Friday, April 25, 2014

So this Queen walks into a Museum

This will be my last post until...well, until I get something I'm expecting in the mail.  It could come today, it could come a week from now.  Hopefully, you'll all feel it's worth the wait.  

As you know, I work nights.  Not evenings, nights.  11 PM to 7 AM.  Some nights are busy, some nights are not.  I generally have time to write a post or two and unfortunately, I also have some time to troll Ebay. I put a few of my hard earned tax return dollars to work over the last couple of weeks.  These aren't all the "treasures" I mined in the wee hours of the night, but they are the ones I managed to scan.

I was in the 5 box GQ break held by Judson over at My Cardboard Habit.  I did get a regular Derek Holland which was nice.  I decided to go out and get the Leonys Martin base auto.  It was pretty cheap. You can make out his last name nicely and he added his uniform number as well.

I also picked up a gold version of Derek Holland's auto.  It's #22/25.

Here is a prime example of what can happen if you "Ebay" late at night when you're tired.  A seller had two of these 2013 Topps Museum Nelson Cruz Primary Pieces cards up for sale.  I cut a deal for both.  This one is #30/99 and has a blue patch.  It could be from a number or the "Rangers" portion of the jersey.  It could be a blue tablecloth too.

This Cruz card is #22/99 and has a bit of red and white on a grey swatch.  You can't see the white part unless you're really looking for it.

That leads us to the 2014 Topps Museum cards.

I have to say, I'm a sucker for these Momentous Material cards.  The grey swatch isn't overly attractive, but it's big.  I don't understand all the levels of parallels, but this one is #31/35.

This is what I love about these cards.  That is a great big bunch of beautiful Ranger red.  Matt Harrison is supposed to make his first start of the season this weekend.  This is #37/50.

This is another plain grey swatch, but it's low numbered.  I made the seller an offer and he took it so this #6/10 Joe Nathan card will rest in my collection until I die and one of my kids sells the whole lot for $50 at a yard sale.

There are some really nice versions of this card on Ebay.  It's an Elvis Andrus, Adrian Beltre, Yu Darvish and Ian Kinsler Quad card.  As you can see, mine has two grey swatches, one white swatch and one wood chip.  Some of the others have nice patches and I'll be trying to add one of them as well.  

That's it for now.  I hope to have a good post up for you Monday, but if it doesn't happen until later in the week, just bear with me.  

Thursday, April 24, 2014

These cards were made for WALKing

I've been rather absent from the blogosphere lately, but I have a good reason.  A reason I'll share with you next week.  I spent a little time last night commenting (47 times to be exact) on various blogs because I've been reading your blogs, but not commenting much lately.  That should rectify itself next week as well.

In the meantime, let's catch up with Matt.

Bob Walk the Plank is showing up all over the blogosphere.  His local post office employees probably know him by name.  I received another package from Matt and it was hit friendly.

Everyone remembers Eric Gagne as the three year closing machine for the Dodgers.  Between 2002-2004, he had 152 saves for the Dodgers.  People may not remember he had a brief stint with the Rangers in 2007, posting a 2.16 ERA in 34 games while saving 16.  He was traded to the Dodgers on July 31, 2007 for three players, including David Murphy.  Here is Gagne on a 2007 Allen and Ginter card with what must be a piece of a Dodger jersey (or clubhouse towel).

Marlon Byrd had a decent three year stretch with the Rangers between 2007-09.  He batted .295 with 40 homers and 212 RBIs with Texas.  Byrd is still in the Majors at the age of 36.  He's playing in Philly this year.

Michael Young retired after last season. This dual relic contains a real ticket stub and is numbered to somesuch on the back.  Sorry, I just can't remember.

Where o' where is Hank Blalock? Hank supposedly resides in San Diego.  Well, this low numbered die cut Hank Blalock resides in Dallas.

Matt, thanks so much for the cards.  I'm working on a return package.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The King of psychedelic minis

No one loves 1975 minis more than Night Owl.  That's why it's such a treat when he shares one with you.

