Thursday, August 26, 2010

All this fuss...

In the collecting community right now there is a lot of buzz about these "Value Boxes" that Topp$ has put out with 6 packs of series 2 cards and a hobby pack of Allen and Ginter. Also included is a Million Card Giveaway redemption and one of 3 "Special Refractors". It seems it is another money making scheme by Topp$. Even if I am not happy about the scheme, it is their right to make as much money as they can. Anyways, enough babbling. Now, I could care less about the Babe Ruth refractor and even less about the Strasburg. All I want out of the whole package deal is the Cal Ripken Refractor Card. I can not justify paying for the whole package deal because I want one card. Knowing my luck, I wouldn't get a single Cal if I bought 5 of these value boxes. I definitely don't need anymore series 2 cards because I completed that set 2 months ago and Ginter is not a set I am interested in. So, if anybody has an extra Ripken they would like to trade me, I would love to hear from you.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Cal Ripken Cardboard Appreciation #2

This card takes me back to a day in 2005. November 5th to be exact. I remember it well. Earlier that year I had just graduated from college and gotten a real job so I had some money to burn when it comes the Collector's Showcase of America card show at the Dulles Expo Center. On this particular day, Cal and Tony were both signing autographs so I could not help myself. I ponied up the cash and got Tony to sign an 8x10 and I got Cal on one of his special retirement baseballs. This is a day that I will remember for a long time, the day I got autographs from the Baseball Hall of Fame class of 2007.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Trade with Ted from Crinkly Wrappers

This is my first "surprise" trade package that I have received since I started my blogging experience back in April. Ted over at Crinkly Wrappers sent me another great package. (I traded with him earlier this summer.) This was a smaller trade in volume but not in greatness. Here are some of the many highlights of the package:
2010 Bowman Topps 100 Prospects Josh Bell. Josh was recently promoted from AAA Norfolk for the second time to fill the hole left by Miguel Tejada after he was traded. He was up earlier in the season much to the dismay of many O's fans who thought he was being rushed to the bigs. This time around since he's playing everyday, is holding his own and gaining experience for the future.

2010 Topps Opening Day Attax Hypnotic Shiny Extravaganza card. Believe it or not I looked for this card at the National but wasn't able to find one. I know, I know, chasing an Attax cards seems silly but it really is a nice looking card. The scan doesn't do it justice.

2007 Upper Deck Goudey Cal Ripken. This is the Crown Jewel of the package in my opinion. I never turn away any Cal card that don't have, especially a sweet one like this. I've always liked the Goudey design and maybe I will build this set someday.

Thanks Ted for another fantastic trade. Keep an eye on your mailbox for a return package!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Group Break over at Cardboard Collections

There is a Group Break coming up that Colbey at Cardboard collections is running. He still has many great teams available. Here is the link to his blog:

Monday, August 16, 2010

Trade with Austin from Orioles Autograph Project

Austin from Orioles Autograph Project contacted me recently about setting up a trade. He said he had one of my "Top Ten Most Wanted Orioles" This is that card:

2008 Upper Deck Jay Payton. This card was the only one I needed to complete my 2008 Upper Deck team set. I'm glad I could mark this one off the list. All I really remember about Jay Payton's time in an O's Uniform is that he pouted about his playing time and left town to find a team so that he could play everyday. How'd that work out for him, you ask? He's currently playing for Colorado's Triple-A team. He said wanted to play everyday!

2007 Upper Deck First Edition Nick Markakis. This is one of the other cards Austin sent in the package. This is another Nick the Stick card that I didn't have before. My Markakis Collection has really been bolstered by some recent trades and the National.

2005 Fleer Platinum Sammy Sosa. This was probably Sosa's happiest moment as an Oriole because it seemed like it was all downhill from this "meet the press" day. I really wanted Sosa to do well as an Oriole but in my humble opinion, he just didn't produce the way he was supposed to.

A Big Thanks goes out to Austin. Be sure to check out his blog and give him some encouragement as he is just starting his blog.

Monday, August 9, 2010

My Earl Weaver Autograph

Here is my Autographed 8x10 of Earl Weaver I got at the NSCC on Saturday. This picture will hang on my wall with my other Orioles 8x10s.

Set Complete: 2010 Bowman

While at the National I was able to finish my 2010 Bowman Set. Since I have no idea which card was the last one I bought, I am showing the most intersesting card out of the stack. Even though it looks like Marlins catcher John Baker was safe on the play, he nearly ended up having his head removed from his shoulders by Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard. At the very least he had a headache after the game!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

National Steal

As the show was winding down, I was able to find these 4 relic cards in an Orioles Box. I bargained with the dealer and stole all of them for $15. Not bad. Two Jersey cards of my current favorite O, my second Roberts bat card and my first Jones Relic.

My Frank Robinson Autograph

This Autographed 8x10 completes my set of Orioles who have had their numbers retired by the team. I am happy to have all of the 8x10s prominently displayed in my office/hobby room. Well at least they will be when I financially recover from the NSCC and can afford new picture frames! Maybe one day I'll get around to posting the others if anybody is interested in seeing them.

