Saturday, January 9, 2010

JD's Pack Rip (Part 2 of 2)

Welcome to the second part of Jacoby's pack rip. Before we continue on with Jacoby's Target picks, I wanted to give you an update on the success of the SpongeBob tattoo that I wore to yesterday's poker game. While indeed everybody was completely intimidated and impressed with my bravory of adding the tattoo (that wash rag was HOT), unfortunately I fell out in 7th place at the final table after have my set of Kings eliminated by a runner-runner-runner ROYAL FLUSH. I mean that's absolutely insulting. He would have beaten me with a regular ol' flush, but noooo, had to be the best freakin' hand in poker. Thanks for nothing, SpongeBob.

But lets get to the matter at hand. With the second pick in the 2010 Jacoby Pack Pick Em', Jacoby selects... Star Wars- The Clone Wars Widevision! Now, unlike SpongeBob, I DO have a reasonable amount of knowledge of the Star Wars universe. I know my Bobas from my Jabbas, my AT-AT from my AT-ST, and my Jar-Jar Binks from my Jelly Beans. I do know that the first three movies (originals) were epic, and that the second three were...well...not. I understand the rise of Darth Vadar, and the ultimate fall of the Empire, but I must admit that the stuff in between (AKA the Clone Wars) is a complete fog. Somewhere between the massive unleashing of clone troopers at the end of Episode II, and the beginning of Episode III, a massive amount of @#%% went down. These cards are based on episodes from the Clone Wars Television Series.

Let em rip!

Card #1 - Checklist. PHEW, because without the checklist to guide the way, I would have absolutely no clue what is going on here!

Card #2 - Seeking the Reeksa Root. Ah yes, gotta get me some of that Reeksa Root. Wait...what the hell is Reeksa Root. WELL, first of all is it apparently found on the planet lego (although suspiciously the planet name is not capitalized, making me wonder if Mr Lucas might have been asking for a copyright infringement by making it planet Lego. As a matter of fact, I would not be surprised if it is even pronounced differently...something like Lee-Go. Nevertheless, that's where ya gotta go if you want the Reeksa Root.

The Root? Well it turns out that Reeksa is a natural antidote to the Blue Shadow Virus. Serious stuff. Even more difficult about this mission? The Reeska Root is a huge Venus Flytrap looking plant complete with teeth looking to EAT YOU. Don't forget your lightsabers, folks.

Card #3 A visit to Dooku. First off, a little character clarification:

Count Dooku

Eliza Dushku

Anakin and Obi-Wan go visit a captured Count Dooku and interrogate him about...blah blah blah blah blah. I guess what I really want to know is...wasn't Dooku the Emperor's Sith apprentice prior to getting captured, and wasn't it that red camo faced, double-lightsaber wielding bad-ass from "The Phantom Menace" the Emporor's apprentice prior to that? I guess it is lucky for Palpatine that he hooked up with Darth Vadar, because prior to that he had a pretty lousy employment record. He was like the equivalent of Murphy Brown and her never-ending string of administrative assistants. At least with Vadar he had a pretty good run, but we all know how THAT worked out.

Card #4 Out of the Storm - I have to admit, I read the synopsis on the back of this card and am at a complete loss as to what the plot of this episode was. I do have an observation though...what is up with the clone troopers in the lower-right? I thought these were CLONES? I remember that ever trooper in Episode II was a clone of Jenga Fett (excuse me while I push the bridge of my glasses up), but THESE two cats look nothing alike. One looks like Magua from "Last of the Mohicans" and the other looks like Lee Marvin.

Clone Troopers....WHATEVER. Tired one's too. You can almost picture them sitting there with a bucket lunch and a thermos sitting in the shade.

Card #5 - In the Care of Wag Too. Anakin gets messed up pretty bad in a battle on Maridun, and Wag Too plays nurse. The Trade Federation decides to land on the planet and start picking a fight with the peaceful Tee-Watt Kaa nation for no apparent reason other than to flex some muscle. Sounds and AWFUL lot similar to the plot of "Avatar", eh, James Cameron?

