In case some of you haven't seen some of these. Topps decided to put these red-bordered parallels into their hobby edition factory sets. They are numbered to 299, and come five random cards to a set. They do have a gold stamped number on the back, much like every set had before this years Topps, with its sloppy black numbers. They did do the Strasburg of course, and not surprisingly dealers want way tool much for them. Other than him, you should be able to find any player reasonably priced on ebay. I picked the two of these up for $2.99 each. The Overbay is numbered 187/299, and the Hill is 009/299. Fear not readers, the Vernon Wells is on its way. When I saw these pop up on eBay, I obviously wanted the Wells to add to my rainbow (I'm still looking for that platinum that I know I'll never see), and I searched each day until he came up. I suppose there aren't too many of these reds floating around (299x661=197,639 total) and not everyone is going to break their sets open just to get these, so if you see a player you want I'd say grab it because they may not appear too often. I haven't decided if I want to complete the Jays set yet, but it is a possibility.
I've decided to start a series of posts. The series will feature two vintage cards from my collection. I'll show them and say something about them. I saw this type of feature on other blogs and decided to try it out. It will be reserved for when I don't get anything new, have nothing to rant about, or just don't have much to say. Plus I love vintage! Here we go with volume 1: Here we have two Bowmans. The short guy is a '49, the taller being a '51. I picked both of these up at a show a month or so back. Both very cheap. I like the size variation that Bowman seemed to have with every set they put out. I see how it could get annoying for storage. I really like the '51's and may need to get some more.
I am a big fan of 2007 Topps. Another set I had not seen until recently, well I'm not really sure why I say this because I didn't see anything past 1995 until I started collecting earlier this year. I really like the black design, its good to get away from the white for a while. Very reminiscent of the 1971 issue, with the exception of being able to be kept in good condition. Team cards are included! As I have stated before, I'm a big fan of them and apparently this was the final year for the 'traditional' team card. You know, the card where the entire team sits in for the picture? I love 'em. 2008 didn't have them, they opted for 'Classic Combo' cards instead, but that is a future post. Every team has its color squares in their colors on the card face. A nice facsimile signature like Topps did in their early days. While these came back in a previous set, I feel they work better on the black. I have gotten a few packs of this year, so I do have some inserts. They seems pretty rounded out, with the exception of the continuation of the Mantle-fest that Topps decided to pull the year previous. Generation Now inserts are horribly lame and way too vast in number for anyone to really collect. I do like the Distinguished Service (history!) , Topps Stars (shiny!) and Opening Day (the one that shows an opening day game with both teams standing on the field) subsets. This is also the set with the famed Derek Jeter card that featured Mantle and Bush II in the picture. I do remember hearing about the buzz surrounding this card but didn't pay all that much attention due to me not being into baseball at the time. Overall this is probably one of my favorite modern (2000 to now) sets that I own (maybe even the favorite). Kudos Topps!
Ah yes, 1990 Topps. So much color. So many good players, some great rookies. TOTALLY WORTHLESS! The highest booking card is $2.50 (Sammy Sosa's rookie). I don't care though. I had so much of this set in my youth collecting days. The big one was the Frank Thomas rookie, if you had that, you literally had GOLD. Well, not really but it was a big card between our little circle of collecting. Now 20 years old, I feel this set really looks the era it came from. Many of Topps sets are really nice, and some of them timeless. They don't look the era, or the year they came out, which is good. Its nice when Topps strikes a design that can be looked at later on and not be stuck in a certain period of time. This set is sooooooooooooooo 90's. You cannot mistake this set for any other era than the 1990s. Much like 1972 looks 70's, and 1986 looks 80's, 1990 is pure 90's. This set gets put on the shelf with my 1987, 1988, and 1989 as a set that I had so much of as a kid.
I am not too pleased. I got my 1994 Topps factory set today. I opened it up to find one massive brick of cards. Well it was more like 10 or so smaller bricks, but regardless. They all stuck together and while pulling some of them apart, it ruined the finish on the backs/fronts. Its the type of gloss on the cards. The same thing happens to earlier Stadium Club cards, Fleer Ultras too. Its that early to mid 90's gloss thats not slippery. My 2003 and 2004 sets stuck too, but they came unstuck without damage. 1994 wasn't as lucky. It wasn't factory sealed, just taped on three sides like Topps used to do. Maybe some moisture got up in there and made 'em all stick. Whatever the case is, that set is pretty much ruined and I'm watching another one. If the same thing happens, I'll be abandoning the mid-90s Topps sets altogether.
