Monday, March 29, 2010

Mail Day - Dream Warriors. Plus Thoughts on 2010 Topps Finest

So, I think I'm running out of awesomely bad sequel titles. I may need some help with those down the road, or abandon that idea all together...

Anyway, I put an order in over at Sportlots because I kept seeing that sad, lonely single card I needed to fill my 1998 Topps set. I don't like only buying $0.18 worth of cards on there, so I usually tack on a few things to get to a respectable amount of around $10 or so... I ended up getting a SWEET RC I have been wanting as well as a few 2009 Allen and Ginters to push that set closer to completion.
Ahhhh, the 2010 Upper Deck Brian Matusz RC. I know I have said this a billion times already, but seriously, look for Matusz to bust out this year and nab the AL Rookie of the Year award. No, really. He's damn good.
I also had company in town (Babe-O-Licious, my good friend who got me started working at the card shop way back in 2006) for my epic fail of a Wrestlemania party. We went to lunch yesterday and after lunch, I took her to the Greenville card shop. The shop owner there is really nice and he let me go through a box of 2010 Topps Finest. He let me pick out/buy the cards I wanted, so I grabbed a whole bunch of them.
This is a pretty sick Russell Martin. I love it. Too bad its not mine haha. I like the 2010 Finest design. One of these days, I'm going to buy a box of Finest and bust it.

Yeah, the cards were in order and the Roberts was near the bottom of the stack. I was sweating a little toward the end until I happened upon the Roberts. Just a good looking card. Thankfully Roberts' neck has healed and he is slated to be leading off on Opening Day. I'm looking for 50+ doubles again this year. That is definitely not too much to ask.

I love the black jersey on STICK. He has beefed up a little in the offseason and has been tearing the cover off of the ball so far in Spring Training. I look for STICK to hit 30+ homers this year and lead the O's in that category.
What do you all think? I think Finest is pretty sharp this year. Now I need to look for some of the refractor variations....

Friday, March 26, 2010

A Very Brady Mail Day

See what I did there?

I got a nice package in the mail today from 'the brooklyn met' who has a blog over at: who got a decent Met haul in return. I love Brady Anderson. He was a huge star for the Orioles when I was a teenager. He was a big part of the 1996 AL Wild Card team who ousted the Indians in the first round of the playoffs (only to lose to a 12-year old with a glove...). Effing lame. A very sharp looking 1989 Score. This is not Brady's RC though, he had a RC in the 1988 Score set. Still a really sweet card. I like how it pops via scan.
Here is Brady hitting a homer (hopefully) and probably saying BITCHES afterward. Like I said, Brady is the man.

This card came with an assortment of other Orioles. Of course, the card is very nice looking, but one who follows the Orioles can't help but remember Steve Bechler and the cautionary tale he has become.
Bechler came to spring training in 2003 hoping to win a spot in the Orioles bullpen. He had desperately tried to shed pounds in order to get into a better playing shape. Bechler died of heat stroke at the very beginning of spring training that year. The coroner discovered that high levels of Ephedra contributed to his death. It was because of this that the supplement ephedra was pulled from shelves.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Random Thoughts

- I bought tickets to the Tampa Bay Rays vs. Durham Bulls game for April 3. Hit the bull win a steak... I'm really excited about this. I'm going to try really hard to get a Longoria auto while I'm there.

- There is a 170-table card show in Raleigh that morning. I'm really excited about that too. I have saved up some money, so I should be able to get something good. We'll see. Not too sure what I will get... I'd love it if someone had the Brooks patches I'm looking for.

- I am still looking for people to claim some teams from my 2 big boxes. Only a couple teams have been claimed. Someone help me out by taking some of this stuff off my hands (did I mention it was FREE???).

- Brian Matusz has been a BEAST so far this spring. I am really hoping he has a good year. The Orioles beat the Skankees today 8-0, yeah I know it is only spring training, but Brad Bergesen looked great (he had been injured for a good bit of the spring). The Yankees had pretty much their whole opening day lineup out there today, so don't tell me the game didnt mean anything.

- Brian Roberts will play in his first game of the spring tomorrow. Whew. I was starting to worry. I am really hoping he hits 50 doubles again, but with the herniated disc in his neck... I'm a little anxious.

