Friday, August 31, 2012

Airbrushed Fridays: 1974 Topps Traded #616T

This is the time of year where my college football fandom begins to interfere with my baseball thing. It's easy to switch over to the handegg when your team is playing out the string and experimenting with young players to see what sticks. The Cardinals are teetering on the verge of collapse, especially with the news that Rafael Furcal may need Tommy John surgery, but what else is new? This team seems like a sinking ship at this point, but last season's sinking ship had to rid itself of nearly all of its passengers before they patched up the leaks and made it to its final destination at the last possible moment.

Who is this week's victim, and why do we care? Larry Gura was a lefty hurler, a prominent piece of the Kansas City Royals rotation from the mid '70s to the mid '80s. He was an All-Star in 1980. For some reason, I was completely oblivious to his existence until now and I even followed the American League a lot in the '80s.

Why does this card exist? Before Gura found his footing as a Royal, he came up as a Chicago Cub. The Cubbies dealt him to to Texas for Duke Sims. The Rangers actually stashed Gura in the Pacific Coast League for his only 7 appearances for their franchise, making this a bona fide member of the Zero Year Club.

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 broken CD jewel cases, but you never know!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Huge Trade (That I Still Need to Complete)

Lonestarr from Life and Baseball Cards sent me another huge trade package this summer and, lo and behold, I'm behind on my end of the trade once again. This should be fixed by Friday. Honestly, I don't know why people bother to trade with me sometimes. (If you haven't already, please check out the Garage Sale post below and let me know if anything strikes your fancy.)

I received a bunch of Cardinals, but those cards only represented about 2/3 of the package. I received a bunch of Blazers cards which I will post separately when I have something to say about the basketball team. I'll have to do that soon, however, or I will forget.

I have several of the "cognac" diamond cards of the retired legends, but of course I don't have the (I assume) much more rare base card variation counterparts. Has anyone had any luck getting those cards through trading circles, auction sites or other avenues?

Man, this was a great set. It's too bad 1994 was such a crappy time to be a Cardinals fan.

I'm not even sure this was on my want list, but I know I didn't have it in my Ozzie collection. Somehow I missed it. This is a Vintage Legends insert from the 2010 Topps set, which attempts to imagine a young Wizard playing instead in 1970.

Go crazy, folks!

I wouldn't be surprised if somewhere in California there is a warehouse full of cut up Scott Rolen jersey chunks. I like Rolen cards, though.

This is a really nice card. It's a little smaller than a regular card, like the rest of the Cracker Jack sets. It makes me wonder if there are other cards like this from players I like to collect that I need to go after.

Thorzul's ultimate CC Sabathia-as-a-Brewer collection makes me wonder if there are any Smoltz-as-a-Cardinal collectors out there. The list of those cards might be a bit short, though.

I really, really need to go through my Lineage Cardinals cards and figure out what I'm missing. I probably have 5 team sets by now. Yikes. I know I don't have this shiny Wainwright, though.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Cards on Cards Rummage Sale III

Welcome to the third Cards on Cards Rummage Sale. Send me an email if you're interested in any of these cards. If you're a first-time trader, don't be shy! I'm not looking for much here. While this is not actually a sale per se (no cash is expected to change hands) I still have the following sundry items available that have been previously showcased in a "30 Teams" post or another previous post (click the links for a better view):

