Thursday, April 30, 2009

Barry Larkin Collection 14: 1991 Fleer #68

Barry Larkin
Year: 1991
Brand: Fleer
Card Number: 68

Ah yes, the bright yellow set. The '91 Fleer set will probably go down in baseball card history as one of the most recognizable sets of all time. The "action" shots on the front, the profile pictures on the back, full stats and a bio's what every baseball collector ought to want...if only it weren't for that bright, banana yellow border surrounding everything!

Actually, I have soft spot in my heart for the '91 Fleer set. It features, not 1, not 2, but three different Barry Larkin cards (so that's a plus), plus it was the first set the I collected where the team cards were ordered with consecutive numbers. Since I always liked to sort my cards by team, and by card number, this was the first set where I didn't have to decide which was the "better" way to sort the cards!

Looking at the '91 Fleer card makes me think I really ought to go back through my '91 Fleer set and figure out which cards I'm still missing - I doubt it's too many.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Nachos Reading

Not a lot of interesting news on the baseball card front, though I am almost done with three different versions of the 2009 Topps set (obligatory want list link here) which is exciting.

However, the world of politics has exploded with all sorts of news.

First, from my great state of Pennsylvania, Arlen Specter decided he'd rather be a Democrat than lose in the Republican primaries. Reaction in my local paper was mixed - though I suspect that most people don't really care since Specter has sort of been a bit of a swing vote anyhow. If there is one thing that is certain, it's the Specter didn't become (and stay) in government for this long without knowing how the political machine works - and to his credit, he knows how to grease all the right gears.

As a quick aside, why do people say "my great state of.." all the time anyhow? Does anyone ever say "my horrible, no good, rotten, lousy, miserable state of..."?

Second, in the world of political pundits, the challenge gauntlet has been thrown. Keith Olbermann challenged Sean Hannity to undergo waterboarding for charity. It seems that Hannity claimed that waterboarding wasn't torture, Olbermann said it was, and a few off the cuff remarks later Olbermann had $1000 per minute of waterboarding that Hannity could stand on the table (for the families of US troops).

Now that'd be some reality TV if nothing else...who wants to bet that FOX makes that their next reality TV show? It's certainly disgusting and revolting enough that they'd consider it.

Finally, as Obama hits 100 days in office, he has to deal with more than a struggling economy, two unpopular war fronts, and job layoffs - he now has the swine flu to contend with. Apparently, he has already stated that infected schools will probably have to close. The flu is already a big deal, and it will probably really take off in the media now that the US has reported its first Swine Flu death.

Because if there's one thing we know, it's that the America public doesn't really care about something until it somehow affects them or, at the very least, the United States.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Delivery Time! Surprise Package from Duane at Democratic Roadkill

More yellow envelopes of goodness, this time from Duane at Democratic Roadkill blog.

Here's what Duane sent me:

2009 Topps (white bordered):

146: Glen Perkins
180: Cliff Lee
247: Yuniesky Betancourt

This set is now complete, now it's onto the black bordered and throwback (old school) sets since I'm a sucker.

2009 Topps American Heritage:
89: Will Rogers

This is the last of the "regular" cards I needed from the American Heritage set - all I'm missing are some of the short prints...but I'm sick of political cards so I'm not sure I'll be buying them.

2008 Upper Deck Goudey:
HPC-11: Joe Montana (Hit Parade of Champions)

Another card from the Hit Parade insert set. I've been slowly completing this set...

Assorted Cincinnati Reds:

1994 Upper Deck Electric Diamond:
217: Brian Koelling

230: Willie Greene
437: Tony Fernandez

Who the heck is Brian Koelling? I thought I knew all the Reds but he escaped my memory. Of course, with an .067 batting average in 1993 most pitches escaped his bat. According to the back of his card though, he "is a burner on the basepaths who could infuse some speed into the Cincy offense." Sounds a lot like the current Reds team - at least in terms of batting average...

2001 Upper Deck Vintage:
321: Chris Stynes
323: Steve Parris
328: Aaron Boone

It's hard to not like this, despite it being a rip-off of Topps.

2006 Topps Allen & Ginter:
102: Brandon Claussen

I never bought any of this set, so any cards from it are appreciated!

Plus one Barry Larkin card that I won't "spoil" here since it's one that I didn't have yet - it will get its own post in the future!

Many thanks for the genorosity Duane. If anyone else wants to work out a trade, check out my want lists and make an offer!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Delivery Time! Trade with Kerry from Cards on Cards

Sometimes good things have to wait - such was the case with a package that Kerry from the Cards on Cards blog sent me. About a month ago, Kerry sent me a package that knocked a bunch of cards off of my want lists - AND he included a bunch of Cincinnati Reds cards including a bunch of Barry Larkin cards that I didn't own!

In return for the cards Kerry sent me, I sent a mini Target Topps Heritage insert, a bunch of 2008 Topps Heritage cards, a Heritage chrome card, and a UD Timelines gold card.

