Saturday, January 30, 2010

Good News Along with Good Cards

It seems luck has been on my side lately, and I can’t be more thankful for it. The Baseball Card Locker, the only hobby shop in Central Jersey, was about to call it quits at the end of the month when longtime and great employee, Kevin, bought it off the owner. Now he’s taking a week off to stock up the shop with all the newest items and the Baseball Card Locker will be back with a bang. I couldn’t tell you how ecstatic I was to heat the news and now I won’t have to dread $4.99 shipping anymore. Even though it will still be in business, I bought a ton of loose packs and singles for great prices. Let’s begin.

2007 Bowman Heritage

Pack 1:
#26: Russell Martin
#70: Roger Clemens
Mantle Short Prints: 5 of 5

These Mantle short prints had a ratio of one in every three hobby packs. Each one reflects a different Bowman design. This is one of the many Mantle inserts Topps shoved down collector’s throats in 2007. I don’t mind though, I like the Mick.

Rainbow Foil #57: Cliff Lee
BHP #2: Peter Bourjos
BHP #62: Aaron Cunningham
#124: Josh Willingham
#140: Carlos Beltran

Pack 2:
#30: Manny Ramirez
#94: Kenny Rogers
SG-SE: Stephen Englund (Auto)

I have gotten lucky pulling hits out of the loose hobby packs I’ve picked up. I pulled a Mulder jersey in my previous trip to the card shop. It’s an autographed card, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that the design is dull and the player is unrecognizable.

Rainbow Foil #178: Jose Vidro
BHP #39: Michael Devaney
BHP #77: Nathan Southard
#215: Kevin Slowey (RC)
#80: Johan Santana

Pack 3:
#126: Travis Hafner
#162: Tadahito Iguchi
#242: Josh Hamilton (RC)

Another stroke of luck with a coveted SP. This card sports Josh Hamilton displaying a face that may scare some younger children. For future reference: the SP’s have no signatures. The gold on the right side is the sleeve protecting the card.

Rainbow Foil #197: Tim Hudson
BHP #60: Joba Chamberlain
This picture shows Joba pondering on how bad the Yankees’ brass will play with his head the next few years.

Prospects #78: Brandon Hynick
#209: Tyler Clippard
#27: Lance Berkman

2007 Bowman

Pack 1:
#13: Chuck James

It seems Bowman keeps recycling the same base design year after year (2010 has the black border as well). I never was a fan of the black border because of how easily it chips.

#93: Bill Hall
#217: Jeff Fiorentino (RC)
Rookie cards added in the base set have a green variation.

#147: Jeff Kent
#142: Chipper Jones
Gold BP #90: Rayner Bautista
BC #13: Brennan Boesch
BC #12: Scott Deal
BP #80: Dan Dement
BP #106: Desmond Jennings

Pack 2:
#132: Adam Dunn
#69: David DeJesus
#39: Gary Matthews, Jr.

The Mets love train wrecks.

#157: Garret Anderson
ARHR161: Alex Rodriguez
The “Road to 500” cards were inserted in Bowman packs. No one seems to like these, but I’ll be willing to take them off your hands.

Gold #175: Albert Pujols
I think the Gold bordered cards in Bowman look ten times better than the gold bordered cards in Topps.

BC #55: Matt Palmer
BC #26: Trey Shields
BP #84: Will Venable
I’ve seen this kid too many times on prospect and rookie cards.

BP #72: Tony Peguero

2008 Topps Opening Day

Pack 1:
#131: Chien Ming-Wang
#119: Brett Myers
#58: Justin Upton
#184: Adrian Gonzalez

The Padres would be idiotic to get rid of this guy. Not only is he the catalyst for the offense but he puts people in the seats (San Diego is very close to Tijuana, Gonzalez’s home town).

#26: Derrek Lee
#83: J.J Hardy

Pack 2:
#129: Paul Konerko
#44: Kenny Lofton
#34: Mike Piazza
Flapper Card FC-MM: Mickey Mantle

A Mickey insert? No way!

#194: Troy Tulowitzki
#146: Fausto Carmona
This guy.

Pack 3:
#57: Tim Hudson
#89: Gil Meche
Puzzle Piece: Jake Peavy

Opening Day has horrible inserts, for any of you who haven’t caught that yet.

