Sunday, November 30, 2008

Delivery Time! Trade with Dave from Cardboard Junkie

One of the most prolific bloggers (Dave from Cardboard Junkie) recently sent me a package that knocked off a number of cards from my plethora of want lists.

He sent me 4 of the last 6 cards I need for my 2001 Topps set, a whole bunch of 1997 UD Collector's Choice cards that I needed, and a smattering of 2008 cards including Goudey, Heritage, Allen & Ginter, Baseball Heroes, and UD Masterpieces. Here are some of the (many, many) highlights:


First, in what has to be one of my favorite insert sets of the year, Dave sent me two different 2008 Allen & Ginter World's Greatest Icons cards: Alexander the Great and The Sphinx.
Second, I got another 2008 Topps Heritage mini T-205 of Albert Pujols from the subset only available at Target.

Third, I received the fourth (of five) 2008 Allen & Ginter World's Deadliest Sharks card (Bull Shark). I love the myriad of mini subsets in the Allen & Ginter sets - did I ever mention that?

Finally, my favorite from a stack of UD Masterpieces was the Robin Yount card. I'm always a sucker for retro styled cards of past, great players (not named Mantle or Ruth at least).

Would you like to complete a trade with me? If so, check out my want list and then send me an email or respond in the comments section.

Thanks again Dave.



Tuesday, November 25, 2008

2008 Topps Stadium Club - 3 Retail Packs Review

Like a moth drawn to the flame, the neon lights of my local Wal*Mart drew me in to see what new offerings were lined up in the card aisle... To my surprise, my Wal*Mart had both 2008 Topps Stadium Club AND 2008 Upper Deck Timeline. Since I haven't purchased either of these, I splurged on a box of Timeline and 3 packs of Stadium Club.

I'll post my Timeline box break later in time, but here's my 2008 Topps Heritage 3 pack breakdown.

In my three packs, I got:
4 Todd Helton
11 David Ortiz
29 Delmon Young
58 Jose Reyes - A sad photo for any Reds fan...that's the Reds dugout in the background - notice all the fans are watching the play in the outfield (or else a homerun)...no one is paying attention to Mr. Reyes scoring.
71 Grady Sizemore
73 Greg Maddux
91 Jackie Robinson - Easily my favorite card out of the three packs. It might be photoshopped, but it looks darn good
101 Luke Hochevar (rookie card)
101 Luke Hochevar (rookie card and first day issue stamp) - The two Hochevar cards are identical on the back, but the front picture is different. Did they do this for all the rookies?


104 Gregor Blanco (rookie card)
116 Johnny Cueto (rookie card AND, better yet, a Red)
116 Johnny Cueto (rookie card and first day issue stamp) - At least if I have to get two of the same guy I ended up getting a Red. Most people would be mad about that....but not me!



121 Matt Tolbert (rookie card)
123 J.R. Towles (rookie card and first day issue stamp)
Checklist (the whole set fits on a single checklist card!)

And finally, I got 103 Nick Adenhart (rookie card and Serially numbered 097/999. I have no idea what this card is - besides numbered for some reason...



All in all, I like the set. It's a small set and the photos are nice (though no longer unparalled like Topps Stadium Club of the nineties). I was pleased with my packs, 2 Reds cards, the Jackie Robinson card, and the mysterious numbered card were all interesting pulls.

The Bottom Line:
I give the 2008 MLB Topps Stadium Club set an 80/100.

Pros: I like the photos and the rookie first day cards. I like the two photos per rookie (I think?). I like the inclusion of 10 past legends (Jackie Robinson and Roberto Clemente are the two that caught my eye when I first saw the checklist).

Cons: If there are first day issue cards for each rookie, then building this set by buying packs is going to be impossible. A few of the included legends have ran their course. Seriously, I don't need another Mantle or Ruth - what about lesser knowns (but still great) players like Johnny Vander Meer, Ernie Banks, or Eddie Mathews to keep it fresh?

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Ultimate Baseball Card Set? Part 1 Results + New Polls

Well, it's time to reveal the results of the first part of my Ultimate Baseball Card set design poll. I asked 4 questions for you, my loyal readers, to respond to. It was an interesting exercise for two reasons: First, I was hoping the results would prove enlightening on what people like best (we'll get to that in a moment), and second, I get to see how many people visit my "new" blog posts. (I do use a "hit" counter, but I seem to have a few entries written awhile back that recieve constant hits while most of my newer entries do not.)

