Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween and a Contest Update

Happy Halloween to everybody today. I set up a Contest update at the right sidebar. Good luck to everyone.

Hot Boxes and Trade Packages

The first time I realized there was such a thing as a "hot box" was when I bought a box of 2002 Fleer Ultra Football Cards. I don't remember the details about the box, but you were supposed to get one or two hits per box. I pulled 12 jersey cards. At the time I thought that was the best thing ever, but 7 years later those cards might fetch $1 or $2 on Ebay. I only have a couple of them left anyway.

That leads me to trade packages. I love getting those in the mail. It is like getting your own hand selected hot box. Every card in there is one you want...sometimes they are "hits", sometimes team favorites or set needs, sometimes even vintage cards of favorite players or teams. Many times the trade packages have cards that were not mentioned in the trade, but were added by the other person just because they were being generous. As you all know, there are many generous people out there.

Trading is what drew me in to the blogosphere. I somehow came across somebody's blog and then while checking their blogroll, noticed people were trading cards. Good old-fashioned who cares about the price guide, let's make a deal where both parties are happy, take me back to my childhood trading. After much delay, I decided to start blogging too. It has been a great way to look back and reflect on my collecting days and has been just as fun as the trading.

I've been delaying posting my trades because I don't have a scanner and that is about to end. I've done nearly 40 trades now (15 more than above) and until I get a scanner, I'm going to start taking pictures of my end of the trades. I still get a kick out of seeing the cards I sent to someone posted on their blog and I think it's time I started returning the favor. I enjoy reading everyone else's trade posts and seeing some of the cards that are racking up the airline miles going to various points across the U.S and around the world.

So, thanks to all of you who have traded with me, held contests that I won (and didn't win), and generally made this hobby fun for me again. I can't promise that the trade posts will be in order, but if we have traded, it will definitely be posted somewhere along the way.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Playoff Pack Breaks Part 12

Unless something crazy happens, I won't get another hit from my retail blaster. That Markakis auto was really nice!

World Series Game 2: Phillies 1 Yankees 3
Series tied 1-1
The Phillies should be pretty happy to go home with the Series tied. Now if Cole Hamels can just pull his head out and re-capture some of last year's magic.

64 Alex Rodriguez
ARod appears to be reverting to playoff form of years gone by. Here's hoping he keeps it up. So far his stat line looks like this: 8AB, 0 hits, runs, rbis, walks and stolen bases, 6 Ks (my personal favorite) and two men lob.

119 Carl Yastremski
One of my favorites.

45 Peyton Manning Gypsy Mini

85 Lance Berkman

There you have it. Hopefully the 39 pitches Mariano Rivera threw to get the 2 inning save in Game 2 will come back to bite Girardi in the butt.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Putting cards to good use

I read a couple of different ideas for what to do with extra cards yesterday. The first post was by the Troll who sent some of his "untradable" cards to various hospitals. The other post was from 25 Years of Baseball. His plan involved the card manufacturers offering up a rebate for junk wax and recycling millions of unnecessary, overproduced cards. It is an interesting idea, but I don't see the manufacturers getting behind any kind of rebate program due to the costs involved, not to mention the fact they have proven time and time again they are not concerned with what the true collectors want. Need evidence? Just think sticker autos. I do know what the Troll (and many others I'm sure) did is a great way to ease the burden of card storage.

I moved back home (briefly) when I left the military back in 1994. Packed safely away in the numerous boxes the Navy so kindly shipped home were well over 150,000 junk wax cards from 1988-1992. I was out of work for about 7 months and spent a portion of that time trying to sort through the chaos that was my collection. I knew those cards were never going to worth the money they originally cost, so I decided to relieve myself of the burden of storing some of them. I contacted a local children's hospital and asked if they would like some cards to pass out to the kids. The lady I spoke to couldn't say yes fast enough and said they would take all the cards I wanted to give. I spent a week or so packing 1000 team set bags with 30 cards each. I was counting to 30 in my sleep. I took them to the hospital, loaded them in a big wagon and pulled them into the office of the lady I had spoken to earlier. She was overwhelmed. She said she appreciated me putting the cards in the bags, but it really wasn't necessary. That just meant I could bring more cards with less labor the next time. I did get a nice letter from the hospital and a tax write-off (don't ask how I valued the cards, I don't remember), but knowing that some kids might forget about being in the hospital for one second was enough for me. I'm not posting this to pat myself on the back, but rather to put the idea out there for anyone who has never thought of donating cards. Troll, thanks for jogging my memory and reminding us all of a way to give a little to lift someone else's spirits.

Playoff Pack Breaks Part 11

The 2009 World Series Got underway in what is sure to be another Yankees championship. But wait, no one told the Phillies they weren't supposed to win. I'm sure the Yankees are still the favorite and Arod is the favorite to get the MVP, but how about we let them play the games before we go giving out trophies. Now, on to the pack break. I may not have gotten a hit during the game, but I did get one afterwards.

World Series Game 1: Phillies 6 Yankees 1
Phil lead 1-0
Can Cliff Lee pitch on zero days rest? Just a thought.

26 Hiroki Kuroda
He looks really happy on this card. I wonder what he was thinking?

50 Mike Schmidt
He's happy today.

A-NM Nick Markakis
Sweet, an on-card auto from Mr. Nick Markakis! I love some on-card auto goodness. You can see a scan of the card over at Beardy's blog.

148 David Price
Hey Troll, does this guy have any upside? Just kidding.

I'd love it if I only had to bust 3 more packs to done with the playoff pack breaks...hint, hint. Go PHILS!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

New World Series Schedule and Former Rangers Fail

I'm petitioning MLB for a new World Series Schedule.

Game 2 on 11/2: Phillies starter-Cliff Lee
Game 3 on 11/7: Phillies starter-Cliff Lee
Game 4 on 11/12: Phillies starter-Cliff Lee
Game 5...oh yea, we don't need a game 5!

Cliff Lee, Game 1: 9 IP, 6H, 1R, 0ER, 0BB, 10SO, 0HR, 0.67 WHIP, 0.00 ERA.
Rest up Mr. Lee, you earned it.

I don't expect it to continue, but it was nice to see some former Texas Rangers fail in Game 1.
Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez combined to go 0-8, no runs, hits or walks and 5 strikeouts. Keep it up fellas.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

World Series Contest Time!

As I mentioned before, I do love a contest. I enter nearly every contest I see out there in the blogosphere and have been fortunate to have won a few. This contest requires just a little thought and a lot of luck. Linking to your blog and being a follower are not required as part of the process. I won't make you solve any higher level math (I probably wouldn't know if you were right anyway). All you have to do is leave a comment that includes your guess for the total number of runs scored in the 2009 World Series. That is TOTAL runs scored in all games, by both teams. The person/persons who gets closest to the actual number will be awarded a prize that includes some unopened packs (whatever I can find that isn't basketball/football/hockey/etc.) as well as some cards from your favorite team. Chris over at Nachos Grande won my first contest and was happy with his prize, so get those comments in before Game 1. Good luck!

