Saturday, September 22, 2012

Here Comes More Trade Bait

Here are a bunch of cards up for trade. If you're interested, let me know and send me an offer. 
Bret Boone: 2001 Topps Traded (jersey (maybe, we just don't know anymore))

Ryan Zimmerman: 2008 UD Heroes Blue #ed 139/200

Josh Donaldson: 2010 Topps Chrome Auto

Johnny Damon: 2005 Topps Update All-Star Stitches (jersey (or a swatch of the Caveman's recliner))

Manny Ramirez: 2004 Bazooka Blasts Bat Relics

Al Leiter: 2004 Leaf Certified Materials Mirror Fabric (jersey)

Kila Ka'aihue (Did I say that right?): 2010 Topps Chrome (auto)

James Loney: 2008 SP Legendary Cuts Destination Stardom (or maybe Boston) Memorabilia (jersey)

Travis Hafner: 2008 Topps Heritage Clubhouse Collection (jersey)

Mitch Moreland: 2012 Topps Golden Moments Relics (jersey)

Reggie Sanders: 2002 Topps Traded Tools of the Trade Relics

Jim Thome/David Bell (Like you care about this guy): 2003 Topps Pristine Corners Relics (bat)

And don't forget about my trade bait page where you'll find more cards up for grabs. I'm looking for something similarly GUed or autoed or vintage that pertains to the collection, but just let me know what you're thinking. You can check out my want lists above. You can leave a comment or shoot me an email: dustinhoff86 at gmail dot com. Thanks for looking.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Card Show-off: Awkward Dime Boxes and Questionable Kaline Ink

I went to a card show earlier this summer, and I suppose I better post about it, since I just went to another show this weekend. Once things start doubling up, that's when I know I better get to it.

This show was in St. Johns, Michigan, and was small, a part of a fair the city had going on. The guy putting it on is one of my favorite regular dealers at other shows, so I had to check out his go of it. It was interesting, if for nothing else than for its intimacy, a dozen dealers crammed into a barn where you might expect to see a 4H exhibit. It was rainy, and the roof leaked, and the dealers had to keep moving their boxes. A few drops hit me while I was sorting through dime boxes. It sounds a little scary, I know, but also the perfect scenario to find some hidden treasures.

Like some sweet vintage out of the discount boxes. The Jerry Coleman card on the left marks my first 1951 Topps card, and I only paid 50 cents for it. Not too shabby.

And of course some obligatory dime box Pudges.

And dime box Ripkens.

And maybe my best dime box finds: two cards I actually needed for my 2007 Bowman Heritage set which I seem to be getting nowhere on lately. Anyone got some help to offer out there?

I'm always on the lookout for key rookies. I'd needed the Oswalt for a while. And in the middle we have the super star Juan LeBron, otherwise knows as the error card featuring Carlos Beltran. And then a very Zack Morris-looking Derek Lowe rookie. Is there a more embarrassing set out there than 1992 Bowman?

Dime box awesomness. Bowman often has terrible first-year photos, as seen above, but these are three of the coolest ones I've seen. Happ's posed shot is straight outta 1952 Bowman. Love it.

My first Aaron Hill rookie, and a Chrome-tacular Jason Bay rookie for a dime. Remember how awesome he used to be? As awesome as this airbrush job Topps did?

Finally, my dollar box finds. The framed Ripken is such a great looking card. The Diamond Kings Kaline I may have overpaid for, but it was pretty much a throw-in with the others. But what about that Goudey Sport Royalty Kaline?

Well, that seems to be an auto. But is it real? The dealer said nothing about it, and it's not certified. For a buck, it's worth owning, but I just can't tell. It looks close to the certified Kaline autos I have.

Close, but I don't know. The "K" looks off, as does the "e," but maybe that's because of the terrible fat pen used on the Goudey card. I also feel like Kaline's auto would be so easy to fake since it's such legible cursive. What do you guys think? Real auto or was this dealer's third grade daughter just practicing her handwriting?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

I Bought a Fake and I Liked It

A few nights ago, I was reading yet another article about fraudulent memorabilia sellers, which Cardboard Conundrum had some wise opinions about. You've all read about these fake memorabilia assholes before, I'm sure. And it got me really thinking about how much I care. I guess it would take something away from my cards, to find out my piece of Pudge isn't real.

I'd be saddened, sure, to find out some college kid trying to earn an extra buck took batting practice with a random bat, scuffed it up, and then his boss sold it to Upper Deck so that they could throw it in the wood chipper. Sure, I want to believe this is Pudge's bat, that he used it, and, in my mind, he hit a freaking grand slam with it.

And do I want to believe Miggy wore this pinstripe rather than some gibroni who besmirched it by rolling around in a gravel parking lot to make it look all game-used? Well, hell yeah. Of course I want that. I want to believe.

