Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

Nothing fancy today.

Just have a very Happy Thanksgiving, stay safe and warm, and get your belly full.

I'm thankful for all of you that stop by every day.  And other stuff too.

See you back here tomorrow.   Or some such.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

This post is rated NC17

Nelson Cruz 17 that is.

One of the 2013 Chrome cards I picked up recently was this Nelson Cruz black refractor #17/100.


Just kidding.  I'm not one for all the Ebay all-caps hype, but when I saw this one listed along with a base Chrome Cruz for $1.99 so I bought it.  I don't think the seller realized Cruz's uniform number was 17 because he didn't even list it in the title.  Works for me.

I had a Nelson Cruz mishap at my house over the weekend.  As I don't have anywhere to display my few assorted collectibles, I keep them boxed up.  Well....

the new dog apparently isn't a big Cruz fan.  He tore into the bobblehead I got from a friend.  His wife works for the Rangers so she sometimes gives him stuff to give me.  Nice hookup.

Fortunately, Cruz himself was none the worse for wear so I tossed the box and left Nelson out to guard my computer.  Step away from the keyboard young man.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Night Owl made me do it

Back in mid-October, I had a contest for the masses to guess the yellow refractor I pulled from a pack of Bowman Chrome.  As you might remember, the yellow, or canary, refractors from Bowman Chrome are numbered out of 10.

It took a while, but Greg Zakwin finally guessed Tommy Milone #8/10.

That would be the back of Mr. Milone's yellow refractor.

Early on in the contest, Night Owl,  guessed that I pulled a Nelson Cruz yellow refractor and said I was a lucky dog.

Well, I didn't pull a Nelson Cruz yellow refractor, but I did find one on Ebay and since Night Owl said I should have pulled it, I decided to pull the trigger on the auction.

I picked up this shiny beauty for the price of a value pack.  It's #2/10 and will most likely be the only Bowman Chrome yellow refractor I pick up.  Prices are a little crazy and unless I catch one just right, I'll be happy with my Cruz.

All thanks to Night Owl.

We have an Ebay contest winner

My lot of 1986 Fleer basketball cards sold for $63 even.

That means Jedi Jeff is the winner with a guess of $64.55.

Jedi Jeff runs 2 X 3 Heroes.

Congrats JJ.  Send me your address and I'll get you a prize out this week.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

These cards are defective!

I've recently added a number of defective cards to my collection.  Notice I said cards, not cans.

Doing late night Ebay searches can result in some nice finds if people set their auctions up to end when most people are asleep.  I don't know why you would do that, but it's worked out nicely for me a few times.

Look, it's a nice Duke Snider mini.  You can't see the defective part unless I show you the back.

See, they forgot to put a number on the back.  Silly Topps.

How about a Brian McCann?  I just buy these to tick off Captain Canuck.

See, defective.  Not a card number in sight.

There are lots of defective Rangers cards.

The 2009 Hank Blalock and Michael Young are so defective, someone wrote numbers on the back!  Of course, being a little defective myself, I purchased two of the Alexi Ogando cards.  

As we all know, the no number minis are supposedly limited to a print run of 50.  I got a good deal on all of these.  Does anyone know why Topps stopped hand numbering these?  

Have a great day and watch our for defective cans (and cards!).  

By the way, I was just kidding Cap...

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Last chance

The contest is closing early tomorrow. Get your guess on before it's too late.

Wednesday Morning at the Moreland House

It's Wednesday, November 21, 2013.

Mitch Moreland rolls into the kitchen about 11 AM after playing Battlefield 4 most of the night on his Xbox.

Moreland, shielding his eyes from the glare of the bright Alabama sun, asks his son to poor him a bowl of Fruit Loops.

"Dad, we're out of milk."

"Son, you know I like Coors with my cereal."

"Dad, we're out of Coors too.  Don't you remember last night at all?"

"I remember blowin' stuff up and shootin' bad guys.  Just give me a pop-tart then."

"Dad, do you remember anything about last night?  You told me to load the Pop-Tarts in the pitching machine and you were hitting them out of the yard."

Blank stare.

"Fine", says Moreland as he opens the refrigerator door.  He takes out  a 4 pound tube of un-sliced bologna and cuts off a chunk with the Bowie knife tucked in his Texas Rangers underoos.

"Umm dad, I have some news.  The Rangers traded your old pal Ian Kinsler."

"What?  Traded Kins?  To who...for who?"

"They traded him to Detroit for Prince Fielder.  Doesn't Fielder play 1st base just like you dad?"

"Oh crap.  Let's head to town.  I'm going to be needing a whole lot more beer."

