Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Impossible Five?

I've managed to get three of the Texas Ranger Diamond Die Cut cards into my portfolio on the Topps Diamond Giveaway Site. All three came by way of trading the three DDC cards I was fortunate enough to unlock.

So far I have these three cards.

Nelson Cruz. I unlocked a Colby Rasmus DDC and someone offered me the Cruz for it. It didn't take long for me to make the decision to accept the offer.

Neftali Feliz. I unlocked a Dan Haren DDC and offered it for every DDC Ranger on the board. The trade that was accepted netted me the Feliz.

Ian Kinsler. The third and final DDC I currently have came via a double trade. Hoping to help out another blogger, I offered the Clay Buchholz I unlocked for a Kevin Youkilis. The person I was trying to help didn't get the trade in time, but someone else did. Someone then offered me the Kinsler for the Youk and I took it.

That leaves five Texas Ranger DDC cards I still need. I'm going to have to get extremely lucky to unlock anymore DDC cards to trade. It's not like people are accepting vintage cards in trade for them. I know I haven't accepted any.

Here are the five I still need.

Vladimir Guerrero. He only played in Texas for one season, but he was pretty popular. It helped that he had a really good season.

Adrian Beltre. Probably the easiest one of the five to get in trade. Not that he's a bad player, but he's not an established Ranger. From what I've seen so far, he's an amazing defensive player.

Michael Young. My favorite current Ranger and one of my top 5 All-Time faves. The Rangers hold on first place has been tenuous all season. If Michael Young had been traded before the season, there is no way the Rangers would be in first. He's carried the whole offense at times.

Josh Hamilton. Without a doubt, this will be the second most difficult DDC to get. Of course, it really depends on finding the right card to offer.

Last, but not least, Nolan Ryan. I have a feeling it's going to take another DDC Legend to get my hands on this card.

I'm hoping that Topps Value boxes will be back soon, preferably with Gypsy Queen packs inside. That way I can actually get two cards for two sets I need. Oh yea, a few more codes would be nice too!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

My kind of 6 pack

This isn't your PBR, Heineken or local micro brewery 6 pack. This is a "Play at the Plate is really, really, really far behind on his trade posts so he's gonna show 1 card from 6 different trade packages" 6 pack.

Or what we like to call the PATPiRRRFBoHTPsHGSOCfSDTP 6 pack. Kinda catchy, don't you think?

Ok, we'll go in chronological order here. I just pulled 6 trade packages out of my locker and here we go.

#1--Dayf aka Cardboard Junkie 11-29-10 (ouch, that was a long time ago)

I seem to recall commenting about something on one of Dayf's posts and he responded by sending me three unopened packs of these ginormous 1985 Topps cards. He also included this:

I just had to leave the note on "The Lone Ranger" in the set. Thanks Dayf!

#2--Kerry from Cards on Cards 3-16-11

Kerry and I have traded numerous times and it generally starts with one of us sending a random, unexpected package. In a previous collecting period in my life (1998-2003), I seemed to pull a lot of serial numbered Cardinals and Kerry gladly takes them off my hands. This package contained this little gem:

I generally don't buy Panini stickers and I know I didn't buy any in 1990, so adding this 1990 Panini Nolan Ryan sticker to my collection is great. Actually, anytime I can a Nolan Ryan Ranger anything is great. Thanks Kerry!

#3--Spiegel from Nomo's Sushi Platter 4-22-11

The danger of waiting too long to do a trade post is that you (me) might forget what got the trade talk started in the first place. This is one of those times. I don't remember what got Spiegel and me talking, but whatever it was netted me some nice Rangers cards, including this:

This is my 2nd 2007 UD Masterpieces Captured on Canvas Michael Young jersey card. That works out great since my son took the first one! Now I get one too. Thanks Spiegel.

