Tuesday, January 29, 2008


As sort of an intro to dayf's Topps '52 Rookies box break over at A Pack A Day, I'm gonna bust 2 packs of '52 Rookies right here, right now. So here we go.

Pack #1
#32 Ryan Rowland-Smith
#65 Carlos Gomez
#DFC7 Paul Lo Duca Chrome numbered 1507/1952
#37 Alexi Casilla
#176 Aaron Laffey
#163 Juan Gutierrez

Well I've heard of none of these prospects AND I got a Paul Lo Duca chrome. Paul just had arthroscopic knee surgery and will be out 4 to 6 weeks. The Nats are apparently talking to Johnny Estrada about coming on to catch. Good luck with that. Alright Pack #2

#99 Jason Miller
#57 Sean Henn
#98 Joakim Soria
#DF8 Miguel Tejada
#182 Shelley Duncan
#159 Edwin Bellhorn

Alright! People I've heard of. Both Yankees prospects, I know a bit about Henn and Duncan just because everyone seems to know about Yankees prospects. Whenever I hear Shelley Duncan I think of Sandy Duncan. And his first name isn't even Shelley! It's David. Shelley is his middle name. I want to hear the story of why he chose Shelley. Or why his parents chose it for him. Middle school must have been rough. Oh and I got a card of that roider Tejada. The poor Astros. Couldn't they have waited like a week before trading for him? Or made the trade contingent on the Mitchell Report or something? Hope they've got a backup plan if he gets arrested or something.

Monday, January 28, 2008

COTW for 1/27/08: 2006 Topps Mickey Mantle Home Run History: Home Run Number One #MHR1

I know what you're thinking: "Why is this card that I had what seemed to be hundreds of when I opened all those packs of 2006 Topps the Card of the Week?" Ah, my friends, you have to turn the card over in order to see the magic. "Illusions, Michael!"
Since I had a ton of these laying around after many blasters back in 2006 and it'd kinda be hard to get Mickey to sign them, I sent a few off to Randy Gumpert, the pitcher who gave up Mantle's first home run as named on this card. I didn't know whether he would sign them or not as some pitchers don't like to be known as "the guy so and so hit his xth home run off of". But Mr. Gumpert was glad to sign them and he has a great signature. This is one of those items that's just a little outside of normal and that's why it's the Card of the Week.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Why I Love This Hobby, Pt. 1

When I first got into this hobby, I was collecting because I loved (and still do) the Braves.  I wanted to have all their cards, to have the players that were horrible in the 80's, the ones that went from worst to first and pretty much anything that featured blue, red and a tomahawk.  But I also got cards that weren't of Braves and so I began to delve deeper into the world of baseball, statistics and everything that it had to offer.

Now there are many reasons why I love collecting and hopefully in a series or posts or articles or whatever you want to call them, I will highlight a few of my reasons that I love this hobby and always have even during my hiatus.  

Nothing makes me happier than taking an old box of cards that I have long neglected and shuffling through them.  To feel the tension of the glossy cards sticking together as you gently try to pry them apart with your fingers, to get the residue of 80's cardboard dust on your hands that was still on the card from the cutter, there's no better feeling.  Except for one: looking through a box and finding a card that turned from "who?" into "Wow!"  You know those cards, the Topps prospects you've never heard of or the random player on a Bowman card.  Most of the time, there are maybe around 5 prospects that the average collector knows about.  Of course you have those that are prospect fiends, but for the average joe collector, the prospect list for collecting is around 5 players or so.  Like this year, most collectors would have known Joba and Phil Hughes.  The rest kind of get jumbled past there.  Most team collectors know about these prospects and the prospects on the team they collect.  There are, however, very few collectors that can know every single prospect and what his chances of success will be.  This is a reason why I love this hobby.  You can have hidden treasures right in front of you and not know it until 5, 10 even 15 years down the road.  This is what happened to me.  Over Christmas, I was going through some of my cards that are my parents' house and among other things I found this:

For those who can't tell, it's a 1994 Sportflix Rookie-Traded A-Rod rookie card.  Now it's no 1994 Score Rookie-Traded A-Rod, but I was still really happy.  Back in 1994, I probably had no idea who Alex Rodriguez really was.  I had probably heard the name, but had no idea how good of a prospect he was or the player he was going to turn into.  In the same week, I also found in my cards 4 Kevin Garnett rookies, a Marvin Harrison rookie, a Kobe Bryant rookie, an Allen Iverson rookie and lots of other things.  So why do I love this hobby?  Delayed gratification.

Monday, January 21, 2008

TriStar Surprise!