Would I still pay two bucks for one of these cards to be shipped to my doorstep if I didn't know for sure. Yep. I want this stuff to be real, and I hate to question these issues, but when it comes down to it, these cards are still cool. And that's also why I always look for the bargain; if it's not real, I still have a cool card for cheap.

If I really cared and worried, I'd just buy vintage. But then there are tons of vintage counterfeits out there and sneaky reprints. Even scarier to consider. Maybe. But sometimes a counterfeit can be pretty great, too.

I picked up this card on eBay a few weeks ago. It was clearly marked a counterfeit, but I almost couldn't believe it when I saw the condition. Who would counterfeit so much damage? When you think about it, one might be less inclined to think such an ugly card (which would have a much lower, seemingly bargain price) would be a fake. And that's what makes this a work of art, in my book. Everything looks perfect on it. The size is right. The colors looks right, faded perfectly. And the wear is really amazingly detailed.


Not only did the counterfeit artist put in some scuffs and iconic crinkles, Kaline has what look like fine knife scratches across his forehead.

And on the bottom, in a brilliant blur of colors, we find the counterfeit artist's abstract painting turned water stain/tape stain. And what vintage card would be complete without some dinged, peeling corners?
The back is perhaps my favorite part of the card.
Once again: Enhance!
I love how the artist made sure the stain carried over to the back and actually looks much worse. If he put it on the front, he knew he'd risk too much of a price drop, though I bet this card would still bring in around $100 if it was real and in this condition.
Just looking at this card, my amateur collector eyes couldn't identify this as a fake. However, when I hold it in my hands, I can actually feel that it's too thick to be real. They must have used a thicker card stock that could handle more counterfeit abuse.
Anyway, the main point of this all is that I love this card. I'm happy to have it in my collection, which has a place for fakes. On the other hand, I knew what I was buying and paid a counterfeit price for it. The situation is a little different if one was buying super upper-tier cards and getting fake patches.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Sports Cards Chewed My Brains so much They Could Be Ginter's Next GU Gimmick

I have been so mired in work and family stuff that I've hardly been able to post at all. The Vealtones are getting restless. And I've been so blown away by all the awesome trades I've received lately that I fear my time constraints won't be able to do them justice. For those of you who've sent me trades in the last few months, thank you so much. I can't explain to you how much joy they've given me in a very stressful time. I'll get to posting about them all, even if it's a year after the trade.

But it's time to post about one of my favorite traders, Scott, from the wonderful blog Sports Cards Ate My Brain. He is super generous, and an absolute gem of a trade partner. I'm happy to see trade posts popping up on other blogs, as now you all get to see how awesome he is.

This post will actually cover our last two trades, because that's how behind I am.

Back in mid-summer, Scott went shopping for me at a card show. And that's just such a cool thing to do, to imagine someone printing off my want lists. I'm really honored. He snagged this Cliff Mapes 1952 Bowman card for my vintage Bowman Tigers sets.

But Scott never just sends what he says.

He threw in a bunch of sweet numbered Tigers.

And then some Verlander rookies. That's right. These were just extra surprises. I mean, this guy never disappoints and always makes me feel like I owe him. I love the Turkey Red parallel card. So freaking cool.

And a sweet Cabrera Ginter jersey to boot. I like the new Ginter border, but 2009 may be my favorite.

So that was just some, some I vehemently stress, of the great stuff Scott sent in just one of our trades. Our next trade was based around another Cabrera jersey and an Pudge gold card.

I found these off of Scott's trade bait pages, which are detailed by team and full of great stuff. Seriously, go check them out. I love the jersey scrap here with the stripe. Stripes always make jerseys better.

We'd also talked about this Matt Joyce auto. Joyce didn't spend a ton of time with the Tigers, but he's a player I respect and I love the design of these brick-thick cards. Rather than the boring old sticker, 2008 SP Authentic really got the idea right with the inlay auto. Very cool card.

And, once again, Scott threw in extras. He mentioned having a bunch of Ripkens not listed on my Ripken player collection, and I thought, cool. Maybe he's got some late '90s Score offshoots I didn't have yet.

Instead, how about some shiny Pacifics.

Or maybe some super sweet numbered SPx cards with big ol' badges in the middle.

The amount of shiny and classy and cool Ripken cards were ermergerd-inducing. I love getting new Ripkens and Scott sent so many gems, hardly what you'd expect from extras tossed into a trade. And, really, this is only the start.

Young Ripkens with a bit of hologramizing.

Ripkens from one of the many endless Ripken tribute sets.

And finally some awesome commemorative consecutive games record cards. The crown-cut Pacific card is so cool.

So, as you can see, if you haven't traded with Scott yet, you're missing out. I owe a great deal of appreciation for getting so many cards that added serious depth to my Ripken player collection. Scott's trading is so classy, only Ripken in a cherry red sports car giving some high-fives could conclude this post. Too bad I don't have--

Wait, what's that I hear rumbling through the outfield?