Sunday, June 30, 2013
Friday, June 28, 2013
The weekend is nearly upon us, and by the time the weekend is over, the month June will be over. When June is over, we're pretty much at the midway point in the baseball season. Summer, hot dogs, waverunners, Otter Pops... those things are all happening, folks! What happened to this year? I haven't even figured out what my summer project is going to be. There probably won't be a summer project at this point. That would be a shame.
Who is this week's victim, and why do we care? Clay Kirby is a repeat offender. You can read about him here. He did not live long, but he had the great fortune to be a Major League Baseball player and have his own baseball cards to document his legacy, which is a pretty cool thing if you ask me.
Why is this a thing? When we left off last, Kirby was appearing on a card from 1974 as an airbrushed Red. He'd spend two seasons in total with Cincy before he'd head to Montreal for his final stop in the bigs, swapped for one Bob Bailey. The Expos released him after a single season, and he would spend one last season in AAA before hanging it up.
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 Jeffrey Loria bumper sticker, but you never know!
Thursday, June 27, 2013
I participated in my first card draft back in May, hosted by the venerable Thorzul Will Rule. I managed to snag a few things that I might add to the trade bait pile or send to friends, but as you'd imagine I mostly went for things that would fit nicely into my own collection. I'm going to show off some of those things here and leave the rest up to your imagination.
Before I get to the good stuff, I have to admit to being a sucker for the old Kellogg's lenticular cards. I don't own nearly enough of them. I recently pounced on a couple of Ozzies for my Ozzie binder, and knew that the next logical step would be to acquire more Cardinals.
Wait, what am I talking about? This is the good stuff! Who cares about shiny hits when you can dig these groovy 3-D Super Stars of yesteryear. (Okay, "groovy" might be a stretch. This was 1981. As in, Reagan's first year in office.)
J.D. Drew had already moved on to the Braves by the time Donruss put out this jersey hit, but they kept him in full Cardinal gear to match the swatch. I assume that's what this means, anyway. We're left to a lot of blind faith in these situations, as everyone knows.
This shiny gold Big Mac card is numbered to 5000, but it is still a nice little gem from the late '90s. As with many cards of this era, it doesn't scan as well as we wish it could.
I can't believe that I have a card of Albert Pujols that's 11 years old! It's hard to imagine that he's been around that long, although if you ask most Angels fans I'm sure they'd say he's playing like he's been around for a lot longer than that.
Not an attractive card. I could have sworn I already owned this, but when I checked my records it was still listed as a need.
This one intrigued me because you don't often see players with swatches from different teams that they've played for. At least, I haven't seen this much. It's just too bad that they're both grey. And probably from a souvenir David Ortiz jersey that you can buy at the mall. Way to make me cynical, cruel world!
I love Chris Carpenter, as is well established. Considering some of the more ridiculous pairings that Ballpark Collection has to offer, I can say that this one isn't too bad. We get a nice Johan pinstripe from his good ol' Twins days.
Finally, on a lark I snagged an unopened 1989 Donruss cello pack in the draft, curious to see what the exclusive Grand Slammer insert would be. To a lesser extent, there's always that automatic "could be a Griffey!" reaction you get from opening certain things dated 1989.
Here's my Grand Slammer. Didn't get a Griffey.
I spent the evening at the arcade like any good thirtysomething should do, and arrived home late tonight to discover a package I recently ordered from COMC. I had some extra PayPal bucks due to a card-related thing that didn't quite get off the ground, and in a fit of fury I decided to try to finish off as many sets as I could with the credit I had. I am in the set collecting game for the fun of it, so I don't often like to buy single cards as trading is so much more fun. However, some of these sets have been sitting around since the early days of my blog, which if you've been following the news about my big giveaway you'll know that's a good chunk of time. In short, I completed three Allen & Ginter sets. I was beginning to wonder if I'd ever see this great (doctored) card of the Human Highlight Reel. The only thing keeping me from finishing off a fourth Ginter base set collection was the fact that COMC did not have a single base card of some long bearded freak whose name I don't recall. He still haunts my want list.
I've only started purchasing from COMC this year, but I've been happy with them so far. What I've managed to do with every order is sneak in at least one indulgence for both Erin and myself. (Erin, obviously, ended up with a pretty blue Yadi card.) My indulgence led me to irritation, but I suppose stopped short of disgust. I am a huge fan of the Turkey Red brand and am normally interested in all things related. I scoffed a bit at this year's online-only ultra limited set, but I clearly need one of each of the Cardinals cards from it. I decided to slap down a cool $1.39 for this Matt Holliday card, and while it won't look bad in my binder, it's an embarrassment to the Turkey Red name. The design is weird, but what bugs me the most is that there's essentially no difference between this card, a 2013 Gypsy Queen card, a 2013 Allen & Ginter card (only guessing as it's not out yet) or, sadly, a 2013 Heritage card. Topps is now using the same cardstock for the majority of its brands, losing any sense of uniqueness that these products might have previously attained. Basically, you can throw a slap of the same "cardboard" through a cutting machine and print whatever the computer decides needs to be on these things. They're all the same now.