Phillies and Yankees Deja Vu..or Don't Let Granny Lead Your Team in Hitting

We all remember the first time the Yankees and the Phillies met in the World Series don't we? More on that in a moment.

The first World Series I remember watching was the 1979 version between the Pirates and the Orioles. That Series featured "Pops" Stargell and "Family" defeating the Orioles 4-3. I don't think we'll see the Pirates back in the World Series anytime soon.

The first World Series that meant anything to me was the 1980 matchup in which the Phillies took down the Royals 4-2. The only reason that meant anything to me was because I started collecting baseball cards in 1981 and the first player I pulled that I had heard of was Steve Carlton. Mr. Carlton went 2-0 in the 1980 Series with a 2.40 ERA and 17 strikeouts.

Now back to the reason for this post.

The Yankees and Phillies met in the 1950 World Series. You remember that don't you? I'm sure some of your fathers remember. The Yankees swept the Phillies in 4 games. The stats show baseball was a different beast back in those days. The Yankees and Phillies each used only 5 pitchers in the 4 game series. Your winning Yankees pitchers were Tom Ferrick (in relief of Ed Lopat), Whitey Ford, Vic Raschi and Allie Reynolds. The Yankees pitching staff posted a 0.73 ERA with 24 Ks in the 4 wins. The Phillies used Ken Heintzelman, Jim Konstanty, Russ Meyer, Bob Miller and Robin Roberts. They put up an impressive 2.27 ERA with 12 strikeouts in the 4 games.

With such quality pitching, you know the hitting statistics can't be very good. The Yankees hit .222 as a team, with 2 HRs, 11 RUNS and 10 RBIs. Some guys names Dimaggio and Berra hit the homers. As anemic as that sounds, the Phillies offense was worse. They hit .203 as a team, with 0, as in ZERO, HRs, 5 RUNS and 3 RBIs. The Phillies leading hitter was Granny Hamner and I'll tell you right now, if Granny is your leading hitter, you are in TROUBLE!

The 2009 version of the Phillies need a repeat of 2008, not 1950. Jump out to early leads and pray you get the Brad Lidge of last year's World Series and this year's NLCS.

Look for a World Series Contest post later today.


Friday, October 23, 2009

My collecting goals and wantlist wannabe

I'm not an organized person. It just isn't in my nature. I do believe it is an important trait for a card collector. I think that is why I don't have any wantlists posted. I look at the wantlists of some other bloggers and I'm blown away that anyone can know which cards they need from literally decades worth of sets. I don't even have an updated wantlist for 2009 A&G because every single one of the cards from the 2 1/2 dozen or so trades I've made is still in the package. I don't want to sort them until I can post them.

I do know what I like and I'm going to tell you so you'll know...hint, hint.

I like to think of myself as a team collector with a dash of set collector mixed in (for a chosen few sets). I also have one theme collection going and a few players that I really enjoy collecting. I'm not going to keep you in suspense, I'm just going to make a list.

Team: Texas Rangers

Theme: plays at the plate...shocker right?

Players: Will Clark is my all-time favorite player.
Carl Yazstremski
Rusty Greer
Joe Mauer

Catchers: Ivan Rodriguez-Ranger uni or not
Joe Mauer- I know he's on the list above, but he's a catcher, so he gets double billing
Johnny Bench
Carlton Fisk

I'm eventually going to start chasing after some of the sets from the 70s...maybe when I get caught up with posting trades and creating wantlists and have some free time.

No really, I mean it.

Playoff Pack Breaks Part 10

The ALCS Game 6 was rained out on Saturday...again with the breaking news! However, I have plenty of Goodwin packs left to cover the World Series so we'll do Game 6A for the rainout and Game 6B for the real game 6 from Sunday night.

Game 6A: Rainout

36 Lyndon Johnson

Maybe LBJ will make an appearance in the 2010 A&G in a Conspiracy Theory for thought.

44 Barack Obama Moonlight SP

This nothing for or against Obama as President ( I do have an opinion, but that's a different blog), but ENOUGH Obama cards please!

97 Johan Santana mini

37 Whitey Ford

I do like the old-timers on the retro cards.

ALCS Game 6B: Angels 2 Yankees 5
Yankees win the ALCS 4-2
Nothing like giving away the deciding game of the ALCS. Let's hope the Phillies are a little less generous than the Angels.

95 Alfonso Soriano

122 Jonathan Papelbon

31 Hanley Ramirez mini

121 Dustin Pedroia

Not a bad pack if you're a Red Sox fan...which I'm not.

I'm still hoping for some type of hit before the end of the box.

See you back here for Game 1 of the World Series. GO PHILLIES!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

I saw what you did...and I tattled

A few days ago I was at the fairly local and newly remodeled Super Target, previously mentioned on this very blog. My oldest son and I swung by the card aisle on the way to pick up a few groceries. He wanted a pack of 2009 Topps to add to his collection so I told him to pick out two packs. He also picked out two packs of Goodwin for me. We dropped the packs on the kiddie seat and went off to pick up our groceries.

On our way to checkout, I noticed a 40-something guy and a 30-something guy looking at cards. When I say looking, I mean molesting the cards. I was disappointed packsearchers had discovered the place, but I suppose it was inevitable. As I watched the two it became clear that the older guy was getting a lesson in packsearching from the younger guy. I was witnessing Packsearching 101, a class not offered at the local community college! It was amazing to me how brazen they were about what they were doing. They were fairly loud and animated. I saw them set aside 7 or 8 packs of cards from the various boxes. My son wanted to know what they were doing and I told him what they were doing and why. He made the connection immediately and said "no wonder I never get a card with a little jersey in it".

Normally, I wouldn't have bothered to say a word, but the fact that my son realized how packsearchers affect other people really ticked me off. Being a manly man, I checked out and found the store manager. That's right...don't mess with me dude! The two "offenders" were still going at it and I told him what they were doing and that it wasn't fair to others and made his store look sorry. I also told him I was a writer and had many (28 is many right?) readers that shopped at Target who might not look favorably on this story. He didn't need to know that by "writer", I meant blogger and that there was virtually no way anyone that reads my blog would ever be near his store. He went over to the guys and talked to them for a couple of minutes. They left WITHOUT buying any cards at all! I know what you're thinking, but I did not go pick up the packs they didn't buy. The manager came back and said he told them they were welcome to shop in the store, but not to "damage" the products. Yay manager! You might think the story ends there, but you would be wrong.