Remember this guy? Well, I did not rip him. I asked you, the readers what I should do with Mr. Martin, and it came down to a standstill. Four comments said to rip him open and the other four said not to. I was torn (haha...groan) and wasn't sure what to do with it. I want to rip it because I know the chances of me getting another rip card out of the little Ginter's I'll be buying were very slim. If at all. So I did some research and found that all the really great rips were in the rip cards numbered under 25. The 1 of 1 woods, nice red signatures, whatever. Seems to me the base set minis were in all thr rips that were numbered to 99. Maybe. Or maybe I'm completely wrong and maybe the card inside was something really cool. Well I'll never know because I decided to sell it on eBay and see what I could get for it. When it came down dollar for dollar this is what I ended up buying with the money I got for the ripper there: And this: Yes, essentially I traded the Rip card for a 1954 Ted Williams (card #1) and five bucks. The rip sold for $84. I won the Ted for $79, and had (roughly, not counting shipping or anything) five bucks left. Pretty cool I'd say seeing as how I would be horribly disappointed with that rip card had I gotten a "regular" mini and not something fancy. Plus seeing as how I'm kinda collecting 1954 Topps, it worked out brilliantly, and hey, its Ted Williams. My first but not my last if I attempt to collect the 1954 set. I am more than pleased with how it turned out.
We attended the New Britain Rock Cats game on Friday night. The played the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, which is the Toronto Blue Jays Double-A affiliate. It was like being at a Twins/Jays game!.....Ok, no it wasn't. It was a bunch of fun though, as I always enjoy going to these games. Things started off pretty well, and both teams had a good pitcher going for them. I also found that Travis Snider was in the line-up, and got quite excited to see him hit. Thats not him in the picture above, but he did single off of his first pitch. It was the third inning and we went to get some ice cream in a helmet, (for those who don't remember, Baskin Robbins in the 80's used to have a sundae that they served in a mini replica batting helmet of a MLB team, the Rock Cats have done the same thing, except with their logo on it) and then this happened! Oh no! A rain delay! This delay lasted about one and a half hours. Here is the scoreboard after the rain started. Like I mentioned, it only went three innings before it started pouring. Many people left, but we decided to hang around seeing as how our seats were dry. This is them getting the field ready again to resume play. There was alot of standing around after this, I wasn't sure what they were doing. We ended up leaving after the 6th inning due to the three of us being quite tired. When they did resume however, Snider wasn't in the line-up anymore. Not sure what happened to him, but it was good to see him in the first inning regardless. Definitely a fun time, and we will be going again soon. So far this was the third game we attended this season, and apparently our tickets are good for another game. Score! Good times...
Ginter's will not be something I buy regularly. I just always get disappointed with each pack I open. Its expensive, kinda blah and overall just plain weird sometimes. I know I bought a box, but I purchased two packs today from my local card shop (at 7 bucks per pack, but I'll get into that in a minute). I won't bore you with what I got in each of them, but my minis were of a dinosaur and a Greek God. With the lone exception of that rip card I pulled (more on that card in a future post), I end up with nothing but, well, nothing in my packs of A&G. Its definitely not a fun set for me to collect. As for the card shops prices, seven bucks is steep. His boxes are $120. Too much? Yes. In his defense though, he is the only shop around, and his prices on things that aren't hot (ie; anything without Strasburg) are always great. I fully understand and get behind him raising prices on hot products. If the fools want to speculate and shell out tons just to maybe pull a card they may never see in their lives, then so be it. While it may hurt the casual buyers, like myself, I would be more than willing to possibly collect some more when this set is forgotten and the next one is on fire. Prices will go down, and I'm more than willing to wait. This is a perfect reason as to why prices are as they are: Right here. Anyone willing to shell out that much for that card deserves to be taken advantage of. Many dealers are opening up those hobby factory sets and finding yet ANOTHER parallel set from Topps, this time in the form of red bordered numbered to 299 cards. Not a horrible idea and they do look nice (I'm in the process of finding a Vernon), but I wouldn't be opening up factory set after factory set chasing Strasburgs. Silliness. I'm glad that Topps is seemingly seeing a raise in interest in their products, as its good for the hobby as a whole. I just don't like seeing it in the form of overinflated prices and underwhelming product.
