Thursday, September 28, 2017

New Elton Brand, Henrik Lundqvist, Dale Earnhardt Jr.

I'm more of a collector of opportunity- I collect everything, and usually pick up as many cards as I can for as little output as possible. But I do have my favorites. Elton Brand for NBA, Henrik Lundqvist for NHL and Dale Earnhardt Jr. for NASCAR. Even though most of the cards are numbered or relics, they are going in this post instead of the SN/Relic posts.

Presented here in order of the card's release.

1999-00 Topps Gallery Player's Private Issue. SN 079/250.
 2000-01 Fleer Authority With Authority. I didn't set out to look for this card, but when I was paging through the Serially Numbered cards sorted by lowest price first, and this Elton showed up on the second page, I would have been a fool to not purchase it! SN 716/999
 2004-05 Finest Red X-Fractor, SN 49 of 59.
 2004-05 Flair Final Edition Courtside Cuts Patch Silver. Only 28 of these were ever made, and now I have one!
 2006-07 Be A Player First Exposures, my first relic for him!
 2006-07 Topps Trademark Moves Wood, SN75.
2012 Showcase. I had the 1/1 and the SN5 already, but not the base card, so I had to correct that. This is the only Dale Jr. card I got in this order...prices were a little high, possibly because I was doing my shopping right around the time he announced his retirement.
 2012-13 Prestige Bonus Shots, SN235/249

2013-14 Gold Standard. One of the very few cards to show Elton in a Hawks jersey. He was with them for two years and got a grand total of (I think) 3 cards and 1 sticker while a member of the team. (not counting parallels)

2015-16 Upper Deck Foil. This parallel is ePack exclusive. I am not a fan of Epack, being a base card guy for the most part, but I added this card to my order anyway (and backed it up with Antti Raanta for good measure! Get it?)

 I've already started adding more cards of my favorites for my next COMC shipment, whenever that may be.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Whales and Sales (Blog Bat-A-Round)

So, Tony from Wrigley Roster Jenga proposed a Bat-A-Round about "white whales" and most wanteds.

I can do that!

While I have a list of my Top 10 most wanted cards on the right side of Cardboard History, those are reasonable cards...or at least 9 of them are. The Jeff Gordon from 2003 Press Pass Signings not so much.

But those aren't the cards that I would say are the "white whales". The cards that I don't think I'll ever be able to add to my collection.

The first card that sprung to my mind is the 1986-87 Fleer Michael Jordan. It's NOT his rookie card, despite what Beckett will tell you. But it is expensive. I have had ample opportunity to buy this card, but I could never bring myself to spend that kind of money on one card. As a set collector, it's the one card that will keep me from completing the 1986-87 Fleer set, although the Akeem Olajuwon card is also more than I can currently do... I'm four away from the set. EDIT to add: I checked my records and I have the Akeem already. I forgot! I'm missing #4 Danny Ainge, #31 Julius Erving, #57 Jordan and #59 Albert King.  As a set collector, it's pretty frustrating and disheartening to know I'll never be able to complete the sets.
Here's a scan which was posted to the Trading Card Database:

1986-87 Fleer #57 Michael Jordan Front

But even that is not the be-all-end-all. I have about 1000 different Jordan cards already. If I never get this one, then I never get it. Jordan's still well-represented in my collection.

Lately, I have shifted my focus more to my project of getting every person who ever got an NBA card into my collection. This is a bit more challenging, but it's been more rewarding already. There are some players who only got regional promos which by nature are hard to find. It lets me feel more like a true historian of the game, rather than just a simple collector.

There's one person who has been giving me trepidation, because he only got one card...literally, a 1/1. However...he's not a person actually involved with the NBA. He's a college coach, a fairly famous one, but still...he's not an NBA person. Jim Valvano. Yet, he was in an NBA set, so for now he's in the list of people missing from my collection.
Do I count him? He's in an NBA set, but he's not NBA. He's not the only non-NBA person to appear in an NBA set, but none of the others are hard to find...and most of them appear in my collection already anyway. (For example, Topps put Chrstie Brinkley and Jennifer Lopez into NBA sets in 2005-06. Jay-Z as well but as he once owned a portion of the Nets he counts as NBA to me)
I think, if push comes to shove and he's the last one left, that I would consider the project complete without that single 1/1. That calls into question, should I actually count the other non-NBA people that have been shoehorned into NBA sets? The first was in 1991 when Will Smith was given a card in a Stay in School subset. Right now, to me if they appear in an NBA set they count, even if they have absolutely nothing to do with the NBA. But I've been debating how I want to tackle that topic and it's led me to another line of thinking that I plan to put up a post talking about later in October.

