The EBAY Addiction #2 – Ichiro and the Masterpieces

ichiro Psa RC

With a nice little PAYPAL balance thanks to the sale of my 1/1 Jose Abreu (The guy who bought it is currently trying to resell it at twice the price he paid), it was time to buy some cardboard!

I wanted to pick up some Ichiro rookies before he gets his 3000 MLB hit. I have a feeling some of them might get out of my price range by then. I paid about $5 for the PSA 2001 Topps. Doesn’t it cost more than that to even get a card graded by PSA?

2001 Topps Gallery Ichiro #151

2001 Topps Gallery Ichiro #151

I really like the look of this card, especially the Japanese text. I tried to learn the language once but didn’t get further than counting to ten.

Bo Grand Slam cards

These weren’t on my Bo want list but I love the look and dichotomy of them. I imagine the first is the moment after he nailed a dinger and the second is just after he struck out.

This was a great Diamond Kings catch for me. The 1994 and 1995 sets by Dick Perez seem more playful and “90s” to me. Images of the Fresh Prince of Bell Air run through my head.

2007 Upper Deck Masterpieces

2007 Upper Deck Masterpieces

I think some guy just wanted to get these out of his house because I picked up about 1000 UD Masterpieces for about $0.25 plus shipping.  After taking out a complete set I noticed I had about 4-5 more complete sets in the lot. If you have 2007 Upper Deck Masterpieces needs – I’m the guy to come to!

Hobby Box Break #2 – Topps 2014 Update

After opening all of the packs from my first 2015 box I was craving more.

Three Stars Sportcards had a special on the 2014 Update box – $40. I didn’t have any of the cards and that seemed like a good price point for me to hopefully get a near complete set as well as some cool inserts.

This is my box. My box is amazing. Give it a lick. Mmm. It tastes just like . . .

This is my box. My box is amazing. Give it a lick. Mmm. It tastes just like . . .

I think the key card from this set was the Jacob DeGrom RC. I opened one regular and one gold.


Lot of gold all-stars. Too bad none of them are players I collect.




Heh. Tim McGarver buyback.



Some more inserts of players I don’t collect. Who wants them?


I can’t say Power Players without saying it like The Power Rangers theme song.


Rookie inserts.


Lots of Yankees in the Diecuts. Who wants them? They always demolish my Twins in the playoffs.


Nice looking card, but, yet again, I don’t collect Miggidy Cabriggitty.

And here’s the highlight of the box –

Jose Abreu 1/1 Platinum 2014 Topps Update #100

Jose Abreu 1/1 Platinum 2014 Topps Update #100

I collect for the fun of it and don’t really care about making a profit. But, I don’t collect Abreu and since this was just a checklist I didn’t think it was cool enough to hang onto and I was sure someone out there would love it.

I threw it up on ebay with the hope of maybe making the $40 I spent on the box. With one hour to go in the auction, it was up to $46.16! I sent my wife an excited text and hoped that it might go for over $50.

With ten seconds left I watched the price jump to $59 then $90 then $111 then END. Final sale price – $149.14.

Awesome sauce.

So now I have a nice Paypal balance to get some more of my missing Topps sets and Diamond Kings.

Final Tally-

298 – base (330)

56 – inserts

1- game-used jersey

2- doubles(Wow!)

1- 1/1 platinum

358 total cards

Let me know if you’d like to trade for any of the cards I pictured in this post and thanks for reading!

Literary Libations – Mint Condition

There are times when a good book can become intoxicating. You lose yourself in the moment, fully immersed, needing to get to the next page or the end of the chapter. You NEED to read more.


I’m about halfway though MInt Condition by Dave Jamieson and I definitely feel addicted. Last night a paragraph really hit home.

“There’s something very satisfying about finding and ordering, and it animated Woody’s entire life,” said Spiegelman. “It was what made him want to run that Card Collector’s Company. He understood the collector’s brain. If you have Numbers One and Three and Four, then Number Two becomes very important, even if it’s a player who left baseball after a year to become a stockbroker. I think that that’s what collecting can offer therapeutically, more for boys than girls—a way of understanding the world. Woody’s life was devoted to making some kind of coherent order out of it.”

