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Thursday, October 30, 2014
I already have the refractor and blue autographs, and now I have this red parallel. The gold parallels have been selling for ridiculous prices, so I doubt I will see one of those any time soon. I'm just glad to have the red out of the way.
Thanks for the deal, Joey. I plan on shipping to you tomorrow.
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
I like this patch on the card because it is the O's logo from when I started out as a fan. I don't have a lot of Alomar hits in my collection, so this will be a nice addition.
Thanks so much for the card and letter, Michael!
Monday, October 27, 2014
This set is a dream set of mine. I love the design and the fact that there are legendary cards in the set. I took it upon myself this summer to help Jet realize his dream when I picked up something like 50-60 cards that he needed from a card shop in Detroit. For his birthday, I helped his mom pick out some key cards that he needed, namely the Jackie Robinson.
This set consists of rookies of Hall of Famers Hank Aaron, Ernie Banks and Al Kaline. The Jackie Robinson is a "tough get." The fact that there are TWO Ted Williams cards that bookend the set also makes it a tough one.
Jet has given me credit for helping him reach his goal, but in reality, I don't want any credit at all. The cards I sent were all part of a trade, I just helped facilitate getting him closer to his goal. I also mentored him through the process, and made a really good friend.
I'm just really proud to see a young person, such as Jet, pick a difficult set to collate and stick with it. Jet is 14 and most kids his age believe that baseball doesn't exist outside of Mike Trout, Bryce Harper or Manny Machado. For someone like him to have a passion for set building and vintage cards really makes me feel good about the state of the hobby. I just wish more folks Jet's age felt the same.
Congratulations on the accomplishment, buddy, you earned it.
If you want to follow Jet on Instagram, his screen name (shown on the screenshot above) is @base2theballz
Friday, October 24, 2014
I have seen this card go for around $100 - $125, but I had been watching a couple that were in worse shape than this one that were Buy it Now for $55 and $57. I saw this one, which was listed as an auction, and caught it with about an hour to go. I bid my maximum bid at the $55 that I had almost been willing to spend on the BIN one and rode out the auction to win it at $42.00 shipped. AWESOME!
So, this was the biggest remaining piece that I needed for the set. I still have a good many All Star/High Numbers to get, but none are as prestigious as this card. Mantle cards always seem to carry a premium. Even though I am in no way a Yankee fan, I still can appreciate the gravity of adding a new Mantle to my collection.
This leaves me needing 98 cards to complete the set.
Thursday, October 23, 2014
Radbourn (b. 1854 - d. 1897) was the son of a butcher who played in the majors from 1881 to 1891 (11 seasons) for the Providence Grays, Boston Beaneaters, Boston Reds and Cincinnati Reds. His career record was 309-194 with 1,830 strikeouts and an ERA of 2.68. Radbourn won an astounding 59 games in 1884 for the Grays in a time when a team's pitching rotation consisted of only two pitchers, with some players needed from time to time for spot starts.
That season, Radbourn would start 73 games (and come in relief in two others, notching 2 saves) and complete all of them. That season, he would boast a record of 59-12 with a 1.38 ERA and would lead the Grays to a championship.
It was a different game back then as the pitcher was expected to pitch the entire game. Throwing overhand was not allowed and there was no pitcher's mound. The pitcher would throw the ball from the pitcher's "box" and oftentimes would be able to get a running start before throwing a sort of sidearm delivery. Radbourn was widely considered the greatest pitcher of his day, but as one may be able to tell, the huge work load on his arm allowed for him to have only a brief career.
Radbourn was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1939 by the "Old Timers Committee". His 309 wins rank 19th all-time. His career WAR (if anyone cares about that crap) is 76.0 and ranks 72nd all-time. His 448 career complete games rank 8th all-time, even though he only played 11 seasons. Radbourn also captured the pitching Triple Crown in 1884 with his 59 wins, 1.38 ERA and 441 strike outs.
Radbourn is one of the several players that I know I will not own an autograph of, since he passed away in 1897, and it is highly unlikely any baseballs signed by him exist.
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Thanks so much for the cards, Drew! This officially catches me up on all of my recent trades and purchases. Unless something comes in the mail tomorrow, I will be scrambling for something to write about. I doubt I will have too many problems, though, I can always think of something to write about.
