Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 Replay Review

2015 was a banner year for this blog with some awesome highs and some heartbreaking lows.  Let's call up the umpires for a review of how I did with my goals for the year:

  • Acquire 10 baseballs for my Hall of Fame Collection.  As of today, I stand at 118.  I exceeded my goal by one, so that is nice.  I added: Lou Brock, Leon Day, Hank Greenberg, Bobby Cox, Harry Caray, Tom Glavine, Al Lopez, Pee Wee Reese, Joe DiMaggio, Sparky Anderson, and John Smoltz.
  • Acquire 5 cards from my Top Ten Wishlist.  I exceeded that goal by one as well, having knocked off 6 cards this year.  The best pickup was the 1992 Donruss Elite Cal Ripken auto that I got at the National.  You can see it here.  The Top Ten will be updated shortly with some fresh cards for 2016 and the 4 holdovers from 2015.
  • Attend the 2015 National.  As you can see in the photo above, I was able to make it to the National this past summer and had an amazing time.  I would have said "Once in a Lifetime" but I intend on going again, so now all I need to do is start saving again.
  • Keep up with blog trades and emails.  I didn't do as well as I would have liked with this goal, but I think I have graduated from email to app with my trading.  I still enjoy getting emails from fellow bloggers and have followed up with them.  My trading is primarily done over Instagram, Snapchat, Kik and Skype.  I see that being the main venue for discussion here on out.
  • Meet and complete trades with 10 new people.  I've blown that away, I believe.  I've added some new friends and lost a couple whom I traded with regularly.  I think that will continue and I will keep meeting new folks.
  • Continue to add and expand my google docs spreadsheets.  Well, I was halfway right on this one.  I have my Davis and Reimold PCs up to date and have done a good job in doing so.  I haven't added anyone to the sheets yet, and my Brooks Robinson PC isn't up to date.  That will probably be a goal for 2016 (and 2017 and 2018).
  • Complete the 1948 Bowman and 1959 Topps sets.  I met both of these goals this year, and am really happy that I did so.  Both sets were difficult, but are now closed.  I completed the 1959 set this summer at the National (click here); and the 1948 Bowman set was finished in April when I got the Joe Page card (read here).
  • Start one 1950s set and one 1960s set if 1948 Bowman and 1959 Topps are completed.  I haven't officially started a set in either decade because I wanted to work on the often-neglected 1969 set that I have been trying to finish.  I have a good start on the 1967 set, so I guess you could say that I have that one going, even though I haven't officially added the checklist to my wishlist.  I think I opted to consider completing the 1972 set before I embark on another 50s set.
  • Complete the 1994 Topps, 1997 Topps, 2012 Topps Update, 2014 Topps Update and 2014 Topps Chrome sets.  I got most of these done.  I still need to complete 1994 Topps and 2012 Topps Update.  I didn't even try 2015 Topps Update, even though I busted a jumbo box.  Instead, I went after 2015 Chrome and 2015 Stadium Club.  Those are still to be finished.
  • If the 1994 Topps set is complete, start the 1995 Topps set.  I didn't complete the 1994 set, so this will carry over to 2016 goals, I believe.
Here is a look back at a few of the things that happened on this blog this year:
  • On January 1, I posted a year in review of 2014 and my 2015 goals.
  • January 24 was when the baseball world lost Ernie Banks.  I was in a Skype chat when I heard about it.  It was definitely a shocker.
  • On February 1, I posted about the 2015 Orioles Fan Fest.  I took my mom, wife, sister and son to Fan Fest and we all had an amazing time.
  • On April 28, I briefly discussed the civil unrest in Baltimore.  The day after, the Orioles would play the first ever game in an empty stadium.
  • On May 4, I showed how awesome my mom was when she picked up two amazing vintage cards for me.
  • On May 10, I cut ties with a former friend who was being dishonest with fellow traders.  This was rare for me, since I usually am forgiving to a fault.  I haven't heard from the guy since, and I doubt I will.  I lost a few other "friends" throughout the year, for various reasons.  I think I'm better off without them in the long run, and I imagine a few of them will apologize and try to make things right.  We'll see how that goes.
  • On May 20, my wife, son and I met local former MLB player, George Altman.
  • On July 6, I completed my second trade with my good friend, Nick S. from Instagram.  Nick and I have become really close over the last month, and he is one of the funniest people I have ever met.  I hope we can keep it going, because he is a lot of fun to talk to, and an all-around good guy.  We had completed a trade a long time before, for a 2014 Panini Prizm Chris Davis blue parallel, but I never posted it.  This was one of the reasons why I wanted to do a better job of keeping track of trades.
  • On July 29, I posted my first of many blog posts on location in Chicago from the National Card Show.  I met up with fellow bloggers Andrew and Nick (Dime Boxes) and fellow instagrammers Max, Eli and Frankie.  Max's family hosted us for a box break and barbecue.  I had an amazing time and solidified some awesome friendships I made in the community.
  • On August 4, I posted about meeting Hulk Hogan, a long-time idol of mine.  I have watched wrestling my whole life, and Hogan is probably the most famous wrestler.  He was very gracious and humble.  I teared up after talking to him.
  • On August 10, still on a high from the amazing time at the National, I was heartbroken by the loss of my friend; my cat, Jericho.  He passed away on the way to the pet emergency clinic in Greenville.  Not a day goes by that I don't think of him.  I loved him and will always miss him.
  • On September 9. I wrote about a former scammer making things right with me.  He messaged me out of the blue to apologize, and sent me a care package to try to make amends.  He honestly had me at hello.  I never expected to hear from him again.  I was so moved by his gesture, I included him when I sent out Christmas gifts this year.
  • On September 23, I wrote about the passing of a legend, Yogi Berra.
  • On October 5, I showed that I had appeared (briefly) on MASN celebrating Chris Davis's second home run of the day; in the final game of the season.  My son and I enjoyed a three-game series in Baltimore and capped it off with the Orioles sweeping the Yankees.
  • I reached my 2,000th post on October 6.
  • On November 29, I got an amazing 1906 Trophy Baseball.
  • I went to 2016 Orioles Fan Fest on December 12.
I had a pretty good year, I think.  I can now look toward 2016 and set a few goals and see if I can achieve them.

