Tuesday, November 29, 2011

$30/week doesn't cover postage

That's not entirely true, but I know the more I trade, the more money I spend on postage. That may seem like a dumb thing to say because of how obvious it is, but if you've traded much at all, you know it's true.

That didn't keep Robert of $30 a week habit from sending me a package. I've been trying to help him with his Serial Numbered Insanity project and he sent me a few cards in return.

Here they are in no particular order. That's not true. It's a particular order I selected.

Here we have a Topps 60 Fergie Jenkins from this year's Topps juggernaut. It's nice to see Fergie get some Ranger love and I dig that old school Rangers hat and the hair is happenin'. I know most people associate Fergie with the Cubs because he did have 6 consecutive 20 win seasons in Chi-town (1967-1972). However, he was no slouch in Texas piling up 93 of his 284 career wins. He won a career high 25 games in 1974 and played a total of 6 years in Texas during his two stints with the team.

Don't get too tipsy looking at this Adrian Beltre liquorfractor.

Here we have a card unlike any I've seen before. I was still out of collecting in 2007, so I never pulled any of these 2007 Series 2 relics. While Mark Teixeira isn't my favorite player, I like the design with the bat chip window in the shape of home plate. Of course, it looks like they just threw it on the card anywhere they could squeeze it, but I'm used to that.

The card commmemorates a game on July 13, 2006 when Mark hit 3 homers against the Orioles. In that game Mark went 3-5 with 3 homers and 7 RBISs. The Rangers and O's were tied 1-1 after 5 innings, but Mark hit a solo shot in the 6th, a 2-run shot in the 8th and a 3-run homer in the 9th to lead Texas to a 15-1 win.

If you pull any serial numbered cards, keep Robert and his project in mind. Thanks for the great cards Robert! I'm sure I'll have more to send you soon.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Maniacal Laugh...Maniacal Laugh!!

If you haven't seen the new Muppets Movie, and I can't imagine you have, you might not get the title. Oddly enough, I was forced, FORCED I SAY !!, to see the Muppets Movie by my nine year old on Friday. It was not very good, but it did bring back some childhood memories, so it had that going for it.

This post by the Lost Collector brought back another childhood memory.

The card he got TTM'd is a card that played a semi-major roll in my trading experiences as a young collector.

It was this 1976 Walt Williams card. I've briefly mentioned the story before, but I'll go into it in greater depth when I get this card in hand, or better yet, when I get it TTM'd myself. This copy (or more likely one with more creases) is now sitting in my Diamond Giveaway portfolio because as soon as I saw the Lost Collector's post, I knew I had to have it. It didn't take much, just some a 1975 Brave.

I'm just about ready to have my cards shipped. I haven't receieved an offer in the last month that made any sense so I guess it's time to order them and be done with this year's giveaway.

Check it out...a contest!

Check out Royals and Randoms. He's having a contest.

What, you didn't know?

Now you do.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Retail is for suckers

I'm only saying that because of my luck yesterday. 99.9% of the cards I buy are retail and normally I get SOMETHING worth mentioning, but yesterday was different.

I received a $25 Wal-mart gift card as an early Christmas present and decided I'd actually use it for something I wanted. I bought another one of those 2008 UD Masterpieces discounted blasters and another Topps Value Box.

Here is a brief recap of the best the Masterpieces had to offer.

That's right. A great big fat nothing. No parallels, no relics, nothing. Not even a short print.

The Topps Value box had exactly ZERO cards worth posting. Out of 5 Update packs, the best card I got was an Erik Bedard liquorfractor. Wooooo-hooooo!

The Bowman Chrome pack was short one card so that was a nice kick in the pants. Makes me wonder if I was shorted an auto...

I did manage to score two extra codes in addition to the guaranteed code. I let my son redeem them on his account since I hit 60 rings a long time ago. Here is what he transmogrified:

Some 1975 vintage outfielders in various states of airbrushedness. I don't think that's a word.

Yay us! Another fun '75 and this time it's a Ranger! Of course I had to explain to my son that we're happy to get a Ranger of this vintage.

Hoping to hit something a little older than 1975, he entered the final code and was "rewarded" with this 1980 Pete Vuckovich. It looks like they woke Pete from his clubhouse nap to get this shot and he doesn't look too happy about it.