That said, on to the results:
(my comments may not match the results perfectly since it is possible for people to go back and vote on my old blog. If I close the polls, the results don't display!)

First, card border:



Second, base set size:




Third, number of short prints:




Finally, number of parallel sets:



My thoughts:
Note: I didn't vote on my own polls - that would seem to be a bit unfair.


White border was the clear winner here (with 10 votes out of 16 total). I was a little surprised that black borders didn't fare better (though maybe people hate them for the same reason I do, they are impossible to keep "nice").

The base set size seemed to have no clear winner. 350-700 cards (an admittedly wide range) "won" the poll, but that option only garnered 46% of the vote. It seems clear to me that there is no "perfect" set size to most people...but everyone was in agreement that sets should be more than 100 cards. (That also surprised me, the only reason I even am attempting to trade for the ugly, ugly Spectrum set is because it has 100 cards in it.)

Luckily, the number of short prints option was more defined with the voters. 84% of voters said less than 20 (either selecting "none" or "1 - 20" option). Once again, that surprised me! Sets like Topps Heritage, Allen & Ginter, and even UD Goudey all seem rather popular in the blogosphere...and all of those sets have over 20 short prints (Goudey has WAY too many as the polls indicate, but still...)

Finally, I asked about parallel sets. Of the fourteen respondents, seven (half!) said "none". The other half seemed to favor 2 - 5 parallels (5 out of the remaining 7 voters). That ought to make people at both Topps and Upper Deck take notice. Virtually all the sets released this year have parallel sets (Upper Deck seems to release a full rainbow of parallels with each set anymore)...yet half of those polled said there should be zero parallels. That said, almost half of those polled claimed there should be 2 - 5 parallels, so I think it is safe to say there is still a market for the parallels....

So what comes next in this little experiment? Well, we've decided on:
A 350 - 700 card set with white borders, less than 20 short prints, and no parallels. I don't know about you, but right now this set seems like it isn't overly market friendly...

With that, let's flesh out the set details a bit more:

Set Size:































Inserts:































Rookie Cards:





























And finally, card stock:
































That's it for now....let's continue shaping this set. I appreciate all the votes so far!

Source:

http://www.goldcoinsgalore.com/oldbaseballcardboxes.JPG

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Ultimate Baseball Card Set? You Decide!

With the plethora of baseball card options out there, it's clear that people like different types of cards. Myself, I prefer the vintage looks of Heritage and old-fashioned look of Allen & Ginter, but I also am collecting the "new vintage" Baseball Heroes and the (admittedly hideous) Upper Deck Spectrum...and I imagine that many people collect a variety of brands like I do. However, what if you could only collect ONE card set from a given year? What would you want the set to look like? What about inserts? Short prints? Vote below - maybe we can make our own "ultimate" card set.

Card Border:



 






















Base Set Size



 

























Short Prints



 

























Parallels



 

























That's enough options for now. The next round of poll questions will be based on the results of this post. As always, leave your thoughts in the comments section - including your ideas for polls (or if I omitted something).

Delivery Time! Trade with Bill from Wisconsin


As I await my beloved Nittany Lions game against Michigan State for the Land Grant Trophy, I figured it made sense to post a quick trade wrap-up from a deal from Bill in Wisconsin (home of another Big 10 school)...


I sent Bill some 2008 Topps Heritage cards, including a couple New Age Performers inserts, three black back parallels and a short print.





In return, Bill knocked another 2007 Topps Heritage New Age Performer off my want list, as well as a couple of Heritage base cards that have eluded me and an Allen & Ginter mini of Jay Bruce (a Red mini that I needed - bonus points for Bill!)



Source:
http://blog.pennlive.com/joehermitt/2007/11/lgt.jpg

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Relic Trades?!

Here's the deal:
It's not all that uncommon to pull a relic out of a pack of cards. What is rare (or so it seems), is to pull a relic that you actually care about. What I've decided to do is to post all of my relic cards that I am willing to trade away. Now, I've got a few rules that will hopefully help both myself and each trader end up with a collection that they like better!

1. I'll trade any of my relics for any 2008 Allen & Ginter or 2008 Topps Heritage Relic that I don't already own (I've got this crazy idea to collect the entire base set, every insert set, the mini set, AND the relic set...)


