Thursday, March 28, 2019

Mr. 3000

I hit a pretty significant milestone on March 23rd. I finally decided to go through what was left of the COMC box- the one that I got in the mail in December 2017, and pulled heavily from for my Card of the Day Project all through 2018.

A good portion of what was left in the box were NBA players who I didn't yet have represented in my collection, part of my Names Project, which has really become the centerpoint of my collection. Specifically, 33 of the 101 cards left in the box were my 1st card of the player featured.

The 7th new person out of the box just happened to be the 3000th different NBA person in my collection! That is quite a milestone- and, for the time being at least, the last major milestone I can hope to get...because I'm only missing 282 more documented people! Each season brings, on average, 55 new players to get cards, so I will have a long way to wait before I hit 4000 different people...realistically, it might not ever happen, because Panini's coverage of the NBA is getting worse and worse. The NBA is a 525 man league and yet Panini won't produce a set larger than 300 people- and this year, they only included 280 active players in the largest set, which is terrible. It hasn't been this bad since 1988-89.

Mike King, 2005-06 Topps Chrome #254, was Mr. 3000. 2005-06 Chrome is the only set ever to include cards of the NBA D-League, now called G-League, which has existed since 2001. It is the NBA's minor league and it really should have card representation, but it doesn't. Except this set, which included more than a few D-Leaguers at the end of the set- all but 3 of them getting their only cards ever in the set, although none are One Hit Wonders because there are multiple parallels of the set. (Refractor, Black Refractor, Gold Refractor, X-Fractor, Blue X-Fractor, Superfractor) Mike King never made it to the NBA itself, but the D-League players very much count towards the project. Anyone who ever got an NBA card, or any of the leagues that were folded into or wholly a part of the NBA, count. (NBA, ABA, BAA, NBL, NBA D/G-League) The National Basketball League, which was in operation from 1937-1948, has no cards ever issued for it. But if they ever do exist, they will count.

When I first compiled the list of people missing from my collection, the D-Leaguers made up about 1/3rd of the players missing from my collection. They were the largest group of people missing. With the box from COMC (there were more than 10 in the box when I started), the trade I made recently, and just picking them off whenever I can, I'm down to just needing 5 D-League players missing from my collection. That's a huge accomplishment if I don't say so myself. The One-Hit Wonders from 1948-49 Bowman and 1957-58 Topps are now the largest portion of missing people from my collection. And, considering they are also among the most expensive cards in the hobby, picking them off will be challenging, if not impossible.

I never really considered this project until probably 2015. If it was not for the Trading Card Database, it would not have been possible. (I literally went through every listing looking to see if the names not in my collection had NBA cards, or only college or others, which do not count). But since I transitioned to this project in 2015, it's become the driving force for my collection, and the most rewarding aspect of it as well. I've learned about a lot of people I may not have otherwise, and it allows me to be a true historian of the sport, not just a collector.

You can see who I'm missing HERE. I have not entered the people who got their first cards in 2018-19 yet, for the most part. I'm also probably missing some people who only got cards in regional promos. I tried to list as many of them as I could find, but I'm sure some escaped my grasp, because I've already found and added a few people who were not on the list, from regional promos I didn't know existed when I compiled the list.

There is one area where the list could expand greatly, but seems unlikely to ever get cards. The NBA, and the leagues that merged to form it, have been around since 1946 (well, 1937 really, but the NBA only recognizes 1946). Cards for the sport were not regularly produced until 1968-69, and even then the sets were small...there are a lot of early players who never got a single card. A set documenting the history of the sport, specifically the early history, could lead to literally hundreds of players getting a card for the first time. (There are 9 entire TEAMS that have never gotten a single card! Two of those teams are earlier versions of what would become the Atlanta Hawks). Even the 1970, 80s, 90s and today have lots of players who never got a card. With Panini's general lack of interest in doing a good job with the sport, that number is actually growing, not shrinking. If they, or, hopefully, someone else, did a history of the sport set, these people could finally be recognized. I'm not going to hold my breath, even with the NBA's 75th Anniversary coming up in 3 years.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

What's with all the devastating injuries?

Last night, the NBA saw another player go down with a devastating leg injury, when Jusuf Nurkic of the Blazers broke the two main bones in his leg against the Nets.
A freak occurrence, yes, but there have been a LOT of devastating injuries since the start of last season:
Gordon Hayward basically broke his foot off five minutes into the season, on national TV no less.
Isaiah Canaan of the Suns (no cards issued with the Suns) broke his leg so badly that they wouldn't show it on TV; the bone that broke coming out of his leg.
DeMarcus Cousins ruptured his Achilles Tendon, costing him almost a full year
and Kristaps Porzingis tore his ACL, which is going to cost him a year and a half of his career.