#167: Carlos Pena
#50: Albert Pujols
#156: Aaron Rowand

Pack 4:
#217: Jeff Clement
#65: Alfonso Soriano

Voted most overrated player in baseball by Sporting News.

#29: Chris Young
#178: Ryan Braun
#206: Steve Pearce
#178: Carlos Lee

After numerous packs of Opening Day, I have yet to pull a Halladay card. Frustration indeed! Along with the packs, I got a few singles.

2003 Donruss Elite All-Time Career Best AT-36: Alex Rodriguez

2000 Bowman #347: Brandon Phillips (RC)
2000 is arguably my favorite year from Bowman (I’m trying to get another box of Chrome). Phillips was drafted by the Expos, but was sent to the Indians in the infamous 2002 when Montreal sent Phillips, Cliff Lee, Grady Sizemore, and Lee Stevens to the Cleveland Indians for Bartolo Colon and Tim Drew. While Lee, Sizemore, and Phillips are putting up All-Star seasons, Drew is out of baseball and Colon is somewhere eating himself to death. Anyway, Phillips is, in my opinion, one of the top five second basemen in the league. He is guaranteed a 20/20 season and plays excellent defense for the Reds.

1990 Score #663: Frank Thomas (RC)
Yeah, I got this for under a buck. Yeah, I’m not a real collector unless I have Frank Thomas’s rookie card.

2007 Upper Deck Spectrum RR-JW: Jered Weaver
I’ve always been a fan of Jered Weaver. He sure as heck is better than his brother. By the way, this is beautiful card.

2000 Upper Deck Rookie Foil Silver #952: Travis Ishikawa (RC)
I’m a sucker for numbered cards.

2004 Bowman Chrome #351: Willie Mays
I always thought putting retro players in a brand labeled “Home of the Rookie Card” was contradicting, but dang that Mays card looks nice.

2000 Bowman Chrome Retro/Future #207: Ben Sheets
Another 2000 Bowman Chrome card I can cross off my list. Sheets, Carlos Zambrano, Barry Zito, and Roy Oswalt lead the rookie charge from the 2000 set.

I hope you enjoyed the wax busting as much as I did. Now I can delete my Blowout Cards coupon e-mail and sleep peacefully tonight.

Friday, January 29, 2010

No Need to Fear, I'm Here

I have been neglected the blog for a while now, and I'm losing sleep over it I assure you. However, I tend to get back into the groove of things now that dreaded mid-terms are done. Although my grades could have been better, it was an overall success and I can finally rest and relax and start a healthy new semester. I'll be back tomorrow with a juicy post about the junk I bought at the baseball card shop that's closing very shortly. Thanks!

Friday, January 15, 2010


Since it is unlikely I will escape the cold weather in Jersey, I’ll be traveling down to Florida for a vacation over the MLK weekend. I’ll be back with some exciting box breaks and much more. Stay reading!

Halladay Triple-Feature

Picked up some more Halladay cards off the Bay. A small, but efficient stack of the now-Philadelphia Phillie.

2006 Bowman Gold #41: Roy Halladay

2007 Upper Deck Spectrum #47: Roy Halladay

1999 Topps Chrome #331: Roy Halladay

It’s gonna be weird seeing Doc in a red uniform. As a Yankees fan, I’m glad to see him leave the AL East, where he absolutely annihilated us over the past few seasons. But I’m one who admires players that stick with the same team all the way through, and I was hoping Roy would be one of them. Alas, nothing is perfect. He’ll still dominate anywhere he goes.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Three-for-One Deal

Bought a single off eBay from a nice seller that goes by kranky1024 (or Seventh Inning Sports Cards). Don’t let the name fool you, however. I received this card for my PC.

Topps Heritage Then and Now TN9: Bob Friend/Roy Halladay

But the real surprise was when I found two extra cards mixed into the envelope.

2008 Topps #76: Ivan Rodriguez

Ticket to Stardom #98: Tim Hudson

Thanks to his kindness, I got my first Ticket to Stardom card and a base card I didn’t have from the 08 Topps series. Boy, I love this hobby.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Card Shop Blues

The local card shop near my home is closing at the end of the month and I’m going into hysterics. I haven’t a clue where the next nearest one is and now I’ll have to do all my shopping online (4.29 for shipping? Good Lord!) Fortunately, with the closing of any store they have a huge sale, and I got all these items at 60% off. I also bought a nice hobby box of 2007 UD Masterpieces, which I’ll post the break on a later date. So here we go.

