window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; function gtag(){dataLayer.push(arguments);} gtag('js', new Date()); gtag('config', 'UA-12381093-3'); A Cardboard Problem: 2017

December 9, 2017

Box break: 2017 Topps Gallery Baseball

I have cards from so many different products over the last 25 or so years because that’s how far back my Derek Jeter collection goes.

When Topps released Gallery in Walmart this year, after Gallery had a lengthy absence, I went back through my collection to see what previous Topps Gallery cards I owned. I had a few and not all of them actually drawn it seems. Some look as though they may have had an artistic effect on them.

2017 Topps Gallery Baseball

This’s year version of Topps Gallery is all drawn, and it includes two different Jeter cards.

His base card is one the short prints (cards 151-200 in the base cards are short prints). And it’s one of the better sketches I’ve seen of Jeter. Sometimes, he hasn’t been drawn very well.

 He also has a Masterpieces insert, which was an amazing piece of artwork.

While I bought a collector’s box and two loose fat packs of Topps Gallery, I still had to get my Jeter cards on eBay. I love the way these cards turned out. I have the base of both (the SP only has a base version), but I’m still on the hunt for the parallels for the Masterpieces cards.

My collector’s box of Topps Gallery gave me a good assortment of cards and parallels. Here’s a look at some of the cards that I pulled from 2017 Topps Gallery Baseball.

Base Cards of select rookies

Base parallels (blue is my favorite)

Canvas Parallels (Fat-Pack Only)

Inserts - Masterpiece and Hall of Fame

Insert - Heritage (my favorite insert)

Autographs (2 per collector box)

November 28, 2017

#CardChat: A discussion on trading card variations

Every week, I hold a Twitter chat on Mondays at 7 p.m. ET.

We have a new topic on trading cards. This week, we discussed variations on cards. It was a broad topic so it could mean photo variations, printing variations, even color parallels. Here's a look at some of the highlights from this week's #CardChat.

November 26, 2017

1994 Collector's Choice gives me a headache; How many Derek Jeter variations are there?

Trading cards from the 1990s are filled with variations - different color schemes or different foil patterns. So many cards are filled with nuanced differences that we are still discussing them to this day and even wondering if they  exist.

1994 Collector's Choice is a tough one for player collectors. There are at least three distinct cards in the Future Foundation subset with a base card, and Silver Signature and Gold Signature parallels. Within those three cards there are some different variations -- but not all are made equal.

This comes up because Derek Jeter has a card in the Future Foundations subset. His 1994 Collector's Choice No. 644 is a much talked about card within the world of Jeter collectors. It's because this card is listed with so different variations in places like Beckett and PSA, but no one has seen all that variations. After doing extensive research, speaking to prolific Jeter collectors, I've come to several conclusions.

1. There is only one base card variation. Derek Jeter's 1994 Collector's Choice base card only has a white letter back card (pictured above).

2. There are two Silver Signature variations - a white letter and a silver letter (while not a great picture, the bottom pic below is the white letter variation).

3. There is only one Gold Signature variation.

Where did the rumors come from?

Supposedly, 10 cards in the 1994 Collector's Choice set were affected by a printing variation.

The most well known and most abundant of these cards is No. 647 of Alex Rodriguez. There are two variations of this base card. The difference is in the first letter of the text on the backs of the cards. One is in white and one is in silver.

Baseballcardpedia states: " ... other cards (such as Johnny Damon) were also verified to have this white letter variation - thus it's generally believed that the entire Future Foundations subset was produced with white (and standard grey) letter variations."

The words there state "generally believed" but there are several players in the Future Foundations subset where no silver letter variation has popped up including Jeter, Jose Silva and Terrell Wade. Only the white letter version of these cards have been spotted in over 20 years.

This doesn't mean that these cards don't exist (although I don't think they do) but considering the amount of information that is passed through collectors and various websites, if these cards existed, they would have been popped up by now.

Of course, that won't stop me looking at every card back of 1994 Collectors' Choice that I come across.

August 8, 2017

Target, Temptation and Twitter

Last week when I returned from the National I hit up Target on Monday and Tuesday to see if anything new was out early, or anything was out period since 2017 baseball has been scarce on the retail level.  Monday and Tuesday there was a cart full of boxes, about half of what is pictured, in the aisle unopened.  I attempted to open some and an employee said neither I nor they can open the boxes.  Bull.  Everytime in the past I have asked someone to open them they have done so with no problem.  This lady coincidentally was there everyday all week, and the pile of boxes grew and grew.  She still would not help.

I decided to take my gripe to Twitter and tag Target and AskTarget in my tweets with the pictures and see what happened on Friday since they moved the cart but refused to display or open when asked.  It made me mad for several reasons, the obvious being that I wanted Chrome.  The other is that in terms of customer service, if you are standing around, not busy and only scowling at customers you can help and open a couple of boxes.  Her reason for not wanting to was "the person who opens them has to know how many of each are on the shelves.  Bull.  Never seen a packing slip in the boxes nor have I seen a vendor ever check them as they shelve them.

