Wednesday, June 30, 2010

For Card's Sake's All-Star Ballot

American League

C: Joe Mauer (MIN)
1B: Miguel Cabrera (DET)
2B: Robinson Cano (NYY)
3B: Adrian Beltre (BOS)
SS: Elvis Andrus (TEX)
OF: Vernon Wells (TOR)
OF: Josh Hamilton (TEX)
OF: Brett Gardner (NYY)
DH: Vladimir Guerrero (TEX)

National League

C: Miguel Olivo (COL)
1B: Joey Votto (CIN)
2B: Brandon Phillips (CIN)
3B: Scott Rolen (CIN)
SS: Hanley Ramirez (FLA)
OF: Ryan Braun (MIL)
OF: Andrew McCutchen (PIT)
OF: Colby Rasmus (STL)

Dissect and discuss.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Thorzul's Offering Part Tres

I participated in yet another one of Thorzul’s group breaks. I’m addicted. He was busting a few boxes of 2006 Upper Deck Epic and I grabbed the Royals for cheap. I didn’t yield any hits, but I got these three base cards all numbered to 450.
The scans don’t do these cards justice; they are beautiful in person. The player quality in the set though is a bit disappointing. Runelvys Hernandez? Seriously? That’s the way the cookie crumbles sometimes.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Mailday, Anyone?

We haven’t seen a mailday in a while on For Card’s Sake. I haven’t been buying much Halladay online and my trades have been waning. But don’t fret beautiful people, because I can knock out your mailday needs with a double mailday rolled into one post (For Card’s Sake have seen its fair share of “two for the price of one” entries though).

The first package in the mail today came from a sale I made through Beckett. Yes, I know, Beckett. Boo me, throw tomatoes at me, do whatever you please. Despite how much you hate the company, most of the people on the message boards are pretty friendly and are excellent traders. I picked up a small but nice stack of Kansas City Royals cards for a sweet deal thanks to a wonderful seller. Here are th- whoa, what? Kansas City Royals? I thought you were a Yankees fan, you lying son of a gun! Well yes, I am a dear Yankees fan at heart, but that doesn’t mean I can’t like another team… even if they are the Royals. I love their colors, their stadium, and I’m a big fan of the young talent on their squad (Billy Butler and Joakim Soria are studs). Plus, how can you hate a team that Bo Jackson played for? Now that that’s cleared up, it’s time to check out the cards.

2008 Bowman Chrome X-Fractors #141: Zack Greinke (Numbered to 250)
Nice X-Fractor of Greinke, who’s record should be no indication of his talent.

2007 Ultra Rookie Autographs #232a: Joakim Soria (RC) (Auto) (Numbered to 299) Nice rookie card auto by the best closer not named Rivera or Nathan.

2009 Sweet Spot Swatches BB: Billy Butler My boy Butler. He’s second in doubles and sixth in hits in the American League all while posting a .324 batting average. The most impressive number, however, is the 36 strike outs in 281 at bats. He’s a beast and look for more striking numbers in the future.

2005 Donruss Champions Impressions Material #161: Frank White Bat T4
Royal favorite Frank White + eye-popping design + beautiful color scheme = friggin' sweet card. I also appreciate how “this enclosed piece of material was cut from an Authentic Item personally worn/used by Frank White in an official Major League Baseball game” instead of “having been used in an official MLB game”. Thanks Donruss! You guys still do licensed baseball cards right?

The second package came from eBay, where I scored this beauty.

2007 Topps Chrome Red Refractors #70: Javier Vazquez (Numbered to 99) Ever since I pulled the Matt Kemp refractor, I’ve fallen in love with this parallel set. These are some of the best lookin’ cards I’ve ever seen in person. It’s gonna be a mission to collect the entire set, and a daunting one at that. Each card is numbered to 99 and can be pulled only as a box loader. Yikes. But hey, I got two down, and if you have any lying around you know where to send them.

There’s your mailday and “two for the price of one” post fix. Savor.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

2001 SP Top Prospects Box Break

Ah, prospects. Can’t live with them, can’t live without them. Prospecting athletes and draft picks is one of the biggest guessing games in sports history. You never know if your 6th round pick is going to be your starting quarterback or if your number one draft pick will never make it out of Single-A. Teams pour countless dollars into scouting and their minor league system, and some organizations shine bright while others fail miserably. So when baseball card companies decide to make cards with prospects on them, it’s fun to keep them and see how their careers developed. And wouldn’t you know it… I have a box of 2001 SP Top Prospects waiting to be busted! Every player that found moderate success at the major league level will receive a star next to their name and base card (so don’t give me attitude when there’s no star next to an insert, alright bub?). Are we ready? Huh, are we? Okay then. Let’s break.

