Thursday, December 30, 2010

Box Break: 2010 Bowman Draft Picks and Prospects

I'll start off this box break by saying that Bowman Draft picks has been one of my favorite products for the past 8 or 9 years now. This year is no exception because this is the best box I've busted in a while! A lot of people are not fans of the Bowman line in general because of the so called "same old boring black border" design and the lineup of players that nobody cares about. I guess that is where I differ from others because I like seeing the draft picks and prospects on their first cards. For some players it may be their only card because most minor leaguers never sniff the majors.
Bowman Draft Picks for years has basically been Bowman series 2 and I don't know why Topps doesn't brand it that way. It would do wonders to alleviate the confusing numbering system that has been used for the last few years. The Prospects insert set has a numbering system that runs halfway across the card: BDPP##. It just looks a little silly in my eye.
So enough of my blithering and blabbering about what I like and how I would fix the Bowman brand. Let see what I got out of the box:

I'm not going to scan any of the normal cards, everyone knows what they look like.
I got my normal assortment of base cards, 47 of the 110 in the set. they come 2 to a pack so Not bad I guess. I didn't get any doubles. Notable Rookies: Heyward, Strasburg, Stanton, Santana, Castro, and Bumgarner
For the regular prospects I got 72 of the 110 in the set. These come 3 to a pack and didn't get an doubles. I got a lot of the highly touted (and drafted) guys from this years class. Notables: Taillon, Machado (O's Top Pick), Colon, Sale, Lee, Harvey, DeShields, Grandal, and Brentz
Onto the the base Chrome I got 19 of the 110 cards in the set. Ouch, good thing I'm not building this set! I didn't get any big name players except for Carlos Santana. No doubles
The Propects Chrome was a little better. I got 24 of the 110 cards in the set. Notables: Taillon, Lipka, and Zach Lee. No doubles.

Now onto the good stuff. I destroyed the odds when it came to my refractors and autographs.

I got one regular refractor: (1:11 packs)Vance Worley
One Chrome Prospect Refractor: (1:11 packs) Justin O'Connor
I got one blue bordered parallel: (1:20 packs)Mike Dunn #'d 236/399.

I got one Blue Refractor: (1:40 Packs) JASON HEYWARD!!!!!
I love this card. It's numbered 3/199. I would have called this box a success had this been my only "hit"! It looks so much better in person. I haven't decided what to do with it yet.

I was a little nervous about my promised autograph card because of my experience last month with Bowman Chrome. My mind was put at ease when I got this:
USA Autograph Lucas Sims (1:216 packs). Yep! A CASE HIT. I was ecstatic when I pulled this card. I don't ever remember getting a one per case card!

I was happy to finish out my packs not expecting any other hits in the last 5 or 6 packs. I was very excited to get this card:
Autographed Chrome Prospect Zach Lee (1:38 packs). I guess all of the bad Juju I had from Bowman Chrome is gone! It's signed on card which is a plus and it is mostly flawless (scratches are on the toploader or penny sleeve). Now, I wonder if some other collector will be short an autographed card from their box because of my good fortune? I know how I felt last month when my Chrome box was shorted the promised hit and I wouldn't wish that bad luck on anybody. I hope this isn't the case and that the USA auto I got was an extra bonus hit for being the lucky 1 out of the 12 box case.

I would have to give this box an A. Even though I only pulled one Oriole for the PC, I'm still happy as a loon right now. While I am far from completing the set I still enjoyed my purchase. For the price I paid ( $50 after free shipping, discount coupons, and also being on sale) at Dave and Adam's I definitely made out like a bandit! I also must give Topps a little credit because the Chrome cards weren't extruded from a paper towel roll unlike other chrome releases this year. They lay mostly flat and all have nearly perfect centering. Maybe they have heard the cries of collectors and have corrected these mistakes and 2011 will be a much better year quality wise (I hope!) I might try my luck with a blaster or 2 to work on the set or buy a complete base and prospects set off of eBay. I haven't decided yet.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

OH NO!!!'s Poor Vintage Collection #3

The cards that are featured in this recurring theme were found by my father strewn about the floor of an abandoned farm building near my childhood home. There were approximately 1000 cards that laid undisturbed from the late 60's to early 90's when he discovered them. Most are in poor condition because exposure to the elements. He recently gave them to me and I will feature them here on my blog.
1962 Topps #25 Ernie Banks

I'm not sure what happened to this card but it looks like it mayb have been stepped on when it was laying in that outbuilding by and animal or a Cardinals fan. If it was a Cards fan, why didn't they just hide him in a nice cardboard box instead of throwing him on the floor?

