The Good Word: A Well Designed Mail Day

By James Good

For the last three plus years at COMC I’ve seen every single tweet, Instagram picture, and Facebook post that we’ve been  tagged in. My absolute favorite posts that we get repeatedly see are our customer’s Mailday pictures, where they show their followers all of the items that they recently received in their latest COMC shipment. We routinely reshare these on our instagram page and twitter accounts, so be sure to keep tagging us in your #Maildays!

Seeing all of our customer’s incoming items for their personal collection inspired me to share some of the contents of an incoming COMC package of my own. While there are plenty of not so exciting items in that package that simply fill the gaps of my Mitch Haniger player collection, there are bunch of other items that have been inspired by my latest inspiration for collecting: buying cards based on unique card design.

I think that card design is a very low priority for a lot of collectors, as we’ve grown accustom to cards designed around sticker autos and recycled designs, among other visually unappealing decisions. Most prospectors don’t even consider card design when stashing away players in hopes of a later payday. The truth is that the card design for the majority of modern cards is very underwhelming. I’m not going to publicly shame any manufacturers, because with so many sets being printed these days, poor design choices were bound to happen. Just like without the bad moments in life we wouldn’t appreciate the good ones, without bad card design, we couldn’t appreciate good card design.

The 2008 Topps Factory Set Mickey Mantle Chrome Refractor Reprints set is the perfect example of the modernization of a reprint done right. There isn’t an overload of numbered parallels, and the design is simply a clean replica of the original on a modern chrome cardstock. The 1952 Mantle RC has been reprinted time-and-time again over the years, most having some sort of poor design choice shoehorned in. Topps got it right in 2008, and in the 2006 Topps ’52 set where they swapped the background color of this iconic card in a creative re-imagining. I’ll probably never own the real thing, so these reprints fill the void in my collection.

One rookie card that I am fortunate enough to own is a PSA 9 2007 Bowman Chrome – Prospects Tim Lincecum Gold Autograph #’d 31/50. As I talked about in one of the earlier installments of The Good Word , I love manufactured patch cards. These three are among my latest pick ups that fit the qualifications of well designed cards. Lincecum’s unconventional pitching delivery might have shortened his career, but it did produce a wealth of great trading cards along the way. I’m a sucker for the stars and stripes, so the 2010 Topps – Jumbo Packs Manufactured Hat Logo Relic on the right ranks highly on my well-designed sets list.

 

Which leads me to this 1912 Player’s Countries Arms & Flags Tobacco Card #4. I am not much of a vintage collector, much to the chagrin of my colleague Rich Klein, who two years ago at a National Sports Collector’s Convention took my 1960’s football card knowledge to task. I think that anytime you can buy something that’s over 100 years old for $0.50, you probably should, and this card was no exception. Even being 107 years old with a bit of paper loss, it still checks all the boxes for a well designed card.

As a kid growing up in the 90’s, nothing stuck with me more than the roller coast ride that was the 1995 ‘Refuse to Lose‘ Seattle Mariners. During that period of time, I opened so many packs of 1995 Score in search of the Gold Rush parallel of my favorite Mariners and 1996 Upper Deck Collector’s Choice looking for Gold Facsimile Signatures and You Crash the Game cards. I was never able to pull these two, but thanks to COMC, my hundreds of dollars of summer jobs and allowance money was not wasted in vein.

By comparison, the 1995 Score Gold Rush Parallel is inferior to the Platinum Team Set version. I really love the design on the Hitters Inc. subset, and not just because Albert Belle’s mean mug is a hidden gem. There were many iterations of Collector’s Choice ‘You Crash the Game’ contest across multiple sports, but the 1996 baseball version did it best with a bright orange and red foiled explosion design. Not only was it a great design, but it was a great concept that has stood the test of time. I know a certain 2019 Topps insert set with an awfully similar promotion.

If I were to rank Topps flagship designs, 1968 Topps would likely fall in the middle of the list. It’s not a bad design per say, it’s just not my style. I do love the rounded corners of the black border and white space between the player photo and border, but the textured brown outer border doesn’t work for me. That being said, this card jumps off the page to me because it features one of the best photos of any Mariner ever featured on a trading card.

Vogey looks larger-than-life in this pose, and the Safeco Field logo in the background is a nice finishing touch. It almost makes you forget that he has a career MLB batting average of .197, or that Safeco Field is now T-Mobile Park.This card screams “In Vogey We Trust” , that he’s our guy of the future, and that I’m willing to put in writing that he’ll hit 30 bombs whenever he’s given his first full year in the Bigs.

