Wednesday, December 28, 2011

what can a buck fifty-nine get you?

I've been dabbling in football cards as of late. With nothing left to grab in the baseball season, football has caught my attention slightly. All these new products on the local shops shelf, with stories of big pulls of guys I've heard of only in passing. I am a casual football fan, to say the least. I used to follow it a lot more in my youth. I collected baseball cards, then "graduated" to football card collecting in the mid-90's. That was around the time the sport itself grew in popularity. The baseball strike lured people to a more (seemingly) stable sport in football and it's popularity exploded. So did its trading card market. I think there may have been as many football sets released as there were baseball. Which is absolutely bananas because when looking back at the mid to late 90's card sets there were a literal ton of sets released yearly. Thats not even including basketball, hockey and non-sports releases.

Anyway. So football has my attention and I picked up some packs at the local shop. Not much, just a sampler of whats out there. Lots of Panini (more on that in a second). I worked the shop on Monday, all day, as the owner is on vacation and he has three of us watching over the store for him. I have Monday and Saturday. Monday I knew would be dead (it was) because he isn't normally open Mondays but it was the day after Christmas so there was a possibility of people. Well, like the many many baseball card boxes I went through weeks ago, I did the football this time. I missed a lot. It was almost like when I started baseball again in early 2010, I saw so much I hadn't seen before.

I ran into a set that seemed familiar but in a different way.

We know the 2008 Upper Deck Baseball Heroes right? Well, they did it for football too:

Same concept. A good set too, I'm a fan of the baseball version so this seemed appropriate. While rummaging through those boxes I came across a few of these, this card in particular caught my attention:

One of the greatest (if not THE greatest) heavy metal guitarists ever, Tony Iommi. Founding and only constant member of Black Sabbath, one of my favorite classic rock/hard rock/metal bands.

I was in Target today and I strolled over to the card aisle and found a lone pack these in their $1.59 a pack bin so I grabbed it. The scanned pack above is the pack and Tony came out of it. I was pretty psyched because it was a card I really wanted but then after Tony, was this:

Another Tony! I thought the pack felt thick but I knew that the base cards were a little thicker than basic Topps so I chalked it up to that. Nope. A relic and no slouch either. I'm no Dallas fan but I know Romo and how good he is.

A great find for a buck fifty-nine. A sweet relic and a card for the PC. Awesome.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

merry christmas!

Hope everyone has a fun and safe holiday!

Friday, December 23, 2011

blog bat around

I may be late but I suppose I'll give it a go for the blog bat around.

There wasn't too much I was disappointed in set-wise this year. Everything had its ups and downs, which is par the course for Topps every year. I'll start with what forced a change in my collecting and buying habits.


I bought way too much Bowman this year. Getting caught up in the Bryce Harper lottery really took a toll on my sensibility. I shouldn't have but I did. I bought too much, put together a set and sold it for way too cheap. Never again. Bowman will be sampled from here on out and won't be bought in mass quantity again.


Another set I bought way too much of. I attempted the set but the short prints really got to me. 75 of them is a tough assembly. I think from now on 50 short prints is my cut-off (stuff like Ginter, Gypsy Queen, etc.). Heritage is a solid release every year and I won't say that it isn't, it's just too much for me to want to collect and have to chase down. Another set that I'll be buying limited amounts of.

Now that thats out of the way, lets get on with what I really liked from 2011.


Topps had a very solid design this year and I really liked the look even more than 2010 (which I'm a big fan of). Most of the card being used for the picture, nothing being obstructed by logos (2010) or a huge top and bottom name plate (2007 and 2008). The parallels were fun and at least a little different than last year. The inserts were where Topps kind of faltered this year but there were at least a few that were good.

Diamond Stars:

Case in point. I loved the Diamond Stars insert set. It has 90's written all over it. In an age where inserts are one a pack, as opposed to one a box in the 90's, this looks like something I would have been pulling out of a pack of 94 Fleer. Maybe I'm wrong, I don't know but I think its 90's all the way in terms of design.

Kimball Champions:

Now here we go. Before series 1 hit, I had actually never heard of the Kimball Champions set from 1887. I would love to get an original but haven't found one cheap enough yet. The set from this year spanned all three flagship issues, meaning I had something to collect all year round. I love the look of the set although I don't think they should have doubled up on some players. I'm still collecting the Update set so if you have any let me know!

Allen & Ginter:

I said before Ginter came out that I wouldn't be picking up too much of it but once it dropped I quickly got sucked into Ginter madness. I seem to be in the minority that really likes the design of the base set. The inserts were interesting and the minis are always fun. I did manage to complete the full 350 card set and even went as far to grab that nice binder that Topps offered up through their website. It wasn't the cheapest but the coupon from the Diamond Giveaway helped with that. The set looks great in the binder too.


This was a nice surprise this year. It definitely brought me back to my kid collecting days, when I collected Panini baseball stickers and MASK stickers (remember MASK toys? Mobile Armored Strike Kommand? They were awesome) and putting them into their respective books. Another set I haven't finished but hope to before the 2012 comes out.

That about wraps it up. Again, a good year for Topps as a whole complete with its ups and downs. Mistakes were made this year by me (namely buying too much) but will surely be corrected this year. As for Topps' mistakes well, let's just hope they learned something too.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

2011 collecting goals? did i hit them?

I know the year isn't over yet but its close enough for me to analyze. Way back in January I posted up this. Its a short list of collecting goals that I had for 2011. This post will see how I did. Lets see, shall we?

