Friday, March 15, 2013

Sending out an SOS

I'm on my last line of defense.

My mailbox isn't going to be able to hold up much longer.

If you're reading this, please send help. I'm barricaded inside my room right now.

It's my last hope against all these "PWE bombs" I've been receiving lately. They've been absolutely relentless.

All kidding aside, though, I've long been an advocator of the PWE. I've sent out hundreds, if not thousands, of them throughout my trading life. And I've never had a single problem with them.

If shipped correctly, that is.

The first "PWE bomb" I received came courtesy of Listia.

None of the cards were packaged all that well. No penny sleeves or toploaders were to be found. Only a thin veil of protective cardboard separated this "PWE bomb" from backfiring against my binder troops.

Luckily, each and every card arrived safe and sound. 

As you see with the '87 Tekulve above, Listia managed to help me reach a personal milestone. The place actually helped me knock out a former "Dime Box Dozen" need.

I couldn't believe that I didn't already have this one. I have tons of extra '87s lying around the house, yet Mr. Tekulve had somehow never found his way into my clutches.

In the end, the powder-blue jersey/wood-grain border combo was just too powerful for me to ignore. 

The '87 Tekulve was just one of an eight-card lot of his I picked up off Listia last week.

The cost?

A mere 203 credits, which amounts to about 25 per card.

These two later Tekulve pieces are both spectacular in their own right.

The '87 Fleer one does a terrific job of showcasing his quirkly Coke-bottle shades, while his '87 Donruss card terrifically captures his quirky sidearm/submarine delivery.

All in all, Kent Tekulve was simply one quirky kind of guy.

For 288 credits, I also managed to pick up an eight-card Bruce Sutter lot off the same Listia seller.

In the past, I never devoted much time or energy to building my Sutter collection. I'm not sure why, but I just didn't have much interest in collecting the Hall of Fame forkballer.

Lately, though, my interest in his cardboard has been gaining steam. I've happily found that he's a fairly common dime box candidate as well.

This pair of classic Topps pieces simply added to the fun.

For me, this was the real "score" of the auction.

I've had a tough time coming across anything '84 Donruss-related during my dime box adventures. I've heard rumors that the set was printed in smaller quantities than most, although I'm not sure whether that's been proven or not.

Given its relative rarity, though, I'd certainly agree with the short-printed theory.

As far as I'm concerned, this is far and away the best Donruss design ever. They produced a lot of average and flat-out unspectacular sets during their time, but anything from '84 Donruss will always hold a special place in my collection.

Needless to say, landing this one of a Cooperstown inductee was a real "get" for my Cardinals binder.

If the likes of Tekulve and Sutter are any indication, it's true.

Listia is back in business.

Enough with the Listia envelopes, though.

Let's switch our focus to where the whole "PWE bomb" idea started.

The blogosphere.

Coincidentally, I have a few cards here from the "PWE bomb" martyr himself, Wes from the terrific blog "Jaybarkerfan's Junk".

From what I've seen, Wes has been relentless with his generous PWE efforts all around the blogosphere. I'm not the first person to receive one of these things, and I sure won't be the last.

Mine, however, did include its fair share of highlights.

Although I'm not exactly sure what it is, this neat oversized oddball piece of Alfonso Soriano will make for a nice display piece in my room.

I have a feeling that the guy won't be a Cub for much longer, though.

For full disclosure, I already have this one in my collection.

Given its sheer awesomeness, though, I decided to feature it nevertheless.

Night baseball at Wrigley Field is one of the purest joys in my baseball life. Even if the Cubbies are playing a meaningless September game against a fellow last-place team, any home night contest is a must-watch for me.

I think this card pretty much tells you why.

If my sources are correct, 2013 Panini Triple Play should be hitting the shelves any day now.

Last year's Triple Play release was one of the more pleasant surprises of the 2012 card season. Plus, with the set's dollar-per-pack price, it's always good for a budget-friendly impulse buy.

I busted a good amount of Triple Play packs last year. I lost track of exactly how many, but it had to have been at least a couple dozen.