  1. I have 118 Hall of Fame baseballs as of the close of 2015.  I actually have some on the way, as well.  I would like to close 2016 with 10 new Hall of Famers, so I would like to be at or above 128.
  2. I want to knock 5 cards off of my Top Ten Wishlist, with at least two of them being holdovers from 2015.  That shouldn't be difficult, depending on which cards I add to the list.
  3. I want to upgrade at least one of my Hall of Fame balls of Phil Niekro, Pat Gillick and Jim Bunning.  I got those before I knew about the troubles with China balls, so I intend to correct those soon.
  4. I want to upgrade my 1955 Topps Duke Snider. The one I have is really rough, so upgrading that one would be nice.  I plan to, in the future, upgrade a few more of those cards, but the Snider is one of the worst of the bunch.  This will not be a Top 10 card.
  5. I want to complete the 2015 Topps Chrome, 2015 Topps Stadium Club, 2012 Topps Update, 1994 Topps and 1969 Topps sets.
  6. WHEN 1994 Topps is complete, I need to start on 1995 Topps.
  7. Add 1967 and 1972 Topps to my wishlist page and my notebook, officially starting those sets.
  8. Get two TTM successes completed in 2016.  I actually tried a few in 2015, but two subjects passed away in transit (how does that happen) and one if still pending.
  9. Attend the 2016 National in Atlantic City.  With a better handle on my budget.
  10. Spend more time organizing my cards and actually enjoying them, instead of letting them pile up on my desk, just to be added to random boxes.

I think those are attainable goals for the year.  Finally, I want to thank everyone who made 2015 so amazing.  I can't even begin to name you all, but I want to single out: Max, Andrew, Drew, Nick S., Michael, Scott, Noah, Caleb, Sam, Josh, P. A., Eli, Frankie, Julie, Robert, Jayden, Jack, Cameron, Joey, Ben, Jake, Jake Iggy, Ryu, Brian, Tim and so many others.  If I didn't mention you, I apologize.  I also want to single out my mom who added some more memories to this blog, which I know you all enjoy reading about.

I hope everyone who I am blessed enough to call my friends and family have a safe and happy New Year and a prosperous 2016.  Thank you all, and I will see you next year!

Christmas Gift From Cameron

I got an amazing Christmas package in the mail recently from my good buddy, Cameron.  He really blew me away with what he sent.  He is such a good guy, and didn't have to get me what he got, but it was very appreciated.