Card #6 - Skywalker's Trap - This episode sounds pretty cool and Skywalker and his posse set a trap for the chain-smoking General Grievous and his fleet of misfits. ANY major battle needs to take place in the most dangerous of space bring on the asteroid field. Quote of the episode "We're outgunned. We're not going to last a mynock minute out here". Since EVERYBODY knows that mynocks love to hang out in asteroid fields, this quote is rather cleverly placed (excuse me while I push my glasses up again).

That wraps up the base cards. But this pack contained a HIT! No, not an autograph. Yes they do exist in this product in every 1:174 packs. I have no idea who the autograph is of, but I would kill for a Lando. Anyways, this particular hit is a transparent animation clear cell of some ferocious Jedi named Ahsoka. You can't really tell from the scan, but it is what is says it is, a clear cell with animation on it. Pretty sweet stuff. All kidding aside, if you collect this stuff, just let me know and Ahsoka is all yours.

Special thanks to Wookipedia for its tireless dedication for making sense out of everything Star Wars.

A song, you say? Wanna hear it, here go!

JD's Pack Rip (Part 1 of 2)

Yesterday I mentioned that Jacoby's Treasure Chest is more-or-less a reflection of my current tastes in cards since the big man is just 13 months old at this point. While for the immediate future, I will be making the executive decisions while the CEO is mastering his motor skills, Jacoby called me into his office yesterday and mentioned that he would like me to analyze a couple of pack rips of HIS choice. Who am I to cross paths with the head cheese? So last night, Mom and Jacoby went to Target with explicit instructions to have JD pick out two packs from the $1.99 bin. Any two packs of his choice. Needless to say, the results were stunning.

I present to you pack #1 SpongeBob Squaaare PANTS!....series 2. Ooh boy, this is going to be a bit more challenging than I first thought. Back in my college days, those late nights of "studying" that ultimately resulted in sitting in front of the TV, watching Cartoon Network with a big bowl of cereal and a wooden spoon were well before the time of SpongeBob. To my recollection (foggy at best) Space Ghost: Coast to Coast ruled the roost and its 15 minute episodes were about perfect for our limited mental capacity after a grueling "study" session. Space Ghost was tight, but the dude was a serious stick in the mud, and Zorak and Moltar picked on him relentlessly. Where else could you see Pauly Shore, Bobcat Goldthwait, and Emeril Lagasse, a praying mantis, and a robot producer all in one show?

But as your humble blogging host, I will go the extra mile to make some sort of sense out of the SpongeBob universe. To the rip!

Card #1 - Revenge of DoodleBob. "Look out SpongeBob, he has an eraser"! What a seriously scary way to wake out of a nice sponge sleep. Okay, so the pencil is a "Magic" pencil to falls to the ocean floor from a writer in a boat on the surface. Spongebob and his goofy little starfish pal start to play around with it and discover that whatever they draw comes to life...and can also be erased by the eraser. After several great laughs, the terror begins as Spongebob "doodles" and thus the evil DoodleBob comes to life and begins to cause a ruckus in the deep. This particular scene depicts an evening after Spongebob and Patrick tricked DoodleBob and erased him...all but his arm. Late at night the arm grabs the pencil and redraws himself. How does SpongeBob save the day you might ask? WELL, it turns out that he discovers that in order for a doodle to exist, it must be on paper, so he slams Doodlebob into a book, thus putting him on paper where Doodles belong. Phew, close call SpongeBob.

Card #2 - Well, not a card at all but a 1 in 6 packs Tattoo! Thanks to the miracles of scanning negatives, we can reverse the image to reveal the "screamin' my pants off"! seriously rockin out Spongebob. I am going to apply this baby before my poker game this afternoon and intimidate the competition.

Card #3 - This exclusive photo was taken from the BCS National Championship. Pictured is Texas backup QB Garrett Gilbert and the Alabama Crimson Tide Defense.

Card #4 - Light and Fashionable - Right, so apparently SpongeBob happens upon a purple wig that he thinks is the cat's pajamas. Even though everybody makes fun of him, he convinces himself that they are laughing with him and not at him. Oh SpongeBob. The rub is that this little dude next to him is Ned (I think), and Ned is the leader of a band, but the producer wont hire Ned because he has no hair (underwater discrimination...I sense a Spongesuit in his future). So from what I can gather somehow during a riot that SpongeBob causes by blocking a movie screen with his massive hair, Neddie gets hold of the wig, saves his career and SpongeBob can sleep happily again that his wig made somebody else cool. Don't be fooled though, SpongeBob was PISSED that his wig got stolen.

