Guest Blog: Collecting What you Love – A Few Quick Tips

(Editor’s Note: Please welcome Tanner Jones to the COMC Blog. Tanner Jones is author of Confessions of a Baseball Card Addict and has been in love with cardboard since he was a child.  For the past 30 years, he has gone from being a casual collector to…scratch that…he has never been casual about collecting baseball cards.  He is an addict!  You can visit his website at www.TanManBaseballFan.com)

Let me ask you a question.  Have you ever purchased a baseball card you have fallen in love with?  If you are like me, you have – many times.  Now, let me ask you another.  Have you purchased a card that you didn’t love?  If you are like me, the same answer is true:  many times.  Perhaps it was a card that you thought you wanted, but turned out that it was just due to the hoopla around it created by others.  In other words, you bought it because other people loved it.

Perhaps you have indulged in one too many boxes, case breaks or razzes, only to find your collection is littered with cards you simply don’t care about.

What to do about it

It appears as though our hobby is far above average when it comes to being made “liquid” in the sense that we have many options to sell the cards that no longer appeal to us.  Websites like COMC make it easy!  All you have to do is sit down with your collection, and determine what you want to keep.  The rest can be put in the for sale/trade pile.  From there, you can use the proceeds of your sales to put into cards that will put a smile on your face.

Only buy what you love

Isn’t our hobby great?  There are so many collecting niches to choose from!  We may find the refractor shine more mesmerizing than anything else we lay our eyes on.  Holograms that jump off the card can captivate us as we tilt them back and forth.  Patch cards allow us to feel like we have a piece of the game as we rub our fingers over them.  Vintage cards are like mementos that have survived numerous wars and depict players that the childhood version of our grandfathers marveled at.

Before diving in head first, sit down and really think about what you love about this hobby.  Do you want to collect a certain type of card?  A player?  Team?  Even if you narrow it down to a certain player or team, more specificity is still likely warranted.  With the sheer amount of cards being produced each year, it can be easy to get in over your head – and quickly. Instead, perhaps consider only focusing on a certain date range for a team or perhaps only the career years for your favorite player(s).

Those are just a few ideas – don’t be afraid to really put pen to paper and jot down all of your ideas, while window shopping for cards on COMC.  With each card that passes by your eyes, ask yourself if it is something you truly want.  If it is, then the odds are it is likely a good candidate to add into your collection.  Don’t forget to set a budget, either!

Remember:  Collecting only cards you love that are within your budget is key to having a fulfilling and meaningful collection.

Rich Reminisces: The 1973 Mets

By Rich Klein
Recently I heard the sad news of George Thomas Seaver (we know him better as Tom) beginning his long goodbye as his great mind is slowly becoming less active and he is suffering from Alzheimer’s. This news comes just as the New York Mets begin to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their “Miracle Mets” season. Let me assure you, if you were in the NY Area in 1969, that was truly a miracle season. So many things occurred that year which were a confluence of events never to be repeated or duplicated.  When this 1969 Topps card was released the Mets were just starting to roll a bit towards their successful conclusion.  Thankfully for collectors without deep pocketbooks there is no “White” last name version of this card. If there were, the 1969 Master Set collection cost would have grown by a decent chunk of change.

Because baseball was so important in ’69 and the Mets were such a great story,  with them located in New York and having had such a short history at the time, there were countless books written about the team during the next few months. I believe I read every single one of them. Yes, there was actually a time where reading print in all forms was how we garnered information, and in my cas,e put the information into my muscle memory, which when my turn comes to forget everything but the past, will be remembered much easier than what I had for lunch yesterday! (Grilled chicken sandwich with sautéed mushrooms, grilled jalapenos and grilled onions and a side salad).

But the real point is that those books were able to talk both about the days when the Mets were lovable loser. In fact, the Mets had books written about their beginning when the great newspaper columnist Jimmy Breslin penned a tome about the 1962 team. Since New York was a major media capital back then, and the team was so bad they were good (yes Marv E. Throneberry we’re thinking of you), a detailed tome about their debut season was a first as far as I know.

Image result for jimmy breslin can't

So 7 years later was the year we first walked on the moon, and since all things seemed possible, why not have a baseball team do something we thought was impossible?  We have tons of material about the 1969 Mets, but what we don’t have very much about is a Mets team which four short years later almost completed an even greater miracle.

