Friday, September 30, 2011


Damon and Shoppach?


Game ON!

To revive a Rangers slogan from last season, It's Time!!

None of this...

Lots of this...minus Bengie Molina, Cliff Lee and Chris Davis of course.


A Cursed Sandlot

I know what you're thinking.

You're thinking this is going to be a post about the collapse of the Atlanta Braves and the Boston Red Sox.

You're wrong. I'm not going to subject Braves or BoSox fans to any more of that business...assuming they're even reading blogs today. No, today you're getting a pre-game double dip trade post.

First up is a trio of cards from Matt over at Card Anathema. I had to look anathema up and one definition is a ban or curse...thus the header comment Matt put up on his blog that says "Just another guy cursed with chasing cards." I know that feeling.

Matt wanted some of the Venezuelan parallels I pulled from my Lineage blasters and I happily sent them over. (Matt, I have another one or two if you want them.) He sent over an assortment of cards including the unopened three pack of orange refractors from a "Value Pack" of 2011 Chrome. The middle card in the pack was this shiny Ian Kinsler. I jokingly asked Matt if he packsearched that just for me, but I know he didn't. It was just sheer luck, but I should probably get Matt to pick some cards out for me!

This 1994 Finest Ivan Rodriguez is another much appreciated shiny card. I don't know what it is, but I can't get enough shiny cards.

There were other cards in the package, but I'll end on this high note. This is a very nice 1972 Topps Dick Bosman. The centering is a little off, but the corners and edges on this card are nearly perfect. If I didn't know better, I'd swear Matt was busting '72 packs the day he mailed my package.

Next up in this double dip is another trio of cards, this time from Joe over at The Sandlot. Joe saw my Senators wantlist and said he had a couple of Senators and some Rangers for me. I responded by reminding him that he had expressed an interest in a Mike Pelfrey I posted about here. Suddenly, a trade was born.

Continuing with the shiny, shiny, vintage order of this post, I'll start off with this 2007 Chrome Hank Blalock. I had hopes that Hank would be able to re-start his career in Tampa last year, but it wasn't to be and that makes me sad.

How about that beauty? A 1998 Finest Will Clark, complete with protective coating still intact! I've never peeled one of these and I won't be starting now.

Joe sent two 1971 Senators. Elliott Maddox was one, and this Del Unser was the other. I would love to have a Senators batting helmet like that one! I need to put in a word to Nolan that the Rangers need to have a retro uniform day next season and give retro Senators batting helmets away to the first 10,000 kids and one 41 year old through the gates.

Matt and Joe, thanks for a great trade! We'll do it again down the road.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

That's just Spiffy

I recently completed what I hope will be the first of many trades with Spiff of Texas Rangers Cards. This trade was a long time in the making as Spiff originally contacted me over a year ago to see if I wanted to trade Rangers for Rangers. I wanted to trade, but at that point, I hadn't started organizing my Rangers collection. It took a long time to get organized, but I'm glad Spiff didn't give up on me.

Virtually the minute I posted those Rangers wantlists, Spiff contacted me and told me he was pulling cards from the lists. When the smoke cleared, he had somewhere in the neighborhood of 800 cards for me! That's an eight with TWO zeroes!! The amazing thing is that all of these cards were on my wantlists. No fillers, just good old wantlist killing cards. Sweet!

I can't even begin to do this trade justice, but I pulled five cards that caught my eye as I went through the box. Let's get to it.

First up is this 1998 Collector's Choice Will Clark. Hmmm...Will Clark, all time favorite. Win. Play at the plate, winner winner...and you know the rest.

Next up is this shiny 2001 Bowman's Best Ivan Rodriguez. For the first time since Pudge left the Rangers, I'm really, really happy with the catching situation in Texas. Mike Napoli did a number on his former team the last few days and had a career year to boot.

Next up is this amazing, shiny 2002 Topps Chrome C.J. Wilson. This card is great and so is C.J. Wilson. He had a great year and I can't wait to see him pitch Game 1 of the ALDS on Friday.

Spiff outdid himself hitting some of the vintage lists as well. This 1977 Topps Bert Blyleven is very nice. An old card of a new HOF'er makes for a happy PATP.

Not to be outdone by Bert, we have another HOFer in this 1977 Topps Gaylord Perry. It's hard for me to believe that the Rangers had this tandem, although it didn't help them get to the postseason. Well, they're back in the Playoffs for the second year in a row for only the second time in franchise history.

