortunately, the one and apparently only Excel file I lost was the stats page for my comic collection, one of the very few that had information on it that was only there, and so, since it's gone, is lost forever.

You'd think I'd have known better than to trust having a single copy of something. I lost my entire NBA collection stats when a floppy disk went bad on me circa 2005-not once, but twice, which was such a huge loss that it contributed to my leaving the NBA from 2006-12.

I don't know how long it will take to recover everything I can recover- it took more than 5 hours to move 1,907 NASCAR card scans earlier tonight- but I will keep working on it.

I am glad, though, that I was able to recover so much that I have. It would have been such a crushing blow to lose everything that I am not sure if I would have bothered, or just given up. I may not actually be able to recover everything, I probably won't know what had been scanned but not yet uploaded to the Database until I finish scanning every card in my collection, and then go through each set to see what's missing- something I think won't happen until 2021 at the earliest, however, probably much later, as I originally estimated in 2009 that I would finish in 2015 and I'm only at halfway on my NBA collection. Estimating is not my strong suit.

Still, though, I have to wonder...I've had, in the time I've been doing stuff on the computer:
  • 1 remote hard drive
  • 2 or more floppy disks
  • 1 actual hard drive
  • at least 3 flash drives (don't remember, maybe more)
  • 1 camera
  • 2 SD memory cards for cameras 
  • 1 Jeep
all crap out on me and die, usually taking  their entire contents with them. Why bother scanning stuff, and working on photo documenting things, or just taking random pictures, if they are just going to be lost forever?


While we are on the subject of Why?....Why do card companies include the player's weight on sports cards? Does ANYONE care about this? Has anyone ever cared about this? Height, I understand, at least for the NBA- you can usually tell what position a player plays based on his height- but weight? I've never met anybody who cared about this. In fact, in more than 15 years kicking around card based websites on the internet, and more than a decade of card shows before that, I've never heard anyone even MENTION it, with the single exception of somebody making fun of Charles Barkley and Oliver Miller once.


Since I don't want to post two consecutive posts without a picture, here's another "why"...why did I think it was a good idea to put this many cards on a fold up card table?  (note that it's bending in the middle!) Not really too visible in the picture but trust me- it was.
 This was back in 2000, and that is my entire NBA collection at the time. I don't remember how it was sorted, I was sorting constantly back then- I don't even remember all the different ways I sorted the cards, but the usuals were by set and by player, and back and forth.

I still use that same table, in fact, it's been where I have had my computer since 2003 when I got my own. I'm sitting at it right now to type up this post.  It still has a couple hundred cards on it pretty much every day, although now it's just small stacks of waiting to be scanned (usually)

And I still have not finished any of the three model kits below the table.

That's enough whining and philosophy. Next post will be back to actually talking about cards.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Not having fun.

Ugh...for the past several days I've been dealing with a major issue. I had all my files, which is over 300,000 photos and scans, on a remote hard drive, since I no longer trust my actual hard drive after my 2nd computer died in December 2012. Well...the remote hard drive died. Taking everything with it. Most of my stuff is backed up elsewhere, but almost none of the cards I had scanned since October, when I got the remote hard drive, were. Absolutely none of the back scans were, and that includes more than 1000 foil and Finest style cards that I had done the fronts on but not yet the backs.

I normally back up my card fronts on the first of each month, but it looks like I won't be backing them up today.

However, it is looking like I will be able to recover them. I downloaded a program called "Recuva" which was able to get the files back...However....(and nothing ever comes easy for me)...none of the file names were saved. As I had labeled all my cards and sequestered them into folders (uploaded to Database but not Fotki, prepped to post but not yet posted, and more) they are now all mixed together with everything else. Folders for each NBA and NASCAR season, Non-sports sorted by subject, etc.

It's going to take me days, if not MONTHS to get everything back to normal. It's possible I may not have gotten everything back, I don't know yet. I'm still working on it.

It took the Recuva program more than a DAY to read the drive and pull the pictures off of it. There were more than 300,000 after all. I have not even tried to pull my Excel and Word files off it yet- some of which exist only on the remote hard drive that crashed, mainly my updated comic collection charts.

On the one good's allowing me to look at my life's accomplishments in photography and scans. Yeah, kind of lacking, but it's something.

Let me tell you, I don't curse...ever...but I came really close here. To me it's a sign of a lack of intelligence and a lack of a workable lexicon, but the frustration levels have been so high that "crap" and "darn" didn't really cut it.

While the computer program was working, my brother and I went to our local Kmart, which is closing. This really upsets me because it's one of my favorite stores and I have memories of going there my whole life- I've mentioned it on the blog in the past, it's the location I got my first box of NBA basketball cards. (either 1990-91 Hoops or 1994-95 Hoops, possibly both on the same day). They had no cards at all this trip. To add insult to injury, we got food out and it made me sick.

Like I said...not having fun.

No pictures today. Will finish posting the COMC bonanza series soon, and then back to regular programming. But for now trying to recover my scans has to take precedence.

Once I have the pictures back and labeled, I'll be working on getting them up onto a cloud program...I might just post a bunch of scans to the blog as well, as it stores them at full size, and I trust Google to outlive me, let alone my Fotki, which I have run since 2004 and has played host to all my photos ever since, but has lost some of them over time.

At least the tornado warning (!) we had today didn't cause any damage.