Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Making the grade

A ways back, there was this little thing called the Ginter Code which elicited a prize of unfathomable proportions on the unsuspecting card world!! Not really, but doesn't it sound exciting?

As you may have read, the prize needed to be split in half, with both Nick and myself conducting a draft for the spoils. The major hangup on the split came with the one Michael Phelps card that came with the set. We had originally thought eight, since eight cards were produced for each and every gold medal that Phelps won. Further study of the prize description made this discrepancy clear "the winner will receive a full set of autos featuring each autograph subject". So basically unless MP jumped in the the ol cloning machine, he qualifies as one autograph subject. Well played, Topps.

So the only fair thing to do was sell the card. And for eight days the earth stood still as the fate of the card collecting world held its collective breath...again, not really. It was pretty entertaining though, but personally, I still think that the gold 1/1 auto's were cooler, and it trumped our card three-fold on sale price.

Nevertheless, the sale was complete and card send to the happy winner, and I was left with a small paypal credit that I felt needed to be reinvested in something decent, before I twiddled it all away on random packs and hobby boxes.

Then it hit me. This is the perfect opportunity to go after a card that I have always wanted, but have never been able to pull the trigger on. After a week of Scouring eBay, as well as a frantic final minute of bidding, here is the result...

2007 Bowman Chrome Tim Lincecum auto rookie! FINALLY a TL has found its way to Portland! I really wanted to purchase a card that I feel is primed to explode some day and I think that the ceiling is pretty unlimited for Lincecum. It would be pretty hard to de-value a back-to-back in first two full seasons Cy Young winner. I figure anything positive he does from this point forward should only bolster potential. This is my first graded card and represents a major pillar for Jacoby's future collection. I am absolutely thrilled to have this card!

Why did I scan the back of the card? Seeing as I have never laid my paws on this card before, I never knew this. Its really blurry and really tiny under his stat line, but apparently Tim Lincecum had a short stint with the Keizer Volcanoes. They are basically an independent league about 1/2 hour south of Portland. Had NO idea he ever played here, so I did a bit more research...

In his short stint at Salem-Keizer, Lincecum had two starts, totally just four innings, but struck out 10 batters and gave up only one hit and no runs.

So there you have it, just a stop down I-5 to keep his arm loose on his way to The Show!

Now I just need to jump in my hot tub time machine and go to St Louis to meet some prospect named Alberto from the Dominican Republic...I am told he has potential.

Trade Bait

As my eyelids flutter open and shut after a long evening of setting up the PlayStation 3 and getting in my first game of The Show, I have been trying to figure out what to write about today without having any new scans to throw into the post. This means ripping some images from some other poor saps blog, or from eBay.

I remember back during the craziness of Olympic Contest fever and Topps-O-Cuffs Rip-Off, that I was so disappointed with the pace of the rip-off as well as the results, that I decided to take my second box and just rip the whole damn thing in one sitting. Always gotta hold out hope for something decent or unexpected like a silk or a printing plate, or a silk printing plate, or a plate full of silk. There is also those hat relics and some relatively lousy autographs to be had as well.

36 packs is a LOT of ripping, especially when you are dealing with the tricky to rip Mylar shiny wrappings. Seriously...have you ever seen those box breaks where you just watch the person's hands flying around in a blur and tearing into a pack like it's nobody's business? I could never do a box break for several reasons...1) I don't have a web cam, 2) I have been known to get a drawling, stuffy Ray Romano pitch to my voice, especially as the week wears on and I lose sleep, and nobody needs to hear that, and 3) I would fumble horribly with the wrappers and open myself to relentless ridicule (not that the Ray Romano voice statement won't). I really do have great hands for a box rip though. So, those of you that do face shots instead of hand shots on your breaks, do you do it because you suck at ripping packs? Be honest! :)

Anyways, neither here nor there. What came out of the box was another worthless shin-shoo-choo-choo relic that I believe I have already disposed of, some various gooooooold Toppstown cards and some various inserts that I needed. Other than that I was still 40 cards short of a full set (now down to 2) and ended up with a whole box of doubles.

But I did have the fortune of pulling one of the illustrious Topps SP cards. And in truly JD's Daddy fashion, I pulled a Yankee.

Now, there is absolutely nothing wrong with this card. Short prints are cool, and even though Yankee, Gehrig is one of the most recognizable and classy names in baseball history. Its a pretty cool card. Really though, I don't have any particular affinity for this card as say...the short prints of Tris Speaker and Babe Ruth from last year's set. That being the case I would like to offer it up to somebody who will appreciate it more.

Just looking for either a SP for SP exchange, or maybe one of those cool hat patches or something equivalent. Hit me up, Yankee fans!

Gotta go practice my pack rips now....or maybe take a nap.

Monday, March 22, 2010

I've held off as long as I can

Somehow I always knew this day would come. I have tried, and tried, and tried to ignore it, and said that I can just be happy with what I have got...but I just can't ignore it any longer!

Shutting down the blog? NO! haha.

Giving up collecting? With my luck lately? NO!

So what is it then?

Well, other than cards, and wife, and raising a kid, I have always been interested in video games, especially sports games...especially baseball games. You see where this is going?

I own an Xbox360. I have spent countless hours playing Call of Duty and Guitar Hero and even Zuma. One drawback to my Xbox360 is that while it is backwards converting for most regular xbox games...some are NOT, more specifically MVP baseball 2005. That has always bothered me. So last year I went out and purchased MLB2k9. While most considered the game a disaster, it was my first new baseball game in several years, and it pretty much blew me away. I played that game up and down for months.

But in the distance, and out of reach, was this little game called The Show. For the last three years it has consistently kicked Xbox around as the 2K team has been torn up and reformed in an effort to put out a remotely competitive product.

I have to admit, this year they beat their own product from last year...but that's about it. Don't get me wrong, it's a pretty fun game for a casual gamer...and I am by no means a hard-core gamer, but the problem is that most of us follow the ins and outs of baseball, and we are all familiar with the little intricate details that make! Unfortunately, the more I have played 2K, the more I have noticed just how much is not right with the game, and it has worn me out.

I think the big realization moment was HOW MUCH TIME I have spent in forums looking for advice on game slider sets that are out there in an effort to make the game more realistic. Guys would actually recommend intentional walking batters just to raise the pitch count and have realistic walk totals. To the day, no set has seemed to quite work properly and the game, no matter how much time I have spent tweaking, are just not quite right. Plus have you seen the graphics and details in The Show? SICK. With these realization, a strange feeling came over me...

Well, maybe that is a bit over-dramatic. But I am turning over to the dark side...

Seriously though, check out the graphical difference...

Guess which is which? And the sad thing is this is 2K's cover boy! That says a lot. And trust me, it looks like everybody else has been run over with a lawnmower as well.

Does graphics ruin a game? Not necessarily, but game play does and as 2K continues to say "wait til next year, as they they continue to release patches to "fix" the game, I have finally lost patience! Therefore, today I go to Best Buy and get...


Yup, I am going to be a statistic. One of those guys willing to purchase a new system just to play a game! What can I say...I want to raise the fringe bell curve a fraction.
But don't worry your pretty little head Bill Gates...

I will still use my Xbox, as there really is no substitute for Xbox's online experience, and playing Call of Duty with my buddies. Plus there is always Zuma...