Wednesday, September 29, 2010

For Trade's Sake

It's good to be a Yankees fan these days. I have the bad habit of only rooting hard for them, like a true frontrunner, when playoff time comes around. The Yankees were my dad's team, and his dad's before him, so they're always a sentimental favorite of mine. I don't get too wrapped up in the regular season games that they play. It's too hard to be invested in more than one team in a 162-game season. For Card's Sake knows all about being a fan of the Bronx Bombers (or at least of their baseball cards.) Here's a few cards from a package that was recently sent to me via said blog.

This set was one of the first Upper Deck sets of the recent unlicensed era, which was stamped out completely after a legal battle. I don't really understand releasing a 2009 set after the first of the following year when you're going to be legally bound to brand new rules taking effect and diminishing your product's standing. That being said... don't stop sending me unlicensed Cardinals cards! I won't buy them (unless they cost pennies), but I'll certainly welcome them into my home.

I also received a little stack of 2003 Topps cards for the big bad Series 1/2/Traded collection. This one is going to take forever unless I start buying boxes. I picked Spooneybarger out of the lot because he has a funny name.

I don't know what to say about this set other than that it's ridiculous. It's Pujols, however, and it's got a shiny serial number on it, so that's good enough for me.

I always love getting a surprise memorabilia or autographed card. Mulder may have had only fleeting "Greatness", but he was great for a spell. That's better than probably anyone that you or I will ever know personally.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Back in Black: Box Break Part 2, The Mourning

Tonight marked the end of a really frustrating Cardinals season. I think I'm more angry than disappointed, which surprises me a little. Here is the rest of the box break that I started last week. It's fitting that Griffey as a Red leads off this post.

Pack 13 was posted here.

Pack 14:
145 - Craig Biggio
119 - Mark Buehrle
108 - Doug Mientkiewicz
82 - Trot Nixon
56 - Edgar Martinez (He should be in the Hall.)
151 - Greg Maddux

125 - Carlos Lee
99 - Dean Palmer

Pack 15:
16 - Mark Mulder
67 - Jerry Hairston Jr. (Ugh, he cost the Cardinals multiple games this year.)
18 - Terrence Long
277 - Austin Kearns
251 - Ben Howard
293 - Todd Zeile
214 - Orlando Cabrera

188 - Randy Johnson (What can you say about the Diamondbacks uniforms? Past or present...)

Pack 16:
37 - Aubrey Huff
11 - Scott Hatteberg
71 - Ivan Rodriguez (Pudge is on his 6th team in the past decade after spending all of the '90s with Texas.)
45 - Matt Lawton

19 - Carlos Pena (The Rays clinched tonight. I wonder if anyone was at the game.)
109 - Cristian Guzman
83 - Manny Ramirez
57 - Matt Thornton

Pack 17:
263 - Doug Glanville
237 - Al Leiter
211 - Brad Wilkerson
244 - Armando Benitez
218 - Robb Nen

257 - Jimmy Rollins
231 - Josh Beckett (No playoffs for this guy.)
205 - Eric Karros

Pack 18:
93 - Chuck Knoblauch
92 - Joe Randa
41 - Chuck Finley
30 - Vernon Wells (Weird to think that Wells was still considered a prospect back then.)

4 - Jarrod Washburn (Caption, anyone?)
73 - Mark Teixeira
47 - Bartolo Colon
21 - Jeremy Giambi (Not as bad as Ozzie Canseco, but not extremely memorable either.)

Pack 19:
275 - Sean Casey (Sean Casey seems like a nice guy. I'm not sure I could say the same about the Reds' current first baseman.)
42 - Jim Thome
190 - Matt Williams
225 - Barry Bonds
199 - Paul Lo Duca
162 - Ben Sheets (Hard luck story.)

136 - Mariano Rivera (Pretty much the opposite of a hard luck story.)
110 - Brad Radke

Pack 20:
242 - Mo Vaughn
216 - Jeff Kent (The back of the card says that Kent and Bonds provide a lethal 1-2 punch for the Giants, although Kent hit 51 fewer runs than Bonds in 2001. Seriously. 51 fewer.)
276 - Juan Encarnacion
278 - Danny Graves (So many Reds in this post! You're killin' me!)
252 - Mark Kotsay
228 - Mike Lowell
202 - Darren Dreifort

176 - Tino Martinez (Finally, something to balance things out a bit.)

Pack 21:
185 - Mark Prior (Another hard luck story, except he's a Cub and a Trojan so I won't shed any tears.)
159 - Geoff Jenkins

169 - Jim Edmonds (Nice!)
192 - Curt Schilling

166 - Albert Pujols (This is my kind of pack! Pujols once again has MVP-type numbers this season, but likely will lose out to a playoff player.)
140 - Richard Hidalgo
179 - Kerry Wood (Wood and Prior in the same pack?)