So I got a blaster of the TriStar Prospects Plus today hoping, much like dayf to find a Jason Heyward auto. I didn't get that elusive auto, but what I got was most surprising
Every other auto I have seen from this set was one of the Farm Hands inserts. Imagine my surprise to find this. Not only is it nice and green, it's numbered 14/50. I also got another Farm Hands auto in the box of Todd Frazier. TriStar, you made my day.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

COTW for 1/20/08: 1995 Pinnacle Museum Collection Checklist #177

In today's world of having multiple parallels that are silver, orange, gold, frankincense and myrrh, I recall a simpler time when each set had one or two parallels if any at all. The search for the ToppsGold cards of your favorite players or that particular Stadium Club 1st Day Issue was so much easier for people who like to collect players. Now they have to buy tons of cards for every set if they're a completest and like to have every card of that player in the set. Not only that, the scarcity of the cards that are 1 of 1 or 1 of 10 or whatever makes them even harder to find even though we do now have eBay. One of my favorite parallels was the Museum Collection from Pinnacle. It featured a foil on the entire front of the card that gave it a bit of an effect that was kind of like a poor man's refractor. Every time I pulled one of these cards I was thrilled. Until one day in 1995, I pulled this:
That's right, I pulled a Museum Collection checklist. No, not a checklist of the Museum Collection cards, a checklist that had the Museum Collection foil on it. This might be the crappiest insert ever. A checklist? Really? Not only did I have a checklist taking up a card that might have been one of my favorite players, but it was an insert checklist. I feel like this would be the perfect insert for chemgod over at Bad Wax. Every time I look at this card I get depressed.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

It's A Late Christmas Present

Mark Teixeira signed a one year contract with the Braves for $12.5 Million. This looks great on it's face in order to be able to negotiate a long term deal with him. This makes Scott Boras seem almost like a normal agent. I'm giddy. Seriously. If I can have him for $15 mil a year, do it.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Grimm Reaper

Of the tens of thousands (maybe hundreds of thousands, who knows) of cards that I have, a small portion of them are football cards. While I do have a good amount, they pale in comparison to the number of baseball cards I own. However, there are two things that strike my fancy when it comes to football cards: Falcons and offensive linemen. This is because I am (unfortunately) a Falcons fan and because I used to play offensive line. I understand how under appreciated linemen are in the world of collecting and in sports in general. Without a good offensive line, the team's offense does not work no matter what system you're running. That's why when I came across this on eBay, I had to get it.What this is is a 1969 Topps Dan Grimm File Copy. What that means was that Topps kept one of each card of each set it made that was clear of stains and marks in case they wanted to use it again in a "Turn Back The Clock" insert or now in the Heritage series (or so I'm surmising, I could be totally wrong on this). So this is the Dan Grimm that was kept at Topps since 1969. When I got it, it was already encapsulated so that was not my choice. However, I didn't really want the card because it's "valuable" per se, but because of the history of it being a file copy and because it was a Falcons' offensive lineman. I'm quite a sucker for provenance and good back stories. It's one of those unique things that's just neat to have. I'm happy with this addition to my collection.

Monday, January 14, 2008

COTW for 1/13/08: 1994 Coca-Cola Monsters of the Gridiron #8 Emmitt "Lone Star Sheriff" Smith

In honor, or dishonor potentially, of the Cowboys' loss last night, I decided to post this ridiculous card. Now this was a set that was inserted into Coke products and being from Georgia, I love my Coke. However, every time I bought a 12 pack, I always seemed to get the same card. Emmitt Smith. Now while this might seem all well and good to get a card of a prolific player, it enraged me as I wanted whoever the Falcon was because that was my team! (The Falcon featured in this set was Jessie Tuggle who was given the nickname of Tarantula for this set. Why they didn't just use "The Hammer" I don't know) But each time I opened a pack of Coke, it was like sports card Groundhog Day. Emmitt Smith would always be staring up at me. Now onto the card itself. This getup they have Mr. Smith in is ridiculous and I don't even know where to begin. Do I start at the cowboy hat that's ON TOP of a football helmet? How about the white gloves featuring lightning bolts? Maybe the angular shoulder pads or the "football" made of metal? No the most telling thing about this photo is Emmitt's face. Lets take a closer look:

Looking into those sad, melancholy eyes makes me think Emmitt didn't have any idea what he was getting into and probably about after a few hours of makeup and costume and then an hour or two of photography, he was thinking twice about being the guy who said "ok" to this card. I think he face says it all and he wishes he would have passed this chance to Aikman.

Friday, January 11, 2008

2007 SP Legendary Cuts Dual Box Break

I was somehow able to get these boxes at a price that was pretty much buy one get one free, so I did. Here’s how I fared:

Box 1
Regular Set: 46/100 (46%)
Doubles: 0
Short Prints: 1 (#153 Babe Ruth numbered 71/550)
Legendary Americana: 1 (Calvin Coolidge 302/550)
Masterful Materials: 2 (MM-RS Ryne Sandberg Bat, MM-RJ Reggie Jackson Away Jersey)
Legendary Materials Dual: 1 (MM-RJ2 Reggie Jackson Home Jersey 092/125)I got 3 memorabilia inserts, with one of those being a dual, in a box that says it should only have around one. And how can you not like getting a card of Ryno? So I was quite happy as well as having a SP of The Babe and a card of our one of our Presidents looking quite curmudgeonly.