The only 2008 A&G relics that I have are (I'll take anything else):
BR2 - Brian Roberts (bat)
CAM - Carlos Marmol (jersey)
CK - Casey Kotchman (jersey)
MH - Mike Hampton (jersey)
MR - Manny Ramirez (jersey)
PF - Prince Fielder (bat)
The only 2008 Topps Heritage relics I have are (I'll take anything else):
CC-HB Hank Blalock (jersey)
CC-TLH - Travis Hafner (jersey)
FR-MIM 0 Minnie Minoso (stadium seat)

Again, I'll trade for ANY other 2008 A&G relic (including the non-baseball players) or 2008 Topps Heritage relic.

2. I'll trade any of my relics for any 2008 Cincinnati Reds relics from any '08 set. In this way, I can turn a card I don't care about into a card featuring my favorite team... Not to mention the fact that I don't actually own ANY Cincinnati Reds relics!
3. I'll trade any of my relics for two (or more) 2008 relics of comparable players from different teams. In this way, I can keep my stock of relics up while (hopefully) trading those two relics for other Allen & Ginter or Heritage relic cards later.

4. I'll take the best offer - so if you want the same relic as someone else, you'll have to make a better offer than them!

Sound interesting?


Here's my current relic stock (ALL available for trade):

2008 Goudey (for trade):


M-FH - Felix Hernandez

M-JF - Jeff Francoeur


M-JP - Jake Peavy

M-TE - Miguel Tejada
2008 Upper Deck X (for trade):
UDXM-DM - Daisuke Matsuzaka

2008 Upper Deck (for trade):

UD-BR - Brian Roberts

UD-JS - Jeremy Sowers

UDJ-HR - Hanley Ramirez

UD-ME - Morgan Ensberg

UDJ-VW - Vernon Wells

97-BG - Brian Giles

2008 UD Spectrum (for trade):
RS-JO2 - Josh Beckett


2008 UD Baseball Heroes (for trade):
22 Manny Ramirez (190/200)

46 Corey Hart (155/200)


2008 Topps (for trade):

TR-BS - Ben Sheets (in plastic packaging still)



Interested? Leave a comment below or contact me at: fanZZofreds.aucZZtions@gmZZail.com (remove the ZZs)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Delivery Time! Trade with Jason @ Bozeman Breaker

Another trade successfully completed, this time with Jason at Bozeman Breaker. I sent Jason 8 of the Allen & Ginter US State cards he wanted - he sent me a smattering of cards from different brands (2 UD Masterpieces, 3 UD Spectrum, 2 A&G minis, and 1 Topps Heritage card).





Once again, this trade is representative of what is great about internet card trading. There's no way I could have picked up those 8 cards off of eBay for the cost of shipping (and 8 cards) - and there's probably no way that Jason could have sold that particular group of cards either. In the end, we both win - he gets a bunch of inserts (that were doubles for me) and I get to cross of 8 more cards from my rather immense want list.

Do you have any cards for trade on my want list? If so, please contact me!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Delivery Time! Trade with Stephen @ The Easy Life

As mentioned before, I've completed a few trades recently. Here's the results of a trade with Stephen at The Easy Life. You can read about Stephen's side of the trade here.



I sent Stephen a bunch of 2008 Goudey cards, along with some 2008 Topps Heritage base and insert cards and about 40 assorted New York Mets cards.




In return, I got a few UD Baseball Heroes, 2008 Topps Heritage, and a few 2008 Goudey short print cards - all cards I needed as I inch ever closer to completing my sets.

...and as an aside, I'm NEVER going to try to complete a set with over 100 short printed cards again. The 2008 Goudey set is a beautiful set - but it's been proving almost impossible to find the cards I need... I jump at the chance to trade with anyone who is willing to trade me some of the cards I still need - including those elusive base cards I haven't pulled...



If you want to work out a trade with me, please check out my want list here and make an offer (or tell me what you have and what you want and I'll make an offer!)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Delivery Time! - Trade with Greg @ Night Owl Cards

Thanks to a much needed weekend, I have finally been able to sort through the different packages that I've received over the past week. First up is a trade with Greg from Night Owl Cards. You can find his description of the trade here.






I sent Greg a bunch of 2008 Topps Heritage cards, along with a couple of 1983 Topps, 2008 Allen & Ginter cards, and about 50 random Dodger cards from a variety of years. In return, Greg sent me:



2008 Allen & Ginter:
Ancient Icons: #1 and 4
Team Orange: #3
Minis: #25, #33 , #97, #137, #163, #166, #259, #291, # 295


2008 Topps Heritage:
Base: #371
Black Back: #126


2008 UD Masterpieces:
#35



2007 Topps Heritage:
New Age Performers: #1, #7, #14



2001 Topps:
#348


First, many thanks Greg! I'm now tantalizingly close to the 2001 Topps set and I've knocked a few more cards off my Heritage list. I'm also grateful for the A&G minis, the Team Orange cards were remarkable difficult to find, so any card I can get makes a great trade for me!

