Thursday, December 31, 2015

Belk Winner! Contest Update!

Happy New Year!

With the first two semifinal games in the books and just a handful of other bowl games left on the bloated bowl schedule, let's take a look at where we stand.

Belk Bowl Winner: Wilson! The final score was 51-28 in favor of Mississippi State, and his guess was 32-27. Surprisingly, this was actually the closest guess. I guess next year I'll have to give away non-exploding hoverboards. (Wilson, please send me your mailing address when you get a chance.)

In the big contest, now that the semis are complete, please go back to the contest page to pick a winner in the championship game along with a score (for tiebreaker purposes). I'll send out a "commissioner note" to remind everyone before the final game.

The current leader is Bubba's Bangin' Pick Set. I'm going to take a wild guess and say that this is Allen & Ginter supercollector Matt. Bubba's also has the top overall "possible points" score, while Chris Eaton's Bowlapalooza and Wilson himself are hot on the trail. Less bangin' and currently in line for the Worst Place Prize (not a good prize) is The Lost Collector. If things hold up, AJ may be due for a Dustin Pedroia Fathead on his wall. You never know.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The Belk Approaches!

Last chance to get your picks in!

Who ya got? North Carolina State? Mississippi State? Some other state school? Pick the winner and the score at our contest page before tomorrow's kickoff!

Friday, December 25, 2015

Airbrushed Classics: Ray Fontenot

This still creeps me out, man.

One of the most ridiculous airbrushed cards of all-time still haunts me. Take a look back at the first Airbrushed Fridays post from way back in 2009. Imagine this guy in his fake red hat, sliding down your chimney and putting a few presents under your tree. Merry Christmas?

Friday, December 18, 2015

Airbrushed Classics: Sonny Siebert

Sideburns. Or Highway To Heaven?

You've got less than 24 hours to enter the big bowl game contest. While you're thinking about which mid-major standout is going to topple which Power 5 also-ran, let's take a look back at a guy who tossed a no-hitter with Cleveland nearly 50 years ago.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

It's Like Two Contests in One!

No, literally, it's two contests!

Don't forget to get your picks in soon for the Bowl Pick 'Em Contest! Deadline is Saturday morning before the games start.

And so far, no one has made a guess at the Belk Bowl score, which is a separate contest (see the bottom of the post!) and very easy to enter. Don't worry, you've got until the 30th. I will send out another reminder when Belking Time approaches.

Monday, December 14, 2015

I Needed This Card, Eh?

Clearly Canadian.

It's almost time to switch in to vacation mode at Cards on Cards central, but Cleveland Browns enthusiast Angus of Dawg Day Cards sneaked in an envelope full of stuff just before holiday time. What kind of stuff, you ask? Canadian stuff! At some point I either purchased or was traded the entire 1991 O-Pee-Chee Cardinals team set, but ended up missing Lee Smith somehow. Along with knocking off another pesky Most Wanted card, Angus sent over a bunch of other really nice Northern needs.

This is now one of the oldest O-Pee-Chee cards in my collection. Of course, it's hard to be convinced of its Canadian status without checking out the back of the card.

Here's the reverse, all bilingual and brighter than it's U.S. counterpart.

Angus also found a crazy good oddball for Erin's Larry Walker collection in the form of this 1993 Humpty Dumpty mini card. Humpty Dumpty is apparently some sort of snack brand. Food inserts are much better than regular old inserts if you ask me.

This one is from the How Did I Not Have This Card? Dept. I must have somehow confused this with the 1982 Topps Traded card, but I'm not sure why. In any case, it's unique Ozzie #583 and easily one of the best cards I've received in all of 2015.

Even Garry is shocked! Please, no one tell him he's going to get traded and miss out on a World Series ring.

Contest Time! College Bowl Pick 'Em 7

Bragging rights and free baseball cards are on the line as another bowl season is upon us.

For the seventh straight year, I am giving away free cards to the best prognosticators of (mostly) meaningless college football games. Past winners include Adam from Thoughts on Sox (2009-10), Mark from Stats on the Back (2010-11), AJ from The Lost Collector (2011-12), Royal Dan (2013), The Prowling Cat (2014) and last year's winner, Jeff from One Man's Junk (Wax).

If you want to skip all the blah blah blah and just get to the free stuff, go to the bottom of the post for the sign-up link and make sure you submit picks for every game. There's even a separate contest for non-Yahoo people, but you don't care about that because you've already started staring out the window at the squirrels chasing each other.