#4--Jon and Andy from Community Gum 4-23-11

I participated in Community Gum's big Fleer multi-box break and one of the guys on my PC list had a hit. A hit for an unclaimed team. So I managed to work a trade and along with the Rangers from the break, I got this:

Joe MOJOauer from 2005 Fleer Showcase. What, not impressed? How about the fact that it's #427/610? What...still not enough? How about that sliver of a pinstripe at the bottom of the swatch? Still nothing? You guys are a tough crowd. Thanks Jon and Andy and by the way, congrats again on your "new" online business!

#5--Nick from For Cards Sake 4-25-11

I do remember what sparked this trade. Nick had a bunch of 2007 Bowman Heritage he wanted to get rid of and I got hooked on those cards buying discount blasters last year. I jumped on the opportunity to pick these up and he gladly sent them over along with this:

Michael Young is still my favorite Texas Ranger, but due to trading with the blogosphere, it's getting harder and harder to find Young cards I don't have. I had never even seen this card so making it a part of my collection was an added bonus in what was already a great trade. Thanks Nick!

#6--Kirk from CaptKirk 42's Trading Card Blog 4-30-11

I don't remember what facilitated this trade, but I did help Kirk out with the Topps MCG so that might have been it. He sent over a healthy stack of Rangers, but this was the one that suprised me:

I pulled a couple of relics out of 2010 Topps retail packs, but like many of you, I never pull "hits" for my own team. This one took one more off the wantlist. Thanks Kirk!

If you made it this far, please be sure you have a designated driver to help you get home. You just had a whole six pack and I want you to be safe.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A tale of two blasters

I just checked the mirror. I don't see the word "SUCKER" on my forehead, but it must be there somewhere. I know because I opened two discount blasters of 2010 Topps Chrome yesterday.

I knew the cards were going to be warped, but I did it anyway. Half price is half price and is probably still too much for these Pringles...I mean cards.

The interesting thing was how one blaster was packed out. The first blaster was normal, but the second blaster was different. As you probably know, there are only 4 cards in each pack. These had two cards facing out on each side of the pack. Basically like a Chrome sandwich with nothing in the middle. I don't know if that was by design, but it the cards in the second blaster were nowhere near as warped as the first. As a matter of fact, most of them were very flat.

The card on the left is from the first blaster. It is typical of the 2010 Chrome cards we've all seen. The card on the right is from the second blaster. It's very flat and I haven't done anything to it to make it that way.

As for the contents of the blasters, the results weren't terrible. In the first blaster I got one two regular refractors (Brian Roberts and Jimmy Rollins), three X-fractors (Ian Desmond, Carlos Beltran and Allen Craig), one purple refractor (Torii Hunter #472/599) and this:

It's a Topps 206 Chrome Refractor Derek Jeter #130/499. This came from the warped blaster and is so warped it should be on the DL with Jeter. It's really not a bad pull at 1:165 packs...ok, ok, I know it's a Yankee. It's for trade. Are there any Rangers in that insert set?

Blaster #2 didn't give up anything quite like the Jeter.

I got three regular refractors (Zach Duke, Hiroki Kuroda and Chris Coghlan), three X-fractors (Carlos Gonzalez, Denard Span and Carl Crawford) and one purple refractor:

Yes, it was a Carl Crawford box. Actually it was a Marlins box too. One whole pack had only Marlins in it. Yay me! (No offense Wicked).

I must say it was nice to open a pack (or 8) of nearly normal Chrome cards. I hope I can say the same thing about my packs of 2011 Chrome later this year.

A non-trade post about trading

This isn't a post about a trade I made with another blogger or reader. It's about ALL the trades I've made with bloggers or readers.

Yesterday, Night Owl had a post titled "Cards from Normal Traders" about trading that struck a nerve with me. It took me back to one of my very first posts in October of '09. My post, "What Ruined Card Trading for Me", told the basic story of an 11 year old and his friends trading cards for the sake of trading and fun. It was fun. We got together nearly every weekend to trade cards. Until someone brought a Beckett Price Guide into the mix. That ruined everything for us. Every trade from that point forward was a chore and it took all the fun out of trading. It was kind of like going to a card show or LCS now and having the dealer pull out his dog-eared Beckett after every question you ask.

