(Editors Note: This post comes to us thanks to the Call to Arms we put out earlier this month seeking guest writers. Please welcome COMC Member Tycrew to the COMC Blog! Tycrew is a University of Illinois alumni and is currently in graduate school working towards a career in dentistry. His areas of focus in the hobby are football and baseball, but as a lifelong collector, his collection is not just limited to those sports).
The perfect collection is what we all are striving for in this hobby. It is an ever elusive goal along with the oft insatiable drive to find the perfect combination of cards that allows you to take a step back and stare in awe. Most average collectors are not going to ever be able to afford to add the Graded 10 Mike Trout rookie autograph flight to our personal collections. Us mere mortals must abide by budgets and finical restriction. That said, financial restriction does not need to limit us. I put together a list of potential collections that can all be complied while being fiscally responsible. The goal is to to always be adding loads of intrinsic personal value while sending only a little cash. It doesn’t have to have a huge price tag to be the prefect collection.
Bonus) Jersey Cards NBA Starting Five
I’ll be honest, I don’t collect basketball cards and that is why this idea is a bonus. I open packs of them on occasions and then try to trade them away as soon as I get them because they just do not fit in my collection. If I did collect basketball, I would do this: I would find a jersey card for every player on the starting five on my favorite basketball team. It’s a small collection that is highly displayable. Even if you are a Warriors fan, and every player is an all-star, the jersey cards are affordable. You can always expand to the whole bench too with out running out of dough
This idea could be a fun one especially if you can get the others in your fantasy league to buy into the concept too. The core set up would involve you drafting your team like normal but, once the season begins, you cannot start the player unless you have their card. There are all sorts of different rules you could add to make this work for you and your friends. To add a degree of difficulty you could make a requirement that all the cards have to be numbered or an insert. It would make the league more fun and add an exciting twist to free agency. Setting up a keep league where you can only keep the player if you have their autograph could also be an intriguing option.
You would be surprised how many players from your area have a rookie card. Most likely they only ever got a rookie card, but that’s all it takes. This collection usually will stem around your high school. Go back and make a list of the schools from your area. Obviously start the list with your school. Then add the crosstown rivals and then make sure throw the rest of the conference in for fun. Use your favorite web search to find the guys who made it to the big,s and who you need to look out for going forward. Occasionally, you will be searching through a box at a show or opening a pack and find someone from your area to add to the collection too. People in the community will be impressed when you show them, and you will always be able to add to the collection as more guys work their way up the ranks.
Some relic cards can almost seem disappointing when people are only on the hunt for autographs or high price cards. Not in this scenario. The whole goal of the collection is to get a bat card from every player in the most current year (or your personal favorite year’s) home run derby. Even though some of the top players are in the derby, most solo bat cards are reasonably priced, and there are only eight guys with the most recent rules.
To be clear this is not going to be the cheapest collection when you start it. Among all of the ideas on the list this one will have the highest start up cost. This will be a long term investment though. Once you get the starters in the collection, you will only need to replace a few a season which makes it very affordable long term. This might have the best display options of any of the ideas on the list two. A big matted frame with the teams listed with window spaces for the card would look sharp in just about any man cave in the nations.
6) Old Players, New cards
Keep a look out for famous players on new cards. These usually come in the form of inserts or numbers, but can also be autos and relics too. There are many old timers that have tons of new cards that you can pick in in the quarter box at shows or on COMC. Pick a player, pick a team, pick an era – they all will work. Most of these cards are very affordable and look great. The hard part about this collection is it is limitless!
If you don’t have a favorite bench player or back up or guy who didn’t ever make it quite as big then you need to find one. A player from your childhood who you really liked works too. The only two rules here is it cannot be the hot rookie, or a superstar, and you cannot arbitrarily pick someone for this collection. If you do just casually pick someone you will quickly begin to get buyer’s remorse. I found my player when I was young. Mark Prior was my favorite Cubs pitcher growing up. Not sure why, but he was. Even though he won’t make the Hall of Fame or get his number retired, I still really think of him as one of my favorite players. His autograph is reasonably priced, and I can’t get enough. Find yourself a Mark Prior.
