Sunday, 8 June 2014

And finally a room to store my cards



Waiting for years to go up
It is just over a year ago that building work started on my house. What should have taken, by our ex-builders estimate, 12 weeks to complete is still after 54 weeks unfinished.
But enough of that...
One bonus of the build was to add a little study, which was promised as a card room. There were however,  other priorities like a non-leaking roof and kitchen sink.
I took a break from the kitchen to concentrate on papering, adding architrave, installing cupboards and a desk to create my very own room.
Folders organised

Just a few boxes to sort through
We will get there eventually
Sure it might not look like much, but it is all mine...

Friday, 9 May 2014

Is this a legitimate card?

Simple question.
Is this a legitimate card? 
A few of these cards from 2003 have turned up on e-Bay ranging from the $99 price range to $9.

The $99 card does little to explain the pedigree except to say it is 'extremely rare' and it is 'Jacoby's first rookie card from summer ball in Alaska'. 

The $9 card explains in greater detail, and there are 10 available. 
'This is Jacoby Ellsbury amateur baseball card. The Alaska Summer League is a amateur only league for young collage players on the west coast to play in all summer. ITS NOT AFFILIATED WITH ANY PRO-LEAGUE.   All the players don't (sic)get paid. This was made by the team it appears. This is NOT a mainstream issued card. The team had them made in town and they are on card stock.'
 However the picture is terrible and it is possible that anyone with decent scanner/printer and equipment could whip up their own.  The seller, although has a few negative feedbacks, appears to be legit.
It would be a nice addition to the collection but is it the real thing?

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Back in the Saddle

well almost....

The building work on my house is very close to completion. It has taken a ridiculously long time because we 'fell out' with our builders. The work was off to a promising start in May, started to turn sour in September, when it should have been completed(and nothing was). Then really went pear shaped in late November, 25 weeks into what should have been a 16 week job. It was then we came to gut wrenching decision of asking the builders not to return. That was difficult, as we had no kitchen- no oven or hob. We had a makeshift sink and a microwave. No electricity in the new loft conversion, making it uninhabitable, so neither of the two projects were completed. But the single most disappointing thing, and this was what the build was about, our twin daughters (who had now turned 11years old) still shared a room with my wife and I.  
The other annoying by-product of the building work is that all my baseball cards are tucked away in boxes in the shed and in a cupboard that is blocked by ovens, which are waiting to be installed. In all honesty I shouldn't complain. As I have explained to my mother-in-law ( a glass half empty sort of person), we are healthy, happy, a little stressed maybe but when it is finally finished the house will be lovely. Plus I will have my own little study, a baseball card room all to myself. She understood all this but my mother-in-law couldn't see the importance of the baseball card room!
All this upheaval has made 2013 and the beginning of 2014 very lean times in relation to baseball products in the Arnold household. There has been great excitement amongst the UK baseball card collecting fraternity about 2014 Topps Heritage. I stood by as boxes of the stuff were opened and sets completed, while thoughts then  moved onto what product next to collect, Allen and Ginter or Goodwin's. Jealous...too right.

I did set myself some goals while on this enforced baseball card vacation. 

Firstly to collect an autographed Jacoby Ellsbury card, a Jacoby Ellsbury booklet and Jacoby Ellsbury printing plate, in no particular order.
Secondly, to complete the 2013 Topps Heritage base set plus a relic card, autograph and an oversized box loader.
Thirdly, to complete the Lenticular insert sets I had started  recently, Lineage 3D, Archives 3D and Opening Day Stars...1970 Kellogg's.
Finally to keep up to date with the latest Jacoby Ellsbury cards.

I can report some progress towards these goals.
1. Collected a Jacoby Ellsbury printing plate and 2 booklets.


2. Completed 2013 Topps thanks to the amazing generosity of a UK collector called Glenn,
3. Completed Lineage, Archives and Opening Day, made a big dent in 1970's Kellogg's
4. This is really old news now but it was sadly announced that Jacoby Ellsbury no longer played baseball... for a decent team... and although I tried, I just could bring myself to collect Jacoby in a Yankees uniform. It wasn't right. It is with a heavy heart I must say that my 'Pursuit of Jacoby' stops at the 2014 Heritage, Tribute and the Upper Class insert.  Although I will still chip away at the older cards.

Hopefully in a few weeks my vigour for collecting will be renewed and I can start writing (and trading) again.
In the meantime I was given 6 packs of 2014 Topps Series One by my friend and boss. Something about a gift for my 50th birthday, which is in a few days. I will share them at 'Pursuit of Red Sox'
Thank you for your patience.   

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Buy me some peanuts....

