Saturday, June 30, 2012

The July Contest...Part 2

If you didn't get to guess for yesterday's question, never fear, you can still go back one post and get your guess in the comments.

Today's question regarding my final shipment from the Diamond Giveaway is...

How many Texas Ranger/Washington Senators were included in my shipment of 25 cards?

Every correct guess will earn you one entry for the Ginterish prize!

Good luck.

Friday, June 29, 2012

The July Contest...Two Days Early

A couple of days ago I got my final shipment from the Diamond Giveaway.  I was going to show them over the weekend, but I didn't get a chance to scan them in time.  Now I can use them for the June Contest.

Your going to get to enter the contest once today, once tomorrow and once again on Sunday.  Each day, I'll ask you a different question about the cards I go and you can get an entry for each correct answer.

My shipment was for the maximum allowed number of cards, 25.  For today's entry, guess the year of the oldest card(s) I got this time.  If you guess the correct year, you'll get one entry for the contest.

I'll be back tomorrow with another question.  I'm thinking this month's prize will be something Ginterish...

By the way, there is a way to get a bonus entry into the contest without getting even one of the questions correct.  All you have to do is leave a comment for all three questions and you'll get one entry, even if you don't get one answer right.  That means the max number of entries possible is 4.

Good luck!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Maybe the Toppsopoly isn't so a bad after all

Like many of you, I sometimes reflect on collecting in the days before the beginning of the Toppsopoly.  Day after day, week after week, seeing the same old blasters and packs on aisle 10 gets me thinking of a time when we had literally dozens of choices each year.  I start to wish it was like that again and then it hits me - I can't afford it!

If you read my post this morning, you know about my past issues with overspending on cards.  If there were 5 or 6 companies putting out a dozen different products each year, I'd be in deep trouble.  Sort of like I was back in the day when you could get these.

1998 Leaf Randy Johnson Fractal Matrix.  I bought box after box after box of this stuff.  I can't even tell you what I was hoping to get.

1998 Pacific Omega Alex Rodriguez.  So, you think 2012 Archives is printed on thin card stock?  Get ahold of one of these things and you'll know what thin stock really is.

1998 Upper Deck SPX Ryan Klesko #6342/9000.  Back in the late '90s, a card numbered to "only" 9000 was pretty limited.  At least we thought so.

1998 Upper Deck UD3 Greg Maddux.  This is one of the most confusing sets I've ever seen.  This card is "Technology" FX 75, Set 75, Subset TE15.  Whatever.

1999 Black Diamond Bernie Williams Diamonation.  No comment.

1999 Bowman's Best Todd Walker.  That dirty scanner rears it's ugly head again.

1999 Fleer Brilliants Shawn Green blue.  Dirty dirty Blue Jay.  I like the blue parallels and must admit it looks good for the Blue Jays.

1999 Topps Gold Label Troy Glaus Class 3.  You'll find base as well as black or red parallels for Class 1, 2 and 3.  Don't forget the 1/1 cards.  Don't forget your abacus to figure out this set either.

2000 Fleer Focus Mike Piazza green parallel #30/300.  I bought quite a bit of this too and pulled my only true 1/1, a purple Masterpiece Shawn Green.  I sold it on Ebay for $350.

2000 Pacific Vanguard Ben Davis.  I don't fully understand Pacific, but I bought it anyway.

2000 Topps HD Mark McGwire.  Maybe it should have been Topps PED.

2000 Topps TEK Brett Myers #1383/2000.  This is another very confusing set.  I think there are color AND pattern variations.  Insanity on acetate.

2000 Upper Deck HoloGrFX Alex Rodriguez.  This is a great example of the overproduction problem that plagued the hobby in this era.  Not too many cards, too many different products.  This is hideous and I probably bought a whole box of it.  Ugh.

2001 Bowman Yhency Brazoban.  Proof positive that I was out of control.  I hated Bowman and I've never been into prospecting, but I still bought it.

2001 SP Legendary Cuts Brooks Robinson.  Yes, I bought a box.  No, I did not get a cut auto.

2001 Topps Finest Dave Winfield Finest Moments.  I'd never plunk down the cash for Finest these days, but I did in 2001.

These were just a small fraction of the cards I have in my rolling cart.  The next time I write something about how much I dislike the Toppsopoly, refer me to this post and remind me that I can't afford to chase after a bunch of different products.  I can't even afford to chase after all the Rangers Topps is producing all by themselves.

Confessions of a cardboard junkie...not a trade post

Out of sight, in the corner of my office, sits a three drawer rolling cart. It contains most of what's left of my cardboard "misadventure" back in 1998-2003.  Many of you know the story, but here's a link if you don't.

