Tuesday, August 23, 2022

2000 Upper Deck Ionix -- Master Set Complete

Several years ago I decided I wanted to chase a true master set. I wanted all the parallels and inserts and autos. I wanted something attainable but hard but also not impossible. (I will never own all of the crusade reds or anything like that) This did take a while and it was difficult to find everything and piece it together. Alas, it is done. I am not counting the Roberto Clemente Cut auto as part of the set because I probably can't afford it and it may never surface ever. 

I did not picture the base set or the reciprocal set. Numbers 61-90 on the base set were short printed 1 in 4 packs. Those same numbers for reciprocals were 2 per box. 

 Shockwave insert set (1 in 4 packs) -- I have an extra one or two sets of these from busting packs.

 Atomic insert (1 in 8 packs) -- really fun design.

BIORhythm (1 in 11 packs) --

Awesome Powers (1 in 23 packs) --

Pyrotechnics (1 in 72 packs) -- Griffey was the toughest from this set for me to get. Got lucky on the Thomas and snagged it for a dollar. 

UD Authentics Auto set (1 in 144 packs) -- (13 cards) 

I included the Clemente bat (350 across the print run) because I happened to pull it myself. Otherwise I doubt I would be chasing it. It's a keeper though for sure. The Griffey was by far the most expensive auto with the Jeter in 2nd. 

Last but not least -- Warp Zone (1 in 288 Packs)--

 These would come and go and some be on ebay for very expensive prices. I scoured different sources. Originally I wasn't planning to get them but after I picked up the Jeter for around 20 dollars I figured I'd give it a go. The last piece was the Nomar. I feel like its short printed. The Griffey goes for good money too but thankfully I got mine for under 100. The Bonds and Maddux I pulled in a pack (the same pack in fact). I have doubles of the Ivan Rodriguez, Pedro, Maddux and Sosa. My Arod isn't perfect I'd consider replacing it at some point buts it not high on the collecting list. 

Feels nice to complete a long term project. 

What are you guys working on? I've been working hard on getting organized. I am done with my 80s Phillies want lists and now I'm working through the 90s. Its taken almost 2 years of looking at cards all over the floor but I am actually making progress. 

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, July 31, 2022

National Recap Day 5

The end of the show. Overall it was a great show. I had a blast in the beginning and ended on a really high note which I will detail in this post. I decided I wanted to park in the convention center garage today since I was planning to leave right after I got the Don Money autographs around 2 PM (or however fast the line went). I've read quite a few national recap posts in years past (always enjoy them) and it seemed like Sunday dealers who actually want to sell stuff will cut some deals for the things left over. I spoke to a lot of dealers while I was there and I would say 9 out of 10 said they sold a ton. One of them even said he expected to make about 15k profit for this one show. That's pretty great for the hobby. Tons of people were into it and tons of marketing opportunities and tons of cool stuff from low end to high end and everything in between. I consider myself a mid-end collector that lucked into some high end cards before they became what they are today. Anyway back to the actual topic of recapping the day and some musings on the week. 

 I had no issue checking out of the hotel and then driving to the convention center in the AM. I had packed what I could the night before so just had to lug it to the car and was good to go. I arrived as the show was opening for VIPs so got right in. I didn't have a true agenda but I wanted to see if I could get 1 or 2 big cards on my list. (spoiler alert, I found a couple but I didn't have them on my list before but they should've been)  

The only agenda I had was I wanted to go to a raffle around 2 PM at the Hit Parade both. For every 100 dollars spent they gave you a ticket but this raffle you had to be present on Sunday. I was hoping people would be gone so I'd have a better chance at winning even only with a couple tickets. I was debating buying one more box from them before the raffle started to get another card and a chance at some stuff. Hadn't decided yet at this point in the day. 

I started looking at a baseball box that said 20% off if you spent more then 100. There was an array of cards in there but I was able to pull what amounted to 120 sticker price and the dealer said 80 would work. I was good with that.Got these 4 cards. 

Basically 20 dollars a card for 3 rookies and a SP Harper. Hard to beat deals like that. I had traded away my previous NNO's a while ago so it was nice to get them back at a lower buy in then I had before. 

I grabbed this card next, I already have one PSA graded but I wanted one to put in my binder with the team set. It was annoying me. 

