Monday, June 29, 2009

Mail Day (aka Oh, Peachy Keen eBay!!)

The week always starts better for me when envelopes appear in the mailbox. Today was a purchase from eBay that, while taking some time to get here, nevertheless arrived. Today's package also helped me finally decide what to do about the whole "to build or not to build" question.

Five more cards arrived today that puts me closer to completion of the O-Pee-Chee Baseball Preview Insert cards from Series 2 Upper Deck. So far, all of the cards I have seen from the preview set have been what I had hoped for the actual release. No posed/portrait photos and definitely no frighten-the-children-make-me-uncomfortable, look-very-creepy-kind-of-stalker-unibomberish close-up head shots.

The first two out of the envelope are two of the best catchers in the majors, Joe Mauer and Russel Martin.

The last three cards feature Jose Reyes, Daisuke and Jimmy Rollins. Why has no one adopted the "single-name" address of Daisuke like they have Ichiro? I think I might start a movement to do just that. If it takes then the next person to be treated to the "single-name" treatment should be someone with the plainest name in the majors. I just find it kind of ridiculous.

So, as I said earlier I finally made a decision about whether or not I will build this O-Pee-Cheap knock-off. I am going to finish the insert set of what should have been. From the actual release I will only collect certain players and all Blue Jays and Cubs players. I will post a list of traders in the near future and if anyone has doubles to offer up of Jays, Cubs or players bunting please let me know.

Sorry UD, I want you to know that I REALLY tried to make this work. I tried to find a way to accept you for who you are but in the end I think I just am incapable of this. I guess what I am trying to say is, it's not you it's me. Let's just leave it at that and I'll call you sometime. Okay?


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Mail Day (aka FanofReds comes through with 'The Black')

A few days ago I was greeted by the always welcomed manila envelope on the kitchen table. It could only mean one thing. One step closer to another finished set.

Today's graciously appreciated package comes from FanOfReds over at Nachos Grande. Ever since I have started this whole blogging experience I have been repeatedly impressed with the camaraderie that is evident throughout. It has made my jump back into card collecting one of the best online experiences to date.

Thanks to the generosity of yet another collector I am 7 cards closer to finishing the Series 1 Topps Wal-Mart 'Blackout' parallel set. Leading the way out of the envelope is Alex Rodriguez;

following him was a foursome of David Price, ALROY Card of Evan Longoria, Ray Durham and Matt Kemp;

Perhaps the best utility/bench player in the majors right now, Juan Pierre;

And, of course what would a trade be without some "star power" to bookend it nicely, the only player who's name can still make my wife snicker, Albert Pujols;

Thanks again FanOfReds and your package went out in the mail today so hopefully you will be enjoying some additions soon as well.

As always check out what I have available for trade as well as what I am looking for and let's work a deal. Also, take the time to stop by FanOfReds Want List and knock a few off his as well.


Request for a swap

Thanks to several diligent bloggers I became aware of another card I need to add to my personally invented subset collection. I collect any and all cards of players attempting to bunt;

The #3 redemption card in the Topps Red Hot Rookie set features Andrew McCutchen doing just that. Unfortunately In all the Series 2 Topps that I busted I was only graced with these 3 redemption cards.

As a result I throw the obsessive completest in me on the mercy of the blogging collective. If any kind soul out there would like to trade a #3 for one of these or would like to wait and trade whoever is selected at either of these numbers let me know.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Saturday's are for work, apparently.

I was all set to complete a few promised posts today but it looks as though I will be spending today doing some actual work around the house. Apparently, much to my chagrin, the dogs haven't learned to bathe themselves yet and the insulation elves have yet to put all the bundles in the basement where they belong.

So, I will be lazy and simply point you to my latest contribution to a great site, A Pack To Be Named Later as well as drop in a video I was holding for a rainy day from one of the most talented musicians of the 20th Century.


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Mail Day - Purchases from the 'bay

Several envelopes have come home to roost in the past little while so I figured I would get caught up with posting them in one swipe. All of these are purchases I have recently made off of ebay. I still want to have a look at because I have read nothing but glowing reviews. I just need to find some time. Anybody have any?

The first bundle comes from New Hyde Park, NY. I bought a few stray packs of Upper Deck Series 2 baseball and one of the cards I pulled made me want to rekindle my appreciation for promotional cards. I have always liked promo cards and the thought of this set being a nice chase hooked me in. I added six more to my collection.

Speaking of promo cards, this little addition came from McKeesport, PA. I still haven't fully decided if I want to do the set or not. If anyone has the Jackie Robinson and wants to trade me then you will make my decision easier. A cool card and a constant reminder of what is to come this fall.

