Saturday, February 26, 2011

Twitter Card Shop Challenge

First and foremost let me state unequivocally that I in no way harbor any delusion that I am anywhere close to competing for top spot in the $10 Twitter Card Shop Challenge. The goal of which is pretty self-explanatory. Let's just say that I even ventured to TWO card shops looking to contend. I managed to spend $9.50 of my $10.00 budget but I think I may have one item disqualified.

Stop number one was the usual Not-so-LCS. I had to put in a few hours of work today and so naturally I thought a quick stop and $10.00 later I'd be at home.

Not so much.

I looked through 3 boxes of '50% Off' items but nothing that I or anyone else would have wanted. The closest I came was a Darren McFadden 'Absolute' relic for $3.50. Had it been auto'd I would have pulled the trigger.

Disappointed but undaunted I decided to scout out another card shop a little further down the road. This one is a Definitely-not-so-LCS and after my visit today will not become a regular anytime soon.

Enough yakking, on to what I did find.

I sifted through 2 4800-count boxes of $1 cards that were mostly Hockey and Basketball. To the store-owner's credit he did inform me off the top that he dealt in very little baseball but I was free to look. I found a grand total of FIVE cards!!!

As you may or may not know, on of the kinds of cards I collect are ones featuring players bunting the ball. I collect any and all kinds of them. It gives me something to do when boredom sets in with set building. Some of the harder cards to find, let alone even learn of their existence, are relic and insert cards that belong in my PSC. I found 3 that fit the bill in the $1 box.

The first one is from 2002 Upper Deck SweetSpot USA Jerseys Insert set. Card #USA-DM featuring Doug Mientkiewicz.

Card number 2 is from 2006 Bowman Draft Future's Game Prospects Relics Insert set. Card #FG20 features Trent Oeltjen drafted by the Minnesota Twins.

The third card in the bunting series is from the 2007 Topps Heritage Clubhouse Collection Insert set. Card #CC-RF is a Rafael Furcal GU bat card.

The next two cards were purchase simply because I collect Cubs cards. No other reason, although the GU relic card does look pretty good with the jersey-shaped cut out window. The first card is from the 2008 Bowman Draft Prospects Jerseys Insert set. Card #BDPP82 is of Welington Castillo.

Cub number 2 is actually a former Cub now but I still like the looks of these 2009 Topps T-206 full size card autographs. I cannot help but feel had they been on-card they would get much more attention from The Hobby. My last $1 card from the five is Card #NFA-16 and it features all-around major-league curmudgeon Milton Bradley.

The last card making its entry into The Challenge was a throw-in from the store owner when I told him what I was buying the cards for. He let me pick a 6th card at no cost as long as I made it BIG. A choice of a card that could put me over the top. I decided to take his advice literally and went BIG.

I went 485 pounds BIG!!


Card #S-BS from 2010 Topps WWE Superstar Swatches insert set of Big Show.

Now, as I stated at the top I spent $9.50 of my $10.00 budget. The card selection just was not there. I tried and tried but everything I found just felt forced and upon further review had no rightful place in my collection. However, I did find something in this shop that DID complete a collection AND I had been searching for one for about a year.

I defer to the judges but with $4.50 I completed my 6-issue Batman series written by the great Kevin Smith.

All things considered an afternoon spent at card shops is never a bad way to spend the day. I added a few cards to my collection and that is never a bad thing. For some greater successes and to view the other entries in this impromptu challenge head on over to 'The 400 Level' and check out his loot, 'Cardboard Icons' came away with some nice stuff and Tweet Mr. Chris Olds to provide you a link to what he purchased for $10.00.

Keep an eye out for the next challenge laid down and join in. Its all in good fun.


Friday, February 18, 2011

As If Cards Were Not Enough

Baseball card collecting is by definition an obsession. The pursuit of a 2 1/2" by 3 1/2" piece of cardboard for the purpose of filing it away with others of the like becomes a full blown necessity for some and a life-long quest for others. When you begin to add other items into the mix of this pursuit things start to get crazy.

On February 1st of this year Canada Post, in honour of Black History month, released two stamps commemorating the achieves of two outstanding members of the 'Order of Canada'. Carrie Best was a poet, author, journalist and activist amongst black Canadians who worked together with Viola Desmond to lobby the Canadian Government to repeal segregation laws in 1954.