Three more codes means he now has 24 rings. I don't know that he'll get to 45 to get the special edition set, but I do know he's getting a couple blasters of Topps Series 2 and Update for Christmas so that will help a bit.

Have a great weekend everyone. See you Monday.

Don't look so surprised Jerry

It's none of your business if I'm eating turkey for breakfast!!

You just keep your eye on the ball. If that isn't too hard.

Like a drunk waking up from a binge and heading for the bottle, I went straight for the leftover turkey this morning. Don't worry though, everyone else was asleep and I'm the only one who knows.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Bear with me for a minute

I like to watch football. Thanksgiving football is especially nice. However, I don’t buy a lot of football cards. Actually, I buy almost zero football cards. I did pick up a blaster of the new Topps Gridiron Legends cards because I’ve been thinking about something that I’ve heard over and over in the media lately.

The Indianapolis Colts have the inside track on the #1 pick in next year’s NFL Draft. At 0-10, they have a two game “lead” over the Panthers and Rams as the worst team in football this year. I’m not a Colts fan, but I don’t understand all the hand-wringing over whether they should take the highly touted Andrew Luck as the #1 pick in the draft. Everyone seems worried that the injured Peyton Manning will be upset if the Colts take Luck. If I’m the Colts and Luck is as good as everyone says he is, I take Luck and I’m sitting happy for another 12-15 years. Don’t take my word for it. There’s current history to back this up.

Aaron Rodgers, arguably the best QB in the NFL today, was drafted in 2005. He was Brett Favre’s backup in 2005 and when Favre decided to continue playing, Rodgers continued as backup in ’06 and ’07. He spent a full three seasons watching, learning and studying. He took over as the Packer’s starter in 2008, spent 2 years refining what he had learned while watching and led the Packers to a Super Bowl victory in 2010. He’s playing even better this year.

This brings us back to Andrew Luck, Peyton Manning and the Colts. I don’t understand why they can’t follow the model the Packers did. Draft Luck. Let him watch and learn from a living legend. He can study film, soak up every bit of experience and knowledge possible and be ready to take the reins when Manning finally hangs it up (or gets pushed out the door like Favre). This could keep the Colts at the top of the AFC for another decade or more. It makes sense to me, but I haven’t heard anyone mention that scenario as a possibility.

Again, I know this is primarily a baseball blog and that’s what most of you care about, but here is a breakdown of the contents of my Topps Gridiron Legends blaster. It contained 7 packs with the ever popular “Free Bonus Pack!!” Six cards per pack gives me a total of 48 cards. The base set has 165 cards with 30 Legends, 55 Rookies and 80 Veterans.

Pack 1

Austin Pettis, Rams RC
Jamie Harper, Titans RC
Joe Montana, 49ers
Larry Fitzgerald Gridiron Legacies (1:4 packs)

Emmitt Smith, Cowboys blue parallel (1:1 packs. These are thicker than the base cards and come one per pack. The only thing “blue” is the background behind the player is a shade of blue)

LeSean McCoy, Eagles

Pack 2
Greg Salas, Rams RC
Rob Housler, Cardinals RC
Howie Long, Raiders
Vincent Brown Aspiring Legacies (1:5 packs)
Josh Freeman blue parallel, Bucs
Brandon Marshall, Dolphins

Pack 3
Cecil Shorts, Panthers RC
Dion Lewis, Eagles RC
Vernon Davis, 49ers
Junior Seau, Chargers

Aaron Rodgers blue parallel, Packers
Joe Flacco, Ravens

Pack 4
Ryan Williams, Cardinals RC

Andy Dalton, Bengals RC
Percy Harvin, Vikings
Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals
Mike Williams blue parallel, Bucs
Reggie Wayne, Colts
That was the first pack without a Legend.

Pack 5
AJ Green, Bengals RC
Ray Lewis, Ravens
Wes Welker, Patriots
Art Monk Gridiron Legacies (1:4 packs)
LeSean McCoy blue parallel, Eagles
Matt Cassell, Chiefs

That was the first pack with only one rookie.

