Monday, May 30, 2011

All Aboard the Bowman Express

When I was browsing around at the card show last weekend, I came across a familiar site… an opened box of 2011 Bowman.  However, this box seemed oddly different than the others.  There were about sixteen packs left inside, scattered around, flipped over; a complete mess.  However, one pack stood out among the rest.  It was leaning on the top of the box, it’s wrapper staring right into my eyes, begging me.

“Nick… come on… try it.  Everyone else is…”

I caved into pressure.  Four bucks later, I was looking at a pack of complete crap.

#102: Daniel Hudson
Ah, Danny Hudson.  The only player I pulled that I actually like.  Interestingly enough, all the regular base cards I received in this pack were all horizontal.

#36: Johan Santana
#165: Jaime Garcia
#204: Brandon Beachy
Bowman Chrome Prospects #110: Jonathan Villar
Yup, you guessed it, a player I’ve never heard before.  This was common theme for pretty much every prospect in the pack.

Bowman Chrome Prospect #33: Joseph Wieland
Bowman Gold #211: Gregory Infante
Bowman Orange #187: Vernon Wells (Numbered to 250)
The only card of significant value and it’s dinged.  Thanks Topps.

Bowman Prospects #66: Matt Carpenter
Bowman Prospects #3: Jeremy Barfield
Yes, son of Jesse and brother of Josh, Jeremy looks to add a little bit more to the Barfield legacy.  Hopefully he’s better off than his brother, who’s still kicking around without having a breakout season.

To sum it up…


… that was not worth four bucks.  Sorry Bowman lovers.

(And everything besides the Barfield is for trade).

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Blogger Troubles

Maybe it's just me and my computer, but it seems my scans and pictures aren't centered in the middle of the post anymore.  Even after marking "center" for the photo and having it centered in the draft, it still ends up being published to the left.  This started after I switched over to the new post publishing format.  While I like this ten times better than the previous format, I still have issues, notably the picture thing.  Also, it seems everything is crammed together, and there are unnecessary spaces between the scan and words, making for a jumbled read.  If anyone else is bothered by this, let me know and I can see what I can do.

A Hoot of a Trade

I know when a package from Night Owl has arrived in my mailbox… the mailbox just jitters with excitement.  No literally, it jitters.  I should get that checked out.  Anyway, enough “hooting” around (I’m here till Thursday folks), here are the highlights of the trade.

2011 Topps Opening Day #172: Jorge Posada
Raise your hand if you want someone to pay you 13 million dollars to hit .180 and ride the bench.  Oh wow, a lot of takers.

2008 TRISTAR Prospects Plus #99: Jack Rye
Rye played a couple of games for the Thunder earlier in the season, but I believe he was released toward the end of April.  He wasn’t exactly a stellar prospect… plus.

2010 Topps Update More Tales of the Game MTOG-6: Intracity Sweep
I like the photo, not a fan of the concept.  C’mon, a season sweep is not exactly an eye-popping event these days.  If Topps was using the 2003 Yankees seasons sweep over the Mets as a unique “tales of the game”, then perhaps they should have left that insert concept out of their Update series.

2011 Topps Value Box Chrome Refractors MBC2 and MCB3: Mickey Mantle and Babe Ruth
These two beautiful cards sealed the trade.  After being disappointed in 2011 Finest’s offering this year, having these Value Box Chrome cards be the design for Finest in the near future is not a bad idea.

Thanks Greg, your Dodgers were delivered to the post office yesterday and they should be arriving soon!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

A Mini Proposal

For the record, I dislike minis.  They are OVERRATED.  They are hard to see and read, they are a pain in the ass to store and protect, and those variations!  Guh!  People sometimes pay twice the amount of a card solely because it is a mini variation or a mini different-back variation.  Don’t give me the “base has variation too” crap… we all know people pay more a premium for a mini.  But why?  What’s the attraction?  Minis sucks, simple as that.