Finally, I know some people see these as "gimmicky" and not worth their time. However, I have decided that they must be part of the set if I am going to build one properly. I am such a lemming. If you have any of the Topps SP's send me an e-mail and we can work something out. These two came at a fairly decent price too.

As a side note on the Topps SPs, I have since pulled the Brooks Robinson from one of the box breaks I did so he will be going up on the trading block. I have a list of the Series 1 and 2 SPs I need on the right-hand side if any Orioles fans or SP builders want to propose something for it, let me know.


OPC Baseball - Best of the Rest

I finally got around to opening and scanning the last three packs of 2009 Upper Deck/O-Pee-Chee Disappointment...err....Baseball I purchased on Tuesday. I am in agreement with some of the complaints I have read on other blogs about the few too many cards per pack here. Six cards does seem to be a bit weak when the set is 600 cards. I guess the thought process here is maximize the spending the customer needs to put out to build this thing.

Anyway, here is the last 3 packs of my purchase;


#290 - Carlos Delgado NYM
#145 - Alex Gordon KCR
#337 - Kevin Slowey MIN (P.O.S. Parallel)
#572 - Bobby Parnell NYM (SP Rookie)
#431 - Travis Metcalf TEX
#287 - Gregg Zaun BAL

So far, my favorite card of the set came in this pack;

Every pack has at least 1 SP card. I guess the final 100 are SP. This one was from the 'Rookie' subset.


#361 - Ted Lilly CHC
#396 - Marlon Byrd TEX
#381 - Scott Kazmir TBR (P.O.S. Parallel)
20th Anniversary Insert #1009 - Michael Jordan has the flu......whoopie.
#547 - Johan Santana NYM caught in a "moment" (SP)
#49 - Jeremy Guthrie BAL

My first O-Pee-Chee Cubbie;

I'm only posting this because it looks as though Upper Deck told Scott about their plan to cave to Topps without notifying the people paying for their product and how it somehow makes good business sense.

Scott laughs at this notion UD.

MJ had the sniffles and all he got to show for it was cardboard immortality.

And lastly, the SP of this pack. Take a "moment" and have a look.


#188 - Vernon Wells TOR
#283 - Ryan Shealy KCR
#197 - Juan Rivera ANA
#511 - Diamondbacks Team Checklist (P.O.S. Parallel/SP)
#542 - Strikeout Leaders (SP Leaders)
#151 - Brad Hawpe COL

My first O-Pee-Chee Blue Jay

Once again, just to be absolutely clear on this. I love the base set design, everything about it. Especially the colour scheme on the Jays cards. They will probably be the best looking team set released this year by any company. I just hope UD understands what they have done by dropping the promised parallel set. And, with that being said, I too will now drop the subject from now on.

I like these checklist cards immensely.

and last, but by no means least, the short print card of the pack featuring the Top 15 strikeout leaders from 2008 on the back and the Top 3 on the front.

Looking at the back of this card I had no idea how many MLB teams have had their names Trademarked or Registered. It is truly a sign of the different times we now live in.

If anyone is actually going to put together the parallel set drop me a line and I can keep whatever I get aside for you. I will be building the base set and probably parallel team sets of the Blue Jays and Cubs. As always my traders will be listed on the right-hand side of my blog.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

OPC Baseball Goes Live (aka Upper Deck "Blacks" Down From Topps)

Here we are, June 16th and I was as excited as a excited could be. Upper Deck were going live with their OPC Baseball Product which from the previews looked great and the chase of another parallel set was on the horizon for me. I counted down the hours until I could leave my one campus of employment and stop by a conveniently placed card shop in between my other campus of employment and crack some of the highly anticipated packs.

Pack #1 goes like this......

#345 - RHP from the CWS Bobby Jenks

I like the design, I like the posed photo, I like the OPC logo and the position inside the baseball. I like it all. I like the grey backs, I like the upright stats. All-in-all a pleasing design and a cool looking card.

Let's have a look at card #2.........shall we????


Okay, wait a second. What the H...E...double-hockey sticks is this??
Card #445 from the Mariners Felix Hernandez with a black border.

Okay, Upper Deck, c'mere a second. I got something to talk to you about.

Way back when you first touted this set you got me and a whole bunch of retro-addicted collectors all excited with the release of this promo ;

I understand that when you first showed this to the world a certain company got their collective panties in a bunch and decided to legally "ask" you to not do this. However, you did seem to have the rights to do so based on my minimalist understanding of the situation. For myself the only reason I considered tackling this set was for the fun of piecing together the insert parallel set that looked so cool. I am 3/4's of the way through what you did with the hockey set and am looking forward to when it is complete. This turn of event however has dampened what were once lofty hopes.

I understand in the grand scheme of things the place that this takes but I am not comparing this to anything other than itself. I feel you should have had the stones to pursue the matter against Topps, regardless if it pushed back the release of the set. Would the publicity of the whole asinine situation not have been worth it? Ask Vince McMahon about cheap exploitation disguised as hype.