Hope everyone is doing well. Send me some comments, and some messages.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

03/19/10 ECU Game With Chris

On Friday, I picked my son Chris up from day care, took him to Great Clips so we both could get haircuts and then took him to the ECU game. The Pirates were playing Monmouth. The ECU stadium is reeeeally small. I was disappointed when we took our seats when I saw that we had to sit a good ways up in the bleachers. There was also a net that extended the whole way along all the seats (lame). The Pirate came pretty close to us, Chris was scared at first, then after he went away, Chris was disappointed that he didn't get to 'shake his hand.' Haha.

After being initially disappointed with our seats, we walked down and found out that we could stand directly behind the outfield wall (had I known this, we would have stayed there the whole game). The bullpen is located in this area as well, so Chris and I watched one of the pitchers warm up. The bullpen catcher ended up giving Chris a ball.
This is the view from our seats. I was disappointed that we couldn't sit down the line and have a better chance to catch foul balls. Right now, I'm torn between South Carolina's and NCSU's stadiums.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Thoughts on Upper Deck Champs Hockey

I, as you all know, don't really care for hockey. I went to the 2008 All Star Game when it was in Atlanta and had a blast. My wife loves hockey and the Detroit Red Wings, so I have some exposure to it, and I follow how her team is doing.

When someone bought the 2010 Upper Deck Champs Hockey from the shop the other day, I was curious as to what it was all about, since there is a big dinosaur on the packaging.

It seems that the set has historical figures, artifacts, dinosaurs, and oh yeah, some hockey players. I picked up 2 packs. Here is an example of one of the dinosaur cards. Pretty cool. Fits right in with my major, haha.
I also got this Steve Yzerman (one of my wife's favorite players). She was happy when I brought this home... Too bad it will end up with my cards anyway.
I am seriously considering building this set... or at least busting a box to see what I get. I love the design. I wish they would do something baseball like this. We'll see, I guess.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Thoughts on 2010 Topps Heritage

I have opened quite a few packs of 2010 Topps Heritage now and I have to say that I am pleased with how the 1961 Topps design has carried over.

I had been thinking before the product came out that I wouldn't be too impressed, but I'm glad I was wrong. I like the fact that they even used the old school All Star Rookie logo. I'd buy a box, but I'm holding out for Topps Series II and some more vintage stuff.

I'm interested in finding out what you all thought of 2010 Heritage. I also only got one response to my offer of free stuff... Come on now, I will definitely hook you up!!!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Trade with Pete

You all remember this card I pulled from Topps Unique a few months ago... Well, I had no idea when I posted it that I would have such a huge response to it. I had 3 or 4 people right off the bat ask about it. Now, I have several people I trade with regularly who are Yankee fans, so pretty much all of my Yankee cards are spoken for. Pete gets first crack (and any Mattinglys), then Drew, followed by Nico. I still feel like I owe Mr. Scott some as well (working on that), but Pete does take top billing.

That being said, I wasn't asking for a whole lot in return for this card. Yeah, I probably could have listed it on ebay and gotten some cash for it, but I am not at a point right now where I want to do a whole lot of selling. Yeah, the money is good, but with the time it takes to list the auction, wait for it to complete, wait for the person to pay, stick it in the mail... I'd rather flip a card for some things that will be useful to me.
So, I present to you: Brooks Robinson 2010 Topps Heritage Memorial Stadium seat relic and...

Cal Ripken 2010 Topps Peak Performance pants relic.
Fair trade? I definitely think so. I also got a stack of O's cards (including chromes of Adam Jones and STICK) from 2010 Heritage. I still lack the Roberts, but I'm certain it will become mine.
***Alert - I have 2 huge boxes of loose cards (1980s - today) that I would like to clear out. If anyone is interested in certain teams or players, please shoot me an email and we can work something out. I need to warn you though that the following teams and/or players are already spoken for: Orioles, Yankees, Dodgers, Rangers, Astros, Cubs, Nomar, Manny Ramirez, Orel Hershiser, Kirk Gibson, Bo Jackson, Joe Mauer and Jim Thome.
Also, if you have specific set needs, I can help fill 2007-2010 Topps (I can help with other years as well, but it will take longer as those boxes are in a storage building), 2006-2008 allen and ginter (2009 is pretty much wiped out) and a few other sets... just ask me. Please email me a want list (I'd love to check each blog for specific needs, but I don't have a whole lot of time to devote to searching through what everyone needs...)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

1998 Topps Series II Box Break

Here are a few things out of my Series II box. I'm in the process of sorting the cards in order to put the set together, but so far, I have 1-199. I got a finest Clemente insert, which is a pretty nice version of the 1957 Topps. Not bad; I remember the 'protective film' haha.
Can't go wrong with Cal. As you can see, the cards scanned much better today. Must have been operator error.

