Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Well Rounded Trade

I tend to think that the best kind of card trades hit multiple areas of your collecting interest and also manage to throw in something surprising and fantastic at the end. This can be something totally unnecessary, yet it adds to the fun (and surprise) factor. I should note that I have next to zero expectations when I enter into trades with people over the internet as I just hope that I can get rid of cards and offer something useful to someone for my part. Such was the case with a recent trade exchange with Kyle4KC of the Chris Farley-adorned Juust a Bit Outside blog. Kyle is a fellow Cardinal fan, though in an ideal world I feel like he'd lean more towards Royal Blue.

As mentioned, Kyle hit a number of areas of interest with this trade, including the recent Allen & Ginter and Heritage sets. Aroldis Chapman is approximately 7'8", can throw 147 MPH and is reportedly made of a platinum-titanium composite.

Kasper Hauser is... I don't know... spoooooooooky?

I really like the Baseball Flashbacks cards from this year's Heritage offering. Since this is just a insert set concept that is rehashed from year after year, the design isn't really based on anything authentic, but I still like the look.

As with any good trade worth its salt (just kidding, people who don't do this!), there was a healthy amount of Cardinals cards. This 2004 Fleer Greats set with the embossed style frame is one of my absolute favorites. I wonder how much a box would run me.

It's curious that Topps chose this photo for just a Matt Holliday card, rather than one of their multi-player dealies. It also just looks odd with a certain someone missing from the picture. Albert had bad timing with his forearm break last season as it cost him an almost certain All-Star appearance.

Speaking of which, I was certainly surprised and excited to get this Pujols XFractor. X-Fractor? Xfractor? XFRACTOR? I'm not sure how to properly punctuate and/or capitalize that made up word.

Finally, here's a really cool jersey swatch from everyone's favorite: J.D. Drew. Sure, J.D. may not go down in history on any team's All-Time Fan Favorite list, but it is a really nice little jersey piece.

Thanks again to Kyle4KC. Now, don't mind me as I run off to listen to the Education Connection song yet again...

Monday, November 28, 2011

30 Teams in 30 Posts: #13

The '30 Teams' posts are back, which means that I'm ready to start trading again. I got a tad bit overwhelmed with non-cardboard related duties lately and was temporarily avoiding anything involving responsibility that I wasn't getting paid for. Hopefully, things are on the right track again. As always, the real point of these posts are to get rid of cards. If anyone has contacted me about a trade and hasn't heard anything, feel free to give me another nudge.

Baltimore somehow fails to evoke much feeling out of me one way or another. It's probably because the team has been largely irrelevant and invisible for so long that sometimes I forget that they exist. If it weren't for baseball cards, I'm not even sure I would have the faintest idea who guys like Nick Markakis and Brian Roberts even are. I know Luke Scott because he's a gun-toting nutjob and I know Adam "Not PacMan" Jones because the Mariners gave up on him and he turned on to be a solid player.

I also know that the Orioles play in Camden Yards, which was the greatest thing since bread came sliced... when I was in high school. There's also the cartoon bird, a World Series title that I somehow missed completely and... oh yes, The Streak. What's missing from this post? Probably that 1989 Fleer Billy Ripken card. Of course, if I still had a copy I would probably hang on to it and you wouldn't see it here anyway. I think I sold one for $20 back in the day.

Favorite current Orioles player: Adam Jones. He seems talented but pretty unspectacular at the same time. I just don't know very many of these players.

Least favorite current Orioles player: Luke Scott. Like I said earlier, Luke Scott is a gun-toting nutjob and I've disliked him ever since I first learned of his existence when he played for the Astros.

Favorite Orioles player of all-time: Mike Mussina. Yeah, I know, he went on to be a dirty rotten Yankee, but Moose came into his own as an Oriole and was a pretty great pitcher.

Least favorite Orioles player of all-time: Cal Ripken. Two shortstops always stood out to me when I would have fits of Ozzie Jealousy. This was the phenomenon where I would suddenly get frustrated with anyone who might dare suggest that Ozzie Smith wasn't the greatest shortstop in the game at any given time, let alone the greatest player who ever lived. I think my dislike for Ripken came from overexposure. My dislike for Barry Larkin didn't last like the Ripken thing, so that has to be the reason.

The Baltimore Orioles check in at #13 in my reverse-ranking of favorite teams as of the moment I picked them on October 4th, 2010. Yes, that was more than a full calendar year ago! All of these cards are very much up for trade, so please contact me if you're interested.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Trade In The Ballpark

I recently completed a trade with The Gooch of In The Ballpark, which consisted mostly of some 1993 Upper Deck (remember those?) cards as well as some other fun things. I already have the only card worth anything (Jeter), so I really don't know what my excuse is for not having this junk wax era set wrapped up by now.