The above Matt Wieters three color patch from Panini Donruss is such an amazing card.  Wieters doesn't have much as far as relics and stuff, so this one is a nice addition to my collection.  It really was a surprise.
Cameron included this blue 2014 Bowman Chrome auto of Oscar Taveras as a throwback to our first deal.  We met during a trade for a Topps Hi Tek Taveras auto.  Since then, we have been really good friends.  This is a nice Taveras and it is numbered 9/150.
He included a nice auto of Hunter Harvey from 2014 Bowman Sterling.  I really like this card and I'm glad Cameron included it.  It looks really awesome.
I got this 2015 Topps Chrome Christian Walker from Cameron as well.  I have a couple of these, but am happy to add another one.
Cameron also included a few refractors like this Machado blue.  This card is numbered 18/250.  I don't think I had one of these yet, so I was glad to get this one.
Also, here is a purple refractor of Chris Tillman.  This is numbered 89/150.  I didn't have this one either.

Thank you so much for the Christmas package, Cameron.  The cards were amazing and I love them!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Christmas gift from Dylan

I got a package in the mail from my friend Dylan for Christmas and was really happy with what he included.  He also had something in there for my son, Chris, which was really nice of him to do.  In the package was a nice page-long note and two baseball cards.

The above 2014 Panini Classics triple relic of Frank, Brooks and Boog was one I didn't have in my collection, yet.  It is numbered 8/99 and looks really cool.  I knew it was coming, because Dylan was afraid that if he got me something, I would already have it.  I have heard that issue before, but I don't know why someone would think that.............
Dylan also included this Ruth/Foxx card, which I needed for my Foxx PC.  Not bad.  He doesn't have a whole lot out there, so it was nice to be able to add it.

Thanks so much for the gift, Dylan.  Chris also loved his gift.  I appreciate you thinking of us!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Christmas Gift From Anthony

I got a Christmas gift in the mail from a fellow Instagrammer, Anthony.  He and I have done some trading back and forth for over a year, and I have also helped him with some issues and card questions.  He surprised me with this awesome Nolan Reimold 2009 Bowman Chrome red refractor numbered 5/5.  This is a really tough card to find, and I really don't want to know what Anthony had to give up to get it.

This will look really great in my Reimold PC.  Thank you so much for the awesome gift, Anthony, I love it!

Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas Gift From Ryu

I got a package in the mail that was waiting for me to open the day after Christmas.  It was among 3 packages that were there, this one being from my good friend, Ryu.  Inside the package was a nice note from him, and this 2007 UD Spectrum Miguel Tejada patch card.  The card is numbered 47/50.

I was a fan of Tejada when he was first signed as an Oriole; and he had several good seasons for them, but then I kind of soured on him toward the end of his deal.  He seemed really pouty at times, and was pretty much the star on some terrible Orioles teams.  Add into it that he was named in the Mitchell report a day after he was traded away to the Astros, and also the ESPN interview where they surprised him with his real birth certificate (making him 2 years older than he was listed).  I actually felt really bad for Tejada at that moment.  I forgave him for a lot of things during that interview, and really began to sour on ESPN themselves.  Just my opinion, though.

All of that being said, I have two Tejada cards that I cherish.  One was given to me by an old friend, and this one given to me by my buddy, Ryu.  It is a beautiful card with a really nice patch.  We all know how I love patches.

Thank you so much, Ryu!

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Christmas Gift From Brian

I got a Christmas gift a few days ago from my little buddy, Brian.  He is a fellow North Carolinian that I met at one of my shows in Raleigh.  He and his dad are big Orioles fans, so I sent him a little something for Christmas.  I wasn't expecting a gift in return, but Brian sent me a nice PWE full of Orioles stuff.

Brian must have gotten this Zach Britton signed IP or TTM, but it looks really cool.  I liked the blue sharpie.

Brian and his dad are some really nice folks.  I like that they have kept in touch after that initial meeting at the show.  I have some stuff for them from this year's Fan Fest that I need to send along.

Thank you so much for the gifts, Brian.  I really appreciate it.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Christmas Gift From Kyle

I am finally home from the North Carolina Christmas Tour 2015 and I hope that all of you had as great a Christmas as I did.  I spent time with my family and got lots of messages from my friends.  When I got home today, I had some mail to open that I included with my opening of Christmas presents here at the house.

One of the packages that was waiting on me was from my friend, Kyle.  He is one of the very first people I made a successful deal with on Instagram.  Since then, we have become good friends, even though the two of us are usually busy and rarely have time to talk.

Thankfully, though, when it comes down to it, we still think of each other, and the both of us exchanged gifts this year.  I got Kyle something that I hope he can use in his PC, and he sent me this really nice Kevin Gausman relic/auto from 2014 Triple Threads.

The card is numbered 25/50.  I love the green on the card; it makes it really stand out.

