Friday, July 31, 2009

Self Serving Post.....I am embarrased

I began by feeling guilty about posting this simply to enter a contest. Almost two weeks without a post, neglected 'Mail Day' thank-yous on top of it. Then I realised, there may actually be some wayward soul out there who has not heard of/read Trader Crack's Card Blog. If you have not then I suggest you get over there RIGHT NOW and start going through the archives.

When you have a spare second then enter the more than generous contest that has been offered.

Some people are simply generous.


Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Best Sports Story EVER!!!!

No matter what sport you choose to call your favorite, what is happening this weekend in Ayrshire, Scotland has the makings of the most incredible story ever to happen in the history of sport. Not a word of this is over stated.
To borrow from the broadcast today....The oldest person to win a major tennis championship was Arthur Gore at 41 years old. The oldest Boxing Champion was George Foreman at 45 years old. The oldest golfer currently to win a championship was Julius Boros at the age of 48. Tom Watson is spotting these guys a fifth grader.

At 59 years old this stuff just isn't supposed to happen. Whatever happens I will be glued to my television set on Sunday to watch it all unfold. Even if you are not a fan of golf this goes beyond the enjoyment of the sport. This could be something that never happens again.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Mail Day (aka 2 new friends of LFB2B)

One of the best benefits I have received since starting this blog is connecting with people all over who share the same interest I do, collecting cards. I have been introduced to some of the most knowledgeable people in the hobby and to others who have some of the most interesting and thought provoking opinions. I am always impressed every time I open my browser and load, what has become, over 50 different pages.

One of the perks of meeting all these fellow collectors is the ability to help them out with their quest to complete sets and personal collections. Having them return the favor is an added bonus. Today I received two envelopes in the mail from two of the newest friends I have met through this blog of mine.

The first envelope came to me as a result of my want lists being posted and someone taking the time to see if they could help out. Derek e-mailed me to tell me he had a card I needed for my 2009 Topps 'Career Best Legends' collection, specifically Ty Cobb.

While exchanging emails about our favorite players and teams Derek told me he had a few other cards of Cubs, Blue Jays and David Wright which I might need. Always in search of these gems, especially issues from 1996-2007 which were the years I had left the hobby, I quickly accepted. All Derek wanted in return was a Josh Hamilton 'Turkey Red' from this years Topps. I had a list of Derek's favorite teams and players so with a bit of digging I managed to gather up a more deserving return package than just one measly card for all that Derek sent. So, Derek, a big Thanks for what you sent and I hope you will enjoy what is coming your way.

Here is the rest of what I got. I like the look of these cards and I am also a sucker for anything sideways.

Derrek, Alex and Rich will fill out some team sets. I know the 2007 Topps have taken some hits from people for the design but seeing them in person I kinda like it. Then again I am a Topps sheep anyway.

The second envelope came from the owner of a blog I just recently discovered and have been enjoying every chance I get. JDs Wild Cardz has been a fun stop for some interesting posts and a great opportunity to swap traders. However, both JD and I have discovered the pitfalls of blog trading, keeping track. We had contacted each other several times previous about helping fill each others sets. In the usual run of keeping up a blog and keeping up with communications we lost track of where we were. Somewhere along the line I had a bunch of 'Turkey Reds' JD needed and he had a some fillers for my team and regular sets. I think we have it sorted now but in this world you never know.

Aside from the nine base cards I need also included in the package were two more 'Career Best Legends' inserts of Mel Ott and Tris Speaker. Only six more to go!!

This is easily my favorite insert from Series 2 Topps. In my mind you cannot go wrong with baseball legends and if you have something good, like Topps does, then flaunt it!! One of the other cards I was itching to receive was another one off my 2009 Cubs Team Set list. This one will take a little longer to complete but something has to be a challenge to be worth it, right? A Rich Harden gold parallel gets me one step close today.

I got some more of the 2007 Topps set and my first 2007 Topps Chrome card. Incidentally, the Chrome cards are very cool and thus will be another set I look for in the future.

I forgot how much I like team photo cards too, very cool.

The last card to show from the pack was also an awesome surprise when I saw it. I have not really been a fan of most of the relic cards I have pulled. Tiny swatches which seem to serve no other purpose than filler and the ability to advertise "hits" in product that might be better left on the rack. This Vernon Wells jersey card changed my mind though. I am always hoping to pull the card-sized patches I have seen on other sites but I would be happy to pull a jersey card such as this. This feels like a nice card and is what, I think, jersey card "hits" should be like.