Perfect for the Phillies team sets binder. 

The next showcase, a Thomas auto caught my eye and then a card I had traded for then sold on Thursday was also there so I got a bundle deal and picked them both up. I put the Thomas in a different pile so I don't currently have a picture but here is the other card. 

Back in the collection after being gone a couple days. 

The next card that caught my eye was a cheap Ichiro RC. I didn't find any Fleer Tradition ones. I would've spent more for that one if I was able to find it. 

I was making my way down the aisle where I knew there was a dealer with a 1985 wax box that was not wrapped by BBCE. He had marked it as 350 but that is way over comps on ebay. I was hoping to get him down to 275 for the box. He wouldn't budge past 325. He said it would sell eventually at his price. Maybe he's right but eventually could be ten years. 

I let it go and made my way to the next dealer. He had very little out and after talking to him he said they sold about 20k cards this week. Him and his friend were happy how the show went and how much they unloaded. This was my first big purchase of the day. This beauty of a card caught my eye.

It only got that low of a grade because of back centering top to bottom. The card presents really nice and is super clean on the front and back. I was able to work the magic of looking up comps and got him to come down 40 dollars. One of those iconic cards, even though I don't collect much football I am more then happy to have this one in my collection. 

At this point I figured I would maybe buy 1 more big card then grab some food head over to the Hit Parade booth and decide if I want something then kill time before the raffle. 

Not soon after I came across a card I had never seen in person before. I knew it existed and saw it for sale online a couple times. 

This is the 2012 Five Star Bryce Harper rookie from the Collector's club numbered out of 50. It was only distributed to member's of the club by Topps and was not inserted in packs. This dealer had a price of 380 on it and I knew what I was looking at. I felt like that was a really good price so I looked it up real quick and the last sale was 525. I decided to be honest and told the dealer he really underpriced this card. He said he appreciated the honesty and would sell it to me for 380 if I wanted to buy it. We chatted a bit more about some of the other cards in the showcase and things in general while I was thinking about it. I decided I couldn't walk away without it cause I may never see it again. I said I'd pay full sticker and didn't try to negotiate. He said since I was honest with him he'd knock off 20 bucks! Super pumped to get this auto in the collection. One of those rare cards that look really nice in person. 

I got some food after this, extremely overpriced chicken fingers and french fries. 

While making my way back towards the Hit Parade area I was looking at random spots and saw BBCE's area. They have a ton of stuff as usual but they also have individual packs. I picked up these 2 1985 wax packs. I do not plan on opening them. 

Way cheaper then a box and way easier to store as well. I think that satisfied my urge to get a whole box. I'm just as happy with the packs. 

I finally made my way back to the Hit Parade area. It's such a gamble, but hey who doesn't like a little gambling sometimes. I've gotten plenty of boxes with zero value at least with these there is some sort of floor. I decided that I wanted to take my shot at their emerald box (cost 320). Some big chase hits in there but even not getting one of those I should still get a nice card. 

A really nice card from Flawless. A patch auto of Rickey Henderson numbered out of 7 and it's on-card. This is my first Rickey auto so I don't have any reason to not keep it. I did look it up and its probably worth around 220. I did get 3 raffle tickets for the purchase so I was ready when the time came. 

I took a break after this in the VIP lounge for about a half hour. I just chatted with a guy about cards in general. He had done some couple thousand dollar type deals and he was telling me about it. Always interesting to hear what deals other people have done. 

I made my back over to the Hit Parade booth since you had to be there in person. It was a decent crowd and some people had A LOT of tickets. One youngish looking couple said they had 100 which means they spent 10k at that booth. I would love to see their collection. I imagine its ok. 

Hit Parade was giving away 21 boxes. 10 cards, 10 signed jerseys and 1triple box (ball, 8x10 and jersey autos) These boxes were all made specifically for this give away so they weren't for purchase or anything like that. 

Mind you I had FIVE tickets. Naturally, I win the very first box. I asked for a card. 

This is my first Jasson card! It's beyond shiny and numbered out of 250! I'm not a prospector but I would like to hold this one for a while. If he does well it should shoot up like all of his stuff would. 

