Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Summer Cleaning

As the thermometer reads 102 outside, I am more than ready to head to the beach. Currently Jacoby I are chilling in the living room watching the Sox and waiting for Mom to get home. it should be AT LEAST 20 degrees cooler where were heading, so getting a bit antsy to hit the road.

The weather out here in Portland has been crazy this year. When Jacoby was born in December we had a record 17 inches of snow that shut down the city for nearly two weeks (I know it is all relative, but keep in my Portland is not built for this type of weather. Not only that but the only way this area gets back above freezing is to have the transitional freezing rain storm first, which is just nasty). So now today it is 105 and supposed to be even hotter tomorrow. I feel kinda like Dennis Quaid in "The Day After Tomorrow".

But back to the point of the post, summer cleaning. Last night as I was getting ready for bed, I quickly scanned over my collection of boxes, envelopes, supplies, stacks of random cards, and folders. Now keep in mind that I have only been at this for just over two months, so the fact that I could get so disorganized so quickly is a feat in itself.

I have come to the financial decision that I have spent plenty for now, and I would like to stash away for the upcoming Topps Chrome (already ordered two boxes) and then this falls Topps 2009 Updates and Highlights). Maybe a few scattered packs in between, but I need to really buckle down and keep my goals in mind. Right now those goals are collecting base sets and obtaining the next 50 turkey reds! The chrome is more going for the hits and having some trade material, because at four cards a pack, it is practically impossible to shoot for a base set.

So here is the deal. In the short time I have been doing this hobby, I have realized that there are a lot of "priceless" cards out there. Granted there is a favorite player for everybody (though I tend to challenge that a bit) unless I have a hit, a parallel, or something unusual or serial numbered, what I have is...a lot of cards. A lot of cards that neither fill my collection needs, nor probably 99% of my readers needs either.

Thus, a survey! I AM WILLING to go through my entire spare collection and sort the cards into their respective product and years, and collate them into a spreadsheet, and then make them all available to you the public. Yeah, there are probably a few decent cards hidden in this bunch, but most of them will just sit around and collect dust forever. But if the people demand it, I will do it.

OR, I can jettison a bunch of cardboard unceremoniously on recycling day.

If you like the idea of me collating and reporting what I have there are two stipulations 1) keep in mind that I only have products that are from 2002 (maybe even 2003) through 2009 and 2) in order to give me a starting point, it would be helpful if you left a comment of which series of cards you are looking for. We can then work out some pretty lopsided deals in your favor!

So I will post the "Collate or Disintegrate" survey for you. Happy radio button clicking!

Kevin Millar is Batman

Hi Everybody,

I have been a little lax on my posting for the last couple of days, but I don't want to worry Jaybee that I have hit the wall. Quite the contrary. I will still have plenty to share for a long time to come (though I am going to have to be a bit more creative because with two boxes of Topps Chrome and the outstanding product sheet Jaybee posted for Topps Updates and Highlights, I think I need to hunker down for a bit and save up some scratch for these items. Anybody know the jumbo and hobby box costs for the Updates and Highlights?

I can see myself going jumbo on this one, as the Topps flagship is bar none the most fun I have had thus far with collecting and the relics and autos look great click on Jaybees link above, he scanned the product sheet.

One thing I am a bit miffed about is apparently Topps is going to be releasing 50 more Turkey Reds with the series. This is not necessarily a bad thing because I love these cards...but I was feeling pretty proud of successfully obtaining 1-100 and NOW I won't have the full set once-again. Be prepared for a "Turkey Hunt 2009- Extended Addition" in October when the product releases. We must haves them, my preciouses..

I am also going to be cutting out of here for a few days and heading to the beach to kick it with the family for five days, so the JD blog is going on a brief hiatus. I will be back though and have more greenhorn stories to share soon.

Before I head out, I wanted to share with you the whole purpose of the title of this blog. Joe at Priceless Pursuit and I have been swapping swatches out in the last week. I seem to have this amazing ability to snag Yankee swatches (or former yankee swatches) and and repulsed to even look at them so I send them south to Joe. Here is what one messed up Jason Giambi/Richie Sexson double swatch gets you...

This card is fantastic as the bat swatch is not only huge, but there are some well defined texture to it that this crummy image does no justice to. Believe it or not, this is my first Millar card. Its like the guy never existed. I always have like Millar for his sense of humor and the ability to pull a team together. Its great to add him to my Sox, and someday soon I will do a retrospective of my favorite team ever, the 2004 Boston Red Sox. There were also a couple other cards, A Varitek, A Youkilis UD first edition (classic) and a Papi Starquest card (I am doing this from memory).

I have received a few other packages that I would like to get to, but really need my scanner and a little extra time to do so, so it will have to wait for the moment. Off to the beach! Catch ya in a few days!


