Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Rivals to Allies

   Like many collectors, eBay has become the lifeblood for a collector.   It can offer you almost anything for your collecting needs.  It has become an economic benchmark for hobbyists.  Beckett may say a particular card is worth something, but eBay reflects the actual peaks and valleys that we as collectors now dictate.  The online auction site has opened up avenues to find some of the most random and obscure cards that one would be hard pressed to locate within 100 miles of LCSs and Card shows.  Certainly, this is akin to the treasures found by Ali Baba!! (Even moreso if your password to log into eBay is "Open_Sesame!")  However, we are not alone in this auction realm and we have all experienced having the proverbial rug, or card, pulled out from our grasp with mere seconds on the clock or had our hopes of getting a certain gem for short money only to get into the dread "bidding war."  I am not a "curse guy,"  I just tend not to swear.  My "F word" tends to be "Friggin."  I will admit that I have hollered the non-edited by Walmart word around quite a bit when I lost out on an auction, or I had to go more than the opening bid on an item. 
    Now as a collector of Joe Carter, one would think there would not be much of a hot bed of interest for his cards.  Let me state, that is not the case.  I have had to be on my toes if I wanted to acquire some of his cardboard, much to my chagrin.  "What type of malcontent would want cards of a long retired .259 career hitter that is not even on the HOF ballot??!! shouts a collector of a long retired .259 hitter that is not even on the HOF ballot.  Now as a guy who does not swear to often, my wife has gotten used to the random "F@HQ!!!!!"  emanating from my office.  "You get outbid again?" she would state with about as much feigned interest as she could.  "Who the *#$#*$^ else would want that card beside me??!!!"  I know exactly the type, they are the type that have no rhyme or reason, they just want to see the collecting world burn!!! What do these people do when they are not squashing the hopes and dreams of cheap collectors?  This...
  They are busy eating their young like Saturn!!!  Do they even like cards?  Is this something they do when they are not going around elementary school classrooms and stealing all the caps off the markers??  It is easy to villainize a person when they are not playing the role you want them to play in "your sandbox"  Even easier when they are a faceless, identity-less  username on the internet. 
    A couple months back, I had pulled out my lantern and began a search for an honest man.  Okay, I actually just googled "Joe Carter Collection" in an attempt to see what information I could glean from this search.  It lead me to this blog:
Here I found Richard, who like myself, has been an on again, off again collector.  A guy who as this hobby grew and expanded had to downsize and focus on something in particular, and his was deciding to just collect Joe Carter.  Now being from the land of Poutine and Molson, being a Carter guy made a whole lot more sense than some shmoe in the Boston area.  I read all his posts saw how pumped he was in starting his collection and his efforts to spread his former collection of Blue Jays to other collectors.  Richard without knowing introduced me to Zistle, which has been a fun site for me to catalog my stuff and trade bait.  Now as a collector of many things, I know how much I like having stuff that I enjoy.  That being said, I also like to find homes for things that will be loved and appreciated.  A while back I sold a box full of carded Marvel Comic action figures to a friend of mine whom remarked that I could have gotten more for one figure selling it on eBay than I did selling him the entire lot.  I just said, "I like to put things where they belong."  I potentially, could have gotten more, but I would rather see then go to a friend who will enjoy and appreciate them (And I know he is not made of money) than just sell them to whomever is the highest bidder on the internet. 
    So as a Carter collector, I have thousands of duplicates sitting in monster boxes.  I took to digging through to find any cards I had that Richard did not, and I reached out to him wanting to send them to him.  (How often do you find someone that can appreciate a career .259 hitter??)  Over that time, Richard and I have corresponded regularly, keeping each other up to date on how their Carter acquisitions were going.  Then it dawned on me when he rambled off the last few card he had gotten, and I realized, "THIS WAS MY SATURN!!!"  This was my "nemesis" who I was bidding against so many times.  Equally stated, I was his!  So many times, as Richard waited to add a Carter card to his collection, only to see HIS hopes dashed as I sniped the card away from him. (And I am sure I did it to him, far more times than he did it to me!!)
I think we both had a chuckle, as the faceless fiend whose only goal was to frustrate collectors, watch the world burn and take the last can of "Who Hash" is revealed to be friendly, generous, and passionate about their love for this hobby.  When once we would battle over the same card, we can now communicate on what we are looking at and not bid each other up, we can now maximize our buying to lessen shipping costs.   In retrospect,  may have lost out on a Carter card, but I am happy knowing it went in the collection of a friend. 
   This past week has been hell as I suffered a rather traumatic freak accident that required emergency surgery, so I have not done much with cards until today.  I had a follow up doctor visit and grabbed my mail as well and found a envelope from Mount Crumpet.  Sure enough, my friend Richard sent a package of Carter cards that have long eluded me.
  Part of the awesomeness of living up in the Canada region is access to cards that celebrate your teams World Series victory.   This 1993 Donruss card was issued through the culinary wizards known as McDonald's.  What I really dig about this card is it is one of the rare carter cards showing him playing first base.  It was not rare for Joe to man first base as he did play over 300 games at this position. (Fun fact, he also played 1 game a second base, and one game at third base during the 1985 season for Cleveland)It is rare to see a card of him playing first.  I never took a formal count but a majority of his cards are of him A) Batting, B) Smiling (Joe was a happy guy!), C) Running and yelling with his arms in the air as he round the bases. (Naturally)  So it is cool to see this card.  In 1992 long only 4 games at first base.  This was from Game 6 of the World Series and was the final out securing the team's victory.

