Tuesday, August 4, 2015

My 2015 NSCC Wrap!

Well, the 2015 Nation Sports Card Convention (NSCC) has come and gone.  
Much like every other year, we spend 51 weeks waiting for it, and then the
week FLYS by WAAAAAY too quickly.

For me, The NSCC is about seeing friends, old and new alike.  This year was
no different.   Seeing Great Friends, Friends and making NEW Friends is why
i keep going back year after year.  

Collect anything long enough, and you get to be in a "comfortable" place with
your own collection.  Add something new? Fantastic!  Don't? No worries, as
you've already got a lot you can call your own.  It's often difficult for us
collectors to take a step back and look at what we ALREADY own, always
focusing on "what's next?!?!"

Pictures will be posted at the bottom, so if you've gotten this far, Thank You! :)

i met so many great people this year.  you know who you are, so to avoid
stepping on any toes, you shall all remain nameless :)

For this years show, it was the first one that i didnt have a #FOCUS going into.
That can be VERY dangerous, but for me it wasnt.   My main goal (other then
going to Gibsons ;) was to cross some stuff over from BGS, have some pack
pulled cards slabbed and have two cards Reviewed, as i felt one was certainly
under-graded and one that had a fair shot at a half point point-bump.

As far as pickups, i always have my eye out for Low-Graded, High-eye appeal
Centered Mantles.  I've been priced out of the market the last 18 months or so,
but when i find one, it makes it even sweeter.  Luckily i was able to fine one!

ok, on to the pictures, which thanks to having no idea how to post them on this
website, you are going to have to C&P into a new browser, or whatever it is that
you can do to see them.  Sorry about that :/

My 620-less Streak continues, unfortunately.  That RB card is part of a Twitter #WalletCard thingie, check it out if youve not yet!

Group Shot of the Successful Crossovers and Raw Subs
(The Mantles were in SGC 40's, the Wiggins/AD were Raw and the rest were in BGS 9.5 True Gems)

The Mantle Crossovers

As soon as i got this in the mail, i KNEW it was an undergraded PSA 7.  Thankfully They agreed with me. Successful Bump!

And finally, my lone pickup at the show:

i will also add that Topps Digital KICK BUTT all week long.  Their people that worked the show
were all very nice and couldn't have been kinder with all that they offered and did.  i see big things
on the horizon for Digital collecting.   Yea yea, i know how most "old school" people feel about it,
but thats another discussion for another time :)

Again, Thank you to you all, as that is what makes the NSCC what it is, and why i keep going back! :)

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Digital Trading Cards (Wait, WHAT?!?)

i know, i know..... 

What? they aren't real cards Eric!  You don't own any physical copy, WHY would you want to collect them????

i used to feel that way as well.

The Star Wars Card Trader came along in March.  Free app, free credits, free free free!  i was in, hey it was free after all, right? lol
i enjoyed building up my daily credit ration, ripping packs here and there.   i had a good time and enjoyed interacting with some
of my card collecting friends on Twitter that were also playing the game.

There are plenty of places to go about reading "How To Play" and the like, so i wont go into that here.

As of this writing, i am totally enamored with Star Wars Card Trader (SWCT).  Simply cannot get enough.  The eCards look amazing 
on the retina screen.   They are fun to chase down, fun to trade and just plain fun to interact with others that feel the same way.

i understand that they are not "physical" cards and they are not for everyone, and thats fine.  its not anyones place to tell anyone else
how they should or should not collect whatever it is they like.  But if one can accept that they are not physical cards, there is a LOT of 
enjoyment to be had in many aspects of collecting.

Like to rip wax but hate all the space that can be taken up by whats left? Not a problem with digital
Like to buy singles, but hate to wait for them to arrive in the mail(or not get lost in it)? Not a problem with digital
Like to collect cards and are too ashamed to admit it to your friends? Not a problem with digital

A friend mentioned something that rings very true, ripping Digital Packs is like playing a Modern day Slot Machine, you land a "Hit" 
and your phone lights up/vibrates and confetti splashes all over the screen, its quite fun actually.  Its also cool to "screen cap" it and 
share it with your buddies.