Anyway, suffice it to say I am terribly disappointed in this. However, there is a silver lining. I will be purchasing much less of this product, thus enabling me to purchase even more of the Topps T206 100th Anniversary release later on this year.

Okay, end of rant....back to the pack.

I have pulled only 3 of these 20th Anniversary Upper Deck monstrosities but all three have been welcome additions, this is one of the best, imho;

Card# 1004 - Tiger in his Sunday Reds...think I will try to TTM this.

Next up is another great design.

#554 - Joe Mauer having a "moment" from June 22, 2008.

Next up is another of the base player cards and another classic baseball card pose.

#167 - Kansas City's David DeJesus.

Have I said recently how much I like the card backs on these? Oh, I have? Okay, just checking. If you get a chance check 'em out, they're good.

And finally the last card in the pack. However, I am a bit concerned because I either just happened to get a pack of similar style cards or Upper Deck had some time to spend getting photos for this set. Here's ANOTHER posed card;

#174 - Omar Vizquel.

Omar's stats on the back are listed from '99 to '08. I wonder if all "veterans" have a maximum of 10 years listed.

So, as you can see Upper Deck has delivered on their promise of an excellent base set with an attractive design more than exciting enough for me to tackle the 600-card set.
However, the cheap way they folded their tent and relented on, what I believed to be, the highly anticipated parallel set is too bad. I was looking forward to it but now I can only see myself collecting players, team sets and, if any, my personal sub-set.

With some questions left unanswered I will have to crack the rest of the packs I bought and see just what Upper Deck has done. I'll post another over at A Pack To Be Named Later if it hasn't already been done.


Sunday, June 14, 2009

Topps Series 2 'Turkey Red' Checklist

For those tired of searching for a number ordered list, here ya go;

TR51 Josh Hamilton Texas Rangers
TR52 Rich Harden Chicago Cubs
TR53 Francisco Rodriguez New York Mets
TR54 Alex Gordon Kansas City Royals
TR55 Manny Ramirez Los Angeles Dodgers
TR56 Carlos Zambrano Chicago Cubs
TR57 Brandon Webb Arizona Diamondbacks

TR58 Alfonso Soriano Chicago Cubs
TR59 Mel Ott New York Giants
Carlos Lee Houston Astros
TR61 Lou Gehrig New York Yankees
TR62 Adam Jones Baltimore Orioles
TR63 Josh Beckett Boston Red Sox
TR64 Prince Fielder Milwaukee Brewers
TR65 Jimmy Rollins Philadelphia Phillies
TR66 Justin Morneau Minnesota Twins
TR67 Dan Uggla Florida Marlins
TR68 Lance Berkman Houston Astros
TR69 Chipper Jones Atlanta Braves
TR70 Jon Lester Boston Red Sox
TR71 Albert Pujols St. Louis Cardinals
TR72 Ryan Braun Milwaukee Brewers
TR73 Grady Sizemore Cleveland Indians
TR74 Carlos Beltran New York Mets
TR75 Hanley Ramirez Florida Marlins
TR76 Jay Bruce Cincinnati Reds
TR77 Derek Jeter New York Yankees
TR78 Matt Cain San Francisco Giants
TR79 Roy Campanella Brooklyn Dodgers
TR80 Rogers Hornsby St. Louis Cardinals
TR81 Ryan Zimmerman Washington Nationals
TR82 Dustin Pedroia Boston Red Sox
TR83 B.J. Upton Tampa Bay Rays
TR84 Jose Reyes New York Mets
TR85 Johnny Mize St. Louis Cardinals
TR86 Magglio Ordonez Detroit Tigers
TR87 Ty Cobb Detroit Tigers
Michael Young Texas Rangers
TR89 Todd Helton Colorado Rockies
TR90 Walter Johnson Washington Senators
TR91 Matt Kemp Los Angeles Dodgers
TR92 Adrian Gonzalez San Diego Padres
TR93 Pee Wee Reese Brooklyn Dodgers
TR94 Ryan Doumit Pittsburgh Pirates
TR95 Ryan Howard Philadelphia Phillies
TR96 Ichiro Seattle Mariners
TR97 Cy Young Cleveland Naps
Mark Teixeira New York Yankees
TR99 Vladimir Guerrero Angels
TR100 Honus Wagner Pittsburgh Pirates

The ones listed in red are what I need to finish off my set. If you can help, send me an e-mail with your needs and we will work something out.


Hammerin' Hank Global Contest

In perhaps what is the best giveaway I have witnessed in my short time here among you all, Mario over at Wax Heaven is giving away a Hank Aaron #/49 Autograph Card from the 2009 Razor Sports Icons.