To everyone else who sent me something, rest assured they are in the process of being scanned, typed, and written up. I appreciate the trades and I look forward to many more!

If you are interested in a possible trade, please check out my needs list here!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

For Trade: 2008 Topps Allen & Ginter

2008 Topps Allen & Ginter For Trade
Last update: 12/14/08

Base Cards (for trade):
#1, 2, 3, 4, 5 (2), 8, 12 (2), 14 (2), 15, 17, 18 (2), 21, 22, 26 (2), 29, 30, 32, 34 (2), 36 (2), 40, 43, 44, 46 (3), 47, 48, 50 (2), 51 (2), 52, 53 (3), 54, 55, 61 (3), 65, 70, 74 (4), 79 (2), 80, 81, 82 (3), 85 (3), 88, 89, 92 (2), 93 (2), 94, 96 (2), 97 (2), 98, 100 (2), 101 (2), 104 (3), 108, 109 (2), 112, 116, 117, 122, 126 (3), 127 (2), 128 (4), 129, 132, 135 (2), 142, 143 (2), 146, 147, 148, 155 (2), 156, 157, 158, 160, 162 (2), 164, 169, 172, 173, 174, 179, 180, 184, 185 (2), 188, 191, 192 (2), 195 (2), 197 (2), 200 (2), 201, 207 (3), 210, 212, 22, 224, 227 (2), 233 (2), 234, 235 (2), 236, 237 (2), 243, 245, 246, 247, 252, 257, 259 (2), 263, 266, 267 (2), 268 (2), 272, 275, 276 (3), 277, 278, 279, 281, 282, 283, 286, 287, 288, 289, 290, 291, 293, 295, 296 (2), 292 (2), 299, 300

Short Print (for trade):
#308 (2), 311, 330, 337 (3), 342

World's Greatest Victories Inserts (for trade):
#13, 20

Pioneers of Aviation (for trade):
#PA5

US States (for trade):
#US3: Arizona - Brian Bannister (2)
#US4: Arkansas - Torii Hunter
#US10: Georgia - Nick Markakis
#US15 - Iowa - Casey Blake (2)
#US16 - Kansas - Nate Robertson
#US19 - Maine - Tim Stauffer
#US22 - Michigan - Jason Veritek
#US24 - Mississippi - Dmitri Young
#US25 - Missouri - Ryan Howard
#US29 - New Hampshire - Chris Carpenter
#US30 - New Jersey - Derek Jeter
#US32 - New York - Alex Rodriguez
#US33 - North Carolina - Ryan Zimmerman
#US39 - Rhode Island - Paul Konerko (2)
#US42 - Tennessee - Todd Helton
#US43 - Texas - Adam Dunn
#US44 - Utah - Brandon Lyon (2)

Contact me at fanofZZreds.auctZZions@gmail.com, (remove the ZZ’s) to set up a trade! You can find the link to my want list(s) on my main blog page.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Trades! 2008 Allen & Ginter for You?!

Last updated: 12/04/08

I've sent out a bunch of packages (and I have a bunch on their way to me). So far, my packages have found their way to Adam, Dan, and others that I couldn't find the links to anymore! With the recent success of trades, I decided to post a list of what I have - which I'll trade (however you deem fair) for cards on my want list. I've also updated my want list - I'm trying for the impossible...6 different 2008 sets!




I've gone through my 2008 Allen & Ginters. Now that I've finished my base set, the following are available for trade (first come, first served!):

Base (for trade):

#1, 4, 5 (3), 8 (2), 10, 12, 14 (2), 15, 17 (2), 18, 23, 26, 30, 34 (2), 36 (2), 40 (2), 41, 43, 46 (2), 47, 50 (2), 51 (2), 53 (3), 55, 61 (2), 74 (3), 79 (2), 80, 81, 82 (3), 85 (2), 90, 92 (2), 93 (2), 94, 96 (2), 97 (3), 100 (2), 101, 104 (2), 106, 109 (2), 112, 116, 117, 126 (4), 127 (2), 128 (3), 130, 135 (2), 143 (2), 144, 145, 154, 155, 156, 161, 162, 172, 173, 179, 180 (2), 184 (2), 185, 187, 188 (2), 190, 191, 192, 194, 195 (3), 197 (3), 200, 205, 207, 208, 211, 212, 215, 219, 220, 222, 223, 227 (2), 229, 233, 234, 235 (4), 236 (2), 237, 241, 246 (2), 257, 259 (2), 263, 265, 266, 267 (3), 268 (2), 271, 272 (2), 276 (3), 277, 279, 280, 285, 287, 288, 293 (2), 295, 296 (2), 297 (2), 299 (2)

