Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Man, I love wheeling and dealing!

Since I started this blog, I have had lots of folks come over personally or grab cards via mail - one even from the Netherlands. So far, everyone has been super happy with what they have gotten from me. I have even gotten some repeat "customers". While I wouldn't call myself a dealer, I will confess that as a child, I aspired to be one. There was a baseball card shop in California where I grew up called "The Bullpen". The owner Mike was my hero. I was able to see him since moving to Texas several times while visiting my folks when they still lived in Cali. It was fun to know that even while nearly 15 years had passed, he still remembered me. Ah, I still remember that free stick of bubblegum from that pack of 1985 Topps he offered me which nearly split open my tongue whilst chewing.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas! An Update on my Bounty

Merry Christmas everyone!  I hope santa got you what you wanted.  Here in the tanmanbaseballfan household, we try our hardest to not make it about the gifts, but rather, about the birth of Jesus.  While our kids are excited about the presents, they seem (thankfully) to understand that that isn't what it is about.  We are sitting here watching some tv, playing legos / dolls, and about to eat breakfast in a bit, probably watch some church on tv (we normally go, but I don't see us making it this morning) and then open up the rest of the presents.  We don't do "santa claus" here - the kids know full well that the gifts are from us.  There is no way in heck that I'm going to give some fictional character the glory for making toys that hard earned money bought! 

Anyway, onto the cards - I had a few folks come over this past week that bought several of the boxes of opened stuff for cheap.  It was fun because they were all pretty excited about their new cards.  A couple folks even came over again to get some more from me.

So, what are some of the key cards I have found?  I found a good amount of some stars, rookies, serial numbered cards, and others.  I even found some Yu Darvish cards!  He is the talk of baseball this week, so that was fun.  Cards so far have ranged from 1981 Donruss, to 2009 Bowman.

This year, as with all years, I feel incredibly blessed before even opening one gift.  This year, I have a garage full of cards that I plan to go through today ... just like I have pretty much every day this past week.  What a lucky duck I am!

As a final word - I recommend trying to help others in need today, in some way, shape or form.  I am offering some free cards to kids without presents today, and hope that you do the same.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

I got a little creative...

In trying to sell some of these unopened boxes I have, I posted an advertisement on the internet.  Here is what it looks like:

Baseball Cards 4 Christmas - Open up some packs with your kids!

This year, treat you and your kids to some baseball cards! I have many factory sealed, unopened boxes of baseball cards. Shown below is 2010 Upper Deck, but I have several other types to choose from as well. All boxes are from $30 to $45 each, depending upon what you get. Some of the boxes I am selling will have five autographed rookie baseball cards! They are a blast to open up.

Contact me for more information - Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Boy is my son going to be excited...

In my most recent haul of 165,000 cards that I have been going through, I found something quite interesting.  First, I found a packet of star wars cards.  Then I found about 2,000 other star wars cards.  My son is a *HUGE* star wars fan (He even wrote a fan letter to George Lucas!)  Immediately, when my wife and I find something having to do with star wars, we consider getting it for our son, but more often than not, we don't - we don't want him to be one of those kids who has everything, and turns out to be a spoiled brat.  He has a lot as it is. 

Staying true to form, I first jumped and said WOW!!!  He's gonna loooooove these cards!  Then ... wait....stop that!  I can't just give him all 2,000 of these cards! 

Why? You may ask - well, when I was a kid, I was really into the book series of the Bobsey Twins.  I just loved their books.  I would save up my money and buy one as often as I could, and I would just devour its contents.  One day, my folks went to a garage sale, and what did they find?  An ENTIRE VOLUME of Bobsey Twins books!  They were excited, I'm sure - much like I was when I found these Star Wars cards, but a strange thing happened.  Do you how many of those books I read?  None.  I didn't read a single one of them.  I was super interested when I had to buy them, and the quantity was scare for me, but when it was plentiful and free, I simply didn't have a desire to read anymore. 

Rather than give him all 2,000, (he doesn't know I have these) I pulled out one and showed it to him.  I told him if he can be good for mom (she homeschools him) during school work today, that I will give him that one card. 

Guess what?  He is ecstatic about it!  Super happy.  I told my wife I think I have a stockpile of what can get him through until college now. 

I guess kids really don't need a glut of "stuff" to be happy.  There is truly something to be said about having to earn things, and being happy/content with what you have. 

Monday, December 19, 2011

165,000 cards locked and loaded...

