Monday, October 31, 2011

Trick or Treat Contest!

Let me start by saying this is NOT the November monthly contest. That will be coming up tomorrow.

Sometime last week, I went to the LCS to pick up a few supplies. I've tried to cut back on the spending this month and although I did buy a blaster to open during the World Series and a couple of group breaks, I haven't spent any money on actual cards. I almost always buy two or three packs of older Topps Chrome packs at the LCS when I make a supply run, but this time I promised myself to only get the supplies.

That didn't happen.

I didn't buy any packs, but the owner had a nice stack of 2011 Chrome Orange Refractors on the counter. He said a guy brought them in looking to trade them for Hobby packs of Chrome. The owner didn't have any packs so the guy traded them for two packs of Topps Series 2 cards. I was a little shocked, but the owner said he didn't really want to mess with them so I could have them for the price of those two Topps packs. He sells his Topps packs for $2.50 so I jumped at the chance for those Orange Refractors for $5.

Now for the contest part. Guess how many 2011 Topps Chrome Orange Refractors I have in my Chrome box. This includes the stack I bought from the LCS, the ones I pulled from my own Value Packs and the few I've picked up in trades. Go ahead and list your favorite team as well. You'll win an unopened pack of something and all the Orange Chrome cards I have for your favorite team (unless your favorite team is the Rangers!)

If more than one person gets the correct number, I'll do a randomization to get a winner.

This one will only be open until the middle of tonight so get your guesses in asap!

Happy Halloween everyone! Be safe out there tonight!

I'm over it...sort of

2011 World Series Game 6.

I'll never forget it. 1 strike away from being champions. Twice.

When the Rangers didn't win Game 6, I had little hope for Game 7. It just seemed like the Cardinals were destined to win.

The Rangers gave me a glimmer of hope when they scored 2 runs in the top of the 1st inning in Game 7. It was all downhill from that point.

Throughout most of Game 7 I sat dejectedly in my recliner. I didn't yell. I didn't throw things. (I did both of those things during Game 6). As soon as the last out was made, I turned the TV off. I just couldn't watch another celebration at the Rangers' expense.

I sulked most of the morning on Saturday. My son's last baseball game of the fall season was Saturday afternoon and watching those boys play and have a good time made me remember that baseball is supposed to be fun. Winning is great (and I still want a World Series title), but the experience is what it's really all about. In all honesty, I get more joy watching my son make a good play than I do seeing the Rangers win. I guess it's all about your perspective.

I'm still a litte sad they lost, but they got there two years in a row. Two years of World Series baseball that involved the Rangers. That is still incredible to me.

I don't know what 2012 will hold for the team and I'm sure there will be a number of roster changes going forward, but I still like their chances. We'll just have to wait and see.

Now if I can just talk my wife into a road trip to Surprise, Arizona in the Spring.

By the way, stay tuned for a special Halloween contest later today.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Heart Trouble

This World Series is going to be the death of me.

Game 6 was the game both teams tried like crazy to lose. Multiple errors on both sides, imploding bullpens, walk after freakin' walk by the Rangers pitchers.

If not for another amazing performance from Mike Napoli and Josh Hamilton's first homerun, last night would have been just another easy Cardinals victory.

If the Rangers manage to win Game 7, the errors and the fact that the Rangers were twice within a strike of winning Game 6 will be footnotes in World Series history. If they don't win tonight, those plays will be forever etched in the memories of Rangers fans as the reasons a World Series Championship got away.

I don't want to spend the entire off-season and the forseeable future haunted by the chances the Rangers squandered in Game 6. The only way to stop that is to win tonight.

I'll be watching...on the edge of my seat...waiting to exhale.

Go Rangers!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Someone shoot me


Game On?

I hope so...I don't know how much more of this I can take.

I'm hoping the Cardinals fans get to experience this...

The visiting team celebrating a World Series win!

Go Rangers!!!!

Lost no more

I recently complete another trade with The Lost Collector. It all started with this card:

This is the regular Heritage Chrome Joe Mauer from Topps Chrome. It's number 253/1962. It's also one of the worst pictures of Joe I've ever seen. Still, it feels a need.

AJ also included this snazzy new Topps sticker. I've yet to see a pack of these, but I know I'd buy a few if I saw them.