Last but not least, there hasn’t been a better non-sports set idea since the Map Relic Insert Sets from Upper Deck’s last two Goodwin Champions sets. These sets have checked all of the boxes I’m looking for when determining good card design:

  1. Make it unique
  2. Keep it simple
  3. Feature Great Photography

These cards do an perfect job encapsulating the points of interest they feature. The embedded map relic is a unique element that I don’t recall ever seeing on a card prior to these sets. My goal is to eventually collect all of the map relics of places that I’ve visited. Right now that list is at eight:

Niagara Falls, Statue of Liberty, Washington Monument, Capital HillGolden Gate Bridge, Freedom Tower, Mount Rainier, and Ruby Beach .

Ruby Beach holds a special place in my heart because it was one of the destinations along the first road trip that my fiancé and I went on almost four years ago. Traveling to the coast of Washington to be close to the water has been a recurring trend in our relationship. Later this year, we’ll get married near the beaches of Moclips, Washington, about 65 miles south of where the photo of this card was snapped.

Now it’s your turn! In the comments below, let us know some of your favorite cards from your most recent mailday!

The History of the Adat Chaverim Plano Card Show & 2019 Schedule

By Rich Klein
Sometimes we’re lucky in life to be able to work in our chosen field. The other day I was talking to my wife and mentioned that I had spent 28 out of the last 35 years working in a sports or sports card related field. That truly makes me feel blessed.

A few years ago we were in an Adat Chaverim Brotherhood (Men’s Club) meeting and having our typical discussion about how to raise money. I mentioned, as I had a few times in the past, that I would run a card show and raise $500 for the brotherhood. My instincts said that if I could not sell 20 tables at $25 then I needed to get into a new field.

Within an hour, I had permission to use our social hall and we were off and running. At the time I was writing for Sports Collectors Daily, and through the genesis of how a show comes together, we were off and running for show promotion. We were blessed that we received help from many people, and the first show was such a success that we immediately decided to do two shows a year.

The first show is always the first Sunday of the Plano (Texas) Independent School District’s spring break, and the second show is now Sunday/Monday of Labor Day weekend. These dates were selected so we could use the social hall and not interfere with Adat business.
Image may contain: 2 people, people sitting and table

Ever since the first show, we’ve always met the goal of $500 per show, and usually exceed that figure. One of the great joys was how we turned what could have been lemons into lemonade. For the first few shows, we were running 10-12 door prizes a show, which was fairly easy for me to manage. We were informed that Texas state law prohibits non-profits from running more than two lotteries per year. Yes, each door prizes counted as a lottery. So, the Brotherhood President remembered a former card dealer named Myron who would wheel in a TV to all the big shows and then sell grab bags with that as his big prize. Luckily,. giving away bags with a prize slip inside is legal since collectors are already receiving an item of value for their money. Of course that meant that were were always in need of cards. This led to having to move in nearly 200k cards to my office the Monday after Thanksgiving 2017.

But as I mentioned, we have several wonderful advantages at this show, including  the great cooperation of the Brotherhood members. This is an “in-action” photo of Brotherhood members stuffing bags for a recent show. That was one of three tables we used that day for stuffing purposes:
Image may contain: 8 people, including Ben Silver, Rich Klein and Jerry Retsky, people smiling, people sitting and table

I always stress that although I sometimes tend to use the “I” word for this show, there is no way I could run this show without Brotherhood members and some hobby friends.  We’ve been very lucky as we approach our sixth year of this year to have raised over $15,000 for our charitable causes. We also have no administrative costs, so whatever we take in goes right back to the community. In addition, we’ve probably given out more than a half-million cards as well as countless prizes. One of our most popular prizes are from the “Island of Misfit Toys”. When I thought of that name it must have come from my subconscious mind with Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.  We always seed the “Island” with some surprises, so collectors who enjoy digging can find items they really enjoy.

But no matter how much work we do, we can always use more cards and prizes! We can provide all needed documentation, so that you can write off not only the donation, but also the postage to ship it our way.  While hard work, it’s been a blessing to run this show, and the best part is running this show such is a perfect adjunct to my COMC work. You can always reach me at RichKlein@comc.com if you are interested in donating cards or prizes to our cause which helps the Dallas-Fort Worth Community,.

