Monday, August 31, 2009

Cards on Cards 250th Post Spectacular

I couldn't think of a good title for this post, so I was just going to go with whatever post number this was supposed to be and call it good. It would have been a lot funnier if this was, let's say, my 257th post. I had no idea that the number I chose would seem somewhat significant. I've never really been one to talk about personal blogging milestones or anything like that. (Incidentally, I don't count my want list posts as real posts, so if you're doing the math and you actually come up with 257, that's what happened here.)

If this blog was a TV sitcom, this would be a clip show. Instead, you get to see some cards I picked up at the old hobby shop the other day when I should have been shopping for supplies.

First up is my first ever 2002 Bowman Heritage card. I have no special affinity for Tino Martinez. I just wanted a card from this set. It looks like he signs his name Constable Hertz.

I guess Topps D3 is their answer to Sportflics, except that nothing "moves" on these cards. They're hard to understand. After scanning the image, it looks like the quality of an early-'90s GIF image file.

I really like the 1973 Topps design. It just looks exactly like the era it represents to me. And I like the little player symbols in the corner. I've seen others who are less than glowing about this set. This one was only a quarter and was in pretty good shape.

These Upper Deck "retro" cards that failed to actually use old-style cardboard stock are not very interesting to me. I felt compelled to buy it, however, because it seems like the retired Cardinals players that you can get in current sets are mostly limited to Bob Gibson and Lou Brock, with perhaps the occasional Hornsby or Ozzie card.

Here's an extremely flimsy Donruss insert that was marked down from $4 to $1. It's probably worth far less than that. I was always a big Matt Morris fan.

I picked up 4 Pujols cards for $1 a piece that I'm pretty sure I don't own already. I don't understand an "update" set that looks nothing like the set it's supposedly trying to update.

This is not my favorite photo, but it's a pretty decent looking card if you can overlook the fact that his legs fade away just below the knees.

Here's Pujols from the 2006 Topps Heritage set. He looks pretty ghostly.

If Donruss and Upper Deck ever collaborated on a card design, do you think the universe would eventually implode on itself? There would be lines and mirrors everywhere, and eventually the ball players would fall into some sort of baseball card black hole. I'm not way off base here, am I?

Finally, there were a couple of Ozzie Smith cards to add to the Ozzie binder.

Ozzie is attempting the rare behind-the-back no-look low five.

I've got some more trades in the offing that I'll post about in the coming days. Thanks to everyone who has contacted me recently about sending me/trading me cards.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Ordinary Average Trade

One thing I have to continuously tell myself is that, no matter how starved for blogging ideas I seem to be, I really do not (and should not) have to write about every single pack I purchase. For example, last Saturday I picked up a solo 2009 Heritage pack to go along with my requisite Allen & Ginter blaster at a local Fred Meyer's. The pack ended up being extremely unnoteworthy, falling into that rare range of suck where you do not get an insert nor a short printed card. I do not need to write about that pack! I believe I got at least a couple of cards I need for the set, but since it is not February and no one is eager to see what these cards look like anymore, I feel like I can safely file the cards into the rest of my collection.

I do, however, want to write about every package I receive from those that I trade with and those that just send something to me just for kicks. I recently got a package from The Average Joe, containing my first ever Ring of Honor insert card as well as a handful of 2008 and 2009 Heritage cards from my want lists.

Among the few 2008 needs was this Matt Morris black back card. I'm doing pretty well on the regular set all of a sudden (and thanks to many traders, of course) but I'm now realizing that I have some serious holes in the High Series department. I'm thinking of actually buying a hobby box when I can afford it again since apparently they're in the $40 range.

Johan Santana joined the other 34 Mets this year that are injured and have probably convened on the Empire State's biggest all-summer-long pool party by now instead of playing baseball.

It's official! The Youth of America love Evan Longoria. He even has an antiquated trophy to prove it.

Thanks again to The Average Joe, who by now should have received a heaping helping of Topps base cards from his want lists.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A Staggering Mess of Cardinals

It was about a month ago that I read that one of the finer sports card blogs out there was going on hiatus for awhile. I later came home from work that very same night to find a very large and very generous package from the blog's proprietor, Matt of Heartbreaking Cards of Staggering Genius. Matt also runs the very excellent A Pack to be Named Later, to which I am one of the many contributors. The sheer quantity and quality of the cards that I received made writing this post very intimidating, which has a lot to do with why it took me more than a month to write about it. I could probably break this up into about 7 posts, but then I wouldn't finish this off until sometime next March and I really need to get these cards organized and placed into the rest of my collection.

I am sorely lacking in early-to-mid '80s traded set cards, which makes this John Tudor extra special to me. When I first started collecting, the Vince Coleman rookies from the '85 traded sets were pretty much unbuyable in my budget, but now the most difficult thing for me would be tracking down people who have broken up factory sets of this stuff. (Which reminds me... I need to keep working on my want lists.)

This card is refractor-like when shown in the light, which of course isn't captured by my scanner. But it looks really cool nonetheless. These were apparently random inserts in hobby 2004 Topps packs.

