Thursday, May 31, 2018

Package from Stealing Home

Since the beginning of my blogging days about 15 months ago, there have been a handful of other blogs which I've followed since day one.  One of those is All Trade Bait All The Time.  Whether you have an affinity for beer (I don't) or baseball cards (yes, I do, big time!) you will enjoy reading it.  He goes by Stealing Home, and Tom and I have been emailing back and forth about a possible trade off and on for months.  I have a high end card he wants, and he's been doing a lot of work hitting local card shows out there in California to come up with comparable goods in return.  Yesterday, I received his package in the mail.
This is my very first hockey autograph card!  It's hard to make out in the scan, but it's Darryl Sydor from the 1999 In the Game Millennium Signature Series.  Most of the rest of the cards were off my want list of Minnesota North Stars team set needs.  A whole bunch were knocked off the list!

Here's Gilles Meloche the year before and the year after the new style goalie face masks came out.  Who can't look at that 1980-81 mask and think "CREEPY?"

There were more cards from the 1982-83 O-Pee-Chee set than from any other, over half the team in all.

And of course, a couple Red Sox were in the package for good measure.  I needed them both.  This was actually my first look at the 2018 Topps Salute of Johnny Damon.

Thanks for the trade, Tom!  Well, I guess it's not a trade until I get yours in the mail too.  Look for it soon.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Minneapolis 3/3

Two Fridays ago now I was in Minneapolis and found myself needing to kill some time.  I had been to one card shop, then made an in-person trade with a fellow member of the trading card database.  Papa Hawk Sports & Collectibles was one exit down the freeway from where I was at.  So despite not having the best luck there last time, I grabbed a shake at the McDonald's drive-thru across the street and headed south one exit.

This time I had a lot better luck there.  First I picked up three Red Sox I needed from 2018 Donruss.

They had 16 cards from 1977 Topps Star Wars that I still needed, all from the green and orange sub-sets.  That puts me at exactly 90% complete for that set.

Speaking of which, I saw the Han Solo movie yesterday.  It was so-so.  I've traditionally been a huge Star Wars fan, but even I now think they are putting out too many movies.  They're not as special any more.
Spoiler alert: jump down to the hockey card pictures if you don't want to know anything about the movie...........  So how old is Han Solo supposed to be?  By putting Darth Maul in there, they seem to have thrown the timelines off.  He shouldn't be alive at this point in Han Solo's life.  He was killed by Obi-Wan Kenobi when Anakin Skywalker was still a little boy and Luke was years from being born.  I always put Solo as being maybe ten years older than Luke.  But given Darth Maul's appearance when Solo was in his early 20's, he'd have to be 40 years older than Luke, or almost Kenobi's age.  Has anybody made sense of this apparent contradiction?

Back to cards.  By far I bought more hockey than anything else.  They were all Minnesota North Stars or Dallas Stars team set needs over a 40 year timeframe.  Here are just some of the favorites.

So overall, that Friday in Minneapolis was well worth getting up early and arriving with ample time for card hunting.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Minneapolis 2/3

Last Friday mid-afternoon I found myself sitting in my car at Twin Cities Sportscards in Golden Valley, Minnesota.  They had needed to close up the shop early to make a trip to a show out of state.  I was supposed to meet a guy there that afternoon.  He's not a blogger, but he goes by Noy on the trading card database.  We met at this same card shop over a month ago, and had arranged thru TCDB to meet again the next time I was in town.  I had quite a few cards from his want list to give him.   To kill a little time, I decided I'd enter the cards I had just purchased that day into the TCDB on my phone, hoping Noy would show up soon.  And after about ten minutes, he did.  After trying the locked card shop door, he looked around the lot.  He must have seen my South Dakota plates, and walked on up to my car.  I'm glad I hung around a few minutes.  I wasn't expecting anything in return, but he had brought along a nice return package of cards for me.  Here's a look at what was inside.

This is my first manufactured relic card.  It couldn't have been of a better player as far as I'm concerned.

There were three great additions to my Yaz PC.

 And three for the Clemens PC as well.

And three hall of famers knocked off the 1972 set build.

These are my first 2018 Bowman cards.

There were some 2018 Bowman Chrome Prospects of the Red Sox as well.

There were a whole bunch of Minnesota North Stars cards.  That's very fitting since I had been digging thru old North Stars just minutes before in the card shop. 

Overall, Noy overdid himself. I wasn't expecting anything in return, and instead I think he outgave what I gave him. Thanks for the trade, Noy! The cards are much appreciated!

So how did I spend the rest of the afternoon? I'll get to that in part 3.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Minneapolis 1/3

This weekend I was in Minneapolis for a graduation.  So I took the opportunity to drive in early enough on Friday to have plenty of time at a local card shop.  My destination was Twin Cities Sportcards in the suburb of Golden Valley.  I was there about a month ago, but didn't have time to really dive in.  So that was the plan on Friday afternoon.

When I woke up Friday morning, I had what I thought was pinkeye.  At that early hour, there was nothing I could do about it in South Dakota, so I made the drive to the Twin Cities and went right away to a MedExpress Urgent Care.  Thankfully, it was either allergies or an irritant of some kind in there and not pinkeye.  I filled the eye drop prescription, grabbed a quick lunch, and to Twin Cities Sportcards I went.