Our 2019 shows at Adat Chaverim, which is located at 6300 Independence Parkway in Plano, TX (Northeast Corner of Spring Creek and Independence In the shopping center) are scheduled for:

Sunday; March 10 from 10 AM to 4 PM
Sunday; September 1 from 10AM to 4PM
Monday September 2 from 11AM to 3 PM

[Featured Video] 2018 Ultimate Collection Hockey Box Break (While Riding a Ferris Wheel!)

One of the best resources to previewing new products released is to simply type in the name of the product into a Youtube search. Perhaps you’re a veteran of the group break circuit, spending hours watching breakers such as Firehand and Cards Infinity, hoping that they have the hot hands and pull some sick mojo for your spot in a break. Maybe you’ve even shot your own box break video and shared it via Instagram or Facebook live. Case in point: you’re no stranger to the world of box break videos. But we’re guessing that you’ve never seen a break quite like this!

Earlier this month at the 2018 National Sports Collector’s Convention, two members of our team saw an opportunity to shoot a unique one-of-a-kind break, and wasted no time planning their move. The IX-Center in Cleveland, Ohio, the venue that hosted this year’s National Convention, features a full-sized Ferris Wheel in the center of the building that ascends up into the rafters of the building, offering a view of the entire show floor as well as at the Hopkins International Airport outside in the distance.

Join James and Jeremy of COMC as they embark on a box break like no other. Did Jeremy find incredible hits in his box of 2018 Ultimate Hockey? Did James immediately regret his decision to step foot on the Ferris Wheel when his fear of heights kicked in? Check out our video and let us know what you think!

 

Want to get your hands on cards like these?
Browse 2018 Ultimate Collection Hockey on COMC!

COMC at The National Sports Collectors Convention in Cleveland, OH from August 1st-5th, 2018

Hello COMC Nation!

We are very excited to announce our participation at this year’s 39th Annual National Sports Collectors Convention in Cleveland, OH. We can’t wait to see the faces behind your COMC usernames! Whether you’re new to COMC, or you know members of our team on a first name basis, be sure to come and say hello! The convention will be held at the International Exposition (I-X) Center from Wednesday, August 1st – Sunday, August 5th. COMC will have a full team of employees on hand in the corporate area at Booth #355 to accept consignment submissions and talk about COMC and all things card-related. Back by popular demand will be our prize wheel, as well as social media giveaways and much more!

Spin to Win is BACK! 

The Spin is back! Last year in Chicago, we introduced our Prize Wheel and were so blown away by the response it received that we’re bringing it back with us to Cleveland this year! Stop by our booth at any point throughout the show and spin the wheel for your chance to win one of many great prizes! But remember, you must be a COMC member in order to spin! Don’t have a COMC account yet? We’ll have plenty of computers set up at the show where you can sign up for your free COMC account and get your entry to spin the wheel.

Consignment Submission Drop Off

Why pay for shipping? Bring your consignment submissions directly to our booth at The National and we’ll handle the rest of the work! Whether you’ve been prepping your submissions for weeks, or you find some hot deals at The National to bolster your COMC inventory, bring them to our booth and we’ll take care of return postage for any and all consignment drop offs that you submit throughout the show!

To speed up the process, please pack your items securely for shipment and print your submission paperwork in advance. We’ll still have computers and a printer there if you find cards at the show and need to create another submission.

Time with Tim

COMC Founder and CEO Tim Getsch looks forward to the National every year so he can to meet face to face with many of the thousands of COMC customers and hear their feedback, ideas, and the experiences they’ve had with our services.

If you’d like to take some time to sit down with Tim for 30 minutes at the show, email us at timewithtim@comc.com and we’ll get you scheduled. In your email, include your dates and times of availability as well as any topics you wish to discuss. Please send your meeting request no later than Thursday, July 25th.

Social Media Giveaways & More!

If you’re not already following COMC on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, you’re going to want to hit those like and follow buttons! Each day, we’ll be doing exclusive games and giveaways that will only be shared on our social media channels! Get in on the hunt and you can score store credit prizes and more!

Additionally, we’ll be present at the 3rd Annual Instagram Trade Night hosted by CardCollector2 on Thursday, August 2nd. The event will be held at the Middleburg Heights Community Center from 5:30-8:30pm, featuring free admission to all, free food, giveaways and more. It’s the perfect opportunity to connect with fellow collectors, trade, and get acquainted with the instagram trading community. A COMC representative will be on hand to answer questions, listen to feedback and experiences, and maybe do a little trading themselves!