Thankfully, I was able to sneak a little something extra into the envelope headed JDs way. I hope both JD and Derek are happy with their end of the deal and I want to say once again, it is great to have met and chatted with you both. I hope we continue to help each other out. For all of you reading this please check out what I have available for trade as well as what I am trying to find.

If you have a want list please feel free to post a link to it in the comments of this entry, or, even better, head on over to Handcollated's 'Call for Wantlists' and drop a line there.


Thursday, July 9, 2009

Ebay A&G Find

I figured I would spend tonight watching what 2009 A&G cards were being posted for auction on eBay. While surfing through the offers I noticed several cards of a particular player I collect all ending around the same time. I decided to roll the dice and see if I could come up with a winner.

Just received the e-mail notification that I had indeed lucked out. A whole ninety-nine cents got me this card to add to my collection.

While I do appreciate the vast array of cards that eBay offers collectors to acquire, I cannot help but be discouraged at the sometimes undervalued price people get away with paying, myself included. I guess this is how a market driven system needs to work.

EDIT - I see over at Wrigley Wax they have had a similar experience tonight. Great minds must think alike.


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Impulse buy #4

If you head on over to A Pack To Be Named Later you can read my latest contribution to the project. I posted a rip of the hotly anticipated and highly popular 2009 Allen & Ginter's World's Champions release that hit my local hobby shop today. I had no plans of buying any packs this year and was hopefully going to raid others breaks for the cards I coveted. As the fates would have it I won a few dollars on my coffee break scratch lottery ticket. The weak impulse buyer that I am, I immediately thought of what I could do with the money;

Flowers for the wife? (unfortunately didn't cross my mind first.)
Coffee for the rest of my co-workers (once again, not first on the list.)

I KNOW!!!!!....2009 A&G!!!

Let's face it, I'm pathetic.

The very first pack yielded the best hit of the four I bought. I like the look of the framed minis and for some reason the mini jersey cards work for me. My first introduction to a mini card patch was the 2008-09 Champs Hockey set where I bought a Dion Phaneuf swatch.

As I said, these just work for me. Here's the framed mini I pulled from pack one. Hideki Matsui. I have seen one posted on eBay also with a pinstripe. I imagine they are all like that. Still, regardless of it being a Yankee, I like the card.

Pack #2 yielded base cards of Jose Reyes, John Maine, Michael Cuddyer, Derek Lowe and Kerry Wood. The 'National Pride' card represented the Dominican Republic and featured Francisco Liriano.
The one's I scanned from the pack were a black bordered mini of RHP Chris Duncan,

The advertisement insert for the 'Crack the Code' contest,

and a really cool card that matches up perfectly with the Roy Halliday card I got from pack one via a trade for C.C. Sabathia with my local card shop owner. Gunfighter Doc Holliday.

Pack #3 had base cards of Matt Kemp, Chone Figgins and Carl Crawford plus 2 nice looking "landscape" style cards featuring, yep ANOTHER Yankee (see Impulse Buy #3 & 3a), in Chien-Ming Wang and a presumably safe Jimmy Rollins.

My only beef here is that the backs are not the same orientation as the front. A small issue yet one nonetheless.

This next card I am strictly posting for my fellow Canadian, Captain Canuck. If you put your ear up to the computer monitor and listen reeeaaaaaaalllllllyyyyyyy close, you can almost hear Russel saying "Brian who??". Just kidding my friend.

The mini I got in this pack would have scored me some decent points in the 'Gint-A-Cuffs' contest going on with Beardy and combatants. A nice A&G backed card of Burke Kenny the World Champion Full Beard, Styled Moustache.

and lastly the 'National Pride' card from this pack goes to the good ole' U.S of A and features Stephen Drew.

The fourth and final pack of my purchase had the base cards of Luke Hochevar, Brad Hawpe, Andrew Bailey and Adrian Beltre. Representing the Dominican Republic from the Cincinnati Reds in the 'National Pride' set is Edinson Volquez. The cool card from this pack is one that was first shown on bdj's Topps Baseball Card Blog. 2008's 'Crack the Code' winner, Jason Wong.

Anyone have any idea where I would start trying to find a way to attempt a TTM autograph of this card?

The next to last scan is of the Baseball Highlights Sketch series. This card features C.C. Sabathia. Needless to say even though he is in a Brewers uniform he still has that Yankee aura about him. Still though, nice card.

Lastly, not to end on a down note but simply to call it as it is, we finish up with a mis-cut mini of Milwaukee Brewer Rickie Weeks. In this day and age of computerized processes and high tech production methods I would think card companies could make mis-cuts a non-issue.