Pack 1:
#1: Nathan Haynes The first card in the set is also the first one pulled. Never heard of Haynes? That’s okay, neither have I. The cards have a shine to them, along with a blue tint. Interesting combination, I do say.

#45: Wilfredo Rodriguez
#19: Ryan Christianson
SP Top Prospects Big Town Dreams BD 15: Nick Johnson Surprisingly, this small set had inserts to boot, which are always a-okay in my book. Johnson, as we all know, bounced around a bit before settling back into New York. More on him later.

SP Top Prospects Chirography RS: Ramon Santiago (Auto) I’m guaranteed two autographs and a bat card per box, and the first pack introduces me to this lovely Ramon Santiago auto. The checklist stinks outside of a few names (Josh Hamilton, Adrian Gonzalez), but some of the players aren’t completely unknown. Santiago is still kicking it around with the Tigers and is most (in)famous for winning the Triple Crown loser in 2003. He has a nice signature, though.

Pack 2:
#59: Jack Cust*
#33: Jeff Austin
#7: Miguel Olivo*
SP Top Prospects Destination the Show S9: Ryan Anderson A bland insert. Boy, they sure like to keep their color scheme consistent, don’t they?

SP Top Prospects Chirography JT: Joe Torres (Auto) The second pack yields the second autograph of a no-name player. Ugh, the fun is ruined.

Pack 3:
#73: Brian Cole
#47: Pat Manning
#41: Aaron Rowand* I’ve always liked Rowand. He always gives his team 110% and has an excellent glove. And he’s James Shields’ first cousin, interestingly enough.

#15: Toby Hall*
#66: Michael Byas

Pack 4:
#30: Phillip Dumatrait
#4: Mario Encarnacion Second box in a row I’ve busted Mario. Maybe I should become his super collector. In fact, I am. Send me your Marios!

#79: Jimmy Rollins* This guy looks exactly the same.

#52: Ben Johnson
#26: Carlos Pena* Pena had the same raw power in the minors as he does now. After seeing him plenty of times as a member of the Rays, it’s hard to remember that he played for four different teams before joining Tampa Bay. He was even in the Yankees minor league system for a bit. Why they didn’t keep him, I have no clue. It was a big mistake though. (A side note: this card is a lot shinier than the other ones for some odd reason. There are no refractors in this set).

Pack 5:
#88: Corey Patterson (Checklist)
#62: Justin Wayne
#70: Adrian Gonzalez* The cover boy of 2001 SP Top Prospects. Another thing about minor league sets; it’s always interesting to see what team drafted a player that you had no idea they ever played for. Gonzalez is the perfect case. He was drafted number one overall by the Marlins in 2000. However, a wrist injury worried the Marlins and they subsequently traded him to the Rangers. I laugh at the Marlins. Ha.

#44: Aaron McNeal
#18: Ryan Anderson

Pack 6:
#83: Adam Dunn* I would like to point out that on the back of the card it says he hit only 31 homeruns in 3 years of minor league ball, a pretty low number for a raw-power guy like Dunn.

#48: George Lombard
#22: Jayson Werth* Yeah, I didn’t know he was a catcher either. Seeing what position players used to player is just one more reason to bust minor league boxes. Also, see the line running down the card? See how it's considerably shinier on one side of it? It has the same shine as the Carlos Pena card. What's the deal? What kind of crap is this? This pisses me off Upper Deck. No wonder you're out of business. What, too soon?

#76: Vince Faison
SP Top Prospects Game Used Bat Piece BAES: Alex EscobarOh, yay. Seriously, I’m not sure what to say to this. I guess the bat piece is nice, but it’s f*cking Alex Escobar.

Pack 7:
#57: Ben Christensen
#31: Chris George
#5: Justin Miller*
#50: Nick Neugebauer
#24: Jason Grabowski

Pack 8:
#90: Sean Burroughs (Checklist)
#64: Kurt Ainsworth
#89: Josh Hamilton Just the checklist, folks, just the checklist.

#63: Brad Wilkerson*
#37: Michael Cuddyer* Cuddyer is a solid player. He has pop, gets on base, and a cannon of an arm. He always seems to kill the Yanks, too (like every other major league player nowadays).

