Tuesday, August 14, 2012

the long and winding road.

I'm not even sure where to begin with this post.

I suppose it doesn't have a beginning at all, giving that it was inevitable. I have a bad habit of cycling through hobbies. I get into something for a couple months at a time, then something else comes along and takes it place, only to leave the preceding hobby in the dust. At least for the time being.

As much as I hate to say or admit it, I think the time has come for this one. I haven't bought much of anything baseball card related, nor even looked online for anything either. It's not to say I've given it up really, I guess it's just taken a back seat to everything else. But rather than pretend that it'll return any time soon I'd rather end it on a positive note, than have it hang in limbo. Nothing has really taken baseball cards place, I just seemed to have lost interest in collecting.

So it's official; I'm hanging up my cleats.

From the highs:

-an absolutely wonderful community and atmosphere in the blog-o-sphere
-the great trades
-the two years of loyal readers and commenters
-too much to name here, it's all been such a great experience and I'm really glad to have been a part of it

To the lows:

-I can't say there were too many lows, if any at all. It's been such a friendly and positive experience that I have zero lows that I can share. I almost hate to end things but like I said, I'd rather have a definitive end than have the blog left in limbo and uncertainty.

I have a few trade packages to send out and some other packages as well. If I put anything aside for you in the past few weeks and we haven't spoken about a trade, you'll see the cards soon enough. No need to send anything back in return, just take it as a 'thanks' for the support, the great trades and the great reads over these past two years.

See? I even had a two year mark on the blog and I didn't even mention it. That's what was the deciding factor to do this. Never mind the scant three posts I've had in the past two months.

My collection will shrink but not vanish. I still treasure a lot of the cards I've obtained and will keep them for years to come. Heck, maybe I'll still finish off that T-206 page someday.

I'm rambling, so I'll finish up here. I may pop on to read a few things here and there because the posts you guys write are still excellent but there won't be anything new from me. All in all it's been a wonderful two years and I think this sums it up nicely:

And in the end, the love you take
is equal to the love you make

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

gone platinum

So Bowman Platinum dropped today. Well, for some lucky retail stores, it was yesterday.

One of those lucky stores was my hometown Target. While on a small grocery run, I stopped by the card aisle and lo and behold they had blasters of the stuff:

Yeah, that.

Four cards per pack is a little light, equalling just 32 cards for $20. The ratio just screams unfair but it is a slightly higher end product than regular Bowman.

Well, I'm too lazy to actually scan regular cards but I'm sure someone up here will. I can say that I don't like the design as much as I did last year but it's not horrible.

My blaster (maybe the 5th or eight packs) did contain this:

Yep, a prospect auto of a guy I never heard of. That never happens in Bowman, so I was a little shocked.

Anyway, I checked eBay to see if he was selling and there was only one other of his cards up and it was ending in 2+ hours (and at $14.50 with 10 bids). I listed it anyway, with a buy it now of $25 (with free shipping!) and went off to eat dinner.

After eating I decided to check on the activity of that first auction and I noticed mine had sold within five minutes of me posting it. Not too shabby seeing as how even after fees and shipping it still payed for the blaster. The other one ended at $15.50. So either way, I win.

See? Bowman isn't all that bad...

(kidding, mostly)

Friday, July 13, 2012

ginter is a bust

I picked up a box of Ginter yesterday. I hadn't really planned on it but then I remembered I busted a box in '10 and '11, so I felt a little more obligated to grab one. Ok, so I didn't need to but the boxes I usually grab throughout the year are series 1, 2 and Update and Ginter. Although this year I did not pick up a series 2 box.

Anyway. The box was pretty run of the mill, nothing spectacular. I did manage to get most of the base cards I wanted, minus the Griffey and Aaron. I do still need a few Jays too although I did manage the Lowrie rookie plus a Harper rookie, so thats good.

