Monday, January 31, 2011

It's not ok...or is it?

Despite reassurances from Gus Zernial that everything is ok, something fishy is going on with this card.

You may recall that several bloggers, including me, mentioned Gus Zernial's passing recently. I have the great '56 play at the plate Gus and started looking at his other cards. I did a double-take when I saw this 1952 gem. I couldn't figure out why he had 6 balls stuck to his bat and then I read the back of the card, which may give a reason.

Over a three game stretch in 1951, Gus hit 6 homeruns, which tied a major league record. It sure makes for an interesting card in a set that has a lot of boring "shots".

RIP Gus.

Get your codes entered today!

I'm sure most of you know, but you'll no longer be able to enter codes on the Topps Million Card Giveaway (Accept for Outrageous Shipping Charges) after today. Here is the "rule" on redeeming codes from the Topps MCG site.

"When will my Million Card Codes expire?
The Million Card Giveaway will continue to accept codes until February 1st, 2011. You must take delivery of all cards within your portfolio before the end of the promotion, March 1st, 2011. Any item remaining in your digital portfolio after that date will be donated to charity. No exceptions will be made regarding codes pulled from product after February 1st or cards not ordered for delivery before March 1st."

That part about donating cards to charity was news to me. I thought they would find some other way to stick us with those cards. I'll bet they'll be taking "FULL" Beckett value for that donation too. I know I would.

Good luck!

Winner, Winner, Chrome for Dinner!

Most of you remember UncleMoe from My 2008 Topps Blog recently had a contest where he gave away a box of 2010 Bowman Chrome. I was really amazed that my lucky contest streak continued when I won the box.

Here is the great prize alongside a 2007 Jeff Conine card signed by Uncle Moe. I busted the box last night and as I did with the Gint-A-Cuffs box I won, I want to share with a lucky winner. I'm going to do February's contest using something from this box, so check back in tomorrow to see what that involves.

Uncle Moe, thanks for offering up such a generous prize!!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Different Kind of Play at the Plate

Not all play at the plate cards show a catcher trying to tag out a runner. I was looking for some 1956 Topps cards to add to my wish list when I found this Billy Pierce card. While this play isn't technically "at the plate", it's near enough to the plate for me.

Billy pitched in the majors for 18 years, so he's obviously the runner in this shot. I'm guessing sac bunt maybe? Billy had a nice career. He was 211-169 with a 3.27 ERA and 1,999 strikeouts. One more call and he would have hit that 2000th K. He had back to back 20 win seasons in 1956 and 1957, both years in which he won the Sporting News Pitcher of the Year Award.

Billy was also a 4 time All-Star and pitched in the World Series twice, losing with the White Sox in 1959 and the Giants in 1962. As you can see from the card back, Billy was a very good pitcher in his day. He led the A.L. in ERA in 1955 with a solid 1.97. He had a 39 inning scoreless streak in 1953.

This is one card I'll be adding to my collection as my fascination with the 1956 set continues to grow.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

How about some free Vintage?

Go over to the Vintage Sportscard Blog and get a shot at some free vintage cards from Chris.

Thanks for the generous giveaway Chris!

Topps, you're not fooling anyone!

This is NOT a shot at Topps over the Sterling Honus Wagner jersey card. That's been covered, and by better bloggers than yours truly.

No, this is something I noticed as I trolled around the MCG site looking for cards to trade for with my last few unwanted cards.

I was looking for some vintage catchers to add to my collection when I came across this 1968 Larry Haney. I'm not a big fan of the burlap look, but it has everything short of a play at the plate. I like the vintage catchers in their gear so I thought I might make an offer for it.

When I clicked on the card, I noticed the other Larry Haney cards that were available and did a double-take.

This is the 1969 Larry Haney. I know Topps is often guilty of using the same photo repeatedly, often times airbrushing them as necessary to make the player fit the team. I'm sure you notice the interesting thing about this's a reverse negative of the '68 photo. No need to airbrush the photo, but I'm surprised they made a left handed catcher out of Larry!

Do you know of any other similar cards?

Of course, I made offers for both of these cards, because they'll look great sitting side by side in the catcher binder.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Win a Hall of Famer auto!