The last card I'll show is one of my least favorite Rangers ever. However, I'm really digging the 1981 Topps reprint. It's a Wal-Mart exclusive from 2006 Topps and I'd like see some more current Rangers on these. I may be a little biased because I started collecting in 1981.

AJ, thanks for a great trade and I look forward to trading again soon.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


This is a quote from a Fox 4 News story here in Dallas.

"Devon La Russa, the daughter of St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa, made headlines Sunday during Game 4 of the World Series with a tweet.

“I saw a crack head doing ‘The Wash’ today. Coincidence? I think not,” she posted.

La Russa’s daughter took the offending post down quicker than a fast ball and put the following message in its place.

“I really truly did not mean to be offensive! It's a phrase I use, meant as a joke. Please don't be offended! Go Cards!!!” she said."

When will people realize that social media is just It's also very, very public. Once you say, or type, something that is viewed by others, it's out there and even if you take it back, you still said it. It's kind of like that idiot Rangers fan who threw the wiffle ball on the field in Game 3.

Just plain dumb.

Stay classy Devon.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A little slice of Heaven

Cardboard Heaven that is.

I recently sent Cam a couple of Ravens cards that were taking up space in my collection. In return, he sent me some nice Rangers cards. Very nice. This trade is an example of quality over quantity.

Cam sent over a 2011 Topps Chrome Adrian Beltre base card and a 2010 Bowman Platinum Josh Hamilton base card.

Oh yea, he also sent these two beauties.

A 2005 Donruss Portraits Prime Patches Michael Young #106/331. What this card lacks in design, it makes up for with size. As in the size of the swatch. Although it says Prime Patches, I think this is just a jersey piece, but it's huge. They do like things bigger here in Texas.

The key piece in this trade for me was this Topps Marquee Neftali Feliz auto relic card. I know it's a sticker auto, but seeing as how I'm not going to be opening any Marquee on my own, I have to get these Rangers cards any way I can. This one is #123/470.

Thanks for the great trade Cam. I'm sure we'll be trading again before too long.

World Series Game 5 Pack Break

I want to write some great World Series Recap posts, but my stomach is in knots. The nerves, the anxiety, the's all a little overwhelming. I'll probably write something after the Series is over, but for now, you get another 2 pack break of 2011 Update.

Here are packs 7 and 8, the last two packs of the box. I just realized that I only got one pack of the Walmart exclusive blue bordered cards in this blaster. Hmm.

Pack 7

Mitchell Boggs - Cardinals--Boggs gave up the 3-run homer to Mike Napoli in game 4.
Lyle Overbay - Pirates
Victor Martinez - Tigers--featured here
Daniel Moskos - Pirates
Omar Infante - Marlins

Felix Hernandez Kimball mini - Mariners
Tim Lincecum - Giants
Adrubal Cabrera - Indians

Pack 8

Laynce Nix - Nationals--Former Ranger
Sam LeCure - Reds
Prince Fielder - Brewers
Ty Wigginton - Rockies
J.D. Martinez Gold 99/2011 - Astros
Ricky Romero Toppstown - Blue Jays

Heath Bell - Padres--The Lost Collector is giving away a Heath Bell TTM. Go here to enter.
Brandon Phillips - Reds

There you have it. The only thing left from the blaster is the manupatch. I'll save that for the final game of the Series. Hopefully that will be Wednesday night.

Monday, October 24, 2011

World Series Game 4 Pack Break

I know what you're thinking. What happened to the Game 3 Pack Break? I say what Game 3? I didn't see a Game 3. If I didn't see the butt whooping, it didn't happen, right?

Who am I kidding, no one is reading a Topps Update pack break anyway.

As for Game 4, thank you Derek Holland. Thank you Mike Napoli.

2011 Update Blaster Pack 5

Brayan Pena - Royals
Lou Marson - Indians
Aaron Harang - Padres
Jeff Keppinger - Giants
Diamond Giveaway code - unlocked something awful and from the early '90s
Bert Blyleven Topps 60 - Twins (the best card in the pack)

Jason Bourgeois - Astros --That's a great photo, but still not as good as the Dee Gordon.
Corey Patterson - Cardinals

Pack 6

Josh Collmenter - Diamondbacks
John McDonald - Blue Jays
Lance Berkman - Cardinals
Tony Campana - Cubs
Jorge Cantu Platinum Diamond Anniversary - Padres

Larry Walker Platinum Diamond Anniversary SP - Expos
Carlos Beltran - Mets
Mike Trout - Angels

Here's hoping my mood is this good later tonight.

