Sunday, May 19, 2013

The Other Side of the Table

Being a vendor at a card show yesterday reinvigorated my interest in baseball cards.  My interest was waning slightly and I began trading less with my blogging comrades.  It wasn't dipping to the point of quitting and selling off my collection.  I was just on a little break from doing something card related everyday such as organizing, blogging or compiling a stack for a trade.

Selling cards to other collectors gave me a different perspective on the card collecting hobby.  I was usually always the guy haggling and searching to find the proper deal for my collection.  This time around I got to be the one offering sweet deals to folks and hopefully making them happy with their purchase.  Making another collector happy, in turn put a smile on my face.

I will now wear two hats as a collector, so to speak.  I will probably set up at another card show this fall with some other Doyer bloggers.  The hat of a Dodger and player collector will always be worn by me.  The new hat of seeking deals on larger lots for resell will also be worn.  I think this will make me a more well rounded hobbyist as a dealer and collector.  I never want to lose the collecting aspect of the hobby and only think about dollars as a seller.  There is more to selling than strictly maximizing profit.  The well being of the collector is also important to me when I am wearing my vendor hat.

By the way, both hats are Dodger hats and my Oakland Raider hat is only worn when I go on crime sprees. So, I guess I am a man that wears three hats.

I also have a new found energy when it comes to blogging.  The show gave me a sense of pride as a proud member of our baseball card collecting cult.  I do have blogger pride and I love the sense of community that we have with each other when we meet up in person.  I may have never met some of my new blogger friends if the Platter never existed.  The community that we have makes me want to type more words for those people to enjoy.

A blogger buddy of mine that I have yet to meet is Napkin Doon.  Actually, I may have met him before as I don't know his name or his face.  He may have crossed my path before and I would have no idea.  Napkin Doon is a mysterious fellow.

This post is the second part of a trade that we made recently.  I wrote about the first part last week and had promised a sequel since his package to me was really awesome.

The dude included a 3-D Kellogg's Steve Garvey card.  Cards like this may even deserve an entire post on its own.  The 70s and 80s had a ton of these multi-purpose, astro turf circular stadiums all around baseball.  They all seemed to look the same.  Is Garvey posing in Cincinnati, Pittsburgh or Philadelphia?  It is very hard to tell.

I also wonder if people of the future will wonder why so many stadiums in the 90s and 2000s were built to look retro.  Will future baseball fans wonder why so many ballparks resemble Camden Yards?  Why hasn't a team built a stadium that looks futuristic like something from outer space?  Did we really need a new Yankee Stadium that looks like a bigger, crappier version of the old Yankee Stadium?

Those are just some questions for my readers to ponder.  Those are also some questions that I think about when sitting in class learning about the beginnings of ancient civilizations.

I opened up a decent amount of Heritage this collecting season and haven't pulled any of these refractor looking cards.  I don't believe I even pulled one of a crummy ballplayer like Brandon League.

An entire set that looks like this may work in our hobby.  It combines the past of the 60s with something shiny and 90s-like.  Maybe an entire set with a blue color scheme would look nice.  Topps combining colors like purple, red and blue doesn't quite work.  If someone dressed with those colors, they would get mistaken for a pimp.  I don't mean a pimp, like a dude that nails tons of chicks.  I mean an actual pimp that sells peoples bodies while wearing some gaudy styled garb.

Napkin Doon sent me this neat vintage Brooklyn Dodgers card of Billy Herman.  My collection lacks some genuine Brooklyn cards and this is much appreciated.  I am not sure why someone spent the money to get this graded.  Is a "4" even considered okay for a '55 Topps card?

I have mentioned this before at the Platter, that I wish a back story would accompany every graded card.  The back story would detail why someone submitted a card for grading, what was the collectors goal after getting this card back and if it met their expectations as far as the graded number.

Who wouldn't want to know why someone sent in a '92 Topps Chris Gwynn to PSA?  The back story for finding a graded card like that may make the card more worthy of a purchase.  The back story may add some humor and life to a graded card of some random dude.