You've seen this all over the land o' card blogs, but go here to win an autographed Earl Weaver card.

Thanks to the Great Orioles Autograph Project for a generous giveaway!

Goodbye Frankie, Hello Mike

I just read a report that the Rangers traded Frankie Francisco and suitcase of cash to Toronto for Mike Napoli. That's the same Napoli that was sent to Toronto 5 days ago with Juan Rivera for Vernon Wells. I'm hoping Napoli is bitter about the trade to Toronto and will help the Rangers smack the Angels when the time comes.

I'm not sure about the trade yet. I'll have to process it a bit and check the numbers to see how I feel about it. I know the Rangers have been searching for something to help out at the catcher position, even in a platoon situation, since Pudge left.

It's funny how you get used to a player being there and when they're gone, you realize you took their greatness, even their steady dependability, for granted. I think I always appreciated how amazing Pudge was, but sort of forgot that he wouldn't be playing catcher forever.

Come on Spring Training, come on Opening Day!

Monday, January 24, 2011


On Saturday, I was eating with my family at a restaraunt and my seat just happened to be facing a television that was on the MLB network. I was half paying attention when I noticed the scroll at the bottom said Gus Zernial had passed away on Thursday. That name may not be familiar to many of you, but I knew it because I received a card of his from not one, but two different bloggers.

Chris from The Vintage SportsCard Blog and Marck from The Collective Troll both sent me this card at almost the same time.

I would give you a write up, but I couldn't do it the same justice that TR Sullivan did. Check out his story here.

I'm glad that a great play at the plate card of Gus made it's way into my collection and I appreciate the guys who made that happen!

Friday, January 21, 2011

COMC Question

Anyone know why doesn't offer gift certificates?

They could make a nice chunk of change that way I think.

They're missing out on some of my money for that reason.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

So I'm sorting my 2010 Topps Chrome and...

I know what you're thinking.

Dude, you bought so much 2010 Chrome that you need to sort it?

Well, not really, but I guess in a way I did. I bought a couple of blasters and a bunch of those rack packs with the orange refractors. I entered a couple of group breaks, one for the Rangers and one where I got the Cubs and Dodgers. I also went in on a two box break with Bud from First Day Issue. Thats how I ended up with so many Chromies.

Anyway, back to the point. I was sorting them when I realized that it was sort of like sorting out a bent slinky.

The cards are so warped that my hands were sore from trying to keep them together. I know this problem isn't breaking news, I just wanted to chime in, about 3 months late.

On a positive note, I have lots of orange refractors and even some nice blue, purple, gold and even a couple of red ones. Shiny is good. Mostly when it will lay flat like a normal card.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Time to open up the wallet

Yesterday the Rangers, who avoid arbitration like I avoid exercise, signed one year deals with C.J. Wilson and Nelson Cruz.

C.J. will make $7 mill, up from $3.1 mill in 2010. He was 15-8 with 170 Ks and a 3.35 ERA in 204 innings pitched last year. That was good enough for 10th in the A.L. in wins and ERA. A repeat performance would be nice in 2011.

Nelson will make $3.65 million, up from a paltry $440,000 in 2010. Last year, Nelson played in 108 games (hamstring issues) and hit 22 homers and drove in 78. He came up big in the playoffs too, hitting .317 with 6 homers and 11 RBIs in 16 games.

Now it's time to open that big fat new wallet and pay the big dog.

Josh Hamilton's people are asking for $12 million and the Rangers are offering $8.7 million for one year with the very real possibility of working out a multi-year deal during Spring Training. I'm sure the Rangers are worried about the injury bug, but last year Josh hit .359 with 32 homers and 100 RBIs to go along with a slew of great plays in the outfield. He didn't do great in the playoffs, but he did win the A.L. MVP award. I'm one of those who bashes the ginormous salaries athletes get paid, but in this market, $10-12 million for Josh's numbers is a steal.

Would you rather have Josh Hamilton at $12 million or some of these guys at their 2010 salaries?

