Tuesday, October 30, 2012

When all you have to say is thanks

The great thing about blogging is the distraction it can provide from your every day life.  I don't mean being distracted from your family because that can be a problem, but just daily stress, work, you know the drill.  The thing is, sometimes you have so much "real" life going on, there aren't enough hours in the day to deal with it all and still have the luxury of distractions. 

That's been my life lately.  I'm still reading blogs and trying to do a post here and there, but I find I'm not able to post daily or twice daily like I was doing before.  It's not that I don't want to, but I'm having a hard time coming up with material or witty banter...ok, my previous banter was sometimes witty to me, if not the reader.  Thankfully I'm still getting packages to post about.  Although I've been a bad boy and not mailed out the pic that I promised him yet, I received a package from Dennis over at Too Many Verlanders

I was so blown away by the package, I only picked 4 cards to scan.  I'll get the ugly Giant out of the way first. 

Of course, this 2002 Topps Archives Reserve Will Clark is anything but ugly.  That thing is so shiny it puts any chrome card to shame. 

How about a sweet on card Rusty Greer auto.  Those 1996 Fleer cards aren't glossy so they take to a Sharpie like the hot takes to Kate Upton.  Or Erin Andrews. 

U.G.L.Y, your mama says you're UGLY!  That 2005 Donruss Prime Patches Michael Young is the best looking ugly card I've seen in quite a while.  The design is awful, but it has two bat pieces and two different colored jersey pieces.  I know all the relic pieces might be from a piece of lawn furniture in the smoking area of the old Donruss headquarters, but hey, it's still mine! 

Allow me to introduce you to the sweet swing and even sweeter sig of one Mr. Will Clark.  Dennis shocked me with the inclusion of this 1998 Donruss Signature Series auto.  If I ever get around to ranking my favorite cards, I'm sure this one will be in the top 10.  Dennis, thanks for the great cards and your patience!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Boo...hiss! Bring on Spring Training

The only way to wash away the taste of another Giants World Series victory is to get Spring Training under way. 

I need a Twitter account for posts like this. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Get some of the "Good Old Days"

Ok, I don't know how "good" they were or if Upper Deck was ever "good", but you can get your hands on a load of your favorite teams' Upper Deck cards if you join the Community Gum Break.

These guys are the real deal and you'll always be doing the right thing when you join the Community.

Go get some

Monday, October 22, 2012

Look at all the cards I bought!

That's right, you just looked at all the cards from all the packs I've busted in the last month!  Exciting huh?

No, you're computer is not messing up.  I've been pack-free for over a month.  It's refreshing actually.  I haven't been disappointed one single time in the money I spent or the cards I got.  I DID buy three rack packs, but those are for the winners of the SEPTEMBER contest, and I'll be getting those in the mail eventually. 

I didn't set out to go cold turkey on the card aisle, but it did coincide with my flame out about 6 weeks ago.  I can't say I've really missed pulling a bunch of cards I don't want.  I don't know how long this self-imposed buying freeeze will continue either.  I'm inclined to see how long I can hold out. 

The good thing is I can still trade. 

Trading is more fun than opening packs anyway.

You can get sweet cards like this 1973 Topps Jeff Burroughs.  I was only three when these came out so I didn't bust any packs.  It's nice to get these vintage Rangers in trades. 

I also don't have to waste money pulling unwanted relics when I can trade for all the fake Ranger relics I can handle!  Sweet!!! 

The cards I just posted came from my great trading partner Jeremy over at No One's Going to Read This Blog.  You should be reading if you're not. 

Thanks Jeremy!!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

I've never been a big fan of fried chicken

Of course, it's not fried chicken that's a problem for me.  In the wake of my doctor revealing I'm pre-
diabetic, I've been trying to eat better.  Trying is the operative word.  I have another month before I go back to get re-checked so I'm hoping so make a serious dent in the weight loss by then.  Until then, I'll just try a steady diet of Rangers cards.  They're all the fun with half the fat.  Or something like that. 

This is a steady diet of cards I received as a part of the last box break held by Kyle over at Just a Bit Outside.  Kyle did a self-examination and opted to give up the hobby in favor of spending more time with his family and I can understand his decision.  I wish him all the best.  I certainly appreciate his final effort in the blogging community and thank him for all the great cards he sent me. 

I think I'll peel this film and I can use this Leaf Steel card to repair something in my house. 

Hey, it's Rusty Greer.  He's one of my favorites.

A little die-cut action, circa 2012 Bowman Platinum. 

Ranger.  Check.  Mini.  Check.  Black Border.  Check.  Rangers in the World Series for a third consecutive year...yea, um no. 

I got a whole stack of these B.A.T. cards.  Very cool, yet a pain to store. 

Nolan Ryan may have been the "No Hit King", but the 2012 Playoff Yankees are the "No Hitting Kings".  I love it.  