Moving to this season, I feel like I'm forgetting a major injury, but before Nurkic rising star Victor Oladipo
went down with a serious knee injury.

That's a lot of players who are going to miss- or have already missed- a year or more.

What's up with that? I've been a fan of the NBA for a long time now, and it seems that leg injuries are more common now than ever before. I don't understand. The players are putting just as much if not more work into keeping their bodies in top physical condition, so it's not making any sense to me. Injuries are not uncommon in the sport- it comes with the territory- but this just seems like a lot all at once.

Back in the 90s you almost never saw injuries cost a year, I can only think of three- Bernard King, Tim Hardaway and Kevin Willis- but that's just off the top of my head and I may be forgetting others that cost an entire season. Even in the 2000s you didn't see it as much, with Grant Hill missing almost 2 full years being the first one that comes to mind. (My favorite player, Elton Brand, also missed a lot of time with injury) Now, though, in this decade (starting with Paul George leading up to the Olympics) it seems to be getting more common.

I don't like it, and I don't know how- or if- it could be prevented from happening. I hope it does not happen again any time soon. I guess I'm just thinking aloud on a problem I can't solve.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Cardboard gifts from lots of people

When I came home from my short stay in Massachusetts, I was greeted with 9 packages of cards waiting for me! Some were trades, which I will detail in my March trade recap, but a pretty monumental one was included- my 100th documented trade on the Trading Card Database!

For today though I want to focus on the gifts that I received. This hobby is filled with some incredibly generous people, but that's no secret! The most surprising packages though, came from people in my other main hobby- scale model building.

The first package I had to open was from my friend Tom, who runs the world's largest scale model show, which is next month. I wasn't expecting anything from him but this was waiting for me in the mailer! It turns out he inherited them and knowing I collect cards, sent them to me! I was pretty shocked. The Mike Wagner is a nice mis-cut error as well, which is great!

The next package is from my friend Pat, who sort of collects cards but not to the degree I do. I think the only set he works on every year is the Tim Horton's Hockey set. I wasn't expecting anything from him, but the box was big and I could tell by the weight that it was going to be good. I was not wrong!
What do I see when I open it up but a factory sealed 1993 Maxx factory set! WOW! This is something I've been wanting for a long time- way back in 2015 I mentioned wanting this specific factory set and I had wanted it a long time before then. I was thrilled with this alone, but that wasn't all that was in the box...
Below the factory set was a box of mixed cards, with some NASCAR that turned out mostly to be duplicates (the Mark Martin shown, from 1995 Action, was new) and a huge stack of 1953-54 Topps World on Wheels! My favorite automotive set ever! I had a bunch of these to begin with, but I was able to add 16 to my collection from this group, including my first card of the Henry J and Cartercar brands!

I have not scanned any of them yet but I have an automotive themed post in the pipeline...probably a month or so away from it, which, knowing me, probably means I'll publish it in December, lol.

I was totally surprised by those two mailings, but there were a couple of mailings I was expecting as well.
BobFetta, on the Trading Card Database, offered to send me these 9 car cards just because. I put up a post on the BST section looking for car cards, and he had these. So he sent them to me!
I didn't have any from the 1991 Panini Dream Cars set previously!

The last package that I opened- that was a big one.
Shane of Shoebox Legends dumped another load of his unwanted/rejects on me, and I'm thrilled to have them! I cut off the left side row- which is one teambag lengthwise wide- oops! I only opened one team bag so far, but I already added several dozen new cards and 2 people to my NHL collection from it! I am not sure when I will get to sorting all these out- it may be a while- but I am truly grateful that Shane has chosen me to be the recipient of them. This is the second one of these large priority boxes Shane has sent me in the past few months, and I have been slacking on opening them and looking at the cards- I'm so backlogged. And that's a good thing!