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
I got a bunch of Orioles from Anthony, including the above oversized 2000 Topps Cal Ripken. I'm pretty sure I didn't have it already. Even if I did, I really like the card. I don't remember much about building that sat, to be honest. I know I have it and I know it is completed. I might ought to look through it sometime and check out the rookies, Hall of Famers, etc. That is one of my favorite parts of looking at old sets, seeing the big names that were around at that time.
Thanks for the trade, Anthony!
Monday, October 20, 2014
Max is a realy awesome guy whom I've spent a lot of time getting to know recently. He's one of the best traders on Instagram, and one of the best all-around people that I've met. I'm certainly happy that I have been able to help him out with his collection, and I'm even happier that we have built a friendship from it. If you are on Instagram, I recommend you follow him, @graphinchitown.
Sunday, October 19, 2014
I also pulled a black parallel Jose Abreu All Star card and a Rougned Odor auto. I was able to collate most of the set, I lack only 5 cards. I will post them on my wishlist page shortly.
I took out all of the rookie cards that I want to keep, all Orioles, and then other teams for friends of mine. I was left with a small stack of random base that I intend to sell.
In all, I was very happy with my jumbo box of Update. I wasn't going to get a box this year, but decided that I would. I'm glad I did, because really, I do enjoy the Update set every year.
Saturday, October 18, 2014
Ryan gave me a nice stack of O's cards when I visited and a bunch of them were minor league cards of Nolan. I didn't have any of them, so I was glad Ryan hooked me up.
Ryan is a great guy and one of my best friends in the card community. We do a lot of things together, be it Fan Fest or going to different games. I know he was hurting as bad as I was when the Orioles were defeated in the ALCS by the Royals, but we both know that the O's will be back next year.
Friday, October 17, 2014
Thanks for the memories, Brian.
Among the other cards in the package, Michael included some Hall of Famers and some Conlon Collection cards, always a favorite of mine.
Thanks so much for the package, Michael! Follow him on Instagram: texasbaseballcardz
Thursday, October 16, 2014
Knott played 7 games for the O's in 2007 where he had 3 hits, one home run and 4 RBIs. He wasn't seen in the majors after that. I remember when the O's picked him up. I remember hoping that he would pan out as a solid player, but it just wasn't meant to be.
Thanks so much for the cards, Matt! Please go check out his blog, Bob Walk The Plank.
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
“[Baseball] breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall all alone. You count on it, rely on it to buffer the passage of time, to keep the memory of sunshine and high skies alive, and then just when the days are all twilight, when you need it most, it stops.”― A. Bartlett Giamatti, Take Time For Paradise: Americans And Their Games
While I have been reminded today by coworkers, friends and family that baseball is just a game and that I should be happy that the Orioles made it to the ALCS for the first time since 1997, I must admit that I got greedy. Listening to all of the experts say that this could be the Orioles year to finally make it to the World Series for the first time since 1983, I bought into the notion that this really could be the year. I had purchased ALDS tickets and watched a magical comeback against the three headed monster Tigers rotation, sweeping that series. I told my friends that while the ALCS might go 7 games, I was confident that the Orioles could handle the Royals. I told a few friends that there was no way in hell the Royals would sweep, when the Orioles got down 0-2. Well, I was wrong. My team was just swept out of the ALCS by a young, hungry Royals team. I did not enjoy seeing the Royals players acting like high schoolers on the field with their celebrations after every hit; Jarrod Dyson's trash talking and Jeremy Guthrie's poor wardrobe choice. The only problem is, it's not bragging if you can back it up. The Royals brought a tough-to-defend game into the ALCS and simply beat the Orioles.
The most frustrating part was the sheer luck involved in each Royals win. The series could have easily gone the Orioles' way, and I would be the one celebrating. However, I am not. I feel like I watched a friend pass away as the Orioles' 2014 season came to a close with a resounding thud. I choose not to remember the 2014 season by seeing my team on its deathbed, I will choose to remember the 2014 season as my son, my friend Ryan and I walked out of Camden Yards on October 3. Our throats hoarse from cheering on the Birds in that dramatic come from behind win. Camden Yards was more packed than I had ever seen it. Baseball is back in Baltimore. Fourteen straight years of losing appears to be in the rear view mirror.