I don't use this word often, but this is just a badass card.

Also included in the trade were some Allen & Ginter minis, which are always welcome around Cards on Cards Central. I have to say that the Monsters of the Mesozoic mini set is among my favorite insert sets ever. Dinosaurs!

Falcon! It's funny, because I remember thinking that animal themed cards were incredibly lame when I was growing up. I remember having some sort of set of wildlife safari cards and not being terribly thrilled by them.

A few Cardinals were thrown in the lot for fun. This is an insert from the 1999 Fleer Tradition set, honoring the two grand slams that Fernando Tatis hit in the same inning. The most surprising thing about that whole affair is that both slams were hit off the same pitcher - Chan Ho Park.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Good Luck Ducks, Week 13: Let the Civil Beatdown Begin

The best way to turn the page and get past last week's stunning, heartbreaking defeat at the hands of the Trojans is to put a colossal beating on the next opponent. Fortunately, Oregon should not have much trouble working up some animosity towards its final opponent of the regular season: those pesky Oregon State Beavers.

The Beavers have had a miserable season, though they snapped a three-game losing streak with a convincing win over an overrated Washington Huskies crew. Their senior leader, James Rodgers, has virtually zero experience around him and it shows. They are a pass first offense this year (albeit with a freshman quarterback) that could give the weaker by the week Ducks secondary the fits.

On paper, the Ducks should have no trouble with the Beavers, although Chip Kelly has cautioned that Oregon is "as banged up a group as [he's] ever been around." I will be a bit disappointed if this is anything less than a cathartic beatdown. A win today, of course, will mean the Ducks will host the inaugural Pac-12 Championship Game. Meanwhile, feel free to read up on me waxing nostalgic over past Civil War games in previous years.

Above footage from the 2008 Civil War, where Jeremiah Johnson made the Beavers look awfully silly.

Game time is 12:30 PST with national coverage on ABC/ESPN2.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Airbrushed Fridays: 2011 Topps #512

Octavio Dotel Week continues here at Cards on Cards with his second obviously airbrushed card in the past year. This one isn't quite as bad as last year's Topps Update card, which had so many things going wrong with it that it probably deserves another post of its own.

Octavio Dotel is a right-handed reliever who was most recently with the World Champion St. Louis Cardinals. He became a heavily relied upon piece of Tony La Russa's bullpen down the stretch and on into the playoffs where the Cardinals pulled off quite a stunning run.

Why did Topps airbrush Octavio's photo? Dotel, who has now been with 10 teams since 2005, was signed by the Blue Jays in the offseason. Dotel first made appearances with Toronto at the beginning of April, but apparently Topps took their sweet time in finding a current photo of him.

What's wrong with this picture, anyway? Dotel didn't wear #35 with the Jays (he wore #29) and the whole logo and number have that weird fake wrapping effect to them. Also, I think the single stripe look to his black sleeves is more of a Rockies thing than a Blue Jays thing.

If you are interested in obtaining a card featured here, please send me an e-mail. If you have a card you would like to nominate for Airbrushed Fridays, please get in touch as well. I will require that I am able to see the card in person, either on loan or as a donation, so that I can examine the card and experience it in all its cruddiness. Also, if you are reading this in the middle of the night because you're participating in some Black Friday shenanigans, you may want to seriously reconsider your priorities.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I Traded Anything

Trade Me Anything is an annual October tradition over at Thorzul Will Rule. Thorzul buys a bunch of the new Topps Update and trades off the unwanted extras to others who feel like being adventurous. You can see what I sent here. (Hint: I try to keep things at least somewhat "anything".)

Allen Craig's card is a bit on the strange side, especially in that he's not actually playing the outfield. With Tony La Russa's retirement (that seems so weird to type, much less say), we've probably seen the last of the Craig At 2nd Experiment. It was fun while it lasted! I'm not so sure that he enjoyed it, however.

The kids affectionately call these abominations "liquorfractors". I will stick to my assessment that they look like pure vomit. And yet, I find myself compelled to collect them if Cardinals are involved.

We just learned today that with the new Collective Bargaining Agreement rules in place, the Cardinals will receive a supplemental draft pick as compensation for Octavio Dotel's departure even if they don't offer him arbitration. I wouldn't mind seeing him come back, however. He was certainly the one who came to embrace the high socks look the most.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Good Luck Ducks, Week 12: Danger!

