Sunday, February 7, 2010

Don't Make Me...

Keep posting links to my new site. Every time I do, our traffic spikes, so you all must want to read what I'm posting.

HERE it is again. Bookmark it. Blogroll it. It is my new permanent home. A new post just went up concerning the authenticity of the jumbo patches found in "2009" Ultimate. Check it out!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Good, The Bad & The Chicle

What is a collector to do when he's trapped in a hotel during the worst blizzard to hit Baltimore in decades?

Make a stupid pack break video, that's what.

See it HERE.

For those of you that haven't caught on yet, I am doing most of my posting these days over at my new blog, The Mojo Beard. Most likely, this site will stay active, but I won't be posting here on a regular basis. I have packed up my wit and my trade posts and moved over to wordpress. You can expect more of the same ol' beardy, despite the new location, along with some hopefully new and better content as well.

If you haven't already done so, please check out the new site, and add us to your bookmarks/blogroll if you like what you see.

Is it Spring (training) time yet?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Topps Comes Through!

With an unpossible redemption

See it HERE

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

I am a B.I.P Agent!

Nobody Bips With The Jesus

Just for you Thorzul...

Beardy And The Upper Deck Conspiracy

Can be read HERE, at my new blog. It's a joint venture between Jay, formerly of The Mojo Hand, and myself. We've got big ideas, and hope to keep things as interesting as possible. Not to mention, 2 bloggers equals half the work and twice the awesomeness (right?).

While you're there, add us to your blogrolls, and check out our Topps Pristine video break. It's four packs this time, 2 from '03 & 2 from '04. Did we pull anything awesome? Not really, but go watch it anyway.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Cards From Around The Blogosphere

A bit of a shorty this week, since I am WAY behind on the scanning and the posting. If you sent me cards in the past few weeks, and haven't gotten anything in return yet, your cards should be shipping out no later than Wed. Hopefully I don't miss anyone. Typically, I am on top of this stuff, but life has bee stressful the past few weeks, and as a result my writing, or at least the frequency of it has suffered as a result. Sorry dudes!

First up to bat are a couple of cards from Grant, the Old School Pack Buster. Grant and I have traded before, and he is a very generous trader. Along with a fat stack of random O's were the following 2 cards, both of which I really like:

2009 UD Goodwin Champions Brian Roberts black printing plate 1/1
This is now my 3rd one of one, and all 3 of them are printing plates. Brian Roberts wears #1, and this card is not only his jersey number, but the print run is also his jersey number. By eBay standards, this is a triple 1 of 1, which means it's value is infinite. The national debt could potentially be repaid with this card. I am now the most powerful man in the world thanks to the power of this card.

2009 Topps 206 Adam Jones Old Mill back mini
Why do I never remember to scan the back of these things, when that's all that matters? I now have the regular and Old Mill back versions of this card. It would be cool to try and complete myself a little rainbow, but odds of finding the Magician back are slim to none, especially since there are only 8 of them. I've got a feeling Adam Jones is going to have a VERY big season this year.

Next up is a card from Mike, of JD's Wild Cardz. I sent him a crummy Papelbon sticker auto (ewww!) and in return got this sweet Ichiro relic that is already on it's way to Bud, of First Day Issue, to satisfy a trade from a couple weeks back.

2009 Topps 206 Ichiro Old Mill jersey relic

Last up are some cards from I Am Joe Collector's group breaks. Along with my monthly Orioles slot, I also participated in his UD Premier Football break, and picked up a second monthly slot at a discount. The Athletics were offered up for $10, and I jumped all over it. As per usual, I didn't exactly "kill it" this month, but it surely could have been worse.

2009 Topps 206 David Hernandez Piedmont autograph
It's a shame that Topps had to include a second auto set into 206 that uses those horrible rainbow stickers, especially since these framed mini, on-card autos look so damned good. Hernandez had a decent rookie campaign last season, and will either be the 5th starter, or possibly a long reliever this season. He has a plus fastball, and with another season or two of grooming, could be a decent if not good starter somewhere.

2007 UD Exquisite Erik Bedard gold parallel #'d /75
Wow, what a stupid card this is. It's about as thick as a patch card for essentially no reason at all. Why Bedard was in a product called Exquisite Rookies in 2007 is absolutely beyond me. I tthink his rookie season was 5 years earlier, in 2002.

2008 Upper Deck Premier Ed Reed Premier Stitchings silver manupatch #'d 8/30
Speaking of stupid cards.... This is the second Premier football break I've participated in, and the second crappy manupatch I've received as a result. At least it's a Raven this time. These cards would have been infinitely better with on-card autos at the bottom.