Pack 9:
#2: Francisco Rodriguez* This guy’s a douche. Just saying.

#75: Wascar Serrano
#49: Marcus Giles*
#3: Joe Torres
#65: Tony Torcato

Pack 10*:
#36: Brandon Inge
#10: Cesar Izturis
#87: Jason Jennings
#69: Abraham Nunez
#43: Nick Johnson I had hopes for this guy to do good things in the Yankees lineup this year. But in true Nick Johnson fashion, he lands on the DL and is now rotting on the bench for 5.5 million dollars.

Pack 11:
#61: Chin-Feng Chen
#35: Chris Wakeland
#17: C.C. Sabathia* Cripes, C.C. was skinny at one time?

#86: Choo Freeman
#60: Hong-Chih Kuo* He’s still kicking it with the Dodgers.

Pack 12 (Doubles Pack):
#30: Phillip Dumatrait
#4: Mario Encarnacion
#79: Jimmy Rollins
#25: Jason Romano
#78: Brad Baisley

Pack 13:
#53: Chad Hutchinson
#27: Rick Asadoorian
#52: Ben Johnson
#26: Carlos Pena
#71: Alex Escobar

Pack 14:
#38: Michael Restovich
#12: Josh Hamilton* Ah, here it is! It’s not a “true” rookie card though. Curses!

#11: Kenny Kelly
#77: Dennis Tankersley
SP Top Prospects Great Futures GF1: Josh Beckett Does SP know they changed their background? Josh Beckett makes my eyes cringe and its hard to appreciate this insert. However, I got a Ben Sheets GF insert so it’s okay.

Pack 15:
#23: Tripper Johnson
#85: Jackson Melian
#39: Ruben Salazar First card in the set to show any sort of originality.

#13: Jesus Colome*
#74: Sean Burroughs*

Pack 16:
#58: John Patterson*
#32: Dee Brown*
#6: Jason Hart
#16: Danys Baez*
#67: Julio Ramirez

Pack 17:
#20: Richard Stahl
#84: Drew Henson Uh. No comment. Besides, I think I already bitched about Drew Henson.

#8: Felipe Lopez*
#68: Josh Beckett*
#42: Wily Mo Pena*

Pack 18:
#36: Brandon Inge
#10: Cesar Izturis
#44: Aaron McNeal
#18: Ryan Anderson
#69: Abraham Nunez

Pack 19:
#21: Matt Riley
#80: Eric Valent
#40: Joe Crede*
#14: Aubrey Huff* Aubrey brought his swing over to the NL this year for the Giants. He’s currently hitting .307 with 12 homers.

SP Top Prospects Big Town Dreams BD12: Aaron Rowand

Pack 20:
#54: Luis Saturria
#28: Steve Lomasney
#81: J.J. Davis
#55: Corey Patterson*
#29: Sun-Woo Kim

Pack 21:
#9: Vernon Wells* Apparently Vernon Wells read what I wrote about him in my 2007 Topps Chrome box break and was deeply offended. He worked himself harder than ever this off-season and has revived his career. Kudos, Vern.

#72: Pat Strange
#46: Keith Ginter*
#34: Ramon Santiago*
SP Top Prospects Great Futures GF4: Ben Sheets

Pack 22:
#53: Chad Hutchinson
#27: Rick Asadoorian
#71: Alex Escobar
#45: Wilfredo Rodriguez
#19: Ryan Christianson

Pack 23:
#1: Nathan Haynes
#88: Corey Patterson
#62: Justin Wayne
#70: Adrian Gonzalez
SP Top Prospects Big Town Dreams BD6: Drew Henson

Pack 24:
#82: Bobby Bradley
#56: Hee Seop Choi*
#51: Ben Sheets* Ben’s not having a good year for the Oakland Athletics. He has a 2-7 record with an ERA just under 5. Yikes.

#25: Jason Romano
#78: Brad Baisley

Well, there it is. The final tally for players that found moderate success in the majors compared to the total number of players in the checklist (excluding checklist cards) is 38 out of 87, or a final rate of 43%. Not too shabby, even for Upper Deck’s standards. That was the box break of 2001 SP Top Prospects and I hope you liked it, and if you didn’t, screw ya!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Schools Out...

... for summer! Stay tuned for a box break!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

What a Deal! Two Group Break Posts for the Price of One!

