Saturday, October 3, 2009

I have a few days of mail to catch up on and share with you. This captstone has me by the chicarones, but I am determined to still get in a little cards R & R wherever I can. Your Google fact of the day... one of Googles risks that it lists in its annual report is its fear of losing its trademark name "Google" because Google is synonymous with search, and is often used in verb form. Think of kleenex, saran wrap, and scotch tape. Those are all name brands but have lost trademark because of their common name.

Anyways, I want to start off with a post from Beardy!

Every time I pick up an old card, chills kinda hit me. I cannot say the number of times I hold a 50 year old card in my hand and actually say to my wife "I have a 50 year old piece of cardboard in my hand". She just shrugs and goes on her way.

I think what makes these two cards even cooler is the fact that I have been knee deep in their 2008 counterparts for the last couple of months, that it makes it way cool to see the real deal. Even cooler on these cards? Check out the backs!
Yeah, they look just like the backs of 2008 Heritage, but what I love about these particular backs is that the descriptive text is somewhat of a crystal ball or swami of sorts, boldly predicting how the player will do this season. All of the 2008 Heritage tell you what a player has done, these (at least the two cards) predict what a player will DO. Look out, Brandon Lang.

Beardy also came through with amazing form by sending me the three final prints needed to complete my 2009 Topps Chrome set. DONE! After all, I am a set collector, it is my MO. These cards irritate me slightly (the set I mean) in that when you put them all together collated in a box, some of them have a bit of a curl to them, so they don't all look nice and straight and smooth looking. It almost looks like somebody spilled a glass of what at some point, or left the box baking in the sun. It might be a good idea to get some binder sleeves to store these in instead.

But Beardy was not done yet. The piece de resistance of the package was this fantastic Yaz jersey. I now have a nice relic to go with a Fisk relic I pulled over the summer. The two can keep each other company. I really appreciate this card a ton and it will be well displayed in the Red Sox wing for years to come.

And last, but definitely not least, my vote for MVP in the AL, Mr Jason Bay. Go look at his numbers, you'll see what I mean.
Thanks again Beardy. Joe, you are on Deck, and Troll you are in the hole.

Friday, October 2, 2009


I found this card on eBay. There is no chance that I will ever own it, but a guy can dream. Maybe I can just make it my desktop image and pretend that I own it.

Why my Wife Rocks

Often times, when it comes to collecting baseball cards, my wife will roll her eyes. Often times she will tell me that I need to stop "playing" with my baseball cards and fold laundry. Occasionally a comment comes out about cards being "everywhere" (which occasionally, I have to agree, it's almost as if the cards are reproducing themselves while we sleep, kinda like spilling water on Magui.

But on this particular occasion my wife came though like a champ and made me proud and happy.

You see (and this is going to sound pretty childish, but as collectors, you should understand), last week I ran into a local collector who had bought a couple of boxes of Goodwin Champions and realized that he had no time to chase the set, nor break up the contents and post them on eBay, so he offered me a prince of a deal and sold me all the contents, everything included, for a very generous price.

I went to the hobby shop, where he left the contents, and found one cardboard card box with everything in it, minis, retros, autos, relics. I made a special point not to look at the contents (especially the hits) because I had request for my wife.

You see, half (most) of the fun of collecting cards is the excitement of the pack rip. Not knowing what is in each pack, hoping for the big hit, etc. That being the case I had a request for my wife that I knew would get a major eye roll. If I saved the wrappers from my two boxes of Goodwin, would she be willing to repack the other two boxes, scramble up the cards, a dash of base, a dash of mini, an occasional hit? Knowing that I would be insanely busy with school and that it also would keep me from having the urge to run to the card shop to buy some wax, she agreed.

Low and behold the other night she comes into the room as I am finishing up my schoolwork and presents me with two boxes, loaded with unwrapped Goodwin packs! 18 in each box! I guess some of them are jumbo packs!

I know that this sounds silly, but instead of just tearing though a box of material and suddenly having nothing new to look at for the forseeable future, I now have two boxes of unopened potential thanks to my wonderful wife!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Straight to the Hits!