I like this Maddux insert. A good shot of Maddux looking like a professor, which is what he was, the Professor of Pitching. He could probably get people out today and still win 10-12 games with the right team...

I thought this card was fitting, since this was 1998 Topps. McGwire was on the cusp of his most glorious achievement... then his fall from grace. Kinda weird to see it right before it happened. If we knew then, what we know now...

My Fantasy Team

Yeah, so I felt compelled to post my fantasy team from the Card Shop/Blog League that I am heading up this year. I had the 8th overall pick in the draft this year, so my first pick went to:


My second overall pick went to the player I picked at #1 last year:


My roster is as follows:

C - Mauer
1B - Justin Morneau
2B (pending a trade of O-Dawg for Brian Roberts) Rickie Weeks
3B - Gordon Beckham
SS - Yunel Escobar
OF - Ichiro
OF - Nolan Reimold
OF - Rajai Davis
OF - Cody Ross
UTIL - Chris Iannetta
Bench - O-Dawg
Bench - Felix Pie
P - Brian Matusz
P - Josh Johnson
P - Cole Hamels
P - Jake Peavy
P - Rick Porcello
P - Ryan Franklin
P - Gavin Floyd
P - Bobby Jenks
P - Scott Feldman
Bench - Derek Lowe

Once I can pry Roberts away from my brother, my team will be set. I'm really excited about this year, and am STOKED that the season begins with me vs Max. AWESOME!!!

Monday, March 15, 2010

1998 Topps Series I Box Break

I picked up a box each of 1998 Topps from not too long ago, but me, being the rocket scientist that I am totally forgot to change my address on their order form, so the boxes got shipped to my old house. So, they finally came today... For some reason, my scanner did not appreciate the gloss on these, note the glare at the bottom. Lame. Anyway, still doesn't take away from the above awesome shot. One of the best shots I've seen in any Topps Issue...

Hahahaha, Pete Rose, Jr. fresh from the first pack I opened. Awesomeness at its finest.

BRADY!!!!!! Yaaay Brady. He's still the man.

My response to this one is just... HUH? Someone must have watched The Wrestler (I bet no one else gets that reference...).

Finally, I pulled an Etch-a- sketch insert. Albert Belle... someone cue the Epic Fail music...
So, comment it up guys!
Also, please check out my best friend Max's blog, he is writing in full force lately...

March 7, 2010 NCSU Game With Max and Chris

I have been told by more than one person that my blog was missed this week. Makes me feel good guys, thanks! So, where have I been? I have been sick this past week. Uggh. Threw up for the first time in 8 years this week (last time was aided by Crown Royal, this one was because of a lame ass stomach bug).

So, I am a week behind on my blog, so without further ado, here is my post on the second NCSU game I went to with Max. This was the Sunday game, so naturally, this time, I had my son Chris with me as well. As we walked into the gate, some little leaguers handed Chris an autographed ball from one of NCSUs players. Pretty nice.
Here are Max and Chris enjoying the game. Chris still had his stomach bug going, so he and I had to make something like 5 trips to the bathroom, but I guess you can't complain. At least he TOLD me he had to go potty and didn't wait until it was too late... Chris really loves Max by the way, which I think is really cool.
I caught my second foul ball ever. Pretty sweet! I thought about keeping it, but they allow you to trade them in for autoed balls so I took a chance on that and got an auto of their center fielder (below).

I like how this ball is older and well worn. Hopefully the player will be drafted; I need to look him up and write down who he is...

Once again, I had a great time hanging out with my son and my best friend. I wish I could do it more. One of the many reasons why I love baseball, it brings people together!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

1948 Bowman Stan Musial 'Rookie Card' - Ultimate Vintage Mail

Oh man. When I got in from the card shop yesterday evening and checked my mail, this card was in the box (along with a card I picked up and flipped to Max).