The biggest surprise of the package was this cool 1935 Film Partners Evelyn Brent/Randolph Scott mini.  I love these old cards, baseball related or not. 

This one highlights the movie "Home on the Range".  I've never seen it, but I can still appreciate a little vintage cardboard work of art. 

Kyle, thanks for the cards and good luck with your new cardboard free life. 

Now, where was that celery stick? 

Monday, October 15, 2012

A tale of two victors

This will only be interesting to me, but I'm rooting for the Cardinals to repeat as World Series Champs.  I know what you're thinking.  "Hey, you hated the Giants for beating the Rangers in 2010, how come you don't hate the Cardinals for the beating the Rangers in 2011?"  

Well, I do sorta hate the Cardinals for beating the Rangers, but of all the teams left, I want them to win.  I can't root for the Yankees or Giants.  I'm so indifferent about the Tigers it's disturbing.  That leaves the Cards. 

I think it would be great for them to win the Series because that would leave Albert Pujols wishing he'd had a little loyalty to his team and not left to chase a few more dollars.  You don't think Cards fans would throw that in his face do you? 

Speaking of the Giants, I got a great package of cards from Adam over at ARPsmith's Sportscard Obsession

He sent over vintage greatness. 

Numbered parallelness. 

Museum quality ink. 

Orange parallels...not to be confused with Orange Julius. 

The swatch that started it all.

Two REAL (or not) swatches from two CLEAN (or not) Rangers legends. 

My very first Toby Harrah auto ( I don't care that it's faded)  If I can, I'm going to get him to re-sign the card.  That would be cool. 

Last, but not least, I got this Justin Bieber card.  It's making the rounds as the "Old Maid" card in trade packages.  So far it's gone from Nachos Grande to Arpsmith to me.  Someone will be "gifted" this card very soon!

Thanks for the great cards! 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Black and Blue

Life can throw you for a loop every now and then.  Last month when I was already in what I'm currently referring to as the "tailspin", I found out I'm pre-diabetic.  While it's not the same as hearing you have diabetes or something worse, it still hit me hard.  The good news is I can head it off and actually come out of this ok as long as I get more active and lose some of this weight I've been carrying around for far too long. 

One of the guys that reached out to me during my absence was Robert from $30 a week habit.  He posted just to let me know he was pulling for me without even knowing what was going on and I have to say it meant a lot. 

During the downtime, Robert sent over some cards and the black and blue theme continued.  The package was loaded with goodness, but two cards stood out over all the rest.  

I love getting Senators cards and I'll have to check, but this may be my first team card and it's great.  It's from 1971 obviously and I think I may have to use it for my header for a few days. 

The blue comes in the form of this 2012 Topps blue parallel of Yu Darvish.  We'll have to wait a while, but I can't wait to see how he does in his 2nd season. 

Robert, thanks for the cards and the shout out!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

It was bound to happen sooner or later...

That's right, I'm selling the ring I won in the 2011 Diamond Giveaway promotion.  It's number 15 of 60 and I put it up for sale on Blowout last night.  If I don't get any offers there, it'll be on Ebay by the end of today. 

It was nice to have I suppose, but it's been stuck in the top of the closet in the box it arrived in, so maybe someone else will appreciate it more and I could use the money.  I'd rather have cards anyway. 

Cards like these two I got from Brad over at the appropriately named Brad's Blog

He sent me a pair of colorful Joe Mauer refractors from 2012 Chrome.  The blue is #104/199...

...and the black is #22/100.  There were other cards in the package, but my scanner is really grumpy so I didn't scan them all.  Thanks for all the great cards Brad!

I did manage to scan another couple of Blowout purchases.  

This is an oops because I managed to get two of these. That's what happens when you're not organized. 

It did come with this black refractor #2/100.  I have this love hate relationship with Chrome.  I love it.  That's obvious.  I just hate that you only get 4 cards per pack.  A very first world problem, I know.  

More is coming as we grind the gears getting this thing back up and running.  Go Rangers!!  

Oh.  Too late for that.   

Monday, October 8, 2012

Die Cut Your Losses

As the Rangers late season collapse reached it's conclusion on Friday, I reflected on the last two World Series and what missed opportunities they represent.  It doesn't matter if you lead your division most of the season if you don't lead your division on the last day.  It doesn't matter if you win your division or your league.  It only matters if you win the World Series.  Nothing else in baseball really matters. 

Every season is a lost opportunity for every team except one.  Sure, individual stats add up to barely there, average or Hall of Fame careers, but right now, sitting in downtown Dallas at 3:48 in the morning, individual stats are far from the top of my priority list. 

My only concern regarding the Rangers is how they get back to the World Series and win the thing.  Despite what some local knuckleheads are saying, I think they need Josh Hamilton back. 

You simply can't replace the numbers he can put up, even if he did have stretches where he looked disinterested.  I don't think those stretches happen if he's under contract. 

The Rangers need more production out of Nelson Cruz and despite his cannon of an arm, a little better play out in right field. 