Pack 6
Jordan Todman, Chargers RC
Chris Johnson, Titans
Troy Polamalu, Steelers

Peyton Hillis green parallel #45/150 (1:44 packs—the background has a slight green tint)
Thomas Jones blue parallel, Chiefs
Antonio Gates, Chargers

Pack 7
Jimmy Smith, Ravens RC
Jonathan Stewart, Panthers
Philip Rivers, Chargers

Cam Newton Aspiring Legacies (1:5 packs)
Matt Forte blue parallel, Bears
Joe Namath, Jets

Pack 8 Super Duper Free Bonus Pack!!! Yea, right.

JJ Watt, Texans RC

Bart Starr, Packers
Franco Harris, Steelers
Kurt Warner/Sam Bradford Legendary Combos (1:10 packs)
Mike Wallace blue parallel, Steelers
Phil Simms, Giants

Ok, that pack was loaded with Legends, although I don’t think Phil Simms qualifies as a Legend. Nothing earth shattering came out of the blaster, but it has some nice cards and the base cards are nice and clean. I wouldn’t mind having some of these signed. I got 34/165 base cards (20.6%) and 14 inserts/parallels. My youngest son has expressed an interest in collecting football cards (he has to be different than big brother) so I think we may try to put together the base set. The non-Cowboy inserts/parallels are available for trade if anyone is interested. If you have any base cards from this set, let me know!! If you read this far…God bless you!

Eat up!

I hope everyone has a very Happy Thanksgiving.

Stuff your face. Watch some football. Take a nap.

Then do it all over again.

Don't forget to take at least a few moments to reflect on what you are thankful for and tell your family you are thankful for them.

My wife lost her favorite aunt unexpectedly yesterday and it's a reminder to me that you should always tell your loved ones how much they mean to you.

Have a blessed day everyone!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Play at the Plate 28: Rusty Greer vs. Mike Macfarlane

This the 28th play at the plate card I've hightlighted on the blog. This card was included in the nice package I got from Tony at The (Common) Card Man.

July 12,1998
Texas Rangers vs the Oakland Athletics

It's the top of the 5th and Jimmy Haynes and Darren Oliver are locked in a 0-0 pitcher's dual. Haynes gives up a lead off single to Rusty Greer. Ivan Rodriguez steps to to the plate a rips a double to left field. A's left fielder Brian Lesher retrieves the ball and fires it to SS Miguel Tejada. Rusty Greer is races around third for home. Tejada takes the relay and fires home to catcher Mike Macfarlane. Rusty Greer is...

...out at home! Macfarlane fired the ball to Mike Blowers at third to catch Pudge for an unusual double play.

This was the second time in the game the Lesher to Tejada to Macfarlane relay had caught a Ranger at home. Will Clark was thrown out in the first inning as well.

The next batter, Luis Alicea, singled which made the Lesher play even bigger as it would have been a 2-0 Texas lead. As it was, the A's escaped without giving up any runs in the 5th and scored one off Oliver in the bottom of the inning. The A's would tack on 4 more runs in the 6th and go on to win the game 7-5.

What can you get for 2 cents?

You can get my thoughts on the new CBA between Major League Baseball and Major League Baseball Players Association. The new 5 year deal runs through December 1, 2016 and will give baseball a 21 year streak of labor peace.

In your face NFL and NBA!

The commissioner and the union got a deal done before the old deal expired. I'm not talking about Giamatti, but I don't want to mention that other guy on this blog. I can't stand him, even if he did help get the deal done.

Here are some of the highlights of the new CBA:

1. Houston Astros move from the National League Central to the American League West in 2013. I don't like this one. I think the proper move would have been to move the team that was moved TO the N.L. back to the A.L. That would be Selig's Brewers. That was NOT going to happen.

2. Two more Wild Card teams will be added to the playoff mix as early as next season. The Wild Card teams in each league would most likely face each other in a one-game playoff to advance to the Division Series. MLB now has until March 1 to determine whether the playoffs will be expanded for the coming season. I'm on record as not being a big fan of change, but I'll reserve judgement on this one. My initial impression is that it WILL be an exciting play-in game, but it's going to screw up the rotation for the team that gets in and may give the team they end up playing a little advantage.

