Sunday, February 26, 2012

Trade with Charlie of Lifetime Topps Project

I got a nice package of cards from Charlie over at the Lifetime Topps Project.  I was able to send him a good chunk of card he needed for his various sets.  I was happy to do so since I have already completed my Lifetime Topps sets.  His project is a little bit more ambitious than mine but I applaud him for that.  He's collecting the inserts he likes and the traded sets whereas I only have the plain jane base set from 1982 to the present.  So let's take look at what he sent me in return:

 These 2 Upper Deck SP cards complete the team sets I'm building.  It always feels good to complete one of them and 2 at the same time is doubly satisfying!
 Here's a nice candid of Brady stretching and sharing a laugh with a mystery player of camera.  Brady has not taken his retirement laying down though.  I remarked a few weeks ago that he looked in great shape at FanFest and that he could probably still play.  Well, I read on Roch Kobatko's blog yesterday (Orioles beat writer) that he has an unusual training routine for the O's players he worked with this winter.  It included handstands.  Brian Matusz who's more than 20 years younger than Brady can only handstand for only 10 seconds.  Brady is walking around on his hands doing pushups!
 Another Goldie off the list.  Fare the well in Colorado, Jeremy!
 This is a pretty interesting shot of Mike Devereaux. It looks like he's giving the cameraman a lens full of fist or showing him where his World Series ring would go the next year with Atlanta!
I'll close this post out with a classy looking SP Legendary Cuts card for Brooksie. The Marble frame paired with the red background really make the card stand out.

Thanks for the cards Charlie, and good luck on the rest of your project!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

There's Gold in Them There Packs...

...But no autographs.  I got my redemption pack of Gold Rush redemption cards yesterday.  I think the cards look great.  Nice thick card stock and pretty decent design. (I apologize for the bad scans but somehow dog hair gets on the scanner bed even though its closed 99.999999999 percent of the time.)  But I'm a little puzzled at the player selection.  
Why does Salvador Perez get a card for playing 39 major league games?
 Chapman throws really hard but he has no idea where it's going.  Look out in the on-deck circle!
 I understand why Edgar got a card.  One of the greatest DH's of our time.
 Yeah, Ian Kinsler.  I get it, he's one of the better young players right now.
Miggy Cabrera. Yeah another great player.  He deserves to be here.

I did a quick search of ebay and there are no Orioles in the set.  No Ripken, Murray, Palmer, Robinson, Markakis, Jones, or Hudson.  Hudson, yes, Kyle Hudson.  He deserves to be in the set because he scored the tying run in the Orioles last game of the 2011 season.  If Salvador Perez can get in the set, why no Orioles?  WTF TOPPS?

Friday, February 24, 2012

Trade with Kevin of Bonus Cantos

I was looking over some other bloggers blogrolls fairly recently and found a blog I hadn't heard of before.  It's a blog called Bonus Cantos and its run by a gentleman by the name of Kevin.  I looked over his 2012 Topps pack and box breaks and found a couple cards I was interested in.  I sent him and email and a trade was born.
He (read: I) was lucky enough to pull 2 gold parallels of Orioles from his packs.  I enjoy this parallel set every year.  It's pretty easy to build the regular base team set but the golds seem to add a little more challenge. 

I have several more pending arrival at my residence but I am still in need of these Golden Sparkly Parallels: 22 Alfredo Simon, 121 Josh Bell, 125 Adam Jones, 176 Nolan Reimold, 218 Kyle Hudson, 326 Kevin Gregg.  Anybody have any of these they'd like to trade me?

Kevin also sent along this Gold Standard of Frank Robinson.  Yep, I still like the Gold Standards.  Frank Robinson: response hazy, ask again later.

Thanks for the trade Kevin!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Trade with Jack of All Tribe Baseball

Jack (better known as Baseball Dad) saw my plea for help  few weeks ago for some help on my '09 O-Pee-Chee set and contacted me with a list of some cards that would help fill out my set.  I was very happy to get such a huge stack of cards this late in the game.  I sit only 28 cards away from completion.  I think there are some really cool photography in the set that gets over looked for some reason.  There are also a lot of the standard baseball pose shots too.  Not a knock on Jack or his cards, but there were a ton of the lame-ass baseball pose shots in the stack he sent.  I think that might be why I'm not into Topps Heritage that much other than buying a few sample packs.  Too many posed, hat-less cards.  Baseball players wear hats.  Anyways, Baseball Dad did send 2 other Orioles cards I wasn't expecting.