I had some really good luck.  This 2018 Donruss Rated Rookie of Rafael Devers was probably my favorite pickup.

I also found four 2017 Yaz cards I didn't have yet to add to my PC.  Here are my favorites.

My 1973 Topps set build was helped along.  I still need the Rookie Third Basemen card with Mike Schmidt on it.

I now have only five left to complete the set!

I picked up another 1975 Boog Powell to replace the one I mistakenly traded not too long ago.  So I'm back to one card left in 1975, the George Brett rookie.  The shop owner had just recently sold his entire 5000 card box of 1974's, so I didn't get a chance to find the last two I needed.

All the NHL playoff talk lately had me in the mood to chip away at my North Stars and Stars team set builds.

I picked up a bunch and am only showing a few here.

These are my first cards from this year's Upper Deck set.

This Bobby Doerr wasn't specifically on my want list, but it's one of those that talked to me the moment I saw it.

I was employee of the month in December so I had my prize of hundreds of dollars of Visa gift cards I planned on spending at the store.  But unfortunately, the owner had to close early on Friday afternoon to hit the road early for a trip to South Dakota and a coin/card show.  So I was graciously booted from the store with less than $20 spent so far.  I had planned to dig deep into his 5000 card boxes of 1970, 1971, and 1972.  So his loss.  But overall, he didn't know my intentions, and he's such a nice guy I don't hold it against him.  His store is one of my all-time favorite LCS's.  There were a couple other guys in there who were obviously regulars, but they included me in some really fun and engaging conversations about their collections, want lists, recent buys, etc.

So what to do with the rest of the afternoon in Minneapolis?  I was supposed to meet a TCDB friend in person while there, but had to leave before he showed up.  Stay tuned for part 2.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

South Dakotans in the Pros - Adam Vinatieri

My guess is most of you haven't been to South Dakota before.  There's Mount Rushmore on the west end, and Sioux Falls on the east, and 350 miles of farm and ranch land in between.  With under a million people, we have just one U.S. representative for the whole state.  Several presidents spent significant down time here.  And celebrities and east coast big wigs come here annually for the hunting and fishing.  Don't let the "south" deceive you.  South Dakota is a northern state that gets really cold in the winter.  In December and January, the morning work commute is in the dark, and the evening commute is as well.  Because it's a rural state and outdoor activities/sports can only happen seven months out of the year, South Dakota hasn't produced a lot of professional athletes.  This series is to spotlight those South Dakotans who made it all the way to the pros in their sport.

South Dakota is so sparsely populated that the whole state has one area code.  If you accidentally dialed the wrong phone number, chances are you would still know the person who answers. Well OK, it's not quite that bad.  But it is true that you could easily play the Six Degrees of Separation from Kevin Bacon game between any two South Dakotans.  In fact, you'd rarely ever need that many degrees to connect two of us.

With Mike Miller's retirement from the NBA, Adam Vinatieri might very well be the most famous current professional athlete from South Dakota.  It's either him or Brock Lesnar.  Here are my first four degrees of separation from Adam Vinatieri.

1 Degree:
I don't know Adam Vinatieri.  I've never met him.  I've maybe seen him from a distance once.  Keep reading for the details.  I guess you could say I don't know Adam from Adam.

2 Degrees:
My wife graduated from high school with Adam.  It was Rapid City Central High School and the year was 1991. Yes, there is still an active NFL player who graduated from high school in 1991!  She didn't know him very well.
Since Adam and I are the same age, and since I had lots of friends who attended South Dakota State University, Adam and I have several mutual friends and acquaintances that way.
Adam's sister is my district's state representative in Pierre.

3 Degrees:
Adam was born in Yankton, SD.  I assume he was born in the one hospital there.  My parents were also born there.
My wife's friend from high school is still good friends with Adam.  She said he visits at least once a year.
My parents have a lake home that is five docks down the shore from Adam's sister.  The rumor on the lake this past 4th of July was that Adam was there at his sister's to celebrate.  I think I might have seen him there when I was taking a boat ride.

4 Degrees:
Adam's sister is married to a local realtor who was a tennis teammate of my brother's.  An interesting fact about this brother-in-law of Adam's is that he dated the actress January Jones (X-Men) in high school.
Adam's nephew also plays football for South Dakota State.  He attended a nearby local high school and I saw him play in several games.  I was present his senior year at the state championship game when he was playing wide receiver.

I think it goes without saying that Adam Vinatieri is a future hall of famer.  He's made many many clutch field goals in Super Bowls and other big games.  Here's a link to my favorite game of his. (the "tuck rule" game, two huge field goals in the snow)  And here's my very favorite play.  Does anybody remember these?

What a career!  He has made South Dakotans proud for many years.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Yet Another Trade

Wow, the days just fly by sometimes and before you know it you haven't posted in almost two weeks!  To hopefully get back into the swing of things, this will be a short post recapping another recent trade on the trading card database. The guy who proposed the trade, PapaG321, got very creative, offering and receiving a variety of cards to make the deal happen.