  • 2004 Upper Deck SP Prospects - Yadier Molina (rookie card!)
  • 2010 Topps First Class Ticket to ToppsTown - Albert Pujols  (two of them!)
  • 2010 Topps Cereal Refractor - Albert Pujols
  • 2010 Topps Attax Code - Albert Pujols  (three two of them!)
  • 2008 Topps Heritage T205 Mini - Albert Pujols
  • 2007 Fleer Year in Review - Albert Pujols  (two of them!)
  • 2006 Upper Deck First Pitch Diamond Stars - Albert Pujols
  • 2006 Topps Own The Game - Albert Pujols BA
  • 2006 Topps MLB 2K6 - Albert Pujols
  • 2006 Fleer Ultra RBI Kings - Albert Pujols  (two of them!)
  • 2006 Fleer Ultra Home Run Kings - Albert Pujols  (three of them!)
  • 2006 Fleer Ultra Diamond Producers - Albert Pujols  (two of them!)
  • 2005 Topps Rookie Cup - Albert Pujols
  • 2010 Topps Legendary Lineage - Stan Musial / Albert Pujols
  • 2010 Topps The Cards Your Mom Threw Out Original Back - Ichiro Suzuki / Albert Pujols  (two of them!)
  • 2009 Topps Heritage - David Freese
  • 2009 Topps Allen & Ginter - David Freese
  • 2011 Topps Target Value Refractor - Babe Ruth
  • 2011 Topps Ruby Red Diamond - Babe Ruth
  • 2011 Topps Diamond Anniversary Cognac - Babe Ruth
  • 1979 Topps - Reggie Jackson (two of them!)
  • 1963 Topps - Joe Pepitone (mild crease / corner wear)
  • 2008 Upper Deck Baseball Heroes Charcoal - Don Mattingly
  • 2002 Fleer Greats - Don Mattingly
  • 2012 Topps Timeless Talents - Roger Maris / Curtis Granderson
  • 2010 Topps Chrome Refractor - Mickey Mantle
  • 2007 Topps Heritage Mantle Home Run Champion - 37
  • 2006 Topps Opening Day - Mickey Mantle
  • 2009 Topps Heritage Chrome - Jerry Hairston Jr. (1314/1960)
  • 2011 Topps Kimball Champions - Derek Jeter
  • 2008 Topps Stars - Derek Jeter
  • 2008 Upper Deck Yankee Stadium Legacy - Elston Howard 3045
  • 2010 Upper Deck Baseball Heroes - Joe DiMaggio
  • 2012 Topps Career Day - Robinson Cano
  • 2008 Topps Stadium Club 1st Day Issue Retail - Robinson Cano
  • 2007 Topps Chrome Refractor - Bobby Abreu
  • 1992 Topps Stadium Club - Dave Winfield
  • 2012 Topps Gypsy Queen Mini - Ricky Romero
  • 2009 Topps ToppsTown - Roy Halladay
  • 2007 Topps MLB All-Star - Roy Halladay
  • 2007 Topps MLB All-Star - Troy Glaus
  • 1990 Leaf - Ken Griffey Jr.
  • 2009 Goudey Sport Royalty - Ken Griffey Jr.
  • 2012 Topps Opening Day Elite Skills - Felix Hernandez
  • 2009 Upper Deck X Xpontential - Felix Hernandez
  • 2009 Topps Heritage Chrome Refractor - Russell Branyan (436/560)
  • 2004 Topps Gold - Don Sutton (1501/2004) (The, uh, other Don Sutton.)
  • 2005 Topps Heritage Chrome - Brian Stavisky (0124/1956)
  • 2001 Fleer Focus Prospect - Eric Byrnes (1820/1999)
  • 1989 Upper Deck - Mark McGwire
  • 2010 Topps National Chicle - Matt Carson
  • 2010 Topps Gold - Vin Mazzaro (1610/2010)
  • 2009 Topps Heritage Chrome Refractor - Vin Mazzaro (468/560)
  • 2011 Topps Diamond Anniversary Cognac - Reggie Jackson
  • 2009 Topps Heritage Chrome - Andrew Bailey (1788/1960)
  • 1994 Topps Stadium Club Golden Rainbow - Ellis Burks
  • 2012 Topps Opening Day Fantasy Squad - Carlos Gonzalez
  • 2006 Topps Gold - Aaron Cook (0448/2006)
  • 2004 Topps Cracker Jack Mini Sticker - Torii Hunter
  • 2010 Topps Chrome X-Fractor - Joe Mauer
  • 2007 Goudey - Johan Santana
  • 2006 Upper Deck - Pat Neshek (For some reason Beckett thinks this is an $8 card. Now, I love Pat Neshek as much as the next guy, but...)
  • 1979 Topps - Nolan Ryan (creased)
  • 1965 Topps - Angels Team Card
  • 1987 Donruss - Greg Maddux
  • 1987 Donruss - Barry Bonds
  • 1987 Leaf/Donruss - Barry Bonds
  • 2008 Topps Gold - Craig Hansen (0199/2008)
  • 2007 Upper Deck Triple Play - Miguel Cabrera
  • 2010 Topps 206 Bronze - Dan Uggla
  • 2007 Fleer Rookie Sensations - Jeremy Hermida
  • 2009 Topps Update Gold - Sean West (0153/2009)
  • 2008 Topps Heritage Chrome - Brian Bannister (1169/1959)
  • 2009 Bowman Gold - Magglio Ordonez
  • 2003 Topps Gold - Damion Easley (1466/2003)
  • 2003 Upper Deck Finite Rookie Level One - Jorge Cordova (0597/1299)
  • 2011 Topps Blue Sapphire Wal-Mart - Ty Cobb
  • 2008 Topps Stadium Club - Joey Votto (two of them!)
  • 2010 Topps Legendary Lineage - Jimmy Foxx/Manny Ramirez
  • 2009 Upper Deck SP Authentic Gold - Jermaine Dye (281/299)
  • 2007 Upper Deck Future Stars Two For the Bigs - Micah Owings / Miguel Montero (343/999)
  • 1979 Topps - Bob Horner
  • 2009 Topps Heritage Chrome - Eric Byrnes (1432/1960)
  • 2006 Topps Updates & Highlights Rookie Debut - Carlos Quentin
  • 2005 Zenith Silver - Shawn Green
  • 2003 Topps Record Breakers - Juan Marichal
  • 2005 Upper Deck SP Authentic - Robin Yount
  • 2007 Fleer Ultra Retail - Hunter Pence
  • 2006 Fleer Ultra Strikeout Kings - Roger Clemens
  • 2007 Upper Deck Masterpieces - Daisuke Matsuzaka
  • 2007 Topps - Daisuke Matsuzaka (Japanese variation, no signature)
  • 2007 Topps Chrome - Daisuke Matsuzaka