This little gem will be heading to my catcher collection and eventually into a binder I hope.  I have to get more organized.

Night Owl isn't only about 1975 Mini's.  He'll throw down with Ginter minis too.  Like a few people he has a Franken mini set going.  I wonder if this Kinsler ever had a chance to make his Frankenset.

I scanned a bunch of other cards Greg sent, but instead of cropping and editing them, I thought I'd show what the whole page looks like and see how many other people scan like this.  I used to scan one card at a time with my old scanner and then discovered that was a terrible waste of time.  I started scanning 5 or 6 cards at a time.  I generally don't scan cards out away from the edges (like the Donruss Holland and Heritage Davis) just because it's so hard to get them oriented properly.

Thanks for the cards Greg.  As always, they are much appreciated and found a good home here in Texas.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Thinking of throwing in the collecting towel?

I'm not throwing in the towel, but a few days ago my buddy Judson from My Cardboard Habit expressed a dwindling interest in his collection.  Judson and I don't live too far apart and share similar collecting interests so I gave him a call.

I get it.  I go through stretches where this hobby seems like more work than pleasure so I get the same feeling.   It generally goes away after a brief time.  I've had a couple of lengthy periods in my life where I was totally out of the hobby.  I actively collected cards from 1981-1992.  I took a 6 year break and then collected again from 1998-2002.  I won't rehash the reason I quit collecting the 2nd time because many of you already know, but if you want to read about it, it's right here.  

After I quit the second time, I got rid of nearly everything in my collection.  That post is right here.

The reason I'm writing this post now is to tell everyone who might be considering walking away from this hobby to tap the breaks for just a second.

If you want to stop collecting, that is certainly your right.  I'd like to suggest if you do stop, don't get rid of your collection.  Not right away at least.  My one big regret is practically giving away my collection the second time I stopped collecting.  I'm sure I could have handled that situation differently and come back to the hobby in 2008 with a huge collection that I would have happily shared with all of you.  I would suggest you hold on to the stuff you really like and have worked so hard to obtain.  Put it away and let it sit there. It's not going to hurt anything to give it a year or three or ten.  If you decide down the road that you want to get back into the hobby, you'll still have all the cards you once cherished.

You can always sell or get rid of your collection in the future, but you can't get it back if you dump it.  Give yourself time to see if the passion for collecting cards is really gone or if you're just having a temporary decline in interest.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

How to up-size your PWE

We've all been through the drive thru at the local fast food joint.  You place your order and that little voice says "hey, up-size your order because you aren't fat enough already".  What, you haven't heard that voice? Maybe that voice is only in my head.

I recently received a PWE that had been up-sized.  It wasn't just a card or two.  It contained 13 cards, but it was the way it was packaged that I found most interesting.

Mark Hoyle sent the cards like this:

How cool is that?  He put the cards in a sheet and cut the sheet into 3 pocket portions.  These fit perfectly in a full sized envelope!  He sent over these great 2014 stickers and a couple of 1975 Topps Minis.

Using the pockets to their fullest potential, Mark doubled up so he could send more vintage greatness. A 1971 Senator and a couple full sized '75s.

Mark has great taste in vintage cards and loves to share them.  You simply can't go wrong with these Senators.  Just so long as they are ending up in my mailbox.

The last three slots reveal three more Senators.

Mark spent 70 cents sending these cards and I can't help but think of all the times I've sent a similar number of cards for $2+ dollars plus the padded envelope.  Using the sheets is a brilliant idea really.

Thanks for the cards Mark.  I'm putting together an assortment of Red Sox for you!

Red beauty

I misspoke when I said I had the best mini. I meant I pulled the best player to get on a good mini.

Masahiro Tanaka red mini #/99.

I think I'm done.

Did I really pull the best mini in this set?

I happened to be at Target and I happened to find this GQ value pack. I also happened to pull what is likely the best red mini you can get.

I'll post it later because it's going on EBay as soon as I get home.