I cannot show a scan of the card because I have never seen it. What I do know is that it's a cut signature.

That's not even mentioning the players who only got cards in the 1948-49 Bowman set, which are out of my price range. I may be a set collector at heart, but I know completing that set is something I can't even dream about.

Interestingly, I am coming up short on a White Whale for NASCAR. I finally got a Jeff Gordon autograph which is my first thought. I was lucky enough to pull Dale Jr.'s from a pack. With NASCAR only getting cards beginning in 1988 there's not a whole lot of vintage to chase, aside from the 1971 STP set. If Press Pass ever did a cut autograph of Wendell Scott, that would be it for sure, but I'm not sure if they ever did. I know they did for Tim Richmond, Davey Allison and Alan Kulwicki, which would be pretty high up on my list too, all of them.

For non-sports I'm not sure what it would be. The first set from 1879 perhaps, but since I can't even remember the topic I'm not sure if it would really matter all that much to me other than being the first non-sport card ever. For a long time getting even a single Tobacco card seemed like an unobtainable goal, and now, with the right resources and some dumb luck, I have more than 100. Getting into the 1800s was another goal and I accomplished that this year as I don't know what I would say is it for Non-sports right now.
For hockey, I'm still too new to really be chasing any specific cards yet, but everybody knows the 1979-80 Topps and O-Pee-Chee Wayne Gretzky cards, both of which are well out of my price range.

And yes, the title is a reference to 1955's Rails & Sails, one of my favorite non-sports sets.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017


For some reason I really did not chase autographs on this round of COMC binging. I got a couple, sure, but I went more for SN and Triple Threat cards this time.

Besides the Jeff Gordon card I led off with, these are the autographs I picked least the ones that didn't also come with a piece of something.

Also my first card of him!

I actually picked up this Be A Player card for something like 29 cents!
 My first card of Michael Sauer. Based on the 1996-97 NBA Autographics design.
 My first card of him, too.
 Hard to tell from the scan, but this is the Orange die cut version. Amazingly this is my third autograph of him, considering I didn't set out to chase them...In fact, I pulled one of them from a pack.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

NHL Relics and Autographed Relics

Didn't get enough to break them down into their own posts, so I am combining them here in one.
 This is actually my first card of him...he was selected by the Golden Knights, the team that got me into the sport.
My first minor league relic for the sport.

 I read about these banner cards on the Upper Deck blog and was surprised I was actually able to afford one. And a Ranger at that!

Saturday, September 23, 2017

NBA Triple Threats and Double Threats

I don't know where the term "triple threat" came from. It tends to be used for people who have many different skills, but for my card collecting purposes, it means cards that are
  1. Autographed
  2. Relic
  3. Serially Numbered
I keep track of all these details on various Excel charts above and beyond my normal tracking of my collection....OCD, afterall. In this order from COMC, I searched by all three- love that you can search by that kind of attribution - and picked up various cheap cards that I didn't have.

 Also my first card of Nichols

Not sure what the story on this Savovic is. It's got a gold border, the signature, which has faded, is in gold, yet it's SN to 999 and I can find no reference of a gold parallel. COMC listed it as a base card as well. 
I pulled the 1/1 from my box of the set, so I figured I should work on getting the other versions too.

Double Threat are cards that are autographed relics, but are not numbered. 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Cards and more from my Lake George trip

From September 7th-18th, I was in Lake George, NY...the first true family vacation my family has had since 2012! It was pretty great, for the most part...except for the fact that my mom got pretty sick during the trip. My brother and I still found a lot of fun and adventure...and I am really, really sore right now. With my health problems, I'm truly surprised that I was able to do as much as I was able to. I reached my exhaustion point, and kept going...more than once.Now that I'm home, I'm having a little trouble getting up the stairs, or getting to the kitchen to make food, but it was worth it. While I am going to get to the cards, you'll be seeing some trip pictures first.

