October 27, 2016
The time has come in my favorite sport. Political correctness has smothered the great game of baseball. In just two short weeks we have witnessed something I never thought I would see, the hitters are not only showing up the pitchers, but actually getting away with it. I do not claim to know all of the “unwritten rules” rules of baseball, but I do know enough of them to know that if you do anything to show up guy on the mound 60’ away from you, the next time you are in the batter’s box you will get a 95 mph fastball in your ribs. Continue reading

Nostalgia: For Me, It’s About the Details Too

Kin Kinsley
October 21, 2016

The hobby that we love is an always-evolving one.  Whether it is the number of card companies, the kinds of cards (numbered, memorabilia, etc), the ways we add to our collection or any number of other things, change is always a constant.  Something that does not change is nostalgia and the memories of simpler, more innocent times in our lives that cards can bring.

You see it with the older collectors that stick to vintage.  Many abhor new products.  It has caused some to leave the hobby, including the man that gave me my first baseball cards.  As parallels, inserts and memorabilia cards continued to become the focus of many, he tapped out of the hobby.  I can’t say that I blame him.  However, he still has all those old cards that can bring back the memories of his youth.

Continue reading

BOX BREAK: 2016 Topps Heritage WWE Blaster

Kin Kinsley
October 16, 2016

Earlier I posted a hobby box break of this same product.  I picked this blaster up yesterday and decided I wanted to put the set together.  Originally I picked up a Heritage High Number Baseball blaster, but decided to go with this instead.  After getting the complete set in the hobby box, my hope with this blaster was to get some help on the insert sets I need to finish off.

The blaster boxes contain five nine-card packs and one “relic” pack.  I had no idea what to expect in the relic pack, having done no research.  To my surprise it had two cards.  One was the relic, and there was another.  I am not sure if this is normal or not.

I ended up with two of The Rock inserts in just five packs.

The second Rock cards was in the last pack.  There was also another parallel in that one.

All in all, I’m pretty happy with the box.  Hoping to trade some of them off to complete the insert sets I’m still working on.  What I can say is that I will likely buy the hobby boxes going forward.  These are still always good if I’m at Walmart and make an impulse purchase.

BOX BREAK: 2016 Topps Heritage WWE Hobby Box

Kin Kinsley
October 16, 2016

Earlier today I headed over to Duane’s Sportscards, thinking that there was a card show there this weekend.  I was incorrect, it is next weekend, so I spent a little time in the shop.  After yesterday grabbing a 2016 Topps Heritage WWE blaster at Walmart, I looked to see if Duane’s had hobby boxes.  They did.  I decided I want to complete this set, since the design is the same as 1986 Topps Baseball, the first set that I owned.

Per Beckett.com:
Packs per box: 24
Cards per pack: 9
Boxes per case: 12
Set size: 110 cards

• Autographs, Memorabilia Cards, Manufactured Patch Cards and Printing Plates – 2 Total
• The Rock Tribute Inserts – 4
• Record Breakers Inserts – 24
• Turn Back the Clock Inserts – 24
• WCW/nWo All-Stars Inserts – 24

I can say that my box was exactly what was expected.  That is a very good thing.

I was very pleased that there was a complete 100-card set in my box.  This means that unless I want to chase hits, or get the last few inserts that I need, I do not need to purchase another box.  I also ended up with 25 duplicates.  I would have been really excited if any of them were Bayley, Kevin Owens or Bray Wyatt…but it is what it is.

The box contained two of the silver parallels, which are numbered to 50 and hobby exclusives.

RECORD BREAKERS is a 30 card set that is inserted one per pack.  I ended up with 24 of the 30 cards in the set since there were no duplicates.

TURN BACK THE CLOCK is a 15 card set, inserted one card per pack.  I ended up with a complete set and nine duplicates.

WCW/NWO ALL STARS is the third set inserted at one per pack.  I did not receive any duplicated, so I have 24 of the 40 cards in the set.

THE ROCK TRIBUTE are one in six packs.  I received the expected four cards.

2016 Topps Heritage WWE – The Rock Tribute Cards #23, 25, 28 & 30

Each box does state on the outside that there are two hits per box, and that’s what I received.  I’m not always the biggest fan of Topps, but at least on the WWE cards I have purchased over the past few years, they have not done me wrong.

I received one autographed card.  I am quite happy that these are on-card and not stickers (or at least mine was).  Tyler Breeze isn’t one that really does anything for me, but never do we as collectors end up with that “perfect” box.

Much like I said with the Tyler Breeze card, Naomi isn’t the Kiss Card that would have been at the top of my list.  However, some of the top female names were not included in this set.  Also, these are inserted at just a little more than one per case, so I really can’t complain.

I’ve bought a solid amount of Topps WWE product over the last handful of years.  I have not ever been disappointed.  What was different this time was that this is actually the first hobby box I have bought.  I’ve always picked up Walmart blasters or rack packs before today.

As someone wanting a complete a set, a hobby box is probably the best way to go.  I was able to get the complete base set and did well on the three one-per-pack insert sets.  There’s no guarantee that in three blaster boxes I’d complete a set.  It’s likely, but there’s no guarantee.  Those are $19.99 a pop, so why not just buy the hobby box and get a guaranteed couple of hits?  I will probably move all of mine just to recoup the some of the money that I basically paid for my set.  I’m a happy guy and this is certainly the approach I will take on WWE sets going forward.