Box 2
Regular Set: 45/100 (45%)
Short Prints: 1 (#170 Jimmie Foxx 246/550)
Legendary Americana: 1 (Kit Carson 391/550)
Masterful Materials: 1 (MM-JR Jim Rice Home Jersey)
Legendary Signatures: 1 (LS-SC2 Steve Carlton 154/199)

Not as many inserts, but I did get an autograph of a Hall of Famer and a jersey swatch of someone who could maybe get in to the HOF next year.

Overall, I really like this set. Great look to the cards and really good inserts. I’d buy more of thse. Now, I need to see how close I came to having the whole set, minus short prints, of 100 cards out of the 2 boxes. But this was a good couple boxes.

Don't You Just Hate Teases?

I know I do

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Cards That Should Be

Topps Allen and Ginter Pascual Perez Driven On Piece of I-285

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

The Waiting Game

I didn't have a post yesterday as it seems that I'm waiting on a lot of stuff right now. My laptop is somewhere being fixed and thus I'll have use of my scanner again. I've got a couple of things I want to write, but I'm holding off on until I can really clear pictures of the cards and not photos that look like a still of a quick cut from the Bourne Ultimatum. I've got a few things in the mail I'm waiting to come in that are pretty exciting that I can't wait get up on here. So it's frustrating for me because all of this is pretty much out of my hands. All this on top of law school starting back (yes, your friendly neighborhood card blogger is in law school. I somehow find time to do this) among other things has limited my posting. Well in the one day I haven't posted this week. So fair warning, I'll miss a day or two here and there.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Another Day, Another Trade

More of my Allen and Ginter cards came in today from Kris who completed his own A&G set with a trade with dayf over at Cardboard Junkie. I tried to help Kris with his mini set. I sent him the following minis:

#4 Josh Hamilton
#14 Ken Igawa
#24 Susan B. Anthony
#31 Kenji Johjima
#61 Justin Morneau
#74 Ervin Santana
#89 John Lackey
#95 Hanley Ramirez
#104 Jeff Kent
#123 Tadahito Iguchi
#130 Jason Schmidt
#154 Paul Lo Duca
#159 Michael Barrett
#252 Bud Black
#253 Michael Cuddyer
#283 Chris Capuano
#288 Ted Lilly
#303 Tyler Clippard
#326 Alex Rios
Roman Emperor Hadrian
2006 Topp 52 Rookies signed Ryan Spillborghs

In return I received:
2007 Allen and Ginter
#4 - Hamilton
#25 - Payton
#59 - Snell
#74 - Santana
#109 - Mora
#238 - Young
#241 - Mientkiewicz
#246 - Damon
#251 - Pettitte
#289 - Leyland
#322 - Walsh
Jones Cleon 05 Topps Fan Favorites FFA-CJ
Langerhans Ryan 07 Topps gold 0781/2007 508
Cox Bobby 1978 Topps 93
Braves Prospects Benedict, Hubbard, Whisenton 1979 Topps 715
Abercrombie Reggie 2006 Topps 52 Rookies Signed
Braves Leaders 1989 Topps 171
Jazz Age Comics Card of Clifton M. Jennings

Really happy with this trade. Glad could do this for Kris and glad he could do it for me.

First Trade of the New Year

A few weeks ago, I won a contest ran by Thorzul over at A Pack A Day with my prize being a choice of the cards from the pack of Allen and Ginter he opened. I chose the Greg Louganis as I did not have that card yet for my set. So after talking with Thorzul a bit, we made a little trade. So he got:
2007 Distinguished service #5 Monte Irvin and #17 Curtis LeMay
2007 Topps Heritage Chrome Ray Durham #16 (numbered 1944/1958)
2007 Topps UD&H #102 Adam Eaton

and I got
2007 Topps Allen and Ginter 325 Sizemore, 236 Hernandez, 224 Bard, 168 Smith, 128
Bradley, 72 Bruce Lee, 54 Rivera, 33 Dukes and the Louganis.

So this puts me a few cards closer to my complete set and a good trade all around.

Card of the Week 1/06/08: 2002 Donruss Super Estrellas CP-12 Barry Bonds Poder de Cuadrangular

Sorry about the bad pictures lately. My laptop that I connect to my scanner is in for repairs and hopefully I'll have it back by Tuesday and will give you more high quality scans. This card comes from one of Donruss' Spanish language sets. The easy joke here is "I think that translates to cheater in English!" but the truth is actually pretty funny in itself. If my remedial Spanish is correct, this translates literally to "Being able of the home run". I would say that Bonds is most definately able of the home run and is probably the most able out of every player. The blurb on the back says something about him hitting 57 home runs in Pac Bell and 36 in 16 different parks in 2001. But this is an interesting card and good to see that our friends south of the border have the joy of baseball cards and are able to collect players who are able of the home run.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

One Down....