Card #5 - Man, this episode sound HI-larious! So Spongebob and Patrick are skipping town to head to a jellyfish convention and NO SNAILS ALLOWED. Gary is SpongeBobs pet snail. Having no options, SpongeBob asks SquidWorth to take care of him. Squidworth is a bit of a D-Bag and completely DOES NOT take care of Gary. Result? Gary gets sick, SpongeBob takes him to the vet and accidentally gets a dosage of snail medicine...which of course turns SpongeBob into a snail! After some more chaos ensues, SquidWorth also accidentally runs into a needle and turns into a snail also! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! As I said, HI-larious! The science in this episode begs to question: Did all of the juicers in MLB "accidentally" inject themselves with medicine intended for Mr. Met, thus resulting is ginormous craniums? Hmm...

Card #6 - Again, not a card, but a game piece for the "Happy Squared Sweepstakes"! How did we do?

AWW! Another stupid "enter code online" contest. Well, what the hell. I went to the site and logged Jacoby's code into the system. Result? We are entered in some sort of contest, though it is incredibly vague and the site assured me that if he wins, they will contact Jacoby's parents to let them know. I can guarantee one result from this contest...I am now going to get a @#$%-load of spam mails from Nickelodean now!

Card #7 - Sponge in Space!

Ground Control to Major Sponge,

Ground Control to Major Sponge,

take your water pills and put your helmet on.

Ground Control to Major Sponge

Commencing SpongeDown, faucets on!

PHEW, made it through the pack! For further information, please visit the SpongeBob Wiki, but please be forewarned that some of the synopsis of episodes will make your head spin round and round as they were most likely written by those late-night college revelers who put down the wooden spoon long enough to post a wicked wiki.
And just in case it is not in your head already, please click here
Part 2 tomorrow. What did Jacoby choose?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Jacoby's Treasure Chest

Happy Friday to all, and here is to a nice, slow weekend burn and some wild card playoffs!

I watched the BCS National Championship game last night, and it had to be one of the most wildly unbalanced games that I have ever seen. When Colt McCoy went down early, and wide-eyed and quaking true freshman Garrett Gilbert stepped into the game, you knew that Texas was in trouble. On third and goal, the coach finally called a pass play, and Gilbert rewarded the call with a pass high and out of the end zone. Yup, BIG trouble. After two interceptions, the second of which was a pitch pass that was picked by a 300 lb lineman, Gilbert looked like he just wanted to vomit. I just remember him seeing him mouth the words "I'm trying" to his teammates.

After what seemed like an eternally long halftime show, Texas took the field again, and displayed an inspired defense for the next 27 minutes. Gilbert Grape found a quasi-rhythm that allowed him to connect with WR Jordan Shipley for a couple of touchdowns that set up the drama for the final drive with three minutes left...only to have Gilbert crunched from his blind side and fumble for a Alabama recovery and TD. Ballgame.

I guess my impressions were that the game would have pretty much sucked if not for the impulse to root for the underdog, to cheer on Gilbert and hope for him to succeed, which he didn't, then did, then didn't again. Also, does Colt McCoy really LOOK like a future NFL QB to you? I just keep seeing this tiny little dude with a baby face with enormous headphones standing on the sideline. Hard to imagine him leading a NFL Squad down the field. But the game kept me watching, what is what sponsors are hoping for, as I have now decided that I need a Ford truck and also need to take a trip to Norway and Sweden and book it on my Citi card.

But enough of the oblong ball. This blog is all about the hardball. Being Friday, it is time to dip my hand back into Jacoby's treasure chest and pick out three random cards to share with you. In case you missed last week, I will go over the rules one more time. My goal is collecting is to complete some sets, but also stuff a shoebox full of toploaders that my son and blog CEO (JD) can have to enjoy down the road some day. I try to eliminate my own personal biases in gathering a wide spectrum of autographs and rare cards, but obviously since JD is more interested in pushing siren buttons on his firetruck and eating graham crackers, I am calling most of the shots at this time!

