Friday, August 21, 2009

Heritage Havoc!

"They are who I thought they were"

Well, as predicted, My Heritage project has now hit a major bump in the road in that I am basically down to 77 cards (53 of which are all short prints). I guess that I could worse off in the short-print portion of the set, but nevertheless it is going to be a challenge and half to gather these up. Have you seen how much people want for these on eBay? Ridiculous! There has to been an easier way to get a few of these at a time. Did anybody pull any double of these that they have been hanging on to looking for the right trade? I have pulled a few that I would like to trade for ones that I need. How do the rest of you attack completing this set? Ideas?

Friday Fun!

Well, another week has come and gone. Things have been awfully quiet on the blog front, and trade requests are pretty still as well, minus a few packages that I have going out this weekend. Being my first year of blogging, I don't know whether things start slowing down as football season draws near. For me, I am perfectly excited to blog about chrome, the upcoming Updates and Highlights, and apparently Topps is releasing a high numbers Heritage set (this one worries me a bit, since I am already struggling with the regular 2009 set as-is). My Turkey Red hunt will again take priority as Topps is releasing another 50 of those, so I feel that I have enough to keep me going for quite some time!

Nevertheless, it never hurts to post a non-baseball card related blog from time to time. After all, there are lots of other things in the world to talk about. I have noticed lately a few hockey posts are starting to pop up, but in reality I know nothing of the sport. I have been to a couple local games and look like a deer in headlights. It would help if Portland would get its act together and snag an NHL team for the Rose Garden arena. But for now I cannot even pretend to know the players...I don't know my Vladimir Lutchenko from
Vladamir Radchenko..."Their fueling their missiles!!!!"

or my Vityaz Chekhov from...

...Pavel Chekov.
So my wife and I came up with an idea for the blog today. I would like to get to know some of my readers better outside of our collecting likes and dislikes. So here is the question: If you could sit down and chill and have some drinks with three people and get to know them...who would it be? Stacy, Jacoby and I will take the lead...
Stacy's Picks

#1. Jon Bon Jovi. Jon Bon. Stacy's secret crush is not really much of a secret. Any television concert, or new album suddenly takes priority in our house. When I take the iPod to work, somehow some new Bon Jovi song appears in the shuffle. To his credit, I went with Stacy to a concert here a few years back and it actually was pretty entertaining, although the one song I really wanted to here "Blaze of Glory" was absent from the show. "Wanted Dead or Alive" was close enough though.

2. The crew from "Ace of Cakes". Can you imagine going to a workplace every day where you LOVE being there and what you do? Me either.

3. Big Papi. I think besides Johnny Damon and Jacoby Ellsbury, Big Papi is Stacy's favorite Red Sox. Big Ol Teddy Bear. Plus he is finding his swing at the right time this season.
Jacoby's picks (these are a bit subjective, but are based on how much he smiles when we pick out his diaper of the morning...the bigger the smile, the higher the ranking...)

1. Grover. JD Grins ear to ear when you pull a Grover diaper from the pack (I think he is a SP too).

2. Elmo. Damn Elmo. Kids just dig him though.

3. Cookie Monster. Again, big smile when the CM-Man is pulled. Is there any truth to the rumor of Sesame Street renaming Cookie Monster "Vegetable Monster"? Google it.

Mike's List

1. Quentin Tarantino - A very polarizing figure. You either love the guy or hate him. Personally I think he is a genius. His knowledge of pop culture, his ability to write memorable dialogue, his pacing of movie scenes, and his uncanny ability to unearth catchy tunes that we have never heard of is just unheard of. I started with "Pulp Fiction" then back to "Reservoir Dogs", and on from there. Inglorious Basterds is out this week and I will be there on dollar popcorn night next Tuesday. Cannot wait.

2. Dave Matthews. Dave has got to be the coolest cat out there. His fiddle man is right up there also. I love (most) of the DMB albums, but if you can make it to a live concert you are really in for an unforgettable experience. From the crazy jam sessions to the moments on spontaneous ramblings and sounds that Dave makes, I would love to tip back a few with Dave and try to figure that dude out.

3. Tom Hanks. I have been a Tom Hanks fan since "Big", and "Dragnet" and enjoy most all of his movie choices minus the "Da Vinci" films. I think I have always looked up to him because he seems remarkably down to earth for being so wildly popular, and has never let his status go to his head. I guess if there were really any Hollywood role models, then he is probably the guy. His "knock-knock" joke from "Catch Me If You Can" is probably one of the greatest lines of his career.
Alright, so lets hear your top three!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Haaaaave ya met Zistle?

One of the most rewarding aspects of becoming a blogger is creating a blog from scratch and watching it develop over time, gain followers, build relationships and grow. I have met some really nice people, made some great trades. It's been pretty cool and I look forward to doing this for a really long time.

I have always respected Bill Waterson, creator of "Calvin and Hobbes" for his intregrity in his product. He never sold out and mass created his creation into mugs, tshirts, Garfield-esque window suckers...whatevers. I have never really considered adding advertising banners, plugging Blogger, or linking up to a commercial baseball card collecting site. Doing so would probably increase my traffic, and its always fun to see the hits go up and read comments, but I would rather see that happen based on having good material (okay, so there is the occasional flop :), building good relationships, and completing a good, honest trade.

So why all of the buildup? Well, if you look to your right you will see a, GASP!! Banner for Is JD rolling over in his crib? I don't think so, though he has learned to sit up in his cell and wait to be paroled each morning!

I learned about Zistle a few weeks back when I read some postings regarding the pricing differences between Zistle and Beckett. I had no idea that an alternative actually existed at all, and jumped in to check it out.

What I learned is that Zistle is created by two collectors (Josh and Ashley) with a love of sports and collecting. This is a community-driven site that invites collectors to log-in and archive their collection online, join forums, make trades, etc etc.

As I mentioned in previous posts, I subscribe to Beckett online. I pay the $5.99 a month!! because I want access to products lists so I am able to figure out what I have in my hand. Being a new collector, it can get a little confusing with all of the parallels and insert sets. I have never really thought much about the pricing, and really any new product does not even have a price for several weeks or months anyways, plus there are RARELY any card images to view. I basically use it as a database.

Zistle, on the other hand, is community-driven site that is working hard to not only make it easier to log your collection, but also show images of those cards as well. One of the beauties of the site is that you can search for cards based on tags. For example, in my own collection I can type in "rookie" and ALL of my rookie cards will pop up, images and all, within seconds. This same function is available in the community library where a convenient +/- sign will allow you to quickly add (or subtract) a card from your collection in seconds.

Zistle is not perfect. It is young, and therefore there are gaps in uploaded cards, many of which are lacking scans. But the concept is phenomenal which is why I have thrown my hat in the ring to try to help the site reach its potential by promoting and helping fill some of the card gaps. Did I mention that this site is FREE?

Some will say "what about the pricing discrepancy between Beckett and Zistle". Pricing a product is always going to be controversial no matter who you ask, but as collectors, we all know enough about the hobby to know that a card is worth what somebody is willing to pay for it. Zistle does have pricing methods in place. More accurate? Depends on who you ask.

No matter your stance on pricing, Zistle is one amazing concept, and the best part is that it is all made possible by collectors like us. The more collectors who join and contribute, the better the site becomes. It is truly a site for collectors.

So I am not going to spend blog after blog preaching the benefits of Zistle. The best way for you to see what I am talking about is to simply take a few minutes and play around in there. If you like what you see, then give it a go and let others know to take it for test drive. The more members, the more collections. the more collections, the stronger the database. Everybody wins!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Come Git your Fractors!

All Red Sox and Rookies go in there respective homes, but I have many refractors available in trade to you! I will go ahead and list them out with names. Please contact me and let me know if you are interested!

Nate McClouth - In Braves Uni...this refractor is slightly curled I guess due to packaging
Justin Morneau
Justin Upton
Kosuke Fukudome
Brian Roberts
Francisco Rodriguez
Francisco Liriano
Glen Perkins
Yadier Molina
Roy Oswalt
Miguel Tejada
David Dejesus
Alex Gordon
James Shields - Blue Refracter #19/199

WBC Refractors

Nelson Cruz - Blue Refractor #45/199
Chenhao Li - Blue Refractor 129/199
Fu-Te-Ni - #465/500
Adrian Gonzalez - #456/500
Fei Feng - #484/500
Chi-Hung Cheng - 484-500

Dog Days of Collecting!

Man, it sure has been quiet around the blogosphere lately. Everybody must be trying to decipher this eBay posting. Either that, or you are all like me, the funding is running low, the product season is winding down, and football is just around the corner.