I do not need to tell you too much about this kind of collection. This is simply a reminder that not every card has to be DNA carbon dated, graded and personally certified with a COA to be a real autograph. Most teams have opportunities to meet the players with autographs. Taking base cards to those opportunities can really add personal value to a collection without spending money.
This has been my most recent focus as of late. I went and found a website that ranked the 30 best prospects for the Cubs and made a list. I’ve been collecting autographs, but could have chosen base rookie cards just as easily. Spring training has become a blast watching these guys play with the big boys, and having the hope that one day they may become the big names on the roster. It is an evolving list, but without too much turnover, so it gives you the opportunity to keep up without having to build something completely new. Most guys are very inexpensive except the few top guys. You will have a prospect get good and have to dish out some cash but they are most likely to became a valuable card. This collection has the added benefit of giving you a chance at finding gem that turns in to the next MVP and pays for the whole collection.
2) Your college football player
Think about how many players you see in the dollar box at the last show you went to or COMC of college football players who went undrafted. There’s a lot of them and no one seems to what them. Well I want them, or at least some of them. I went to a big ten school with a bad football team. That doesn’t stop me from loving my alma matter and watching every Saturday. To me a lot of the best players on the team give it their best to make the league, but most fall short. That doesn’t stop the printing plates, however. Like with the baseball products, I like to keep a look out for the autographs. This collection is always evolving, and can keep you engaged with the college players you watched and cheered for three to four years. The best part is, unless you are a fan a power house program, most of these players are very affordable. Who cares if they don’t go pro, they were and always will be your guys.
That’s right. The best collection on a budget is still and always will be a complete base card set. It is accessible and overwhelming satisfying. You can make it easy on your self and buy a box or two of the new stuff and almost ensure you get all the cards (and guarantee yourself a good insert or two), do it the old fashion way one pack at a time, or finish off your set via COMC. If vintage is more your style, you will probably end up spending a bit more, but you do not need to be sucked into grading or only having cards in perfect condition. You can snag lower quality copies via COMC, or go to local show or store and add to your collection. There is probably no better feeling than completing the set yourself. In contrast to many of the other collections, this collection has a defined start and finish which can be a great drive and also a great way to prevent you from over spending. The complete set is the king of affordable collections and I don’t see that changing any time soon!
The COMC Processing Team opens hundreds upon hundreds of boxes, padded mailers, and envelopes containing incoming trading cards on a weekly basis. We’re happy to report that the majority of those incoming items are adequately packaged by their owners for a safe journey to COMC through the postal system. We’ve seen some truly well packaged consignments that would make even our longest tenured Shipping Team Members proud. But we’ve also seen some unfortunate poorly packaged sports cards and comic book consignments arrive with excessive shipping damage due to poor packaging methods.
Our Processing Team recently sent over some pictures of an incoming consignment that was heavily damaged in transit due to not utilizing some of our best shipping practices. We always recommend a box-in-box approach to prevent contents from being damaged. It is best if items are put in penny sleeves, and then put in an inner box with padding. If noise can be heard while rotating this inner box, it is best to add more padding. The inner box should then be placed in a larger, outer box for mailing, again with sufficient packing material so that the inner boxes and the cards inside are not rattling loosely and are guarded against damage.
Unfortunately for the consignment below, by not utilizing safe packaging methods, the majority of the loose cards within the box arrived to COMC damaged.
To Recap what went wrong here:
We hope that these photos of this incoming consignment that was inadequately packaged is enough to convince you to consider utilizing the methods shown in our best shipping practices video!