AskTarget messaged me and asked for location and description of events because they were going to contact the store.  This conversation took place probably around noon on Friday.  I went back to Target around 230-3pm Friday and every box was gone and all merchandise displayed.  

I got all the Chrome they had and half the Optic blasters because I like it for some reason.  I never buy Panini stuff because it's not licensed and the no logo cards are pretty boring but for some reason Optic became my friend.
I'm not entirely sure that my Twitter conversation got the cards shelved or if it was just the day the vendor was going there anyway but I hit the blaster jackpot.  I still have 2 Chrome to open and the 2 Optic.  I like to spread the fun out.

Here are the highlights from the first two blasters in case you missed it on Twitter.  Notice the Future Stars cards...  Those are the same ones from the 2 hobby boxes I opened so now I have 4 of each...  Good thing I didn't want to try and complete that set.

Anyone pick up any retail Chrome and pull something to trade me?!  Pujols, Cano, Judge, Sanchez?

August 7, 2017

ACP Case Break Proposition

Here is my idea:  A case break on something that will be released later in the year, such as Bowman's Best or the like with the Yankees being claimed by the blog and the rest of the teams being priced according to potential hits and number of cards on that particular team.

Therefore, the claim of the Yankees or Dodgers for example would offset the cost for someone who wants a team with minimal chance or no chance at a hit and just wants to get in on the break.  The other option is that smaller teams in the break can be grouped together, i.e. Twins & A's or something.  Option 3 is to tier the break with prices falling into 3 groups per se.

How many would be interested in a case break where the teams are claimed on first come first serve and in one of these fashions?  I would also be willing to do 2 breaks where we give second person waiting a chance at their favorite team if they jump in on the first one to help fill (Yankees excluded).

I'd also be likely to take the Mariners if no one else did and would be willing to trade for Pujols cards.

Drop a comment with if you would be interested.  I'd like to get a case or two locked in early with lowest price.

We have done many case breaks in the past with teams being claimed and not random and it has worked well, I just need to figure out how to best structure pricing.

A Target Problem

I went on a binge last week...  This was Thursday's haul.  Keep in mind I HATE Allen & Ginter.  H A T E.  Every year I buy a few packs just for the hell of it.  It's usually just to remind myself that I do not want or need a card of a ferris wheel.  Which I got coincidentally.  At any rate, here are the highlights from Thursday's catastrophe.  

Was there a catastrophe at Target Friday?  You bet your bippy.  I may have also gotten into a convo with Target on Twitter about their lack of vendor participation in moving the goods to shelves.  Stay tuned....

August 4, 2017

That time I bought a Yogi Berra

Well, I suppose it should be those "times" I bought a Yogi Berra.  While this isn't my first one, it is a cool one.

I was walking around the National on Saturday with a fellow collector looking to buy the one box of 2005 Topps Bazooka I had seen earlier in the week.  I had fun with that product in '05 and wanted to rip something relatively cheap at $40.  Oddly enough the same seller had vintage cards and I decided that for $10 more, I would rather have a sweet Yogi Berra card than 3 useless game used cartoon cards.

While I don't go out of my way collecting anything vintage I do like to pick up the occasional Yogi card.

It should also be noted that several "supplies" tables told me that a snap case or screw down case for a 54 Topps did not exist.  I knew they did but no one had one.  Thanks to my local card shop, Yogi is safe in a screw down case living in a cardboard box with his friends.

August 3, 2017

They Pulled Me Back In...

Greetings fellow bloggers and collectors!

I'm fairly certain I haven't posted anything in years, nor have I really had any interest in baseball cards.  Ever since I finished nursing school about 4 years ago my baseball card collection more or less went on the back burner.  Until last week that is.

Last week I invited myself along on Sooz's trip to the National and left my paycheck in Chicago.  I bought all kinds of things, some things I didn't even know I wanted or needed.  Some things I just bought because well why not?  I have a cardboard problem after all.

I think a lot of my sudden come back has a lot to to with chasing big RC, Judge and Bellinger.  Ripping wax is more fun when there is someone good on your favorite team to pull.  I have never bought hobby boxes or blasters with the intention of making my money back because that will rarely ever happen plus I will never sell a Judge that I pull unless it's a low numbered auto that I can pay off my credit card with then I would consider it.

My Ryan McDonagh collection has been my focus the last 4 or so years and is pretty sweet and mainly missing 1/1's and base cards.  I don't chase 1/1's and I have no interest in buying base cards because they will always be available so I focus on auto's and game used cards.

I go through cycles of different addictions, cards, car parts and supplies, sneakers...  So for now it's baseball cards.

I am going to give writing a post a week a try.  I make no guarantees but I have just had an energy drink, a coffee and a pail of Starbucks Peach Citrus Tea so I may be up for days with lots to say.  I have some cool things I added to my PC to talk about, plus I fell off the wagon hard and landed in multiple Target's and my LCS this week.  Pretty sure the wagon is broken.

January 9, 2017

Little Sun prospect card highlights Jeter's 1992 offerings

Even though Derek Jeter's rookie season came in 1996, he appeared on trading cards starting in 1992  -- the year he was drafted. He appeared on a few minor league cards and high school prospects cards. I have the base and inserts for some of his cards from 1992. I'm actually seven cards short of the cards I want to own for that year. 