Although I thanked him on Twitter, Gavin of Shoebox Legends also sent me a box that size back in January, which I don't recall if I mentioned in a post or not. I don't think I did because I didn't crop out the box flaps until writing this post. Sorry for the delay in getting it mentioned on the blog proper, Gavin!
(sorry for the stinky picture)

Since I'm doing a thank you post, just yesterday I got a package from SumoMenkoMan that I will delve into further in the future- but I will get a couple shots up here now.
 He sent me the entire Japanese National Team set he profiled in his most recent post!
And a whole bunch of packs, including those shown here. I have not a single card from two of these sets, and I have never opened a pack of the Pro Set NHRA release- though I do have a bunch of the cards from it. 1994 Press Pass NASCAR is a set that I have fond memories of. I got a bunch when new but am still 20 cards away from completion. Maybe I will get some of them in this pack? I don't know as I have not opened it yet.
One other pack- which I should have included in the photo but opened it before I could- was the Masters of the Universe set from Topps. For a very brief time in my life I was a huge fan of this show. But, then it got replaced by other things- mostly GI Joe- and I never watched the TV show or even looked at the action figures again. Still, I'm surprised I never got any of these cards before this. The cards feature screencaps from the cartoon with comic-style word bubbles on them. I still have the figures, locked away deep in storage.

Thank you to all of the people mentioned in the post! The gifts I received made up part of the largest card mailday I've ever had.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Plainville Card Show report and finding cards at the car show

On Saturday, I went to the Plainville card show in Connecticut, which is run by the same guys who run the Enfield show, that I visited in February. I had a great time there, and not much of a spoiler alert: I had a great time here, too! (I can't imagine not having a good time at a card show)

I actually took one picture inside the show, of the NASCAR dealer I mentioned last time.
I didn't buy any of those cards, but I did buy a lot from him. We had actually been talking via email and he had two people I was missing from my project of getting one of everyone who ever got one, and he brought them to the show for me. Of course, those were not all I walked away from his table with...

Zane Smith and Chase Cabre were the two he brought for me- Jesse Little (Chad's son) is somebody I needed as well, but I forgot to put on the list I sent him, which was actually just a screencap of my chart here on Cardboard History.

Just a couple of days before the trip (I think, actually, the night before) I updated my list of Sets Missing from my collection, which was my main focus before I moved over to my Names project, and I discovered that there were only two NASCAR sets missing from my collection: 2017 National Treasures and 2018 Panini Prime. Well...
Solved that problem pretty quickly. The Stenhouse from 2017 Absolute Memorabilia is technically a duplicate, and I knew that when buying it. The one I pulled had solid blue material, this is three color, and appears to come from the right sleeve. I will occasionally add a "duplicate" if the material is a different color. The Allmendinger is numbered to 20 and I since I didn't care which card I got from the set, I told him to just tell me which one was the cheapest. I could have chosen between this card and a dual memorabilia, SN99, no autograph, of Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski, or this one. And you can see which one I chose.

After moving on from the NASCAR dealer (who has more than just NASCAR, but that's all I got from him this time) I hit some other dealers.
This dealer was at Enfield but I didn't buy from him there- I remember the large price tags he used. (I took them out of the toploaders for the image). That's my first card of Bates-Diop, and my first from this year's Select and Donruss Optic. All three cards are SN. Only my second card from last year's Chronicles, I liked the design, you all know how I am with numbered parallels, and rookie year numbered parallel of Jayson Tatum, marked at $5? Oh yeah, you know I'm not going to be able to pass that by.

 The next table down, I did something I say I will never do, but I did anyway. Current season cards. I make it a habit to not buy current year cards because I've done it and gotten burned by later getting duplicates. However, I know that I'm not really chasing current cards as much. I got one pack of Donruss and the only Donruss Optic I have of this year's set came from this show. I have not been hunting cards since January. Five of the above cards are my first of those players. All of the cards, including the numbered cards, cost me a quarter.
The same dealer had more expensive stuff, and these came out of a dollar box. I took a chance on the Elton, but it's a duplicate. However, my original copy is white and blue materials, so I'm on the fence about counting this one as new or not. (I probably will)

 The next dealer I visited was all hockey, and I bought another 2018-19 card. What am I doing? This is an oversize card, and I know I'm unlikely to buy one of the tins that UD does. As of right now this is the only card I have of 2018-19 UD Series 2. I'd like to do a hobby box of both series but I keep spending the money on other card shows.
 Some older Whalers that I know I paid a slight premium for being in Connecticut, and a Jarome Iginla on the Bruins card, which is my first of him with that team, I think. First time I had seen any of the 1990-91 Score Traded in person, so I bought them.
 I almost didn't recognize Erik Karlsson without the trademark goatee.
This is tied as my most expensive purchase, costing me a cool $20. SN 9 of 10, it's my first card ever from The Cup brand.