By James Good
As a kid growing up in the 90’s, my sports card collection was amassed primarily thanks to weekend trips to the grocery store with my Grandma that always yielded a couple packs, and thrift store or garage sales finds of junk wax commons that I gladly handed over a few dollars of my allowance money for. But every once in awhile I would be taken on a much anticipated, highly coveted trip to Toys ‘R Us or K-Mart, where I would be forced to decide between a new video game or a couple $20 boxes of trading cards. Unless an amazing new video game had just come out, I always went with basketball cards, exclusively Collector’s Choice or Fleer, as the local grocery stores strangely only carried baseball and football cards.
The first vintage trading cards that I ever owned were 12 nine-pocket pages filled with of 1970 Topps baseball cards.They were given to me by one of my Grandpa’s friends who caught wind of my obsession with trading cards. The best card of the bunch was a Carl Yastrzemski #10, but the cards never impressed me much. The gray bordered design was dull and the photo quality was grainy when compared to those 1995 Score baseball cards I loved so much.
Flash forward to 2019 and what a difference a couple of decades can make. The trading card industry has radically changed, but there is still no better product being produced today than Topps Heritage Baseball. The great thing about Heritage is that it sets out to do the exact opposite of almost every other product being released today. As the industry continues to innovate, Heritage throws it back to decades ago, celebrating card design, modest insert sets, and a time when trading cards didn’t feature embedded table cloth relics.
Earlier this year as 2019 Topps Heritage’s release date drew near, I was reminded of my disdain towards the 1970 design, which I knew would be featured this year. Initially, I was not even a fan of the mock-ups provided by Topps prior to the release date, but that all changed when I opened my first pack. All of those flaws in the 1970 Topps cards that I owned as a kid were gone. The updated card stock boasted a modern feel and the print quality was immaculate. Perhaps more importantly, these cards were actually well centered! All of these improvements immediately calmed my concerns over the product design, and my four box rip on the Friday after release day was an absolute blast.
Heritage is a product that is 100% built and designed for collectors who appreciate cards for more than just their value, so if you go into ripping hobby boxes and retail packs hoping for big hits, you’ll usually walk away disappointed. But for me, the action image variations, short prints, and all of the callbacks to cards of yesteryear are more than enough to keep coming back year after year. Here are just a few reasons that I love this year’s product.
Pat Neshek is respected in the hobby for being just as big of a baseball card collector as the rest of us who don’t have hundreds of baseball cards of our own. I can only imagine how thrilled he was when presented with the perfect opportunity to recreate Lowell Palmer‘s 1970 Topps photo and put on the shades. Todd Frazier also plays along in imitating a classic, but he would need to shed about 25 pounds of muscle to create a more accurate imitation of Bud Harrelson.
A large portion of my life revolves around sports and sports cards. I am a daily visitor of MLB Trade Rumors and I receive push notifications of breaking news to my phone courtesy of ESPN. Even though I knew these hometown favorites of mine were no longer Seattle Mariners within minutes of trades and signings going down, and some of the deals were for the better, it only feel real to me once I saw them in their new uniforms on these cards. Heritage is that set that hits me right in the feels before the season gets underway. Their contributions to the team I love most cannot be questioned, but it’s going to take a very long time getting use to seeing ‘The Boomstick’ in a Minnesota Twins uniform or James Paxton donning the pinstripes.
There were no bigger free agent signings this off season than Manny Machado to the San Diego Padres and Bryce Harper to the Philadelphia Phillies. These should be among their final cards of them depicted in their former teams uniforms for the time being. The Sporting News themed cards are very fitting considering that these two dominated the off season rumors and headlines. I’m very big fan of Harper, who also got a pretty sweet action image variation this time around, a card that I was fortunate enough to pull that will remain in my PC for decades to come.
