Monday, October 29, 2012


I've struggled to find anything meaningful to say about the Cardinals 2012 season in retrospect, but I know I'm sad to see baseball over for the year. I wasn't all that surprised that the Giants stormed back to take the series. It's happened before and it will happen again. A 3-1 series lead in baseball is rarely safe. This team is its own proof that a solid team can get hot at the right time and overcome anything, even when Ryan Theriot is on the team. The Cards are positioned very well in the future and should be a contender for years to come if they stick to a similar payroll, which they should be able to do considering their usual high attendance and far reaching fanbase. That recent World Series ring doesn't hurt, either.

That's not to say I'm not a little bit disappointed. This team, absent its longtime MVP first baseman, actually felt like they would and should be better than the previous team. The stats bear this out, too, even with some of the injury issues they faced. (Every team gets their share of injury woes.) But as we've seen in past years (think 2004), the best teams don't always win the title. The Cardinals had two vastly superior teams fall in the playoffs in just the past decade. Last year's team was good, but their record didn't reflect it. It took a perfect storm (sorry) of a late season hot streak coupled with the Braves collapse to even get that team in the playoffs. This year's team was better, and their record still didn't reflect it.

These cards came over to me by way of The Angels, In Order. See, I bet you made it all the way through this post without realizing it was trade post. Bat relics are legit, right? I didn't hear about fake bat parts making their way into cards, but who knows.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Good Luck Ducks, Week 9: Buff

By some strange scheduling quirk, Oregon plays Colorado for the second consecutive year since the Buffaloes joined the conference. They have yet to face Utah in a Pac-12 game, which is who they would normally face in any season that does not feature a Colorado game on the schedule. I'm not really sure how this scheduling wizardry is supposed to work.

Last year's 45-2 victory over the Buffs was not very memorable. It was the only game where backup Bryan Bennett got the start (due to a relatively insignificant Darron Thomas injury) and the outcome was never in doubt. This year's Colorado team may be the worst in the entire nation. There's likely a good number of FCS teams that could beat the Buffaloes, yet the Washington State Cougars still managed to Coug It and cough up a game to CU. The odds reflect this. At last check, Oregon was a 46 point favorite, a truly staggering amount for what's ostensibly a conference game.

This is the time where I'm supposed to write about how nervous about the game I am, but I'm not. Stranger things have happened in college football, sure. But if Oregon goes out and loses tomorrow, they will have been exposed as a fraud and it's probably better for that to have happened after 7 games than later in the season when it would sting a lot more. Expect plenty of points on the Oregon side tomorrow and not so many for the other guys.

Last year's game was a bit of a snore.

Game time is high noon (PDT) with national coverage on the Pac-12 Network. Go Ducks!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Airbrushed Fridays: 1976 Topps Traded #338T

Last night, greatness was finally achieved. Angel Pagan won free Doritos-laced tacos for all of America, and Backstop Cards will reap the rewards. Thankfully, the internet has done your job for you and no one will need to come up with a zany GIF that tops this.

Who is this week's victim, and why do we care? Bob Bailey was a third baseman of average (by MLB standards) skill and great longevity. He spent 17 years in the league, winning a title with the Reds in 1976. Bailey seems to have retired from a life full of baseball and the need for Wikipedia updates some time after the late '80s.

Why does this card exist? Bailey found his way to the Reds after seven years with Montreal by way of an offseason deal that landed the Expos the previously featured Clay Kirby. He looks pleased.

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 a used Little Nicky DVD, but you never know!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Odds & Ends & More Trade Bait

I have cards flying in and out the door these days at a high rate. I'm still making good headway with Listia, despite my 0% success rate in referrals. I picked up this fake-o Bob Gibson patch and a couple of certified autos from the 2003 Bowman's Best set recently, one of which (should become obvious) is up for grabs. I also bought a few more packs of Update at Target and took advantage of a loose pack sale which strikes me as the first time I've ever seen that store do anything of the sort.

This is the "up for grabs" card. I couldn't tell you who Eider Torres is, but he came with the card I was really bidding on. Hopefully I can make a super hardcore Cleveland fan something slightly more favorable than indifferent with this card someday.

This is my second certified auto of Tyler Johnson won from Listia. He was a key member of the bullpen on the rag-tag Cardinals crew that won the 2006 World Series. These autos are on card, which is always nice.

Nothing remarkable emerged from the three Update packs, aside from one of my packs containing two Golden Giveaway code cards. I finally earned myself a $10 code. Hooray!

I like the Target parallels well enough, but I should take some time to hit one of the other big box stores if I want any variety in my pack ripping life.

So the big Target sale was on loose packs of 2012 Topps Series 1 and 2. Not only were they 50 cents off, knocking the initial price down from 1.99 to 1.49, but it was also a "Buy 3 Get 1 Free" sale. 8 packs of Series 2 ended up costing me just $9, which is a nice deal. Somehow, I actually struck out in the code department, but I did get another pile of inserts and parallels that are fully up for grabs.