I'm really digging this card.  While the purple borders don't match anybody's uniforms but the Rockies, this is still a sweet card.  The scan makes it look black but I assure you its purple By looking at the uniforms the O's are wearing, they look like throwbacks.  Ask me what day or game they wore them last year, and you get a big "I don't know"!

B.D. also was able to find a Cal Ripken card I didn't have, which I keep saying is a rarity these days.  Anyways, I think this card is the black un-numbered retail parallel from '08 Baseball Heroes.  With Cal appearing on 3 different cards in the base set, that means he quite possibly have eleventy billion parallels to chase down.

Thanks for the great cards Jack!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Trade with blog reader Paul

I was contacted by one of my readers recently with a trade offer.  Well, Of course I accepted because I love trading!  Paul apparently caught my blog from the webbernet and offered up some cards.  I don't believe that Paul has a blog but forgive me if I just overlooked it.  After some emails were exchanged and cards were mailed, I ended up with some awesome new cards for my collection.
I don't have many Matt Wieters cards since Topps can't get their act together and sign him to a card contract.  I do have this card from the much-maligned 2010 Upper Deck set though.  I've seen the base card version tons of times but this is the first time I've seen the Supreme Green insert.  Awesome card!

Here's a new Cal for my collection.  It hails from 2004 SP Authentic.  I still remember this exact All-Star moment when he jacked that memorable homerun.  It's one of my favorite Cal moments!
I was surprised by Paul with this card.  I'm really glad he did.  While its well documented I'm not a huge manu-relic-patch fan, I do love this card.  I guess since it was actually touched by Nick himself makes the difference.
This is one of the 2 really wacky cards that were in the package.  It looks like Raffy is pitching!
And this one is Moose Mussina hitting.  Definitely unique cards to say the least!

Thanks Paul for checking out my blog and offering up some awesome cards!

Monday, February 20, 2012

My Final 2012 Topps series 1 Purchase

I think this is my last purchase of series 1 for this year.  I've nearly got the whole set and I only ended up with one card I needed for the set out of the 72 in the hanger box.  I've got 10 of the Golden Giveaway Code cards that I'm going to stash away for now.  Well, at least until series 2 comes out and the Markakis gold 1/1 becomes available for redemption.  It's a complete longshot to redeem that one card but you gotta increase your chances any way you can!
I know I've spent less on series 1 this year than I did the last 2 years.  I've bought 1 hobby box, 2 hanger packs, 1 jumbo rack pack, and 3 retail packs.  So overall I've spent about 85 or 90 bucks on series 1.  Not too bad I don't guess.
Overall, I've noticed many of the bloggers have spent less on Series 1 this year and have said so in their respective posts.  If you have spent less this year than years past, leave a comment below stating why you have chosen to spend less.  Is it the design, too many inserts, too little cash or another factor?

So onto the cards I got from my last hanger:

I think the Gold Standard cards are the best inserts from series one because of the gold stamped medallion.  I'll admit they aren't perfect because of the blank space under the medallion but I'm willing to forgive that fact.
I can't seem to get away from Yankees cards lately.  I think the Gold Parallels have grown on me a little bit as I like them more now than I did when the product first dropped so long ago. 
Here's my 2 Target exclusive red borders. I wish they were a little more red though.  They look more maroon to me.
 I was pleasantly surprised to pull a relic from a hanger pack because they are a 1:18 packs pull.  See what I mean about the Yankees cards though?  This is my second Cano relic from the same Target in less than a year (I got a mini framed GQ relic last spring).  Does Robinson's mother shop at my Target?

All of these cards are for trade.  If you see something you can't live without, gimme a shout.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

OH NO!!!'s Poor Vintage Collection #6

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. I should be able to retire on these cards but alas they are mostly in poor condition. My Father recently passed them on to me and I will feature them periodically here on my blog.

1965 Topps #350  Mickey Mantle

The other day when AJ from The Lost Collector showed off his '67 Mickey Mantle card that he won in an ebay auction it immediately reminded me of my own vintage card of #7.  I had almost forgotten about this ongoing little series of posts about the great cards I have that are in terrible condition.  I'm going to try and revive this series a bit and try to post a few more of the cards every now and then.

So, onto this card.  It doesn't seem to be in as bad of condition as some of the other vintage cards I've shown.  There aren't any creases or rips or even paperloss.  Just some soft corners and a few minor stains (probably from rain, chicken poop, or both!)