I was looking through that cart for some cards for another post when I ran across more evidence of the insanity I found myself in during those crazy, dark days.  Back then, I dabbled in just about every new product that came out.   I didn't mess around with single packs either, I bought by the box.

There was basketball.

1999 Bowman's Best Jason Kidd.  Man, my scanner needs a good cleaning.

1999 Topps Gold Label Jerry Stackhouse.

2001 Fleer Tradition Grant Hill Hardwood Leaders.

There was football.  I liked football a lot back at the turn of the millenium.

1999 Donruss Gridiron Kings Barry Sanders #2633/5000.  I think all the cards in this set were serial numbered.  I have a decent number of these left over.  

1999 Donruss Football Derrick Thomas auto redemption.  Unused.  I have a stack of about 15 or 20 unused redemption cards from this period.  No, they weren't expired when I pulled them either.  I can't explain why I didn't redeem them or at least try to sell them.  I was sick...really sick, at the time.

2000 Fleer Greats of the Game Johnny Unitas.  I loved these sets with old players.

2000 Sage Brian Urlacher.  I told you I'd buy anything.  This thing is 1 of  only 4500.  It says so right on the front!!  Yay me!

2000 Topps Gallery Eddie George Gallery of Heroes.  Come on, even the most cynical baseball card collector must think this card is pretty cool.

I even bought hockey cards.

2001 SP Authentic Brad Richards.  I didn't go cheap either.  I bought the good stuff.  I won't torture you with more than one hockey card, even if Waxaholic wants me too.

I even bought Golf cards.

2002 Tiger Woods.  By the time 2002 rolled around, I was getting desperate for some big hits to start paying off the mounting debt.  Tiger stuff was selling for big money and I tried to get in the game, but I never pulled anything worth selling.

Much like going to Vegas and throwing good money after bad trying to recoup your losses, my collecting purchases in those days were about recouping my lost money.  It never worked and it took getting out of collecting for 4 years to learn that lesson.  Finding the blogosphere took me back to my childhood collecting days when card value had nothing to with "book" value and everything to do with how much you wanted a card.

Check back later today for why I think the Toppsopoly might be a good thing.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Only 6 months overdue

If you've been reading this blog since at least 2010, you know I do monthly contests.  At the end of 2010 I had a contest just for the 2010 winners. I was looking over my blog layout yesterday and realized I never had my end of the year contest for 2011.  It's only the end of June 2012 for goodness sake.

The monthly winners for 2011 AND 2012 have been updated on the sidebar and it's time to randomize a winner for the 2011 end of the year contest.   Night Owl won for 2010 and I sent him as good a package as I could put together.  Well, I need to do it for 2011 now.

The entrants are over on the sidebar and here is a screen shot of the winner for 2011.

Congrats to The Diamond King!  I'll be gathering appropriate items for prize package for you, but it might take me some time.

One month to go

One month from today, the Opening Ceremonies for the 2012 Olympics will take place in London.  My wife is big on the opening act, but I usually just want to see the Americans walk in and take a lap around the venue.  I'm in it for the sports, the stories behind the athletes and of course the medals.  I love hearing the National Anthem and watching the U.S. flag rise above the rest.

For 17 days, we can watch as young men and women from this country and around the world put on an exhibition of athletic prowess that is unrivaled by any other event.  Sure, some of the events barely qualify as sports cough cough..table tennis...cough cough (ok, those people have skills, but an Olympic sport?) and I don't get how you can put BMX and Mountain Biking in when you don't have baseball.  Still, I love to watch the events and get to know the athletes.

It's an amazing time to stand up and take pride in our country and what our flag represents.  I'll refrain from using this forum to discuss the "hell in a handbasket" route our country is on right now.

I picked up the David Price International parallel from Derek over at Tomahawk Chopping: Cardboard & More.  He threw it in on a mutually agreeable exchange of Olympic cards for greenbacks.  The lot of Olympic cards was great and here are just a few of them.

The Triathlon Commemorative Stamp.  Your 2012 USA Olympic Triathlon reps are Laura Bennett, Sarah Groff, Gwen Jorgensen, Manny Huerta and Hunter Kemper.  Good luck runners!

I once ran a triathlon.  Ok, I didn't "run" a triathlon, but I did watch a youtube video of some people who lost complete control of themselves right at the end of a marathon.  It was creepy.

Walter Dix won bronze medals in the 2008 Olympics in the 100m and 200m races.  According to his Wiki page, he was injured during the 2012 Olympic trials and won't compete this time around.

These flag patches are my favorite cards of the year.  Rebecca Soni won a gold and silver at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.   Swimming qualifications are going on this week so it remains to be seen if she qualifies for London.