2009 Topps 206 Jimmie Foxx short print
Look who finally remembered to scan the back. I got a whole bunch of Athletics base cards from this break, if anyone is interested, and I also received 2 copies of the card pictured above. Having already owned one prior to this break, I now have triples of this card. If anyone is interested, let me know.

Well, there you have it, this week's edition of cards from around the blogosphere. I'm hoping to post quite a bit over the next few days, and there will be another Pristine video break, along with a major announcement thrown in there somewhere. Stay tuned.

More eBay Shenanigans

Look at THIS card, then look at THIS card.

I watched, and even bid on the hand-numbered version the first time it was listed, about 3 months ago. It was the first time I had ever seen that card, and I really wanted it. The fact that it was "hand-numbered" only made it more appealing. It ended up selling for $125, which was about $100 more than I was willing to pay. The day after that first auction, the card was re-listed by the winning bidder at $200, and Buy It Now.

Fast forward to this morning.... I am trolling eBay, drooling over all the sweet new Markakii found in '09 Ultimate collection, and happen to stumble across TWO more Markakis/Brooks Heritage dual relics. Both of the new listings are NOT hand numbered, and most likely will NOT sell for $125.

This is yet another reason to avoid eBay, and purchase your cards elsewhere. eBay does a horrible job policing it's listings, and there's quite a bit of counterfeit bullshit for sale these days.

EDIT: It looks like Sooz may be right. She left a comment stating that perhaps just the gray swatches are numbered. I found THIS listing that backs up her claim. Why would Topps do that? Perhaps they are trying to make plain gray swatches more appealing?

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Longoria Rookie Auto For Sale

This is something I normally wouldn't do, but I need to generate some PayPal funds to purchase a Markakis jumbo patch from 2009 Ultimate. I don't want to sell this card, but would rather have a jumbo patch of my favorite player than an autograph of a young stud who plays for a rival.

It's from 2007 Bowman's Best, and I acquired it from one of I Am Joe Collector's group breaks a few months ago. It is absolutely mint! I'm looking to get $50 for it, but am willing to accept offers as well. I apologize profusely for using my blog as a forum to whore out my collection, but I'm sure you all know how it is when you see a card you absolutely have to own.

Some People Are Real !@#$heads

I just reported THIS as a fraudulent listing. I wonder how long it'll take for it to be pulled. Can you believe this dude (or dudette) is a "power seller"? The sad thing is that someone already bought one. I can't feel that bad for them though. $8 for a Dick Perez original? That definitely falls into the "too good to be true" category.

Trading With Myself.... Sort Of

Since right around the beginning of this year, I have been selling some cards on checkoutmycards. While progress has been slow, I have managed $28.50 in sales so far, and this is how I spent it (including shipping).

1969 Topps Johnny Unitas
Sheer perfection on cardboard. This is a great looking card of one of the games greatest quarterbacks. I was fortunate enough to meet Johnny U a few times, shortly before he passed, and he was a very kind man.

2006 Upper Deck Ultimate Collection Derrick Mason autograph #5/99

Truly a signature that could not be contained by any stinkin' sticker. As you can see, Mason's scribblings venture outside of the signing area, but at least you can still see it. I heart on card autos.

2005 Fleer Patchworks Dontrelle Willis/Josh Beckett dual patch #21/25
The D-Train on the front, with a great looking 4-color patch

Beckett on the back, with a great looking 3 color patch. If this isn't the ultimate Marlins fan trade bait, I don't know what is.

2008 Topps Chrome Ichiro Trading Card History refractor

A card I have wanted since the first time I laid eyes on it. The Trading Card History subset was pretty solid, and the refractors are particularly awesome. I believe this card is based on a Japanese Menko design from the 1950's.

2002 Bowman Chrome Reprints 1989 Ken Griffey Jr. refractor
This will most likely serve as trade fodder for one of the 2 Mariners fans I owe cards to.

All in all I think this is a stellar haul for $28 delivered. Lately a lot of people have been ranting about the excessive shipping costs on COMC, especially when compared to Sportlots & eBay. While shipping may not be cheap, in my opinion you are able to find better deals on checkoutmycards, especially on higher-end "hits", than you are on either of the other 2 sites. If I had purchased these cards individually on eBay, shipping would have easily exceeded $10, and may have been in the $15-$20 range. For instance, the other day, I picked up a Markakis/Adam Jones dual relic from Unique for $7.50. The card has a stated BV of $30 (ha!), routinely fetches over $10 on eBay, and would most likely cost a minimum of $2 to ship. I just saved almost $5 by picking this card up on COMC. Sportlots is another name that people often bring up. To be honest, I don't have that much experience with them, but I know that they do not give you the option to submit an offer for cards you want. You are stuck paying whatever the seller is asking, which in some instances, is simply too much. I've also found that a lot of listings on Sportlots don't include a scan or picture of the card. This might not be a big deal to some people, but if you're purchasing a patch card made by Upper Deck, don't you at least want to know if the edges are clean? They most likely aren't.