George Brett is a guy. He's on a card. You can have that card if you want.

I swear this is the fourth time that I've pulled this card and I really haven't bought all that much Series 2.

Just imagine that the ball is a taco.

It's sad because Galarraga's career has gone nowhere but south since this game.

Dillon Gee's hobbies include hunting and golf!

What's worse, breaking your ankle in the ALCS at Jeter's age or going 0-for-13,000 like A-Rod?

I hate these cards. I am fearful that Topps will come up with something even worse than the gold sparkle and diamond vomit for next season.

Cameron Maybin. On acid.

I should mention that there was also a dearth of Cardinals cards in these packs. I still need to go over my want lists and add some things to them, especially in the Topps base department.

There's a lot of wasted space on this card, especially in that red area.

I've heard of this guy!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Steal a Base, Steal a Taco: The Contest

My love for ridiculous food promotions at sporting events knows no bounds. Anyone who has known me personally can testify to how obsessed I was with the original "Steal a Base, Steal a Taco" promotion from the 2007 World Series. Jacoby Ellsbury became the King of All Free Tacos that year and America rejoiced and ate their free, barely edible fast food staple.

After a second run at it, with noticeably fewer zany GIFs featuring Jason Bartlett and tacos, this absurd promotion was mothballed and no one spoke of it again... except pretty much every time Ellsbury came to bat for the rest of his career.

With much delight, I heard that "Steal a Base, Steal a Taco" is back for the 2012 World Series. And that's where the fun begins. For my loyal readers, the first person who correctly guesses this year's Free Taco King will receive a certified auto/relic/other sort of "hit" card from their team of choice that I will purchase at next month's card show. The prize will be subject to availability, the constraints of my budget and my mood that day.

Feel free to enter until the first base is stolen. I'll check timestamps and such.

If no one correctly guesses the first player to steal a base in this year's World Series, I will instead award the prize to whoever creates the best zany image of this year's Taco King and his worldly achievement. I'll set a deadline of sometime around the conclusion of the World Series if the contest enters this stage. (Please, no cheating. In other words, I should not find your image via a Google image search, like I did for Ellsbury.) Photoshop, Paint, a drawing by hand... anything is fair game. No need for animation, though. Should it come to pass, I'll be judging more on humor/creativity than technical skill.

And if no one steals a base in this World Series, you all owe me tacos. Just kidding. In all seriousness, this is a real possibility. After all, the Tigers only stole 59 bases all season long. 59!

You must leave your guesses in the comment section below.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Up For Grabs: Michael Jack Schmidt

Next up on the list of stuff I'm open to purging are my Mike Schmidt cards. Schmidt was one of the first superstars of the golden age of my collecting era to retire, so my memories of him as a player are not the most vivid. As usual, the full list of cards available is at the end of this post. There are still plenty of cards left from previous posts as well.

The 1984 Topps set is still a classic design in my book, but it's surprising how little space is left for the player photos, especially on these All-Star cards that only feature the single photo.

This is one set that my scanner makes look better than the actual cards instead of worse.

I kind of miss the drugstore novelty sets that (mostly) Fleer used to put out. Some of them had some pretty hideous designs, though.

The always popular 1987 Topps.

Topps stickers get no love compared to Panini.

It's been awhile since I've seen a "tribute" card in a major card set like this one.

The list:

1984 Topps (All-Star) #388
1990 Upper Deck (Retires...) #20
2009 Topps Legends of the Game #LG-MS
1988 Topps Stickers (Foil w/ Superstar B.J. Surhoff back) #149 [2 available]
1988 O-Pee-Chee Stickers (w/ Superstar Checklist back) #149
1987 Donruss #139
1987 Topps #430 [3 available]
1987 Topps #597 (All-Star) [2 available]
1987 Fleer Award Winners #36
2010 Topps Million Card Giveaway Code #TMC-19
2010 Topps Million Card Giveaway Code #TMC-28
1987 Topps Glossy Send-Ins #28
1986 Topps Mini Leaders #55
1988 Score #16 [2 available]
1988 Score (1987 Highlights) #657
1988 Topps Glossy Send-Ins #3
1985 Topps (All-Star) #714
1988 Fleer SuperStar Specials (w/ Gary Carter) #636 [2 available]
1987 K-Mart #31
1989 Topps #100 [3 available]
1986 Donruss #61
1985 Topps #500
1990 Topps (Turn Back the Clock) #662
1987 Fleer Limited Edition #37
1988 Donruss #330 [4 available]
1988 Donruss MVP #BC-4 [4 available]
1988 Leaf/Donruss #124
1989 Fleer #582 [2 available]
1988 Fleer Superstars #33
1988 Topps #600 [3 available]

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Go Cards! Go Carp!

Recent Listia win.

Just pulled from an Update pack yesterday. Let's hope there's more of this tonight.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Airbrushed Fridays: 2006 Topps Updates & Highlights #UH64

Welcome back to Airbrushed Fridays. It's Friday somewhere, right? Actually, it's still Friday here on the west coast, and that's all that matters to me.