The 1973 Mets had many of the same key players of the 1969 team, but the team was carried by their pitching staff led by Tom Seaver. They also featured Jerry Koosman and Tug McGraw as their key pitchers, and some of the same position players including Ed Kranepool, Cleon Jones, Ken Boswell, Wayne Garrett, Bud Harrelson, and Jerry Grote.

If you look carefully enough you can see Yogi Berra 5th from the left on the second row and Tom Seaver two people to his left and Cleon Jones directly to Seaver’s left.  We’ll let other sleuths identify the rest of the team, but remember this is a photo of the 1972 team. And based on not seeing Willie Howard Mays, I’d say this was produced in 1972 spring training.

The reason this team was such as miracle was because as late as August 30th, 1973 the Mets were mired in last place, but the NL East race was so bunched up that every team could have a hot streak and become competitive. Although the Mets were in last place in the six-team National League East Division, they were only  6 1/2 games out of 1st place.Now remember, in 1973 there were no wild card spots, so you won the division or you went home.

The team that went on the run was the Mets. The story goes that General Manager M. Donald Grant went to give the team a pep talk and Tug McGraw was reacting sarcastically and stated, “You gotta believe!” Well, those three words became the mantra for the team in September, and they went on to win their division with an 82-79 record.

The “Tugger” would run with the publicity he garnered from this run and became quite the media darling. He helped to co-author a daily comic strip which you can still find a compilation of in book form:

Image result for tug mcgraw comic

September was when the school year begin in New York, but all kids big and small were too entranced by the events going on. There was a play against the Pirates in which the baseball had about a one percent chance of ricocheting off the wall in a way which would it would go back to the fielder. The miracle bounce occurred and lives on forever thanks to youtube.

A few days after that, Willie Mays, who had returned to New York the previous season to finish out his career, finally announced he would be retiring from baseball. As he said he knew it was time for Willie to say goodbye to America. The Mays Tribute Night part of this video begins at approximately the 12:45 mark.  Today, the Mets would have figured out a way to do that on a sunny Sunday afternoon with tons of publicity. Believe it or not, there was not much advance notice for the Mays ceremony.

Finally, on a rainy day in Chicago, the Mets clinched the division and the weather was so bad that the second game was never played. The game might have been played if it mattered to the pennant race, but since it did not, why risk injury to any of the players? Here is restrained way the Mets clinched the National League East.

The Mets would then go to the playoffs and defeat the Cincinnati Reds, who were just beginning to evolve into the Big Red Machine. The highlight was a brawl instigated by a fight between Bud Harrelson and Pete Rose. Many fans then already did not like Pete Rose because of the 1970 All-Star game collision with Ray Fosse, so this just added to the hatred of Rose in New York.

That is a video of their kerfuffle. Big Bad Pete Rose versus Bud Harrelson. who by that point in a season might not have even weighed 150 pounds.

The Mets would then go deep into the World Series against the Oakland Athletics and force the series into a 7th game to be on the precipice of winning a second World Series. However, the A’s, led by their pitching staff, proved why they would be able to win three straight World Series in the 1970’s. Thanks to Topps practice at the time of showing pictures from each World Series game we did get one last 1974 Willie Mays card out of our packs. Now I realize Topps did certain things in those days to appease the target audience of kids, but the lack of a 1974 Mays card ranks right up there with other players who never received a final tribute card.

Off the top of my head such cards as a 1964 Stan Musial, 1967 Sandy Koufax and 1977 Hank Aaron would have been great for the kids then and the adults today. I’m convinced one reason the 1969 Mickey Mantle is so beloved is because he did not formally retire until March 1969 and Topps had already planned his card. Thus he got the last cards those other greats missed.

And as for Tom Seaver, as he heads into the long goodbye. he would pitch for more than another decade and amass more than 300 career victories, as well as gaining a first ballot selection by the BBWAA to elect him into the Hall of Fame on the 1st ballot.

This is just a cool modern card of “Tom Terrific” so we can all remember him as he was.

Last Chance to Save! Spring Cleaning Sales Ends May 12th!

All Orders of $99 or More Ship Free!

Whether you’re using COMC Credit to make offers on items with your COMC account, or you’re using our shopping cart to complete an order as a member or guest, spend at least $99 or more during our Spring Cleaning Sale and your order will qualify for free shipping!