In past blog posts my fellow COMC Blogger Rich Klein has talked about how much he enjoys game recap cards, and I cannot agree more. I really enjoyed the clever captions on these cards, which is why they stood out to me this year more than others. Topps knocked it out of the park in paying tribute to their 1970 counterparts:
Daniel Mengden has had the best ‘stache in the MLB on lock for the last couple of years with his Rollie Fingers-esque facial hair. However, a new challenger has emerged, and Darren O’Day has kicked off 2019 by taking over the crown of Most Magnificent Musache in the Majors (MMMitM). That thing rivals even some of the sharpie jobs we’ve seen over the years from cards submitted to COMC.
It’s always fun to put into context how much the game has evolved over time, and there is no better way to do so than to compare the league leader cards found in Topps Heritage with the cards from the original set they mirror. To wrap up this blog, I’ll leave you with two statistical comparisons that are pretty incredible.
Rod Carew hit .332 over 458 at bats, with 8 home runs, 56 RBI’s and 19 stolen bases, while walking 36 times, and striking out 72 times in 1969. He earned an All-Star nod and finished 10th in MVP voting.
Mookie Betts hit .346 over 520 at bats, with 32 home runs, 80 RBI’s, 30 stolen bases, drawing 81 walks and fanning 91 times in 2018. He was an All-Star, the American League MVP, and won Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards.
Fergie Jenkins went 21-15 with a 2.63 era, 273 strike outs, 71 walks and gave up 27 home runs over 311.1 innings in 1969. He was not selected to the All-Star Team.
Max Scherzer went 18-7 with a 2.53 era, 300 strike outs, 51 walks, and gave up 23 home runs over 220.2 innings in 2018. He was an All-Star, finished second in Cy Young voting, and 10th in league MVP voting. He racked up 27 more strike outs than Jenkins in 90 less innings pitched.
Thank you to everyone who stopped by our booth at The Summit Sports Collectibles Show last weekend in Edmonton. We had a fantastic time and were thrilled and overwhelming by the support and amount of COMC Members who we got to meet and visit with throughout the show! It was truly one of our best shows in Canada yet!
Without further adieu, here are the winners of the COMC Dice Game :
2015-16 Upper Deck MVP #278 Connor McDavid RC (Roll a 6 or less) – jayer
2017-18 Compendium C Achievement #C-SP Connor McDavid (Roll a 7) – J_kinaschuk
2017 National Convention Prominent Cuts #PC-4 Connor McDavid (Roll an 8) – Yeoman22
2016-17 O-Pee-Chee Platinum Royal Cubes #73 Leon Draisaitl #74/99 (Roll a 9) – figs2k
2016-17 O-Pee-Chee Platinum Rainbow Color Wheel #1 Connor McDavid (Roll a 10) – mrwickson
2013-14 The Cup Endorsements #CE-JA Jacob Trouba #59/60 (Roll an 11) – bikerdave17
2016-17 Upper Deck SPx Extreme Black Holo Shield #EB-SM Sean Monahan (Roll a 12) – toast
2017-18 Upper Deck #201 Nico Hischier RC (Roll a 13) – hondabilly19
2017-18 Upper Deck #247 Brock Boeser RC (Roll a 14) – marner1616
2017 Fleer Ultra Spider-Man Manufactured Webbing #WEB1 #37/49 (Roll a 15 or higher) – darrell2999
In order to claim your prize, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and username on or before June 12, 2019.
We will be back on the road in Mississauga, Ontario for the Spring Expo in less than a month.You can catch all of the details about this show and others we’ll be attending in 2019 over on our Upcoming Show Appearances Calendar!
Note the floating head concept, and yes, these would be among the first cards to use the concept. Several of these players have interesting stories as Doc Edwards would become a manager, and Doug Camilli was the son of Dolph Camilli, who was the 1941 National League Most Valuable Player while a member of the Brooklyn Dodgers. Camilli’s uncle was a fighter named Frankie Campbell, who lost his life after a battle with future heavyweight champion Max Baer Yes Ed and Max are tangentially related.
