Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Cards on Cards Sells Out

Like a number of card-hungry bloggers out there, I've gone and joined up with Listia. If you're sick of reading people promoting something or pandering for attention for their own personal gain, then I'll just keep this brief. I clicked a couple of things, spent literally no money and very little time, and ended up with some cards. There's other stuff, too. Basically, you sign up, get some "credits" which are used as currency, and can use said credits to take stuff from other people. Most things seem to come with free shipping, so a free lunch is truly a free lunch here. For a bit more of your time, you can do this like set up auctions and get rid of your own junk to attain more credits. They also have surveys you can do, apparently.

Anyway, back to the cards, because I know that's why you're here. Actually, you're probably here to solve the mystery as to why Pacific reverse-negatived Gaetti's photo for the back of this 1998 Invincible card. It looks really silly, because they had to remove the logo on the cap or it would have been an obvious mirror image.

My first winning auction netted three cards in hand, and this Chris Narveson Finest "rookie" was one of them. It goes in my Cardinals binders.

This will be the last time I blatantly promote Listia here, but I do encourage you to sign up if you're curious. It seems to be pretty harmless at worst, and at best you could end up with something you didn't know that you wanted for the tidy sum of zero dollars.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Airbrushed Fridays: 2012 Topps Stickers #249

Erin is working on the 2012 Topps Stickers album and needs plenty of help. She's also got a few doubles for those who are working on the set (or not), including a sticker of Mr. Wonderful, Mike Trout. I don't have a list ready right off hand, but if anyone has any extras they'd like to unload, let me know.

Who is this week's victim, and why do we care? Carlos Beltran is the latest big name, late-career acquisition by the St. Louis Cardinals. After striking gold with Lance Berkman last year, and guys like Larry Walker and Will Clark before him, St. Louis threw a sizeable chunk of leftover Pujols change at Beltran after he put together an encouraging season last year. In his 15 year career, Beltran has driven in more than 1200 runs while amassing 300+ SBs and HRs.

Why does this card exist? Topps revived their sticker albums last year (Erin is working on last year's set simultaneously) and went for it again this year. Like the flagship set and the Opening Day set, Topps went all Photoshop happy with its early season release date, so there are plenty of doctored pictures in these packets. By the way, Cardinals uniforms usually feature numbers on the front, so Topps either took advantage of a strategically placed Beltran hand or just plain was lazy with this one.

Airbrushed Fridays is a weekly feature as the name seems to imply. If you know of a card with an altered photograph that you'd like to see featured, please contact me. You probably won't win anything other than a hyperlink and some boiled peanuts, but you never know!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Centennial Owl

Night Owl and I swapped reading materials and baseball cards recently. You can see his end of the deal over here. For my part, Erin and I were in a used bookstore in our neighborhood recently when we (okay, she) happened across a Dodgers item that a baseball card collector would enjoy. Unbeknownst to me, Night Owl had an awesome Cardinals centennial celebration souvenir waiting for me. This thing is full of '70s beer ads, as well as some fun documents from a time where the Cardinals were pretty laughable. I will feature some of the pages at a later time as there are some choice pages to be shown off.

And yes, there were cards, too. There's always cards. As I've mentioned a couple of times, I'm really enjoying this year's Bowman set for some strange reason. I've already managed to put a good dent in the Cardinals portion of the set, but there's always more to be had.

Bowman brought back their International parallels recently, and as far as parallels go it's not a bad idea. The Dominican flag is big and bright and full of primary colors.

It's rare nowadays for me to run across a post-1980 Cardinals player that I've never heard of, but some guy named Carl Dale fits the bill here. He will get his own brand new spot in the Cardinal binders.

Dale was a second round pick in the 1994 draft. As you can see, the Cardinals were miserable failures in the '90s until Walt Jocketty and Tony La Russa came along and started building the team like a major market franchise. That whole failure thing had crossed into their draft strategies, apparently. Just look at this partial list of 2nd Round winners.

Who says baseball players aren't photogenic? Er...

Here's a glorious insert from the 2012 Heritage set. I don't use the word glorious lightly!

It's nice to get Freese rookie cards, now that he's the first true Cardinals collectible commodity not named Pujols in the last decade or so.

