Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Bagging A Big One

On Saturday I managed to bag some cards I thought were going to take forever to get. Not only was I able to get these cards, but in a bigger batch than I ever thought imaginable.

Starting my way around the card show, one of the first tables I stopped at had a fantastic deal going. He was trying to clear out boxes of unwanted cards, and had some sweet deals for those cards. We are talking a 1500 count box of cards for ten dollars sweet. Having four boxes of these cards all with the brands, and years listed on each box. If I was still trying to build the 2013 Topps set I would have bought the Topps box without hesitation. Looking back I should have maybe opened the box, and bought it anyways, but I didn't. Not seeing any sets I was building in any of the boxes I passed on them all. Included in his sweet deals were full sets of cards in binders for cheap prices as well. I passed on those as well. Maybe it was the shock of seeing a box labeled 'silver signatures, make an offer'.

That one box appealed to me, and blew me away when I opened the box. What I saw was not only silver signatures, but the 1995 Upper Deck Collectors Choice Special Edition. A set that I have been trying to build for awhile, and have made very slow progress on. Without thinking about whether or not I need everything in the box I grabbed it before anyone else could.

As I held the box wondering what it might contain, and how many cards I could use for my set. The thought of what I should offer for the box kept running through my mind. I didn't want to insult him with a lowball offer, but odds are all the best cards were going to be missing I thought. That would leave me trying to build a set that needed all the most expensive cards. Boy was I wrong!

Can it get any more serious than the rookie cards of Derek Jeter, and A-Roid?

Keeping the idea that nothing good would be found inside, and who knows how many cards could be in there. What I did know was the box was close to half full, and was what I thought a 220 box. Since being away from cards so long I've forgotten the different cardboard box sizes. Thinking there had to be some help for my set I asked if he would take a couple dollars? My hope was that by keeping it vague he would counter, and give me a price this was going to cost idea. Instead he went with what is a couple dollars?

Three?? Sounds good he answered back with. So for the mere price of three dollars my 1995 Upper Deck Collectors Choice Special Edition silver signatures set took a major blow.

When the smoke had cleared there were 79 cards I need for my set. Now that was better than I ever imagined when I picked up this box of cards. Another 27 cards are doubles, and available if anyone else out there is as sick as I am and is attempting to build this set.

Interestingly this was a sign of how my day was going to go.

Five of these were found in dime boxes. While I know that these weren't part of the special edition set, and were part of the regular collectors choice. I couldn't help, but pick them up as I just think they will look cool with the SE silver signatures.

Finishing up all this silver glory were some cards for much later posts. I found a decent amount of cards for future 'It Still Hurts To Watch' posts. So until we go to the coast, or I use them when we go on vacation next these will go into a box. Then there were the stadium cards from Monday's post.

Overall I have to say I was more than thrilled with the results of this card show. While the dealers weren't very happy due to the heat keeping their sales down. I heard a few commenting about how they thought it being so sunny had people out swimming, or other activities that weren't card related. All this meant the deals were there for the taking.

Even a dealer himself made a great deal. The guy selling all the cards was bought out within five minutes of me walking away. One of the shows regular dealers bought him out all out at once. He loaded up everything in a shopping cart, and took it to his car for looking through later. If he hadn't done that I might have bought a box myself when I finally regained my composure, and been thinking more clearly.

Monday, September 15, 2014

It's The Stadium

Seeing the wantlist for mascot baseball cards from each of the Opening Day sets. A person could look at this blog, and think his favorite cards are those of the mascot. While I enjoy the mascot, and collect any cards I can of this fun figure. The truth is the mascot isn't my favorite thing on cards, or at a baseball game. That special honor is reserved for the stadium that the game is played in.

If I had to break down my baseball card collection, and was able to keep only one theme or binder. The binder that I would choose is the one dedicated to my baseball stadium cards. Something about the architecture of the entire stadium draws me in. Every detail from the statues of past ballplayers, banners on the outside walls of the current stars, to the art sometimes placed inside, and outside the stadium. I am just a fan of the entire stadium.

Why am I going off about this love affair with the stadium you ask? Saturday was a great day for additions into my stadium collection. In Beaverton they were having the monthly card show at this location. With the wife going back to work on Friday after being off due to the car wreck. Saturday was my first chance to do this show since that wreck.

 Yes, I've done the Mall 205 show across town, but not this show. Even if most of the dealers are the exact same guys at both shows. It is nice to hit the guys who are only at the one show. Sometimes you can get different stuff from the same dealers at both shows. They might bring a new box, or got in some new stuff since the other show.

Heading up I still had to make my ritual stop at the Goodwill in Wilsonville. Even if the hobby room is a cramped disorganized mess right now. Maybe, there could be something that was awesome enough I'd push a bobblehead or something else out the door. What I found is this little treasure that doesn't take up much space, and has already found a spot on the shelf.

Honestly my love affair with stadiums goes beyond just baseball, and this soccer stadium shows that. I almost missed seeing the thing it is so small. With all the other nick-nacks it kind of blended in with the entire lot of stuff on the shelf.

Once at the show I got right to work on looking through the dime, and quarter boxes. Those boxes are when I found these.

Wish they had more than just the four in the box, but it's a decent start to a new addition on the wantlists. These also fit under that category of stuff I've been slowly learning about since getting back into the hobby. A category that seems to grow every few months, or every time I hit up a card show.

I gave a ton of thought on whether or not I wanted to pick this card up for the collection. In the end two factors went into this card coming home with me. It's a great card of Yankee stadium, and it helped make the dime cards add up to a dollar. How could I not add it with two reasons like that?