Fast forward 30 years (in my case) and I've come full circle. I love trading again. Most bloggers don't really care about what Beckett says and don't let it impact trades. I haven't bought or looked at a Beckett in years and really don't care what the value of the cards is in relation to my overall net worth. Would it matter if I pulled one of those $15,000 Super-fractors? Sure, only long enough for me to sell it. Otherwise, I don't really care. I send trade packages without thinking about the value of what I'm getting in return. If it's something I want or need, then that's good enough to me.

I almost always try to over-deliver on my trade packages. I want the person on the receiving end of my packages to be more than happy to have traded with me. More importantly, I want to see them get some joy out of cards that I would leave sitting in a box in the back of the closet.

So, thanks to all of you who have traded with me in the past and I look forward to many more trades in the future.

Monday, June 27, 2011

A million pardons

I am supremely embarrassed.

Back on April 12th, I posted about the two cards I had to give away from the Million Card Giveaway Tradeathon. You can see the original post here. The Brooklyn Met from Clear Cut Cards was going to get a 1954 Topps Ray Boone and Mark from Stats on the Back was going to get a 1954 Jim Pendleton.

I thought I sent those cards out, but yesterday I looked through those MCG cards again and I was shocked to see those two cards still in the box. Guys, I apologize for that and I'll be getting those out to you this week during my post office run.

Vintage just feels better

I've mentioned it before, but I think vintage cardboard just feels better than all that new, slick cardstock. Even the "retro" sets don't have the same cardboard feel as honest to goodness vintage cards.

Case in point:

This is the 1952 Topps Bruce Edwards card I unlocked in last year's Million Card Giveaway. Amazingly, of all the cards I had shipped, the condition of this card is better than most of the others.

This is the first 1952 Topps card I've ever held. It may seem like old hat to some of you guys, but it was quite a thrill for me. I've been avoiding these cards since I got them, wanting to give them the full attention they deserve when I get a scanner, but yesterday I revisited the box and just had to take this one out of the toploader.

It must have been something to be the first person to get this card. I picture a kid, 10 or 12 years old looking down at this card, turning it over in his hand. He took good care of it because it's aged well. This is the thing that keeps this hobby exciting to me. All the new stuff is fun for awhile, but getting to hold a piece of history, even if it isn't the famous Mickey Mantle card, is amazing.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

A Major Award!

Seriously, a major award!

I managed to get my little paws on two more code cards. I turned them into these two cards.

1975 Buzz Capra

Diamond Cut Clay Buchholz

The Buchholz is currently being offered for a variety of Rangers die cuts. No takers yet.

The best part? I was able to trade the two rings I "dug" for the last two I needed to have all 60.

You may not be able to read the fine print, but it says, "Congratulations on collecting ALL 60 different rings available! You've unlocked all prizes which means that you can no longer trade these 60 rings. But, you can continue to enter codes for cards and dig for other prizes buried in your field." I won't slam Topps for starting a sentence with "but" since I'm in a good mood at the moment.

The Ring still doesn't show up on my prize list so I haven't had the option to "redeem" it. We'll see. I know Topps values the ring at $200, but I'm curious about the collector value since they are supposed to be limited to 60. We'll see.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Serial Madness!

I love Serial. Honey Nut Cheerios is my favorite Serial. You might be wondering why I'm spelling Serial that way. It's because I recently received my prize from the Big Kahuna over at Enough Already. He was holding a sort of numbers contest which really just required you to answer some questions and then get lucky in the randomization. I got lucky. Very, very lucky.

The box the Kahuna sent over actually had two boxes inside it. They were labeled #1 and #2 with instructions on which to open first. Being a former military guy, I can follow directions, even though deep down insider I prefer not too. I played along and boy was I shocked.

