Saturday, May 22, 2010

Kicked in the jimmy twice by Topps this week!

This has been a pretty eventful week in regards to Topps products. Let me rewind to last Sunday. I had made my weekly journey to the card shop and decided that I wanted to jump on the Bowman bandwagon. There were a few hobby boxes remaining on the shelves (the jumbos had long since sold out) and these remaining hobby boxes were still priced reasonably, while the next shipment was guaranteed a bump of about 30% for hobby boxes and even higher for the jumbos. I decided to jump on one of these boxes and at the very least get an auto and fill out a couple of binder pages of chrome.

Now Chrome has never been my favorite. While the technology is pretty cool, the curl, scratches, roll marks and an amazing knack to pick up fingerprints makes these cards amazingly difficult to handle and store.

Unfortunately the box I received was worse off than standard issues. Practically every pack in the box sported cards with dented corners, scratch marks, rub marks, extreme curls, even some with actually dent scratches in several of the chromes, including my one blue-refractor chrome card. I did pull a Strasburg Chrome, but even it has some noticeable damage to the card surface. I pulled two autos (beat the odds) but one has some paper crease on the back side and a dented corner. Practically all of the cards have a rough cut side on them as well.

The regular cards are in reasonably better shape, but there are even some issues there with soft and dented corners. A poorly packed box of poorly manufactured cards.

Score: Topps 1 - JD's Wildcardz - 0

The second swift kick came just yesterday. Long-time followers of this blog have known that last year I teamed up with another blogger and together we cracked the 2009 Ginter Code. besides the difficult task of splitting up the set of autographs prize, Nick and I were asked to submit photos to Topps to have the honor of appearing in this year's set.

The first idea was to get a photo of Jacoby on a Topps card. Topps said no.


The second idea was the Nick and I would have our pictures morphed together Ginter-style and have a paragraph each on the back of the card. Topps decided that they were having too much difficulty finding a way to share the card.


So after a couple months of silence, I get a phone call from Nick. Turns out that Topps determined a solution to the problem...and that solution was to create a card with the picture of the person who submitted the winning entry for the contest. That person was not me :)

Score: Topps 2 - JDs Wildcardz - 0

What does this all mean? I will NOT be appearing in this years Ginter set. There will be a champion card, and Nick will be represented on that card. There is still an off-chance that my paragraph (in which I got to mention that I am collecting for my son, Jacoby) MIGHT still appear, but I am struggling to see how that all fits together. Maybe people will assume that Nick is Jacoby's dad!

A big kudos goes out to Topps for complete disregard of the teamwork concept by continuing to ignore that fact that there were indeed TWO codebreakers this year.

Now please understand that this is not a slant on Nick at all. In fact, he kinda got caught in the middle of the whole mess and Topps went ahead with a design without his knowledge of what they had in mind. It's not his fault, and he deserves to appear on the card. It's a chance in a lifetime and I would not have him pass it up. At the end of the day ONE of us had to email the winning entry to Topps. Who needs to spend all that money chasing card variations anyways? Make sure to send plenty of cards

Either way, I am sure that 98% of you are tired of hearing about this subject anyways, I just wanted to to clear up any confusion when the set gets release in a month or so!

Alright, enough already. On with the collection!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Anatomy of a page: SP Legendary Cuts HOF Relics

As I continue to in my journey to gather a full page of various cards types, some pages have turned out to be a lot more difficult than others, while some look a lot nice than others as you flip though the binder. This particular chase has turned out to be one of my favorites so far because they all feature quality HOF players, they all are horizontal and lined up identically, and they all are nice and thick, making for a good, solid binder page.

I have been gathering a few of these off of Ebay, as they are drying up rather quickly. I received a couple this week and figured this was as good of time as any to share them with you. I am still one short, but am continuing to scour eBay for the final piece. Here are the cards in order received... #1 Ryne Sandberg,

#2 - Carlton Fisk

#3 - Ernie personal favorite because of the grainy fabric with some sort of stain of odd-colored stitch in the middle.

