Monday, August 30, 2010

Mission Accomplished

Now, unlike George 'Dubya' I have no aircraft carrier readily available to make this declaration so the simple forum of this blog will have to suffice.

I spent the entire weekend attending my first Expo of any kind. I not only wanted to get a sense of the type of endurance it took to do such a thing but I truly wanted to attend all three days of FanExpo. There was much to do and much to learn. I saw this as a golden opportunity to start training for The National next year in Chicago.

Suffice it to say, I now have a better sense of how to properly manage my time and plan a strategy of attack. It really is a bit of work trying to maximize your time at one of these things. The biggest lesson of all, find some COMFORTABLE shoes!!

I will be working on a few posts about my thoughts on FanExpo and showing off some of the things I came away with. However, right now, I want to post the main reason for me attending FanExpo at all. The opportunity to add a signature to my collection from someone who is iconic enough to be known beyond his genre of profession. I was a bit disappointed that the item I wanted to get signed did not arrive in time. Luckily, I was able to get a FanExpo exclusive item from one of the VIP Package ticket holders for a few bucks which in the end, I feel, is a much better item to have displaying the signature.


Funny enough, as I was writing this the mail showed up along with the original item I had planned to have signed. Maybe I will try a TTM of this......


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Mail Day (aka Cardboard Cuisine Buffet Style)

As the clock ticks down on the last few days we have left to complete our renovations on the house certain priorities have had to be shuffled. Unfortunately the blog here has been set aside in favor of learning how to install vinyl flooring. Envelopes have been piling up and the nagging urge to post their contents has been unbearable.

Gotta post!!

Mike over at BA Benny's Baseball Card Buffet and I worked out a trade for some of the Cubs cards he pulled during a Box Break of 2008 Upper Deck Heroes. Naturally he was willing to trade and so off I shipped what I hoped would make Mike happy. You can see his post of what I sent here.

What Mike sent in return was extremely generous and made me extremely happy. The first card is the one that originally caught my eye from the break.

Carlos Zambrano Jersey #078/125

Along with the jersey were included the base cards of Alfonso Soriano and Kosuke Fukudome.

Having sent some other relics that were gathering dust on my shelves what was sent in return were definitely much more appreciated. The first card is from the 2004 Upper Deck Reflections set featuring Corey Patterson as a member of the Chicago Cubs. A nice pin-stripey swatch.

Heading into the personal player collection is a jersey swatch from 2006 Upper Deck 'Game Materials' insert set of David Wright.

The last relic sent is from 2001 Fleer Finest and appears to be the Gold parallel version hand numbered out of 50. An awesome piece of bat from a Blue Jay who was quite popular during his run with the team. Shannon Stewart.

Mike also sent a handful of Cubs singles and a few of them might have me rethinking my blase stance on Topps Chrome. Two of the bunch I had to show off simply because they needed to be shown off. First, what would a Cubs card post be without "Mr. Cub" Ernie Banks? I am not a fan of the idea of the '20th Anniversary' insert monstrosity from Upper Deck, BUT, I have to say it will make for some interesting team card and player card searching in the months ahead, for sure.

The last card I want to show simply because it is based on the design of my favorite Topps set. For me, the 1965 Topps Set is what a baseball card should look like and I am counting down the days until 2014 when Topps Heritage reaches that design. Until then I will be happy with Ron Santo's card from the 2005 Topps 'All-Time Fan Favorite' release.

Thanks to Mike from BA Benny's Baseball Card Buffet for the heaping serving of cardboard and I will definitely be looking to knock off some more cards from his wantlists in order to trade with him again. I have many more bubble mailers to work through and will be hopefully doing so in the coming days. I am waiting on my first purchase from 'Check Out My Cards' which hopefully arrives before the weekend because there is a special card I need in there that will be accompanying me to FanExpo this weekend.

Until then,


Thursday, August 12, 2010

UNOFFICIAL - Gint-A-Cuffs Update Update [Part Deux]

It has been far longer than I wanted but I have updated my original 'Gint-A-Cuffs Update' post with some further entries by Beardy, 'Plat At The Plate', Dan from 'The Other World', Kelly at 'Baseball Obsession-itis', Motherscratcher over at the 'Achiever Card Blog' and Todd from 'Mid-West Cardboard'.

As always this is TOTALLY UNOFFICIAL.