Mmmm, my 1948 Bowman Stan Musial. Wow, it really looks good. Yeah, ok, there is some staining, but once again, ask me if I care! I'm super stoked that I now own this card.
The back is a little rough too, but I'm sure that is why I got it at the price I was able to pay. I looked up the 1948 set and realized that it only consists of 48 cards. A very doable number, and I have knocked out 3 of the heavy hitters right away. There is a strong possibility that I will pursue this set at some point. The biggest cards in the set are the Musial, Berra and Rizzuto...
Thoughts anyone?
Also, guys, take a look at my previous entries for this week, as I posted a good bit of entries on Friday and have gotten a very minimal response. Comments are definitely welcome and appreciated. I like knowing people read my stuff, lol.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Trip to Raleigh II: Checking out Cardiac Cards with Max

After the baseball game, Max and I decided to try a third time to see if Cardiac Cards in Cary was open. THEY WERE! We spent some time looking at their vintage offerings (lots of stuff out of my league) and through a 30% off sale box. Here are some interesting cards we were able to snag cheaply: Bo Freaking Jackson. 1986 Topps Traded RC. Nice. Is it just me, or is Bo like the Samuel L. Jackson of Baseball? Black Dynamite anyone? I mean, really, Jackson hit a homerun one handed while he was calling time and stepping out of the batter's box. I'm not making this up. Bo was a BADASS.

I love Harold Baines. I'm not afraid to admit it. I like how I explained this card to my son... "Look Chris, this guy had round hair!!" Did you know that Baines was a former #1 overall pick in the amateur draft? I read it the other day, he is one of the more successful ones. I highly doubt he will make the HOF, but he should get more consideration that he has.

I can thank Max for this one, he told me: "They have Roberts in this box, its the Finest, but yo have that already, right?" I said, no I have the blue and green refractors, but not the base.... I do now...

Max also saw this one and said 'Oooh, look...' I saw it and quickly added it to my pile... you can't have enough O's prospect Topps Chrome Autos. This is my second Reimold Chrome Auto, the first coming from the Awesome P.A. who always hooks me up.

We ended our day having a good chat with the young man behind the counter of the shop. he looked maybe 5 minutes older than 16, but he was a nice enough kid who seemed to know his way around some cards. That is definitely what this hobby needs, lots more young blood and less of the old curmudgeonly old men who we all have seen time and again.

Trip to Raleigh: NCSU Baseball Game with Max

I was in Raleigh today for my third attempt at passing the NC Board of Licensing Geologists 'Fundamentals of Geology' Exam. Actually, I was in Raleigh last night, studying until 12:30AM, but that's beside the point. One of the benefits of the exam taking place in Raleigh was that this is of course where Max goes to school. We were able to meet up the night before the exam, and the afternoon after.

Having my brain fried by such a tough exam, I thought it would be a good idea to chill out, get a bite to eat and catch a ball game. Definitely a good choice.

NCSU was playing Quinnipiac and took them to school! 17-6. Ouch. We had a good time, as always. The interesting point here is: with all we have talked about concerning baseball, and as much as the two of us love it, this was the first game we caught together! I know for a fact that there will be lots more (2010 World Series, Baltimore Orioles vs LA Dodgers, WHOS WITH ME?), but it was interesting that with our crappy schedules, this was the first time we have been able to get together at a ballpark.

Well, I had an awesome time, Max will attest to that. I'm excited for the mext game we can catch.

Vintage Card Picku...wait a second, a HOCKEY CARD??

That's right boys and girls. Me, Mr. I'mnotreallyahockeyfan... I spent money on a 'Vintage' hockey card. Riddle me this Batman, why in the blue hell would I spend money on this particular hockey card, and this particular player?

Ted Irvine, from what I understand, he was a pretty decent player. By no means a hall of famer, but a decent player.

Would anyone care to venture a guess as to why I would get this card? Oh, it is a rookie card, but that's not why I bought it...

Look closely at his face. Look familiar?

Another Vintage Pick-up - 1948 Bowman Warren Spahn

Ahhh, ANOTHER vintage card I was able to snag, thanks to Uncle Sam ripping me off throughout the year.

1948 Warren Spahn 'Rookie Card.' Obviously not his true RC, but since there weren't any cards produced (that I know of) during his rookie campaign, this one apparently qualifies. I'm becoming more and more a big fan of the older Bowman offerings. These cards are completely different than the Bowman we know of today.

