Monday, November 30, 2009

Most Awesome Trade From Joe V

Last week I previewed a monster trade with reader Joe V. If you recall, Joe sent me a humongous stack of quality Orioles, and a few other cards, along with a sealed retail box of 2008 Topps Chrome Football. The box break is going to have to wait for another day (it'll be soon, I promise), but in the meantime, here are some of the great cards Joe sent me in exchange for the Chase Utley Sweet Spot autograph from my 2006 Sweet Spot break a few weeks back. I have to admit I was hesitant to give the Utley up, but Joe made me an offer I couldn't refuse.

There are so many cards here it would take me all day to write a blurb on each one. I am going to give it my best shot, so strap on your seat belts, and behold the bounty a Chase Utley autograph can garner.

2009 Allen & Ginter's Creatures of Myth, Legend & Terror - Hydra
I think this leaves me only needing 2 more cards for a complete Creatures set. I'd love to wrap this up by New Year's, so please check my want list, and contact me if you've got either of the final cards I need. It will be worth your while, trust me.

2009 Goudey Nick Markakis green mini
Not sure what the green means, but one (this one) would guess that it's a short printed parallel of some sort. I didn't have it before, so it's another new one for the Markakis collection. Sweet!

1997 UD3 Cal Ripken Jr. ProMotion
This card is pretty cool. I don't have many of these cards, so it's nice to get another one, and a Ripken no less. The late 90's were full of awesome looking cards, or so it seems.

2009 Topps Frank Robinson Legends of the Game
Somehow no one had traded me this card yet. What's wrong with you people?

2009 Sweet Spot Adam Jones
The legend of Adam Jones is growing about as fast as my collection of his cards. Not exactly the most flattering picture, and blowing bubbles while running the bases seems like a choking hazard. Does baseball need a choking hazard warning label?

2007 Upper Deck Spectrum Cal Ripken Road to the Hall
'07 Spectrum was a whole lot nicer than '09 Spectrum. Mark it.

2009 Upper Deck SP Authentic Nick Markakis By The Letter autograph

Jackpot! Manu-patch or no, this is one sweet looking card, and it's already catapulted itself to the top 3 Markakis autographs in my entire collection.

2009 Allen & Ginter's Burke Kenny relic
The nona-fecta is officially complete! If anyone knows where I could locate a printing plate, or wood mini, please let me know. At this point, I might as well go for it all. No guts, no glory.

I am officially out of things to say about the cards below. They are all parallels, and almost all needed. Parallels aren't the kind of cards you seek out and purchase on eBay because it's not worth paying the shipping most of the time. I love getting them in trades though, and Joe came through in a major way with quite a few for me.

2008 Topps Chrome Adam Jones x-fractor

2008 Topps Chrome Brian Roberts refractor

2009 Topps Finest Brian Roberts green refractor #'d /99

2008 Topps Stadium Club Brian Roberts photographers proof #'d /99

2009 Upper Deck Spectrum Nick Markakis red parallel

2009 Upper Deck Spectrum Nick Markakis green parallel

2009 Upper Deck A Piece of History Nick Markakis green parallel

2009 Upper Deck P.O.H. Nick Markakis Stadium Scenes red parallel #'d /75

2009 Upper Deck Spectrum Brian Roberts black parallel #'d /50

2007 Upper Deck Ultimate Collection Brian Roberts jersey relic
Some damage around the jersey window. Typical Upper Deck.

2009 Upper Deck Spectrum Brian Roberts red parallel

2008 Upper Deck Spectrum Brian Roberts red parallel

2008 Topps Chrome Ray Lewis copper refractor

2008 Topps Chrome Joe Flacco refractor
Big win last night dude. EPIC!

So there you have it, and that's not even everything Joe sent me. It's amazing what you can get for a Chase Utley autograph. Thanks a lot for the great trade Joe, and I hope you enjoy your cards as much as I am enjoying mine.

Oh, I almost forgot, Joe sent me a sealed 24-pack retail box of 2008 Topps Chrome Football as well. It was pretty fun to bust, and the results will be posted later this week. I don't really collect anything Football outside of the Ravens and Dwayne Bowe, so all cards will be for trade.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Ho Ho Holiday Contest Entry Received

The contest was announced less than a week ago, and already we have our first entry. While I won't post it and ruin the surprise, I will tell you that it's pretty awesome, and was submitted by none other than Mark, of Mark's Ephemera fame. I can always count on the Commish to come through in the clutch.

