Monday, August 31, 2009

2008 Sweet Spot Pack Break

The past few weeks I have had off of work Mon-Wed, after working all weekend. Unfortunately, as a result, future wife and I haven't had a chance to grocery shop. To make matters worse, I have had to grocery shop solo, which is never fun. Today I decided to spice things up and do our grocery shopping at WallyWorld. I obviously did this with the full knowledge that they sell cards, and figured that a couple of packs would be a nice little reward for picking up groceries all by myself.

Well, I saw something rather unexpected when I hit the card aisle. Packaged individually, and sitting all by it's lonesome off to the side was a sealed pack of 2008 Upper Deck Sweet Spot baseball. It was $20, but I grabbed it anyway, with thoughts of a Sweet Spot autograph running through my feeble little mind.

Immediately after opening the silver wrapper, I noticed a card sitting in the middle that was VERY thick, and thought maybe I had hit paydirt. Let's see how things worked out for me.

#28 Cole Hamels

#91 Ryan Zimmerman

#36 Dustin Pedroia

#99 Victor Martinez

#82 Phil Hughes

#84 Randy Johnson

#YSL966 Red Rolfe

The really thick card in the middle turned out to be the world's heaviest dummy card. Fortunately, this was sitting on top of it, and even though it's not a Sweet Spot autograph, it's an Orioles autograph, so that makes up for it.

Eider Torres Sweet Beginnings autograph redemption
This is the 3rd time I've opened anything Sweet Spot, and the 3rd time I've yet to pull a real live autograph, and the second time I've pulled a redemption. All in all not too shabby though, but only because my auto is of an (ex)Oriole.

Catching Up On Trades Pt. 1

Nothing makes a good day even better quite like yellow envelopes in your mailbox. Over the past week, I've had the luxury of receiving quite a few of these in the past week or so, and because I've been sort of lazy lately, it took me this long to log and scan them. I've been doing a lot of trading the past few weeks, and it's been difficult to keep everything straight as far as who sent what. If I screw this up, and you don't receive proper credit for what you sent, please let me know.

First up is a package from Night Owl that arrived about a week and a half ago. He sent me over some Ginter cards that shrunk my want list a bit, and also sent over a decent sized lot of O's cards. Here are 9 that were selected at random:

2006 Topps Triple Threads Heroes Frank Robinson
1966 was a pretty good year for Frank Robinson. His team won the World Series, and he won World Series MVP, along with the A.L. MVP award and won the Triple Crown AND hitting the only home run in the history of Memorial Stadium that completely left the ballpark. If ever there was a year that should be immortalized on cardboard, Frank Robinson in 1966 should be that card. Plus, it's shiny, and has a crown on it.

2005 Donruss Greats Brooks Robinson

A nice Brooks card. So far Night Owl is 2 for 2 on sending Orioles that I have seperate player collections for.

1986 Topps All Star Set Eddie Murray
Make that 3 for 3. Card design doesn't get much simpler than this, and it works well here.

1998 Skybox Metal Universe Bobby Bonilla

This is actually a Florida Marlins card, but since Bobby's hand has been transformed into a vortex, so I'm willing to overlook that minor detail. What a strange thing to do for a baseball card. I remember Bonilla best teaming with Barry as a member of the Pirates, but he played all over the place later on in his career.

1999 Pacific Crown Royale Delino DeShields
This is another funky late 90's insert. I've really come to appreciate these more and more lately. They were doing some bizarre things back in those days. This is a die cut card in the form of a crown. I think this is probably the closest Delino came to one of those.

1993 Score Boys Of Summer Luis Merecedes

I appreciate how colorful this card is. Mercedes is a player I vaguely remember. I know he was yet another Orioles prospect who just didn't pan out, but aside from that don't know a lot about him.

1989 Donruss Curt Schilling
Curt Schilling trash stache rookie card! Letting Schilling go was the first bad Orioles managerial move that I remember recognizing. It wasn't realized until a few seasons later, but I was 10 or 11, and even at that age I knew that they made a mistake. That's a sweet mustache none the less!

1987 Donruss Cal Ripken Jr. Diamond King

This is the last card from Night Owl. I must have at least 4 copies of this card by now, and don't even care. It's such a great card I'll collect every one of them ever produced, if they're sent to me. Who doesn't love Diamond Kings? Thanks a lot for the great cards Greg!