Due Dates During The National

Each year our booth at The National gets bigger and bigger, and this year we’re bringing more of our team than ever before! With employees from so many different departments representing COMC, we’ll be a little bit short staffed back home. For that reason, all Select, Current-Year Select and Premium due dates that normally would have fallen between August 1st and August 5th will receive an August 6th due date.

The National is our favorite time of the year to connect with members of the COMC Nation and the hobby that we love so very much. We’re looking forward to the many memories that will be created this year in Cleveland. See you there!

– The COMC Team

Happy Independence Day! – Reduced Customer Service 7/4/18

In observance of Independence Day, our Customer Service Team will be operating on a very limited schedule on Wednesday, July 4th. Our team will be unavailable to answer phone calls throughout Independence Day. Phone support will return to our normal 9am-5pm PST schedule on Thursday, July 5th.

If you need to contact us over the holiday, please email us at staff@comc.com or leave a voicemail message at 1-800-517-3540.

 

[Featured Video] COMC Origins – The Birthplace of Check Out My Cards!

Hello COMC Nation,

Today we have a very special treat for you. Recently, a group of our longest tenured employees had an opportunity to visit the the birthplace of COMC. Just miles from our current Redmond, Washington Headquarters, this residential house played a key role in the early years of Check Out My Cards, serving as our first headquarters, work space and warehouse.

The COMC experience that you’re use to today could not be possible without the groundwork that was laid at our first location. Take a step back in time with Tim, Julia, Steve, and Heather as they recall their old stories and memories from the early days of Check Out My Cards.

Have you been with us since the early days of Check Out My Cards? If so, we want to hear from you! Leave a comment below and let us know about your memories and experience with early versions of our website and service. Or let us know what you think about the video! We’d love to her your feedback. Enjoy!

COMC at the National Sports Collectors Convention July 26th-30th

Hello COMC Nation!

The 38th Annual National Sports Collectors Convention in Chicago, IL is just three weeks away, and we can’t wait to see you there! The convention will be held at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center from Wednesday, July 26 – Sunday, July 30. COMC representatives will be on hand at Corporate Pavilion Booth 646 to take consignment submissions and chat about COMC and all things card related. We also have some fun giveaways and social media events planned, so be sure to swing by and say hello.

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Spin to Win

The Spin is In! Come by the booth during any day of the show and sign in to your COMC account to spin the wheel for your chance to win COMC store credit or one of several grand prize cards. Don’t have a COMC account yet? No problem! We’ll have computers set up at the show where you can sign up for your free COMC account and get your entry to spin the wheel.

Every spin is guaranteed to win a prize, and you’ll also earn an exclusive bonus gift to take with you, just for spinning! One spin per person during the show, and you don’t need to be present to win. Cards and store credit prizes will be issued to your COMC account after the show, so be on the lookout for a nice little bonus to your COMC account when you get home.

Consignment Submission Drop Off

Here at COMC, we’re all about doing the work so you can enjoy the hobby and we’ll be at the show to take it a step further. Don’t even bother shipping your COMC submissions, we got you covered. Whether you’re bringing your cards from home or you find some gems at the show you want to flip, we’ll cover the postage for all consignment submissions you drop off with us at the show.

To speed up the process, please pack your items securely for shipment and print your submission paperwork in advance. We’ll still have computers and a printer there if you find cards at the show and need to create another submission.

New Current-Year Processing

We just introduced a couple exciting new options to help you list your current-year cards faster. Current-Year Basic guarantees your cards list within 1 month for only $0.30/card, and Current-Year

Select guarantees 1 week for only $0.60/card! The National is a perfect opportunity to grab some of the hobby’s latest releases and try out a couple of our newest processing services.

Time with Tim

COMC Founder and CEO Tim Getsch looks forward to the National every year so he can to meet face to face with many of the thousands of COMC users and hear their feedback, ideas, and the experiences they’ve had with our services.

If you’d like to take some time to sit down with Tim for 30 minutes at the show, email us at timewithtim@comc.com and we’ll get you scheduled. In your email, include your dates and times of availability as well as any topics you wish to discuss. Please send your meeting request no later than Thursday, July 20.

Due Dates during The National

Many of us will be representing COMC at the booth this year, but this time around we also wanted to encourage some other employees to attend the National. Because we will be short-staffed back at the office, all Select and Premium due dates that normally would have fallen between July 26 and July 30 will receive a July 31 due date.

The National is one of the most exciting events in trading cards, and we anticipate this year’s will be the best one yet. See you there!

Happy Collecting!

– The COMC Team