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Topps Customer Service Roundup

A short while back, I bought a box of 2010 Bowman Chrome and had so-so results. I was shorted an autograph card until this came in the mail earlier this week:

I have never heard of him, but that is usually the case with Bowman Chrome Prospect Autographs. Mets fans, is this guy a top prospect?

Also in my box I had 4 of the USA Baseball inserts that were miscut. Topps also replaced them card for card with better centered cards!
I also recieved in the mail last week my Red Hot Rookie redemption #2. Jose Tabata has a bright future in Pittsburgh and an even brighter future when he is traded away to a contender for prospects. I like this card because it reminds me of the Orange Refractors I like so much from this year's Topps Chrome.

I did hear back from Topps about my expired Nolan Reimold Finest redemption card. I got an envelope with the actual redemption in it on Christmas Eve. On the back it was stamped "Offer Expired". Oh well, you can't win them all. I was holding out hope that maybe Topps would give me at least a little something for the expired redemption. Here's to hoping for better collation in 2011!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Cal Ripken Cardboard Appreciation #10

1992 Topps Gold Winner #400

It's been over a month since I last posted a Ripken Card. I just want to say that Topps got this card right. WINNER!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Trade with Greg from Plaschke, Thy Sweater is Argyle

This is going to be a short a sweet post because I've had too much EGG NOG and I should be sleeping. THis trade comes to me from Greg from The Plaschke your name is hard to spell while drinking blog.

This Eddie Murray is probably the geekiest I've ever seen him on cardboard. He looks like a kindergartner could beat him up with those glasses and his windbreaker under his uni. Usually Eddie looks like he could rip your arms off on most cards.

This little Ripken card is new to me and very hard to handle while impaired because it is a smaller than standard size.
I am seeking all Topps Gold Orioles from all years. This is the first one (besides Cal) that I own from 1992.... I know you guys out in Blogoland has some Topps Gold Orioles laying around somewhere.

Thanks Greg for the great cards. I look forward to doing more great trades with you in the future!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Trade with Mike from BA Benny's Baseball Card Buffet

I was checking out one of BA Benny's great posts not too long ago and stumbled on his wantlists. I especially focused on his 2010 Topps lists and was able to find a lot of great cards for him. He sent me a nice return package so let's check it out:

First and Foremost he sent me a few cards I needed for my 2009 Upper Deck and 2010 Topps Update sets. I am getting really close to finishing these off, so check my wantlists and see if you can help.

I am making a pretty big push to find Topps Gold cards of Orioles lately. I am having mixed results but am having fun chasing them down.

Shiny Markakis! A Blue Refractor from 2009 Topps Finest. I'm really digging this card!
I don't know if I congratulated Aubrey Huff on winning the World Series with the Giants this year but I really liked him as an Oriole. I wonder if the thong he wore during the W.S. is going to Cooperstown?

Here is another card of a former O that ended up in the NL West. He was in San Diego to end the season and has since joined Aubrey in San Fran. If their pitching holds up this year, they will have as good a shot as any to repeat.

Thanks for the Great Trade, Mike! Maybe we can do it again some time!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Box Break: 2010 Bowman Platinum (Warning)

(At some point during this post the author descends into a mindless, deluded rant. After proofreading it the editor decided you may not want to read any further. The editor also determined that the author was either on or off his medication. You have been Warned!!!)

Well, it's not a full hobby box, it's just a blaster. Apparently Topps just released these a month earlier than the hobby version for some reason. Anyways, I went to Wal-Mart with the Fiancee to get some Christmas Cards and stopped by the card aisle while she was checking out. I saw Jason Heyward's likeness on the front and couldn't resist the pack ripping urge. I grabbed it and went to the same checkout line where my lovely fiancee was finishing her purchase. "More Cards?" she said with a disapproving look on her face. Sheepishly I paid for the blaster as she shoved the blaster in her shopping bag. Maybe I should have resisted the urge for more than one reason.
Here are my highlights of the box. A Buster Posey rookie card, and two Orioles. The rest of the box was pretty much just junk. I like that Josh Bell actually has an Orioles hat on because on most of his other cards he's been on this year he's had that blue and white abomination that they wore on the fourth of July and Labor Day. God what an ugly hat!