Uecker’s 1963 Topps card is the easiest of his cards. The card is a second series card, so if you want an early Uecker card then this is the one for you. In fact, 25 years later the card was reprinted by Blue Cross and is by far the most difficult of any cards using his1963 photo. The only real way you can tell the difference is on the back. It’s oretty easy to tell the difference between the regular 1963 and the 1988 just by looking at the back.
I personally love the 1967 Topps set and think this is the nicest of the Bob Uecker cards as it shows him in full catching gear getting ready to go behind the plate.
It’s hard to imagine, but his six year card career had more interesting twists and turns than most players. His future career (s) would continue to keep him in the public eye even as he approaches his 85th birthday. We hope that he’s in the front row for a long time indeed.
(Editors Note: This post comes to us thanks to the Call to Arms we put out earlier this month seeking guest writers. Please welcome COMC Member JoelsHitShow to the COMC Blog! Joel works in user experience and has enjoyed the hobby for more than 30 years. In his spare time he writes for Spinning Platters and participates in a football video game live stream. He’s been consigning with COMC since 2008 and has more than 1 million items for sale.)
By Joel Edelman
I suppose everyone has a unique story when it comes to how they got into the hobby, but I imagine they have some of the same components. Someone probably bought them their first pack, and something the rest of us would consider mundane jumped out at them, and it was all downhill from there.
For me, it worked the same way. My dad bought me a pack of 1987 Topps that summer, and there’s a picture of me in a tent holding up the Dave Kingman I pulled from it. The A’s were one of my favorite teams because they wore my two favorite colors, green and yellow. (How was I to know the color was considered to be “gold”?)
Like so many of us, my collecting days peaked when the industry’s production of cards peaked. We thought Fleer was rare because we couldn’t find it in stores. And when some 1987-88 Fleer basketball appeared at PayLess Drug Stores, we passed because they charged 59 freakin’ cents per pack.
Well, I did eventually buy some because they ran out of baseball cards in the off season, only to sell the whole lot of them to a classmate 4 years later for a whopping $5. I needed pinball money, and FunHouse was 50 cents per game. What else could I do?
I went off to college, and except for some mail order closeouts—I bought a box of 1995 Score in 1997 for “just” $24.95—I largely stayed out of cards for several years.
Then along came eBay.
I used to buy used Jughead comic books for a dollar each on the site, and in 1999, I realized I could buy packs of cards and sell the contents. Yes, I was one of the original rip and flippers. Back then you could sell just about anything. Demand was growing like crazy, and there were flipping opportunities everywhere if you went to shows. In a way, COMC has further flattened the card marketplace, taking the planet’s existing inventory of cards and making them easier to come across.
I’ve used eBay for roughly 20 years. I remember getting a PO Box for people to send checks and money orders, after someone sent a creepy letter to my street address. The Internet has done nothing but get weirder since I first started surfing the web. We’re a fun species.
I’ve been involved in other sites along the way. I used to buy etopps, with mixed results. I still have about 500 cards on there, collecting dust. I was a huge user of ThePit. To this day the Bowman Uncirculated program is one of my favorite product promotions ever. I even dabbled a little bit in Sportlots with my ex. She might still be on there selling hockey cards.
And, then, along came COMC.
I discovered COMC from my days on the Blowout Cards message board. Back then, you could read the whole day’s posts in about 5 minutes, and they were all great. They’ve got a good thing going, more than a decade later, though. And the quality of posts is still there if you know what you’re looking for. I miss it sometimes, but you can’t do everything.
Anyway, I had accumulated monster boxes of leftover cards from ripping and flipping, so I started sending them in. A million cards later, I now spend about 20 minutes a day on COMC, buying and selling cards, plus answering tweets. (I love that people can’t send each other messages on COMC, but at least Twitter provides an option for the craftier users out there.
As the rest of my life has gotten busier (and, gulp, marriage a few short months away), COMC allows me to do what I’ve always wanted: to keep my fingers in the game and help collectors find the cards they need. Even though I don’t collect much anymore, I still get all the action I want with minimal effort on COMC. It keeps my house empty and my heart full!