Topps, good old Topps. I finished sorting out the monster that is the 1993 set and found that it is missing 19 cards. 19! All of them come from series 2 (397-825). Weirdness for saying its a complete set. The same thing with the 2003 set. I was missing card 130, Gary Sheffield. 2005 was missing card 368. All of these sets can be completed online, via eBay sellers, selling various cards from various years. Pick 30 cards from 1995! Finish your set! Then they list off the numbers they have. Actually very handy for set builders like myself (of course I wouldn't NEED to build if Topps just didn't screw up). I can't gripe I suppose seeing as how I got them so cheap, but they were new, so its definitely on Topps' end of the deal here. I haven't found many missing cards, just those three sets, but then again I haven't finished every year that I have gotten so far. I wonder if they fixed this issue for the 2010 sets...
Topps 2000 is another set I didn't see until I came back into collecting. While not a bad design, there isn't much more I can say beyond that. Its not boring but nothing makes it stand out as a set that screams "collect me!" (like 1987, that wood grain siding, pure awesomeness). It is a small set at 478 cards, and that usually means that its less daunting to collect than some of Topps' 792 card counterparts. Unless you buy the set outright of course, like myself. Then again, its also ten years later. Anyway, they gave McGwire card #1, and it looks like he just pounded a ball to the moon with one of his 'roid runs'. I'm not going to judge him though. He did what he did. Who didn't in baseball around then? I won't call him the "Home Run King" though, nor will I Bonds. That man to the right of Mr. McGwire is the true home run king. Yes, its come under some suspicion that Hank may have used some substances in his day, such as uppers or whatever. He was still the same size and didn't turn his arms into tree trunks to hit home runs. That was all him. Oh, that shiny Hank above came in the set as well, a sweet bonus. Apparently they did a chrome reprint of every Hank card, here we have the 1965. Overall this set is another for the collection, and it'll be another fun one to go through.
The Troll sent over another trade package that he said that he owed me. Inside were some assorted packs and Blue Jays cards. There was also this: He had won it on eBay and sent it on over. Its great, 1 of 1s are always cool, and for my favorite player its a sure thing. It also presents me with the question I've had about printing plates since I saw the 2010 Topps ones on eBay. If a plate is printing a card, it prints it in a mirrored version of the card, so when it prints 'backward', its really printing right, like the card above. If I held it in a mirror, I could read the signature. Unlike this card, however, are the 2010 Topps plates, which aren't mirrored, and seem like they are just a metal version of the card itself, but only using one color. I have found this to be very odd. Maybe Topps switched up their printing process to allow non-mirrored plated to print non-mirrored cards. Doubtful, what magic do you possess, Topps? Seems like the old 'bait and switch' to me... I may not have explained this properly, and I do apologize for the wording. I just have some trouble putting all the right words down here to describe what I'm thinking sometimes. Anywho, a big thanks to the Troll again for the great addition to my Vernon collection!
I am mainly a Topps collector. I have many cards from other sets, years, etc. We all do. None of us have exclusively one company's cards. Its not as much fun that way. Fleer has had a long history in not only the card business, but in the candy business as well. from their humble beginnings in 1959 with their Ted Williams set, and vintage players the following two years, to their first annual set in 1981. Fleer ran into some financial trouble and was bought by Upper Deck in (I think) 2005. 2007 was their final year as a baseball card manufacturer, and now with Upper Deck out of the picture, it seems very unlikely that we will ever see the likes of Fleer again in the card biz. I feel the 2007 set, besides being a very nice issue, has some great historical element in our hobby, as much as 2010 Upper Deck does. The final issues of two of the 'big four' seem significant as a point of where the hobby changed forever. Never again were we to see Fleer packs sitting next to the Topps and Upper Deck, giving us a nice healthy choice of product to sift through. Yes it all became too much eventually, but the choice was certainly there. I ended up with some of this set from some random packs I picked up at Target one day. I liked them from the start. It felt just like the Fleer of old, back when I collected as a kid. Except my Fleers were bright yellow (1991 for those who chose to forget :) ). Nice set, and once I saw that there was a factory set, I knew I wanted it. Much like I would want a factory issue of 2010 Upper Deck (that we will never see), for that significance I explained above. Its sad to see a respected company leave the hobby, but sometimes shelves run out of room for the glut of product, or the collectors leave due to their own personal reasons. Whatever the reason may be, we can still look back at the previous years and see how they fared, what they did right, wrong and everything inbetween, and just remember then fun of collecting.
The next factory set I have obtained and busted open is 2003 Topps. I really like this set, nice design, sooooo much blue, and a great player selection and subsets. Some decent rookies this year including Cole Hamels and Kevin Youkilis. The rookies have a huge '1st Year' foil stamp on the card front. So much blue. Everywhere. They gave Alex Rodriguez card #1 back when he was a Ranger. Before the 33 million a year. Good photography as per usual, Topps really started to notch up the photo quality around 1992-1993. Overall a really nice set, and I'm glad to have added it to my (quickly) growing factory set collection.
I recently won the 10 card Sailors of the Seven Seas set on eBay, and now have the one I got out of my box (number SSS10, Juan Ponce de Leon) is for trade. This is the insert set I liked best from Ginters and I don't really plan on buying much (if any) more. Its an alright product, just not something I plan on collecting seriously. I do have many base cards, and a couple of short prints, so if you have a want list, send it my way and I'll see what I have and we can work on a trade from there.
CARD SHOW SATURDAY!! Well, I was excited anyway. Here brings us to another saturday card show. This time I had very few goals in mind. Those being: the final couple of cards I need for the 2010 Topps inserts, and Blue Jays (what else is new?). While I did find some great Jays cards in some ten cent bins, along with some vintage 1956-1960s Topps in a 50 cent bin, I came up empty handed on the 2010 front. But thats OK, because what came in place of it is much MUCH nicer. You guys know these fellows right? We all do. My wallet did too. Neither of these are perfect, but we all know thats not what I look for in vintage. The Spahn was marked at $20, and the Aparicio at $2. I paid $20. The Luis was a "freebie". Not too shabby I'd say for two hall of famers. The Spahn coupled with the Robinson from 1954 has sparked my want to try and complete the 1954 Topps set. According to Beckett there are 16 cards that book at over $100, this knocks out two. I picked up around 24 more from that year, bringing my total to 28 (out of 250). The big two from the set are the Hank Aaron rookie and the Ernie Banks rookie. The bookend Ted Williams (numbered #1 and #250) will also be a challenge. It will take a long time, but I think it'll be worth it in the long run, and alot of fun. then again, maybe I'm just crazy.
I never saw 1999 Topps until a few months ago. Its an alright layout. Kinda rounded design on the fronts and backs. A lot of gold, and overall kinda....boring. Not one of my favorite Topps issues, but its small (462 cards, one of Topps' smallest) and it has a great player selection. Topps pulled one of its first "Mantles" with this year. What I mean by that is they made 70 variations of card 220 (one for each HR McGwire hit in the '98 season) and 66 variations for card 461 (one for each of Sosa's HRs). I only need one of each, no way in hell I need 70 cards numbered 220. Apparently the factory sets come with one of each random Sosa and McGwire. I got 19 and 2, respectively. They gave Roger Clemens card #1. He was a Blue Jay that year, always good to have one in front. In conclusion this set is solid player-wise, its just a little bland design-wise but I do enjoy having it in my collection along with the others.
I've decided to collect Topps factory sets, as I stated yesterday. It allows me to catch up on what I missed in the past 15 years in baseball carding. Two of these such sets came in mail today, 1993 and 1999. Lets begin shall we? I'll bet most people know this year as either; A: the set that had Derek Jeter's rookie card in it, or B: the first set that included the then new Rockies and Marlins. This set is HUGE. 825 cards in this monster, which I believe is Topps' biggest ever. They were at that 792 mark forever and then this comes out and breaks that up (they went back to the 792 for 1994). Its a nice, clean design overall, very 90's looking. Second year for Topps Gold, Black Gold was also here too. The cardstock is different too from the previous years. Its now glossy (kinda) and feels less...cheap than 1992 and before. Maybe it was Topps' delayed response to Upper deck's quality (which for 1993 was a VERY high quality release, as most of you all know). I did collect 93 Topps when I was younger, and I thought it was cool when I fist saw the Rockies and Marlins cards, especially the horizontal split cards which featured two players. Almost junk wax but just at the end of the over-production era. I'll be conducting a review of the 1999 set once I go through it. I have about 7 cards from this particular year and know very little about it, so it'll be an adventure.
Here's a question. Is it wrong of me to buy up Topps factory sets just to open them up and go through them? Now I've missed a lot of years here. I have various Topps cards from 1952 to now. I have obtained them all within the past 5 months or so. I collected when I was younger and I had my vast collection of 1987-1991 Topps and boatloads of 1987-1990 Donruss, some 1991 Upper Deck, plenty of Score, etc. You get the picture. While I enjoy collecting the sets, opening packs, hunting for single cards I need, it all gets expensive. Quickly. Especially when Topps collation is tricky. I find myself buying packs just to get a final couple of cards I need for my third full set. Its that compulsion thing. Gnaws at me, heh. So I finished 2010, I'm now 1 card short of 1987 (which is coming), and I picked up cheap on the 'Bay 1988 and 1989. I bought 1997 (apparently a tough year to find) in my local card shop, just sitting on a table, begging to be bought. Also coming from eBay are about 7 more various years. It is essentially just to play 'catch-up' on all those years I missed in the years I didn't collect. Yes they get opened and yes, they get put into numerical order. I enjoy it (for some reason), and its does do good catching me up on what I missed out on. I do have a rule though; I only grab them if they are sealed and if I can get them for under $20-25 including shipping. Which is tough because they are heavy, and usually run anywhere from $7.50 to $11.00 for shipping. Regardless, I think this is the best way for me to get the full set and see what I missed.
Topps LOVES to recycle images on their cards. I know it. You know it. As one blogger had pointed out in a review of 2010 Ginter's, the Albert Pujols is a recycled image from the 2009 base set. Weird. No new shots of Mr. Pujols lying around? Well here are a couple that caught my eye. Both retro style sets, AND from the same year (2006). No Topps, I did not notice. You have won again.
The next two however, I found a bit more weird. Both 2010 issues, but obviously one is Topps and the other Upper Deck. A slight difference in the shot, with the UD more than likely being taken first. Topps looks a little washed out in comparison, where as the UD is probably closer to how "real life" looked when it was taken. No complaints really, a good shot on both cards. Thats something I could never fault Upper Deck for is their photography. Always quality shots in every set and usually a hefty number of them to boot. I picked up more 2010 UD a few days ago, and I'm this close [____] to wanting to put that final UD issue together. Maybe sometime soon.
I'll file this in the 'WTF?' department. Now, I'm all for Eddie Murray. He had an incredible career, a Hall of Famer for sure, even got himself that ring in '83. On Topps' part though, they claim that there were 3000 of each short print produced...Then why do I have three of Eddie??? I would imagine that a card that is limited to 3000 would be a tad harder to pull. I'm glad its a short print, and I'd take a duplicate short print over no short print, but I would definitely prefer one I didn't have. As I have stated before, I do hate short prints, but ONLY when they are part of the checklist. These legend short prints are not. Therefore in my book they are all good. I remember the first one I got out of series 1. It was #300, Ryne Sandberg. I was still fresh faced in collecting again, so I just figured it was part of the set. Then I got the Yount, and thought the same thing. Until I got the real number 300 in the set. Then I did a little reading and found that my two legends were indeed special. Again, I am glad I have the Eddies but I would trade them for a short print I don't have. If you are interested and have a short print to trade it for, let me know and we'll work something out.
I have a love/hate feeling towards Ginters as a whole. While I'm a big fan of the retro themed sets (this is about as retro as it gets) and I love mini cards, I can't stand short printed cards on the checklist. Makes for infuriating set building. Anywho, the box was in my house for all of 5 minutes before it was torn up. Here is what I got: The red bordered relics are kind of neat, and a little weird that the pieces of the relic move around if you want them to. In the middle is the previously mentioned rip card. I'm split on what to do with it, I got 8 responses yesterday, 4 for ripping, 4 for not. If I don't rip it, it has to leave my house. I'll be too tempted otherwise. On the other hand, I've never ripped one before, and it is very unlikely that I will ever have the chance to again as I don't buy much A&G. The Monsters and Lords sets are kind of neat. The Celestial stars are a little weird, but they are a mini. This set is great, I think if I were to collect any subset from this year, it would be these. If anyone has some for trade, let me know. Here is the N43, its ARod, I know, lucky me. Along with the three black border minis I got. I won't even bother showing the short prints, as they are just regular cards. I did get two short print minis (regular backs), 3 of the National Animals, and one wordsmith (Confucius). I may pick up another box, but I haven't fully decided yet.
Oh and if someone gets the Vernon Wells short print, I'll gladly trade for it.
Just a short post here, I've got a box of Ginter to bust open and it needs to happen. Right now. I received a trade package from Shellie over at the middle child, and as per my trades thus far, it had many Blue Jays and some Topps golds, and even some Opening Day blues. Definitely some good stuff, I needed about 97% of the cards she sent over, which is always good in a 'I'll take any Jays you have' type of trade. A big thanks to Shellie, your cards should arrive very soon (if not already). I'll be posting the results of the Ginter box tomorrow. Stay tuned.
My internet is on the fritz, so I'll be brief. I received a trade package in the mail today from Colbey over at CardboardCollections. We had been going back and forth playing email tag for a little while now. I participated in his group break, and we waited until that was finished up. I kept getting more series 2 and Opening Days he needed so I wanted to get as many cards over to him in one shot. He found a TON of Jays stuff I needed (many Upper Deck were obtained), and even finished my 2010 Topps Opening Day set with card 127, Scott Kazmir. He also sent over some 2010 golds, some blue Opening Days, a couple of Target retros and the series 2 Nolan Ryan short print, which shows him throwing a football. Amusing. About it for now, a big thanks to Colbey for the goods, and I hope the box I sent has much you need inside.
HEATWAAAAAAAAAVE!! Yes, it is dreadfully hot around here, and everybody knows that heat and cardboard don't mix. Thankfully we have air conditioners. So speaking of heat, whats up with these Red Hot Rookies? Why are they so slow to release the lists? What are they waiting for? Anyway, I have only redeemed one of these (one of the #2s) and it says that it should be delivered two days before Christmas. Thats a long time, but it is like getting a nice, shiny gift from Topps. I'm not sure what I am going to do with the rest of them. Maybe see who gets designated to which number, and making my choice then. Not sure. I'm sure Strasburg will be #10 so Topps can make the speculators froth at the mouth that much longer. Lets wait and see where these take us in the coming months.
Alright, so I've been doing this for a month now, and have been collecting again since around March. It all started with a pack of 2010 Topps series 1. From then on I was hooked, something new to distract me and enjoy. So whats the status? How did I do? Well, I sure have complained alot about Topps. Truth is I have always leaned toward them as my favorite company to collect, even as a kid. While I do like to see them as the survivor of the Baseball Card Wars, I do still miss Upper Deck, and some of the competition. Competition breeds creativity, a drive to be better than the rest. I may have complained a fair amount, but there are many aspects of the hobby that I do enjoy. I enjoy the basic elements of the hobby, sorting cards, collecting my favorite team and players, making sets, etc. I also enjoy talking about it, be it online here in this arena, or at my local card shop (Ken's Cards in Berlin, he's a great guy). One thing that I enjoy possibly the most is trading. I have met so many great collectors on these blogs that it really makes all of this so much more fun. I can't thank you guys enough for making me part of the community and helping me collect the Jays stuff and complete sets and such. I'm always down for a good trade and I really like helping people complete sets. A month may not be a long time, but I have posted each day since I started (even if I had to stretch to write about something) and I plan on continuing that trend in the near future. Again, a huge thanks to everyone out there in inner-netland, with many more trades to come!
Here are some more reasons why I enjoy the hobby so much: Vernon is my favorite player to collect, and having an auto/relic is just great. The Overbay Sweet Spot is one of my favorite cards in my collection (it did not scan properly due to it being as thick as a full pack of cards). Key was always a favorite as a kid, and I'm thrilled to own a piece of his jersey. The quad relic I just HAD to have, thats the great thing about being a Jays collector around here, seemingly no one follows them so I get stuff on the cheap!
So way back in the late 80's/early 90's there used to be a sign on random telephone poles about town that stated "Southington Connecticut, the home of Rob Dibble!". Me and baseball card collecting friend though this was the coolest thing ever (we were 10 to 12 years old mind you), being big baseball fans that we were. Everyone knows Rob as the fireballer with the temper, Rob did pretty well during his stint with the Reds in the 90's. Since those days have come and gone, there have been two other Southington residents to make it to the big leagues. Chris Denorfia (billed from Bristol, the home of ESPN on the back, but his home is Southington), played for the Reds during the 2005 and 2006 seasons and the A's in 2008 and 2009. He is currently with the Padres in the Triple A affiliate Portland Beavers. Carl Pavano has played for many teams in his tenure in the major leagues and right now is pitching for the Minnesota Twins. He even got himself a fancy little World Series ring with the 2003 Florida Marlins. I had a teacher in high school that mentioned that she had him as a student. All three of these men went to Southington High School at one point or another (along with myself), and while I've never met any of them personally, I still think its pretty cool.