But, if done correctly, they can be awesome.  Case in point: this year’s Kimball Championship mini insert found in this year’s Topps flagship brand.  The cards featured a nicely-painted player on top of a picturesque baseball scene.  The art on these cards, especially the bottom, remind me of a simpler time, both in the sport and in art.  It’s a nice nostalgic looking baseball set, harkening back to the old 206s of last century.  In this case, I do like minis.

Here’s my theory, idea, whatever you would like to call it.  A complete set of baseball cards… made entirely out of minis.

Yeah, you have tobacco cards from years gone by, but who gives a crap?  They are old, torn apart, and out of a lot of collector’s price range.  Yeah, you have the 1975 Topps mini set, but that’s just the regular set in smaller form.  I’m talking full-blown here, something completely new and never seen before.  I want a complete set of cards, 300 to 500 cards, made entirely out of minis to highlight the best players in the game and the rising stars of tomorrow.  I want this set to be totally original artwork, no copying off another established set.  I want all the inserts made out of minis.  I want all the redemptions made out of minis.  I want the damn wrappers out of minis.  Minis, minis, minis!

I like the sound of that.

Now, if I, an established mini hater, would buy this set… who wouldn’t?  It would appeal to a huge group of people.  I think any retro collectors or fans of Allen and Ginter minis would absolutely love it.  I think any set builders would love it because of its size.  I think prospectors would like it because of the rookies and prospects thrown into the product.  I think any collector fed up with the same horse crap Topps feeds us every year and wants a change in the sets released would love it.

And then again, does Topps necessarily have to make this set?

Think about it.  It’s a painted set.  Upper Deck could easily do this without worrying about licensing.  Sure, you’d see a lot of players without hats, but the upside UD brings would outweigh miniscule things like that.  I can picture it now… Upper Deck, destined for redemption on Topps, comes out with a revolutionary set with awesome artwork, sick hits, and a marketing ploy that blows anything Topps offers out of the water.  Man… fan-tastic.

Now, with every brilliant idea, comes several disadvantages.  First off, the hits.  Sure, it could be possible… have the player hand sign on a bunch of mini cards and insert them into packs.  UD might do this if they want to make a big comeback, but you think Topps has the time and effort to do this when they can’t even get the biggest prospect in the past twenty years to sign cards in time for their retail release?  I don’t think so.

Now you obviously can’t stick framed relics and autographs into a specific-mini set, that would look stupid and create a nightmare for packaging.  So the issue is basically, the set would have to come with redemptions (mini redemptions though) or a hand-signed autograph might be inserted maybe every two to three boxes, depending on how many cards Topps or UD can get a player to sign.

Oh my goodness… no guaranteed auto in every box?!

Believe it or not people, at one time, not every set or box guaranteed a hit.

Now, I probably shouldn’t waste my breath.  The chances of this happening are slim to none.  This is just another collector ranting about a silly idea, nothing out of the ordinary about that.


But one can dream right?

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Prospect Watch: Moises Sierra

Being able to work for the Trenton Thunder brings unique opportunities, one of which is to watch the biggest prospects in baseball play on a regular basis.  I’ve been watching the best players in the Yankees organization all season and it’s awesome to see how well they are developing (or sucking in some cases).  It’s also a treat to see some prospects on other teams.  Whenever I do electronic scoreboard, I have the privilege to sit in the press box with all the team beat writers.  They know their stuff and won’t hesitate to sprout off how well a certain player is doing, how likely their chances to make it to the big leagues are, and the such.  When the New Hampshire Fisher Cats were in town (Toronto Blue Jays Double A affiliate), one writer commented on a simple fact.

“Moises Sierra is one hell of a hitter.”

Never heard of him?  That makes sense.  He’s not big into the baseball card world… yet.  The only cards of him available are in 2009 Bowman, like the one pictured above.  He’s the right fielder for the Fisher Cats and is listed at 6 foot, 225 pounds.  When I worked manual scoreboard the previous night, Sierra was walking right by the board.  When he passed my open square, all I could think was “this guy is huge.”