Part of me should feel even more justified and self-righteous in my decision not to collect this year's Turkey Red, but I am not feeling anything but disappointed right now.
Tuesday, June 25, 2013
I'm behind in trade posts (and definitely a couple of trades) once again, but that doesn't mean I won't get around to it eventually. You know I'll get around to it... eventually. To tide you over, I still have that giveaway going on. With thirty participants so far, I have added 6 free cards to the pot!
Meanwhile, Josh from Royals and Randoms is literally waiting by the mailbox this very moment for his Royals (and randoms) from yours truly. He was foolish enough to send me some cards that I needed, and here are some of them.
There are many things going on with this new-to-me Jim Edmonds card, not the least of which is that it looks like garbage when you scan it. This seems to be the case for a lot of cards from 1995 to 2004.
Someone wasn't overly impressed by all of the boring pitcher close-ups in this year's Topps Series 2 product, but things could always be worse. John Martin's '82 'Russ card is proof of that. (Does anyone else call Donruss "'Russ"?)
On to the Erin portion of the package, here's a pinstripe card of Larry Walker and his Cool Guy shades. Remember when only Cool Guys wore shades?
Here's Larry, sans shades, on a round card. There should be more round cards. Today's cards have too many sharp, pointy edges, consarn it!
Sometimes you get a stack of 2003 Topps cards. And sometimes you gotta scan Jeff Suppan.
Friday, June 21, 2013
I have no words. I'll let the internet speak for me...
That about sums it up.
Who is this week's victim, and why do we care? Shin-Soo Choo was a Seattle Mariners prospect who, in the Bill Bavasi era of brilliance, was dealt away before getting much of a chance at the major league level for Ben Broussard. This was just a few weeks after they traded Asdrubal Cabrera away for the services of Eduardo Perez. Both Choo and Cabrera are very productive major leaguers these days.
Why is this a thing? The Reds took part in a super trade involving too many teams and players to recount last offseason, the gist of which meant that Choo would take over CF duties for Drew Stubbs. He's remained very productive with the bat, but his lack of experience at the key outfield position has reared its ugly head defensively. Also speaking of ugly, well, there's this Photoshop thing going on...
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 front office position with the Mariners, but you never know!
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Well, I would hestitate to call this a contest, because all you need to do to enter is leave a comment on this post! To celebrate the fifth anniversary of this intrepid little blog, I am giving away a factory sealed box set of the 1994 Pinnacle The Naturals set. It's chock full of '90s stars and is one of the earlier sets to make use of Pinnacle's exclusive "Dufex" technology. This contest is open to all entrants, and will close at midnight (PDT) on June 30th. You don't even need a Blogger/Google account to enter - just email me with the word "CONTEST" in the subject line if you're unable to comment here. The winner will be chosen at random via "List Randomizer" at random.org.
To encourage others to enter, for every 5 entrants I will add a card to the prize heap to sweeten the pot. The winner will win this set plus any added cards as a bonus. The cards will likely be from my Trade Bait stash or a similarly valued equivalent.
Here's a look at the checklist, and it's a good one! Not many clunkers in this bunch, that's for sure.
Thanks for reading, everyone.
Things seem to have slowed a bit on the group break front, but that's okay with me. I admire how much effort that the break hosts must undertake to put on something that in spirit is more of a labor of love than something designed to be profitable. I do have a couple of breaks that I still need to post about, and one of them was absolutely perfect for me - a break of a box of 1983 Fleer Stickers. I'd much rather fill some Cardinals binder needs than go chasing for the big hits, and host Garvey Cey Russell Lopes was exceptionally cool about purchasing extras for people when it was suspected that there might have been a bit of foul play involving the distribution of the stickers and lack of certain stars. Thanks to GCRL, I now have the full 1983 Fleer Stickers team set, with plenty of doubles to trade to friends or stick on my Trapper Keepers.
The sticker images may be closer than they appear. Or larger. Something like that.
One of the scandalously missing stickers from the box break was Willie McGee. I don't know if someone thought they might get rich off of a rookie year McGee sticker with a "book value" of 30 cents, but whatever.
Any Ozzie for the Ozzie binder is a good thing. When it's an '80s Ozzie, it's a great thing!
I didn't know that the stickers were distributed in strips, such that you actually have to separate the perforated things if you want to have individual stickers. I'm guessing that no significant devaluing happens here, unlike the old '80-81 Topps basketball cards when they are pulled apart.