3. Blood testing for HGH with a 50-game suspension for a first failed test, 100 games for a second and lifetime ban with the right to seek reinstatement for the third. If it works, I'm all for it. Get the cheaters out of baseball.

4. A raise in the minimum salary from $414,000 this year to $480,000 in 2012, and ultimately to more than $500,000. How many players does this really affect? I'm not sure of the number of players making the league minimum, but it's a heckuva lot more mone than I make so I'll just sit here and be jealous.

5. A luxury tax on teams that spend above an aggregate figure for players signed through the annual First-Year Player Draft and the near elimination of Draft-pick compensation for the signing of free agents. This is one of the biggies from what I hear, but I won't pretend to understand it or even really care at this point. The whole structured salary based on draft slots...all this gives me tired head. I guess that wasn't even 2 cents worth was it?

6. Subject to MLB discussions with the umpires' union, the expansion of instant replay to include fair and foul calls on balls hit down the line in addition to others trapped by fielders. Replay has been used only to review home runs -- fair or foul, in or out of the park. I'm all for getting calls right as long as they can do it in a timely manner. Baseball games are slow enough. On that subject, I'd like to see them put a stop to the theatrics that go on BETWEEN pitches by some batters. Is it necessary to adjust your batting gloves after EVERY SINGLE PITCH!? I think not.

7. Restrictions for the first time on the use of smokeless tobacco on the field or in dugouts. Players are still allowed to chew, but while they're in an area where they can be picked up by a television camera, the protocol now is for them not to have pouches or tins of tobacco visible in their uniform back pockets. I don't care about this one either way. Both of my sons know from the way we've raised them that tobacco is nasty. I'd rather they limit the use of parabolic microphones so I (and my son) don't have to hear Chris Carpenter yell G**D*** after every bad pitch or hit. He's not the only one either.

That's my 2 cents. I'm interested in hearing yours, either in the comments or as a blog post of your own.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Is Neftali happy or what?

I see the Rangers signed Joe Nathan to a 2 year deal with an option for a 3rd year.

Nathan missed the 2010 season after having Tommy John surgery on his right elbow, but he appeared in 48 games in 2011, compiling a 2-1 record with a 4.84 ERA and 14 saves (in 17 opportunities) while splitting the closing duties with Matt Capps.

I guess this means the Rangers are set on making a starter out of Neftali Feliz.

I think Bengie Molina just told him about the signing on this card. If Joe Nathan can return to form, the Rangers should have a pretty potent bullpen next season.

The Nefti card and the ones to follow come courtesy of Tony over at The Common (Card) Man. He contacted me via email about a trade and that's exactly what we did. Well, he did his part. I'm a little embarassed to be posting his cards before he even has his, but that's due in part to my illness last week. Rest assured Tony, your package is on it's way.

Tony sent over a pretty diverse package, which is my favorite kind. He knocked a number of cards off my wantlists while he was at it.

I love the quirkiness of this 1999 Fleer Tradition John Wetteland. Wetteland finished up a nice 12 year career with a 4 year stint in Texas. He racked up 150 of his 330 career saves while with the Rangers. He pitched for the Rangers during their first two playoff appearances in 1998 and 1999. The Rangers didn't fare well in those series, but Wetteland did have 4 saves in the 1996 World Series . (I know it was the Yankees, but I didn't want to say it.)

Here is another amazing Rusty Greer photo. This is a 1997 Fleer Sports Illustrated card that shows a signature Rusty dive. It's not the one that saved Kenny Rogers' perfect game on July 28, 1994, but you can see that one at the 3:00 minute mark of this video.

Kenny Rogers' Perfect Game: The Old School Edition from Ron Escargon on Vimeo.

Tony included at least one play at the plate card you'll be seeing in a separate post.

Thanks Tony!

Monday, November 21, 2011

What's buggin' me?

The flu, that's what.

Tuesday through Saturday were pretty much a lost cause for me, although I only missed one day of work. The actual flu symptoms didn't show up until Thursday around lunch and by Saturday night I was feeling better.

Unfortunately, I did not get to the post office on Friday, but should be able rectify that by 10 AM this morning.

Thanks again for your patience. I should be returning to regular programming shortly.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

No relief in sight...