To reiterate what I said on AP2BNL, I look forward to the coming days and weeks of posts about the 2009 Allen & Ginter box breaks, pack rips and discoveries. It was fun to be able to be a part of the initial rush to post on the release, but now I will quietly sit back and watch the fun the rest of the way. Right now I would say the only card I am itching to get a hold of is the Loch Ness Monster card. If anyone manages to pull it and feels the need to send it north of the border I will gladly make it worth the while.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

This is what is wrong with baseball



I hate the economics of this game sometimes. I have always respected Ricciardi and I hope this is just some serious speculation on the part of some whackedout journalist who was just jealous he never got sent to cover the Jackson funeral.


Impulse Buy #3 & #3a

On the eve of what is turning out to be one of the most highly anticipated days yet this year in the card blogging/collecting world I figured I would dial it back almost 365 days with another impulse buy.

I decided to add to the anticipation and grab 2 packs of;

I have collected a few singles from this set but never opened any packs until now. I am growing to like the design and overall idea of the set, maybe someday I will collect it but for right now I think I will ride out the wave and enjoy the ride vicariously through fellow bloggers.
Upon first impression I liked that all the packs in the box at the hobby store felt the same. What I mean to say is that I like how, it seems to me, that simple pack searching by bending would yield no clues as they were all fairly unbendable. I am a fan of dummy cards used to discourage dummys.

Okay, let's get to the packs.

Pack #1

The first card to see daylight is a confirmation that the card gods have a wicked sense of humor. This will be explained soon.

First out, the man who looks like he wears Depends under his uniform, Jorge Posada.

I cannot explain my dislike of Posada, all I know is that it exists. I cannot explain why I dislike lima beans, spinach or cauliflower either. Jorge Posada is kinda like that.

Next up are Scott Rolen, Jeremy Hermida and Jeff Clement;

The mini parallel belongs to Richie Sexson. I can see how it would be addicting to chase the mini cards, they're kinda fun and even though they are a parallel they look distinct enough to be their own card. Nice!

Next is the card that made this pack unbendable and therefore, IMHO, helps to discourage the quick pack searcher. I know somewhere out there that someone is collecting this set. If this is one you need, let me know and I will send it on its way. The great state of Nebraska is represented by Alex Gordon.

And finally pack #1 ends off with the non-baseball card of WNBA star Lisa Leslie. Damn, she netted over 5,000 points too!! Ya see, this is what I am discovering I like about A&G. I like cards that teach me a little something along the way.

Not a bad pack at all in my estimation. As I said, I have never cracked this stuff so I have no idea how it should be but I liked this pack. All except for Posada. BTW, Topps, if you noticed the card count there, it was 7. Pack says 8. Makes me think Jorge had something to do with it.

Pack #2

I mentioned earlier how I would explain that I knew the card gods had a wicked sense of humor. Well, here is the proof. The first card to see daylight from pack #2 is...................

YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!YAY!!!!!!!!!!!YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!.....'nuff said.

This trio of cards includes a guy who used to be a staple on my Fantasy Baseball staff when I had a Fantasy Baseball staff, a player who is much loved in Calgary and one of the better baseball names going. Roy Oswalt, Brian McCann and Wily Mo Pena.

This pack's mini is of Jeff Francoeur. I used to like the Braves at one point, never enough to cheer for them but definitely enough to watch them and appreciate their talent. Smoltz, Glavine and Maddux were a great time. Now, not so much.

The unbendable card from this pack is another state representation card for Utah featuring Brandon Lyon with a mysterious divot on his right eye. Perhaps the oddest packaging dent I have ever seen.

The non-baseball card in this pack is my favorite of the pack. I mean seriously, come on, who would not get excited over a card featuring a Champion Bass Fisherman. Even Kareem would say this is a cool card. Kevin Van Dam.

And finally this pack comes to a close with the full 8 promised cards. Perhaps the diaper wearing catcher from The Bronx was too full to devour this card. Eugenio Velez in all his rookie glorinessity.

I hope you enjoyed this 2009 A&G's Eve refresher of last years crop. I am glad I could contribute to the anticipation and I will definitely be looking forward to the flurry of posts starting later this week. I am especially looking forward to how the Gint-A-Cuffs Melee over at Beardy's Baseball Blog is going to play out.

Stay tuned.................


Monday, July 6, 2009

My nomination for 'Card of the Year'

My apologies to dayf on this one but I think the Wile E. Coyote A&G card has been replaced with this card as my choice for 'Card of the Year'.

This card is firstly, one of among literally thousands and therefore is a stronger candidate. Secondly, I have admittedly only seen about 30-40 cards in the set but I defy anyone collecting it to show me a cooler card.