Thank you so much for the gift, Kyle, and for always thinking of me!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Christmas Gift From Michael

My buddy Michael's Christmas gift came yesterday and when I opened it, I was blown away.  I posted a couple days ago about how I had six of the 2009 Bowman Sterling Nolan Reimold autographs and I was going to be looking for the gold parallel sometime soon.  What I didn't know, however, was that there was a black parallel!  I may have seen one back in 09 when these came out, but I had obviously forgotten them.  This card looks awesome.  It is numbered 9/25 and is in amazing condition.  I plan on picking up a magnetic case soon, which is where this will reside.
Not to be overlooked, Michael also included this awesome Sonny Gray triple relic/auto from 2015 Triple Threads.  This one is numbered 62/75 and also looks awesome.  It will also be put in a magnetic case.

Michael really blew me away with his gifts.  He didn't have to go above and beyond for me, but he did.  I really love the gifts!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Ebay Pickup - 2013 Topps Mini Chris Davis Plate

I picked up a nice addition to my Chris Davis PC when I got this 2013 Topps Mini Chris Davis printing plate.  I thought I had a couple of these already, but that was the regular sized printing plate.  I have two of those now.  I didn't realize until now that I didn't have many of the mini parallels, so once the smoke settles from Christmas, I will have to add some of them.

It's funny that Chris Davis's printing plates really don't cost all that much.  With him being as big a star as he has been for the O's, you would think someone other than me would be picking them up.  Oh well, that leaves more for me!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Christmas Package From Robert

I got an awesome Christmas care package from my little buddy, Robert, the other day and was really excited to see what he included.  Robert is fairly new to my little Instagram chat group, but he has assimilated into the group almost seamlessly.

Robert really came through and sent me some stuff that I love!  The above Christian Walker blue parallel auto from 2015 Inception just looks so cool!  It is numbered 75/150.  I actually don't think I have seen one of the blue autos yet.
Robert also included this 2009 Bowman Sterling auto of Nolan Reimold.  This is my favorite card of Reimold.  I have 6 of these now.  I still need to get myself the gold parallel.  These cards just look awesome.  Since I have so many, I ought to send one of them to be graded, you know, just for fun.  I may do that at some point.

Thank you so much for the Christmas gifts, Robert.  I appreciate it, and I am glad that we were able to meet and become friends these last few months!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Christmas Gift From Frankie

I got an awesome Christmas package in the other day from my good friend, Frankie from the blog "My Life In The Sportscard Hobby".  I met Frankie last year through my good friend, Drew.  Frankie and I did a couple trades, then we spent a lot of time together at this past year's National walking around and enjoying the show.  Frankie is a really good guy, but I did not in any way expect that he would land this kind of gift on me.

Above is an awesome 2013 Topps Pro Debut Sonny Gray printing plate.  This is the cyan plate.  Also of note, Gray appears as a RockHound on this card.  My son, Chris, was a RockHound for two seasons, and had a very special time on those teams.  So, I think it is really cool to have this card with Gray in the RockHounds uniform!
Frankie included a few Orioles cards as well, most notably this Cal Ripken from 2015 Topps Hi Tek that I didn't yet have in my collection.  The card is numbered 48/50 and is acetate.  Frankie must have read the several posts of mine where I discuss how much I love acetate cards!

Thank you so much for the awesome Christmas gifts, Frankie!  I really appreciate it!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Trade and Christmas Package From Nick S.

I have been talking a lot lately to a really awesome guy in Texas named Nick.  We have traded a few times, and chatted some, but recently, we decided to talk a lot more.

What started the whole thing was when Mark Trumbo was traded to the Orioles, Nick messaged me saying he had this Trumbo signed baseball and he wanted to know if I was interested.  I wasn't too interested at the time, but told him that I would think about it.  A week or so later, Nick messaged me again saying that he really wanted the ball to go to me,   So, I asked him what it would take to get the ball and we reached a deal really quickly.

The ball is really cool, it is a game used foul ball that Nick caught, and it is a commemorative ball of the Astros 50th season.  I am getting to where I really like these commemorative baseballs.  I have been getting quite a few of them, and I think that is really where the appeal was in this one.  That, and Nick was really awesome about the trade.  So much so, we became very good friends following our discussion.
Generally, when I am sending out a trade package, I try to include some extras.  I wanted to do that with Nick, since he was so nice, and also because it is Christmas.  I told Nick that I was going to include some extras for him, and he told me that he had already gotten some together for me.