The rest of you have been put on notice, and better get your entries in soon. You don't want Mark to win ALL 30 of the cards in the prize pool, do you? Well that's what's going to happen if his is the only entry.

All entries are due by December 20th 2009, at which point they will be posted, and your fellow bloggers & readers will have 4 days to vote for their favorite. Not that it matters much, since the ultimate decision is up to me.

Trade With Cardboard Heaven

A couple of weeks back, CamClow of Cardboard Heaven and I got to discussing a potential trade. He had mentioned something about wanting a Granderson auto in one of his posts, and I happened to have one for trade. We quickly worked out a deal, and here is what I was able to walk away with:

2005 Bowman Chrome Billy Rowell Aflac edition
The first & only Aflac card in my collection. Some people in and around Baltimore may have given up on Rowell, but not me. Granted, his numbers have dropped off each one of 4 seasons in the minors, and he struggled mightily in single-A ball last season, but he was still the youngest guy on the team, at 20. I still believe in you Billy, so don't make a fool out of me, ok?

2009 Upper Deck Philadelphia Joe Flacco
Ok Joe, enough is enough. We need you to beat the Steelers this Sunday night. Are you up to the task? Season's on the brink here Joe, and we need to emerge victorious this weekend. Make it happen!

2009 UD Legendary Cuts Cal Ripken Legendary Memorabilia red parallel

This year's Legendary Cuts relic cards are quite stunning, and this card is no exception. Great design, pretty good photo and gold foil used tastefully. This card has it all. I'd like to see the end of plain white swatches, but that probably won't happen anytime soon, especially since most of the guaranteed hits in boxes these days are of the game used variety. I'd imagine it's pretty cost effective for the card companies as well.

1976 Topps Brooks Robinson

Didn't think I had this card already, but as it turns out, I did. There are certainly worse doubles to own. '76 Topps is a design that has grown on me, and is now among my top 3 designs of that decade.

2006 Bowman Sterling Brandon Snyder autograph

Snyder was just added to the 40-man roster last week, so it sounds like the O's organization believes he can possibly contribute this season. We do need a first baseman, and this guy looks like the cheap option, which means he'll probably end up starting in 2010, since Peter Angelos is too cheap to pay for a free agent like Adrian Gonzalez (which would be awesome btw). Here is a nice little write up on Snyder courtesy of

Thanks a lot for the great trade CamClow, and enjoy your Grandy auto. I mailed it out last week, so it has hopefully already arrived by now.

Did anyone out there (aside from Boxes of Cards) end up scoring any sweet deals during the Blowout Cards Black Friday sale? I tried, but it was in vain. Instead, I decided to purchase a hobby box I wanted at full price (which was still cheaper than most other places), and along with it picked up a retail box of 2008 Masterpieces baseball for $9.99. If anyone is building that set, and needs cards, get your wants lists ready.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Quickie eBay Pickups

Me and the eBay go together like fried chicken & waffles. While I've been trying to take 'er easy the past few weeks, I have picked up a few cards. My belly is on the verge of an epic explosion, and there aren't many posts to be read around the 'sphere tonight. While I may not have anything ingenious to offer, at the very least there will be 3 nice cards to look at. Hopefully everyone out there had a wonderful turkey day. I sure did, and am about to head off into the land of slumber. No, not because I am heading out to get a good deal on hot holiday electronics in the morning. I have to work at 6am. Hmmm.... 6am? Isn't that when the Blowout Black Friday sale starts?...... Sometimes it's not so bad having to work early on Black Friday.

Here is what I've scored over the past 2 weeks:

2008 Upper Deck Premier Patches Nick Markakis #'d /21

One of those cards that I've chased for a while and would always get outbid on. Not this time, oh no. This time it is mine.The left patch is just barely 3 color. There's a tiny bit of gray peeking through in the bottom right corner.

2009 Topps Finest Joe Flacco gold refractor #'d /75

Odd that these are #'d to 75 instead of 50. I've become used to 50 being the gold refractor gold standard. A sweet card of my hometown quarterback, and a welcome addition to my newborn football collection.