Saturday, October 22, 2011


That was just brutal. The Rangers got on the wrong end of a good old-fashioned butt whoopin'.

That blown call led to a big inning, but it didn't lead to 3 Pujols homers.

Time to regroup and see if the Rangers can prove they have a short memory.

Friday, October 21, 2011

A World Series Trade: Rangers Style

David from "e rayhahn, rayhahn" said he and I are being civil about our preferences for the World Series. He's right. I for one have had trash talk backfire on me, so I'm being very careful about doing anything too crazy.

Anyway, I sent David an assortment of Twins and he sent me some great Rangers. Here are just a few of the cards he sent over.

World Series game 3 starter Matt Harrison makes an appearance on this nice 1952 reprint auto from Lineage.

Alex Rodriguez had a falling out with the Rangers and Rangers' fans because of his big ego. I now have proof Arod had the big head on this 2002 Fleer Tradition card.

I've always wanted my very own All-Star workout jersey. Now I've got a start on getting one with this C.J. Wilson card. I think that's my first Wilson relic of any kind.

I bought plenty of Gold Label back in 2001, but I never pulled any of these MLB Award Ceremony relic cards. As much as I'm enjoying Mike Napoli, I still miss seeing Pudge behind the plate at the Ballpark in Arlington.

David, thanks for a great trade! I look forward to our next deal.

The Dimwit's Box Break Redemption Randomization

Sam over at the Daily Dimwit asked me to do the randomization for the redemption autos he'll get from Topps Chrome. Sam wanted this to be impartial, which is why he asked me to do it. Only 5 people are involved in the randomization, so they'll each be assigned a card based on the order of the randomizer.

The players involved are:

Robert M.
The Dimwit
Ryan H
Matt Perry

Here is your randomization video...

I'm sorry there isn't any narration on the video. I was at work when I did it and I didn't want to explain to my co-worker what I was doing.

I hope you guys get some great autos!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

World Series Game 2 Pack Breaks

I decided to post the pack breaks AFTER the game and hope that it changed the Rangers luck. I can't claim that it helped them win game 2, but....

I was so down after the 8th inning that I just wanted to go take a nap before work. My wife said I should watch the whole game and I am so glad I did. I will say this-the Rangers are going to give me a heart attack before this is over.

In case you missed my explanation from the first pack I broke (thanks to the text not showing up until I edited the post), I'll give you a brief recap.

I decided to throw my "no buying packs in October" plan out the window so I could open a few packs during the World Series. Nothing major, just a blaster of 2011 Topps Update.

Here are the two packs I opened tonight.

Pack 3--This pack sucked so bad, I had to pick the best card based on the fact I had a TTM from this guy.

Pat Neshek - Padres
Tim Stauffer - Padres
Javy Guerra - Dodgers
Ryan Vogelsong - Giants
David Ortiz/Vlad Guerrero - Diamond Duos
Freddy Sanchez Liquorfractor - Giants
Matt Holliday - Cardinals
Mariano Rivera - Yankees

Pack 4

Chris Denorfia - Padres
Steve Pearce - Pirates
Willie Harris - Mets
Dustin Moseley - Padres....this is a Padres hot box!

Cory Gearrin Liquorfractor - Braves
Paul Molitor - Topps 60
Curtis Granderson - Yankees
Joey Votto - Reds

I'm going to spend the next couple of hours trying to come to grips with the Rangers 9th inning comeback. It's a good feeling!

World Series Game 1 Thoughts

I thought Ian Kinsler's leadoff single was a good sign, but Yadier Molina gunned him down trying to steal. Follow that up with Alber Pujols trying to get Chris Carpenter killed on the Elvis Andrus single and you have an inning that really could have gone the Ranger's way fizzle into nothing.

Josh Hamilton is really hurting. That groin strain is preventing him from using his lower body to generate any power. He's gone something like 55-60 at bats without a homer and I don't see one coming anytime soon.

Mike Napoli was the first A.L. catcher to homer in the World Series since Jorge Posada did it in game 3 of the 2001 Series.

Can we please tell all the Rangers they are hitting in the 7th spot? That seems to be the only place in the lineup that can get any production.

Ifs and buts. If Nelson catches that ball hit by Allen Craig....but he didn't and that's that.