Ah, USC, we meet again. Sadly, one of the negative aspects of the new conference alignment is that Oregon will only host the Trojans every 4 years, as they alternate seasons between playing UCLA and USC. The Trojans can really go for broke in tonight's game as they really have nothing to lose. They are still on probation, which means no postseason play, no Pac-12 South title... it's just this game and the UCLA game left for Lane Kiffin and his annoying marching band.

USC has a lot of offensive weapons, and now that Oregon has conquered Stanford all the focus seems to be headed towards Matt Barkley. I don't really get that, personally. Didn't Stanford and USC play to a virtual dead heat this season? Isn't Andrew Luck still the proverbial Man? Unfortunately, despite any accolades you feel like throwing towards the Trojans, a win over USC tonight will not mean as much in the polls and to the computers as the win over Stanford.

Still, this is the best opponent Oregon will face until their bowl game. I am confident that Oregon will not be looking past this game. USC is very dangerous, and it could easily be a much closer game than last week's. Oregon must again play mistake free football and keep the offense moving in order to keep pace with the dangerous Trojans team. Autzen Stadium will be loud tonight.

Above footage from the 2010 Oregon/USC game in LA.

Game time is 5:00 PST with regional coverage on ABC. Go Ducks!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Airbrushed Fridays: 1978 Topps #539

I can barely contain my rage at the way Bud Selig is intent on ruining MLB. The moving of the Astros nonsense is bad enough, but I can't believe the 1-game playoff idea is going forward, perhaps as soon as next season. Interleague play every day? Is there any major professional sport worth watching anymore?

Vic Davalillo was an All-Star outfielder turned utility player and defensive specialist who spent 15 seasons in the majors, logging 5 postseason appearances with 3 teams. He became such a prolific pinch-hitter in later seasons that he actually set a National League record with 24 pinch hits in 1970 with St. Louis.

Why did Topps airbrush Vic's photo? Vic spent three years in the Mexican League leading up to his return to the majors with the Dodgers late in the 1977 season, as he was acquired for their stretch run to the playoffs. This likely dates the photo used on this card back to 1974 or before.

What's wrong with this picture, anyway? Well, it looks like Davalillo's shirt was used as an experimental painting canvas. The LA logo on his cap isn't the worst I've seen, but there's a really goofy electric blue halo on his head.

If you are interested in obtaining a card featured here, please send me an e-mail. If you have a card you would like to nominate for Airbrushed Fridays, please get in touch as well. I will require that I am able to see the card in person, either on loan or as a donation, so that I can examine the card and experience it in all its cruddiness.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Getting Current

I'm about as close to being caught up with trades (and trade posts) as I have been in months, and that's exciting news to me. It also means that I just might be ready to take on some more trades, although I'm going to have to choose wisely and carefully the ones I accept. I haven't purchased many cards lately, so it's becoming more difficult to find things that other people might want. (I wish that meant that I'm clearing up storage space and reducing my cardboard inventory, but it's not really the case.) I did pick up an Allen & Ginter blaster tonight and knocked off quite a few things off my want list, so that's a good thing. It's updated now if you're interested.

This post is about the package I got from the once and former (and now current) Potch Wheeler and The Cardboard Heroes. Allen & Ginter was once again on the menu, and this package was certainly full of heroes (and not too many zeroes.)

Rafael Furcal apparently is looking for a multi-year deal, which certainly is within his right. However, with the money he's asking and the fragility he's dealt with in recent years, it seems decreasingly likely that he'll remain a Cardinal. It's too bad, because he had the greatest impact on the team's overall turnaround that eventually led to their stunning playoff run. The Cards have some infield depth and, if John Mozeliak is to be believed, are set to pencil in Tyler Greene on many lineup cards next year. That could be interesting.

The pride of Madras, Oregon... which is kind of in the middle of nowhere. As most of you know, I am an Oregonian, which I guess is the only thing that keeps me from despising Jacoby Ellsbury like I do the rest of the Boston roster. He's far from a player I really like, though, but I guess it's kind of cool to see your home state on a card.

Somehow I let on that I like the Cardinals, so a few St. Louis cards found their way into the package. Donruss had a few oddball releases in the '80s that I am not familiar with, so I usually enjoy receiving these kinds of cards in trades.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Birthday Box: Packs 17-24

And here we have the frighteningly uneventful conclusion of the 2009 Heritage High Series box. With pictures!