Vernon Wells: $16.1 million
Alfonso Soriano: $19 million
Carlos Lee: $19 million
Carlos Beltran: $19.4 million

I'll take Mr. Hamilton please!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Combat Operations Over

Some of you may remember my September post about how to combat packsearchers. Well, at least how one Wal-mart store was doing it.
Here, to refresh your memory, is the lovely picture I drew to accompany the post.

Well, it appears that not only will other Wal-marts and Targets not be joining the Coalition Against Packsearchers (a very made up term), but this Wal-mart has given up the fight as well.

They have gone back to the standard configuration for the card aisle with everything readily available and in reach.

I suspect it had more to do with convenience than anything else. Wal-Mart customers didn't like waiting for cards. Wal-Mart employees, in my experience not the most customer service oriented people, didn't like going to get cards for people. The vendors probably complained about the slowdown in sales as well.

The two vendors I've talked to don't really card about the pack searching as long as the cards sell. The store managers and employees could not care less, as long as it's not affecting them. The companies probably don't care. They stick dummy cards in that don't fool the good packsearchers and load up most of the products with crappy relics and autos that the packsearchers toss aside.

I for one still get a smile on my face when my son pulls one of those "crappy" relics or autos from a retail pack because he's not jaded like me and it means the packsearching douchebag missed one. I'm really thankful my son has gotten into cards because I've rediscovered why I liked cards in the first place and I don't have to get too bogged down in the negativity.

I still don't like packsearchers though. They suck.

Raise your hand if you hate bugs

You can't tell, but my hand is up. Way, way up.

Let me clarify. I'm not talking about this kind of bug.

I'm talking the flu bug. On top of being sick last week (not the flu) and the surgery, the flu bug is making the rounds at my house. One kid down, one mom on her way down and the oldest and me trying to stay far away from them.

Within reason of course. I'm a loving husband and father and will do whatever I can to take care of them. So long as I can do it from a safe distance.

Never fear...Play at the Plate has an actual, real life baseball card related post scheduled for later today. I know, it's a shock to me too.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Woe is me...

Well, the "woe" is for how woefully behind I am on mailing out some packages.

I owe Big D from Hey, That's Mine a package.

I owe Beardy from the Mojo Beard a package.

I owe the January contest winner a package.

You, you will be shocked to hear I owe the December contest winner his package.

I need to do the contest for all the monthly winners from last year.

I am probably forgetting someone too.

I had surgery a few days ago and I've been very sick the last week. That's really no excuse because I should have had all those packages out long ago. I'll be working on them over the weekend with the hopes of getting them in the mail on Monday. I'm really sorry guys. I'll try to do better going forward.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I hold Nolan Ryan in high regard

I'm not the only one.

Kyle099 does too.

However, I don't share his same feelings about the worth of 1988 Topps cards.

Kyle has also offered the Nolan for three of my other vintage cards, including both of the '54s from the Tradeathon.

I have to say one thing, Kyle is ambitious. I just don't think he's going to find any takers for that Nolan.

Monday, January 10, 2011

MCG Tradethon Finale

Well, it was fun while it lasted, but the Topps Million Card Giveaway Tradeathon is finished. Once I finalized all the trades with participants, the actually trading part went rather quickly.

I want to thank all these bloggers for participating in the Tradeathon. It was a lot of fun and even though it took some patience to connect for trades, I think it was worth it. Everyone "donated" cards they weren't going to pay to have shipped with the hopes of getting a shot at a decent vintage card. I wish everyone could walk away with a card, but only two lucky people will get that privilege. Let's refresh our memory regarding who is participating.

1-Cards on Cards
2-Hey, That's Mine
3-Stats on the Back
4-Dawgbone, A Phillies Phan
5-Too Many Granderson
6-The Collective Troll
7-Prophet Got It
8-Tomahawk Chopping-Cardboard and More
9-The Vintage Sportscards Blog
10-Justin's World
11-Padrographs: Abner to Zimmer
12-Smed's Baseball Card Blog
13-"O" No...Another Orioles Blog
14-Midwest Cardboard
15-Clear Cut Cards
16-No One is Going to Read this Blog

I hope that's everyone. I made a post recently with those names to give anyone I left off a chance to help me correct my error and no one responded. So, that's it.

