Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Well, that sucks.

Scott Sizemore tore his ACL in the first full-squad workout at spring training.  He's out for the entire 2012 season.  See the story on ESPN

I feel really bad for Scott because he has already overcome a devastating broken ankle early in his career.  He battled back from that to become an everyday player for the Tigers.  Then, the Tigers bailed on him after less than a season and practically gave him away to the A's.  He played well for the A's last year and was poised for an excellent season this year as their starting 3B.  I hope he can recover well and not lose too much ground on where he's gotten to. 

Having grown up with Scott and played baseball and volleyball with him and against him, I can tell you he is a very driven guy.  He's a tremendous athlete and has a ton of character, so I know he will come back strong. 

From a card standpoint, it'll be interesting to see what happens.  His cards had been on a steady climb this offseason with his strong performance to end 2011 and his potential for this season.  I would expect the competition for his cards to be considerably lower and will probably be a good time for me to improve and round out my collection. 

I know I've said this several times before, but it's still really odd to see him on a baseball card. Awesome, but strange. 

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Half a fortnight after the fortnight of 2012 Topps

It's been a week since I wrapped up my "fortnight" posts, so I should show off some more 2012 Topps.  I picked up a rack pack and a retail pack this week.  The retail pack would make a Braves fan proud, or jealous, really.

I can't imagine that Hudson hanging around too long.  It's one of the more popular photos from the set and this one is the Target red parallel, that just looks absolutely sick on a braves card.  These were definitely a cool pair of cards to pull from a pack I just tossed in the shopping cart.

As for the rack pack, the Yankees really dominated the show:

Really, 4 Yankees inserts? That's nuts.  Of course, not all of the cards were Yankees.

That Howard is awesome.  I'm sure it will end up in Dawgbones' pile, if he wants it.

I might have to grab a jumbo at the LCS to cap off my Series 1 experience.

One card in the rack pack did make me laugh:

My guess is that he was in the on-deck circle, and the coach called him back to the bench and sent in a pinch hitter.  That's the only reason I can think of that the fans would be excited to see him.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

eBay purchases for February

I've picked up a number of cheap items this month, and utilized combined shipping to the maximum. 

The first pickup began with a card that I had to buy.  I'm not going to show you what it is, because I'm saving it for another post.  But, since I knew I was getting it, no matter what, I figured it would be a great time to check out some combined options.  I went nuts with this one seller and picked up the following:

He charged $3 for shipping, with no additional charge for multiple auctions.  That's an awesome deal.  All of these cards were under $2 (most were $0.99).  I also won a Joe Mauer 2009 A&G relic ($1.79 before shipping) but the buyer was unable to find it.  He refunded the price of the Mauer AND the total shipping cost. I was amazed.  I'm a big fan of good customer service, and this seller is excellent.  He apologized multiple times for the mixup, even before I realized the Mauer wasn't there.  Check out this seller's stuff.

Another card I picked recently was this Jimmy Williams auto for $1.99 shipped.

I also got this Ernest Wilford auto for $1.26 shipped:

The final Hokie auto I grabbed was this awesome Kevin Jones Bowman Chrome:

I've already got a KJ auto, but I couldn't pass this up for $3.25 shipped. 

I also made some great additions to my Scott Sizemore PC:

Black #14/50, Silver #1/25
You gotta love that the silver is #1/25. 

2010 Topps Chrome Scott Sizemore RC Gold Refractor #25/50
I really need to pick up the Blue and Purple refractors now, since I have also the base, refractor, xfractor, and orange refractor.

I got all of these cards for less than a blaster.  Granted, I had some shipping refunded on one of the orders, but still a damn good deal.

Friday, February 24, 2012

2009 Fathead Tradeables

Ran across some of these at Big Lots recently.  I need to go back and get some more, because these are awesome.  I know Dawgbones has opened a few of these.  He sent me the BJ Upton one once upon a time.  Really $2.50 is an incredible price since it comes with 5 (4 player, 1 Team) vinyl fatheads that are like 5"x7".  If you've never seen these, you're really missing out.  They are much better than just stickers.  Fatheads can be moved and restuck easily.  I have a huge VT helmet Fathead in my VT room.

The players are cut from the background, so you only get the player when you stick it somewhere.  The team logo on each one is also cut, so you can peel and stick it somewhere too.

Each pack has one full-size team logo, and I got the Royals:

All of these are for trade, just let me know.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

My all-time favorite puzzle.

"Take Me Out to the Ballgame" by Nordevco

I've done this puzzle a thousand times, probably.  It's 500 pieces (18"x24"), so it doesn't take too long, but is good for an afternoon.  The cool thing is that it came with a key to what it shows:

I picked this puzzle up from a Bits and Pieces catalog a long time ago along with another baseball memorabilia puzzle, which I'll show some other time.  You can still find this puzzle on the internet (on eBay and such), but typically not unopened.  Bits and Pieces does have another awesome baseball puzzle available right now, though.

I haven't looked up much of this stuff on eBay, but I know you can find several copies of the 1934 Goudey Jim "Rip" Collins card (No. 15 in the puzzle).

Hopefully I'll one day have a card collecting room that in which I can frame and hang this puzzle.  Until then, I'll just enjoy putting it together every few months.

Another picture for which I have no post.

This was an early candidate for a new banner, but I don't particularly want her at the top of my blog.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Lego Minifigures Series 6

This checklist didn't blow me away, but my favorites are the Alien, Statue of Liberty, Robot, and Leprechaun.

I actually came across Lego's Minifigure Bio site.  According to that, I ended up with Sleepyhead:

'“Just five more minutes…”

Ya-a-a-awn! Is it really time to get up already? The Sleepyhead isn’t quite ready to face the morning yet. He was just having a totally awesome dream about adventuring in a magical world full of colorful knights with swords that shoot lightning…or was it the one about the time machine powered by historical hats?

Who can rise and shine when bed is so comfy and you’ve got your favorite teddy bear by your side? Don’t worry; the Sleepyhead will be up in a minute. Maybe he’ll just close his eyes and grab a quick nap first, though. After all, you can’t get through the day without plenty of rest! Zzzzz…'

 I love that the bear looks just like Rupert:

Good night!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Lego Minifigures Series 5...again.

After picking up one minifigure from Series 5, I couldn't find any anywhere.  I was able to trade the Gladiator for the Boxer, so that made me happy.  Still, I wanted more.  While visiting my parents, I hit the Wal-Mart near their house and ended up finding some.  I grabbed a Series 5 pack and a Series 6 pack (I'll save it for another post).

This time, I got the small clown:

He's got stubby legs that don't move.  One of the more interesting ones from the series, at least.

I don't have a post for this.

Alex Sith.  Proof that not every joke turns out the way you want it. 

Monday, February 20, 2012

These are some sweet unis.

I don't follow VT baseball much, but I did see this picture on the school newspaper site:

Those are some awesome uniforms.  I totally want a pair of those stirrups. 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Dang, Dawgbones moves fast.

So, a few weeks ago, I met Richard (aka Dawgbones) at our LCS, since I had some cards from a group break and a trade for him.  He's the first blogger I've met in person. 

Apparently I left an impression, because he presented me with a beautiful Diamond.

Now, Richard, I know I am awesome, but cards are my mistress.  I can't just have my mistress adorning me with pretty things like that.  My wife might get jealous and expect me to buy her some diamonds, and Spankee don't gots no money.

So, my answer is no, I will not blogomarry you. I am keeping the damn diamond though.

A Fortnight of 2012 Topps: Day 14

Hooray, we're finally there! 

Today, I just want to recap the last 13 posts.

Day 1: My wife surprised me with a bunch of cards shortly after the release.  I opened a hanger pack, a rack pack, and a handful of retail packs.  They're still the only packs I have opened to this point.  I wanted to stay away from new packs until the fortnight was over, to see if I still want to buy.

Day 2: Vertical cards.  The photography has been a hot topic for this year, but I'm not sure why.  I thought the photography was pretty good on average, with many unique shots.  I do think Topps zooms in a bit too much on some action shots.

Day 3: Horizontal cards.   More interesting photos, including the World Series subset.  gotta love the seagulls.

Day 4: The store parallels.  Red for Target, Blue for Wal-Mart and Purple(?) for Toys-R-Us.  I just don't get it.  I don't need to be reminded of where the card came from.  I'd much rather have team color parallels, but I don't see that happening.  That said, I certainly won't avoid collecting the parallels for my PC players.

Day 5: The Gold Parallels.  I'm a fan.

Day 6: Gold Standard.  It's the first insert set I highlighted, and the first one that looks Panini'ed.  I like the foil medallion, but the cards are a little underwhelming. 

Day 7: Golden Moments.  I'm a fan of "Moments" cards. They put you in the game situations, which is always good.  The design is Panini'ed, but not as bad as some.  I tweaked it a little and thought it made it a little better, but the set isn't too bad.

Day 8: Golden Greats.  C'mon Topps, you were almost there on this one.  Get rid of the fade and make the medallion foil.  That makes it a flagship-set-worthy insert.

Day 9: Golden Futures.  I like them, though It's the "Golden" insert set with the least Gold, ironically.

Day 10: Timeless Talents.  Boring and repetitive and boring and repetitive.

Day 11: Classic Walk-Offs. Ugh. Based on the comments, most people seem to agree that this insert was the biggest failure.  The auto-patch variation is fantastic, but at 10 copies apiece, that doesn't fully justify the design.

Day 12: '87 Minis.  Follow the worst insert set with the best.  I'm a fan of these because the cards backs just felt right.  They'll make good trade bait.

Day 13:  Golden Giveaway.  Topps is showing that the momentum of the Million Card Giveaway and the Diamond Giveaway can, in fact, die a slow death.  There are far fewer real cards that can be redeemed, making most code cards just a dummy card.

Day 14: Hey, that's today.

My thoughts on the set as a whole:
I'm a low-budget collector, so I likely won't get to appreciate the auto/relic/patch/etc. designs in person.  There are some great higher-end cards in the flagship set, but that isn't what it should be all about.  The pin cards look great, as do the rings, and I like the blaster patches that I've seen. 

The set doesn't blow me away, but I rarely expect the flagship set to do so.  My PC players don't have a ton of cards in the set and insert sets, so I won't be buying a ton trying to find many.  This set will still be like any other flagship set for me, though.  I will continue to put retail packs and rack packs in my cart from time to time, to quench the thirst of opening packs. 

I hope you enjoyed this fortnight of 2012 Topps.  I may have to do the same with some other sets. 

I do have one request.  I desperately want 2 cards from 2012 Topps that I don't have yet.  #'s 3 and 139.  The first is for my Topps #3 collection.  The second is the Scott Sizemore card.  While I'm on Scott Sizemore, I also need his 2011 Topps Update card #111.  I don't think 3 base cards is unreasonable.  I have 2012 Topps to trade.

As for other happenings during this fortnight,
I surpassed 100 followers, 450 posts, 1,000 comments, and 50,000 pageviews.  You guys left 26 comments on the first 11 posts, which I greatly appreciate.  I'm currently on pace to surpass my record for most posts in one month.  I owe my motivation to all of you who read this. 

The purpose I have always had for this blog is for it to be a welcome diversion for both myself and anyone else who may need or want it.  Right now, I need it more than ever.  I have high hopes for the rest of this year, and plan to continue having "series" posts like this fortnight, the super bowl countdown, and the Christmas posts.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Cards from Beardy...wait...what!?

The whole Beardy situation was crazy.  I was originally just going to explain the whole story in my typical inaniloquent prose. Instead, my good friend Will Smith urged me to rap about it.

Now this is a story all about how
A trade got flipped-turned upside down
And I'd like to take a minute just sit right there
And tell you how these cards took so long to get here.

In west Blogadelphia, born and raised
In the card aisle is where I spent most of my days
Cardin out, maxin, relaxing all cool,
And all buying Bowman baseball like a crazy-ass fool,

When one bearded guy who was up to no good
Started making trouble in my neighborhood.
I got in one lil fight and my mistress got scared
And said "You shouldn't ever trade with the facially haired"

I Begged and pleaded with him day after day,
But he never packed my cards and sent them on their way
He gave me a dis and he shoulda gotten a ticket
I wanted those cards but now I'd show him where to stick it

First class mail yo this is bad
It isn't that hard, it's getting kinda sad
Is this what the people with face hair are living like?
Hmm, I hope he's allright

But wait is he prissy, bourgeois and all that?
People say when he's trading he's a hell of a cool cat
I don't think so, but we'll see if it gets here
I sure am prepared for a package to tear.

Well, uh, the dust settled and when I looked out
There was another cardless dude that was calling his name out
I aint trying for for any drama, hell, I just got here
I guess some crap happened and he just dissappeared.

I waited for a while, almost a year,
But then an email said "Beardy" and he was sincere,
If anything I can say this trade was rare,
But I thought naw forget it, it happens, be fair.

Mailman pulled up to the house in the middle of the day
And I ran to mailbox to end the delay.
I looked at my cards, they were finally there
Redemption for the man with the face full of hair.

 That Generation Now #1 Refractor (#/500) goes great with my Chrome and White Refractor versions. 

Awesome Black Diamond Wrapper Redemption cards.  The Zim with the W hat is sweet.

I told you my Verlander collection is really taking off.

Finally, the pinnacle of the trade.  A 2010 Topps Finest Gold Refractor #23/50 of David Wright.  What a badass card.

The moral of this story is that shit happens.  Sometimes, we have to drop everything to do what is right.  Sometimes, we're given the opportunity to go back and make right on the little things we had to leave behind.  As far as I'm concerned, this package was a happy ending to an unfortunate situation. 

Thanks for the trade, Beardy, the cards are truly awesome!

A Fortnight of 2012 Topps: Day 13

Ahhh, lucky number 13.  A number fraught with bad luck. Today is no different.

I did plan this out well and was able to save this post until the Golden Giveaway went live.  So, I entered my code, and had this wonderful item bestowed upon me:

I'm going to display it with my favorite Jim Palmer picture:

Thanks, Topps.  I'd been looking for a way to creepify this picture a little more.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Clear Cut Cards Come to My Mailbox

It's always greatly appreciated when someone contacts me with a card they have for me.  Jason of Clear Cut Cards did that recently, offering a 2008 Topps Highlights Relic of David Wright.  We struck a deal to swap some duplicate David Wrights, and before I knew it, I had my new cards in hand. 

That Cuddyer is one of the better National Chicle pictures I've seen.

I already had the bat version of this card, so I'm stoked to have the jersey version.  Thanks for the trade, Jason!

A Fortnight of 2012 Topps: Day 12

Time for another analogy:

Classic Walk-Offs Insert : Bad : : '87 Minis Set : Good

My opinion on the entire insert collection in 2012 Topps is that they really saved their asses with this mini set.  The others have some collectability to them, but this is the only set that seems fun to me.  I might even say Topps could milk this one by having '88 minis next year, and continuing that trend. 

When I first saw that Topps was producing this set, I was scared.  With Lineage, I was excited, at first, when I saw the '75 Minis. I then wanted to vomit when I turned one over and saw that ugly-ass Lineage back. 

When I first held one of these '87 Minis, it just felt right.  I turned it over and saw the glorious back.

My only complaint would be that many of the team logos should be a little bigger (the Cubs logo should have no white space, since it is round).  Outside of that, I think these are a big win for Topps, and I think they will be collected by many.  I only want the David Wright one.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

A Fortnight of 2012 Topps: Day 11

Home stretch, people.  We're almost there.




At least have the pictures in color.  But really, this design is so terrible.  This is easily the worst insert set as far as I'm concerned.  The idea for a walk-off set is excellent and deserved way better execution than it got. 

The card design looks like it is a crazily miscut piece of some way bigger picture. Too many diagonal lines for the sake of diagonal lines.  What's with that big space to the right of the team logo.  Why not have the 5 stripes there, too?


Look, I've overcriticized many parts of 2012 Topps.  Despite my suggestions for improvement on many of the inserts, I don't hate them.  I just think they could have done a little better.  This insert set? Nope.  Hate it.  Completely.

I played around with some other modifications to the card design to try to improve it, but I just gave up.  There is no saving this one with my photoshopping skills.  It needs a complete makeover.

"I'm gonna fix that last joke by taking out all the words and adding new ones."
-Mitch Hedberg

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The smoothest trade ever.

I recently completed a very easy trade.  While reading through responses on one of Nachos Grande's posts about his group break, I saw some people saying they were Red Sox fans, but didn't have the money to shell out for a group break at the time.  I hadn't traded Red Sox away in a while, so I clicked some names and was taken to some blogs.  I came across Matt at DocHoloday, and saw some trade bait he had recently acquired.  The timing was too perfect, as he had some great cards I wanted. 

I left him a comment.
He sent me an email with an offer of cards for me.
I sent him an email with my offer of cards for him.
He sent me his address.
I sent him my address.

That's as smooth as it gets, baby.  What a great transaction.  He posted the cards I sent him.  Now I'm posting the cards he sent me. First, he sent some set needs:

I love me some Gold Die Cuts.

He also hit up several of my PC players:

A nice manupatch:

Last but not least, another sweet Verlander pickup:

Hmm...Destination Stardom...can't disagree with the accuracy on that one. 

Thanks, again, Matt, for the great easy trade!