Here are today's random three:

2008 Topps Chrome Refractor Rookie Auto - Being a phenom junkie, I jumped on the Johnny Cueto bandwagon. It was hard not too after his stellar debut against the Diamondbacks where he struck out 10 hitters on an efficient 92 pitch outing. Unfortunately JC was a bit wild on the control side, and those who owned him during fantasy season had quite the ride. Much the same for 2009 where he finished with an 11-11 record and only 132 K's to his record. I still hold out hope that Cueto's best days are still ahead, but at the moment he is mediocre on my watch list at best. Of interest in this auto is the bizarre signature of "J.Cuito" that is unlike any of his other autos. Its almost as if he was signing two stickers at once and I got the left-handed model. Though maybe, just like his pitching, he has lack of penmanship control from time to time.

Jackie Robinson SP from Topps 2009 Series 1 - Of the several SP's that I now have from Topps Flagship and Updates and Highlights, this one is my favorite. This is just a beautiful image with a perfect color scheme and an even more perfect slide from one of the game's most historical icons. It is a privilege to keep this card safe and sound and well protect. Timeless.

And finally a 2005 Updates and Highlights Jacoby Ellsbury draft picks rookie card. I am told that this is Jacoby's "true" rookie card, though these days it is hard to tell with all of the variations and bowman "first year" cards. Either way, it is no secret that this is a Jacoby kind of family, so I had no problem shelling out the 12 bucks and top-loading this baby. I can't afford a Jacoby autograph, but I can afford one of these!

Until next week, Jacoby's Treasure Chest is closed.

Why Theo Never Returned My Favorite Card

Chapman, Chapman, Chapman!!

A while back, being young, naive, and clueless, I decided to take a flyer and send my favorite baseball card out for a TTM from Theo Epstein. I had visions of a nice signature across one of the most memorable sports scenes in my life. Luckily my buddy Joe was all over the idea and had a spare...he even went as far as to address the return envelope and include a stamp. So again, luckily I still have one of these in my collection...unsigned perhaps, but IN my collection.

I waited patiently through the regular season and got no response. I figured that Theo was busy being awesome and signing Victor Martinez and I gave a free pass. Then the season ending and hope began anew that somehow, some way, this card would find a way to his desk. Nothing. Then the holidays came and I just knew that Theo Epstein was going to show up at my door in a Santa suit and HAND DELIVER the beautifully signed card to return to its hallowed place in my collection. NOPE. Then I thought maybe he would ask Jacoby Ellsbury (who is more or less in the neighborhood) to deliver it for But it all makes sense now! Theo is too busy making super secret moves in an effort to acquire on of the most sought-after pitchers NOT in the game...Aroldis Chapman

I think that the Red Sox learned a valuable lesson last season by very publicly courting Mark Teixera, only to see him turn pure evil and win a World Series. I like how the Red Sox have quietly stayed under the radar this off-season, but am actually a bit dismayed that a "source" has revealed that the Red Sox are "in the hunt". Whenever sources start talking, usually things fall apart or are completely false. Still, keep hope alive that the Red Sox can add another cannon to their arsenal.

I have to say that I have been intrigued by some of the moves the Sox have made this off-season. It is clear that the construction of a rock-solid defense was a top-priority for Theo (since signing my TTM clearly was not), and that he has harnessed all of his powers into gathering these troops...

SS- Marco Scutaro. Marco had a reasonably good season last year and improved in all of his stat categories, but has nothing to back up that it was an anomalous year. He does not hit for power (though he had double-digit homers last year) and is not know for speed (though double digit steals and broke the century mark in runs scored). What he does bring is solid defense .981 career fielding percentage. Seriously though, we all know that the SS is a constantly revolving door, so it would not surprise me to see somebody else manning this post by season's end.

CF (and I do mean CF) Mike Cameron. With ol crooked hat showing up, Jacoby Ellsbury will no patrol left field and learn how to take caroms off of the Monster. Cameron brings pop, but with a HUGE hole in his bat with almost embarrassing strikeout totals. Apparently he can leg it out though and has a stronger arm to play the position. His steals plummeted in 2009, but I guess you have to be on base to get steals. Go figure.

P-John Lackey. Has a career BAA of 3.81 with 102 wins and pitched 7+ shutout innings against the Sox in the ALDS. Don't make Theo angry, or he'll come and get ya! Lackey is an excellent addition to a talented staff, I just hope that Boston has the common sense to move Wakefield to the pen and keep Buchholtz as a #4 or #5 starter instead.

Adrian Beltre had one anomalous year with the Dodgers and the legend grew. He has never been able to repeat that performance, but again is being utilized for his defensive prowess. And who knows? If you have the right type of swing, that short, tall porch out in left can be awfully inviting.

When you look at the acquisitions, I am willing to make one bold prediction...Jon Papelbon is going to have about a million saves next season (fantasy roster tip o the day) because while I am willing to bet that the Sox have one of the tightest defenses in the league, I wonder who is going to be the run-scoring juggernaut of this squad? Replacing Bay with Cameron certainly does not help your numbers, Mikey Lowell had a good feel for finding the angles that Beltre MAY OR MAY NOT be able to replicate, Scutaro is a question mark and Lackey won't hit. Therefore I predict a lot of close games/save opportunities for Pap. Time will tell.

Of course, everything could go like clockwork and then maybe Theo can relax and take a moment to sign that card for me.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

2009 Topps Heritage High Numbers Needs:


Randy Johnson Beans 188, Retires

Every now and again, a player of reasonable significance decides it's time to hang up their cleats/jersey/horseshoes and call it a career. While "retirement" may seem like a loose term in other major sports (Brett Favre, Michael Jordan, Allen Iverson, Brett Favre again...) usually when a baseball player says they are going to hang it up, it sticks. What better time than Hall of Fame election day to pay tribute to a future HOF?

I have a soft spot for pitchers. I admire the courage it takes to step out on the bump every few days and throw a ball at 95 mph+, only to have it rocketed back in the opposite direction...sometimes right at your head.

I also love the game-inside-the-game of pitching for wins-losses-saves-strikeouts, and being the first line of defense for your squad. I gather possible phenom pitchers cards because I am looking for the next Nolan Ryan (K's), the next Cy Young (Wins), and the next Trevor Hoffman (saves). THESE are the records that I would like to see fall in my lifetime.

Randy Johnson gave it a go. He finishes his career 2nd in K's at 4875 (though first all time for lefties), first all time in K's per IP (10.67) and third all time in wins at 303. Some of the more obscure stats are the above mentioned all-time leader in hit batsman and third all time in wild pitches. There was also the "bird" incident that became an Internet sensation. I will not post the link for any potential PETA blog readers, but needless to say, you know what I am talking about and where to find it if you must.

I remember the 6-10 snarling, flowing locks Johnson of Mariner days that was an absolute beast every time he took the mound. I lost track of him when he left for Arizona, but later got to see the corporate, clean cut, totally unhappy version that was his NYY counterpart. He totally owned the Red Sox though.

Given the opportunity, Johnson got the heck out of dodge at first chance, and went back to Arizona and ultimately San Francisco in more of a mentoring role. His injury last summer pretty much cemented his retirement fate.

What a run though. Johnson has been a blast to follow through the years (even those with the Evil Empire), kept his nose clean, and should be a shoe-in for the HOF in short order.

Congrats on a great career Big Unit. Here's to a retirement full of warm beaches and golf courses, and a less-abrasive nickname!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A few more SP Highlights

I grabbed a few (okay, more than a few) packs of SP Authentic to rip open tonight. No 3rd and (final?) hit quite yet, but I did pull quite a wide variety of inserts tonight worth displaying to my dedicated readers. Your guess is as good as mine how Sean West ended up with a Rookie Card in 2009 SP Authentic. His rookie contributions turned out less than stellar with a paltry .338 avg to lefties and a more reasonable but unspectacular .267 to righties. Perhaps Wicked Ortega can help shed a little light on the upside of Sean West. I included this card because it was the only gold (or on my variety parallel of a rook.

NOMAR!! I wish you could see this card live. Apparently there is a refractor version parallel. In this card the SP authentic, Name, serial number, and 1B all refract nicely. I find it pretty hard to relate to Nomar these days because he has moved around so much and been pretty hit and miss, but he still finds a way to make the highlight reel a few times each season and finds a way to contribute when healthy. This card is particularly cool because Nomar is sporting the Ed Rooney!