Rip Card Update: I Won…Now What

In an update to the rip card saga I’ve endured for the past few months I can now proudly say that I am a winner! 

In the American League wildcard game on Tuesday, Jose Bautista blasted a home run in his first at-bat. According to the Topps Double Play Rip Card (pictured below), Jose only needed to record a hit in a 2016 Postseason game for me to win the prize listed and I’m glad he did it sooner rather than later! I’m not sure how much longer I could’ve waited!

Now the waiting begins. Within the next few days I’ll get my redemption ready to ship to Topps to claim my prize. I have no idea what to expect as the prize listed is extremely vague. As you can see, I won an Autographed Card and the possibilities for this are almost endless, which is scary. 

Nevertheless, I’ll post another update when I have one. In the meantime, fingers crossed that this prize will be worth the wait!

Frustration in the Unknown

Kin Kinsley
October 4, 2016

I envy vintage baseball card collectors.

Are they more expensive than similar cards in other sports?  Absolutely.

Are there more people chasing them?  Oh yes.

Is there more of most of the cards available?  Undoubtedly.

None of those are the reason why I envy those collectors.  I think they are lucky because more is known about the cards that they are collecting.  The reasons for that?  See the three questions above.  More demand equates to more collectors researching the history of the cards.

The American Tobacco Company T206 set is the granddaddy of all baseball card sets.  It starts at the top with the Honus Wagner (a copy just sold for $3.1M on October 1) but is popular for many reasons.  Many collectors focus on back variations.  Cards were produced of some Southern League players, but in more limited quantities.  There are many ways to collect the set.

LINK:  ‘Jumbo Wagner’ Sets New Record — Topping $3M

The popularity of the set has accounted for no lack of information on the set.  You can find hundreds, if not thousands, of threads about the set on net54baseball.com.   In a thread I posted there, asking for general knowledge, someone gave me a link to a 77-page piece on the set (link below).

LINK:  Inside T206 – A Collector’s Guide to the Classic Baseball Card Set 

I recently picked up a couple of cards from the set, but it’s not an interest of mine.  I am into trading cards that revolve around the Indianapolis 500 and the men that have driven in The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.

My interest in the history of the Indianapolis 500 reached an all-time high this year, leading up to the 100th Running of the race.  I began researching and found a few vintage sets that were about the race or contained drivers in the race.  That’s where I came across the 1911 American Tobacco Company Auto Drivers (also known as T36) set.

I haven’t been able to find much information on the set.  It is a 25 card set, by the book.  This is the “set information” from Beckett.com.  “This 25-card set was produced for The American Tobacco Company. Each card includes a small ad for either Hassan or Mecca Cigarettes on the cardback. All 25 cards were produced with both ad back variations. The cards measure 2 1/2 x 1 3/4 and came with square corners. The cards are unnumbered and feature top race car drivers of the day from both North America and Europe representing all types of auto racing events. They were packaged one card per 10 cigarette pack and two per 20 cigarette pack. The cards were inserted in cigarette packs starting on March 27th, 1911 and ending on March 31st, 1911. Special thanks to Jon Hardgrove for providing much of this information.”

I’m not the world’s greatest internet researcher, but I feel quite positive that I am at least average.  Other than that, I’ve only been able to find one other piece of information on the set, an old auction listing that had information I was not aware of.



Outside of these pieces of information, I know very little about the set.  However, learning about back variations made me wonder about the T36 cards.  I knew there were both Hassan and Mecca backs, presumably making this a 50-card set.  Then I learned about Factory variations and checked the cards that I could (both mine and currently for sale).  They do come from two different factories, 30 and 649.  Is this a 100-card set?

So far, I don’t have enough evidence to make a solid hypothesis, but for me the door is open than this could be a 100-card set with all variations.  I have found out a couple of things examining the few copies of these cards that I know of.

I have two copies of the Ralph DePalma card.  One has the Mecca back and one the Hassan.  They have different factory numbers.  This was the first pair of variations that I knew of, leading me to believe it is a 50-card set with the variations.

For months I believed that this was the “master” set, a Mecca and Hassan back for each.

Most of these cards I’ve seen are listed on eBay with ridiculous Buy it Now prices.  When auctions come along, they end anywhere from 33-50% of the ones establishing residency on eBay.  The auctions don’t come along often, at least that I have found.  Over the last six months or so, I have seen five auctions and won four of those.

In the last month, two George Robertson cards have been up for auction and I won both of those.  When I saw the second one, I was interested in the back.  It was a Hassan back, just like the one that I had.  However, it was from Factory 30 but the one in my possession already was Factory 649.

The combination of these two pairs of variations has me back to thinking that the complete, master set will indeed be 100 cards.  So far these are the only cards I have seen with the different backs, but one is a brand variation and one a factory variation.

Since I cannot find much info on the set, I am left to researching them myself.  My hope is that sometime soon another DePalma or Robertson variation will come along, but I doubt it will be soon.  Luckily, I’m young enough that I have plenty of years to try and unravel this mystery.


Yes, a Non-Baseball “T” Card Addition

Second T36 Post for a Second Place Finisher.

My Third 1911 American Tobacco Auto Drivers (T36) Card

T36 Pickup – 1911 ATC Auto Drivers Ralph DePalma SGC 40