(Terms: All shopping cart orders and COMC Member shipment requests must contain at least $99 worth of items purchased during the Spring Cleaning Sales to qualify for the free shipping promotion. Sales tax, per-item shipping fees, duties paid, and shipping add-ons such as supplies do not apply towards $99 threshold. All items purchased in advanced reseller mode are still subject to their per-item shipping fees) 

Social Media Giveaways ALL Week Long!
Over $3000 in COMC Credit  & Cards Will be Given Away to Our Followers!

Our goal is to get the internet trading card community buzzing about our Spring Cleaning Sale. So with that in mind we’re going to be holding daily COMC Credit Giveaways and chances to win some pretty spectacular cards! Here’s how you can get in on the action:

Facebook:  Want to win COMC Credit to spend during the Spring Cleaning Sale?  Every afternoon from May 5th-10th on our Facebook page be on the lookout for your chance to win COMC Credit!
Twitter:  Every day at Noon from May 5th-12th on Twitter we’re giving our followers a chance to win one of eight incredible cards including an incredible Mike Trout autograph!
Instagram: Be sure to stay tuned to our instagram account for your chance to win three very hot cards of Giannnis Antetokounmpo, Baker Mayfield, and Juan Soto. Did someone say autograph? 

Win a $250 COMC Shopping Spree! 

To show our appreciation to customers and blog readers, we’re giving back to you! If you’ve made an order or shipment request that qualifies for our FREE Spring Cleaning Shipping Special, be sure to come back to our blog and leave a comment with your order number or shipment request number! At the conclusion of our Spring Cleaning Sale, all qualifying comments will be entered to win a $250 COMC Shopping Spree! Winner will be announced via our Social Media pages and notified on May 14th. 

Sign Up and Save! The benefits of a COMC Account!

Did you know that by simply signing up for a FREE account that you unlock all of these perks and many more:

  • Always save 10% to 15% more than COMC guests.
  • Make offers to sellers on cards for sale on the COMC Marketplace.
  • Keep Items in your online inventory until you’re ready to ship them home.
  • Choose additional shipping services that are exclusive for COMC members.
  • Sell Cards by sending in your own cards for consignment.
  • Flip cards sent in by other sellers by instantly by relisting at a higher price.

Toronto Spring Expo Prize Wheel Winners!

We want to thank everyone who stopped by our booth last weekend at the Sports Card & Memorabilia Expo in Toronto and participated in the Spin-To-Win Contests.  We look forward to returning to the next Expo!

Here are our Spring Expo Winners: 


A-S – 2016-17 Upper Deck #468 Mitch Marner RC –  Dan755
A-H – 2017 Fleer Ultra Spider-Man – Manufactured Webbing #WEB5 #25/49 – 7bovay3
2-S – 2016-17 Upper Deck #249 William Nylander RC – Longskis29
2-H – 2016-17 Upper Deck Overtime Optimum Performance #OP-20 Wayne Gretzky – chickencoupe
3-S – 2018-19 Upper Deck #228 Travis Dermott RC – lucasmackey
3-H – 2015-16 Upper Deck Retired Stars Canvas #C246 Patrick Roy beaucoupfish
4-S – 2018-19 Upper Deck Cup Components #CCPCB Ace Bailey / Charlie Conacher – THSN
4-H – 2016-17 Upper Deck Program of Excellence Canvas #C261 Thomas Chabot – DeBairos
5-S – 2016-17 Upper Deck NHL Firsts #NF-23 Auston Matthews Achievement – den3000nis
5-H – 2009-10 Upper Deck #203 Matt Duchene RC – gostl
6-S – 2018-19 Parkhurst Mini Tall-Boys #TB-57 John Tavares – Wyattket88
6-H – 2016-17 Upper Deck Ice Frozen Fabrics Red #FF-JQ #03/20 Jonathan Quick – slaroche
7-S – 2017-18 Upper Deck Game Dated Moments #7 Auston Matthews – Grandpoobah
7-H – 2017-18 Upper Deck Game Dated Moments #47 Connor McDavid – hockeygoalie31
8-S – 2017 Upper Deck Toronto Maple Leafs Centennial #MLM-GV Garry Valk – Hajni
8-H – 2015-16 Fleer Showcase Metal Universe Precious Metals Gems Blue #MU-12 Mikko Rantanen #/4850 – koko6727
9-S – 2013-14 Upper Deck Black Diamond Star Rubies #230 Morgan Rielly #025/150 – lukaTAG
9-H – 2016-17 Upper Deck MVP #367 Brayden Point – bb_bros
10-S – 2016-17 Upper Deck MVP #368 Auston Matthews – primetimesportz
10-H – 2017-18 Upper Deck #247 Brock Boeser RC – itrodaj


