Monday, December 24, 2012

'Tis the Season (For a Trade Post)

Happy holidays! I hope you're all watching the Holiday Bowl right now. No? Okay, well, settle in for some light reading instead. Jeff from 2 x 3 Heroes is giving away some cards to celebrate the season and he also recently sent me a nice box of cards as part of a big swap.

The retail exclusive Heritage cards have been hard to come by, for me at least, so it was nice to see several in this trade. I am trying not to get the sense of dread I usually get about completing every Heritage set, but here it is almost 2013 and I have so many more cards to go for this one.

This one is headed for my Cardinals binders instead of my (yet to be assembled) 2012 Heritage binder.

Oh, look at those fluffy little clouds.

Between Heritage and Archives, this was the year of the floating head revival. I wonder if we'll see more floating heads in 2013. I don't know how I feel about this. Apparently, neither does Dustin.

Also included in the box were plenty of Ginter goodies, like Marie Curie here.

It's an oft-injured short print. No, make that a short print of an oft-injured player.

I wonder where this treaty would fall in the All-Time Treaty Power Rankings. Perhaps some website somewhere has a slideshow I could refer to.

Oh, and there were Cardinal goodies in the box as well. Were there ever! A bunch of minis were to be had, and I picked my favorite one: this Chris Carpenter from the Ginter revival debut set in 2006.

The Topps base Matt Holliday card was one of my favorite cards of 2012, so it was exciting to get the Opening Day blue parallel version. Serial numbered with the good foil stuff.

I am not sure what happened to the rest of this card, but I swear it's really there. K-Mac is a man without a team right now after he spent most of 2012 on the DL.

Most McGwire Cardinals cards look hilariously dated. Not dated in a good way, like '50s Topps cards.

Finally, there were a couple of cards for the Jim Edmonds collection thrown in, including this 1995 Leaf thing.

And there was also this Metal thing. So metal.

Merry Christmas! It was quite a year for this blog (and trade posts).

Friday, December 21, 2012

Airbrushed Fridays: 1969 Topps #137

Is the world over yet? Does Blogger even exist now? Are there any more internets? Hellfire and brimstone, etc. Oh, and happy holidays!

Who is this week's victim, and why do we care? Wally Bunker was a right-handed starting pitcher who spent 9 seasons in the majors, winning a World Series with the Orioles in 1966. The sinkerballer broke into the league at just 18 years of age, but by age 26 he was already finished due to ineffectiveness caused by those always pesky "arm troubles".

Why does this card exist? Kansas City was awarded a baseball franchise that began play in 1969 and they made Wally Bunker one of their expansion draft picks. Bunker became their de facto ace in his first season with the Royals, and he was one of a number of logo-less hatted players to appear in the Topps set that year.

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 lump of coal in your stocking, but you never know!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Clear Cut Heritage Trade

Cards on Cards is going on vacation. Tomorrow is my last working day until after New Year's Day, so new posts may be nonexistent or at the very least, somewhat sporadic and unpredictable for the remainder of the year. For most people, not having to go to work means more free time and, by extension, more time for the blog. Apparently, I don't seem to work that way. Every time I have time off I find that I neglect everything I normally keep up with and go off and do things that I don't always get a chance to get to do.

I thought I'd sneak in one last trade post before 2013... assuming I don't free up all of this time to get caught up on the rest of my trades and trade posts. This little swap was for a few 2012 Heritage cards from Clear Cut Cards. My end of the deal is sadly lagging behind, but that matter should be taken care of very soon.

Along with some needed base cards and the Walmart blue parallel of Mr. Collmenter (who sounds like a vice principal of the disciplinarian kind) came this Kyle Seager short print. Seager was one of the best of a less than mediocre bunch of hitters in Seattle's lineup last year. With Kendrys Morales joining the fold for 2013 and the Safeco Field fences moving in, it will be interesting to see if Seattle can find some semblance of an offense. As much as we like Chone "Figgy" Figgins in this household, it will likely be addition by subtraction to have him out of the picture. I hope he catches on somewhere else and is able to rebuild his career.

A couple of Cardinal Triple Play cards found their way into the mix. These are headed for my Cardinals binders as Erin already has them. She's working on this set and just busted her way through a box. Look for an updated wants/haves list soon, if you're working on this set or have any extras.

