Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Quest is Over!

A while back, I remembered seeing online that someone was selling/trading their Josh Hamilton 1999 Topps Traded autograph.  I contacted them, and didn't hear back.  I tried again, and they continued to ask me to make an offer.  I said I don't really do offers, and they said they would take $500.  I told them that was more than I could get one for on ebay, and said I was thinking less than half. 

I never heard back.

Flash forward to now - curiosity struck me, and I tried searching for it again.  The ad was a few weeks ago, but I figured I'd try.  I emailed - no response.  I texted, and finally got a response. 

Apparently, the card was his brother's, so he said he would have to get back with me.  I checked in with him again, and finally ... finally he said he could get the card!  He forced me to offer, so I gave in.  I told him I think they go on ebay for $200-$250, but don't want to pay that, and would be a buyer at .... $125.

After a little more back and forth, they said they would meet me about 20 minutes away from where I live.  His brother apparently had a collection as well, so I told him to bring those too, if he wanted to sell.

I halfway figured they would be a no show, or something would go wrong.  I was a bit nervous.  Not only was I about to make a purchase of this card ... it was to finish my quest! 

They come up and show me all the cards and ... well ....

GOT HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yeah!!!!!  I picked it up for the $125 I traded/sold my way to. 

I have not kept up my blog for this quest like I should have, but the other deals ended up in cash, plus I was able to trade 2 jersey cards for this:

I wanted to keep this a secret, but it didn't work out all nicely as planned ... the other card I traded for was this (which by the way, I would have traded straight up for the Fleer set anyday!): 

2007 Turkey Red Josh Hamilton Rookie Autograph!

I found it funny that an autographed Josh Hamilton rookie was one of the cards I got in this trade string. 

I also got this beauty trading one jersey card for this beauty:

Triple Threads 15 piece Game Used Jersey Card of Alex Rodriguez # 36/36

The icing on the top is that both these cards are now freebies, on top of the Hamilton! 

I got the Turkey Red Hamilton from a guy who runs a website on doing in person and through the mail autos.  He documented everything for every player, and this one caught my eye. 

But the story doesn't end there, boys and girls. 

When I bought the 1999 Topps Traded Josh Hamilton autographed rookie, I also picked up his entire collection for $250 - it had a lot of great stuff!  Probably over 100 jersey/autographed cards including Bobby Murcer, Bob Gibson, etc. a handful of 50's/60's vintage hofers in what I would consider NM shape, a buyback Bagwell auto, the big name early 80's rookies, etc.  I *immediately* went to work when I got home to start working my network to move some of these pieces, and it looks like I'll already be in the black with this collection, with a lot more left over. 

And we all lived happily ever after.  At least until .....

With the door of my vehicle open, to put the cards in, and block the wind, I got up and shook his hand to say good bye.  I heard something drop.  We both looked for a split second and didn't see anything.  Oh well.  I proceeded to close the car door.  It opened up again.  I looked down.  Hmmm, that's weird.  my phone fell out.  Oh well.  I picked it up and ....

NOOOOO!!!!!! CELLY!!!!!!!!  This is an extension of myself.  I can't believe I did this.  I take very good care of my phone, and yet this happens. 

Here is the lesson of the day:  If you hear something drop, do not stop looking until you find it!

So, thus concludes the book "Quest for Hammy".  A story with lots of twists and turns, and ultimately turns a 1989 Fleer set into a 1999 Topps Traded Josh Hamilton rookie autograph, a 2007 Turkey Red Josh Hamilton autograph and an ARod Triple Threads ... Oh, and plenty of new trading buddies along the way!

I supposed my next should be Quest for Celly - the replacement phone, using nothing but the profit I get from the collection I just purchased!  That should be a piece of cake though. 


Monday, March 25, 2013

An Update

I was able to sell the Bo Jackson ball really quickly - it surprised me!  Someone also ended up buying the rest of the autographs on the same day.  After fees, the Bo went for $49.  After selling the other autographs, I was at $64.

After this, I found a nice little lot of jersey / autograph cards for $70.  I talked him down to $50, and ended up selling many of them lightning fast!  There were some really cool ones, too.  When I got the cards in, I was super happy. 

1 went to a Redsox fan for $1. 
5 or so went to an Astros fan for $15
1 patch card went to a super collector for $6.50
A part time dealer bought the majority of what was left (45 of them) for $50

So ... BAM!  This leaves me with $86.50 cash AND 8 really nice jersey / autographed cards as shown below.  The Bagwell and Konerko are gone already from the deals above, but I did want to mention what I had left.  For anyone out there, I'm looking for $45 for the other 8 shown below. 