It might not have mattered, but that ball DID hit Adrian Beltre's foot in the 9th. That's a foul ball, not a ground out. They took the bat out of one of the Ranger's best hitters. I was initially very upset, but crazy stuff like that happens in baseball.

I've got another bearded closer to hate. Jason Motte now goes up there with Brian Wilson.

One last thought. I don't get to watch much National League baseball. It's a little irritating. Tony LaRussa is a lot irritating.

Here's hoping the Rangers can even things up in game 2 and come back to Texas where we don't have to play in winter conditions. Baseball is a summer sport in case you didn't know.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

World Series Blaster Break Pack 2

Here we go with pack two from the Topps Update blaster. This is a regular pack.

Freddy Garcia - Yankees
Mike MacDougal - Dodgers
Tyler Chatwood - Angels
Jose Morales - Rockies
Babe Ruth - Red Sox Kimball mini
Brian McCann- Braves PLAY AT THE PLATE!
Mark Ellis - Rockies
Lance Lynn - Cardinals

Ok, can we stop pointing the big parabolic mic at Chris Carpenter. My kids don't need to hear him cussing after every pitch in the dirt!

World Series Blaster Break

Ok, I caved. I treated myself to a Walmart Topps Update blaster to open during the World Series. I'm going to open two packs per game.

The way I see it, it's not like your team goes to the World Series every year. Unless your team is the Rangers. Kidding!

Pack 1 was opened to celebrate Ian Kinsler's leadoff single. Unfortunately, Molina threw him out and Carpenter made a spectacular play to get Andrus at first. Pack 1 also happened to be one of the two Walmart blue border special packs.

Charlie Morton - Pirates

Yorvit Torrealba - Rangers
Bruce Chen - Royals
Matt Lindstrom - Rockies
Kevin Correia - Pirates
Andre Dawson - Topps 60
Miguel Montero - Diamondbacks
Yadier Molina - Cardinals

Go Rangers!

It's Time!

I've been keeping a low profile around the 'sphere when it comes to the World Series.

I'm too nervous. Last year, it was just a thrill to see the Rangers in the World Series. This year, I really want them to win.

I'll be watching every good luck to CJ and the rest of the team tonight.

I need some Maalox!

I almost blew it

First off, get your mind out of the gutter. If it wasn't in the gutter, I apologize for sending it there by bringing it up.

You may recall my self-imposed ban on card purchases for the month of October. I made an executive decision that I wouldn't apply the ban to group breaks, but I have resisted buying any packs or blasters.

I almost gave in yesterday. I don't know why I did it, but I walked down the card aisle at Wal-Mart and they had a bunch of blasters of 2011 Bowman Chrome. I picked one up, looked at it and then set it back on the shelf.

My first thought was, "Oooh, new stuff!"

My second thought was, "I don't even like Bowman Chrome."

I'm not a prospector by any means, but the card addict in me likes new stuff, so I picked up the blaster again. I looked it over. I read the fine print. I laughed.

7 packs (+ the ever present FREE BONUS PACK for a total of eight packs!) of three cards. That's 24 cards for $20 + tax.

I don't think so.

I think I'll continue with the ban on buying this month. It's not like I don't have some Rangers baseball to distract me!

Go Rangers!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Shiny. Like it. Vintage. Love it!

Like many of you, I'm a big fan of shiny. Especially Topps Chrome shiny. I can't get enough. Refractors of all, gold, blue, x, you name it, I want it. Heaven help me when Topps gets it right and the cards don't resemble a rolled up tortilla. Cards like this one, which The Daily Dimwit pulled for me last night in a box break, make me like shiny even more.

I wouldn't want to get rid of all my great Chrome cards, but I only like them. I don't love them. I reserve that feeling for cards like this or this and even these.

I love vintage cards. As I've mentioned before, the feel of vintage cardboard in your hands will always beat that slick cardstock you pull from packs these days. Even retro sets like Heritage don't have that same feel of the originals. I guess it's the character a little age gives a card. Take this amazing example posted by Greg over at Plaschke, Thy Sweater is Argyle? I double dog dare you not to fall in love with that card.

It's a shame and a blessing that you can get amazing vintage cards at a mere fraction of the cost of the latest and greatest rookie phenom. I'm amazed at some of the cheap boxes and binders that can be found at card shops and shows. Not that I've ever seen them. But Greg has. Take a look at some of the nice vintage cards the Night Owl picked up at a card show. All while dragging his daughter around! The horrors....for her.