I can't think of a better way to go into the postseason than to have a big box of Rangery goodness to sort through while I watch Game 1.

Thanks a bunch Spiff! I'm already looking forward to trade #2. I promise it won't take a year this time!

A playoff contest

Ryan over at The Great Orioles Autograph Project is having his 2nd annual playoff bracket contest.

You should enter. I won last year and I plan to win this year. Still, you should enter.

Go Rangers!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Dad Comes Through

Not my dad, Baseball Dad from All Tribe Baseball. Jack had some cards from my wantlists and then I saw a 2011 Chrome Michael Young on his blog and the rest is...well, it's coming right up.

Jack sent over a crazy assortment of stuff. Refractors, Chrome and even 2009 Topps Walmart Black parallels. I just picked out a few of the cards that caught my eye.

First up is this colorful 2010 Topps Chicle Kevin Richardson. I didn't see any of these "Rookie Star" cards in the few packs I opened. I still don't know what to think about the sketches on these things.

Next, we have another sketch card. It's a 2005 Diamond King Michael Young. Either Michael is retaining lots of water or he's highly allergic to that shellfish he just ate. Either way, that is a weird picture of Young. That being said, I like these cards and only have a few of them. This is a welcome addition to the Rangers collection.

I actually already have a 2010 Topps 206 Josh Hamilton Mini. I don't know that it's this mis-cut, but I do know it's the Piedmont version. This one is not.

This one is the American Caramel version. These fell at a rate of 1:4 packs.

Other than some cards from my wantlist, this 2011 Topps Chrome Michael Young orange refractor was one of the key parts of the trade. I know it might be a slow journey, but I'm trying to acquire as many of the Chrome variations for each Ranger as I can this year. I'll be showing off more of those this week as the come in from other people.

Thanks for a great trade Jack!

Wild Thing

No, not this Wild Thing.

I'm not talking about this Wild Thing either., that's another post on another blog that doesn't even exist.

I'm talking MLB Wild Cards. Maybe you're one of those people who don't like the Wild Card. Maybe you're too "Old School." Maybe you don't think Wild Card should be capitalized. Well, I'm here to tell you get over it. The Wild Card is here to stay. As a matter of fact, it's highly likely that you're going to see even more teams making the playoffs in the coming years.

If it wasn't for the Wild Card race, the last week of the MLB season would have been like the last half of the season for most NFL teams. Irrelevant. The Tigers clinched the AL Central back on September 16th. The Phillies clinched the NL East the next day. The Yanks locked up the AL East on September 21st and just two days later, the three remaining divisions were won by the Rangers, Brewers and Diamondbacks.

At least the Wild Card race has kept the interest going to the very last day of the season. With one game left for everyone, both Wild Card spots are still up for grabs.

The Rays have taken care of business this month to put themselves in a tie for the Wild Card spot going in to the last day of the regular season. They are 16-10 in September, including a 6-1 mark against the faltering Red Sox.

The aforementioned faltering Red Sox have gone seriously cold this month. Their 7-19 record in September opened the door for the Rays.

If the Rangers can get home field advantage for the ALDS, I have to say I'd rather be facing the Red Sox in the first round than the Rays. Sorry Troll, the Rays are just too hot right now!

On the NL side, the Braves are the team that is faltering. Their 9-17 record in September includes a three game sweep at the hand of the Cardinals, the team now tied with them in the Wild Card race.

The Cardinals came into September needeing a miracle to have a shot at the Wild Card. They got it, in the form of a 17-8 record and a Braves team that completely fell apart.

By the time I come to work tonight, we should know which teams will be taking the Wild Card spot. Or we could have 1 or even 2, one game playoffs for those spots.

How great would that be?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Wheelin' and Dealin'

Potch Wheeler aka Darren from Indianaland Picture Cards contacted me about some cards off my wantlist and some 2011 Chrome Rangers I might like. I just so happened to have some 2011 Chrome cards he liked. The next thing you know, we're Potch Wheelin' and Dealin'.

One of the bright spots (pun completely intended) of this trade was this 2011 Topps Chrome Orange Refractor Alexi Ogando. Alexi has been a bright spot for the Rangers this year too. In 29 starts, he is 13-8 in 168 innings pitched. He has 125 strikeouts and a 3.54 ERA. Not bad for a converted closer who came into 2011 with zero starts in his career.

Potch managed to hit some of my wantlists too. How great is this 1981 Topps Rangers Team card? Look at that awesome scoreboard. It has the Marlboro Man and the entire State of Texas. Very, very nice.

