Monday, December 26, 2011

What I Got For Christmas

I hope that everyone had a Merry Little Christmas.  I know I did.  The last few days I've driven over the hills and through the woods to visit family members and friends and I used today as a little reflection time and to do what I love to do: stare at pictures of men!  More specifically I'm staring at new pictures that I got as gifts.  I think I had a pretty nice haul.  I got a blaster to 2011 Bowman Chrome from a friend, a hobby box of 2010 Bowman Chrome from my wife, and a couple rack packs of 2011 Topps Update in my stocking.  I didn't get much of note out of the Bowman Chrome blaster but the 2010 Bowman Chrome hobby box was loaded with some really nice hits and a bunch of cards towards the set:
Here's the "lesser" hit of the box.  It's a pretty nice looking card of a team that I don't really care for.  BTW, it's numbered 86/150 for those of you that are interested.
 This card is actually a bonus hit out of the box.  Team USA autographs are tough pulls at 1 in 207 packs so I'll venture to say that this is a case hit.  This card is especially cool because he was drafted by the Orioles this past summer.  I'll most definitely be hanging onto this card!
Here's my promised autograph of the box and it turns out that it is a refractor.  Not bad!  I think he's one of Minnesota's top prospects because I have heard of him.  I did look up the price range of this card and it does book for 80 bucks!
 Here's the most awesome card I pulled.  SUPERFRACTOR! SUPERFRACTOR! SUPERFRACTOR!  These are really tough pulls dropping at 1 in 5625 packs.  That's one in every 26 cases.  I have no idea whether I should hang onto this one or try to sell it.  I've pulled a couple printing plates and 1 or 2 1/1's in my pack busting career, but this one is bar none my best 1/1 card.  I can see why Superfractors are sought after because they look amazing!

Coming down from the excitement of a Superfractor, I got this Liquorfractor of Tom Terrific out of on one my Update rack packs.  I did also get 2 Diamond Giveaway codes that I don't know what to do with.  I've already cashed out my portfolio and hadn't planned on getting anymore.  Heck, I even traded all 37 of my unique rings away and deleted the shortcut to the site from my favorites.  I ended up with
10 Orioles rings, 12 Browns rings and 15 Cal Ripken rings.

So as you can see, there was some real Christmas magic in the packs I received this year.  I hope everybody else's card gifts were as wonderful as mine!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Trade with Matt of

There's a relatively new blog in town called  It's run by Matt who is a friend of Sam from the Daily Dimwit.  Matt contacted me about 2 weeks ago about some Orioles cards that he had for trade.  Matt said that Sam suggested that he try and trade with me since he has traded with me a couple times in the past.  I'm sure glad he did.  Matt sent me a really nice package of cards, so lets look at a few of the highlights:
Here's a nice looking Eddie Murray card from Lineage.  I'm still a little bit confused about the actual name of this parallel.  Are they just straight up "Refractors" or "Platinum Refractors"?
Well here's a card that I'm sure I know what it's called.  This is undoubtedly the purple refractor from Topps Chrome.  I'm a little puzzled why retail gets 3 different refractor parallels: purple, x-fractor, and orange.  Why don't they just do x-fractors and call it a day?
And here's a nice shot of Mark Reynolds playing baseball in the dark.  I remember as a kid playing t-ball in the backyard after it got dark and catching a batted ball with my face.  Also I've probably touched on this before but does Topps know that the Orioles have never worn Orange socks?  Do they know they can look up the official uniforms at Chris Creamer's Sports Logos page?  Do they even care that their photoshopping jobs really blow sometimes?

Thanks Matt for the great cards you sent.  Also thanks to Sam for sending Matt my way so I could get my hands on some new Orioles cardboard.

While proofreading this post, I noticed I asked a lot of questions that mostly only Topps could answer.  If anybody has any hilarious answers to the questions posed, please feel free to comment!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Card Show Report: My 5 Favorite Things

So I went to the card show in Raleigh this past weekend and was able to pick up a lot of great cards that fit the needs of my collection.  I picked up a bunch of vintage Orioles cards to fill out my team sets, a bunch of Chrome cards from the last 2 years to fill the sets I'm working on, and I was able to visit with one of my fellow Orioles bloggers, William from foul bunt.  I'm just going to post 5 of my favorite things from the show.

