Ginter Question


I have a question for all of you Allen and Ginter nuts out there. I realize this might seem a bit elementary, but I’m new to the game, so please forgive me.

When I opened my box, I pulled an N43 Box Loader of David Price. As a Buccos fan and Emmitt Smith collector, this card has absolutely no importance to me or my card collection. So naturally I’d like to send it to someone who will appreciate it. I will probably go the eBay route because it doesn’t make a lot of sense for a business to buy things and then turn around and give it all away for free (well, at least not for a company the size of mine).

So that brings us to our question: Just how do you ship one of these things?!?

I mean, really. It’s too large for a standard penny sleeve and toploader. And thicker toploaders don’t help because thickness is the only dimension that’s NOT bigger than normal. But it’s too small for a picture frame or something like that. Do I just stick it between two pieces of cardboard and hope my “DO NOT BEND” stamp is noticed? Do I try to tape multiple toploaders together? Do I just throw the card away in digust because I can’t ship it like a normal card (keep in mind I am a severe creation of habit).

Please advise.



Blog Bat Around: $50,000 Shopping Spree


Being somewhat of a blogging newcomer (First and Goal’s first “birthday” is still over a month away), this is my first Blog Bat Around. The topic for discussion? What would I do if I were given $50,000 and 15 minutes on eBay? First, I would like to say that I am actually a pretty sensible guy. Given $50,000 in real life, I would most likely max out the Roth IRA contributions for my wife and I, get some home improvement projects rolling, and put the rest towards the mortgage. Obviously there are three glaring problems with this plan: 1) that would take more than 15 minutes to orchestrate, 2) I can’t really do any of this on eBay, and 3) no one is actually giving me $50,000. Second, given that I am a budget collector and an accountant, there is no way I could blow $50,000 in a 15-minute span on eBay. Not going to happen. I am far too anal about looking for the lowest prices (even if it’s free money, I’d still want to get the most possible for my hard(ly)-earned dollars) and most of what I collect is dirt cheap to begin with. So I am throwing out that portion of the question. I’m going to answer this question instead: What would you do if you were given $50,000 in eBay gift certificates, had an entire day off work, and had to spend the money on sports collectibles?

I like that question a lot better. It gives me time to do some homework. But not too much homework. And since no one has offered to pony up that $50,000 yet, here are my quick thoughts as to what I would buy:

1) 1950 Topps Felt Backs Joe Paterno
As a football collector and a Penn State alumnus, this would be the ultimate card for my collection. Even given JoePa’s incredible success and longevity, he still has only been featured on a small handfull of cards, including this gem of a rookie card. What some people may not know is that Joe was actually 64 years old when this card was printed. Estimated cost: $2,500

1950 Topps Felt Backs Joe Paterno

2) Emmitt Smith autographed jersey
Supposedly no player collection is complete without an autographed jersey. Given my normal shrewdiness, it is very highly doubtful I will ever splurge to get one of these. But, given fantasy money to blow, I would be more than happy to in this case. Estimated cost: $500.

Emmitt Smith autographed jersey

3) Pittsburgh Pirates Grab Bag
Next up would be a quick solution to my sudden urge to put together a collection of every Topps base card featuring a Pittsburgh Pirate. Because I doubt there are very many auctions or BIN listings for 1987 Topps cards, this would probably take the form of me buying a ton of lots and hoping for the best. Obviously I would go for anything that resembles a team set for a particular year, and then try to fill in the cracks with singles. The biggest problem with this idea is that I have a feeling a fair amount of money would be wasted on shipping charges. The one perk is that what I predict to be the most expensive card in that category, Roberto Clemente’s rookie, would easily be within my reach. Estimated cost (at least what I’d be willing to spend on random Topps Pirates): $3,500.

1955 Topps Roberto Clemente

4) Random Emmitt Smith additions
As I said, I am a budget collector AND I am trying to focus my collection. So rather than go blow a bunch of money on iconic cards or very overpriced cardboard of young players who haven’t proven anything yet, I would just bolster my Emmitt collection. This is a big reason I vote for the “all day off work” revision to the Blog Bat Around. I would love to stroll around eBay and add whatever Emmitt cards I come across that I do not already own. One of the general targets would be autographs and/or jersey cards as I have very few of those in my collection currently. I would especially be interested in stuff from the high-end sets I wouldn’t otherwise purchase, like Exquisite, UD Black, etc. But to stay true to my roots, there is no reason to expect I would walk away from this fantasy without tons of shiny 90s inserts and any base card I do not already have. BTW, I’m putting out a bounty for the 1999 Donruss Elite Primary Colors Red. I have yet to see one of these listed for sale anywhere. It would look really nice beside my Yellow and Blue ones. Probable limit: $8,500

5) Card Shop inventory
For those of you who have read my blog for a little while, it is no secret that it is a dream of mine to own my own card shop. With the estimated remaining $35,000 of eBay goodness, I would try to buy a ton of boxes and cases of unopened product (and maybe give in and buy a bunch of over priced cards of young players who haven’t proven anything yet or even some iconic football cards). Without having to pump in $35,000 of my own capital (which would NEVER happen at this point in life), I wouldn’t be obsessed with profit margin to start off with. I could start selling the inventory to get cash, which would in turn be used to buy more inventory. Right now may not be the best time to jump into the market, but even if the entire $35,000 was gone in two years, at least I could say I gave my dream a chance at reality AND I wouldn’t be out $35,000 of my own money. That sounds like a win/win situation to me.