This quest for Hammy is going really, really well so far - and I am having a blast doing it!

Friday, March 22, 2013

The Quest for Hamilton Continues

After going back and forth with someone online for a few weeks, a guy was finally able to break free from his engagements, and come over.  He brought with him a few items that we had talked about over email.  A Barry Bonds autographed baseball bat, and a Nomar Garciappara autographed baseball.  He traded those for some unopened boxes I had left over from my Black Friday monster purchase, so I'm now enjoying them in my office! 

I particularly enjoy the Bonds bat - I mean, what's not to like?  The all time home run king autographed this puppy, and it is sitting right next to me as I type this! 
Perhaps the more exciting thing for me was another item he brought.  A Bo Jackson autographed baseball!  I am a big fan of Bo Jackson.  The stories of him are stuff of legend.  He grew up playing catcher with a milk carton as a glove.  He once ran for a touchdown and was going so fast, he couldn't stop until way beyond the end zone.  He ran up the wall in the outfield, etc.  Bo was the man!  And now, I have his autograph.   
The guy the came over with them, had it signed himself when he was stationed in Alabama several years ago.  The cool thing is, is that Jackson put #16 on it - that is quite rare on his signatures!  Oh, and it is on an Official American League baseball.  Gotta love it! 
To top it all off, I was able to get this beauty (plus a few bucks) by doing some trading with the cards in my Quest for Hamilton.  So, I started off with an...
'89 Fleer baseball set. 
Sold for $10
Invested the $10 in 12 jersey/autographed cards
Sold some of the jersey/autographed cards for $8 and traded for the Bo Jackson autographed baseball
So now, I have Bo Jackson autographed baseball, $8 and 5 autographed cards.
I'm really happy with how this trade up thing is going so far!  1999 Topps Traded Josh Hamilton is not too far off in the distance for me, so it seems ... though I may have a hard time parting with Bo!  I have considered splitting off, and using just the $8 + the 5 other autographs and trying to get the Hammy, while keeping the Bo, but it would be so much quicker to use the Bo in this deal. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Quest Continues (and card / story pick ups along the way!)

Ok, so I'm going to hammer out the update for my question to go from a 1989 Fleer set to a 1999 Topps Traded Josh Hamilton autographed rookie card first and foremost.

I had an ad online, selling a boat load of older complete sets for $150.  I didn't even think anything about my "boat anchor" (the 1989 Fleer complete set) as others have called it to be part of a deal.  Since I was selling for $150, I brought along the set, hoping he ws going to ask me to break a $20 (it seems like people bring along $20 bills to do deals). 

Sure enough, as fate would have it ...

"Do you have change for a $20?"

"No, but I do have this fantabulous 1989 Fleer Set that I can give you for $10 extra.  How does that sound?"


YAY!!!!  Deal #1 out of the way.  Now I have $10 burnin' a hole in my pocket.  I scoured the web, and, for $10 (and some change ... I will take the proceeds from the few cards that went over my $10 investment and not count them) I found 12 jersey / autograph cards. 

Everyone loves these, so as long as I can buy them right, they always seem to move pretty well!  Especially these beauties ... ESPECIALLY the Gwynn! 

The Gwynn is a short print and books for $50.  The fact that there is a Clark bat, (my child hood best friend's fave player), George Foster jersey and other cool cards ... not hatin' it!  Hurray!  It looks like the first couple of deals are working out smoothly.  I will continue to update this thread to show how things are going.  So far ... swimmingly!

UPDATE:  Just sold the Foster & Clark for $4, so now I have $4 cash and 8 jersey/auto cards. 

Next up, and I stress this has NOTHING TO DO WITH MY TRADE GAME - I found a guy selling a Derek Jeter autographed baseball online for $300 obo. 

OBO is like blood in the water to me.  I have, have, have to ask.  The ad said it goes for $500-$800 on ebay.  I kept prodding, and he said he would do $190 since he lost the coa.  He had the ball as a kid ... a gift from his folks.  I sympathize because I had the exact same thing happen to me with a Willie Mays autographed bat.  I was given it as a kid and lost the coa. 

I asked for up close pictures to scrutinize the autograph, did a lot of research and it all checked out.  I told him I would offer $100 for it - he accepted, and came over to drop it off! 