The other honoree featured on stamp is the only Canadian to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Ferguson Jenkins was born in Chatham, Ontario (about 2 hours from here) and his achievements as a Chicago Cub, Philadelphia Phillie, Texas Ranger and Boston Red Sock should come as no surprise to anyone.

I have managed to find only two First Day Covers in the three Postal Outlets that I have checked in the last week. The front of these are nicely designed with a picture of Ferguson in his Chicago Cubs uniform, a facsimile autograph and a very cool special postage cancellation from his hometown.

The stamp bears a more updated image of Ferguson along with his 'Order of Canada' medal. The back of the FDC features a brief write-up on not only his achievements in baseball but his achievements beyond the game as well. Also pictured on the back are his 1967, 1971 and 1975 Topps baseball cards.

I have purchased several books of these stamps and will be using them for the next little while when sending out packages to fellow bloggers and a the few eBay sales I have. I will continue to search for the FDCs because I plan to send them out to a few Cubs collectors that I have traded with in the past.

I have always been interested in stamps and First Day Covers that deal with Baseball. In fact, there was a stamp released last July by the USPS that I will be looking for a FDC at The National this year featuring Rube Foster.

Collecting FDCs is something that I had always tried to avoid because they are a complete genre unto themselves. Today may just be the beginning of a whole new obsession for me.



Thursday, February 10, 2011

Redemption Song - Vol II

I never really had an "official" Vol.I of this post but I decided to launch this theme with a bang. No more than 5 redemptions were entered into the Topps website today.

I have been going full bore trying to organize what had become a disaster in my office. There were cards everywhere. Cards to be sorted, cards to be mailed, cards to filed, packs of cards to be opened and cards to have their fates decided.

Most of that work is complete. I think there are three or four piles left to go through. One of the pile of cards I waded through had been where I designated my "to be redeemed" pile. Knowing that had I not sat myself down and entered the codes, a few of these cards may have expired before the next time I saw them.

So, if you noticed, there are three more counters on the sidebar of the blog. The current record for length of time to fulfill belongs to Topps and has been chronicled here. The three newest counters also belong to Topps.

Counter #1 is for three 'Red Hot Rookie' redemption cards from 2010 Series 2 Baseball. 2 redemptions for card #1, which belongs to Carlos Santana and 1 redemption for card #7, which belongs to Domonic Brown.

If there are any kind souls out there who would want to trade me any of these for a Starlin Castro RHR, or an unredeemed #5 RHR you would make a Canadian Cub Fan veeeeeerrrrrryyyy happy, indeed!.

The next redemption was one that helped bring me oh-so-close to winning this year's 'Gint-A-Cuffs' challenge, but sadly, was not enough. It was definitely a fun addition to busting boxes of a great product and I am looking forward to this year's version.

Lastly, the third redemption card was one I was REAL happy to get from one of the group breaks I participated in over at 'Thorzul Will Rule'. He busted 2009 Topps Finest and 2004 UD Legends Timeless Teams. One team was picked and one team was randomized. The Dodgers were available and I took them in hopes of landing a Jackie Robinson, no dice. Luck had it that my randomized team was one I collect and the redemption I hit came from them.

I managed to load up on Dodgers and Dodger autos in the break so hopefully a Dodger fan is reading this and can offer them a good home.

Keep an eye on the sidebar and track the time it takes Topps to get me these wonderful pieces of cardboard. I am also giving Topps a bit of a break and not starting the counter until midnight tonight. Ain't I nice?

The clock is ticking.......

To help celebrate these redemptions I brought back a great clip from an earlier post. Make the people happy Robert.


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

2011 Topps Series 1 - Team Checklists

If you are a team set collector like me then finding a team set checklist is sometimes a bit of work. I decided to take that work off your shoulders and compile them for you.