For everything OFFICIAL-like go check out the 'Gint-A-Cuffs' website and what Mark's Ephemera has to say on all final rulings and scores.


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Mail Day (aka I'm NOT At 'The National' Either)

So, today the doors opened on what is one of the most highly anticipated annual events in the card collector universe. Scores of VIPs made their way into crowded rooms gathering swag as well as their bearings and planning their assault for the next 5 days.

Not me.

I however DID come home to a wonderful greeting of two bubble mailers, and did not have to stand in line to get them. Both were from fellow bloggers and both were parts of negotiated trades. The first package is , I believe, my second trade with Derek over at 'Hey, That's Mine!'. The other mailer is from a new blogger on the block and someone who will definitely be benefiting from the fact that we all have somewhere to send our Colorado Rockies cards now. Send them all to Shellie at 'The Middle Child'.

The trade with Derek involved some Series 2 Topps inserts that I have been chasing and a bonus Cubbie, just cuz. 1992 will always be my favorite year as a Jays fan but as far as my favorite "Rent-A-Player" that The Jays were able to win one for goes, it is nice to know that Toronto helped out Paul Molitor get what he so rightly deserved in Milwaukee.

The other three cards are from the 'Vintage Legends' set, which I feel is still a great set regardless of a few reaches in design by Topps. IMHO, these three cards featuring Johnny Mize, George Sisler and Rogers Hornsby are awesome.

Derek also sent along another UD Spectrum card that I am sure has a spot in my Cubs team binder.

Shellie has started up a wonderful blog and has gone full bore into the whole trading aspect of what we all do here. After seeing what she pulled from some Allen & Ginter I caught sight of an A&G back David Wright mini that needed to come my way. Shellie mentioned she had found some other cards on my wantlists and told me she would be sending them my way. 20 cards later I was a happy, happy collector.

Along with the A&G mini there were three other David Wright cards for the PC. An '07 Fleer, a '10 Bowman reprint and a '10 Heritage Chrome. LOVE the Chrome-jo!

Off of my wantlists Shellie banged out some '09 Topps Series Series 3, '10 Topps Series 2 and some '10 Heritage inserts. The more I see the National Chicle cards the more I think about buying a box or two. I have to keep reminding myself that T-206 is just around the corner so I need to save the cash. Shellie helped by filling in two needs. Adam Lind and a bunting Phil Rizzuto.

I love when I complete a set, and this card......

...helps me finish of the Series 1 'History of the Game' set. Thanks Shellie.

Whenever I get sent some 'Turkey Reds' it is an exceptionally great mail day. I have two boxes of the '07 and '06 sets that I purchased just before my LCS closed. Hopefully there are enough singles to make a go at the sets worth my while. Shellie got me closer to the '09 and '10 versions with Ordonez, Beckham, Halladay, Volquez and Foxx.

If you have any that need a good home, I can provide.

I will be going through a couple more boxes in the next day or so and your end of the deal will be out before the weekend, hopefully. Shellie is also going to be housing what was my Mark McGwire collection, seeing as I no longer have the drive to chase him.

Great trading partners are always a welcome find amongst fellow bloggers and I have managed to work with two that I hope will be continual trading partners throughout. Head on over to their blogs and check out their wantlists and help them out. You will not regret it.


Sunday, August 1, 2010

500 Posts & Free Cards

Play at the Plate is celebrating his 500th post by giving away free cards.

What do you have to do?

Head on over to his blog and check out this post for all the details. While you are there, congratulate him on #500.


Gint-A-Cuffs Deux - Box 2 (Packs 19-24 & Box Topper)

FanofReds has posted everything but his last 2 packs from his break so I figure I might as well post the last of my second box. Time to bring it on home........