Don’t forget that in order to claim your prize, you must contact staff@comc.com with your name and username before July 5, 2019 @ 23:59:59 PDT.

We look forward to announcing details of our appearances at both the National in Chicago at the end of July and at the Fall Expo in mid-November shortly!

The COMC Spring Cleaning Sale is NOW LIVE!

(5/6/19 Update: The COMC Spring Cleaning Sale is NOW LIVE!)

Win a $250 COMC Shopping Spree! 

To show our appreciation to customers and blog readers, we’re giving back to you! If you’ve made an order or shipment request that qualifies for our FREE Spring Cleaning Shipping Special, be sure to come back to our blog and leave a comment with your order number or shipment request number! At the conclusion of our Spring Cleaning Sale, all qualifying comments will be entered to win $250 in COMC Credit to spend however you want! Winner will be announced via our Social Media pages and notified on May 14th. 

Get ready to save! The annual COMC Spring Cleaning Sale is coming May 6th – 12th, 2019!  This is the perfect opportunity for buyers and sellers to connect during our first big sales event of 2019!  This year we’re giving our buyers, sellers, and even flippers plenty of reasons to get excited!

Orders of $99 or More Ship Free!

While the best deals can be had by making offers and buying items using COMC Credit with your COMC account, no matter how you choose to shop, orders of $99 or more will qualify for our free shipping promotion! Whether you’re a COMC Member using COMC credit or our shopping cart to buy items, or shopping on COMC as a guest, your order of $99 or more will ship FREE!

(Terms: All shopping cart orders and COMC Member shipment requests must contain at least $99 worth of items purchased during the Spring Cleaning Sales to qualify for the free shipping promotion. Sales tax, per-item shipping fees, duties paid, and shipping add-ons such as supplies do not count towards the $99 threshold. All items purchased in advanced reseller mode are still subject to their per-item shipping fees)

Social Media Giveaways ALL Week Long!
Over $3000 in COMC Credit  & Cards Will be Given Away to Our Followers!

Our goal is to get the internet trading card community buzzing about our Spring Cleaning Sale. So with that in mind we’re going to be holding daily COMC Credit Giveaways and chances to win some pretty spectacular cards! Here’s how you can get in on the action:

Facebook:  Want to win COMC Credit to spend during the Spring Cleaning Sale?  Every afternoon from May 5th-10th on our Facebook page be on the lookout for your chance to win COMC Credit!
Twitter:  Every day at Noon from May 5th-12th on Twitter we’re giving our followers a chance to win one of eight incredible cards including an high-end Mike Trout autograph!
Instagram: Be sure to stay tuned to our instagram account for your chance to win three very hot cards of Giannnis Antetokounmpo, Baker Mayfield, and Juan Soto. Did someone say autograph? 

COMC Members Do and Save More!

Longtime COMC members agree that there is no better way to use COMC than with a COMC account. We offer a unique online inventory system that you won’t find anywhere else! Just take a look at a few of the things you can do by just signing up for a FREE account:

COMC Members Advantages:

  • Always save 10% to 15% more than COMC guests.
  • Make offers to sellers on cards for sale on the COMC Marketplace.
  • Keep Items in your online inventory until you’re ready to ship them home.
  • Choose additional shipping services that are exclusive to COMC members.
  • Sell Cards by sending in your own cards for consignment.
  • Flip cards sent in by other sellers by instantly relisting at a higher price.

Get Ready, COMC Sellers! 

Free Sales Promotion for all Sellers throughout Spring Cleaning!

Back by popular demand we’re waiving our promotion setup fee for all COMC sellers throughout the course of our Spring Cleaning Sale.Head on over to the Promotions Page and set up your FREE Sales Promotion now! But don’t forget – thousands of other sellers will be running sales also – so make sure to give buyers a deal too good to resist!

