Monday, February 28, 2011

The Million Card Giveaway is going....going...

If you have cards awaiting shipment, today is the last day. It ends March 1, but I don't know if that's midnight eastern time, midnight pacific time or when Michael Eisner wakes up from his afternoon nap.

As of the time I'm writing this post, 4:12 AM central time, there are over 300 1952 Topps cards still sitting in the "vault". There are 53,250 trade offers still up and 294 2010 Stephen Strasburg cards still sitting there surrounded by 4 highly trained ninja guards.

I saw 4 different Duke Snider cards, including two from 1959. There is a 1966 Mickey Mantle and even these two beauties...

How about these vintage cardboard treasures?

It's a shame. I know some of these, and many of those others, will be claimed by the end of the day, but many of them will go unclaimed. I get leaving one of your 1987 Topps cards to rot in Topps collection, but there will be many great cards unclaimed.

Now, I just wish my package would arrive so I can see the condition of the cards.

Anyone waiting until the last second to request their cards?


I learned of Duke Snider's death yesterday the way learn of many baseball related stories...from my fellow bloggers.

I was sad to hear of Duke's passing. We share last names, but as best as I've been able to uncover, we aren't related. I always intended to send him a TTM request because he was one of the most accommodating players about signing. I'll always regret not sending out the TTM request, but not as much as I regret the loss of another of baseball's legends. It's yet another sign that no matter who you are, your day will come. It's humbling in a way. While Duke is gone, he'll not soon be forgotten. Can we say as much?

I just read about the death of Frank Buckles. He was the last surviving U.S. Veteran from World War I. That's the first great war. He was 110 years old and he lied about his age so he could enlist at the ripe old age of 16 1/2. I daresay that most of us would have had other things on our mind at the age of 16 1/2.

Frank and Duke both left their mark on history and unlike many of their comrades, they lived long lives. Long enough to enjoy the fruits of their labors.

Still, they will be missed.

RIP Frank Buckles and Duke Snider.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

I'm done, but not finished

Welcome to another premium content, image free post. (sigh)

I'm done with 2011 Topps Series 1.

Well, I still need cards, but I won't be spending any more money on it. I bought 2 more rack packs and one of those 72 count boxes that replaced the cereal boxes and that's it for me.

I did better with the rack packs. Out of 72 cards, I got 18 more I needed. I also got a Michael Young gold parallel. I'm as tired of the gold parallels as everyone else, but it's nice to actually pull a Ranger for once.

The 72 count box only added 2 needed cards, plus a Vlad Guerrero Kimball mini and the Honus Wagner special insert (yawn).

So that leaves me with the following base needs to complete Series 1.


I have a huge stack of base dupes so let's make a deal.

Diamond Vintage

I finally got a couple of older cards on the Diamond Giveaway. I've entered 12 codes, the last two of which yielded these:

A terribly cut (or poorly cropped) 1968 Alvin Dark. This is not one of my favorite sets.

I also got this colorful 1958 Gail Harris. Again, not one of my favorite sets.

I think when the trading feature goes live, I'll package these along with the some of the others to see if I can get something from 1956. There are still a number of play at the plate cards from '56 that I don't have.

I'll be posting my 2011 Topps Series 1 wantlist later today. I've got a stack of dupes almost as tall as the incomplete set I'm looking to finish.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

What Brown did for Me

Brown saved me $11.49 is what Brown did for me.

That's the difference between the shipping options on the Million Card Giveaway site. Earlier today, I requested shipping on the cards Topps "gave" me for all the codes I entered and trades I made.

The USPS shipping for 52 cards was $29.95.

The UPS shipping for 52 cards was $18.46.

That's what we call a no-brainer.

So, for about $3 less than a blaster (we have that pesky sales tax here in Texas), I got 52 cards spanning the years 1952-1975. A couple of those aren't mine because they were the contest winnings for my MCG Tradeathon. A few others were cards I had shipped for a fellow blogger.

