Sunday, October 24, 2010


The last time I booted this computer up it was Friday morning. I was about to eat some breakfast and then go to work. Instead, I ended up spilling orange juice on my laptop, which shut everything down.

Luckily it started working again tonight, and no more problems arise.

However, if any of you whom read or frequent the blog, I just wanted to post about a local card show coming up on Saturday. Generally the show is primarily vintage items, however I would venture to guess that new items will be for sale.

Here's the advert, hope to see you there!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Card Shop Lesson

A smile, greeting, simple small talk, those are the key ingredients to having a successful business where you offer a service or amenity to customers. Right? Personally, I don't even care if you smile, just a hello followed with "do you need help" usually suffices.

That should be a lesson that is MANDATORY to all card shop owners or people who sell cards in a public setting. How do you expect to make sales or generate interest in what you have to offer if you're a complete jerk? You can make quick assumptions on each customer that walks in, but you might have just blown a huge sale by not talking to that 15 year old kid who wants to buy a box of 2010 Triple Threads. Instead you spent 20 minutes re-hashing the "gold old days" of the 80's with the 45 year old dude who wants to know if his cards are worth anything.

That sale you *might* have blown would have probably made your sales plan for the day, possibly even week. But chances are, you don't have any sales forecast for your store at all.

---I also realized this now, but his sign spells collectibles incorrectly. I've never caught this until now. Fantastic.---

I visited a local card shop this past weekend. Brooklyn Sportscards and Collectables. This guy has been in business for quite some time. And he's always been cold. Maybe I'm reading him wrong, but honestly he's a dick. I'm not in the minority with that sentiment. I always like to talk to card shop owners and the conversations are this:

Card Shop Owner: "Where are you from?"
Me: "Suburb of Cleveland"
CSO: "Ah, you ever go to stores around there"
Me: "Yeah not much is left, All Star and Brooklyn that's it"
CSO: "Brooklyn is still around huh"
Me: "Hah, yeah, I don't buy much from him"
CSO: "He's not the nicest guy, I'm surprised he's in business this long"

Now, I don't know how he stays in business or what he sells, but he does. I've been in there maybe 5-10 times in the past 3 years. Nothing is ever changed. Maybe 3-5 new boxes of stuff, that's it. Hell, the last thing I bought was a Jurassic Park pin for my buddy 2 years ago.

My reason for visiting this time was to see if he had any of the 1985-86 Fleer NBA set for sale. AS has the full set for $550. Unfortunately, there was no mid 80's Fleer NBA cards to be had. Zero Petrovic cards either. A lot of what is in the store has to do with our local clubs, mostly the Indians. And speaking of the Tribe, the walls are adorned with awesome mid 90's posters of former Tribers. I'm talking Lofton, Belle, Justice, Baerga, Fryman. I did ask if he was willing to sell them and I'd be willing to pay a decent amount for them. His response, "no, not for sale, what do you expect me to have a ladder to get them down." I just said, ok, shook my head and walked out. A simple, "no they aren't for sale" would have sufficed.

I urge any collector with any self respect to not visit this place. Unless you want to see an archaic shop stuck in time. Or you want to pay $5 for a base card of Brian Anderson sporting a Tribe jersey.

Having said all that, what are some experiences you've had with Card Shop or Card Dealers in the past that have made you shake your head. And what would you suggest in terms of customer service?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

30 for 30

Once Brothers was on tonight. Been looking forward to watching this documentary since I found about it in August. Simply put, it did not disappoint.

There's really no words that I can describe this 30 for 30. Granted Once Brothers meant a bit more to me than others. Everything was done perfect. Vlade's story arc, the War, Petrovic's time in the NBA, all done to a T.

If you haven't watched this or didn't get a chance to watch it, do yourself a favor and DVR it or watch it tomorrow night (10/13) on ESPN2 at 8PM EST.

Monday, October 11, 2010

87 Left....

87 more cards.
87 more autographed cards.

That's all I need before I finish collecting the 2001 Fleer Greats of the Game Auto'd set. Not too bad, right?

Now for the good bit. I'm 6.45% done with the set!! Picked up two off Ebay last week.

First was Carl Erskine of the Brooklyn Dodgers. Moments later Alan Trammell of Detroit became a part of the never ending set build.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Mini "Card Show"

A guy on Craigslist last night had a post where he was going to be selling a lot of sports cards at a local Community Garage Sale. Mostly 70's, 80's, and 90's. Junk wax, my favorite kind.

I arrived to find just a mess of stuff for sale. You know, your average garage sale crap....only this time strewn everywhere in a gym. Walked around to scope out any other sports items (NBA Champion Jerseys) but nothing else seemed worthwhile.

The sports card guy had about five 5,000 count boxes full of 70's-80's cards. One box was dedicated to the 1992 Fleer Baseball set alone...which was fantastic. A few binders were of the local Cleveland teams, some sets from the 70's and 60's football reprints. He did have a 1961 Jim Brown card which I had interest in. My father already owns this card and the condition isn't the greatest so depending on how much the guy wanted, I'd be willing to upgrade. I shouldn't have asked. Guy said "high value is $200, low is $75.....I'll uhh go with $60! Everything I got is under BV." I understand everyone would love to make money off this hobby, and I'm not knocking him at all, but paying $60 for the Jimmy wasn't going to happen, especially since it had pen marks on it, off center, and corners were a bit ragged.