Ok, so I thought I was going to be getting 300,000 cards this weekend, but it turned out to be 165,000 which of course is perfectly fine - the plans are to grab the rest after Christmas.  Sunday afternoon, I met at my friend's storage unit and loaded up my family-mobile minivan sans the back seat, and drove back.  I had several binders up front with me, and there was a binder filled with 1981 Donruss poking out.  That was kind of cool - I saw some good names like Mike Schmidt and others.  I also found a bunch of Star Wars cards that my son will be excited about too. 

It always takes a while to load them back up in the garage there, but it is worth it.  I enjoy the heck out of going through them. 

There is such a variety - from a nice little 1989 Fleer "For the Record" insert cards page, to 1991-92 Upper Deck basketball with various Jordans and Mournings to 2001 Bowman Heritage. 

I have probably gone through about 6,000 or so so far.  Great fun!  Some are damaged, but that is to be expected.  The majority look good. 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

300,000 Cards Coming Sunday, Sunday Sunday!

Over the past week or so, I've sold some of the boxes of cards I had for sale.  Some of them are being busted online by a newfound baseball blogger buddy over at - check him out and friend him!  Lets hope they get some good stuff, but not too good of stuff that I regret having sold them (KIDDING!)  I think the group break goes on tonight!  Someone else bought a few boxes today and will probably buy about 8 more.  Finally, I have someone who may purchase the rest of what I have.  Not completely sure yet though. 

So, about the 300,000 cards - Santa Claus, (I named my good friend who is a baseball card dealer Santa Claus because he brings me cards all the time from our behemoth deal) emailed me last night asking if I wanted to meet him at his storage unit Sunday morning before church, bright and early.  He said he had 300,000 cards ready!  I'm pretty stoked about this because it has been about a half a year since I got some from him, I believe. 

As I go through them, I'm sure I'll post the fun things that I get. 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

There is a lesson to be learned here ... somewhere....

I just read a blog posting from someone I follow here and for some reason it reminded me of an incident I had many moons ago, when I was 13. 

The year: 1993. 
The place:  Eckerds (when they carried cards).

13 year old tanmanbaseballfan strolled in to grab a few packs of 1992-93 Ultra and Stadium Club in hopes of snagging a Shaquille O'neal rookie card.  Just then, comes a short hispanic kid from my school with a HUUUUGE jacket on. 

He was up to no good.

As I got my packs and paid, he slinked out the door, without even looking at the cash register, let alone going to check out anything.  You see, I *knew* he had taken some packs ... but I didn't see him, so it would have been social suicide to call him out in a public store as a thief, much less if I didn't actually know for sure. 

After stewing thoughts in my head of "thieves are losers", "winners never cheat & cheaters never win", "he's going to jail at some point", "he's not going to pull anything from those packs", I made it home on my bike, and ran upstairs to the apartment with my 2 packs in the bag, ready to make some magic happen.

I opened up the packs ... WHAMMO!!! Shaquille O'neal rookie card!  "Read it and cry, thief!"  I thought to myself.  He most likely was at home wallowing in a combination of guilt and freshly pulled commons. 

Monday morning comes, and I see him in the halls at school. 

PSSST....check this out....

He opened his big, oversized jacket pocket and it was glowing.  His face was illuminated.  It was a $50 insert he pulled of Shaq from his newly acquired booty. 


So kids, the moral of the story is to not is wrong.

After this posting, I am going to have to re-think my career track of wanting to be a professional motivational speaker / big brother. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

This box was Lincy-riffic!

So far, I've gotten some really decent stuff.  I've busted about 20 boxes - Matt Wieters Letter auto, Youkilis Letter auto, Kendrick rookie auto, Nelson Cruz rookie auto, some Buster Posey rookies, various other rookies of Pence, Lincecum and Braun ... a good smattering of stuff.  I opened a serial #ed Lincecum this morning, and I also got this ... the best so far ....

2007 UD Future Stars Tim Lincecum Rookie Autograph

(Happy dance!)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Happy Happy Joy Joy!

'Nuff said :) 

Cases of 2006 and 2007 UD Future Stars - 5 Autos per box!

Steroids and the Hall

With all this talk about the Hall of Fame, it got me to scanning some blogs, and thinking a bit about the steroid era, and the players who were my heroes that were in it when I was growing up.  I've said before, Canseco was my favorite player.  In the late 80's - early 90's, it looked like he was going to put up Hank Aaron numbers, but instead churned out something that looked more like Dave Kingman.  A great player, mind you, but nothing near Hank Aaron. 