This knocks three more off the 1971 set completion project.  This pushes me just over the 20% mark.

I just recently added some Red Sox O-Pee-Chee cards to my want list. PapaG321 jumped quick and offered up six of them.

I've added O-Pee-Chee Red Sox to my want list for the years it has a different design from it's Topps counterpart.

I think these are my first hockey cards in a TCDB trade!  I don't collect many, but these help out my (North) Stars team collection.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Another Big Trade

The dust had finally settled from the big trade a couple of weeks ago. The new cards were collated into their respective spots in the set build box. The trade feedback had been left. The blog entry about the trade had been published. Then what do you know, another big trade offer showed up out of left field. And it was by none other than woodmangb, the same big trade partner as last time. This time the offer was of a bunch of 1970's (over 100) for my set build in exchange for most of my 1964 Red Sox doubles.

The Roberto Clemente was the big name in the lot. I have very few cards of him from his playing days, so this one is great to have.

These were probably the next two biggest names. Neither are hall of famers, but both had plenty of star moments.

And just like last time, there were some big big names to be found on league leaders cards. 

This trade more than doubled my 1970 progress, which now is at 232/720 or 32.2%.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Topps is Hiring

Can you imagine a more fun job than working for a sportscard company?  Due to my job situation I've been poking around a little bit.  I've been asking myself what would I love to do versus what do I feel I have to do.  That led me to the Topps website and other card brands as well.

Topps is looking for a couple of interesting roles right now.  The problem is, I'd have to relocate to New York if I applied and was chosen.  Check these out, would they be fun or what?

Brand Assistant The Brand Assistant for Entertainment helps execute the strategy set forth by the Brand Manager. The BA will manage executional activities across multiple entertainment properties that help ensure the products are of high-quality, delivered on-time and within budget. The role will require strict attention to detail, ability to manage multiple deadlines, and ability to be fast and flexible in reacting to feedback from managers, cross-functional teams and licensors. 
  • Assist Brand Manager on creation of Product Descriptions and ensure deadlines are met
  • Manage subject lists and budgets to maximize quality of product content
  • Work with project management to ensure deadlines are met
  • Partner with art department to bring exciting fresh designs to each brand
  • Partner with Editors to ensure image selection is appropriate for each product
  • Manage the sketch card process including sending recruitment emails for sketch card projects to artists and managing responses 
  • The Brand Assistant will need to become knowledgeable of Topps licenses (Star Wars, WWE, Garbage Pail Kids, Wacky Packages, The Walking Dead) in this role to deliver compelling product to consumers
  • Interest in pop culture and keeping up with latest shows and trends a major plus
Talent Licensing Planner The Talent Licensing Planner, NASE is responsible for the coordination of signings between athletes/celebrities and Topps.  The position acts as the center point for all coordination between athletes/celebrities, agencies, representatives and Topps in the procurement of autographs for trading card products.  He/She will work closely with internal resources including production, legal, finance, e-commerce, digital, marketing, as well as daily correspondence with external agencies and Topps witness representatives.  He/She will work closely with operations to ensure that autograph procurement is aligned with all product deadlines.
  • Work with Operations to plan and manage product production schedules.
  • Act as liaison between Topps and agents/marketing reps for the coordination of signings.
  • Spearhead the strategy for optimizing autograph signings throughout the product calendar year.
  • Prioritize projects and card signings based on deadlines and milestone calendar dates.
  • Manage and coordinate with Topps witness representatives for autograph signings.
  • Coordinate with Licensing Manager and Accounts Payable to ensure contracted parties are paid for all autograph signings in a timely manner.
  • Ensure compliance to contractual obligations ensuring all services are executed.
  • Foster and maintain relationships with agents, marketing reps and industry contacts.
  • Coordinate activations and marketing/licensing events.
  • Purchase raw materials for Authentics business.
Assistant Talent Licensing Manager The Assistant Talent Licensing Manager, NASE is responsible for all information between athletes/celebrities, agencies and Topps in the procurement of rights, content and services for trading card products.  He/She will work closely with internal resources including product development, production, legal, finance, e-commerce, digital, marketing, customer service, as well as daily correspondence with external agencies.  He/She will work closely with the brand team to ensure that autograph content is aligned with all product requirements.  
  • Responsible for the generation, signing, accounting and managing of talent and agent interactions.
  • Manage the autograph and relic licensing program including negotiating deals with talent and agents across sports and entertainment properties.
  • Work closely with brand teams to create product subject lists, provide cost insights on a per-talent basis and manage product milestone calendars.
  • Generate licensing reports to analyze current autograph status across entire trading card product portfolio.
  • Oversee lifecycle of contracts while monitoring dates of legal significance such as expirations and options.
  • Ensure compliance to contractual obligations ensuring all services are executed.
  • Foster and maintain relationships with league licensors, player associations, agents and industry contacts.
  • Spearhead talent activations and marketing/licensing events.

For the Topps haters in the blog-o-sphere, here's your chance to make a difference!  Who lives in New York?  I'm sure if you need references as to your card collecting passion, there would be plenty of us here who'd speak for you.