I have some problems with this product because it just feels like Bowman's Best with a new name slapped on it. It just feels like an unnecessary release. There is nothing spectacular about this product and no "signature" gimmick like rip cards from A&G or rainbow refractors like Topps Chrome or Bowman Chrome.

I was reading some of the backs and they are quite horrible. On the back of Posey's card it says: "Posey made his MLB Debut on 9/11/09, batting once for the Giants against the Dodgers. One that same date in 1985, a single off San Diego Padres pitcher Eric Show game the all time hits leader the record topping Ty Cobb's 4,191." What the Hell do both of these events have in common. NOTHING!!! except they were on the same date. Maybe Buster is supposed to become the all-time hits leader down the road. Maybe we will find out who this "All-Time Hits Leader" guy is at that time! Or Maybe Eric Show blackmailed Topps into mentioning his name on somebody's card or else.

Here is the write-up from the back of Josh Bell's Card: "Bell made his MLB debut 7/1/10, going 1 for 4 in Baltimore against the Oakland A's. On that same date in 1990, Andy Hawkins of the New York Yankees lost to the Chicago White Sox, 4-0 despite allowing nary a hit in a complete game." Wow, WHO GIVES A SHIT!!!" How are these two seeming unimportant events in baseball history make it onto a baseball card!

I challenge anybody to find a stupider paragraph on the back of any of the 2010 Bowman Platinum cards. Topps really is grabbing for straws here. Don't write anything if you can't write anything interesting.

I'm probably not going to be buying any more of this product so if anybody pulls any other Orioles from this abomination of a set, please let me know.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Group Break Roundup

I have been getting into a lot of Group Breaks lately. I am going to show just the "hits" of the last two that I joined.
These are the best of what I got out of The Sandlot's break of 2 boxes of 2009 Topps Unique and a box of 2010 Topps Chrome. I got some really nice Rookie cards of some of the Orioles up and comers from the Unique boxes. I think I did pretty good on the Chrome box too. I got this Adam Jones refractor (it's for trade because I already have one) and a Brian Matusz rookie card. I hope Joe does another break soon because I really enjoyed this one!

These cards are from Nachos Grande's latest group break. All three of these Ripkens are new to my collection. I really the Walk of Fame card because it is all refractory shiny. I really like Nachos Grande's group breaks because of the variety of different products he picks out.

That's all I have for now!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Trade with Scott of Smed's Baseball Card Blog

While looking at some of the great blogs I follow, I stumbled upon Scott of Smed's Baseball Card Blog's wantlists on his site. I emailed him and before I knew it I was tearing through my commons boxes pulling out tons of cards that he needed for his sets. As a fellow set builder I have tons of cards left over from the sets I've built and was happy to help him out. Here are just a small sampling of the great cards he sent back to me:

The Patterson Autograph is my first of him. His whole first name is decipherable but his last name after the P is just a straight line. Bedard has become the man made of glass in the great Northwest since he was traded there a few years ago. The normally healthy Brian Roberts had his issues with illness and injuries this year but I'm sure he'll bounce back this year.

This is my favorite Ultra Iron Man insert of the 50 that are in the set. Family Ties is what I will call it. I have more than half of the 50 card in the insert set so if you have any for trade, I'd love to hear from you.

This Pacific card of Roberto Alomar is kind of a revelation of sorts. I used to despise, even HATE Pacific cards for some reason. I just never liked them. Recently I have done a 180 and have really started to embrace Pacific for some reason. I have next to no Pacific Orioles in my collection so check out my wantlists if you think you can help!
This Millwood card is a Blue Parallel from 2010 Topps Opening Day. I thought these Blue Paralleled Oriole cards only existed in fairy tales because I had not seen one until now. I only need 3 more to complete the Team set ( Brian Roberts, Nick Markakis, Adam Jones).