This is another insert that took me by surprise, the pennant run heroes featuring Clayton Kershaw. Clayton is another one of those quasi-phenoms that I like to keep an eye on to see how they develop. I used to have a nice lil Kershaw auto..gotta get that thing back some day! :)

The platinum power cards are a nice insert. Adam Dunn, 40 HRs...YES! 100 RBI's...YES! .236 batting avg................uggg. keep swinging for the fences, kid.

I'd like to finish up this post with a little math less on for you all... WARNING: A-ROD RANT AHEAD.

young talent

I, Robot

And a star is born. For the record, I really like the Future Watch Flashbacks idea, and this particular card gave me pause. Back in 1994, before the advent of Internet/MLB Extra innings, the only shows in town were the Atlanta Braves and the Seattle Mariners, so I definitely got my fill of the A-Rod, Johnson, and Griffey show. That team had a bunch of young guys that you could really get behind and root for. Rodriguez looked starstruck being surrounded by the veterans of the game, and just looked like he was having a lot of fun out there....then came the contract...then the pressures to perform....then a trade to New York and even more pressure...only to finally have an opportunity to get out at the end of his contract and instead....SIGNED ANOTHER HUGE CONTRACT WITH THE YANKEES. At that point A-Rod was just dead to me. He could have gone somewhere far, far away from the AL East, somewhere quiet and far away from all the media scrutiny he faced on a daily basis. But nope, money talked loudest, and now as far as I am concerned, he deserves any criticism that people throw his way. Sure, he finally got his ring, but at the end of his career I doubt that's how his legacy will be remembered.

However you view A-Rod, this is a pretty nice tribute card to an amazing talent from a more simple time. If anybody has any other cards from this subset, I would love it if you could throw some scans my direction.

SP Authentic Hit #2 has arrived

Last night I played "Call of Duty" until my contacts felt like potato chips in my eyes. As I dragged my butt up the stairs to head off to bed, I decided to make a quick stop over to the ol china cabinet and snag one pack of my SP authentic to open up. I figured " at least I will have a few base cards to discuss today". I noticed immediately that the cardboard dummy was regular colored, so no patch in this back, but three cards back I pulled this... This is apparently a gold variety of Matt LaPorta's rookie auto #/125. I had no idea that there were so many variations on each card, but this one trumps the standard #/250 silver variety. Adding LaPorta to Jacoby's treasure chest has intriguing potential. LaPorta is the highest drafted pick (7th pick, first round) in the box, but that does not necessarily mean much when you have a guy like Tommy Hanson (22nd round pick) proves that a high draft pick does not a star player make. Regardless, Rookies autos are money, and I will definitely keep my eye on
The Wahoos to see how LaPorta develops.
The second card of mention from the pack was a Faces of the Game Dustin Pedroia. This is the third of this subset that I have ripped so far and I really like the look of these cards quite a bit. I love the gritty look on Little Pony's face complements a list of his accolades on the back of the card (MVP, ROY, Silver Slugger, Gold Glove, World Series Champion). Without a doubt, Pedroia has made quite a name for himself in his young career and I can't wait to see what he will do next.
More ripping to come!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Relics I Don't Hate (Part II)

Moving on to the exciting conclusion to the "relics I don't hate" cliffhanger! I know that you lost a ton of sleep overnight pondering how the autograph junkie could possibly even have a handful of lowly little relics on hand. Here are several more that I am happy to have in my collection...

Let's start you off with a little bit of a curve ball.
Ballpark Collection! Say What?? This from the man who ripped the octo-swatch just yesterday? Well let me explain a bit. Its not that I don't like multi-swatches if they make sense. This particular octo represent four former (and world series champion) players, and four current players on the opposite side, not to mention a couple current Red Sox to boot. I don't get the whole serial number sticker, but left in on the card to match it up with its serial number receipt to certify the authenticity of the card.

Kevin Millar! I love this card for several reasons. One I love Kevin Millar. Every team needs a guy like him on the squad to keep things fun and loose. Two, this is a massive chunk of bat that is well defined. Three, the color scheme is very visually appealing and four, I saved this from Joe's Red Sox card incineration pit.

This is one of two sweet swatch patches I have in my collection (the Roy Halladay from Sweet Spots 2009 was downstairs at time of scanning). These cards are nice and thick, numbered to 25, and have a good chunk of meaningful patch in them.

Here is another nicely themed swatch, although it is a bit of a joke because a collector from either side is not going to be happy with the second man on the card. I look at it from more of an investment purpose. We already a guaranteed an HOF with Rivera, so its good to keep an eye on Papelbon to see how his career finishes. This could wind up to be a pretty unique card down the road.

While I am not crazy at all with the relics in Goodwin, I took a bit of a shining to this one just because of the rich-coloring and color scheme as well as being a newly-minted Red Sox. The swatch itself is pretty bland though.

And I will finish up with my new favorite of the bunch. This one is an outstanding replica patch from the Brooklyn Dodgers and an old timer Campanella. I promised Joe that I would display this card often so he won't miss it too much, but have a pack of Yankees and a few relics ready to go to help ease his pain.
That's a wrap on Relics I Don't hate.
Oh, by the way, if you have not done so already, go see Avatar. It is an experience like no other, and even my wife, who dragged her heals and rolled her eyes when I made her go with me, came out of the theatre raving at how cool it was. Don't go in expecting a masterpiece, and DO expect to come out with a mild headache, but this movie was well worth the price of admission just for the sheer spectacle of it all. The sold out crowd on are way out of the theatre reminded me of people waiting in line for "Return of the Jedi". Crazy hype.

Relics I Don't Hate (Part Eye)

It has been long documented in the books of lore that I am opposed to "relics", or the tiny pieces of fabric that might have been worn by the actual player in an actual game at some point in his career. Much like Santa Claus, you just need to put doubt aside and just believe. as much as baseball card companies would like to make these their promised "hits" in each box, for the most part I believe that they are pretty gimmicky with little to no value other than sentimental (Ebay prices will confirm this, as will the "relic bin" that Joe often refers to in his blog).

Their are certain factors that make a relic worth owning, and I do have a small handful from my 2009 collecting that I enjoy viewing occasionally. There are certain factors that will make me want to collect a relic. First, it helps if they are on my favorite team, or are a favorite player. Secondly, it's all about the design. Some are very creative (Topps Flagship) and some just mailed it in (Bowman Heritage), and some are just crazy over-the-top (Upper Deck Ballpark) with octo-swatches of various players that have no theme whatsoever.

So, for fun, I decided to go through the ol' swatch box and share some of my favorites with you. Verrry nice!

Carlton Fisk - SP Legendary Cuts #/50. For obvious reasons this card is a desirable add to my collection. Catchers add so much value to an organization (otherwise the ball would just hit the fence after every pitch) and I would have loved to have been around to see Fisk in his prime.

Ernie Banks #/125. Another classy shot of a classy player. I also love the dot in the middle of the swatch, though I have yet to determine what it might be. Probably just came off the shirt of the guy packing the card.

Ryne Sandberg #/125. Yet another brilliant SP Legendary Cut of a legend. I fell pretty hard for this product and had delusions of completing 1-200 (came within 40 cards), but fell short and ended up with a few relics, autos and 1-100.

Mark DeRosa silk #/50. This remains my one and only silk pull and was one of the "surprise" hits from Flagship that still make me drool in anticipation of the 2010 set. If there is a Cubs fan out there that really wants this silk and has a silk in exchange of a desirable player, I would be happy to swap.

The following three cards are courtesy of Topps blasters. What a great idea to add a guaranteed patch to each box. Yes, they are manufactured, but I still love the design, the recessed (I think that is the word I need) silver platform with the patch attached. This one came out of my first-ever blaster where I didn't read the stinkin UPC label and came up with a bunch of throwback borders. Great patch though.

This Jimmie Fox came out of Topps Update and Highlights...and believe me, the only highlight of the box was this patch. Other than that, just a bunch of smelly base cards (seriously...did anybody else notice the distinctive smell of this set?) Even when I get these in the mail, you can SMELL what product it is. Very odd.

The last of the patches is an obvious choice. Yaz in the 71 summer classic. I received this in trade from Crackin' Wax, who has not posted in several months. Hopefully he comes back in the spring because it was a heckuva site.

One more for today. Believe it or not, this is one of only two relics from Allen and Ginter in my collection. I don't even have any autographs from this set. Because I am a Lincecum nut, this is a nice fit. I still don't get the Jimmy Buffet-esque borders on this set, but bordered mini's in general are pretty sweet.
More relic fun tomorrow! Off to see Avatar and gotta take my Dramamine first!