#4 - Stan the Man...a bit of an oddity being the only black and white image, most likely having to do with the lower serial-number.

#5 Gaylord Perry

#6 - Jim Rice - Found this one hidden away on Ebay and scored an opening .99 cent bid win.

#7 Rod Carew

#8 - Big hair Jim Palmer, the latest edition arrived just today. 8 down and one to go! Who is it gunna be?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Barrel full of minis

Thanks to Ed at Roll out the Barrel, my T206 mini quest is a step closer to completion. Ed and I spoke a ways back about swapping some T206 base for some minis. Here is what he sent. Pretty random bunch of cards right? We have some Cardinals, some White Sox, some Mariners, a Billy Butler?? A Milton Bradley?? What the heck is going on?

Aha! Flip em over and everything comes together. Thanks to Ed I am now only 5 Polar Bears short and 9 Old Mills short of a full page of each. Please check out my needs list if you might be willing to work out a trade to help complete this goal! I have lots of Chicle, T206, Goodwin, name it, looking for good homes.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

A mysterious addition to the collection

I have not made a ton of trades over the last few months. Generally, I have been working on my "set's of 9" collection and buying bits and pieces off of eBay. I have to say that it has been pretty satisfying to get a card or two in the mail, and know exactly where to file it and see the progress of my collection. Other than small, brown eBay purchase envelopes, there has been a trade in particular that I have been eagerly awaiting in the ol' mailbox...

This is the first time I have either seen a rip card in person, or even laid eyes on one for that matter. These are way cool. It is is excellent condition and as you can see, it is unripped. What makes this card even more special is the fact that it is Jacoby Ellsbury's card.
I gave up some pretty cool Orioles pulls to acquire this card, but even so I know it was difficult for Mike to part with, so I just wanted to say thank you and assure you that Jacoby shall remain unripped. Oh sure, I am definitely going to try some super-secret NASA techniques to try to figure out what is inside, but it will remain unripped and given to my son some day to ponder the mysterious card and it's hidden contents.
Thank's again, Mike!

Who needs Bowman?

Over the weekend, Jacoby, my wife and I participated in a charity walk with some of her family members. We have been doing this for years and each year is pretty much a carbon copy of the last. We walk, we eat hot dogs, and then we clean up on the raffle prizes. The big jackpot was two years ago when I walked away with the grand prize of a Traiger wood pellet BBQ!

This year there were a ton of baskets up for grabs and my wife and I bought a handful of tickets. Each of us hit again. The odds aren't overwhelming as there are probably only a few hundred tickets in the jar, but still we have pretty good luck. The wife got a basket that had a bunch of quilts, fluffy stuff, candy and games in it. An odd basket to be sure.

Then the announcer called out a prize basket that was the "Volcano" experience. A bit of a history...The Keizer Volcanoes are what I assumed a tiny independent league off of I-5 (like literally of of I-5...those with enough mustard can hit one over right-center onto the freeway). They have two small sets of bleachers and it has a single-A feel to it.

When I purchased my Lincecum card a couple months back, I noticed that he had played a couple games for the Volcanoes in 2007. Further research revealed that Pablo Sandoval and Buster Posey all made stops through the "short A" league.

The raffle announcer called out my number and I ended up winning the Keizer Volcano experience package. Turns out that the experience was a yearbook, some more candy, three bags of kettle chips and a couple of coupons for super cuts!

The item that caught my attention though are the cards that were included and listed below. Of particular note. The cards are actually one continuous 4 x 9 uncut sheet of the entire 2009 Keizer volcano roster! Made for a dilly of a scan job, but at least you will get the idea. A couple came out blurry due to not sitting flat on the scanner, but really these cards look quite nice. The giants have had some nice prospects float through the region apparently, so I guess you never know whether the next big thing is right here on this sheet.

Go Volcanoes!