Goal 1- Finish the T206 page. This didn't happen. In fact, I regressed and ended up with fewer than I started with earlier in the year. It wasn't a waste though. They got used in a group break and I was able to give a couple collectors their first taste of 100 year old cardboard. I did procure the Christy Mathewson though, which is gigantic and one of the cornerstones of my collection, so thats a plus.

Goal 2- 2011 Topps series 1, 2 and 3. This did happen. Almost twice in fact (just need to finish Update). I complete two sets of the flagship. One to put away and one to shuffle through. I usually sort it by team so I can familiarize myself with whos who. Although guys tend to get traded even before series 1 hits but its ok.

Goal 3- 2011 Heritage. Definitely did not happen for me. I did try to complete the set but the short prints got to be too much for me. They really dried up in the trading ring here and I didn't want to have to get them at shows for a couple bucks a card or fight with people on eBay for them. I won't be chasing Heritage ever again. I'll buy it but not build it. Oh, I never got that Hank Aaron auto either. Total sadface.

One out of three. Pretty crappy if you ask me. Although I should have made a few more then maybe I would have hit more targets but what am I going to do?

Oh, I know, how about make some goals for 2012?

2012 goals:

Goal 1- Spend less on cards. I don't know how much exactly I spent but I made a lot of dumb purchases this year card related. I intend to change that this year. I spent way too much on boxes and sets that amounted to nothing. Bowman, Heritage and even though I liked and completed it, Allen & Ginter. In 2010 I spent wayyyyy too much on finishing that Opening Day set and I totally bought one blaster of OD this year and haven't looked back since. See? I can learn from my mistakes.

Goal 2- Complete flagship. I shouldn't even count this as a goal because it seems to be automatic. I did get way too much series one, less series 2 and even less Update but thats how 2010 worked too.

Goal 3- Actually finish that T206 page. Yes. I WILL do it this time around. I am currently at 8 so I only have 7 left. My absolute favorite vintage set will finally get its proper due this coming year. You'll know when it happens.

Goal 4- Finish up the 1973 set and start a new vintage set. I know I just started the 73 but I am really excited about collecting and finishing it up. I put the cards I got from the local in order and got a couple lots from eBay on the way (as of this writing) and hopefully aren't too far away from finishing off this classic issue. As for starting a new set, I've no idea which it'll be but it'll be pre-1982.

Goal 5- Finish the sets on the want lists. Yep, Chrome and Kimballs need to be finished up soon. Hopefully with your help I can put these sets to rest sooner than later.

So those are the goals I have for 2012. Hopefully I can look back about a year from now and say that I hit at least 4 of the 5. I'd like it to be all 5 but you never know what happens.

Monday, December 19, 2011

i'm a criminal

Or at least I feel like it sometimes when it comes to eBay and vintage cards.

The Cardboard Junkie posted a while back about obtaining Hank Aaron cards from his playing days. I had a few but the post definitely inspired me to grab some more. Here is what I came up with:

Ebay is a funny thing when it comes to cards. Some sell for high amounts and the next day the same card will sell for half that. A week later its back to the original price, then drops. So much fluctuation that its almost impossible to gauge a proper price on a card. Its those lows though, that you have to watch for. Case in point, the six fine Hank Aaron cards you see above. Yes, they are far from perfect but dammit, thats how I likes 'em.

Now, what did I pay for these fine pieces of cardboard? Check the price list below:

1974- $3.25
1961- $10.76
1964- $7.99
1967- $4.40
1969- $1.53!
1975- $1.99

I feel like I robbed these guys at these prices. Hank's LOWEST booking card was his final card in 1976 at $25. Obviously thats high book and mint but still. The 1969 gets the ! because it was graded a 2. I was sure to free him from his plastic prison. At a buck fifty-three I didn't care if it was practically torn in half. The lesson here? Go grab yourself some Hanks, every collector needs some vintage Hanks (he said Braves collector, I say every collector).

Sunday, December 18, 2011

goin' for it

I'm a set builder. A terrible one but a builder none the less. As it stands I have every Topps flagship issue from 1982 to 2011. Want to know how many of those I completed myself? Three. A paltry three sets I completed myself. Those being the years 1987 (due to childhood significance), 2010 and 2011 (out of convenience for being recent and buying a ton). Oh sure I've put together a few others, 2010 Chrome and Opening Day, 2011 Allen & Ginter and 2009 Topps T206 (which is my greatest victory yet, some of those short prints were tough finds) but those were merely because again, I overbought and decided to finish it up. Others I've failed at were 1954 Topps and 2011 Heritage. the 1954 just became too costly and I had to sell off most of the bigger cards (Aaron, Banks, Kaline) to get by when it got rough in the summer. The Heritage just became way too annoying with 75 short prints at the end. Like I mentioned way back while it was fresh, I really didn't want to pay $3 a card for a no name player just because he was a short print. That set got sold too, in its incomplete state. Let someone else worry about it. I won't be doing Heritage ever again.

Today though, my local shop had asked me to open up and keep watch until he got there (opened at noon, he was there by 1:30). I decided to rummage through and sort out his two vintage boxes. Being around 6000 total or so, I had my work cut out for me. Thankfully most of it was labeled and kinda sorted. Meaning I'd find chunks of 1977s then some 75s and so on. While going through all these I had a moment of clarity and thought about set collecting and how fun it is. It was then that I decided I was going to try for a new set to collect. Which one you ask? See below:

Thats right. Good old 1973 Topps. What a set. These are the top nine cards I got today along with a few other stars (Carew, Palmer, Carlton, Fingers, Garvey) and around just under 200 commons. I already had the Hank Aaron and in the above picture I got what is my first Clemente card in his playing days, his final card, sadly. Why the home run and strike out leaders? Because they "book" for $40 and $25 respectively. Crazy right? Well as far as the commons go, they are all in various conditions and I won't be too critical in that regard when collecting this set due to the age. 1973 has no significance for me as a year but as a set it has a bunch of it. Its the final year for individual series, it has great action photography even still and it has a ton of Hall of Famer and all time greats. A solid year for Topps. I did toy with the idea of collecting this set a while back but never acted on it. Now is the time while I've become a little jaded with recent releases. Plus I think it'll be a great venture into collecting a set thats awesome and not difficult to find but still does represent a small challenge to complete. If anyone has some extras, let me know and we'll work something out. I'm watching a few lots on eBay that end tonight so I hope to score some more of the commons that way.