I guess this is my required vintage Mickey Mantle card for my collection.  Its the only solo of his I own and I'm proud to have it even though I'm not a Yankees fan.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Trade with William of foul bunt

I received some cards from my buddy William at the foul bunt blog over the weekend for some "cards to be named later".  He had some miscellaneous Orioles cards that he thought I'd be able to use for my collections.  He knows me too well!

He knows I'm a fan of Mark Reynolds because of his 136th homerun ball that I have (autographed too!) of his and that I'm trying to get all of the 2012 Golds of the Orioles.  It all comes together to form this perfect storm of a card.  (BTW, let me know if anybody has any of the Golds, I only have this one and Guthrie! Thanks!)
He also knows that I have a weird obsession with Matt Riley cards.  I guess he was the big time Orioles hot prospect when I started paying attention to the minor leagues.
I guess he also knows that I enjoyed watching Charles Johnson catch for the Orioles too.  I always thought it was awesome how he would catch the pitch, drop his mitt into the ground between his legs, grab the ball from behind his back and then throw it back to the pitcher.  Oh yeah, he hit pretty well during his time at Camden Yards too.
I like this card because of the groovy colors.  I flipped it over and looked at the stats too.  He really had quite an interesting trek around the league for a few years.  He spent the first 8 years as a Dodger and thats when he started to rack up the frequent flyer miles.  He played for the Mets in '67, the White Sox in '68, Pilots and Astros in '69, Astros, A's and Cubs in '70, back to A's for '71, then back to the Cubs in '72 before finally landing in Baltimore for about 3 and a half seasons.  He was finally able to unpack his bags for a few years before he hit the road again in '76, he signed with the Yankees but never played for them getting released after spring training. He then signed with the Angels and was then purchased by the Royals late in the season.  WOW, what a traveling history!

Thanks William for the cards!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Trade with Derek of Tomahawk Chopping

I recieved a nice little package in the mail the other day from Derek over at Tomahawk Chopping.  Derek and I have traded several times, and this one is just as good as any.  He always seems to come up with some great stuff for me.

Here's my favorite insert card from 2012 series 1.  I think Topps nailed it with the gold stamped medallion.  I've seen this picture of Cal before and I'm 99% sure that it's actually his 3000th hit swing.
I have a love it/hate it relationship with Topps Finest.  I've never opened a pack of Finest but I generally think the cards look great.  It's hard for me to justify collecting the Orioles team sets though because they are usually only 2 or 3 cards.  It's not a Finest Problem, it's an OCD Ryan problem.  Instead of going for team sets, I'm just going to pick up cards of my player collections and be done with it.
I'm finding out in my search for earlier Topps Gold cards that they are tough to find.  I've nearly completed O's team sets from 09, 08 and 07.  Golds from 2003, and 2004 are tougher to find for some reason.  I understand the scarcity of 2001 since that was the first year that Topps resurrected them from the dead and were serial numbered.  
The Golds from the last couple of years have been much easier to come by.  I've essentially completed 2010 except for Corey Patterson, Mike Gonzalez, and Jake Arrieta from the Update set.  Apparently, these 3 along with some other players were shortprinted by an extreme amount.  I'm talking less than 50 and maybe as low as 25 are known to exist.  This 2011 "Rookie Debut" of Zach Britton is one of the last few I need  other than Adams, Guerrero, Hardy, and gregg from the Update series.

Thanks again Derek for the trade.  I look forward to our next one.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

2012 Topps: Observations, Hits, and Tradebait

I know everybody is sick of hearing reviews of the not-quite as new as it was last week 2012 Topps series 1.  I'm going to spare you a review but I do have a couple observations.

One thing I didn't touch on though is the black stripe behind all of the last names on the base cards.  It really makes the cards scan like crap.

I don't feel like I'm swimming in insert cards like I was last year.  There's a good little stack there but there wasn't 4 or 5 in a pack.  The most I ever got was 2 in 1 pack.

No reprint sets.  WOOHOO!

No ToppsTown set.  Double WOOHOO!
Moving right along, I didn't get any crazy mojo hits from my box, which I'm OK with... It's Topps Flagship, not Tribute or Triple Threads. I was fortunate to get this "Celebration" Shortprint of Ryan Braun.  I feel like an idiot.  Since Braun was the first base card everybody saw in the promos for series 1 way back in 1997, you would have thought this card would have made me look twice at it.  I didn't.  I skimmed right on past it and onto the next pack.  I didn't think anymore about it.  Then I was searching the next day and looked over the variation list and this one was on it.  