When the package came in the mail, I was blown away.  Oftentimes, I will get to chatting with someone and feel like we hit it off, and folks would promise tons of stuff, only to have everything kind of die off soon thereafter.  Nick, though, really blew me away with what he "threw in" to the package.  Not pictured was a stack of Topps gold parallels that he included, two of which were 2014 Topps mini golds of Bud Norris and Dylan Bundy.

The above signed ticket  was from a game he attended (I think he said 6/13/15, and also the day Trumbo signed the ball, I believe); the ticket is signed by Carson Smith.  I don't remember who he told me signed the bottom of the ticket.  Maybe he will read this and comment.
Nick included these IP autographs of former Oriole-now current Oriole- LJ Hoes.  Hoes was a pretty decent prospect for the Orioles, but was traded to Houston in 2013 for Bud Norris.  Now he is back and is looking to make the team out of Spring Training.
I don't know if Nick knew this or not, but this Steve Bechler auto is tough to get.  Bechler was the pitcher who passed away in Spring Training 2003.  His death is the reason why ephedrine is now banned in baseball.  I remember when it happened, and it is still a really sad story.  I really appreciate Nick including this in the care package.  I think I have one other Bechler auto, and I was hoping to add some more over time.
Finally, here is a card I really enjoyed that Nick included.  Don't laugh, I'm serious.  This "well loved" 1969 Topps Hank Aaron appears as if someone ran it over a few times, dropped it in a puddle, then kept it as a wallet card for about 10 years.  The card would probably grade lower than a 1.  Maybe a 0.5?  However, since one of my favorite blogs is POBC (Poor Old Baseball Cards), I really think this card is cool.  I have quite a few POBCs, and this one now probably takes the top of the list.  I may actually make an album sometime with the ones that I have.  Nick might have thought sending this was a bit of a joke (and trust me, the kid is so very funny), but really, I LOVE this card.

Thank you so much for a great trade, an amazing care package and beginning of a really nice friendship.  This stuff really blew me away, and I can't thank you enough, Nick!  If you are on the Instagram, you can give Nick a follow as baseballcards035.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

TTM Success - Mike McCormick... Again

I sent off two TTM requests last week and got one back the other day.  I got this 1959 Topps buyback of Mike McCormick signed after it being out only out for about 5 days or so.

This was the oldest buyback card that I had pulled, which was kind of nice, but I still don't really care for the foil stamp that Topps puts on these things.  When I pulled it, I kind of thought to myself, gee, nice '59, but really, what do I do with it?  Then, I remembered that McCormick lived in NC, so a TTM would likely take a short amount of time, so I gave it a shot.

This is a second year card of the former Cy Young award winner (1967).  I didn't realize (or maybe I just didn't remember) that McCormick was a former Oriole.

He charged a $5 fee to sign this card, which wasn't too bad.  He is 77 now, and you can see in his signature that age may be catching up to him a bit.  I do like how his auto kind of matched the facsimile auto on the card.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

A Look at the Signed Baseballs I Got at Fan Fest

When the autograph vouchers were announced for this year's Fan Fest, there weren't a lot of surprises.  Nor were there too many guys left that I hadn't met, yet, so I picked up only a select few vouchers.  I wanted to see Nolan Reimold again, so I bought the session that included him, Brady Anderson and Dylan Bundy.  Melvin Mora was making his first appearance there in a long time, so I wanted to meet him, so I got the Mora, Tim Berry and Dylan Bundy session (so two meetings with Bundy) and finally, I wanted to meet Tyler Wilson, and that session also had Jim Palmer and Christian Walker.  For each voucher I bought, I got a second, so Chris could go through the line with me.

I decided that I really liked signed specialty balls.  I was able to find a real cheap 1996 All Star baseball for Brady Anderson to sign.  As you can see above, the ball looks really good, even though Brady's signature is pretty bad.  Chris also got a plain OMLB signed for me, which was nice.  He knows that all of my stuff will eventually become his, so he did a really good job at Fan Fest in helping me find stuff, and also getting things signed.
For the people that I didn't necessarily need second signed balls of, I let Chris have an OMLB, which he got multi signed by a bunch of the guys there.  I had only taken 14 balls to Fan Fest, then sold two to Ryan, so I needed a way for Chris to enjoy the signings as well.  Also, in a rush to leave on Friday, I had forgotten the large photo that Chris had been getting signed by former Orioles.

I was able to find another specialty ball on Ebay, a 2005 All Star ball.  This one was for Melvin Mora.  I actually got complimented from a fellow O's fan on the ball, which was pretty cool.

