Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Proof That Not All Cardinals Fans are Bad! (Delivery Time from Yadier Molina Baseball Cards)

The St. Louis Cardinals and the Cincinnati Reds have a spirited rivalry.  Unfortunately for Reds fans, Cincinnati almost always seems to end up on the wrong side of the scoreboard (or standings).  In some ways, I think the Reds actually aim to be like the Cardinals (strong farm system, dedicated fan base, etc.).

I definitely don't care much for the Cardinals (though most of the egregious players are either no longer in St. Louis or else aren't playing due to injuries, etc.).  In fact, I would say the worst Cardinal from my perspective was Chris Carpenter.  That dude would whine about anything and everything when things didn't go his way - and his wrath wasn't just aimed towards the opponent - there were many games I watched were Carpenter would turn around and scream at an infielder if that player made an error.  Way to pick up your teammates jackwagon.

Anyhow, episodes like that make me not care for the Cardinals - but as I'm quickly learning, just because you don't like the team doesn't mean you won't like some of the fans of that team.

My latest case in point?  Brady from Yadier Molina Baseball Cards.

Brady recently contacted me saying he had some cards for me as a "thank you" for my blog.  Quite frankly, that was a surprise in an of itself (Reds/Cardinals connection notwithstanding).  Who ever thanks me for my blog and the drivel I throw out here on a (twice) daily basis?  Not many, that's who!  However, I was deeply touched by Brady's kind gesture - he even included a little note in the package saying that my blog was the inspiration for him to start his blog - very cool indeed!  (And with that, welcome to the blog-o-sphere Brady!)

As for the cards that Brady sent my way, there were a bunch of goodies!

Brady hit me up with a few 1966 Topps cards - most pre-1970s stuff is a giant hole in my collection so cards like this are always appreciated!  I'm in the middle of a complete collection reorganization and it's quickly becoming obvious just exactly how few pre-1970s cards I actually own!

Brady also sent me a bunch of more modern stuff including this O-Pee-Chee card of Joey Votto.

Votto seems to be deep in thought in this photo - but then again, Votto is almost always deep in thought!  He's a great hitter for a reason - a true student of the game!

Votto isn't only a student though, he's also a teacher to another player who came up through the minors with him - Jay Bruce.

Bruce and Votto can almost always be seen on the Reds' bench sitting side-by-side chatting about (presumably) hitting (or maybe the cute blonde three rows up, one never knows for sure).  The Bruce that Brady sent me was one of the Archives gold parallels - and they look awesome in the 1990 Topps design!

In a fun twist, Brady also sent me some cards off my want list - though I didn't actually add the 2013 Topps Chrome set to my want list until about a month after receiving Brady's package in the mail (I told you I am behind posting trades)!

No matter, two of the three Chrome cards were needed for my set (and if anyone else has some 2013 Chrome lying around let me know)!

We end today's scan happy post with one more goodie from Brady - this super thick 2013 Topps ManuPin card of Johnny Bench.

This is a pretty cool card, though I have no idea how I'll ever store it safely as it's thicker than your typical pack of baseball cards (and heavy too)!  I also wonder if anyone has ever taken one of these cards apart to see if the pin is a true pin (i.e. is there the sharp pointy bit on the back)?  I'm not going to wreck my card though so I'll rely on one of my readers to do a bit of baseball card dissection on their own collection!

Thanks a million for the cards Brady - and even more thanks for the kind words!  As for anyone else, if you want to trade be sure to check out my want list and make an offer!  (And if you find yourself with a pile of unloved Yadier Molina cards - send them to Brady!)

Barry Larkin Collection 268: 2006 Upper Deck SP Legendary Cuts - #65

Barry Larkin
Year:  2006
Brand:  Upper Deck SP Legendary Cuts
Card number:  65

While the set name certainly doesn't roll off of one's tongue, the actual card design is quite palatable.  The regular SP Legendary Cuts checklist consisted of 100 players, all of whom were retired in 2006.  The front design features a fairly fancy motif along with a sunburst design in the background.  You can't tell from the card scan but the border around the name plate is actually gold foil (something that I usually don't care for but it makes this card seem a bit higher class so I'll let it slide).  The back of the card isn't nearly as fancy, though it does have a nice write-up of Larkin's career (including a single line of his career statistics).  If I could change one thing it would be that Upper Deck used the Reds' running man logo (or at least a more colorful logo) than the boring black and white "C" logo.  It's a minor nitpick though - this is a nice lookin' card!