How can you go wrong with vintage Fergie Jenkins? Short answer, you can't. This is a very nice 1976 Fergie. Honestly, I think it's in better shape than this Fergie:

Let's wrap up this trade post with a real treasure. You know, X marks the spot kind of treasure.

This is an X-Fractor version of Neftali's 2011 Chrome Card. I can't help it, I love Topps Chrome. I really do.

Darren, thanks for a great trade. If you haven't traded with Potch, get a deal done. He collects Reds, Tigers and Cubs.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Them's the Breaks...

Sometimes you kill the break. Sometimes the break kills you. Technically, I didn't kill either one of these breaks, but I'll let you be the judge about which one I got the most bang for my buck.

I'll start off by saying I've been in multiple breaks with both these guys and I'll continue to do so. Breaks are fun and these are two good guys to break a box or 10 with, so long as you don't take my Rangers (unless you do and I end up with the Twins.)

First up is Colbey from Cardboard Collections. He busted 3 boxes of Marquee recently and knowing how much that stuff was going for, I jumped at a chance for some Rangers from a set I knew I would never bust myself. The buy-in was $38 for two teams, one of your choice and one random team from the unclaimed teams.

I ended up with a Lone Star pairing of my Rangers and the Houston Astros. We'll start off with my Astros from the break.

There you have Astros. Not exactly a great start, but never fear, I'm here for the Rangers anyway.

I got a Josh Hamilton base card.

I also got a Nolan Ryan blue parallel, #3/299.

That's it. $38 for two cards. That's a non-winning lottery ticket right there. That is far and away the least productive break I've ever been a part of and that is just the way it goes sometimes. You pays your money, you takes your chances. This is no way turns me off of Colbey's breaks because he's got one going right now where the first box had a Rangers hit and parallel.

Next up was a break by Sam over at The Daily Dimwit. He was busting a case of 2006 UD Artifacts. The Rangers were already taken, so hoping for some Mauer Mojo, I picked up the Twins. It was $30, but as you may already know, Sam throws in lots of bonus boxes or blasters. The best card I got came out of a bonus box of 2007 Masterpieces.

That is a very nice on-card auto of Torii Hunter. I also got a couple of Scott Baker jersey cards (I know, right!!!!) and a healthy stack of base Joe Mauer cards from about 4 different products. So, that's $30 for one Hunter auto, a couple of meh relics and some base cards. I guess that's another example of the break getting me, but it was better than the Marquee break. David, aka rhubarbrunner, has dibs on the Hunter and other Twins if he wants them because he might have a few Rangers for me.

When's the next break?

Back to Back Like You've Never Seen

You probably saw the highlight of Texas Ranger Craig Gentry's inside the park homerun on Friday against Seattle. It just happened to be Gentry's first career homer. As a guy with little pop, but lots of speed, that's not overly surprising.

You may not have seen Ranger's third baseman Esteban German in his bid for an inside the park homer on Sunday. I was listening on the radio at the time and it sounded as if he repeated Gentry's feat from Friday, but apparently Mariner's centerfielder Trayvon Robinson should have caught the ball and was charged with an error.

This prompted the Ranger's radio crew of Steve Busby and Eric Nadel to talk about notable inside the park homeruns in Ranger's history. Busby noted that he once worked the booth with former Ranger Jim Sundberg who had an inside the park homerun that was clocked at 28 seconds. I'm wondering if all three outfielders collided and were knocked unconscious on that one.

Even more notable were the inside the park homers hit by Toby Harrah and Bump Wills. What makes these historic, is that they were the only back-to-back inside the park homeruns in MLB history.

On August 27, 1977, the Rangers were playing the New York Yankees. It was the top of the 7th and the Rangers were winning 4-2. Ken Clay was on the mound for the Yanks.

Toby Harrah stepped in with two men on and one out. Unfortunately, I can't tell you where he hit the ball or what happened to the Yankee outfielding corps of Roy White, Mickey Rivers and Lou Piniella. I can tell you he cleared the bases without an error.

On the very next pitch, Bump Wills followed Harrah with an inside the park homerun of his own. It was his second homer of the day and helped the Rangers go on to an 8-2 victory.

I've never seen an inside the park homerun, so I can only imagine how exciting the play is in person. I know it was fun watching Gentry race around the bases on Friday. I'll bet it was fun watching Harrah and Wills too.

