Collecting My Thoughts

Everything about my obession with cardboard and collecting

Go GTS Live Prize Pack For Trade

If you haven’t already, I highly suggest checking out Go GTS Live! – The Hobby’s Web Show. Go GTS Distribution harnessed a great pair of hosts in Rob Bertrand (@VOTC) and Ivan Lovegren (@WatchTheBreaks) for this show that airs every Thursday night at 8 pm CST. You can find it on Facebook, Twitter, Twitch, and – for us original watchers – Livestream.

In addition to all the great information about the hobby they share, they also do box breaks and give away the hits to viewers. Not every hit is given away live, and they put together monthly prize packs, one of which I was lucky enough to receive. Below is a list of the cards I received in my prize pack. If there’s a card you’re interested in, let me know and let’s make a trade! The best way to reach me is through my twitter – @alexoey


Rediscover 88 Project Update

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It’s been a few months now since

I decided to see if I can put together a complete set of 1988 Topps baseball cards with the Rediscover Topps stamp on them.

So far through trades and purchases I’ve been able to get 171/792 cards to put me at 21% completion, which isn’t a bad start.

If you want to lend a hand, my lists below will let you know what cards I need, what I have and what is available for trade if you’re looking for other Rediscover Topps cards.

Back to the Beginning


My collecting journey began on Christmas 1988. My cousin and I both received the complete 1988 Topps Baseball set and we wasted no time in ripping it open and sorting through our brand new cards.

I can’t count the number of hours we spent looking at, sorting through and rearranging those cards. That opened my world of card collecting, one that I picked up again after graduating from college.

Last year, Topps introduced their “Rediscover Topps” promotion, where they stamped cards from previous releases with “Rediscover Topps” and inserted them into packs. One of the first cards I pulled was a Cal Ripken, Sr. Manager card from the 1988 set, which did exactly what they wanted, and took me back to my early collecting days. It made me think about that first set and how much fun I had spending hours with it.

Flash forward to earlier this year. Going through some cards, I pulled that Ripken Sr. Card back out and decided to see what was out there for the 1988 cards. After some Ebaying, I found myself with an handful of the 1988 cards and after that I was hooked. I also made the decision that I wanted to try and get as many cards through trades as possible, taking me back to school days where binders replaced school books and we would find a shady corner to share our treasures and haggle.

So, if you have any of the 1988 Rediscover Topps cards, let me know. You can find me on Twitter (@alexoey), Instagram (@alexoey6996), Freedom Cardboard and Sports Card Forum (pander69) and of course, here.

Follow my progress on my Rediscover 88 Project page where you can find my want lists, trade lists and the virtual album. And maybe you’ll find yourself going back in time too.

eBay Buyers and Their Ever-Changing Minds

I’ve been buying and selling on eBay for nearly 20 years under my mustangrugger username.

There have been a lot of changes, both good and bad, over that span of time, but one trend I’m starting to see is the amount of buyers that change their minds after committing to a Buy It Now price or make a Best Offer.

Over the past few months I’ve had at least 4 or 5 buyers recant after clicking the BIN button. These aren’t auctions where they accidentally overbid (I did that once) or even the always-suspect, “My kid did it.” purchases, they are people that simply decided to either not read the auction or honor their purchase.

About half of them were people that did not read the description and didn’t want their purchase afterwards. With the Topps Digital Trading Cards becoming popular, I have attempted to make a few sales on eBay. These buyers see a picture and don’t take the time to read either the title or description to see the words DIGITAL CARD or, Only available through the app. I’ve stopped trying these sales for now as they tend to be more of a hassle than they’re worth.

But the ones that really bother me are those that click the BIN button or send an offer, then decide they don’t want it.

Over the weekend I had a buyer make an offer, and less than 4 hours after I accepted their offer, they messaged me asking to get out of it. Not a, “my son did this” or “I don’t know how this happened,” just a straight, “Can I get out of this purchase?” message. No reason, no sorry, just wanted out.

I’ve instituted a new policy when it comes to people backing out of orders. They go on the blocked list. Granted, it will probably not affect them in any way. Most people that think they may want to buy from you again aren’t going to do that, but at least it helps me.

Another Crackin’ Wax Mail Day

As many of you have noticed, I really don’t do a lot of group breaks, mainly due to spending my funds in other areas, but there is one breaker I never miss. Crackin’ Wax.

Chris is a breaker based out of the Twin Cities who isn’t like other breakers as he donates all profits from his breaks to various charities.

The latest break featured his better half, the wonderful Literal Quirk on Twitter, in the 2nd Annual Ladies Night break. Not only did they pull 53 hits when they expected 50, they also pulled a 1/1 Ken Griffey Jr.!

I didn’t fare too bad myself.


The best card I received was the 2016 Topps Legacies of Baseball Vault Metals card of Willie McCovey. It’s a beautiful card that is made from a thick piece of Metal, making it a unique piece.

But for me, Crackin’ Wax breaks are not about getting the big hits. It’s an opportunity to interact with some genuinely great people in the hobby who worry about more than just the bottom line.

If you’re a group break fan, be sure to sign up for their mailing list to hear about the newest breaks.

Not a White Whale – But Close

Finding Chad Greenway cards that I don’t already have – and can afford – is getting to be harder and harder each day. I check my ebay feed at least once a day to make sure I don’t miss any good Buy It Now sales, which doesn’t happen very often.