The conversation above is all speculation on my part.  

Mitch Moreland is the Ranger who will be most affected by the acquisition of Prince Fielder.  Jon Daniels said earlier this month that several teams had expressed an interest in Moreland so it's a possibility that Mitch will gone soon as well.  I like Mitch.  He seems like a solid guy, but I don't know what they'll do with him. Since 2010, he's played 380 games at first and 45 games in right field, but only 4 of those in the last two seasons.

The Gypsy Queen Jumbo Relic #16/25 set me back $7.50 on Ebay.  I didn't really need it, but I bought it from a guy who combined shipping and I had a good chunk of change sitting in my Paypal account.

What does the future hold for Mitch Moreland?  Only time will tell.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Contest Time

Alright, this is a simple contest and the window to enter will be short so hop on in while you can.

I have two Ebay auctions going right now.

One is for the Avisail Garcia Ginter Red Ink auto I pulled earlier this year.

The other is for the remaining 1986 Fleer Basketball cards I picked up at the  garage sale earlier this year.

The link to the Garcia auction is here.

The link to the basketball auction is here.

The contest is easy.  Just guess the final auction price for the lot of !986 Fleer Basketball cards.  The person who gets closest to the final price will win a value pack of cards and some other stuff as it pertains to their personal collection.

The auction ends Sunday at 7PM Central time so I'm only leaving this open until Sunday morning at some time. Get your guess in before then!

Good luck and thanks for playing along.

Avoiding the circus

I've lived in Dallas suburbs for for over 22 years.  I've worked less than a mile from the spot where President John F. Kennedy was shot for 19 years.  I've never walked around Dealey Plaza and I've only been to the 6th Floor Museum at the old Texas School Book Repository once with a 6th grade field trip.

By the time this post goes live, I'll be home in bed, avoiding the circus surrounding today's 50th anniversary of the assassination of Kennedy.

I'm a history major and I love presidential cards so I can't explain the reason for my distancing from the anniversary.  It should be right up my alley, but I find the whole thing a bit gruesome.  CNN and other networks are repeatedly showing the assassination frame by frame right up to the point where Kennedy's head explodes and they leave that image up on the screen as if they just got video evidence of the existence of unicorns.  I think it's a bit much and since part of my job is to have the news on all the time, I've grown weary of the buildup to today.  I'll just be glad when it's over and the focus on Dallas won't be that this is where Kennedy was killed.  It flares up a little each year, but of course 50 is a nice round number so it's been even worse.

Sometimes I wonder if Kennedy would be remembered so fondly if he'd lived.  His womanizing and cheating on Jackie might have tarnished his image a bit more had he lived.  Alas, we'll never know.

It's a solemn day in Dallas and so I'll avoid any witty (in my head) cracks about Kennedy, the assassination and how this city will always be remembered for his death.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The most expensive base card in my Ebay break regret

I recently watcher Topher over at Crackin' Wax do a Charity Case Break of Triple Threads.  I wasn't involved in the break because the buy in was a bit steep for me to spend all at one time.  As the break progressed I was immediately sick at my stomach that I didn't buy the Rangers.

Topher pulled a Jurickson Profar Jumbo Relic Book Card #1/3 AND a Mike Olt Autographed Triple Relic Plate White Whale #1/1.  Unbelievable!!  At least for me it would have been.

The samd night I watched that video, I was perusing EBay and came across an auction for the Rangers slot in a Triple Threads three box break that was ending in mere minutes.  I jumped in and made the highest bid and waited patiently for the break to start.

About 20 minutes and three boxes later, I was the proud owner of this card:

That's a $22.49 base card of one Yu Darvish.  Sweet right?  I know box/case breaks are a gamble, but I was very surprised not to get even a basic "hit" from the break.  The Rangers have the 3rd most hits in the product and are therefore usually well represented in the breaks.

I guess one good thing about this lesson is I haven't jumped in on any more case breaks.  I guess I could look at it this way.  How many blasters have I opened and gotten nothing I really wanted.  (At least those things provide trade bait!)

Oh well, live and learn I guess.

See ya Kins...

I liked Ian Kinsler.  I'll miss seeing him in a Rangers uniform.  I was 90% certain either he or Jurickson Profar was going to be traded in the off-season because the Rangers had three middle infielders for two spots and Profar wasn't going to spend any more time in the minors waiting his turn.

I'll have another post showing the Chrome Kinslers I've picked up recently, but here are the non-Chrome cards I bought on my Ebay shopping spree.

This 2010 Upper Deck Portraits #39/99 set me back $1.00.  Do you guys like when cards are numbered on the front like that?

