Friday, September 30, 2011

Obligatory State of the Blog

As I'm sitting here watching the Rays and Rangers play in game 1 of the ALDS, I'm having trouble focusing on the game with all of the my life events that are coming up.  I'm getting married next Saturday October the 8th and will be leaving on my honeymoon for 10 days starting October 20th.  I'm really looking forward to both of these events (obviously!)  Starting this weekend, I will be doing all of the last minute preparations (haircuts, dentist visits, etc) so I'll be away from my collection quite a bit.  I've got a few trades that I'm going to ship out on Monday and then after that, it will probably be November when I get back to normal blogging and trading.  I'll still be reading and commenting but just not actively trading. I will be going to Chantilly for the card show on the 15th so maybe I'll see some of you bloggers there (let me know if you are going).  Luckily the show fell on the weekend between the wedding and honeymoon and my soon-to-be wife is letting me go (haha).  Yall will have to wait until after Halloween to see the great buys I always find there!

One of the reasons other than lack of material that I have been absent from my blog is that I've been playing a lot of Gears of War 3.  Video Games is another one of my expensive hobbies that have followed me since childhood.  Gears 3 is a great game in my opinion and I'm having a ton of fun playing it.  If any of you other bloggers are on Xbox Live, feel free to add me as a friend.  My gamertag is HAHAyurDEAD  .  Just let me know who you are because I tend to get a lot of random friend requests.

I'll be back soon enough.  See you all soon!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Trade with Kirk of Eutaw Street Cardboard

I'll start off this trade post saying that it was pretty epic between two Oriole collectors.  Kirk made a post a little while back wanting to bolster his vintage Orioles collection.  I was happy to oblige since I had some doubles that I got from ebay purchases and other trading ventures.  He sent me a nice little package of in person autos and certified Orioles from past releases.  Here's part of my haul:

I'm very happy to have my first certified Brian Roberts autograph card.  Technically you could say my 8x10 from fanfest this past January could be certified by me but that's no good on the open market.  There seems to be a lot of empty space on this card.  Donruss/Leaf/Playoff/Pinnacle/Score/Pannini or whoever could have made the team logo or player picture a little bigger.
 Dennis Martinez was a favorite of my dad's to watch.  Plus he kinda looks like my uncle.
 This is my second Brady Anderson relic card.  This one from 2001 Fleer E-X features a swatch of jersey and his number is diecut.
 Chris Hoiles is one of my all-time favorite Orioles players and I'm happy to have an autograph of his in my collection.  Fleer Ultra 1991 is underrated in my humble opinion and looks great autographed!
 This is the only non-auto, non-relic card of the package but a good one.  I believe this is the only card featuring these 2 O's players from overlapping eras.  Cal's last season was '01 and Roberts got the call when Mike Bordick went down with an injury.  Brian didn't have his breakout season until 2003 but is the last link to Cal still with the team today.

Thanks Kirk for the great package of cards you sent over.  I hope that we can trade again in the future!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Two 2011 Topps Chrome Value Packs

The Fiancee and I stopped into Target to pick up some birthday cards and also add a few things to our wedding registry.  We're less than a month from our big day and starting to feel our stress and anxiety levels rise.  What better way to relieve some stress by busting a few value packs of 2011.  I let her pick the two out that I purchased and I'm glad I did.  She always picks packs with the best cards!

I can't go wrong with an Orange of the best player in baseball.

I got a regular Jeter in the same pack...

I was happy to get this rookie refractor of Teheran.  I think he's capable of some big things and we'll be hearing his name for years to come.

This was the reason I let her pick the packs when she's with me. My goal for the packs was to get and Orioles Orange refractor or and X-fractor in them so I'm especially happy I got one for my growing Markakis PC.  Pulling this out of a pack makes one less card I have to scour COMC for.  The X-fractors look much better this year BTW.

Here's the other highlights of the packs in non-picture form:

Refractor: Brett Anderson

Orange Refractors:  Lance Berkman, Matt Cain, Dan Uggla, Hanley Ramirez, Carl Crawford

X-Fractor:  Chris Pettit

Purple Refractor:  Chris Young

Everything listed is up for trade except for the Markakis X-Fractor.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Kevin Gregg is bad at pitching

Orioles leading Blue Jays 4-3, 2 outs, bottom of 9th.

Keving Gregg walks Kelly Johnson, allows a single to Jose Molina, loads the bases by hitting Adam Loewen (yes that Adam Loewen), throws a wild pitch to allow the tying run to score and then gives up the game winning hit to JP Arencibia.

I really feel bad for all of the other Orioles on the team who have to watch Captain Chaos blow games over and over and over.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Box Break: 2011 Topps Chrome Hobby

I preordered this box a little while back and had almost forgotten about it until I got the shipping notification. I started to get cautiously excited knowing the debacle that 2010 Topps Chrome was.  It had been nearly 2 weeks since I opened any packs (which is a long time for me!) so it was good to smell that new card smell again.  So I ripped a few packs and was pleasantly surprised to see that the cards were of a pretty high quality.  No pringle warping, no surface gouges, no dinged corners, no off-center or miscut cards and hardly any roller marks that plagued last year's edition.  I am happy to see that Topps fixed these issues for this years release.  Even the non-card collectors that work there know that those cards were of totally crappy quality!

I'm going to list the "lesser" inserts here:

Topps Heritage Chrome: Nelson Cruz, Carlos Quentin, Neil Walker, Brandon Beachy

Nothing to really write home about here...

