Chaos and Kanji is the blog where I write about my adventures through Japan!

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Friday, March 23, 2018

As Luck Would Have It

Sometimes, luck isn't on my side. So many times, things go wrong in life, and you have to take the bad with the good. In the card world, I've completely forgotten about auctions or just happened to miss them. I've had great cards and then let them slip through my fingers. And I'm sure there are plenty of cards sitting in storage that I could have sold at some point in the past and made a pretty penny.

But sometimes things go well. I have more than half of Buck Farmer's 1/1 cards. (Where are the rest? Who has them? Give them to me!) I do occasionally get nice pulls in boxes and packs. And this month, I've managed to knock several cards and sets off my want lists.
59-year-old Otis Nixon had a length career in Major League Baseball, starting in 1983 with the Yankees, then bouncing around the continent: Cleveland, Montreal, Atlanta, Boston, Texas, Toronto, Los Angeles, Minnesota, and Atlanta again. Not exactly known for his glove, Nixon was a terror on the base paths, stealing over 100 bases between AA and AAA in 1982.

He is tied for the single-game stolen base record, with six steals on June 16, 1991, and finished his career with 620 swipes. He holds the record for most steals in a career without ever appearing in an All-Star Game. Nixon's career batting average was a respectable .270, though he hit only 11 home runs - less than one per year over 17 seasons.
Otis has had a tough life, battling a cocaine addiction during and after his career. While he claimed to overcome his addiction in 2010, he was found with a crack pipe and some crack in 2013. He went missing last year for a day, though was found safe.

Despite being clumsy with a glove at first, Nixon has a .989 fielding average over his career, and is an Atlanta legend for The Catch in 1992:
It was for his involvement in that great season - my first full year living in Atlanta - that made me want his autograph, and I've been waiting and watching for a long time. The last autograph sold back at the beginning of the year for about $10 shipped, and I didn't even get a chance to bid on it. But I got the above card for only about $7, a happy surprise!

And now I can scratch that piece of history off my want list. It'll display nicely next to my lithograph of The Catch, if I ever settle down and have a man cave again.

Until next time...

Thursday, March 22, 2018

One Card = Two Cards

When it comes to the Olympics, there are two sports I really look forward to: figure skating in the winter, and gymnastics in the summer. They are art in motion, plainly put.

It doesn't hurt that the US has had some really good competitors in these sports. I could probably ramble off at least a dozen names between the two sports (in no particular order, women only):
  1. Dominique Moceanu
  2. Dominique Dawes
  3. Shannon Miller
  4. Simone Biles
  5. Kerri Strug
  6. Carly Patterson
  7. Gabrielle Douglas
  8. Aly Raisman
  9. Tonya Harding
  10. Nancy Kerrigan
  11. Sasha Cohen
  12. Nastia Liukin
  13. Shawn Johnson

Thanks to sets like Goodwin Champions and Allen & Ginter, I've managed to accumulate several relics and autographs of the US's best. Yes, the Topps Olympics sets and some Leaf and Panini issues have contributed hits of Olympians as well. My newest acquisitions are these two relics of McKayla Maroney.

I don't have the cards in-hand; they are at my mom's house. But I believe that Maroney gave a leotard or warm-ups to Topps for these relic cards, rather than just a T-shirt or pair of jeans. Honestly, I would have been happy with just one card, but the seller was offering these as a pair, and patience is not my middle name. Besides, I now have two color swatches for the same card.

I do know Aly Raisman's relics in 2016 Goodwin Champions are from a leotard, which I think makes them so much better than most memorabilia cards in sets like Americana. Maroney and Raisman are athletes, and as such, their memorabilia cards should reflect that. (Side note: Kerri Strug's relics are from a warm-up jacket, and Sasha Cohen's are from a warm-up shirt).

McKayla has a relation to baseball, in a way - she tossed out the first pitch at a White Sox game in 2014:
That event got her a baseball card in Topps' First Pitch set (I miss that set; I hope it makes a comeback soon). She also threw out the first pitch with her gymnastics teammates in Dodger Stadium in 2012:
Until next time...

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

The Snow Never Bothered Me Anyway

Once again, I say to you, happy spring.

It snowed today. It's not that crazy, as in 2010 it snowed in mid-April in Tokyo. I expected precipitation, albeit in the form of rain, so I still did what I planned to do. Well, mostly. I didn't go to any card shops as I originally hoped to, partly because my shoes aren't waterproof and my feet were cold, and partly because there are some auctions and such going on that I'm waiting to end before picking stuff up at those shops. 

So I got home a little earlier, and did nothing. And so this post is late, if there is such a thing. I've spent most of the evening doing basically nothing...

Anyway, I haven't been completely unproductive lately. Yesterday I showed you some sets, so today here are a couple recent single cards I've picked up. Think of this as a little bit of my March eBay haul. (I hate hauls, so this isn't a haul.)
 Spot the difference. (Yeah, there is none.) I have to use eBay scans, since my cards are on the other side of the world, but the American League Standouts and Astros sets use the same photos for Altuve. I haven't checked other players. The card on the left is from the AL Standouts blister pack set, while the right-hand card is from the Astros set. I got both of them for my Altuve collection, as well as a Tanaka card for my type collection. And one more from this set:
 Buck Farmer on his first Topps card since 2015! He appeared in 2016 Donruss and minor league team sets in 2016 and 2017, but it's been a long time since I've had a new Buck Farmer to chase. And it's already done. Though Topps does have an awful habit of making those large-sized limited sets, and there might be some /99 or /49 jumbo parallel online exclusive. But I'll cross that bridge if I come to it.
And speaking of Buck, I managed to find one of the more-elusive cards needed in my collection. This is the 2015 Topps Chrome Rookie Autograph Red Refractor card, numbered out of five. With the 2018 Topps Tigers Team card above, I now have 246 Buck Farmer cards! That's of 282 known cards, and a few of those might not even exist.

What's missing for Buck?
2015 Panini Immaculate College Blue (#/10) and Gold (#/5)
2015 Panini National Treasures College Gold (#/10)
2015 Panini National Treasures College Rookie Signatures Gold (#/10)
2016 Panini Georgia Tech Gold (#/25) and Black (#/10)
2016 Panini Georgia Tech Autographs Silver (#/99), Gold (#/25), and Black (#/10)
...and 27 1/1 cards. 

I'm not so sure any of those Georgia Tech cards exist, which makes up half of the "obtainable" Buck Farmers. It's funny how all the cards I need are Panini, too. (For the 1/1s, there are plenty of Topps cards, but I'm not counting those in this statistic.)

Hopefully Buck finds some success this year, and maybe makes his way on to a bit more cardboard. Though I'm not sure my wallet can afford it!