Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Topps did what? Part 2

I don't know if the "missing" auto from the Gypsy Queen boxes was a pack out mistake or a bad business decision, but it looks like Topps is going to try to do the right thing.

I'll be interested to see the caliber of autos Topps mails out to replace missing ones.  I'm sure some people will take advantage of the system, but congrats to Topps for stepping up to correct a bad situation. 

Topps Did What?

So I'm reading that Topps has deviated from the sell sheets for Gypsy Queen by including only one autograph instead of the promised two per box. They also cut the set from 450 to 350 cards.

That's not good business if you ask me. It doesn't seem to have hurt sales as the price of boxes/cases is up and most places are out of stock already.

If you pre-ordered your box/case and you're only getting half the number of autos, I'm thinking you have a right to be a little pissed off. If you bought into some group breaks and your odds hitting an auto have been cut in half, I think you have the same right to be pissed off.

Before I start exercising my rights, I guess I'll wait and see what happens in the group breaks I'm involved in. Even if I hit some good cards, if the numbers of autos aren't what was originally "sold" by Topps, I'll still be ticked.

Not that it matters.

It's a monopoly don't you know.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

On Target

Potch Wheeler and His Cardboard Heroes pulled a Heritage Black Bordered Parallel Neftali Feliz from one of those Target 3 pack blister packs. I put a claim in on the Neftali. Understandably, he wanted a black bordered card (Cubs, Tigers or Reds) in return so I needed to buy one of these blister packs to get some trade bait. Potch and I have already arranged our trade, but here are some of the highlights of my three blister packs. By the way, the Target only had three of the blisters so I bought all three.

As you probably know already, the blister pack has three Heritage packs plus three of the black bordered parallels. I was hoping to pull some trade bait for Potch plus a few extra Rangers for myself. I wasn't disappointed.

Nelson Cruz was the very first black bordered parallel I saw. That was a pleasant surprise.

The second blister pack didn't disappoint either.

The first black bordered parallel in pack 2 was this Rangers Danger card with Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz. Obviously I'm still having issues with my horizontal card scans.

That was all the Rangers black bordered parallels, but I'll be posting the others as trade bait in a few days.

I did notice a few other quirky things about my packs.

Two of the cards in one of the packs look like this Hot Corner Guardians. I don't know how much you can tell from the pic, but the lower portion of the card is purple-ish instead of brown and burlapy. I'm guessing it's just a production error. The other purple-ish card is Skip Schumaker.

Also quirky, in one three pack blister I got a Ryan Braun Sporting News All-Star in each pack and one of those packs had two different Babe Ruth cards.

I also got a chrome card in each blister pack.

First up was Delmon Young. This shiny Twin is #1112/1962 and was immediately snatched up by my son. The Twins have become his second favorite team thanks to Joe Mauer.

The second blister pack revealed this shiny red beauty. The Home Run Leaders card is #200/1962.

The last blister pack contained my first Heritage Chrome Refractor of the year. Ty Wigginton is #439/562.

That's probably about it for me and Heritage this year. At least for purchases. I'll have to collate what I've got and see how close I am to having the whole set. I should have some dupes to trade when I get organized. Ha...I've been trying to do that for months now with very little success.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Why I end up buying retail

I've had a couple of people, one being an old childhood friend who no longer collects cards, ask why I buy cards at Walmart and Target when I have a card shop so close.

For starters, the card shop isn't that close to me.

For finishers, you've read in previous posts on this blog that the prices at my local card shop are unrealistic. I'm well aware of the overhead required to run a business in a storefront that you don't own. I know it costs money to keep the doors open as well.

The guy I'm talking about has a fairly well organized shop. It's sort of a horseshoe design with him in the middle. He keeps a clean shop and he and his wife are the only employees. He's meticulous about inventory. He may not know off the top of his head if he has something, but he can find out. When I recently bought some overpriced 1984 Donruss singles for Night Owl, he made me write down the numbers of the cards I bought so he could remove them from his inventory. The problem at this place is pricing.

Those 1984 Donruss singles started at 50 cents a pop. No volume discount. When I questioned him on the price, he said I could get them on Ebay but I'd have to pay shipping. That's true, but you can get lots of '84 Donruss on Ebay for less than a nickel per card.

His jumbo packs of 2011 Topps are just a shade under $20. I've never bought a jumbo pack or box, but that seems like a steep mark up.

The kicker is this price. I bought more 2010 Topps Chrome than I should have and everyone knows the warping of the cards has sent the price of that product fairly low. Blowout has them right now for $44 per box. I've seen them as low as $35. He still has his marked at $79.95. I wouldn't buy one at $40 at this point, but that's a crazy price. I know one of the recent bloggers posted about the state of card shops and one thing they needed to do was not keep money tied up in old, unmovable inventory. Well that's exactly what a $79.95 box of 2010 Chrome is if you ask me. He could drop the price down to $40 and have pack wars with those boxes and they would all sell and he could get something out of them.

He has an entire wall of boxes going back to the late '90s and even though they are behind locked glass, they're covered with a very thin layer of dust and the same prices he had on them when they were new.

I know this isn't a big deal for most of you, but it sends me to aisle 10 of my local Walmart when I need a card fix. I don't normally have enough to spend at one time to buy a hobby box from Blowout or Dave and Adams Cardworld. So I pick up retail packs or a blaster now and then. I'd love to support my local card shop, but it would be like going to my friend's gas station to buy gas even though he charges $1 a gallon more. I just can't do it.

Anyone in the Dallas area that knows of a good shop, let me know. It might be worth the drive to spend my money at a card shop that I can walk out of without feeling like I got the shaft.


Black parallels, chrome and chrome refractors oh my!

That's all you get for now. I have a post scheduled for later, but right now I'm sitting at the tire store getting one of my month old tires fixed. I should be home sleeping in preparation for my double shift later. I see grumpiness on my horizon. Nelson and the Rangers aren't grumpy after their sweep this weekend. See you later.

Friday, April 22, 2011

I want you back

Dear Blog,

I've been neglecting you lately. I used to feed you twice a day every day. I gave you scans and witty (at least in my mind) conversation. We shared trades and rants and even a contest or two. Well, at least we still have our contests.

Then it all fell apart. We had some health issues. People close to us broke leg bones. Six years of working the night shift has taken it's toll on one of us. To top it all off, they actually started giving me real work to do that has cut into the time we spend together.

I say enough is enough. We have a choice to make. Break up or rekindle the fire that burned so intensely when we first met. I'm all for going back to the early days of our relationship when I couldn't wait to spend time with you. What do you say?

Let's take a little of that money Uncle Sam returned to us and replace the scanner and get back to our normal selves. We owe it to our family (you dear reader). If they even want us back to normal.

I miss you blog.

And I want you back.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Anyone want some Giveaway cards?

I don't know if anyone is even participating in the Topps Gridiron Giveaway, but May 1st is the last day you can enter codes. I haven't seen one blog post on that subject in I don't know how long.

I have 10 cards in my very limited portfolio and have tried a few times, unsuccessfully, to trade them for something older.

If anyone out there is still playing on that site and intends to have any cards shipped, I'll happily trade you all my cards for one lame card. I don't have much so don't get your hopes up.

This 1966 Dainard Paulson is far and away the oldest card I have to offer so if you're interested, leave a comment. First commenter gets them all.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Humerus? Yes. Humorous? No.

It's not breaking news that Josh Hamilton broke his arm sliding headfirst into home plate. It's not breaking news that he threw his third base coach under the bus and then apologized for it. None of that takes away from the recent memory of my own son's incident at home plate.

I love plays at the plate. Neither of these bad "breaks" has changed that. Josh should have slid feet first and my son, well, he just had some bad luck.

Some time back, I received a package from John L. If memory serves, and it often does NOT, I traded some of those Orange Topps Chrome refractors for these nice Rangers cards.

First up is this 2009 Ballpark Collection Quad swatch.

It doesn't matter how much I crop or resize these horizontal cards, I can't get them to load right. It's frustrating and a bit disorienting. Anyway, this Ryan Braun, Josh Hamilton, Chien-Ming Wang, Hiroki Kuroda card is #288/400. I traded some shiny, but I got some nice shiny in return.

This is a 2005 Topps Finest Hank Blalock Refractor #364/399. In 2004 Hank hit 38 doubles, 32 homers and drove in 110 runs. I was sure sorry to see Hank's career fizzle out the way it did. As of April 7th, I don't think he had signed on with anyone.

This next card is a real beauty.

I never buy Finest because of the high price so it's nice to add this 2010 Finest Ian Kinsler Refractor #532/599.

Thanks for the cards John.

I'm hoping to get a trade package or two posted each week to get caught up.

I'm also hoping Josh Hamilton is out 6 weeks instead of 8.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Two 1954 cards I don't get to keep

Back in early January I finished up the MCG Tradeathon. I was able to trade a bunch of cards no one wanted for two nice vintage 1954 cards and then random them off to the participants. The Brooklyn Met from Clear Cut Cards got first choice.

He chose the 1954 Topps Ray Boone I acquired. This is the card Topps sent me. You can see it has some type of water (or other liquid) damage to the left side from top to bottom. The corners are a little rough, but it's not terrible. I know I'd be happy to have it in my collection.

The second "winner" was Mark from Stats on the Back. Mark hasn't posted recently (I can relate) so I hope all is well with him. He got the second card by default and it's another nice 1954 card.

It's in rougher condition than the Boone card, but this Jim Pendleton defines vintage. That left sleeve patch is awesome. It's rough around the corners and on the right edge and there are lots of creases on the upper right side. I'd be willing to keep it in my collection, but it will be going out to Mark soon. Thanks again to all the participants in the Tradeathon. Maybe I'll do it again toward the latter stages of the Diamond Giveaway with 2011 Topps.

I'll get to the MCG cards I get to keep sometime. Maybe even this week!

I won't make you wait any longer

I won't make you wait any longer to find out who won the April contest. Well, maybe a little bit longer. A quick update on my son. Surgery went well last Thursday and the doctor used three screws to put his leg back together. He's back at school as of yesterday and still hurting a bit, but getting a little better each day. He'll get a cast next Monday and then it's about 6 weeks until we see his surgery scars. He's backed off a little on the "No Baseball Ever Ever Ever" stance he had last week, but we'll cross that bridge when we get to it. Again, thanks for the numerous comments and emails full of well-wishes. Now for the winner of the April contest. There's no drama and no video. I did use to randomize the 82 entries. This number includes those of you who picked up the two bonus entries for commenting all three days. Unfortunately for you, the winner was someone who only commented once. Things Are Funner Here is the lucky winner this month. Congrats and as always, thanks to everyone for entering.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Update, not the Topps variety

First of, I want to say thanks for all the well wishes and prayers for my son. It's been a trying week with little sleep and lots of tears.

We are expecting a call from the doctor any minute to schedule surgery. It looks like my son will be setting off airport metal detectors for the next year.

I don't know if you really want to hear it, but I'll keep you updated on him. Also, thanks for the kind offers of card care packages. I'll follow up on that next week.

I'll also get to the randomization for the April contest next week.

I received a nice sized box from Topps. It's loaded with my MCG cards I suppose, but I haven't opened it yet. I'll get to that soon too.

Thanks everyone.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

On the DL

Well, my most favorite player in the history of baseball went on the DL today.

He led off of third as the catcher threw back to the pitcher and when the pitcher failed to catch the ball, he broke for home. It was going to be a close PLAY AT THE PLATE! The catcher caught the ball, but he slid safely into home to score his second run of the game.

Unfortunately, when he slid, my son, my first born baby boy, snapped the tibia in his left leg when his foot hit the plate. I raced out to the field and tried to comfort him while we waited for the paramedics to arrive. Fortunately, a couple of guys who work for the league are paramedics and they helped while we waited.

It was a long, hard day at the hospital. Initially, the paramedics thought he broke his leg AND dislocated his ankle because of the angle the foot was laying. Fortunately that wasn't the case and at this point it looks like no surgery will be required.

We're at home with a splint from ankle to mid-thigh and we'll be calling the ortho to see about a cast in the morning. He's done for this season, and sadly, says he never wants to play baseball again. I'm hoping that's the misery and pain talking, but we'll see.

If you're the praying type, he (and we) could use them. Thanks and I'll get the April contest randomized when I get back to work in a day or three.

Friday, April 1, 2011


I'm woefully behind on posting trade packages. It's just a fact. If you read Night Owl's post today, you know I'm behind on lots of stuff. I got a package from Jeremy of No One's Going to Read this Blog fame a while back and in case Jeremy is wondering where his package is, it's going out today along with 5 others. He sent over some 2011 Topps base needs along with these cards that I really wanted.

I know what you're thinking and you're right. That's the worst pic ever to show up on a blog. Not just this blog, but any blog. Still, they're all shiny and sparkly in real life. The best card in the pack was this beauty...

I couldn't tell you if this is the Wally version or the Target version, but it's one I'd never pull on my own and it's a much appreciated addition to the Rangers collection. In fact, this one is currently residing in a toploader on my son's headboard. He liked it so much, he added it to HIS collection. Funny how that works.
Thanks Jeremy and I hope you like your package...when it gets there.

April Contest...Only an April Fool Wouldn't Enter

No questions this time.

No trivia.

No puzzles.

No foolin'.

You can enter the April Contest once each day from Friday through Sunday. You'll have to come back to this post to make your comments as I won't be posting any reminders over the weekend. If you happen to remember to comment each day, then I'll throw in two extra entries for a total of five chances to win the prize.

Here is what you're playing for this month.

I'll throw in some randomness for your team or player collections if I have something that falls into those categories.

Good luck everyone and thanks for entering the contest.