Like any good father/collector I'm teaching my son the right way to collect. In this case, that means he ripped open our packs in the car before we started driving. Just like I would never let him see my drinking, I don't want him to see me ripping packs while I'm driving. He pulled a couple of Rangers in his packs and then the best part was he pulled a Howie Kendrick Jersey out of one of the Goodwin packs! He didn't know what it was at first, but was very excited when I told him he could keep it. He said, " I guess those cheater don't get them all"! Boy was he right.

Playoff Pack Breaks Part 9

Thank you Mr. Fuentes for dragging this series out a little longer. Hall of Famer and TV announcer Joe Morgan (I think you're required to refer to him as a Hall of Famer by some law) commented that the Angels would win game 6 if they could win game 5. I hope he's right. I say wear yourselves out Yankees and Angels. I hope it goes to a game 7 and C.C. has to pitch. I'd really like to see the Phillies sweep the Series. Won't that make Spring Training come sooner? On to the latest Goodwin playoff pack break.

Game 5 ALCS: Yankees 6 Angels 7
Yankees lead 3-2.

149 Ryan Ludwick
Really not a flattering card.

11 Johnny Bench
I do like some catcher goodness, especially a Hall of Famer like Bench.

2012 Jack Nicklaus 20th Anniversary
VOTC bound.

54 Kosuke Fukudome

Well, Bench saved that pack from being the worst one yet.

Phillies, get your rest!!

Playoff Pack Breaks Part 8

I have to say I'm not surprised with the Padilla meltdown. I was accustomed to seeing that here in Texas. I was hoping he would be lights out against the Phillies, but instead it is lights out for the 2009 edition of the Dodgers. It was a good run.

On a separate note, I realize that I am not thrilled doing this playoff pack break without a scanner. I do enjoy reading pack/box breaks on other blogs, but not being able to post scans of the cards really takes away from the experience for me. I'll finish up with the breaks through the World Series, but won't do anymore until I can post pics. That means I won't be posting the UD SP Authenic blasters that I bought, but I will be sending some out to trade partners.

I've put it off long enough so let's get to it.

Game 5 NLCS: Dodgers 4 Phillies 10
Phillies win NLCS 4-1

35 Clayton Kershaw
Clayton, better luck next year.

63 Brian Roberts
Slightly goofy grin.

249 Brad Lidge exclusive mini (does that mean I have the only one? I think not.)
I guess it was appropriate that I pulled this one. Lidge had an up and down season, but has been solid this postseason.

108 Tim Lincecum
This closes out a very pitcher friendly pack. I'll be back with another ALCS pack break Thursday night. Go pains me to think, much less say that out loud.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

West Coast Fail?

It is starting to look like we are going to see the West Coast fail against the East Coast in the quest to reach the World Series. I'm still hoping to see a collapse ala the 2004 Yankees, but it doesn't look promising.

The last time MLB had an all East Coast World Series was 2003 when the Florida Marlins beat the New York Yankees 4-2. Florida won two titles in seven years AND is two for two in World Series appearances.

The last time MLB had an all West Coast World Series was 2002 when the then Anaheim Angels beat the San Francisco Giants 4 -3. That also happened to be the last 7 game Series.

Go Dodger Blue! Normally I would wish mega failure on Vincente Padilla, but I'll root for him tonight.

Playoff Pack Breaks Part 7

The ALCS isn't going as I had hoped. I was looking forward to a long series in which the Yankees and Angels wore themselves out. I guess you could say the NLCS isn't going well either...if you're rooting for the Dodgers. And I was...still am I mean. Let's get to tonight's Goodwin pack break.

Game 4: Yankees 10 Angels 1
Yankees lead 3-1

92 Dennis Eckersley

117 Carlos Zambrano

144 Cliff Lee
Money for the Phillies, but he's dressed like an Indian on this card. Must be his Halloween costume.

23 Kevin Youkilis

I'm thinking good thoughts for tomorrow's pack break and Game 5 of the NLCS.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The man returns and shows his true colors

Back on October 10th we had another community wide garage sale. I think we've had enough of these that we're pretty much out of stuff to sell. During the sale, a man walked up and asked me if I had any baseball cards for sale. I said no, I sold most of my stuff a couple of years ago. Then it hit was HIM. Read this to find out more about HIM. He was back and looking for more cards. I commented on what a good deal he had made that day and he readily agreed. I don't bear him any ill will because of what happened that day. I made the deal and although I've come to regret it, I would have done the same had I been in his place.

What he did next was pretty pathetic.

My wife and boys had walked a couple of houses over and I mentioned to my oldest to look for any cards that might be for sale. Low and behold, he found a bucket of mixed cards that had a small "FREE CARDS" sign on it. I was proud of him for picking out about 20 cards, including one for me, and leaving plenty in the bucket for the next kid that came along. The problem was, the next person to come along was HIM. My wife said he didn't say a word to anyone, pulled out a kitchen sized trash bag and dumped the entire contents of the bucket into the bag. Pretty low-class move if you ask me. I don't have an issue with anyone, kid or grown-up, walking up to the sale and buying cards, but when a 60 year old man takes cards that are meant for kids, that gets my blood boiling. It's not like he got anything valuable. All the cards my son picked out were early 90s junk wax without one single "name" player, much less any Hall of Famers.

I want to have one more sale just so he'll come back and I can let him know how I feel. I don't have much to spare, but I'm saving one small piece of my mind so I can give it to him if see him again.

Playoff Pack Breaks Part 6

I know you're all wondering where I've been these last few days. You've been worried sick about it. You have probably been unable to watch any playoff games, fearing the worst. OK, ok, I exaggerate. I've been sick and other than the briefest of posts about an incredible play at the plate in the Yankees/Angels game over the weekend, I didn't have the energy to do anything. I've spent some time this evening trying to get caught up on the blog posts of many a blogger and now I'll catch up on my playoff pack breaks. I have six packs to open for games on Friday through Monday nights. Without further adieu or delay let's bust a few packs of Goodwin.


Game 2 NLCS: Phillies 1 Dodgers 2
Series tied 1-1

5 Albert Pujols

146 Phil Hellmuth

54 Kosuke Fukudome mini

25 Hunter Pence

Game 1 ALCS: Angels 1 Yankees 4
Yankees lead 1-0

49 Ryan Braun

79 John Lackey

2383 Manny Ramirez 20th Anniversary

First of all, it's disturbing to have a card numbered 2383 in any set. I feel cheated out of a 4th card I might actually want in this pack.