Box 1-4 update, my computer and a dirty little secret

I think I'm going blind trying to sort the cards from the four 5000 count boxes I got from my LCS buddy.  I decided last night to sort them into sets by year, but not put them in numerical order.  I changed my mind tonight because I can't stand the thought of them sitting in their boxes all out of order.  Not to mention the fact that it's much easier to pull cards for others if the cards in the proper order.

My computer is alive!  One of my co-workers suggested I check the cables that connect the hard drive to the rest of the computer.  Those of you who are computer savvy are probably cringing at my lack of techno jargon, but that's the best you'll get from me.  Anyway, I took the cover off, blew out about 10 pounds of dust and sure enough, the cable was still connected, but not plugged in completely.  I plugged it in and two minutes later the computer was up and running normally.  The very first thing I did was back the whole thing up and now I at least have the backup if the thing dies for real.

I sort of teased a dirty little secret, but the dirty isn't really a secret, it's a card.

I picked up this 2014 Topps Museum Collection Elvis Andrus Momentus Material on Ebay.  It's #29/50 and is a filthy piece of cardboard.  That thing needs to go through the wash!  I like it and it was cheap enough for me.

I also picked up another Museum card.  This is a quad relic featuring Elvis Andrus, Yu Darvish, Adrian Beltre and Ian Kinsler.  I'm a little dubious about the four relic pieces actually being from each player.  Either the guy setting this card up was very meticulous in making sure the Andrus and Beltre pieces matched up or those two pieces are from the same swatch.  At any rate, its a cool card and I'm glad to have it.  Not that it matters, but it's #11/99.

I'm glad to have my computer and my scanner back in action.  I'm using a new flash drive now so I guess I have a lot of re-scanning to do.  

Ummm, not.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Bloggus Interuptus

Life is doing it's very best to keep me from blogging right now.

In the last five days I have:

1.  Missed a step coming down a ladder and twisted my knee.
2.  Tripped crossing the street and fallen hard on both hands and my shoulder.
3.  Had my computer die on me (further exasperating the fact that I still haven't found my flash drive).

Without the computer, I can't scan images and I'm not overly thrilled with only using pics from my phone. I'm getting pretty far behind on my trade packages so I'll probably do a big group trade post later this week.

I'm moving forward with sorting the boxes from my LCS buddy.  I have box 2 almost finished and should have boxes 3 and 4 finished by the end of the week.  I'm aware of all the comments and requests regarding box 1 and will accomodate as possible.  I'll also post the contents of boxes 2-4 so you can all put in additional requests.

Thanks for your patience.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

I spent $41.63 and this is what I got

I stopped by the home of the blue parallel on my way to see my LCS buddy last Thursday. The vendor who stocks the card aisle told me she didn't stock any Gypsy Queen because she had too much older stock to move. I just wanted one blaster to open and I really showed her by buying a Heritage blaster.

In your face vendor lady! (Hangs head in shame for buying blaster.)

That was $21.63

My buddy took me for a whole $20 for which I received the following:

2 5000 count boxes
1 complete set of Topps Archives 1953 reprints already in pages
1 800 count box of cards I picked
1 400 count box of cards I picked
1 plastic box of Rangers

I'd say I got a better deal from my buddy. I'd love to show off more of this stuff, but in addition to losing my flash drive, my computer crashed on Friday. My brother in law thinks it's the hard drive. Oh joy.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The First Box Update

I haven't really had time for anything other than sorting since I bought those two 5000 count boxes. Yesterday I posted the contents of the first box and several people responded letting me know what they wanted.

Last night I pulled all applicable cards for you guys.  I also pulled the stuff I wanted to keep and some stuff for a few other people.

Here's what I found.

Captain Canuck--54 cards
Mark Hoyle--115 cards
The Junior Junkie--4 cards
Tony L.--66 cards
Once a Cub--86 cards

That's a total of 325 cards.

I also pulled 204 Rangers, play at the plate cards and catchers for myself.

I pulled out 103 cards to take back to my friend.

Lastly, I pulled out 188 cards for 5 other bloggers.

That's a total of 820 cards that are claimed out of the box.

