Sunday, February 27, 2011

A Cheap Addiction

How do you know you’re addicted to baseball cards? You search for the cheapest cards on eBay and win cards for exactly 27 cents.

I got this Joba in a PWE a couple of days ago and thought to myself “why the hell did I want this again?” Oh right, because it was only 27 cents. While there are many cards on eBay that end around this price range, shipping is at least two bucks or so. The chances of you finding a seller that lists cards for a penny and has free shipping are pretty slim. However, if you’re lucky, you’ll find a seller dumb enough to believe he can turn a profit by selling these ridiculous cheap cards. Or maybe he’s doing it because he knows there’s some stupid Yankees fan out there trying to feed his addiction to cards of overweight pitchers. Either way, it works out for me.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tribute to a Genius

When young couple Mr. and Mrs. Salazar took 10th grade biology together, they were deeply fascinated with Charles Darwin and his theories of evolution and natural selection. They relished everything Darwin wrote and studied, and they thought he was one of the greatest scientists that ever lived. To celebrate his life, Mr. and Mrs. Salazar decided to give him the highest honor they could… by naming their son after him. However, not too many people could see firsthead Mr. and Mrs. Salazar’s tribute to the great Charles Darwin, for young Salazar hadn’t made much of a name for himself. However, that would all change when he worked hard to reach professional baseball in America, even having a few of his own baseball cards! Now, thousands upon thousands of collectors can see Mr. and Mrs. Salazar’s tribute to the great Charles Darwin… Mr. Charles Salazar of the Kansas City Royals.

Excuse me, Mr. Darwinson Salazar of the Kansas City Royals.

Monday, February 21, 2011

A Couple O' Chromey Trades

When Chrome rains, it pours. A couple of pretty snazzy bloggers sent me packages filled with 2007 Topps Chrome the past week, and since I’m so damn busy (I call it busy, lazy to others), I finally got the chance to share them with you lovely readers out there. Let’s take a look.

Adam from Thoughts and Sox shipped a nice 20-card stack of Chrome to my mailbox, highlighted by these fellas.
Figures a Sox fan would send me these two guys. Not really a big fan of Crawford, but I do like Adrian Gonzalez. I wish him the best of luck this seasons (when he’s not playing the Yanks of course).

A symbolic passing of the torch. Although not as dominant or glamorous as Lincecum, Cain can bring it any day of the week, and I wouldn’t be all too surprised if he won a Cy Young in the next few seasons.

Smed from the aptly named Smed’s Baseball Card Blog also sent over some Topps Chrome, lead by Chris Carpenter and some rookie I’ve never heard of.
Danny Putnam played a total of 11 games for the Oakland A’s in 2007, logging 28 at-bats for the club. In those 28 at-bats, he hit .214 with one homerun and 11 strikeouts. So, uh, why does he have a rookie card again?

Smed was also generous enough to throw in some random A-Rod and Halladays, including my first 2011 Topps cards of the year.
Nice action shot of A-Rod. I recently read that he dropped 10 pounds over the off-season and cut his body fat by 3%. Along with that, it’s an odd-numbered year. Damn, I’m excited to see A-Rod play.

A very well done insert, but there is one problem. It’s a fricking mini! I can’t stand minis, and now that they inserted them into the base product… wtf Topps?!

And another thing, isn't that umpire is out of position?

A big thanks to both of these gentlemen for knocking off some cards from the ’07 Chrome wantlist. By the way, Smed, your cards are shipping out tomorrow. Peace.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

I've Been Living Without Grady (New Want Card)

People have been asking about wantlists for a while now, and I apoligize for being lazy for not getting some out there besides my lone 2004 Fleer Tradition list. However, while going through my excel sheets, I came across a staggering sight.

My completed 2004 Topps set was actually incomplete and missing one lone card. Not a superstar like Pujols or Jeter, but in fact a manager (and to add insult to injury, a Red Sox manager). So here’s my new wantlist… card… whatever, 2004 Topps #271 Grady Little. Whoever delivers this card to me in near-mint condition will be rewarded handsomely.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Redemption Patience is a Virtue

I’ve only sent in and received one redemption card in my entire baseball card collecting career, a 2009 Finest Matt LaPorta. I’ve only pulled two redemption cards in the many boxes I’ve busted over the years, the LaPorta and an expired Jeff Baker auto from 2007 UD Masterpieces. I’m not a fan of redemptions for the obvious reasons, so I try to avoid them as best as I can.

Sometimes my best isn’t good enough, however. When I was on my 206 fix in early October, I picked up a redemption for a framed Jeff Francis autograph for around 2 dollars. Not exactly a star, but I’m a big fan of the framed relics and autographs and for a dirt cheap price, why not? Before I knew it, the six weeks it was supposed to take for the card to get into my mailbox turned into eight weeks, then ten weeks, then twelve weeks. Finally, on the nineteenth week, I received a small envelope from Tristar and inside was a little letter that read:

Oh, great. What shmuck did they send me to repla-

As of this moment, I’m holding on to the card; I want to see how Clay’s season shapes up. But, my… after looking outside and seeing the blooming sun and the shiny grass, and looking at this beautiful card… life sure is damn good.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Bumblef*ck of a Card

Remember that old adage of less is more? Well, 1996 Studio said “screw that” and made this disaster of a card. Let’s dissect everything that is absolutely wrong with Mr. McGriff’s piece of cardboard.

For starters, check out his posed photo.
“Hey ladies, I’m Fred McGriff, professional baseball player for the Atlanta Braves. There’s a reason why all my homeboys call me Crime Dog, cause I can sniff out any danger that comes my way… including very bad girls. I like short walks on long beaches, rainy Mondays, smooth jazz, and words that end with ice. If you have any interest in this hunk of a man, please call the number at the end of this video.”

All kidding aside, this is probably the best feature of the card, there’s nothing all too embarrassing about the photo. In fact, there’s nothing all too embarrassing about any of the photos, it’s the choice of photos and the design. This is where the bumblef*ckery begins.

The bat (which I assume is from the posed picture) fades up out of nowhere and proceeds to be stuck right up McGriff’s ass while he’s fielding. But the anal probing of McGriff isn’t my main concern; it’s the bat period. Uh, why is the bat fading out of nowhere? The chest of McGriff isn’t faded, so why should the bat? Wouldn’t it be consistent with the posed photo? Was the solid part of the bottom of the bat going to be in the way of McGriff’s fielding photo? And if the bottom of the bat was going to be in the way, why put the bat in there at all? It looks stupid no matter how you slice it.

And why is McGriff at that angle if he’s playing first? If he’s awaiting a pickoff throw, why isn’t his glove up?

And who the hell is this guy? An umpire? Obviously, but I mean, why is he here? Did Studio think it was necessary to have the right arm of an umpire showing with the rest of his body and face being covered by McGriff and his bat? Look how crowded it is. Why didn’t they airbrush him out? Why not randomly fade him into the background like the stupid bat?

With everything that is wrong with this card, this could have easily been fixed with a better action shot and more airbrushing. Perhaps I’m nitpicking, and there are definitely worse cards out there, but this is a pretty lousy attempt at a baseball card. Bumblef*ckery as its finest.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

2005 Topps Update Box Recap (Black Friday Box #5)

We have come to the final box of the Black Friday specials, 2005 Topps Update. I think everyone knows the deal behind the set so let’s dig right in to the meat of the box.

Here’s the design if anyone isn’t familiar with it. Did you know this is Al Leiter’s last baseball card?

Update is (in)famous for its Postseason Highlight cards, which can be incredible annoying to a collector who’s team didn’t make the World Series that year. I don’t necessarily mind the two teams that frequent this subset (White Sox, Astros), but I’m not a fan of the design, especially the big, ugly black bar plopped right on the card.

How many people remember these bad boys? A few inserts are scattered throughout the set, including the Barry Bonds Home Run History cards. I pulled about ten of them. After all the Mantle Home Run History cards I had to go through with all that 2007 Topps Chrome, seeing Bonds is quite refreshing.

To commemorate the Nationals’ inaugural season, Topps issued a ten-card insert into Update showcasing the first game the Nationals played in Washington, including the stats of the game (they, not surprisingly, lost), the starting pitcher, and the starting lineup. I’m actually a big fan of these cards; the American-esque design and the hilarious close up shots of the players has me coming back for more.

Ah, yes, the Gold parallels. Can’t go wrong with gold. The box yielded us about nine of these cards, all numbered to… yup, 2005.

I’m not sure what the odds were on All-Star relics, but I’ve seen and heard around one or two a box. I guess I got lucky, but then again, these really aren’t players to write home about (remember when Morgan Ensberg was relevant?) and the jersey colors are so boring. And speaking of which, I just checked and it’s confirmed I actually now have two of the Manny card. Fan-friggin-tastic. All the swatches are up for trade.

And some may wonder why bother with this set? It’s just another Update set after all, nothing too exciting. Well friends, here’s why you bother with this set. The last thirty cards contain these players.

Um, yeah. That’s one helluva lineup, and not to mention I left off another four or five star players I found scattered throughout the set. You never really hear 2005 Topps Update involved with a great rookie checklist, but there is definitely a case to be made for it. If you find a box of this stuff for a good price, take it. You’re almost guaranteed a complete set (I came about six cards short) and you can get a lot of great rookies.

That concludes all the baseball-related Black Friday boxes I got many months ago. However, I picked up a couple of basketball and hockey boxes, so expect a recap of those one of these days. Overall, this was a lot of fun and I got some great cards and narrowed my wantlists down considerably. But, I have no more boxes to open.


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Thorzul's Offering Part Wu

Damn that Thorzul, he’s so hot right now.

Of course I’m talking about his group breaks. After a brief sabbatical, I re-engaged myself with Thorzul’s group breaks and I received my hull of cards from his January break a few days ago. I received baseball two teams, the Yankees and Royals, and a boatload of other sports teams for the Famous Fabrics box he broke, but nothing came out of that for me. Besides the Famous Fabrics box, he busted some nice products including 2005 Topps Pristine and 2007 Topps Chrome, a very hot ticket around For Card’s Sake. Let’s see what the legend brought us.

Fortunately for me, Thorzul pulled a lot of cards I needed for the TC set, including some nice Yanks.

This really, really, really, really, really odd Mickey Mantle insert.

And this guy.

And this very nice Jeter refractor.

If people are not familiar with the Topps Pristine product, it’s kinda weird. Multiple wrappers, random hits scattered everywhere, it’s a pretty big mess. The cards, once you get to them, are fairly nice and I scored some good stuff.

A couple of base cards of General D-Bag and Neidermeyer.

An uncirculated refractor of Aubrey Huff. These things are a pain in the ass to scan. And this looks weird because I scanned it with the top open and the room pitch dark. Yeah, not sure why, just felt like it.

And a pretty nice hit of Yankee God Mariano Rivera.
That lone thread hanging out of nowhere is pretty unique… albeit slightly annoying.

If this post sounded uninspired, well you’re pretty much right. Believe it or not, I have been hampered with school work and it’s taking a toll on my free time. I should be clear for the weekend so expect the last baseball box from the Black Friday specials (yes, we’re still doing this after four months since purchase) and a couple of other pretty cool maildays. Stay tuned!

Monday, February 7, 2011

I Will Not Break Under the Pressure of 2011 Topps [Eh... Maybe a Little]

Well, what are you waiting for? Something about 2011 Topps? Sorry bud, you’ll find this blog 100% 2011 Topps free. And to be honest with you, I don’t think I’ve ever opened a hobby box of any base set from Topps. I have gotten three complete set boxes, (2004, 2005, 2006, but somehow, only ’06 is completed. ’05 is missing a ton of cards and ’04 is mysteriously missing just one), three retail boxes (two ’07 and one ’08), and blasters and loose packs of 2009 and 2010. I just cannot afford to purchase a big expensive hobby box. But Nick, what about all the packs and blasters you can buy at Wal-Mart and Target? Well screw those places, the nearest Target is about twenty minutes from my house and I think Wal-Mart is the worst thing to ever happen to America. And I was never a fan of retail stuff.

But I’m torn all the same. I’ve been hearing rave reviews from EVERYONE about 2011 Topps and how awesome the photography is, how the quality control is so much better, how the Diamond shiny parallels are incredible. You guys have me really wanting to pick up a few packs. What should I do? Save up for a hobby box and trade for the rest of the cards? Wait till the card show in two weeks to see what 2011 Topps is being offered there? Drag my butt to Wal-Mart or Target and reluctantly pluck down cash for a blaster or two? Pull a Thorzul and try to trade for the set? There are so many endless possibilities.

What should I do guys? Help me Obi Won, you are my only hope.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Goodies from Cards on Cards

The infamous madding from Cards on Cards sent a little somethin’-somethin’ in my mailbox, and after fishing through the Maxim magazines, I got to the manila package containing a large stack of card goodness. Let’s dig in.

A good chunk of the 2009 Topps 206 Yankee team set.
(Couldn't get a picture up due to my scanner being a douche, but let me assure you, the cards are exactly the same as they were a year ago.)
I can see why people preferred 2009 Topps 206 to 2010. The cards look much better, and I do enjoy the tobacco stains on the back (didn’t see them in 2010’s set). I wonder how much boxes are going for.

A good chunk of the 2010 Topps Update Yankee team set.
Not as big of a fan. Those All-Star duo cards have got to be the biggest wastes of wax I’ve ever seen.

2007 Topps Chrome #322: Kei Igawa (RC)
Ah, a 2007 Topps Chrome card that was needed. Unfortunately, it’s of Kei Igawa, arguably the worst Yankee signing in the past ten years (although it’s hard to top Pavano’s contract).

2008 Upper Deck First Edition Starquest SQ-5: Vladimir Guerrero
This was one of the cards that I didn’t pull in my epic Starquest Quest a month or so ago. I believe this takes us down to only two Starquest cards missing from the First Edition set.

2005 Topps A-Rod Spokesman #3: Alex Rodriguez
I also need just two more cards to complete this little subset commemorating A-Rod’s early years in the league. The picture on the card is from 1996.