And pictures...whoo, did I take a bunch. During the 11 day trip, I took a grand total of 4,030 pictures and videos...that is my personal record for most pictures taken in a week's fact, I took more pictures during the trip than I did in all of the previous days in 2017 combined...and more than I took in all of 2015 (a year where health prevented even going to Lake George). I had set a soft goal for myself of hitting the 5000 photo marker in 2017. When we left, I was at #3669 so I knew I would probably get there...and then I blew it out of the water. As of right now, I've taken exactly 7700 pictures during 2017. (I label them in numerical order of taking...or I try to)

We went up in time for the Adirondack Nationals. The day of the show is my absolute favorite day of the year. It held true for 2017 as well. I had always wanted to shoot more than 1000 photos at a single car show...there's nothing else I really love enough to come anywhere close..but my previous record was around 850. I blew that number away, shooting 1533 photos during this year's Nationals!
My favorite car in the show- actually, on the street outside the show- was this 1959 El Camino. (They don't call me El Camino Billy for no reason!) I rarely pose next to a car, but I had to in this case, with the intent to make it my profile picture on Facebook, which I did that night.
2017 Adirondack Nationals on my Website

While we were there, I went to the Saratoga Automobile Museum for the first time since 2012! I used to be a member of the Museum- when we had a working car, and my health was somewhat better, we would go up to Lake George often. Now, it's down to about once a year, if that much, and I have not been there in so long. It's still great.
Here's a car from 1909. How often do you see something like this anymore?
2017 Saratoga Automobile Museum on my Website

This past Friday was a great day. My brother and I went to the Historical Society Museum, and then the real highlight of the trip.
Historical Society Museum

Then, for the first time in my life, we went up Prospect Mountain. That was INCREDIBLE! I will be doing this every year in the future, probably more than once a year. It was my favorite non-Car show part of the trip.
I had a hard time picking a picture to show, but I settled on this one, which shows Beach Road, Fort William Henry, and the Minnie Ha-Ha and Adirondac.
Prospect Mountain album

My brother and I played three rounds of Miniature Golf in one day. Mini golf used to be something I loved to do, but over the years as my health has deteriorated I have not been able to bend down to place or pick up the ball. When I mentioned that, my brother volunteered to do that for me, so we did it for the first time in years this year! And not only that, we did three courses in the same day!
First was Gooney Golf, which I had played but not since about 1997. I didn't remember it too much, but I did remember that the last time we did it my dad was there.
Next was Around the World Golf, which is pretty well known. It was rated as one of the top 5 courses in the world by Yahoo, and Top 10 by Travel Channel, and has been in existence since 1963...but we had never been there before. We had tried...but it was always too crowded. This time of the year...the town pretty much empties from Monday to Thursday, and we hit it on Thursday. For a time we were the only ones at the place. It was quite a challenge, and has two 18-hole sides. One Around the World, one Around the US. The US side may be the most challenging miniature golf course I've ever done!

Since I had never been there before, I photographed every hole. I didn't take to many overview shots though.

The reason we chose to go the time we did, was because Hemmings (the leader in car magazines) was holding their Concours d'Elegance in Lake George for the first time, exactly one week after the Adirondack Nationals. It was actually two separate shows- Friday was the Open show, where anything that paid the fee was allowed in. On Saturday was the Councours itself and that was spectacular!
Open show on my website   Concours d'Elegance on my website
The Open show was somewhat frustrating- there were a lot of people who knew I was aiming a camera, looked right at me...and then walked in front of me anyway. It was such a frustrating day that I was seriously thinking I would not be returning to the Concours after 2017.
On the other hand, how often do you see an El Camino parked next to a Hupmobile?
But the Concours...well...that was much, much better. It was pretty spectacular. I saw three brands of car I've never seen in person before- Heinkel, Walker, and Sayers & Scoville. I saw several cars that were the only one known to exist, one of which was the only one made, and I got to see a Tucker driving under it's own power...Tuckers are incredibly rare, but it wasn't the rarest car at the show...which is sort of mindblowing to this 30 years worth of car shows veteran.
Here's the Tucker:
And here is the Best of Show Winning 1914 Locomobile, the only one of 300 built of this style known to survive. (And owned by the 1960 Olympic Javelin champion to boot!) I actually stayed for the awards ceremony for this show- something I've never done before. Normally when I can't walk anymore, I leave. This time I sat in the grass and waited for the awards.
While at the Concours, I also met a Trading Card Database member for the first time, which was pretty cool! 