Here are the hits:
The Young boys, oddly enough. Standard single color relics from Ginter

Plus a silk card of Brandon Phillips, numbered 02/10. I suppose this counts as my third hit even though it's not technically one. Oh well, thats Topps for you.

I'm not chasing a set, inserts or otherwise, so I have some cards for trade.

Monday, July 2, 2012

random pack break

While in Target yesterday, I perused the card aisle as usual.

Often times I'll check out the discounted packs and usually come up short but not this time.

Among the many packs of Twilight, Justin Bieber and various assorted 'dog tags' packs, I came across this:
Yep. A single random pack of 2007 Bowman Heritage. Quite odd. Where was this hiding?

Let's see what we got:
Ivan here is the only superstar of the pack. He had quite a career and I definitely see Cooperstown calling him.

Brandon Webb, a Travis Buck (looking very happy) rookie and Felipe Lopez.

Here are the two required prospects and I don't believe I've heard from either of them again. It is Bowman so I have to expect some no name players.

My shiny and somewhat thicker parallel, Chase Wright. Dunno if he went anywhere either although I feel I do know the name.

But the real highlight of the pack comes here:
A black bordered Nick Markakis. He's a young talent on a quite good Orioles team this year. This card is numbered 16/52 and apparently is a 1:97 packs pull. Not too shabby.

Take a look through the discount packs next time you're at Target, you never know what you'll find.

Friday, June 22, 2012

what are the odds?

All Topps baseball cards from 1995 onward have the given odds on the back of the packs.

Since buying packs of baseball cards are almost essentially gambling, I suppose it's nice of them to give you your odds of 'winning' your prize. I'll be using the odds from 2012 Topps series 2 for this here post.

Introduced in series 1 back earlier in the year, series 2 had these inserts as well:

The Golden Moments inserts. Drab to look at due to them being made especially for the autos and relics. These fall 1 in 4 packs.

Speaking of the autos, the Golden Moments autos will run about 1 in 335 packs. Those are tough odds but usually your auto from series 2 comes on one of these cards more often than not. Chad here is from series 1 but I had no other auto to show from this insert set.

Or do I? this MONSTER hit came from a pack at the local shop last night. I was quite stunned to find such greatness in a basic flagship Topps pack. This is numbered 08/10 and the foil parallels fall at a whopping 1 in 11,800 packs. Now those are some tough odds and have to be the absolute biggest pull odds-wise for me. Garvey isn't in the Hall but perhaps he should be.

Normally when buying packs you don't beat the odds but I think it's safe to say even after buying 8 packs, I demolished them.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

when you're wrong, you're wrong

I can admit it. I was wrong.

After watching the Yankees take on the Nationals this weekend, I have to say that I was wrong about my judgement of Bryce Harper. The kid has it. He plays like a big leaguer and does what he does pretty well. Then him calling that reporter a clown for his asinine question? Even better.

I think what happened was the Topps Hype Machine (TM) made me entirely sick of the kid before he even stepped onto a Major League field. Topps is adamant about shoving him down our collective throats because it's what the collectors want. Well the ones who sell on eBay do anyway, cause they're the ones making bank off him.

Anywho. I do wish him the best of luck in his career and will try to watch him on chances I get, which will be few due to Nationals games not being televised around here unless they are playing the Mets or the Yankees.

Friday, June 8, 2012

come on topps...

I found me some series 2 packs at Walmart today.

I didn't get anything of note except while shuffling through the cards, I noticed a familiar name:

No, you're not looking at Wade Davis' card from series 1 (card 48) on the left and his team set issue on the right.

The card on the right is from series 2, card number 578. Meaning Topps must really be thinking high on his performance to put him into both series 1 and 2.

Then there's an issue with card 395, being given to both Rod Barajas and Jonathan Lucroy. Except that some of the Barajas cards are numbered correctly, at card 391.

What is going on? Really, how do these errors happen in this day and age? The computers do all the work!

Sigh, Topps at it again...