My National Experience

Yesterday I was able to attend the National in Baltimore. I made the drive up I-95 and arrived about 9:30. As the gates opened about 9:45 (15 minutes early), I rushed to the autograph pavillion to purchase my tickets for Earl Weaver and Frank Robinson. This took a little longer than expected but what can you do? I decided to start browsing tables in the back and work my way back to the front entrance and maybe I'd be able to see it all. I was able to walk the entire show floor before 1pm but I only really stopped at tables that I was able to get really great deals or stuff I was specifically looking for. During this morning period I was ablt to finish off my 2010 Bowman set and knock a few more cards off my 2009 Upper Deck wantlist (I still need some if anybody wants to help me out). I was also able to get some cards for my first binder set 2009 Topps 206. I also picked up a big stack of the corresponding minis from that set. I think the minis from this set are pretty neat so I will be trying to complete it also and place it in the binder along with it's big brother.
Since Earl Weaver was to start signing at 1:15, I decided to grab a bite to eat so I had plenty of fuel for the marathon afternoon session. While eating I chatted with a couple from California who made a whole vacation out of the National. They visited Washington DC, Colonial Williamsburg, attended Nationals and Orioles games. I hurried over to the Autograph area since it was already 1:30. I did not need to rush. What a mess! There was a crowd of people waiting for a variety of Autograph guests. There was no organization, and it kind of seemed like the autograph area was an afterthought the way that it was cordoned off into a corner of the Convention Center.
As I was standing in line, I tried snapping a few pictures. NO DICE. Either the Batteries were dead or the Camera called it quits or both. Now I have no pictures to share with you guys. None!
I was finally able to get Earl Weaver's Autograph on an 8x10 that I had purchased on eBay in advance of the show. It was nearly 2:30 so Frank Robinson was SUPPOSED to start signing at this time. After the VIPs and SuperVIPs and All Access rich people got their autographs, Frank took a break to talk on the phone for about an hour. During this time I perused the show floor a little more and made some purchases. I returned to the Autograph line at 4:30 and the line had finally started to move. I finally got my autograph from him at about 5:30! I got another 8x10 that I had pre-purchased before the show. Since the show was about to close, I started to make my way toward the exit weaving in and out of tables picking up a few last minute deals.
Other than the Autograph area being a disorganized, I really had a good time at the show. I am glad I had the chance to attend a National and maybe one day I will be able to attend again. I am sorry that I was unable to meet any fellow bloggers but there's always next time!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Cal Ripken Cardboard Appreication #1

I'm going to kick this running feature with a short explanation of the purpose. First and foremost it is a showcase of my ever-growing Cal Ripken Jr. Collection. I will try to show some of the lesser known cards of Cal that I have in my collection. Everybody has seen a 1991 Donruss or 1988 Topps card of him. Not everybody has seen a 1996 Pinnacle Team Spirit insert of him though. I will also try to share a bit of my ever growing knowledge of Cal with more casual fans of the Iron Man. Heck, I might even learn something myself! I am no expert by any means but hopefully this will be fun and informative for everyone.
1995 Leaf Great Gloves

This card features what I think is an underrated part of Cal's game. While best known for the Streak, his fielding prowess was lesser known. He won a gold glove at the Shortstop position in 1990 and 1991. At the time this card was printed, it says he held 11 Major League or American League fielding records. I think the most astounding record is that in 1990 he only made 3 errors the entire season. His fielding percentage was a gawdy .996!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Trade with Nite Owl

I complete a smaller trade with the Nite Owl lately. Here's the goods:

What happened to this card? Maybe this is a roller mark of some sorts? This is quite a tragedy because this is great card of player I enjoyed watching during his time in the O's Organization. Say it with me Topps: "Quality Control!"

You might be asking yourself why I'm posting cards of a Yankee Prospect, Former Yankee Scum, and a Giants Prospect. Well Nite Owl hooked me up with a few cards I need from my 2010 Bowman set. It's not complete yet so if you can help me out, check my wants located in the top right corner of this blog.
You also might be asking yourself why I'm showing these 2009 Topps 206 cards. Well, I am trying to complete the set. The Owl sent me a good ole stack that will go into my complete set binder. I know, after building over 80 or so sets this will be the first one I will be putting in pages and displaying in a binder. All of my other sets reside in my closet neatly stacked in 800 count boxes. I know its sad but I really don't have the space or the resources to buy 80 binders and 50 million pages to display them in. If anybody has any of these spare Topps 206 cards laying around, I'd love to have them. They would bring me ever so close to completing the set.

That's all for now. Thanks for looking and a Great Big Thanks goes to the Night Owl for another great trade.

Monday, August 2, 2010

7-31-10: Altoona Curve vs. Richmond Flying Squirrels

I got this pair of these tickets from my company that so graciously gave them out for free. Since I have no vested interest in either of the teams, or their parent clubs, I took the tickets and decided it would be a nice Saturday night outing. I went to the game with my girlfriend. We walked through the front gates just in time to hear the National Anthem. As we were walking to our seats we heard the night's honored guest Hacksaw Jim Duggan throw out the first pitch and attempt to get the less than enthusiastic Richmond crowd riled up.
As we found our seats, the Altoona leadoff hitter Chase d'Arnaud smashed a homerun to start the game. Chase is a top prospect for the Pittsburgh Pirates. The rest of the game seems like blur to me because it really wasn't that exciting until the 8th inning when Richmond batter Brandon Belt tripled home the winning run and scored on as sac fly by Conor Gillaspie. The game seemed to drag on because of all the hullabaloo going on after every half inning. I don't really have a huge problem with trying to interact with the fans and keeping the kids entertained. What I do have a problem with is the disruption of the game. On a few occasions during the game, the pitcher would finish his warmup pitches and would be standing on the mound waiting for the circus to end so they can get on with the game. It took nearly 3 hours and 15 minutes to complete the 9 inning affair. While I am splitting hairs, its just been a different experience this year watching a AA team instead of the old AAA Richmond Braves.
Overall it was a pleasant night and a very well played game by both teams.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Recent eBay pickup #2

Here is my most recent eBay steal:
I know its just a common relic and everybody is has seen one. The big deal is that I won it for $1.25 with $2.00 shipping! I do like the design of the A&G relics this year, the bright orangish borders and the wild tropical design. Others may not think this is a great card but getting a relic card of your favorite current player for less than 5 bucks is quite the steal!