The site says the cards should ship within 9-12 business days. I'm sure they'll spend that time picking only the very best copies of each card in my porfolio to send me. Honestly, I expect some of the cards to be loaded with character (read: lots of damage), but at this point, I'm just looking forward to holding my very first '52, '53 and '55 Topps cards ever.

Don't you just love the feel of real vintage cardboard? It's amazing.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Millions or Diamonds?

Now that the Diamond Giveaway is live and many of us have had a chance to redeem codes for our shiny virtual rings, I have a question.

What is your opinion of the Diamond version compared to the Million Card version?

As someone who went nuts over the 2010 Transmogrifier, I think I'm less inclined to overspend to get codes this year. Perhaps it's the fact that I can't trade on the site yet, or maybe it's more due to the unimpressive cards I've unlocked this time around. Maybe I'll feel differently if I unlock one of those die-cut cards or the much more rare diamond embedded 1/1 cards.

It's very likely that Topps will get less of my money this year, at least for the Flaghip set, although I do like the sparkly diamond parallels and Kimball minis.

Comments, thoughts, wisecracks?

Friday, February 18, 2011

Calling Matt Hickes

Matt, if you read this, I need you to email me your address so I can get the February contest headed your way.

I checked your blog and profile, but didn’t see your email.  You can get mine from my profile.


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Crinkly Contest

No one loves a good contes more than me. NO ONE I SAY!!

Crinkly Wrappers is having a doozy of a contest and all you have to do is comment on your favorite Topps set. Hey, isn't that what we do around the 'sphere, give our opinions?

Go enter. Now. Unless you DON'T want a shot at winning cards from every Topps set since 1952.

After 7 codes, my best card is...

This 1973 Willie Montanez. I know what your thinking. "Hey, that's a vintage play at the plate. It's right up your alley." Normally you would be right, but I already have this one in my MCG portfolio (which I'll be shipping tomorrow). I haven't seen a run of 50's like I frantically emailed people about last year, but I only have 4 codes left anyway.

What's the best card you've unlocked so far?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Ring "Express"

The dig feature in the new Topps Diamond Giveaway site is going to have to grow on me, but it does offer an interesting addition to last year's Million Card Giveaway.

It doesn't hurt that the first ring I "dug" was this Nolan Ryan ring. Too bad it's a virtual ring and I'll never do anything more than see it on the computer screen. I really want to get that vintage pack from 1970 (cough cough), I mean 1989.

Has anyone gotten a die-cut card yet?

Isn't that SPecial?

You won't like him when he's angry

Monday, February 14, 2011

Eight is Enough...or is it?

I finally found some 2011 Topps Rack Packs. And Blasters. And looseys.

I read a number of reviews of the various types of packages and decided the rack pack would be the best value for me. My eyes got the better of me and I grabbed 8 rack packs in all.

My first card was this...

Nick Markakis.

My first Ranger was...

Michael "I wanna trade" Young.

I even got a quasi-hit, this lovely white swatch Carlos Zambrano jersey card.

I'll bet right now you're saying to yourself, "Mr. Play at the Plate dude, there aren't any images even though it looks like your wrote this post around some awesome images of the cards you pulled."

Well, you're right if you're saying that. Unfortunately, last week when I lost the ability to access AND comment on YOUR blog posts (thanks to the IT folks here at work), I also lost the ability to upload images to my blog posts. I can still get into blogger, but I can't load images. Fun times.

As you may or may not know, I've been blogging from work since the beginning. I can't argue with the fact that it's been nice to be able to do that, but it looks like those days are over. Unfortunately, I have almost zero time to blog at home (again, I'm not complaining because I know 99% of you are blogging from home). I'll post when I can and I'm trying to do something about the setup to make it easier so I can get back to my regular posting.

I know you are so relieved to hear that. Or more likely, you haven't even noticed my lack of posting recently.