I caught an interview with Lance Berkman this morning on MLB Network's Hot Stove, which is a regular part of my morning routine these days. Berkman didn't sound as dismissive about playing again as some of the things I've read in the media lately, and the fact that he was willing to go on TV and talk for awhile to me suggests that he's putting himself out there for an opportunity next season. Good for him. I never thought I'd become a Lance Berkman fan, but he's a good guy and a hell of a player.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Up For Grabs: 2012 Topps Archives

As promised last week, this is the other blaster that I picked up at the card show for the low, low price of $12. I bought only one other pack of this product this year, and I was pretty disappointed. It's something I really wanted to be excited about, and I absolutely love the inserts, but the base cards being on the cheap and lazy white card stock made me think twice about forking over $3.19 a pack. If blasters were always and forever $12 a piece, and if they were as good as this one, I might have changed my tune. Oh well.

This is going to double as an "Up For Grabs" post as well. In breaking with my usual box break format, I am just going to list out the cards. If you need 'em, let me know. There's only a few cards that I will be keeping, and I will note them below.

Pack 1:
100 - Miguel Cabrera
140 - Buster Posey
186 - Brian Wilson

157 - Carlos Gonzalez Gold

222 - John Kruk
147 - Justin Masterson
194 - Gary Carter
35 - Zack Greinke

Pack 2:
26 - Paul Konerko
76 - Victor Martinez
128 - Shin-Soo Choo
180 - David Wright

67S-CG - Carlos Gonzalez '67 Sticker

85 - Matt Holliday - not for trade
137 - Jason Heyward
179 - Michael Bourn

Pack 3:
21 - Jeremy Hellickson
71 - Jimmy Rollins
122 - Dustin Pedroia
172 - James Shields

160 - Eddie Murray Reprint
10 - Ryan Braun
70 - Joey Votto
123 - Ryan Vogelsong
- Topps Pennant Ad (Rangers)

Pack 4:
13 - Mark Teixeira

56R-JC - Johnny Cueto Jersey

- Joey Votto 3-D - not sure if I'm trading this one. I'm trying to decide if I want to go for this set.
173 - Daniel Hudson
11 - Curtis Granderson
58 - Tommy Hanson

Pack 5:
62 - Hanley Ramirez
113 - Ryan Howard
164 - Kevin Youkilis
5 - Freddie Freeman

214 - Mitch Williams
111 - John Axford
162 - Jayson Werth
2 - Nick Swisher

Pack 6:
54 - Jemile Weeks
101 - Adrian Gonzalez
156 - Ubaldo Jimenez
33 - Jon Lester

77C-RJ - Reggie Jackson Cloth
52 - Geovany Soto
102 - Dee Gordon
152 - Johnny Cueto

Pack 7:
83 - Craig Kimbrel
135 - Mike Napoli
184 - Jim Rice

58-KK - Clayton Kershaw / Sandy Koufax Classic Combos

500 - Duke Snider Reprint
18 - Tom Seaver
67 - Justin Verlander
118 - Desmond Jennings

Pack 8:
1 - Matt Kemp
59 - Hunter Pence
112 - Todd Helton
161 - Chase Utley

69DE-15 - Joe Morgan Deckle Edge
169 - Michael Morse
42 - Aroldis Chapman
80 - Troy Tulowitzki - not for trade

Bonus Pack! (I bought this recently. It has a short print.)
90 - Joe Mauer
126 - Rickie Weeks
176 - Eric Hosmer
9 - Brett Gardner
236 - Chili Davis
37 - Jose Valverde
139 - Ivan Nova
87 - Clay Buchholz

[updated 12/24/12]

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Cards on Cards That Heritage Left Behind

A little while ago, fresh off of the recent success (?) of the online-only Topps Mini set, Topps decided to dust off a little year end classic and put together a box set of extended series cards. Instead of using the base set to do this, they used the loved and hated Heritage. Then they did something bizarre with the card numbering. And then they announced the print run as 1000 cards, slapped a random autograph in the box and decided a $100 price tag is a suitable price.