The next dealer I visited, was mostly baseball, but as I was walking by I saw they had a box of the 1974-75 Fleer Cloth stickers NBA set, a rarity. The first time I've ever seen one in person, in fact, ever. It was a little more than I wanted to spend, but when I was looking at their display case I spotted a small stack of 1948-49 Bowman, the first NBA set, although it actually predates the NBA. These aren't particularly rare cards- some are- but they are expensive. You can't expect to get any cards from this set for under $20, and I didn't- paying exactly that for this card, of Bob Kinney, the only card he ever got.
Unfortunately, the top is not straight. I think it may have been trimmed, but for what I'm willing to pay, I can't be a stickler for condition. (It may have just been a miscut, but the fact that it was in my price range means it had to have something wrong with it, it's not like the dealer was trying to pull a fast one on anybody). It presents nicely enough for me, and I don't regret it.

The next to last dealer I visited had all baseball in the case, but did have some older packs for a dollar. It was a mixture of various sports and some non-sports, but everything he had I had either already completed, or wasn't interested in. These two, however, I could use.

The final dealer I visited was a great one- I think, when I get back to this show, he will be who I visit first. He had a wide variety of stuff, and great prices. Everything below cost me $45.
 A numbered Cam Neely insert, from a set I didn't previously have. A numbered Shipichyov from a set I didn't have, two numbered Mats Zuccarellos, one from a set I didn't previously have. A patch from a multi-sport set, my first Summer League patch, and a numbered relic from last year's Spectra, a set I didn't have.
 Another card towards completing 2015-16 UD Game Jersey Series 1 (I'm up to 8 of them now), a Gerald Wilkins autograph from the way-more-challenging-than-logical 2005-06 All-Time Fan Favorites Autographs from Topps 1952 style, my first card of Paul Zipser, a numbered jersey card of Zach Randolph, my second movie-worn relic ever, an autograph from last year's Goodwin Champions, a numbered triple relic featuring Kevin Garnett, David Lee and Udonis Haslem, and a card of an auto racer from 1910!
 Here's a better view of the relic from Spider-Man : Homecoming
 An auto of Frank Williams, an auto of Olympian Paige Selinski from 2016 Goodwin Champions, an astronaut relic, another card from the same 1910 set, a numbered auto of Jimmy Vesey, and my first card of Alexandar Georgiev, backup goalie for the Rangers. This is actually from last year's SP Authentic update.

The Vesey has a clear panel, which is cool. There are also parallels with relic and patch pieces, with lower numbering, as well.

In total, I ended up adding 90 cards to my collection, and that's not counting what is in those packs, as I have not even opened them yet. A great day!

We had stopped at the card show on the way to the RTS Expo, the first model show of the season. This show is the successor of the MassCar show, which was held in the same place, by the same people, but is "not the same show". I was the official photographer for MassCar from 2006-10, but for health reasons and lack of reliable vehicle, I had to stop going. Well, I went back this year, as I detailed in the last post. What surprised me about the show (Beyond the fact that I actually won something!) was that I found cards in the vendor area, from two different vendors!
 The first vendor I shopped from had the NASCAR cards, and the second vendor had everything else. What a find it was! The two Hot Rods cards are actually from the Milton Bradley game. the Fleer Krazy Kars stickers are from the 1975 second series, which I didn't even know existed...but the real highlight is those Indy car cards- from 1960 Parkhurst/Hawes Wax, this is one of the rarer Indy car releases, and I didn't have a single one. When the dealer told me the asking price, I didn't even look at them- I just said that I would take them all. None of them are in great shape, and there's even a duplicate- but I don't care. I'm thrilled to add these to my $2 each. There's 7 of them. There were also two from a different car set, which I can't identify yet,  but I think may be from Parkhurst of the same era. I overpaid for the Hot Rods and Krazy Kars, and vastly overpaid for a model from the same dealer, but based on the deal I got for the Indy cards, I'm still thrilled.

1994 Power is a set that I don't have a lot of and most of the ones I do are in poor shape. I hope that these have not become bricks after having been sealed since 1994. Time will tell, I have not opened it yet.
The same dealer I got the NASCAR cards from also had this Richard Petty set. I got one of these in 1993, but have lost most of it. I only knew where the hauler was. The two large cars, and the two trading cards? The last time I saw them was probably 1993. I had to get this for nostalgia reasons. I have opened it up to get the two cards out- and they were glued to the chrome backing. Ugh. I love Racing Champions, but not sure what they were thinking there. Now that I've bought a new one, I'll probably find my original in storage next time I go digging there.