2009 Topps Finest Dwayne Bowe pigskin refractor #'d /25
It's time to play would you buy that card for $0.99 plus $2.50 shipping & handling! For me the answer was yes. Bowe is one of my favorite young receivers, and someone I hope the Ravens try to trade for next season. If he can get out of lowly KC, there's a chance he could be a beast.

That's all I've got for tonight. To anyone venturing out tomorrow morning, best of luck to you, and may you find excellent deals. To anyone checking out the Blowout extravaganza tomorrow, best of luck as well. I hear there will be some pretty sweet deals to be had, although quantities will be limited. Saw something earlier that said a CASE of '08 Documentary would be $11.27 or something nuts like that.

Things I Am Thankful For

Beyond the obvious (health, employment, shelter), I am thankful for all the generous collectors out there who have traded with me over the past 6+ months. You have helped keep this blog going, and always give me something to write about. I am also thankful for the blogosphere, and all of it's wonderful people, supportive people. Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Oh, and I am also grateful for hard-signed autographs, and shiny things, and group breaks too.

It's going to be a day filled with eating and napping in the beardy household, with a little football thrown in for good measure. Here's hoping yours is just as enjoyable!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thank You Topps!

I'm going to warn you that this post contains extremely positive commentary on the only company currently licensed to produce MLB trading cards in 2010.

I'm sure we all remember the unfortunate announcement made a few weeks ago that Topps was not going to be producing the 2009 Allen & Ginter's Cat Osterman relic or autographed cards. Well, a lot of people were upset by the fact that Topps, instead of telling people in advance, and working on individual solutions that would keep collectors happy, instead sent out random cards they claimed to be of equal book value. I held an autogrpah redemption, and out of the blue received a Greg Louganis autograph, which while quite nice looking, was not a card I wanted, and certainly was not one that I had asked for, nor was it worth what the Osterman redemptions had been selling for on eBay, prior to the news that it would not be produced.

Well, I fired off an angry email to Topps about it, and heard back the next day. In my first email I may have been a bit to upset, and actually went as far as to call Topps liars, for promising me a Cat Osterman card, and sending something else entirely, without warning. I emailed back and forth a few times with their VP of customer service, and with a much cooler head was able to explain my frustration in a way that Topps must have been able to relate to. They had asked me if they could send me something that perhaps might make me feel better about the whole thing. I replied that they could send me whatever they'd like, as long as it came with an acknowledgment that they understand how they handle certain redemptions is unfair to their loyal customers.

I was absolutely blown away with what arrived at my door yesterday, and must admit that Topps went above and beyond here to satisfy a customer and a collector. I want to say thank you to Topps for not only sending me some incredible cards, way more than I would have ever asked for, but also for hearing me out, and taking the time to explain their side of the story. At the end of the day, it's nice to know they care enough to do something about it.

's what they sent:

A nice start.

Getting warmer. This one has a nice patch, and is the only '09 Triple Threads card currently in my collection.

I'm not a basketball collector, but thought these cards always looked cool. Now I have one, and they are cool, but would be much cooler with a hard signed autograph. Any Maggette fans out there who need this card?

Oh my! A real 1959 Topps card with a real autograph signed directly on the card. Now we're talking! Oh, did I mention it's also of a Hall of Famer? Did I mention this is also my favorite set of all time? Did I mention he was also an Oriole? This is one of those cards that would look like a fake on eBay. If it didn't come directly from Topps, I'd think this one was fake too.

Ummm... HOLY MARY MOTHER OF MATT WIETERS!! Another Hall of Famer autograph on a real vintage card, only this time numbered out of 10! Topps, you are too kind!

Yeah, the Brock totally made my jaw drop to the floor when I flipped it over. Once again, thanks to the Topps Company for hearing me out, and doing what they felt was right to satisfy a consumer. I never asked for anything, so to receive a package as awesome as this in the mail was quite a surprise.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Ho Ho Holiday Contest Rules Update

I am expanding the rules to include ANY holiday ocuring in the months of November, December & January. Get as obscure as you'd like. There's a couple of easy ones in there. That might work to your advantage, then again, it might not.

Oh, and you are only allowed to enter one card. Yeah, that's right, uno cardo amigo.

Email your submissions to the contact address found on my blogger page, or contact me through the same address for mailing instructions.