It's still a thrill to pull a Cal Ripken card out of a pack after all these years.  Its the same photo they used for his Marquee base card last year but I don't care.  Its CAL!  I really wish they would have gold stamped the coin like they did the Gold Standard inserts.
Here's my hit.  Its a player I have a slight interest in since I see him play on MASN  when the O's aren't on and he went to UVA.  I'm still a little confused as to why Topps has the disclaimer on the back that says: "The relic contained on this card is not from any specific game, event, or season."  I wish they would do it like the old days when it said: "Congratulations, you've received a card with a piece of Jersey worn by Ryan Zimmerman.  Upper Deck Topps pledges to bring you closer to the game!"

So here's the rest of the inserts that I got if you are inclined to trade for them:

Gold Parallel: 29 Active NL Wins Leaders, 53 Cardinals WS GM 7, 90 Chambers, 91 Active AL HR leaders, 128 Duda, 170 Ellsbury, 231 Fowler, 292 Revere, 308 Leake

1987 Minis: TM-15 Cano, 42 Hamilton, 46 Price, 49 Weaver

Classic Walk-Offs: CW-12 Alex Gonzalez, 13 Podsednik, 14 David Ortiz(2), 15 Jeter

Gold Futures: GF-4 Freeman, 5 Hosmer, 9 Hellickson, 13 Rizzo, 21 Vizcaino, 22 Lavarnway, 24 Goldschmidt

Golden Greats: GG-2 Gehrig, 3 Gehrig, 8 Ryan, 15 Mays, 32 Mantle, 48 Koufax, 61 J. Robinson, 67 Pujols

Golden Moments: GM-3 Jeter, 8 Dawson, 10 Fielder, 15 Braun, 29 Pujols, 32 Maris, 42 Kaline, 46 Pedroia, 48 Aparicio, 49 Shields

Gold Standard: GS-3 Molitor, 8 Banks, 12 Kaline, 10 R. Jackson, 15 Cobb, 20 Jeter, 23 Seaver

Timeless Talents: TT-2 Utley/Ackley, 12 Pettitte/Lee, 16 Dawson/Upton, 19 Musial/Berkman, 23 E. Martinez/D. Ortiz, 24 Maris/Granderson

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Topps Owes Me Nothing!

For the first time in 2 years, Topps doesn't owe me any redemptions.  Here's a sweet card that finally came in the mail yesterday:

Its a refractor #'d 81/500.  Woulda been cooler if it was #'d 103/500.

Friday, February 3, 2012

2012 Topps: I Found the Gamechanger!!!

I think I figured out the "Gamechanging" part of the set that Topps has been touting.  I looked back at my set from last year and compared them to this years cards  

They are actually changing the game of baseball by changing stats on the backs of cards.  

Doubles will now be "3B" instead of "2B".
Triples will still be "3B" to add some confusion to the sport thusly creating a buzz on Twitter and Yahoo.
Walks will now be "W" instead of "BB".  (Denard Span had 27 wins last year?)
Slugging Percentage is now "SP" instead of SLG%".  (Brennan Boesch had .458 of a Starting Pitcher last year?)
Strikeouts will now be "SO" instead of "K".  (Apparently Chris Sale had 79 shutouts last season?)
Shutouts will now be shown as "SHO" instead of "SO" so that they will now be confused with a late 80's Ford Taurus.

Who was the Genius that thought changing the way the stats are denoted on the back was a good idea?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Trade with Dennis of Too Many Verlanders

A couple weeks back Dennis from the fantastically named Too Many Verlanders blog offered up some cards that he was trying to rid himself of for little or no return.  I was able to send him some cards from his wantlists and he sent me a nice pile of Bowman Chromes for my sets (which I still need plenty people, help a brother out!)  and a few Orioles cards, most of which I needed for my projects.
Here's Slamming Sammy in Yankee stadium probably flying out.  He sucked so bad towards the end of the season, that he packed his bags and left the team early without permission.
There were a bunch of Adam Loewen cards in the package that I was able to fill several holes in my team sets. I find this to be a sort of ironic card since Loewen is definitely not a "Team Hero".  He totally pooped all over the gentleman's agreement he had with the Orioles when he decided to become a hitter.  Instead of resigning a minor league deal like he was supposed to do, he instead flew home to Canada straigh into the Blue Jays nest.
These 2 cards finish off team set for 2003 Leaf. Exciting for me, but probably not so much for you.
2008 Baseball Heroes was filled with colored parallels and the charcoal parallels are just one of the many.  I might actually have the team set of these charcoals as well as a few other of the colored varieties.  I'll check and get back to you, or not.  We'll see!

Thanks Dennis for the help on my Orioles Binders and on my Bowman Chrome sets.