Saturday, May 1, 2010

Oh my...seriously?

With mom out with the ladies for a chick flick, Jacoby and I headed out to pick up some odds and ends at Cranky's store and Target. Yeah, I have complained about Cranky because he is...cranky, but he does sell random backs readily and I had specific needs...5 sleeves of tobacco card holders, ONE pack of Bowman Heritage 2007 (for my rainbow refractor needs...check) and, oh heck, lets snag a few pack of the chicle to find some tounge cards! I took a look at a hobby box because I wanted to check out the autograph subjects. Of the more common group, group "A" my eyes focused in on Pablo Sandoval. Guess what? Woo-hoo! Kung-Fu Panda has found his way into our collection at last! As I searched for a toploader and sleeve, I remember that there were variations and I needed to look at the back...
Get out! So this is the "black umbrella" backed variation? Oh snap! Here it comes Joe, I can't help it...MOJO! :) Kung-Fu Mojo!

The Super Heroes of Chicle

Before continuing this post, just a reminder to rock the vote for the worst autographs competition. My Northwest Passage division is listed on the sidebar. Remember that you are voting for the WORST autograph of the matchup. Sweet sixteen is looming. There are also some visual example in an earlier post this week for your review. Thanks!

While on my hunt for nine 2007 Bowman Heritage refractor cards at Cranky's shop of horrors, He casually mentioned the release of Chicle. I have been going hobby box bonkers lately, so he was playing the odds that I would go crazy over the stuff. Truth is, I have been watching the "hits" that have been dropping on eBay, and thus far I am less than impressed with the product and its offerings. Some of the images are absolutely horrendous, and the image of Jacoby Ellsbury truly terrified me. Who the hell is that guy? I decided this is a product that I would not chase.

However, I was curious enough to snag one pack while on my mission at Cranky's. I wanted to compare it to the Bowman Heritage packs for artistic quality, guess who won?

But there is actually a chance that I will buy a few more packs of this, or maybe even a blaster.


Because I think that the major strength AND weakness of this set is the various artists melting pot of images that create the set. Some are clearly more dominating that the others, some are far too familiar, and some are just way off-base. Here are the "Super Heroes" of National Chicle (at least my one pack).

"The Tounge"

AKA Don Higgins. Not only am I fairly sure that the nose of Jason Bay is completely wrong, but I was drawn to the tounge on each of these cards. Yup, both were created by Higgins, so now I am curious if there are others out there.
Hmm. Is this a coincidence? Check all your Higgins cards now and either verify or debunk the myth. Either way, if it's true then I gotta have nine!

"The Shadow"
Here is a very nice Eddie Matthews by Paul Lempa... and another Joba Chamberlain by Lempa as well, though I am pretty sure that it is mislabeled as an Oakland Athletic named Brett Anderson. Either way, both images show incredible shadow detail that really stand out. I like both, even if there is a Yankee in Athletics clothing.


Jeff Zachowski created the next card. Javier Vasquez. There is only one sample of his work here, but my suspicion is that Jeff is the psychodelic colors and fluffy cloudy artist of the bunch. Further testing is required.

"Dependable Man"
Brian Kong created the Hank Greenburg. Nothing against Kong per say, just that we have seen his work for years now, therefore the images aren't as fresh as the other guys. We will call him "dependable man"
"The Closer"

And finishing up with my favorite of the bunch...Dave Hobrecht. If I can give myself one reason to run out and grab a few more packs of this set, it is because of this card of Orlando Hudson. The colors, shadow, shine and facial detail are amazing! I definitely need to see if other prints hold up to this example...thus I shall refer to Hobrecht as "The Closer".

There was also this in the pack.

A creepy little Juan Francisco auto! I think on-card autos are terrific, but I am pretty skeptical of the autograph subjects. I know there are probably a few superstars in the set, but the sampling I have seen in box breaks and on eBay are mainly AAA and AA staples that are pretty much no-names. Again, I am sure there are good cards to be had, and on-card autos are always nice, but at least to this point I would say that the "hits" are less than impressive....and the relic cards remind me of Neopolitan ice cream...there, I said it.
So there you have it. I came into this product ready to tear it apart, but am actually curious enough to buy a bit more packs to fill out some binder sheets, which is the whole point of the product to begin with, to sell product.

Overall, I would say that this is a strong blaster product, but I would be pretty hesitant to throw down for a hobby box.

Friday, April 30, 2010

To the.....12's?

One week into my new project, I can say that the new collection philosophy has definitely reinvigorated me to purchase a wider-spectrum of products (I just cruised through 9 packs of 2007 Bowman Heritage...the card shop owner was baffled). I was on the hunt for 9 rainbow refractors. A couple silly little relics and an auto of some Orioles prospect that obviously never made it big got in the way and I ended up two short...but there are still about five packs left to finish out that page.