People were outraged! I was outraged! No, actually, I wasn't. The weird card numbering and exclusive-to-be-exclusive manner in which the way the set was released made the decision to pass it up rather easy for me. I can easily dismiss this set as a pricey standalone that probably won't retain its value as I don't believe it has any rookies that don't already have cards in other releases. Not to mention the fact that Topps stripped the fun out of set building (for me, anyway) by including the entire set in every package you buy.

Fortunately, nice guys like Rod from Padrographs came along and made it possible for me to obtain the only cards I really would find myself missing from the set: the Cardinals cards. Four of them were included in total, three of which were established players that had been on the team for awhile already. Matt Adams is the lone rookie represented in the set, but after a midseason callup Adams never factored into the teams late season plans.

So instead of getting a fresh face on a new Heritage card, we get a Jake Westbrook card. Oh well, I guess that's what Topps Update is for. Besides, the only transaction that made much of an impact was the acquisition of reliever Edward Mujica, hardly the most attractive choice for a collectible set.

Rod and I have exchanged cards from time to time, and he was kind enough to throw in some other Cardinal gems into the package. I know that people complained a lot about the "Pringle" effect that gave the 2010 Topps Chrome set some unfortunate curves, but I am not sure I've seen anything as bad as what has happened to these vomitfractor cards in the year since they were released. It's fine, though, because it's been my experience that these things flatten out after they are stored properly in binders or top loaders.

Here's one for Erin's collection. You can see the full list of Yadi cards that she owns by clicking on the sidebar. It's been sorted in a List display, but I don't know if there's a way to directly link to that view. If anyone has any spare Yadis, let me know.

I love getting minor league cards, especially when they are from recent sets as I almost never see these cards in pack or single form. Shelby Miller found his way onto the postseason roster late as a reliever, but he still has plenty to prove before he can solidify a spot in the 25-man for 2013.

Carlos Martinez is only 21 years old and has already moved up to the AA level with good results. I'm excited about him. This gold parallel is numbered (with the good gold numbers) 15/50. Nice!

Monday, December 17, 2012

What Boredom Does: A Repack Story

Yes, the above image means that I spend $5 on yet more stuff I didn't need. It's a shame, really. When I walk into a drug store with no sports cards worth having, I should probably just take whatever bit of cash is burning a hole in my pocket and stuff it in a jar or something. Anyway, here are the dozen or so cards that were inside the pack that were of the most interest to me. And no, there was no memorabilia card. I'll save you the suspense.

It's sad when a player's signature is more legible than the actual block letter printing. It didn't scan well, but even to the naked eye these are hard cards to read.

This would have been pretty awesome in 1992. Is there much of a market for Jose Canseco cards anymore, even for just his notoriety?

Cards of The Hawk have never been in high demand. This is probably worth 10 cents today and 20 years ago was probably worth 10 cents.

It's a card from the unattainable set. It looks awesome!

This year's Topps Archives set does not make me like the 1980 design anymore.

Weird. There were actually two 2012 cards in the pack. I'm quite sure that this pack has been sitting on the shelf taunting me since Series 1 was brand new.

Cards like these were just there for the purpose of mocking all of the amateur artist/sports fans in classrooms everywhere.

What a goofy uniform. I want to see the Rangers wear these as a throwback.

Nolan Ryan gets the "final tribute" treatment here, more of a rarity these days than it was 20+ years ago.

At one point, the floundering career of Fernando Valenzuela took a tour stop through my home town of Portland by way of the visiting AAA team he was trying to make a comeback with. This card was actually produced a year or two after that happened. I have no idea what Fernando did after that day in Portland. Someone told me he was briefly a Cardinal, even.

Viola looks like he is reminiscing about the best breakfast cereals he's eaten in his life.

Wow, this is... wow. Any fans of badly miscut oddball cards?

The three promised "vintage" cards are always from the late '70s, in my experience. Such was the case this time, with a trio of 1977 Topps cards presenting themselves.

Could anyone tell a '70s ballplayer and a modern day hipster apart if they stood side by side? (Assume that the baseball player isn't wearing a baseball uniform, of course.)

Will R.A. Dickey lead a knuckleballer revival? Or will those wacky goofballs go the way of the Knuckle Brothers, Niekro and Niekro? I like to ask open-ended questions here.