I was able to purchase this fine looking Brooks card for 20 bucks.  The centering is pretty good, there are no creases or really beat up corners so I think I really got a great deal on this vintage beauty!
This card I actually purchased from William.  Its an Oriole, its an autograph, and it's on card.  In my collection, that's a win on all 3 fronts!  Doyne didn't really work out in Baltimore but I like the card nonetheless!
Here's one of the other vintage cards that I picked up to finish my 1960 Topps Orioles team set.  This is Steve's rookie card and I'm very glad to have it.  He stuck with the birds for about 6 or 7 years and had his greatest success there.  He was a local product hailing from Takoma Park Maryland.  I think he is probably one of the most underrated Orioles players in their history since he won over 100 games for them.
This card actually came to me in trade.  I brought about 20 cards with me and had them set out on William's table to see if I could sell or trade them.  I got this Matty Ice card for the Brett Lawrie Blue Refractor and the redemption card for the team USA set that I had pulled recently.  In my opinion I got a great deal but objectively it was probably a pretty even trade.
And that brings me to my favorite thing of the whole show.  It's not something I bought, traded, or bargained for.  William was nice enough to bring his batting gloves for me to see.  These aren't just any batting gloves though.  These are Nolan Reimold's batting gloves from the last game of the season.  These batting gloves had a major role in crushing the Red Sox playoff hopes and sending them home for the winter.  You can read he whole story about how William came into possession of the gloves right here.  You can see in the picture that both of the gloves are autographed on the thumbs so these are true collectables and I'm glad I actually had a chance to put them on.  I mean look at me, I'm grinning like a little kid!

I really had a blast at the show picking up some new cards for my collection and most of all just hanging out talking with William and his son.  So I guess that really wraps up the show.  Thanks for reading!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Fixing Bowman and Bowman Chrome

Hopefully, Topps reads this post and steals all of my ideas and makes eleventy billion dollars off of it.

After my last post, I realized that there is hope for Bowman and Bowman Chrome.  All it needs is a little re-imagining and retooling.  The last 2 years of Bowman has been buoyed by Strasmas and Harpermania and that has helped collectors gloss over the fact that Bowman has some problems and has for a while now.  I think the general consensus around the blogs is that Bowman is tired, bland, boring, and pointless.  Personally, I think that none of those is necessarily true but I can agree that it does need some work. Here's some suggestions that I think would make Bowman and Bowman Chrome more appealing to collectors:

1. Change the name of Bowman Draft Picks to Bowman Series 2.  It would create a little more continuity between the 2 sets and make the numbering system easier to understand.

2.  Stop putting Bowman Chrome Prospects in with regular Bowman.  Bowman can stand on its own and doesn't need Chrome to help prop it up.

3.  Use 1997 Bowman and Bowman Chrome as a template for the revamped version.  1997 Bowman had 441 cards in the set.  Bowman Chrome had 300.  Every player does not need a Bowman Chrome version.  Even the prospects don't all deserve Chrome versions.

4.  Obviously with the new rookie card rules put into place in 2006 you cannot have minor league players yet to make their major league debut in the base set.  So here is what I propose:

Bowman series 1:  Released sometime between mid-May and mid-June.
200 card base set including 40 to 50 rookies with a 100 card prospects set.

Bowman series 2:  Releases sometime between mid-October and mid-November
200 card base set including 40 to 50 rookies with a 100 card prospects set.

Bowman Chrome:  Releases sometime in late November to mid-December
200 card base set including about 40 to 50 of the best rookies from the previous 2 regular Bowman series.  There is a 100 card prospects set that chromes the 100 best prospect cards from the previous 2 Bowman Prospect sets.

So for the year:
Bowman series 1 and 2 totals 400 base cards with 200 prospects: 600 cards total
Bowman Chrome totals 200 base cards with 100 prospects: 300 cards total

5. The most radical thought would be to not photoshop any more jerseys on cards.  Since Topps has a license to show Minor League logos, they should show them on the prospect cards.  That way from year to year, if a prospect is still working his way up in the minors, he could be shown in a different affiliate's uniform.