15 - Ichiro Suzuki A Season to Remember (Crazy pack! This is a 1:12 pack insert. I'm running out of time, but I should get two of these Ichiro tribute cards in an "average" box.)

Pack 22:
15 - Jermaine Dye
274 - Rob Mackowiak
248 - Ramon Vazquez
287 - Juan Uribe
261 - Travis Lee
235 - Charles Johnson
288 - Mike Hampton
262 - Mike Lieberthal (The less said about this pack, the better.)

Pack 23:
180 - Delino DeShields
138 - Jeff Bagwell

173 - Bud Smith (I'm not sure what happened to this guy. My first Cards game seen in person was a 10-0 loss at his hands.)
147 - John Smoltz
299 - Barry Bonds Checklist
84 - Josh Hancock (R.I.P.)
58 - Mike Cameron

18 - Ichiro Suzuki A Season to Remember

Pack 24:
250 - Trevor Hoffman
224 - Reggie Sanders
198 - Kevin Brown
226 - Brad Penny (If only Penny had been able to stay healthy.)
149 - Gary Sheffield

174 - Edgar Renteria (Overall, I did pretty well with Cardinals cards.)
150 - Rafael Furcal
124 - Edwin Almonte

And, in a nod to Night Owl's game show theming...

Now let us never speak of this season again.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Crinkly Cardinals

The Cardinals staved off elimination, at least for another day, by knocking off the Pirates tonight. In celebration (okay, fine, I was going to do it anyway) I decided to post the results of a trade with Crinkly Wrappers. Inside of a larger box was a smaller box - actually an old Topps Traded set box - full of Cardinals needs and set building needs. Two of the cards were actually part of a set I finally finished off tonight (with another box), but that's not what tonight's post is about. Confused? That's okay.

I get a kick out of MLB Showdown cards and other companies' attempts at making a game out of baseball cards in a way that I never do with Topps Attax. I don't really understand it. I also had no idea that Darren Bragg was ever on the Cardinals. It's quite possible that I forgot, actually.

Rick Ankiel was not included in the base Topps set at all this year, making this a really interesting card for me. I don't know right off the top of my head if he made the collectable team set, but I'm guessing that he didn't. He could still appear in the Update set, but considering that he has changed teams twice since St. Louis, you won't see this photo utilized again.

This Yadi card, along with Ankiel above, are blue serial numbered parallels from the 2010 Opening Day set. I have a feeling these will end up in repacks for years to come, but the blue parallels seem fairly easy to obtain and I like the color.

Which one of these cards is not like the others? There were quite a few set needs in the box, but I figured I'd grab a 2006 Bazooka card since I don't think it gets enough attention. I have looked several times online for cheap Bazooka stuff and I am not having a lot of look. I can't even really explain why I like this set so much, but I do.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Tecmo Super Sundays: Week 3

With Dennis Dixon going down to a knee injury last week, I am once again without a team to root for. The Eagles buried themselves even further in my doghouse by naming Michael Vick the starter for the indefinite future while threatening to run Kevin Kolb out of town. Kolb, incidentally, was the only reason the Eagles felt trading Donovan McNabb was a smart idea... the morons.

Tecmo Player Rating: 295 (90th percentile)

The late, great Jerome Brown was my go-to guy on defense for my go-to team. He died in a senseless tragedy during the prime of his career, but that didn't stop me from busting out the occasional "you just got sacked... from beyond the grave!" comments during particularly heated games. I'm a relentless pash rusher (which leaves me open to being burned in the secondary), and Brown happens to line up at the linebacker spot that I prefer to rush from. He's actually a defensive tackle, but whatever.

Game to watch this week:
Dallas @ Houston. Here's to hoping that Dallas goes 0-3 on the season. This should be tremendously hilarious.

(I have a ridiculous amount of junk wax era football cards. If you're interested in helping me reduce my collection and obtaining some cards from the Tecmo era, please drop me a line.)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Good Luck Ducks, Week 4: Late Night Desert Fight

5th-ranked Oregon opens conference play tonight against the Arizona State Sun Devils down in the desert. The temperature at kickoff is expected to be in the mid to high 90s, even with the late start time. ASU's leading receiver is Aaron Pflugrad, a former Duck who transferred when his father was fired as receivers coach when current Ducks coach Chip Kelly took over the team a couple of summers ago.