It's not too late to claim cards from the box.  Let me know if you want anything.  I'm going to sort the other box and add to the piles for everyone who already asked for stuff.

Also, CaptKirk...I wasn't sure if you had decided what you wanted.  Just let me know and I'll set whatever you want aside.


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The first box

Last week I bought two 5000 count boxes from my buddy for $5 each.  You might recall that I mentioned they were full of cards.  I've finally made it through the first box.  I sorted everything by year and didn't come up with any complete sets, but I got close on a couple sets.

Here is a breakdown of the contents of box #1.

1991 Fleer Ultra--150 cards
1992 Fleer Ultra--9 cards
1993 Fleer Ultra--14 cards
1994 Fleer Ultra--13 cards
1995 Fleer Ultra--17 cards
1996 Fleer Ultra--25 cards
1997 Fleer Ultra--190 cards (45 Gold Medallion variation photos)
1998 Fleer Ultra--25 cards
1999 Fleer Ultra--646 cards (5 Gold Medallion)
2000 Fleer Ultra--512 cards
2001 Fleer Ultra--5 cards
2002 Fleer Ultra--226 cards
2003 Fleer Ultra--61 cards

Fleer Ultra Total--1893 cards

1998 Fleer Tradition--45 cards
2000 Fleer Tradition--33 cards
2001 Fleer Tradition--233 cards

Fleer Tradition Total--311 cards

1987 Donruss--15 cards
1988 Donruss--152 cards
1989 Donruss--10 cards
1990 Donruss--227 cards
1991 Donruss--7 cards
1992 Donruss--66 cards
1993 Donruss--26 cards
1998 Donruss Preferred--22 cards
2002 Donruss Fan Club--37 cards

Donruss Total--562 cards

1997 Bowman--6 cards
1998 Bowman--70 cards
1998 Bowman Chrome--5 cards
1998 Bowman's Best--18 cards
1999 Bowman--1 card
1999 Bowman Chrome--57 cards
2000 Bowman--134 cards
2001 Bowman--103 cards (10 gold parallels)

Bowman Total--394 cards

1989 Upper Deck--1 card
1990 UD--4 cards
1991 UD--5 cards
1993 UD--1 card
1997 UD Collector's Choice--28 cards
1999 UD MVP--18 cards
1999 UD3--2 cards
1999 UD Retro--8 cards
1999 UD Victory--12 cards
1999 UD--8 cards
2000 UD Yankees Legends--12 cards
2000 UD Choice--3 cards
2000 UD Gold Reserve--32 cards
2000 UD--39 cards
2000 UD MVP--324 cards (2 silver sig parallels)
2001 UD Sweet Spot--4 cards
2001 UD Vintage--79 cards
2001 UD--34 cards
2002 UD Ovation--21 cards
2002 UD Vintage--4 cards
2002 UD--191 cards
2002 UD MVP--117 cards
2003 UD--37 cards

Upper Deck Total--985 cards

1990 Best--1 card
1991 Denny's Grand Slam-1 card
1998 Leaf Rookies and Stars--1 card
2000 Skybox Impact--3 cards

Random Total--6 cards

Grand total for box #1--4151 cards.  I did throw away a couple hundred cards that were stuck together.  I tried pulling some of them apart and they were too damaged to salvage.

Now that I've sorted all the cards, I need to go back and pull out the Rangers and play at the plate cards. If you need cards from any of these sets, let me know and I'll eventually send them out.  Most of what I don't keep or trade is going in my garage sale box.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Still no flash drive

Sorting one of the 5000 count boxes while watching baseball is a good way to take my mind off the flash drive.


Friday, April 4, 2014

I feel lost

Tragedy is a word that is over-used.  People use "tragedy" to describe things that are really just unfortunate events.  Don't get me wrong, tragedies are on-going all over the place.

The recent Fort Hood shootings.  The mystery surrounding the missing Malaysian Flight 370.  Those families are living out a tragedy every day.

Something happened to me yesterday that in my own little narrowly focused world is a tragedy.  In real terms, it's just an unfortunate event and one that might even turn out to be nothing if I get lucky.