Short Print (for trade):

#307, 308 (3), 311, 316, 323, 324, 325, 326, 329, 330 (2), 336, 337 (4), 340, 342, 343

Regular Mini (for trade):

#33, 40, 117, 137, 143, 168, 212, 249, 256, 257, 282, 294, 295

Short Print Regular Mini (for trade):
#319

World's Greatest Victories Inserts (for trade):
#4, 7, 13, 14, 17, 18, 20

The World's Leaders (for trade):
#WL15

Pioneers of Aviation (for trade):
#PA5

Again, check my NEEDS LIST and make an offer!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Reds: Could Drunk Monkeys Do Better?

Perusing one of my favorite Reds blogs, I stumbled upon this link.

With that, I've found a super secret tape transcript from the Reds front office. Unfortunately, you can't tell who is saying what, their names have been changed to protect the innocent stupid.



Reds' management member #1: "So uh, Corey Patterson filed for free agency."
Reds' management member #2: "Oh no, he was the leadoff hitter, we are doomed!"
Reds' management member #1: "I have an idea, some guy I used to manage..."
Reds' management member #2: "Oh good, your ex-players are always spectacular."
Reds' management member #1: "Yeah, they've learned from the best man."
Reds' management member #3: "Who was that one guy, catcher guy, real good for a week or so?"
Reds' management member #1: "You mean Bako? He's my boy dawg."
Reds' management member #2: "Bako filed for free agency too..."
Reds' management member #3: "Who'd want him!? Oh wait..."
Reds' management member #1: "No no, we've got a better option."
Reds' management member #2: "Who's that? Tell me quick so we can scoop him up before anyone else. Would $3 million be enough to pry him away from the competition?"
Reds' management member #1: "He's speedy quick fast man. Like, he's fast. And a veteran, knows how to play the game. And fast. Oh and he plays centerfield, so I'm obligated to bat him leadoff. And he's fast. Fast makes things happen. Keeps the bases unclogged. I'm telling you, he's fast. Perfect."
Reds' management member #2: "So here's our free agency money - let's spend it on this guy, we'll have a winning team for sure. Who should I make it out to?"
Reds' management member #1: "Dude's name is Taveras."
Reds' management member #3: "Didn't he hit something like .251 last year?"
Reds' management member #1: "Yessiree, he's got speed and he knows how to use it. He virtually never clogs the bases."
Reds' management member #2: "He's not a free agent, we've gotta trade. Who do you think is expendable?"
Reds' management member #1: "Well, Brantley told me that Edwin isn't clutch. Phillips whined last year about not winning the gold glove...he's overrated. And let's throw in Bailey because he's washed up."
Reds' management member #3: "I wonder if the Pirates have any front office openings..."



Sources:
http://bp1.blogger.com/_wYaiyljlvkY/Rn_Oja4z7OI/AAAAAAAAAA8/3oASVDiWz1s/s400/DrunkMonkey.jpg

Monday, November 10, 2008

2008 Topps Allen & Ginter: US States Review

With every passing day, I seem to get a card or two closer to completing the plethora of sets I'm attempting to build. In fact, today I set out my half of the trades to Stephen B., Greg G., and Daniel K. As I finish the different sets and insert sets, I try to post a review of them here for everyone to see... Today's finished set is the US States insert set in 2008 Topps Allen & Ginter.

The US States insert set consists of 50 cards, one for each state. Each card features the state flag and a player whom we can only assume was born in the state. A few states were a bit of stretch (Tim Stauffer for Maine and Seth McClung for West Virginia come to mind). Other states feature a legitimate star, including Derek Jeter of New Jersey and Ryan Howard of Missouri.



The cards are inserted approximately one per pack (both retail and hobby). Essentially, the cards are the "dummy" card found in many other brands. The cards are extra thick so as to discourage pack searched from finding the relics and autos. I, for one, appreciate having a "real" card as filler as opposed to a generic advertisement. Personally, the fact that Topps made the filler a 50 card insert set instead is pure genius. All of the sudden, people want the filler card as opposed to simply throwing them out!