Okay, so the comments have been tailing off so I will not inundate you with another clump of base card Goodwin Images tonight. I still have a lot of these babies to open up, but for now i'll just file away what I have and give you want you want...the Hits!

So these are the last two hits of my first two Goodwin boxes. To review I have pulled a Lowrie auto, a King Felix relic, a Cole Hamels relic and a Carlos Lee Relic. Mathematically there are still a relic and auto to go! What were they?

Big Z! This relic has a bit of extra pep over the others with the blue fabric and the ferocious looking bear in the upper-right hand corner.

The auto?
Jeremy Bloom auto! Woo......who? Okay, so it is mostly disappointing to pull a non-baseball autograph, but thats what you get when you rip a product like Goodwin Champions. I can actually find some merit in this card. Firstly, check out that bodacious signature. That thing is wicked looking.
Secondly. Lets say that Jeremy Bloom competes in the Winter Olympics in Vancouver in February, and wins 7 gold medals, well then suddenly this card is looking pretty darn good eh? I dunno. I dig it though.
So there you go! I have some more Goodwin to start ripping, but I will basically stick to the highlights and interesting cards and try to throw in some different material as we get headed into the playoffs! Go Sox.

Collection of a Different Kind

As I have mentioned in a few posts, Google pretty much is running my life for the next 11 weeks. It surrounds all of my activities. So as it happens, I was searching all over the house for a book I read on Google a couple years back. I searched my closet in the man cave and stumbled upon this:
I remember starting this book way back when the fancy little commemorative quarters starting to come out. My Grandma used to send me a new quarter each time she went to the bank. She would tape it into an card with a bird on the outside. I always knew that a bird card meant a new quarter.

Well, as soon as I moved out of my apartment I packed up this book as well as all of the quarters in it. My Grandma is still out there, but for some reason or another she eventually stopped sending the quarters. I must have forgotten to send a thank you card or something.

Well, I opened up the book and surprisingly, I have MOST of the quarters but am missing several of them. I was hoping that the blogosphere might take a look into their coin piles to see if you might have any of the following states:

California, Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Washington, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, Alaska, and Hawaii.

I know this is an odd request, but I am a set collector after all! I will be happy to help you find some cards in exchange for some cash!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

More Goodwin Highlights

Well, I finished up the first section of my Capstone paper this evening. I am learning more about Google than you can shake a stick at and I will occasionally throw a little nugget at you to make your head spin. Today's nugget is that the head base for Google is in Mountain View, California, and the workings lovingly refer to it as the "Googleplex". Now I know that employers will go out of their way to make a work environment look fun, but this place looks insanely fun with all sorts of perks and benefits and things like bicycles and electric scooters for you to use to make your way around the campus. And when is the last time you ever heard somebody quit Google. It must be cool.

Anyways, finished up early, so I am throwing up some more "best of" scans of my first two boxes. I am saving the autograph and relic for later, but in the meantime here are a few images... Clayton Kershaw (AKA Matt Damon). Defititely on the short list of future Phenom inductees.

Ryan Ludwick - Nothing to shout about here, but this in one of those close up shots that look really terrific with the rich colors and shadown details. Its like the gotee is coming right off the cardboard at you.

Here is a host of minis. Apparently the Ankiel and the Maybin are a couple of the exclusive mini variety in this set. You will note that I pulled yet another Francisco Liriano.

Here are some classic schmos.

More surfer dudes. I love the card on the right with the ragin surf. I have seen an autograph card on Ebay that I think I might try to snag. The other guy looks kinda like a tool.

There are current Presidents...

and former Presidents (and mini-former Presidents)

And I leave you today with a few classic mini's, of which I would have to say that Palmer card is my favorite.

STILL more to come soon. I am going to make you so sick of Goodwin that you are going to wish that there was more Ginter posts to read!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Goodwin 4-Pack Highlights

Over the next several posts I will be scanning the "best of" from my first two boxes of Goodwin. Remember that I also have two more "opened contents" boxes that I will be milling through, but I would have to believe that the guy that sold them to me didnt find anything spectacular, so I am not expecting a huge hit in the stack. I did glance in the box and find a couple Gypsy backs sitting there, but really I think the most I can hope for out of the set is a bunch of needed base cards and some short prints.

So help me figure out the checklist on this set, because I am a bit confused. It seems that the first 150 or so cards all have a base, mini, gypsy, foil, and magician available.

Then 150-200 have (I believe) just a regular sized SP available.

Then 201-252 (I believe) are strictly minis. Now I only have one card from the final 52 cards out of two boxes, so I am pretty nervous if Goodwin considers this to be part of the main set. Anybody know the answers to these questions? I am pretty sure that I am only of the few people actually crazy enough to try to collect the set.

Before I go forward though with the pictures though, I will say this...I added the Goodwin cards directly behind the Ginter cards in my binder. A quick flip between the two is all you really need to see how much Goodwin stands out, both with depth of color, shadow and variety. Just something I noticed....

So here is a fluffy cloud Curtis Granderson. I am now automatically drawn to cards with guys in shades, thanks to Joe. Brad Hawpe is also in here only to indicate that both of these cards are short prints. I also noticed that those Moon variety cards must be pretty dang rare, because I did not have a single on in the first two boxes.

There is absolutely no doubt why this card is plastered on all the ads for this product as well as the number 1 card in the set, it is an absolutely stunning Griffey card. This is the mini Griffey. The base card has yet to manifest itself.

Lebron James mini. The great Shaq-Lebron experiment starts soon.

President Johnson, Matt Cain (phenom inductee) in shades, and some marathon runner that I believe has won the New York Marathon and Boston Marathon either 4 times each or total. Either is impressive.

Yay! Jacoby Ellsbury mini SP. This is the one card that I was talking about where I don't believe an actual full-sized base card exists. Again, the depth, color and shadow are really spectacular on some of these cards. I think when all is said and done, I will do a "best of" post for the best Goodwin cards, because there are some that clearly stand out above the rest (Brian Roberts, anyone)?

I like the old-school look to this Jay Bruce shot. Looks like something out of Heritage. If you are lucky enough to find a Tiger card with a little Red Swatch at the bottom, that can fetch you around 70 bones. Any other relic will fetch you 1.25! Can you tell I am getting sick of relics?

I don't know who this Roberts fella is, but he supposedly played in the 50's and this particular card looks old. The we have Fonso. Maybe next year, kid.

That it for now. Much of my time is occupied learning all the ins and outs of our friends at Google. Did you know that nearly 1/3 of all Google searches in Japan come from mobile devices? Meditate on that for awhile.
I just wanted to say a quick thought in closing and have been trying to figure out how to say it for the last couple of days. I have noticed trends in blogging lately, including bloggers hanging up their keyboards and calling it quits, not just with blogging, but collecting as well. There seems to be a general theme that (me included) we are all going broke chasing ridiculous cards that only a very few will ever find. People then get stressed, and you can clearly see how it affects their perceptions of the hobby.
My only advice (that I also have taken) is to just keep things in perspective. Probably 98% of what we collect today will probably be worth 1/64th the value 20 years down the road. Collect what you like, be happy with what you have, don't spend beyond your means, enjoy writing, enjoy trading and the friendships that you form. HAVE FUN.
And above all else, make fun of all the people who do big box breaks on youtube and come up empty. Unless you are one of those people. Its not good to make fun of yourself...too often.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Guess what? I found a new way to stop spending money on cards? Do a capstone project! Who would have thought it. My school work is going to be constantly consuming me day and night and weekends as I balance a family, work, school and a hobby! Did I mention that I need to research a company also? Therefore, I still promise to continue to blog, but scanning in every card is going to have to go by the wayside for a bit until I have a free moment. I still want to give you the highlights of several more pack rips from yesterday...

Smarty Jones....the horse.

Memorabilia, Felix Hernandez! I have to say that thus far my memorabilia have been right on the money with a Lowrie Auto, and a Hamels Jersey. Yeah, I pulled the Carlos Lee, but Joe will find a way to make it turn into something more to my liking, so really it is all good!

This is my second citizens of the day card...Sitting Bull. He was a champion. You will notice that Custer did not make this set. Custer was not a champion.

Peyton Manning and that surfer Brah again. I think he is my favorite card...he just looks happy standing in front of that warm Hawaiian sunset. Hang loose.

Now didn't I just tell you that Liriano is EVERYWHERE? I also got a Price Rookie Card and very happy to see my first mini sox, Mr Pedroia.

Here are my scattered minis so far. I was really excited to buy the mini binder sleeves, but it turns out the ones that I bought are for the square minis, so either I got the wrong product, or the other does not exist yet (probably option #1). Note the Damon Gypsy mini.

and now the hit of the day that is part of the reason I love this set...

Foil Magician Vlad Guerrero, hand-numbered 8/8. There are obviously some more desirable names out there to pull one of these for, but you can't dispute the fact that there are only eight in existence, which is pretty darn cool. Unsure what I will do with this one yet, but it's one of the fun little surprises of this set that keep me looking forward to the next rip.
More to come!

The Chase is On!

Tally Ho! Yesterday afternoon and started thinking about it, and decided that these cards are definitely worthy of a binder instead of being all locked away in a cardboard box. I cleared out an entire set of Topps 2008-2009 basketball cards to free up the sleeves. (By the way, that Topps Basketball Series is up for trade if you or your kid would like it. Even if you had a couple of fancy cards that you wanted to trade for it that would be fine because it is just sitting in the closet collecting dust at this point).

I also downloaded an excel spreadsheet of this series and its subsets. When I take that step, it is on like Donkey Kong, so I officially am announcing my chasing of the 2009 Goodwin Champions set.

I have had a few requests for some cards thus far, and I can tell you that at the moment I am just on the pull until I know what I have. I have 4 boxes to get through and so far have tackled a mere 17 packs of it. Without a doubt I will amass plenty of doubles before all is said and done and I would be more than happy to send them your direction.

Boxes 3 and 4 are a bit funny. Occasionally I get an email from a guy locally who purchases a lot of boxes. He impulsively bought two of these and had plans of gathering the set. I think once he busted them he realized the commitment it was going to take, and I don't think he pulled anything major to sell on eBay, so he offered me the entire two boxes, everything included, for half price. So while I don't expect a hit of a lifetime from the boxes, I still have two autos, 4 relics and lots of variety of minis coming, so I am pretty excited.

So while I am a ways away from knowing my availables and needs, here are a few more pack breaks to pass some time.
Akinori Iwamura - I really respect this guy. I like speed demons.

Pudge - If only they could have substituted him into his Rangers uniform, back home where he belongs.

Hideki Kuroda - The Dodgers have an impressive pitching staff, and Kuroda is a major part of that, but he gets injured in the same fashion as Dice-K. these WBC classics cause trouble.
Mike Schmidt - Always a welome sight, but his cards all look the same. Did he only have one playing card in his career?

Not worthy of a screen shot is Bucky F'ing Dent.

Albert Pujols - I was just thinking the other day how ridiculously hard it is to pull a Pujols card these days, and now I have one. I don't think the big huge bald cranium is a good look for him though. It reminds me too much of a certain other big huge bald cranium in San Francisco, though I pray that the similarities stop there.
And Jon Lester, one of my favorite Sox, though again this card looks like many other I have seen. It is nice to see the Sox represented again in the rips though. We hit a bit of a dry spell there.

Gordy Howe and Jose Reyes, yet another speed demon!

My rips have been very Cal Ripken-esque, and there is still more to come, but here is his base mini.

...and the very next pack offers me the Ripken Base full-size! I am a magician and a foil away from the quintella. Also nice to see a retrospective card again. I really missed those!

Michael Jordan Mini card! He truly does belong amongst the clouds.

Joe Mauer - I guess there is another player in Minnesota besides Francisco Liriano
Some Hockey Dude

Hey, is this the guy that broke the consecutive games played record? Cool.

And last but not least a Carlos Lee Jersey card. I have to admit, these are a bit plain unless the player is one that you really like. I am really starting to grow tired of the relics fad. I think the post over at Priceless Pursuit really drives the point home. Check out the youtube box break for Upper Deck Ballpark. It takes relics to a whole new extreme.
As for Carlos. I have a couple of his swatches now, including a then and now swatch of him as a White Sox and as and Astro as well as this card. I would like the to go to a good home if you would like to contact me!
More breaks later!