Oh, to have 100 of these cards back in 1990!

Then you have McGwire, a guy who was in Canseco's shadow for a while, and had a few off years.  Then, he moves to St. Louis, and puts up some absolutely ridiculous numbers.  McGwire was a different guy though, because everyone loved him.  He was the face of St. Louis for a long time.  Then, he disappeared from the public eye for about 5 years.  I'm glad to see him back as hitting coach for the cards. 

It's amazing to think that he was a superstar with the A's before his franchise-player stint with the cards

Finally, you have Bonds - a guy that many folks didn't particularly like off the field.  A man who was already a hall of fame calibre player in the 80's and 90's ... a fast 30/30 type player ... probably all of 170 lbs.  Then, bulked up to the 220+ range, with all kinds of muscles in his late 30's / early 40's.  Sure, people started talking.  The way I see Bonds, is some evil mastermind that got some sort of super-human boost to make him the most powerful cheater on the planet.  Think hobgoblin in Spiderman. 

I remember this card, along with his teammate Bobby Bonilla, poking their heads out of my Christmas stocking one year.  Memories!

The numbers don't lie!  73 home runs in 2001, 4 straight MVP's...heck, the man walked 232 times in 2004 as a 40 year old ... in 617 plate appearances.  Yes, he averaged being walked more than once in three plate appearances.  In '01, he his a homerun every 6.5 at bats.  This is the only player that I recall seeing being intentionally walked, with the bases loaded!  The proof is in the steroid laced pudding:  He had pitchers scared. 

Would all of this have happened, had he not juiced?  His numbers would likely have been substantially lower, but still would have probably easily made it to the hall of fame.  But lets not stop there - let me play devils advocate

Ok, thank you for that.  Now, I'm back.  Let's step back and consider a few things:

Baseball has never been a "static" game in terms of playing conditions. 
Our nation's record of equality hasn't exactly been stellar.  Can you believe that blacks have only been able to play in the majors for a little over 60 years?!?  I think Satchel Paige, a player who's legend may never be surpassed, didn't start in the majors until I think he was 47.  It is absolutely sad that we weren't able to see him play for the previous 27 years.  Wow, what an amazing thing that would have been. 

The pitcher's mound has changed - before Bob Gibson, the pitcher's mound was actually taller than it is today, giving pitchers the advantage. 

All ball parks are different shapes and sizes.  An absolute bomb of a home run in one stadium may be a fly-out that doesn't even reach the warning track in another. 

Pitchers probably were roiding up too.  This is one of my favorites here - if pitchers were on steroids too, then doesn't it kind of end the debate of unfair advantage as a wash?  I'm not saying everything was fair (it never is) I'm just saying that it isn't like the roided hitters were hitting against non-roided pitchers.  (See:  Roger Clemens ... another player who had a resurgance in his 40's.) 

So, where does that leave you with your unofficial vote of the HOF?  I am not sure where I stand, but most likely, I tend to think that perhaps if the players change, and the home runs are flowing a lot more....taking into consideration that pitchers were doing it too ... that maybe we need to adjust the criteria for getting into the hall.  To me, while I may be a lifelong fan of Canseco regardless of his tomfoolery...while I will always like McGwire...while I may think Bonds is a jerk ... perhaps 2 of the 3 (the latter 2) should get in anyway.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Huge Estate Sale Find

One morning while perusing the internet, I found out that there was an estate sale, and that they had binders of baseball cards.  It perked my ears up a tad, but only a tad, because 9 times out of 10, if someone is being vague about cards they are selling, it is because they are a bunch of junk 1988 donruss or 1988 score, etc (my apologies to the collectors of mass rookies of glavine, caminiti, alomar, etc.)  I asked the situation, and an older man was going to be moved out of state from his condo with his family out west, and they basically refused to take his stuff.  They started out asking $50 a binder, and since it was about a 45 minute drive, I asked for a few pictures.  They refused and said "there just wasn't enough time." 

After thinking it over, I came to the conclusion "What else do I have going on this fine saturday morning?"  NOTHING!  So, I made the trek...and I'm glad I did. 

Aside from getting lost (which is a fairly normal occurance for tanmanbaseballfan), it was a decent drive.  I knocked on the door, and they took me to the back room.  What I saw was pretty amazing.  70 to 80 binders - all of them were the really nice and thick ultra pro binders, too - not those ratty ones that people typically use that were left over from their junior high homework assignments.  I looked around and was thinking wow ... there has got to be at least $1,000 worth of pages and binders in here! 

Pure joy going through everything.  Thought the Berkman fans would like this.

What is more interesting, is that the owner of them took the time to sort the binders alphabetically.  That's right ... if a player's last name started with an "A", it was in the "A" binder, and so on.  It was really something I had never seen before.  It is something weird to find a 1992 Fleer Pat Listach right next to a 2007 bowman Tim Lincecum, or a 1993 Upper Deck Derek Jeter right next to a 1990 Donruss Chris James. 

Some of the goods...Yes, that is an A-Rod Artist Proof. 
Anyway, the nice lady who showed me everything said she would be "workable" on the binders, as they had to move it all out that day.  So, in typical tanmanbaseballfan fashion, I asked what she would take for all of it...basically wipe out the entire room of cards, so nothing but shelves were remaining.  While trying to calculate, I was thinking $50 a binder @ 70-80 binders is .... a LOOOOT of money.  $3,500 at least.  I was able to go through a few, and I figured heck - there are some good cards in here, so what I'll do is I'll go ahead and make an offer.  I told her I could clear out everything for $450.  After discussing with her brother....she accepted!  I was happy as a clam.  She even helped me load up my car.

Boy, if I had a penny everytime I had so many cards in my car that it was borderline a hinderance to being able to see the road, I'd be a rich man!

As I got home, I found my wife in the office on my computer, and in a sweaty mess, I made what must have been a dozen trips up and down the stairs, filling my office with these binders.  From there on, I decided to go through the binders - page by page - to see what treasures were in store for me.

Among them were, multiple Jeter rookies, Arod rookies, Griffey rookies, Bonds rookies ... even bowman rookies of Albert Pujols and Ryan Howard!  There were many newer cards of players I had never heard of, so I had to be careful and look them all up if I hadn't heard of them before.  Many times I would find some mini treasures.

As I went through them, I would sell off the binders with the cards I didn't want, so I didn't have to just "accumulate" them.  (Despite the fact that I have millions of cards ... though not at my location ... I loathe accumulating things.) 

Picture this...only, times two.
Some of the binders, I ended up going through more than once, and sure enough ... I would find I missed some gems.  More notably, is when I looked through the "A" binder.  I saw some dude that played for the twins, and as I was humming along, page by page, I thought to myself ... wait a second ... that sure did look like David Ortiz.  So I looked back ... HEY, that IS David Ortiz.  Why is his name David Arias here???  Then ... COOL!  Two of them!  (I later traded one of them for a 1980 Topps Rickey Henderson rookie).  My research showed me it was $50 card.  I admit, I was panicking for a bit ... because I noticed Ortiz was sucking it up big time for the BoSox.  I had figured his card would plummet, as he went the way of Albert Belle/Mo Vaughn/ various other previous players of his stature.  Thankfully, he's proven himself yet again as a premiere power hitter in the game. 

When all the dust settled, I was able to sell all the binders of cards, keep many of the binders for future deals, and kept boxes worth of stars, rookies, inserts, etc.  Interestingly enough, the cards that I pulled were a part of the 6,000,000 card deal I had made! 

Friday, December 2, 2011

1987 Donruss Albert Pujols Rated Rookie?!?

I am a web developer who apparently has too much time on his hands this fine friday afternooon.  I have been thinking about posting this rare 1 of 0 1987 Donruss Albert Pujols Rated Rookie baseball card.  Sure, King Albert was only 7 at the time of production of 1987 Donruss, but who am I to argue with the King that he can or cannot have a gotee - and play on an MLB team at such a young age? 

Such a beauty!

So of course, this is a photoshopped card, but I couldn't resist.  You can download the psd template from here if you would like to make some of your own.  I challenge someone out there to put this picture in their PC and see if anyone requests a trade for it.  That would be hilarious!  Just make sure you write back on my blog how it went down. 

Oh, and 5 extra points for trying one of these...

Hmmm...this kind of makes me want to build an entire trade bucket filled with fake cards.  Churning out 1988 Fleer Ken Griffey Jrs and 1991 Upper Deck Derek Jeters might be fun!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Video break of 2010 Upper Deck (12 packs)

This is my first time busting a product in front of a camera.  I just posted several more on my Youtube page - check out the link on the right!

5,500+ Unopened Packs of Pure Goodness

I have a confession to make.  I obsessively write down purchases on any cards I acquire.  it is an addiction.  No doubt, whenever I buy a blaster box at the store, I always make the note next to it "stupid buy!" or "why did I get this again?"  It pains me to see $20 go down the drain for a $1 jersey card of a nobody and 50 accompanying base cards. 

I found a guy one time who was selling a collection from a family member who had passed away.  He mentioned there were a lot of unopened packs of cards.  After a while, he didn't respond back to me!  I was sooooo worried.  This sounded like the dream deal.  So what did I do?  I contacted him again ... under my "alias" name.  For some reason, he liked how my alter-ego acted and was fine with me coming over.  I'm not proud of that, but hey, it got my foot in the door.  And oh, what a glorious room that door led to...

One pic of the many boxes overflowing with packs!

I made an appointment to meet with him, and when I went there, his living room was filled with packs.  Not 80's and 90's junk ... newer stuff.  Not hobby stuff mind you...just retail stuff, but it was heaven.  After negotiations for quite a while, I was able to wipe him out of every single stinking pack he had, along with tons of binders of cards, and other things.  It was truly a super sweet deal. 

I packed up my family-mobile and it was stuffed to the gills in cards.  My mind was going a million miles a minute - what do I do?  Sell some?  Sell all?  Open all?  What?  I got home and unloaded it all.  I thought maybe there would be 1,000-1,500 packs of cards.  NOPE - Over 5,500.  Allen & Ginter, Turkey Red, SP, etc. 

I ended up selling a few hundred packs, and kept many of them around for months.  While baseball was on or something, I'd go into my garage, grab a pile of packs and rip away.  After a while, since there was lots of basketball and football, I figured I just had to rip them too, even though I didn't collect them much.  That forced me to learn what cards were good.  I was fortunate to pull 50 Blake Griffin rookies, tons of Mark Sanchez rookies, Tim Tebow rookies, etc. 

Blake Griffin, anyone?

When the stockpile went down to 5,000 I put the whole collection up for sale just to see what would happen.  One person from out of state expressed *extreme* interest and even made plans to get a uhaul to come pick everything up.  After a while, it turned out he left me high and dry. 

Some miscellaneous pulls

No problem!  I figured I'd go ahead and rip everything....everything.  As a result, I was able to make more off of everything opened than I would have if I sold it all.  Not to mention the fact that I had months of fun and enjoyment ripping packs open ... guilt free, knowing I bought them at a great deal. 

My son and I had lots of fun opening them together.  My wife even got in on it for a while.  What a great time!

Here are some of the binders I scored (There were about 20 of them, if I recall correctly).

I'm not sure if another deal will come up like this, but it is the thrill of the hunt that keeps me looking!

How I got 6,000,000 Cards

I'm sure you all are wondering by now why my blog says something about 6,000,000 cards.  I have a dealer friend who has millions upon millions of sports cards.  I'm telling you - his collection/inventory must be what heaven is like.  Well, ok - maybe Heaven will be filled with Exquisite & Triple Threads, instead of 88 Topps and 92 Donruss :) 

This is what 650,000 look like.  Just a hair over 10% of the entire stockpile. 

Anyway, probably a few years ago, we had done a deal - I traded a lot of things - autographed bats, jerseys, plaques and tons of great cards.  The deal worked itself out to what I deemed the "deal of the century".  Yes, I got 6,000,000 cards. 

I know what you are thinking:  What does mrs. tanmanbaseballfan think about this?  Thankfully, the cards are still housed at my friend's location, and he brings over some from time to time.  As of this writing (December 1st, 2011) I have probably gone through about 25% of it.  I do not keep these cards mind you - I sell and trade them.  While it is a lot of hard work, and very time consuming, it is just absolutely great.  I enjoy the heck out of it.  I enjoy taking pictures of them, posting them, trying new "sales tactics" to make them appealing. 

While they aren't going to make me rich, they sure do make me feel rich - I am incredibly blessed.  Oh, and by the way, this isn't just a site about those cards - I pickup new cards all the time.  Plus, this isn't all about me.  I will occassionally donate some cards to kids - especially those who are sick. I encourage you to do the same!

As I pull some of the stockpile into my house and go through them, I'll update this blog with my findings.

Have you picked up any awesome things?  Tell me about it!  I always love the big fish stories.