Opinions are like Gellmans (no offense).... and everyone is entitled to think whatever they'd like, and obviously shop wherever they want to. For me, right now, that place is checkoutmycards.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Another Topps Pristine 2 Pack Break

I got these from the same seller as the first break, but decided against recording this one. It was probably for the best, as the pulls aren't near as exciting this time around. The EPA must have given Topps hell for all the wrappers this product generated. If you're not already familiar, these are packaged as a pack inside of a pack inside of a larger pack. Yes folks, THREE wrappers for one pack of cards. No wonder the Earth is rapidly warming (or cooling, depending on who you talk to).

Last time we started with the 2003 pack, so this time around it's 2004 that will be first up to bat. After opening the larger outer wrapper, I found this card (and another pack):

Shingo Takatsu uncirculated refractor #'d /499
I think this is of the uncommon variety, but it's hard to find solid info on this set.

After opening the second, slightly smaller pack, I found this card (and yet another pack):

Manny Ramirez Going, Going, Gone bat relic
Ahh, the good old days, when Topps actually let you know your chunk of wood is in fact from a game-used bat. It was so long ago that Manny still had short hair.

Each pack also contains one numbered rookie card. For as old as this pack is, it certainly could have been worse. At least I got a guy who's still in the league.

Erick Aybar numbered rookie #'d /999

Just like last time around, hidden in the innards of that final pack was an autograph. It's not Lance Berkman again, but it could definitely have been worse.

Ervin Santana Personal Endorsements autograph
I didn't say anything about it when I pulled the Berkman, but these are some UGLY cards.

So yeah, that was the '04 pack. Not too shabby, especially not for $10. Let's move right along to the '03 flavor, and see what that pack had to offer. After ripping the first wrapper, this puppy was found tucked away inside, along with another pack (naturally).

Michel Hernandez uncommon refractor #'d /99
If only it were someone else.... The Ryan Howard uncommon refractor books for like $200. Michel Hernandez might book for $2.

After opening the pack within the pack, this is the game-used card that greeted me... along with another stinkin pack!

Pedro Martinez Pristine Borders jersey relic

Hello old friend, wearing a Red Sox jersey, which is how I choose to remember you. The swatch is pretty tiny, but I can't really complain about pulling this card. It beats an Eric Chavez relic any day of the week.

The pack inside the pack inside the pack wasn't super exciting, but it did have the following 2 base cards in it, which I thought were pretty nice.

There are legends in this set? Awesome!

Now all I need is the uncommon & gold refractors to build myself a little rainbow. Based on recent eBay sales & listings, this card is pretty valuable for just being of the regular base variety.

There you have it, 2 more packs of Pristine busted and scanned for all the world to see. I've actually got 2 more packs of each on the way (4 more packs total), and they will be busted on video, most likely over the weekend. The eBay seller from whom I purchased the first 4 packs offered me the rest of his inventory at a very reasonable price ($10/pack). It will be a bit of a group break, as Jay from The Mojo Hand and I are splitting the costs 50/50. We're going to try to do something fun with it, and hopefully end up with a nice little pack break video.

What do you guys think of Pristine? Do you wish it was still around? Any ideas on why Topps chose to kill off the brand?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Bipped Again! This Time It's Personal

You're nice enough to send a guy a Jordan Zimmerman autograph, and this is what he sends in return. The nerve of some people! As I briefly mentioned last week, this Bipping is brought to you courtesy of Matt from Heartbreaking Cards of Staggering Genius. I'm guessing that once the Jayhawks season is over, there probably isn't much to do in Lawrence, but that is surely no excuse to reach out and Bip someone.

Matt started things off by sending me a 1995 Upper Deck Armando Benitez card....

Followed by FOUR 1986 Topps Sammy Stewarts.
All of this was innocent enough, and didn't cut near as deep as my first Bipping, at the hands of GCRL. But then I saw it...
This is "it"

The dreaded double "g" spelling of Greg, which happens to be my name. Matt knows this.
Matt knows that I have written in the past about my dislike for the nonsensical double "g" butchering of my first name. He knew.
He knew yet he sent the cards anyway. The balls on this friggin' guy!

I guess since this card was sent along as well, I can't be that mad. Another Brooks relic for the player collection. It's not actually a bat though, it's a piece of wood from a park bench that Brooks sat in one time. The back says "Congratulations, you have received a piece of wood".

