May 21, 2017 § 1 Comment

Dear Uncle Rick,
Your fans know you as Rich, your wife as Richard, my mom as Rick or pain in the ass. I know that we weren’t close but I was closer to you than I was any of my many aunts and uncles. Perhaps it is because we are both six and a half feet. Perhaps it is because we are critical thinkers. Who am I kidding? It is because my mom thought the world of you and only said good things about you. We had a lot more in common that you realized. In reality we were closer than either of us gave credit for. Like a true Buckler, you were humble.  You probably didn’t think our email exchanges meant that much to me, and I probably didn’t think our email exchanges meant much to you. We both know the truth and I am sure that we each held each other closer to our hearts than we realized.
I was proud that you were my Uncle. I love my family but it is not easy to be open about it. It’s not like it comes up in conversation how one’s mom or uncle is cool. Comics gave me that opening to brag about family when I wish I could talk about them constantly.  “Oh you liked the Fantastic Four movie, did you read the comic? Oh by the way, my Uncle worked on it.” You came up in conversation at least once a week. I am sure people around me are sick of me bragging about my Uncle Rick.
You had a hand in so many great comics that it is crazy. I don’t even need to go to your Wikipedia page to rattle them off and I have never been a comic person. Off the top of my head, Fantastic Four, Black Panther, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Eerie/Creepy with my dad, and everyone’s favorite: Deathlok. That is just what I can rattle off the top of my head without checking. You worked with the greats: Ditko, Sinnot, and you were mentored by Jack Kirby. Your peers were all times greats because you were an all time great. My personal favorite thing about you is that your art was turned into a stamp by the United States Postal Service. It is so easy to get 15 minutes of fame this day and age but your 15 minutes are an infinity because your legacy cannot be ignored.
My favorite memories with anyone, were going to San Diego Comic Con when you were there and we would hang out together. I know how much you were suffering the past few months and it pained me. Every time the phone would ring from New York, my heart would drop because it never got better. You said that you had good days but I know how strong you tried to stay for your family. I know that you didn’t want to be sick and would rather be drawing or at a convention than in bed. You are a fighter and while cancer may have won, I know that it rued the day that it ever messed with you because you gave it the fight of your life. Hopefully you scared it away for the rest of us.
Even taking away all of your comic achievements I would still think the world of you. Your comic achievements just make it easier to bring up how awesome my family is.
You were the reason why my parents met for crying out loud.
We come from a great family full of great people. You were no exception. I mean you were the reason that my parents met.
Have fun in heaven Uncle Rick and buy Jack Kirby and my father a beer for me while you are up there. Meanwhile, here is to you: my great Uncle Rick.

Your favorite nephew

Happy Mother’s Day: my mom & card collecting

May 14, 2017 § Leave a comment

Three posts in less than a week on here, that’s crazy but I was inspired today. With it being Mother’s Day, you don’t really think of card collecting and moms going hand in hand. Well my mom is the exception. I find it fitting that I am writing this while my mom is in the room with me and the Dodgers game is on.
I grew up during the great baseball card boom of the 1990s where everyone was collecting. So naturally my mom and I did a lot of collecting together. Unlike a ton of collectors during that time we collected because we loved the game. During the early 1990s we went to so many Dodgers games. Those games with my mom are the very reason that I started collecting. My card collecting started out as my mom buying me Dodgers team sets during the games. We went to games on school nights, weekends, with friends, whenever.
The team sets turned into player collections and packs. From 1992 to 1996 the Dodgers swept the rookie of the year category. I cringe to think how much money we spent on rookie cards, adjusted for inflation – although I don’t regret it because these cards made me feel closer to my favorite team and players. It wasn’t out of the question to spend $25 on a Mike Piazza rookie; darn thing isn’t even selling for half that now. She loved it. She even collected as a child. We were able to share the hobby together.
I have to give my mom credit. She did all of this while working full time, going through a divorce, and pretty much raising me single-handedly. So here’s to you mom and any other mom that kicks ass just like my mom.
I would love to see comments and stories of your mom and collecting. I know that I am not the only one.

Pickups: COMC pickups of my favorite teams

May 10, 2017 § 1 Comment

All of these were impulse buys with the exception of one: Eric Davis the corner-back. All but that one were under $5, and usually well under.


Robin Ventura’s autograph has been on my must have list. One of my all time favorite players. He was a personal favorite before he became a Dodger in the later stages of his career. I never caught a foul ball at Dodger Stadium so I got the next best thing, a card with a game used ball in it. Fleer Authentix is one of my all time favorite releases. I picked this one up because the ticket was from the days when I went to games regularly. If only this ticket was actual size.

Below is an autograph and a rookie card from Eric Davis the football player. I actually have one of his autographs but not certified. That autograph, from my one and only 49ers game. He signed a football for me from his car after the game. From that day on he became my favorite player. When he joined the Panthers, that further cemented his legacy in my heart.



Jordan Gross was the heart and soul of Panthers teams in the 00s. I love the look of the Unparalleled Funchess card; another underrated set. The others were cheap impulse buys that fill some gaps in my collection.