As I continue to assemble full pages (8 out of 9 Goodwin relics, woo-hoo!) I have also been drawn to the most unlikely of places for rack packs. I KNOW!! so I already have the entire series one completed and there is no chance that I will pull a hat relic, or probably any relic for that matter from this set, so what is it that I am attracted too? Larry Jones baby, oh yeah! Well, more specifically the Topps mini exclusives found in two at Target and Blue-backed at Wal-Mart. I believe they fall about 1:3 which is danged accurate because in six rack packs the other night I pulled Larry as well as this guy...
"I am not a machine, I am just Albert". As you can clearly see, there are 45 available subjects, and I only need 12 (those goudey square sized mini sheets fit 12 cards instead of nine). I could go the easy route and just hit up eBay, but its kinda fun to rip open a cheapie rack pack and watch one of these fall out.
Unfortunately I need to be a bit of a realist here. While I have a Target a few miles away, the nearest Wal-Mart is about 30 miles away, and I MAYBE go once or twice a year tops.
Has anybody out there collected any of the Wal-Mart packs and pulled some of these that they are not necessarily set on keeping for their collection? I have a plethora of trading material that I can offer in return...a ton of inserts for the 2010 Topps set (after all I am only keeping one page of each type) as well as a ton of base from the set as well.
Let me know if you can help me out. I need a case of the Wal-Mart blues!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Hey Guys, Mike back here. As a favor to Drew from Drews Cards, I have offered my services as on of the bracket region hosts for his Worlds most horrendous pen scribbles, or something like that. Please check out his site for a second region of the bracket, photos of all of the contestants, as well as the entire bracket itself. On Card Autos, and Mint Condition are your other region humble hosts. Please take the time out to vote for first-round matchups on my sidebar. I will leave the region open for three days. Vote often!

Alright, so taking region #1 and being in the Portland, this region will lovingly be dubbed "The Northwest Passage". Here are your contestants and their seedings. I will say right up front that I don't agree with all of this entrants, but I am but a humble host to something far bigger than myself! :) without further ado...

#1 Tim Lincecum Vs #16 Tom Gorzelanny

#8 Ubaldo Jimenez Vs Dustin Pedroia

#6 Delwyn Young Vs #12 Darrell Rasner

#4 Fernando Martinez Vs #13 Shane Victorino

#6 Mike Gonzalez Vs #11 Joaquin Arias

#3 Erick Aybar Vs #14 Miguel Montera

#7 Carlos Rivera Vs #10 Hanley Ramirez

#2 Geronimo Gil Vs Jeff Locke

Happy voting!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Matinee Madness!

There is a wide offering of early games today on get-away day for those of you camping around a television or a computer screen. You know you love baseball when you can sit in front of a computer screen and literally watch stats appears on the screen. Not a lot else going on there, but if you are into the numbers, it is a dream.

While there are some great matchups today, Leake vs Paulino for one (that is a joke, BTW) there is a hands-down winner in this contest and that is the Phillies vs the Giants and... this guy versus....

This guy. Perhaps you have heard of these two slingers. Lets go to the tale of the tape.
Cole Hamels has been roughed up to start the season with a 5.11 ERA, and a 2-2 record, but does have 26 K's to his credit. It does not help that he has a rough and tumble 10.80 ERA hanging over him at AT&T park last year and a 5.44 daytime ERA and a (are you ready for this)...0-6 record in day games last season. One more interesting little nugget is that Cole Hamels has given up 7 HR's this year, five of those coming to the 3-5 hitters on a squad...the meat of the SF lineup.
Tim Lincecum has started off freakishly well and sits at 4-0 with 32 K's and a nice and even 1.00 ERA. While he certainly did not have his best stuff in his last start, Lincecum showed poise and was able to work out of several jams in the early innings and cruised after that. In my opinion, if SF can stake Lincecum a three run lead, that is about all he needs to settle in and go on cruise control. Lincecum has a 1.39 ERA in two day starts for the Giants, and a 1.93 ERA at AT&T park, the ONLY park he has given up an earned run (3) yet. In two matchups last season against the Phillies last season, Lincecum came away with a win and a loss and a 1.20 ERA.
Giants go for the sweep, and Lincecum looks for his fifth straight decision (and win?) at 12:45 pacific.
UPDATE: This just in...Tim Lincecum is a BEAST....Brian not. After a glorious 8.1 innings of 3 hit, 1BB 11K, 2 ER performance by the Freak, "Hey Mr. Wilson" came in and promptly loaded up the bags and gave up a 3-run single to Jason Worth to blow the save and the Lincecum win. Way to be!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Top 6 worst things about watching a Sox/Jays series in Toronto

1. 1000 foot (304.80 meter...or is that metre) wide foul lines from field of play to front level seats.

2. Bullpens are located in said foul grounds and consist of folding chairs and a phone.

3. Half the fans at the game (so roughly 20) have those obnoxious bull horns like the dudes on the swiss mountain tops...RIIIIICOOOLLLLAAAA!

4. The (fake) grass between bases...only thing worse is that ridiculous dirt strip in Arizona that goes from the pitchers mound to home plate.

5. The completely nondescript, uniform and enormous outfield, complete with loads of empty bleachers and restaurants.

6. The announcers! Eee-gads, worst in the majors.

Monday, April 26, 2010

To the Nines...Needs List

Below is my needs for collection. The number in red indicate how many out of a full page I currently have. The names in blue represent who players that I have in that group. I am GENERALLY (but not always) not opposed to a trade within this group if you really really really want somebody, I just need something else to swap it with...that's why this is the tradin' post.