I also want to briefly explain the process I used to choose what cards to try to obtain for our cards. Using the bloggers' collecting goals, as best as I could tell, I made trade offers for those teams. For the first card I obtained, I made 22 offers for early '50's cards of players from the following teams: Cardinals, Cubs, Phillies, Tigers, Braves, and Orioles. Since the Mets and Padres started much later, I didn't make offers for those teams. After the first trade was complete, I did basically the same thing for the other card, except I didn't offer for the team that I got in the first trade. Confused? Good, me too.

Let's get a little randomization done first. The first two people on the list will get the cards I traded for with the first person getting first choice and the second person getting the other card. is giving me problems and I had to shorten the names a bit to get it to keep all 16 teams in the randomization. Here is a brief video to show who won.

Congrats to the Brooklyn Met over at Clear Cut Cards and Mark over at Stats on the Back. The Brooklyn Met gets first choice and Mark will get the other card.

Here are the two cards we have to give away thanks to the tradeathon.

A nice 1954 Jim Pendleton.

A nice 1954 Ray Boone.

Congrats again to the winners. Brooklyn, please drop a comment to let me know which card you want.

Thanks again also, to all the participants. This wouldn't have been possible without your willingness to trade away some cards that Topps is going to end up keeping anyway!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Random Question

I've used numerous times and never had a problem with it. I've tried a few times since Friday to randomize the Tradeathon participants and the first time it shows all 16 people and the second time it cuts the list down to 12. I don't think I've ever seen that before.

Have you ever seen that before?

Anyway, I'm going to figure out some other way to do this and get that post that's been sitting there all weekend up.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Ye Olde MCG Tradeathon is Complete

The final trade came down just as I was getting ready to leave work which did not leave me enough time to do the randomization.

Rest assured I'll get that done and post the two cards I got and the "winners" tomorrow.

Both cards are from 1954 so I feel pretty good about the upgrade from our big lot of mostly junk wax era cards.

Stay tuned!

January Contest Winner

Thanks to all the people who participated in the first contest of 2011. A couple of people missed out and I apologize for that. Here is the original post if you feel some weird desire to see it. I've borrowed some images of the cards that I liked or were the oddest in the two packs.

In order from least to greatest, here is how each team was represented.

0 --Diamondbacks, captkirk42--No great surprise here and Kirk knew it.
0--Rays, madding--Again, one of the last teams picked and Madding knew only Travis Lee could save him.

1--US Military, No one picked them, for obvious reasons, but General Powell represented.
2--Checklists, '81 Fleer (Pirates/Indians) and '89 Upper Deck (101-200)
2--Marlins, darkship
3--A's, dayf

3-Reds, Captain Canuck--Mr. Wilson was the closest thing to a play at the plate in either pack.
3-Rockies, greg zakwin--Greg was torn between the Rocks and diff really.

3 1/2-Angels, BA Benny--The Angels and Twins each got a half for this '83 Carew.
4-Giants, rod(padrographs)
5-Blue Jays, steven

5-Dodgers, hackenbush--Fernando, circa 1984 greatness
5-Pirates, dogfacedgremlin
6-Astros, dimwit

6-Padres, Mark--Nice yellow and brown Ozzie
6-Rangers, fan of reds
6-Red Sox, cubsfan731

6-Royals, zman--Even Jamie is shocked by the contents of these two packs.
6-Tigers, roofgod
7-Braves, spankee
7-Expos/Nats, steve78

7-White Sox, uncle moe--A super rare (ahem) '91 Donruss Frank Thomas.
8-Orioles, adamE
8-Phillies, Tony MC
8 1/2-Twins, the diamond king
9-Brewers, cynical buddha
9-Mariners, derek

11-Indians, Dan--Ross Grimsley pitched in the most barren place on Earth...
11-Mets, dawgbones--I pulled lots of Mets dawg, but not enough
12-Cardinals, ryan aka orioles magic

12-Cubs, jonathan @ rgb cards--"Hey I'm Mick...look at my cup!" Disturbing to say the least.

In case you haven't figured it out yet, the winning team is...

18-Yankees, matt pederson of Cardboard Overload.

