Saturday, February 20, 2010
Olympic Update: Crawling Up the Leaderboard
So far the US is stomping up and down the mountain and stacking up some medals, and AcesWild is reaping the rewards of their success. Still a LOT of competition to go though. Curling anybody?
Alex Rios (Umpire and bonus player) +10
Daniel Murphy (Oops I lost my bat) +5
Joe Mauer (where did da ball go?) +5
Babe Ruth TR (sweet...old timer) +10
Adam Dunn (horizontal) +5
Red Sox (horizontal) +5
Rangers Andrus and Kinsler
Miguel Cabrera TTT
pack 33 total = 40 pts!
Howie Kendrick (shades) +5
Skip Schumaker (flipped up shades and bonus player) + 15
LL Bench/Rodriguez (horizontal) + 5
NL ERA leaders (horizontal) +5
Nationals franchise history
Evan Longoria Toppstown
Pack 34 total = +30 pts!
Pack # 35
History of the Game AL enters Major Leagues (horizontal) +5
Adam Moore (horizontal) +5
Alexei Ramirez (shades) +5
Miguel Tejada Toppstown gold
Pack 35 = +15
Thursday, February 18, 2010
JD's Treasure Chest
So Friday's are always fun because it gives me a chance to take a random dive into Jacoby's treasure chest. Although this weeks picks may seem a bit contrived, I assure you that this is truly random. Now, I also have to say that at some point I will need to pull some of the thicker cards like Sweet Spot and Letterman, so the randomness is going to be a little less random.
So pick #1, and who do I pull...
Tiger Woods Moonlight Variation SP! I really can't explain WHY I am hanging on to this card, I just think that the moonlights are pretty nifty and you have Tiger to boot. Yes, he is in heap o trouble right now and today happened to be his big apology speech. While I certainly don't condone his behavior, I feel that the Tiger Woods drama has been designed for the TMZ and Hollywood drama crowd, I could personally care less about what happens next for Tiger, and 46% of those polled are in the same boat. We do love our drama though.
Ah, an auto this week after all. Mat Gamel Topps Updates and Highlights 2009. Emm, kinda a squirly little auto, but I continue to believe that the designs of these auto cards are absolutely stellar with the blue, red, and deep green shades that really find a way to make that sticker auto pop. I am willing to put some faith in the Gamel stock and we'll see what this season brings for the young talent. BTW I have no idea what happened on this scan.
Sox spring training has arrived...
Coming down the stretch...packs 29-32
Marco Scutaro (shades) +5
Twins team (horizontal) +5
Ryan Howard Toppstown(leaders) +5
Rick Porcello TR (current player) +5
Tyler Flowers (GOLD) rookie
Pack 29 total = +20 pts
Seattle Mariners (horizontal) +5
Adam Jones Toppstown (cellar dwellar) -5
Vernon Wells (shades) +5
Ivan Rodriguez CYMTO
Pack 30 total = +5
Angels (horizontal) +5
Tex, Bay, Lind (horizontal) +5
Tony Gwynn CYMTO original back !
Roger Maris HOTG
Jason Bay (Sox) +5
Pack 31 total = +15
Dodgers and Giants HOTG
Adrian Gonzalez TR (current player) +5
Miguel Cabrera Toppstown Gold
Milton Bradley (horizontal and shades) +10
Athletics history (horizontal) +5
Mat Latos (horizontal) + 5
Pack 32 total = 25 pts
Total packs 29-32 = 65
Man, another grind. Had one gold card but could not utilize it this time around. Still waiting for something to go horribly wrong for Joe, but it has been pretty smooth sailing on his side. Well, what can you say. Looks like I will be writing much praise about the Yankees this year after all! Still four packs to go though!
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
12 Cards in a Million!
I gotta say, I barely know any of these guys. I am more-or-less a modern generation fan (although I am reading up a lot on baseball history these days...first impressions...was Ty Cobb a total prick or what?)
Being that I don't know a lot about most of these dudes, I am going to rank them in descending order from least favorite to most favorite based solely on my excitement when that card popped up on the screen!
#5 (let's get to the goods!)
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Of things balloons and baseball
A couple weeks ago I felt bad about writing a baseball blog about the Super Bowl. One sport had nothing to do with the other and I had committed a major crime as a blogger...staying on topic.
Well today I AM going to talk about baseball...but again I feel guilty.
You see, over the last several posts, I have had a shocking lack of photographs in my blogs. Blogger rule #2, paste lots of pretty pictures to keep people from falling asleep! Between updating the medal counts in my Olympic contest, to keeping up with the scans for Topps-O-Cuffs, the Rip Off! (which, by the way, I am losing....horribly), I simply have not had to bandwidth (I HATE this expression, by the way) to scan any cards. I will make it up to you though with some pictures...