2005 Donruss Champions Brooks Robinson relic

Thanks for the cards Matt.... I guess. I want you to keep it in the back of your mind that maybe, just maybe, I will seek vengeance. Probably not, cause I'm lazy, but I could.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Trades From Across The Blogosphere

Excuse my absence for the past couple of days. There's a lot going on on beardyland, and we may become homeowners in the next few weeks. Pretty overwhelming if you ask me. Anyway, back to the card stuff.

Since there's always a whole lot of tradin' goin' on, I've decided this is going to become a weekly feature, cards allowing of course.

First up is a card from Marck, the Collective Troll. He's got one of the best card blogs around, and is also an extremely generous collector. After seeing that he had been busting some '08 Ginter boxes, I dropped him an email to see if he had pulled any Ancient Icons mini cards, since it was a set I had been thinking about chasing. The card below was sent to me in exchange for absolutely nothing. That's right, FREE. I know the Troll likes Brian Roberts, and I happen to have a TON of B-Rob cards laying around. His generosity will surely not be overlooked.

2008 Allen & Ginter Ancient Icons minis Quetzalcoatl

This is what Homer saw after eating the hot peppers at the chili festival.

Next up are a few cards from Ron over at Section 36. He had originally emailed me about a Ginter World Leader mini, but sent these great cards along as well. I deem our first trade a rousing success.

2009 Topps 206 Aubrey Huff Cycle back mini #'d /99
Probably should have scanned the back of this one instead. Sorry guys.

2007 Upper Deck Erik Bedard Game Materials relic

Does anyone know what's going on with this guy right now? It's doubtful that anyone outside of Seattle or Baltimore gives a damn, but Bedard has gone AWOL. There are doubts he will even be able to pitch next season. Pishawww!

2000 Topps Stars Brooks Robinson Spotlights

If only he could take charge of his hairline like he could a dribbler down the third base line. This is a nice card, and a new one for the Brooks collection.

2001 Upper Deck Decade Eddie Murray Award Winners '78 ROY

Has the ability to look badass even during an awkward backswing. You think he made contact?

Next up are some cards from Joe over at Cobb & Halladay. Since helping me complete the great Burke Kenny nona-fecta, Joe has become one of my favorite people to trade with, and I think this is our third or fourth completed trade.

2006 Playoff Contenders Haloti Ngata autograph
Haloti sort of has chick handwriting. This is the second rookie auto I have of his, both of them are signed with #96, which must have been what he wore at Oregon. He's always worn #92 as a pro.

2008 Upper Deck SP Threads Dwayne Bowe/Eddie Royal dual relic #'d /199

My first Dwayne Bowe relic! What the heck happened to Eddie Royal anyway? He set the fantasy football world on fire as a rookie, but didn't do diddly-poo this past season. I blame the system. At first I blamed Orton, but he actually had a pretty decent season.

2008 Upper Deck Team USA Brian Matusz National Team jersey

This guy is going to be one of a few of the O's young guns with a chance to really step up this season. With the lineup that Andy McPhail has put together, it'll only take one or two of the young arms to flourish for the Orioles to threaten the .500 mark this season. Mark it dude. Baby steps.

2008 Bowman Ray Rice refractor

Another Ray Rice rookie for my player collection. You all know how I feel about Baltimore's other Ray by now, and I was pretty happy to get this card.

Well... that's that. Another great round of trades scanned, posted and commented upon for your viewing pleasure. Thanks to Marck, Ron & Joe for the great cards. If you haven't already gotten them, your cards should hit the mail in the next few days.

Also a big thank you to Baseball Dad and The Average Joe for sending me some cards from my Goodwin Champions want list. I'm still a long way from finishing, but progress is progress.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Cards From Mr. Scott

I meant to post this hours ago, but today has been pretty terrible so far, and I'm just getting around to it now. It all started this morning, at 6:07, when I woke up late for work. I was supposed to be in at 6. As I finally arrived at the office, 45 minutes late, without a shower, I witnessed a hate crime on my way in the door, as someone had defaced the sushi bar next door, and left some not so nice racial epithets scribbled on the front door. As if that wasn't bad enough, it's been insanely busy since I got here, and all I can think about is how much I'd rather be at Orioles Fan-Fest today, instead of being stuck at work. Saturday is typically the slowest day here, so typically that is when I catch up on posting. Not today. Not at all. At least not until just now.