I ended up with two of the same card, Stephen Davis helmet. When I took a hard look at the Panthers helmet, I realized the black was from a sticker so to me they are two different cards. I picked up the Munnerlyn before he re-signed with the Panthers. I like that the Short card was a similar parallel to the Panthers color. I paid 35 cents for the mini.

Pickups: COMC pickups

May 10, 2017 § Leave a comment

When my COMC shipment came in, I got some good stuff. Mainly, I was able to finish up some of my Prestige sets. Only half my haul was Prestige. The rest was stuff on my wishlist, stuff from my favorite teams, and other goodies. Today I am showing you the odds and ends. All were picked up under $5 and almost all fall in the impulse yet cool category for me.

Above: My Danish personal collection items.
Below: Took a flyer on an over-sized Chrome jersey card because I wanted to see what it looked like. TNA autographs from Earl “I Screwed Brett” Hebner, and Jason Hervey of The Wonder Years. Also Skylar Astin.

Top: All but the McNair jersey and goal post pad are from colleges that I have a connection to. I wanted the McNair because goal post pads that sell for under ten bucks are a deal, plus I like unique cards and a goal post pad is unique. I love the UCONN stamp on this Donald Brown jersey card. I wanted to make sure that I had a Jason Pierre Paul rookie card in my collection as he starred for two years at my community college. My university doesn’t have a football team but they did. DJ Hackett was the last player to make it to the NFL from California State University Northridge. I made sure to get a rookie card that mention our football program.

The original booklet card, a Bowman jersey from Adam Wainwright. Kirk Manwaring autograph is the other card. Sorry for the blurry picture.

Card below is a nice story. I missed adding this card to the shipment and it was the only card left in my account. When I realized it, it was a day or two after and I emailed COMC asking if they could help me. What I didn’t realize was that they shipped it separately than my big package. I should’ve paid the shipping but they gave it to me free. Even though I asked to get this shipped a few days after this came in a day before the big package.  Dieng is a sleeper in my book. If he was playing Los Angeles or New York, he would be a bigger star but he is solid starter in the league; and a young one with room to grow at that. I like players like him and Nicola Vucevic.

My Collecting Accomplishment: True Colors

May 3, 2017 § Leave a comment

This is an accomplishment that I am proud of. When my COMC order came in, I was able to finish off my Prestige True Colors set. I didn’t pay more than $16 for a single card, and that high distinction went to a Larry Bird patch card that was numbered to 25.

This is a mix of Prime and regular non numbered. It is the same to me and that is all that matters.
1 Joe Johnson
2 Tristan Thompson
3 Kyle Singler
4 David West
5 Buck Williams
6 Russell Westbrook
7 Jeff Teague
8 Gerald Wallace
9 Kyrie Irving
10 Grant Hill
11 Danny Granger
12 Steve Novak – Granger and Novak were random ones that I thought I had and didn’t get until the last second. Think I ended up paying $4 for the Granger when let’s face it, it is a 99 cent card.
13 Kevin Durant
14 Kendall Marshall
15 DeShawn Stevenson
16 Dirk Nowitzki
17 Andre Drummond
18 Ronny Turiaf
19 Karl Malone
20 Nick Anderson
21 Monta Ellis
22 Fat Lever
23 Jae Crowder
24 Klay Thompson
25 Ron Harper – used Panini Rewards points on this because I didn’t want to pay the $30 that they were selling for
26 Patrick Ewing
27 Glen Davis
28 Jason Richardson
29 Danny Ainge
30 Kenneth Faried
31 Harrison Barnes – bought this one twice, as a seller said the first one “got lost in the mail.” I was refunded but annoyed.
32 Eric Bledsoe
33 Raymond Felton
34 Arron Afflalo
35 Ersan Ilyasova
36 Larry Bird
37 Andre Miller – the other one that I used Panini Rewards points on as I missed my chance to get what felt like the only other one in existence.
38 Draymond Green
39 DeAndre Jordan
40 J.R. Smith
41 Marcin Gortat
42 Luc Mbah a Moute
43 Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
44 Alex English
45 Carl Landry
46 Danny Manning
47 Carmelo Anthony
48 Goran Dragic
49 D.J. Augustin
50 Taj Gibson
51 Andre Iguodala
52 John Lucas
53 Chris Paul
54 Amar’e Stoudemire
55 Michael Beasley
56 Thaddeus Young
57 Carlos Boozer
58 Rodney Stuckey
59 Carlos Delfino
60 Blake Griffin
61 Lance Thomas
62 Omer Asik
63 Evan Turner
64 Zydrunas Ilgauskas
65 Bob Lanier
66 Brent Barry
67 Shaquille O’Neal
68 Austin Rivers
69 Zaza Pachulia
70 Lavoy Allen
71 Tyler Zeller
72 Rick Mahorn
73 Roy Hibbert
74 Cazzie Russell – I was so relieved when I found this one. I actually got it for .99 cents. If the seller only knew my maximum bid.
75 Anthony Davis

My Collecting Accomplishment: Prestigious Premieres Autograph

April 29, 2017 § Leave a comment

I probably finished this set off six weeks ago when I grabbed the CJ MCollum card on Ebay but because the COMC cards were not in my possession, I didn’t get custody of all of the cards until Thursday.