Nearly 10% of the cards from these packs were Yankees. No great shock there I suppose.

I didn't get the 1:4 pack relic "hit". I did get 29 HOF'er cards plus a few guys who should be in the HOF when their time comes. The cards ranged from '81 to '07, with the majority from the '80s.

Thanks for playing and congrats to Matt! Matt, shoot my your address and I'll get a prize headed your way.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A Wicked Caantest

I don't know if that's the way to convey a Boston accent, but go here for a Masterpiece of a Contest by the one and only Wicked Ortega.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The One and Only....January Contest

Ok, it's not really the only contest you'll see in January. I know that much is true. It is the first contest of the year for this blog.

Before I get to it, I will be doing a contest of sorts for all the monthly winners from last year in just a few days.

Now, back to the business at hand. I found a couple of these yesterday.

You may have read about them a couple of times on Night Owl's blog. I ripped them open hoping to get my own worst hit of 2011. What did I get you might ask? Go ahead, ask.

You'll have to wait for that because what I got is the contest. All you have to do is pick the team that you think is best represented in these two rack packs. Teams are available on a first come, first served basis and only one per person please. If there are unclaimed teams...oh well, those are the risks we take. Whoever picks the team with the most cards wins. In the event of a tie, I'll reward both winners. Simple enough.

Get to pickin'.

What is wrong with you people?

No, not you, the good and much appreciated reader. I'm talking about the people who voted on the "Topps 60 Greatest Cards of All Time" list.

It's certainly possible and likely that some of you voted, but I hope, no, I pray that none of you voted for this card.

This abomination was #56 on the list. You have got to be kidding me. This is nothing but another gimmick card. The crazy thing is I don't even care anymore that Topps is doing the gimmick card. It's here. It's probably not going anywhere and I've accepted that, but how does this card, with 60 years worth of cards to choose from, make the top 60?

It's voting like this that make people say "fans" shouldn't get to vote for the All-Star game.

I guess I should point out that Topps released #46-59 on the list. There are other cards to argue about, but at least they are legitimate cards. There are also plenty of amazing vintage cards. I'm just shocked and even a bit saddened by the inclusion of this card on the list.

I daresay there are hundreds, if not thousands, of cards that should be highly offended that this card was chosen ahead of them.

Monday, January 3, 2011

You'll be seeing these cards again

I'm trying to wrap up my little MCG Tradeathon so I can request my glorious mint condition cards from the dungeon-like vault at Topps HQ. I've made one trade and have a number of offers out for other cards to give away. In the process of gathering over 130 cards from a variety of bloggers, I've received and rejected well over 100 trade offers every day for over a month. It's mind-boggling the number of trade request that are being sent out as the promotion wraps up.

I like to be a little off the cuff sometimes, but I'm not overly prone to exaggeration. I'd wager that I've received over 500 offers that included the same card. Over and over. Offer after offer. Most of them from the same 5 or 6 people. Sometimes for vintage, sometimes not. The card in question:

A 2001 Ivan Rodriguez.

Did you know there are (as of the time I was writing this) 7,112 unlocked 2001 Ivan Rodriguez cards on the MCG website. You read that right. Seven thousand, one hundred and twelve. I'd be willing to bet those of you who are still paying attention to the MCG site are getting offered these same Pudge cards. Am I right?

Well, guess what? Of those 7,112 Pudge cards, 7,110 of them are not going to be requested. They just aren't. The 2 that are claimed will just be clicking errors by the user and will be immediately and eternally regretted when the package arrives and out falls a chewed up 1956 Bill Sarni and a Pudge card. You know where those cards are going to end up don't you?

That's right. You'll be redeeming them again when the next "code" card falls out of your 2011 Topps pack. It won't just be the Pudge card, but thousands and thousands of other cards that didn't get shipped. Good luck with all that.

I'll be right there with you.

Probably. 'Cause I'm a sucker.

A Contest Juxtaposition

How can a 2008 Topps Set Blog give away a 2010 Bowman Chrome Box?

It must be a sign of things to come in 2011, but hurry to enter and you might win.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

Here's to a happy and blessed 2011 to you and your family!