I thought a dollar box was crazy until I read about this one. How about a vintage Joe Torre from a quarter box? A freakin' quarter box!!!! Dhoff over at Coot Veal and the Veal Tones got one.

My best example of a great deal on vintage would be this post. That combines vintage with a load of blogger kindness. You can't beat that with an overpriced value pack of Bowman Chrome.

Whether you're shopping for high dollar vintage or the bargain bin variety, you just can't beat it. Not even with the latest and greatest Strasharpamaniac prospect.

Bad News from Bad Wax

I'll have to look into this a little more, but this was posted on Bad Wax this morning.

Is it the end of the monthly contest around here?

I don't know. I certainly hope not.

Stay tuned...

Monday, October 17, 2011

An 11 box break of Topps goodness...Community Gum Style

The CG Boys are hosting an ambitious 11 box break of Topps products. You've got your 1996 Topps Laser Series 1 AND 2, some Tek, Finest, Gold Label, Gallery and a host of others.

Go get your favorite team. Or two. Just click right here.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

World Series Bound

I'm happy.

Very happy.

I'm relieved too, because I did not want to see Doug Fister on Sunday.

I'll keep it short since I'm headed for bed, but Cruz was otherworldly, I'd like to beat the crap out of Al Albuquerque and Jim Leyland is one classy dude.

Here's hoping the Brewers and Cardinals go 7.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Ifs and Buts

I had this whole idea for a post about if this happened then that would happen. But I just don't have the energy for it.

The Rangers had been getting most of the breaks in the ALCS, but all the breaks went to Detroit in game 5. The Cabrera ball off third base that should have been a double play. The Kinsler shot to Inge that turned into a double play with one out and the bases loaded.

It happens.

I'm hoping the day off on Friday will help the Rangers out. We need to take this in Game 6. I don't want to see Fister starting and Verlander out of the pen on Sunday in Game 7. No sir, I don't like that at all.

We also need someone, anyone, to step up and hit a homerun.

You know, someone besides this guy.

Don't get me wrong. I hope Cruz breaks the record for homeruns in a playoff series. He's tied for the record now, but he needs a little help. He's the only Ranger to homer so far and he has 11 of the team's 21 RBIs.

That's not going to get the Rangers to the World Series. If Cruz somehow does manage to get the Rangers to the World Series almost by himself, it'll go down as one of the great performances in LCS history.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Riddle me this Batman

Can someone tell me why the Rangers/Tigers series is relegated to the 3:19 PM CST slot for the second game in a row?

Is TBS flexing a bigger muscle than Fox on this one? I'm not saying the Cards/Brewers series hasn't been exciting, but you can't get much more drama than the ALCS. Two extra inning games. A one run game and a fairly close 5-2 game.

The Cards won game 2 of the NLCS in a laugher.

I just don't get the scheduling of this series.

Any ideas?

Oh yea, GO RANGERS!!

Another pair of firsts

Nelson Cruz is writing his name in the record books with alarming frequency.

Alarming if you're a Tigers fan.

His 3-run homer in the 11th inning of yesterday's ALCS Game 4 was his 2nd extra inning homerun of the series. He's the first player in MLB history to hit two extra inning homers in one playoff series. Three other players, including Javy Lopez, Bernie Williams and David Ortiz, have hit two extra inning homers in the playoffs, but not in the same series.

I mentioned a pair of firsts didn't I? The other first was my first trade with Robert of $30 a Week Habit. Robert sent over a great stack of Rangers, including some from my favorite Heritage set ever.

I truly regret never getting to open any 2005 Heritage packs. I love the design, based of course, on the amazing 1956 Topps set. Alfonso Soriano is one of my top 10 least favorite ex-Rangers, but I needed the card so it's much appreciated.

Here is a top 5 member of my least favorite ex-Rangers, but again, this Mark Teixeira was needed for my Rangers team collection so I'm glad to have it.

Many thanks to Robert for these and the other Rangers cards he sent. It's always fun to get another new trade partner.