Jamieson, Dave (2010-04-01). Mint Condition: How Baseball Cards Became an American Obsession (p. 125). Grove/Atlantic, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

After heart surgery and a spout of delirium, I had a very difficult time understanding the world around me at times. I thought I was stuck in a dream. Life didn’t seem real.

Collecting baseball cards has brought me a sense of order and understanding.

As a stay-at-home dad, life can be very stressful at times and since the surgery I’ve noticed my patience has been miniscule. My four-year-old yells, “You are making me FRUSTRATED!” He learned this from me.

Having an orderly hobby seems to center me. I’ve noticed in the past few months I’ve been able to remain calm for longer periods when there is play dough throughout the house and the kids are once again jumping on the bed.

That’s what this blog is about – finding peace, joy and order in the world through The Hobby. I am so thankful that I am.

The EBAY Addiction #1 – Cal Ripken and the Studio

I’ve always had trouble sleeping.

My hope was this would improve but since my heart surgery it hasn’t. On the nights my body doesn’t seem to want to shut down for rest my mechanical valve goes click, cliCK, CLICK like a jackhammer in my head. As one doctor has said, “That’s a good thing. If you don’t hear it then that’s a problem! You’ll get used to it.”

So, to distract my mind I jump on EBAY.

Being a stay-at-home-dad doesn’t pay much (I make $0.00/hr) but, thankfully, my wife let’s me keep track of the finances.  This allows me to spend a few bucks on The Hobby without worrying about being short for family expenses.

Here’s what the mailman brought recently from the worldwide garage sale.


Since I stopped coIlecting baseball cards from about 1992-2013 thought it would be fun to get a few boxes of 1993 Donruss Series one as a change of pace in my pursuit of the Diamond Kings. Oh, we learn from our mistakes. Between the two boxes all I pulled was a total of 7 DK’s. Three of them were duplicates (Actually, one was a triplicate – anyone want to trade for a Roberto Kelly?).

Note to self – no more boxes for Diamond Kings

I came across a Cal RIpken Diamond Kings lot for less than $10. Usually, I see the 1996 DK’s for more than that.


1997 Diamond Kings – Cal Ripken


1996 King of Kings – Cal Ripken

I’m not sure if it’s going to be in my budget to collect the 1997 and 1998 Diamond Kings since they seem to be scarcer. This is a beautiful card, though!


1998 Diamond Kings – Cal Ripken

Gallery of Stars? Also painted by Dick Perez? Oh oh. I might have to collect these, too.


BO’s on FIRE

I’m not into football or football cards but I had to have this!


2015 Topps Fire – Bo Jackson



Cardboard connection had an article about cheap stets from the 90’s. I’m still in the process of ripping the packs but this was the first card I saw.


I live in MN so this made me smile.

2011 Topps Update Eric Hosmer RC 


Boxes of 2011 Topps Update seem to go for 3x what they should on ebay thanks to some holy fish in California. I loved the way Hosmer played during the Royal’s playoff run last year and picked his card up for about a buck. Perhaps someday I’ll be able to get the complete 2011 update set for less than a Ben Franklin (Our GREATEST President)!

Hobby Box Break #1 – 2015 Topps series 1

When I first got back into the hobby last year I bought several retail packs from the Big Red Bullseye before I wised up and discovered it’d cost me a few hundred dollars to complete a set.

This year I had the urge to become one with the many and treat myself to a shiny new hobby box of the main release and hope to complete the set through trading and ebay. On February 4th I popped into Three Stars Sportcards and grabbed $60 of sealed succulence.


“This is my Box. There are many like it, but this one is mine.”

The one card from the set that I really, really wanted was the Jack White First Pitch insert. Taking my favorite musician, throwing a Tigers uniform on him, and capturing him on a baseball card while genuinely smiling brings me a double dose of delight. The day before the release I noticed that people were paying over $20 for the card on ebay. Boo! I don’t want to pay that much for one card! That’s why it’s so cool that the first pack I opened – Jack White. boots~


I like the look of Gallery of Greats as well! I think I got two of them from a couple Jumbo packs I also bought. I’m not really a fan of Miggidy Cabrigitty so he’ll be available for trade. The other three are keepers for my collection.


Highlight of the Year cards are alright since I enjoy reading about the history of the game. The cards don’t have enough visual appeal for me to want to collect the set, though.


Free Agent 40 cards are interesting from a historical sense as well. I think Ryan is the only one that I’d want to keep, though.


Hey! What do you know? Another insert set dealing with history! Plus two guys who I know very little about. Since I didn’t start collecting until 1987 it’s pretty cool to get some earlier cards even if they are in the form of buybacks.  I’ll check both of my buyback guys on wikipedia or baseball reference.


I got a nice selection of Archetypes. Plus I think this is the best looking insert set of the series.


Inspired play matches a player from the past with a present player on the same team. I was really hoping for the Kershaw / Valenzuela card. Let me know if you have one for trade!


I don’t really care too much about the parallels. The Golds do look really nice but I didn’t get any players I collect.


Evan Needs HAM!!!


I don’t really get the appeal of a lot of relic cards. Why would I want a square inch of some sweaty shirt another guy wore?!? I’d have rather received an auto. Hopefully, next series’ box.

My final numbers from the box –

300 base (350 in the set)

45 inserts

1 – game-used relic

6 doubles

Not too shabby. A lot of people complain about the amount of inserts. I don’t mind it. I think it appeals more to the younger crowd and we all have to remember that that is when most of us got hooked. If there’s a 9 year-old in St. Paul opening a pack for the first time he’ll probably be pretty giddy to see a few inserts. Besides, if you really want to get rid of them it’s pretty easy with ebay and other websites.

First Taste is FREE

It’s 1987 in St. Paul, MN. My eldest sibling, Debbie, is a police officer for the city and she stops by occasionally to talk with our dad and hang out with my older brother, older sister and I. This time, as she often does, she has a treat for us kids.


I think addiction runs strongly through my family because  my brother and Debbie both spent tons of money buying all  of the cards they could. I was only 8 and didn’t get an allowance but my brother would give me some of his doubles if I would stand in the alley with a baseball bat while he practiced pitching. If he hit me, he’d give me a “really” good card. He always seemed to bean me at least once.

My favorite player was Lance Parrish.

All-Star catcher - Lance Parrish

All-Star catcher – Lance Parrish

Why? I think I thought his name was pretty cool. Plus my favorite animal was the tiger. Plus plus he played catcher – my favorite position.

I now knew what I wanted to be when I grew up – a baseball player.


Me – around 1989

I played little league for two years to some success. We won the city championship when I was 11 and even got to play at the Saint Paul Saints stadium.

But a child’s mind is easily distracted and I soon was more interested in comic books and left my baseball card collection in an old green shoebox.

Fast forward to 2014. I’ve had heart surgery to replace my bicuspid aortic valve. The recovery isn’t exactly sunshine and lollipops. I’m not sleeping. About 4-5 days after the surgery I slip into delirium. For the next 2-3 weeks I’m thoroughly convinced I am either dead or stuck in a dream.

Gradually my mind adjusts and I seem to be getting better. One day I’m wasting time online and a blog post about Donruss Diamond Kings catches my eye. I remember those! They were so cool!

1987_Donruss_DK_Supers More importantly they were also a part of my childhood. I’ve heard it said that when you’re feeling depressed it’s helpful to revisit hobbies you had when you were younger.

So I went to visit my sister, Debbie. She still had most of her cards and wanted to get rid of them. Memories flooded my mind as I shuffled through long box after long box in search of the Diamond Kings. I left her house with several complete sets and an addiction. I needed more cards! After several months on ebay I’ve acquired complete sets of the Diamond Kings from 1982 to 1992. They were all painted by artist Dick Perez.

I’m in the process of compiling the sets from 1993-1996.

What I’ve discovered is that collecting baseball cards has been very therapeutic. I have a specific goal that’s achievable within my means. This gives me a daily shot of happiness, especially when I track down cards for  a cheap price!

I’ve broadened my collection to also include the main Topps set for each year since I was born – 1979.

It’s been over a year since my surgery and I feel as if I’m doing very well. I’m going to use this blog to chronicle my continuing recovery through my newfound addiction – the chase for baseball cards!