Saturday, 3 December 2016

Top Baseball Parallels of All-Time (as voted by me) 6-10

This is a post that I have been mean to do for a long time and finally just getting around to it. Honestly, I am not overly fond of parallels, for the most part I find them annoying, but I still get sucked in and search out a few, the ones that really catch my eye. So, because I like lists and am lacking an real content, here is my two part, top 10 baseball parallels that I could think of this past week.

10. Upper Deck Collector's Choice - Silver Signature (1995-1996)
Probably the least flashy of the bunch, but the first really baseball parallel I collected, 1994 had them, but 1995 was the first year the border matched the color. I opened a ton of 1995 Collectors Choice SE and always loved pulling a silver parallel, I know the Golds are harder to come by, but I still like the look of the silver better.

9. Fleer Ultra - Gold Medallion (1996)
Ultra had Gold Medallion in other years, but 1996 was the year they went all out, going from a small icon in 1995 to making the whole background gold in 1996. Incredibly gaudy and over the top and oh so mid-1990's.

8. Topps - Red Hot Foil (2014)
Topps did a lot of this style from 2011 thru 2014, they had Cognac, Diamond, Hope Diamond, Gold Sparkle, Silver Slate, Sapphire and a couple I am probably missing, but the Raining Blood remains by favorite. They don't look as good with the Rockies, any red teams like the Angels and Cardinals make for a pretty sweet looking card.

7. 1999 Fleer Brilliants - 24KT Gold (1999)*
This one comes with an asterisk because I don't actually own any of them, numbered to 24 and in pretty high demand, you can have the Larry Walker I stole the scan of for only $299.99. This set was released for baseball, football and basketball and they all go for high prices, maybe the fact they are so hard to find makes people want them more, or maybe they are just really nice cards, hard to say until I actually track one down.

6. Upper Deck SPx - Radiance (2000)
These are hard to judge by the scan, but are very cool in hand. Very swirly and refractory. Limited to 100 and not as high in demand as Fleer Brilliants, but still a little more than I usually like to pay for a parallel.

Monday, 14 November 2016

An Endangered Species (AKA Zistle Trade)

Taking a break from moping and pouting about my favorite website to post a trade with one of the few die-hards left lurking around. I have a ton of cards that scans just don't do justice, but this is the opposite, they actually look better scanned than in-hand. Not true acetate cards, only the cloudy window is see through, but very cool cards, and the complete team set of 1997 E-X2000.

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

On the Impending Death of Zistle and the Current State of My Collecting

I you are a reader of this blog you have undoubtedly seen multiple mentions of, and if you are familiar with zistle, you know that there is mass speculation surrounding a very long state of silence from the admins, very little to no website support, the lawsuit from Beckett and the little info that is out there leading most to believe that zistle has been sold to Beckett and will probably be shut down or just simply un-maintained to death.

This is crushing news to me as my finding zistle really lead to me getting back into the hobby to the level I am now. The hardest thing, probably with any collection, is knowing what you have and what you are looking to add.

I remember going through Beckett's organize, and this was the previous version which I found superior to the current rendition, and finding little things, cards missing images, cards with wrong images or bad scans, cards with the wrong team listed, cards I had that were not listed. All very minor things for a database of that size, but soon found that little was done to fix these. This among other things lead me to zistle, there I could add cards, add images and flags on errors were quickly dealt with, the people running the site seemed eager to help and interact, and with the base of the site being user submitted data, a person felt they were helping making the catalog better, more complete, more correct, actually contributing to something.

It was fun, it must have been, part of getting a new card was scanning it, posting it here and adding it to zistle. In the six plus years I used it I added 123,741 cards to the database, 22,611 images and had 45,253 flags accepted, it had to be fun to spend that much time on something.

Then we get to trades, and that is really why most of us blog isn't it. It's not just to show off what we got, it to interact as a part of a community. I completed 68 trades on zistle, that is a large percentage of the trading I do. Part of what lead me back into buy packs was for trade bait. It was so easy, enter a card as trade-able and check for people that wanted it, and you could go through and check want-list and trade-list, and see the cards, a little more stimulating that scrolling through a spreadsheet.

I will continue to use zistle until, one day, probably, it is just not there. Hopefully my spreadsheets are up to date at that point. I will continue to buy, but probably in smaller amounts, and probably mostly singles. I have tried other sites, most people seem to be migrating towards tradingcarddb, while it is an adequate site, I find it hard on the eyes, full of adds and hard to use. Being on that site feeling like driving a new car that runs fine, but isn't as nice as the one your previous had, the one you were used to and loved. And there is zero chance I will use Beckett, the name tastes like bile in my mount.

