Saturday, May 27, 2017

Taking A Page Out Of Dime Box Nick's Book

The other day I went to Chameleon Cards & Comics in NYC again. It's a nice little shop if you're feeling like dropping a lot of Benjamin Franklins on box breaks. Most of the time I just go there for supplies and for an hour or so of fun looking through their dime boxes.

You don't have to be Nick The Dime Box King, to appreciate how cool these boxes can be. There's a ton of fun to be had. You can also really understand why Nick has as many mini collections as he does.

Starting us off is one of my favorites from the lot. A Shigetoshi Hasegawa card where he looks like he's having the time of his life with that old Canon (E05 1d?) camera. I really wonder what he's looking at through the lens.

The back is just as fantastic as it features another one of Nick's mini collections, a player autographing something. That's always fun to see.

Here's a fun action shot featuring Maddux covering first in a weird pose. And possibly with a throwback uni (I wouldn't know because I don't know the Cubs' uniforms).

This is Upper Deck so of course the back is great too. This time we have Mad Dog sliding on the base paths.

Get you a man who can juggle baseballs in a suit.

Man, Upper Deck really did deliver with the photographs didn't they. No wonder Nick has a collection devoted to these rare pictures that feature equipment.

Getting a card of a HoFer is good. Getting a miscut card of a HoFer is great.

Mahlon Duckett, never played for any major league baseball team but he was a mainstay in the Negro Leagues in the 40's. Playing for the Newark Eagles and Homestead Grays. He even won rookie of the year honors in 1940. When this card came out, Duckett was working as the Secretary and Treasurer of the Negro League Baseball Players Association, at the age of 87. He unfortunately passed away in 2015, but we have this awesome A&G card to keep his legacy alive.

I'm very sure that this is a throw back. A pretty popular mini collection Nick and various others have had for years now.

This Bellhorn is a rare type of action shot where the runner avoids the tag. How often have you seen that on cardboard? Without sliding at that. It's an under-appreciated type of action shot in my view.

Same goes for the photograph on the back. These "I got it!" shots where the fielder is about to catch the popup is a shot I'd like to see more too. Even if you're Luis Castillo.

There's nothing really too special about this Crow except that the former Central League MVP (he was really good with the Giants during his career) is notable for his performance, and for his brawl with the Dragons' Masami Miyashita.

I remember watching a TV special where they had Cromartie and Miyashita reunite and both apologized for the incident.

Now we're heading a little into my turf, minor league baseball. Featuring future Baltimore Orioles longtime second baseman, Brian Roberts, as well as beleaguered big leaguer Andres Torres. Both are retired now and people who grew up watching baseball in the 2000's should feel old now.

Oh wait nevermind, we're out of my turf again.
I picked these out to make lame jokes about current big leaguers with the same names being traded. Sidenote, McCullers up there is the currently active Lance McCullers' dad.

Of course for 10 cents a pop, you don't pass up opportunities to acquire stuff for your trade partners either. This when Bay was Bae (I'm sorry, I'm trying to delete that, help!).

You thought you were going to get a full post from me without any current prospects? Ha! He's already a top tier prospect in the Jays system and will be a fun one to watch in the upcoming years. Also, this is a very deliberate pick since Vlad Jr. is the son of Vlad Sr. who Nick collects. Will he collect Jr. too?

Finishing off the haul will be my two cards from the 50 cent bin. This is supermodel Nina Agdal. I'm surprised she's not in a swimsuit considering how first pitches in Japan are sometimes thrown by models in swimsuits. I'm even more surprised since this was taken in California.

Here's a fun insert of Keston Hirua, who is draft eligible this year. He projects to go in the later half of the first round at the earliest and is seen as one of the better bats in the draft. He doesn't have a position at the moment due to injuries, but some see him as a potential middle infielder or centerfielder.

And rounding out this post will be the supplies I got, two magnet holders.

That was my little foray into dime boxes. It's always a ton of fun and I can really see why Nick has dedicated his hobby life to it.

As always thanks for stopping by and take care :).

Friday, May 26, 2017




先日私はニューヨークシティーにあるChameleon Cards and Comicsというカードショップによりました。そちらはスポーツカードにノンスポカードにアメコミまで売っています。

ここでは多くのお客さんが箱買いするのが当たり前ですが、私自身はいつもバーゲン箱を見ています。この店では一枚10セント(約10円)のはこがありまして英語ではdime boxと呼びます。当然それより高い金額のシングルがありますが、こうした10セント箱からこそ面白い物がでてきます。



こちらは変なポーズをしている一塁でなにかのプレイに巻き込まれたグレッグ・マドックス選手。この表の写真が味がある上、この頃のUpper Deckは裏にも力を入れていたのです。








こうしたマイナー限定カードまでありました。もう数年前に引退したBrian Robertsのカードを見ると時間の流れがどれだけ早いか実感しました。


一応これは普通なカードですが、選手はMahlon Duckettというメジャーリーガーではなかったが、ニグロリーグではかなり大きな存在でした。新人王に輝き、このカードが作られたときはまだニグロリーグ関係の仕事を努めていました。残念ながら二年前におなくなりになられたのですが、このカードが彼の伝説を語り続けます。



こちらはスーパーモデルのNina Agdalになります。日本ではモデルさんが始球式を行う場合水着を着て投球するのですがアメリカではあまりないです。というか、全くないです。残念なような、「女性をただ見る物として扱うな」という当たり前の感じがありまして複雑です笑。

最後にはこのKeston Hiuraという今年のドラフトでかなりはやめに指名されると期待されている大学生です。どうやら彼はアメリカに生まれ育った、日本人と中国人のハーフらしいです。彼は打者としてかなり高く評価されていますが、けがなどで守備力をのばすチャンスが少なかったため、今後どのポジションにいるかは分かりません(一応今はショートらしいです)。




Thursday, May 25, 2017

An Easily Obtainable Autograph

When you think of buying certified autographs of established major leaguers, what is the first thing that comes to your mind?