  • More cards may be added to this list, depending on how successful I am at trading some of these off.

    [updated 12/16/12]

    Sunday, August 26, 2012

    Ultra Pro Falls on Hard Times

    I spotted this little number in the baseball card aisle at one of the more notorious big box stores. It looks like Ultra Pro is repurposing some of its trading card pages to try to cash in on the Extreme Couponing fad. This just strikes me as hilarious and just a tad bit ill-conceived. Even if you were a coupon fiend, does it seem convenient to have your coupons in a binder trapped inside these static-filled pockets? Is there a continuous need to keep your coupons protected against damage? Is that woman on the front of the package going to drop her baby in a coupon-induced frenzy?

    I don't remember the price of this item any more (I didn't buy one), but I don't remember it being a terrible value were someone to need this for its intended purpose - protecting cards. Perhaps Ultra Pro was having a hard time selling some of its non-standard sized pages and were looking for another way to move some product. Who knows?

    Friday, August 24, 2012

    Airbrushed Fridays: 2011 Topps World Series Champions #WS9

    We're in the thick of the baseball season now. The Cards and Reds are currently having it out over on the MLB Network. The Dodgers are trying to buy all of the Red Sox. I wonder if they're going to trade for the Green Monster (and Wally, too) while they're at it.

    As I alluded to earlier this week, I have yet another bone to pick with Topps in regards to the World Series set that I just purchased.

    Who is this week's victim, and why do we care? Ryan Theriot was supposed to be the Cardinals immediate and opposite reaction to Brendan Ryan, who they had traded away for a raw pitching prospect who could throw 100 MPH, Maikel Cleto. Ryan was a goofy character, while Theriot is as straight as they come, humorless. Ryan was an excellent defender. Theriot had bricks for hands. Most importantly, apparently, Ryan couldn't hit his way out of a wet paper bag with Wonderboy. Theriot was supposed to at least provide an average bat, despite declining numbers that said otherwise. When Theriot eventually lost his job because he failed to resemble a major league player, forcing the Cardinals to acquire Rafael Furcal, Theriot bristled at the idea that his reduced role had helped the team at all and busted out his now infamous "it is what it is" quote.

    Why does this card exist? This is what is puzzling to me. Topps used the same photo on Theriot's Series 2 base card, an obvious Photoshop job. Check the fuzzy cap logo. How about the funky shaped Cardinals lettering on the front of his jersey, or the fact that it appears that Theriot has no number at all. It's an odd choice, considering that he already had an even more obvious Photoshop job done to his Cardinals team set card (not to be confused with the World Series team set) and then Topps chose to produce another fake Cardinals card with the regular set. Here, they are just being lazy. I guess they could have used a photo of Theriot from the World Series, standing in the dugout, looking indignant. They took great care to come up with a posed photo for his sticker card, but no version of a standard sized Ryan Theriot Topps baseball card would have a real Cardinals uniform on it.

    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 stale taffy, but you never know!

