Random Review: 2019 Score Football hobby versus retail packs

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This is an assessment of 2 retail packs versus 2 hobby packs. Both pretty much offer the same amount of cards. Hobby packs have been going for $10 to $15 while the ballpark price on retail jumbo is $5.

Retail has 15 inserts per pack as opposed to hobby having 5. My hobby pack that yielded an auto, but only had 4 inserts. Hobby does offer 10 rookies per pack versus the 6 each that I got. I have opened up about 10 retail packs and have yet to get a hit.

If you are putting together a set like I am, retail is a great way to go. The inserts in Score this year are fun. Aren’t products that breakers hate fun? Is that why I am enjoying the product this year?

A ton of the bigger rookies will get overproduced. Score is fun in the sense that it is one of the final filters before these players start to make a name for themselves. If you are a player collector of a future bust then this will be a good set to come back too.

For once, I don’t have a conclusion. It depends on your collecting goals. I can’t tell you which way to go as both offer benefits; especially to this collector. All I can say is that if you are a hit chaser, avoid retail packs at all costs.

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How was your day: Angry’s First Vacation

TLDR: I know that you came here for pictures of cards and they are on the bottom.

Here is a little nugget for you: I hate vacations. It has nothing to do with the fact that I don’t like being around people. It has nothing to do with wanting to stay home. It has everything to do with knowing how I work. I struggle falling asleep in my own bed, and it is impossible to fall asleep in hotel beds. Vacations are supposed to be relaxing but I always found myself stressed out on them. So that had nothing to do with anything, other than to set up that the fact that I took a vacation must have said a lot about how I was feeling.

In June, the pastor wasn’t in at my church. I didn’t realize it at the time but it soon became apparent that all of the heavy lifting at church, and even more so, a ton of minor details needed my attention there. I do a ton there as it is. Anyway, doing all of that made me realize that I needed to get the heck away. So I saw a card show was going on in Anaheim. I have been dying to get back to an Indian casino, and I sorely missed living in Lancaster when the Jethawks were a few blocks from my place. So I set it up. I would head to Lake Elsinore on Friday to hit the Pechanga Indian casino and a Lake Elsinore Storm game, followed by two sports card pit stops fifty miles away from there in Anaheim. As an added benefit, the Storm were playing the Jethawks. I would have gone to an Angels game but they weren’t in town.

I wasn’t sure about doing this but I found a great AirBNB with a private floor for sixty percent less than hotel rates were going for on Independence Day weekend. I was avoiding staying in someone’s home at all cost but it worked out great and when a buddy of mine told me that the people that host usually have things down as they do this a lot, I wasn’t worried. The people I stayed with were amazing and I already miss their dogs.

So I make the hundred plus mile journey, and the vacation is already off to a nice start. Driving long distance wears me out, and I hit a bit of rush hour. I have a bad right knee and driving has been known to bring out its worst. I was sad to leave my pets but I must have been in a good mood if the driving didn’t bug me. I get to the home that I am staying at, and one of their dogs greets me at my car. He looks exactly like my dog but a different color. I get settled, leave all of my stuff their including cards that I bought to trade on Saturday. After ten minutes, I leave to buy a Storm ticket and hit the casino. The Storm ticket was nineteen bucks and I got a padded seat in the second row behind home plate.

Side tangent: yes I did this alone. I needed a break and needed to do things on my terms. If I wanted to stay at the casino for ten minutes, I could. If I wanted to stay for ten hours, I could without worrying. Also, I had three very specific interest and lets be frank, if I took someone they would be miserable at some point. I say this is my first vacation but I have taken vacations with other people; this is MY vacation if you understand that.

I get to the casino and it is crazy in there. Every table is full. Every machine is taken. It reeks of smoke and everyone is fifty years older than me. Did I mention that I hate slot machines because there is no skill involved? Even the empty machines are taken by people who are somehow allowed to play three games at once. I find a poker machine on the opposite end of the casino from where I parked and settle in. I came for the experience and slow play twenty bucks as long as possible; that ends up being ten minutes. I lose interest and go back to the car but had two hours to kill before the game.

So what is one to do when they have two hours to kill in Temecula? Find a card shop. I end up spending ten bucks on base cards I needed to finish of my 2019 Score Football set. They had eighty percent of what I needed. I also spent another ten on new Panthers offensive lineman Greg Little’s autograph. Don’t worry, I didn’t mistakenly grab the former Browns player of the same name. I tried hard making friends with the people there but they had no interest in talking.

‘Do you guys break here?’
‘What is selling here?’
‘Oh, I see that you are doing eBay, what is your eBay name?’
‘What are people fans of in this area?’

This hobby is so full introverts that you make this introvert feel like a social butterfly at times. Whatever. They squeezed me a little on the price of the base cards because they knew that I needed them but I still had a good experience. I will be honest, I would have bought packs if they showed a little gesture of caring about me as a customer or talked to me for longer than one sentence answers.