Yes, that's right, another custom card contest. Not that I'm trying to rip off Thorzul or anything, but a good idea is a good idea. Besides, I want to see if anyone can touch the awesomeness of the 1990 ProSet Santa Claus.

It's that special time of year again, and I want to see your most creative custom holiday card. It can be Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanza, or New Year's themed, and it MUST be awesome. Submissions will be accepted in both digital & printed formats. As the sole judge, jury & executioner of this contest, I will be basing my decision purely on creativity, and design, and not on whether the card is printed or digital.

Here is a list of preliminary prizes. These are the absolute baseline worst that the prizing will be, and are subject to change (for the better if possible). Chances are I'll throw in some cards the winners specifically collect as well, or at least try my best to do so. First & second place winners will get their choice of cards from a list of availables to be determined in the next few weeks.

First Place: Lot of 3 choice certified autos & 5 choice game used relic cards
Second Place: 1 choice certified autograph & 7 choice game used relic cards
Third Place: Lot of 5 random game used relics & 3 random refractors
Honorable Mention: Lot of 6 random refractors

All entries must be submitted by December 20th, and the winners will be announced on Christmas Eve.

This could be epic people! Make it happen.

2005 Topps Finest Football Mini Box Break

This is the final product busted busted during the little spree I went on last week. The plan all along was to buy a box of '09 Sweet Spot, but after looking around I realized that I could get a variety of older boxes for the same price. The box of '04 Finest, and the minis of '08 Sterling & '05 Finest Football combined still ended up costing less than that one box of Sweet Spot would have. At the end of the day, I may have been better off going with Sweet Spot, since most of the breaks I've seen have been pretty good, and even though I busted a variety of products, and pulled quite a few autos, none of them are anything to write home about, nor are they as nice as a Sweet Spot Signature.

This mini box guarantees one rookie auto, with Frank Gore being the cream of the crop. I really like Frank Gore. He's another one of my yearly fantasy guys, and has never done me wrong. I remember seeing a story about him on CBS before the draft, about how he was highly touted going into his freshman season at Miami, but just couldn't stay healthy, and is running on 2 reconstructed knees. Well, his knees certainly haven't slowed him down too much in the NFL, and I think he's been a lot better than most of the prognosticators ever thought he would be.

Enough jibba-jabba, let's get on with the break, shall we?

The Box

The Wrapper

The Base Cards

Drew Brees
Not that Phillip Rivers is a bad quarterback, because he certainly isn't, but the Chargers chose poorly. May there bodies age in a matter of seconds until their faces are so wrinkled they just fall off.

Priest Holmes
It's a shame the Ravens gave up on this guy once Jamal Lewis got here, because he really became a beast in KC. It worked out just fine, as Jamal was a beast in Bmore as well, but it always sucks when your team gets rid of a guy who goes on to become a star.

Plaxico Burress
Got a raw deal.

Phillip Rivers
Speak of the devil. The visor look is pretty douchey for a quareterback, and Rivers is already a bit of a douche to begin with. It's his attitude that I don't really care for. He just seems like a big baby.

Derek Mason
Only Raven in the box. He's been our only WR for quite a few years now, and is rock solid. I got mad love for D-Mase!

Fabian Washington
He's a Raven now, and sometimes I wish he wasn't. Fabian's play was solid last season, it's been pretty much the polar opposite this year.

The Refractors

Matt Jones blue refractor #'d /299
If this card were his, I think we all know what he's be using it for. Sniff.

Santana Moss green refractor #'d /199
Not much to say about the other Mr. Moss.

The Autograph

Darren Sproles black refractor #'d /99

Could have done a lot worse than Darren Sproles. Color Commentators are constantly referring to his as a "sparkplug". He burned the Ravens for a long TD this season. It was a little dump off pass that he took 80 yards to the house. He's a sparkplug all right.

There you have it, one mini box of 2005 Topps Finest Football. It was a very fun break, but I was expecting or at least hoping, for more refractors. The rainbow sticker autos are pretty hideous as well, and as I've said before, they do not belong on a product that dares call itself "Finest". For less than $20 this was a great product to break, and pulling a parallel auto of a legit NFL player made it seem like a good one, at least to me. This will probably be the last box break for a while. I know I always say that, and am probably full of crap once again, but I should really make an effort to spend less money busting wax, and concentrate on singles for my PC.