The ball turned out really nice, I think.  I really like the different colored seams on the All Star balls.
I was able to meet Hall of Famer, Jim Palmer again, which is always a treat.  I can't count how many times I have gotten his auto at Fan Fest, but I try to every chance I get.  I also traded for a signed Palmer ball from Ryan, then also ended up with Chris's ball.  I had a pending deal with my good buddy Max for one of the Palmer balls in exchange for an upgrade to another one of my Hall of Famers (which I will show another time).  The other, I ended up making a deal with my good friend, Sam for that.  So, of the three I got, I have deals pending for two of them.  The last one I will hold onto for now.
I think, other than Nolan, I was most excited about meeting Orioles pitcher Tyler Wilson.  He just completed his rookie season, and had a pretty decent showing.  He struggled, for sure, but I think he has a bright future with the Orioles.  I had seen him (with Ryan, of course) pitch for Bowie a couple years ago, and really was impressed (much more than I was with the next day's starter, Eduardo Rodriguez),

Wilson was very nice when we signed, and I wished him well for the 2016 season.
I got another ball signed by Christian Walker as well.  His signature has changed since last year, which is interesting.  Walker has a chance to break camp with the O's, unless something drastic happens, and Chris Davis re-signs.  I doubt Davis will be back, so maybe Walker gets his shot.  Who knows.

I'm sure some folks are wondering if I got something signed by Nolan.  I did, but since I have a ton of stuff signed by him that I absolutely love, I decided to do something nice for a friend of mine.  So, I had Nolan sign a ball with a message, and I dropped it in the mail today.  I hope my friend loves it!

So, of all of the baseballs I took with me to Fan Fest, I have one left.  I will likely hold onto it for now, unless I decide to get it signed TTM by someone.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Fan Fest Pickup - Oct 4, 2015 Lineup Card

The piece I was most excited about that I picked up from Fan Fest was this game used lineup card from the Oct 4, 2015 game against the New York Yankees.

If you remember, that was the final game of the 2015 season and also the game that Chris Davis hit two homers, his final ones as an Oriole.

I was at the game with my son, Chris, and my friend, Michael.  We were seen on and also MASN after Davis hit the second homer.

I had seen the game used lineup card box at the Orioles authentics booth at Fan Fest, but I was looking through game used hats because Michael told me that there were some Reimolds in there.  I didn't find those, but while I was doing that, I asked Chris to look through the lineup cards to see if any of the October games were in there.

He told me that he didn't see any, but I decided to take a look anyway, and I found this.  I checked the box score on my phone and found that this was from the final game.  I was so excited, I bought it on the spot.

I plan on putting this up with a copy of the screenshot of me celebrating the home run (from and a copy of the box score.  I think it'll be a bit expensive, but will look cool when it is done.

If you look closely, you'll see that it is signed by Buck Showalter, which is an added bonus.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

2016 Orioles Fan Fest Thoughts

Another Fan Fest is in the books and while it was a lot more rushed this year (thanks Orioles for forgetting to book the venue for January, we all know that's what happened), we had a good time.

I left there with a bunch of stuff: 9 signed baseballs, 23 signed post cards (my son helped me get a bunch of them), 2 new hats, a new hoodie, a game used spring training jersey, a pair of winter gloves, MORE RALLY TOWELS, a Steve Pearce bobble head, a coffee table book, a bunch of Orioles fathead stickers and a game used lineup card.

I went to Fan Fest this year with my son Chris and my friend Ryan from "O No Another Orioles Blog".  At Fan Fest, I met up with my good friend, Michael, and I also met a fellow instagrammer named Reed.  I ended up giving Reed my extra Dylan Bundy ball because he has followed me on Instagram for a long time and always seems to be a nice guy.

I will break down everything that I got over the course of this coming week.  I hope you will all stay tuned to check it all out!

Friday, December 11, 2015

COMC Pickup - 2015 Ginter X Rocky Characters

I used some of the money I raised on COMC during the Black Friday sales to pick up the remaining cards I needed of the Rocky characters for the Ginter X black parallels.  I already had the Apollo Creed card, so I went ahead and got the others that I needed.
My plan is to display all of them (10 cards) somehow.  I have my buddy, Max, working on getting me some of those multi-card screwdown holders.
I think that once I get those in from him, I will be able to show these off.  I really like that Topps added these guys to the set.  The cards look really cool, and it gives me a chance to have some cards from a movie series that I have enjoyed my entire life.
I wonder if Sylvester Stallone had any idea when he wrote the original screenplay that the characters he was creating would have the staying power that they have.  I mean, everyone knows who Rocky Balboa is.  He is one of the most iconic movie characters there is.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Huge 1994 Topps Package From Michael A.

