Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween from "O" No!!! Another Orioles Blog. This was my first attempt at carving a pumpkin with this degree of difficulty. I downloaded the stencil from the official Orioles page and decided to give it a shot. I don't think I did too bad. Maybe next year I'll do Cal Ripken if I can find the right stencil!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

GA Mindset Giving Away A Free Topps Chrome Box

Even though there's no chance that I will win, go and check out the rules so you have a chance to win it:

Good Luck Everybody!

Box Break: 2010 Topps Update Series Hobby

I had this box preordered about a month and a half ago for $58 dollars. That was after a $5 discount and free shipping that Dave and Adam's offers every Thursday on orders over $50. I have noticed that the current price range on these boxes has been 35 to 42 dollars. It's a little frustrating because I could nearly order a Jumbo box for the price I preordered this box for. I hate overpaying. But I digress. I am going to reconsider my preordering habits from now on.

Anyways, On To The Cards!

I really think that this box was supposed to be sent to Houston because of all the Astros inserts I pulled:
Geoff Blum and Jeff Keppinger Golds, Card Yer Mama Done T'roed Out Original Back Craig Biggio, Michael Bourn All-Star Workout Jersey card, and a nice looking Nolan Ryan Vintage Legends Collection. This is my favorite Vintage Legends Collection card that I have seen so far out of series 2 and the update series. I like the simplistic look of the 1957 Topps set!

Here is the box topper, A shiny Chrome Rookie Refractor. Its a nice Rookie card of the Umpires' backside so this card has really got to be worth something (eBay 1/1, perhaps?). I was really hoping for a Matusz, Arrieta or Josh Bell. (If anybody gets one of these, let me know, I want it!)

Also is my big Mojo Hit of the Box:

Whoops, I meant this one:

I actually like the Hall of Fame variations that Topps has been putting in their base set the last two years even though I am not a fan of the Pie-In-the-Face or Abe Lincoln variations.

Out of the base set I got about 2/3 of the cards. I also got an entire Orioles Team Set out of the packs so I'm pretty happy about that. I will be buying more of the Update Series but only when it arrives at retail. I won't be posting a wantlist until after I'm done buying more packs. I really like the Jumbo Packs that they put out and kind of shy away from the Blaster boxes and regular packs. I think the Jumbo Packs give you more bang for your buck and I've had some pretty good luck pulling some of the aforementioned HOF variations out of them. If anybody sees anything something they need on this box break let me know.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Box Break: 2 Blasters of 2009 Upper Deck Icons

I should have stayed far, far away from these. I paid 12 bucks a piece at Wal-Mart. What a waste of money. I guess I was hoping to get lucky and pull a Wieters Rookie or a good jersey card (1 was promised per box). I already got the one card in the set I really care about (Legendary Icons insert of Cal Ripken) but it's just another throw-away, mail-it-in, junk set from Upper Deck. Hell, UD didn't even care enough to write anything on the card backs. The guy that writes those things must have been on vacation that week!

Here are the so called "Hits" of the box

Box #1

Tony Gwynn Legendary Icons #971/999
Cole Hamels Foil Parallel

Joe Mauer Future Foundations GU Jersey swatch

Box #2

Roy Oswalt Icons #636/999
Roy Oswalt Foil Parallel
Billy Wagner Icons GU Jersey swatch

I got no, I repeat NO rookies out of the boxes and the Wagner jersey card is dinged on the upper right hand corner. I did nearly get a complete set but I feel no obligation to finish it (81/100 base cards) Why do I continue to fall into this retail trap when buying cards?

Both Oswalts are already spoken for but everything else is for trade for stuff on my wantlists.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Cal Ripken Cardboard Appreciation #8

2001 Topps Chrome Combos

This is the last of my card show pickups from last year. I like the background of the card, it has a stained glass window effect. I think Topps should have used the cartoon bird logo on Brooks' side of the card. It's a minor gripe I have with this card.

The back of the card talks about how Orioles fans never thought they would ever see another player the caliber of Brooks. Cal lived up to those expectations and even surpassed some of them.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Card Show pickups #3: VINTAGE!

My main focus of going to the show was going to be knocking some vintage Orioles off of my list. I wanted to spend most of my money on vintage so lets get right to it:

1954 Topps Bobby Young. This is officially the oldest Orioles card I have in my collection
A couple of 1957's. I really like the simplicity of this set.

Some assorted 1959 Topps High Numbers. I was able to pick these up for a reasonable price.

A couple of nice 196o Topps O's. I really like this set!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Card Show pickups #2: Orioles Needs!

One of the things I was really focusing on last Friday was filling out some of my Orioles team sets. Here are just a few of the highlights of what I was able to pick up out of the bargain bins:

"Who wants to be traded to San Diego?" In this card Miguel Tejada is voluteering to be traded to the Left Coast with hopes of being in the playoffs. Maybe next year the O's will be this year's Padres and contend for a playoff berth. This 2010 Bowman Gold parallel brings me within one card of the team set. (I need Brian Roberts if anybody has one!)

This is a pretty neat diecut hologram card that screams 90s of Brady Anderson.

I wasn't expecting to find a gold refractor of Brian Roberts in the 25 cent bin!
I realized that I need many many mini Orioles when I picked up this Melvin Mora from 2009 A&G.
This is Brian Matusz's first licensed card. (I was able to pick up a Redemption for the Autographed version on eBay last week). This card also comes with Topps Patented Chrome Curl Technology where they must sit under encylopedias for 3 weeks to flatten them out.
And to round out the list a Kam Mickolio from my 10 Most Wanted Orioles List! Good Luck to Kam in the Arizona Fall League.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Card Show pickups #1: Game Used and Autographs!!!