I'm on day three of excruciating stomach pains. If I didn't know better, I'd say I was in labor since the pain comes in waves about every 15 minutes.

I know you don't want to hear that, but I need to let people know...if you're expecting a package from me, I haven't been to the post office this week. I'm hoping to go on Friday morning and get everything in the mail. That's about 10-12 packages and 2 payments.

Thanks for your patience. Like you had a choice.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

It never ceases to amaze me

I'm always surprised at the generosity you find across the blogosphere. People will send you cards just because they want to send cards. No expectations of anything in return. That's part of what makes this whole blogging thing fun. I try to be generous, but I don't think I've ever done what Rod over at Padrographs is doing. He's mailing out many of his "extra" cards from 2011 to just about every team blogger he knows.

I got a nice little stack of Rangers and a few others nice cards and I have to say, I've been feeling blah lately and this really made my day.

The top card on the stack was this Captain America Dr. Arnim Zola. I looked forward to Captain America coming out for 2 years. My oldest son is very into the Marvel Super Hero movies and Captain America is one of his favorites (thanks to getting some of my childhood comics). I was a little underwhelmed by the movie, although I would like a turn in that machine that turned him from pipsqueak to muscle man. Not because I'm a pipsqueak...more the other direction.

My favorite non-sport card in the box was this very nice Thor Jane Foster card. I've always liked Natalie Portman aka Queen Amidala. Thor is another of the Marvel characters and like Captain America, he's scheduled to appear in The Avengers (May, 2012) that finally brings the Marvel characters together.

Rod also sent baseball cards. I know I didn't have this 2011 Bowman Chrome Alexi Ogando. I'm still shaking my head over Ogando's playoff performance this year. He's good and I hope he isn't one of those one-hit wonders.

I thought I had seen everything there was to see from 2011 Topps, but I've never seen anything like this Josh Hamilton Diamond Anniversary insert. It says HTA-5 on the back so I'm guessing this is NOT available in retail packs. It's always nice to receive a card I've never seen before, it's just not often it happens with new products.

I got a blue refractor version of this 2011 Chrome Alexi Ogando auto in one of The Daily Dimwit's recent group breaks. I never thought about the other versions, but this regular one will look nice next to the blue. Now, if someone could just work with Alexi on his auto.

Rod, thanks so much for the generous package! I'll be looking for some way to repay it in the near future!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Cardboard Appreciation: I'm gettin' Rusty

I'm totally stealing/borrowing the concept from the Night Owl, but this is not going to look like his awesome Cardboard Appreciation posts.

I've written about Rusty Greer a number of times. He's "that guy" for me. I haven't put together a master list of Rusty's cards, but I probably should. Otherwise, I might be missing more gems like this one:

That is one of the best photos I've seen on a card in some time. I'm biased of course, but it's cropped nicely and looks amazing. In hand, you can see his eyes through the sunglasses as they track the ball. The foil name/position on the bottom right is a little distracting, but overall, I'd say this is one of my top 3 favorite Greer cards. He has some good ones too which you can see at that link above.

This card came courtesy of a prize package from Mark aka cynicalbuddha over at Collector's Crack. Even though I didn't win the contest, Mark saw fit to send the final three some cards. I'm glad he did.

He sent an assortment of Rangers including this neat little oddball.

This is a Rick Honeycutt 1984 Fleer Star Stickers...well, sticker. I have a few Rick Honeycutt items in my collection, but probably the most notable is this auto that shares space with some famous guy.

I didn't watch every inning of every Rangers game last year, but I'll bet Ron Washington didn't call for this too often.

I don't see Nelson Cruz as the bunting type, although all players SHOULD be able to bunt if asked to bunt. This 2010 Finest Cruz is a fine addition to my team collection.

Mark must know I like shiny things, because he sent over some Diamond Anniversary parallels too. Six Rangers to be exact.

Along with this dazzling Kinsler, there were appearances made by Julio Borbo, Taylor Teagarden, Rangers team card, Neftali Feliz and Darren Oliver. I'll have to check, but that makes quite a dent in my shiny Ranger needs.

Thanks for the package Mark! I've already started pulling stuff for that trade you mentioned.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

If I could go back...

Thanks for the response to my question yesterday. It appears you're unanimous in your opinion that you would buy that first pack all over again, at least in some form.

