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Thursday, January 16, 2014

Super Mario Brothers

No, not those mustachio'd fellows created by Nintendo.

These that I'm about to show.

I gave myself a Christmas present during the Black Friday card sales last year.  Most of the boxes I picked up were opened.  But there were three or four that I left in the shipping box.  Why?  I don't really know.  I think I was going to save them for some reason or another.  But after opening the one box of 2011-12 Parkhurst Champions and pulling this guy...the itch to open the other box I picked up has been strong.  Surely I wouldn't be lucky enough to get two Tier A autographs in back-to-back boxes, would I?

Well the urge finally overwhelmed me the other night and I had no choice but to tear the cellophane and dive in.  I will preface the rest by saying that I did not, in fact, find any other Tier A autos.  Let's get that out of the way first.  But I did get something special.

Let me start by showing the family of Mario cards that came out of this box.  I was intrigued when I realized all of these were in the same box.

2011-12 Parkhurst Champions Mario Lemieux base card (w/ horrible scan job)

2011-12 Parkhurst Champions Mario Lemieux B&W Renditions SP (w/ nice scan job)

2011-12 Parkhurst Champions Mario Lemieux Wire Photo (w/ eh, scan job)

 2011-12 Parkhurst Champions Mario Lemieux Mini SP (w/ beautiful scan job)

Oh, and I can't forget...the whole reason I made this post in the first place was to show off the other Mario that was in this box.  

Any guesses?


Well if you said it was a card that has the odds of falling about 1:2,560 packs, you guessed correctly.

Nestled away in one of the last packs was this beauty...

 2011-12 Parkhurst Champions Mario Lemieux Mini SP Parkhurst Back Variation 
(w/ crappy scan job on the back)

Now, I'm not one to brag but...who am I kidding?  Yes I am.

Things I've learned:

A) Never count out any box because of the perceived impossibility (improbability) of odds.
B) My scanner generally sucks and I hate it but I'm not keen on replacing it at the moment.
C) I now want more boxes of these.  I'm sick.

I don't really know what to do with all the duplicate base cards but I'm sure I can figure something out.  NO, you can't have this card.  But, does anyone need cards for this set?  Would anyone like an most of, if not an entire base set?  Let me know.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

How Do You Eat The Elephant??

I'm sure everyone has heard that old saying.  The answer is, of course, "One bite at a time."

In my case, the elephant is my effort to get some semblance of organization back to my collection.  I had the privilege of moving twice in 2013, thus putting an already maligned collection into more disarray.  Over the past two years prior to that, I picked up the remnants of a few, now defunct card shops.  In all, I have accumulated approximately 1.5 million cards since late 2011 (give or take a couple hundred thousand but at that point, what difference does it make?).  After the first move, 4/5 of everything went into a storage locker which, of course, cost monthly money to store my own collection (kind of like COMC but without organization, an audience, or customers.  Although if anyone is in Northwest Indiana and would like to drop by, I'd be glad to show you around.  It's only 6x10 and almost fully packed so it shouldn't take long since you can barely move in it.).  In the early fall of last year, I was able to unload about 1/3 of that mess, including all the unwanted football and basketball cards I could find at the time (meaning, I've since found more).  That left baseball in the locker and all the hockey, unclassified boxes, and miscellaneous stuff in my possession.  So between the two locations of my collection, I'm probably sitting on close to 800,000-900,000+ cards.

But here's the overall problem....I still just have too much.

(Prepare for another of my incoherent rants...)

I have intentions for everything, as most collectors do.  I have many plans for the collections I have started and tons of ideas for the collections I haven't.  I have stuff that doesn't fit into my PC goals that just sits in boxes, on shelves, on my desk, or in random piles collecting dust.  I have stuff I want to try and unload but just haven't found the time to do so.  I have sets I've started, with missing cards I've received, with checklists unchecked, and a big round-tuit on top.  I even have PC cards not in their respective homes (blasphemous!)

Hobby's are enjoyable.  They aren't supposed to be stressful.  My goal for 2014 was to have fun.  But my collection sometimes stresses me out.  I don't like looking at the disorganization because in all other aspects of my life, I'm hardly unorganized.  But for some reason, the cardboard gods did not grace me with the meticulousness I feel I should have as a collector.  I have a space just for my collection now and I need to utilize it to it's potential, not create another doomed room full of chaos.

So I say...NO MORE!  This insanity has to stop.  I want to enjoy my collection and have fun with it and to do that, I need to make some changes.  So I'm starting now.