Who is this week's victim, and why do we care? Todd Walker was an offensive minded second baseman who bounced around the league, playing for seven teams in 12 seasons. A former first round draft pick, Walker came up with the Twins where he'd remain until he decided to tour the league beginning in 2000.

Why does this card exist? Walker made one of his last stops in San Diego by virtue of a trade deadline deal with the Cubs back in 2006. The Cubs received Jose Ceda for their troubles, a player who didn't break into the league until 2010 - with the Marlins. Walker would make one more stop - an 18 game cameo with Oakland before hanging it up in 2007. Oh, and the Photoshopping? It's bad. Let us never speak of it again.

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 what's left of Lance Armstrong's career, but you never know!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Good Luck Ducks, Week 8: Avoiding the Trap

The traveling freak show that is the Oregon Ducks football team is in Tempe tonight, under the lights, to face the Arizona St. Sun Devils in prime time. The Ducks have typically fared very well after a bye week, and hopefully the extra time off will give them a chance to correct a few things that have been recurring themes so far this season. The offense has been very "feast or famine", with the famine side of the coin coming up more often than not in the past three games. Not coincidentally, wild card De'Anthony Thomas hasn't done much with the ball in those three games. It feels surprising to write this about a team that is scoring as much as Oregon has been scoring while blowing their opponents out of water, but a large part of why the games have gone the way they have has had to do with a very opportunistic defense.

Marcus Mariota will eventually get this offense running like a well-oiled machine. He is a freshman, after all. Games like tonight's game scare me a great deal, especially when the opponent is playing on their own turf and is sitting pretty with a 5-1 overall record. Neither team has played any powerhouse teams yet, but Oregon comes into this game knowing they are facing an opponent on the road that can play well on both sides of the ball. Limiting mistakes, getting the ball into the hands of their most explosive playmakers (hello, De'Anthony) and creating more of those turnovers that appear to have come so easy to the Ducks this year will all be important tonight.

I expect a win tonight, but I'm more nervous about this game than any of their games going back to sometime last season. Lets hope the Ducks stomp all over those ridiculous trident yardmarkers and head into the weekend with a still unblemished record.

(Requisite YouTube clip still to come. In the meantime, watch this.)

Game time at 6:00 PDT with national coverage on ESPN. Go Ducks!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

People Still Buy Heritage

After swearing off anything but hobby boxes this year for Heritage because they got to be so cheap, I caved in and bought a few packs this summer. I don't have much to speak of, certainly nothing to fill a want list, but the list is out there. Over the weekend, I ran across a blaster for $15 and ended up grabbing it as well. I still haven't talked myself into spending the $50 or so it would take to get a real box. Considering the receiption this year's set received, I don't see those prices going up anytime soon.

Rather than do the regular box break format, I decided to just scan all of the Cardinals cards and things I'd consider "hits". I have a strange definition of hit, though. What's even more strange is that Topps decided to put Adron Chambers on roughly half of the cards in this set. Where will his floating head pop up next? Who knows?!

Yes, a checklist is a hit when I only get one in the entire box. I think they short print the hell out of checklists from sets that I actually care about. I have roughly 934 2007 Topps checklists from various series, but I can barely scrape together 2 Heritage checklists. At least these aren't considered part of the actual set.

Last year's run was so amazing that it really won't bother me if the Cardinals can't make it out of the NLCS. Of course, as soon as the series resumes tomorrow I will be back to my usual position of shouting at people who can't hear me and cursing wildly in the general direction of the TV.

It's... it's a short print! I received three in the blaster, slightly better than average odds. Of course, this means someone out there will only get two and will have much worse than average odds.

There's that crazy floating head again!

Jaime is... broken. I wish that this could have been discovered a long time ago. It seemed like something was off with him all year and he's only now going to finally get it taken care of, which will eat its way into the 2013 season.

Joe Buck called Jon Jay one of the best center fielders in the game last night, which stuck out to me a little bit. Cardinals fans kind of take him for granted a little bit, but when I think about it there aren't exactly a ton of players who are clearly better, even if Buck was probably speaking of his defense more than anything.

In an effort to lend an air of authenticity towards the Heritage product, Topps ends up putting out an awful lot of cards that look like this. I guess you take the good with the bad with a tribute set.

Motte seems like someone that no fan of an opposing team would enjoy.

Other than hearing it referenced by the occasional crusty old man in a Law & Order episode, I don't really know the cultural significance of this incarnation of Penn Station.

There are a lot of Cardinals cards in this set, which is good. It's rare that you see cards for relievers that aren't the team's primary closer anymore.

Here's one of the Stick-Ons. These should be one per pack and have a lot more players, in my opinion.

This is one of the insert sets that finds its way into every Heritage release. They look nice this year.

Here's another SP. Why are so many star players getting the short print treatment?

Same thing with Zimmerman. I don't really get it.

I will be updating the want list soon.