62 Yogi Berra


Game 2 ALCS: Angels 3 Yankees 4
Yankees lead 2-0

104 Nate McLouth

130 Brandon Webb with apocalyptic background

237 Brad Ziegler mini

115 Smarty Jones

Game 3 NLCS: Dodger 0 Phillies 11
Phillies lead 2-1

26 Hiroki Kuroda

50 Mike Schmidt

80 Ivan Rodriguez

37 Whitey Ford

Game 4 NLCS: Dodgers 4 Phillies 5
Phillies lead 3-1
Heartbreaker for the boys in blue.

105 Evelyn Ng

13 Bill Skowron

121 Dustin Pedroia mini

85 Lance Berkman

Game 3 ALCS: Yankees 4 Dodgers 5
Yankees lead 2-1

39 Jay Bruce

65 Tiger Woods

39 Jay Bruce Gypsy Back mini

142 Zack Greinke

That finishes the first blaster of Goodwin. I guess the "hit" of the blaster must be the Bruce Gypsy back mini. I have one more blaster of Goodwins for the playoff breaks. Hopefully something better will show up.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

2010 Topps Playoff Highlights Card

You know how Topps loves to put those cards in the flagship set...the time wasters, the pack fillers....the Playoff Highlights cards. Well, if this play doesn't make one of the cards...I'll be severely disappointed.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Playoff Pack Breaks Part 5

After a couple of days with no games....we're back for the next Playoff Pack Break. The only game scheduled for Thursday had to be frustrating for certain bloggers out know who you are!

Game 1 NLCS: Phillies 8 Dodgers 6

The Phils take a 1-0 lead in the series. I didn't see the game, but from the recap I heard on the radio it sounded as if young Mr. Kershaw had the "Hey, I'm the youngest LCS Game 1 Starter in history" jitters. Here's hoping I get only Dodgers and no Yankees in my next pack of Goodwin.

64 Alex Rodriguez--Really? No, REALLY? Of course the first card is a Yankee and to make matters worse it actually touched, therefore tainted, card number 2.

119 Carl Yaztremski--One of my top 5 favorites of all-time (Even if he did play for the Red Sox)

159 Howie Kendrick--Great, a card from the other team in the ALCS-did I tell you I don't want either team to win...just play on and on and on...wear yourselves out boys.

110 Matt Holliday--Close-up shot in his A's batting helmet. 'Sigh'

I hope the rest of the packs do better, even though I did get the Yaz card.

--Side note-- I was asleep for most of the game (I work the night shift) but expected to hear the game on the radio on the way to work. ESPN promises to deliver every pitch of the playoffs. I get in the car, turn on the radio, and what do I hear? The post-game show for the Mavericks pre-season game? Come on ESPN 103.3 FM! I get that you're the "Home of the Mavericks", but give us a break. Please don't bump a real live game that actually counts for a pre-season game. Terrible programming choice.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

First Allen and Ginter TTM success!

I decided to jump on the TTM bandwagon and go for something from the 09 A&G set. Could it be a card from my favorite team? No, too easy. How about a perennial All-Star? Nah...they never sign. Ok, I know some of them do, but this is my blog ok!? I decided to go for one of the gold medalists from the set, Mariel Zagunis.

According to Wikipedia, "Mariel Leigh Zagunis (born March 3, 1985 in Beaverton, Oregon) is an American Olympic sabre fencer, of Lithuanian heritage. She won the gold medals in the individual sabre at the 2004 Summer Olympics and the 2008 Summer Olympics. She is only the second American ever to have won a gold medal in Olympic fencing." If you can't trust Wikipedia, who can you trust?

I did a little research and through the miracle of the internet I was able to obtain an address. I sent her several minis and base cards and a note saying my boys and I were excited to add the first Gold Medalist auto to our collections. I sent extra cards so she could keep a few for herself. She did keep a couple of base cards and minis and this is what she sent back:

She personalized one for each of my boys as well as myself and also signed one base and one mini with just her name. Very cool and my boys will be so excited to see their names on the cards. The turnaround on the cards was about 3 weeks and fueled the TTM fire for me. I actually got back another TTM package today..but that's for a different post. Thanks to all the bloggers who have posted numerous TTM success stories...they inspired me to get involved and I love it!

Thousands of cards from the 50s, 60s and 70s--Conclusion

Continuation of the last post....

"We went to an old beat up house that was literally on the wrong side of the tracks. He knocked on the door and the "old guy" opened the door. As soon as I saw him I took a couple of steps back and whispered to my friend that I was NOT going in that house."

It turns out the "old guy" wasn't just old, (mid 40s seems old when you're 12) he was the creepy janitor from school. I was facing a major dilemma. Give in to the feeling that I didn't want to be in "old creepy guy's" house or go get some old Topps goodness. Well, obviously I used good judgement and decided that I needed those cards. We went in and again I was amazed. He had four of those large library card catalog cabinets lined up against one wall in his living room. Each one probably had 40-60 of those long drawers and they were full of thousands of Topps cards from the 50s, 60s and 70s. I handed over my binder of priceless 1981 Topps, Donruss and Fleer and started looking through a couple of drawers of cards. At some point it dawned on me how creepy the house was. It had a dank, musty odor and his mother was sitting on a chair watching televison. I would absolutely go crazy if my son went into a house like that today, but that's just me. I found some cards I wanted (ok, I wanted all of them) and he went all goofy over a 1981 Donruss #431 Red Schoendienst MGR card. Red managed the 1980 Cardinals to a stellar 18-19 record in 37 games in 1980, but was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1989 and managed the Cards to a World Series title in 1967. Anyway, the guy was a big Cardinals fan and he wanted any Redbird cards we had. Of course I would have handed the whole binder over if I had known what was going to happen.

I was pretty much a big chicken when I was a kid and decided I wasn't going back to that house ever again. My friend made several trips getting 400-500 cards from the man. We traded many of those cards back and forth for the next few months and I still have some of them. We found out later that he was mentally retarded and lived with his mother who was also mentally retarded. I doubt that would have meant anything to us back then or that it would have kept us from screwing him over on the trades. I'll never forget the sight of all those vintage cards. I didn't know much about cards at that time so I can't tell you I saw in '52 Mantles or old tobacco cards. I do know it was the most impressive collection I've ever seen in my life.

And the poor guy didn't know what he had. I recently found the binder I used to store these cards. I'll start posting some pics of the pages soon.

Thousands of cards from the 50s, 60s and 70s

Going back to the My story part 1 post I wanted to tell about something amazing that happened to my best friend and me. Well, really it happened to him. It had to be the summer of 1982 or 1983. My little circle of friends who were into cards had only been collecting since 1981. We didn't have any pre-1981 cards in our collections. One day he showed up at my door out of breath from riding his bike at top speed to show me some cards he "found". I don't remember exactly which cards he had, but he had about a dozen 1950's Topps cards. I was in shock. After I picked my jaw up off the floor, I had three questions.