Hardest cards to find: Victor Oladipo & Ben McLemore. Ponied up $11 for the McLemore without blinking because I didn’t see it for sale anywhere (Beckett, Ebay, SportLots, COMC). I grabbed that card probably an hour after it was posted on COMC and I would’ve paid more but am thankful that I didn’t. Cody Zeller gets an honorable mention here.
Card that I didn’t appreciate when I pulled it: Giannis. Granted it was with a case I bought myself for graduating college but I would have never bought it and thus never completed the set if I didn’t pull it.
Card that I thought I had because it was everywhere for cheap, but I didn’t realize it until the end: Tony Snell
Most I paid for a single card: $32 for C.J. McCollum. I hope that his career trajectory continues and validates the price.

I probably spent more money than I should have on a horrendous rookies class but I don’t regret it. 90% of it was funded from Swagbucks anyway. I don’t regret it because completing the set feels amazing, especially because I pictures myself doing something like this again. This was the only autograph set from the set that I had a realistic chance of completing so I focused on it. I might have 2 more tricks up my sleeve for my Prestige set so hopefully I have more to come; at least one definite.

The checklist:
1 Nate Wolters
2 Erik Murphy
3 C.J. Leslie
4 Kelly Olynyk
5 Anthony Bennett
6 Trey Burke
7 Jeff Withey
8 Phil Pressey
9 Peyton Siva
10 Shabazz Muhammad
11 Victor Oladipo
12 C.J. McCollum
13 Grant Jerrett
14 Archie Goodwin
15 Mason Plumlee
16 Giannis Antetokounmpo
17 Otto Porter
18 Michael Carter-Williams
19 Jamaal Franklin
20 Elias Harris
21 Solomon Hill
22 Carrick Felix
23 Cody Zeller
24 Steven Adams
25 Ian Clark
26 Allen Crabbe
27 Tim Hardaway Jr.
28 Dennis Schroeder
29 Alex Len
30 Ben McLemore
31 Tony Snell
32 Glen Rice Jr.
33 Reggie Bullock
34 Shane Larkin
35 Nerlens Noel
36 Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
37 Ryan Kelly
38 Tony Mitchell
39 Andre Roberson
40 Isaiah Canaan



Pickups: Opening a box from Christmas on Easter

April 17, 2017 § Leave a comment

I just checked my calendar and am thankful enough to have a busy week so I am posting this tonight. As readers know, I have a bad tendency to sit on maildays. In this case, sitting on a Christmas ‘gift’ worked out. I was hungry for a box of cards because I didn’t get any on Easter. Thankfully I had my 2016 Goodwin Champions box to help, or did I. Before I move on I want to thank GoGTSLive, the best sports card show on the planet that airs every Thursday for sending this me. This low budget collector got a box that I have always enjoyed because of them. Unfortunately I got skunked on the holiday two times over. Fortunately a bad box of Goodwin Champions is still a good box.
I really only issue with the box as you will see.


Going to start off with the bad first. The best card from the box wasn’t even a hit but this Justin Gatlin Lady Luck cloth mini. Beautiful card but the way that it was loaded in the pack caused it to be damaged. The right side is so beat up that it looks like it was shipped without a toploader in a plain white envelope. The card came out bent as a result of the placement in the pact, but after being sandwiched between all the decoy cards to try and smooth it out, it is better. Beautiful card. Actually if you look at the card for sale on COMC it looks worse off than mine: I am going to be including a ton of COMC links to show comparable cards in this post, none of which are mine. Pictures don’t do the cloth justice. It had potential to be a real beautiful card.


Let’s move on to the hits. Both nothing to boast about. A relic of a golfer that I have never heard of and a autograph  Canadian Rugby player who I have definitely never heard of.
Like the relic? You can buy one just like it for 95 cents:
As for the autograph, well you can buy a similar one for 90 cents:
So you can buy the autograph and relic card that I pulled from this box for less than well, insert inane item here – I am sure that you can think of something better than me. In fairness, I could easily see myself taking a dollar flyer on a bid board for these exact cards. The autograph card is even a definite personal collection item. So is the last hit in the next picture.  The black cards in the picture look nice but that is all they are. They look too nice to be the 30 cent base cards that they are:,sc,p2,i100
Interestingly if you look at the ‘hits’ for sale from this set, I pulled probably 2 of the cheapest 10 for sale. I hate that I think that way now.

The last hit was a patch card unique to the product. I was ecstatic to pull it as I have never seen one of these in person. Unfortunately I realized it is because I have been so focused on my other collecting endeavors, and I could’ve scooped up one of this at a reasonable price if I wanted. Just like this one that you can get for $3.30

This box was giving on one front: the amount of decoy cards in the box. Take a look at this crazy stack:

The base set and inserts are really great. I would love to put together a base set of this, and insert set for that matter.


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