I have three photo albums on my website in relation to this trip:
Driving through Connecticut and Massachusetts
RTS Expo Model Show
Stafford Springs, Connecticut
On the way home, my mom surprised me with a trip to Stafford Springs Motor Speedway. I also walked around the town.

Overall, I took more than 800 photos from the trip, and cleared 5000 taken in 2019...already. I also had 10 packages of cards waiting for me when I get home, which I will cover next post...thanks for reading!

PS. Sorry for the crappy pictures of the cards. The lighting in the hotel was not great. Will be scanning them soon, and posting them to a list on the Trading Card Database. I'll share the list in a future post.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Philosophy, burnout and a big annoucement.

I don't know if you've noticed, but I have not been writing very interesting posts lately. I have certainly noticed. That's a result of severe burnout I've been facing for a while. I have a bit of a cyclical personality, and I always have. While once something enters my life, it usually stays for a long time or even forever, I have a tendency to focus on one thing for a long period of time and then get burned out and not work on it for a while.

Well, I'm there with cards. And I have been for a while. About a year now. But, I keep doing them...because I have nothing else I can do. My lack of health keeps me from doing other things, that I used to do, and for several months the weather has not cooperated, which does not allow me to work on models, one of the other things I can least for a while, before I get too frustrated. More on that below.

The fact is, I've been doing cards non-stop since the last week of 2011, essentially. I fear I've reached my "saturation point", where it's time to move on to something else, but there is nothing I still do cards.

The Cardboard History Gallery was a breath of fresh air, proverbially, because it allowed me to do something totally different, something I had been wanting to do for a long time. I didn't expect it to make my Excel files superfluous, but it did. I'm at the point now, where I want to work on that, and have it done- still a very long way to go- but I don't really want to put in the work of scanning all the cards that need it.

One thing that is kind of sucking the fun out of scanning is that I've been working on doing to big stacks of sets, where there's no variety; I always knew I preferred scanning a wide variety of set designs, rather than the same set, but I've pulled them up to move past them onto something more fun. I'm kind of questioning if that is the right choice, and once I get past these college cards I found when I was looking for the finests and foils, I may set aside the large swaths of single set scanning and do the boxes of "whatever". Eventually I will get to those cards, but maybe doing them first is not the right choice. I may mix in a page or two from time to time, just for the heck of it.

I've recently made a change in plans about the Cardboard History Gallery, as well. I did the teams first, because that was the most fun to put together- they are all uploaded, except NASCAR, which I will do eventually, still deciding how I want to handle them. Then I started working on each person's album and that is going to take me a while to upload, probably months if not into 2020. By set, I was uploading only what I had scanned in 2019. Everything that I had done previously was going to wait until the end. Now I am thinking that will not be the case- the Gallery tells me when each image was uploaded, and how long ago it's been since the album was updated. If I wait until the end, all the albums will have roughly the same time stamp. If I were to do them all now, I could then see how long ago the album was updated, and have a somewhat accurate idea of when I most recently added to that specific set- because I upload the By Sets sections in real time, I don't wait for the 1st of the next month like I do with teams and people pages. This idea occurred to me when I was creating and uploading the album for 1999-00 Metal. That's a set I completed a while ago, and scanned all of, except for one card that I missed when pulling them out to scan, years ago. So now, the album shows that one card I just recently scanned, and nothing else. If I upload everything else I've done, they will all be in there, and the next time I scan an insert, or add a parallel to my collection, which is rare, they will go in there as well, and automatically be put in proper place numerically.

So I think I've come to a compromise. I will upload everything I've done for a specific set...but only when I scan something new from the set. Any sets that I either don't have anything left to scan for (a few but far between), I will do them at the end.

This will also show me which cards I lost the back scans for when my first remote hard drive crashed on me. I know I lost some backs, but since I store the fronts and backs in a separate place, it would be too hard (really, not hard but time consuming) to figure out what's missing. The By Set albums on Cardboard History Gallery are the only place where I store the fronts and backs together, which would be nice to see all in one place- something I currently do not have.

Now, that probably seems trivial to you. It IS. I'm not denying that. But it gives me a purpose, something to do with my time.

A lot of times I think to myself that I could be doing something more productive with my time and energy. Then I go and stand up and am painfully reminded of why I can't do something more useful. I  make a big deal out of all this...even though in the grand scheme of things, it's so not important. Nothing really brings home how...unimportant...until you stop to think about just how little you are compared to the earth.
Just go to the ocean, or to a major city, and realize, compared to the scale of those things...we're all just a dot. Odds are, we won't leave a mark on history. I mean, humans have been on Earth for a million+ years, but we only have any real knowledge of the past 5000 years, give or take. We don't know way more than we do.