Of course, I also have an album of random pictures of the Lake, and other adventures from my trip. I never even mentioned that I saw fish swimming in the lake for the first time in my life, or that we explored a building from 1930 that is the grandest structure I've ever been in, or any of the boats, which I love.
Lake George 2017

But this a card blog! And I do collect cards...although LG has not been a hotbed for cards for many years.
The first night we were there, I went into the Target in Wilton (Saratoga) and got two packs of 2017-18 MVP, the first cards from my first full season of watching/collecting the NHL. For my two other sports, my second season was my favorite year for the sports...however, both of those were in the early to mid 1990s so they have a decided edge. I will be curious to see if the 2017-18 releases are my favorite season of hockey cards. The thing is, I won't know for years. Stay tuned to Cardboard History because since I realized it a while ago, I've been keeping my eye on it for my new sport.
My first card from the new season!

There has not been a card shop in town for many years, but a new one opened last year, called Live, Love, Laugh. It's not solely a card's more a Lake George culture shop with a section for cards. The last card shop in town closed in around 2003 or 2004...and incredibly enough, the new shop is in the exact same storefront as the last shop was! The previous shop was sports only, while like I mention, this one is not. Last year, I got two clear plastic cases of assorted NBA cards, and pulled some great stuff...each had an autograph, too. This year, I set my sights on getting more of them. Money was extremely tight this year, so I couldn't get all of them that he had- that was what I wanted to do originally- I could only get six of them, 4 NHL and 2 NBA. Even though most of the NBA example I opened were duplicates, that was to be expected really. I still do better in these cases with new card totals than I do in a 100 card Fairfield repack, for example, where I consider it a win if I get more than 5 new cards. Here, I got 19 new cards...including two Serially numbered and one jersey card! The NHL case I opened only yielded two duplicates, so that's pretty collection is starting to grow so duplicates are now to be expected. I don't mind though, because I don't have much of a hockey tradelist and I do need that as well. The case yielded 84 new NHL cards.
I opened the case showing Patrick Roy and Kobe Bryant, the two on the top left. Got some vintage packs, too! They were only 50 cents each. In retrospect I should have bought some more. I have not opened any of the OPC or UD set yet but I did one of the Bowman the night I got them.
Here are some highlights of the two cases I opened.

 Kenyon is one of my favorites so pulling this-from the only set of 2000-01 I did not do a box of- was a great experience.

 Don't think I have gotten a new card from this set since it was released. Forgot to check the listings to find out.
 Only my third card from the set.

 My first and second cards from this set.

 My first base card from this set- I had an autograph I got on COMC, which has not been posted yet.
 My first card from the set. Lenticular.
 Some pretty big star power in the case!

 Someone give Jagr a contract!

 Promo! I love promos.

 Newest card in the case. 2015-16 Select.

I didn't open these yet...
There are other players, teams and sports available, but again, I didn't have much money to spend.

I still have three NHL and one NBA case to open...I'm not sure when I will do them. Since it's a total mixture it takes a lot of effort to list them in my paper listings, excel charts and the Trading Card Database, just the two cases I opened have taken me about a day to document. Of course, considering how sore I am from the trip, it's not like I have much better to do, LOL. Live, Love, Laugh also has single cards, which is not something I get to shop through too often. Unfortunately for me, I couldn't afford the one I wanted most, a Henrik Lundqvist three color patch SN to 25. The price was $50, and I have a pretty strict $20 limit on most cards, so I had to let it go. Hope I don't regret that in the future. I only ended up buying one single, and that was this Jimmer Fredette autograph. Jimmer is from Glens Falls, which is a 5 minute car ride from Lake George, if that much. He didn't quite succeed in the NBA, but is a superstar in China. I've wanted to add his autograph to my collection, and now I did...practically in his hometown. Cool.

Non-sports cards in the Lake George region are pretty rare. There is one shop that has some, not in Lake George, but I'm going to be a little selfish here, and not say where I got them...because they have more that I want, and I'm hoping to add them to my own collection...just didn't have the money now. Like I said, it was very tight this year, every cent was accounted for...I only got four cards from this place, and one of them is from a set I don't recognize.
 1965 Donruss Spec Sheet
 Unknown- Hood ice cream promo
 1942 Wings Series C
1941 Wings Series B

Overall, it was a pretty great trip. I'm seriously sore and totally exhausted...I didn't even think I could physically do the things I did...but it was worth it. And these cases will keep me going for a while as well...hopefully if any of you look at my pictures, you will see why I love the Lake George area so much.