1. Where did you get these?

2. Did you get any for me?

3. Can we go get some more?

He initially didn't want to answer question number 1 because he didn't want to lose out on future cards. He finally told me it was some "old guy" who wanted to trade for new cards. '81 Topps for 50s Topps...sign me up!

As for question two, that would be a big fat NO!! He did not get any for me, but did say I could trade for some of my own.

The answer to question three was what I wanted to hear. The "old guy" said he could come back anytime. I loaded up one of my binders in a backpack and hopped on my bike and off we went. We went to an old beat up house that was literally on the wrong side of the tracks. He knocked on the door and the "old guy" opened the door. As soon as I saw him I took a couple of steps back and whispered to my friend that I was NOT going in that house.

To be continued......

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Playoff Pack Breaks Part 4

Well, we come to the end of the League Divisional Series with a total of only 13 games being played. We have another pack of Goodwin to break as the Phillies celebrate an exciting win.

Game 1: Phillies 5 Rockies 4
Phillies win the series 3-1

Another bad outing from Huston Street and the Phillies don't have to worry about the Colorado weather anymore. Now they can worry about the Philadelphia weather.

12 Matt Cain

36 Lyndon Johnson

108 Tim Lincecum mini--his windup is really too big for a mini.

57 Eli Manning--in Ole Miss uniform

Three Giants is a lot for a 4 card pack, even if one of them is a New York Football Giant. I do like the Lincecum mini though.

It looks like we should have Phils/Dodgers on Thursday and then both series going on Friday. I'll be back with more playoff pack breaks later this week.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Case Break over at Saints of the Cheap Seats

Check out the details on the Case Break of 2007 Ultimate over at Saints of the Cheap Seats. He only has a few spots left so jump in if you're interested. He has a link to some of the hits he pulled in a case break of the same product earlier this year if you want to check it out.

Cubs file for bankruptcy

I suppose this is a sign of the times. You don't suppose they missed out on the bailout because Obama is a White Sox fan do you?

New Super Target and Packsearcher Fail

A Super Target opened fairly close to my home a few days ago. It was built on top of the site of a regular Target that had been torn down a while back. I was without a Target for quite some time, but I went to the new store 2 days after they opened. I went for other reasons, but just "happened" to stop by the card section. UNBELIEVABLE! Their selection is much better than Wally World, but I have to say that they don't have nearly as many discounted blasters. I know, I know, many of you wouldn't stop to pick up retail blasters if they fell off a truck on the side of the road, but I'm not so picky. The store must have had at least 30 open retail boxes along with about 8 or 10 gravity feeder boxes. They had all four major sports (hockey is still a major sport right?) along with the usual gaming products. I'm just kidding about the hockey...I used to buy that stuff too. I know you're on the edge of your seat just waiting to read all the good stuff I bought. Ok, if you're not on the edge of your seat, I'll give you a second to get there......Ok, here goes....I didn't buy anything. You better believe I wanted to buy something, but I didn't have the money in the budget to pull the trigger. They had Goodwin, Ginter, Ticket to Retardom (I stole that idea if you didn't notice) shiny Chromieness and even fresh boxes of 2008 Stadium Club--all at full price. The funny thing was that none of the boxes had been searched. We all know what it looks like when a packsearcher has been through the area. Every box was perfectly lined up with all the packs neatly INSIDE the boxes. A few packs were missing here and there, but it certainly looked like the packs hadn't been molested. The gravity feeder boxes were untouched. I asked one of the associates if these cards had just been put out and he said they had been there since the minute they opened two days prior. I can only imagine by now, some 4 days after I was there, that the packsearchers have descended on the place like ravenous wolves, but at least for a few days there was a chance for some kid (or non-kid, non-searcher) to be happy with pulling a relic or auto card. And that makes me smile.

First Contest Winner

Many thanks to everyone who commented on the contest post. Only 1 person got the correct answer and that was FanofReds aka Nachos Grande with a guess of 24 trade packages. I took that picture at work and no, the pizza bag didn't count! Congrats to Nachos Grande!! I'll be sending you an email to verify I have your correct address then I'll get those Goodwin Packs + a stack o' Reds headed your way.

Thanks again to everyone for making my first contest a good one.

Playoff Pack Breaks Part 3

Well, I need to catch up with the break since I couldn't post Friday or Saturday so let's get to it. We have two packs of 2008 Stadium Club for Friday's two games and then we'll start on the Goodwin for Saturday and Sunday.

Friday--Game 1: Yankees 4 Twins 3
Yankees lead 2-0

75 Johan Santana

115 Brandon Boggs--Rangers goodness

68 Gary Sheffield

178 Josh Banks (Padres) Photographer's Proof auto #44/99--a sucky sticker auto, but that makes one auto in every blaster I've bought

144 Justin Ruggiano First Day Issue

Friday Game 2: Angels 4 Red Sox 1
Angels lead 2-0

77 Dan Uggla

98 Roberto Clemente--maybe the best card in the set

130 Brian Barton

25 Edinson Volquez

142 Greg Smith First Day Issue

That takes care of Friday and the Stadium Club.

The rest of the cards for the break will be 2009 Goodwin

Saturday Game: Dodgers 5 Cardinals 1
Dodgers sweep 3-0 Congrats to Night Owl, GCRL and any other Dodger blogger!

116 Kristi Yamaguchi--if they had to put a skater in why not Katarina Witt?

93 Daisuke Matsuzaka

77 Manny Ramirez mini

90 Jonathan Toews--Blackhawks hockey--I'm not thrilled about getting two non-baseball cards in one pack

Sunday Game 1: Phillies 6 Rockies 5
Phillies lead 2-1

75 Carlton Fisk--nice card of one of my favorites

102 Curtis Granderson

128 Bill Rodgers--marathoner, I've seen a lot of the auto'd versions on other blogs

138 Gary Sheffield

Sunday Game 2: Angels 7 Red Sox 6
Angels sweep 3-0
I'm not going to pile on Papelbon, but thanks! For nothing. Now my two least favorite AL teams are in the ALCS. I hope they play 7 games and they all go 15 innings and the eventual winner gets swept in 4.

20 Grady Sizemore

47 Nick Markakis

23 Kevin Youklis mini

81 Wayne Gretzky

Sunday Game 3: Yankees 4 Twins 1

Yankees sweep 3-0

See above comment regarding the Yankees/Angels

132 Chien-Ming Wang

143 Derrick Rose

147 Mark Teixeira

27 Derrek Lee

Figures I'd pull two Yankees in that pack. We'll back with another pack after Monday's Phils/Rocks game.

Pretty much everything is up for trade if you want/need it.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Trade packages...and my first contest--Free Goodwin goodies!