Here is a 2012 Topps Museum Collection #188/299.  I don't like it when they put the numbering on the player like that.  It's hard to see.  Of course, my eyes are going fast since I hit 40.  This one cost $1.49.

If you're going to number the cards on the front, that's the way to do it.  This 2012 Topps Tribute #191/199 cost $1.61.  Beats opening a pack.

Ever since I bought a pack of 2013 Pinnacle and pulled a Clayton Kershaw Clear Vision card I knew I wanted a Rangers one.  This "Single" cost $1.48 and saved me from spending $2.99 on a pack and getting crap.

I've already shown these two 2013 Rip cards and explained how I wasn't paying attention, which netted me two of the same card.

The total for these two was $18.99.  Still bettter than some of the dud blasters I bought.

The last non-Topps Chrome of the spending spree was this Bowman Chrome pink refractor #9/35.  I picked it up for $5.00.  That may seem like a bit much for a single card, but how many packs would I have had to buy to get something I really wanted?  Way more that $5 worth.

So long's been fun watching you play.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The closest I'll ever get to Cooperstown

I think if I ever set foot in the real Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, I'd have a tear in my eye.  I've seen some of the artifacts on temporary display at the Ballpark in Arlington, but to see the real deal would be amazing.

Jim over at GCRL posted this card and was kind enough to send me a duplicate.  I had a chance a couple of years ago to buy a pair of Game Used Rangers shin guards.  I don't know who used them, but they were being sold by the Rangers.  I would love to have something like that for my future (probably never going to happen) man cave.

What's the next best thing to getting a TTM return?  Someone else sending you one of their TTM returns.  I'm no expert, but that looks like an airbrushed jersey.

I haven't opened a single pack of Panini Hometown Heroes, but I really like the cards.  That's coming from an admitted logo snob...

Johnny Bench?  Check.  Play at the plate?  Check.  Awesomeness?  Double check.

Thanks for the great cards Jim.  I'll be sending you a package soon!

Duty Calls

Please go read the final four entries and vote in Nachos Grande's Blogger Bracket Contest.  I'm in the final four, but I'm not begging for votes for myself, but want you to read the entries and vote for the two best ones.  Thanks!

Now, it's time to say goodbye to David Murphy.  Cleveland is signing him to a 2 year, $10 million dollar contract.  That's pretty decent coin for Murph.

Last year I considered making him my new favorite Ranger after the departure of Michael Young.  I was up in the air over the decision and recently decided who that would be, but more on that in another post.

Josh Hamilton's departure before the 2013 season meant that David Murphy was finally going to get a chance at the full-time left fielder position.  Unfortunately, Murphy couldn't nail down the job well enough to warrant the Rangers re-signing him after the season.  After 6 fairly productive seasons in Texas, Murphy could only coax a .220 average out of his bat and that did him in as the Rangers near term left fielder.

Murphy has had some pretty nice cards in recent years and I may do a compilation post later, but for now I'm showing off two Murphy autos I picked up during my recent Ebay shopping spree.

The 2005 Bowman auto set me back $3.99.

I like this 2009 UD Signature Stars card much better and it was a better deal, costing only $1.60.  Not too shabby.

I'll miss Murphy and I wish him all the best in Cleveland.  I may have to see about getting tickets to a Cleveland game so I can see him with his new club.  It'll be fun, as long as the Rangers still win.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

That's how I feel about it too

Getting packages in the mail is definitely one of the top 5 things I love about having a blog.

Pudge thinks it's pretty cool too.  Either that or a certain someone just farted and he's completely grossed out.

I'd love to see the end of this play.  Maybe this Martinez fella scored  and was halfway to the dugout before Mike LaValliere ever opened his eyes!

Great Backstops?  You bet your old-timey chest protector Great Backstops!  Roger Bresnahan had a pretty good career, but the best part of the info on the back was that he invented shin guards for catchers.  He also improved the catcher's mask by adding leather padding to cushion the shock of foul tips.  Who says these are the tools of ignorance?  Sounds like a pretty smart guy to me.

As you can see here, Yu Darvish is spending the off season doing hard time in the Panini Federal Prizm.

This post was sponsored by The Junior Junkie.  Thanks for the great cards TJ!

It's cards like this that drive a team collector crazy

One of the joys of being a team collector is running across a card you've never seen before.  It can also be one of the frustrations of being a team collector.

Take this card for example.

If you look closely at the top left and right corners you'll see that this is a 1989 Tulsa Baseball Card Store/Z 104.5 Juan Gonzalez card.  You can probably guess that this set (?) wasn't even on my radar.  Does that mean I don't want them?  No way.  This thing is awesome.  It was put out by a card shop AND a radio station.  How cool is that?  I'll put it with my minor league/oddball stuff which I have never even organized other than to put it all together in one box.