You know, except for the Yankee's fans at the game. And Ken Clay.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

What magic number?

Congrats to the Texas Rangers for making it back to the postseason!

This is only the second time the Rangers have been in the playoffs in consecutive years and it's nice to be the AL West Champs again!!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Oh Canada!

I just wanted to take 2 seconds to thank the Toronto Blue Jays for the two extra inning losses they put on the Angels this week.

The magic number is 2!

Like anyone even read a word of this post.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Busy? Oh yea, I'm busy.

Posts will be hit and miss around here for the next week or so. I'm working on a big project at work so I'll be busy. Hopefully I'll be able to post here and there. Well, mostly here.

I did manage to get 8 trade packages ready to mail today and I'll have another 2 or 3 to send on Friday.

Today's post is brought to you by the magic number 3!

(I know, you can't see his uniform number, but he's wearing the number 3)

Go Rangers!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Bow wow wow, yippee yo, yippee yay: Rangers Edition

They say imitation is the best form of flattery so I hope Night Owl takes it that way. He showed off his first atomic refractor yesterday and I'm showing off my first one today.

Everything Night Owl said about these atomic refractors is 100% correct. I won't completely plagarize his post, even if I did "borrow" the post title, but these things look great in person. The Cruz I got from Derek over at Tomahawk Chopping--Cardboard and More, is #203/225. I don't even care about the numbering. I just like holding it up and seeing the light bounce off the crazy thing.

I'm curious if two copies of the same player would have the exact same patterns on the front. Curious enough that I want another copy of this Cruz to check.

I have a Michael Young atomic refractor on the way so I'll be sure and show that one off when it gets here. I know you just can't wait!

Since I did use Night Owl's post title, I'll give a nod to his boy Clayton Kershaw for winning his 20th last night.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Today's post brought to you by the number 5

The Rangers have won 6 out of the last 7 games.

If they go 5-4 over the last 9 games, the Angels can finish 9-0 and it won't matter. The Rangers will be back in the....oh wait, I can't say it!

The magical digit is now 5.

Swings like that one have been knocking the magic number down almost daily.

How about a little Black Magic Number 5?

Magic High 5!

Play at the know it!

Go Rangers!

Monday, September 19, 2011

No East Coast Bias? Yea Right!

You know I love a discounted blaster. Sometimes I even buy stuff I don't really want or need if it's discounted. Maybe I need a 12 step program.

Over the last week, I picked up two discounted blasters of 2008 Upper Deck Baseball Heroes. They were priced at an irresistable $8.98 each! These nine pack blasters actually have cards with real, authentic MLB logos and everything!

I didn't hit any major UD mojo, but I did get a couple of colorful parallels. Here is where the East Coast bias comes in to play.

I pulled a green Phil Hughes parallel, #258/499. Is anyone surprised I pulled a Yankee? Anyone? I didn't think so.

The other blaster gave up this tan(?) Mike Lowell #99/149. That's a better number I guess, but still...East Coast!

Each pack also had the 1 per pack charcoal parallels. They are not numbered of course.

At this point, I'll probably see how far I am from completing the set, but if anyone is interested in any cards from this set, just let me know!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

An Angelic Trade

I recently completed a trade with Tom over at The Angels, In Order. He responded a little differently than I did to a Jeff Weaver '75 mini relic I pulled from a Lineage Blaster. Differently as in, he liked it. I was happy to send it off to Tom along with a few other Angels cards in exchange for some Rangery goodness.

Tom sent along a healthy stack of vintage Rangers from my newly posted want list. You know, the only recently posted on the sidebar -------------->

I now have fourteen "new" '79s and a couple of '76s I needed.

This 1979 Fergie Jenkins was one of the bright spots of the package. Look how happy he is to be in my collection!!

Speaking of bright spots, here is a super shiny Diamond Anniversary Josh Hamilton. This card isn't worth a cool $500,000 like his grand slam on Wednesday, but I like it.

This is my second Marlin Byrd auto, but the first with him as a Ranger. It comes from 2008 UDX and will sit nicely next to the Frank Catalanotto from the same set.

Thanks for a good trade Tom. Please tell your Angels to drop a few games this week!

Friday, September 16, 2011

It's magical

I'm not a supersticious person.

I'm not stupid either.

I refuse to start counting this thing down yet.

The Rangers aren't golden just yet.

I don't want to count MY homers before they're hit.

I'm not above asking for a little "divine" intervention. After all, it is the Angels we're trying to hold off.