I got a small box in the mail a couple days ago from Michael A, in Arizona.  In the box was a bunch of 1994 Topps that I needed for the set that I have been slowly working on for quite a while.  The deal for the cards was in the making for a long time, as well.  Michael finally got them in the mail, and I spent last night knocking the list down and updating my wishlist.

I have had a few people tell me that they can help me close out that set, which would be very welcome.  I'm glad I finally got the box from Michael and got my list updated.  I think I counted last night that I need only 47 cards to complete the set.  Not bad at all.  It will be a goal of mine to finish this set in 2016 and move on to 1995 Topps.  I have been really slow in finishing those sets, but once I do, I will have a string of Topps sets from 1973 to 2015.  Seeing that really makes me want to get them done!

Thanks for the package, Michael!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

COMC Pickup - Apollo Creed 1979 Rocky II Sticker

I was looking around on COMC on Black Friday, trying to find some unique cards to add to my collection, when I found this Apollo Creed sticker.  It comes from the 1979 Rocky II series.  Because Apollo is one of my favorite fictional characters, I figured I should go ahead and pick this up.

I'm not going to go for the series or anything, but it was just a cool thing to add to my cart before I checked out.  Aside from the 2015 Ginter cards, this was the only thing related to Apollo on there.

Yeah, it is a little silly, but still pretty cool.  Also, I think it only cost me $0.35, so that's not bad, either,

Also, if you haven't gone to see "Creed" yet, you really should!  We went and saw it Thanksgiving weekend, and it was so good.  They did a good job in continuing the Rocky universe.  Obviously, he has a part in it, but he doesn't overshadow the movie, as it isn't about him.  Seriously, go check it out!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

COMC Pickup - 1979 TCMA Virgil Trucks

It has been a while since I have picked up a new Virgil Trucks card for the PC.  When I was doing my Black Friday shopping, I grabbed this 1979 TCMA Virgil Trucks since it was really cheap.  I wish he was one of those guys that Topps would include here and there in some of their products.  Trucks might not have been a superstar, but the hardcore card collectors would get a kick out of pulling a piece of game used jersey or memorabilia of Trucks from a pack.  I know I would.

He was one of a kind.  To think, it has been over 5 years since I first "discovered" Mr. Trucks.  All because my buddy Drew was helping me figure out which players were good at TTM signing.

I still wish I had taken him up on his offer of paying him a visit in Alabama.  That would have been really cool, but probably still awkward.  I ended up doing a trip like it, meeting someone with old ties to the game, and had a blast.

I wonder if an opportunity like that will ever pop up again.  If it does, I know I will jump at the opportunity without any hesitation.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Black Friday Pickup - 2014 Bowman Red Ice Chris Davis

I bought a bunch of gifts for people with one Black Friday purchase on COMC.  I went back to the site later during their sale, after I sold a few things, and bought myself some cards.  One of them was this 2014 Bowman Red Ice Chris Davis that I needed for the 2014 rainbow.

The card is numbered 19/25.  I had a chance to get one when it first came out, from my friend Noah, and I mistakenly told him that I already had the card.  This event is what actually prompted me to start my Davis spreadsheet on the blog.  Since then, I have been diligent in updating it, and it has come in handy when I have gone to make a Davis purchase.

I was disappointed that there weren't as many of the cool parallels in this year's Bowman offering.  I was equally as disappointed that Davis wasn't included in Bowman and Topps Chrome.  Oh well, I'm certain he will be in 2016, I just hope he is in an Orioles uniform.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Julie Sends the First Holiday Package of the Year

I got my first holiday care package of the season in the other day from Julie.  She writes the fantastic blog "A Cracked Bat".  She was nice enough to include some really good cards.  The above Zach Britton relic from 2015 Topps Update was a nice addition to the collection.  The Orioles were kind of a middling team this past season,  but they still had 4 all stars.  Not bad!

I need to see if the other All Stars have relics.  Those would be nice cards to pick up.
Julie included this base auto from 2015 Chrome of Christian Walker.  I need to try to get the color parallels of Walker's 2015 autos, but that is something I will do later on.  Walker is a good player, but I would be completely ok with him playing this season at AAA Norfolk.  Especially if that means that Chris Davis will be coming back.  Come on guys, sign the man!
Finally, Julie sent me this really nice insert from 2015 Topps of Jason Johnson.  Johnson doesn't have a whole lot of cards these days.  He is significant for me because he was the first ever player I got an auto of IP.  He was really nice at the time, and I always hoped that he would pitch well for the O's.

