Today is the infamous "Black Monday" in NFL coaching circles - the day when poor head coaches find out their (usually poor) fate. Watching ESPN this morning is like watching a funeral procession, one after another crappy coach after crappy coach is thrown on the fire. It is schadenfreude at its finest especially when your teams aren't involved. What better day to check out all my Black Friday booty from COMC (how's that for a segue?) Every year they run a special for free shipping - plus most sellers have kickass sales - so it is the best day of the year to load up on cards. I nabbed some stuff I have had my eye on for most of the year and broke down and bought a few things I had been aching to have but wanted at my price.
First we'll start with some die cut numbered 2004 eX rookies:
To be honest, I only wanted a page of the base cards and had been striking out in trades or at shows finding any. As I perused my wantlists, this was the first incomplete page that stood out for some reason. This set just screams "millennium design" with all its metallic highlights and swoops and blocky modern fonts. When I searched the site, I saw that these die cut rookies were more readily available (and cheaper) than the base cards. So I switched gears and nabbed nine of these instead and made this nifty page out of them.
I also loaded up on some of this year's Mets cards I had not yet added:
In a minor upset, I got many more Zack Wheeler cards than anything else. That orange refractor is just spectacular, as most Mets cards in orange refractor form are. That overly ornate die cut Matt Harvey was a must-add as it is so over the top and silly looking, it belongs in 1996. I also think you could use those cards as shurikens. I also nabbed a low number shiny 2004 eX rookie of Mets failed prospect Aarom Baldiris. He deserved to washout just for the silly spelling of his name. I might own more of his useless cards than any other Mets prospect that never got to the majors (he was big in Japan, though).
I also got some single cards to complete some pages:
I am trying to put together a page of all the Topps Finest and that Livan Hernandez finished off the 2004 page (check my want lists to see if you can help). I also found that Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds cards are pretty cheap - gee, I wonder why? - and grabbed a couple of those to complete a couple of vague pages. That Gary Sheffield finishes his page in my retired book; I wanted to get a card for each team he played for and since he only played for eight different teams, I decided on a minor league card to round it out. The bottom row shows piles of cards I needed to finish two pages I really really wanted to get done. I suppose it is my love of shiny, but I have wanted to do a page of those 2005 UD Reflections Legends cards for a while. The other cards were to complete a page of 2001 UD Decade inserts. I would have done a page for each of the different inserts, but for some odd reason most of the inserts in that set are only 6 total cards and that just doesn't jibe with the Starting Nine theme. The patchwork page practically works better as a dayglow memorial to 1970's excess and now has a place of honor in my faux vintage book.
One more card on that last scan deserves to be seen in its rightful place:
I am kind of a sucker for all of the Upper Deck Heroes sets and subsets, so when I saw a couple of years ago that Martin Brodeur had one, I had to have it. Getting the first 8 was easy enough, but Upper Deck being Upper Deck, the ninth card, the fancy painting checklist card, was severely short printed. The thing cost $20 or more on ebay if you could find one. I love #30, don't get me wrong, but this nonsense seemed a bit extreme. So there sat a hole in the very front page of my hockey binder for a long long time. I just couldn't/wouldn't give in to short printed extortion. But as often happens during these kinds of shopping sprees, you get on a roll. I plugged that card into the search and came back with a few hits, one of them for $8.20 - a 50% sale that would only last Black Friday weekend. So I sighed, swallowed my pride and bit; it is by far the most expensive card I bought. I'm sorry but I'm not sorry.
I filled in holes old and new in my Topps All Star Rookie needs:
I grabbed those two 1964 and the 1963 cards on the super cheap and finally added the 2012 Brett Lawrie which had somehow eluded me. My modern needs have now been whittled down to (mostly) parallels and inserts. I have plenty of vintage ones yet to go, though. Also in this scan are a couple more faux vintage pages finishing cards. The Eck and Bench cards are from the Shoebox set back at the height of retro reprint mania. The 2004 retired set page leaves only the 2005 Topps retired page left to be completed.
A few more odds and ends and some non-baseball cards:
That Bob Gibson finishes off one of the first pages of faux-vintage cards I had made but it had a Cal Ripken card in it, who at the time was technically a current player. If you are going to have rules about your pages, you have to be a stickler and I just don't like to mix current and retro players (unless I feel like it, of course). Those top two football cards are from an obscure Collector's Edge set that I had to have a page of just because of its 90's see-thru acetate goodness. The Gene Sykes completes one of my last 1960's football pages (hopefully that post will happen soon) and that Wayne Babych is an OPC hockey card that finishes off that vintage page. I think those old school hockey cards work so much better in poorly cut Canadian style, don't you? Finally, the last four cards all have something in common and 64 silver dollars* to the person who figures it out.
*may not be actual silver or dollars