As for the set itself, I like it. It's educational. Did you know the state flag of Ohio is a pennant? Did you know the state flag of Hawaii has the British cross on it? Did you know the state flag of Maryland looks like a drunken NASCAR fan crossed with a snobby Middle Ages elite designed it? You don't get that kind of knowledge from other brands folks.

The Bottom Line:
I give the 2008 Topps Allen & Ginter US States Insert set an 95/100.

Pros: Thick cards feel sturdy - much nicer than generic filler. No short prints within the 50 cards, so the set isn't too difficult to complete. One card per state, with a variety of teams and players represented means there is at least one card for everyone. The facts about the player on the back relate the player to the state - that's a nice touch! The insert set takes a hobby "necessity" (the dummy cards) and turns it into something that's truly collectible.

Cons:
None really. The biggest complaint is that the photos are kind of boring - but they clearly show the team of the player (which isn't mentioned on the card fronts), so even that probably shouldn't be changed. I would have like the cards numbered based on their date of statehood (rather than alphabetical).

---

Are you interested in the set? Now that I have completed my own set, I have a stack of doubles waiting to be traded away. The cards I have to trade are: (doubles indicated by parenthesis)

Last update: 11/12/08:

#US3: Arizona - Brian Bannister
#US4: Arkansas - Torii Hunter
#US8: Delaware - Ian Snell
#US10: Georgia - Nick Markakis
#US11 - Hawaii - Shane Victorino
#US14 - Indiana - Scott Rolen
#US15 - Iowa - Casey Blake
#US16 - Kansas - Nate Robertson
#US18 - Louisiana - Jonathan Papelbon
#US19 - Maine - Tim Stauffer
#US20 - Maryland - Mark Teixeira
#US21 - Massachusetts - Chris Capuano
#US22 - Michigan - Jason Veritek
#US25 - Missouri - Ryan Howard
#US27 - Nebraska - Alex Gordon
#US30 - New Jersey - Derek Jeter
#US32 - New York - Alex Rodriguez
#US33 - North Carolina - Ryan Zimmerman
#US34 - North Dakota - Travis Hafner
#US35 - Ohio - Nick Swisher
#US36 - Oklahoma - Matt Holliday
#US39 - Rhode Island - Paul Konerko (2)
#US42 - Tennessee - Todd Helton (2)
#US44 - Utah - Brandon Lyon
#US46 - Virginia - David Wright
#US48 - West Viginia - Seth McClung

You can find my want list here.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Cincinnati Reds: Good News That Must Be Shared

According to MLB.com, two more Cincinnati Reds players from last year filed for free agency: Paul Bako and Corey Patterson.

Now, as my loyal readers know, I thought of Patterson as a black hole of immense suckitude on the 2008 Reds team. MLB.com is slightly nicer to Mr. Patterson, stating that "His (Paterson's) average was tied with Detroit's Brandon Inge for lowest in the Majors among hitters with at least 375 plate appearances." That's "politically correct" speak for "Patterson sucks more than a Hoover".

I haven't had a lot to cheer for with my Reds, but perhaps they are finally willing to admit they were completely wrong on many personnel decisions last year (Bako, Patterson, Fogg, etc.). After all, isn't admitting you were wrong the first step to recovery?

Here's to 2009. Pitchers and catchers report in 98 days (thanks to the World Baseball Classic forcing many players to report a bit earlier than normal).



Sources:
http://www.cjshoppingmall.com/images/hoover_vacuum.jpg
http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20081103&content_id=3661821&vkey=news_cin&fext=.jsp&c_id=cin

Saturday, November 08, 2008

2008 UD Masterpieces 4 Pack Break

After a disappointing Penn State game (seriously, Iowa?!), I stopped by my local Wal*Mart for some baseball cards to soothe the pain. I picked up a box of Goudey because I'm addicted, a box of Baseball Heroes because that set has been elusive, and 4 packs of UD Masterpieces. Below are the UD Masterpiece pulls...

In the four packs, I managed to get 16 different base cards and a Yankee Stadium Legacy card, but no short prints. I don't know what the short print insertion odds are for this set, but I've decided it's a bunch of crap. I think I've only pulled ONE short print to date. That's inexcusable...almost as bad as the hundred or so short prints in the Goudey set...but that's a different story.

The cards I got (that I needed) were:

#8 Jim Palmer
#47 Prince Fielder - I can see why he went vegetarian...if an artist drew a picture of me looking like that I'd probably stop eating altogether.




