A Vine Experiment

I can’t figure out how to embed Vine videos on here, so until I figure it out you’ll have to click on this link.



Cards I Like – Vol. 2

I like Topps Silk. I started collecting the 2008 set about three years ago because they were cool looking, numbered to 50, and cheap. In many cases I’ve picked them up for less than $5 a piece. That’s pretty neat for a case hit, if you ask me.


I currently have 138 of the 200 2008 cards and am always looking to add more. If you can help me get one card closer to completing this please get in contact with me. Here’s my wantlist on Zistle.

Here are a couple of other examples from. In 2009 Topps increased the size of the set to 300 cards making it that much more difficult to complete it. Maybe someday, but 2008 comes first.




Box Breakdown: 1994 Topps S1

What: 1994 Topps S1
Price: $10 at the LCS
Box details: 36 packs, 12 cards per pack.
$.28/pack, $.023/card

Yes, that’s a poster on top.

Pack details:

Gold parallel 1:1, Black Gold 1:72, 11 card Black Gold redemption 1:180, 22 card Black Gold redemption 1:720

Statistical breakdown:
Base cards 280/396 (70.7%)
82 duplicates
13 triplicates

Gold cards 44/396 (11.1%)
Eight packs yielded two gold cards

Black Gold (1:72) 1
11 Card Redemption (1:180) 0
22 Card Redemption (1:720) 0

Seems like you’d like to see more than 70% of a set come out of a box, but pulling nine unexpected inserts lessens the sting a little bit.

Ten best cards:

I’m obviously a big fan of horizontal action shots.

Cecil’s best Godzilla imitation.

Who is that and why does he have his hand in his pocket? I fear we’ll never know.

Black Gold cards don’t scan very well.

And there’s Jeter, looking smug.


Here’s what $20 buys at my LCS

I had to spend the first half of my Saturday at work, so I decided to reward myself with a trip to the LCS. My budget was $20… here’s what I left with.

That’s eight 1978 Topps cards from my wantlist, two packs of 2013 Topps, and three binders full (front & back) of 1994-1996 cards.

I’m putting together just about every mid-90s set I can get my hands on so the binders for $5 a piece were a no-brainer. I also think I’ll be able to get my $15 back from selling off parallels on eBay. There’s still a bit of demand out there for Topps Gold and Collector’s Choice Silver Signatures in bulk. Here are a couple of sample pages.

So yeah, pretty good afternoon for me. Between this and the cards from home I’m still working on sorting I’ve got a junk wax mess in my living room.


Cards I Like – Volume 1

A nice perk of being a Cubs fan is calling Wrigley Field home. One of the things I look for when going through cards is the green ivy and red bricks in the background of non-Cubs cards.

1992 Fleer #524 Wes Chamberlain showing off the bricks.

1989 Score #113 Rafael Ramirez tagging out All-Star Shawon Dunston.

1994 Score #452 Charlie Hough wearing a terrible expansion teal hat. I think that’s Crayola’s actual name for it. Expansion Teal. Thankfully the Ivy Green and the Score Black (or maybe dark blue?) help balance the card out.

Another thing I like to see in baseball photography is the ever-elusive floating bat. Nevermind the position of Raul’s arm in 1994 Score #618 that suggests otherwise, the bat is floating on its own.


The 90s Vault – Part 1

If you follow me on twitter you saw that I brought back a couple of boxes of baseball cards from my grandparents’ house this past weekend. These boxes haven’t seen the light of day since 1999.

I already covered the periodicals on twitter, so I’ll spare you that. Instead I’m going to focus on a few individual cards and packs that I was happy to see.

First off, a Rickey Henderson rookie card.

I remember paying $12 for this beauty at an estate auction in my early teens. I’ve put together a 1980 Topps set since, with an equally beautiful Henderson, so I immediately mailed this card off to CardJunk. I’m not sure how I managed to snag it for $12… maybe the guy I was bidding against didn’t want to win a card from a kid? Who knows.

This next batch of cards isn’t quite as awesome as the Rickey, but they still have sentimental value.

I’m a firm believer in the awesomeness of 1997 Fleer Ultra. Not only did I pull that Sosa platinum medallion from a pack, something that was crazy hard to do for a 14 year old on a budget, but I also distinctly remember pulling the Alex Rodriguez. I had never seen a die-cut card like that before, and I’m not sure I’ve seen one that innovative since. Having the Jeter rookie means I won’t have to buy it when I eventually put together 93 Topps. Were screwdown holders more prevalent back then, or was I simply obsessed with putting as much plastic between the card and my hand as possible? I guess I’ll never know.