All the boxes did have various sports. I was only through his boxes for early 90's basketball for any new Petrovic cards. I got lucky and found 2 to add to my ever expanding collection (NOW UP TO 4!!!).

Before today, I had never seen this exact card, and probably for good reason, the design is real boring. For all the really awesome card designs from the 90's, there were soooo many awfully designed cards. This is one of them. Great job Score.

Let me tell you about this photo. Lafayette "Fat" Lever isn't going to get around the offensive pick which is going to allow Drazen to cut to the top of the key and hit a wide open 3. Don't believe me, look at the box score.

I'm glad to have picked up two more Drazen cards, but I'm pretty upset I didn't get there about 10 minutes sooner. The vendor also had a few pennants for sale and one was a 1948 Indians World Series Pennant. It was probably made in 1998, but it would have been really awesome to have.

Another guy had a few small boxes of cards for sale, which I had overlooked earlier. The prices weren't listed on any and totally arbitrary. I hate this method. He had a few auto's I would have liked to pick up but didn't want to pay his off the head prices. Longoria A&G for $30, a few Bowman rookie auto's for $15. I did eventually bite the bullet with this guy and picked up two cards.

First, 1959 Tito Francona. I'm almost positive my dad has one of these lying around, but the condition of this one was really good, it could not be passed up. Guy wanted $5. Second was a 2008 Bowman Draft Picks and Prospects of Lonnie Chisenhall. Chis will be the rookie of the year in 2011. If not 2011, 2012 then. He wanted $18 for Lonnie. The hometown team inflation is my mortal enemy. I offered $20 for the pair. I could tell that he was probably going to take it, but then he replies "how about $21". A dollar more, are you kidding? That's so inconvenient. If I give you $20, that is one bill. I do not want to give you two bills. Safe to say, he took the $20.

All in all, a bunch of solid pick ups. This weekend there is a Browns Backers autograph event in Akron. It's at a Flea Market which has three card dealers. I've been looking forward to this event for about a month now.

1962 Topps

Blog has been quiet over the last week due to work. However, sorting and organizing has been happening. The only problem stalling any new posts was the fact that I lost my little phone adapter. All that has been sorted out thought, and I'm back.

First up, 1962 Topps. I have quite a bit of these and saw a blog post a week or so ago where someone was putting together the set; solid idea, so I went for it.

Not including error cards that totals the set to 688, I went for the base set of 598. I'm missing 360 cards. That totals to me having about 60%. The majority of the condition of the cards is average at best. Not my fault that my dad was real little when he collected the cards.

For me, I have said before that I don't really care much about slabbed cards. I'd rather be able to physically feel the cards I own. The unique smell of the old cards cannot be matched. Not to mention slabs are bulky. Overall worth of the card goes up, but I couldn't really care about that.

After sorting the set I took this photo. Thought it was pretty cool to see just how much of a collation was within these cards. From left to right you are looking at cards 1-99, 100-199, 200-299, etc. In the background you have some MLB Showdown 2005 strategy cards and my badass Creed mug from The Office.

Two poses that I've always loved with vintage cards are these. I just feel that the after the swing pose is the best. The way the body has wrapped around itself, position of the feet, and the player's eyes watching the ball to see just how far he hit it. Perfect.

This is somewhat similar to the full body pose; just a bit more up-close. I feel like Dale's bat was cut short in this photo. Optical illusions I 'spose.

And of course, for any vintage card post, the Legends need to make an appearance. I'm not going to lie, whenever I'm sorting, I hope I come across about 5-6 Mantle's. It usually never happens and instead of Mantle, I'm pulling Roy Face and Bob Friend. Nothing against either player, just don't care to have that many Bucco's.

Unless that Pirate is Clemente. I can never get enough of Roberto.

I love the 1962 design. It's plain and effective. The overall condition of this card isn't great. Gloss has started to fade and the corners are semi dog eared. But with this card, I feel those issues make this card perfect. Everything about this card seems so natural. No pine tar, batting gloves, and his look away from the camera is fantastic. This card should be in museums of art.

Instead of Mantle, sometimes another Legend is found. Henry Aaron.

Or maybe a Legendary Coach? THAT JUST SO HAPPENS TO BE A TOPPS ALL ROOKIE?!?!?!

When it's all said and done though, some people just like their Mantle cards. I'm one of them and so was my dad, sort of. He has some big money cards. And they are all in screw down cases together. I've started to break up the exclusive club of screw downs and put them with their right sets. Mantle was the first of the lot to go.

Every time you gaze at this card, you become even more of an American Patriot.

Switching it up from the Bronx Bombers to a Triber and house hold favorite, Tito Francona.

My dad's favorite player growing up along with Colavito. This card features another great pose. I believe that I'm a huge fan of the overall vintage look of each photo. Pretty sure this photo was taken at Fenway.

Sadly not all cards in this set have good photography. Poor John Anderson is case in point.