If you’re not already a COMC member, register for your free account today! We look forward to you joining us for our first big sale of 2019!

Guest Blog: Let’s Go Back to the 80’s for a Minute

(Editors Note: This post comes to us thanks to the Call to Arms we put out earlier this month seeking guest writers. Please welcome longtime COMC Member FairDeal to the COMC Blog!)

2020 will mark my 40th year for collecting sports cards. Collecting has been more than a hobby for me. It’s been a way to stay connected with my favourite teams and athletes, not to mention buddies who also collect. It’s also been about building something I can be proud of over several decades as well as act as a cathartic release during tough times.

My collection is comprised of baseball and hockey cards (1980 to present) with rookie cards, pre-rookie cards, refractors, active-era Carlton Fisk as a player I collect, and few favourite built master sets acting as the foundation of my prized haul. For this Blog entry, I want to share with you the story of the two first cards, which caught my eye and remain, to this day, on the centre shelf in my Sports Collectibles Man-cave.

1979-80 o-pee-chee Brett Callighen:

The 1979-80 season was the inaugural NHL campaign for the Edmonton Oilers. A young 18-year-old prodigy named Wayne Gretzky captured the hearts and imagination of all Edmontonians (if not all Canadians as a whole) with unparalleled vision of the entire ice surface and play-making ability. The future was bright for this young up-start squad – the sky was literally the limit. Numerous Smythe Division Titles, Campbell Conference Crowns, and 5 Stanley Cups to follow – not to mention hall of fame nods for almost a quarter of the active roster. Despite the pre-social media fervor and ground-swell excitement surrounding Wayne, my favourite Oiler was his line mate and left-winger Brett Callighen.

Callighen was a journeyman winger who had been a part of the World Hockey Association (WHA) originally with the New England Whalers then later with the Edmonton Oilers. Smooth skating and creative passing skills made Brett Callighen a force to be dealt with. Through that first NHL season, Brett was paired with Wayne on most nights and he would end up with 58 points despite missing 21 games to injury.

When the week’s worth of chores were successfully completed, it was allowance time and hockey cards were certainly a priority for me. The ‘79-80 O-Pee-Chee set had an amazing blue edge border with white swoosh down the right side with team logo anchored in the corner. Each pack contained 14 cards and a stick of gum that often would ruin a card if it became attached.

Each card served to mesmerize and I was always waiting with anticipation for the next opportunity to visit the corner store to get more of them. Obtaining Callighen’s card was almost an obsession from day one! Unfortunately cracking my first few packs did not yield my favourite player. Now I won’t say that I traded a Gretzky for a Callighen; that would be like Jack and the Beanstalk in trading a field’s worth of cows without the beans growing into too much. However, I do recall having to part with a number of good cards, in a lop-sided trade, to get the elusive card number 315 of this set. I remember beaming in having this card proudly showcased on my dresser during that first season; it was an amazing childhood experience that I still smile at when I look at it.

Callighen would play through two more injury-plagued seasons with the Oilers before being released prior to the 1982-83 season. When the announcement came in the local newspaper that Callighen had filed for retirement from the NHL and signed with HC Lugano in the Swiss Elite League, I was as crushed as a 12-year-old boy could be. Brett gave up pro hockey for good after the 1985-86 season and would make periodic appearances with the Oilers Alumni during events over the next 3 decades including the final epic send off for the Edmonton Northlands Coliseum.

1980 Topps J.R. Richard

Some of my favourite childhood recollections come in the form of watching Montreal Expos games with my Dad. The two of us, on a weekend, seated on the couch with junk food in hand, with games on the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) were a staple and nothing could change that.