Anaheim Angels

31 Erick Aybar
49 Team Card
57 Mark Trumbo
75 Jared Weaver
118 Howie Kendrick
185 Peter Bourjos
201 Mike Napoli
255 Torii Hunter
263 Joel Pinero
285 Hank Conger

Arizona Diamondbacks

39 Ian Kennedy
40 Justin Upton
53 Team Card
176 Daniel Hudson
234 Miguel Montero
269 Stephen Drew
291 Juan Gutierrez
316 Chris Young

Baltimore Orioles

106 Felix Pie
152 Team Card
164 Koji Uehara
177 Brian Matusz
195 Nick Markakis
205 Ty Wigginton
213 Brandon Snyder
294 Luke Scott
321 Jeremy Guthrie

Boston Red Sox

3 Jon Lester
62 Jonathan Papelbon
115 Jason Varitek
123 Mike Lowell
208 Clay Buchholz
218 Victor Martinez
254 Lars Anderson
278 Marco Scutaro
302 Adrian Beltre
314 Ryan Kalish
315 David Ortiz
324 Team Card

Atlanta Braves

13 Billy Wagner
19 Derek Lowe
34 Rick Ankiel
44 Martin Prado
72 Jair Jurrjens
77 Tim Hudson
81 Omar Infante
145 Freddie Freeman
169 Chipper Jones
227 Nate Mclouth
273 Derrek Lee
310 Alex Gonzalez
319 Team Card

Chicago Cubs

12 Carlos Marmol
16 Aramis Ramirez
38 Ryan Dempster
48 Andrew Cashner
76 Tom Gorzelanny
86 Carlos Silva
137 Xavier Nady
154 Marlon Byrd
247 Starlin Castro
256 Tyler Colvin
309 Team Card

Chicago White Sox

41 Freddy Garcia
65 Chris Sale
93 Paul Konerko
122 Bobby Jenks
128 Manny Ramirez
153 AJ Pierzynski
161 Team Card
223 Gregory Infante
231 Mark Buehrle
243 Omar Vizquel
261 Alexei Ramirez
265 John Danks
307 Alex Rios
322 Brent Morel

Cincinnati Reds

5 Joey Votto
63 Edinson Volquez
98 Bronson Arroyo
110 Aroldis Chapman
113 Arthur Rhodes
142 Johnny Cueto
191 Jay Bruce
192 Team Card
228 Scott Rolen
233 Ramon Hernandez
249 Aaron Harang
317 Yonder Alonso

Cleveland Indians

28 Carlos Carrasco
35 Shin-Soo Choo
68 Team Card
151 Fausto Carmona
159 Chris Perez
160 Josh Tomlin
209 Carlos Santana
257 Travis Hafner
274 Michael Brantley

Colorado Rockies

104 Ian Stewart
139 Eric Young
141 Ubaldo Jiminez
220 Todd Helton
230 Aaron Cook
239 Jhoulys Chacin
250 Carlos Gonzalez
270 Ubaldo Jiminez
276 Miguel Olivo
283 Team Card
286 Melvin Mora
301 Seth Smith

Detroit Tigers
18 Kevin Millwood
33 Max Scherzer
94 Ryan Raburn
121 Brandon Inge
150 Miguel Cabrera
175 Brennan Boesch
179 Armando Galarraga
181 Magglio Ordonez
182 Jeremy Bonderman
264 Ryan Perry

Florida Marlins

20 Hanley Ramirez
78 Mike Stanton
117 Brett Sinkbell
127 Chris Volstad
135 MikeStanton
166 Josh Johnson
167 Clay Hensley
196 Jose Ceda
287 Scott Cousins
303 Emilio Bonifacio
312 Gaby Sanchez
313 Chris Coghlan
326 Ozzie Martinez

Houston Astros

32 Chris Johnson
45 Hunter Pence
88 Brian Bogusevic
222 Matt Lindstrom
241 Wandy Rodriguez
298 Jeff Keppinger
329 Brett Wallace

Kansas City Royals

9 Gil Meche
91 Lucas May
101 Gregor Blanco
108 Zack Greinke
170 David Dejesus
244 Mike Aviles
259 Kyle Davies
262 Alex Gordon
289 Yuniesky Betancourt

Los Angeles Dodgers

36 Ted Lilly
37 Vicente Padilla
46 Hong-Chih Kuo
114 Russell Martin
158 Casey Blake
240 Andre Ethier
275 Clayton Kershaw
305 James Loney