Here is a smattering, a small sample, a peek if you will, at the cards the very generous Kahuna sent over.

A future Hall of Famer trio of 2008 Topps Finest Adrian Peterson Finest Moments cards. #312/629, #274/629 and #357/629 respectively.

A current Hall of Famer duo of 2007 Topps Triple Threads Gale Sayers cards. Green #55/199 and Red #464/1449.

A 2008 Donruss Classics School Colors Robert Killebrew auto #42/50. For the boy of course.

A 2009 Topps Career Best Ray Lewis jersey #30/99.

A manu-patch 2009 UD Icons Rocky Bleier #4/66.

A 2006 Leaf Rookies and Stars Prime Patch of former Dallas Cowboy Julius Jones #6/50. Also grabbed up by the boy. I'm assuming that's a piece of a number, which he thinks is "awesome".

My first football relic of one of the best two sport athletes ever. A 2008 SPX Winning Materials Bo Jackson jersey #53/99.

The lowest numbered football card in the bunch was this 2010 Topps Supreme Ray Rice #5/5.

I know what you're thinking. The Kahuna held back on the baseball cards. You would be wrong.

The highest numbered card in the whole lot was this 1996 Diamond King Henry Rodriguez #8387/10000. Way back in 1996, a card numbered to 10K was a big deal.

A very nice designed (for the most part) on card 2008 Sweet Spot Greg Smith auto # 125/399. It would look so much nicer if the middle of the card wasn't gunked up with the "Sweet Beginnings" and the serial number.

A nice 2008 Bowman J.R. Towles on card auto #107/500. It looks like a sticker, but it's not.

A very shiny, refractory 2009 Topps Chrome Gold Refractor on card Jason Jaramillo auto #8/50.

A very die-cut 2000 Crown Royale Tony Gwynn Premiere Date #22/121. I busted a few boxes of this back in the day and pulled a few of these die-cuts. I wish I still had them.

A great addition to the pc is this 2008 Topps Co-Signers Joe Mauer#255/300.

I haven't seen many of these Just Minors cards and I've never seen one like this one. It's a 2008 Just Minors Andrew McCutchen silver #9/25. Great Aflac sign in the background.

The shock of the prize box was this 2010 National Chicle Adrian Gonzalez Yellow Printing Plate #1/1. I know printing plates are looked down on by some collectors, but this is my first one and until I get jaded, I think it's nice to have one.

I would be remiss if I didn't give you a breakdown of the contents of this totally awesome "Serial" box. The Big Kahuna sent a total of 348 serial numbered cards.

1 Nascar card- #/299

4 NBA cards-#/75, #/399, #/999(relic), #/1500

10 NHL cards-#/500 to #/1999 including one relic.

96 Baseball cards-
6-#/99 or less
24-#/100-199 or less
12-#/200-299 or less
5-#/300-399 or less
9-#400-499 or less
10-#500-599 or less
4-#/600-699 or less
23-#/1000-4999 or less
2-#/9000-10000 or less

7 Baseball autos: #/10, #/50, #/100, #/300, #/399, 2X #/500

204 Football cards:
4-#/50 or less
8-#/54-99 or less
32-#/100-199 or less
20-#/200-299 or less
9-#/300-399 or less
10-#/400-499 or less
24-#/500-599 or less
28-#/600-999 or less
62-#/1000-4999 or less
6-#/5000-8799 or less

21 Football relics:
10-#/199 or less

3 Football autos, all #/150 or less

One Pinnacle Metal Works Drew Bledsoe metal card #/400

I forgot to get a shot of it, but the Kahuna said the "grand prize" was the Ryan Leaf Box Topper. Well, it WAS nice, but it wasn't the grand prize.

Thanks Big Kahuna! That was an amazing prize box and a lot of fun to go through.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Play at the Plate 26: Jon Lieber vs. Mike Cameron

It's been a long, long time since my last play at the plate post. You have to go all the way back to September 18th of last year to find one. I think it's time to end the drought.