So maybe my $50,000 shopping spree wouldn’t be as fun or frantic as some others’ and maybe I am aiming far too low, but if all I walked away with were the things listed above, I would be a VERY happy collector.

Now, who wants to make this plan a reality…?



Hmmm…So my blog’s odometer claims that I have surpassed the 10,000 hit threshold. Cool! Especially considering I started this blog without any real aspirations, and particularly since I have practically stopped all posting activities since tax season started. Granted, I realize this is not nearly as cool as when Emmitt broke the 10,000 yard mark on 11/28/1996, or even as sweet as when Mario broke the 1,000,000 hit barrier (right around the time I started First and Goal by the way), but I’m pretty stoked about it anyway.

So to help celebrate, and to give me something easy to write about, I am going to hold a contest because let’s be honest, everyone likes free stuff. So here’s how it is going to go down. You will have three ways to enter:

   1) Leave a comment on this post telling me why you enjoy (or don’t enjoy) reading First and Goal and/or what you would like to see improved/continued.

   2) Plug my contest on your own card blog and then copy the link as a comment to this post. Does this favor other bloggers? Yes. And I am totally cool with that.

   3) Buy a card from me on eBay. What? Sales are down and this is free advertising. Each card counts as a separate entry. There aren’t many on right now, but I’m hoping to add more today and tomorrow.

UPDATE: Just to be a bit more clear, you can enter in any or all of the above manners (and option 3 can be used as many times as you wish). For example, if you leave a comment on this post, plug my contest on your blog (and tell me about it here), and buy 2 cards from me on eBay, that’s four entries. If you leave 8 comments and buy 1 card, that is only 2 entries as only option 3 can be used more than once. Hopefully that makes sense. All entries will be put into’s list randomizer to select a winner, so each entry has an equal chance of winning.

So there you go. We’ll say all entries must be in by 11:59pm EST Saturday February 6, 2010. I’m not sure exactly what the prize will be just yet, but I can guarantee it will include some unopened packs, some jersey cards, and maybe a few base cards to boot. Good luck to all.

Oh, and to celebrate today’s Pro Bowl, here’s an 18 year old Emmitt Smith card. Enjoy.

Pull of a Lifetime


I have written in several posts about my return to the hobby in mid-2008 and the subsequent buying binge I went on, which reached an expensive climax right around Christmas. As my first run through the Hobby resulted in me buying lots of mid-to-late 90s retail wax and a few singles from my local hobby shops, I was blown away with the vast quantity of game used swatch cards and autographed cards available in every box. When I left the Hobby, jersey cards were just beginning to be inserted and autographs were extremely rare parallels. Every hobby box I ripped through contained more and more hits and I became more and more excited. The ultimate (pun intended) was the two boxes of 2007 Ultimate Collection football I purchased. Each box only contained 16 cards (4 per pack), but almost every card featured pieces of jersey and/or autographs. While opening my second box, carefully examining each card, I was completely dumbfounded when I flipped over this beauty:

Adrian Peterson Autograph RC Gold
Click image for a full sized scan

This gem is an autographed Adrian Peterson Ultimate Collection rookie card gold parallel #20/25. As a guy who once got really excited to pull a basic insert card of Michael Jordan or Emmitt Smith (like UD Choice Starquest), you can imagine the level of excitement this pull created. I immediatly dug out the 1″ Lucite screw down holder I had purchased years ago in case I ever pulled a really valuable card. I figured this card fit that bill. At the time, I still depended on Beckett’s online price guides. When I looked this card up, the excitement level kicked up a notch when I saw a $1,000 book value attached to the card. In my current knowledge, I realize how trivial book values are and know I probably could not actually get $1,000 for the card, but it is still an amazing pull.

So now, just like a lot of the other cards occupying space in my home office, I have to ask myself what I should do with it. Should I list it on eBay to capitalize on Peterson’s currently very high popularity and to help recapture a good chunk of change I dropped on wax last year? Do I try to track down a die-hard Peterson collector and negotiate a sales price or high profile trade? Or do I simply hold onto it and either hope his stock only continues to soar higher or tuck it away to always remind myself of the greatest pull of my life (so far)?

If you had pulled this card, what would you do with it? If you wanted this card, how much would you pay for it?

Opinions Wanted


As I venture into the world of eBay sales, I thought it might be cool to have a business card I can send along with purchases. I bought a pack of Avery business card sheets and threw something together quick last night so that I could get the first order sent out.

Click image for a full sized scan

What do you guys think? It looks a little cleaner in person. My scanner either needs to be really cleaned or replaced, because I admit this scan looks a tad crappy. “The Football Card Specialists” may have been a bit of a stretch, especially since I’m hoping to sell off most of my extensive basketball collection as well, but I definitely do plan to focus on football.

Any suggestions? New tag line? More/less contact info? More graphic elements? Anything you can suggest would be appreciated.

That Was Quick…


So I finally took the plunge and decided to start selling some of my cards on eBay. I broke a bunch of my doubles (and some non-doubles, including short printed rookies) into team sets so that I have a complete team set for all 32 NFL teams. After dealing with a sluggish Internet connection, I finally got 16 of the lots posted. Right after listing the 16th, I check My eBay, and I already sold 2 for the full asking price. SWEET!

In case you’re interested in anything I have listed so far, you can check out my eBay “Store” by clicking here.

Hopefully this is a good sign of things to come, because I am looking to unload a lot of cards in the coming months through eBay…