Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I've Never Been Good at Homework

Tonight was supposed to be the night that I finally wrote up my "Blog Bat Around" post as the deadline was several hours ago. Because of my work schedule, it would have made a lot more since if I got it done last night or maybe even a week ago when it was first announced. However, last night I decided on a self-imposed 24 hour sports blackout (with the exception of some spring training action on the MLB Network) because of an unfortunately irritating Blazers loss. But then it just got to the point where it felt like a homework assignment and I didn't want to write it anymore. I haven't participated in any of the Blog Bat Arounds, actually. I'm not very good with assignments, after all. It's not for lack of interest or that the idea isn't a good one. Check out some of the blogs that I have linked on the sidebar if you're interested. Most of these people tell a good story.

Instead, I took the easy way out and decided to write about something that put me in a good "sports mood" after a tough night last night. Eric, the Yankees Fan (as if there were only a few of them) sent over another huge bundle of cards. He also has a blog, but he's best known as being a great trader, and, yes, a Yankees fan. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Really, there isn't. I lead off with a Topps Total card because I've been really hyping this now defunct product line lately. If my time and resources were limitless, I just know I would make it my priority to collect every card from every year of Topps Total's existence (probably even the other sports) and would make sure and write lots of well-constructed letters to Topps executives about the merits of making a large set builder oriented set on a budget that's good for everyone in this "crazy economy." Since I don't have either of those, I'll just say...

Topps Total!!! Wait, what the heck is Reggie doing?

Totally! Dude! It's pretty interesting seeing Eldred and Wainwright together. Usually the two players pictured on these split cards are of the same stature within the organization somehow. Here, Eldred was entering his final year of big league baseball and Wainwright was about to get his first taste of action.

I got to cross this card off my Want List. Sadly, the want lists I have linked on this blog probably represent 0.01% of my actual Want List in the grand scheme of things. The Opening Day red style really works well on Cardinals cards. I have no idea what this year's Opening Day cards are supposed to look like. Shouldn't they be out already?

Poor Rico Washington. Last year at this time he was about to make his first ever Opening Day roster after an 11-year minor league career. Now he plays in China for the Uni-President 7-Eleven Lions. I wish I was making that up, but I'm not.

My attempt at building the 2008 A&G set has stalled a few cards short of the base set. It was nice, however, to get a couple of Cardinals minis from the set. Troy Glaus was the other card. Minis are always great.

I have a couple of packs of these ridiculous comic-style cards, but I didn't have any actual cards worth keeping until now. I have a feeling that in another 25 years or so I'm going to be giving these out on Halloween like the older people that I used to encounter while trick-or-treating who would give out crazy useless stuff like stale popcorn balls that my mother would never let me touch anyway. These are kind of the baseball card version of razor blades, I guess.

Terrible scan, but a cool looking card from 1994 of all years. There was also a Geronimo Pena from this Topps Finest set. I may have never been crazy enough to afford the "Finest", but it's certainly fun to pick up singles from years long past from these types of sets.

I've taken quite a shine to the 2003 Topps set and the Opening Day version doesn't stray too far from it. I have built up a small army of packs of these from repack bundles that I've been suckered into buying, so expect a post about this stuff in the foreseeable future.

There was a healthy amount of Jim Edmonds cards in this lot, which is great. This is apparently a Topps Total insert card. I didn't know that Topps Total ever dipped into insert card territory, but I'm guessing that they must have done it with an understated style - no 1-of-1's, crazy rainbow parallels or chunks of mythical creatures' DNA samples. Right? I hope I'm right.

What a curveball! A 1975 Topps Bob Gibson card. He's got a few creases and some corners that have been well loved, but if you try to tell Gibby that he'll probably punch your face off. So don't even try it. Great card.

Adam Kennedy will probably never truly go away, as long as I am a fan of the Cardinals and collect baseball cards. I won't turn away any of his Cardinals cards, of course. And I'm starting to accumulate a decent amount of these Chrome Heritage parallels, which is nice. I haven't checked up on his progress with his minor league deal he signed with the Rays and I probably won't tonight.

I was starting to forget about the confusing 2008 Stadium Club set. I still can't really explain what they were trying to pull with the variations and the subtle differences between the ridiculously expensive hobby versions and the initially mispriced retail versions. All three of the cards pictured above are the "alternate photo" versions of some of the Cardinal rookies in the set, and I needed all of them. Also, they are 1st Day edition cards, whatever that means. It's amusing to me to see that both Chris Perez photos are very similar, but in the alternate photo he's wearing his 2008 uniform number, whereas in the other version he's wearing a spring training number.

There were some minor league cards thrown in for fun. I highly encourage this if you're looking to trade with me. I am a huge fan of minor league baseball. Dmitri Young is quite a character, but maybe not quite the character that the webcomic "The Dugout" has built him up to be. Thanks to those guys, I only and completely imagine him doing nothing but eating Twizzlers. And Basil Shabazz... the name says it all.

Sportflics Ozzie Smith! I think I was more excited about seeing how a Sportflics card would scan than actually talking about it, but these cards are cool nonetheless. Erin made sure to snag every Sportflics Cardinal double that I had in my collection because of the coolness factor.

Jason Motte has taken the lead in the race to be the Cardinals closer for 2009. I guess I get to eat some dark-colored bird for mocking people who drafted him in fantasy leagues this year, because I have felt all along that La Russa/Duncan would end up putting someone horribly mediocre and "veteran" like Ryan Franklin in the spot. But they really can't do that now, can they? Motte is pictured basically doing exactly what he can do - the only thing he can do. He's chucking a baseball as hard and fast as he can towards the plate. The guy can throw extremely hard and is fun to watch. Unfortunately, that's his only pitch. He's a great story - he was a minor league catcher as recently as the 2006 title winning season. But unfortunately I'd have to put the over/under on his career as an effective major league pitcher at 1.5 years if I was a betting type of person. I'm rooting for him, though.

To top it off, here's a Legends of the Game Bob Gibson card. This is the Wal-Mart version, so now I have both Gibson inserts. All I need now is Johnny Mize.

Great stuff from Eric as always. And to fill out the package, there is an apparently complete Stan Musial Donruss puzzle set from the late '80s (I want to say 1988.) I might have to actually bust this out and put together the puzzle next time there's a rainy day. Who knows when that will be, however, because it never rains in Portland, Oregon!


  1. Sweet cards. Which Mize do you need? We have two.

  2. Random responses:

    1. It looks like Sanders is calling time because he lost a shoe, but he's wearing both shoes, so I have no idea.

    2. I would be ecstatic as a kid if I went trick-or-treating and someone gave me baseball cards.

    3. That alternate Barton Stadium Club card is one of the elusive cards I need for the set. I've stopped buying it at stores because I've gotten to the point where I would buy a blaster and get one card I need. I'll have to get the rest online or at a card show.

  3. Hmm, for some reason I thought there was only one Mize card. I guess I need both.

    I think I have at least 7 of the regular Barton card. That was the first time I'd seen the alt. one.


Comments are highly encouraged, but then again, so is eating your fruits and vegetables.