Star Wars is Universally Popular, and with the new movie on the horizon and Disney backing Topps on this one, 
i see only Bright things in the galaxy far, far away :) 

There are also MLB/, NFL and Soccer versions of the app, and they're fun as well, but more geared towards what happens in 
the real life games then about collecting, but im sure there is a fair share of those collectors as well.  

As always, enjoy everything


ETA:   This entire Digital Card Trading thing reminds me a lot of when MTG started up and had a ton of nay-sayers.   22+ years later, MTG is as strong as ever.

Monday, January 19, 2015

What is "Third Party Grading" when it comes to Sports Cards?

i get this question a lot.  
The gist of it is that they are companies that provide their "expert" opinions on what they view the condition of the card(s) to be. 
There are three Third Party Graders (TPG) worth bothering with.  There are also a bunch of others, and seemingly more pop up from time to time to try to take advantage of people. 
Now, everyone has their preferences, and thats fine, as there is no "wrong" way to collect.   Here are, IMO the Pros and Cons of each company:

- Fantastic Protection for the card, easily the "best" of the TPG.
- They do not require membership to submit your cards.
- They provide Sub Grades (Centering/Edges/Corners/Surface) for each card they grade.
- STRONG Modern Release Presence.  They are the "go to" TPG for Modern Cards
- for cards prior to 1981, BGS becomes BVG (Beckett Vintage Grading) and Sub Grades are not provided
- While they scale from 1 - 10, with half point grades, they use different color/material Flips (the slip showing the card description and grade)
Grade 1.0 through 8.0 = White, paper flip
Grade 8.5 & 9.0 = Silver, metalic flip
Grade 9.5 & 10 = Gold, metalic flip
i feel this can be seen as "punishment" for the owner of the card.... oh, it's a lower grade? "F" You, heres an inferior flip because of it. This
also creates a visual eye-sore when cards of various grades are displayed together imo.
- BGS/BVG Slabs take up a lot more room vs the other two.

- Longest Presence in the hobby.  Started in 1991.
- The power of their Registry Program cannot be denied.
- Strongest following in the overall hobby, especially in post-war through the 1990s due to their Registry Program.
- They also grade from 1 - 10 with half point grades, but unlike BGS, they use one color/material for all their flips, this leads to amazing
eye-appeal when cards of various grades are laid out together.
- Membership is required for card submission
- Lack of Sub Grades is a turn-off to some.
- Slabs are considered by many to be "flimsy"

- They are very good with pre-war cards
- They require no membership for submission
- They have a black "frame" that surrounds the card
- They use a numbering system that i have still not memorized, using a 1 - 100 scale, with various skipping depending on the strength of the cards grade.
- They have a black "frame" that surrounds the card

SO, which TPG should you use?  Of course there is no clear cut answer.  Use what YOU prefer!  As mentioned, each has their Pros & Cons.
NONE of them are "Perfect", and thats ok, because thats how it goes.   I own lots of slabs from all three, and there have been times that ive
gotten in a slab and said "WTF? how did it get (grade here)?"
i have friends that only collect PSA, some that only collect BGS and some that collect from all three.  

I've got gobs and gobs of worthless slabs of players that never panned out to anything.  It wasn't until 2008 that I started taking a serious
look at the players i was collecting.  it was then that i put my foot on the gas pedal and started seriously chasing the PSA Post War HOF RC Set,
which i i was fortunate enough to "complete" at the show last year.

With that completed, I am in a bit of a FOCUS limbo, going here and there, but it really does always come back to Rookie Cards for me. 
i love rookie cards, always have, always will.  i guess its just how it goes for collectors my age and how things were when we were young.

i am always willing to help out my fellow collectors however i can, please feel free to ask anything you care to.

Thanks Again for the read,