This is great. An Allen & Ginter short printed mini from a year where A&G cards are difficult (for me) to get.

This one is a borderless die cut parallel from 2007 Fleer. I wonder how Matt Holliday sleeps at night knowing he is wearing Jimmy's #15.

Once again, '90s baseball card hilarity has left me speechless!

I really like getting minor league cards, and there's an extremely low chance that I actually have them already. It's even better when it's a player I've actually heard of.

This set wastes entire too much card surface on something other than the photo. Motte has really struggled this year and looks nothing like the crazed fireballer that he did late last season and even the beginning of this one.

Here's a Yadi chrome card that I needed for my collection. I bet Erin steals it.

Matt sent along some Ozzie cards, including three that I did not have. O-Pee-Chee had distanced themselves from the copycat Topps design by this point in 1994.

This is an amazing looking card. The dark blue goes great with Ozzie's road uniform. These are numbered to 125. I already own a red framed Chris Carpenter Masterpieces card, so this will go great with it.

Even more generosity! This is a framed Scott Rolen jersey relic type thing from the 2007 Allen & Ginter set. I'm starting to really like these. They're kind of weird, but they're very beautiful (if sports cards can be beautiful.)

And here's a bat card of my favorite Cardinal of this decade. I'm not sure what I did exactly to deserve all of this, but I'm definitely not going to complain. I don't have a lot of bat cards, so they're always appreciated.

I probably should have gone out on that high note with the Edmonds card, but here's an always appeciated autograph of someone I've never heard of. He's wearing the Birds on the Bat, though, so that's good enough for me. Apparently he never made it past AA while the DNA tests are still under wraps to determine whether or not he's related to Kyle Farnsworth.

Thanks again to Heartbreaking Cards of Staggering Genius! I will have to put together another package to send over soon.

Khalil Greene Watch: Day Whatever, and One More Contest

It's been awhile since I've done this. I don't remember what day we're on, and I don't want to look for fear of ruining tonight's Cardinals game for me (I tape the majority of the games because of my work schedule.) Go here if you don't know what this is all about.

Cesar Izturis, 2008: 135 G, 414 AB, .263 BA, .628 OPS
Khalil Greene, 2009: 58 G, 148 AB, .209 BA, .644 OPS

I'll have another update at the end of the regular season. Tyler Greene has dropped off of the scene, as Brendan Ryan secured the full-time starting shortstop duties and has done extremely well. Khalil's rebirth as a 3rd baseman lasted all of about a week, but he's now back in the fold as a backup 3B/pinch-hitter. He's actually done extremely well in exactly one respect this season: with runners in scoring position. Check out this line: .387 BA, 18 RBI and 1.031 OPS in 41 plate appearances with RISP. Small sample size, yes, but I don't mind seeing him pinch hit with runners on.


I forgot about one contest the predated all of the other contests I mentioned in my last post. Thorzul Will Rule has a Trade and Win contest where you can send in cards you don't want, eliminate pesky needs from his want list and possibly win a prize when all is said and done. For me, it was an always welcome opportunity to get rid of some cards from the early-'90s but for you, perhaps, it will be an opportunity to win something nice.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Contest Time!

Okay, okay, calm down. I'm not having a contest right now (yet...) but there are several others out there who are. I'm sure you've all had enough of these contest-related posts on other people's blogs, and I wasn't personally going to do one, but now I'm starting to feel like I'm not doing my part. Here are some links to contests that I actually entered. There are probably lots of others out there that I haven't entered if you poke around a bit.

Coolio Cards is doing a straight-up, no frills giveaway. Check it out here.

This one is a little trickier. Collective Troll wants you to cast your vote to put some guys in the Hall of Fame. This is your chance to stick up for the guys that the media jerks never want to talk about and the stupid old writer types are too senile and stuck in their old ways to give a cough about. Plus, there's the chance to get some free cards, of course.

Card Cache is doing some late summer cleaning and getting rid of Allen & Ginter cards en masse. Nothing tricky about this one, but if you don't want to enter that means more A&G for me (in theory.)


So what's up with Mr. Dodson up there? I needed to scan at least one baseball card to make this post, for one thing, so I thought I would test this out as I've been thinking of making airbrushed cards a regular feature on this blog. You can see that Topps's meddling ways were transferred to their early Bowman revival years. The cap logo is a pretty obvious airbrush job and the shirt is pretty ridiculous looking as well.

What really caught my eye is the center of the Brewers "mitt" logo. Instead of the stitching that you would expect, the "artist" drew a "4" and a "9" in the logo. Does anyone know the significance of this? I'm completely baffled. And even though this is not a contest, if someone out there can find me a plausible explanation, or even a very elaborate and convincing (but completely fake) explanation I might have a prize for you. Besides this card, of course.

Bo Dodson, incidentally, never made it out of AAA.