I get to the ballpark and on the way there, I see that little things like the Walgreens down the street has made their building resemble a baseball stadium. Maybe it is because I was itching to go to a minor league game but I find the stadium amazing. Little things like the sights and sounds of the game were awesome. It is cool how these teams really value to local community and make an effort to connect with them. Yes I came from a few counties over but to see the local city council people get noticed on the field is something that I know that my community would appreciate. Its not just that. When I was in Lancaster, the Jethawks always opened with an exhibition game against a local college team. It is nice to see a team have a give and take with the community instead of what it feels like in the major leagues where you pay a premium and only get to see the best talent. Here, you get the talent who will be in the major leagues plus a place that goes out of your way to make you feel welcome regardless if you are a season ticket holder or someone sitting in the lawn. Another great thing is the promotions they have with local businesses. I know they pay for sponsorships but I have walked out of games with amazing coupons to places that I go to. At my very first minor league game, they gave out frozen yogurt as we were leaving; and I am not talking about coupons.
If you follow me, you may have noticed that something crazy at the ballpark happened. The biggest earthquake in California hit in about the fifth inning. The players didn’t even notice and two pitches went by during the earthquake itself. Unlike the NBA summer league where a game got canceled in the middle of the game, this game went on. Unless it  got mentioned on the radio broadcast, no one mentioned it from the team at the stadium. Being a veteran of minor league games, I like how people around you aren’t afraid to get to know you. My section really came together after the quake. Heck, we bonded during it when we asked each other if it was really happening or if the earthquake was in our heads. If an earthquake or anything happened at a Dodgers game, would the people next to you ask if your family is alright after they see you texting them? Heck, would they even be quiet when you are on the phone with people making sure they are alright?
I was thinking about grabbing some funnel cake and cheating on my celiac disease by grabbing some fresh funnel cake but the earthquake killed my appetite. So I guess the earthquake did me a favor in that sense, as my body literally has an allergic reaction with my intestines swelling when I eat gluten because of the disease. The game ended with fireworks and thankfully fireworks that were launched from center field and not from a disaster.

The next day, I wake up and head to Anaheim for a card show. I didn’t buy anything but that was because I was not interested in forcing things. Perhaps if they had dime or dollar boxes. The dealers were nice and they had deals, they just didn’t have deals that suited my personal collection; and if they did then it was from cards they already had. I did give out a few AngryCardCollector stickers though.

My next stop was the Frank and Son collectible show. Oh man, what an utter disaster. There isn’t any parking there so I had to park two blocks away. When I did get in, everything was crammed. I can only imagine how bad it is there when they do signings. About eighty percent of the place is Pokemon or Magic cards. The other twenty percent is sports card dealers who act like they hate people. I tried to get a word in to ask a few people if they had certain things but they didn’t even look at me because they were too busy talking to their friends. It’s like dude, ‘I am making eye contact with you while wearing a Carolina Panthers shirt.’ I clearly am someone who could give you business. I couldn’t even get these guys to look at me. This happened at at least three stalls. If I could go back, I would reward the store owner who asked if he could help me while I was eyeing the Garbage Pail Kids and Ninja Turtles packs that I didn’t buy. I get that the hobby attracts introverts but if you want to make a sale, at least make eye contact with a potential customer. This is why I call out the hobby cronyism so much; is it so hard to treat everyone with respect? That friend you are talking to will be there if you make him wait a minute but will the customer? I get not talking to everyone or not being a people person but even with the guys in Temecula, they at least directed me. There was a ton of people there, I get it but I was one of the people who spent more than five seconds eyeing your product. I didn’t get that here at the places where I wanted to buy cards. My best interaction with a sports card dealer was from a kid who had to be younger than ten years old. Every time a few customers took interest at his table, he said the very basic ‘if you have any questions, ask me.’ Even then, his dad was too busy talking to a friend while he said it. You guys give a ton of grief and say a lot of negative stuff about the youth of today but all I see are kids who are or will make the world a better place; they certainly made it a better place at Frank and Son. How fitting is it that I am talking about a son at a table at Frank and Son?
I did buy two boxes and a couple of Funko’s. The Funko’s were impulse buys but I was on vacation. Of course, both of those were sports ones, Cam Newton and Jose Altuve. Altuve was an impulse but I saw him as a Jethawk so I felt that it was apropos. As a final hurrah, I grabbed a box of 2018 Pro Debut for $60.

That last picture features 2 players that I saw play on Friday in Ryan Vilade and Luis Campusano. The very last pack that I opened from the box yielded a Ryan Vilade relic. I found it very fitting and a nice way to end my vacation.