Remember how I was saying that I didn't get an autograph hit last year? Well in the past 2 days I've gotten 2 of them.

The Sergio Mitre came out of a pack of Bowman Draft Picks and Prospects and the Adam LInd (numbered 002/275) out of a pack of co-signers. So I'm off to a good start so far this year.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Box Break: Bowman Draft Picks and Prospects

I've gotten a few single packs of Draft Picks and Prospects and thought it was a really good set, so I got a blaster of them. Let's see if this box is a bust or not.
Pack #1
BDP 48 Angel Sanchez
BDP 12 Cameron Maybin
BDPP 94 Freddy Sandoval Chrome
BDP 4 Phil Hughes Chrome
BDP Yunel Escobar Gold
BDPP 86 Elvis Andrus
BDPP 29 Corey Kluber
Really good first pack. The Phil Hughes Chrome would have been the highlight, but I got the Escobar Gold along with former Brave Elvis Andrus and how can you not like someone named Elvis?

Pack #2
BDP 40 Andy LaRoche
BDP 52 Brendan Ryan
BDPP 64 Matt LaPorta Chrome
BDPP 27 Brant Rustich Refractor
BDP 52 Brendan Ryan Gold
BDPP 67 Collin Balester
BDPP 20 Sam Runion
Not a bad pack. A refractor and Adam LaRoche's little brother who is on the rise

Pack #3
BDP 22 Sean Gallagher
BDP 43 Yunel Escobar
BDPP 36 Craig Heyer Chrome
BDP 48 Angel Sanchez Chrome
BDP 28 Doug Slaten Gold
BDPP 3 Corey Brown
BDPP 7 Cory Luebke
I seem to be getting a lot of base cards and their variants, but I'll always take any Yunel's that i can.

Pack #4
BDP 17 Jon Knott
BDP 18 Joba Chamberlin
BDPP 11 Kyle Lotzkar Chrome
BDP 12 Cameron Maybin Chrome
BDP 31 Jesse Litsch Gold
BDPP 30 Justin Jackson
BDPP 88 German Duran
I hate the Yankees, but I think I like Joba as a player. He seems much more playful than the rest of the Yankees. Also, I can't wait for the first time German Duran gets a call up and makes a big hit or play and Chris Berman calls him German "Duran" Duran.

Pack #5
BDP 28 Doug Slaten
BDP 36 Carlos Gomez
BDPP 80 Rich Vandenhurk Chrome
BDPP 40 Andy LaRoche Chrome
BDP 45 Felix Pie Gold
BDPP 4 Tyler Mach
BDPP 12 Freddie Freeman
Got another base and variant that had the opposite of already from this box. Freddie Freeman is now my 2nd favorite Brave with the last name "Freeman" right behind Marvin.

BDP 34 Matt Brown
BDP 51 Kevin Slowey
BDPP 19 Lars Davis Chrome
BDP 46 Homer Bailey Chrome
BDPP 68 Carlos Carrasco Game Worn Futures All-Star Game Jersey
BDPP 2 Karl Bolt
BDPP 99 Evan Longoria
WOW. What a pack. Not only did I get Homer Bailey in a chrome card (Homer played for the Chattanooga Lookouts near my hometown for what seemed like forever. Glad to see him in the bigs.) and a former #1 pick in Evan Longoria, but I got a game used Futures jersey card. Looks like this is the pack of the box.

Pack #7
237 Barry Bonds
BDP 14 Mike Rabelo Blue Variant numbered 256/399
BDPP 1 Cody Crowell Chrome
BDP 39 Mark McLemore Gold Refractor numbered 25/50
BDP 27 Ben Francisco Gold
BDPP 16 John Ely
BDPP 100 Wladimir Balentin
Wait, this might be the pack of the box.
How in the world did I get 2 numbered inserts in the same pack? According to the back of the pack wrapper, the blue variants are 1:84 while the gold refractors are 1:659. Who's the mathemagician who wants to tell me what the odds of getting both in one pack are? Incredible pack.
Pack #8
BDP 24 Dennis Dove
BDP 27 Ben Francisco
BDPP 109 Colby Rasmus Chrome
BDPP 9 Ryan Zink Chrome
BDP 11 Tim Lincecum Gold
BDPP 60 Gary Gattis
BDPP 8 Darin Mastroianni
A meh pack, but the Lincecum Gold is good stuff.

Overall, this was GREAT box. A game used card, good rookies, 2 numbered cards and just a lot of fun.