I think if I asked for Blony Bubble Gum today, people would look at me funny... I think it is kind of interesting, if you go back and look at my post of the 1941 Jimmie Foxx Play Ball card, you will see that the same ad for Blony is there too. I'm thinking, go with me here on this, that Play Ball was a predecessor to Bowman? Am I reaching a bit?

THE Vintage Pick-up - 1953 Bowman Pee Wee Reese

I don't like to brag, but... MAN, I'M GOOD! The story behind this card is pretty simple, as you all know, my best friend Max is a huge Dodger fan. I have been helping him get into collecting since about this time last year. Well, a few weeks ago, Max made the trip to Greenville from Raleigh to come see me (which was nice by the way, I 'forced' him to watch Aliens, haha). During our visit, he showed me a couple links to some vintage cards he would be interested in, had he had the money.

The jewel of what he showed me was the 1953 Bowman Pee Wee Reese. He really liked the action shot of Reese, suspended in mid-air, about to turn two.

Now, the first thing I told him was "I bet you I can get one pretty cheap..." From then on, I was on a mission. I really liked the card too, so I was interested in seeing if one could be had at a reasonable price, and here we are. I felt bad when I purchased the card, knowing that I was buying something for myself that my best friend really wanted. I took care of that guilt about a week later.... If you look closesly, obviously, this card in not in 'Mint' condition. Ask me if I care. Here is another shining example of just an amazing card that I can enjoy because I am not handcuffed by condition. I guarantee you that Max would definitely enjoy this card as well, so I know I did a good job.
I think the back ended up looking pretty nice too, I was a little worried about it, since the Ebay auction did not have a photo of the back, but I took a chance.
If any of you know me well enough, you will know that I get a certain trait from my mother; in that if you give me something to look for, I will definitely find it, and will find it at a very reduced price. If I could get paid to be a 'card buyer,' man that would be cool.
Of course, I'm sure you all realize that other cards which were discussed the day Max came over were: 1948 Bowman Stan Musial RC, 1948 Bowman Bob Feller RC and the 1948 Warren Spahn RC. See a trend here? Ha. Ok, so what do you all think? Pretty sweet, right?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Another Vintage Pick-up 1948 Bowman Bob Feller

Here is the second of my recent acquisitions. 1948 Bowman Bob Feller 'Rookie Card.' I use quotations because this is not from his rookie season, but, for all intents and purposes, it is, in fact, his rookie card.

As most of you may know, I have become partial to a few certain 'Vintage' players. I am trying to get more cards of Feller, Warren Spahn and Stan Musial. As well as a few other players. I think it is really cool that Feller is still alive today, going strong at close to 92 years old.

I scanned the reverse of the card as well so you all can read it. I think it is pretty cool to see that he had the record for the most players struck out during a 9-inning game, as well as the single season strikeout record. What do you guys think about this one? I have 2 more '48 Bowman cards coming...

Monday, March 1, 2010

Expanding my Vintage Collection - 1941 Playball Jimmie Foxx

So, we got a pretty sweet tax return this year. My wife and I cut a deal that we would take the odd amount of the return and split it between the two of us and put the majority of the return on our credit cards. We paid off one card, and were able to knock the other one down. Once we pay off the last card, we will be able to save for a down payment on another house and get out of this cramped ass apartment.

We took different paths with our 'allowance', my wife putting some of it in her savings account, and using the rest on clothes, etc. I took mine and got some stuff for my collection and a few other things. I figured that with as rough as this past year has been on me, I deserved a treat, so I kinda went nuts on Ebay. Here is the first of my pickups:

1941 Playball Jimmie Foxx. Double X, one of the most feared hitters of his era. By the time he retired, Foxx was #2 on the all-time home run list (behind Babe Ruth, of course) and held that position until he was passed by Willie Mays. I had not heard of Playball cards until I began looking to see just what vintage cards I was interested enough in putting bids out on. I think the design is very nice, and I'm surprised that we have not seen any 're-issues' lately with the vintage craze going on.
Even the back is nice. I like how it has so much information. It looks similar to the back of a Bowman card from later on in that decade. I really like these cards, and if I come into more money, I may try to get a couple more. What do you guys think?