Topps Chrome Throwbacks: Aroldis Chapman, Freddie Freeman, Felix Hernandez, Brian McCann

I know the back of the package says Vintage Chrome, but I hardly consider 1996 Topps Chrome to be "vintage".  I'll just call them throwbacks since Pepsi can call their 1990's designs throwbacks!

Refractors: Brandon Beachy, Carlos Pena, Dustin Pedroia, Andrew Cashner, Ichiro, Vernon Wells, Jonathan Sanchez, Jorge Posada

The Refractors from this box produced the exact amount of cards allotted for the box.  The odds were 1:3 packs.    I really cleaned up on Brandon Beachy and overall Braves in this break.  The Jorge Posada card is kinda funny because it says he is a Designated Hitter but the picture is of him in catchers gear chasing a foul pop up

My Astros lucky streak continues with this Sepia Refactor.  I particularly pull a bunch of Parallels of JA Happ.  I think I got an Orange parallel from 2010 Bowman, a Blue from 2011 Bowman and now this Sepia Refractor.   I could take or leave this version of refractor.
I think the Atomic refractors are kind of neat but to me they just look like a zoomed in version of the flagship Diamond Anniversary parallels.
Blue Refractors make their return.
This gold I was happy to get since they are numbered out of 50.  I'm not really thrilled about the player because he hasn't played in nearly a season and a half.  Oh well, you can't win them all.
My first promised autograph is actually the refractor version.  Somehow the scanner didn't pick up the rainbow coloring.  I thought that Crow was once a hot Starting Pitcher prospect and it wasn't that long ago.  KC fans help me out here, I'm interested to know why he is pitching out of the bullpen.  Did he totally tank as a starter?
Here's my second promised autograph of the box.  This was probably the second best autograph (in my opinion) I could have pulled next to Zach Britton.  Earlier in the season, Pineda was lighting it up and a shoo-in for Rookie of the Year.  The league caught up to him but he is still a very solid pitcher and seems he will form a tough 1-2 punch with King Felix for years to come.

I'd give this box a 4.5 out of 5.0 score only because I pulled 2 Orioles from the entire box (Markakis and Derek Lee base cards).  Otherwise I was very pleased with the results and I think the cards look great in Chrome.  The flagship was only so-so in my book but be chromed, they look a little more dignified.  I'm still scratching my head about the double team names around the baseball and logo though.

All cards are for trade except the Pineda.  I want to hang onto that card for a while, unless I get an offer I can't refuse.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Trade with AJ of The Lost Collector

There is not much to say about this trade that AJ hasnt already said at his blog. But, when I saw this card from the blaster he busted a week or so I knew I had to have it!  I love when Orioles GUs have Orange swatches in them.

Thanks for the quick and easy trade AJ, its a pleasure to trade with you!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Trade with JayBee of bdj610's Topps Baseball Card Blog

I don't usually get that many trade offers because I am more proactive in that sense.  I'm usually looking over wantlists and offering up cards for trade.  Not this time though!  Jaybee from bdj610's Topps Baseball Card Blog hit me up with a couple of cards I need for my collection.  I was happy to oblige and sent him a single card he needed.  Here are a few of the cool cards he sent:

This card is a fairly obscure one but it was the last I needed to finish up my 2004 Topps/Topps Traded Team set.  It was on my Top 10 Wanted list on the sidebar that will now need to be replaced.  Mike never made it to the big leagues but at the time this card was produced he was a rising prospect in the Orioles system.  I checked out his Baseball Reference page and he never made it past double-A ball. It seemed he just couldn't hit more advanced pitching.
I had seen these cards before but never in person.  It appears to be some kind of goofy card game that Topps came up with to sell cards.  I got several more of these in the trade package and they really are interesting.  They are made of plastic and you can see through them.
I'll close out this quick trade post with another card I had never seen in person.  I didn't even realize that Topps Opening Day existed in 1998.  All I am missing from the team set now is Jeffrey Hammonds.  That particular card will be placed on my Top 10 Wanted list.

Thanks Jaybee for the quick and easy trade!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Trade with Sean of Condition:Poor

Between the 2 natural disasters (earthquake, hurricane) in my area and untimely passing of Orioles great Mike Flanagan, I was able to complete a trade with Sean of the Condition:Poor blog.  Sean is a Mets fan so I sent him some extras I had sitting around.  He sent me some great cards to add to my collection.  Take a look:

Sean seems to center his collection around vintage cards and specifically Mets vintage.  I'm very glad that he had this prospects card of Ed Barnowski and Eddie Watt.  A lot of people really like the dual/triple/quad prospect and rookie cards.  I don't really care for them.  I like my rookie cards to be of just 1 player.
Here is a new Cal Card for my collection. This one is from 2007 Upper Deck, AKA the year UD went nuts with Cal themed inserts.  I really like the Ultra Iron Man set they did for "Fleer Ultra" because the pictures are all different.  From the few of these featuring the Iron Man and Iron Horse that I have, they all have the same pictures.  Maybe it's just a coincidence
I've recently taken a liking to on card Orioles Autographs.  Its just something about the cards actually being touched by the player that make them much cooler than the band-aid silver foil autograph stickers.  This is a first time autograph for me.  I don't know much about Eddie Watt but I like his signature because it's legible!  Most players these days don't take pride in penmanship.

Thanks Sean for the great cards you sent my way.  I hope you like your part of the trade!