So it's pretty audacious to believe anything I'm doing, whether in my home, or on the internet, or anywhere else, actually matters. But, like I assume most humans, I can't NOT do what I do. Even though I know that everything I do- literally, everything- will be forgotten in time. (both my main website and the Cardboard History Gallery will disappear if I'm not around to pay the bills on them) I'm still going to do them. Because I can't imagine not doing them.

You may have noticed that I've been doing more "things" and less sitting around writing about cards. That is true, the majority of my posts of late have been about adventures, rather than about cards. 
A little secret...I've been living with a deep sense of foreboding for years. Like I'm racing against time to finish what I can, while I can. I've never actually said that before, but I've been feeling it for so long that I can't remember a time not feeling it. It was exacerbated by my health ordeal in 2013, and my mom's in 2014. That messed with my head a little more than I like to admit, and the fact that the last two times I went to see my doctor- he said to me...and I quote, "You're going to die" has certainly made it more palpable. I had always assumed it was just depression but perhaps it's real. 

He's been on me a while to get more exercise, to not sit so much. He hasn't quite grasped how much physical pain I'm in, 24/7, because he's focused solely on the diabetes. Every adventure- even the shorter ones- even every car show!- causes me so much pain. I am in agony for days afterwords, where I can't even get up the stairs in my home without extreme difficulty. Where I need help preparing my lunch. I don't really have an enjoyable existence. It's not that I don't want to, it's that I can't physically handle it. 

But I'm doing more adventures, more car shows, I'm trying to have an actual life- something I have been unable to do- while I still can. I've known for quite a while that at some point my back will get so bad that I will not be able to walk around my car shows anymore. I became sure of that in 2017 based on some things that happened then. Even though every singe car show I go to, it's like a million tiny swords stabbing at me, that I can't have a classic car of my own; I can't NOT go. I'm fighting through the pain.

I'm not going to be able to have an adventure or go to a car show all the time. Both my physical and mental health are going to prevent me from getting to some. Already have in fact, I have just chosen not to mention it before. But I'm going to try and go to/on as many as I can, while I can. There are some days I just can't force myself to leave the house, (mentally rather than physically) but if the doctor is right...then I want to at least have tried. 

And if I can prove him wrong by living a long time...that would be the best. I'd like nothing more than to prove him wrong. 


On the topic of the big announcement...I had to stop going to several of the model shows I used to attend due to my health problems. I last attended one in 2010 and one in 2008. Well, as this is posted, thanks to the scheduler...I will be at the RTS Expo Show, which used to be called MassCar. I attended from 2004-2010, so it's been 9 years since I was there. I have kept it a total secret...even though I have been invited every year since I stopped going, I didn't tell them that I was coming this year. By now, they know, and none of them read Cardboard History anyway, so I could have posted it any time, but I have kept it totally secret. It's a 4 1/2 hour ride each way, but the hotel in Taunton is the same, and was the site of the last card show I attended in 2005, before going to one in Connecticut in February and hopefully one yesterday at the time this publishes but tomorrow at the time of writing. 

What's more...I'm going to Toledo. One of the key events in the hobby, the Toledo NNL was the originator of that style of show, and it was announced in October that this year's event would be the final, as well as the 40th anniversary show. I attended from 2003 to 2008, and it played a very big role in my life- my family still talks about those trips quite often. They are breaking out all the stops for the final show, and several people who no longer travel long distances to shows are coming out for it...and I guess I'm one of that group. While I've kept MassCar/RTS a secret for months, (over a year, as I planned to go back in 2018, but an ice storm hit that weekend)  I have not been keeping this one a secret as long. When I learned that it was the last show, I had pretty much decided within 10 minutes that I had to go. If you click on the "going to Toledo" link you'll see the memory post that the announcement spurred on. I had decided even before I wrote that post that I would be attending in 2019. I've chosen not to keep it a secret because I am going to try and talk a few people into attending as well...and I'm too excited to not talk about it. It's a 15 hour one way drive, but honestly, I'm looking forward to it. I didn't realize how much I missed the open road until I was able to start going back to Lake George again and the ride itself actually made me happy...which is not something I really feel too often. The trip to Toledo, in fact, is the most I've looked forward to anything in a long time. 