I will probably keep this Herman encased.  I am too scared to crack it open and risk damaging a true Brooklyn card.  I may also forge a back story about this card for future Spiegels to find if they are curious about such things.

This was a fun trade with one of my favorite bloggers.  Now that I am back and focused on collecting, lets get some trades going.  I am heading to the post office this week to mail a few bubble mailers out.  Let me add a few more to the pile.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Card Show Fun Time

I strolled home a couple of hours ago after a long day working a table at a card show.  The show was held in Culver City, CA and had an old school card show feel.  The show had an eclectic mix of dealers and a steady stream of customers.  It was also held in an auditorium that probably hasn't been remodeled in a few decades.  The setting was perfect for a card show.  Good deals were to be had and it reminded me of card shows that I used to attend as a kid when events like this were a little more common.

It was certainly a buyers market.  Prices for tables were reasonable, which is why my buddy and I jumped at the opportunity to get a spot at the show.  The reasonable table prices probably kept prices low for the consumer.  Even though, I was a vendor at this show, it was good to see collectors happy at the deals that they were finding throughout the auditorium.  The show was old school and had positive vibes.

The show also was a sort of Dodger blogger gathering as well.  It is always a grand time when Dodger bloggers get together to talk some cards and some baseball.  It's also nice to get a chance to chat with some of the members of the blogging community and helps you put a face and personality to the words that you read daily.  I got to meet Ernest from Dodgers Blue Heaven and he made an awesome purchase which I won't spoil in case he wants the honor of showing it off on his blog.  Jesse from Los Angeles Inspiration was also in the house having a good time and buying some really nice looking cardboard.  Those were a couple of my fellow bloggers that I got to spend time with this afternoon.

Culver City's favorite son, Zakwin was also in attendance at the card show.  Zakwin runs the famous, Plaschke, Thy Sweater is Argyle blog and he brought me some presents.  Woo!

I had given Zakwin a baseball at the Dodgers Fan Fest earlier this year so,he could get it signed by rookie of the year candidate, Hyun-Jin Ryu.  I told him to just get me back later the next time we met up.  He came through big time today.

He handed me this sweet looking Ichiro bobble head that comes with a baseball card.  I am so tempted to just pop this sucker out of the plastic and display it in my room.  The card itself will also fit nicely into my Ichiro binder which has soared to almost 250 cards.

Not only was the Ichiro bobble given to me but, Zakwin also handed me a stack of baseball cards.  One of the cards that was in the team bag was this Dee Gordon card with a piece of his minor league jersey in it.  I have the Jerry Sands version from this set and am happy to now have the Gordon to go along with it.

A fourth Doyer blogger that I got to chill with today was Oscar from All Trade Bait, All The Time and he brought some cards for me as well.  Double woo!

Oscar and I had agreed upon a trade after he posted up some old Montreal Expo cards on his blog.  He had a couple cards that interested me and a swap was established.  I set aside some Dodgers and hall of famers for him.

The Expos uniform has to be one of the best of all time.  The hat was awesome and the red, white and blue color scheme always looks spiffy.  Montreal deserves to have a team again just so these uniforms can come back and grace the front of some nice cardboard.

A vendor at the show was practically giving away high end mid 90s packs.  The vendor was selling some Upper Deck SP, Topps Finest and Topps Laser.  I was very tempted to buy a bag full which some other folks at the show had done.  I show restraint at this show and only spent a dollar on a card.  My goal was to keep money and not spend it on more baseball cards.

My restraint paid off as I left the show with a pocket full of cash and Oscar had included this Topps Laser Rauul Mondesi in my trade stack.  Getting this card was just a little extra icing on a fun day.  I had made my money back plus some and got some items from members of the blogging community that fit into my collection.