#53 Carlos Beltran
#70 Jimmy Rollins
#75 Tony Gwynn - You can't go wrong with a card that features a uniform with brown, orange, and yellow trim.

#78 Barry Zito
#84 Jason Veritek
#88 Frank Thomas

I also pulled the following cards I already had (and thus, are up for trade immediately!)
#12 Wade Boggs
#41 Vladimir Guerrero
#48 Ryan Braun
#52 Ken Griffey Jr
#55 Johan Santana
#61 Mariano Rivera
#69 Chase Utley
#89 Roy Halladay


And finally, I pulled another Yankee Stadium Legacy that will go directly into the stack of 'em that I'll be listing on eBay shortly to try and get some of my card money back!
#YSL5810 - David Wells




Friday, November 07, 2008

Saying a Little Bit of Nothing About a Lot of Nothing

Work has kept me busy today, so I don't have anything exciting to report or write about.
This weekend, however, I should.

My Penn State Nittany Lions have another big game in their quest to remain undefeated...and hopefully find their way into the BCS title game.




My Steelers are preparing for the Colts - but now it appears they will be without their starting quarterback AND their starting running back (Parker).



My Cincinnati Reds are preparing to spend the offseason doing nothing. (Which is probably better than recent winters/springs when they've signed the likes of Corey Patterson and Paul Bako).



Finally, I've updated my have/want list for my baseball cards... Check it out.

That's all I got. Perhaps I'll get one of my LONG overdue mail call posts up tomorrow...

Sources:


http://rushthecourt.files.wordpress.com/2007/08/penn-state-logo.jpg
http://www.nflfootballstadiums.com/images/Pittsburgh-Steelers-Logo.gif
http://www.red-hot-mama.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2008/03/patterson_fail.jpg

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

2008 Topps Allen & Ginter: World's Greatest Victories Review

My 2008 Topps Allen & Ginter set is nearing completion. I've now managed to acquire the complete set of the base cards, the US State insert set, the Pioneers of Aviation insert set, the World's Greatest Victories insert set, the Baseball Icons insert set, and the World Leaders set. I still am missing 2 World's Deadliest shark cards and all 10 Team Orange insert cards. If you have any of those, or any other cards on my want list, please contact me to set up a trade!



The World's Greatest Victories insert set consists of 20 cards:
1. Kerri Strug
2. Mark Spitz
3. Jonas Salk
4. Man Walks on the Moon
5. Jon Lester
6. The Fall of the Berlin Wall
7. David and Goliath
8. Gary Carter and the '86 Mets
9. The Battle of Gettysburg
10. Deep Blue
11. The Allied Forces
12. Don Larsen
13. Truman Defeats Dewey
14. The American Revolution
15. 2004 ALCS
16. The Battle of Thermopylae
17. Brown v. Board of Education
18. Team Orange
19. Bill Mazeroski
20. Cinderella



Now, I really like the 2008 Topps Allen & Ginter set, but this insert set simply doesn't interest me. The cards are full-sized (unlike all the other inserts which are minis) - but that's ok. The real problem is the cards themselves. Observe:



The cards are flatout ugly. Compounding that, the subject matter of a "World's Greatest Victories" is suspicious at best.

I understand Gettysburg, David and Goliath, Brown v. Board of Education, and the American Revolution. It's a baseball card set, so I'll give it the 2004 ALCS (which apparently is trademarked, who knew?) and Don Larsen. The Fall of the Berlin wall is understandable, but how is "walking on the moon" a WORLD's greatest victory? What about Jon Lester, sure his story is inspiring - however he's but a small pawn in the history of the world...surely his baseball game exploits aren't on par to the greatest world leaders...not to mention that the Yankees have won the most World Series but the Red Sox are featured twice to the Yankees zero appearances (unless you count their loss to the Red Sox).

Even if you don't mind the subject matter of the set, the cards themselves are hideous. The fronts feature an oversized Allen & Ginter logo and a picture that is vaguely representative of the subject of the card. Topping it off, the cards have a cryptic code (part of their contest to see who gets in the 2009 set) on the top and bottom of the card - and ugly "shield" type icons on both sides. At least the backs of the cards feature some true information about the subject, but it's not enough to save this set.

The Bottom Line:
Overall, I give the 2008 Topps Allen & Ginter World's Greatest Victories insert set a 20/100.

Pros: Full-size cards a nice change of pace from the mini cards. The backs of the cards feature some historical information.

Cons: Subject matter not indicative of the 20 biggest victories of all time in the world. Card fronts couldn't be much uglier if a chimpanzee with a sharpie designed them.

