Thursday, April 28, 2011

Pop Goes the Refractor

I love cards that pop. Who doesn’t? It’s just a matter of nailing down the right definition of the term. A card that pops is something that calls for your undivided attention, something that makes your eyes explode, something epically awesome. Over the years, we can sight many specific brands that have introduced the hobby to cards that pop, and Bowman Chrome definitely leads the charge. While colored refractors and the newest autos of the hottest prospects are pretty cool to look at, I’m going back to old school Chrome, when there were inserts.

Bowman Chrome had inserts? Cha, more than you would think. 2010 Bowman brought back the inserts I love so much, but for a while there Topps had enough with adding any interesting subsets to their Bowman line and it was basically straight up base, chrome, and all their refractor counterparts. But back in the late 90s/early 2000s, Bowman had some nicely done inserts. For example:

Well themed and crafted. But, eh, not too much pizzazz. But, as I quote Luke 3:14:

“And the Lord said: ‘Let there be refractors!’”


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A Hot Package from Thoughts and Sox

Who would have thought the man I’ve traded with the most would be a Sox fan? Adam from Thoughts and Sox and I just completed our third trade, and this one had a nice stack of goodies spanning every corner of my collecting interest. Shall we start with the some of the hottest players in baseball?

2007 Bowman Chrome #4: Jered Weaver
Weaver had another impressive start last night, pitching a complete game shutout with ten strikeouts and just one walk. He’s now 6-0 on the season with a .99 ERA, a 0.788 WHIP, and 49 strikeouts. Can I get a holy crap?

2008 SPx #47: Jered Weaver
As expected, Weaver’s cards are becoming more expensive by the day. Any hopes of getting some nice autos are getting slimmer and slimmer. Sigh. But at least I have this shiny die-cut.

2008 Upper Deck Goudey #252: Alex Rodriguez SP
Love him or hate him (okay, mostly everybody hates him), A-Rod is having a monster season and hit his 22nd grand slam of his career the other night, putting him one behind Lou Gehrig for the all time record. Say, wasn’t there a blogger that predicted he would have a great season?

2007 Topps 52 #78: Josh Johnson (RC)
Johnson, one of my new favorite fetishes, has now gone into the 6th inning with a no-hitter for the second time this year. While in contrast, Phil Hughes hasn’t made it into the 6th inning this season at all.

The start of this trade was thanks to the A-Rod SP and these two SPs from the 2008 Goudey set.
Two amazing athletes spanning multiple sports. Coincidence they’re two SPs?

And Adam for good measure sent some Heritage Royals

2009 Topps Heritage #308: Zack Greinke
Hmmm, playing pickup basketball probably wasn’t the best idea in the world.

2008 Topps Heritage #627: Team Checklist
That, that’s a group of winners.

Once again, a big thanks to Adam from Thoughts and Sox for the hottest trade package I’ve received yet!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Something Wicked This Way Comes (Epic Trade Post Part Four)

Looks like we maaaaddeee ittttttt…

Oh, sorry. Here is the conclusion of the Epic Trade Post from the awesome Wicked Ortega, author of the very well known My Past Time… I Love It! After some adventurous posts (check out Part Three here, which will give you links to parts one and two), we have Part Four, containing the always-exciting part about any trade… the hits.

2005 SP Legendary Cuts Legendary Lineage SL: Sparky Lyle
Game used pants? Well, you take what UD gives you (must take a lot of crap huh?). Sparky Lyle is one of the lesser known Yankee greats, but his impact with the team in the late 70s could never be matched.

2005 Just Stars Phil Hughes
Now that... that’s nice. To say the least, this card was completely unexpected and absolutely awesome! I believe Wicked got this in person or through the mail, considering there’s no certification on the card and Big W is notorious for receiving autographs in person. It’s definitely cooler this way.

And of course, Wicked had to throw in something oddball.

2003 Fleer 3-D #?: Derek Jeter
Beckett’s f*ckery with their book is leaving me absolutely clueless about this card, but who cares? It’s a punchout Fleer card of the Captain, and that’s good enough for me. Here’s the final look after everything’s put together.

Not exactly the Coliseum, but it’s still a cool little thing to look at. Until it’s lost under the coffee table and never seen again.