The fact that it is a Jeter autographed baseball is cool enough ... take a look at the pictures below ...

That's right!  The autograph is on an official 1996 World Series baseball.  This has even more significance to it than meets the eye.  Not only is it an official 1996 World Series baseball ... it was Derek Jeter's rookie year, where he won the Rookie of the Year award.  Plus, to top it all off - 1996 started the Yankees run of awesomeness to this day.  It ended the longest world series-less drought for the Yankees since before the Babe was signed when your great-grand pappy used to watch him play. 

This is just cool on top off cool, covered with more cool! 


Now, boys and girls, for the last story of the evening.  A few weekends ago, my wife and I made our rounds in the garage sale circuit, and came up with some pretty cool stuff.  Since this is more of a baseball / sports card & memorabilia blog though, I will not bore you with the details of my Angry Birds Star Wars Fighter Pod pack, Bart Simpson Plush doll & German Sesame Street character finds.  I will stick with what you are here for!

I ran into a fella at a sale that had some late 80's / early 90's unopened wax.  I can't help myself so I had to ask how much.  He wanted $12.50 a pop, which, for me, is about $10 too much LOL.  I kept prodding, and he had some binders as well.  One binder had rookies of Gwynn, Ripken, McGwire, etc.  After asking pricing, he told me the Gwynns booked for $65 each.  Not bad.

He was only off by $40. 

He continually told me he wanted $20-$25 per card, which again, is waaaaay overpriced.  My wife elbowed me in the ribs when we were talking, and pointed at a boat load of autographed baseballs he had!  Bryce Harper, Mike Trout, Yu Darvish, Stephen Strasburg, Miguel Cabrera. 

Ok, so fine - this guy likes autographs, and sells them.  That doesn't intrigue me.  A good price however, does!  I asked him pricing, and he said he would take $25 for Ryan Braun, $40 for each Trout, Miggy, Harper, Darvish and $50 for the Stras. 


I try my hardest to regain my composure and ask clear, thought out questions so I don't make any rash decisions (like buying them ALLLLLLL!)  I look closer, and see they are on "Official League Baseball"'s - these are not Major League baseballs.  Ok, no problem ... still a great, great deal! 

I ask if he has coa's, and he said yes ... pulls them out, and they are from companies I haven't heard from before.  Again, not a deal breaker.  They are cheap enough, and look good to the naked eye, but I figured I would take a few pictures, get his phone number, and do some research. 

My research paid off in spades.  This link  really sealed the deal for me.

For the cliff's notes, here you go:  There is a large autograph forgery ring in the Ohio area that has been flooding ebay recently.  The name in the pictures was attached to it!  It is really scary, because some of these autographs look GOOD ... and I mean really, really good. 

Before I found this link, I did a search on ebay myself to see what these typically go for, and to my surprise, the prices the guy was offering was not crazy low.  That is typically around what they go for, on that type of ball! 

I figured I would contact the person attached to this whole thing to see if I could buy some autographed baseballs in bulk (of course, pending their authenticity) - keep in mind, I asked BEFORE I ever knew any of this forgery stuff.  He said he doesn't sell himself, but gave me the name of "a guy" who does sell.  Well, then I found the link above, and filed it under "oh well", and forgot about the whole thing. 

The very next day, I got an email from the dude I bought a 2009 autographed Bowman Chrome blue refractor Mike Trout (pack pulled and certified, mind you!) over a month prior.  It was a forwarded email. 
Hey, I just got an email response requesting to trade for the Mike Trout.  Apparently, I still had the post for the Trout still up, because I just got an email (see below), and figured I would pass it along to you.  His punctuation and spelling looks horrible, so I typically pass these off as nigerian scammers, but figured I'd send it over to you since you now have the Trout.  Feel free to contact him or delete the email!

I was shocked what I found - the guy who made the offer on the Trout that I bought, WAS THE SAME GUY I CONTACTED THE DAY PRIOR!!!  The exact same guy on the coa in the pictures above.  The exact same guy the link above was talking about.  How strange is that? 

Now, I don't know the guy I bought the Trout from, but I figured he would enjoy hearing the weird story, so I called him up and told him.  He got a kick out of it, and all of it's bizzarrness as well. 

I did reach out to the alleged scammer, and told him about the link, then asked him to explain himself.  He said the standard "I stand by all my autnetications", then he thanked me for showing him the link so that way he can post on it, to set the record straight. 

I think it speaks volumes that it has been over a week, and he hasn't said a single word on it.