I am reminded that as good as we all felt as we walked out of that stadium several days ago, there were Tigers fans who felt the way that I do now. Remembering that feeling is the reason why folks who know me never see me brag or gloat about my team. This is why I appreciate Buck Showalter, because he always keeps an even keel and keeps things in perspective. But it hurts right now. It will hurt tomorrow. It will hurt during the World Series. It will hurt at Fan Fest in February and it will hurt come Opening Day, 2015, but I will get over it.
As bad as I feel right now, there are Royals fans who have never seen their team play a single playoff game. Now, Royals fans, you get to see your team in the World Series. Congratulations. Maybe, one day, I will get my time in the sun, too. Until then, I won't be crying. I did that already.
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
I saw this Chris Davis 2014 Panini Immaculate Collection patch on Ebay for $39.99 and jumped all over it. The card, as you can tell, is numbered 3/5 and looks awesome. It is hard to tell on the scan, but the jersey has a few faint dirt spots on it as well. Pretty cool.
Between what I have seen from Immaculate, it looks like a really nice product (that I probably can't afford to buy), much like Museum Collection from Topps. I know how some folks like to bash card companies who put out this high priced stuff and how they are keeping the little man down, but hey, I'm ok with the loaded folks opening the product and offloading it to Ebay. I can search what I'm looking for and buy the card I want for a reasonable price instead of shelling out a couple hundred bucks on a box, only to get a Mark Prior relic.
Monday, October 13, 2014
One of the casualties from this wrecked package was the above Adam Jones relic that Jack was nice enough to send. There is a bit of a crease just to the left of the Sweet Spot logo and the corners of the cutout for the relic are creased. This card took the brunt of the damage and really, it isn't too badly hurt. I think the only things that were really hurt were Jack's feelings. I assured him that it wasn't his fault and I still appreciated everything. I do like the Jones relic card, and I didn't have one yet, so this one will fit nicely into the PC.
Speaking of hope, I hope the Orioles can mount a comeback. It isn't unfathomable that they could do it, just improbable. Stranger things have happened in baseball, though.
Thanks for the cards, Jack, I really appreciate it.
Sunday, October 12, 2014
John priced the above Manny Machado X-Fractor RC pretty high, but I was able to talk him down into more realistic terms. He got some Red Sox stuff off of me, and I'm glad we were able to come to an agreement. He's a tough negotiator.
Saturday, October 11, 2014
I went back to my hometown for my birthday because my mom had bought tickets for the Panther game. Since the game was on a Sunday, of course, and that being my actual birthday, I figured spending the weekend back home would be nice. That Saturday evening, when dinner plans were being discussed, my mom suggested that we invite my grandmother to dinner. I gave Grandma a call and asked her what her plans were she said "Oh, I just bought a rotisserie chicken from the store, I might heat that up." So I asked her if she would like to go to dinner with us and she jumped at the chance.
At dinner, we chatted away, and I learned a few things about Grandma that I didn't really know, like that she did some post graduate study at Columbia University and that she did some substitute teaching at Princeton. What I found out when my wife and I dropped her off at her house blew all of that other stuff out of the water, though (for me at least). We had decided to hang around and visit for a while and the subject of sports came up. Grandma likes to joke that she has no idea which team I follow, because it is painfully obvious to anyone who knows me that I follow the Orioles. I made a comment that it would be really nice if the Orioles would make it to the World Series, because it has been a dream of mine to attend one. That's when Grandma dropped a little nugget of information on me that I never even thought of before. She said "Oh, I've been to a World Series game."
"What? Really?" I said as my wife laughs at the sight of my with my jaw on the floor. "Oh yeah, I'm pretty sure it was the 1949 World Series. I was working on Wall Street and my boss had extra tickets he wasn't going to use, so he gave them to a girlfriend and I."
I thought this was so cool, I asked her about the game, but she said that she wasn't really into baseball, so she and her friend chatted the whole time. She didn't remember the players she saw, but she did remember that it was the Yankees vs. Dodgers and she remembers that she saw the game in Brooklyn.
Wow, Ebbetts Field!! I asked Grandma if she still had the ticket from the game, which made her laugh (because she knew why I had asked). She said "Oh, of course not, it's long gone!" Dang!