Pack 17:
552 - Daniel Schlereth (Son of Stink)
603 - Jody Gerut
643 - Mike Carp (Mike Carp debuted in the majors in 2009 and then disappeared for awhile, only to reemerge this past season as one of the few reliable offensive options in the Mariners lineup.)
UH158 - Wilson Valdez
UH38 - Justin Upton All-Stars
505 - Adam Everett
564 - Emilio Bonifacio
588 - Jake Fox

Pack 18:

507 - John Smoltz (It's already weird to see Smoltz in a Cards uni. Did that really happen?)
547 - Craig Stammen
587 - J.P. Howell (Howell has some temper on him.)
UH175 - Jody Gerut
UH174 - Omar Vizquel

719 - Ricky Romero
627 - Kyle Farnsworth
650 - Jim Thome (Thome fits the Everyone Eventually Plays For The Dodgers theory, even if he only got a few lousy at-bats.)

Pack 19:
520 - Bobby Scales
679 - Scott Downs
UH166 - Mike Redmond

UH17 - Derek Jeter / David Wright Classic Combos Checklist

TN-1 - Roger Maris / Dustin Pedroia Then and Now
658 - Pat Burrell
630 - LaTroy Hawkins

Pack 20:
644 - Mike Hampton
672 - Aubrey Huff
529 - Brett Cecil
UH103 - Evan Longoria All-Stars
UH9 - Jonathan Broxton (Can broken closers ever be fixed?)

CHR131 - Brandon Wood Chrome 0501/1960
580 - Graham Taylor
541 - Clayton Mortensen (Former Cardinal who departed in the Matt Holliday trade.)

Pack 21:
622 - Kevin Gregg
664 - Randy Wells
683 - Bill Hall
UH161 - Andrew Bailey All-Stars
UH111 - Livan Hernandez

CHR165 - Matt LaPorta Chrome 0505/1960 (If any of these Chrome cards catch your eye, just let me know. I only collect them if they're Cardinals.)
511 - Andrew Bailey
591 - Felipe Lopez

Pack 22:
628 - Landon Powell
581 - Gregg Zaun
542 - Clayton Richard
UH206 - Chris Burke
UH294 - Josh Anderson

711 - Trevor Cahill (Here's another SP. Do I have it? I'll have to consult the want list.)
615 - Juan Rivera
585 - J.A. Happ

Pack 23:
503 - Aaron Poreda
666 - Rich Hill
655 - Omir Santos
UH185 - Kevin Correia
UH156 - Heath Bell All-Stars

FB-06 - Albert Pujols Flashback (I definitely needed this one!)
673 - Yuniesky Betancourt
661 - Freddy Sanchez

Pack 24:
506 - Adam Kennedy
565 - Endy Chavez
589 - Jamey Carroll (Ahh! Demon!)
UH148 - Jason Bay All-Stars
UH78 - LaTroy Hawkins

CHR158 - Jeff Francoeur Chrome 0474/1960 (Like I said... lots of Chrome.)
554 - David Eckstein
524 - Brad Penny (A couple of ex-Cards round out the box.)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Heritage Overload

The only thing I regret about coming around to the idea of collecting baseball cards again was that I did it so late in the game, and only because I missed out on some not very affordable sets that I still covet. Precisely, any Topps Heritage prior to 2007, the first two Allen & Ginter (retro) sets and the 2005-06 Turkey Red set will always be just out of reach to me. I rarely see anything from any of those sets in unopened form, and when I do it's usually too cost prohibitive for me to even entertain the idea. Fortunately, Robert from $30 a Week Habit backed a truckload of 2003 and 2004 Heritage cards up to my front door and unloaded a bunch of them on me. Here's just a few images highlighting a mammoth sized package.

Shin-Soo Choo is another case study in my ongoing You Can Make An All-Star Team Out Of Ex-Mariners project.

This is kind of a goofy card. Did anyone know that there was a Jake Mauer? Are his parents proud of him, or do they just say that they are?

When this card came out, Jamie Moyer was already 40.

As Big Papi prepares to possibly move on from Boston, it might seem strange that the former David Arias actually spent 6 seasons in another uniform other than a Red Sox one.

Jimmy! The only bittersweet thing about the Cards winning the World Series this year was that Edmonds almost was part of it all. Of course, who can say what a different player would add to the mix of a championship team that only made the postseason by a hair and was down to their last strike in the World Series multiple times.

They named a street in Seattle after this man. Put him in the Hall! I may not have much respect for the designated hitter "position", but he was the best there was at what he did.

This is a pretty cool "old logo" variation. Unfortunately, there were a lot of variations in the earlier Heritage sets.

Hey, it's the new White Sox manager. Is there some rule that states that every player that plays for more than a couple of franchises must be a Dodger at some point?

Sadly, one can only drool at the idea of a Wainwright/Carpenter/Haren/Garcia rotation, with insert-your-favorite-young-prospect taking the 5th turn.

Thanks again to Robert for the huge haul! If anyone out there knows about any deals on any pre-2007 Heritage cards, please let me know.