One of the things that immediately captured my attention when I stumbled across the card blogging community was the trade posts. I hadn't traded since I was a kid and even that was ruined as I mentioned last post. After reading multiple trade posts, I knew I had to get involved. One of the things that struck me was that many people were more concerned with getting what they wanted than they were about making sure the trade was "even" based on value. Hello, that was what killed trading for me in the first place. I'm not suggesting that people are out there trading on card autos for 91 Donruss cards, but it's more about the trade than the value which is great. The first two bloggers I contacted about trades were Night Owl and Beardy and it was so much fun, I couldn't stop. I'd like to list all the people of traded with right now, but I know I would leave someone out. I promise I'll get to all of you when I'm able to scan the cards. I get a kick out of seeing the cards I've mailed out posted on someone's blog and when it is something they really like or need, then all the better. Here is a picture to give you an idea how many trades I've done so far:

So, how about a little contest. I love contests and have won a few, but this will be my first. Here's what you don't have to do and what you do have to do to win. You don't have to announce the contest or link to it on your blog unless you want to. You don't have to be a follower of my blog unless you want to. You don't have to point out that I end a lot of my sentences with prepositions. You don't have to guess the exact score of game 7 of this year's World Series. You do have to enter a comment stating how many trade packages are in this picture. This is every trade package I've received so far. Each person gets one guess. Every person who guesses correctly will be entered in a random drawing and the winner will get 5 unopened retail packs of 2009 Goodwin goodness and a little something extra from their favorite team. I'll leave the contest open until I get to work Sunday don't wait, guess today! Good luck!

Friday, October 9, 2009

What ruined card trading for me


I was 11 years old and had recently discovered baseball cards. Growing up in a small (less than 2000 people) town, there were only four of us collecting cards. That might have been because only one small mom and pop shop ever had any cards and the four of us nearly killed each other to buy what cards were available. Whenever one of us would go out of town, we would get cards if we could and come back acting as if we were returning from the Crusades, showing off our new treasures. I think we started trading cards instinctively. It was just natural to trade doubles for cards we didn't have. Whenever one of us was able to get our hands on pre-1981 Topps cards it was like a feeding frenzy to trade whatever we could to get them. They didn't have to be stars, we were just amazed at how "old" they if 1979 Topps cards were that much older than the 81s we were opening.

One day, one of us ended up with one of those chunky little Beckett Price Guides that came out each year. That ruined our trading. Suddenly, it didn't matter if you needed or wanted a card as much as it mattered that the trade was even based on the card value. Or should I say "supposed" card value. Within a few months we quit trading altogether. It wasn't fun anymore. I don't blame Beckett, they were just a company with an idea and it led to much success and money for those inside the company. Even today, all these years later, Beckett is what it is. Some people don't like Beckett and have very valid reasons for their opinions. Pricing is too subjective and in Beckett's case their prices oftentimes don't seem to be based on reality--what a card is worth is what it sells for and Beckett doesn't reflect that accurately. Beckett, to me, is like some of the card like them or you don't. Obviously, I strayed from the subject of this post (I tend to do that). Thanks to that price guide, our trading came to a halt and my interest in collecting dropped off quite a bit. Fortunately, all these years later, I've rediscovered the joys of trading, but that's another post.

Playoff Pack Breaks Part 2

Tonight I'll continue with the Pack per Playoff Game break. Wednesday's three pack break of 2008 Stadium Club didn't yield much, but we have 5 more packs from that blaster to go. We'll get to the next three right now.

Game 1: Rockies 5 Phillies 4
Series now tied 1-1 (Like you didn't know that already)

1 Chase Utley

85 Matt Holiday--this is a good shot, a horizontal picture, bat coming forward, ball frozen in mid-air...and a huge section of empty seats in the background.

50 David Wright

53 Josh Hamilton--first Ranger, but I think I have it already.

105 Chris Carter First Day Issue

Game 2: Dodgers 3 Cards 2
Dodgers up 2-0

80 Ryan Braun

82 Manny Ramirez--the infamous "No umpire, actually in Boston, Dodger Manny card"

56 Garrett Atkins--reaching to swing at a ball that is definitely out of the strike zone

119 Jed Lowrie

106 Eric Hurley First Day Issue--2nd Ranger and one I needed

Game 3: Angels 5 Red Sox 0
Angels lead 1-0. I'm not a Red Sox fan, but I DO not want to see the Angels win

52 Vernon Wells--nice shot of him semi-diving to catch a ball

89 Hideki Matsui

14 Prince Fielder

131 Sean Rodriguez--another bunting shot

121 Matt Tolbert First Day Issue

There you have it. Nothing special again, but at least a couple of Rangers this time.

I won't be able to post after Saturday's games so I'll post 6 packs late Sunday night. Still hoping for a hit in the last two packs of Stadium Club. I've purchased 3 previous discounted blasters and pulled an auto in each one.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Playoff Pack Break

I picked up four blasters so I could break one pack for each game of the playoffs. I doubt that 44 packs will be enough to get me through the end of the World Series, but I'll deal with that when the time comes.
Now, what are we busting? Well it IS the playoffs, but it's not this:

I have in front of me three blasters of Goodwin goodness and one of 2008 Stadium Club (discounted to $9.97). I'll bust one pack for each game and post the results...sans images of course since I still have't pulled the trigger on getting a scanner. So here we go, starting with the 2008 Stadium Club:

I know people have issues with this set, but the photography is very nice (for the most part) and I love discounted blasters.

Game 1: Phils 5, Rocks 1

11 David Ortiz--meh

104 Gregor Blanco (Braves)--bunting...hmm someone collects bunting shots

101 Luke Hochevar

29 Delmon Young--interesting, he's sliding back into first after a pick-off attempt against Detroit

111 Ryan Tucker First Day Issue (Marlins)

Game 2: Yanks 7, Twins 2

4 Todd Helton--really, a batting cage shot. Did the photographer have a plane to catch?

116 Johnny Cueto

58 Jose Reyes

73 Greg Maddux--stretching, I expect better from SC

114 Michael Aubrey First Day Issue (Indians)

Bonus...checklist, yawn! Bring back the rainbow of colors you used back in the 70's.

Game 3: Dodgers 5, Cards 3

83 Chipper Jones--funny shot after he slides into and past 2nd base

112 Joey Votto

31 Carl Crawford

37 Hanley Ramirez

117 Hernan Iribarren First Day Issue (Brewers)

Well, nothing spectacular, but a few I need for the set.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Twins win....but that's not breaking news anymore.