More fun with Topps Update

2011 Topps Update Adam Dunn US220

2011 Batting Average: .159
2011 Homeruns: 11
2011 Runs Batted In: 42
2011 Runs Scored: 36
2011 Salary: $12,000,000

Percentage of Team's 2011 Salary: 9.88%

Cost per Game $98,360 (122 games played)
Cost per At Bat $24,193 (496 at bats)
Cost per Hit $181,818 (66 hits)
Cost per Run Scored $333,3333 (36 runs scored)
Cost per Home Run $1,090,909 (11 homers)

I'm not sure if Adam is waving goodbye to his career or hello to all that money.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Here's hoping I'm not the only winner today

Game 3 of the ALCS should be starting any second and I'm hoping the Rangers can shake off yesterday's loss and take a 3-1 lead. I was able to win something recently and in the wacky world of blogging and fandom, I think it would be fitting if the Rangers followed suit.

DGreen from Drinking the Orange Kool-Aid held a contest recently and I was able to guess his favorite Cowboy. It just so happened to be Bill Bates who was one of my favorites as a kid. As a prize, D sent over 51 great Rangers cards. I picked out a threesome to show you.

That sounded wrong, but we'll just move along.

First up is this 2005 Donruss Diamond King Michael Young. I posted one of these recently, but this one has a red/rust colored border around the edge so that's nice.

I really like these Target Topps Throwback cards. This Neftali from 2011 is a nice addition to the collection. I never pull these because I'm rarely at Target to buy cards.

Last, but not least is a card from a set I'm sorry I missed out on. These 2005 Heritage cards pay tribute to the magnificent 1956 set, one of my all-time favorites. This Hank Blalock is the fancy schmancy Chrome Refractor version and is #531/556.

Thanks Kool-Aid man!

Topps is predicting the future now?

I was looking through the cards I got in those two rack packs of Topps Update I received from the MIL. One card that I didn't notice the first time through jumped out at me.

Do you think Topps knew Victor Martinez would homer in Game 3 of the ALCS with Yorvit Torrealba behind the plate?


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

It's just a game

My wife is always telling me that. The Rangers will lose, I'll get upset, she says, "It's just a game." She's right of course, but when a team misses the playoffs by one game, it becomes apparent that every game matters.

My wife is a nice lady and doesn't say it during the playoffs because she knows that every playoff game is important.

In game 3 of the ALCS, the Rangers and Tigers were tied going to the bottom of the 5th inning. Miguel Cabrera hit a double to right that was just barely fair, scoring a run and giving the Tigers a 2-1 lead. Like any good Rangers fan, I was upset. About two minutes later, I got a call from my mom.

My sister's 5 year old son was at the hospital. He had some kind of abcess between the back of his throat and his spine and it was pressing on his carotid artery. I was stunned. She said he had strep throat and the abcess was caused by the strep. As we talked, the Tigers put up 2 more runs in the bottom of the 6th. Mom said she was waiting for my sister to call back and she would keep me updated.

The game was on, but I wasn't really watching as Cabrera homered to make it 5-1 Tigers. I didn't celebrate the run the Rangers got in the 8th to cut the Tiger lead to 5-2. As the game ended in a Tiger victory, my wife said "sorry." I said, "it's just a game." A few minutes later I got the call that my nephew was going into surgery to have the abcess drained.

As I drove to work, I thought about my nephew. He's 5 years old and has no idea what's going on. I thought about my sister who must be absolutely terrified. I thought about my mid-30s friend who has breast cancer and also lost her husband 10 days ago after his courageous 6 month battle with pancreatic cancer. I thought about my 44 year old sister-in-law who was diagnosed with leukemia last month. I thought about another friend who is in her early 30s and is getting treatment for cervical cancer.

Then I thought about the Rangers loss and my wife is right. It's just a game. A Rangers loss is NOT the end of the world. And even though it's just a game, when your team wins, it can be a bright spot in an otherwise dark day. I could use another Rangers win.

By the way, I just heard my nephew is out of surgery and all went well. He should be back to his normal unstoppable self in a couple of days.

Saint or Packsearcher?

My mother-in-law has done it again. She knows about my self-imposed "no spending" decree for the month of October, but that didn't stop her from spending $10 on a couple of 2011 Topps Update rack packs for me. I've seen a few of these pop up on other blogs so I was having a hard time resisting the urge to buy one. Or two.

Each rack pack came with a couple of sparklies as well as an assortment of other inserts. I pulled the best two cards from each rack pack to show you.

After some investigating, I believe this is the Cognac Diamond Anniversary parallel. I'll never complain about pulling a Ranger parallel, even if Night Owl can't understand how I do it. The truth is, after I opened the second rack pack, I asked my mother-in-law if she was packsearching. Of course she had no idea what I was talking about OR that I was joking.