This is a balloon doggie. Did you know that when you google image "balloon animals" a vast majority of them feature balloon doggies? There are also a smattering of balloon animals engaged in dirty acts, but for the most part, it would seem that either doggies are the most popular balloon animal, or there is a shocking lack of ballooner talent out there to expand their portfolio. Most likely the same can be said about the origami crane.
- I was not super-happy with my Cal Ripken pants relic from the first box...show me the autos!
- I did not receive a SP card in the first box
- I wanted some more Million Card crack cards to enter
- I wanted to give a serious assessment of the product as a whole since only opening a couple packs a day really slowed the process and tainted my perspective.
With these goals in mind, I settled in from of the TV, turned on the Olympics and started to rip. Good Olympic coverage last night, by the way. Downhill skiing and snowboarding rip it up. The snowboarding reminds me of excitebike for those of you old enough to give a "hellllll yeah". Figure skating is just killing me though....and by the way, speaking of skating "Hey Shani Davis, thanks for quitting yesterday and making my Shani Davis card that much more useless...might as well be a Goodwin auto at this point". But I digress.
So I got to ripping. Goal number one got shot out the window. I pulled a Shin-Shoo-Choo-Choo jersey relic out of this box. I am feeling a lot better about those pants all of a sudden.
Goal number two DID get achieved as I pulled a very fancy Lou Gehrig SP. Nice looking card. I love these, even if they are Yankees.
Goal three also achieved as I entered six more million cards entries...though I have to say that the first six were much more entertaining results with a couple 1971 and 1972 cards.
So goal number four is assessing the product. Wanna hear it, here go!
Base Product: Not a big fan. Sorry Topps, but for the most part I think that the design with the arching color border and the enormous logo just seem to really botch up the effectiveness of a vast majority of these cards. Some of the landscape shots work nicely...I think my favorite goes to the Randy Johnson card, as well as the Prince Fielder "Bowling Pin" shot (card #1), but for the most part, the shots are crowded, sometimes blurry, and repetitive. And that Hunter Pence and Lance Berkman is just terrifying. Verdict: C
Cards Your Mother Threw Out: This set remains one of my favorites, even if they are not the original cards. I am a new collector and never had ANY of these card, so it is fun to pull a crazy Manny or a Johnny Bench, or last night I even pulled a Carl Yaz with original back! Yes it is still a reprint, but its as close to a Yaz rookie I have been and I'll take it. One of the reasons I wanted to bust another box was to see how these look side by side in a binder, and these look good together. A great idea (for a novice collector). Verdict: A-
Peak Performance: Speaking of cards that look good side by side, the peak performance really looks nice together in a binder. While some say that the facts on the back are retreads, I still think they are pretty interesting anyways, plus the mixture of new and old-timer players looks great. I am normally not a fan of computer generated backdrops, but these work pretty good. Verdict: A
Topps Turkey Red: Dammit, these look fantastic again. They have a nice soft quality to them this year that really enhances the most minute details. I am upset that I like these so much because I made such an effort to collect all of last years, and got tripped up in the Updates and Highlights, that I swore I would not go for a continuation set this time. Well...balls because I think I want them again. A perfect insert set! Verdict: A
Ticket to Toppstown: Probably one of the most laughable inserts last season actually looks kinda decent this year. Good enough to keep in a binder. I can't really explain why I like these. Maybe its because there is only one player from each team, so a fairly easy set to collect. Can't say I see the point of the gold variation, but they look decent as well. Its still a shabby promotional card, but way better than last year. Verdict: B-
When They Were Young: This is where it starts to get hairy. Initially when the product came out I thought this was a neat idea. And for the first few I pulled, I still thought that. But the problem is...Topps mostly used players you A)have never heard of, or B) don't care about. Yeah there are a few big name players in the bunch, but for the most part I am not impressed with a picture of a young player turned struggling middle-reliever. Verdict: D
Tales of the Game: Not a big fan, and I will tell you why. I like the concept and the stories, but I have to say that I don't like the whole "Ripleys Believe it or Not" (look it up, kiddos) font to the titles, and also in a binder the mixture of horizontal and verts don't jibe well. If you are going to do a mixture, thats fine, but at the very least when you at the stupid looking title, make it uniform in a corner so it lines up in a binder. Aesthetically, its garbage, content its decent, therefor: Verdict: C-
History of the Game: At least the title of the card is always at the top, but the problem with this series is that they are BLAND. The colors are dreary, and I swear that most of the "history" involves a shot of a stadium or baseball diamond. Very little variety here. There are a couple of exceptions in the bunch, but overall, sucko! Verdict: D+
Legendary Lineage: At risk of being too crude, these look bitchin' in a binder. All horizonal, awesome design that looks good side-to-side with another card, these cards are stylin. A slight deduction for having a couple questionable pairings (not nearly as bad as Upper Deck Ballpark though), but the subjects are all interesting and the photos are fantastic. Verdict : A-
Topps Attax (or whatever): Bottom line, these are dumb and a waste of a card. Nuff said. Verdict: F
Topps Million Card Giveaway: I don't know what else to say that has not already been said. This is a pretty nifty promotion, that allows you to swap cards online and get the thrill of the pull every time you enter a code. Who knows, you might win a Mantle card. I guess rumor is there is more than one being given away. Plus the card itself is pretty cool looking as well: Verdict: A
Finally, the "Hits". Yeah, I did not get an auto, or a hat relic, or a jumbo patch, or a silk, or a plate, or a sketch card. These are all out there to be had. I got a couple relics and you know how I feel about those. I have to say, the odds of pulling a group A auto are pretty ridiculous, and from what I have seen for sale online, most auto subjects tend to veer towards the garbage end of the spectrum Not to say that there are not total gems out there to be found, but will you get one? As for the use of them on the Peak Performance design...not a huge fan. While the design works on its own, it is a bit too drab to house a relic or a sticker auto. I loved the bright color contrast of last years relics and autos, the deep blues, reds, and greens in the U&H. These just don't pop and are pretty boring looking. I would have to say...Verdict: C- (unless you snag a jumbo patch or something cool).