It was a great time seeing some of my blogger buddies.  I look forward to the next show or game where we get to hang out again.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Added Intrigue

When you make a trade with a fellow blogger, I usually know what type of cards will be sent my way.  Even when a blind trade is agreed upon, the cards that the bubble mailer will be stuffed with, will fit into my team collections or player collections.  The only element of surprise is usually the quality of Dodgers that are sent to me.

One of my favorite bloggers, Napkin Doon, sent me a rare item in our latest trade.  He sent me a few random packs of baseball cards.  Getting packs of baseball cards in a trade does not happen often.  The included packs added an element of surprise because Napkin or I had no idea cards will stumble out of the wax sealed packs.

The '89 Topps and '89 Donruss are packs reminiscent of my childhood.  I remember opening tons of those packs, especially the '89 Topps.  That was and still is one of my favorite sets.  Napkin Doon must have used his special powers to figure that out or maybe I just mentioned my love of '89 Topps before at the Platter.  Either way, I am pumped to rip open some actual wax encased cardboard.

I don't remember opening up any '90 Topps Big as a child.  Opening this pack was fresh to me despite this set being over 20 years old.  The over sized gimmick must have intimidated a younger version of me.  Minis are cool, the big cards are too scary and tough to store.  Even the youthfulness of my collecting habits knew this.

I have decided to pick out my favorite cards from each pack.  This Mike LaValliere beat out the rest of the bunch.  LaValliere has a chubby face, a bad mustache, and a whirl coming out from under his Pirates cap.  Yup, that wins him the honor of best of pack.

Diamond Kings have a certain nostalgia feel for me.  These were the cool, flashy cards to pull for a young collector in the late 80s to early 90s.  I enjoy the artwork by Dick Perez and these stood out so much when pulled from a pack.  They added some contrasting colors and were able to have a slightly different card design from the regular base cards that added some flair to '89 Donruss.

I have no recollection of ever seeing Ed Whitson play baseball.  He may not even be a real person.  Whitson could just be a mythical ballplayer character created by Dick Perez.  The background of this card has a 70s style trippyness which may explain why Perez created a mythical baseball player.

The '89 Topps pack was the funnest one to break open.  I may have to find a cheap box of this set and try to complete it.  I wonder if one '89 Topps box actually contains one whole set?

Carlton Fisk just looks like a ballplayer in this photo.  Fisk is not doing anything athletic or gritty on this card.  In fact, he is just standing trying to decipher some had signals from his third base coach.  It is hard to describe into words, what "looks like a ballplayer" truly means.  It seems to be just an expression baseball fans use to describe some players.  Baseball fans just have that sense and Fisk just looks like a ballplayer.

Napkin Doon sent me some other really nice cards.  I think that I will do him the honor and make this trade post a two parter.  That doesn't happen often at the Platter but, the trade package Napkin Doon sent to me deserves a sequel.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

A Bright Spot

The Dodgers have been playing some pathetic baseball this season.  The team got swept by the hated Giants over the weekend and are trying to salvage one game from the Diamondbacks to avoid the sweep tonight.  My baseball life has been pretty sad so far in 2013.  My collecting baseball life has been quite swell recently at the very, very least.

Aside from the Dodgers losing over the weekend, Sunday brought a shade of happiness for me.  This was just one little bright spot from an otherwise dismal weekend.  There was an autograph signing at a card shop in Whittier,CA called Harry's Dugout and it was featuring Pedro Guerrero.  Awesome.

Guerrero was a beast of a hitter for the Dodgers in the 80s.  He had some 30 homer seasons, a couple seasons of an on-base percentage over .400 and a little postseason glory in 1981.  The Dodgers beat the Yankees in 1981 to win the World Series.  Guerrero was a key piece to that championship by hitting two homers in the series and taking home a third of the World Series MVP award.  Ron Cey and Steve Yeager also took home a third of the MVP award, respectively.

It was good to see Guerrro looking good and healthy.  He has had some off the field issues with drugs and I wasn't sure what his physical appearance would be.  As you can see above, Guerrero seems to be doing well and that made this autograph signing even better.