Alex Meyer is trying to qualify in the Open Water Swimming category.  In 2010 he won gold at the Open Water World Championships by beating all his competitors in a 25K race.  That's 16 miles of swimming...think about it.

This is the bronze version (#d to 50) of Sanya Richards-Ross' auto.  She won gold in 2004 and twice in 2008.  Track & Field still has some qualifying dates coming up so I'm not sure of her status for 2012.

Here's hoping our athletes bring home lots of gold this summer!

Thanks Derek!

Overheard in the Dugout

Last night's Detroit vs. Texas match-up saw a game time temperature of 103 degrees at 7:05 PM.  The temp in Detroit at the same time was around 86 degrees.

Miguel Cabrera:  "Prince, it's a hot one tonight."

Prince Fielder:   "Why do you think I didn't sign a contract with the Rangers?"

Ok, I made that up, but I wonder how many players don't seriously consider signing with Texas because of the heat.  It was always the rumor that Randy Johnson wouldn't consider coming to Texas for that very reason.  I don't know how much truth there is to that considering he did pitch in Arizona.  Of course that's supposed to be a dry heat and the humidity here is killer sometimes.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

I wouldn't buy it myself...

I bought a fair number of those 2012 Bowman Value Packs when they first came out.  I like the white borders and honestly, nothing else was grabbing my attention.  Nothing else except Topps Olympic cards, which my Wal-mart doesn't carry.  I'm still not a Bowman collector and  I don't care to collect most of the cards they put out that don't have a Ranger on it so I won't be buying any more.

I did get one of the Bowman rack packs for Father's Day.  It came from my MIL who hasn't bought me anything lately (because I asked her to save her $$).  I thanked her as always and hoped to beat the odds and pull at least one Ranger I needed.

Pack 1 of 3 gave me a Bowman Chrome Bryce Harper.  You may recognize the over the top eye black, but you can't read the name because the foil used for the names doesn't scan well.

If I had a money tree growing in my yard, I'd spend some of it buying up all the Silver Ice parallels I could find.  Unfortunately, I don't have a money tree so I'll be sending this to a Quarry for processing.

Pack 2 only had one card of any interest and it was perfect.  This gold parallel of Joe Mauer will go in with all my other Mauers.  Joe is back to his old hitting ways and has a .323 average so far this year.  His other numbers are down still, but that Twins team doesn't get too many guys on base.  Only two Twins are hitting over .300 and only six are above.250 for the season.  That's too bad as they are my second favorite team.

Pack 3 was a golden one for this Ranger collector.  Adrian Beltre seems happy to be in a good home too!

I'm ready for some about you?

O' What a Thrill

I was born in 1970.  I started playing baseball when I could join my first tee-ball team, somewhere around the age of 6.  A couple of years into my Little League career, I started playing catcher.  I loved it.  No more boring time in right field, no more first base trying to pick errant throws and no more third base worried my teeth were going to get knocked out.  Now I could be involved in every pitch and I had more than a couple plays at the plate that I'd pay for a video or picture of if parents took those back then.  Of course, I didn't catch all the time.  Sometimes I got to pitch.  That's a whole different post right there.

Like most kids, I pretended to be some of my favorite players while catching.

I wanted to be Jim Sundberg of the Texas Rangers.

Sometimes I'd pretend to be Johnny Bench.

Those were two of my favorite players early in my playing days.

Along about 1983 or so I got very into college baseball and then followed the 1984 Olympic team with keen interest.  It was during this time that Will Clark caught my eye and I became a fan of his.  I loved the way he played the game and his intensity was something else.  I wasn't a Giants fan, but I was glad he was drafted with the second pick of the 1985 draft.  (My Giants hatred didn't really start until the beat the Rangers in the 2010 World Series.)  On April 8th, 1986, Clark homered off Nolan Ryan in his first career at-bat.

I followed Clark's career from afar as I spent 1988 to early 1994 in the Navy.  I came home in February and I was excited to hear the Rangers signed Clark to a five year contract in 1994.  I got to see him play numerous times in person during those 5 years and it was always a "Thrill".   One of my favorite cards of Will is this 1996 Leaf auto I pulled from a pack in 1998.

Clark finished his career with 284 homers, 1205 RBIs, 440 doubles and a .303 average.  He'll never make the Hall of Fame, but he's my all-time favorite player.  I have an autographed 8X10 that resides in a plaque on the wall.  This Big D custom is another of my favorite Will Clark cards because it's a one of a kind made just for me.

Thanks to Fuji for getting me to take another look at my favorite player.

Get some sparklies

Andrew of the new blog Andrew's Baseball Cards is giving away some sparkly cards.

Go get some!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Good things happen...Play at the Plate #30

I haven't done a play at the plate card (officially) since January so it's way overdue.  I pulled this one from my Series 2 blaster so I thought I'd do a little research and see what I could find.