By the way, as for the 2011 Topps, I love the diamond parallels, Toppstown is better (although still annoying) and the design is nice. I see too many inserts (shocking!) and too much manufactured relic-like stuff, although I'll be wanting any Rangers for the collection. Overall, I like it although spending will be seriously cut back this year from last.

On a side note, I just got my two wrapper redemption packs for Topps Chrome (you may remember I won the wrappers in Joe Collector's case break randomization). Topps was up to their usual hijinx and I'll be posting that when I get a chance.

*The image you saw on my earlier post today was an experimental email post from my phone*

Topps Chrome Wrapper Redemption X 2

Here are the two opened Topps Chrome wrapper redemption packs.

No, you are not seeing double. Topps sent me two of the same packs. Stephen Strasburg, Starlin Castro and Jackie Robinson.

I don't know how they pick the packs they send. I picture bins full of packs of each trio of players. Apparently my redemptions were filled by the same underpaid employee.

Oh well, that's how the wrapper opens, or something like that.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

I'm happy with them today

I just received an email that the Rangers signed Josh Hamilton to a two year deal covering 2011 and 2012.

Josh gets $7.25 million in 2011 and $13.75 million in 2012 with a $3 million bonus. That's a total of $24 million for the two years. If Josh repeats his numbers from last year, that's a major bargain for the Rangers. If he can stay healthy AND put up those kinds of numbers, he's looking at a huge payday after 2012.

Thanks Rangers, for making me happy today. You took my mind of the Michael Young debacle.

Oops, I've been avoiding thinking about Young for the past couple of days. Avoiding it to the point where I haven't read the sports page in the paper (no offense Night Owl!).

Come on Spring Training!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Bad and the Ugly

I posted the good earlier.

The company IT department cut off access to the blogosphere. That's right, I can't access any blogs from work anymore. That really puts a damper on my ability to read and comment on blogs. The weird thing is that it looks like I might be able to access blogger and post, but even reading my own blog is impossible. *Heavy sigh*

The ugly is that my oldest boy came down with the flu today. No fun (although I'm at the Stars game so I feel a little guilty).

Go Stars!!

The Good

I am sitting in the company suite at the Dallas Stars game. Sweet suite!

I'll give you the bad and the ugly at intermission.

We're gonna have some fun

If we win that is. Things are Funner is having a contest. Go here and enter!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

File this under "You've got to be kidding me."

It's starting to hit the news that this guy...

Dallas Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway, took it upon himself to give Michael Vick the Key to the City of Dallas on Saturday at a Super Bowl event. Someone, somewhere, tell me this is a bad internet joke please. I think the city of Dallas is getting enough bad press due to the not so Super Bowl, but this is the most ridiculous thing I've heard since I read the Rangers wanted to trade Michael Young. Ok, I know that was just yesterday, but give me a break.

I won't talk about Vick being a convicted felon. Convicted of heinous acts of cruelty against animals. Oops, I talked about it.

I won't talk about Vick being the quarterback of one of the Dallas Cowboys' biggest rivals. Oops, I did it again.

Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert is distancing from the bad press, saying neither he, nor his office, authorized the actions of Caraway.

Say what you want about Vick paying his debt to society and that he's a different guy now. I don't care about all that because it's Philadelphia's problem and has nothing to do with Texas and where I live and work.

At least it didn't, until Caraway decided to drag Dallas into it.

Monday, February 7, 2011

What, Losing the World Series Wasn't Bad Enough?

I'm hearing, and now reading, reports the Rangers may trade Michael Young in the next few days. It looks like the Rockies or Angels (please dear God, not the Angels) may be getting one of the most stand-up guys in baseball and a great team player, not to mention a productive one.

This from Tim Brown on Yahoo Sports, "Young, 34, came to the major leagues in 2001 as a second baseman, was moved to shortstop when the Rangers traded for Alfonso Soriano, then to third when Elvis Andrus arrived from the minors two seasons ago. The Beltre signing appeared to push Young off the field entirely, to designated hitter."

I'll do more on this tonight when I've had some time to think about it, but Michael Young IS the Texas Rangers. If Adrian Beltre pulls one of his "Hey, I just signed a big contract, I think I'll suck for a few years" acts, I'll be leading the boos at the Ballpark. If Mike Napoli puts up a whopping .230 average as a DH, I'll be the one throwing my World Series cap on the field in protest.

This sucks.

Gum and Cards go together

Community Gum that is.

Community Gum held a pack lottery contest using the highly confusing 2008 Topps Moments & Milestones set. You can see the results of Jon and Andy's ambitious contest here. I'm still not entirely sure how I got the cards that arrived in the package except that I got a couple things close on my guess and they sent me some amazing Rangers cards from the break.

First up is this shinified sticker auto of the nearly perfect Armando Galarraga. I vaguely remembered that there were cards of Galarraga in a Rangers uni, but of course I really remember him for his perfect...not perfect game from last year. I still say he and Jim Joyce handled that whole incident with the type of class you just don't see often enough in sports or life.

The real shock of the break was this card. I'm not a Mark Teixeira fan, but who doesn't like a real live 1/1 . This is currently my only 1/1 card and I really appreciate the boys from the Community being so generous.

I have to apologize for the bad pics. The Iphone camera isn't the best way to get pics for the blog, but it'll have to do for now.

I didn't take pics, but I got 8 other cards numbered to 150 so it was a nice package.

Thanks again to Andy and Jon for their generosity.

Cardboard Collections Group Break Sale

Go now and pick up a couple of teams!

Friday, February 4, 2011

February Contest Winner

After busting my prize box of 2010 Bowman Chrome (thank you Uncle Moe from My 2008 Topps Set Blog) I found that I had one orange refractor. These fall one every 284 packs. For the contest this month, you had to guess the team, player and serial number out of 25.

Easy, right?

Before we show off the orange refractor, lets look at the one auto from the box. It's Alex Liddi, Seattle Mariner Double A dude. The sig is terrible, but it's on card so I won't complain...too much.

Now, for the orange refractor. Here is the card I got.

J.A. Happ of the Houston Astros. Daily Dimwit gets one entry in the contest for guessing the team. The serial number on the back is next.

I have to apologize for the poor pics (from my Iphone) and the bad edit. Still, you see the numbering on the card is #21/25. Two people, Matt Hickes and Jeremy, guessed the serial number 21. They each get 5 entries into the contest.
Of course, I did a video of the randomization and here it is.

Congrats to Matt Hickes. Matt, you'll be getting all the Cubs from the box!

Thanks for entering everyone.

A 2011 Topps Substitute

I went to Target to get my 2011 Topps fix and they didn't have anything new and glorious on the shelf. I had to satisfy my pack-busting crave so I bought one of these.

You've probably seen these Fairfield repacks. This one has 4 packs for $4.99. I could see a 2009 Heritage and 2009 Goodwin pack on the front. The two packs I couldn't see were a 2007 Upper Deck Series 2 pack and a 2005 Pros and Prospects pack.

I didn't expect to get much, but I was very happy with what came out of the last pack.

A Joe Mauer Goodwin Jersey card. It's a nice feeling to pull someone you collect and anytime I get a Joe Mauer card, I'm happy. Getting a relic out of a repack is just icing on the cake.

Now, where is that 2011 Topps??

Thursday, February 3, 2011


That is a nice round number. According to the Hall of Fame, Josh Gibson hit almost 800 homeruns. Well, I'm not Josh Gibson, but I just hit 800 posts.

I'm astonished by that number to be honest with you. I've had a rough time posting consistently in the last month or so, but I finally got here.

I just want to thank everyone for reading, commenting and giving me a reason to blog in the first place. The blog started out as a way to post trades and share funny stuff (usually only to me) and it has become a fun part of my day.