Welcome to QVC, your home shopping expert! Aren’t you just tired of the boring posts about group break contents other collectors received? Especially if your favorite blogger was in two, count em, two group breaks recently. Now you’re stuck reading dreary and lackluster posts about how they cry tears of joy when they receive a relic and how they complain about all the doubles. But, wait! Fear not friends! We have the perfect solution for you! Take a look at our brand, spanking new Two Group Break Posts for the Price of One deal! It contains the contents of Nick two group breaks rolled into one post! What a find! You’ll never see this again!

In his first group break, Nick participated in the group break sponsored by Chris over at Nachos Grande. He picked up the Yankees for a fair price and had a chance to pick up a ton of cards of his favorite team from various sets within the past 15 years! Sure enough, the break produced Nick with an excellent number of cards. First up, some base cards.

Check out his great stash of inserts!

But hey, that’s not all! He also picked up this excellent looking relic card for the same exact price! Wow!

2003 Upper Deck Honor Roll Dean’s List Jersey DL-JG: Jason Giambi

Did he need an extra post for the stripe? No folks, it’s all included! What a bargain! All these beautiful cards lumped into one post! Stellar! Now, you may think that you will have to wait another two-three days to find out what Nick received in his other group break… but you’re wrong! Dead wrong! Just like you were when you left me Kelly! Yeah, remember that? How’re the kids now Kelly?! Huh?! ARE YOU A BETTER PERSON NOW KELLY?!


With the Two Group Break Posts for the Price of One deal, you get to see what Nick got in his second group without the wait and extra post! Yazoo! Nick participated in the Sewingmachineguy's highly anticipated group break. Because the Yanks were already taken, Nick picked the Royals for a great price (he has a soft spot for the club in KC). He received a nice bunch of 2008 Upper Deck base cards of Royals that he barely knows and only one Alex Gordon and a slew of Yankee Stadium Legacy inserts from the 2008 SP Legendary Cuts boxes that were busted. But as if fate had its eye on him, he got this beauty.

2008 SP Legendary Cuts Legendary Memorabilia 75 LM-BJ: Bo Jackson (Numbered to 75)

Wow! Now that’s a sexy card! Men, if you want the ladies all over you, you better get out and get yourself a Bo Jackson relic!

You thought you had to wait before you could see the contents of Nick’s two group breaks, but with the amazing Two Group Break Posts for the Price of One deal, you’re satisfaction is completely filled! How much do you expect to pay for this incredible offer? $12.99? $29.99? How about three easy payments of $34.56! What a steal! Don’t go anywhere folks, because we have a pair of Mark Lemke’s underwear up for sale! Stay tuned!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

"Tales from the Dugout" #1: Billy Martin

Here is the first post in my “Tales from the Dugout” series, a collection of stories that were taken from the 1997 book Tales from the Dugout: The Greatest True Baseball Stories Ever Told. Today’s post features a humorous tale about the infamous Billy Martin. Enjoy! Although he had his moments, especially in the 1953 World Series when he won the MVP Award for batting .500, Billy Martin was not a great player. In a way, his playing career as a heady, super-aggressive second basemen was merely a training period for his real vocation as a major league manager.

Whenever Martin took over, a team immediately played better, smarter, and more aggressive baseball. A master of the rule book, a great teacher, and a keen motivator, Martin was, above all, the most intense of competitors, who would do anything to win a ball game. Billy was always looking for an edge, and he often found one… but not always.

As the manager of the New York Yankees, Martin made a strange move during a 3-2 loss to the Detroit Tigers on September 18, 1985, that Yankees fans are still trying to figure out.

With the score tied and two runners on base, the Yankees’ left-handed-batting third basemen, Mike Pagliarulo, went up to bat against the Tigers’ Mickey Mahler, a left-handed pitcher. Martin ordered Pagliarulo to bat right-handed. Now, it’s true that ‘the book’ dictates that ideally you pit a right-handed batter against a left-handed pitcher, but Pagliarulo had never before batted right-handed in his major league career. ‘Pags’ did as he was ordered, and the rest of the Yankees watched in curious and confident anticipation.

Yankees designated hitter Don Bayler recalls, “I was sure it was a trick play. Billy’s famous for trick plays.

“After strike one, I was thinking, ‘Okay, now comes the trick.’ Nothing happened.

“After strike two, I figured, ‘Okay, here it comes.’ Nothing.

“Then it was strike three, and I found out what the trick was: the trick was on us.”