Pack #19 - 9 pts

The Points

AGHS3 Derek Jeter 'Baseball Sketches' (+3 - BHS, +2 - FPL, -1 - He's a Yank)

WGWS2 William Shakespeare 'The World's Wordsmiths' (+4 - WGW)

TDH59 Hunter Pence 'This Day In History' (+1 - TDIH)

*This is the first pack where none of the base cards scored for me. I guess all streaks must end. Also, I have to call this a successful break, looking over the 'Wordsmiths' checklist I have pulled the two that I would REALLY want in Poe and Shakespeare. The only other name I see that I would have been happy to get is Victor Hugo. I still may try and chase this set though. Hard to believe that Dickens did not make the cut, speaking of which I have a post in the works about Charles.*

The Point-less

56 Shin-Soo Choo
38 Tiago Della Vega
166 Chris Tillman
40 Carlos Beltran
294 Buster Posey

Pack #20 - 9 pts

The Points

275 Clayton Kershaw (+2 - FPL)

299 Robinson Cano (-1 - Cano, he's a Yankee dontchya know!!!)

319 Austin Jackson (+2 - SP)

207 Wandy Rodriguez (mini) (+3 - Black border)

TDH24 Joey Votto 'This Day In History' (+1 - TDIH, +2 - FPL)

*Another bonus in the box as that is the third black border mini I have pulled*

The Point-less

95 Judson Laipply
60 Chris Davis
'Crack The Code' Ad Card

Pack #21 - 11 pts

The Points

AGR-KB Kyle Blanks Bat Relic (+8 - Relic)

322 Gary Matthews (mini) (+3 - SP)

TDH75 Mariano Rivera 'This Day In History' (+1 - TDIH, -1 - Have I said how much I hate the Yankees lately?)

*YESSSS!!!!!! I am not sure if it counts as one but I had assumed the Printing Plate was my third hit of the box. This will definitely help the scoring for Gint-A-Cuffs. One thing I have noticed about the relics this year as opposed to last year, they look tiny and unimpressive. At least with the white plastic border that was around last year's window it was not glaringly obvious just how small the swatch/relic you got was. This year it looks kinda ridiculous.*

The Point-less

128 Hans Florine
236 Shawn Johnson
220 Manny Ramirez
278 Jeff Francoeur

Pack #22 - 7 pts

The Points

26 Andy Pettitte (-1 - Seriously?? Dammit!!!)

258 Ryan Dempster (+1 - MFT)

350 Alcides Escobar (+2 - SP)

NA34 White-Tailed Deer 'National Animals' (mini) (+2 - NA)

TDH62 Kevin Youkilis 'This Day In History' (+1 - TDIH, +2 - FPL)

The Point-less

280 Koji Uehara
190 Randy Wolf
35 John Lackey

Pack #23 - 7 pts

The Points

246 Geovany Soto (+1 - MFT)

MM3 Stegosaurus 'Monsters of the Mesozoic' (mini) (+3 - MOTM)

TDH17 Joe Mauer 'This Day In History' (+1 - TDIH, +2 - FPL)

*The last three packs and NOW the Cubs start falling. The cynic in me is now thinking that the box after this one I picked up was Choc-Full-O-Cubs!!!*

The Point-less

46 Alan Francis
45 Justin Verlander
111 Josh Willingham
102 Torii Hunter
74 Ryan Ludwick

Pack #24 - 6 pts

The Points

23 Joe Mauer (+2 - FPL)

340 Brad Lidge (+2 - SP)

NA46 Ring Tailed Lemur 'National Animals' (+2 - NA)

*You may notice no 'This Day In History' card was scored here. Earlier in the break I had a pack with two, looks like this was its rightful home. No bonus for me.

The Point-less

30 Rafael Furcal
135 Ken Blackburn
187 Jair Jurrjens
259 Scott Feldman

6-pack Total - 49 pts

Finally, this time I saved the Box Topper until last as kind of a nice bookend to my first attempt at Gint-A-Cuffs. Box 1 started with a Cabinet Card and Box 2 ends with a Cabinet Card.

Box Topper - 8 pts

Cabinet Card - Alaska Pipeline

Box Topper - 8 pts
Packs #1-6 - 57 pts
Packs #7-12 - 51 pts
Packs #13-18 - 75 pts
Packs #19-24 - 49 pts

Grand Total Box #1 - 240 pts

Kind of ended on a whimper there, would have loved to have gone out with something big but such are the breaks. Thanks to the printing plate this entry turned into a respectable one for this competition. With the chances of some serious pulls available this year I think the winning score will be closer to 300. However, I am really happy with this box and have totally enjoyed competing in Gint-A-Cuffs this year. Thanks to Beardy for creating the fun and thanks to Mark's Ephemera for doing an incredible job as Commish. I cannot begin to imagine the work that goes into developing a scoring table and then the painstaking task of overseeing the competition.

I am already beginning training for next year's competition.