For completion's sake, there are seven other Barry Larkin cards in the 2006 Upper Deck SP Legendary Cuts set (courtesy of the full checklist on Upper Deck's website).  They are:

2006 LM-BL Barry Larkin Reds Legendary Materials                 225
2006 LM-BL Barry Larkin Reds Legendary Materials Parallel 1 199
2006 LM-BL Barry Larkin Reds Legendary Materials Parallel 2 99
2006 LM-BL Barry Larkin Reds Legendary Materials Parallel 3 15
2006 MM-BL Barry Larkin Reds Memorable Moments Swatch 225
2006 PH-BL Barry Larkin Reds Place In History Signatures 55
2006 MM-BL Barry Larkin Reds Memorable Moments Auto 50

The number at the end of each row is how many cards of that particular type that Upper Deck produced.  Looking at a list like this makes me extremely happy that Larkin retired back in 2004 (and therefore his playing career mostly missed the parallel craze of the late 2000s)!  For the record, as of the time I'm writing this post I don't own any of the other seven Barry Larkin cards from the '06 SP Legendary Cuts set.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Fleer Box Score Box Continues...and Summer Beckons!

In two days I have to proctor some final exams...and once I grade them I'll be done with work for the summer (well, besides attending commencement which is required of me by my college).  In order to celebrate the unofficial start of summer, I've been busting my Christmas box of 2003 Fleer Box Score.  This morning, I found my first relic (in a pack at least - I already had the relic from the supplementary box).  At this point, there are only six packs remaining...and there should be a second relic in one of them!

Pack 13:
11.  Mark Buehrle
18.  Craig Biggio
41.  Paul Lo Duca

43.  Jay Gibbons
60.  Carlos Delgado
84.  John Olerud
93.  Eric Hinkse

Not much of note in that pack (besides more base cards that I needed for my set).  I'm still hoping to get the full (non-SP) base set out of this single box.  I'm going to be close for sure...but whether I get every card is to be determined yet!

Pack 14:
1.  Troy Glaus
28.  Jimmy Rollins
54.  Rich Aurilia

62.  Jacque Jones
75.  Vladimir Guerrero
96.  Eric Chavez
114.   Pete LaForest

Well, well, well, a surprise short print!  I thought I was done with them seeing as how I already found three and the fact that they are seeded 1:6 packs.  I'll take it though - that means I now only need 11 more short prints for the full set!

Pulling Hits Never Gets Old, Right?

The 2003 Fleer Box Score box contains 18 packs with the overall odds of a memorabilia card falling 1:9 packs.  Since I now have opened up 10 packs, if the stated odds hold true I should find two hits within the final 8 packs (plus the one relic that I already found in the supplemental box).  I actually didn't look into what players have relic cards in the set - I prefer to be surprised I guess.  I am fairly certain there is no Barry Larkin relic though.

Pack 11:
12.  Sammy Sosa
68.  Cristian Guzman
71.  Ichiro

85.  Omar Vizquel
94.  Mike Lowell
95.  Jason Jennings
100.  Roy Halladay

Pack 12:
7.  Josh Beckett
21.  Matt Morris
33.  Mike Sweeney
68.  Cristian Guzman
71.  Ichiro
First Edition parallel:  58.  Mo Vaughn #144/150

Press Clippings relic:  RA-PC.  Roberto Alomar

The Press Clippings relics are seeded 1:15 packs (and are by far the most common relics in the box).  The Mo Vaughn First Edition parallel as a nice surprise in that it was my second such numbered parallel in the box.  The downside is I ended up with a bunch more duplicates (including two within the two packs in this post)!

Monday, April 21, 2014

More Fleer Box Score: Griffey Jr, Very Orange Mets, & a Short Print

I'm now about to cross the halfway mark of the 2003 Fleer Box Score box.  Yesterday, I opened up the supplementary box where I found my first hit.  Will I find another hit today?

Pack 9:
2.  Derek Jeter
26.  Mike Piazza
38.  Jim Edmonds
56.  Tom Glavine

I don't recall the Mets having so much orange on their jerseys.  Both Glavine and Piazza are rocking the orange in this pack though.
64.  Manny Ramirez
78.  Ken Griffey Jr.

The Reds are not well-represented in this set...but you better believe I'm happy to get a new Ken Griffey Jr. card for my collection!  I love this one too - the colors work really well.
89.  Rafael Palmeiro

The great thing about not being totally hit centric is that you can enjoy a pack of cards for what they are!  I would call pack 9 a definite win for me!

Pack 10:
19.  Cliff Floyd
30.  Jeff Kent
44.  Shawn Green
52.  Frank Thomas
79.  Roberto Alomar
92.  Garret Anderson
121.  Lew Ford

Another rookie short print, that's my third now from the box.  At 1:6 packs, I don't expect to pull any more since the box only holds 18 packs.  Unfortunately, the rest of this pack was total garbage in the sense that every other card was a duplicate from within the box!!  On the bright side, I now have a small stack of 2003 Fleer Box Score trade bait should someone want any of the non-SP cards from this pack!