Next up we have some cards from a trade with The Hamiltonian. I sent off a few Ginter cards and a small stack of Hamiltons, and in return received these 2 cards:

2009 Allen & Ginter's Creatures of Myth, Legend & Terror Unicorn mini

2009 Allen & Ginter's AGR-MM Melvin Mora bat relic
The Unicorn card is so awesome. I really like this insert set, and hopefully will be able to complete it. I think this card gives me 7 out out of 15. I'll probably post them all for you to see in the near future. Thank you very much Hamiltonian, it was a pleasure trading with you.

Next up is a card I received from FanofReds over at Nachos Grande. He was interested in the Dodo Extinct Creatues mini that I had pulled, and for some reason, I really wanted this Brock Yates relic. It might be because he invented and won the first ever Cannonball Run Sea to Shining Sea Memorial Dash (or Cannonball Run for short), but it could also be that I wanted it so badly because his name is Brock. Either way, it's a cool card of an interesting guy.

2009 Allen & Ginter's Brock Yates relic SP
FanofReds, thanks for trading with me, and enjoy your evolutionarily inferior bird card.

That's all for part 1, but rest assured, there are plenty more trades to be posted in the near future.

It's August 31st...

And it's cooler outside than it is inside with the A/C on. It's supposed to be 72 and sunny today, which is ideal beard weather, but it usually doesn't get this cool in Baltimore till October. I'd better get off my arse and enjoy it.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

To Sell Or Not To Sell...

Yeah, that's right... Shakespeare. Deal with it!

Lately I've been considering listing some of my cards on eBay, with the hope that they can bring in enough loot to purchase some boxes. There's a bit of apprehension on my part, and I'm looking for opinions on this one. The way I see it, in order to be able to afford hobby boxes, I'm either going to have to sell a crap ton of cards, or part with some of the higher dollar cards in my non-Orioles collection. As of now, I am leaning towards selling some of my better "hits" that I know will fetch a decent return.

My collection is fairly modest when it comes to value. I've never busted anything truly high end, and have mediocre luck at best when it comes to "mojo". The card that I know will probably sell for the most is that Bowman's Best Longoria autograph from Joe Collector's group break, but do I really want to sell a Longoria auto? There seem to be no shortage of them around, so I could always find one in the future, but would I really purchase one? Probably not. They routinely fetch around $50, so there's practically a whole hobby box right there. On the other hand, Longoria seems like the real deal, and even though it's early, he could go on to have a lengthy and glorious career. He could also blow out his hip tomorrow, and never be the same again.

Does any of this make sense? Are you following my twisted logic here?

The other cards I'm considering unloading won't fetch me as much as a Longoria autograph, but should at least bring in decent money. I'm a a little less apprehensive about selling these cards, since I know they probably won't increase in value going forward, at least not too much. About the only thing holding me back is sentimental attachment. I pulled all of these cards myself, and for some reason I always have an attachment to cards I personally pull from packs or boxes.

Here's a list, so we know what we're talking about here:

2009 Kendra Wilkinson red autograph
2009 Allen & Ginter's Delmon Young cloth card #'d/10
2008 Allen & Ginter's Nicky Hayden autograph (SP)

As you can see, there's nothing super awesome on that list. 2 non-baseball autographs and a silk card of a Minnesota Twin. Kendra will be a forgotten has-been in a few years, and no one knows who the hell Nicky Hayden is anyway.

Anyways, what do you think? Sell or not to sell? Sell them all, or just 1 or 2? Is it even worth it to sell cards you know are worth something, to purchase boxes that may or may not contain cards that are worth something in return? Am I over thinking this? Are you not entertained?

Sorry about the lack of pictures & scans lately. I've been working all weekend, and haven't had time to scan anything. Expect more visually stimulating posts over the next few days.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

What Not To Look At All Day

I've spent the past couple of days reading the Blowout Box Break forums. When you're trying to save money, and not buy cards, it's the wrong thing to be looking at.

The temptation was too much for me to resist, and as a result, there will be a box break sometime early next week. Expect a full breakdown of whatever I get.

The box has already been purchased, but I'm not telling what it is.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Holy Prospect Lumber Batman!

I got the craziest package in the mail yesterday from Slette over at The Pettitte Pursuit. He emailed me a couple of weeks ago saying he "had something for me". I thought that sounded pretty ominous, so I did what anyone would do, and promptly emailed him my address.

When I opened the door yesterday, I found this, only wrapped in brown paper:

If you can't tell what that is, here's a better look:

Hmmm.... TriStar? Futures?
Holy crap it's an autographed bat! And since it was sent to me by a Yankees fan, it's probably an Oriole!

At this point I was pretty ecstatic, and very intrigued. Who could be inside? Nolan Reimold? Matt Wieters (ha!)? Brian Matusz?

Well... I opened the box, and saw this:
That is a bat, and what appears to be a nameplate. What's that you say? A closer look? Well that's a great idea!