Are you interested in this set? As I mentioned, I've completed my set - and I have the following extras available for trade:
#4: Man Walks on the Moon
#7: David and Goliath
#13: Truman Defeats Dewey
#14: The American Revolution
#17: Brown v. Board of Education
#18: Team Orange
#20: Cinderella

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Someday Soon - I hope.

Over the weekend, I happened to shuffle to this song on my iPod, by one of my favorite bands that you've probably never heard of, Great Big Sea. The lyrics essentially sum up how many of us feel (from both parties). With the election of Barack Obama over John McCain, here's to hope, change, and a better tomorrow.

Someday Soon - by Great Big Sea

They keep talking of the things they'd do if we'd only vote them in
One more dollar and all the bickering and suffering would end.
If you'd sign your 'X' in favour it's three jobs for every man
You can burn your boats, thats what they said,
It seemed they had it planned.
And I hope they haven't forgotten, the promises they made

[Chorus:]
Cause they said they'd stop the fighting
And they said they would bring peace
And they said they'd find a serum that can cure all our disease.
And they said they'd house the homeless
And put black and white in tune
And they said they'd feed a hungry child
And I hope it's someday soon

Saw a man sleep in an alley lane with a paper for a bed
And the headline shown beneath the man and this is what they read,
"If elected there would be no persons living in the street"
But the paper couldn't even provide shelter for his freezing feet.
And I hope they haven't forgotten,
The promises they made

[Chorus]

Well they said it would be so different, if we'd would only play their games
And I've been playing for so long and I swear its still the same!

[Chorus 2x]

Join me tomorrow when it's a return to the sports blog you all know and love. There's a "mail call" blog entry that is long overdue coming up soon!

Source:
Lyrics from: http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/greatbigsea/somedaysoon.html

Monday, November 03, 2008

Election Day.

It's election day!

Let me remind you that it's not over until that last vote is cast and counted...
...and don't take my word for it, check out this 2008 Topps Allen & Ginter "World's Greatest Victory" card for a historical reminder.


No matter what else you are doing tomorrow, make sure you take time to vote. Remember - you have NO RIGHT to complain about the next president if you don't vote, it's that simple.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

2008 Topps Allen & Ginter Pioneers of Aviation Review

My 2008 Topps Allen & Ginter baseball card set is getting closer to completion each day. (See what I still need here.)

As I complete the different parts of the set (inserts, base set, etc.), I thought it might be interesting to take a look at the different cards. The Allen & Ginter set is interesting because the vast majority of the inserts (and a substantial portion of the base cards) feature non-baseball figures and objects. The Pioneers of Aviation insert set is one example of the "off beat" nature of the set.



The Pioneers of Aviation insert set contains 5 cards. The cards are an unlisted set, so the odds are unknown (rumor has it 1 or 2 per case, similar to the Deadliest Sharks set).

The set includes:
PA 1: Ornithopter (inspired by the designs of Leonardo da Vinci)
PA 2: Linen Balloon (designed by Jean F. Pilatre de Rozier and Marquis d'Arlandes)
PA 3: Piloted Glider (first built by George Cayley)
PA 4: Aerial Steam Carriage (patented by William S. Henderson)
PA 5: Aerodrome (created by Samuel P. Langley)

Despite the small set size, the Pioneers of Aviation set is quite interesting. The cards all mini sized, so the drawings aren't large - but they do show enough detail. For instance, the Ornithopter shows a guy who appears to be pedaling a bicycle-like contraption through the air! Apparently, you can build your own ornithopter, though it's not quite the same as da Vinci's design... There's also a site devoted to ornithopters that "operate comfortably at parking lot speeds of 0 - 15 mph." I don't know about you, but if I'm airborne, I want to be going faster than 0 mph...

The Bottom Line

Overall, I give the Pioneers of Aviation set a 90/100 for two main reasons. First, the first time I pulled one of the cards it was exciting because it was an unnamed insert set. Second, the set made me learn a little bit about something I knew nothing about...and now I know of two websites devoted to ornithopters!

Pros: Small set size. Interesting topic, never done before to the best of my knowledge.

Cons: Difficult to find. Official insertion odds unknown. Very little actual information about the subjects on the card.

---

Are you interested in this set? I have some extras I'm willing to trade for other cards on my list. From the Pioneers of Aviation set, I have:
PA1: Ornithopter
PA4: Aerial Steam Carriage
PA5: Aerodome (3 copies!)

Source:
http://www.ornithopter.com/