Wow, what a game. As I'm sure you've heard, read or blogged about yourself, the Twins won the game that ended the regular season that would not end. Aside from a World Series Game 7, I can't imagine a more nerve racking experience than playing in game 163 of a 162 game season. I'm not going to rehash the game itself. It's been done by better than little old me. Let us look ahead and tell the good boys of the Twin Cities what they've won...a matchup with the dreaded, much hated (not by everyone, I know) New York Yankees. I wanted to appeal directly to my favorite Twin, Joe Mauer, but Night Owl did that for all of us in his usual well-written manner. So I'll just toast the Twins for making the playoffs and hope they play better against the Yankees in the playoffs than they did in the regular season. As a team, the Twins hit .232 with 10 homers and 22 runs batted in. The Yankees hit .300 with 10 homers and 41 runs batted in. They'll need better numbers than that to advance to the ALCS. Hey Arod, can you please have you're normal, disappointing playoffs...PLEASE!! Good luck I have to figure out who to root for in the National League.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

My story--Part 3, the ongoing saga

If you're reading this and haven't read part 2, you should read that first or this might not make sense. After the big "reveal" in 2004, I could barely stand to look at my cards. I didn't want to see them, sell them or deal with them. They went into storage...outside in my shed. Not the best place for the cards, but I did have one big box in the office with all the relic and auto cards plus my Will Clark box. We moved into the house of our dreams in March of 2006. My cards went with us and stayed in the garage. They were a constant course of frustration every time my wife saw them. We're talking about somewhere between 400 and 500 THOUSAND cards! Big blue storage tubs stacked to the ceiling. We had a community wide yard sale in October of 2006 and no one showed any interest in the cards. I tried to sell the opened boxes, pretty much unsearched except for the relics/autos and serial numbered inserts. Everything else was in there--rookies, stars, HOFers. In April of 2007 we had another community wide yard sale. One man got the deal of a lifetime! I sold him nearly everything for $300. I kept the "hits", my Will Clark cards, and probably 40-50 thousand cards that I had managed to pull out. He got dozens and dozens of boxes, most still in their opened wrappers, that only had the "hits" pulled out. I guess you could say I lost a little money on the deal, but I gained the space in the garage that had been taken up by the reminders of my betrayal. My wife was happy, I was happy. Fast forward to 2008 and I buy a pack or two from the local Wally World. No big deal, I didn't feel the grip of addiction. In early 2009 I discover the amazing world of collecting and blogging. My interest became renewed, not in the hoarding, but the collecting. Sites like Night Owl and so many others showed me the joys of collecting! The history behind the cards, sometimes even the exact game in which the picture was taken, the story of the is all something I missed out on before. It took me back to that first pack of 1981 Fleer I bought when I actually took time to enjoy the cards, read the backs and trade with my friends. Everything is out in the open at home too and it's ok! My 9 year old son started buying a few packs of 2009 Series Two Topps cards. He still doesn't believe that I could get nearly 10 packs in 1981 for the same price he paid for one 2009 pack. The trading with other bloggers has been the best part so far. I'm looking forward to enjoying the hobby from a collector's perspective this time around. Thanks to all of you for being a part of it.

Monday, October 5, 2009

My story--part 2 The Middle and very nearly the end

This post won't be long and drawn out like the beginning post. Basically I started buying cards again in 1998. I was married, no kids...plenty of money. Or so I thought. I bought everything. I bought high end (for the time) as well as middle and low end. I bought baseball, some football and basketball, even some hockey. If it was new, I wanted it. I started selling on Ebay, trying to sell the hits to recoup some of the money. I sold my one and only 1/1 pull, a Purple Masterpiece Shawn Green from Fleer Focus for $350. I kept trying for that elusive big "hit". Between 1998 and 2002 I spent nearly $30,000 dollars on cards. Almost all on credit cards. And all of it hidden from my wife. It pains me even now to type it. I stopped buying in 2002 but kept juggling the credit cards until early 2004 before she discovered it. That was one of the worst and best days of my life. It was eating me alive and I had even contemplated suicide...not over the cards, but because of the lying and betrayal. Hiding the mail, answering every call from creditors so she wouldn't was terrible. When she found out she was angry, which is much too mild a word for how mad she really was. As much as the wasted money hurt her, it was the lying about it that was worse. The only thing she wanted was for me to own the situation and tell our parents. Despite her father's demands, she stuck by her Christian views and didn't divorce me. I wouldn't have been surprised if she had wanted a divorce. She forgave me almost immediately, but it took a LONG, LONG time for her to trust me again. We're stronger now, we've long since paid off the debt and moved into our dream house (which was a few years delayed due to my addiction). This is getting longer than I intended so I'll finish with this lesson. I've learned that while cards can be fun (if collected responsibly), there are far more important things in life.

My Rangers Wrap-Up

This isn't a baseball card post and I don't have any card scans to post. I know that is shocking to everyone. I need to do this for my own well-being so here goes. I have to say I'm proud of my favorite team this year. The Rangers were relevant deep into the season. Even when they were winning in early September, it seemed that the Red Sox and the Los Angeles California of Anaheim Mighty Duck Disney Angels were winning too. The team finally lost steam mid-month. From September 12-30, the Rangers went 6-13, including a 5 game losing streak (three to Oakland...OAKLAND!!) where they scored a total of 1 runs, and a 4 game losing streak which began when their closer Frank Francisco gave up a three run lead in the ninth to the Tampa Bay Rays. I guess that was supposed to be for my buddy over at the Collective Troll. At any rate, I'm still happy with the effort they put in over the course of the season. This season, just for giggles and a change from nearly every previous season, the pitching was decent and the hitting was terrible. Of the 11 players who played in 80 or more games, only one hit over .300 (thank you Michael Young) and only one scored over 100 runs (thank you Ian Kinsler). In fact nobody else was really close to those numbers. Kevin Millwood posted not only the best ERA (3.67) by a full-time righthander since Ken Hill (3.63) in 1996, but the ONLY one under 4.00 since that time. Ismael Valdez did post a 3.93 in 23 starts in 2002. When you go 13 years between sub-4.00 ERAs by a righty, then you're not looking at years of success. I guess what that will get you is 9 out of 14 years below .500. As I sit here wondering who I'll root for in the post season, I have high hopes for the 2010 edition of Texas Rangers. Thanks for making 2009 interesting.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Blog Theme

Catchy post title right? Well, that's how I do things around here. (Funny how when you right something you think is clever and you go back and read it, but the tone doesn't come through) I had planned to post this after I finished the riveting "about me" series of posts, but I was inspired by one of my trading partners to post it today. If you aren't already reading Hey That's Mine! then you should check it out. It is a fun blog and I like it for several reasons. He's local to my area, he's a Rangers fan and most of all, he has his kids involved in the hobby. THAT is how baseball card collecting will survive--older collectors getting their kids hooked on cards. I'm trying to do that with my boys with some success, the older is getting into it, the younger just wants Mario cards (think Nintendo, Wii, etc.) Hey That's Mine had a post today about collecting cards with catchers wearing their gear. As you can see by all the cards I've scanned (WHAT, they aren't there???) my blog "theme" is plays at the plate. I simply love the catcher position. That may have something to do with me playing catcher in Little League. I love the equipment, the collisions at the plate, the whole package. I think watching Pudge Rodriguez all those years in his prime helped my love for that position grow. Seeing him gun down runners at first base after a pitch was great.

I'll be looking to add cards of plays at the plate to my collection. I already have some to scan in and three that I really love are highlighted over at Night Owl's Cardboard Appreciation Poll. You should definitely vote in that poll if you haven't already. I have those three and will be looking to add others via trade so hook a blogger up! Derek over at Hey That's Mine, I've been setting aside catcher cards as I go along, so I've already got a bunch of doubles with your name on them!

Friday, October 2, 2009

My story--part 1 The Beginning

I still remember the day I bought my first pack of baseball cards. It was 1981 and I had 50 cents in my pocket to buy some candy at a small family store down the block from my house. I lived in a small town in central Texas, with a population of about 2000 people. We didn't have much to do except ride our bikes or swim in the local pool, but I digress. My friend's dad owned the store and when I walked in my friend was behind the counter ripping open something. He turned to me and said something about how cool these cards were and I should get some. I spent 30 cents (plus 2 cents tax) and bought my very first pack of baseball cards ever, a pack of 1981 Fleer cards. I can't tell you every card that was in the pack, but the one I remember was this one:
I was only 11 years old and lived in a small town in Central Texas, but I KNEW who Steve Carlton was and I was hooked! The quest was on for any money I could find to buy more packs. My friend would open nearly every pack that came through there, but when I had money, I would buy up the rest. The choices varied from Topps to Fleer, depending on what the truck dropped off. It wasn't until I went to a neighboring town that we discovered the 1981 Donruss cards. They were on sale for the unheard of price of 8 packs for a dollar!! For someone who "only" got 3 packs of Topps or Fleer for that price I was in heaven. That first trip netted me 40 packs of 1981 Donruss. Again, I don't remember all the cards I pulled, but I recall getting a Yogi Berra card. Yogi Berra, Yankee legend!! The three card manufacturers had created a monster and I could not wait to buy more packs. That hasn't changed after all these years. I would continue buying cards in varying amounts up until 1991. I bought a ton of a cards in 1988. Many of those were 1988 Score cards. What could go wrong with buying a new product, it's bound to be highly valuable. Unless it is mass produced like every other product of that time. When 1989 rolled around, I still bought a ton of cards, but I stayed away from Upper Deck because I felt I had been burned by Score the previous year. Brilliant right? That's why I have a stack of 1989 Donruss Ken Griffey Jr's and not a single 1989 Upper Deck Griffey Jr. Like a lot of people, I stopped buying cards in 1991 because of the incredible over production of cards. I'll pick up with where my collecting picked up in the next post.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

A first for me

I'm growing weary of reading all these excellent blogs and not posting to my own blog just because I don't have a scanner. I have at least a baker's dozen trades to post and I will do that once the scanner issue is solved. I'll also do an overhaul on the look of the blog when I have images to add to the design. Having said that, I couldn't wait any longer to make my first post.

So what compels me to make my first post?

Is it a desire to finally and officially introduce myself to the blogosphere? No.

Could it be the fact that my Rangers, yes MY Rangers, are finally, unavoidably and mathematically eliminated from the playoff hunt? No, that isn't it, but bring on Spring Training in 2010!! I'll watch the playoffs because I love playoff baseball, but I'll be thinking of spring...

The impetus for my first post is a retail blaster of cards I wish I hadn't purchased. 2009 Topps Ticket To Stardom. We have all read the various comments, both positive and negative, regarding Ticket to Stardom. I commented on someone's blog about what I didn't like. The dual jersey swatches with two of the exact same jersey pieces. The funky, off kilter blue box around the single swatches. Personally, I'm not a big fan of this product. I want any and all Rangers from this set, but that's just the team collector in me. The rest of it I can do without. I know all the arguments about retail and hobby and that is a subject I will discuss another time. The collation on this box was very off-putting for the collector in me. Time for a little blaster breakdown.

The box had eight 8 card packs for a total of 64 cards. I don't know why the manufacturers feel it is necessary to give me seven packs + a BONUS PACK!! Let's just call it eight packs and be happy. I received all 64 cards as advertised and suprisingly no doubles. No doubles you say? How could you not be happy with the collation Mr. Play at the Plate? Maybe I have the terminology wrong, but what I don't like is the mix of teams in the box. No Rays and no Giants. Now I don't collect those, but how can I send them to people who want them if I don't get them. Sorry to Marck at the Collective Troll and Matt over at the Giant Blog. Only two Rangers in the box. Maybe there are only two Rangers in the set. I don't know because they don't list this brand in their releases on the Topps website. I know, because I JUST checked. I did manage to pull 10 Yankees!! That is right, 10/64 cards were Yankees. Isn't that awesome...for Drew over at Drewscards because that is where these are going. I managed one Dodger for Night Owl. A couple of Brewers for Roll Out the Barrel. Four Braves for Captain Canuck at Waxaholic. One Ankiel for Cards on Cards. Two Mariners for First Day Issue. One measly Red for Nachos Grande. I did get 6 whole cards for JDs Wild Cardz (5 Red Sox). That means nearly 25% (15/64) of my cards were Red Sox or Yankees. And you say there is no East Coast bias. HA!! Let's not forget those two O's for Ryanmemorabilia and three Indians for David over at Tribecards. Is that guy generous or what? Let's not leave out Nobie over at Hey That's Mine who will be getting 3 cards and last, but not least, the Core Contrarian who gets one Tiger if he wants it. Basically, I will not be collecting this set if you couldn't tell by the post. I did pull two "Ticket to Stardom" inserts (1:4 packs), one "Big Ticket" insert (1:8) and one "Seasoned Veterans" insert (1:12). All of those, except the Seasoned Vet will be going out in the mail. I also pulled a number of those little perforated edge cards which I guess are some sort of parallel.

So, there you have it. I don't like Ticket to Stardom enough to collect it. I will be looking for any Rangers that come up so keep me in mind if you have any of those. If those of you I mentioned want the cards then leave me a comment. If we have traded before, I'll have your address and send the cards out. If we have not traded, I'll need an address via email also.

By the way, thank you Texas Rangers for being relevant for so long in 2009 and making this a year we could look back on with fond memories. All most baseball fans can hope for is for their team to make a run deep into the season. A glimmer of hope lives on for 2010 and I for one look forward to my favorite team reporting to camp next season.