Once again, a huge, gigantic thanks to Wicked for the fantastic trade package. I honestly cannot wait to trade with you again to see what else you have in store. To quote the great one himself… For Card’s Sake, out!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday Fellow Bloggers

Hello everybody. Sorry for the week of non-posting; with work and my Senior Trip, I’ve been pretty busy. The trip was a blast and I had a ton of fun… but it was very exhausting. I’m definitely still feeling lag from walking around all day. The first homestand of the season wrapped up Thursday night and everything went pretty smoothly. My job isn’t all that laborious (except cleaning up at the end) and I’m essentially getting paid to watch baseball. Aw yeah!

I’ll ease back into things with a cool pickup to aid my 2007 Topps Chrome Red Refractor set I’m working on.

2007 Topps Chrome Red Refractor #1: Nick Swisher (Numbered to 99)
This is a very nice card, even if I wasn’t collecting the set. One of my favorite players, numbered to 99, beautiful card… can I get another aw yeah? Aw yeah!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Does Anyone Want These?

I know 2007 Bowman Heritage is pretty popular among collectors in the blogosphere, so I’m offering up a lot of the cards for trade. I stopped collecting this set a while ago… it just didn’t really appeal to me. I pulled any Yankees or players I liked out and this is all I have left. There’s 18 base cards (no SPs I believe), 6 prospect cards, and 7 rainbow foil cards. They’re all in pretty good condition; some centering issues on a few. Looking to get rid of this as a whole lot. If I can’t, I’ll check into wantlists and pull individual cards for people.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Times They Are A-Changin' (Thanks to Build-A-Sign!)

If you hadn’t noticed, there have been a few changes made around the site, most specifically the new banner. That comes courtesy of the website Build-A-Sign, who sent me some free “swag products” to help promote the blog. They sent me some pretty cool stickers featuring the same design as the banner. These will be going out to various bloggers through trades and such.

This company is fantastic, simply put. They make event banners, bumper stickers, event signs, car window decals, and the whole nine yards… anything you want. It’s all customizable so you can put your own logo or words on it. The site and the design tool for making your custom signs is really easy to follow and use. The staff for Build-A-Sign is top notch as well; they helped me every step of the way and answered all my questions, and we all know how big of a pain in the ass I can be. If you like the banner or the products, please don’t hesitate to check out Build-A-Sign’s site. For Card’s Sake formally approves of this company, and that’s sayin’ a whole damn lot!

Some other news as well. The home opener for the Trenton Thunder is tonight and a lengthy homestand follows that. I’m absolutely pumped for the season to start… it should be fun! However, as much as I try to post ahead of time, there will probably be some stretches of three to four days where I won’t post. Hopefully that doesn’t bother anyone (if anyone even reads this blog). To add insult to injury, I’ll be on my senior trip to Walt Disney World from Saturday to Tuesday, so if someone plans on sending me an e-mail about something, I won’t be able to get back to them until Wednesday.

Have a great Thursday everybody!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Young Gun Lovin'

As collectors, we all have certain players we like but can’t collect due to a number of reasons. They’re cards are too pricey, want to focus on your other player collections, don’t have time to start another PC, that player already has a large following, yadda, yadda, yadda. For instance, I would love to have some more Justin Verlander, Joe Mauer, and Billy Butler cards, but they have huge followings and their prices are out of my reach, especially Mauer. Why spend money on players I don’t collect when I barely have any money to spend on nice cards for players I do collect?

But, that’s beside the point. My natural instinct of getting everything I want gets in the way sometimes and if I see a good deal on a player I like, dammit I’m gonna take it. Per-se:

2010 Bowman Platinum was loaded with sick cards from veterans to rookies alike. This is a pretty sweet card that I’m pretty happy with, both with the look and the price.

Oh right, maybe I should explain why I like Josh Johnson. This should be enough. He is explosive, poised, and rapidly becoming one of the best pitchers in baseball. Best part is? He’s actually content with playing for the Florida Marlins until 2014. If that’s not a dedicated player, I don’t know what is.

Monday, April 11, 2011

It's Mailtime!

Ah, maildays. Don’t we all love ‘em?

2008 Topps Chrome Blue Refractor #149: Ronnie Belliard
This lone blue refractor comes courtesy of Nachos Grande from his infamous Trade Stack. I love Chrome, and I love blue refractors, so it couldn’t hurt to snag this up at the expense of one lone insert card of a set I could care less about. Maybe it will turn into something worth while.

2005 Bowman Chrome A-Rod Throwback Set
If you were away from eBay last weekend, you might not know about the awesome $15 gift card for $7 deal they were running. I took advantage and used it to get this snazzy Chrome insert set I’ve been eyeing up for a while. This four-card set features A-Rod’s Bowman cards from 1994 to 1997, all in shiny form! Can’t go wrong with that.