One of my newest Jeter cards is actually one of his oldest cards – 1992 Little Sun High School Prospects #2.

I received the card as part of my anniversary gift from my husband (this is why we are married). While I was going through the cards I owned from 1992 and putting them into the binder, my husband peeked over my shoulder and we talked about the cards. Little did I realize, he was also scouting out which cards I needed. Very sneaky.

The 1992 Little Sun High School Prospects was a 30-card set of top high school baseball players in the country with just 3,000 sets made. There are also an autographed versions of the cards available. The set includes Jeter, but a few other former Major Leaguers including Jason Kendall and Preston Wilson. But it’s safe to say Jeter is the main attraction of the set.

The back of the card contains a blurb and high school statistics. It was neat seeing Jeter’s stats from high school, showing the struck out all of six times in four years. I bet those guys who struck him are still riding that story all these years later.

Little Sun made cards of top high school prospects for a number of years with some quirky designs with 1992 being its last.

Based on some research, it seems Little Sun started its prospect sets in 1989. There designs were, well, very basic and something that anyone with a small of Photoshop skills can put together these days. However, it probably wasn't that easy in the late 1980s.

The 1989 Little Sun High School Prospects 23-card set featured former Atlanta Brave Ryan Klesko. Just 5,000 sets were produced, however, you can pick up a Klesko card for $2.50.

The colorful 1990 Little Sun High School Prospects did a little bit better at finding high school seniors that would one day make it to the Big Leagues. This 24-card set included Mike Lieberthal, Carl Everett, Garrett Anderson and Mike Hampton. Just 6,000 sets were produced, according to

In 1991, Little Sun decided to make this set a thing and included a title card calling it the "third annual." It also expanded its offering making 36 cards of the top high school seniors in the country and 10,000 sets were made. This set included Mike Sweeney, Manny Ramirez, Shawn Estes, Cliff Floyd and Benji Gil.

Little Sun made its last prospect set in 1992 and the company dropped its print run to just 3,000 sets. This one notably includes Derek Jeter's card, which sells for around $100. There are also autographed versions of this card available (which I do not have). This year's set also included Jason Kendall and Preston Wilson.

January 2, 2017

Finding errors in your collection you didn't know existed ... are they worth anything?

A funny thing happens when you're sorting cards. You might discover a card that you hadn't realized existed.

As I work through my Derek Jeter cards -- finally creating a want list and putting together a definitive list of what I own -- I came across on an error card.

The 1995 Fleer Major League Prospects -- Jeter's first Fleer card -- has two different versions. One has all the correct marking on the back while the other is missing the licensing marks from the bottom of the card.

It's not a significant error nor one that seems to be worth much. There are several of both cards listed on COMC starting at the low, low price of $1.65. Beckett doesn't even list the error, where PSA has it separated out for the master collection.

When looking in my binder, I realized I had the card with no markings. Great, I already had the error card out of the way, so now I needed the correct version of the card. Amazingly, I couldn't find this card in box of Jeter doubles, so next time I'm at a card show, I'll have to look a little more closely at the backs of these cards.

Error cards are interesting because so many people think that just because a card is an error that it's worth more. Generally, it takes two factors for an error card to be valuable:

1. The error card needs to be scarce, because ...
2. There is a corrected version of the card.

With modern cards, error cards usually remain just a widely circulated error. These error cards, usually, carry no premium.

However, there have been famous error cards throughout the years that are very valuable.

1957 Topps Hank Aaron #20

Topps mistakenly used the reverse negative for this card image and Aaron, one of the greatest home run hitters, is pictured as a left-handed hitter.

(These kinds of mistake still happen with players standing in the wrong pose. There are some recent Joey Votto cards where he's pictured with a righty swing when he is in fact a left-handed hitter.)

1987 Donruss Opening Day Barry Bonds #163

On the first print run, Bonds' teammate Johnny Ray is featured instead of the slugger. However, Donruss fixed the mistake on subsequent printings, which makes the error much more valuable. The Ray error card has been sold for hundreds -- if not thousands in a high grade -- while the Bonds rookie sells for far, far less.

1989 Fleer Billy Ripken #616

We all know what is said under the black or white box that Fleer put on different printings. The expletive made it onto some of the cards before it was noticed and the company covered it up. There are several versions of this card with the book value ranging widely on them. The original without any airbrushing is popular, but actually not the most rare. The card with the "white scribble" where it looks like someone tried to write over the bad words sells for the most on the secondary market.

1990 Topps Frank Thomas

Another popular and valuable error card is Frank Thomas' 1990 Topps card that has no name. One of the reasons it became so valuable is because a corrected version in a much higher quantity exists. The no-name version of the card will run collectors hundreds, if not, thousands of dollars.

These days, missing name happen from time-to-time on cards that have the name stamped in foil. Sometimes during the printing process, there will be a run where the foil is missed. When caught, the cards are removed and destroyed, however, a number still make it through.

These won't fetch dollars like the Thomas card. For the most part, the only people who would chase the missing foil cards are probably player collectors looking to have as many different variations of a card that are possible.