Happy 4th of July everybody! Be sure to celebrate the birth of your country by blowing up a small part of it! I hope everyone has a good one with some good food, friends, family and fireworks! (and maybe some baseball)
Alright, last night in a late night rant about Topps' slacking off this year, I forgot to mention a few things. Series 1 was not without its faults. Incorrect colors on certain players (45 David Hernandez, 131 Dustin Richardson and 196 Ian Desmond to name a few), a player with the incorrect position (68 Brandon Inge listed on front as a pitcher, but really a 3rd baseman). At least everything was there. I'll explain. There are 30 MLB teams, and each team got a card in series 1, 15 told the 'franchise history' (cards that I am a big fan of) and the other 15 had the team name on the front and some info on the back (2009 record, managers name, day/night win/loss record, etc). Now, one would expect that this trend would follow in series 2, and it did. For the most part. While there are 30 team cards in series 2, only 29 teams are represented. The 15 that did not get the 'franchise history' in series 1, did so in series 2. The other 15 on the other hand were 14 of the other team cards, and another Texas Rangers card. This card was already in series 1 but it seems they corrected some info on the back. What they neglected to correct was giving the Tampa Bay Rays their card. No Rays team card. Smooth move Topps. Even the checklists are wonky in series 2. Besides being almost impossible to read on the card fronts, they are out of order. Series 1 checklists went 27, 204, 237, 269, 302 for checklists 1-5. Series 2 checklists 1-5 are numbered like this: 350, 543, 637, 636, 510. ??? Seriously? Haven't checklists gone in numerical order since the dawn of time? Was Topps on vacation while planning series 2 and they had their grandparents come in and finish the work? Again, all minor gripes but they all add up to.........laziness. Really friggin lazy. Oh, and as one fellow blogger pointed out in last nights post, the damaged cards. I've gotten at least 20 damaged cards so far from this set, thats more than double what I got out of series 1, and I bought WAY more of that. Unaccepable, how do all these error happen? Its not like they have to rush the product out to market to beat Donruss or Fleer. Makes some checks and double checks of the work to make sure things are correct the first time, its not difficult or all that time consuming. I know they love Mr. Strasburg and all, but they shouldn't let it cloud their judgment and ability to make quality ball cards. They have withstood this many decades for a reason, now isn't the time to start throwing it all away just because there is no competition.
Topps....oh Topps. You are the only baseball card maker left. We all know this. Why would you go and do this to your product? Your FLAGSHIP product? The annual release we have seen since 1952!! Come on guys, get with the damn program. What the fuss is all about are my gripes with Series 2. I really liked series 1. It was enough to get me hooked back into collecting as a full time hobby. I anticipated series 2, like the rest of you. And was kinda let down. It feels sloppy. Lazy even. Examples: the over EXCESSIVE use of silver foil in the names. I really liked how in series 1 the names were outlined in foil. Nice touch. For series 2, they cranked the machines to overload, so all the names look funny and have a thinner black name area where series 1 has, you know, readable names? Try reading Jarrod Saltalamacchia's name. Or any of the checklists fronts for that matter. Why is the text so damn small?? Saltalamacchia's name too small? Make him a horizontal card. There, long name issue fixed, you have all the room in the world now. Oh wait, the checklists were horizontal too, and they STILL messed those up. Series 1 was perfect they way it was, why mess with it? The only thing I can hope for is a fix in the Update set (or series 3 as it should be called), going back to how series 1 looked. Man, I hope so. Topps shouldn't be getting lazy just because they are the only game in town, thats just bad business. Minor gripes, maybe its just me, but I'm all for uniformity, and uniformity this ain't.
MAIL DAY!! So I received two trade packages in the mail today, both of them filled with baseball greatness. The first came from Mike over at BA Benny's Baseball Card Buffet. It was stuffed full of Jays, some 2010 Topps golds, Topps Chromes, Heritages and other great cards. The second was from Larry over at Emerald City Diamond Gems. His box was FILLED with various Blue Jays cards, I opened it and a mountain of cards fell out. TONS of earlier Jays I needed, some newer ones as well, and with very few duplicates (out of stuff I already had). I'm too lazy to scan today, but believe me when I say that I am MORE than happy with these two trades, thanks a TON guys (Larry your package is on its way!).