If you've participated in the past, you know the drill. Go on ahead to Yahoo and sign up. I have sent out invitations through Yahoo's automated system. If you don't get an email invite, follow the manual procedure at the bottom of this post (and if all else fails, send me an email and I will try to help you out.) For the rest of you, here are the rules and prize details, which will be similar to past years:

  • First place will receive: a 2016 Topps Series 1 blaster OR suitable equivalent (subject to availability at Target)... as well as a small plastic pouch of cards from your favorite team/player(s)/etc.
  • Second place will receive: a Priority Mail padded envelope full of cards from your favorite team/player(s)/etc. (this usually ends up being around 8 bags/pouches or so)
  • Worst place will receive: whatever I feel like sending you. Be very afraid to finish last. I don't advise it. You say how the enemy of your enemy is your friend? Well, I'm none of those. Of course, as past "winners" of this prize can tell you, you will still receive some cards targeted toward your favorite team/player(s).
Because there's no such thing as a free lunch, at least without a copious amount of rules and guilt, here they are (basically copied from previous years):

  • Participants must sign up through the official Yahoo link. Unfortunately, this means that you must have a Yahoo account. I know this is a deal breaker for some, but I can't figure out another way to accept manual entries and try to math them up according to Yahoo's point system.
  • Promote this contest! No, that doesn't mean you need to "follow" my blog, nor does it mean that you'll gain any competitive advantage by posting about this contest. I just want to see a lot of people participate, and will be willing to award more prizes if there are more participants. Put a subliminal message on your blog post. Send a mass email. Casually tell your co-workers in the break room while discussing DeMarco Murray disappointing fantasy numbers.
  • Points are scored according to the Confidence System. This basically means that while you are predicting which team wins which bowl game, you will also be responsible for ranking how confident you are in each pick. This is where I normally provide examples of games with crazy mismatches, but most of the bowl games seem to be a toss-up this year. Just go with your gut and let's see what happens?
  • Email me your contest information after you sign up. You can't assume that I will automatically recognize your clever Yahoo Pick Set name, nor will I necessarily disbelieve your "friend" who claims your prize after everything is said and done because he swears he's SEC4Lyfe and is the "super stoked" about his "sweet picks".
  • You can change your picks at any time, so long as your pick is made before the official start time (usually the TV broadcast time) of each game.
  • You must make a pick for every game to be eligible for the "worst place" prize. Also, once again this year... please... no tanking it on purpose! The prizes aren't that great, folks. I'd much rather award the prize to someone who failed in spectacular fashion than someone who intentionally went with picks that are doomed to fail.
Click here to sign up! It's free! First timers are very welcome.

Group ID: 11968
Password: quackquackquack

DEADLINE: There's a hard deadline of Saturday, December 19th at 11:00 AM PST. That's the start time of the first bowl game.

But wait... there's more! Available to all entrants as well as non-entrants who don't want to use Yahoo, there's a bonus contest:

Leave a comment here predicting the final score of the BELK BOWL before the Belking officially begins (the game is on the 30th) and win a retail jumbo pack of 2016 Topps Series 1. Whoever is closest gets it. Belk on, Belkers!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

From P-Town to "P-Town"

Some cards for your perusement on a Saturday.

After some recent unpleasantness, Cubs cards are officially banned from the blog indefinitely. That doesn't mean I won't make room for some cards from a Cubs fan, however. P-Town Tom was kind enough to send along a mailbox stuffer, containing all sorts of goodies from various years and sets. Portland (where I reside), incidentally, is sometimes called "P-Town" by people who clearly aren't locals. It's second on the list only to "PDX" in those terms.

Anthony Garcia was lower round draft pick in 2009, but he has steadily ascended the ranks of the minor leagues, finally reaching AAA last season. He's on the 40-man roster, which protected him from this week's Rule V Draft, so it would appear that the organization has some sort of plan for him.

I was just thinking the other day that Broxton's appearance on a baseball card in a Cardinals uniform would be somewhat of a forgettable surprise in retrospect, but the Cards went ahead and gave him a two-year contract. It looks like Broxton will be staying awhile after all. I guess this is a Camo parallel (numbered 08/99!) but this year's style makes it look a bit more marbled than camouflage. I suppose it could blend in sneakily with other card designs, but I doubt that's what they were going for.

Rob Kaminsky was the price the Cardinals paid for their midseason acquisition of Brandon Moss. It may be awhile yet before we see Kaminsky at the big league level (he's only 20), and Moss will be back with the Cards next season for what it's worth.

There's just something... off... about this card. It's cropped weirdly, and Panini's need to remove all evidence of team logos pushes them towards using some pretty underwhelming shots.

Tom sent over 3 of the rarer cards from the 2012 Triple Play set that Erin is still working on. For a product that came with such a cheap price point, some of the higher numbered cards are getting to be really hard to find!