This 1983 Fleer Sticker of Danny Darwin also wasn't on my radar.  Look how he had to prop his cap on all that hair!    The good thing about this is that Tom from The Angels, in Order sent along a stack of these with the team checklist so I know I'm only missing Charlie Hough and John Matlack.  Tom sent over all these cards plus way more cards than I could scan.

I guess the guys over at Classic didn't have the ability to lighten up the photos on these 1987 game cards.

This is one of my favorite cards of 2013.  I love that photo.

I don't know where Tom gets all this cool stuff.  This is a 1993 Tom Thumb/Dr. Pepper Arlington Stadium pin card.  These were giveaways at the stadium I think.  Each one came with a pin and this card came with pin #1 of 4.

This is the back of the card and talks about how Arlington Stadium was modified to meet the Major League minimum and goes on to mention that a crowd of 20,105 saw the Rangers beat the Angels 7-6 in the first ever regular season game.  Under the fold it tells you how you can get the full set of pins for $15 if you missed out on one or more.  Unfortunately the deadline was 12/15/93.

Missed it by thaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat much!

Thanks for the great cards Tom!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Check this out...

I posted my entry for Nachos Grande's Blogger Bracket Contest this morning.

Check it out here if you haven't already.

That's about it for me for the weekend.  I'll be back with ya'll Monday morning.

Have a good one!!

When the Wheels Come Off

**This is my entry in Nachos Grande's Blogger Bracket Challenge.**

Every career, whether of Hall of Fame or cup of coffee variety, must come to an end.   Some players have long careers and go out on their own terms.  Some players get in one game as a pinch runner in September, get sent back to the minors and never make it back to the Show.  Some get cut down in the prime of their careers when their wheels blow out.

Let's take a look at one such player.

Bigfoot was a five tool prospect during his brief time in the minors.  He had it all.  Speed, arm strength, crushing for average AND power and most of all, fielding.  He cruised through the minors and got called to the big leagues in early June.

No one turned a better double play than Bigfoot.  Had he been built earlier, the poem might have read Tinker to Bigfoot to Chance.  Smoother than Dave Lopes, sweeter than Robby Alomar, Bigfoot was the best.  Joe Morgan and Lou Whitaker, both fine 2nd basemen in their own right, have said Bigfoot is the standard that all double play combos will be measured by for years to come.  Ozzie Smith lamented the fact that he never got to play with Bigfoot.  It was the one thing missing from his career bucket list.

Let's take a look at some of Bigfoot's fine work.

Here we see Bigfoot effortlessly avoided the take-out slide to turn an easy double play.

John Cangelosi...take your teammate back to the dugout because you're both toast.

Close calls happen all the time at 2nd base, but Bigfoot made every play look routine.  Every game he played added to the errorless streak he was on to start his career.  687 games and counting.  

Bigfoot was so good he wrote the handbook that ballplayers of all ages used to learn the proper way to turn two.

One of my favorite representations of Bigfoot plying his craft was on this Turkey Red card.  Absolutely beautiful.

Game 688 of Bigfoot's career would be his last.  Jose Altuve of the Houston Astros, himself a fine double play turner, came barreling into 2nd.  It looked to be a routine play, but the 5'5", 170 lb Altuve took out Bigfoot's right front tire.

Trainers rushed to Bigfoot's aid as his teammates looked on in horror.  Players later described the incident.

Hanley Ramirez: "I was shocked to look down and see that he wasn't wearing pants and even more shocked when I realized he was a monster truck.  I'd turned a number of double plays with him and didn't even realize he didn't have hands!"  The trainer knew immediately that something was seriously wrong with Bigfoot.  

Bigfoot, seen here WITH hands (Hanley Ramirez did not return our calls about this development) was helped off the field for the last time.  His right front wheel would never be the same.  In the dugout, trainers put on Bigfoot's doughnut spare tire and he drove off into retirement.

Rumor has it that Bigfoot has been spotted playing stickball with kids on muddy sandlots in the Dominican Republic.  Maybe, just maybe, Bigfoot will make a comeback someday.

If not, at least I can say I saw him turn two.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Does anyone know who won the NL Cy Young Award?

I'm kidding of course.

I've been off work for two days and  perusing your fine posts and I think I have a good handle on who won the award.

Back to the old grindstone tonight. Maybe I'll even do a real post.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Did I just buy a damaged card? Twice?