Even so, I hadn't pulled this terrific one of Mr. Soto from any of them. Luckily, Wes made sure it found its way into my binders.

Of course, I'm definitely looking forward to seeing what Panini has in store for 2013.

It should be...interesting.

To say the least.

While I love big boxes full of cards, not every trade I make has to be a monumental one.

I'm completely fine with a small, two-or-three card swap. 

Thankfully, the blogosphere has managed to deliver on both ends of the trading spectrum.

This latest bite-sized swap came with Bryan, author of one of the newer blogs on my blogroll, "Golden Rainbow Cards"

He recently contacted me about a couple 2013 Topps inserts he had from my wants.

While I'm not a fan of the tactic, both the "Gold Foil" and base-insert variation I received earlier will earn their respective places in my Blue Jays binder.

After all, any small difference between a pair of otherwise-similar cards gets both of them a place in my organizing system.

It's one of the symptoms of "collector's OCD".

The other 2013 need Bryan sent over was this beautiful '72 mini of the 2013 Topps "cover boy" himself, Prince Fielder.

Although I stole the phrase from American Pickers, I've taken to labeling swaps like these as "ice-breakers".

Hopefully, this trade will lead to a few more down the road between myself and Bryan.

The last "PWE bomb" to hit my mailbox came from yet another "new blogger on the block".

Mark, from the Pirate-centric "Battlin' Bucs" blog, said he found one of my "Dime Box Dozen" needs while digging through his extra cardboard, as well has a few other cards he thought I'd like.

These are a couple of those "few other cards". As Mark told me via email, Jim Gott wasn't photographed with specs all that often. A quick Google images search attested to that.

I guess you could call that one a "short-print" of my still-unofficial bespectacled ballplayers collection.

And, although I've never heard of him, the Keith Atherton is a "combo" collection need. Glasses and autographs.

Who knew '89 Topps was capable of such a thing?

Until it arrived on my doorstep, I had no idea which of my "Dime Box Dozen" needs Ryan had uncovered.

He never specified which one he'd be sending me.

As it happens, I was in for quite a surprise. My eyes lit up when I saw this one fall out of the envelope.

This 2001 Fleer Platinum Tim Raines had been on my "Dime Box Dozen" list since day one. I was starting to think I'd never track it down.

Given the fact that Raines spent all of four games with the O's in 2001, it had long been one of my most pressing "unfamiliar uniform" needs.

With the downfall of Mr. Raines here, only two more original "Dime Box Dozen" needs remain. If anyone has extra '92 Bowman Trevor Hoffman or '96 Bowman Ryan Dempster rookies lying around, feel free to let me know.

Until then, Mr. Raines has certainly found a good home with me.

And it's all thanks to one of those unrelenting "PWE bombs".

I'll have to send reinforcements soon.


CaptKirk42 said...

Wait Tim Raines was an O? OH yeah he was at one time, along with a bunch of other teams. I usually expect to see him as an Expo.

As far as PWE Bombs I've had some near disasters where they only put the card(s) in a "card saver" and taped it closed. A couple of times the card had slipped around just under the tape at the seem and if I had been careless I would have had major damage to the card. I worry about it more when the card is a vintage one. Most of these PWEs have come from sportlots so I usually put "Watch the Tape" or "Carefull with the tape" in the feedback comments section.

Wes Moore the former JBF said...

PWE go boom!

Mark said...

Glad you enjoyed them, and I love the Teke pickups. He does the Pirates postgame show, and is a sincerely nice guy in person.

As far as PWE's go, I have sent out thousands of ttm requests without any protection (no cardsaver/toploader, penny sleeve, etc), and have had maybe a half dozen returns come back with any damage. One got caught in the sorting machines and was torn apart, and a few others had small ceases. But on the whole, USPS does a great job with PWE's.

Josh D. said...

I hope that someone gets my message in a bottle.

P-town Tom said...

Just got two more PWE from JayBarkerfan's Junk today. Will the madness ever cease!