2007 Upper Deck Jon Lieber

July 19, 2006 Philadelphia Phillies @ San Diego Padres

The Phillies are in sunny San Diego hoping to avoid a sweep in game 3 of the series. Jon Lieber is on the hill for the Phils and is already down 3-1 with the Padres coming to bat in the bottom of the 3rd inning. Mike Cameron leads off with a double to deep center. Lieber manages to strike out the next batter, Brian Giles. Padres catcher Josh Bard follows Giles by grounding out to shortstop Khalil Greene, with Cameron taking third on the play. The first pitch to the next batter, Adrian Gonzalez, gets away from Phils catcher Chris Coste. Mike Cameron takes off for the plate. Hustling to cover home, Jon Lieber takes the throw from Coste and the result of the play is...

Cameron is OUT!! Saving that run would prove to be a huge play later in the game.

Christ Coste hit a solo shot in the 4th inning and then tied the game with a run scoring double in the 6th. Bobby Abreu drove in two in the top of the 9th off Padres closer Trevor Hoffman, giving the Phillies the 5-4 win.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

An "old dude" for his birthday

My oldest had a birthday recently and while he still limps around a bit, his leg is mostly healed. His birthday requests were few, mostly money for something he's saving for, and a few other small things.

One thing he asked for was Topps Series 2 cards. His grandpa gave him one of those 72 card boxes of Series 1 and a couple of Series 2 rack packs.

In the Series 2 packs, he found 4 Rangers, including two sporting the World Series logo on their right sleeves. The Mitch Moreland and Elvis Andrus shots are from home games. I'm not 100% sure, but both shots look like they are from Game 3.

He also pulled this "old guy".

I had to explain to him that this "old guy" was pretty darn good.

He's gone gaga for the shiny parallels, so as of right now, this isn't for trade. He may also be the only person in America who is actually entering those ToppsTown codes.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Baseball has a golden opportunity to make a statement to it's fans

Baseball has practically zero competition at the moment. Of the big four sports, it's the only one going.

The NBA Labor agreement expires in 10 days. There's still a chance for the players and owners to come to an agreement before that happens.

The NFL players and owners are stuck and don't seem to be making any progress toward getting a deal finalized. The 2011 season is in real jeapardy. Fans are getting antsy, angry and quite possibly apathetic. That last one should be the biggest fear for the NFL. Football has had a good thing going and I think had taken over as the most popular sport.

The NHL...sorry, but it's the NHL and even though I like the Stars, the league has been losing ground for years.

Major League Baseball and the players union are discussing a new labor agreement because the current deal expires on December 12, 2011. If the powers that be in MLB and the MLBPA have any sense, they'll get a deal worked out as soon as possible. I mean like yesterday. Start advertising during games and AT games that they care about the fans and the GAME of baseball and how they came to an agreement to preserve those two facts. "Look, we care about you and the game...not like the NFL who is screwing you over, taking away your football teams".

This is a golden opportunity for baseball to regain some of the ground it lost to the NFL. What baseball doesn't need is to take the labor talks down to the wire. Get a deal done NOW before the fans have a chance to really start thinking about it.

Only 2 to go

Thanks to a very generous offer by John from Pursuit of 80's(ness) and Pursuit of Red Sox, I am oh so close to getting my 60th ring from the Topps Diamond Giveaway.

His latest email included 3 more codes which I turned into one 1969 Seattle Pilots card, two unmentionable cards, and three rings. The three rings I "dug" were the Chicago White Stockings, St. Louis Cardinals and Ted Williams. Literally 2 minutes after I offered them up, I had received the Diamondbacks, Indians and Padres rings in trades.

That leaves two rings to reach the magic number of 60.

Before you generous people offer up your Pirates and Nats rings, I don't have any duplicate rings to trade. I've managed to trade every duplicate so far. As soon as I can get a couple more codes, I think I'll be done with the rings.

I'm still holding out for Topps Series 2 value packs with the hopes that they'll include Gypsy Queen packs.