A Cardinals-centric Ultra-tastic Mid-'90s Pack of Baseball Cards

I think I get more joy out of buying mid-'90s baseball cards than anyone really should. For one, it's an era I completely missed. This is not just in card collecting, mind you. I really didn't pay a whole lot of attention to sports in general. The other nice thing is that packs like this are a lot more affordable than the current stuff and, unlike Pro Set football, I don't have entire 3200 count boxes full of this sort of thing. I posted a pack of this stuff recently to APTBNL (you may recognize the wrapper) but I felt this pack was best saved for my own blog.

433 - Bob Tewksbury Gold Medallion (Right off the bat, here's the one-per-pack (?) Gold Medallion card. Tewksbury had an amazing and unheralded run with the Cardinals and then had one bad season which resulted in him looking for a new team. It's hard to see, but it appears to be an old Texas Rangers logo on his card.)
342 - John Olerud (Olerud had to wear a helmet in the field, which makes him look like a base coach in today's game.)
290 - Mark Gubicza (Pretty decent pitcher in his day, if I recall. I guess that makes him like a Gil Meche equivalent.)

434 - Todd Zeile (I seem to remember Zeile being hyped like no other Cardinal prospect was hyped before him. I don't feel like he lived up to those expectations, but he had a pretty solid career.)
322 - Todd Van Poppel (Speaking of hype... nah, too easy.)

5 of 10 - Jose Canseco Hitting Machines (Wow, this card is loud.)

439 - Trevor Hoffman (Future HOFer here. I wish he had moved to a different division than the NL Central, though.)
270 - Andrew Lorraine

359 - Mark Grace (I just had to scan this card to have a nice little laugh at the Cubs' uniforms back then. They look rather... minor leagueish.)

420 - Gregg Jefferies (Jefferies had his two best career seasons in a Cardinals uniform, his only two with St. Louis, in fact. He made his only two all-star appearances in those seasons. The Cardinals let him leave as a free agent, however. I'm not sure why.)
375 - Mike Munoz
253 - Armando Benitez

That makes three more Cardinals cards to add to my collection, unless I happen to discover that I already own them for some reason. My criteria for Cardinals cards to collect is inclusive of both cards showing the player on their way out (with the new team's logo) as well as players pictured in their previous team's colors with the Cards logo attached. And I'm sure you wanted to know all of that.

Friday, August 21, 2009

(Re-re)visiting 2003

As promised, in the next installment of my 2003 Topps series, here's a Series 1 HTA Jumbo pack at a reasonable price. These things usually cost around $10 when they first come out, or so I hear.

128 - Chris Carpenter (A nice addition to my Carp collection. If anyone has any Blue Jays or minor league Carp cards, please send them my way! I wonder if this photo is an accurate representation of his entire Toronto career - awkward!)

104 - David Eckstein (He'll get thundering applause at Busch Stadium as long as he keeps suiting up.)

26 - David Ortiz (Ortiz in his pre-Red Sox days but post-name change.)
57 - Bobby Kielty
118 - Jack Wilson (I thought he'd be a Pirates trade rumor forever.)

103 - Roy Halladay (Imagine Carpenter and Halladay in the same rotation right now.)
33 - Robb Nen
86 - Terry Adams
125 - Esteban Yan (One of the poor guys who was dragged into the mess of the 2003 Cardinals season that is chronicled in 3 Nights in August.)
62 - Scott Hatteberg
143 - Jose Vizcaino
15 - Trot Nixon (Trot, with his name, should have played in the early 1900s.)
84 - Rafael Furcal (Noted Cardinals killer.)
43 - Javier Lopez
23 - Roberto Hernandez (Not to be confused with Orlando Hernandez.)

2 - Dan Wilson (This was the most popular player in our section at Safeco Field in my first ever MLB game seen in person. However, I'm not sure if he was being praised or heckled...)
255 - Michael Barrett
64 - Mike Williams
116 - Mark Mulder (If Mulder had a time machine, this is probably the year he'd travel back to.)
53 - Luis Castillo
211 - Mike Lowell (Back-to-back Fish.)
164 - Vernon Wells
121 - Marvin Bernard
257 - Elmer Dessens

80 - Ivan Rodriguez (Pudge is a Ranger again... but not the original Pudge. Still, this guy should be a Hall of Famer of his own right.)
245 - Mike Lamb
129 - Mike Cameron
236 - Eric Gagne (Another guy who would gladly take a spot in Mulder's time machine.)
82 - Shannon Stewart

170 - Vladimir Guerrero
76 - Randy Wolf

345 - Sammy Sosa / Lance Berman / Shawn Green NL Home Run Leaders (Not pictured - that Bonds guy. He was #2 that season, but he doesn't count.)

332 - Mike Cameron Season Highlights (Second Cameron of the pack.)

RB-MSC - Mike Schmidt Record Breakers (Pretty cool card here.)

68 - Matt Morris Black 32/52 (The icing on the cake! Let's just say I was extremely happy to see this card. I really like the look of the black parallel cards, which have a subtle sparkling tone to them, in contrast to the Wal-Mart black cards you see in the 2009 set.)

I actually bought 5 more Series 1 regular hobby packs last weekend along with 5 Series 2 packs. I haven't decided if I'm going to do a post about them or not, but I think I'm going forward with collecting this set regardless.