This one came as a surprise. I haven't pulled too many of the "Legend" SPs so I was glad to get one of the newest member of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

I've only seen the contents of two rack packs plus some other packs online, but this may be the best photo in the update set. The design gets in the way, but it's a great shot of Dee Gordon.

This is the card that made me question my mother-in-law's packsearching skills. I kid. It's the Hope Diamond Anniversary parallel and it's numbered #35/60. I was a little shocked to pull another shiny Feliz and even more shocked when I turned it over and saw it was numbered so low. Or numbered at all for that matter.

Overall, I have to say I was happy with the contents of my two rack packs. I'm sure I'll buy some next month to finish out the set. You never know. Maybe I'll hit some more Ranger mojo. Maybe I'll get my mother-in-law to pick out my packs.

Two firsts

The Rangers managed to pull off two firsts in yesterday's amazing ALCS game 2 win over Detroit.

First, they had their first ever walk off win in a post season game. Of course, there isn't a lot of post season history for the Rangers, but it was still a thrilling moment.

Nelson Cruz's grand slam in the bottom of the 11th inning was one of the most exciting things to ever happen at the Ballpark in Arlington. It was also the first walk off grand slam in MLB playoff history. Coming on the heels of his game winning homer in game 1 and the game tying homer he hit earlier in the game, it was just incredible. You know Leyland and the Tigers did not want to see Cruz up there in that situation.

After the team celebrated the 7-3 win, a Fox reporter interviewed a freshly "pied" Nelson Cruz. I had to explain to my wife what it was and why the players did it. She thought it was funny. I was just glad it was appropriate.

Go Rangers!!

Monday, October 10, 2011


I'll have more to say later, but I'm going to try to get a nap before work. That was some game tonight and I guess people will know who Nelson Cruz is now.

Get that plane to Detroit and get some rest boys!

The Best Game I saw on Saturday wasn't the Rangers win over Detroit

If you missed the post on Thursday over at Mark's Ephemera , you should check it out. I thought of it when I went to the Little League ballfields on Saturday for my son's game.

My son's coach wants the kids at the field one hour before game time. He wants them to get warmed up and have some swings before the game. When we arrived I noticed a huge crowd (by our league's standards) around one field. My son went off to join his team and I went to see what was going on at the other field. I saw about forty kids of all ages on the field. I asked one of the parents what was going on and they said it was a Challengers Division game. I hadn't heard of this division so they explained it to me and it was quite hearwarming.

The Challenger's Division is for kids with mental or physical challenges. The league creates teams, free of charge, for these awesome kids and other kids and teams from the league volunteer to serve as helpers. The volunteers help the kids at the plate, running the bases and playing in the field. It was quite a treat to see the Challenge Division kids having such good time. They were laughing and smiling and completely happy. The volunteer kids were having such a good time. It was hard to tell who got more out of the experience.

I hope my son gets a chance to be a helper for one of these games. I think it will give him some perspective and let him see how much joy the game of baseball can bring to someone.

I know they'll never see it, but I want to thank Little League International and our own local league for taking part in the Challenger's League. It's so nice to see baseball bring people together in such a positive way.

Game 2 On!!

Let's do this!!

Go Rangers!

Sunday, October 9, 2011


Whew! It was soggy, but I'll take it!

Go Rangers!

We now return you to our regularly scheduled programming.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Play at the Plate 27: Johnny Bench vs. Dick Green

I haven't done one of these play at the plate posts in a while. Let's fix that right now.

2011 Marquee Base Johnny Bench

October 15, 1972 Oakland Athletics at Cincinnati Reds

It's game 2 of the 1972 World Series. Ross Grimsley is facing the A's in the top of the 2nd inning. Catfish Hunter has just given the A's a 1-0 lead by singling in George Hendrick. A's 2B Dick Green is standing on second base as Bert Campaneris came to the plate. Campaneris rips a 1-0 pitch to left and Dick Green races around third as Reds LF Pete Rose comes up with the ball and fires home. Reds catcher Johnny Bench takes the throw and this is what happens next:

Green is OUT! The A's would go on to win Game 2 by a score of 2-1 and win the World Series in 7.

Thanks to Nick aka Yanks and Beans from The Cardboard Dugout for this great card!

Friday, October 7, 2011

How about a 6 pack?