2008 Opening Day

Pack 1:
#1: Alex Rodriguez
Great way to start off a pack. There’s a SP for this card with A-Rod as a centaur.

#93: Lyle Overbay
#39: Jason Bay
Puzzle Piece Card #20: Ichiro Suzuki
Boy, this insert stinks.

#43: Marcus Giles
#126: Edgar Renteria

Pack 2:
#72: Scott Rolen
#111: Akinori Iwamura
#121: C.C. Sabathia
#175: Javier Vazquez
#190: Michael Young
One of the most underrated players in baseball.

#157: Brian Roberts

2007 Bowman Heritage

Pack 1:
#174 Kazuo Matsui
#178 Jose Vidro
Rainbow Foil #118: David Eckstein
The Rainbow Foil variation comes one in every pack. I have always liked Eckstein; he hustles on every play and is a proven winner. He currently plays for the Padres, but I really hope to see him in pinstripes one day.

BHP43: Justin Byler In every pack of 2007 Bowman Heritage, there are an average of two of these Prospect cards. I'm not a big fan of the bland design, and the fact it takes up space for much better looking base cards.

BHP47: Ivan DeJesus
#208: Matt Lindstrom (RC)
#60: Jeremy Bonderman
#188: Roy Halladay
I love the smell of a Halladay card I didn't have.

Pack 2 (White Sox Pack):
#66: Jim Thome
#10: Jermaine Dye
Rainbow Foil #29: Javier Vazquez
BHP17 : Eddie Degerman
BHP65 : Victor Buttler
#245: Travis Buck (RC)
Something tells me parents weren’t too comfortable with this guy signing their children’s baseball.

#12: Hank Blalock
#148: Paul Konerko

All in all, I got some nice cards I can add to my binders and ship out to other collectors. I’ll probably stop by again before they’re gone for good. Then I’ll have a séance so I can contact the store from the great beyond.

Friday, January 8, 2010

The Start of the 1973 Topps Collection

Nothing is more exhilarating than completing a set. Whether it is a collection of inserts or base cards, nothing gets more me thrilled than finding that last card to finish off a pesky set. One of my life goals in the hobby is to complete the 1973 Topps baseball set. The set doesn’t seem too hard to accomplish but there are its fair share of daunting cards (Mike Schmidt’s rookie) and the problem of them being in good condition. I started my collection by winning two separate cards from the same seller on eBay.

#544: Von Joshua

#578: Kenneth Wright

Although they aren’t big hits, they make a good start to my collection. Both of them could easily grade a 6. Hopefully I can get a few more '73 cards in the near future.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A Sportlots Bundle

Purchased a nice bundle of cards off Sportlots and just received them in the mail. There are a nice mix of Halladay and Swisher cards, along with some singles I needed for the sets I’m working on. Here are some of the highlights

YR55: Mark Reynolds
I like the design of the “Year in Review” insert. I picked up this along with Aubrey Huff and Adrian Beltre cards.

GN236: Ryan Zimmerman
Am I the only one who likes the “Generation Now” inserts? I got a few of these cards. 2007 was a good year for Topps inserts, so I picked up some “Hit Parade” as well.

#25: Dodgers Team Leaders
I’m working hard on completing the 2004 Fleer Tradition set. I needed a few of these Team Leaders cards that start off the checklist. I got the Dodgers, Giants, and Cardinals.

#202: Nick Swisher
This good-lookin' 2008 Topps Heritage card highlighted the nice stack of Swish cards I got.

And finally, a whole slew of Roy Halladay cards. I picked up a lot of Chrome from his earlier years.

#186: Roy Halladay

#27: Roy Halladay

And to top it all off, a sexy looking “Icons” jersey card.
IC-RH: Roy Halladay

Wih this productive bundle from Sportslots, I was able to knock out a few cards on my want list while adding to my PC of Halladay. Now all I need is a 70 degree, sunny day and my life will be complete.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

2006 Fleer Ultra Two Blaster Break

I busted two blasters of 2006 Fleer Ultra, which I got for relatively cheap from Blowout Cards. I like a lot of things about this set, but what I really appreciate are the inset cards in every pack. And I’m a sucker for inserts. Let’s begin.