I think Joey Styles sums up Mario's generosity perfectly;

Take the time, drop by Wax Heaven, learn something and leave Mario a thank-you.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Congrats to the Pens and especially Marc-Andre Fleury

Took some time before a decent clip of this was posted. Glad I was watching when it happened and what a treat to save the "save of the playoffs" for the last shot.

Also wanted to say that it was good to see the classy Wings fans stick around and appreciate a job well done by the Penguins.

P.S. - The French commentary is a nice added touch.... extraordinaire!!!!



Box Break - Topps Series 2 Baseball

As I mentioned before I have a couple of Topps Series 2 box breaks to post here. Part of the delay has been spent trying to figure out just what to post about it. Nobody needs to see the base cards; there have been more than enough images of those made available. In the end I decided to post what I would find most useful; the actual breakdown of what was in the boxes. I ended up purchasing two of the HTA Jumbo boxes which supposedly contain 10 packs of 50 cards. I say supposedly because not a single pack contained 50 cards, it actually ranged between 46 to 48 cards per pack. Nonetheless, the appeal of the Jumbo boxes for me is the potential to have a box yield a complete base set. Once again, notice the adjective there? In a perfect world where quality control would actually mean something you would get a complete set of base cards in a box. This was not the case here. On that I still do not know how I feel.

Just in case you are interested I will post the pack ratios for the inserts in the Jumbos;

Gold Parallel, Ring of Honor, Legends of the Game(LOTG) and Turkey Reds are 1:1

Topps Town 1:2

Black Parallel 1:10

Platinum Parallel 1:2,500

Printing Plates 1:210

Red Hot Rookie Redemption 1:10

WBC Stars 1:2

LOTG SP Variations 1:17

LOTG Career Best 1:6

LOTG Gold 1:345

LOTG Platinum 1:1,400

LOTG Stamps 1:590

WBC Stamps 1:1,733

Sketch Cards 1:2,800

Framed Silk 1:55

Ring of Honor Autos 1:823

LOTG Relic 1:1,282

LOTG Career Best Relic 1:3,100

Career Best Relic Platinum 1:160

Career Best Autos Group A 1:71, Group B 1:13

Career Best Relics Group A 1:56, Group B1:15

WBC Stars Autos 1:270

WBC Stars Relics 1:51

1959 Mickey Mantle Reprint Relic 1:18,000

LOTG Cut Autographs 1:16,500

LOTG Career Best Cut Signature 1:101,220

Career Best Auto/Relic 1:538

WBC Stars Auto/Relic 1:2,700

Career Best Dual Relic 1:92

Career Best Base Paths Quad Relic 1:535

American Legends Cut Sig 1:101,220

Career Best Jumbo Patch Relic 1:1,335

LOTG Letter Patch 1:40

Legendary Letters Commemorative Patch 1:20

Now here is what the first box yielded;

489 Cards Pulled*

425 Base Cards (318/330 96% of a set)

64 Insert Cards

95 Dupes

*23 Damaged/Mis-cut cards

I like the carry-over of the Inserts from Series 1, in particular the ‘Turkey Red’ and ‘Legends of the Game’. However, I have a couple complaints.

#1 – The ‘Legends of the Game’ inserts in Series 1 were numbered to 1 to 25. WHY could Topps not have continued this and gone from 26 to 50? WHY must the same themed set be numbered completely different in Series 2? It is a small but OH SO ANNOYING variation.

#2 – The ‘Turkey Red’ cards in Series 1 had a muted retro cardboard look to the fronts. Series 2 shine like they have been handled by someone who has finished a dozen glazed doughnuts. This is sin when you are continuing a set. The operative word here is continuity!!

Here are the scans of my Insert pulls pack by pack;

Pack #1

Pack #2

Pack #3

Pack #4

Pack #5

Pack #6

Pack #7

Pack #8

Pack #9

Pack #10

The other appeal that the Jumbo Boxes have for me is the opportunity for 2 Relic and 1 Auto card per box. At heart I am a set collector and rarely do “hits” hold that much of a draw for me. However, understand I am addicted to busting packs and the excitement of pulling something relatively unique from a pack can be lots of fun too.

Here are the “box hits”, so to speak, from this break;

Career Best Jersey Relic - Matt Kemp

Career Best Autograph - Akinori Iwamura

Legendary Letters Commemorative Patch - Mel Ott (#34/50)

I think this break was, on the best, average. Nothing really jumps out at me and the only high-spot was the SP of Wade. Box #2 was way more exciting and once I get the scans of it sorted I will post it. One thing I will say is that there were a couple pulls that will make some fellow bloggers quite happy as I will be sending them along in the near future.
Keep looking for my traders list on the side of my blog too. I will be uploading a list that hopefully people will find some useful cards for their collection.