I've asked myself the same question a number of times throughout my collecting years. Most of the time the answer is a resounding yes, I would buy that pack and most of the ones I bought after it. The only time I seriously wished I had never bought a pack of cards in my life was during the time I lost control of my spending. Many of you have read that story so I won't rehash it here, but I'll provide the link for those of you that don't know what happened.

I've been cutting back on the spending lately. I been involved in some group breaks and bought a couple of lots on Blowoutcards.com, but I've been pretty good at avoiding the card aisle at Wal-mart. Other than Chrome and a discount blaster or two, I'm not too interested in what's out there right now and honestly, it's the right time of year to be cutting back.

I love busting packs, but my recent experiences on Blowout have proven what many of you already know. It's much cheaper to buy cards other people have opened. It's like letting someone else take the depreciation hit on a new car and buying it two years later. You still get most of the value at a much reduced price.

I'm looking forward to 2012 and the release of new products, but I'm not sure how much I'll be opening. I kind of like the idea of getting the cards I would love to pull myself, without the risk of pulling stuff I don't need.

Still...there's nothing like the anticipation that comes from opening a new pack of cards. Plus the added benefit of trade bait and everyone knows I love to trade...oh man, I just need to be independently wealthy. That would solve the whole problem.

Black instead of blue

I got a really nice Chrome card in the mail yesterday. It came from Sam at The Daily Dimwit. All I had to do was send him some dupes from my Chrome to help him complete the set.

That is really nice. The Nelson Cruz black refractor is my second Rangers black refractor. I also have the Neftali Feliz. Sam pulled this in his pack a day box break that he's been posting.

The black refractors are numbered/100 and this one is #34/100. Thanks for the great card Sam!

Sam and I are both digging the Chrome this year and The Daily Dimwit is holding a three box Chrome break and you can get two teams for only $13! Go check it out and get in while you can.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Still Blue

Yesterday I was feelin' blue, in a bad way.

Today, I'm still blue, but I'm a lot happier about it. I got my second Blowoutcards.com forum purchase in the mail and it was a good one.

I picked up a small lot of Topps Marquee cards that I may use for the December contest. I also got this trio of cards.

My son will get this 2008 Upper Deck Justin Smoak for his ever-expanding USA collection. I hated to see Justin Smoak go to Seattle, but I've been happy enough with Mitch Moreland at first base. Moreland is streaky, but I like him and with Napoli and Young spelling him at first, he did ok last year. Price: 50 cents. Not bad.

I'm going to pretend that the wood chip on this Ian Kinsler Heritage card is from the bat he's holding and not a piece of office furniture a Topps intern found outside his apartment. I may poke fun, but Topps (and all the other companies) bring it on themselves for the disclaimer on the back about "the relic on this card is not from any specific game, event or season." I needed it for the collection anyway and the price was right. Price: $1.50. Again, not too bad.

The last single I purchased was this beauty and it's the reason I'm still "blue". It's a 2011 N43 Relic Joe Mauer #16/25 with a blue swatch. Even the hand numbering is in blue. I know it's a stretch, but I can't help it. I opened two boxes of A&G this year hoping to get something this nice and for a fraction of the cost, I got it on the secondary market. That should teach me something. Price: $11.00.

With the lot of Marquee I bought, the total for this purchase was less than the price of a blaster so I'm pretty happy with it. I've certainly done a lot worse buying and busting packs myself. Makes you think...

If you could go back...

I'm stuck at work for an extra 8 hours today and I need to do something to pass the time so I'm going to ask a question with the hope that a few of you will respond and give me something baseball related to read.

If you could go back to the moment you bought that first pack of cards and NOT buy it, would you? Knowing what you know about the hobby, how much you spend on it, how much time/space/money it requires, do you wish you had never started?

My very first pack, sort of the beginning of my story as far as the hobby goes, was posted right here.

It was this card that got me hooked.

What would you do?

I'll tell you what I would do tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Feelin' Blue

I don't know if it's the post-World Series letdown, but I'm in a funk. This card didn't help matters.