I do plan on getting around to my take on the Blog Bat Around, so keep an eye out for that soon. Work isn't as bananas this week so I should have some time to post a little more regularly.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

still here

Over a week with no post. A new record. Maybe.

Not much different is going on here. Still working the grind, although this time its 3am to 3pm this week with just one more day left. Next week seems to be the same. It's really crunch time at work, although it always is around this time of year. Plenty of silly shirts to be had for Christmas this (and every) year. As of right now, I am typing this but as soon as its posted and done, I'll be packing up cards. I got a Rush album on (Hemispheres for those curious), cards sorted out and envelopes to fill. Yes, I've been slacking on getting the break cards out but its tough to get the will/want to drag myself to the post office after a 12 hour shift. I am tomorrow though, no ifs and or buts about it.

Seems that the new American Pie set is the buzz right now. With no real baseball set until February I suppose we have to quench that card appetite somehow. I picked up a few packs from the local shop. Got a Hendrix which is awesome. I also got the founding of Motown Records and the introduction of the Atari 2600 (I really like the music base cards). I also got a relic of Susan Lucci, you know, from All My Children? Yeah, exactly. Anywho, its a neat set and I'm pretty bummed I didn't get the UPC code card but I may dabble in a few more packs but won't go nuts on it. If I need a card fix I'll stick to picking up criminally low priced Hall of Fame vintage cards. Which you'll see quite soon.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

it's not over yet...

True, the break is over but there is still one thing left; the signed Hall of Famer baseball! I said in the initial post for the break that it would be randomed off to one of the participants of the break. It still will but I have a question. Should I random the names and post the winner here, or should I leave it a surprise and send it to the person picked and have them surprised when they get the package? Everyone who took part in the break, let me know if I should reveal the winner or not.

Other than finishing up the break, I do apologize for the lack of posts but this week is absolutely hectic. The wife is prepping for finals next week and things have picked up tremendously at work and I am working 2AM to 1PM shifts all week. Yes, there is apparently a 2 in the morning now. Reason being that we're still with one car. We would have had it back Saturday but ran into a snag at the DMV, so we have to try and get it back this week. So I needed to do more hours but had to drive her to work and pick her up when she is done, which wouldn't allow for more hours to be picked up. So my only option was to go in and leave with my co-worker and he does 2 to 1. Gotta do what I gotta do. So thats whats going on with the lack of posts (and more or less everything else around here, except sleep) but it should only be this and next week. I have been reading but haven't had the focus to do any posts. I do have some ideas so they will get posed eventually. So, uh, thats that.

Monday, December 5, 2011

threads break, final

Yes, just like last round's Gonzalez, there are two Castros. No idea how I managed to obtain two of them but there they are.

1- the dimwit- 3x auto/relic
2- kevin- castro (star)
3- cheap card collecting- castro (avg)
4- wickedortega- gonzalez
5- daddyohoho- drabek
6- stealing home- wallace
7- arpsmith- scherzer

I have everyones info and their extra cards ready. I should have these out hopefully soon. Thanks to everyone who participated and I hope it was fun!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

threads break part 7

1- stealing home- bench
2- wickedortega- team leaders
3- arpsmith- speed power
4- daddyohoho- a's
5- kevin- gonzalez (gold)
6- the dimwit- gonzalez (green)
7- cheap card collecting- reyes

Friday, December 2, 2011

threads break part 6

1- wickedortega- morrison
2- arpsmith- cueto
3- daddyohoho- byrd
4- kevin- sizemore
5- the dimwit- cashner
6- cheap card collecting- mccutchen
7- stealing home- pagan

Thursday, December 1, 2011

threads break part 5

Alright, here we go. The meat of the break. Here we have the beginning of the Triple Threads portion of the break. Single unity relics for this round. Oh and one more thing. We have eight rounds and seven participants. What I planned on doing was randomizing the final round due to everyone getting a chance to pick both first and last. As you've noticed what is happening with the order is that you are being moved down one slot in each round. Therefore, if you picked first the first round, you'll be picking seventh in the seventh round. Seems the most fair to me to randomize the last round, therefore it would be an equal chance for everyone to grab that top slot again, as opposed to a pre-determined order. Thanks for listening, now pick your card!

1- arpsmith- Posey
2- daddyohoho- rodriguez
3- kevin- ramirez
4- the dimwit- bell
5- cheap card collecting- roberts
6- stealing home- hunter
7- wickedortega- tabata

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

threads break part 4

Round four. Final round then the Threads cards start! Two Chrome autos are both refractors.

1- daddyohoho- dejesus
2- kevin- teheran
3- the dimwit- wallace
4- cheap card collecting- walker
5- stealing home- walden
6- wickedortega- gee
7- arpsmith- crain

threads break part 3

Keepin' it goin'. I have no idea how I ended up pulling two Sogards but I did.

1- kevin- bell
2- the dimwit- walden
3- cheap card collecting- sogard
4- stealing home- sogard
5- wickedortega- storen
6- arpsmith- barney
7- daddyohoho-mcgee

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

threads break part 2

Round two. Oh, just to let you know, the final four rounds will be the Threads rounds, in case you were wondering.

1- the dimwit- sleater
2- cheap card collecting- sandoval
3- stealing home- strawberry
4- wickedortega- mccutchen
5- arpsmith- morton
6- daddyohoho- league
7- kevin- de los santos

Monday, November 28, 2011

threads break part 1

Let's begin. For those of you who have not seen or participated in one of my breaks, or you just forget, allow me to explain how it works. I'll post a picture with the cards available for picking and an order of participants to pick them. You do choose in order but are allowed to have a top X list of cards you'd like. For example, say you're picking third, you choose a list of the top three cards you'd want and once it comes around to your turn, you get the top card on your list that hasn't been picked yet. I hope I worded that alright. If you have any questions, feel free to ask. Have fun!

1- cheap card collecting- smoltz
2- stealing home- schilling
3- wickedortega- ramirez
4- arpsmith- verlander
5- daddyohoho- upton
6- kevin- sizemore
7- the dimwit- johnson (there you go!)

break happening....shortly!

Everyone is ready to go! I'll post the first round of picks shortly!

1- cheap card collecting (paid)
2- stealing home (paid)
3- wickedortega (paid)
4- arpsmith (paid)
5- daddyohoho (paid)
6- kevin (paid)
7- the dimwit (paid)

I also need the email with your address and top three teams as well, from those same two.

In other news, one of the new kids on the blog, Kyle (over at Juuust A Bit Outside), is hosting an interesting draft break that you should check out if you haven't already. The rules and all the other info are on that link right there, so check him out. He's got a good blog too so be sure to add him to your reading. Oh yeah, tonight is the FINAL chance to sign up, so go now!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

triple threads break update, filled! with an update!

The break has been filled, plus one! We now have seven participants which means that we will go ahead with the $5 drop. I have some new details about what the picks will be. We're still doing Triple Threads 4 hits like the box configuration but the other four rounds will be slightly different. See below:

There will still be 8 hits.

The "Threads box":

1- unity single relic
1- unity single auto relic
1- triple relic (single or multiplayer)
1- triple relic/auto (single or multiplayer)

As for the other rounds:

1- auto round
1- relic round
1- Marquee/Finest/Chrome auto round
1- refractor auto/auto+relic combo round

I apologize if this seems confusing typed out but it'll make sense when you see it. The base cards I mentioned in the original post are still here and unaffected. You'll still get:

5 Triple Threads base (1 being a parallel)
5 Finest
10 Chrome

All from 2011.

Everyone has signed in, so the next step is payment. Send the $35 via Paypal to my email (krustytheclown138ATyahooDOTcom), use the 'gift' option. Once everyone is done with that, we'll get rolling! I also will need an email from each of you that includes your address and three top teams. I will try and sway the base cards I divvy towards those three teams. I'll update right below when you've paid and again, once its complete we'll start!

Those who are in:

1- cheap card collecting
2- stealing home
3- wickedortega
4- arpsmith
5- daddyohoho (paid)
6- kevin (paid)
7- the dimwit

Friday, November 25, 2011

if you wanted to bust triple threads...'s your chance!


I am gauging interest on a group break. I want to do a Triple Threads theme break. With the couple of boxes I busted, the trades made at the local shop and the couple I picked up on eBay, I've gained a nice healthy amount of 2011 Threads. I know we can't all buy boxes of the stuff but I can try the next best thing.

Here's the details:

For 1/5th the price of a box of Triple Threads you can make your own from the cards I'll post. It'll work just like my older breaks, with a list of pickers going in order.

A fifth of the price of a full box means $40, and for that you'll get just like a box:

1 Unity single relic
1 Unity single auto/relic
1 Triple relic (single player or multiple)
1 Triple relic/auto (single player or multiple)

Other than those, I'm also including the following to pick from and everyone will get:

1 2011 Chrome auto
1 relic
2 autos

The one relic and one auto will be from different sets, being what ever I have in my box here. I will also add in the following base cards:

5 Triple Threads base (the reds, numbered to 1500), with one being a parallel
5 2011 Finest
10 2011 Chrome

Thats a total of 8 hits of your choice. Here is a sample of what will be included:

Interested? Let me know in the comments below. I will only have five spots open so act fast if you do want to participate. If interest is big, I can do another slot and if we do get 6 people, I will knock the $40 to $35.

Oh and everyone who participates will be entered into a random drawing to grab an autographed ball of a Hall of Famer. I won't say which player but if we get 5 to 6 people, thats a pretty good chance you have to grab that ball.

1- cheap card collecting
2- stealing home
3- wickedortega
(6)- kevin (if 6)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

other than baseball...

Being a blog about baseball and baseball cards, not many other topics come up around here. With baseball being over (please come back soon!) and baseball cards taking a small back seat (due to lack of releases until 2012 series 1 and playing through The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim), maybe it's time for something different. Not a change in the blog mind you, just a different post.


I haven't discussed music much on here. I'm not sure what everyone else is into but I've decided to make a top five (well, four) list of the best albums of the year. In my opinion of course.

Five- Well, I was going to make a top five list but I only had four. About 8 years ago I bought many many albums in a year but that has slowed down a considerable amount due to the lack of solid albums coming out. Maybe its my cynical nature in my old age but music sure isn't what it used to be. I've discovered a ton of great music from the 60's through the 80's in the past 10 years and I couldn't be happier with that. We listen to Sirius/XM satellite radio at work, so thats how I hear some of this stuff.


Foster the People- Torches. Released 05/23. This is a weird album. Its very electronic heavy, so there isn't too much crazy guitar work or anything but its really catchy. They released the song 'Pumped Up Kicks' to radio, which I'm sure you may have heard. A good song but what really caught me was 'Helena Beat'. I don't know why but I can't stop listening to it. Catchy, good beat and a little dance-y (which I don't mind). Be wary, the singer has a higher voice than Geddy Lee of Rush, so there's that (I love Rush, btw).


The Joy Formidable- The Big Roar. Released 01/24. I heard one song on the radio (Whirring) and it hooked me instantly. I have a thing for female lead singers and love a great band with one. This is no exception. This is a great rock album, through and through. No fancy guitar solos, not much on the electronics, just three people rocking it out but good. Not heavy metal or punk or something like that, so its not crazy. A great listen all the way through.


Foo Fighters- Wasting Light. Released 04/12. The Foo Fighters have been around for some time now. After forming in 1995 from the ashes of Nirvana, they have released 7 (including this one) albums. Dave Grohl wrote, played, produced and basically did the entire first album himself. After that, he hired a band so they could tour and continue making albums. This album is a very strong release from them and dare I say it's in their top three best. Great rock and roll as usual from Dave and the crew and personally they have never disappointed. Every album is a solid release but some stand out more than others, this is one of them. The song 'Rope' was the first single to radio and the song 'Walk' was used for the closing credits of the movie Thor. The radio plays these two songs plus 'One of These Days', so maybe you've heard at least one of them. The song 'White Limo' is probably my favorite and definitely rocks the hardest of all the songs on the album. The video is cool too with them driving around in a limo, being driven by Lemmy from Motorhead. Good stuff. The album even came with a piece of the analogue tape they used to record the album on. Neat!


Florence and the Machine- Ceremonials. Released 10/28. Of the four albums on this list, this is both the newest release and the newest for me. I heard the two radio singles (Shake it Out and What the Water Gave Me) and thought they were good so I decided to download it on iTunes. I was floored by how incredible this album is. The use of so many instruments (a harp!), layers of depth not heard in many albums and an incredible voice from a small, young woman, all adds up to a very interesting and unique experience. Some of the songs deal with ghosts, of the past I presume. Hauntingly beautiful. Listen to it if you want something different. You won't be disappointed.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Monday, November 21, 2011

cleanin' up

I am on one of my patented random cleaning adventures again and I figured I would try here to see if anyone wants something. Periodically I'll go on cleaning sprees and feel like I have to downsize the stuff I own. Usually it ends up on eBay or to local friends but maybe some of you would like a chance at something, right? Essentially I am giving the stuff away but I would like to at least get the shipping covered from the claimee.

First thing: anyone into comics? I have a bunch I'm willing to let go, mainly newer Marvel stuff. If you'd like a box of comics, let me know. I'm not exact on a number yet but it's got to be at least 30 books. First to claim them and send $10 to cover the shipping can have them.

Second: I have a bunch of cards (baseball) that don't fit anywhere. I've separated all the stuff I'm not collecting by team and some cards don't fall into one single team. These are those cards. Two to four players from different teams, non-baseball subjects from Ginter, minor leaguers, checklists, etc. Again, first to claim them gets them. $5 to cover shipping would suffice.

Third: Anyone have an Xbox 360? And like baseball? Cheap baseball? I have MLB 2K9 (Lincecum on the cover) and MLB 2K10 (Longoria on the cover) up for grabs if you'd like them. Both minty clean with no scratches. $5 per game shipped (or if for some reason you want both, $7).

Let me know if anyone would like any of this stuff. Otherwise I'll have to think of something else to do with them and I don't want to have to think too much, it hurts sometimes :P .

Friday, November 18, 2011

final threads, part two

On to part two!

Its a little different this time around:

Johnny Cueto auto/relic, numbered 29/50. The auto/relic first? Well I feel in this box this was the lesser of the four hits. Still not bad but not the best.

Justin Verlander relic, numbered 7/9. See what I mean? The 2011 AL Cy Young winner, numbered under 10. What's not to like? Sure its a single gray jersey but I'm certainly happy with it.

Johnny Bench triple relic, numbered 34/36. Here we go. Now I do feel that this is a Bench bat. Bench played in the 70's, so I would imagine that relics of his would be more plentiful. The thing is, I would think that relics from this era to now are authentic. I mean, they would have to be right? I'd hope.

Adam Lind auto/triple relic. numbered 3/3. CRAZY CRAZY CRAZY. I could not believe that this fell out of the pack. Its certainly the best Jays card I've ever pulled and the new cornerstone of my Blue Jays collection. Sure I have a few plates and some low numbered jerseys and stuff but nothing this nice. Plates may be 1/1's but ehh...they just don't have the luster of a nice patch low numbered like this. I got a bunch of stuff from eBay and the shop from other people's boxes that they traded to the owner for other stuff and in return I'd trade him. Maybe I'll show it off soon.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

final threads, part one

Here is box number one of the final Triple Threads of the year. Unless by some huge miracle involving time travel happens and the shop gets more Threads at a good price, this is it for this release.

The base cards in both boxes weren't anything low numbered like the sapphire Cabrera in the previous box except for an Alex Rodriguez numbered to 25. I didn't bother scanning it because it seems like everyone hates him. Let's begin shall we?

Again like last box, from "worst" to best. Worst is kind of the wrong word here but since I can't think of a better word, we'll stick with that.

Rogers Hornsby "bat" relic, numbered 5/9. Lets say this is a real bat from Hornsby for arguments sake. If this is my worst hit, you know great things are coming afterward.