1999 Bowman #138: Roy Halladay
It’s always fun to get older cards of players still playing and seeing how much they’ve changed. Roy, aside from gaining some weight, basically looks the same.

2007 Upper Deck #849: Phil Hughes (RC)
I was lacking in Phil Hughes rookies, so this is a nice addition. I definitely liked Upper Deck’s rookie cards over Topps’s, but… sigh.

1994 Stadium Club Finest #10: Frank Thomas
Not sure if this was put in by accident or not, either way, I love this card. Nice action shot of the Big Hurt and a shiny, explosive background makes for a happy Nick. This is from a Stadium Club subset called Finest, which I assume is a slight tribute to Topps’s Finest brand, which started a year before this card was produced. These are some pretty slick cards and I should look into getting more.

2008 Bowman Chrome Draft BDP18: Brett Gardner
Not only was I lacking in Brett Gardner rookie cards, I was lacking his cards in general. Big props to Kerry for throwing this in there; this is a very nice card of a future All-Star.

Another thanks to my homeboy madding for hooking me up with the sweet pile of cards. Peace suckas.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

See Ya Andy!

This very well could be the last base card of Andy Pettitte ever produced. Today, Andy announced his retirement from major league baseball after a stellar career pitching for the New York Yankees and the Houston Astros. An official press conference announcing the decision is scheduled for Friday at 10:30 A.M.

Here’s a breakdown on Pettitte’s numbers in case you didn’t know: a record of 240-138 (.635), 3.88 ERA, 2.055.1 inning pitched, 479, one of 26 pitchers all-time to complete his career 100-or-more games over .500 and of the 19 Hall of Fame-eligible pitches who have reached that plateau, only one is not enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Do I believe he belongs in the Hall? Eh, on a good day I suppose. But there’s a lot of points for and against him, and that’s a different topic for a different day. But I’ll always be grateful for everything he has done for the Yankees organization and for always bringing his A-game on the biggest stages. Andy, I hope you enjoy your retirement.

This card was courteous of madding, who sent this and a bunch of other cards a few days ago. He’ll get his own trade post tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

We're Off to See the Vintage at Emerald City

More often than not, people choose to spend their cash on prospects than vintage. This is, quite frankly, ridiculous. What if I told you that you could get an Al Kaline rookie graded a PSA 4 for less than a hobby box of 2010 Bowman Sterling? Don’t believe me? Check the links. It’s scary how people value getting the big 1/1 auto patch of the hottest rookie in baseball over Hall of Famers and the pastime’s greatest players. This is why I will always go for vintage over newer cards. They have more history, are usually better looking, and their value only goes up as time moves forward.

Now vintage isn’t exactly easy to require, well, vintage in decent condition that is. It’s scarce enough to find, but trying to find one with good centering and sharp corners is damn near impossible. Despite these limitations, which have driven me crazy (I’m so anal about card conditions), I still love vintage to death and hope to start collecting a set soon (more on that at a future date).

So, what was I getting at? Right, vintage. Getting vintage is awesome, but getting vintage in a trade is friggin’ awesomer. Larry from Emerald City Diamond Gems, the notorious Mariners blog, was looking for one lone card… a 2007 Fleer Travis Chick. Never heard of him? Me neither, but I had enough of his cards because I busted nearly four boxes of 2007 Fleer before my blogging days (perhaps not the best idea in the world). I sent him the Chick, a die-cut Chick, and some other Mariners in exchange for a couple of Yanks. Or so I thought.

When Larry’s package came in a flat rate box, I knew this would be an epic package. And sure enough, Larry supplied some sweet cards, including a ton of Yankees, A-Rods, and shiny inserts! But what really made this trade awesome was the vintage he threw in. Let’s take a look.

My favorite looking rookie cards (or rookie subsets, however you see it) are from vintage; the 1959 Topps Sporting News Rookie Stars and the 1960 Topps Sport Magazine Rookie Stars. I really enjoy the color on vintage, and these rookie cards are no exception.

But I have one complaint. Why is Deron Johnson here twice? The ’59 Sporting News is his official rookie card, so why is he featured in a rookie subset in ’60 Sport Magazine? Topps was screwing up even 50 years ago.

I’m really digging this… classic rookie card. You all know I’m a sucker for the multi-player rookie card, and this is as good as it gets. The two players didn’t really make an impact with the team, but Jake Gibbs made an impact in college football. He was an All-American quarterback at Ole Miss and in his senior year he led the team to an undefeated record. He was inducted in the College Football Hall of Fame in 1995.

A couple of horizontal rooks, including a very 80’s-looking Dave Rajsich.

Once again, a big thanks to Larry for the awesome trade, and I definitely owe him. For Card’s Sake, over and out.