Hypothetically Manny Machado could be shown in a Frederick Keys uniform in 2012 Bowman Prospects.  In 2013 Bowman Prospects he could be shown in a Bowie Baysox or Norfolk Tides jersey.  In 2014 when the takes the Majors by storm(!) he could make his Bowman Debut in an Orioles jersey.

I think that there could still be a Pro Debut set made by Topps, but they should use different pictures.  The new draft rules should help Topps get photographers to the minor league parks to take pictures of the new draft picks before the minor league season ends.

6. Don't over do it with the insert sets.  2 or 3 is probably enough and don't make them 100 or 50 cards.  Bring some sort off excitement back to insert cards by making them a little more rare and not 1 per pack.

7.  Get rid of the Bowman gold parallel.  It's kind of pointless. Keep the #'d Blue borders and make them #'d to 100.  Also keep the Bowman International parallels and # them to 250.

8.  The Bowman Chrome refractors could use a little tweaking.  Don't change anything there other than limiting the regular refractors to like 500, blues to 250, gold to 100, orange to 50, reds to 25 and superfractor 1/1s.

9.. The Bowman Chrome Autographs also needs a few tweaks. Put one Rookie auto and one Prospect auto per box.  Limit the print run on the regular autos to 1000, refractors to 500, blues to 250, gold to 100, orange to 50, red to 25, and superfractor 1/1's.

10. Bowman will have to add regular autographed rookies and regular prospect autographs.  1 of each per box.  Regular autographs #'d to 1000, International to 250, Blues to 100, and Platinum 1/1's.

Anybody else have any other suggestions?

Hopefully, Topps reads this post and steals all of my ideas and makes eleventy billion dollars off of it.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

2011 Bowman Draft Picks Errors, Omissions, and Just Plain Awful

Here's the 3 Orioles Prospect cards that came out for 2011 Bowman Draft Picks this year:

Here's Dylan Bundy's mugshot.  What an ugly ass card.  It's so low quality that it looks like it was either taken with a cell phone or a TV still.  

Yes, Mike Wright is an Orioles Prospect, NOT a Nationals player!

Obviously Nick was photoshopped into an O's uniform because of his hat.  Bowman Draft Picks was released on November 17th, which is exactly 2 days after the Orioles unveiled their new look for next season.  Out of the 3 cards though at least it isn't a crappy photo or the wrong photshopped uniform.  

I'll go ahead and say that Topps really screwed up on Bowman Draft Picks this year.  It's usually a crowd pleaser (at least those into prospecting and rookie cards) but they really delivered a clunker this year.

The black border on the base prospect cards looks terrible.  Why did they tinker with what worked with the regular Bowman release in May?  I thought the prospect cards looked fine then and I thought the general consensus was kind of in line with my opinion.

There are no Orange bordered parallel or International parallels like there were with the regular Bowman release.  Even the gold bordered parallels are only found in retail packs.  It just doesn't create continuity between the 2 releases.  Maybe that's what Topps is shooting for?  If that's the case, then change the design completely!

The numbering system is completely screwy this go around.  The regular base set (all MLB Rookies) are numbered 1 through 110.  There is no prefix this time around like BDP or BD or anything like that.  Just plain 1 through 110.  So concievably at some show, a person not knowing any better would look through some boxes and pick out both regular Bowman and regular Draft picks and make a set combining the 2.  Makes no sense.  But, the Prospect cards all carry the normal BDPP prefixes just like in past years.

The Kolten Wong  numbering situation: Overall Kolten is supposed to be card #BDPP90 in the base Prospects set and base Chrome Prospects set.  HAHA, not even close.  F-up #1: In the base Prospects set, he is numbered BDPP91 so that makes 2 versions of #BDPP91: Kolten Wong and William Abreu. F-up #2: In the base Chrome set he has the right card #90 but the prefix is BDP, not BDPP like it should be.

A weird thing about the card backs that I noticed.  On Dylan Bundy's base and chrome prospect card it says that he is the Orioles #1 pick from this years draft.  On the back of all his autograph cards, he is the Orioles #4 pick.  Apparently all the autograph cards show the actual draft position that he was taken by that team and the regular prospect cards show the number pick he was of his team.  It's kind of stupid they would do this.  To make matters worse, there are shady ebay sellers getting premium prices for these "error cards".

The picture quality of the cards is laughable especially on 2 of the top picks the aforementioned Dylan Bundy and Archie Bradley.  Regular plain-jane mugshots work for Pannini and Leaf and unlicensed crap but not for a mainstream release like Bowman Draft Picks!

There are several cards that the photoshop job is just horrible like Taylor Jungmann (look at my autograph card a few posts back. The angle on his hat is just all wrong!)  I'm willing to forgive that but there are not 1, not 2, not 3, but 4 players photoshopped into the wrong uniform.  John Hicks is shown as a Diamondback but is actually a Mariner.  John is also shown as a pitcher when he really plays catcher.  Levi Michael is pictured as a Ranger but is actually a Twin. Mike Wright (above) is pictured as a National but is an Oriole.  Dan Gamache is shown as a twin but is actually a Pirates player.  These errors are just plain lazy.  I don't like the photoshopping of pictures in the first place so this brings out the glaring weakness of the whole process.  Wrong position is one thing but the wrong team is just unforgivable.  Do some damn research for the players you put on your cards!

Another gripe about the product is that the Aflac autograph cards aren't numbered and it supposedly makes them easy to fake.  I've never gotten one so I don't know too much about this problem but it shows how rushed Topps was to get this product out the door.

Everybody has seen the box art either in the Target card aisle or on an online card retailers website.  Mariners rookie Michael Pineda is shown in an action shot throwing a pitch. HE IS NOT ANYWHERE TO BE FOUND IN THE PRODUCT!  Why not put Mike Trout or Mike Moustakas on the box art?

So to sum it all up in one sentance:  


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Trade with Dustin of Coot Veal and the Vealtones

Dustin, from the awesomely named Coot Veal and the Vealtones blog sent me an email a little while back about a Miguel Cabrera GU that he was interested in and offered to send me some cards in return. We have traded in the past so I was happy to make the trade.  Lets look at some of the cards:

The Montanez and Ponson card finished up their respective team sets.  I'm surprised that it took me so long to get my hands on he Bowman Ponson card.  I'm still way far away from finishing up the Documentary Orioles though.  If anybody has any let me know!
This is the Refractor version of Josh's Bowman Platinum from last year.  I now have the trifecta (base, refractor, and gold refractor).  Josh's stock seems to be dropping in the Orioles system because he can't seem to make the best of his opportunities when he gets them in the majors.  Maybe he'll get his strikeouts under control and can reestablish himself as a prospect.
I'm real happy to have this black bordered Koji in my collection now.  The cool part is that if you turn the card over, it is the blank back parallel.  While it's not exceedingly rare, it's still cool in my book!
Here's the Zach Britton portion of the trade.  Both cards are new to me so I'm happy to have them.
From one promising young lefty to a (once) promising young lefty.  When I returned to the hobby in 1998 Matt Riley was the #1 Orioles prospect in the O's farm system.  He had a great fastball and a good curveball and was destined for stardom.  Sure he had attitude problems and a maybe was a bit lazy but he had potential.  Then he got hurt. Pretty much after that, he was done in Baltimore after that.  I guess I jumped on this autograph card because he was the first real prospect that I paid close attention to and fiended after his cards (as much as a 15 year-old kid could!).  I guess this card just brings me back and that is why most of us collect card in the first place: nostalgia.

Thanks Dustin for taking me down memory lane and sending such an awesome package!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Box Breaks: 2011 Bowman Draft Picks and Prospects (with Chrome!)

I'll admit that I've gone a little crazy with all of the box breaks lately but this should be my final one at least until Christmas.  Bowman Draft Picks is a product that has for the most part been a hit with collectors over the last few years.  Since I am a pretty big Bowman fan, I actually jumped feet first into the fray and bought 3 boxes on preorder way back in the summer.  Lets see what I got:
 I got just got one blue refractor and its of a Yankee. This one is numbered 2/199.  Good luck Brandon cracking that lineup with A-rod blocking your progression to the majors.
I got one gold refractor of a Braves prospect that I don't know anything about.  I still don't know anything about him because there is no patented Bowman scouting report on the back.  BTW, Kyle is #'d 41/50.
 Now this is a little more like it, I know who this guy is.  I got a TTM back from him during Spring Training and have been following him a little bit here and there since.  Not a bad looking border considering the team he plays for.  Mike is #'d 339/499
My first Autograph is of the Giants 47th pick in this years draft?  I was a little underwhelmed to say the least until I did a little online research.  Topps screwed the pooch on this one, he was actually the 47th player taken overall!

 This relic actually came out of a blaster box I picked up at Target.  Not a bad player to get a relic of I guess.  It's numbered 168/199
Here's my next autograph of Taylor Jungmann.  I think its pronounced "Young-man". Anyways, it's a pretty nice looking card except for the terrible photoshop job on his hat.  Enough with the awful photo manipulation Topps!
Here's my favorite card of the 3 boxes.  Its the refractor version of the autograph and it really looks good.  Brandon is an interesting story as he comes from Wyoming.  There is no High School baseball in the state so he was drafted on the merits of his American Legion and Travel team play.  Not only was he drafted, he was drafted in the 1st round.  I read about him in my sports weekly and I'll be following his career to see how he turns out.  Also of note, I'm glad that Brandon takes pride in his penmanship.  His signature is legible and neat.  I hope that it doesn't degrade into chicken scratch as he moves up the minor league ranks.

To say that I really enjoyed this year's Bowman Draft Picks product would be stretching the truth.  I'm still a fan of all of the new players but there just seems to be something missing from the product this year.  I was able to finish off the base set and base prospects set so that's a plus but I'm still far from completing the Chrome sets.  I'll get a want list up eventually for those.

Here's a listing of the paralells that I have up for trade:

Gold Parallel: 42 Shaw, 72 Presley, 88 Vizcaino, BDPP52 Snell, BDPP95 Clifton, BDPP98 Farinaro, BDPP100 Meadows
Blue Parallel: 1 Moustakas, 31 Dirks, 59 Cozart, BDPP1 Hicks, BDPP24 Crick, BDPP103 Pabst
Refractor Parallels: 5 Beato, 13 Hamburger, 21 Sosa, 30 De La Rosa, 39 Godfrey, 60 Alburquerque, 65 Lynn, 73 Pestano, BDPP4 Armstrong, BDPP34 Gagnon, BDPP45 Hope, BDPP48 Anton, BDPP55 Martin, BDPP60 James, BDPP65 Reynolds, BDPP72 Gamache, BDPP94 Ciuffo
Blue Refractor: 26 Brandon Laird #'d 2/199
Gold Refractor: BDPP74 Kyle Kubitza #'d 41/50

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Trade with Jason of Hobb's Knights

Jason from the Hobb's Knights blog commented on a previous post of mine and said he had some of my set needs in exchange for some Lineage Orioles that I offered up.  After a flurry of emails, we had ballooned the trade into a much larger swap.  Here's the awesome cards he sent me:

Another new Ripken odd ball card that I didn't know existed!  Since I've started actively collecting oddball Ripkens, my little binder has filled almost to capacity.  There is no hope for expansion of this binder because it is one of those early 90s books that has like 12 pages in it.
Here's an interesting card for my Orioles team sets.  This one hails from 2001 Topps Gallery.  I can't seem to get enough of Topps Gallery because I'm starting to like the look of painted sets.  Well, all except National Chicle.  This painting of Brooksie actually looks like him!
Here's the pride and joy of the trade.  I know, it's not an Orioles card!  I liked 2010 Topps Chrome's design and the autographs look pretty sweet too.  It's too bad this one didn't scan worth a crap!  I figured I'd get in on the ground floor and have Starlin's plain jane autograph card before he really blows up big time in the next few years (as long as he learns to focus while in the field).

Thanks for the nice package of cards Jason!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Trade with Greg of Plaschke, Thy Sweater is Argyle

I'm quickly finding out that trade bait posts are good ways to start up trade talks  with other bloggers.  I've had a few great trades by offering up some nice cards I don't collect and getting something I do collect in return.  I've also read about other blogger's similar successes which brought me to my still forming conclusion.

Greg from the brilliantly named Plaschke, Thy Sweater is Argyle blog liked the Albert Pujols relic card that I posted a little while back and offered to make a trade.

I was happy to get this card and I think it is a pretty even swap.  When I first scanned this card, I thought that I might need to clean the scanner bed before I really took a closer look at the card.  It looked like there were dust particles all over the glass or all over the card.  Upon closer examination, the speckles are actually part of the card design.  Another neat thing I noticed about the card is around the swatch where it says "Authentic Game Jerseys"  like there are 2 or 3 different pieces of fabric embedded in the card!

Thanks go to Greg for the nice and easy card swap!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Trade with the Night Owl

Night Owl contacted me about the availability of a couple of the Topps Update Dodger Shinnies that I had pulled from my hobby box and retail packs.  I was happy to make the trade since we have made several great swaps in the past 2 years.  At first he said he didn't really know if I'd be interested in this card:
This is one of the Cloth Stickers from Lineage.  The best one out of the set if you ask me!  This is the first cloth sticker that I've actually gotten my hands on and they really do have a neat texture to them.  

 Here is the second card that the Owl wasn't sure if I'd be interested in.  Moldy is one of my favorite current O's and I really hope he gets a chance to shine as an everyday player this season.
 And here is one of the surprise cards of the package.  A Red Orange Refractor of Mark Reynolds.  Why must everyone's scanners make these retail exclusive refractors look like a super rare hobby only pull?  Anyways, I really dig this card!

Thanks for the nice package you sent my way Greg and I hope you really like your shiny new Dodgers1

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Trade with Robert of $30 a Week Habit

This was a quick and easy trade between one of the newer guys in the blog-o-sphere, Robert from $30 a Week Habit.  He contacted me and said he had some cards I needed for 2 of the sets I'm building right now, 2011 Topps Update and 2009 Upper Deck O-Pee-Chee.  I'm always looking for help so I was happy to send Robert some cards for his trouble.  Since there isn't too much I can say about set fillers, I picked 2 of the more interesting photos I could find.

 I really like the panoramic shot on this card.  It shows of Nationals Stadium which I have yet to visit.  That's shameful because its the closest MLB stadium to me.  But I guess I have good reason since I am an O's fan!
Here's a card of Luke Scott fielding.   I just like this card because you don't see a ton of pictures anymore from this point of view on the field.  A lot has been said about how bad he is playing defense but I haven't seen him embarrass himself out there yet.   I would say he's just average out there.
Robert also "threw" in this Cal Ripken refractor from Lineage.  The refractory finish really makes the card stand out instead of the blah white border base set equivalent.  I owe you one for this card Robert!

Thanks a lot for the trade, Robert.  Keep on blogging!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Topps Diamond Giveaway: The Shipment

I've been pretty quiet this year about the Topps Diamond Giveaway.  While I thought that the idea was cool last year, I wasn't sure what to think of it this year with the addition of the rings, diamond diecuts, and diamond embedded cards.  I guess everything turned out ok for me last year as I got all my cards in decent shape except I had to wait longer for my 1972 Topps Jim Palmer.

Since I'm not planning on buying anymore 2011 Topps cards and I've entered all 37 of my code cards, I decided to get my cards shipped to me to avoid the last minute rush of collectors cashing out there portfolios.  Out of the 37 codes entered, I ended up with 8 cards being shipped to me. This was by design because the shipping charges are a little high so quality over quantity wins in my book this time. I traded away a lot of crap cards I had no interest in for cards that I really wanted.

The following cards are brought to you by the number 2 and the Baltimore Orioles:

2 horizontal Orioles cards that fill needs in my binders.  Topps didn't bother coloring Stone's A's uniform!
2 1967 Topps Orioles for the teams set.  Lau is 40 years ahead of his time with the douchey non-curved hat bill.
2 1969 Topps Orioles that I surprisingly hadn't found in any bargain bin before now.  Topps was lazy again with the photoshopping on Richert's jersey.  You can see the pinstripes and the end of the Senator's logo in the bottom right of the photo.
2 positions were played by Mark Reynolds this season: home run and strikeout. 3rd base and 1st base.  I have a soft spot for Reynolds since I own his 136th career homerun ball.
2 Diamond Diecuts that I was able to trade for:  I was offered Jones for the Ethier I redeemed and got Reynolds for the offer of Youkilis.  Do you think these were good trades or did I get fleeced?

Help, Blogger is acting up!

Has anyone else noticed Blogger having a mind of its own lately?

Here's my issue.  Night Owl recently announced his new 1985 Topps blog recently.  I went to his new blog and became a follower of it and a few other "set" blogs. I think everything is fine. Fast forward a few days and I go looking on my reading list and neither of my new blogs are appearing on my reading list.  The next day they show up on the reading list and the posts are showing up.   This morning, I look at my reading list and the blogs are all gone again.  I looked at a few of the blogs I originally followed and it still shows that I am following them in the Followers sidebar thingy. So what gives?  Is anybody else having the same issue?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Birthday Breaks: 2011 Bowman Chrome and more

After kind of a crappy day at work I was finally able to get out of there and make it home.  When I got home my wife was waiting there with a birthday gift for me.  She bought me a hobby box of 2011 Bowman Chrome!  What a great gift since I'm working on the set.  Since I have a hard time leaving cards in their packs, I ripped everything immediately!  Here's the two highlight cards of the Chrome box:

This is not a gold refractor, its an Orange numbered 5/25.  I'm not sure if that is his jersey number or not but its still a sweet card.
It's like Deja Vu because I already got this card out of my box of Chrome that I bought.  But there is one difference!  This card is the refractor version of the autograph.  I really hope Jean turns out as a major league player because I now have 2 of his chrome autos.

Heres the insert cards I got out of the box:
Refractors: 86 S. Drew, 94 A Jackson, 197 Duda, 205 Espinosa, BCP191 Cain
2001 Throwbacks: 5 Taillon, 6 Myers, 7 Green
Diecuts: 5 Green, 12 Singleton,
Diecuts Refractors: 8 Allie
Bowman's Best Prospects: 56 Moore, 58 Colon

Also, when the mail finally came, there was a thick envelope from my in-laws among the other junk mail and birthday cards.  I opened it up and 2 packs of cards popped out!  1 pack of 2011 Topps series 2 and 1 pack of 2011 Topps Update.  Out of the Topps series 2 pack I pulled this card:

 Apparently my wife's pack picking mojo came from her mama!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Trade with Napkin Doon

I contacted the famous Napkin Doon about a trade a bit before Thanksgiving and we were able to hash out a nice little deal.  I was able to fill some Gypsy Queen and Bowman Chrome needs for him and he sent me a pile of nice Ripken and Orioles cards.  Have a look:
This a neat looking oddball Cal Ripken card.  It comes from the collectable game MLB Showdown that was put out in 2000.  The scan (like always) doesn't do the card justice.  The orange background is actually foil so you know how I like shiny!  I never got into these baseball card games.  Baseball cards are for collecting not to be played with.  That's what they make Strat-o-matic for (I have never played that either!).
Here's a motley crew of Diamond Kings from 2003.  I think in the early 2000's Donruss really bastardized Diamond Kings into something they were not meant to be.  As an Orioles fan, I know neither one of these guys deserved to be called a Diamond King.  Maybe a diamond joker or 3 of Diamonds or something like that!
Speaking of Jokers, here's a clear card from 1999 EX Century.  I think Fleer was innovative in their designs and I wish they were still around.  
Speaking of innovative, I think that Fleer tried its hand at waxing poetic.

The back of this card back reads: Gray in his hair and a creak in his back, the boy in him still lives for the thrill of the game.  The years fly by, and the teammates change, but this guy still smiles at the crack of the bat. Cal Ripken Jr. has become indelibly linked with the game he loves so much.

I'm sure the designer of this insert set should have just stuck to stats on the back instead of the corny little poem!

Thanks Napkin for the trade!