A couple more goodies courtesy of the marketing one can do when your team wins the World Series. The one on the left is an issue from Demptser's which is a bakery which apparently has been "Nourishing Canadians one loaf at a time." For a food issue card, this is a nice card with a rather sleek design.  The card on the right is also a regional food issue, but only in name only.  This is a 1994 Oh Henry card, but Oh Henry was merely a sponsor (The money backer in this case) as this is what called a "Police Safety Set"  The idea was that local fire or police could hand these cards out to kids.  Early cards would have some sage wisdom printed on the back.  In my area, we never had "Police sets" and if a cop approached me as a kid, it certainly was not to hand me some baseball cards.  I always like these type of sets.  Collecting wise, it said you "arrived" if you were fanatic enough to track down a police set. Like a great blogger once stated, these have everything you want in a regional release. "Low-quality cardboard, low quality-printing, a design that just screams "love me or hate me"  - I love regional issues, because they are so exclusive!  They are rarely worth much money, but certainly not the easiest things to track down.
 Yet another regional release is this 1993 Post Cereal release.  Unlike the earlier one, Post has enough money that they can put out a well made card, they just are not paying for the MLB license, so they happily airbrush out those trademarked logos.  The back of the card (left) is just a cool as the front, and even utilized a strategic photo that did not show the trademark logos.  The back is perforated so that the player would "break out" in some die cut look.  I am certainly not going to try it.
  These two cards I thought I had, but of course were issued when parallel-mania was running wild.  The left is a 2001 Topps reprint of their Traded series release 10 years earlier.  Now we get the 40 year anniversary logo along with the foil embossed 50 year logo.  I am surprised that in 2011, Topps did not "buy back" some of these cards so they can stamp them with a 60th anniversary imprint.
   The Upper Deck card I swore I had, but I had the relic version with the jersey swatch, so it is nice to add the base insert.  (If it is possible to be a base and insert at the same time.)
  This card here might be throwing you off.  One would think as a player collector, that I would already have all of the base cards, which I do, but this gem was INCREDIBLY tough to find.  
Here is the reason why...
This is the super rare 1990 Fleer that was printed in Canada.  Even in Canada, I think you can find more of the U.S.A. printed cards.  Not sure why, but these cards are super tough to find. They do not command a huge premium, but extremely tough to track down.
   Thank you Richard for your generosity and kindness.  I look forward to our correspondences and I look forward to working together to build both our collections.  I already have a stack of cards that I will be sending to "Mount Crumpet."


  1. Pretty cool that you've gotten to know and become friendly with your "Joe Carter nemesis"!

    1. Pretty cool, indeed. And it's worked out well for me playing the part of "the nemisis". I think 10% of the Joe Carter cards that reside over here on Mount Crumpit are courtesy of Chris!

    2. Its all about networking. The more people that help each other, the more everyone benefits. I was happy to send those to Richard, and already have another stack building up to eventually ship.

  2. I have the Juan Guzman from the Post Cereal set. Never got the Carter..

  3. SOmeone is sitting on a trove of these things, probably some former Post cereal employee. They are pretty nice cards