Erin just ran across this jersey card at a card show this month and opted to pass on it. So, look what shows up in my mailbox! One of Night Owl's "favorite" players!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

30 Teams in 30 Posts: #4

We're nearing the end of the "30 Teams" road, with just three posts left to go after this one. The last post is going to be a doozy, believe me! I have something in the works to continue to trade bait theme of these posts that will last quite awhile, and hopefully it will help some people fill some holes in their collections as well as move me closer to my goal of purging a lot of cards and becoming more active in trading here in the second half of 2012.

This is where the countdown of my favorite teams in order really starts to veer from reality based on how long it's been (almost two years) since I started this feature. I'm not sure how Tampa Bay got ranked so high. They're fine, but I never go out of my way to watch their games. They need a new stadium, certainly.

Favorite current Rays player: B.J. Upton. It was hard to think of someone here, to be honest. I remember Upton getting hot in the playoffs a few years back. I guess I haven't seen nearly as many American League games this year as I have in the past when I was really excited about watching players on my fantasy league teams.

Leave favorite current Rays player: Luke Scott. Ugh, that guy is the worst. Have I picked him before, when he was on someone else's roster? I probably have. Luke Scott deserves the double dose of worsts.

Favorite Rays player of all-time: Fred McGriff. Ah, what the hell... I picked him last week and I am picking him again this week. Tampa Bay's franchise has had a relatively short lifespan, so McGriff's 4+ seasons with the team are good enough for me.

Least favorite Rays player of all-time: Esteban Yan. This guy was a laughing stock of a player who seemed to hang around for awhile because a dreadful Devil Rays team let him close some games in the early years of their existence. The Cardinals turned to him during the desperation of the 2003 season (better known as the "3 Nights in August" season) with predictably terrible results.

The Tampa Bay Rays have a techno dance party at #4 in my reverse-ranking of favorite teams as of the moment I picked them a long, long time ago on October 4th, 2010. All of these cards are very much up for trade, so please contact me if you're interested. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Trading with Reader Jeff

Reader Jeff from Iowa completed a Heritage-for-Heritage (and Cubs) swap with me recently. Included in the trade was this Anibal Sanchez New Age Performers card from the 2007 Topps Heritage set. Sanchez was one of a number of notable players dealt today with the trade deadline approaching. Sanchez came tantalizingly close a couple of times last year to throwing his second career no-hitter, but he hasn't always been the most consistent pitcher in the league.

Hooray! Floating rookie heads from 2011! This one is a short print. In this year's Heritage set, the floating heads don't mean a thing as far as rarity goes.

These guys look ghostly for some reason.

Ah, Ichiro. My guess is that he's with the Yankees now because the Mariners learned that there was no chance of Ichiro signing a new contract with him. Otherwise, I don't think they would have let their biggest ballpark (and tourist) attraction get away even with his rapidly declining skills.

Here's one for the Cardinals binders.

Like Ichiro, Randy Johnson and Richie Sexson (to name a few), Olerud was another former Mariner that made a late career stop in the Bronx.

Finally, here's Roy Oswalt from that 2008 Topps rookie cup anniversary insert set. I like these, but it feels like I still need so many of them.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Return of the Queen

For the second month in a row, I picked up a blaster of Gypsy Queen at a discount price at the monthly card show. Unlike last time, where I had a bit of buyer's remorse for buying a bunch of product that I have no intentions of collecting, this time I almost wish I had more money to spend. The reason? The blasters had proven to be so unpopular with this dealer that he's down to selling them at cost for a measly $10. I only bought one, though. As with last time, these are all up for grabs if they don't belong in my Cardinals binders.

Pack 1:
123 - Geovany Soto (I just got done watching the Cubs get swept. Man, that felt good. St. Louis outscored Chicago 23-1 this weekend and Soto has been too lousy to play every day.)
129 - Scott Rolen
17 - Trevor Cahill
204 - Jemile Weeks

91 - Tim Hudson Mini (I always forget how old Hudson is. He was born the same year as me, which means... oh crap.)

MS-JH - Josh Hamilton Moonshots

Pack 2:
284 - Todd Helton
115 - Kurt Suzuki
299 - Mike Carp (Carp had a big year last year, but he's back in AAA now and will probably leave people scratching their heads when they look back at why he had a card in this set.)
122 - Casey McGehee (Then again, Casey McGehee is in this set, too.)