As many collectors that live in the mid Atlantic region know, this past weekend was the Collector's Showcase of America card show in Chantilly, Virginia. I was able to go on Friday the 15th. With my trusty "Wants Binder" in hand and plenty of cash I set out to find some great deals. Here is the first batch of cards from my weekend haul:

I was able to add some new GU's and autographs. I bargained my way to a $20 price tag for the above lot. I think I got a great deal on these cards!

My Favorite out of this group is definitely the Markakis Autograph. The Scan doesn't do it justice as it has a refractory-ish shine to it and I have always liked the Turkey Red design. I picked up the Snyder as an investment piece. I hope next year he can build on his sucess from his September call-up this year. The Ripken GU I thought was just a nice looking card with the American Flag and the retirement logo on it. I have no idea what set it is from. The copyright on the back says 2001, but has no card number or set anywhere on the card!!! If anybody has any clue what this card is, please let me know.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Recent eBay Pickup #4

Recently my interest in my player collection of Cal Ripken has greatly increased. As I looked through my binder, I noticed that my collection from 1982 to 1992 was pretty much in order. from 1993 to the present is where there are some blank spots. I began searching eBay for some of the more rare and valuable cards that had eluded me until now. Some of the first "blank" spots in my binder were these two:

When I was organizing the binder umpteen years ago I took the time to fill the spaces with bits of paper with the card. How cute! Well, now in those places I have these to put in the places:

I won each of these auctions for 99 cents a piece and 3 dollars shipping on the Score card and 2.50 on the Select card. I can't complain because the Score books for $25 and the Select books for $20!

I like the Select Stars card better because the front has a glittery effect that makes it more pleasing to the eye whereas "The Franchise" card has a rather drab background but does have a nice portrait on the back.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Box Break: 2007 Upper Deck Masterpieces

Well you probably thought this box break was going to happen after I had opened the box of 08 Masterpieces and gave it a positive review. I was able to pick this box up on ebay for 50 dollars including shipping. My review might not be different from other bloggers reviews in the past, but I hope you will at least stick around and see what I got.
These are the 3 relics that were promised. Two Hall of Famers and one enigma closer. I can't say I am disapointed at the Relics of 2 HOFers, but what I am disappointed in is the book value on them. I think that they would be worth a little more than 10 bucks a piece.

Here is the On-card Autograph that was also promised to be in the box. It would have to be a damn Yankee! Even though Henn had a short stint with the O's doesn't make this pull any better.
Last but not least, the framed cards. The Vlad is numbered 43/50 and the Tulowitzki numbered 68/75. In addition to these framed cards, I also got a Bobby Doerr Green, Hanley Ramirez Green and A Jackie Robinson/Yogi Berra play at the Plate Green.

I will say that I am a little underwhelmed by this box but not thoroughly disappointed. I think the value I got out of the box was great. For some reason, it just didn't do it for me the way the 08 Masterpieces did. I think I like the design of the 08's better as subtle as they may be and the design of the 08 Game Used cards is just more clean. Also, looking at the the pricing in Beckett, I feel like I need my secret decoder ring to figure out all of the parallels. There are 2 different versions of red, green, blue, black, etc... And I though Topp$ could be a pain in the ass with all the different parallels they throw at us! Overall, I won't give this set as high marks as the 08's but I still will collect the set. I will post a wantlist as soon as I can.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Cal Ripken Cardboard Appreciation #7

2010 Topps Blue Backs #17.

This card is a recent eBay win for me. I was the only bidder so I got the card for next to nothing. Topps did a good job reprinting these because they are true to the originals right down to the size. The only thing they could have done better would have been to print them on cardboard stock and not the modern glossy cardboard.

I now own both the Red Back and Blue Back and both are "Hit by Pitcher" cards. Cal was hit by pitches 66 times in his career. That's a lot of bumps and bruises but pales in comparison to Hughie Jennings with 287 career beanings. Craig Biggio was nailed 285 times during his career. Also, the active leader in being plunked is Jason Kendall with 254.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Trade with Heartbreaking Cards of Staggering Genius

Recently when I was in a trading sort of mood I looked over Matt F.'s wantlist and found some cards he needed for some sets he was working on. He sent me a great package in return filled with Vintage Orioles cards I needed! Here are just a few of the great cards from yesteryear:

1960 Topps #207 Bob Boyd. Admittedly I know very little about Bob. All I know is that this is my first 1960 Topps Oriole. I really like the design of that particular year's offering. It just screams vintage to me.
1968 Topps #97 Tom Phoebus. On the back it says in his first two starts as a Major Leaguer he threw back-to-back shutouts. Earlier the same year in the International League he threw a no-hitter

1961 Topps #62 Al Pilarcik. I also know next to nothing about Al too. I am trying to catch up on early Orioles history so bear with me! Sadly, Al just passed away on September 20th. Rest in Peace Al.

1965 Topps Embossed #51 John Orsino. I have seen these before but I only thought they feature true star players. I have 1 or 2 other Orsino cards but I didn't really think he was a superstar. Regardless, this is a really cool card that seemed ahead of it's time.

I would like to thank Matt for the great cards he sent.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Cal Ripken Cardboard Appreciation #6

1996 Upper Deck Ripken Collection #14. I made reference to the Cal Ripken-centric sets that I am building in my previous post. Here is one of the sets I have completed through the years. The 1996 Upper Deck Ripken Collection consisted of 23 cards (an odd number for an insert set). They were inserted into various UD products from that year. Collectors Choice was an easier hit at 1 in 12 packs, regular Upper Deck fell at 1 in 24 packs and SP was a tough pull at 1 in 45 packs.
This particular card is from Cal's younger days. This card looks much better in person but you can still clearly see Cal knocked the crap out of this pitch. Head down, both hands on the bat, full extension, and a good follow through. Pay attention youngsters, he knows what he's doing.