I'm expecting a fairly high scoring game, even though the Ducks have only allowed one touchdown all season. I do hope the high powered offense can get off to a fast start to let the defense take over and shut the Sun Devils down. We'll see. We've already seen some crazy stuff today, with UCLA dominating Texas in Austin. Arizona State looks tough, so it will be an interesting test for the Ducks, although I expect them to be no match for the Ducks' D.

Here's a report on what happened last time the Ducks were in Tempe:

Game time is 7:30 PDT with national coverage on FSN. It's worth staying up for, trust me!

Friday, September 24, 2010

NOT Airbrushed Fridays: 1976 Topps #109

Are you serious, man? No one is going to airbrush Larry Lintz. Larry Lintz wants no part of the A's. Have you heard about that American League, man? They have some new thing going on this season where the pitcher doesn't have to bat, and someone gets to sit on the bench all game and just bat whenever his name is called. Just bat? Seriously?

Why did Topps... Hey, look man, I'm not changing my shirt! I'll just throw a towel over my shoulder and call it cool. I've got some grounders to take. And some batting practice. With pitchers! Pitchers bat in my league.

What's wrong with this picture, anyway? Nothing is wrong! Except that whole... Oakland... thing. (And the racially insensitive cartoon on the back of this card. - madding) They don't play the right kind of baseball in Oakland. If I have to play for an American League team, I'm not even going to bat. That's right. I'm just going to run. Maybe I'll bat one time, but that's it.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Mt Cards From Nr Mt

A nice little surprise box showed up in my mailbox a few weeks ago from none other than Nr Mt. It was so surprising, in fact, that I raced through all of the little piles of stuff that I have built up for people before I realized that I didn't have anything ready to send back. Never fear, of course... I'll have something in the mail at my next go around. I even had the foresight to pick up some free Priority Mail packaging from the post office the other day since I know I have some larger packages to deal with soon.

My 2009 Turkey Red want list took a direct hit, and one Mr. Pujols was one of the casualties. I'm actually fairly sure I already had a copy of this card, so I just need to track it down so it's off of my list of Cardinals needs as well as Turkey Red set building needs. By the way, did sell sheets for 2010 Updates & Whatever They're Calling It This Year ever come out? I want to know if there really will be an additional 50 cards in this year's Turkey Red insert set for me to track down among other things.

I posed the question in yesterday's post asking if Giambi had any fans. I'm assuming he has his Rockies boosters, right? This is one of a number of 2009 Heritage High Series cards that were sent to me from my want list.

Doug Fister seems pretty talented, although he's had his ups and downs with the Mariners. It must be difficult to be a starting pitcher for a team with such an inept group of hitters. I don't know how Felix Hernandez does it.

Finally, I'll just let the cartoon speak for itself, because this is weird, weird, weird. I'd never even heard of this guy. A few people have hit my 2006 Bazooka want list. Keep 'em coming!

Late Night Box Break

I was going to hold off on posting this, but I came home from work tonight and realized that I had nothing planned for tonight's post. So this is it, folks. I picked up a box of 2002 Upper Deck MVP, which has a seriously dark theme to it, at the card show this past weekend for $20. I was fairly disappointed in the card show overall, but I also was pressed for time because I wanted to make sure I left in time to catch the Ducks game. This all added up to a couple more impulse buys than I usually pull off. I'll post the first half of the box tonight and the rest within the next several days.

I figured this box, card design unseen, was going to be a least somewhat interesting because there was an implied (not guaranteed) "hit" in the box for a low cost. Odds suggested I would likely get a relic card of some kind. Inserts are few and far between, and all of the cards (including subsets) basically look exactly the same, so I plan on keeping scans limited to about one per pack.

Pack 1:
112 - Corey Koskie
86 - Jose Offerman (There's a certain kind of crazy here that I can't even explain. If you don't already know about Offerman, I suggest you do a Google search.)
121 - Paul Konerko
95 - Neifi Perez
69 - Alex Rodriguez

295 - Ken Griffey Jr. Checklist (Even the checklists have the same card design as the regular base cards, only with "CHECKLIST" replacing the player's full name in the lower right.)
32 - Toby Hall
6 - Brendan Donnelly (Designated rookies such as Donnelly have "Rookie" splashed across the card in outlined gold foil where the player's last name is.)