I always struggle picking out a card to bring to one of these Dodger signings.  I pick through boxes and flip through pages on the lookout for the perfect card to bring.  It gives me some anxiety while on this search and I examine the cards with a microscope.  A big fear of mine would be to bring a piece of cardboard to get autographed,  only to realize the card had a huge bend in it.

That isn't my biggest fear in life.  The biggest fear I have are clowns with red hair.  They are pure evil just like Angel Pagan.

I settled on this card because I love the retro design and I knew the signature would come out looking sweet.  Guerrero's flowing afro was also a major plus for me.

This signing was tons of fun.  I had a good time in line chatting some baseball with a handful of the local LA graphers.  Good conversation always makes waiting in line more enjoyable.

Thanks to Harry's Dugout for hosting such a nice event with a big time ex-Dodger.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Looking For More

It has been awhile since my last blog post.  It has been around three weeks since my readers have had the honor of glancing through my typed words.  Now I just need to remember how to type properly for your brief enjoyment.

Over the past few weeks during my blogging hiatus, I have been organizing my cards, purchasing lots online and compiling cardboard that I am stuffing into 3200 count boxes.  Those were at least the activities that I was doing that are card collecting related, of course.

I am setting up a table at a card show in Culver City on May 18th.  So, I have been stocking up on cards to sell at the show.  This was a totally different mindset for me.  I am usually not one of those collectors that buys boxes or autographed cards of minor leaguers with the intent of flipping the cards for a profit down the line.  This was a very different kind of seek and buy mission.  I had to think of what cards that some customer would want to purchase from me.  I feel that I have made some good buys online and I hope that will make my card show selling experience a money making success.

If you are going to be in the LA area on that day, stop by and say hello to your blogging brother.  The admission is free which is a huge plus for the consumer.

Enough of the buying to flip card acquisitions, it is now time to show off some of the good stuff that will stay in my collection.  I haven't just been buying cards with others on my mind, I have still been trading a bit.  I made a trade with Scott Crawford On Cards and I am pretty sure the trade talks began on Twitter.  I also believe that may make this the first time I have used Twitter as a form of trading communication.  I will get the Platter fact checkers to see if that is true.

A vintage Johnny Podres card will always fit nicely into my collection.  It was fun going through a bubble mailer with the joy of looking at cards that were going to stay in my grasp.  Buying for the show was getting tiresome at points because I kept seeing cards that I would like just for myself.

Trades with bloggers don't have that problem at all.  A blogger sends you some baseball cards and you usually get some sweet ones that you will cherish.  This Podres card fits the bill.

It is an honor for a Dodger pitcher to wear a blue glove.  Wearing a blue glove while playing for the Dodgers seems to be a tradition that I love pointing out.  Pedro Martinez was one of the first Dodger players that I remember rocking the blue mitt.  When did players start wearing gloves to match their team colors?

Some other Dodger players that have worn the blue glove like Pedro were Carlos Perez, Vicente Padilla and Pedro Astacio.  These players as well as many others have worn that glove with pride.  Pedro also has the right idea going with the bigger, outfielder's mitt which will better serve him on comebackers.

This Pedro card lists some of his minor league stats on the back.  They were quite impressive and you could see the numbers were dominant.  It made me kind of depressed and I will avoid showing the back of this card to save the despair for other Doyer fans.

 To not end things on a sour note, Scott sent me this snazzy Jackie Robinson insert.  Jackie is surrounded by refractorness qualities with another image of him at the plate in the background.

This card will spruce up a 9-pocket page in my Brooklyn binder.  The most recent Jackie cards that I have gotten have been of the more bland looking Gypsy Queen type.  Flashy Jackie is much better than the Dullard Jackies' I have added to my binders recently.

Using Twitter to get a trade going worked out well. I will have to try that again someday.  If I have some cards leftover after the card show, then I will have some nice trade bait to get some deals going with the blog world.  Hopefully, my pile of unwanted cards will be lighter after May 18th.

Thank you for the trade, Scott and sending me some cards that will never be flipped for profit.