Since I put my Rangers want lists on the sidebar I've been inundated with trades. It's great, but I keep getting behind on my trade posts. I prefer to give each trade partner their own trade post because I think they deserve that much for taking the time to find cards and mail them to me. I'm hoping these 6 traders won't mind sharing space this time so they don't have to wait 3 weeks to see their efforts acknowledged. I know we'll trade again so maybe next time I can give them the whole spotlight.

Things are Funner Here

Julie sent over 6 of these 2011 Diamond Anniversary parallels and 6 Kimball minis. I like the Kimballs, but I've traded most of mine away. Now maybe I can start putting that set together again.


Captain Canuck sent over 51 Rangers, including this 1991 Classic Rusty Greer. He also sent an unopened pack of 1991 Score. I get random unopened packs from time to time and I don't know how people can keep 20 year old cards around without opening them. I know it's only Score, but I'm terrible at leaving cards unopened.

Nomo's Sushi Platter

Spiegel sent over 38 Rangers and one 2011 Chrome Gold Refractor. I picked out this 1996 Leaf Limited Will Clark to show because I liked it best and the Gold Refractor is going out the door soon. By the way, Spiegel sent these cards knowing I didn't have anything for him. Yet. I'll be working on that soon.

Lifetime Topps Project

Charles sent over 86 Rangers, including 11 die cuts that I didn't have. I picked out this nice 1982 Jon Matlack because it shows off that great uniform. The Rangers need to wear some throwback unis next year!

Community Gum aka the CG Boys

Ok, I may be the only one who calls Jon and Andy the CG Boys, but I've dealt with them a lot and been following them almost since the beginning, so it's allowed. Also, while this technically wasn't a trade, they sent me 4 nice Bowman Platinum cards for almost nothing. You can't beat that deal. Really, just try.

Card Buzz

Laurens and I made a small trade which resulted in me adding this 2011 Topps Chrome Mason Tobin XFractor to my growing stack of Chrome Rangers. It was our first trade, but I'm sure it won't be the last.

Many thanks to all of these fine traders. Trades are why I started blogging and a big part of what keeps it fun! If any of you are still reading at this point, thanks, and I'd also say check out these blogs and make some trades with them.

You'll be glad you did.

A new K-Rod in town

New York has been without a K-Rod ever since the Mets traded Francisco Rodriguez to the Brewers.

Rest easy New Yorkers, there's a new K-Rod in town!

Alex "K" Rodriguez went 2-18 with 6 strikeouts against Detroit in the ALDS. Game 5 was highlighted by a K-Rod strikeout with the bases loaded in the 7th inning and of course the icing on the cake, a strikeout to end the Yankee's 2011 season.

It's no secret that Alex Rodriguez is my least favorite former Ranger. Part of it is his current team, but mostly it's the way he left the Rangers bad mouthing his teammates.

*My opinion about K-Rod and the Yankees is in no way an indication of how I view Yankee Collecting Bloggers. I like you guys (and gals). You give me a place to send my unwanted Yanks and send some sweet Rangers my way in return.

Thursday, October 6, 2011


This has been a wacky week. Since I work nights, my Monday starts on Sunday night. I was off Sunday night, worked Monday night, was off Tuesday night, had all day training Wednesday during the day, stayed at work until my shift started and now I'm just trying to stay awake. By the time I leave in the morning, I will have been here 24 hours. I think I got even more tired just typing it.

At any rate, I haven't had even a second to write about the Rangers wrapping up the first spot in the ALCS. I'm truly sorry for my friend the Collective Troll, but I'm ecstatic that the Rangers are going to the ALCS for the second consecutive year.

I'm thrilled that Adrian Beltre hit three homeruns in the final game. He was only the 6th person to hit three homers in a playoff game (Babe Ruth did it twice) and the first to do it in a Divisional Series.

You know me, so you probably know the play in the game that got me revved up.

I've watched this highlight over and over. Sean Rodriguez barrels into Mike Napoli and knocks the ball loose. It took a perfect throw from Nelson Cruz and a perfect relay from Ian Kinsler to get the ball there and it was there in time, but Rodriguez knocked it loose. From the reports I read today, it appears the ball wasn't the only thing he knocked loose. Apparently Napoli swallowed his dip of snuff in the collision too. That's nasty.

Just like the hit.

You can have your triples. As for me, I'll take a play at the plate any day.