SWEET! Arrieta is top 50 prospect, and should be with the O's next season, if all goes well. It was also signed the day before my birthday. This is quite possibly the greatest thing that anyone has ever sent me out of the blue. Could the blogosphere be any more awesome? Me thinks not!

What? The bat? Yeah, I guess we can have a look at that.
Yep, there it is. How about some close ups:
It's numbered 40/48!

Thanks a ton Slette! This is the first autographed bat I've owned, and it was an incredibly awesome thing to just up and send somebody for no reason. I will be sending you some stuff in return, so be on the lookout.

I gotta get something to display this bad boy...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Whole Lotta Burke

Ginter Back Mini
No Number Back Mini
Bazooka Back Mini
Regular Autograph
Red Ink Autograph
That's a lot of beard! I am still however, 2 cards shy of my Burke Kenny nona-fecta. The black bordered mini and framed beard hair relic are still M.I.A., and are the only cards that are missing. Since my card budget is pretty much non-existent these days, I am relying on trades to complete my quest.

Wish List Cards #7

2009 Goodwin Champions Entomology
Don't ask me why I want this card, but I do. These cards contain actual insects, which is pretty cool, and I believe has never been done before. One of my biggest interests aside from sports and collecting is nature. I really enjoy the outdoors, and frequently spend my free time hiking, fishing and camping. That might explain why I am so interested in this card, but at the same time I am also pretty fearful of certain insects (wasps, hornets. etc.), so me wanting an insect card also makes no sense at all, in that regard. Not sure if the checklist for these cards has been released or not, but here's hoping there's one of these cards featuring a Luna Moth.

With the release of Goodwin's less than a month away, we shall find out in due time. If anyone out there pulls one of these things, and is willing to part with it, I would be willing to give up something juicy to get my hands on one of these.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Like Sands Through The Hourglass

It's that time of year again in Baltimore. The time of year when sports fans turn their back on baseball, and another dismal Orioles season, to focus on the only team in town that actually has a chance of winning a major sports championship.

Naturally, I am talking about the Baltimore Ravens, and the upcoming NFL season. Football frenzy has officially begun in the beardy household. Fantasy mags are strewn across the living room, and the draft for my first of 3 fantasy teams is tonight.

I don't want anyone to think my love for the Orioles has waned, because it hasn't by any means. It's just that every year for the last decade or so, I have known that the Orioles were toast by the All-Star break, and it gets a little depressing to keep watching your team lose series after series. While this season did have it's glimpses of the future, with all the young talent that has been brought up to the bigs, the results aren't there yet, and I don't think they're expected to be either.

Just like every season, I will hope that the next one will be better... but will it really? The young Orioles have a great young base, with Markakis, Jones, and the plethora of young guns that debuted this season. What they need is a leader, and a middle of the order anchor. I encourage Andy McPhail to sign a few veterans in the off season, and find someone to lead this young team to the promised land. I think one of the hardest things to overcome will be the culture of losing that has existed in Baltimore since the late '90s. How about a true top of the rotation pitcher? How about a power hitting first baseman? How about a high energy, sparkplug type of guy who is around only because of what he can do for the clubhouse?

There were times this year where I could see the forest through the trees, and things looked to be coming together. Everyone always says "wait till next year" (especially in Chicago), and this Orioles fan has been left with no choice but to do exactly that.

At least I get to watch a competitive team for the next 5 months.

I Am A Dirty Liar

Who also can't count. The National Pride set is NOT quite completed yet. I still need card# NP59.


Allen & Ginter Status

Well... thanks to the generosity of the blogosphere, I have managed to complete the regular base set, and the National Pride inserts. However, I still need a bunch o' short prints, which is the same thing that happened to me last year. I didn't end up completing last year's set until this May, and I'd like to avoid that happening again if possible. My want list is updated, so if anyone has doubles to spare of the cards I need... let's talk.

The only mini insert set I care about this year are the Legends of Myth & Terror, and I'm making decent progress on that front as well. So far 7 of the 20 cards are in my possession. Since that is the only insert set I'm chasing, I have a whole bunch of other minis for trade. All National Heroes, black bordered minis, Hoaxes & regular minis are for trade. If you are someone who doesn't much care for the Creatures set, and are chasing one of the others... let's talk.

I would like to thank Mark from SacBunt, Sharpe from Sharpe Since '92, Ms. Tooth, Night Owl, Jim from The Phillies Room, M Ryan from Ryan's Memorabilia, Mike from JD's Wild Cardz and Tunguska from Long Fly Ball to Because for helping me get as far as I have with this year's Ginter release. It was a pleasure trading with all of you, and I appreciate the help.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Another Contest

I love free stuff and so should you. Coolio Cards is having a contest right now, and YOU could win free cards... if you sign up that is.