September 4, 2011: Cincinnati vs. St. Louis

It's the top of the 4th inning and the Reds are up 2-1.  Juan Francisco steps to the plate with one out.  Edwin Jackson throws the pitch and Francisco drives the ball to deep left.  He ends up on 2nd base.  Ryan Hanigan follows Fransisco with a walk and up steps Bronson Arroyo.  You know what's coming next.  Sacrifice bunt.

Francisco and Hanigan move up to 3rd and 2nd as Brandon Phillips comes to bat with two outs.  The count evens at 1-1 and Edwin Jackson uncorks a wild pitch.

Francisco breaks for home.  The Cardinals catcher, Gerald Laird, scrambles to retrieve the ball as Edwin Jackson races in to cover home.

Laird tosses to Jackson and Francisco is OUT!  Even though Laird and Jackson saved a run in the 4th, Juan Francisco would have his revenge as he drove a run in the top of the 10th inning that gave the Reds a 3-2 win.

I like this card because it shows the pitcher covering home.  We just wrapped up our Spring Little League season and I can't tell you how many times our pitchers failed to cover home.  It cost us a ton of runs.  This just goes to show you that good things happen when you listen to the coach.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Random and Kindness go together like Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock

I'm going to give you a second to soak up the greatness of this card.  Go ahead, stare away.

I've been staring the orange of this 1964 Topps Senators Team card since I got it.  I can't help but wonder if some players off the back row were airbrushed out.  The back of the card shows each pitcher's record against every team the Senators played.  Unfortunately, it doesn't list the whole team.  Still, it's an amazing card and one I'm glad to now own.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, I love contests.  Especially blog contests in which you can win amazing cards.  I've been incredibly lucky when it comes to winning contests and that's part of the reason I hold a monthly contest.  I like to give back a little.

My latest bit of good fortune was from Capt Kirk over at CaptKirk42's Trading Card Blog.  He had a Random Acts of Cardness contest and it was one of those nice and simple contests where you just need to comment to be entered.  Somehow the randomizer landed on my name and Kirk sent over the card above and many more.

I had to show off the relic Kirk sent over.  It's a 2008 Heritage Clubhouse Collection Hank Blalock jersey.  Now that I've got that out of the way, lets get on to some authentic vintage greatness.

In a time saving maneuver, I scanned these cards in one group.  As you can see, we have '61, '64 and '65 well represented.   

Which one of these doesn't belong?  Let's see, 5 1968s, 3 1970s and a 2007 Upper Deck.  I'm going to take a stab and say Scott Feldman.   I just put the Feldman in there because he's been the focus of so much speculation lately.  He's having a terrible season and lost his spot, at least temporarily, to a minor league call-up.

I saved the best for last.  This 1969 Topps Ted Shows How card talks about Ted passing on his knowledge of the game, but all I've heard or read says Ted wasn't much of a teacher.  His philosophy of' "see the ball, hit the ball" was easier said than done.  I still like this card a lot and I'm glad to finally have one in my collection.

Thanks for the great package Kirk!!!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Most Wanted

It's funny how a player can go from "I'm waiting for the right opportunity" to "several teams are interested" to "most wanted" in just a few days or even hours.  Roy Oswalt fits into that category.  He was unsigned as a free agent after experiencing back issues last season.  As pitching rotations around baseball started sending starters to the disabled list, interest in Oswalt began to pick up.  The Rangers had interest all along, but were already "blessed" with too many starters.  Suddenly, Neftali is hurt and Feldman can't get a win.  Then Roy Halladay from the Phillies went on the DL and the Rangers decided it was time to get Oswalt before someone else did.  It turned out to be perfect timing.  Alexi Ogando and Derek Holland got hurt while Oswalt was trying to get into shape in the minors.

Roy Oswalt will make his Rangers debut tonight against the Colorado Rockies.  Here's hoping he has some of the old magic left in that arm of his.

Speaking of "most wanted", I recently got a "most wanted" card in the mail.  It wasn't a card I had mentioned before and it was a complete surprise.  The package came courtesy of Robert over at $30 a Week Habit.

This 2007 UD Masterpieces Hank Blalock jersey card is nice, but it was not the "most wanted".

This 2012 GQ Michael Young Bronze parallel was on my "gotta get one" list, but still wasn't the "most wanted".

I need a list for these Archives 3D cards because I want the whole set.

This is is.  I've wanted this card since I saw it on someone else's blog.  The 2012 Archives 1982 In Action cards only come 1:32 packs so they are a tough pull.  I'm glad to not even have to put this one on the want list.

Not that I'll have the 2012 wants on there anytime soon.

Thanks Robert.  I've got a package all ready for you!