The final and most unexpected part of my haul was five retail packs from the early 2000s. I must have bought these in college and then taken the time to keep them in a wrapper while transporting them back to my closet 3.5 hours away. Not really sure how that happened, but here we are.

We’ll start with the least exciting, 2002 Fleer Ultra. Time hasn’t been kind to these cards.

The design seems poor compared to other Ultra sets, like the aforementioned 1997. Also you can see from looking at angry A.J. that the cards stuck together. All of the cards look roughly like that.

2002 Upper Deck comes in second place.

Even though the design is kind of busy, the cards aren’t destroyed. So that’s a good thing. Plus I pulled a 1:14 pack insert of Slammin’ Sammy!

The top position goes to three packs of 2000 Bowman’s Best.

I love this design. These three packs were enough to convince me that I’ll need to put together this set in the future. It’s the details that do it for me. For example, there are two pictures on the front of the card and they’re actually different pictures. When you always expect card companies to take the easy way out the little stuff impresses you. Plus they’re shiny!

All three of my packs had an insert, which is kind of strange when you consider the odds. The Jeter/Alfonzo is 1:23 packs and the Robinson is 1:17.

The strangest card in the bunch was undoubtedly this ManRam.

I tried to position my camera flash to get maximum shininess, but you still can’t see that the top of the card says Franchise 2000, a 1:18 pack insert. I’ll admit the card looks pretty when you’re holding it up to the light refractor style, but when you glance at it sideways it sort of resembles a small piece of tin foil.

I now have a few thousand junk wax era cards to go through. Look for a summary of those in a future post.


Adventures in 2013 Topps

First off, welcome back to Nearly Mint. If you’ve had me in your RSS feed since 2011 waiting on me to come back, thank you. If you’re here for the first time, I appreciate you coming by. I hope to post more than once every 13 months from now on.

I’ve been reading reports of 2013 Topps in Wal-Mart and Target for a couple of days now and thought I’d stop at the Target near home to see if I could snag a couple of packs. This is the site that greeted me as I entered the card aisle:

It took every shred of willpower I possessed to not rip into the boxes. Night Owl from twitter nailed what would have probably happened:

I immediately got on the phone with my soon-to-leave-work wife and asked her to check out the Target near her. She came home with a story:

The cashier, as my wife entered the line at Target: “I have to ask, husband or son?”
Wife: “Husband.”
Cashier: “*laugh* I can’t believe how many grown men come in here to buy these things.”
Wife: “Oh yeah, he’ll probably open these up and put pictures of some of them on the internet, but that’s ok.”
Cashier: “*laugh*”
Next woman in line: “It’s ok because you’ve accepted it.”
Wife: “Yep, I’ve accepted it.”

It seems most women aren’t quite as accepting of us card bloggers as my wife, who went out of her way in the rain to pick these up for me:

We then opened the packs slowly, taking the time to read the backs and fully appreciate possibly the only Topps packs I’ll open this winter.

Andrew was the first card of the year. A pretty solid photo.

In the second pack we found a Blue Jay short print and it immediately got listed on eBay. I’m hoping to recoup the $10 that we paid for the packs.

Paying careful attention to the card backs paid off when we came across this amazing write-up of much-maligned ex-Cub Ryan Theriot.

That card lead to this twitter post, which then was retweeted by none other than Keith Law.

There were a lot of snarky comments about the Career Chase portion of the card which lists Theriot as 3,000+ hits shy of Rose’s (who isn’t listed due to being banned) mark. Theriot’s hit total looks gargantuan compared to poor Adam Greenberg, though…

I remember watching that Cubs game seven years ago when Greenberg took the ball off his noggin. It was quite a scary sight. Some may say Greenberg was the gift recipient of a publicity stunt by an owner who was desperately looking for good will, but I’m happy he had one last chance to record a hit.

That wraps up my first and most likely only post about 2013 Topps. I’m more interested in putting together older sets than buying packs. I hope to have a post about 1982 Topps and 1994 Fleer coming soon, along with a possible giveaway of the cards I bought tonight.

Nearly Mint Most Wanted

1. 2010 Allen & Ginter Relic #AGR-AJ A. Jenkins
2. 1994 Pinnacle #148 S. Mack
3. 1994 Pinnacle #236 C. Jones[
4. 1994 Pinnacle #460 K. Stocker
5. 1994 Fleer Golden Moments #5 B. Jackson
6. 1994 Fleer All-Stars #37 M. Grace
7. 1994 Fleer All-Rookie Team #M3 C. Delgado
8. 1983 Reading Phillies #11 D. Daulton
9. 2008 Topps Silk #5 K. Griffey Jr
10. 1996 Pinnacle Aficionado First Pitch Preview #32 D. Daulton

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