269 - Willie Stargell Straight Cut Mini

FS-DJ - Desmond Jennings Future Stars

Pack 3:
295 - Dwight Gooden (Topps still calls him Doc.)
290 - Sandy Koufax
182 - Buster Posey

SS-DP - Dustin Pedroia Sliding Stars (This is a strange insert set, more along the lines of something you'd see from our friends Allen and Ginter.)
125 - David Robertson Mini

HH-CR - Cal Ripken Jr. Hallmark Heroes (The kids love Ripken.)

Pack 4:
53 - Angel Pagan
199 - Casey Kotchman
72 - Ryan Dempster (I'm just going to say it: I hate that stupid glove flip thing that Dempster does.)
183 - Heath Bell

233 - Duke Snider Gypsy Queen Mini (Classic.)

149 - Ryan Zimmerman Photo Variation

Pack 5:
128 - Grady Sizemore

138 - Chris Carpenter
30 - Cole Hamels
205 - Devin Mesoraco

302 - Anibal Sanchez Green Mini (Why, oh why, aren't there any Marlins fans to trade with?)

MS-MS - Mike Stanton Moonshots (Seriously.)

Pack 6:
150 - CC Sabathia
54 - Mariano Rivera (Did anyone notice that the Yankees were swept in 4 games in Oakland. That's never happened before.)
99 - Hanley Ramirez
71 - Ian Kennedy
71 - Ian Kennedy Mini (Yes, this happened.)

FS-DH - Derek Holland Future Stars

Pack 7:
86 - Jhoulys Chacin (His name looks like scrabble words.)
171 - Jimmy Rollins
243 - Catfish Hunter (I like it when it's not the same 10 retired stars in every set.)
141 - Roy Oswalt
133 - Mike Adams Mini

HH-BG - Bob Gibson Hallmark Heroes (Hit of the box if you ask me, which you probably didn't.)

Pack 8:
73 - Ben Revere

196 - Adam Wainwright
89 - Bud Norris
181 - Jeremy Hellickson

278 - Dustin Ackley Straight Cut Mini

110 - Jose Bautista Photo Variation

If anyone out there has the David Freese photo variation card or any Cardinals mini/inserts, please give my want list a look and let me know. Thanks!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Airbrushed Fridays: 2012 Topps #588

Sure, Allen & Ginter is still fresh on the shelves, but aren't we already at the point in the year where there's almost nothing left to come out? Aside from the Update set, is there anything else to look forward to on the release schedule? I really wanted to make this the year of working on old sets, but I haven't done the greatest job so far. I suppose there's another 5+ plus months left to go, however.

Who is this week's victim, and why do we care? Mark Ellis is an average, unremarkable but also inoffensive second baseman. Like many of his Oakland teammates (Eric Chavez also comes to mind), he's not someone I really ever paid attention to. He just plays baseball and continues to get paid to do it. Ellis is like the Gin Blossoms were in the grunge era: palatable, but not terribly interesting.

Why does this card exist? Ellis ended his 10 year career with the Athletics last season with a brief stay in Colorado. This past offseason, the Dodgers signed him as a free agent because they are the Dodgers. In the past couple of years, they have given homes to quite a bit of MLB flotsam. This year's roster alone has included the likes of Juan Uribe, Adam Kennedy, Mike "Mac the 9th" MacDougal, Bobby Abreu and Todd Coffey, just to name a few. Don Mattingly must have the same fondness for the "scrappy veteran" that Tony La Russa had.

Airbrushed Fridays is a weekly feature as the name seems to imply. If you know of a card with an altered photograph that you'd like to see featured, please contact me. You probably won't win anything other than a hyperlink and some cancelled postage stamps, but you never know!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Cards I Received From The Angels, In Order, In Order

Bobby Cramer. He looks glum. I have no idea who he is. This card is a black retail quasi-parallel. I like these.

Jose Garcia. I have no idea who he is. According to B-R.com, he tossed 11 innings for the Fish in 2006 and was out of baseball after 2008.

Lance Lynn. He'd be a strong Rookie of the Year candidate had he not spent too much time on the big league roster last year, despite much of it being as a member of the disabled list.

Shaun Marcum. He's a short print. He pitches for a rival.

David Ortiz. He's on the DL. This is a 2008 Heritage insert. I hadn't knocked a 2008 Heritage card off my want list in a long, long time. I still need some inserts, some SPs and strangely a few base cards.

Mark Teixeira. Can anyone tell me why he has two base cards in the 2011 Heritage set? No?

Thanks again to The Angels, In Order. Go check out his new blog which is about about a set released in the mid-'90s, a very curious time in our culture indeed. You might be able to win stuff.