Yesterday I lost my flash drive.  The one with nearly 5 years worth of scans that I've used on this blog. Hundreds of hours of scanning, cropping, editing...lost.  I know what you're thinking.  "You had a backup right?  You're not a complete dumbass, right?"  

I have the first couple of years on another flash drive.  I copied them over to the "lost" one when I upgraded to one with more memory.  I did not have a backup of the last three years worth of scans.  I AM a dumbass. Sorry to disappoint you, but you're not 1/10th as disappointed as me.

There is a chance that the flash drive will turn up at home.  I remember taking it out of my shorts pocket as I changed into jeans (yes, it's shorts weather now here in Dallas) at home and that's the last I can remember.  A few minutes later we left the house and when I headed off to work last night, it was nowhere to be found.  I didn't store it in my normal place.  It wasn't in my jeans pocket.  It's possible I set it down somewhere different.  It's possible it fell out of my pocket somewhere when I got my keys out my pocket.


If it turns up, I will make a backup and store it somewhere safe.  If it doesn't, well, what can I do?  I'll have to get over it.  It's not like it's a real tragedy.  Just me being stupid.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Another trip to my buddies house

I certainly didn't mean to imply that I was unhappy with my buddy about selling all those cards to another guy. As much as I would have loved a crack at the Aaron binder, he got more money from the other guy than I could have paid or that he would have charged me. He gives me amazing deals because we really are friends. We talk about cards, but we spend almost as much time discussing our families.

I went back today and got a bunch more great stuff. Along with a big batch of Rangers, I got two plastic boxes. One of these is full of 1966 Topps cards (along with eight 1959s). The other is a mixture of 1977s and some more modern stuff I got for packages I'm putting together.

When my friend found out I had been buying 5000 count boxes at my LCS for $5.50, he sold me two of them for $5.00 each. By the way, the two he sold me are stuffed with cards. I don't know what is in those boxes because I just took them and thanked him. Even if they are full of junk, it's still better than the LCS prices.

I'll be searching them tonight and let you know what I find.

I nominate myself for "Most Forgetful Blogger of the Year"

I'm really bad about seeing a card on someone's blog and saying I could use that card or something similar.  I'm even worse about following up on that comment unless someone contacts me.

I recently had one of those back and forth conversations with Tony of Off Hiatus Baseball Cards and the recently started 1982 Topps Blog.  A few days later, I got a package in the mail with no name on the return address and no note inside.  This is recipe for disaster for me.  Unless you're one of the 3 or 4 people I mail stuff to all the time, I'm not going to recognize your address.  I opened the cards and one card stood out.

As creepy as a card of a 15 year old might be, this one fit right into my son's USA collection and he thought it was cool to have a card of a kid only 2 years older than him.  The reason this card stuck out in my mind was it was a 15 year old kid and I specifically remembered emailing SOMEONE about this card.  The problem is that I didn't remember who and with no note in the package, I couldn't remember who could have sent these cards.

The mystery man also sent a bunch of 1980 Rangers.

How about a Charles Johnson Team USA card?  I bought cards in 1991, but I don't remember seeing any of these.

This card meets both the USA and Rangers collecting criteria.  My son took it right to his room.

I didn't buy any Turkey Red this year and avoided a couple of box breaks just because the Rangers didn't have enough to make it worthwhile.  I'm glad to have this Mauer for my collection.

I'm also glad to have a few of the Rangers.  Jurickson "I'm out for 3 months" Profar looks happy for someone on the DL.

Big Prince in a Texas Uni.  No one fills out a card quite like Prince, but I think he's shed a good amount of weight.

Yu Darvish started the season on the DL, but he threw 80+ pitches in a simulated game and may be able to go this weekend.

I mentioned Tony at the top of this post because thanks to the search feature in my Outlook email, I was finally able to determine that it was Tony that sent the cards.  I also figured out I didn't send him anything in return, which is just like me.

Tony, I'll be looking for some stuff to send you.  Thanks for the cards and I apologize for the delay in getting a return package to you.