Random Packs From Tribecards

A few weeks back I was fortunate enough to have received some random packs from David of Tribecards. Granted, everyone who responded was fortunate enough to receive cards, which makes it all the more remarkable that David got them all sent out. Everyone who has posted them so far has gotten much more than they ever expected. I won't keep you in suspense, and let you know from the jump that I also received more than I was expecting. Not only did the packs include a few "hits", there were also several cards that I found quite interesting, and had never seen before.

I debated for a few days about which card to begin this post with, and managed to convince myself that if one has a card this ridiculous and awesome, then one has no choice but to start with....

This is a 1992 The River Group Elvis Collection card, and it is kickass. Chubby, mutton chop, Vegas Elvis is my absolute favorite Elvis era. This is a still from Elvis' appearance on "Kung-Fu", starring the late David Carradine, and it's really awesome!

These next 2 are pretty sweet as well. I loved TMNT when I was a kid, and they are one of the prime reasons I believed Rafael Palmeiro was Italian in descent. They are from the 1990 Topps Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie set.

Remember how hard the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles video game was? The level where you had to swim in the sewer used to be my demise.

Sticking with the movie theme, here's an E.T. card from 1982. It was released by Universal Studios, and is in really good condition. I was one when this set was released, so it's cool to have one, especially since it was obviously issued before my time as a collector. The star border on this card is awesome.

Here's another non-sports card. This one is quite strange, and appears to have been released by Harley-Davidson. It's a custom motorcycle set technically released by Thunder Productions, but a close inspection of the fine print reveals that Thunder Productions is affiliated with the Harley Davidson Company.I'm not big into Harleys, but this one is pretty nice looking.

All right, enough of the non-sports. Let's see some baseball cards. First up is a 1996 Topps Stadium Club Eddie Murray. Even though he's not in an O's uniform, it's still an Eddie Murray card, and he still looks all business.

A Barry Larkin Diamond King. This one is from 1990, and definitely takes me back to my childhood collecting days.

I'm really starting to get tired of seeing this guy on baseball cards, but I didn't already have this one, and it's a nice compliment to the '08 version that I already have.

There were a few Orioles to be found in my random packs of kindness as well. I already had them all, but it's always nice to pull a card of your favorite team from a pack of cards, even if it is a repack of kindness.

1990 Topps Bob Melvin

1992 Topps Stadium Club David Segui

1991 Score The Franchise Cal Ripken Jr.
Those "The Franchise" inserts were hot little numbers back in the day. I always like them, but not as much as the Dream Team inserts, and it was pretty cool to find a potential future Hall of Famer waiting for me. Of course I'm talking about the card below, a 1993 Score Dream Team insert of Tom Glavine.

Speaking off Hall of Famers, here's a 1992 Fleer Ultra Ozzie Smith card. 1992 was the heyday of my childhood collecting days, and this was one of my favorite sets. Ozzie was in his twilight at this point, and was still a ton of fun to watch.

Wow, this has to be the ugliest female superhero ever. She's so.... green... and strong. This card is from 1993, and was released by Skybox. It's part of a Marvel Comics set, and is definitely interesting I don't know much about comic books, they were never really my thing. I can appreciate the artistry of them and all, which is why I like this card. They were just never really by bag is all.

Another 1991 Score Dream Team card of a Hall of Famer. Kirby Puckett was my little brother's favorite player growing up. Even though he wasn't an Oriole, which I viewed as a betrayal on the part of my brother, I couldn't really blame him for liking Puckett. He was one hell of a player, and definitely one of those guys you could never really dislike. He played his heart out and left us too soon.

I mentioned earlier that there were some "hits" included in my random packs. It was pretty cool to find them both, especially since I had no idea they were going to be in there. First we have a 2004 Upper Deck Legendary Cuts bat card of Joe Morgan. I really like the design of this card, and having a bat piece in the shape of an H is much better than a boring ol' square.

And finally, a 2003 Upper Deck Sweet Spot Classic Mark McGwire patch card. This is manufactured patch, which isn't exactly my favorite thing in the world. It's also of Mark McGwire, who isn't my favorite person in the whole world. He betrayed most of us, and made a mockery of the game. He was among my favorite players in the late 80's early 90's, so I took it personally. It's still a nice card, and once again unexpected. One could definitely do worse.

David, thanks a lot for the random kindness. I really enjoyed checking out some cards that I otherwise never would have seen.