Angry: Tyler Skaggs

A man died today. A human being. Yes he was somewhat famous and he played baseball but a human died today. Tyler Skaggs lost his life today. We don’t know why, but it doesn’t matter if he is the next Chris Benoit or the next Thurman Munson; people are affected by his death.

For those that watch my videos, you know that my desk is basically all cards. I did a lot of cleaning today and found his autographed card on my desk. I actually had it on there to sell when he made an all star team or signed a huge contract. Now, the only way that I am giving it up is if it goes in the hands of an Angels collector. It is a shame that I finally searched him online today and saw that he is someone I should have collected before as there is a really good chance that we were born in the same hospital.

Card collecting can be a nasty hobby. Today shows the dark side. Tyler Skaggs was a dollar bin autograph. Now he is a commodity. The amount of listings for his cards today on eBay have doubled. It is embarrassing. Notably, Probstein has listed 3 of them since the announcement. Let’s see Rick blame his consigners for that one. If you live under a rock, there a ton of evidence that Probstein is bad for the hobby that you can find on other sites. I am not going to take credit for any of the work that has been done there.

I don’t care about the people who had his autograph for sale and finally sold it today. I feel that it is embarrassing for someone to list a card with RIP in it 30 minutes after the announcement of his death. Wait a week. The price is now inflated and twice what you would have got for it before.

I am not saying there is a good time to sell it. I saw a Facebook group today ban all sales on his cards for a week. I think that is fair. Truthfully, I don’t know what is fair. I just know that listing his card because of his death at an inflated price is wrong.

We see this all the time with Hall of Famers. There is a huge segment of the collecting population who collects players and waits for them to die, so they can sell for a profit.

Let’s not miss the point. A bigger question is whether it is right to sell cards immediately when someone dies. In the world that I live in, any time one needs to ask themselves a question, they probably already know the answer to it. I have been asked a lot today if selling his cards is right, well if you are asking, then you know the answer. American society has moved away from business and ethics going hand in hand. This needs to be corrected and will be corrected as 99% of American society is good. You are good.

Random Review: 2018-19 Upper Deck SP blaster

 

SP hockey is one of my favorite all time products. If I was only aloud to collect one thing in perpetuity and nothing else, SP hockey would be on my shortlist to consider. Usually it is out of my price range. This year it hit blaster. So naturally I grabbed one. Let’s see what is in it:

I haven’t see what other boxes yield but I am ecstatic about my box.

I hope that the print run on these is through the roof because I want to be able to grab a bunch of these. Unfortunately hockey collectors are not in my area so stores don’t carry hockey like they could – this says nothing of Los Angeles as a hockey town, as hockey fans Los Angeles is a surprisingly very enthusiastic hockey town.

I enjoyed it. If hockey rookies weren’t so expensive, I would consider chasing the set.

Angry: The craziness in the hobby lately

There is a lot of craziness going on in the hobby right now. A lot of it involves card grading companies and backdooring. I feel that it is a missed opportunity with AngryCardCollector not saying anything about it. I worry that by not saying anything that I am falling into the trap of cronyism in the hobby, and I am kind of guilty of that. Well, lets stop that. For the most part, grading is something that has been a novelty to me; despite being a big deal to other collectors. I feel that the bigger issue is Probstein on eBay which I will discuss below as well. Before I go deeper, SportsCardRadio has been reporting like crazy on this. While, it is easy not to like the way that they are reporting these things, and I certainly don’t blame you if you do, you cannot deny the facts that they present. You can find them at http://www.sportscardradio.com/ Now let’s dive in.

With the grading, you are talking about trimming, grades that aren’t true to the card, and people with an uneven number of perfect cards. In one case a grader got a bunch of 10s. All of these have been proven as facts and are not baseless. Whether you like the people reporting the facts, you cannot deny that there is too much evidence to ignore.

Now as for my thoughts:
Regarding trimmed cards: with centering being such a huge part of grading, I am appalled at the carelessness of the grading companies. I do not think the grading companies let the trimmed cards intentionally; which angers me even more. People like myself, are underemployed and desperate for jobs. If card grading must be rushed as I feel that it has with this carelessness, then hire more people are up the cost of the product.

I have heard from numerous people that they think grading is rigged. They think that people who put mass submissions are guaranteed a perfect grade on some cards. I am not sure if I believe this. I think this might be more of a case where one person is grading tons of cards and they feel that by nature some cards must be perfect. I think this self inflicted pressure has resulted in faulty grades. This one however is one that too many with tons of experience and respect in the hobby believe. While I don’t think this is case, I cannot dismiss the fact that people I respect in the hobby have told me this. If certain people believe it, I feel that there is some truth to it.

As for a certain former grader getting perfect cards that are definitely not perfect, well this one annoys me. They say that graders have no idea whose cards they are grading. I feel that this case proves this is total garbage. If one of your best former graders thinks cards are perfect, then I feel the person grading his card is taking his word for it. This boils down to more carelessness.

