18 January 2014

Inconsequential Variations (Part the First): 1990 CMC Pre-Rookie #441 Bill McGuire

     Welcome back, everyone, as it is time, once again, for the introductory installment of everyone's favorite recurring series where we explore the unknown depths of the obscure backwater that is inconsequential variations amongst baseball cards.

07 January 2014

WANTED: Hensley Meulens/Roberto Kelly SF Giants FanFest cards

        With the Giants Fan Fest rapidly approaching (1 February 2014), I thought I should put this back out there in the hopes that some kind person might be able to help me out.

         I'm hunting any available black & white team issue cards produced of Hensley Meulens and Roberto Kelly since they joined the San Francisco Giants.  I posted previously about cards like this, issued by the Giants primarily for use at their yearly fanfest, but at the time I wasn't sure there were any cards for either player.  I still don't know if any cards exist for Kelly, but I've found images of these two one cards for Bam Bam (the 2013 card finally turned up on eBay again):

      I'm tentatively assigning the tis card as from 2012, but I know the bottom card is from this year.

      I'm hoping someone might find a batch of these and put them up for sale somewhere.  They appear on eBay very infrequently, so I figured I'd make this call to the world.  If possible, I'd rather have clean, non-autographed cards, but if signed is the only way I can get one, I'll live.

04 January 2014

Non-eBay Card Shopping (w/Winfield mailday)

Sorry, I'm having Indian food tonight :/

       On any given day, one can visit a sports card trading message board (and I'd be willing to bet this occurs on all manner of collecting-based hobby forums, as well), someone is bemoaning the lack of an alternative to eBay.  Oh, feebay, why doest thou taxeth us so, stealing the very nickels and dimes upon which we hoped to build our dreams?  There's so much shill bidding!  There is no seller protection from scammers!  Why, oh, why can't there be any where else we can go?

       But....there is!  There always has been.  eBay has never been a monopoly.  The only reason eBay is the significant force in sports cards (through no real effort of their own) is because that's where the most traffic goes.  It's very similar to the complaints about the supposed "two party system" in American politics.  People complain that the reason nothing gets done is that both the two parties are only out for their own interest.  Yet, those very same people ridicule any attempt to change the system by declaring any vote for a non-Republican or non-Democrat as a wasted vote!  So just like in politics, the only way to change the situation of eBay's supposed dominance in the hobby is to stop feeding the problem and go somewhere else.

       To that end, I present this lovely addition to my Dave Winfield collection.  This card, I've patiently been hunting for about the past 5 years, yet every time it surfaced on eBay, either the seller was charging $3+ for shipping (before all the postage hikes, that was more annoying than it is today) or I would consistently be outbid by someone who felt the card was worth more than the $6 (total) I was willing to drop.  Yes, I'm cheap.  I'm not a slave to Beckett values, and set very strict limits to what I'm willing to pay for a simple game-used or autographed baseball card.

2001 Topps Archives Reserve Bat #AAR25
(remember those holograms with numbers for the non-existent database where you could supposedly look up where the piece of wood originated?)

       I picked this up from a seller on Webstore for $5.98 shipped, so just a hair under my limit.  I'd never used Webstore before, but browsing around, it reminded me a lot of eCrater or etsy, basically a storefront system where you can set up your own corner of the community to sell pretty much whatever non-illegal merchandise you choose.  The seller had (0) feedback and had only been on Webstore for about 4 months, but had this card listed for a flat Buy Now price of $2.99 + $2.99 shipping.  The card arrived fairly quickly given it had to deal with two holidays between time of purchase and time of arrival, and I am very pleased with my purchase.  That seller now has a perfect feedback score of (1).

       In the past, I have successfully added cards to my collection from a variety of non-eBay sites and am always looking for more options when the main sites just keep recycling the same sellers and cards. Below is a quick breakdown of several places I peruse in my hunt and recent results for a quick "Dave Winfield" search (in no particular order). For sites where there is an inventory system with built-in checklists (basically just Sportlots and COMC) I list the quantity of different cards, rather than total including duplicates for the same of expediency.