Another of the subsets I didn't know existed is where I found this one Frank Thomas card, and had to bring it home. Costing only a quarter I thought it looked cool enough to buy. Now that I've looked at the card, and studied the checklist. I've added it to the wantlist, but am realistic to know it's a set that will never get finished. With only 8000 of each card, and containing guys like Jeter, and Ripken. When you throw together their collectors, and set collectors. This set is probably on a few lists uncompleted.

All this was just the tip of the iceberg on how great I did at this show. Hopefully tomorrow I'll show the huge find that I got at the same show. Taking the drive up was time very well spent.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Chase: Race 1

If you didn't watch the first race of the new chase then you missed something great. After two weeks of races that were nothing more than snoozefests. Today we got a race that will hopefully be a sign of the racing we can expect for the remainder of the 2014 season. With Kevin Harvick, and Kyle Larson fighting it out with less than 20 laps left in the race. Brad Keselowski came from out of nowhere, and split the middle to take the lead. Not long afterwards a final caution came out, and added to the drama. Leaving little doubt Brad got off to a great start over the second place Larson. From there the biggest two questions were if another caution would make for another restart, and who would win the battle for second. Some incredible racing followed between the new young gun Kyle Larson, and the veteran Jeff Gordon. In the end no caution came, and Gordon held off Kyle for the second place finish.

(sweet rubber card from an internet search)
Two things came from this race win by Brad. Number one is it keeps Brad firmly in possession of the number one ranking of this portion of the chase. Second, and most important to the number two car. This guarantees he will be moving in to the second round of the grid. 

As a Kyle Busch fan I have to admit something I should be embarrassed by. If Kyle doesn't win the chase, Brad is the next guy I'm rooting for. With the history of wrecks, and fights between Brad, and Kyle most fans of the two despise the other. For some reason though I like the guy, and the heart he shows for the sport. 

When he won the chase in 2012 it was a wild, and drunken party that no other champion has ever had. Doing all the interviews he was obligated to, you could tell he was three sheets to the wind. It'd be interesting to see if he goes down that road again, or just celebrates like past champions. Being Miller Lite sponsors him I'd go with the three sheets to the wind.

(Feeling tired I lied earlier, and got an image from ebay)

Kyle finally showed some hope for a decent chase with his result today. Starting from the pole, Kyle spent most the race around 12th. During the two late cautions the team took the chance, and came in both times. The first was to change his right side tires in hopes of a better finish. The second trip in the team went with all four tires, and the move paid off. On the last restart Kyle moved up into his final position of 7th place.

Currently the finish put Kyle in a tie with Jimmie Johnson for the 7th, and 8th place in points. Due to having more wins I would say Johnson is 7th, and Kyle is 8th. More important is that this puts Kyle 12 points ahead of Ryan Newman who is in 13th, and first to leave if the cutoff was today.  

The Chase Is On!

Here at the cat house we are at what we refer to as the happiest time of the year. While we miss minor league baseball, we do still have the MLB. College football is in full swing, and NASCAR is starting the chase.

This season things will be so much different, and interesting. With ratings for NASCAR taking a dive the last couple years. Throw in a controversy at the last race before the chase in 2013.. NASCAR decided it was time to make a major change to how they decide their champion. What they have come up with is a very interesting formula. A new system that guaranteed race winners from the regular season in the chase. Four spots were added so instead of the twelve we've known for a few years it is now sixteen.

 Starting things off we have the first three races at Chicagoland, New Hampshire, and Dover. After these three races the field will whittle off the four worst chasers in points, and become twelve. Making things even more interesting is that if you are a chaser, and win any of the first three races you are guaranteed to reaching that final twelve. Talk about throwing a huge wrench into things. This is all part of NASCAR wanting to make winning more valuable. What happens to the four taken out has been a sort of question mark. I read that at seasons end they will be in the 13th to 16th place. The wife says she heard they go back to their original spot in points, and join everyone else. Technically this would mean a guy not even in the chase could end his year top ten in points, and a chaser could end up farther back than 16th. Until the first four cars are eliminated I guess we won't know.

In the next round all twelve will have their points reset at even. From that point there will be three new races, and the top eight teams in points will advance to round three. Winning a race will be meaningless except for the higher points you get over the other eleven cars challenging you. Starting with this portion of the chase I believe one bad race, and you are done. In the past you could take one or two bad races, and had enough time to recover. This new system doesn't give that buffer for a bad day. Interestingly Talladega is one of the three races during this stretch. Talladega is known as the home of 'the big one', and can take out half the field with one wreck. How would you like your season ended because someone not in the chase screwed up?

Round three comes with three new races, and only eight drivers. Nothing too exciting to mention here as points are once again reset, and the best four advance. Another set where one bad day ruins the season, and leaves you wondering what could have been. From here we move down to the final four.

The final round is a one race winner takes all. The one car out of the four that finishes the best will win the title. I love this part the most as except for a couple years this race has been meaningless. The eventual champion has been up so many points that they were declared champion going into the race. So forcing everyone to go hard as any of the four go into the race with a chance to be the chanp.

Another change is to the cars themselves.

My guess is this was for the fans to know who is in, and who is out. Until I see these cars on the track, and racing I will leave my opinion on this out. What I can say is the picture above doesn't look that terrible.

With our excitement around here I plan on posting every Sunday night about the chase. My plan will be to talk about two or three drivers. The first will be the race winner, followed by the points leader, and then our favorite driver Kyle Busch. Much like the pictures used in this post all the cards will be taken from an internet search. The Kyle cards will be from my very small collection that doesn't contain anything other than commons. Regardless of how far he goes I will still post Kyle's last ten race results. There will be one exception when we are on vacation. Those days my mind will be farther away from sports as it can get.

So let's go chasing!!