This was one of my first purchases from the Blowoutcards.forum. I only paid a few dollars for this Hope Diamond (I think) Adrian Beltre #51/60. The problem is one I didn't notice until AFTER I was posting the card. Anyone see the problem? It's really pretty obvious now that I see it and I'm mad at myself for not noticing it earlier.

See it yet?

I thought you would. *Heavy sigh*

And to think I have to start a 16 hour shift later tonight.

Fun, fun.

(Thinks to self: there are people out there with real problems dummy. Get over yourself!)

Ok, I'm feeling better now.

Monday, November 7, 2011

A package from Dad

No, not my dad.

I'm talking about Baseball Dad from All Tribe Baseball. Dad recently offered up the team sets from his Diamond Giveaway set. It was a very generous offer and a number of people took him up on it, but I think he has some team sets left. I requested the Rangers and after allowing some time for others to jump in, I also took the unclaimed Twins.

I'm sure by now most of you have seen the cards from the Diamond Giveaway set. The have that foil stamped "Topps Diamond Giveaway" logo in the upper left corner. They also have the words "Factory Set Limited Edition" above player's name.

The logo is a little tough to see on this Joe Mauer card. That card is the reason I asked for the Twins.

The logo is a little easier to see on this Michael Young card. I want to thank Baseball Dad again for sharing this set with everyone. It's going to look good in the binder. Not that I needed yet another parallel of a 2011 set, but Topps doesn't seem to consider my opinions when they develop products.

If you read this post by Night Owl, you already know Baseball Dad included a pack of 2003 Donruss Estrellas with these packages. It wasn't until I read that post that I knew these packs came with a poster. I was excited to see Night Owl's poster turned out to be Roberto Clemente. I was hoping for some of that good mojo too.

I didn't get it.

Here are the base cards from my pack.

Francisco Rodriguez--Angels
Sammy Sosa--Cubs
Jorge Posada--Yankees
Jose Vidro--Expos
Ryan Klesko--Padres

I got one insert called Estrellas. It was, of course, a Yankee, which I'm sure I can trade. I don't know how "tough" a pull this is, but even Jeter was better than the subject on the poster.

Here we go...

Ah yes, Barry Bonds. I may have to set this aside for a certain Giants fan I recently traded with. Or I may have to set this on fire. All in all, it was kind of fun to open the older pack. I didn't pull a Dodger to trade to Night Owl for the Juan Gonzalez he pulled. Oh well, next time.

Jack, thanks for the cards!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

A Banner Day

A few days ago, the NBA season was supposed to tip off. The Dallas Mavericks were supposed to raise their championship banner.

Thanks to a money fight between billionaires and millionaires, the Mavs didn't get to raise the banner and the NBA season is in jeopardy of being completely canceled.

I'm not a huge basketball fan, but I like the Mavs and was very excited to see them win their first NBA Championship last season. It was nice to see Dirk get a title and get the "can't win the big one" monkey off his back.

I do look forward to seeing the Mavs defend their title, but I can't say that I'm missing basketball at all. I'm still coming down off the Rangers' season. Maybe I'd feel different if the Rangers hadn't been in the postseason. It's just hard for me to feel sorry for a bunch of rich guys who can't decide how to split a 3.6 billion dollar pie. I felt the same way about the NFL lock out that occured earlier this summer.

I will care if MLB can't get a new deal done. The current CBA between MLB and the Player's Union expires on December 11th, but all signs point to meaningful conversations between the two parties. I'm hoping they get a deal in place before the deadline or at least early enough that it doesn't have an impact on the start of Spring Training.

I wouldn't want anything to get in the way of the Rangers going to their 3rd consecutive World Series.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Appreciating a Diamond Giveaway hunk of cardboard

The year: 1991

The manufacturer: Topps

The first reaction: For the love of all that is holy, get out of the way CARLTON!!

This card has been given much love and appreciation by Night Owl. As a matter of fact, it was the first card elected to his Cardboard Appreciation Hall of Fame.

I just happened to get this card with a code I redeemed on the Diamond Giveaway site. I thought it was appropriate that I get it and it has to be right at the top of any list of favorite cards. I already have a couple of copies of this card so I doubt I'll get it shipped. It's just about time to get the rest of the cards shipped. I have 33 cards in my portfolio this year, far fewer than I had last year. I think the quantity of available "vintage" cards is far lower than last year. Here is what I have in my virtual collection.