        I have actually purchased items from Sportlots, onlineauction.com, COMC, eCrater, BidStart and the aforementioned Webstore.  I'm actively selling (active being a relative thing) at eCrater, COMC, Sportlots and BuyMyCards.net.  Give some of these sites a try.  But be smart about it and start with something small and see how the experience goes.  And remember, one bad experience with one seller or buyer does not mean the site is not worthwhile.  If that were true, eBay would have been abandoned years ago.  The only way other sites will ever become major outlets or alternatives to eBay is if people actively buy and sell there.

Site Qty of Winfield Items
754 different
785 different

21 December 2013

1990 Columbus Clippers Team Issue Perforated Stadium Giveaway

      As a follow up to this post, I was finally able to acquire a copy of the full 1990 Columbus Clippers set that was given away at Cooper Stadium in 1990 as a single perforated sheet.  Sponsored by Kodak and the local Nickles Bakery, the set was topped with a team photo and included 25 cards.  At the bottom of the sheet are two coupons, one for a "free" watch (with 8 proofs of purchase from Kodak film) and one to save $20 on photofinishing with purchase of a 35mm Kodak camera.

     Here is the checklist, organized by uniform number (not necessarily how they are arranged in the uncut set):

NA Team Photo
2 Mark Wasinger
4 Jim Walewander
9 Oscar Azocar
13 Bob Davidson
14 Jim Leyritz
16 Dave Sax
18 Andy Stankiewicz
21 John Fishel
22 Stump Merrill MGR
23 Darrin Chapin
24 John Habyan
25 Dave Eiland
26 Jason Maas
27 Mark Leiter
28 Kevni Mmahat
29 Van Snider
30 Rich Monteleone
31 Hensley Meulens
34 Brian Dorsett
35 Steve Adkins
37 Kevin Maas
38 Rob Sepanek
40 Jimmy Jones
44 Clay Parker
NNO Clete Boyer / Stump Merrill / Ken Rowe / Trey Hillman / Mike Heifferon (Coaching Staff)

     Currently, this set is not cataloged by Beckett (though I did recently send them the set information), but is is cataloged by the Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards.  I've also posted the checklist to SportsCardForum.com, Zistle.com and TradingCardDB.com.  The three copies I received from a seller on eBay all had a fairly significant bit of corner damage to the cards on the corners of the set when it was folded.  Most of that looks to be old wear, and not a result of shipping.  I guess people weren't so keen to take care of minor league sets of this nature as they might have been for the similar Lykes-sponsored Atlanta Braves sets that were issued in the 1990s.  As a result, finding copy of the set in mint condition is unlikely.

17 December 2013

Watch Asia Wnter Baseball League games on YouTube

     Not sure how I happened across this, but the Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL) is currently hosting the 2013 Asia Winter Baseball League and are broadcasting the games (to nearly empty stadiums) on YouTube.  Starting in 2012, Taiwan began hosting this league.  This season, includes players from Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB), the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) the CPBL and a contingent representing Liga de Béisbol Profesional de la República Dominicana (LIDOM).

Click here for the CPBL's YouTube Page.

The current game is the KBO vs CPBL.

The upcoming schedule is as follows:

December 18 (4AM Central)

December 19 (10PM Central)

December 19 (4AM Central)

December 20 (10PM Central)

December 20 (4AM Central)

    Keep in mind, this is winter baseball, so you're not likely to see any current stars, but it's still baseball!  Who knows, you might catch a glimpse of the next Ichiro (who played winter ball in Hawaii).

10 December 2013

1994 Tucson Toros Jones Photo set confirmed

     Bit by bit, evidence of these sets continues to surface.  Above are photos from the previously unconfirmed 1994 Tucson Toros Jones Photo set.  Big thanks to Joshua Raisen who runs the wonderful Astroland website for this information.  He picked up this "pack" of 5 photos on eBay recently, complete with the vinyl envelope in which they were issued.

So far, the only known players are the following (updated as necessary):

John Hudek
Domingo Jean
Frank Kellner
Mark Petkovsek
Scooter Tucker

    As these were usually issued in bundles of five, I expect there are at least 15 more photos in the 1994 set.  Whenever more photos turn up, the list will be updated.