So there you have it. Am I going to complete the base and several subsets? You bet, and I will post my needs list soon to get some trading going, but for the most part I am less-than-enamored with the base cards, but when 8 out of 1o cards are base, you might as well finish the set, right?
Well, time to settle in for some more Olympic fun, plus LOST tonight!
Pack Rip...A New Hope
Colby Rasmus (horizontal + shades) +10
LL Seaver and Halladay (horizontal) +5
Jason Kubel (shades) + 5
Jeff Baker (shades) +5
Johnny Bench CYMTO
Evan Longoria Toppstown
Pack 23 total = +25
Pack # 24
Daniel Hudson (horizontal) +5
Kurt Suzuki (umpire!) +5
Juan Uribe (shades) +5
Andy Pettitte (yanks scum) -10 +5 for umpire + -5
Josh Johnson Turkey Red (current player) +5
Lou Gehrig History of The Game
Miguel Cabrera ticket to Toppstown
Pack 24 total = + 15
Pedro Feliz (horizontal) +5
Joe Mauer GOLD (oops the ball scooted away) 5x5=25 pts
Drew Stubbs (lost my bat!) +5
White Sox franchise history
Scott Olson When they were young
Miguel Tejada Ticket to Toppstown
Pack 25 total = +35
Rocco Baldelli (Sox) +5
Juan River (flying bat) +5
Phillies team (horizontal) + 5
LL Gywnn/Mauer (horizontal) +5
Bloody Sock! +5 horizonal
David Wright Toppstown
Pack 26 total = +25
Sabathia Toppstown (leaders o the pack) +5
Will Venable (shades and horizontal and mad air) +10
Howie Kendrick GOLD (shades) +5x5=25
David Wright Turkey Red (current player) +5
Madison Bumgarner (orange....very orange).
Pack #27 total = +45
Pack = 28 (This scan vanished and if I add it now...spaces galore, so just trust me!
Willy Tavares (bonus player) +5
Carl Crawford (horizontal + bonus player) +10
Roger Maris Tales of the Game
Stan Musial Peak Performance
Timmy gold variation ToppsTown
Pack #28 total = 15
Packs 23-28 total = +160!
Also, it was discovered at a later time that the golds count for ALL cards and not just sox and yanks...so below is an additional 25 points for shades on Juan Uribe! Woohoo!
So, basically while this baby is virtually wrapped up, these gold cards are helping me chip my way back into the competition ever so slightly. Joe pulled his black bordered card and it was a no-point card, so not a lot of wiggle room left for him to get any negative points. It may be time to start waving the white flag...other that or guy buy some gold paing and start doctoring some of these babies up!
Just eight packs remain. WHAT will happen next?
Olympic Contest Update!
I was stoked this morning to award a silver medal and two entries to Estonia! I am not sure exactly where Estonia is, but I am pretty certain that's where Encino Man came from. Either way +2 entries and bolly for you, MMosley!
Keep on truckin!
Monday, February 15, 2010
Breaking up is hard to do...
We had (and still have) a slight hitch...we only received one Michael Phelps auto. Technically the prize does say "one autograph for each autograph SUBJECT", therefore technically ONE Phelps is within those parameters...although it makes things substantially more difficult for us! We'll figure it out, and will most likely just sell that one on Ebay and split the cash as it really seems the only fair thing to do.
So the great Ginter summit of 2010 took place. There was some from readers in seeing how the negotiations all went down, so I kept a script of emails spanning two days. It's not the most interesting reading on earth, but it will give you an idea of which cards went when and to whom. At the end of this entry is a summary of the split. Trust me, this was 100 times more intense than any fantasy draft that I have ever done!