By the way, check out John's blog The Pursuit of 80's(ness). Back on June 2nd, he was looking for someone to trade several teams of cards with...there are some good teams to be claimed.

John, thanks for the generosity! I'll be getting something headed your way now that I have your address.

Get in on this Father's Day contest before it's too late!

Head on over to the Number 5 Type Collection run by Matthew. You need to enter this contest.

What are you waiting for...go!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

A rule for Dad

For all you dads out there...

Happy Father's Day.

Friday, June 17, 2011

A Shiny Non-Trade Post

The last time I was at my LCS, he didn't have any new cards other than Topps Series 1. I opted to buy his last 5 packs of 2008 Topps Chrome. Why you ask? I don't know, I just like Chrome. Especially the non-bendy kind. I was really only there for supplies anyway.

I've already included a number of cards I pulled in some trade packages.

Here are a few of the cards I still have. Yes, they're all available for trade.

I pulled a couple of these Topps Trading Card History inserts. Hideki Matsu (TCHC 36) and Pedro Martinez (TCHC39). And yes, that is my IPhone in the reflection.

Next up are a couple of the Heritage Chrome cards. The Soriano is #0399/1959 and the Young is #408/1959.

Here we have the requisite Mickey Mantle insert. It's MHRC510. The Prince Fielder is ARC15. Neither one is a refractor.

In the last pack I hit the 1:15 auto. It's an illegible Randy Wells shiny sticky auto. Seriously, that is one of the worst looking autos I've seen in a while. Let me know if you see anything you can't live without.

A Trio of Sorts

I'm woefully behind on posting trade packages. I normally try to dedicate one whole post to each trade because I think the people who send me stuff deserve at least that much. Unfortunately, due to my continued lack of a scanner, I've fallen behind. I'm still using that IPhone app to get these "scans". Hopefully my trading partners won't hold it against me that they're sharing space or that I'm only pulling a card or two from each package. I'm not going in any particular order either, just pulling out packages from my locker. So let's get to this trio shall we?

First up is a package from Greg over at Wolverine Musings. After you read this post, you should go check out his blog and follow along as he muses about Michigan stuff. Greg claimed the Tigers in my Bowman Blaster tradeathon.

Greg threw this 2008 Donruss Elite Extra Edition Kyle Russell auto as a surprise. It's numbered 70/594 (random) and will go straight to the kid in my house who LOVES the Texas Longhorns.

I've received the regular Chrome version of Jurickson Profar and now I have the purple refractor. It's #679/700. I sure hope he makes it because I love that name. So far he's hitting .274 with 6 homers for the Class A Hickory Crawdads this year.

Next up are a couple of Gypsy Queen goodies from the fine fellows over at Community Gum.

First up is one of those green paper parallels. Ian is slumping lately, but he did hit a homerun in the 2nd game against the Yankees. I'm hoping he does something else to help in game 3 of the series. I'm scheduling this a couple of days ahead of time so by the time you read it, I'll know how he did. I'll probably forget to come back and edit this.

I think this is what prompted the trade. It's my first and so far, only, relic from GQ. Hey, if you're going to only have one, why not make it one of the reigning A.L. MVP? I also got a handful of other GQ cards, including the Ivan Rodriguez Sticky Fingers. I like that card a lot.

Last up is the best card from my first trade with Charlie over at the Lifetime Topps Project blog.

Charlie pulled this Gypsy Queen Adrian Beltre Leather Mini (not leather) #9/10. I started salivating and he was kind enough to trade it to me.

It's not often I send off a trade package knowing I need to send more, but I'll be on the lookout for more stuff for Charlie's extensive wantlists. I sent a decent stack of cards, but I owe him more for this one. And the other stuff he sent like the Colby Lewis red Gypsy back mini.

Thanks to all three of you guys for continuing what has been the very best part of blogging...the trade. I appreciate you taking the time to send cards my way and I hope we can trade again down the road.