By the way, if I owe any of you cards, please let me know.  I will be going to post office soon.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Mr. Intense

First, let me thank everyone who read and commented on my post about Opening Day yesterday.  One commenter didn't agree that Opening Day should be a US-only affair and I respect his opinion, but I have to disagree.  Opening Day should be held in the US in one of the cities represented by the two teams playing in the games.  If MLB wants to play games that count in a foreign country, I don't really care, but it shouldn't be Opening Day.  Figure out a way to do that sometime during the season if you want, but leave Opening Day alone.  That's just my opinion.

On to the post for today.  I'll be holding a contest in a few days, but today I'm happy to announce that I recently won a contest held by Andrew over at Need More Cardboard.  He sent me an envelope stuffed with goodness and I picked out a few (6 is a few, right?) to show off.

One of my favorites is this 1995 Skybox Emotion Mr. Intense Will Clark.  I think that describes him perfectly.

I thought this was an odd Joe Mauer and one that I hadn't seen before.  It's one of those Trading Card History inserts from 2008 Topps.

Some of the stuff Andrew sent will end up in other people's hands.  This 2009 Ginter Chase Utley black bordered mini might be one of them.

Cliff Lee had a brief stay in Texas in late 2010.  He started the first game of the 2014 season for Philadelphia against Texas and gave up 8 earned runs.  Thanks to Texas' fine pitching staff, he also got the win.

Some dude name Clayton Kershaw.  You may have heard of him.

Michael Young is bleeding red and Dodger blue on this 2014 parallel.  I'm trying to decide if I want to collect Young's post-Ranger cards.

My son was happy to see this 2013 Panini USA Baseball Champions (sorry, I need a break after typing all that) Kyle Farmer Game Gear jersey.  He loves his USA stuff.

Andrew, thanks for all the great cards.  I guess I should thank all the people who mentioned me for directing them to the contest.  Apparently all those extra entries helped me win!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

An Opening Day post that isn't about cards or jokes

I'm sure there will be plenty of April Fool's Day posts today.  I'm fine with that, but this is not one of them.

I've been thinking about Opening Day for the 2014 season for a few days.

Not this Opening Day (which I bought at Target and was loaded with star players).  I'm talking about Major League Baseball's idiotic concept of starting the season 3...make it 4 times.

First they said "Opening Day" was March 22 when the Dodgers and Diamondbacks were forced to fly to Australia to play two games that count.  Don't get me wrong, Australia is amazing.  I've been there twice and it is the one foreign destination that I've been to that I would revisit in a heartbeat.  The problem I have with Australia as the site of "Opening Day" is that baseball is supposed to be America's past time and Australia is most definitely not part of America.

The next "Opening Day" was Sunday, March 30th.  Again, the Dodgers played, this time against the Padres. This lone game was somehow supposed to represent the start of the season, but in reality it was just a ploy to get more viewers to tune in to the only game available on the MLB network.

That takes us to Monday, March 31st.  Here we have yet another "Opening Day".  Never mind that my Rangers were apparently still auditioning pitchers as if it was Spring Training.  This time we had 26 teams taking the field.  30 teams -26 teams = 4 teams not playing.   So after 3 "Opening Days" you still have two teams that haven't played and that includes one of the most favored of all teams, the New York Yankees (and the Astros).   I'll just ignore that fact that the day AFTER the 3rd "Opening Day" only 18 teams are playing.  Poor babies need a day off already?

The Yankees and Astros have their own "Opening Day" on April 1st.  This must be a joke.  Bud Selig is punking all of us for April Fool's Day.  

Bud, I got used to Inter-League play.  I don't really mind it, but I really don't like that you've spread it all over the season now.

Why can't Opening Day be just that.  Opening Day should be Opening Day for every team.  On American soil.  Do it on Sunday so people don't have to skip work and school to go to the game.  If Opening Day was on Sunday, I would go.  Every year.  I love baseball that much.

I just don't like the way Bud and MLB have to screw with everything.