If you're like me, it's usually how good that player is and how expensive their autographs must be as an extension of that.

My general "rule" is that the better the player is, and the more prominent role he plays in his organization, the higher his prices are. And this is what I apply to cards in a vacuum where Bowman Chrome autographs aren't in the equation. In that, even if the autograph is the player's coveted Bowman Chrome autograph, it can still cost a hefty sum. Just look at the going prices for Mike Trout and Bryce Harper autographs that aren't their Bowman Chrome autos. Or even not-quite-as-big stars like Francisco Lindor.

Of course this rule has its exceptions and it's not so clear cut for various reasons. The biggest being oversupply. If you're like Noah Syndergaard and sign for every product, the law of supply and demand dictates that your autographs will go down in value due to there being more out there available for purchase. And yes, serial numbers and exclusivity can slow that process down a tad, but the fact remains that the overall supply of Syndergaard autographs have gone up. Expect the less desired autographs (like the unlicensed Panini ones) to go down even more in value.

Also, there's the age-old issue of big market vs small market teams. It should be no surprise that Nolan Arenado's autographs aren't going for nearly as much as his worth as a player would indicate, because he plays his games in a gaudy purple vest in a stadium named after a beverage that tastes like urine. And most importantly, he's not in a big market like New York, Boston, Chicago or Los Angeles. Heck, he's not even in a medium-to-big market like Toronto, Seattle, Houston or St. Louis.

These are the reasons I consider my latest purchase, not as painful as I expected.

BEHOLD! My first online baseball card purchase in months!

Evan Longoria's autographs have intrigued me for a while now. A quick look at completed listings show that his non-Bowman Chrome autographs can be had for less than a retail rack pack. Although I got this particular autograph (from the high end Topps The Mint set) for the price of a discounted blaster (plus tax).

The value of Longoria's autographs do not benefit from being on a big market team, and because Longoria is one of the only two Rays players worth caring about he's in a lot of products (the other is Chris Archer whose prices are also very cheap). I guess it's also worth noting that Longoria is old. His autographs can't get get any higher in value due to how he's pretty much maxed out his potential and impact at the big league level. Which is a guy who still has a long ways to go if he wants to make it to the hall of fame, but with his diminishing skills it's hard to see that happening.

So anytime you're in a retail setting and thinking of buying a blaster for $20.00 or a repack for $5.00, just remember that you could get an autograph of the face of the Rays franchise for that money. Never mind whether you'd want to or not.

Now Longo joins Hunter Pence in the, autographs I bought even though I don't really know why I bought them collection.

As always thanks for stopping by and take care :).

Monday, May 22, 2017

Custom Card Sleeves?

With the exception of the repack and a few stray Torrens cards my baseball card purchases have been fairly limited. On the other hand my non-baseball related card purchases have gone up.

Those of you who are unfortunate enough to follow me on Twitter know that I've ventured into gaming cards, or more specifically Yu-Gi-Oh!

Visits to card shops continue, except I go to different parts of the stores. And I learn about the similarities and differences between sports cards and gaming cards.

Today we'll be talking about one of the differences. The special card sleeves.

These sleeves that have special artwork on the back and are designed to only show the front. Maybe some of you have gotten them before from certain eBay sellers who also deal with things like Magic The Gathering cards.

But these types of sleeves don't exist in the world of sports cards where the sleeves are transparent and made so you can see both the front and back. It makes sense when you consider that sports card backs are actually important and come with things worth looking at like statistics, personal information and occasionally cartoons.

That said, I don't think it'd be the worst idea in the world to have the special custom back card sleeves. I'd personally love to have custom sleeves of my favorite players.

Obviously these sleeves wouldn't be used on cards with backs that matter, but I'd argue that at this point in time, we've got plenty of card backs that don't matter. At least enough to put them in these kinds of cool sleeves.

Like look at these backs (which conveniently includes two baseball themed gaming cards). I'd much rather have a picture of Luis Torrens looking cool in catching gear while an explosion happens behind him.

It seems like a pretty simple idea. Get sleeves with logos of teams on the backs at first, then maybe expand to popular players and mascots. Then charge more for custom orders. America is the home of exploiting ideas for the sake of any meager profit (#capitalism), I'm genuinely surprised it hasn't happened before and that I'm not seeing used dirty Derek Jeter card sleeves at card shows in dime boxes.

Then again, maybe Ultra-Pro or whoever else has a say in these types of products actually did a lot of market research on this idea at some point but found that it'd be unprofitable. Possibly even more so today with licensing fees for logos and player likenesses being so expensive. Who knows?

What I do know is that I still want Luis Torrens sleeves and Dark Magician Girl sleeves.

As always thanks for stopping by and take care :).