I’m hoping to make one more purchase with the remainder of my gift card, in addition to loose change I hope will hit the ol’ Paypal account in a few days. I’ve had my goals set on acquire a very nice card at a good price for the PC, so hopefully it can get done at the end of the week!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Something Wicked This Way Comes (Epic Trade Post Part Three)

We once again return to the Epic Trade Post sponsored by the Notorious B.L.O.G.G.E.R., Wicked Ortega of My Past Time... I Love It! fame. And what a beautiful day to showcase the next stack of cards he sent! Hopefully this weather picks up for the rest of the month so I can finally pack up my North Face.

Wicked, being the generous trader he is, sent some parallels and serial numbered cards to the mailbox in addition to the other cool cards he sent. Let’s dive in!

First up, a charcoal parallel to the popular 2008 Upper Deck Heroes featuring Donnie Baseball and Wade Boggs.
Unlike most parallels in this product, the charcoals are not numbered. I believe these were inserted into retail, but I’m not 100% positive.

A pair of Yankees icons (literally), both numbered to 999.

And finally, a 2008 Bowman Gold parallel of Phil Hughes
Hughes is becoming the number one enemy in Yankees Universe… a 16.50 ERA in two starts. Girardi says he will not pull Hughes from the rotation, even though his fastball is as straight as the cast of Jersey Shore and his arm is as dead as Dakota Fanning’s career (damn, squeezed two pop culture references into one sentence, check the record books). And looking at the depth the Yanks have (Freddy Garcia, Kevin Millwood) and the way Colon has been pitching out of the pen, sending Hughes down to the minors to work out his stuff doesn’t seem like a bad idea.

Well, the only thing left to show are the awesome hits. Excited? I know you are. Keep reading. (Oh, and if you’ve missed the first two parts of the trade, click here and here.)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Domo Arigato, Mr. Seller

Remember that neat 1998 Donruss Preferred tin I got a while ago? Thanks to my nifty eBay gift card, I picked up the green variation and it just arrived in my mailbox.
Unlike the silver one, this one isn’t numbered. Not sure if this is just an unnumbered parallel or the regular variation.

However, the tin wasn’t the coolest part of the package. Check out what the seller protected it with.

Yup, a page from a Japanese newspaper. The seller is from California, so it’s possible that there could be a Japanese newspaper out there. It’s still a rarity and pretty cool to see.

Domo arigato, Mr. Seller. Mata au hi made.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A-Rod Smash

Poor Chad Curtis… he wasn’t even trying and he gets smacked in the face.

Speaking of smacks in the face, who remembers Curtis’s on-air snub of Jim Gray following his Game 3 walk-off homerun in the ’99 World Series? I wasn’t old enough to remember (or if I even watched), but I have seen the video. And I’m totally with Curtis.

Look, I understand the media. They’re jobs are simple; get the news to us in any way, no matter how ridiculous it is. And I understand that since it was a hot topic, Jim Gray was going to ask Pete Rose a question about gambling on baseball. However, the aggressiveness and relentlessness Gray showed was very disrespectful and demeaning, especially on the night the All-Century Team was announced and celebrated. I’m glad Rose told him off then, and I’m glad Curtis told him off a few nights later.

By the way, Jim Gray is now working for Westwood One radio network, the Golf Channel, and the Sacramento Kings. That’s a winner’s lineup if I ever saw one.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

A Mournful Farewell

When I was getting back into the hobby, one of the first cards I ever bought was a 2008 UD A Piece of History Stadium Scenes Silver Jimmy Rollins relic numbered out of 25 for three bucks. The main reason I bought it? To hang it up in my baseball room in the basement.

Yup, a mere three or four years ago, all the relic cards I received from packs or blasters I opened would be slipped into a nice golden sleeve and then pinned up on the wall with a thumbtack, blending in quite nicely with the other posters and pictures. I didn’t think nothing of it, in fact I bought cards like the Jimmy Rollins swatch for the sole purpose of sticking it on my wall to be admired. When I realized that these relic cards were in fact valuable and could be sold or traded, I quickly tore every single card down. I damaged about three or four cards. They weren’t entirely big names (I think the most prominent guy was Manny, who deserved a hole in his cards), but I was still bummed.