For me I just wrapped up my final?? box of chrome.
I say final?? because I had so much fun with it and am so happy with the autos I pulled, that I might just go one more box. It is fairly reasonably priced, but when you get to the point where you have 80% of the base set, you stand the chance of pulling massive doubles, which I often cannot move due to lack of interest. I am starting to get the impression that I am the only one chasing this set, and that is going to make it VERY difficult to complete. I can see people grabbing a few packs and pulling players from their favorite team. If you are one of these people, I urge you to consider me for the base cards that you don't want. Plus there is an excellent chance that I have some players from your squad in my doubles already.
Another one of my projects that is slowly stalling out after an amazing run is the Topps Heritage 2009.

In a matter of two weeks I was able to amass all but 80 or so of the base through trades, which is truly remarkable. Everybody has been really willing to help out and if anybody might still have some Heritage extras around, can you please take a quick look at my list and also see if I have some doubles I can send your direction!

Other random thoughts today:

Brett Favre......Seriously? Stop it.

Tommy Hanson - STUD! Forgot to sub him in the other day...DOH! He gets my ROY vote.

Steven Strasberg - Wow that was fun, wasn't it? I have Scott Boras-lash already. Nevertheless, I hope Strasberg has a draft pick card in the upcoming Updates and Highlights, and I hope he is ready to have the weight of the hundreds of Nats fans on his shoulders!

Clay Buccholz - I will pray for thee tonight against Halladay tonight

My Xbox360 - Took a dump on Saturday, Red Ring of repair, yay! 2-3 weeks, BOO! Come back healthy, I have me some Madden 09 to play (much cheaper to buy)!
Topps Company - Are you really going to make us wait until next June...really?
More posts later!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Topps Chrome Availables!

Of course I have a little shiny to go around as well. If you find any of these interesting, let me know. I am hoping you can help me fill out some Heritage or Topps chrome needs. Let me know what you need! I am sorry not to post names, but there should be some checklists floating around the web!


2009 Chrome Needs

Well, I have finished my third and final box, and no Obama to be found :(

While this last box did no elicit many massive hits, it did quite well to fill in a lot of my base set. I have all but 46 cards (or 80% of the base set). Can you help me out with any of these?


Not too shabby. This is doable, but I don't here a lot of chrome chatter out there. Anybody collecting?

An Epic Post!

Oh YEAH! Tonight we are going to get a little bit geeky! Sure I also got a card of that Bob Uecker guy in the mail, but lets face it, We have just obtained a 30 year old secret vault of childhood memories! Actual wax pack! Here is the first of many images from this beauty!
You'll notice floating Star Wars Characters heads with little candies coming out of the. Upon unfolding it says " 9 candy-filled containers shaped like Star Wars Characters" and "Loaded with CANDY". Hmm, seems like a pez dispenser or something. I dont even remember seeing these as a kid. So how about that 30 year old gum??

Thar she be. Unfortunately it did not survive 30 years frozen in carbonite. Every ten minutes I dare my wife to eat it. I think the joke is wearing thin. Onto the cards.

First card is the dreaded AT-AT Walkers! These are without a doubt a major highlight from Empire. A beasty machine that can stand up to any kind of blaster fire, even that from and Ion cannon! Its a good thing that that rebel snowspeeders were loaded with harpoon cables. How totally fortunate was that! Designers of the snowspeeder get an A+ for weapons design. What else were they using the harpoons for?
You'll notice on the back of each card is a movie quote from the first two movies. I think I will annoy my wife with quote trivia next!

Ah Yoda, wise he is.

This is the best shot you'll get of the Falcon in this pack and Lando and his cronies come down the walkway on Bespin.

here is the equivalent of the O-Pee-Chee background mugshot.

Off to see Yoda...

More movie quotes...for these cards...

IG-88...failed to medal in the Millennium Falcon Sweepstakes. Loser.

The Iconic Yoda shot, and a movie facts for the next card...

Clearly Lucas was proud of his AT-AT.

My Guess is that the artwork card is the "hit"of this pack.

And of course what pack is complete without good ol R2.....

and stickers! I am a bit confused with the letters "Q" and "L"? hmm, either way these are heading right for my trapper keeper!

Well there you go! A few thoughts on this pack. I don't really "get" the orange sherbet, neopolitan borders. It does not really say "Star Wars Darkest Chapter" to me. Also for only getting one pack, I was a bit disappointed not to end up with a Han Solo, Chewbacca, Lando, or even a Star Destroyer (hell, I would have taken a Tie-Fighter".
Regardless, this was a lot of fun to open up and really brought me back to the day. I may try for another pack from series 1 or 2 if I can get a decent price. Good times.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Mystery Random Package!