At this point it was a bit past 2 and I debated just giving my tickets to the person next to me so I could get the Don Money autos and go. I'm glad I decided to wait. There was no limit on winning multiples. They were down to 2 items left. One jersey box and then the triple box at the end. I won AGAIN. The Jersey box. I couldn't believe it. I had five tickets and won twice. The two that won were from my purchase the hour before, so that purchase really paid off. 

In that box, I hit this Jersey auto...

Justin Jefferson Nike Jersey auto. The Jersey itself retails for 130 dollars. It being signed by one of the best wideouts in the NFL should add some value. I haven't been able to find it online yet but regardless it's pretty cool. I am real psyched to win 2 prizes. 

After this, I made my way to see Don Money ..

He signed 2 Rookie cards for me. He was a nice guy and was talking to some people in line. He was  a bit before my era so I didn't see him play. The autograph area was much tamer on Sunday. Yesterday it was a mad house. 

I had to walk the floor to get out of the building and with me that's dangerous. I ended up making 2 quick purchases because why not? 

2 more Griffeys! A PSA 5 and 7! I'm still trying to find the flaw in the 5. It looks just as nice if not nicer then the 7. It was a three Griffey kind of day. I did well with that and did really well with Frank Thomas cards at the National. 

I was able to pickup a good amount of vintage and some cool cards and some rare cards. Overall, I had an amazing time and even though my feet hurt and I have to work tomorrow it was worth it. Shockingly, I did not go over budget! I left with some cash in hand. It helped that I sold some those first few days which offset the purchases. I kept really good records of each transaction as I did them, otherwise I would've never been able to remember the order and how things went down. 

My only complaint was parking on that first day, I should've known better and the food in the convention center was grossly overpriced. 

They all said no outside food or drink but they didn't enforce it. I walked in with 2 water bottles everyday and no one ever said anything. 

Here was some more cool things I saw today. 

I opened 2 of these boxes as a kid. I believe they cost 65 dollars back then.

I hope everyone enjoyed reading these. I enjoyed writing them. I'm sure I made some typos along the way since I didn't edit and wrote most of these kind of exhausted from the day. 

Thanks for reading and let me know what you think! I would 100% attend another National if I have the chance. 

Saturday, July 30, 2022

National Recap Day 4

The national is like a card collecting marathon. You can tell who has been here the whole time and who is just coming for the day. I know I was real tired last night so I was planning to sleep a little. I didn't have any major agenda for the day except meeting up with a friend and getting a Milt Thompson auto. 

I did sleep through the alarm a little and decided to just go straight to Ceasar's to park and not even mess with the around the convention center traffic. That was the correct call. Tons of people were sitting in traffic as I walked the half mile or so from the garage to the center. 

My day started a bit slow. I didn't see anything crazy but I did pick up a couple things. I picked up a Don Money card since I only had 1 and I have 2 auto tickets. His session is tomorrow. 

I also fed my obsession and found another cheap one! (18 dollars)

 Such a great card. This one is a real clean copy. I'm glad it wasn't graded so I could buy it cheap. That dollar was real nice. He had it listed for 22 I said how about 20 he said 18 is fine. That was unexpected but I was thankful and let him know. 

After that I was looking at a booth with a ton of signed baseballs laid out. I have a couple spots in my display case when I re-jiggered the room a bit ago so if I found a ball at the right price I would grab one. I was able to get this one for 40 dollars which I thought was absurdly cheap for a official MLB ball. (another dealer had it for 125)

After that I decided to take a break in the VIP lounge and get something to eat. Not much was going on there but my friend was coming shortly so I was good to wait. He came not soon after and he had pulled some Frank Thomas and Phillies stuff for me. I ended up trading some 93 Jeter rookies for all of it. I'm sure we were close on value but he gets something he wants and I get to add to the PC. A good trade all around. 

I highlighted some of the cards. The Pinnacle Starburst of Thomas is such a pretty card. The swirls really pop out. The Hoskins is a rookie that I didn't have. A real random Brett Myers auto. I'll have to check my spreadsheet but pretty sure I didn't have an auto of his. 

After that my friend wanted to see if he could off load some of his pokemon cards (note: real nice stuff) and I wanted to get Milt Thompson's auto. My friend hooked me up with an all access auto pass so I didn't have to wait in line. Unfortunately, I was only able to get 1 Milt auto though. They never called the wild cards and I didn't get another ticket. He was super cool though. I complimented his batting stance and we talked about the Vet for a bit. Granted, I was literally wearing a shirt that has a picture of the vet on it.(a lot of people randomly wanted to talk about it, definitely was a good conversation opener with people) 

Milt was kind enough to take a picture with me. It came out nice. I got a 1987 Topps card signed. 

I knew the general vicinity where my friend was heading so I headed that way to find him and give him his access pass back. I didn't make any deals on the way (not for lack of trying) but I did find him at the same booth I sold my 4 pokemon cards too. I hadn't really looked at their showcases but I was casually searching the one baseball box when a card in the showcase caught my eye. It is on my main want list and was within my comps that I researched before hand. I made a package deal for these 3 cards. 

The Bohm is from the megabox. The shiny factor is off the charts. The Schmidt is a nice patch numbered out of 25.The big draw was the Orlando Cepeda rookie. I don't know if it was short printed or what but I haven't seen another one even with all the vintage in the room. It's definitely showcase worthy. It got a low grade cause there is some staining around the edges on the back but no paper loss or anything crazy like that.

The dealer's wife explained to me that they only let one person consign with them and it was this gentleman's card. He is slowly selling his collection from when he was a kid and he personally pulled this card in 1958. Hard to beat that provenance! 

Pretty psyched to knock off a big card and plan on displaying this one. At this point there was maybe 2ish hours left for the day. 

I randomly found a Hans Crouse auto in the show case. I know I don't have that auto in my collection so I grabbed it for five dollars. Shout out to the dealer for asking for my blog website, hope you are reading! 

He also had this awesome Jalen Hurts:

This is the black finite 1/1 Rookie card. Prizm really is nice for Football and Basketball. I can see why its highly collected. 

After this I decided to gamble a bit. Bought one of the Hit Parade baseball boxes and got a cool card. 

A Rafael Devers Museum Collection auto. The last sale was 115 dollars. It's not a bad card, but I didn't win so to speak on the transaction. Although, most times breaking boxes you don't 'win'. It is my first Devers auto and he is quite a good player so happy to hang onto it. 

Apparently, even though I was quite tired I had one more big deal in me for the day. This one was completely unexpected. I was walking by a dealer and he made a nice comment about all the people he had talked to that day. It was nice to hear that he had a lot of positive interactions. We started chatting and I offered if he wanted to look at my stuff. He pulled out 4 cards and told me to wait because his buddy would be interested. Turns out he was very right. One of the cards he was super interested in. We ended up talking and going back and forth for about 20 minutes until coming to an agreement. 

I traded the Beta Berserk I picked up yesterday and a little cash for a freaking Sandy Koufax auto graded PSA 9. The card is fantastic in hand. This negotiation was wild in the swings. He wanted to outright buy the Berserk from me but I didn't want to sell it. I wanted the Koufax. He didn't want to trade the Koufax, he wanted to sell it. His friend convinced him to throw out a number for cash on a partial deal and he threw out quite a high number. I looked up comps and it was a bit out of line. Honest mistake cause he said he comped it months ago. He ended up coming way way down on the cash and thats when we agreed but not before some back and forth. I was willing to walk away and I think thats why the deal got done. He didn't want to let me leave with the Berserk in hand. I was totally fine keeping it but the Koufax really fits my collection. At the end of the day I turned magic cards I haven't looked at it in years into a Koufax auto! 

No more deals til the end of the show. Found one card I like (Alec Bohm red ink heritage auto) but no clue if it's a good price so need to research before committing to it. Not entirely sure I'm going to go get it tomorrow. 

Here are some pics I took of things I saw:

The hockey triple auto is the Staal brothers, Marc, Eric and Jordan. There is a card with Drake and Justin Beiber and apparently people like it? Not in my wheelhouse. The 52 Topps pack speaks for itself. 

After the show I wanted to just relax. Went and got dinner back at the hotel (chicken wings yum). After that, I decided to gamble a bit for the first time on this trip. I played some 1-2 no limit for a couple hours and won 200 dollars. Played on a fun table with good action. 

Until tomorrow! Thanks for reading!