    Wednesday, August 22, 2012

    Repacks: The Long Con

    It's been awhile since I've been tempted by a repack. I usually avoid these jumbo packs like the plague, but I always find myself reading some person on some blog saying that they had fun with these and they got blah blah cards. You guys make it seem like it's a fun day at the waterpark to open one of these things. You always find stuff for your collections.

    I'm not going to show all 100 cards, of course, but I thought I'd show some highlights. A Brook Jacoby 1991 Stadium Club card counts as a highlight, I guess. I've always liked this set and I'm starting to even come around on the 1992 set.

    Three "vintage" cards were promised, including this creased Bert Campaneris 1976 card. I was hoping for an airbrushed '70s card at least, but I struck out on that front.

    I don't see many cards from this particular Classic set. That doesn't make it rare necessarily, but I'm much more used to seeing other colors/years.

    Ahhh, the LSD no-hitter guy.

    I'm quite confident I've never seen this design for.

    Of course, most of the cards in the pack were early '90s birdcage liner. I guess that makes a 2003 Darin Erstad card stand out a little bit.

    I hate the way these 1996 Leaf cards scan, but they don't look much better in person, either.

    I don't think Topps Gold cards have aged very well. At the time, I thought they were pretty amazing, though.

    Larvell just looks like he's happy to be there.

    Aw, I got a sticker. It's weird, because this Mariners logo is almost unrecognizable to me.

    This is a little different. Apparently, this is some kind of Limited Edition version of the 2001 Topps set. The card is a bit thicker than the regular base cards from what I can tell.

    Reuss was one of the roughest victims of a botched perfect game. He lost his on an error and wound up with a measly no-hitter once upon a time in 1980.

    I actually managed to pull two Cal Ripken cards out of this pack. The other one was a 1987 Topps base card.

    Wow, I don't even know what this monstrosity is, but it's making my head hurt.

    Deadspin had this to say about Barry Zito the other day.

    There were just two Cardinals cards in the pack. I didn't need them or their cousins in my Cardinals dupes box.

    Sorry, Lee. I hope you make the Hall someday, though.

    Tuesday, August 21, 2012

    Birds of a Feather

    After going through all of the 30 Teams posts and having a chance to reflect, I would have to say that were I of a different mindset, I don't think I could go wrong rooting for all bird teams. I've always had a soft spot for the Blue Jays, and Baltimore is a team on the rise and is right now in the thick of the wild card race. They also are sitting just 5 games behind the division leading Yankees. Speaking of which, big time Orioles fan Jason of Hobbs' Knights sent over some set filling needs as well as some fun Cardinals cards in exchange for some bird cards that he prefers.

    It seems like Gypsy Queen has been everyone this summer. I managed to completely miss this set last time around, so it's tough to say whether this year has been an improvement or not.

    I do like this. Flashy framed cards like this remind me of the lost, lamented Upper Deck Masterpieces set.

    Mitchell Boggs has been the club's second most dependable reliever (next to Jason Motte.) It's been a rough year beyond those two.

    As I mentioned, there were some set needs in the package, and that included a couple of Heritage short prints. Maggs is looking like he'd already retired by this point.

    I guess it's better to be pictured in a slightly fuzzy photo on a newspaper than to be seen on the side of a milk carton... I think.

    Monday, August 20, 2012

    Topps World Series Champions

    Recently, Erin and I were at a card shop where we ran across some of the factory distributed Topps team sets that pop up now and again. These ones caught my eyes because it's not exactly common to see the Cardinals on display, even in a shop that caters exclusively to card collectors. Another reason it grabbed my attention was that this wasn't your ordinary team set that gets produced for everyone in the league. This one commemorated the Cards' World Series win last year. As far as I can tell, they didn't do this back in 2006 when the Cards last won, so this was new to me. Erin bought one of the sets (it's a tough thing to resist) while I decided to do a little research, knowing that they probably wouldn't sell out of these sets if I needed to come back for one.

    And that's where Listia comes in handy. Somehow, for only 1000 credits and free shipping, I was able to find this object that I didn't know I needed until I found out it existed. But boy, did I ever need it! My set arrived last week and I thought I'd show off some of the cards from it.