1961 Coot Veal, Senators
1964 Ed Brinkman, Senators
1965 Dough Camilli, Dodgers
1967 Jack Hiatt, Giants (catcher)
1968 Bob Humphreys X2, Senators
1970 Paul Casanova, Senators
1971 Dick Such, Senators (I know, I posted about it already!)
1972 Rich Hand, Rangers
1973 Billy Champion, Brewers
1973 Chris Speier, Giants (sweet play at the plate)
1973 Pete Richert, Dodgers
1973 Jim Lonborg, Phillies
1973 Ken McMullen, Dodgers
1974 Gene Tenace, A's
1974 Fran Healy, Royals (patp)
1975 Buzz Capra, Braves
1975 Johnny Oates, Braves
1975 Bill Fahey, Rangers
1975 Joe Lahoud, Angels
1976 Roy Howell, Rangers
1976 lanny Haney, A's
1976 Juan Beniquez, Rangers
1977 John Stearns, Mets
1979 Dave Campbell, Braves
1991 Carlton Fisk, White Sox
2011 DDC Josh Hamilton
2011 DDC Tony Gwynn
2011 DDC Nelson Cruz
2011 DDC Vladimir Guerrero
2011 DDC Adrian Beltre
2011 DDC Ian Kinsler
2011 DDC Neftali Feliz
2011 DDC Michael Young

I'll be getting most of these shipped. Other than some technical glitches, are you happy with the cards you have on the site? Are you looking forward to doing it all again 1n 2012?

November Contest Winner

Now that is an exciting post title.

First off, thanks to everyone who entered the contest. It's one of the things I look forward to every month and I hope you do too.

If I counted correctly, there were 52 entries with 6 people picking up a second entry for pubbing the contest. Only one person guessed the correct manu-patch. There really isn't any interesting way to drag this out so I'll just show you the manu-patch and tell you who won.

You didn't have to go far down that checklist to find Al Kaline's name since he was first on the list.

Congrats to dhoff from Coot Veal and the Vealtones. I'll be sending you this Kaline manu-patch along with some other appropriate goodies. Please send me your address again dhoff!

Thanks again to all who entered!

By the way, I've scheduled some posts for this weekend, but I'll be away. I'll get the prizes and some trade packages mailed (if you're expecting one from me) out on Monday.

A common habit

How about a couple contests that aren't mine.

The (Common) Card Man is having a contest to give away a manu-patch and some other goodies.

$30 a week habit is having a contest too. His wife told him to do it!!

Good luck!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

A Butt Kickin' Masterpiece

Baseball can be a cruel you know what.

I strolled down the local retail card aisle yesterday and stumbled upon a discounted blaster of 2008 Upper Deck Masterpieces. I dig discounted blasters and I love the look and feel of 2008 Masterpieces so I bought it. Eight packs for $9.98 isn't too shabby these days either.

I've picked up 4 or 5 of these discounted Masterpieces blasters in the last year or so. This is the best one I've ever bought. In it's own way, it's also the most ironic kick in the nuts the baseball card gods could bestow on me. Scroll down just a bit further and you'll see what I mean.

I managed to get one SP in the blaster.

I was very happy to see this colorful Nolan Ryan SP slide out of the 2nd pack. I forgot to get a pic of it so thanks to Nachos Grande for this image. I was happy to be off to such a good start with this blaster, but the cruel hand of irony was about to hit a line drive right into my...well, if you watched the video, you get the point.

The very next packed yielded a jersey hit.

Ah yes. It just had to be a St. Louis Cardinal. I know Mark Mulder didn't have anything to do with the most recent World Series, but still, getting a Cardinals hit just seemed a bit much if you ask me.

Irony wasn't through with me yet. Pack number seven yielded a framed blue parallel numbered out of 50. Anyone care to guess what team the player represented?

That's right. The St. Louis Cardinals show up yet again. This time it's amazing Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith. This little gem is #10/50. I guess it was appropriate that the Wizard would show up the day after the Gold Glove Awards were announced. He "only" won 13 consecutive Gold Gloves at shortstop (1980-1992). I have to say that this is a nice card, even if it is a Cards card.