A couple more things to note. Pre-draft we determined a few "Must-Haves" that we did not want to fight over. For example he really wanted a David Wright and Jose Reyes, and I really wanted Big Papi and Ryan Howard, so we pulled those out. He also wanted two of his beloved Reds Jay Bruce and Johnny Cueto, so I countered with Jon Papelbon and Clayton Kershaw. We also snagged three negro leaguers apiece based on Beckett value.
Alright! So then those aside, this is how it went down...
Mike: Alright. Here goes nothin...
While not the most valued...I will take Evan Longoria.
Nick: Okay, I would go with Miguel Cabrera.
Mike: I'll take Matt Holliday
Nick: Darn, that was my next pick! I’ll take Werth.
Mike: yeah, it was between the two of them...again not as much worth...but I will take Hanley Ramirez
Nick: I’ll take Billy the Marlin… (This was the first separation from ballplayers to oddball cards)
Mike: I take Ryan Braun!
Nick: I’ll take Survivor Champ Bob Crowley! (This starts to become a recurring theme in picks)
Mike: Gotta take Joba for the block, Bob.
Nick: I’ll take Cat Osterman…
Mike: very nice, she was next on the list. SHOW ME THE YUTO! (My favorite of the oddies, I decided to reach for it).
Nick: I wanted him a few picks back but you seem super pumped about it (and your son has a pretty cool name) so I figured I’d let you have that one. Let me go with Steve Wiebe…
Mike: thanks. Dustin IS a pretty cool name :)
Opendahl (or whatever it is) for me.
Nick: Phil Hughes…
Mike: Kristine Armstrong
Nick: Matt Kemp
Mike: A new day! Denard Span! First pick of day #2, where a bunch of mid-level baseball cards and several oddies remain).
Nick: I’ll take Michael Phelps. Kidding, I’ll go with Red Moore.
Mike: okay, I take Frenchy Jeff Francouer.
Nick: I’ll go with Brian Berg.
Mike: Hannah Teter.
Nick: John Higby
Mike: You're a yo-yo....I'll take Josh Johnson.
Nick: Troy Tulowitzki (things at this point start to get short and to the point as we each already have our favorites at this point).
Nick: Lowell (sniff)
Mike: Aww, bye bye Mikey! I'll take Dick Fosbury.
Nick: Darn, I was going for him next! I’ll go with LaShawn Merritt
Mike: I'll take Mad Max.
Nick: I’ll go with Brian Cappalletto, scrabble guy.
Mike: it is getting down to garbage time! Ah hell, I'll take the bearded man. (things now get super-quick and the picks are flying. How do you really decide between an Australian stuntman and a "never-quite-gunna-make-it AAA prospect"?)
Nick: Conor Jackson
Mike: jack cust
Nick: Juan Rivera
Mike: Zagunis (Beaverton native)
Nick: Carlos Gomez
Mike: Kolan the barbarian!
Nick: Lynne Cox
Mike: I'll take stupid Shawni Davis next, but he better win a ton of golds at the Olympics
Nick: Robbie Maddison
Mike: brock Yates
Nick: Brown Trafton
Mike: Dude with the horse.
Mike: Glenn Eller
Mike: continuing with scrap players, I regretfully take Ryan Church.
Mike: Rich Hill (Unsure if this is even his correct name, too lazy to care).
Mike: Alexi Casilla…BAM!!! (Jubilation as I learn that mathematically Nick gets the bodybuilder. Technically he ends up with one extra card in the split, but when THIS is the extra card, no worries :)
Nick: No pick needed, as he ends up with the final card, the extremely disgusting image of body-building champion Kyle. Booby prize!
So here is the summary:
3 Negro Leaguers
3 Negro Leaguers
Billy the Marlin
Creepy body builder
One a late note, Nick had a soft spot for Kolan the bowler, so I traded him for Mikey Lowell, so Mr MVP will actually be joining team red after all.
I am curious to take the vibe of the readers about what should be done about the Michael Phelps card. Yes, I am opening up a window for some really ridiculous comments, but I am hoping for some semi-serious thoughts on how to handle the split. How much do you think this card might go for if plopped on fleBay? Thanks for the input!
Sunday, February 14, 2010
The second group is the non medal winning teams, and I will get around to grouping those in order as well at some point. Again, the medals number is 3 entries for gold, 2 for silver, and 1 for bronze (ex..USA had 1 gold, 1 silver, and 2 bronze, so the USA entry has an additional 7 points added to the score).
Good entertainment so far. The skating and moguls last night were definitely good entertainment, though I am not so geeked about figure skating tonight. "Amazing Race" anybody?
Enjoy the day!