Sure enough, when I was up in the press box the next game and he was batting third, I wasn’t too surprised.  The guy has a lot of talent in the batter’s box, but he still needs to work on his game.  In 36 games in 2011, Sierra is batting .286 with seven homeruns and 31 RBI’s.  He has 25 runs scored and a .806 OPS.  Those are fairly solid numbers in an early season.  His defense is average as well, nothing to write home about.  His baserunning, surprisingly, has been fairly decent for a man given his size; 46 stolen bases in 4 years.  But his true claim to fame is his bat, no doubt.

While Sierra hasn’t produced the best numbers in the minors for his career (a .258/33/181 line), I believe he has the raw power and skills to go far with his bat, which makes him officially on my Prospect Watch.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A Platter of Cards from Nomo's Sushi Platter

I’m not a fan of seafood.  The way it looks, the way it tastes, and that smell… egh, I don’t even want to sniff about it.  However, I do like sushi.  How is that possible?  As long as the sushi comes from Nomo’s Sushi Platter!  Haha, get it?
No seriously, I do hate sushi.
But I do like trades from Michael, writer of Nomo’s Sushi Platter.  He contacted me about a trade a few weeks ago and we got the ball rolling.  I received his end about two weeks ago and it’s taking me this long to post about it.  Yeah, I’m a slacker.  Should transfer greatly in college.  Here’s the highlights of all the nice stuff he sent.

A pair of gun slingers in shiny, warped 2010 Topps Chrome form.
While Weaver has cooled (more on this below), Johnson has continued his torching start.  Scanning 2010 Topps Chrome is no easy task, but I think I’ve scanned enough to finally know how to work with it.  Practice makes perfect.
2007 Topps Co-Signers #2: Jered Weaver
Michael sent me a nice stack of cards to add to the growing Jered Weaver collection.  While his record is at a decent 6-4, Weaver still has a solid ERA (2.45), an impressive WHIP (.976) and incredible strikeout totals (65 in 69.2 innings).  I wouldn’t hop off the Weaver train just yet.
2011 Topps Kimball Champions KC42: Mariano Rivera
As much as I don’t like minis, I don’t see these cards working as well as they do if they were regular sized.  I would have preferred this be an insert in a painted set and not plopped right in with the modernized Topps flagship brand.  Hell, maybe a whole set of these cards wouldn’t be a bad idea.  Would anyone be opposed to an entire set based on minis?
2007 Upper Deck #165: Robinson Cano
A Sporting News article a few months ago boldly proclaimed that Robinson Cano was the best player on the Yankees.  I don’t see how it is a bold claim.
Here’s a person I like.
Here’s people I don’t like.
2009 Sweet Spot Swatches JW: Jered Weaver
This “sweet” card of Weaver initiated the trade.  I was a big fan of the relic cards from 2007 and 2008 Sweet Spot, but 09’s effort is very lackluster and nothing too special.  This is my first memorabilia card of Weaver.

Thanks Michael for the trade and sorry it took forever to post... remember that coma I slipped into?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Standing Ovation For These Pickups

2006 Upper Deck Ovation is a product I’m surprised more bloggers aren’t busting.  The product looks nice, there are good names on the rookie checklist, it’s cheap, and it guarantees a relic and an autograph per box.  Sounds like the perfect combination for any mildly-budgeted collector to me.

I don’t practice what I preach; I have yet to purchase a box of Ovation.  This is due to the fact that I am literally poorer than dirt and can only afford one or two cards from this product that I’m sure will be busted by my hands in the near future.  Whew, that was lengthy.
These Ovation Rookies are numbered to 999 and fall one every box.  I picked up arguably the biggest name in the set and another solid player for about a buck each.  Not too shabby.
Okay, I’m kind of in between on this.  I do like the design and David DeJesus, but I’m not feeling the only thing that matters… the autograph.  Look at it.  It’s so bare and bulgy.  And no, I am not talking about DeJesus’s autograph (which also sucks), but the giant rectangle cutout UD has to desperately include.  Why couldn’t they just make the rectangle smaller?  Did it really need to be that big?  Look at all that white.  It’s whiter than…

…you know what, I’m above that.

No I’m not.

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Sleeping Dogs Wake

… beep …

… beep …

… beep …

“Oh doctor, what happened?”

“You fell into a work coma for two weeks Nick. You’ve been working so much that your high school-boy body couldn’t handle the load and you slipped into a coma where you could only eat, sleep, go to school, and work.”

“Damn those seven-game homestands.”

“You seem to be alright now though, you have only three games left to work for the rest of May.”

“So does this mean I can post on my blog about the cool pickups and trades that have been going on?”

“Of course, if you get your lazy ass over to the computer.”

Ah, so you’ve read the transcript. I probably shouldn’t waste anytime explaining the horrors I suffered of juggling school and work and trying to get a good night’s sleep and get right with it. I have a lot of crap to show you.

To ease back into things, I’m gonna show off a couple of nice relic pickups I got over at the Blowout Card Forums. If you haven’t tried this place yet, check it out. It’s a great place to buy, trade, and sell cards without the annoyance of eBay.

2010 Topps Allen and Ginter Relics JJ: Josh Johnson
For Card’s Sake still has a crush on Josh Johnson. Have you checked his numbers lately? Unlike other For Card’s Sake loverboy (Jered Weaver), Johnson is still tearing it up. In 55.1 innings pitched this year, he has given up 12 runs. 12 runs.

2009 SP Legendary Cuts Destination Stardom DSM-DS: Denard Span
I’m a big fan of the 2009 SP Legendary Cuts design. Very well executed. But, why doesn’t this card excite me as much as it should? Am I really this bored with plain ol’ swatches?

I have plenty of maildays and trades to showcase, so stay tuned.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Play at the Mailbox

Homestands suck. The Thunder just finished up a seven game stand, including a thrilling walk-off walk in the last game against the Portland Sea Dogs. After the weekend, another eight game stand begins. And guess who’s working every game? It’s been a brutal schedule as of late, simply put. However, being the devoted blogger I am, I’ll take every minute of free time I have this weekend to post and schedule posts that will hopefully fill up the week. Like I mentioned previously, I picked up a lot of stuff that I’m dying to show off.
Today we have a trade from the notorious Brian over at Play at the Plate. His speciality? Plays at the plate… and Rangers, I guess. I’ve always had some Texas stuff lying around, but never pulled the trigger on a trade, perhaps it was his Yankee hating ways strayed me away. I eventually caved in after he offered to take all the 2007 Bowman Heritage I had lying around off my hands. In return, he sent me a nice stack of 2000 Bowman Chrome cards. Now, if you’re a true reader of For Card’s Sake, you know that I’ve been busting box after box trying to complete this set, and so far it’s not working. I welcome any and all Chromey goodness from the turn of the century with open arms. Fortunately, every 2000 BC card Brian had, I needed.
Receiving older cards is always a treat. It’s been eleven years since 2000 Bowman Chrome was produced and the players and teams have changed significantly. Out of the thirteen cards I received, seven of the players are out of the league. The six that were still playing are not playing for the same team they’re pictured with. So that’s a big fat 0-for-13 in players that are still playing for the same team.

2000 Bowman Chrome #1: Vladimir Guerrero
Let’s ignore the fact that the team Vladdy is playing for doesn’t exist anymore, and let’s focus on the fact that in three boxes, I never pulled the first card of the set. That’s turrible.

2000 Bowman Chrome #109: Mo Vaughn
Well, they still exist, albeit not in Anaheim form. How come I laugh everytime I receive Mo Vaugh cards?

Along with these guys, the early 2000’s Oakland A’s also featured Mark Mulder, Barry Zito, Eric Chavez, Jermaine Dye, Billy Koch, and Mark Ellis. How they did not win a World Series, I’m not sure.

Thanks Brian and I’m looking forward to more trades!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Mailday Epidemic

I cannot possible described a slower mail week than the one I just witnessed. Literally NOTHING of interest came. No packages, no letters, no magazines, nothing… just boring crap.

Noting this, I quickly made a few purchases of baseball card-relatedness which should arrive next week. In my fit for cards, I probably should have checked to see how much I spent on these things...








... yikes. Poor Paypal account.

Happy May everybody.