So imagine my surprise when I recently found a Greenway I had only seen once before – and was quickly outbid on – sitting on eBay with a reasonable BIN. I decided to take a big chance and offered a little less on the Best Offer option, and crossed my fingers that someone else wouldn’t jump in and grab it.

I didn’t have to wait long before the seller accepted my offer, and I don’t think I’ve ever hit the Pay Now button faster. The wait was excruciating, but eventually it came in the mail.


It doesn’t look like much, but the simple word “Greens” has haunted me for a few years. There was one on eBay, probably 5-plus years ago, and I had always regretted letting it get away.

The web show that I watch weekly, Go GTS Live, started a fun new segment to their show, asking collectors to tweet to them, @gogtslive with pictures of our recent pickups. A fellow collector, @KelSchroy75 asked what I thought about “autographs” such as these. I truthfully hasn’t put much thought into it as I had viewed it as another checkmark on my Greenway list.

But after thinking for a while, and deleting several twitter responses, I decided I really didn’t mind them. To this point, it’s not something you see too often, and in my mind, it’s not just the mindless scribble that seems so prevalent now. Chad had to stop ripping through his autograph and actually think to do something like this.

Now, if everyone started adding them to their sets, I may rethink my opinion, but for now, I am a fan of them – especially this one.

Jose Fernandez – You will be missed


On Sunday morning I woke up like I always do and checked my phone – which was going crazy with news that Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez had died in a boating accident.

Fernandez was only 24 when he passed and reports say that the boat he was a passenger on crashed near the entrance to Miami Harbor. There were no reports of alcohol or drugs involved, but speed was believed to be a factor.

As a baseball fan, this is extremely sad news. Not only was he an excellent pitcher, but he also appeared to be one of the happiest players I’ve ever had the pleasure to watch. The Topps Heritage card above captures his exuberance in a great image. Always smiling, he was a great player and, from all reports, a great person.

This past little league season, the team I was able to coach was the Marlins. I’ve coached twice and each year try to tell the kids about players in the MLB that wear the same hats we have. Fernandez was one that I constantly told the kids about. How could you not enjoy watching him play.

Once again, we lost an athlete too early. R.I.P. Jose. You will be missed.

Marvel Comic Extravaganza

Anyone who is on Twitter has clicked the RT button to enter a giveaway at least once. I bet I do it several times a day as I’m scrolling through my feed. Sometimes I even get lucky.

But this one was outside of the norm for me. Which isn’t a bad thing!

I’m a fan of the Marvel Universe. I watch the movies, tune in to the TV shows, even have a few of the toys for my sons and I to play with. But one area – one that some would say is where it all starts – is something I haven’t delved into for years.


One of my earliest comic memories was picking up a Popeye the Sailor comic on a trip to Indonesia with my father when I was very young. It wasn’t in English, so I had to have my dad or an uncle read it to me, but I loved to look at the book, frame by frame. Growing up I would get comics here and there and reread the Archie Digests my grandparents had at their house over and over.

Getting into my teen years comics were getting really big. My brother and I would get loads of books at the card and comic store in Watertown, SD and as I moved back to cards, my brother stayed with comics.

I still have a lot of the comics that I picked up back when I was younger. My wife says something about hoarding, but I don’t listen because one day they’ll be, “for my boys” or something like that.

Recently I happened upon a Twitter account, @MixedMarvelArts through a Retweet from someone I follow. They were having a giveaway to catch people up on the Marvel Secret Wars story arc. Of course I clicked on the RT button, not thinking much about it, so I was real surprised to see my name on the winning tweet!

A while later, I got a text from my wife asking what I had bought that would have come in a big box, which confused me a bit since I had been trying to be good and not buy much. I was beyond shocked to get home and see how many comics Brian Bradley of the Mixed Marvel Arts site had sent!


It was the first five issues of 13 separate comics! I’m excited to dig in and start reading these and hopefully sharing them with my sons. But, if you see something you like, let me know. My brother and another good friend are in line to read them, but why not share the love.

Thanks again to Brian and Mixed Marvel Arts. They do an interesting podcast that covers everything Marvel, from comics and toys to TV and movies, and everything else they see. Visit their site at or follow them on twitter @MixedMarvelArts

Crackin’ Wax 2016 Bowman Chrome Mail Day


On Wednesday I got a nice package in the mail, my cards from the Crackin’ Wax 2016 Bowman Chrome Case Break which took place over the weekend. For those of you that don’t know Chris over at Crackin’ Wax, I highly recommend checking him out for his charity case breaks, which is a wrinkle in the usual case breakers.

Chris does a variety of case breaks throughout the year, and this year will be no different with six total by the end of the year. The final break of the year will be Bowman Draft Jumbo in December, which will benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

But back to the Bowman Chrome Break, in which I had the Washington Nationals. This break also supported the Make-A-Wish Foundation and even though I didn’t hit it big, I did hit a low-numbered parallel.


The Orange Scherzer is numbered 13/25 while the Trea Turner is a regular refractor numbered 464/499.

Chris also will open random blasters between breaks and throws them in as a bonus.


The Topps Chrome Sepia Refractor of Scherzer was a nice bonus and the Donruss Optic Diamond Kings of Harper looks pretty sweet.

I can honestly say that I’ve only missed two breaks with Chris at Crackin’ Wax twice in the last 3-4 years. He’s fun to watch live and the charity aspect is one that I truly enjoy.

I’ll be signing up for the 2016 Bowman Draft Jumbo break as soon as it opens. Will you?

Give Chris a follow on Twitter, @CrackinWax.

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