Box #1:

Pack #1:
#156: Ivan Rodriguez
#100: Jose Guillen
#44: Mark Prior
Prior will be featured on this week’s episode of “Where Are They Now?” right after the Mark-Paul Gosselaar segment.

RBI1: Ken Griffey, Jr.
One of the many insert cards featured in 2006 Fleer Ultra. “The Kid” has seen better days, hitting only .214 in the 2009 season. He had no problem hitting against the Yankees though.

Gold Medallion #152: Zack Greinke
The “Gold Medallion” cards came one in every pack. I’m not a big fan of the opaque background. Greinke won the A.L. Cy Young Award in 2009, winning 16 games while putting up an excellent ERA and WHIP. All while pitching with the worst run support in the league.

Pack #2:
#139: Ken Griffey Jr.
#83: Adrian Beltre
#27: Jeff Francoeur
DP15: Vladimir Guerrero
Another insert. “Vlad the Impaler” has yet to sign this off-season due to concerns about his health. The Rangers seem to have an interest in him though.

Gold Medallion #34: Chris Capuano

Pack #3:
#77: Coco Crisp
#198: Scott Feldman (RC)
First rookie card of the box. Couldn’t miss the obnoxious logo. Feldman took great strides in ’09, winning 17 games and pitching almost 190 innings.

#142: Wily Mo Pena
HRK15: Mike Piazza
Keep the inserts coming! It’s been reported that Piazza is enjoying his retirement. You can find him in Central Park, throwing bat shards at pigeons.

Gold Medallion #96: Pedro Martinez

Pack #4:
#86: A.J. Burnett
#30: Marcus Giles
#149: Clint Barmes
RBI12 : Todd Helton
Gold Medallion #40: Mark Mulder

Pack #5:
#160: Chris Shelton
#104: Melvin Mora
#48: Nomar Garciaparra
MCK2: Mike Piazza
Another Piazza insert, this time of a sweet looking subset called “Midsummer Classic Kings”.

Gold Medallion #195: Jeremy Accardo (RC)
A good-lookin’ card ruined by that ugly logo.

Pack #6:
#164: Torii Hunter
#108: Rodrigo Lopez
#52: Jorge Cantu
DP1: Derek Jeter
Where in the world would the Yanks be without this man?

Gold Medallion #139: Ken Griffey Jr.

Box #2:

Pack #1:
#23: Shea Hillenbrand
#177: Randy Johnson
#121: Jason Bay
HRK7: Derrek lee
Gold Medallion #79: Raul Ibanez

Pack #2:
#53: Julio Lugo
#151: Mike Sweeney

#226: Troy Glaus
This “Lucky 13” is a short printed subset that is substituted for an insert card in some packs. Unfortunately, it’s of Troy Glaus.

URS8: Scott Kazmir Yet another insert. Ultra keeps rolling them out.

Gold Medallion #60: Conor Jackson (RC)
I’ve always liked Jackson. He has a great eye at the plate and his OBP is tremendous. He got a bad break in May of ‘09 he contracted yellow fever which kept him out of the bigs for the remainder of the year.

Pack #3:
#65: Jeff Weaver
#9: Morgan Ensberg
#170: Paul Konerko

SOK6: Chris Carpenter Holy cripes, another insert. When healthy, Carpenter can dominate every time he steps on the mound. But that’s a big when.

Gold Medallion #23: Shea Hillenbrand

Pack #4:
#95: Mike Piazza
#39: Chris Carpenter
#193: Danny Sandoval (RC)
DP9: Jeff Kent
Gold Medallion #4: Darin Erstad

Pack #5:
#114: Ramon Hernandez
#58: Shawn Green
#2: Bartolo Colon
RBI4: Mark Teixeira

Gold Medallion #177: Randy Johnson
Johnson dominates everywhere he goes. Except when he’s in pinstripes, of course. God forbid that happen.

Pack #6:
#148: Jeff Francis
#92: Jose Reyes
#36: Brady Clark

DP2: Chipper Jones
Chipper continues to be the anchor of the Braves. I hope he gets into the HOF.

Gold Medallion #158: Brandon Inge

All in all, the two blasters were worth the money. And more likely than not, I’ll be some further packs in the future. I’m a sucker for inserts.