These are only a few of the great cards Scott sent me but believe me, there were tons of others! I highly recommend Scott as a trader so get on over and check out his blog already!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Ultimate Super Jumbo

My Fiancee took a trip to New York City last week with her Grandmother to take in a Broadway show and took a little bit of her time to do some shopping. The self-proclaimed "Frugalista" that she is ended up at a store called the "Odd Lot Outlet". I guess they just sell closeouts and overruns. Anyways they had a bin of baseball card packs so she actually dug through the entire thing to find 2 packs with Orioles on the Front. I didn't picture them here but both cards on the front were Brady Anderson's 1989 Fleer Rookie Card. Good eye babe! Most of the other cards in the packs were from the Over Production Era but there were some highlights. Here is a scan of the package:

And a bunch of the cards:
I would have been happy getting 1 card of an Oriole that I didn't already have. Jimmy Myers is as obscure and O as you can get but I needed it for my team sets nonetheless. Each Pack was guaranteed at least one Hall of Fame card. Well I obliterated the odds and pulled 4! Its like "Winning a Major Award!" (obscure A Christmas Story reference). Too bad I already have the Ripken. The Mitch Williams card has an interesting story attached to it. We were sitting on the couch the other night watching Hot Stove on MLBN and she wanted to know "Who is that Mitch Williams character? He couldn't have been a ballplayer, he's too fat!" When I opened the pack in front of her and showed the 1992 Triple Play card of his likeness, she exclaimed, "Nice Mullet, he looks better as a porker on TV!" I told her the camera adds 10 pounds!

Thanks babe for taking time on your trip to think of me and pick me out a winner(s) of a pack of cards.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Trades with Derek of Tomahawk Chopping

Derek from the new Tomahawk Chopping blog, contacted me through email a little while back about some Orioles cards he had for trade and some cards I needed for my Topps Update set. He has just started his new blog, Tomahawk Chopping. While this was a smaller trade, I still enjoyed trading with him. Here's a few of the cards he sent me:
I really like the Ripken card. It has a very clean, regal look to it. I've always enjoyed Flair cards. The Lineage card is a card I already had but I have other plans for this particular one! While I am not actively seeking out the black background parallels that you can get at Wal-Mart (?), this card will fit nicely into my collection.

About a week after our first trade was complete, Derek contacted me again and said he had some more O's cards I needed. This is the second part of the trade that he sent me. He found these over Thanksgiving break at his parents house:
I don't have a lot of Will Clark cards of him in an Orioles uniform mostly because I was on "collecting" hiatus during the time he played for the O's. I like the Alan Mills Topps Gold card because its just a different shot that you don't see that often. The Adam Jones Turkey Red is the next to last Orioles insert card I need from 2010 Topps series 1, 2 and, Update. I only need the last Eddie Murray CYMTO from Updates to finish it off.

Go and check out Derek's new blog since he is just getting started and show him some blog-o-sphere love.

Thanks Derek for the great cards! I look forward to dealing with you more in the future!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Trade with Jimmy from prophet got it...

After seeing one of my previous posts, Jimmy of the new-ish prophet got it... blog sent me an email showing some of the cards he had for me that were on my wantlist. While he sent me more cards than what I am showing here, these are my favorites...

I'm actively seeking out the team set of refractors from Bowman Chrome. I'm doing it with trades and have picked up a few via The scan isn't showing off the refractory goodness but believe me, it is a refractor! I have a soft spot in my heart for Chris Tillman because of his kindness to me and my fiancee at Orioles FanFest this past January. Chris had a great minor league season this year but mixed results with the big club. Here's to 2011 Chris, Good Luck!
Holy chunk of cardboard Batman! This is probably one of the thickest relic cards I have. I might have to go and buy a pack of the toploaders designed for thick GU'd cards just to house this one! I'd never seen any of the relics from 2008 Topps before. I wonder why they were so thick?
I remember having this card at some point in time but I don't know what happened to it. Nonetheless, I am glad to have it back in my collection!

That's all I have for now. Thanks Jimmy for the trade. I hope we can swap cards again in the near future.

Jimmy also has a contest going on right now that's super easy to enter so get on over and win some free cards! Here's the link:

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Group Break Goodies from Thorzul

I know I'm getting a little behind posting but I wanted to share my take of cards from Thorzul's November group break. I really liked the new idea he had where 15 slots were teams that the participants picked and the last 15 teams were randomed off among the 15 original slots. I know it sounds a little confusing and I can't seem to get the wordage right( lack of sleep), but trust me, it worked out well. I hadn't seen any of the 2004 Upper Deck Legends Timeless Teams cards before and also was intrigued by the 2009 Finest box. Heres the spoils:
Out of the Legends box I ended up with a good assortment of Orioles. 3 Jim Palmers and a Brooks Robinson. I am a confused with one of the design decision UD made though. On the t3 Palmers, niether of the years match up with the respective uniforms he is wearing. While this is a minor flaw in my eyes, it still makes one scratch his head a little bit. At least the Brooksie card shows the correct World Series with the correct play.I was skunked with my second assigned team, the Royals, in the Legends box. Upon my inspection of the checklist, there are no Royals to be had in the entire base set. Another interesting design decision by Topps. I thought the Royals team from 1980 that won the AL Pennant or the World Series Champion 1985 squad would at least have some players in the set.
I didn't get the same shaft from Topps in the Finest box though:
I have no idea what I am going to do with this card. If somebody is interested in trading for it, I am all ears. I'm not a huge fan of the Manu-patch cards that Topps has been loading up all their products with lately.