I've made a ton of trades, a bunch of friends and had more fun with this hobby than in all the years before I found the blogging community. I've held a lot of contests, won more than my share and joined more group breaks than I thought possible.

Most of all, thanks to my fellow bloggers and collectors, I've been able to enjoy a hobby with my son that goes beyond video games and Ipods. It's been a great journey and I look forward to many more posts, both mine and yours.

Tomorrow I'll have the winner of the February contest and a Fairfield repack that was a pleasant surprise.

Thanks again for your support and comments.

2011 Want List

Base: ALL

Inserts: I don't know yet.

Reason: I still haven't seen any of these things yet.

My local stores, at least the ones I frequent, still don't have any 2011 Topps yet.

Not to worry though, I'm sure they will soon and in 6 weeks or so, I'll be sick of it.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

13 Months in the Making

No, I didn't start designing my own custom cards.

You do NOT want to see that. It would make you appreciate Topps, Panini, Upper Deck and a 2 year old's scribbles.

This is the 2010 End of the Year contest. This is only for the winners of the monthly contests (plus the two special ones). I thought of creating some diabolical quiz/puzzle for you to solve, but that's just not my style. I like to enter those types of contests, but easy is the name of the game when it comes to my contests. Since you all already did something to win, I decided to just randomize your names to come up with a winner.

Here are the 14 winners from last season:

Joe S.
Thorzul Will Rule
The Collective Troll
Night Owl
Dan (The Other World)
Zman (Autographed Cards)
Cards on Cards
BA Benny
Smed’s Cards

I entered all 14 names on and came up with a winner. Just to assure you of the validity of the contest, I had the winner's name hermetically sealed in a mayonnaise jar on Funk and Wagnall's porch since noon yesterday. I also did a little video which you can watch if you so desire.

So, congrats to our winner, Night Owl. I suppose you want to know what you've won. Well, I think you'll like it, but you have to wait for your package to find out.

Thanks for all your patience in getting the yearly winner posted and many, many thanks to everyone who has entered the contests the last year.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

I'm not behind...

I'm just slow. If you were one of the winners of a monthly contest on this blog in 2010, I'll be doing the end of year contest tomorrow for you guys. It should have been done a month ago, but that's been my M.O. lately. Way, way, WAY behind on everything. I mean slow.

By the way, if you haven't yet entered the February contest, go here and get in while you can. I'll be closing that one tomorrow night.

February Contest...Come Get Some Shiny!

As I mentioned yesterday, I received my prize from a recent contest held by UncleMoe over at My 2008 Topps Set Blog. It was an unopened box of 2010 Bowman Chrome. Ooh Shiny!

Wow, that sounded dangerously close to "ooh Justin Bieber!" I won't go there.

Moving on...I pulled one orange refractor #ed out of 25. The orange refractors fall 1:284 packs (almost 1:16 boxes) so I felt like I was pretty fortunate to pull one.

So, here's the contest. You get to make three guesses related to the orange refractor. First, guess the team. Get that right and you get one entry. Second, guess the number out of 25. Get that right and you get 5 entries. Lastly, guess the player. Get that right and you get 25 entries.

You don't have to get all three things right. Maybe you only get the serial number. You'll end up with 5 entries. Maybe you get the team AND serial number. That's 6 entries. Maybe...just maybe, your dense and guess the Angels, but pick Josh Hamilton. Then you shall be severely reprimanded and made to stand in the corner.

If, by some miracle of miracles, you end up getting all three, I'll give you the contents of the entire box, including the auto. If more than one person does this, first there WILL be an investigation and then I'll split the box and add some goodies.

After I close the contest, I'll randomize all the entries and the winner will get all of his/her favorite team's cards from the box. The team you guess for the orange refractor doesn't necessarily have to be your favorite team.

Here is a sample entry:

Washington Senators #XX/25 Frank Howard (Fav Team: Texas Rangers)

Confused? Get your entries in...I won't be keeping this one open more than a day or so.

And yes, more than one person may pick the same team.

Good luck!