There's also something off about this Gooch card. He needs another player on the right to keep him company or something.

I was also the proud recipient of a Lou Brock Front Row set from 1993 that I'd never seen before. I'm not sure if it's how Tom acquired this, but one of my favorite things about going to card shows is finding stuff like this. It's great.

I miiiiiight have to break that factory seal, though.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Airbrushed Classics: Ray Sadecki

'Tis the season for some reruns.

Take a look back at the late Ray Sadecki, who won a World Series ring with the Cardinals. This is also a reminder that there's a contest lurking on the near horizon.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Only a Dodger Fan Could Have Unearthed This

A new entry into the Cardinal binders.

I must confess that, unless I'm even more forgetful than I feared, I never knew that Scott Radinsky had a stint wearing the Birds on the Bat. Dodgers fan GCRL has mothballed his blog (for now!) but he's still active in swapping cards for cards. You can see his wants over here. I believe most team collectors have relaxed criteria for what is eligible for the team collection, usually accepting any card that has anything to do with the favored team, even if it's just a logo or team name on the side of the card. I imagine this wasn't kicked out of the GCRL collection because it was fouled up with the wrong team name on it and that it was simply a dupe, because I have a lot of those myself. I have boxes and boxes full of Cardinals cards I don't need. It's scary.

Also to be found was a white framed John Lackey parallel from the most recent Gypsy Queen set. Lackey became the team's de facto ace at the end of the season, with a Carlos Martinez injury scare and Adam Wainwright miraculously recovered from an Achilles tear but with no built up innings-eating capacity. What Lackey really did over the past season-and-change was scowl a whole lot, something that had been missing since Chris Carpenter's retirement. With Lackey off to the dark side for two seasons and a hefty chunk of change, it could be that the Cardinals end up with someone like Cliff Lee to be the grumpy old man in the rotation. It could happen, I suppose?

My cards from the 1950s likely number in just the single digits, so it was great to get a copy of what's now my oldest card ever in this 1950 Bowman Nippy Jones. I wish I could have gotten a better scan of this card, but the only way my scanner would cooperate and scan the entire card was to encase it in some plastic. I find it fascinating that Nippy won a World Series in both his first and final seasons in the big leagues, with the Cardinals and Milwaukee Braves, respectively.

Here's a whole team set of 2015 All-Stars. As much as I like seeing this photo on a card, you'd have to be a Cardinals fan to actually know which one of these six guys is the subject in question, which is kind of stupid.

Also kind of stupid? Lance Lynn's elbow. Lynn has been one of the most consistent and under-the-radar players on the Cardinals roster the past several years. Best wishes for his full recovery in 2017. That sounds so far away.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Black Friday COMC Binge

I bought stuff.

I was a fairly late adopter of the COMC website for buying (and occasionally selling) cards, but the over the past few years I've made some purchases here and there. As many are aware, they offer some of their best deals (and free shipping!) around the spreading plague that is Black Friday. I knocked off a handful of items from my pesky set want lists, but those are pretty boring to talk about. Instead, I thought I'd share the Cardinals and Blazers stuff that I snagged for myself.

I already had the "bat" version of this card, so I knew I had to pick up the jersey version as well. I haven't quite gone so far as to need different colored versions of the same jersey cards yet, but someday I probably will. Yikes.

I always go straight towards the Edmonds memorabilia selection and sort by lowest price, usually making sure to snag at least a few cards in the $1-$2 range. Actually, that's pretty much my ideal price range for everything.

'80s Edmonds! This is apparently his second oldest card and certain beat my oldest Edmonds card by a couple of years. The Edmonds count is now up to 502 in my collection.

To be honest, the card I was most excited about overall were the Blazers stuff I purchased. I did some work on my Blazers want list awhile back and now it's basically current through the 1992-93 season. Somehow, I did not already own this Clyde the Glide card, but this now completes the team set for me.

Another team set completed, this time with the Sticker insert from the 1988-89 Fleer set. I am thinking of prioritizing my Blazers collection as an area of improvement in the coming year.

Star cards are a rare gem, at least in my world. They've always been pretty far out of my price range, but I'm trying to make sure I snag anything I can for my team collection when the prices start approaching the low end of the $1 range.

I miss hook shots. By the way, Star, it's "Trail Blazers" and not "Trailblazers".

I tried multiple times to get a decent scan of this card, but this crooked abomination is going to have to do. Much like Pax's moustache... an abomination. This card wasn't even on my want list for some reason, but it appears to be from some sort of All-Star Game set. Star was a weird little company, with all of its cards being distributed in little baggies. Kind of luck drugs, I guess.