We also set up a trade that crossed paths with the mailing of my group break loot. (I still need to send my end of the deal. Oops.) GCRL has a spinoff O-Pee-Chee blog that completed its run awhile back. I am always fond of seeing variations on the standard issue Topps cards, so it was a must-read for me. That being said, I must have forgotten that the "In Action" cards from the 1982 Topps set made it to its northern counterpart.
I'm pretty sure this is the first 2003 Donruss Studio card that I own.
Another one of the assorted Cardinals that I received was a Scrabble Target parallel. I really want to focus on getting all of the retail variations of the base (Cardinal) cards from the last 5 years, and every little bit helps.
Here is probably the highlight of the Cardinals portion of the trade. I don't know why I'm such a sucker for serial numbers. You don't see this style of printed serial numbers on cards anymore, not that anyone is complaining.
Finally, I received a whole stack of 2003 Topps cards for my ongoing set project. I didn't want to detract from the awesome array of Cardinals I snagged, though, so I decided to keep it to one scan. Ladies and gentlemen, it's Manuel Ramirez!
Monday, June 17, 2013
The next batch of Cardinals cards that I'm pushing out the door are of a guy in both my and Erin's personal collections. This means that at any given time there could be three copies of a Matt Holliday card in this household (if it's a set I collect) which is kind of ridiculous. Holliday has only been on the team since 2009, and what I have in the way of extras is fairly limited for a guy who has as many cards as he does.
The list follows at the end of the post. Please see previous "Up For Grabs" posts here with many cards still available. Unclaimed cards will likely end up on Listia or something similar.
Holliday wore #15 for only part of a season with the Cardinals, but it took card designers quite awhile to catch on to that fact. 15 on a Cards uniform still means Jim Edmonds to me, even though Jon Jay and Rafael Furcal have also worn it in recent days.
With a contract like Holliday's, no one will be wearing #7 for St. Louis for a long time.
2010 Topps #140 [4 available]
2010 Topps Update (Home Run Derby) #US-56 [2 available]
2010 Topps Update (All-Star) #US-161 [4 available]
2010 Topps Attax Code [2 available]
2011 Bowman #122
2011 Topps #490
2011 Topps Update (All-Star) #US260
2011 Topps Lineage #9 [2 available]
2012 Bowman #99
2012 Bowman Platinum #97
2012 Topps #320 [3 available]
2012 Topps Archives #85
2012 Topps Opening Day #78 [2 available]
2013 Topps #207
2013 Topps (Wild Card) #125
Sunday, June 16, 2013
Stay tuned to this station because later in the week I will be giving away something in honor of a blog milestone. It's not going to be much, but I want to give it a good home and figured this would be as good of a time as any to do it. In the meantime, here's some cards that The Junior Junkie sent to me last month for my and Erin's player collections.
Adam Wainwright has walked just 9 batters this season while striking out 97. He might be a wizard or, possibly, some sort of robot.
Timmy Lincecum hasn't fared so well this season. He's failed to prove so far that last season's off year was simply an off year. Maybe he needs to bring the hair back?
Larry Walker never knew what an off year was like. After he hit his peak, his worst (!) season was probably his very final season, when he was still putting up an .886 OPS and providing plenty of power, with 15 HRs and 52 RBI in 315 ABs.
I've never quite solved the Finest protector coating dilemma. They obviously look much nicer with the coating peeled away, but I can't seem to bring myself to do it.
Tulo is once again having a hard time staying healthy, as he recently was diagnosed with a broken rib and sent back to the DL. It must be frustrating for Rockies fans, considering how great he is when he is healthy enough to play.
Friday, June 14, 2013
Slow your roll, Topps! Count me among the few that is not disappointed about the news that this year's Allen & Ginter set is going to be delayed until sometime in August. I feel like pretty much everything Topps has done this year has been either rushed or unnecessary, and sometimes even both. I don't mind waiting around until a product I usually enjoy supposedly gets better. Of course, we're probably just being subjected to more waiting while they get that new Dodgers rookie to sign some Band-Aids or something, but a guy can dream, can't he?
Who is this week's victim, and why do we care? Dave Cash was a solid second baseman who racked up 3 straight All-Star appearances to go along with a World Series ring in the '70s. He spent his entire career in the National League, with more than half of it representing a team from the great state of Pennsylvania.
Why is this a thing? Cash was traded straight up for George Brett's older brother Ken in October 1973. After breaking in with the Pirates and picking up his ring, Cash moved on to Philly where he'd pick up all of his individual accolades. Topps honored the occasion with their rendition of the always difficult to fake Phillies cap logo of the '70s and '80s.
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 combustible head, but you never know!