Speaking of Beckett, it is very disappointing that the biggest non-card producing name in the hobby is carrying itself the way it is. Their Organize feature is a joke compared to zistle, and instead of making themselves better, the just bully a small site, and with it a small community, out of existence. Zistle was free, but I paid for zistle gold just because I wanted to support the site, that's how things should work isn't it, you give a company money because you want to, not because you have too.

The frustrating part right now is not knowing, is zistle owned by beckett? Is it getting shut down? Maybe Beckett will realize the ill-will they creating and keep it up, assigning admins to keep it alive. Maybe something better will come along, who knows, as for now, I will wait, in a sort of limbo, buying here and there, but not nearly as much, maybe finding the odd trade, but not nearly as much, and still enjoy collecting, but not nearly as much.

Monday, 10 October 2016

2017 Gypsy Queen First Look

Every year I have a small dread that Topps will discontinue the Gypsy Queen line, there is no reason for this, just a little voice in my head that likes to torment me with worse-case scenarios. My fear can be eased for another year as details of 2017 Gypsy Queen are out. First impressions, not good. It looks like it is not finished, I really don't the look of the faded photo, as opposed to the framed style of every other year of GQ. The Gypsy Queen logo is also nothing like previous years. Honestly, I don't mind the bottom half of the card, but the top half is a disaster.

Monday, 3 October 2016

A Catching up on 2016 Trade

A nice little zistle trade knocking off some 2016 Rockies needs, chipping away at the Archives team set, I have said it before, I am not really high in the 1953 design, we have seen it before through Heritage, but I do like the 1979 design. The Blackmon made the want-list for the beard close-up if nothing else.

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Zistle PWE Trade

I nice little trade from zistle showing a little more diversity from what I am usually looking for. Of course there would be Gypsy Queen though, another short print down from the 2015 set, a card with a good photo, kind of a rarity for 2015 GQ.

Monday, 26 September 2016

Check out my Cards from COMC

COMC package day is always one of favorite days, I usually only make an order every 4 months or so, and not only do I get the COMC cards I picked up, I also get my "Shipping to Canada is Crazy" Mailbox cards, including, yes, another 2013 Ramon Hernandez, the last non-printing plate needed, the mini black numbered to #5.

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Jose Fernandez

There was a post sitting here ready to go, but it seems wrong to put it up right now. We awoke to the news that 24 year old Jose Fernandez died in a boating accident. I don't follow the Marlins, but I was a fan of his, he had fun playing the game and was always a treat to watch. My thoughts are with the family, Marlins players and fans. Even for people that had no connection other than baseball it is hard, and it doesn't go away soon. Take it from someone, who started this fall Sunday like so many, by putting on a old #36 Sean Taylor jersey to watch the Redskins game.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

1996 Sp Box Break Summary

I have to say, this was a pretty outstanding box. Out of my 30 packs I hit the above Cal Ripken (1:45 packs) a die cut Special FX (1:75 packs) and a die cut Marquee Matchups (1:61). There no way I am doing the math to figure the odds of getting all three in a single box. As far as the set build, I got 167 out of 188 with 57 doubles (including a couple triples). Collation was weird as I got a ton of White Sox, Red Sox and almost no A's, Rockies and Marlins.

1996 Upper Deck SP Trade / Wantlist

Want List

Main Set: 72, 81, 84, 85, 87, 89, 97, 99, 100, 122, 123, 125, 127, 131, 135, 137, 138, 139

Trade List

Main Set: 16, 17, 18, 19, 24, 32, 34, 37, 38, 40, 41, 42, 45, 46, 47, 48, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 59, 60, 61, 62, 67, 73, 79, 82, 90, 111, 112, 114, 118, 129, 130 ,132, 133, 134, 136, 140, 141, 145, 146, 153, 160, 163, 168, 172, 174, 176, 179, 186, 187, 188

Special FX: 13, 14, 23, 25, 28, 32

Marquee Matchups: 2, 4, 8, 13, 15, 19

Special FX Die-Cut: Roger Clemens

Marquee Matchups Die-Cut: Jeff Bagwell

Cal Ripken Collection: 20

Last Updated: 9/22/2016