I've been active on Ebay for the first time in years.  I recently sold some items including one big ticket item and I've used some of the proceeds to fund a little shopping spree.  My primary goal has been 2013 Chrome parallels of my Rangers, but I've picked up a few other things along the way.

One thing I wanted for my collection was a Texas Rangers Ginter Rip Card.  I'd love an unripped rip card, but I wasn't going to pay those prices so I targeted a couple of 2013 Ian Kinsler ripped rip cards.

Guess what?  I won both of them because I wasn't really paying attention my bidding.

I'd sure like to know which minis came out of these rip cards.  Here's #2/50.

Here is #48/50.  Oh wait, did I say I got two rip cards.  Well, I got two Kinslers.

I ended up getting a Mike Olt rip card as well.

I have the same look on my face that Mike Olt does.  Did I just buy three intentionally damaged cards?
Yep, I sure did.

Total cost for all three:  $24.99.  I overdid it, but I can always sell one of the Kinslers to recoup some of that money.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Many thanks to all the veterans out there

I mentioned it my post earlier today, but I wanted to take a moment again to thank any veterans or current military folks who might be reading this drivel.

I served in the US Navy from 1988-1994 and was privileged to work with some of the finest people I've ever met in my life.  Serving in the submarine force was challenging, rewarding duty and even though there were times that weren't fun, I'm thankful for those years of my life.

I don't think I appreciated the significance of being stationed at Pearl Harbor while I was there and now I wish I'd spent more time enjoying it.

Thanks again veterans.  You are appreciated!

Why does the USPS hate Canada so much?

Mailing a package to Canada is sort of like going to see the doctor.  You know the final bill is going to hurt, you just don't know how much.

A package that costs $3.00 to mail from Texas to upstate New York, costs $987.49 to mail just across the border.  Ok, that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but those of you that have mailed to the Great White North recently know what I'm talking about.

Of course, that's not keeping me from mailing to the great Captain Canuck, owner and operator of Waxaholic.  There are two reasons for this.  One, I think he gets short changed on Braves goodies up there in Canada.  The second is that he's a really good dude who sends packages like this one.

My affinity for the Washington Senators lands me a fair amount of Walter Johnson cards (nothing vintage of course).  This happens despite the fact that Johnson played for the version of the Senators I don't collect.  That's fine with me though.  My son has started a mini-player collection for Johnson and since we didn't open any Panini Cooperstown packs, this is a new one for me.  I think my son has nearly three binder pages full of Johnsons.  For some reason, I can't stop typing the word Johnsons.  Someone stop me please!

While I may not personally collect Walter Johnson, the Big Train, I do collect The Ryan Express.  Any team, any condition.

Cap't Canuck sent me one of these 1954 Bowman Power for Peace cards before.  I love these things and it just seemed right to post them on Veteran's Day.

Even if this one isn't a Navy ship.

This is, believe it or not, the U.S. Coast Guard Gutter SASSAFRAS.  That's funny to me.  Being a submarine sailor, we just referred to all surface ships as TARGETS, whether they belonged to the US Navy or the Russians.

This is one bad-ass card. (Sorry mom!)  That's PT 809.  I loved PT boats since hearing about JFK being a PT boat sailor and reading about them as a boy.

According to the web, PT 809 had a fairly illustrious service record:

  • Laid down 27 June 1949 by the Electric Boat Co., Groton, CT
  • Launched 7 August 1950
  • Completed 9 February 1951
  • Assigned to the Potomac River Naval Command 1 November 1959 as a civil defense boat and escort for the Presidential Yacht Barbara Ann, later Honey Fitz
  • After the Presidential yachts were deposed, the Guardian was released from Presidential service and transferred to Fleet Composite Squardon SIX (VC-6), 16 December 1974. She was modified at Cambridge, MD for use in
    retrieving target drones in various ranges along the Virginia/Maryland/North Carolina coast. The Soviets were quite adept at recovering the drones and all of their electronic technology. It was felt that something fast like a PT
    boat might aid in the recovery of the drones. The Guardian was based at Little Creek Naval Amphibious Base and renamed DR-1 aka Retriever. Later she was assigned to the special boat unit in support of the Navy SEALs.
    She was the longest serving PT-boat.
  • Placed out of service in 1988
  • Scrapped in 1990.

  • That's pretty cool stuff.

    Here's the granddaddy of this trade.  Even though Josh isn't a Ranger anymore, I'm not turning down a nice auto/hand towel (or jersey) relic card.

    Cap, I'll be getting your return package in the mail this week, rip card included!

    Thanks for the great vintage stuff and the auto.

    Happy Veteran's Day to all you vets and current service members!