With all that said...I'm not planning to stop posting. While I am trying to recover enough from one adventure to get ready for the next one, I will be doing cards. Even though I'm facing burnout, I still enjoy it more than I don't. I still have the goal of having my entire collection scanned, and I'm getting close...I'm past the halfway part and I estimate roughly 500 days are required to finish scanning my NBA collection. 

Friday, March 15, 2019

Completed my first NASCAR Rainbow!

And the funny thing is, I didn't set out specifically to complete this one, and didn't realize I had until I listed my cards in my paper listing.

To recap: a Rainbow is having all possible parallels of a specific card. For my purposes, there need to be more than 2 versions (base and one parallel) to qualify as a rainbow.

I actually HAD been trying to complete a different parallel via COMC, as there is a set that has an unnumbered parallel, one numbered to 125 and one numbered to the driver's car number, in this case, 66. As luck would have it, I was able to get the two numbered versions, but the un-numbered, one per pack Silver Signature is eluding me! (2000 MVP #69)

EDIT: I originally began writing this post in August 2018. Since that time, I was able to complete that rainbow with the help of a member of NUTS, the NASCAR only card forum. You can read about it HERE

So, the first rainbow was not planned, but one I lucked in to. 2003 Press Pass VIP has 4 versions. The base card, then there is the Exclusive, which is one per pack. (This is the card with the corrupted scan) There is also a special Tin set, which looks very similar to the base but the foil is a different color and the cards have different numbering. The last version, the Laser Explosive, is serially numbered to 250 copies and is the one I got from COMC in August 2018.

2003 VIP Base #15. Gold foil. I didn't really know what I was doing back in 2009 so the scan is a little too bright.
2003 VIP Explosive #X15. The Explosive cards are black and white, have holofoil, feature no gloss whatsoever, and feel in hand like an old metal-printed photo of the late 1800s. They are actually pretty cool in hand.
2003 VIP Collector's Tin #CT15. This was scanned with scanner #3, which explains the lines. I will probably rescan it at some point in the future. They have a light gold foil.
2003 VIP Laser Explosive #LX15. The Lasers feature the same silver print and texture of the Explosive, but feature full color. They also have silver foil. 

As an added bonus bit of coolness, the Laser I got happened be SN #001!
Very fitting to be my first completed rainbow as SN1. The first Serially Numbered NASCAR card I ever pulled from a pack was also #SN1, in that case of 125, back in 1999.

The funny way I mentioned lucking into this rainbow? I was just paging through the SN cards on COMC, picking off as many cheap ones as I could before the money ran out. This one was the cheapest from the Laser Explosive set, and when I clicked on it and saw it was SN#1, I couldn't click "buy now" fast enough.

Considering I have the complete base set, 3/4ths of the Tin set, and about half of the Explosive set, I could conceivably complete a lot more rainbows for this set...if I wasn't such a cheapskate. Most of the cards on COMC are a dollar and change, but there is a Ryan Newman card for 75 cents...unfortunately I am in a negative balance, -28 cents, so I can't buy it unless somebody buys something I have for sale on there. Maybe some day.

I'm planning to be attending the Plainville card show in Connecticut tomorrow, so stay tuned for another card show recap a couple days from now. Now that I have a really good scanner I may scan the cards before I do the post, so I may not get it up until next week some time. It may also be a combination of pictures and scans. Only time will tell.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

February 2019 Trade Recap

Another good month of trading!

The first trade arrived on February 5th, and was with frequent gifter C2Cigars. This was, in fact, our first actual trade! He sent me most of the cards I needed from his Database set.  I can't scan them, because I don't remember which box I put them into, so here's the scan of myself again (which he sent me more copies of)
(I have a very limited number of copies of my own card available for trade now)
[edit to add: I found the missing cards. But you get me anyway.]

The second trade was with Database member Flyers4Life, arriving on the 8th, which is cool because he had never done a trade before. I was his very first. I included some bonus cards to both welcome him to trading and to the Database, and he sent me 10 cards- when I only expected one! Three of them were new people for my hockey Names Project, including the one card I actually asked for-
Arriving on the same day was a 9 card trade with Database member John5150, and all but one of the cards were from the 2001-02 season, with 4 from Hardcourt, 3 from Topps Chrome, and one from Topps Pristene- a set I have not traded for in years. I am not sure if I've EVER traded for any of that set to be honest. The final card was from the 1999-00 Topps Gallery set.
The third package to arrive on the 8th was a trade from Greg of The Collective Mind, (link takes you to the post about my return package) which was mostly vintage drag racing! While my racing love goes mostly to NASCAR, I love all forms of auto racing and was very happy to add these- I didn't actually have any from the 1973 AHRA set from Fleer before then.
This is #69, Jim Nicoll. Note the El Camino! Based on where it is, it was surely the push car for one of the drag racers. Back in those days they tended to push them to the line instead of drive them. I'm not entirely sure why they did that, but my theory is that it's because racing fuel was too expensive to waste on lining up to wait your turn.