Pack 2:
222 - Marvin Bernard
196 - Craig Counsell (Quick, someone explain to me the difference between Craig Counsell and David Eckstein...)
209 - Michael Barrett

183 - Fred McGriff (The Crime Dog is exempt from my normal Cubs ban because he's The Crime Dog.)
157 - Javy Lopez
236 - Mike Piazza
210 - Jose Vidro
184 - Corey Patterson

Pack 3:

172 - J.D. Drew (First Cardinal of the box. I find it strangely amusing to see Drew in an "MVP" set, considering that he was supposed to have three or four of those awards by now.)
147 - Shane Reynolds

148 - Chipper Jones
122 - Todd Ritchie
96 - Carlos Febles
98 - Michael Tucker
72 - Jeff Zimmerman
46 - Omar Vizquel (11 Gold Gloves and still at it at age 43. He's gotta be in the Hall, right?)

Pack 4:
245 - Tyler Yates
219 - Calvin Murray
279 - Ken Griffey Jr.

253 - Ray Lankford (The backs are kind of boring by Upper Deck standards.)
227 - Cliff Floyd
265 - Brian Giles
239 - Roger Cedeno
213 - Eric Good (Eric Good wasn't actually very good at all. His career was over by the time this card was released, topping out at Class A ball.)

Pack 5:

170 - Fernando Vina
144 - Lance Berkman (I have this terrible feeling I'm going to end up having to root for this guy in the playoffs.)
118 - Ray Durham
131 - Mike Mussina
105 - Matt Anderson
158 - Richie Sexson (Local guy who flamed out quickly.)
132 - Alfonso Soriano (One of my girlfriend's least favorite players in a Yankees uni.)
106 - Damion Easley

Pack 6:
60 - Jeff Conine (The Original Marlin as an Oriole.)
34 - Ben Grieve
249 - Bubba Trammell
43 - Russell Branyan
17 - Eric Chavez
281 - Todd Walker
255 - Scott Rolen (For some odd reason, the Pirates broadcasters dedicated about an inning of tonight's game against the Cardinals complaining about how Scott Rolen did not get ejected from a game that happened nearly two weeks ago. Keep in mind that Rolen last played for St. Louis in 2007.)

229 - Derrek Lee

Pack 7:

120 - Jon Garland (Nice old timey uniform.)
94 - Mark Quinn
68 - Chris Richard
70 - Chan Ho Park
44 - C.C. Sabathia
20 - David Justice
292 - Jose Ortiz
266 - Kris Benson

Pack 8:
193 - Doug Devore

167 - Darryl Kile (Nice new DK card for the collection!)
141 - Julio Lugo
201 - Andy Ashby

175 - Placido Polanco (I'm confident that Polanco had a smaller cap size in those days. This is pre-Rolen trade.)
187 - Francis Beltran
240 - Jeromy Burnitz
135 - Jason Giambi (Do Yankees fans like Giambi? Do A's fans? Maybe just Rockies fans?)

Pack 9:
133 - Robin Ventura
66 - Steve Bechler
40 - Brady Anderson (50 HRs in 1996. That's going to jump out at you no matter what.)
79 - Pedro Martinez

53 - Ichiro Suzuki (As usual.)
27 - Reed Johnson
80 - Nomar Garciaparra (Nomar had a career .332 batting average heading into the 2002 season. That's a huge number.)
54 - Kazuhiro Sasaki

Pack 10:
223 - Jason Schmidt
197 - Shawn Green

171 - Matt Morris
294 - Ben Petrick (Another local guy who left the game very early in his career after being diagnosed with Parkinson's, although it seems he may actually have Lyme disease if the internet is to be believed.)
268 - Kevin Young
134 - John Vander Wal
203 - Adrian Beltre
177 - Sammy Sosa ('Roids or no 'roids, I think my dislike for Sammy Sosa surpasses Bonds and Clemens put together.)

Pack 11:
163 - Jose Hernandez
137 - Rondell White
111 - Torii Hunter (Hunter is wearing a nice Washington throwback. In hindsight, I wish I had scanned it.)

C-EA - Edgardo Alfonzo MVP Souvenirs (Well, here's the "hit". I could have done a lot better, of course, but at least I know that a few people collect the Mets. Also, the bat and jersey combo is a bit harder to pull than one or the other apparently. I'm not sure I understand how or why the bat piece had his jersey number etched into it.)
16 - Mark Mulder
275 - Sean Casey
249 - Bubba Trammell (First double as far as I know.)

Pack 12:
115 - David Ortiz (Early Ortiz card when he was still with the Twins, but after his name change.)
89 - Carlos Beltran
63 - Melvin Mora
200 - Brian Jordan
123 - Frank Thomas

97 - Miguel Asencio (By the way, here's what the rookies look like. Can you tell the difference?)
280 - Barry Larkin
254 - Ryan Klesko

As usual, all of these cards are up for grabs/trades aside from the Cardinals I need. The second half of the box should be posted either Thursday night or early next week as my schedule allows it.