The Rollins card maybe lasted a month on the wall. I took it down, slipped it into a toploader, and didn’t pay attention to it for two years. Until I discovered the magic of the Beckett forums, Blowout Cards forums, and blogging and how easily a nice card numbered to 25 could be traded or sold.

I can’t tell you how many trades/sales that card has been the cornerstone to. I’ve seen plenty of Phillies fans come and go, not interested in poor Mr. Rollins. Until a nice Phillies fan on Beckett caved in and took it from my hands. For that card that’s been with me for roughly three years, it netted me this.

2007 Ultra Rookie Autographs #219a: Brandon Morrow (Numbered to 299)

A rookie auto of the pitcher whom I have a strange fascination for. Who would have thought a card I picked up for three bucks in my early stages of collecting would have gotten me a potential money bomb? This hobby sure is weird.

But this post isn’t particularly about Mr. Morrow. No it’s about the 2008 UD A Piece of History Stadium Scenes Silver Jimmy Rollins relic numbered out of 25 that has been with me through monster trades and bad deals, through those long stretches of commentless posts and the contests that were miraculously won. Although I hate Jimmy Rollins, his card will always have a special place in my heart.

God speed.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Something Wicked This Way Comes (Epic Trade Post Part Two)

In continuation of the Epic Trade Post from Wicked, we’ll take a look at the shiny s*it the notorious blogger sent up to grand ol’ New Jersey. We here at For Card’s Sake are huge fans of chrome and shimmering cards and we’ll accept them in any trade with open arms.

2009 Topps Chrome World Baseball Classic W13: Alex Rodriguez

I’m not a fan of the World Baseball Classic cards Topps shoved down collector’s throats in 2009, but I do like the look of this card. Maybe it’s the chrome, or maybe cause A-Rod’s on it.

1995 Topps Embossed #115: Don Mattingly

Jeez, a parallel from a 90s set. I’m shocked.

2007 Bowman’s Best #2: Derek Jeter

Bowman’s Best and Bowman Sterling is like that hot senior in high school who was incredibly pretty but incredibly egotistical, and went with the high rollers instead of the poor guys who could only afford low-end products.

2001 Topps Chrome Traded T108: Lou Piniella

In 2001, Topps released a crapload of Chrome inserts, both in their Chrome products and their regular Chrome-deprived products. Some of these inserts sounded pretty cool, like “What Could Have Been”, “Before There Was Topps”, and “King of Kings”. This particular card was from the 2001 Topps Traded set, and these Chrome parallels were seeded two in every pack.

1996 Finest #340: Ruben Rivera

Here’s something you might have not known; Ruben Rivera is the cousin of Mariano Rivera. Here’s something you did know; Ruben Rivera sucked. And stole Derek Jeter’s glove and bat and then sold them to a sports memorabilia dealer.

Shiny is always appreciated at For Card’s Sake. Thanks Wicked, and stay tuned for Part Three.  And if you missed it, check out Part One of Wicked's awesome trade.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Friday News and Thoughts

Here’s what’s up.

• There are so, so, so, so many positives to take from the Yanks’ win yesterday. For starters, Teixeira didn’t take two months to hit his first homer of the year, and looked pretty locked in at the plate yesterday, smacking some balls pretty hard, although straight at people. Hopefully he continues this. A-Rod also looked good at the plate with an impressive drive to deep center yesterday for a double. Not to mention he had a couple of good plays at third as well. Sabathia had a solid outing but nothing too impressive; perhaps it was the weather. I can tell you what the weather didn’t affect though... the bullpen. Joba, Soriano, and Rivera were lights out. Great innings from all three, especially Mo and Soriano. Textbook win.

• I failed to mention the fact that I got a job working with the Trenton Thunder. The Thunder is the Double-A affiliation of the New York Yankees and are a pretty big hit around the Central Jersey area. I’ve been going to games for years and I finally got a job with the organization. My official title? Manual Scoreboard Operator. Awesome, right? Not only that, but thanks to my extensive background in video production, the Production director said he would be using me for camera and video scoreboard work. It’s a great opportunity and I look forward to the start of the season.

• Yikes, the start of the season is less than two weeks away.

• And don’t ask about autographs… employees are terminated immediately if they fraternize with the players.

• I would totally trade more often if it weren’t for the simple fact I have nothing to trade.

• I’m still not buying 2011 Topps.

• Even though I have the strong urge to run out to Wal-Mart and buy a couple of those blasters and rack packs.

• I spent nearly an hour today watching NBA fights on Youtube. Check this compilation out. Damn.