Thank you so much for the care package, Julie!  I really appreciate it!

Saturday, December 5, 2015

The Camaro Rides Again

My friend, Jeff, you know, green68camaro, sent me a care package that i got today to help me with my 1994 Topps set that has been languishing for quite some time.  Jeff sent me about 17 of the cards that I needed for the set.  I have another friend who is sending me some as well.  I think I will focus on completing this one in the new year.

This card, though, is one of the cooler ones of the bunch.  I remember Doug Drabek being the best pitcher around when I was in middle school.  When he eventually signed with the Orioles, I was excited.  He didn't do all that well in Baltimore, but I still think he was a great pitcher.  I need to see about getting him TTM or something.

Anyway, thanks for the care package, Jeff!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Instagram Care Package From Green68Camaro

I got a care package in the mail recently from an Instagrammer that I have been trading with quite a bit lately, Jeff, who goes by green68camaro.

I had found him a 1948 Bowman Marty Marion RC at a card show not too long ago, and we worked out a deal for it.  Since then, we have sent each other a few things.  This care package was a bit of a surprise, though.

In it, there were two nice Brooks Robinson cards for my PC.  The above card is a 1998 UD Retro Brooks.  It actually took me a few minutes to be able to read their fine print to see what year it was.  I even had my glasses on...  I could have saved time and just ebay searched it to get the year.  Maybe I need new glasses?

Anyway, this is a really nice card that I don't believe I had in my collection.  I don't recall '98 Retro, but that was when I was out of cards during college, so that makes sense.  I need to take a look and see if any other Hall of Famers that I like are in there.
I'm pretty sure I had a copy of this 1988 Pacific Baseball Legends, but another one is always welcome.  I believe these are very underrated cards.  I have seen a lot of people get these and use them for TTM autos.  These cards, when signed, turn out really great.  Brooks does some TTM signing, but the fees for flat items are pretty high, so I will just keep this in a top loader in my PC.  I just feel that there is never enough said about the merits of the 1988 Baseball Legends set.  I'm sure a lot of folks in the hobby agree.

Thanks so much for the care package, Jeff!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Instagram Trade With Spencer

I completed a trade on Instagram last week with a guy named Spencer that landed me this awesome 2011 Leaf Draft Sonny Gray auto.  I haven't added much to the Sonny Gray PC in a while, so when I saw that he had this card available, I did what I could to get it.

Spencer got a Gregory Polanco Bowman Sterling auto and a Jordan Zimmermann gold chrome parallel, and I got the Gray, a Chris Davis Bowman Chrome parallel and a card that will be a Christmas present for a friend of mine.

Spencer was really nice and easy to deal with.  If you are on Instagram, he has some nice stuff available.  Check out his page at SMCards9.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Ebay Pickup - 2013 Topps Chris Davis Graded Printing Plate

I picked up a bit of a steal (I'll come back to that in a minute) on Ebay when I got this really cool 2013 Topps Chris Davis graded printing plate.  The plate is the cyan version (I already had one of the other plates, but I forget the color).  It has been graded by BGS, as you can see, and has a 9 grade.  This, from what I've been told, it a really good grade for a plate.

This card was on my watch list on Ebay for a while, but no on picked it up.  Finally, the price dropped, and I snatched it up.

Total shipped, I spent $6.79 on this plate.  Not bad, right?

I feel like I did pretty well on it, considering raw plates of Davis go around $40 or $50.  I don't know how I got this steal (well, maybe I do, it was a bid auction, not a Buy It Now), but I am really happy that I did.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Instagram Pickup - 1906 Trophy Baseball

I picked up a really cool piece for my collection recently when I purchased this trophy ball from a guy off of Instagram.  In case anyone is wondering, I will explain what a trophy ball is.

In the early days of baseball, especially at the amateur level, only one ball would be used per game.  At the end of the game, the winning team would decorate the ball, put the score, date, etc., and would present it to someone.

I spent some time this morning trying to find information on the ball, but so far, I have come up short.  I'll continue to research it, as time allows, because I would really like to be able to find some information on this ball, and the game it describes, if it is available.

Regardless, the ball is really cool.  I'm glad I was able to get it.

I think it is really cool to own a ball that was used in a time when Theodore Roosevelt was president.  I hope I can find out more about it.  In the meantime, check out who I got it from: