Monday, May 24, 2010

Trade with reader Cam

I just received a trade package from one of my blog readers, Cam from Pennsylvania. For a whole mess of 2010 Topps commons he sent me a lot of O's I need and a bunch of 2009 Upper Decks I need to complete my set. Here are some of the highlights that I recieved:

2007 Topps Allen & Ginter Corey Patterson. I know during his first go around with the Birds he was not the on base machine he has been during his second stint. I think the prospect tag is gone from Corey and he now knows that he actually has to play well to stay in the majors.

1993 Studio Mike Mussina. I like the ultra-closeup of the bird logo on an O's hat, the holographic foil stamping in the brand logo and facsimile autograph. Also, Mike Mussina is pictured. Nothing wrong with that.

2002 Upper Deck Victory Tim Raines Jr. I'm not sure why Tim Jr didn't pan out. I guess having a dad who was one of the best players in the 80's does not guarantee success. I guess it's just testament to the game that baseball is a tough game to play.

2009 Upper Deck Spectrum Brian Roberts. A nice shiny Brian Roberts. I like Brian Roberts but I don't love Brian Roberts like some fans do. It has a lot to do with the steroids issue. His name was leaked from the infamous Mitchell Report. Even though he said he only used one single time, he still used. I still wrestle with feelings about him and his actions to this day. I know the feeling I have right now is that the O's need him back in a hurry.

That's all for now. Thanks Cam for a nice trade and good luck with the rest of your 2010 Topps set!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Trade with Thorzul

This is going to be a quick post because its Friday and I got stuff to do! The shortness of this post is in no was lack of appreciation of the trade from Thorzul. I really enjoyed this trade.

1983 Fleer Dennis Martinez. "El Presidente" seemed to pitch forever. Most of his career was in the Orioles organization, but was probably best known for his Perfect Game he pitched for les Expos.

1997 Fleer Eric Davis. I wish Eric would have stuck around with the Orioles for longer than he did. He swung a mean power bat while in Baltimore. He never got cheated at the plate.

1997 Topps Finest BJ Surhoff. I always enjoyed watching BJ play. I always thought that if you looked in the dictionary, you would find him under the definition of "Gamer". I also think that he would make a good manager.

Thanks again Thorzul for the trade.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Trade with Night Owl

I've been in a funk lately and haven't had much to post about. Today I got home from work and found a package from Night Owl. Here are some of my favorites from the trade we made.

2007 Upper Deck Future Stars Nick Markakis. Well the Future is now. Nick is our only Bona-fide star right now.

2009 O-Pee-Chee Aubrey Huff. The way garrett atkins has played as Huff-Daddy's replacement this year I really miss him. He's had an average start to the season in San Francisco. Decent average and a few homeruns. Atkins has zero!

2008 Upper Deck Heroes Brian Roberts. Heard Brian has pneumonia now. This guy just can't stay healthy this year. The back, the neck, stomach problems.... geez. Get well B-Rob, we need you back really bad.

2008 Upper Deck Masterpieces Brooks Robinson. I really like this set. I hope to build the complete set one day. "Hoover" had a birthday the other day. Here's to many, many more. Happy Belated Brooksie!

2009 Topps T-206 Copper Border Nolan Reimold. I really hope that Nolan gets his hitting straightened out at AAA Norfolk, be cause we really need his power stroke in the lineup. He's still getting over his Achilles injury from last season so I think he will rebound soon.

Thanks for the great trade Night Owl, you helped fill some holes in my O's collection!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Disaster Week sponsored by Pure Misery

The past week has been a real piece of shit. There is no other way to sugar coat it.
On Thursday of last week I eagerly rushed home to start opening my 2 boxes of 2010 Bowman Baseball. Well I ripped the first few packs of the first box and noticed that ALL of the Chrome Prospect cards in the box were miscut. How disappointing! I was really looking forward to this release this year. About halfway through the box, my girlfriend called to tell me that her job will no longer exist as of June 30th. Purely a victim of the crappy economy of Virginia and the armpit of society that Richmond is. We kind of had an idea that this would happen so she has been unsuccessfully searching for a new job since March.
Friday rolls around and I get home from work to open my second box of Bowman. Well, this box was also miscut so I'm getting pretty mad now. I called Topps customer support at 4:40pm and get a recorded message that they are closed. Their business hours are from 8:30 to 4:30 pm, Monday thru Friday. GEEZ, I can't catch a break. Now I get to sit and stew all weekend with messed up Chrome cards sitting on my desk.
Saturday I was going to attend a card show I had never been to. I was at a flea market type place and they were having a 10 year celebration that day. Surely I would be able to pick up some good cards at reasonable prices. HA! When we arrived we walked the entire flea market and found 2 dealers that had regular "card shops". One had singles in toploaders. When I got to a 1991 Score Pedro Guererro for $2 I decided not to waste my money. He seemed more interested in selling those stupid flags that everyone hangs on the top of their car windows. The other dealer I came across was selling 1990 Donruss and 1990 Fleer wax packs for $1 a pack. Yeah Right. What a total bust of a card show if you can call it that. The rest of the weekend was relatively quiet.
Monday morning I called Topps and they told me to send the damaged cards back at my expense and that they would "look into the problem" and "maybe replace the cards". I'll keep you posted...
Monday afternoon at work, an email came that had urgent in the subject line. It called for an all hands meeting on Tuesday Morning 8:30am. All 3 shifts, report directly to the specified meeting area. UH-OH. The rumor mill has been going full tilt for the last 8 or so months since a larger pharmaceutical company "merged" with ours.
So this morning at the meeting 550 employees of the Richmond manufacturing plant of the largest pharmaceutical company in the world learned that they going to be losing their jobs. That's right, EVERYBODY will be out of a job within 2 or 3 years. I do not understand how the #2 out of 78 worldwide manufacturing plants is not a "viable site" in the company's "worldwide strategy". I just don't get it.
So since we all got to go home early today, I decided to check on my Beckett marketplace orders that I placed just over a month ago. I have been wondering why I still haven't gotten them yet. Well, due to a stupid mistake about $100 worth of cards from my set wantlist are floating around in the mail, trash or somebody else's collection. I haven't ordered from the Beckett Marketplace in almost 4 years. 3 1/2 years ago I moved into my own house (which will probably be on the Real Estate Market soon). I had my orders shipped to my old apartment by mistake. I went by the old (ghetto) neighborhood and the person that lives in my old aparment "has not even seen any mail with my name on it". The post office can't help me either. The same old postmaster that was an ass to me 4 years ago was an even bigger asshole to me today. He wouldn't even go into the back and see if the packages were there. So now I am relying on the actual sellers of the cards to see if the packages will be returned to them. Chances are, I'll never see these cards.
Thanks for reading my rant. I'm sorry for the long post, I just needed some kind of release. I hope I didn't bore you too much. When it rains it pours. BTW anybody need an Instrumentation Technician or in the market for a house in the Richmond area? Hopefully I can calm down and get back to a regular post in the next few days.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Squinty McBigtooth

Garrett Atkins I am done with you. You are statistically the worst 1st baseman in the American League. I wish you had never come to Baltimore to play for our team. I am tired of watching your really killing 35-hopper worm burner double play ground balls. I am sick of seeing you take up space on the Orioles roster. Enjoy your time in Baltimore, because most likely this will be the last time you play in the Bigs.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

2010 Bowman Orioles by the box pt.2

Here are the Orioles I pulled from box #2. I got a few nice inserts in this box.

I'm off to baseball practice of my own. Have a good afternoon!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

2010 Bowman box break #2

Here is the second hobby box of 2010 Bowman Baseball as I promised:

Jason Heyward Rookie! I was pretty excited to get a true Heyward rookie card. Looks like he's the favorite for the NL ROY at this point in the season.

Dustin Ackley Chrome Refractor #'d 117/777. This guy led college hitters last spring with a .417 Batting average. Wow. Nice looking card but it didn't scan so well.

Joey Votto Blue Parallel #'d 263/520. Nice action shot of one of the Reds young guns.

Josh Donaldson Chrome refractor autograph #'d 162/500. This card might be a case hit. I'm not sure though. He has a very nice autograph that you can at least make out some of the letters.

Caleb Joseph Bowman Chrome Prospect. I chose this one for a few reasons. 1. He is an Orioles Prospect, duh. 2. He seems to be a student of the game and really enjoys coming to the park on a daily basis. Sometimes he doesn't leave and stays in the clubhouse overnight!. 2. As you can see this box yielded 39 off-center Chromes. Geez Topps. This box was off-center left to right. I can expect this from cards from the 70s and 80s but not these days. I will be giving them a call Monday morning for sure.

2010 Bowman Orioles by the box pt.1

Please enjoy this Gallery of Orioles I pulled from box #1:

Enjoy your Saturday!

Friday, May 14, 2010

2010 Bowman box break #1

I got my 2 boxes I was eagerly awaiting yesterday. I am going to show 5 of the best cards from each box. Here is box #1. Box #2 will be posted in the near future.

Bowman Orange Ryan Howard #'d 125/250. Good Action shot. Too bad for Jeff Baker getting his brains knocked out by the tag.

Bowman Chrome Blue Refractor Starlin Castro #'d 176/250. I don't know much about him but apparently is an up-and-comer.

Bowman Chrome USA U-18 National Team Bryce Harper. It didn't scan so well but it's a pretty nice card of the (probable) #1 pick in this years draft.

Bowman Chrome Nick Franklin Autograph. He has kind of a sloppy autograph but you can't really tell because Chrome cards don't scan well.

I scanned this one a little crooked on purpose. I really like this product but all 38 Bowman Chrome Prospects Cards were miscut just like Stephen is shown here. Notice the bottom margin is much larger than the top one. None of the other cards in the box were cut like this. Only the Bowman Chrome Prospects. Other than that I am happy with my pulls from this box. I got home too late today to call Topps and complain about the Chrome Prospects. I have never had anything like this happen before. Is it better to call them or email? Do they just send replacements, or would they send an entire box? Any help would be appreciated.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Today I stopped by Target and picked a few retail packs of 2010 Topps National Chicle. So now we are going to tune into everybody's favorite (or forgettable) soap opera:

The Good, The Bad and the Ugly.

Pack 1
The Good
I think this Zack Grienke is the best card out of the packs I opened. The Artist is Don Higgins I think he did a great job of portraying Grienke getting ready to unleash a pitch to the plate.

The Bad
I would say that this is a spot on painting of D-Backs hurler Brandon Webb. Then I looked at the ears and it looks like Brandon should be traveling across Middle Earth as an elf.

The Ugly
This painting looks nothing like any other card or picture I've seen of Tommy Hanson. What's up with his nose?
Pack 2
The Good
Good card of an up and coming player. Nice touch with the reflection of the diamond in his sun glasses.
The Bad
Another card of a great player. If it didn't say so on the card I don't think that I would know it was Torii Hunter. It looks nothing like him in my opinion.

The Ugly
A card of one of my all time favorite players, just doesn't look like him thats all. It looks like him. He has such a large chaw of tobacco in his cheek he looks like a chipmunk.

Pack 3
The Good
This is a very good portrait of Minnesota's favorite son Joe Mauer. Very good detail on his facial features and the chest protector. I'm not too sure about the green and yellow background, though.
The Bad
This is not a bad overall shot of Matt Kemp, but it looks like he just smelled something funky. It maybe the urine colored background the artist chose for him.

The Ugly
I'm really not sure who this painting was supposed to be of but the lettering text reads Manny Ramirez. Not even close!

The Review

Now I am not an art critic, but as you can see some of the cards are just bad bad bad. Yet others are great. I know that 2/3 of the cards in this post are in the bad and ugly categories but there are some really great looking cards in this set too. I really like the Greinke and a Jackie Robinson I didn't feature. But as a disclaimer, I came up with the idea for this review by my first reaction to the packs I opened. Some cards were Good, some were Bad, and some were downright Ugly. I won't be buying any more of 2010 Chicle mostly because I'm trying to save money to go to the National Sports Collector's Convention in August and my 2010 Bowman boxes should arrive tomorrow. But mostly because Chicle just didn't do it for me this time. Maybe Topps will improve the product for next year, or maybe not....

Poor David Hernandez

Somebody get this man some runs. I thought this would be a good opportunity to showcase another of my TTM sucesses from last year. I sent this custom postcard not long after he won his debut last season. He autographed it and sent it back in about a week! I really think that he has the stuff to be a really good player but I think he tries to nibble at the corners of the plate. His fastball has enough giddyup to blow right by hitters yet he tries to work the corners a little to much and gets in trouble with his off-speed and breaking pitches. I may be regurgitating the same thing Jim Palmer said last night but it is true. If batters can't catch up to your fastball, don't try to fool them with your breaking ball. I don't know how much longer David will get to stay in the Baltimore rotation because Chris Tillman and Jake Arrieta are tearing up Triple-A hitters lately. I think David has pitched pretty well for 3 or 4 innings and then the wheels start to come off. I think that he will ultimately end up as a late inning bullpen guy where he can blow hitters away with that mid 90's heater. But in the mean time, how about the Orioles score some runs for this man?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Check out my set wantlists

I was looking over other peoples set wantlists today and realized that I am very close to completing some of my sets. I have completed over 80 sets during my collecting "career". I guess its the completionist/OCD part of me. Anyways here are some of the cards that I really want to get ahold of:

1993 Donruss #428 Jeff Bagwell
I've always liked Jeff as a ballplayer. I wonder if he will make the Hall of Fame? I wonder who has this card for me?

2008 Bowman Draft Picks #BDP21 Micah Hoffpauir
Don't know much about this guy. I want this card! Just don't need it with an autograph on it.

2006 Bowman Draft Picks Future's Game Prospects #26 Chin Lung Hu
I already have the card above which is the gold version. I need the regular vanilla Bowman issue.

These are just a few of my wants. Check the link to my wants for a complete list of cards I need.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Eddie Murray in the MASN booth

This afternoon on MASN "Steady" Eddie Murray is in the booth giving his analysis. First I think its funny that Eddie has joined the "bad guys" (news media) considering his once frosty relationship with reporters during his playing career. I'm sure he gave lots of icy stares much like the one on this card above to the press when they asked cliche questions. Eddie has always struck me as a no nonsense guy who didn't take crap from anybody. I'll leave you with a little bit of trivia that you'll only find in baseball. During the pregame interview with Amber Theoharis, he was asked to talk about his 3000th hit. He and Cal Ripken both got the hit at the Metrodome, with the same runner on base (Albert Belle) and with the same manager in the dugout( Mike Hargrove)!

Friday, May 7, 2010

What would you do?

While looking at some posts in a card trading forum, I came across a post from a collector who said he had obtained a bunch of early 1950s cards. While searching through the cards he came across several cards of interest including this:

My question is this: What would you do if you obtained this card for next to nothing or while digging through a dusty attic or shed? Getting this card would be like winning the lottery. I'm not sure that I would be able to keep this card if I got it. I'd probably be inclined to sell it to pay off some bills. I'm really interested to see some comments on what you would do with a find like this....

Thursday, May 6, 2010

2009 Topps t206 pack break

I had the itch today at work to break some packs. I decided to stop by Target on my way home to see if they had any National Chicle. They didn't have any so I got some 2009 Topps T206 instead. I bought 6 packs. Here are the highlights:

The Koji is a SP variation and an Oriole to boot! Nice. A Tommy Hanson RC. Not bad. He's sticking his tongue out saying "Try to hit this, ya Bum". A couple of nice cards of some HOFers and some minis. The Ellsbury is a Polar Bear SP back. I believe that the Mantle Mini is a variation. I did a little research and I think this one card more than paid for the break. Overall I guess this quelled the pack breaking urge until my boxes of 2010 Bowman arrive. All of these except the Koji are for trade if anybody needs them.