When I got back home, I did a little research, and sent a couple emails back and forth to Grandma, trying to pin down the game she saw, if I could. From what she remembers, she was let out of work to see the game and she didn't usually work on the weekends, so based on how the World Series played out, she must have seen the Friday, October 7, 1949 game (Game 3 of that World Series). The first two games were played in the Bronx at Yankee Stadium with the series moving to legendary Ebbetts Field for the Friday game. The series was tied 1-1 with the Yankees winning Game 1, 1-0 and the Dodgers winning Game 2, 1-0.
Grandma got to see a thrilling Game 3 where the game was tied going into the 9th inning, 1-1, and the Yankees would score 3 runs in the top of the inning to make it 4-1. The Dodgers would score 2 runs in the bottom half to make it interesting, but the Yankees wound up winning 4-3. Sounds like a really cool game to see.
With Grandma saying that she didn't remember which players she had seen, I took the liberty of checking the box score on baseball-reference and just chuckled when I went through the roll-call in my head of the Hall of Famers that she got to see play. They are as follows:
- Phil Rizzuto
- Yogi Berra
- Joe DiMaggio
- Johnny Mize
- Casey Stengel
- Pee Wee Reese
- Jackie Robinson
- Duke Snider
- Roy Campanella
The Yankees would go on to win that World Series 4-1.
I thought it was so cool that my grandma had been to a World Series game, and a historic one, at that. I'm no Yankees fan, but I wouldn't mind a trip back in time in the DeLorean to see one of those games. That would be pretty awesome.
Friday, October 10, 2014
I also was not able to spend as much on cards earlier this month, due to picking up tickets to ALDS game 2. On top of that, I haven't had any time to go through my boxes to find suitable trade bait for some folks, and that has severely limited my ability to send out packages these last few weeks.
Slowly, I have had a few care packages come in from some of my buddies that I have made on Instagram. Some others have removed themselves from 'free card' consideration by taking the care packages I have sent them and fading away rather fast.
One of the guys who has stuck around after several care packages, and has become a friend is Anders from Minnesota. He's a good guy whom I have been helping by sending supplies his way, since his LCS is something like 100+ miles away. Ouch.
Anders sent me a surprise package a week or so ago that had a couple Orioles cards that he was able to dig up. One of them was the nice 2014 Allen & Ginter Chris Davis that you see above.
I appreciate the care package and the note that was sent along with it. Sometimes, really, the notes are my favorite part of the package.
Now, it's time to gear up for Game 1 of the ALCS. Which means, I won't have time tonight to go through boxes, either. Dang. This is a good problem to have, though. Go Orioles!
Thursday, October 9, 2014
I already had this card in my Brooks PC and my 1959 set, but one more version definitely doesn't hurt. I was happy that he thought to send it to me.
Thanks for the package, Carson, as always, I appreciate the cards you, your brother and your dad send me. I know we will be trading again, once I find some suitable cards for the three of you.
Wednesday, October 8, 2014
I was really impressed with Drew, so much so, that we have already been working on another trade. We have been chatting pretty much daily, so I'm glad that we used this trade to get to know each other and build a trust relationship.
Thanks for the trade, Drew, I really appreciate it!
Tuesday, October 7, 2014
I haven't really been pursuing Cruz cards much because I fear that he is going to be a one and done signing for the O's. He really has helped the team this year, and I hope his bat remains hot as the O's march toward the World Series.
Thanks for the trade, Emperor. I really appreciate it, and I hope I can send more Tulos your way soon.
Monday, October 6, 2014
I was so glad to continue to deal with Max. We have gone beyond just trading by now and talk to each other regularly as friends. I've advised him on some cards and we chat once a week over Skype. He's just about the friendliest person I have met over Instagram, and even at his young age, one of the most knowledgeable. I really wish more of the kids on Instagram could take the lead from him and conduct business the way he does.
Thanks for another great package, Max, as always, it is definitely appreciated.
Sunday, October 5, 2014
I am still working on the emerald set, even though things have slowed on it quite a bit. I knew the Manny would be tough to find, so I'm glad I was able to get it out of the way. I'll probably start chipping away at the set on Sportlots now, since fewer and fewer people are going to have them laying around.