Also, Jafronius, if you catch this, you sent me a comment yesterday and I tried to reply in an email but it didn't get sent out. Please send me an email and we'll make a deal.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

diggin' the archives

I know the LAST thing you want to see is another post about 2012 Topps Archives but I figured I'd share the results of my box.

On Wednesday, I asked my local shop when he anticipated Archives to be in and he responded that they would be in after 11AM, meaning right when he opened. I was at work and as the day went on, I had pretty much talked myself out of buying a box. I did however go to Target and saw they had Archives surprisingly on the shelves. Really, it takes my local Target weeks to get new product. So I grabbed a blaster.

What I found was that I really enjoy the set as a whole. Fun inserts, nice base cards, etc. I really like that they have no gloss or foil on any of the base cards, as it isn't needed. I suppose one complaint could be that they should have used a Heritage stock, to give it that old time feel but we know Topps has been taking the cheap route to produce things lately (see: Gypsy Queen). I know anyone who prominently bought Topps Baseball in the 80's is sick of that wrapper but I really like the nod to the era with the pack design.

After busting the blaster, I decided to head down to the local shop and grab a box. I won't bother with the base cards but here are the two autos:
Funny thing was that these came out of my first (Buhner) and third (Luzinski) packs.

Out of the fourth pack, this fell out:
Hey a plate! Not too shabby at 1:777 odds. I have already sold the plate on eBay, in fact I posted it that night.

I didn't stop there though. I ended up grabbing 12 more packs (half a hobby box) and ended up with these:
Both the autos from the box. Good names too.

Plus this:
A relic! Relics fall 1:120 and couldn't have been of a more appropriate player for me to pull.

Overall I really like the set and will be collecting it. All 240, so the short prints are needed. I'll have a list up soon and I have plenty of doubles for anyone looking to complete their set.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

where i've been, where i'm going

First off, a huge welcome back to BA Benny! We haven't heard from Mike since September and it's great to see him back. If you're a newer blog and haven't checked him out yet, go ahead and do it. He's a great trader and blogger so give him a try. Welcome back to the insanity friend!

Second, remember the card Napkin Doon posted, the one I traded him? Well, this is what he sent in return:
Great stuff! The Hill is even nicer in person and the '59 Doby is killer! I'm not sure if it was intentional but great going on the matching Doby/Tulo pair, they're both sweet. The Batista relic marks my third from this Pacific relic set. Wasn't this the set they found that corked Manny bat? I think it was.

Third. Where I've been.

Well, physically I've still been here. Commenting and reading your posts as usual but I've not written anything. Why not? Well, the first part of that has to do with the lack of things to say/lack of baseball cards obtained. Although I saw some 2012 Topps Archives on eBay and they look pretty cool. Can someone who bought some confirm that they have stat backs or failure backs (like Lineage)? I'd love to know. Also I picked up a few packs of this year's Bowman and I ahev to say I'm kinda impressed. I really like the white border and design overall. I'd probably collect it if it weren't, you know, Bowman.

Card-wise though I've been here:

Yep, back to my old ways. Magic has been around since 1993 and will be celebrating its 20th anniversary next year. I've played on and off since 1995 (it's been 'off' since 2005).

But Magic hasn't just provided me entertainment over the years, it's done so much more.

Back in 1995 I was in middle school. I had very few friends and was more of a loner due to my social awkwardness. One day at the local comic shop (which I ended up working at in 1999-2000) I decided to pick up a pack of Magic just to see what it was all about. At first it didn't click but then I was at that same store a different day and I got to talking about the game with a player. He donated a few cards to me and I was hooked since.

You see, Magic is a game for two or more players, you can't play it by yourself. If I wanted to play, I'd have to get out there and meet people and play with them. And I did. We spent many a summer at that shop, playing the days away, trading, getting big ten player games going. It was good times. In fact most all the friends I have I can attribute meeting through that shop and the game. The game forced me to be social, to come out of my shell if you will and it did. Sure I'm still a little awkward sometimes but I'm way better off now than I used to be. Granted that was 17 years ago but still.

So how does this translate to now? Well a friend of mine is going through a really rough period in his life right now and I had him over one day just to talk about what's been going on and such. We made our way to Target that day and I checked out the card aisle. Definitely not unusual. We both saw the new Magic set packs and decided to pick some up and since then it's been back on for both of us. It's good because its a nice distraction from reality in what he has going on and good for me because its just good to play the game again.

Does this mean I'm done with baseball card collecting? Certainly not but I have scaled back what I buy, which I wanted to do anyway. Too much just sitting around of sets I'm not collecting. I'll try Archives and will definitely be in for series 2.

That being said, do any of you play or used to play Magic? Anyone with cards laying around that you don't want, let me know and maybe we can trade for some baseball for Magic or something.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

check out

In case you haven't noticed I've completely checked out. I lost my interest in collecting for the time being, probably until series 2 comes out in early June.

I'm not sure what it is really. Maybe there is just a lot going on right now. Or I'm completely turned off by new sets. Who knows.

So I'm on a bit of a blogging hiatus.

I'm still reading, trading and the like, I just don't have much to say up here. I seem to get this way around this time of year for some odd reason, even though I should be fully focussed on baseball, seeing as how it is the beginning of the season.

I am still watching games and paying attention to the sport, I'm just burnt out on cards.

Break guys I haven't forgotten about you, I'm going to the post office tomorrow. I've been under the weather all week and It's been slowing me down on all fronts (I even left work early last week, three days towards the end of the week).

I haven't bought anything since my grossly disappointing Gypsy Queen blaster when that came out, with the exception of one card.

Behold, my 100 year old boner:

I won it on a whim, as I searched for '1909 t206' on eBay and ending shortly was a guy who had a bunch of Hall of Famers and significant players from the T206 set. Merkle was ending in about 25 minutes so I threw in a bid and I won. It came today. Great card of a very interesting player from baseball's historic past.

I'll be back, hopefully sooner than later but for now, I just need some time to regroup.

Monday, April 30, 2012

break, wrap-up

A big thanks to you three who participated in the break and I hope you all had some fun.

I'll be sending these cards out to you within the week but first I need an email from each one of you, with your address and top two favorite teams. I will be adding in the bonus stuff based on these teams. Brad you sent an email with your address but I need teams and Derek, I know you're a Braves guy but I need an address. Mike I need both teams and address.

I'll make it good stuff too. Some old stuff, some new stuff, some shiny stuff. You know.

Maybe I can get the want to get some regular posting done because I sure don't have it right now. There is pretty much nothing interesting me in the card world right now. The 1971 set has come to a screeching halt. I'm buying zero new product (Gypsy Queen was a total letdown if you ask me) and pretty much won't be until Series 2 hits. No I don't care that Harper is in it but I also don't mind that Topps is doing it either. Harper can sure drive a product to sell and thats what Topps does, sell cards. Sell cards to make money. It's the simplest explanation that people seem to forget.

Many collectors flock to Harper's stuff and Topps knows this so they cater to it. We all saw it in 2010 when Strasburg was in everything. Should we not buy a product because either of these two are in them and Topps is pushing them both really hard? No. Buy the stuff. If you get something of theirs, sell it! By all means sell it. If someone wants to pay $100 for your Harper 661 SP from series 2, let them! It certainly won't be worth more than that EVEr so do it while you can.

Anyway, enough rant. Maybe I'll drop my GQ disappointment post soon. Who knows.

Anyway, thanks you three and look for your cards soon!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

break rds 19-20-21

Final rounds guys. I'll do a wrap up post on Monday.




Saturday, April 28, 2012

break rds 16-17-18

Everything in these rounds are numbered




Friday, April 27, 2012

break rds 13-14-15

Some mixed stuff here. Lucky 13 is that bonus round I talked about: