Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Way Overdue Trade Post

I want to say a quick thank you to several traders that I've gotten packages from over the last month before I put the cards away that are sitting on my desk.
 These 2 new to me Cal Ripken cards were sent to me by Jeff from My Sports Obsession.  I love the orange Jersey on the 1992 Donruss/McDonalds MVP card and the redemption card from 1995.  I'm not sure if they were a hobby shop giveaway or a ballpark giveaway but it's a cool card nonetheless!
Jeff also paid close attention to my Player collections pages and sent me the Reimold from this years Heritage and a Finest from 2010 to fill 2 holes.  Thanks for the great cards Jeff!
The second package I'd like to say thank for comes from Paul from Carl Crawford Cards.  I won the contest he was running to celebrate the life of Virgil Trucks.  I never got around to writing Mr. Trucks and I missed out on getting his autograph.  Now I can mark that regret off of the list!  Paul gave away 3 of these autographs in his contest and I was lucky enough to get one.
These 2 relic cards also came from Paul.  I sent him a couple 1978 Topps cards he needed for his set and he reciprocated the trade by sending a HOF bat chip and a minor league jersey of former O's top prospect Zach Britton.  I still have hopes that Zach will become a good minor league pitcher he just needs more experience.  He's currently in the rotation but we'll see how long that lasts with the imminent return of Wei-Yin Chen.  Thanks for the autograph and the relic cards Paul!
The last trade I need to get to is from Andrew Q of Need More Cardboard.  I had to have this retail exclusive White Framed Paper parallel from this year's Gypsy Queen that he pulled from a value pack.  I mean come on, it's a Cal Ripken card I didn't have.  You don't think I'm going to let it slide by do you!  It's a great looking card!  While not a huge fan of retro/reprint sets, I do think that Gypsy Queen is a nice product because Topps actually has to create a new design each year and not rest on it's laurels from 50 years ago.  Plus it does have some decent insert sets like Glove Stories and Sliding Stars.  Nobody wants and insert card reporting the news from 50 years ago (News Flashbacks from Heritage)!

Thanks to these 3 wonderful traders and I'm sorry that it took awhile to get this posted!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Not-Quite-So-Late-to-the-Game 3 Blaster Break Report: 2013 Bowman

I'm almost caught up with the retail purchases that I made earlier this Spring.  I've been a big fan of Bowman in the past but recently I've started to lose interest in the product offerings.  For the first time last fall I didn't collect the annual Draft Picks and Prospects set.  I decided not to collect the regular Bowman set this year either.  I'm not sure what has started to make me turn my attention away from Bowman but I guess I'm going to save some money now!

Even though I'm not collecting the set, I still picked up a total of 3 blasters.  While not usually a fan of blasters, I usually buy rack packs, hanger boxes, or value packs.  I could have bought a hobby box for that price but this time it was worth me buying blasters.  You'll see why if you keep reading.

Everyone has seen the base set design.  No need to rehash it.  The first 2 blasters I got had great collation.  Not a single dupe.  I should have stopped there.  The 3rd blaster I got was a mix of the first 2 blasters almost card for card.  Even the gold bordered parallels were almost the same!  It happens but it would have been nice to get more than one Oriole card out of the entire 3 boxes!

Onto the inserts we have the crappily scanning Top 100 inserts.  I got #73 of some Red Sox guy who used to be a Dodgers guy.  Not sure what the white speckles are in the scan.  I was not eating powdered doughnuts over the scanner.
My lone refractor was of this Jello-Itch guy for the Reds.   This was just about the only different card in blaster box #3.  The advantage of getting a lot of doubles was that I got 2 base and 2 chrome Prospect cards of Byron Buxton and Carlos Correa so there's that!

I destroyed the odds (I like to think so) on getting 2 Orange bordered parallels from box 1 and box 3.  The Darvish is on hold for right now buy please send me your best trade offers for the Maronde.
This nice little autograph came out of blaster box #1.  I think this card is what inspired me to buy another blaster of the product.
So I got this autograph in the second box.  Not too bad.  I was inspired once again to buy a 3rd blaster but the House won that time and stuck me with a ton of duplicates!  Buying packs is a mild form of legal gambling in Virginia I'm convinced and it usually kicks me right in the butt!
This one is also on hold, pending a trade.
I was on a 3 blaster streak of pulling autographs going back to my Gypsy Queen blaster in April.  I tried rolling the dice again and my luck ran out!

Overall, Bowman has a pretty nice design this year but I'm not collecting it just to collect it like I've always done.  I really used to enjoy reading the Scouting reports on the backs of the cards in the past but I just don't have the time or patience to do that any more.

Here's a full listing of the notable cards I have for Trade:

I have a bunch of base cards.  Send me your list and I'll try to knock some of them out:

Gold Parallel: 48 Sale, 49 Price, 50 Pujols(2), 51 Longoria, 55 Lynn, 92 Wright(2), 94 Heyward(2), 99 M. Montero, 109 Phillips, 132 Beltre, 133 Gose, 134 Beachy(2), 145 Motte, 151 C. Santana, 153 Beltran, 182 Stanton(2), 184 J. Santana
Hometown Parallel: 90 Butler, 102 Halladay, 124 Shields
Prospects International Parallel: BP6 Salazar, BP7 Hahn, BP31 Robles
Silver Ice Parallel: 98 Holliday
Orange Parallel: 129 Maronde 112/250
Cream of the Crop Mini Refractors: CC-NYM1 d'Arnaud, CC-MM-2 Yelich, CC-MB3
Chrome Refractor Parallel: BCP15 Gelalich #d160/500
Bowman Top 100: 73 Allen Webster
Bowman Prospect Autograph: BPA JC Ji-Man Choi

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Late to the Game Rack Pack Break: 2013 Gypsy Queen

I think I bought these not long after they were released back in April or something.  I'm just now getting around to writing up a post about it!  Even though this is a retro-themed set, I still like it.  At least with it being a retro themed set and not an exact reprint I can appreciate it a lot more than I do Heritage or Archives.  I just think Topps cheats when they put new players on old, tired designs.  If I really want to see 1964 Topps or 1990 Topps (yuck!) I'll go and get the originals!  Anyways, I've been ragging on Topps pretty hard lately and I have my reasons that I might rehash in a future post.  If I feel like it, which I probably won't because it will probably come out as old-fashioned belly aching!

So onto a decent product called Gypsy Queen.

I'm not going to show the base cards since everyone saw those almost 3 months ago.  I got some SP's too but they look like the regular base cards so what's the point in showing those either?
Topps did have enough creative energy to think of some nice insert sets this year.  First up is the Sliding Stars.  Other than this insert set you don't see a lot of sliding players as the main attraction on cards these days.  Out of the packs I busted this Griffey is my favorite.
Next up is the Collisions at the Plate.  This card actually shows a collision unlike the others I got in my breaks.  Those just show players sliding around the tag at home.  I'm kinda disappointed in the execution of this insert set a bit.  
Where would Gypsy Queen be without the minis?  Topps did something a little different this year with the minis this year.  Instead of different backs, they scrapped that idea and just went with colored borders after having a hybrid different back/colored border mini set last year.  I kind of like this year's minis better this way since Allen & Ginter already had different backs long before Gypsy Queen was conceptualized.
Next up the blue bordered framed paper whatcha-ma-call-it.  The blue matches the Tigers uniform color which is nice.  The only problem with this card is it came out of the pack slightly damaged.  One of the upper corners was dinged but you can't tell it by looking at the front.
I also am a fan of the Dealing Aces Insert set.  I honestly never thought that I would see hearts on a baseball card though!
The last card I want to show off is some ink!  I think I beat the odds pulling this Mark Trumbo autograph.  Not much to say about Trumbo other than he's on one of my fantasy teams.

Once again I didn't get much in the way of Orioles card except for a Wei-Yin Chen White Framed Paper card.  No Bundy, No Manny, No Cal.  Can't win them all.

Everything pictured is for trade in addition to these listed below.  Send me your wantlist if you need base cards:

Autograph: GQA-MT Mark Trumbo
Black Border Mini: 333 AJ Ellis #d 172/199
Blue Paper Frame: 166 Austin Jackson #d 98/499 (dinged corner)
SP's: 99 Darvish, 133 Dunn, 189 Lee, 192 Shields, 258 Mathews
White Paper Frame: 54 Ellsbury, 89 Adams, 148 Frazier, 117 Fielder, 323 Vogelsong
Minis: 27 Billingsley, 47 Freeman, 49 Kell, 55 Eovaldi, 61 Mauer, 64 Votto, 66 Kruk, 69 Jay, 95 Bourn, 109 Pettitte, 138 Diamond, 146 Aybar, 149 Seaver, 152 Bauer, 157 Blue, 161 Ford, 188 Altuve, 211 Uggla, 240 Killebrew, 276 Stanton, 335 Soriano
Collisions at the Plate: CP-BP Posey, WR Wilin Rosario, YM Molina
Dealing Aces: DA-AW Wainwright, CK Kershaw, DP Price, MB Bumgarner, SS Strasburg
Glove Stories: GB Blanco
No-Hitters: NH-BF Feller, CH Hunter (2), FH Hernandez, SK Koufax, WS Spahn
Sliding Stars: SS-JH Heyward, KG Griffey Jr., LB Brock, PF Fielder

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Late to the Game Pack Rip: 2013 Topps Opening Day

I say pack rip but it could have been an entire blaster.  It's been a while since I opened these cards I don't remember!  Anyways, I'm not the biggest fan of Opening Day but at least its not a dang reprint set like Heritage or Archives (Think of something ORIGINAL Topps). Anyways, I need to get these cards off of my desk so I either need to trade some of 'em or put them in my monster boxes.