The fifth trade of the month arrived to me on the 9th and was with Database member Wadeol1. It was only his second trade and it was totally lopsided and I'm fine with that. He had three Nets hits I wanted- spotlighted by the autograph below, a player I really became a fan of until the Nets stupidly cut him- so I went big with my offer. I offered 50 cards for the three Nets, and I ended up pulling more than that, and sent them all. I couldn't decide which ones to not send. And I'm totally OK with that!

I never saw Hoops Winter available here so I didn't feel too bad about trading for another, though I did take a risk with the Contenders card- my first from the set- as it just came out recently. It's actually my only card from the set.

February 15th saw the arrival of a very lopsided trade, but this time in my favor. Trading Card Database member gregpaa asked for one moderately hard card to find, and sent me back 16! All of which were people missing from my NBA Names project- and it got me down under 300 people missing from my collection for the first time ever! It also brought the D-League players from 2005-06 Topps Chrome down to just 5 people missing- when I made the chart, those players were almost 1/3rd of it.
 this one's a Refractor

I discovered that whoever had entered the checklist of 2007-08 Topps Chrome onto the Database had put somebody else in place of Wallace. I had to fix most of the parallels, as well, of which there are several.

On February 19th, a trade arrived from Dave Switzer, which focused on this autograph card:

but included a surprise for my error collection as well!
Not only is it off-center, it's also crooked! That's not a bad scan- the card is really at an angle, but it's perfectly square, not diamond cut. Cool, two errors on one card is pretty rare. 

The second trade to arrive on the 19th was with Database member Dan Sorek, and we swapped duplicates of our cards from the C2 Cigars Trading Card Database set.
The third trade to arrive that day- actually, they all arrived together, but the third I opened- was from Database member FiresNBeers, and included 6 cards, even though I was only expecting 4. 
It was mostly Non-Sports cards from Allen & Ginter, something I really love to get but don't really chase as much as I should. Every one of them in my collection has come from a blogger or the Database. 

On February 22nd I got a quick trade with Database member mrrosado. I sent him my empty Card Savers (I was planning to throw them out) and he sent me two cards, one I was expecting-
 and one I was not, this Babe Ruth reprint. I don't know where it is from- it's probably unlicensed- but the quality of the card itself is high.
The Jay Cutler autograph is IP and he said he's not sure it's legit, it came in a lot he purchased. Remember when I said I'd take anything in trade? Well, here's proof. I actually have a small collection of Cutler cards already, he's diabetic and Chuck- C2Cigars- has sent me a few cards of him. I think this is # 4 or 5 in my collection, which is a lot for a football player. 

On February 22nd, a trade arrived from mrmike, a 1-card each way trade. But, I can't show it because it's very NSFW. Full frontal nudity...Even though I'm not a huge fan of the model (Jenny McCarthy) it was the only card on his tradelist that fit into my collection. 

The final trade of the month arrived from Database member PapaG321, and it was also the largest trade of the month- 50 cards arrived to me, and they were ALL NHL players I needed for my Names project! The eras covered a wide variety but the vast majority are early 1990s. 

The biggest name in the bunch is probably Dave Keon, from the 1991 Ultimate Original Six set,

 although I'm more familiar with a few other people, but not from their playing days- also included are my first cards of:
 current Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen and
NHL Network broadcaster Stu Grimson. Also included was my first card of current Flyers head coach Scott Gordon, but I have not gotten him scanned yet and can't push this post back any further. 

Overall, February saw 12 trades for 146 new cards added to my collection, another really fantastic month of trading! I don't know if it is my all-time record, but it's the most trades I've completed in a single month since at least 2009, which is the farthest back I can research using my feedback forms on currently active websites. March has been fairly slow by comparison- we are on the 14th as I finish typing this post up, and I just mailed out my first on Tuesday. I did mail 5 of them, all at one time though to 5 different people, and one Database member has specifically stated to wait until I receive before I send, so I will have enough for a post next month. When they arrive, it will push me past 100 documented trades on the Database- while not a specifically set goal for the year, it's nonetheless something I was specifically working for, and would have been the goal of the year if I didn't specifically have no goals.