Of the Orioles I got out of the Finest box I ended up with these:
All cards I need for my team set. Now I'm just missing #88 Aubrey Huff. Thorzul also pulled a redemption card #8 which is supposed to be Nolan Reimold. The redemption was technically good until 4/30/10. Technically I think that having a redemption card good for only one year sucks. When I am looking at older boxes I look at the checklist to see if it has any redemptions and if they are already expired. This weighs greatly on me whether or not I will purchase the box. Knowing my luck I'd pull a Cal Ripken Super Logo Patch Autograph #d to 10 that expired already. Im pretty sure I would cry if that happened. I don't think that redemption cards are bad idea. I think that it allows the card manufacturer a way to put more value into their boxes that otherwise would not make it because of printing deadlines and street dates of products. What I do have a problem with is the expiration dates. One year is not enough, 3 years isn't either. I think that a 5 years from the release date of the product is reasonable. Seriously is it going to be a problem for Topps or UD to hang onto the actual cards for that long? I'd like to think not.
Anyways, I already sent that sucker in so we'll see what happens. I'm willing to take a chance to see if they will give me something else or maybe the actual card I should get.
Thanks to Thorzul for the group break, I'm looking forward to your next one.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Trade with Matt of A Giant Blog

I have really been pounding the pavement make trade offers and getting other offers from some of the readers of this blog. I contacted Matt of A Giant Blog about me sending him a whole bunch of Giants in exchange for some Orioles cards I need. Most of what I sent to Matt was newer stuff from 1986 to the present. All of the stuff he sent me back was older than 1988, some much older. Lets take a look:
I'm really liking all of these vintage gems. All of them are in great condition and each fill holes in my collection. An interesting note on the Steve Barber card. The cartoon on the back tells about how Steve pitched a one hitter versus Kansas City in 1960. The only hit was by the Orioles manager in 1966, Hank Bauer. What are the odds a no-hitter is broken up by player that one day becomes your boss!!??
The Brooks Robinson Checklist card from 1969 reminds me that I need to get more of him in my collection. But then I remember I'm not made of money!

These two 1981 Donruss cards complete my team set from the company's debut issue. Not great photos on the cards but I'll give the photographers a pass since it was the first set issued.

Matt also included an unopened pack of 1988 Donruss. It's a neat idea that I hadn't thought of before. Here are the best 3 cards from the pack:
It was harder to pick these 3 than you may think It was a pretty good pack because I also got Goose Gossage, Charlie Hough, Doug Drabek, and Dave Magadan. All were better than average players when they played. This was a stacked pack back in 1988.

Thanks Matt for the awesome vintage cards and helping me scratch that wax pack itch.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Million Card Giveaway Delivery

The Million Card giveaway is over. Well, for me at least. From the get go of the redemption program I had no direction but soon figured out where to go: I was going to get Orioles cards I needed!
I recently requested delivery of my portfolio. I ended up with 14 cards in my portfolio, down from the 35 or so codes I redeemed. I ended up with so many crap cards I am surprised at what I got for them! I wanted to wait until I had finished opening packs of Series 1, 2 and Update Series so I could get all the cards shipped at once. I wheeled and dealed my way from those 35 codes down to 14 cards that fit into my collection. I have nearly every Topps base card from 2010 back through 1978 so my aim was to work on trading for Orioles cards from the early 70's and 60's. Here are 6 of the cards with the Triandos being my oldest and favorite of the group.
Not Pictured are: 1999 Brady Anderson, 1996 Mike Mussina, 1977 Mark Belanger, 1977 Andres Mora, 1977 Al Bumbry, 1976 Paul Mitchell, 1974 Earl Williams.
All of these cards are in pretty good condition which I am really happy about.

Now, one card was missing from my order. On the packing receipt it says that this card has been backordered. This card is by far the best card out of my 14 card bounty. Does anybody want to take a guess at what card it may be?