First, I'm vowing to post at least 5 cards or more to my Collector's Revolution account at least every other day until I fill a Shoebox full of sale items.  There is no other way to get rid of unwanted stuff (besides giving it away).  I already have about 200 or so items on there for sale and have sold a handful of items over the past few months.  I may not sell it all.  I may not sell any of it.  But, at least I will try.  You never know until you try.  And with any of that money I may make...I will use for future card purchases.  No, really.  I will. I swear.

Not to get off subject but for anyone not aware, Collector's Revolution is a "newer" sports card collector's marketplace that is designed to be better than Ebay...I'm not sure how they have done so far but I'm fairly happy (and no, I am not a commercial for them or compensated by them in any way).  There are no listing fees, no final sales fees for items under $5, no re-listing fees, and you never pay more than 5% on a final sale.  They also sponsor affordable group breaks, offer seller incentives, a referral program, and you can choose to have your items featured.  While they don't have the traffic that Ebay has, I like my odds at selling things on my own terms without having to open my own e-commerce site.

Second, I'm going to stop buying retail products for the entire year.  There I said it.  NO RETAIL.  ONE YEAR.  I tried this once before and it didn't work out too well.  This time, I mean it.  Hobby only or online purchases for me on new products from here on out.  This is not only going to save me money in the long run, but also limit the over saturation in my collection of common cards that just take up monster box space on my shelves.  Now if someone buys retail for me, I'm not going to shun them.  But out of my own pocket, no way.

Third, I need to trade.  This is a trading based hobby.  They are called TRADING cards.  I need to trade, plain and simple.  I have one trade so far this year and need to start making more.  It will happen.  I just need to find a way to connect with the masses.  Hopefully I can move forward with my plan to post a regular "trade bait" post on the blog.  I would also like to update my trading lists with other bloggers and what they collect.  I know what some of you target but not everyone.  If you're reading this, don't think I know what you collect, and you want to trade, tell me about it in a comment or something.

Piggybacking off the trading thing, I really need to get updated as to what I have and don't have in my PC and non-PC cards.  I had originally started using Zistle back in 2009 when I went full steam ahead back into the hobby.  It is a great site for creating an online inventory of your collection (and no I'm not paid to say that about them either).  It is pretty flexible, allows some customization, and the support there is second to none.  Unfortunately, my use declined over the last couple years and that needs to change.  Again, it's the best site, in my opinion, for creating an inventory online without doing it yourself from scratch.  If I can start making a dent in finding out what I have, it will surely make it easier to pull off trades.

No, I haven't just reneged on my promise of no New Year's collecting resolutions.  These are a matter of life and death if I want to stay active in this great hobby.  I still stick with my original and only NYCR, and that was to have fun.  I'm going to make this as fun as possible for myself and slowly reintroduce The Real DFG to his collection.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Picking On Potash

I think I have said before that I'm not a big fan of Pens reporter Dan Potash.  I don't know what it is.  There is just something about the guy that rubs me the wrong way.  I'm sure he's a nice guy and everything but he (like many announcers and reporters) just makes me mad when he comes on TV to do an intermission report with one of the Penguin players.

At any rate, I found this video that I thought was funny and figured I would share.  It's a little long (8:26) but entertaining.  I'm sure there are many teams where this type of behavior goes on but in this case, I don't think it could happen to a better guy.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

How Many NHLers Over 40+

So Brian Rafalski fancy's himself a hockey player again??  Apparently so according to the Florida Everblades of the ECHL.  They signed the 40 year old to a contract, despite his absence from play for the last three seasons.

Rafalski retired during the 2010-11 season when he took a knee injury to put him on the shelf.  At the Winter Classic in Detroit a few weeks ago, Brian strapped them on for the Alumni game and apparently got the bug that many players do after retirement.  With 3 Stanley Cups, 2 Silver Medals and a couple All-Star appearances, Rafalski is apparently looking to add an ECHL title to his trophy case.

Considering the soft play of the Alumni game, there is no telling really how conditioned he is to play or if he can get back to the professional level.  Since his expertise was always on the power play, I'm sure he will see lots of ice time for the Everblades and get his shot to move up (if that's what he wants to do).

It will be interesting to see what comes of this.

That got me thinking...I wonder how many players in the NHL are over the age of 40?

If my count is correct, I get 6...Martin Brodeur, Ray Whitney, Jaromir Jagr, Teemu Selanne, Daniel Alfredsson, and Nikolai Khabibulin (eventhough he's on IR).  Did I miss any?