Jason Heyward auto relic, numbered 23/50. An awesome hit here. Heyward had kind of an off season this year but I'm very sure he will make a fantastic comeback in 2012.

Ichiro triple relic, numbered 01/18. Damn. What a card and the only thing that would have made it better is if that had patches in those windows as opposed to a nice blue jersey. I'm not complaining though due to it being my first Ichiro relic.

Bob Gibson/Felix Hernandez/Josh Johnson triple auto/triple relic, numbered 01/27. What a card. Sure its the smallest jersey piece with the smallest picture of the depicted players but when else can you get auto/relics of a Hall of Famer, a sure-fire superstar and an up and coming player? The only thing that would have made it perfect is the Johnson auto being on the clear stickers like the other two. Oh well. At least this combination of players makes a little sense, in that they are all great pitchers. Some triple combos I've seen make little to no connection unless its something random.

Stay tuned for part two!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

we'll just call it a 'grand finale'

So I worked the card shop on Saturday. The owner went to a wrestling convention in New York and asked if I would be able to watch the store while he was gone. I had to work my regular job 6 to 12 that morning so I let him know I'd be there for 12:30. The shop closes at 5 so I got in a few good hours there. I went through some boxes, found some more cards I liked and put them aside for us to discuss at a later date. When he had returned to the shop we were talking for a bit. I had expressed my disinterest in Tier One but he decided to bust one anyway. He ended up with a Thurman Munson dual bat relic (which he was pleased with, Yankees do well for him), an Albert Belle auto and a rookie auto I forget the name of. While discussing Tier One, I had compared it to Triple Threads and he informed me that the last two boxes on his shelf, would be the FINAL boxes on the shelves. The price had gone up through his distributor so he decided to stop carrying them. Too high a price point scares some buyers off and he didn't want those boxes sitting on the shelf forever (even though I doubt they would have if he did buy them). So I decided to go for it. The hours I worked and the rest on the credit card (man, I hope I don't regret these card purchases later), equaled two more boxes of Threads for me to bust. I was able to justify it by knowing that I won't be doing Tier One, or anything for that matter until around February, when Series one hits. Plus I've been pretty good as far as card purchases have gone in the past couple months, save for the tow Threads before and a few misc. singles on eBay. All I can say about them is that both were great and one box included a questionable bat relic (like I had talked about a few days ago) from a Hall of Fame player and the other box included a new cornerstone to my collection. It's not a 1/1 but it's damn close. I plan on showing these over the next two posts and I realize talking about them now and not showing them isn't very fun of me. I would like to go over the cards in at least a little detail with nice big scans to show them off (and they're pretty much all worth showing). You will see some crazy stuff come from these boxes, as I could barely believe what I had myself. Easily one of the best products of the year and I hate to say it but I'm kind of hooked on them. Too bad there aren't any left for the season.

Monday, November 14, 2011

well, it's not office furniture but...

Remember a few posts back when I talked about the legitimacy of relics and how there is the possibility that they aren't what they are perceived to be? Remember it started with this card:

My sweet sweet Ty Cobb "bat" relic from Triple Threads. One of the nicest cards I've ever pulled, being questioned about its very existence and its possible deception about being what could be 2 cents of desk wood.

I went on to question the process of obtaining these bats and relics and such, wondering how many bats could Topps have used by Cobb, Ruth, Mantle, etc. Especially Mantle seeing how they give relics of his away with factory retail sets. How absurd and totally de-valuing a Hall of Famers relic in the process. Well all this started by my nature to question most everything and just wondering how Topps could have all this authentic memorabilia stacked up in their warehouse. It came into question again two days ago.

Topps recently put out their Tier One set. Curious of course, I decided to check out some stuff on eBay and found myself quite unimpressed by the results. Seven cards per box, about $80-100 per box. In said box, you get two autos (both on-card) and one relic. Well, I know what you're thinking, grab two of these and you equal a box of Triple Threads with two more hits! Well, that may be true but the relics are beyond dull. The design isn't horrible but single white/gray swatches? No thank you. On-card autos are nice but the odds of getting a great one are way high, so you end up with two OK autos and one dull relic. While with Threads you may only get four hits but triple relics are way better than single gray ones. Plus everything is pretty low numbered too.

Being unimpressed I decided to check out the BlowoutCards forums to see what the buzz was. I came across some guys questioning the authenticity of the relics, specifically the big timers like the Hall of Famers I mentioned above. Then someone posted a link to an article:

Apparently this isn't the first time it's come up. If you don't feel like clicking the article, or you can't here it is:

This just in from Topps…

Topps has confirmed that the following five memorabilia cards in the recently released 2009 Tribute Baseball include pieces of stadium seat:

Babe Ruth Dual Relic — Bat/Old Yankee Stadium Seat

Babe Ruth Triple Relic — Old Yankee Stadium Seat/Uniform/Old Yankee Stadium Seat

Ty Cobb Dual Relic — Bat/Tiger Stadium Seat

Jackie Robinson Triple Relic — Ebbets Field Seat/Bat/Ebbets Field Seat

Mickey Mantle Triple Relic — Old Yankee Stadium Seat/Uniform/Old Yankee Stadium Seat

Topps will replace any of the above cards with a pack of 2009 Topps Tribute Baseball or comparable product for collectors that are not satisfied with their card(s).

In addition, every card in 2009 Topps Sterling Baseball features game-used bat and game-used uniform except for one subject — Carl Erskine, which features Erskine’s autograph with stadium seat. Topps will replace this card with a pack of 2009 Topps Sterling Baseball for collectors not satisfied with their card.

Moving forward, to ensure no confusion, stadium seat pieces will not be used as memorabilia pieces unless it’s part of a special stadium seat-specific insert.

Please send all items intended for replacement to the address listed below. Please allow 2-4 weeks for delivery.

The Topps Company

ATTN: Seat Relic Replacement

401 York Avenue

Duryea, PA 18642

INSANITY!!! Imagine pulling a Babe Ruth triple relic only to find out that its a uniform with two pieces of Yankee Stadium seating?? WTF?? Honestly, I lost so much faith in Topps after seeing this I almost debated on quitting the hobby. Oh and in case you may be wondering why I'm taking it so personally:

I own two of the relics they state in the article. I paid good money for both these and to find out they're stadium seats? Just totally disheartening. I don't even know what to say about it. I really don't. I'm sure that relics from current players are authentic but I have to totally question wether or not I have actual relics from guys that played 80 or so years ago and it totally shouldn't be that way. It's such BS but maybe instead of putting a Babe "bat" relic into every set numbered to 399, maybe get an actual damn bat used by him and making it actually rare. Like numbered to 18 rare. That goes with any older player. People aren't going to avoid a product because you can't pull one but pulling one would be all the better. I don't know. I know its cheaper but Its pretty bad that Topps has to mislead its customers like this.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

andre ethier

I know there are a few Dodgers collectors but does anyone collect Andre Ethier exclusively? I have a couple of great cards of his and I feel they should probably be in someone else's collection who will appreciate them.

Here is what I have (sorry for the lack of picture):

All 2011:

Bowman Platinum red parallel
Bowman Platinum green parallel
Chrome Heritage black refractor 21/62
Finest green refractor 108/199
Lineage Diamond parallel
Series 1 gold parallel 1696/2011
Triple Threads base card 0351/1500
Wal-Mart diamond (from series 1, I think, the hanger boxes)

I'd love to trade them to someone collecting him but would want at least something decent in return, namely for the difficulty of the Finest and black Heritage Chrome cards. Let me know if you're interested and we'll see if we can work something out.

Monday, November 7, 2011

perhaps the most interesting card in my collection

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know that I really enjoy the history of baseball. I sat through and enjoyed thoroughly Ken Burns' Baseball. It ran probably 20 hours or so and I loved every minute of it.

Baseball is full of memorable moments. From the perfect games to the records broken. The home run races of 1961 and 1998. The years 1904 and 1994 in which a World Series was not played since it was introduced in 1903. Individual moments like the shot heard round the world. The catch. "The Giants won the pennant!!". Jackie Robinson taking the field in early 1947. Lou Gehrig's heartfelt and emotional farewell in 1939. The Babe's 'called shot'. The earthquake in 1989 before game three of the World Series. So many memories of a wonderful and glorious pastime.

Aside from the moments I have described above that are more than likely defining moments in many peoples lives who lived around the time they happened to witness them themselves, there have been a few moments that are oddities.

Canseco getting hit in the head by a fly ball that ends up fair and a home run. Larry Walker giving away a live ball to a fan. Merkle's boner. The list goes on.

One moment stands out for me as a real oddity that we will never see again.

Behold, Eddie Gaedel:

Eddie Gaedel played for the St. Louis Browns as a pinch hitter and had one major league at bat on August 19th 1951. He was 3 foot 7 and his jersey number was 1/8 and it is said that his strike zone was about a one inch square. As you can imagine he was walked on four pitches and was replaced with a pinch runner at first. He was also told that if he swung at any pitches he would be killed. I suppose Brown's owner Bill Veeck was serious. Here is a shot of him batting:

Eddie is known as the shortest player in history and has a 1.000 on-base percentage. His jersey is on display at the Baseball Hall of Fame. Sure it may have been some dirty play to get a man on base to hopefully win the game (they didn't) but it sure made for a memorable moment in baseball history. It's moments like this and the ones mentioned above that stand as the reasons why I love this game and its rich and colorful history.

On another note, Kyle over at Juust A Bit Outside is holding a 8 box break with some interesting boxes. Check it out, its cheap ($15) and should be a lot of fun. Go now!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

the cold, the frustration and the hit of a lifetime

We have power. After four and a half days of cold, darkness and no running water, we finally have light. The power went at 11:30 on Saturday night and came back some time today. Power at work came back Wednesday morning around 9:30, so I went in for 10. Thankfully we knew people who didn't lose power and were willing to help us out. I also want to thank you guys who expressed your concern towards our situation. I mentioned on Tuesday that we spent some time at the card shop on Sunday and the better part of Monday (to catch Walking Dead Sunday night and Monday Night Raw on Monday). Tuesday and Wednesday we spent time at my grandparents house. On Monday evening, bored, cold and pretty frustrated, my emotions and curiosity got the better of me and I made a spur of the moment purchase to quell my sanity:

Yes, Triple Threads. Part of the reason I busted this was due to what had been pulled right before I got this one. He had two, sold one to a customer who busted it in the store and pulled a triple relic of Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle, numbered 03/27. Ruth and Mantle were bat relics and Joe was a nice jersey with a pinstripe. Being numbered Ruth's jersey number doesn't hurt either. The other part was just wanting to go out on a limb and try my luck again. So I said screw it and put it on the credit card.

Well, as you can tell from my post title, I did hit something. I'll go in order from "worst" to best. I use the term "worst" very VERY loosely because all four hits were really good.

I'll start with the one base card that is of significance:

Miguel Cabrera 06/25. This is the sapphire parallel, which I haven't seen in person. The lowest numbered parallel I've seen before this were the golds, numbered to 99.

Aaron Hill 16/36. A single relic and it's gray but it is a Blue Jay and one I sort of collect so it worked out pretty well.

Mike Minor 10/75. An auto relic of a good Braves pitching prospect (or in the rotation, I'm not sure).

Clayton Kershaw 49/99. Auto'd triple relic. Now here we go. A great card of a great young pitcher, I was super excited to pull this card. Clayton is going to have a great career so long as he stays healthy.

Now the hit of the box:

David Wright 1/1. Dual jersey with the logoman patch from his All-Star game jersey. You can't tell from the picture but it does have a refractor-like quality to the front. It is also plastic as opposed to heavy cardstock or paper at all. I really couldn't believe it. This makes the fourth 1/1 I have pulled myself, Jose Reyes plate from Chicle, the Soriano wood parallel from '11 Ginter and the Mets plate from Gypsy Queen and this. Notice something odd? Yeah, three Mets. Plus a Cub. I seem to have a knack for pulling Mets 1/1s. This is way above all of the put together though. The others are merely parallels. This is a card that there really is only one of and of a bona fide star player. They didn't make this in copper numbered to 50, sepia numbered to 75 and gold numbered to 100. They made one. That kind of blows my mind a little bit and can say that this is the only true 1/1 in my collection. I highly doubt I'll ever pull a bigger card in my collecting lifetime.

So the long week is now over and did have some bright moments including this card but more importantly being close to family and friends when we all had a little less to work with in our daily routine.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

an update

Things are kind of dark here. Literally. The freak snowstorm we had Saturday night totally devastated the area. Heavy snow combined with the leaves still on the trees plus 20-40 MPH winds produce some very bad conditions. Trees down everywhere cut power to well close to 1 million households in Connecticut. Currently, we are without power and I am writing this from my grandmother's house. She is luckily one with power. My parents, wife's parents or ourselves have been without power since Saturday night. We thankfully are always welcome here at grandmas place, plus the local shop has somewhat amusingly become a shelter for those without power. He has power at the shop but not at home so he decided to stay open on Monday (he isn't open on Mondays) and stay opened later than usual on the two other days (today and Sunday). We charge our phones and such there but we sleep at home. It's quite cold without heat and boring at home without electricity. The town is at about 60% without power, including my work. It's not an issue because I'll make it up later. So for those wondering about my lack of communication or disappearance on the blogsphere, this is why. I've been trying to respond to emails on my phone but I get practically no signal at home. The time at the shop yesterday did produce a focal point for another post but once I get power again, which is hopefully in the next few days, I'll be sure to share it.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


I have updated my wantlist and 'what I collect' pages to the right. In the 'what I collect' area, I have added a few players that I have decided to start pulling out of my collection and add them into my personal collection.

These are:

Kirby Puckett, Tony Gwynn and Frank Thomas for retired players.
Josh Hamilton, Danny Valencia and Chris Coghlin for active players.

Why Coghlin? Well, I have a few nice hits of his plus he was the 2009 NL Rookie of the Year, that has to count for something right?

I have also updated my 2011 Topps Chrome list. I still need a decent amount to finish it off and maybe you can help. I have a plethora of 2011 cards over here and perhaps you need some. I am willing to trade up to ten cards per one card you send me off my want list.

I have a bunch of these sets available:

(all 2011)
Gypsy Queen
Allen & Ginter
Series 1 and 2 (tons of 1, decent amount of 2)
Update (a small stack)
Lineage (limited)
Stickers (unstuck, obviously)
Pro Debut

If you are trying to finish off a set, send me a want list and I'll see what I can do to help out your set. All I ask in return is something off my want list (not what I collect list, although those I will trade for too). Say you have two cards from Chrome I need and you need some in return, I would be willing to send up to 20 Chromes for those two (or any number lower, if I have only say, 13 of them). It works for any set I just named though so if you need something, let me know and we will work something out. I will have my Update want list up shortly too, probably after I post this.

Monday, October 24, 2011

the good side of ebay (for me)

Remember last post when I was talking about the Triple Threads I had ripped? Do you also remember the post I had before that one talking about that seller on eBay that expected too much for his card? Well, this post will sort of tie them both together.

I had mentioned that I had grabbed some Triple Threads and Marquee singles and that I would show them when they came. Well most of them have so I may as well show 'em off.

First up some Triple Threads Unity relics and two Marquee autos:

Some Triple Threads Unity auto/relics:

Marquee Titanic Threads and a lone Finest auto/relic:

Some Marquee Gametime Mementos and Acclaimed Impressions:

Note the Drabek. This was the card I was chasing from the seller who wanted too much (he relisted btw, with a $19.99 buy it now and it didn't sell, now he has it up again with a $29.99 buy it now or best offer, whatever dude). Like I had mentioned this cards patch wasn't as nice but it is a little more unique. I can't tell what its from but maybe a fellow Jays fan (or even a non-Jays fan) could tell me where the left patch comes from. The Danny Valencia is also my new player to collect. This card is absolutely sweet with the left patch being the Majestic logo. I'm watching a triple relic/auto of his from Threads this year too.

Finally some Drabeks and a triple relic:

Yeah, I went a little nuts but at least they are parallels! Well, one is numbered to 99 and the other two to 75, so technically I do have a duplicate. The Smith/Jeter/Rollins seems like its a huge card but it really doesn't go for much on the 'Bay. See? Thats why eBay is great. I snagged all these for super great deals. Now sure some of these aren't great players but they are nice hits from super premium products. Some I looked for, some I caught them right before they ended and got lucky with a really low bid. I took the stance 'if I win, I win cheap, if I lose, no biggie'. There are still a few on the way but nothing big. If I come across something big, I'll be sure to post it here.