JD and I spent some quality time together yesterday sitting on the living room floor, watching the Sox lose another agonizing one run game, and opening up a package of several random packets of cards sent by David at Indians, Baseball Cards, and Random Wax

David has this great progam going called randomly random where all you do is leave your email contact, and he will send out a package of random number of packs of random cards. It sounded like a lot of fun (half the fun of collecting is the thrill of the unknown), so I decided to take a shot at it. I was beside myself, and beside that guy who was beside myself when I opened the mailbox, saw the magic key to the large package box, opened that up and found this inside...

The picture does not really do it justice, but this is one MASSIVE brown envelope. Inside were 11 individually wrapped packs of random cards, as David indicated, some for JD and some for me. Clearly David enjoys doing this, and the individual packages are a very nice touch. I showed the bounty to Jacoby...

JD's sights have locked on to target.....

and clearly he was as astounded as I when he saw the packets of treasure waiting to be opened! Lets take a look at some of the highlights (there are way too many absolutely fascinating cards to cover, so I will hit a few...)
First off, David was very kind to insert some "hits" into the package

These are both very nice relic cards. I am a huge fan of Turkey Red, and The second card is fantastic in that it features Petey from Montreal, through his 2004 Red Sox campaign. I don't know if David knew that I was a huge fan of that 2004 team, but this is a fantastic keepsake. Also, the stripes on these relics are very nice.

Boy Howdy! How about some country lovin from the (Stars?) of the country music industry.
Ah, the no name cards that I have seen in other posts. These are great, but I must admit that I am unsure who the middle card is. I have Boggs and Carter nailed, but who is the middle man?

Then we have a couple disgusting, and one...well, borderline inappropriate! I love the placement of the team name as well as the outline of the chew can in his pocket. Not a shining moment for UD.

Okay...a confession here that I hope does not come back to haunt me...I am terrified of ET. That movie scared the living daylights out of me as a kid, and I am certainly not very fond of it now. Ironic that some of these would show up! That scene where Elliott takes the flashlight out in the woods and peeks in the bushes to find a screaming ET, terrifying to no end....I do love reeses pieces though.

HA! Jim Harbaugh getting dragged across the field by Derrick Thomas. No football in sight! 15 yard penalty at minimum. I will take MAXIMUM pleasure passing this one on to my buddy Ben, who bleeds blue and orange.

But the absolute winner of the entire package (beside the Petey relic) goes to this man right here...

Greg Briley of the Seattle Mariner! Great hat, great glasses, great moustache, great curveball...Greg Briley, this Bud's for you.
David, thanks a lot for a enjoyable weekend of random wax ripping! You are truly one of the most giving people in the hobby, and it has been a pleasure getting to know you and your blog. If you ever need anything, please do not hesitate to ask!

2009 Topps Chrome Box Break #2

Yesterday the wife and little JD went down to visit her family for the afternoon. This gave me a great opportunity to catch up on some mail thanks, as well as crack the second box of Topps Chrome. Now usually my standard MO is to rip packs until I get a hit (autograph, nice refractor, etc). As the case was, the autograph cards were buried pretty deep in the box, so I decided to just go ahead and rip the whole box. I am really glad that I did so, because the last pull was worth it...but first lets get to the statistics...

Box: 24 packs x 4 cards per pack = 96 cards
Base Cards: 79 (33% of base set, 39 dups from last box! (ruh-roh) = 75 (box 1) + 36= 111=50.4% of base series.

WBC: 5

I can now tell that by the duplicates that I am receiving, it is going to be pretty difficult to get the entire base from 3 boxes, and might now think about a 4th. Are any of you collecting Chrome and are willing to do some trades? I am going to hold off on posting duplicates for the moment until I finish up the third box, and I also will be adding a post for all available refractors soon!

The excitement came near the end of this box. I had not received my rookie autos yet when I pulled the first...

Sweet! Red Sox rookie George Kottaras! We'll see how ol' George end ups with the new Martinez Sheriff in town, but I have to believe that with Tek most likely hitting the road (I will miss the Captain) that Kottaras stands a good chance to do a fair amount of catching, considering that Martinez can platoon so many positions. This is a great pull.


Then it got even better.....

Wait for it......

YES!! This is the first time where I have actually hoped for a particular card and actually gotten it. This is a regular chrome Tommy Hanson Auto! There is no number on the back, so this is indeed the SP that had been rumored. I actually think I let out a nice little surprised yell when I saw this card. Now if only that last box contains Obama, I will be one happy camper!

I have to say, this product has surprised me more than I thought it would. Pulling variety refractors has been very suspenseful, and the results have been terrific so far. I hope my luck holds up.