It is about 20 weeks ago that building work on our house started and it looks as if it will continue for a few more weeks. Although the house will be lovely when it is finished, there have been some drawbacks. Besides living in less space with four children, my baseball card collection is stored away in boxes which are inaccessible. They were to  remain there until the work is completed and for the foreseeable future. That was until I have found myself with a little study.
To gain access to the loft conversion, we lost a small bedroom to accommodate the stairs.
On the original plans we were losing the whole room, but the builders were able to move the stairs a little and only use half the bedroom. Hence a study was created. Some discussion took place about what to do with unexpected space, create a sewing room or a study for my daughters, surprisingly the conversation took a direction I wasn't expecting. A place to store my card collection and so that is what it is to become.
I haven't uploaded a blog post for the past five months for a number of reasons. In the building process, we lost telephone and internet connection,  digital television, electricity and hot water for a short while. I have completed some one sided trades but besides this I haven't purchased any baseball related items, so things have gone quiet. Although I can assure you card collecting is still very much on my mind.
Today I took my boys to the local shopping centre to buy a game and wandered around while they made their selection. Just outside the shop there was a market selling paintings, wood carvings, rugs and such like. I paid little attention until I reached a small booth that was selling sweets. To my surprise they had a number of unusual chocolate bars with names like Hershey's, Butterfingers, Charleston Chew, Reece's Peanut Butter cups, Baby Ruth and Milk Duds. These may be all to familiar with our friends 'Across the Pond' but not in Kent.
The selection peaked my interest and I started chatting to the fellow running the store, who imported these products to his bigger store locally. I told him of my baseball interest and card collecting. I have found that I can get this into conversation with a few minutes. Lo and Behold he said he might have something that would interest me. There was a swell of excitement, when I imagined that  he might retrieve a box of 2013 Topps or Panini from behind his counter, however this was not the case. What he did give me was a box of Cracker Jacks.
I have seen these before, but none that I could actually eat.
We chatted some more while I devoured the box of caramel coated popcorn and nuts. Very nice. It hadn't occurred to him to import American sports cards, his shop was primarily foods, drinks, sweets from the US and Canada. He said he would keep an eye out, so I agreed to visit his shop in Margate. I thanked him for the Cracker Jacks and bid him farewell, still feeling the aftermath of the surge of adrenalin bought on by the possibility of obtaining baseball cards or it could have been the Cracker Jacks!
The prize within my Cracker Jacks was a baseball sticker. Which was as close as I would be getting to baseball cards today.
I will keep you posted about the baseball study when it is finished.

Friday, 9 August 2013

Trade with Cardboard Catastophes

Trade is only half correct. I have yet to send my end of the trade.
Jeff from Cardboard Catastrophes was in the process of 'downsizing' his baseball card collection. We all know what that is like. He contacted me saying he had some 1969 Deckle Edge would I be interested?
Yes please... Not only did 10 1969 Deckle Edge cards arrive, but a large stack of 2013 Heritage, apparently he only bought one blaster and it was tailor made for me! Plus a few more Kimball Champions, which helped to finally complete this insert set.
This is the special thing I have encountered through blogging - people are always generous. These are people, fellow collectors, who you have never met and are never likely to meet. Just happy that the cards are going to a good home.
'Hey I found these and thought I would include them.'
Thank you Jeff.
Nothing beats receiving yellow packages in the post.

Saturday, 6 July 2013

High Five

I was watching some baseball highlights on the IPad, while my daughter looked, with mild fascination, over my shoulder. She then commented:
"Why do they do that so much?"
She was referring to art of the 'High Five'. While it may be growing in popularity on this side of The Pond, it doesn't appear to be a regular occurrence in sport, or not that I noticed.
"These are only highlights," I wisely informed her. "It is a way of celebration in baseball. I'm not sure it happens that much."
 

 

 

 

 

 

I stand corrected - I think she might be on to something...

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Pursuit of 70's(ness)

No it isn't a change in name of this blog, more a change of direction.
We started some building work on our house and for this to take pace we needed to condense our living space, which meant moving some unnecessary items into storage. A long argument ensured as baseball cards fell into the unnecessary category. I didn't really have a leg to stand on, but I argued none the less. My baseball card collection takes up a cupboard (or two), there were piles of baseball cards on various surfaces and packaging materials scattered about. So I did what any loving husband would do and purchased some large plastic boxes and packed away the majority of my collections. In doing so I realised that I have accumulated a large'ish' collection of Red Sox relic cards and a hefty portion of cards from the 1970's.
At first I thought about ignoring them, but like many collectors having a semi completed set is difficult to ignore, it's untidy and unsettling. I have already added a lifelong pursuit of 1964 Topps, so adding 10 more sets to the lifelong pursuit category, on paper, didn't appear to be too much of a stretch.
In the next few weeks I will add some checklists and although I may not attack them as aggressively as I did the 1980 Topps set, they will slowly tick away in the background and will one day become  completed sets.
As of today, June 5th 2013,  I will try to complete all of the Topps sets from the 1970's.
Where to start? 1970 or 1979?