First off I got the Blue Sparkle Opening Day parallel of Josh Reddick.  The green uniform really clashes with the blue on the border but I guess nobody really cares because nobody collects A's cards anyways.  I also got a Doug Fister.

I got 3 Mascot cards too.  Why do some of the mascots have their real names on them and others only have the team name.  I did a little research on these 3 particular mascots from the past couple of Opening Day sets just to make sure that Topps didn't forget their names over the years.  These days your really have to watch Topps because they can take your money, punch you in the head, and steal your car before you know what happened!

Moving on to some of the other inserts, I really like the 3D effect on the Opening Day Stars.  Obviously hard to see on a 2D computer screen but they are really classy looking cards.

The Superstar Celebrations cards really don't do that much for me even though it is a cool idea for an insert set.  Maybe the design is what is bothering me.

The Play Hard insert set is new this year.  It's a neat idea to make an insert set of players giving 100 percent effort.  At least that's the impression I get from these 2 cards of McCutchen and Ramirez.

Last, I got 2 of the Fun at the Ballpark inserts.  I got the 2 I really wanted from the set.  Adam Jones and Manny Machado.  I'm not going to show them because they are already put away in my binders and also because the whole pie in the face act is a little tired.  I really wish Jones would stop this stupid postgame tradition.  Just slap the guy on the ass and tell him he played a good game and move on.  But you can't even do that anymore without going to jail for 30 days anymore!

Here's a full listing of what I have for trade.  I have a bunch of base cards that aren't listed so just send me your needs.

Blue Sparkle Parallel: 124 Reddick, 205 Fister
Mascots: M-19 Blue Jays, 20 Diamondbacks, 21 Royals
Opening Day Stars: ODS-1 Fielder, 15 Wright
Play Hard: PH-15 McCutchen, 23 H. Ramirez
Superstar Celebrations: SC-18 Willingham, 21 Posey

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Not-So-Recent Auction Wins

I've been absent from posting here for nearly 2 months.  I've got plenty of excuses though!

1.  Traveled to Japan for 2 weeks in early May
2.  Been watching the Orioles on TV.
3.  Topps sucks sometimes
4.  Springtime means plenty, PLENTY of yard work.
5.  The beginning of my adult baseball season.
6.  Finding Video Games as a more worthy pastime than blogging.
7.  Too hot in my "MancOve" to stay and look at cards and write about them.
8.  Family functions.
9. Being too tired to type cohesive sentences.
10.  Working tons of overtime.
11.  General malaise about blogging.

I have been picking up a few blasters here and there as well as some nice Ebay items that I want to show off.  These have been in my draft folder for about the same amount of time I've been away.

First up:

A Nolan Reimold Silk card from Ebay.  I forgot how much I paid but I know it was less than 15 dollars.  Hopefully Nolan gets back from the DL soon and starts punishing baseballs like we know he's capable.
It's numbered 30/50, which is an Ebay 1/1 since 30 was the number he wore in the minors.
Second Pickup is this Nick Markakis Clubhouse Collection GU from this years Heritage.  While I have my issues with Topps Heritage, I'll say that this year's relic cards look nice and the gold/bronze numbered versions are even nicer.  This one is an Ebay 1/1 since 94 is the year that Nick and me turned 11 years old.

Nothing really remarkable about the front of these auction wins.  They look like the regular old base card.
Turn them over and it's a whole new ballgame.  These are the covert Venezuelan black back parallels.  I score both of these for under 5 dollars a piece!  Not too shabby.
Finally a few more gold cards.  These are gold refractors of Nick the Stick from the last 2 versions of Bowman Chrome.  I got the 2012 version on the right during the Super Bowl.  (yeah these cards have been in my draft folder for a while!)  While everybody else was stuffing their faces with Buffalo wings and watching overhyped commercials, I was getting deals on Ebay!  I snagged it for about the price of a hobby pack of Gypsy Queen.  There's no cool story about the 2011 that I can remember, but it's just a cool card!
I plan on sharing some pictures from my Japan trip here on the blog as well as some of the cards I've picked up recently.  Just bear with me, time is not kind to me these days!  I'll get around to it eventually!