1993 Upper Deck Brady Anderson

This card has always been a favorite of mine. This is a great action shot captured by an Upper Deck photographer just as the company was coming into its own. I even think that this card was featured on the packaging of the factory set if I'm not mistaken. What are the chances of an opposing player hitting a homerun near the Orioles logo while having a photograhper present? Maybe better odds than me winning the 266 million dollar Mega Millions jackpot on Tuesday (I actually won $3 with the numbers 21 (Markakis) and the MoneyBall 8 (Ripken)). Still, I haven't been able to discern which ballpark this photo was taken in after all these years. Obviously it is not Memorial Stadium or Oriole Park at Camden Yards because Brady is donning his road grays. My guess is maybe it was taken in the Angel's ballpark because of the red seats and the blue walls and the close proximity to Carlsbad, California where UD is located. Anybody have any ideas?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A frustrating evening

This evening has been frustrating in more than a few ways. First, I had to work overtime at work on a special project. While working on this project I managed to smash the hell out of my thumb with a hammer. Broke the tip of the fingernail and tore the skin pretty good. Second, I get finally get home just in time to see Adam Jones, Nick Markakis, and Matt Wieters strike out with men on second and third with nobody out. Geez, is it that hard to lay off of Burnett's knuckle curve? Third, I went to the mailbox to see if any of my 4 orders of cards have come from my recent Beckett Marketplace orders have arrived... Not a one. I know the mail system can be slow but it has been 2 weeks since I have placed my orders. At least there was one decent thing in the mail: The July (already?) issue of Beckett Baseball (I use it as a GUIDE, not the Bible). I open it to page 16 and I see in bold letters : 2010 Topps Tribute : Dynasties and Rivalries Edition. Sounds like a Yankee and Red Sox collector's dream. Mantle Homerun History, Yankee Stadium Legacy, Mantle Story inserts. I'm sick of seeing these 2 teams all over. Where does it end? I will probably be skipping this product anyways....

I need something to cheer me up, Maybe if I stare at the Ripken postcard I got from the Hall of Fame above enough I can cheer myself up a little bit......

Monday, May 3, 2010

2007 Fleer Rookie Sensations Nick Markakis

I'm not sure why I like this card so much. Maybe because it is of my Favorite Current Oriole. Nick Markakis is as close to an iron man as an O's player can be this side of Cal Ripken. He plays everyday and doesn't cause a lot of media attention to himself. He just goes about his business in a workman like manner.
Nick has been heating up with the bat lately. Over his past 9 games here is his statline: 15 for 38 with 5 doubles, 2 homeruns and 5 walks. Hopefully he can keep this going.

4-30-10 : Bowie Baysox @ Richmond Flying Squirrels

Sorry I haven't posted all weekend. Anyways...

Friday night my girlfriend and I decided to take in a minor league baseball game at the Diamond in Richmond. It is only about 15 minutes from my house. There was no baseball in Richmond last year because the much loved AAA Richmond Braves left town after the 2008 season. So this year we get the AA Richmond Flying Squirrels. First I think the name is completely stupid. I have never seen a flying squirrel in richmond or the surrounding area. Second, I think the logo and the mascot looks like a skunk not a squirrel. Third, they play at the Diamond which is basically falling down around the team. About 5 years ago they had to stop the game because a chunk of concrete fell out of the rafters and smashed a couple of seats into oblivion. Just imagine if it would have hit somebody. This is partly the reason I buy seats in the lower deck (and because you get a better view of the game.
The only reason I felt compelled to go to this game is because the Bowie Baysox (AA affiliate of the Orioles) were in town. We arrived a little late to get any autographs but some of the Baysox players did sign for some people. I didn't bring any signing material anyways. The starting pitcher for Bowie was Steve Johnson. He pitched rather well but got no help from his offense. Bowie ended up with 3 hits on the night. Johnson got the tough luck loss and the only hit top O's prospect Brandon Waring got was a beer vendor. Yep, nailed the poor guy right in the nose. The squirrels staff were scrubbing up blood for the next half inning.
Overall it was a good outing on a Friday night. Maybe when the Baysox are back in town I'll go again and try for some autographs.