Sunday, July 26, 2009

A couple of Ebay Treasures

Every now and again I like to jump onto Ebay and see if I can catch myself a bargain or two. There are just a lot of cards out there that are difficult to trade for, and rookie cards fall into that category. The great place to find rookie cards is online, since guys like me go huntin' for them. I was extremely fortunate to find two gems this weekend for a pretty decent price...
This is a 2008 Johnny Cueto rookie Chrome auto. Granted it has a sticker and it looks like he signed it standing on his head, but if a Topps representative says its an official auto, then thats cool by me. I was happy to drop $7.50 for this gem.
I kinda stumbled upon that Chrome card, but this Stadium redemption was my true target. I have been trying up and down to trade for this recently mailed card from Topps. Again, autos are a tough trade and so I turned to Ebay and (whaddaya know) there were several posted for bid over the weekend. I kept watching them come and go and the price just never seemed right. Suddenly this evening somebody decided to post a "Buy It Now" for $4.50 and I quickly jumped on it. Note the variety in signature, but this one more matches up with my SP Legendary Cuts Sig, so I guess signing that Topps Chrome sticker must have made it a bit slippery for him.
Money well spent, in my opinion, and I am thrilled to add these to my phenom wing!

Results Of Goudey Packs

Yesterday I posted about 3 retail packs of 2009 Goudey that I snagged while at Target. I am actually pretty impressed with the pulls on this product, considering that it is retail, as well as I only grab a few random packs at a time. Here are some of the notables...
What I guess you can consider to be a Dice-K card, and Justin Verlander and Mr. Lincicum fit my collecting needs perfectly.

I also got several rookie cards, most notably Mat Gamel and Dexter Fowler. These dissapear into the "pray" box.

Not necessarily on my needs list but good pulls include a Brooks robinson SP, an Atlanta Braves 4 in 1, and a blue-backed Bill Hall Mini

....of course no pack is perfect!
Below are the remainder of my Goudays if you are interested...
#170 Wade Leblanc
#116 Joe Nathan
#87 John Lackey
#72 Miguel Cabrera
#18 Nick Markakis
#6 Dan Haren
#166 Kevin Kouzmanoff
#106 Bill hall
#167 Chris Young
#62 Travis Hafner
#59 Kelly Shoppach
#113 Ryan Braun
#121 Kevin Slowey Mini green back

"Remedial" Collecting

Yesterday afternoon I had the opportunity to take in the Braves v Brewers in some of the more crazy retro negro league uniforms, I believe that is was the Crackers vs the Bears if I am not mistaken. Tommy Hansen and Yovani Gallardo when blow for blow until Tommy finally broke down a bit in the later innings and gave up two runs. Really though, he was fighting off runners in scoring position all evening, and was dealing with the flu bug, so all in all he had a magnificent outing.

Yovani on the other hand was just phenomenal through 7.0 innings of work and allowed no earned runs (when you have both guys on your fantasy squad, these are exactly the numbers that I was hoping for).

During the game I decided to crack open my box of 2008-2009 Topps basketball and rip a few packs...eventually this turned out to be ripping the whole box because I had a theory that I needed to confirm. I bought this box to see if it grabbed my attention and kept me interested. Here is a somewhat review of the product.

Look: These follow suit with the goofy team name lettering that Topps baseball 2008 implemented. While not overall a detractor, that is a lot of white border and a major problem is that in many of the shots, the cameraman is trying to fit as many players into the frame as he can (which makes sense, because some of the best plays in basketball take place in a scrum of people). The result, therefore, is much smaller images of the players so they all fit on the card. There are a few nice horizontal shots that take advantage of the landscape dimensions, but overall these cards were mostly underwhelming.

Sub-Sets: There were a few different subsets to work with, but the most interesting was a variation from the 58-59 card variety. There are thirty of these and I have most, so I might as well finish it off. The other subsets did not do it for me. Retirees: These are actually kinda cool, but just part of the base set:

Relic: Well, in this instance there is one per box. This years set promises three, but honestly, if this is the best they have, do I really want three of these?

The main problem: You might notice from the title that I mention the word "remedial", as I labored through collating this set that is the word that kept popping into my head. Let me explain. You see, the way Topps packed this set, I magically have every base card and exactly 1/2 of the rookie cards! Granted the rookie cards are worth it because 1) they are actually rookie cards) and 2) there was a nice class last year)...

...but come on, WHY would I spend so many hours collating a set if at the end of the day the entire veteran set was going to be there anyways? I might as well have just gone out and bought the factory set and saved myself the trouble.

Another example: I realized late in the game that there was a variety of cards that I did not notice that had gold lettering instead of silver. So when I had all the cards in the binder, I went back through and pulled out the gold-lettered cards, and guess what? I had the silver variety for EACH ONE in my doubles stack! So now I have the entire set (minus the 13 rookies) in silver format in my binder.

I guess at the end of it all I just assumed there would be more of a challenge to this set. Yeah, I need to find 13 rookies and also about 5 58-59 variety cards to complete that set, but mostly I am going to be stuck with a bunch of useless doubles...I might try TTM.

Upon further pondering, I can actually see a relevent use of this type of product. You can purchase this hobby box for your kid, and with chores and good behavior, feed them a pack or two at a time, and eventually they will collect the entire set and get all jazzed up. So there is merit to this product, and maybe down the road I can do this with Jacoby.

So lesson learned, which is exactly why I bought this box at a steep discount before blowing some cash on this years set. Which puts me back to square one on what I want to collect next. Somebody recommended Topps Chrome so I may head down that path and get me some shiny! Or I may just chill for a bit and work on bits and pieces for my personal collection. Either way I am giving a moderate thumbs down to Topps Basketball.

On the other side of the coin, I thoroughly enjoyed my UD Icons blaster and Goudey 3-packs. I will post something on that a bit later!