6-9 2010 Topps Hat Relics (Throwback Logos) (Wagner, Matthews, Dean, Kaline, Sissler, McCovey)

3-9 2010 Topps Target Exclusive (Pujols, Jones, Hornsby)

10-15 2009 T206 Minis Polar Bear (Peavy, Gallardo, Cliff Lee, Zimmerman, Hamels, Perry, Hernandez, Buerhle, Butler, Dickerson)

6-15 2009 T206 Minis Old Mill (Hoffman, Aramis Ramirez, Pierre, Freese, Bradley, Hamilton)

4-15 2009 Goodwin Champion Mini Foil (Holliday, Sizemore, Nathan, Soria

1-9 2009 Toppss Flagship Silk Collection (DeRosa)

4-9 2009 Topps Flagship Red Relics (Aramis Ramirez, Bruce, Baldelli, Chavez)

8-9 2009 Goodwin Champion Relics (Victor Martinez, Hamels, Beckett, Schmidt, Yaz, Kendrick, Felix Hernandez, Guerrero)

JD's Wild Cardz is going to the 9's!

Post # 399 is a perfect time to announce some upcoming changes for JD's Wild Cardz.

Over the last several months, I have become increasing disenchanted with my collection. While my core mission to fill up a nice shoe box "Jacoby's" treasure chest with some nice autograph cards, collecting for myself has been somewhat of a mystery. The results have been scattered hobby boxes, random base card piles, mysterious cardboard boxes with content titles that have been crossed out and crossed out again (what the heck IS in those boxes anyways), and various piles of contents of received packages that have never made their way...anywhere yet except on the china cabinet.

Here are some of the things that have bothered me most...

  • Cardboard boxes - Yes, these are ideal for storing complete sets that you just want to put away and either appreciate or depreciate over a many year span. Good for safe keeping...bad for viewing. I have several boxes of random cards that I could not even begin to tell you what is in them, nor do I have the patience to actually go through a box to sort the contents.

  • Relics - It starts to suck when you get a relic card and you are so completely dissapointed and feel ripped off. Same goes for inserts, or other various cards that are not a 1/1 or low-serial numbered hit...even those have started to feel stale.

  • Random Hobby boxes are EVERYWHERE. I got caught up with the allure of the hits and the result is a ton of base and inserts that I have no need or desire to collect.

  • Binders - I have a bunch of non-descript binders that have a bunch of half-filled pages of incomplete insert sets. While I had the best intentions to complete all of these sets, it rarely works out, and when it actually does, Topps goes out and releases an updates set that ruins it all again. I am FUMING that I now have an incomplete 2009 Heritage set again, and also an incomplete Turkey Red Set thanks to the updates.

So basically, I have a bunch of cards laying around I don't want or know what to do with, I have a bunch of binders half-filled and incomplete, and I have a bunch of cardboard boxes that I have no idea what is in them. Complete chaos!

So I had a bit of an epiphany last week and it kind of gained some traction the more that I thought about it. I think, for me, this might actually help motivate me to go through all my stuff and sort it, AND also have a plan for the future.

Wanna here it, here go!

Occasionally I notice that bloggers post a "completed page" on their site. These tend to look really nice. Part of the point of collecting cards is to 1) be able to view them and 2) be able to find them if you need them for a post/trade. I started to think about completed pages, and then started to think "you know, if I just had a bunch of completed pages that I could leaf through, then I would be one happy guy"! There are WAY TOO MANY subsets out there that are interesting, and ultimately what ends up happening is you gets well on your way and then the trail goes dead.

SO, my new goal....(drumroll) to collect one binder page of each type of card I like.

9 cards (12 in the case of minis).

So how I view my collection forming, is that I would like to have one page of Topps Finest Chromes, one page of Topps Turkey Reds, one page of 2010 Topps Target Red Exclusives, one page of Topps Peak on, so forth.

Sounds easy? No challenge? Try gathering up nine hat patches, nine silk cards, nine SP's from flagship, nine printing plates....not everything is going to be a cakewalk.

The benefits of doing this are very important to me...

1) Needing nine of each card I choose to collect reinvigorate my joy of pulling a relic, or an insert, or cards that I would otherwise be disappointed with. For example....I bought 6 rack-pack Topps 2010 at Target and was happy to have pulled two Target Red exclusives, Albert Pujols, and Chipper Jones...2 down and 7 to go.

2) I won't worry so much as to who I pull...if I like the looks of a particular card better, or can upgrade players later down the road, more power!

3) It will make trading easier. I am about to have a ton of inserts available to you, and you will have a more specific idea of what I am looking for in return.

4) I can go through those mysterious boxes and find 9 of a card type, and file it in a binder where I can actually GASP view the card!

And yes, there will still be times when I will be so enamored with a particular subset that I will want them all, but most likely that will be a rarity.

So that's all I have more now, until I actually start getting these pages put together in a binder, the goals are going to be a little unclear, but it is a start. In my next post I will start out with some of the projects that I currently working on. I would be glad to make some trades if you can help me out!