Ian Kinsler has to bounce back from a below par season and for the love of all that is holy, someone tell him to pay attention when he's on base.  You cannot, and I mean CANNOT, get picked off third when Josh Hamilton is batting with only one out. 

I will say this, as much as I wish the Rangers were still alive, I didn't spend one single second stressing about baseball this weekend.  It was a great weekend.  The 2012 Chrome die cuts above and the nice refractors below were part from two lots I bought off Blowout back before my "little break". 

Blue refractors look amazing when the player in question has on Ranger blue. 

Adrian Beltre looks a little unhappy that the season is over.  Don't worry Adrian, Spring Training will be here before you know it. 

Mike Napoli didn't show up big this season like he did last year, but you can't have a career year every year.  I like gold refractors, especially when they are numbered to 50. 

Just a little housekeeping, I haven't forgotten the three winners from last month's contest.  I apologize for the delay, but I do have your prizes and I'll be getting those out this week.  I may even manage an October contest before too long. 

Friday, October 5, 2012

One is the loneliest number

It's true.   The Rangers need only one win to make the playoffs.  They shouldn't even be in that position, but they did it to themselves.  We'll know in a few hours whether the fans in Baltimore or the fans in Texas are happy. 

As for me, I'm just happy to be back writing on the blog.  As I mentioned this morning, I received a number of packages during the last three weeks.  I'm not normally one to combine trade packages into the same post, but in the interest of getting back to normal around here, I'm going to present one card from 8 different packages.  I should say that I really feel like all of you deserve your own post, but if I wait to do that, it might never happen. 

Let's start off with a shiny bang.  Dan over at It's Like Having My Own Card Shop sent over a stack of Rangers, including this 2002 Topps Tribute Nolan Ryan card.  It's celebrating Nolan's 5000th strikeout.  

Julie from Funner Here added to what I can only assume is the largest Hank Blalock relic collection on earth.  She sent over a 2004 Bowman Sterling Blalock bat card. 

Things are getting a little frisky around here now.  Adam from My Cardboard Mistress sent over this nice 2012 A&G Craig Gentry auto.  I can see how pulling this card might be a letdown for most, but the Rangers team collector in me would be happy to pull it. 

Tom from The Angels, In Order declared war on a certain Canadian blogger by sending me this 2012 Topps Chrome Brian McCann orange refractor. 

I'll bet if you could tell this was a 1975 Topps Mini Jim Merritt, you'd know who sent it to me.  That's right, it was Night Owl

I won a contest over at the fine Arbitray Crap and one off the cards in the package was this 2011 Triple Threads Nelson Cruz, #12/36. 

Spiegel from Nomo's Sushi Platter (now, I'm hungry) sent over a trade starter.  He included this 2011 Bowman Platinum Miguel De Los Santos auto.  It's a card he's had for a while, but now it's mine, all mine!  (Cue maniacal laugh.)

We'll close out this edition of "oh my gosh, I'm way behind on my trade package posting", also known as OMGIWBOMTPP, with a pretty sharp Pudge card.  It was part of a very generous care package from Joe at The Sandlot

Many thanks to everyone for all the great cards!  I appreciate all of the cards and your fine efforts.  Thanks!

21 Days

It's been 21 days since my last post about baseball or baseball cards.  A lot can happen in 21 days.

The Rangers blew a 5 game lead with 9 games to go and the A's won the A.L. West.  While I was disappointed, I have to admit I haven't watched or listened to a game in almost a month.  I haven't watched a single football game either. 

Miguel Cabrera won baseball's first Triple Crown in 45 years. 

The news of the great relic card scandal broke.  Was anyone really surprised?

Chris Stufflestreet, the amazing vintage card blogger and one of the truly good guys in this hobby, passed away.  Chris and I completed several trades and I always, and I mean always, came out with the better end of the deal.  You'll be greatly missed Chris. 

October 1st was the 3rd anniversary of this here blog.  I almost didn't make it, but here I am. 

During my 21 day hiatus, most of you kept blogging as usual.  Box breaks were held, trades were posted and much was written about the cards that keep us all connected to our youth.  I read along as much as I could muster the energy to do so and I might have even left a comment or two. 

Some of you sent me emails of encouragement, some of you sent packages with notes along the same lines and a couple of you even wished me well in your blog posts.  I can't tell you how much I appreciate the emails, notes, cards and prayers. 

I'm not going to go into a lot of detail about what happened to cause my sudden disappearance.  It was a combination of things that led to such anxiety that I simply couldn't sleep.  I was sleeping 15-20 hours a week and not good sleep at that.  I almost couldn't function to do my day to day stuff and cards and blogging about cards definitely wasn't on my priority list.  I'm doing better now, although I'm not all the way back, but I'm ready to dip my toe back in the blog pool. 

Thanks again for your well wishes and I look forward to getting back at the keyboard again.