The Blazers had the best warm-ups. Don't try to talk me out of this.

Back to the Cardinals. New Chris Carpenter cards have been scarce since his retirement, so this insert from 2014 Topps was a must-have.

I also hit up the Matt Carpenter collection, which is small but steadily gaining in numbers. This is some sort of blue parallel from last year's Bowman Platinum set.

Chrome cards just don't scan very well unless they're refractors. This is not a refractor.

This is just a really unattractive card no matter how you look at it. Still, I needed it.

This year's Topps Finest set has a lot of shapes on it. Yup, that's my expert analysis.

I only picked up one token Ozzie Smith card this time around. This is my first Topps High Tek card. I would like to add my needs from this set to my Cardinals want list, but it's so confusing that it intimidates me. Apparently this is the "B" "Dots" version. Topps also put out a Tek set last year, but I have never actually seen any of the cards. I should get more.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Airbrushed Fridays: 1970 Topps #277

Trying not to stare at the sun.

Who is he? Paul Doyle was a lefty reliever who played in parts of three seasons with three franchises. It turns out that there are several notable Paul Doyles out there in the world, and he's one of them.

How did he get here? Doyle was a career minor league starter who had been through several organizations since the Tigers first signed him in 1959, but it would be with Atlanta 10 years later that he'd finally make his big league debut -- out of the bullpen. The Angels purchased him after his first season with the Braves.

Repeat offender? No

Other versions of this card: None

Airbrushed Score: 7

Comments: There wasn't much to airbrush here, so they just went with a little black patch on the cap.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Pardon Our Dust

Renovations in progress.

I'm finally starting to move away from the more or less default template that Blogger offered me when I started this thing in 2008. Things won't look a whole lot different around here, but my primary goal is to eventually provide a better mobile site that will include easy-to-access want lists. The only way to accomplish this was to give this thing an overhaul, and I'm hoping to have things the way they should be in the next week or so.

Meanwhile, I recently snagged a few want list needs from Golden Rainbow Cards, including Matt Carpenter #59 and a couple of Pujols cards.

The first run of these Wal-Mart exclusives (2009 Topps Series 1, I believe) came in hot box form, meaning an entire blaster would be full of black parallels. They smelled terrible. Oh, the fumes! (Not to mention the dead brain cells.)

With Albert gone from St. Louis for a few seasons now, he still occasionally gets new cards added to the Cardinal canon. He was so great for so long, so that's not a surprise.

If you find anything broken or missing in the coming days on the blog, feel free to shoot me an email.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Onward, Rose City!

With the Timbers advancing to the MLS Cup final, a timely envelope arrives.

Thorzul's annual Trade Me Anything affair is always a good time, and this year was no exception. I was able to snag a low numbered parallel and an unnumbered parallel from this year's Topps Update set in exchange for some goodies that I had cooked up. As a surprise bonus, Thorzul included a refractor of Timbers star Darlington Nagbe. (Thorzul's Twitter feed clued me in that he is a PTFC supporter.) Nagbe finally joined the US Men's National Team earlier this month for a World Cup qualifier and got to top things off with a berth in the MLS Cup final after the Timbers dramatic win yesterday.

The Timbers have a long history in Portland that dates back to the '70s and the old NASL. I was too young at the time to have clear memories of their NASL days, but I remember plenty of their bumper stickers on soccer mom van's in the old neighborhood as a kid. The club went through a few incarnations, but the fanbase really started to grow in the ought years as they navigated their way through US pro soccer's second tier before being awarded the current MLS franchise that began play in 2011. I won't claim to be Timbers Fan #1 and was heartbroken when their newly remodeled MLS-ready stadium permanently displaced the PCL's Portland Beavers franchise, but I had enjoyed attending their games in the past and currently follow them when I can. It's been an exciting playoff run so far and the big match against the Columbus Crew on Sunday should be exciting as well.

I should probably get around to getting some Timbers team sets, but they are unsurprisingly overpriced in this area.

As far as the cards I knew I was receiving, both were of the Cardinals variety, as is my standard operating procedure. I haven't checked the odds, but I seem to have pulled (and received in trades) far fewer of these rainbow foil parallels this year than last year's "red hot foil", 2013's "emerald something-or-others", 2012's "gold sparkle", and (don't forget) 2011's diamond anniversary sparkletastrophes. I might just be unlucky this year.

I'm lucky to own this card, however. There are very few Topps flagship black parallels in my collection, so I'm always up for taking what I can get. Mark Reynolds doesn't make a very exciting low numbered pull exactly, but I suppose it could have been worse. There are a lot of relief pitchers in this year's Update set.