In retrospect, that might not be such a bad thing, especially since Mr. Scott of Mr. Scott's Baseball Cards, sent me a couple of cards of a player who until a few hours ago was only a former Oriole. What was old is new again, and Miguel "B-12" Tejada is once again back in Charm City. This morning the Orioles and Tejada reached an agreement on a one-year deal, and he will most likely play 3rd base this time around.

The only Yankees fan I like is the one who is currently sending me O's cards. This rule currently applies to Mr. Scott, and Mr. Scott only. I am only capable of setting aside my hatred on an individual case-by-case basis.

2005 Leaf Certified Materials Miguel Tejada "Certified Skills" relic
Well isn't this card fancy. While I do not like Tejada, I am sort of happy to see him back in town, especially so because he's only here on a one year deal, and most likely won't be a payroll crusher. We do need someone to play third base, and Tejada, even at his worst still puts up decent numbers. After the season Melvin Mora had, I doubt the bar is set very high to begin with.

2008 Topps Lou Montanez "Red Hot Rookie" refractor
What a great looking card! Nice action shot, loads of shine, and a ton of color. Too bad Topps took the cheap way out in '09 and didn't make the rookie redemption cards with refractor technology. It still took them like 8 months to produce them....

2007 Bowman Chrome Miguel Tejada xfractor
It's still so busy here at work that I won't have time to write up a witty little editorial for each card.

2006 Bowman Chrome Brian Roberts xfractor

Do you think the Freemasons invented xfractors? Look at the angles.

1996 Flair Cal Ripken Jr. Promo
I wasn't collecting in '96, but the sheer beauty of these cards must have blown people's minds back then.

2008 Topps Finest Erik Bedard blue refractor

There has been some buzz about this guy possibly coming back to Baltimore as well.

2008 Topps Finest Erik Bedard green refractor

I'd be ok with it if he was willing to pitch more than 5 innings an outing, and could stay healthy for an entire season. Oh, and he has to be nice to the media as well. I work with a guy who used to be a cameraman for the O's broadcast network, and he has quite a few stories of nasty run-ins with Bedard the recluse.

2002 Topps Archives Frank Robinson refractor reprints
I've always been bothered by the fact that he is clearly wearing a Reds uniform in this photo. It bothers me so much that I don't own the original yet. Some things never change.

Thanks for the great cards Mr. Scott. Expect a return package chock full o' evil pinstripers some time next week.

To any O's fans out there who made it to FanFest, please post some pics or something. I'm literally green with envy right now.

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Joy of a Completed Page

Now if I could only find a card shop nearby that sells pages for these things... So far I am 0 for 3, which makes me good enough to play 3rd base for the O's.

Another BIG thank you to everyone who helped me complete this set. There is absolutely no way I could have done it without making trades all over the place.

Oh, and another thing... THIS IS POST #400!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Topps Pristine Video Break

Welcome to my first video break. Going forward I promise not to be such a goober, and to actually hold the cards in front of the camera, and not off to the side. You know, so you can actually SEE them and stuff.

Both of these sealed blister packs (one 2003 & one 2004) came from eBay, and were a ton of fun to bust. I understand why this product is no longer around, as it is very similar to Finest, but the cards are still very nice. One thing that makes no sense to me is the whole "uncirculated" thing. These things are inserted into packs. Doesn't that count as "circulation"? I understand that they come in nifty hard cases, sealed with Topps foil stickers for safety, but how does that make a card "uncirculated"?

The Video:

The Goods:

Sweet! #'d to 1599. Not sure what this card is worth, but I know it's one of the better pulls in the '03 release.

Chavez is one of those players who haunts me. This has to be at least the third Eric Chavez "hit" I've pulled since starting this blog.

#'d to 1999. Not sure why I scanned this card. Probably because it's numbered. That's about the only way a damn Yankee makes it onto this site.

Cards like this are what I was afraid of when purchasing these packs. You only get one shot at an "uncirculated" refractor, and most of them are of rookies & prospects. We all know how that game goes.

I like bat relics, and I like Mike Piazza. Good times were had by all.

#'d to 1999 or something like that. It might be numbered to something lower, but I am at work right now, and can't check the back to be sure. I know it's not the "common" rookie variation, so it might be numbered to something slightly lower. Nippert is currently with the Texas Rangers, and enjoyed his best statistical season as a pro in 2009.

Certainly wasn't expecting to pull this "Big Puma" autograph. If you watched the video, you can see the look of surprise in mine eyes. This scan is plain crummy and the card looks a lot better in person. They tried to do the whole "etched metal" thing, and it looks much better when the card is in hand.

For only being a 2 pack break, there were some decent cards to be had here. I've got another pack of each on the way that I paid even less for. Hopefully, they aren't a letdown after pulling the Howard and Berkman cards.