    I won't bore you with all 27, but there are some interesting things of note even to a non-Cardinal fan... as long as you're a Topps completist, I guess. Adron Chambers didn't have a card in any of the 2011 Topps sets, so his 2012 issues are considered his "rookie cards", whatever that means these days. He spent a good deal of his time being the human victory cigar during the Cards' improbable run, but his presence (along with a key late season triple) seemed to infuse life into a team that badly needed it. He hasn't had a lot of playing time this year, which is too bad as Topps seemed eager to make him the Cards' big rookie this year in all of their products. Instead, more of the focus could have been on Joe Kelly and the just beyond rookie eligible Lance Lynn.

    Some of the photos from the playoffs made it into the 2012 set, but others did not. Here's a great snapshot of Allen Craig's home run saving catch. Craig has been a huge part of the offense this year, as expected, though he's played primarily at first base with Lance Berkman's spaghetti knee.

    We've seen this one before.

    Some of the shots are from the World Series itself, like Furcal's card here. Others, inexplicably, are just recycled from one of the standard issue 2011 sets. I chose to focus on the "new" cards here, but I'll touch on something baffling that I found when Friday rolls around.

    Jason Motte's rise to prominence thanks to last year's playoffs makes it easy to forget that he was actually the fifth option to close that the Cardinals looked to last season. After winning the battle with Chris Perez for Future Cardinal Closer (word has it that it came down to Perez and Motte as far as who would be traded to Cleveland back in 2009, and the Cardinals preferred Motte), he failed spectacularly and lost his chance at the position that remained with Ryan Franklin. (Franklin actually made the All-Star team that year.) Fast forward to 2011 where it was Franklin who started the season as the closer. Eduardo Sanchez, Fernando Salas and, briefly, Mitchell Boggs all had their turn at closing in 2012. Salas led the team in saves overall, but they rolled with Motte down the stretch and the rest is history.

    Nick Punto has a Cardinals baseball card! Nick Punto has a Cardinals baseball card! Clearly, this one is from the World Series as the Rangers' Ian Kinsler is also pictured.

    I hope to track down some more of the Topps blister pack team sets. I have the 2009 team set and most of the 2006, but I still have quite a few left to go. And with the release of the web exclusive Mini set this year, I have another team set still to chase.

    Friday, August 17, 2012

    Airbrushed Fridays: 1974 Topps Traded #649T

    I thought today's card represented the so-called dog days of summer pretty well. There's nothing that says "meh" more than this moppy-headed, mustachioed man from the '70s ballfields, except for maybe that U.S. gymnastic girl.

    Who is this week's victim, and why do we care? Fernando Gonzalez was a utility guy who spent 6 seasons in the majors with four teams, including two stints with the Pirates. After his second tour in Pittsburgh, he was shipped to San Diego where he became Ozzie Smith's double play partner during the Wizard's rookie season.

    Why does this card exist? It was after Gonzalez's first run with the Bucs that he traded to the Royals in a deal that involved master bubble-blower Kurt Bevacqua. Topps gave our man an electric blue collar, but decided his Pirate teammates in the background could stay in their original colors.

    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 "1/1" sketch card of your favorite player as illustrated by someone with no more than a 2nd grade art class level of talent, but you never know!

    Thursday, August 16, 2012

    Heartbreaking Realization

    I had a Heartbreaking Realization that I failed, once again, to send my end of a trade before it was time to post about what I got in return. Yikes. I will try to do better next time. In the meantime, here's my stuff. This whole thing started innocently enough with a stray 2008 Heritage High Series short print of Mr. Longer Hands.

    I don't have many Triple Theads cards. I have been buying my way in to a lot of group breaks lately, but I just can't seem to get myself to go for anything costly. These cards are nice, though. Very nice. This Gibby card has a bumpy surface, which is kind of fun.

    I received two different Rogers Hornsby Triple Threads cards. I opted to show the one with the photo I've seen used the least. There must be a file cabinet full of photos of old-timers at Topps HQ somewhere, and I'm imagining some players only having a couple of pictures in their file based on how often I see some of them recycled.

    Speaking of recycled photos, here's the crud-eatin' grin of Johnny Mize on a 2010 Triple Threads canvas. The photo is cropped strangely.

    A few of the cards were from the current Ginter set. I'm torn between buying a couple of blasters of Ginter and finally buying myself a hobby Heritage box.

    Well, I'm off to hastily fulfill my part of the trade and will make a trip to the post office tomorrow. Click on the Super Ozzie for a super surprise. (Actually, there's no surprise, unless you count the foreign object that invaded my scanner glass.)