Show me a card that has more class than this one.

Show me a card that when you first see it makes you say "Ohhhhhhh yeahhhhh." (kinda like the Kool-aid guy)

Show me a card that even Chuck Norris would admit is cool.




Saturday, July 4, 2009

Hey, UD Legendary Cuts....where's the love??!!?? Mr.X knows.

The weekend finally arrived, although it was not that bad having the work week split into two 2-day segments, it was still welcomed. As usual I stopped by my "home base" card shop to see what I could find. It turns out there was a customer earlier in the week who had purchased and cracked a box of 2009 Upper Deck SP Legendary Cuts , kept only the inserts and left the singles behind. This kind of collecting I fail to understand. However, with the opportunity it presented me I will not question it that deeply. There is no way I would purchase packs of this stuff, let alone a box. However, to Mr.X. prospector/collector I say thanks because I got these from you. (in a roundabout way)

Firstly after going through the Upper Deck website and finding the checklist I was actually a bit intrigued by this set. It appears to me to be the "Coles Notes" of the A&G set, sorry for the Canadian reference there but I think the American version of that statement would be "Cliffs Notes", I do believe.

Hey, here's a tangent, have there ever been A&G Cards dedicated to either Cliff Hillegass or Jack and Carl Cole? I think Topps needs to get on this right away, or at least some of the more talented card designers/bloggers I have seen. Beardy and PunkRockPaint , I'm looking at you two!

After going through the checklist I was a bit mystified at the general lack of Toronto Blue Jays cards in this set. I understand that with such a small card count that only the higher calibre players can be included in the set. However, do you mean to tell me that this was the only Toronto Blue Jay that made the cut?

Where is Vernon Wells? Where is B.J. Ryan? Even Alex Rios arguably deserves a card. I'm not saying the Blue Jays are house-hold names but really, they are not the Indians either!!
There is one other Blue Jay in the set but a short-printed ex-Jay does not truly count here. Joe Carter is card #144 and if anyone has Joe and wants to send him home to Canada, please feel free.

By contrast there are 8 Chicago Cubs in this set and Mr.X. was gracious enough to leave 5 of them for me. Alfonso Soriano, Aramis Ramirez, Carlos Zambrano, Rich Harden (for some reason he is listed as an Oakland A in the checklist) and Derrek Lee.

Mr.X. was also fortunate enough to pull the only card in the set that goes straight into my sub-set collection of players bunting, Curtis Granderson.

I also grabbed three other cards from Mr.X's discards to send out to some other bloggers as kind of a "just because" thing. I have been incredibly impressed with the continued generosity I have seen among everyone that it is kind of infectious and it makes me want to do the same. I figure they may even already have these cards due to said generosity, but, it is still a great opportunity to just introduce myself and just say "Hi".

All in all, I like the look of these cards and as I was scanning them I saw just how great they look in binder pages. I am thinking of returning to the card shop and maybe grabbing the rest of Mr.X's stuff as a starter set and collecting the base set. There were a few of the non-baseball short-printed cards that caught my eye that I will have to put on a wish list. At the end of this entry I will post a needed list and add one to my Want Lists on the side bar of my blog as well.

What are your thoughts on the SP Legendary Cuts set? It is too bad that designs like this cannot bet utilized in a more mainstream set. A great deal of what I collect is based on how a card looks as well as the player list. The thickness of these cards and the design along with the chase hits are what make these a premium card but thanks to Mr.X. I can afford to have these in my collection now.

2009 Upper Deck SP Legendary Cuts - Needs

#5 - David Wright
#29 - Jeff Samardzija
#46 - Ryan Dempster
#59 - Geovany Soto

2009 Upper Deck SP Legendary Cuts - ShortPrint (#/500) Needs

#115 - Ferguson Jenkins
#134 - Billy Williams
#144 - Joe Carter
#159 - Edgar Allen Poe
#175 - Charles Dickens
#188 - Billy The Kid
#198 - Jesse James


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Better late than never.......I guess??

Talk about getting off to a late start on things. Today will be the first game of the year I attend. I will be going here ;

To watch the continued rise of this southpaw;

Hopefully help the Jays defeat this guy;

Thus avoiding this........

As usual there will be the unveiling of the Blue Jays' Canada Day alternate uniforms and a post game fireworks display. I will probably take a camera with me and post some photos later tonight.

To all my fellow Canucks out there happy Canada Day and enjoy a weird Wednesday off of work and to all the American readers enjoy the start of your week long celebration that is July 4th!!!