Now the backdooring of cards and selling them to employees is more carelessness. I don’t think that any hits were specifically given but the volume that was given is alarming. Furthermore, I feel it is a blatant disregard of ethics to sell cases to an employee who will sell them. Yes, Brian Gray, I am calling you out. I feel there is a huge conflict of interest to employ someone who has a side income of selling cards for a living. If we were talking about one guy who breaks every now and then, I would have no problem but we are talking about someone who probably made more from selling product for a living than he did as an employee. That is a conflict of interest to me. We don’t allow this in politics and other avenues so why should be we allow this in the hobby? There are so many layers to this and every layer reeks of favoritism and indecency to me. If a company sees no problem in doing this then I question how they would treat the average Joe who would buy the product. As for saying that you won’t sell to employees now, well too little too late. I don’t know about you but I can’t look someone in the eye with egg in their face. Leaf produced some good product this year but as of right now, I am not buying anything from Leaf until they prove to me that they care about the consumer.

For me to turn further heel on Brian Gray and prove that this hobby is full of cronyism, I would like to point out one more thing. This is a guy who publicly backed Rick Probstein on the Scammers page. Before all of this happened, I thought Probstein was the only major problem in the hobby. The fact is there is way too much shill bidding and fake cards being sold by that account connected to Probstein. Too many people take notice and yet Probstein is still being sung praises by higher ups in the hobby and eBay takes no action. The amount of evidence against Probstein goes further than Blowout forums. This is another case where the evidence is alarming. It is a joke that eBay hasn’t made any effort to clean up his account. It embarrasses me as a deeply religious person, like Rick Probstein is, that this stuff happens. I feel that he must practice what he preaches. I would never put my name on anything that has to do with these proven accusations, it is a shame that Probstein has. Furthermore, he has done nothing to eliminate it other than some basic codes of conduct. Criminals don’t adhere to a code of conduct, and those that enable criminals are criminals themselves.

People worry that all these scandals will put eyes on the hobby. Here are the facts, there are eyes on the hobby to begin with. Just like every online culture, there is intelligence done to make sure things are on the up and up. As a big Twitter person, I can confirm that one or two hobby accounts have an agent behind them; confirm. In one case, I know of someone who was investigating and fell in love with the hobby, and became a huge part of it. The eyes are there, don’t discount it. People think that no one is watching their sleazy activity but they are. I know of one person who is actively building a case against someone who has a history of scamming others in the hobby. Every wrong step is a step in the right direction towards their prosecution as it establishes behavioral patterns. Behavioral patterns, something that we can look at with Brian Gray and Rick Probstein as being guilty of.

In the hobby we see too many times where companies prioritize and play blatant favorites with people who spend money. This needs to stop. It needs at the level with companies that product cards. It also needs to stop at the merchants who sell a mass amount of cards like eBay, Dave and Adams, and Blowout. If you want to have an exclusive promotion with them, then so be it but don’t play favorites. I started this site because I am sick of the cronyism in this hobby and I will continue to call it out until it is remedied.

TLDR: My opinions are that I feel that trimming and grading is caused by carelessness and something must be done, Brian Gray of Leaf has lost my business, Probstein needs to be shut down.

Random Review: WalMart 30 Packs of Wrestling product

For those of you that have checked out WalMart.com, you would know that they have been liquidating the packs of another store. The football and baseball versions went fast. I got my hands on the 30 pack version of the wrestling product. This felt like a safe choice because they didn’t create much product during the 90s.

I figured the best way to do this was to do it via Periscope so I didn’t have to worry about hijacking my computer for hours while it uploaded a video, or taking up space from all of the pictures.

Thanks to JamminJd, I have been keeping tabs on Brothers in Cards for a while. For those unfamiliar with Brothers in cards, they are a pack subscription type box/program. They have 3 levels and offer football and basketball. They have a ton of different product and part of the fun is the randomization process. Unless you buy a gold, the highest level box, you aren’t guaranteed anything major. As a low budget collector, I have to pick my spots. When they released the product list for May, I was in. Let’s take a look at what I got in my bronze box that I paid about $30 for.

Naturally I didn’t get any packs that I wanted but part of the fun is that I got packs that I normally wouldn’t buy. Truthfully, I was more excited for the Kickoff pack than anything; and that’s probably a throwaway pack for many.

This pack probably should have gone to JamminJD as it was loaded with Cowboys but I am happy to get this. As readers know, I love offensive lineman. Plus, how can you go wrong with a Staubach appearance?

Prizm has been hot the past 2 years. Naturally I have avoided it but Panini has produced some awesome parallels and this Marlon Mack is no exception.

 

Overall not bad. I would like to check out a basketball box before the end of the year as I am a bigger basketball collector than a football one. This was still fun. Considering this is comparable to other pack subscription programs, I think this one is worth the trouble.