On August 13, 1979, Dad and I prepared for another tilt on the tube; this time the opponent was the Houston Astros. We had our ace Steve Rogers going that day so victory was a certainty…or so I thought…

The opposing pitcher that day was J.R. Richard. Before Randy Johnson, there was another tall lanky fire-baller who dominated hitters with triple digit MPH touching fastballs, J.R. Richard. As the game progressed, hitter after hitter for the Expos were sat in rapid fashion by J.R via a strikeout and weak ground outs. Among the strikeout victims were future hall of famers Gary Carter and Andre Dawson. The ball just exploded out of J.R. Richard’s hand as he delivered each pitch. With his super long and lanky frame the ball seemed to be halfway to home plate already at the point of release. The Astros came out on top via a complete game victory from their starter that day. (See the box score below):

https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/HOU/HOU197908130.shtml

The next season, I started to purchase Topps baseball cards (to go along with the O-Pee-Chee hockey cards) and I knew immediately that the J.R. Richard card was a must have. Fortunately, I was able to find his card in a purchased pack and I was over the moon! The photography captures a dominant pitcher who was likely on his way to sitting down another hitter with the shameful fruitless walk back to the dugout after a strikeout.

Sadly, 1980 would turn out to be J.R.’s final season in Major League Baseball and after retirement, personal problems led to homelessness and a series of life challenges for Mr. Richard. Happily, J.R.’s life made somewhat of a turnaround in the 2000’s, as he was involved in a documentary on his story as well as a series of appearances with the Astros organization. The images of him delivering that fastball was unreal and the 1980 Topps Card was something I absolutely treasured then and still treasure now.

Takeaways:

These two cards are cherished possessions, and illustrate that despite having almost no market value but, incredibly special to me, from a sentimental lens. There are literally thousands of cards in my collection that I would part with before getting rid of these two. Whenever I open a box or pack and struggle with the condition of an upper-end candidate for grading or lament a short-print, wishing it was a 1/1 instead of out of an /100, I look at these two cards and am reminded not only of great memories of yester-year but humbly brought back to why I started to collect and continue to collect to this day. They keep me grounded for sure. It also helped me build a foundation for why I collect:

· Collecting keeps me young with connections to heroes of the past.
· Collecting keeps me connected with players and teams of today whom I follow.
· Collecting may seem antiquated, but the stories and hunt of each card can make it special for you!
· Collect if you love it because life is short and doing something you love is worth it. I will continue to do it until there are literally no cards left to buy or trade.

COMC on the Road: Catch us in Toronto Next Weekend!

Our second Canadian stop this year is just a week away at this year’s Sports Card & Memorabilia Expo held at the International Centre (directions) in Mississauga, Ontario from May 3rd to 5th, 2019.  We will be located in the Corporate area at Booth #3300.  As always, we will be bringing out Prize Wheel back by popular demand, accepting drop-off consignments, answering any questions you may have about COMC, and much more!

Prize Wheel

download

COMC members can spin our Prize Wheel for a chance to win one of twenty prizes including rookie cards of Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, & Brock Boeser.  Limit one spin per show.  But remember, in order to spin, you must have a COMC account! If you’re new to COMC, or if you’ve been shopping with us as a guest, be sure to sign up for a FREE account to be able to win one of these great prizes!  All participants will receive additional gifts while supplies last.  Winners will be announced shortly after the Expo via our Blog and Facebook pages.

Games For the Kids

All kids can receive a free hand stamp featuring the COMC shield.  All kids accompanied by a COMC account-holding parent can spin-to-win instant prizes (while supplies last).

Free Giveaways

Something for everyone!  One per customer per day while supplies last.

Consignment Drop-Offs

We will be accepting drop-off submissions at the Expo to help consignors save on the cost of shipping.  Please carefully read the instructions below best practices for prepping your consignment for drop-off:
1) All submissions must have complete and accurate printed paperwork by using our Submission Wizard.  Use the “Sportscard & Memorabilia Expo drop off location” option on step 5 of the submission wizard to expedite processing.
2) Ensure your submission is packed securely.  We strongly recommend one row boxes instead of multi-row boxes (such as 1600 ct or 3200 boxes).  For large submissions, multiple single row boxes can be used and labelled 1 of X, 2 of X, etc.
3) The cut-off time for accepting submissions at The Expo will be Sunday, May 5th at 3:00 pm local time.
4) Please allow up to 7-10 days for consignments submitted at The Expo to reach our Burnaby, British Columbia facility , Your submissions at The Expo will be entered into your account and begin processing on the week of May 12th-18th.
As always, we are more than happy to answer any questions you have about COMC. Our Customer Service Team is available at staff@comc.com to answer any questions you may have leading up to the Toronto Spring Expo.
For general details on the Toronto Spring Expo, check out their website:  http://sportcardexpo.com