Milwaukee Brewers

1 Ryan Braun
14 Randy Wolf
71 Trevor Hoffman
92 Chris Narveson
97 Carlos Gomez
105 Jonathan Lucroy
143 Jeremy Jeffress
187 Team Card
251 Alcides Escobar
266 Rickie Weeks
277 Trevor Hoffman

Minnesota Twins

4 Jason Kubel
21 Michael Cuddyer
54 Brian Fuentes
99 Ben Revere
132 Brian Duensing
186 Carl Pavano
253 Jim Thome
272 JJ Hardy
281 Kevin Slowey
288 Matt Capps
293 Justin Morneau
304 Jim Thome

New York Mets

15 David Wright
56 Johan Santana
66 R A Dickey
119 Jason Bay
129 Lucas Duda
147 Jon Niese
156 Josh Thole
157 Team Card
203 Dillon Gee
207 Angel Pagan
290 Ike Davis

New York Yankees

7 Mickey Mantle
42 Mariano Rivera
50 Alex Rodriguez
69 Brett Gardner
102 CC Sabathia
130 Robinson Cano
144 Lance Berkman
155 Alex Rodriguez
189 Kerry Wood
279 Nick Swisher
330 Derek Jeter

Oakland Athletics

17 Mark Ellis
30 Gio Gonzalez
79 Kurt Suzuki
131 Kevin Kouzmanoff
140 Brett Anderson
190 Coco Crisp
204 Team Card
280 Andrew Bailey

Philadelphia Phillies

89 Placido Polanco
174 Roy Oswalt
199 Jimmy Rollins
214 Chase Utley
219 Carlos Ruiz
232 Jamie Moyer
242 Brad Lidge
267 Jose Contreras
300 Roy Halladay
325 Jayson Werth

Pittsburgh Pirates

24 Neil Walker
60 Andrew McCutchen
73 James McDonald
95 Pedro Alvarez
96 Zach Duke
125 Evan Meek
162 Ronny Cedeno
171 Garrett Jones
180 Paul Maholm
238 Pedro Ciriaco
245 Neil Walker
297 Jason Jaramillo

Saint Louis Cardinals

2 Jake Westbrook
23 Jamie Garcia
43 Brendan Ryan
87 Daniel Descalso
90 Yadier Molina
100 Albert Pujols
212 Pedro Feliz
295 Jon Jay
299 Chris Carpenter

San Diego Padres

47 Kevin Correia
51 David Eckstein
64 Yorvit Torrealba
120 Mat Latos
126 Team Card
133 Miguel Tejada
163 Carlos Pena
178 Heath Bell
193 Cory Luebke
206 Chase Headley
221 Scott Hairston
248 Wade Leblanc

San Francisco Giants

22 Barry Zito
58 Edgar Renteria
107 Aubrey Huff
188 Pablo Sandoval
194 Andres Torres
198 Buster Posey
210 Brian Wilson
226 Jose Guillen
229 Jonathan Sanchez
260 Freddy Sanchez
292 Darren Ford

Seattle Mariners

83 Greg Halman
85 Jack Wilson
116 Russell Branyan
149 David Aardsma
173 Jose Lopez
200 Ichiro
224 Milton Bradley
237 Jason Vargas
252 Michal Saunders

Tampa Bay Devil Rays

25 Carl Crawford
27 Ben Zobrist
52 Team Card
55 Matt Joyce
61 David Price
80 Desmond Jennings
165 Jeremy Hellickson
258 Rafael Soriano
268 Jake McGee
284 Reid Brignac
311 James Shields
328 David Price

Texas Rangers

6 Neftali Feliz
8 Julio Borbon
59 Gaby Sanchez
67 Vladimir Guerrero
74 Tyler Clippard
103 Cliff Lee
112 Jorge Cantu
236 Nelson Cruz
320 Michael Young
323 CJ Wilson
327 Christian Guzman

Toronto Blue Jays

70 Kyle Drabek
111 Kevin Gregg
148 Ricky Romero
172 Lyle Overbay
184 Brandon Morrow
197 Aaron Hill
215 Edwin Encarnacion
216 Jose Bautista
217 Yunel Escobar
296 John Buck

Washington Nationals

10 Stephen Strasburg
84 Roger Bernadina
136 Jason Marquis
183 Stephen Strasburg
225 Josh Willingham
246 John Lannan
271 Adam Dunn
308 Ian Desmond