Here's what I got:

2008 Upper Deck Timeline:
74: Justin Ruggiano
92: Robinzon Diaz
157: Travis Hafner
180: Evan Longoria
299: Felix Hernandez

316: Ian Kennedy
318: Chin-Lung Hu
338: Kosuke Fukudome

I really like the Timeline set, but I don't know if I'll ever be able to finish it. Besides the 8 cards that Kerry sent me, I've received virtually NO cards in trades...and buying a third hobby box is a waste of money since I already have the entire base set, plus most of the "easy to find" short prints. I guess I could find a site and buy all the missing singles...but I'm not sure I want to do that either.

2008 Upper Deck:
706: Calli Crabbe

SQ-49 (common): Joe Mauer
SQ-28 (rare): Brandon Webb

I'm down to only needing 8 base cards from the 2008 Upper Deck set. Unfortunately, it seems that no one has any of these left to trade...

2008 Topps Heritage:
514: Brandon Backe
RP7: Jeff Samardzija (Rookie Performer insert)

I'm close to having the 2008 Heritage set complete as well, mostly missing a few short prints (and I think a base card or two) from both the low series and high series.

2009 Topps (white border):
11: Fernando Tatis
17: Bobby Cox
46: Brad Ziegler
55: J.J. Hardy
180: Cliff Lee
187: Jon Garland
194: Jeremy Guthrie
197: Ronnie Belliard
203: Jair Jurrjens
220: Jay Bruce
247: Yuniesky Betancourt
268: Chris Burke
275: Alex Rios
283: John Baker
294: Brandon Boggs

306: Javier Vazquez
317: Jarrod Saltalamacchia
320: Miguel Cabrera

This group completed my 2009 Topps white bordered set. I'm still looking for 7 of 2009 Topps Wal*Mart black bordered cards and a few more of the 2009 Topps Target old school variation cards.

Assorted Cincinnati Reds:
31 different Reds cards, over 60% of which were new to me!

Plus, another 8 Barry Larkin cards - ALL of which I didn't previously own! I won't show any of those here as they will be incorporated into my "Barry Larkin Collection" posts!

Many, many thanks Kerry for the AWESOME package. Between all the cards I needed, the Barry Larkin cards I didn't have, and the assorted Reds, this was definitely better than opening up a $20 blaster! As always, if you want to set up a trade with me, check out my want list and make an offer!

Barry Larkin Collection 13: 1991 Donruss #471

Barry Larkin
Year: 1991
Brand: Donruss
Card Number: 471

The first series of the 1991 Donruss set featured a Diamond Kings version of Barry Larkin. The second series featured Larkin's actual base card. With the Reds bright red uniforms and the bright green Donruss Series 2 borders, this card looks like it should have been a Christmas card special...much like those Christmas Ornaments that Pacific randomly inserted into packs around the turn of the millenium...
As for the card itself, it's not one of my favorite Larkin cards. In fact, of the 13 cards that I've scanned and written about, this one is probably my least favorite. That's ok though, because the next few Larkin cards to be featured include a couple of my all-time favorites!

Image source for the ornament card:

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Contest - Last Call

The deadline to enter my contest is 11:59 PM EST today (Sunday). I've got 10 entries so far - it's an easy to win some free cards or some other equally awesome prize. it's back outside to enjoy this 90+ degree weather in central Pennsylvania!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Party like it's 1990. Contest time!

The Reds and Pirates are at the top of the standings (with the Cardinals) - the Cubs, Brewers, and Astros are at the bottom of the standings. Nice.

NL Central Standings (as of 4/24/09 1:04 AM EST)
St. Louis Cardinals (11 - 5)
Pittsburgh Pirates (9 - 6)
Cincinnati Reds (9 - 6)
Chicago Cubs (8 - 6)
Milwaukee Brewers (6 - 9)
Houston Astros (6 - 10)

So here's the deal - can you name the 6 division leaders on May 24? That's the target, one month from today. Who will be the division leader (or will there be a tie for division lead on May 24?)

I'm thinking some sort of prize ought to go out to the first person who correctly guesses the 6 division leaders - but you've gotta be the first to comment with all 6 division leaders correct (or more than 6 if you predict ties(s)).

For the record, I'll give you my predictions (don't copy me!)
NL East: Florida Marlins
NL Central: Cincinnati Reds (why not, it's my blog)
NL West: Los Angeles Dodgers
AL East: Toronto Blue Jays / Boston Red Sox (tie)
AL Central: Chicago White Sox
AL West: Texas Rangers

Leave your predictions in the comments section - a prize (of something to be determined) for whoever gets the 6 leaders correct (and first, in case of a tie).

Entry deadline: Sunday, April 26 at 11:59 PM EST.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Delivery Time! Surprise Package from Jeffrey at Card Junkie

I know I'm getting behind when I have not one, not two, but three envelopes of cards from the same person! Jeffrey from the Card Junkie blog recently sent me three regular envelopes containing cards that I need for my sets - this time, a bunch of 2009 Topps Heritage cards.

Here's what he sent me:

47: Ryan Theriot
119: Wilkin Castillo

151: San Francisco Giants
192: Jeff Baker
230: Mound Magicians
321: Denard Span
336: Paul Byrd

377: Alex Rodriguez

Many, many thanks for your generosity Jeffrey! If anyone else wants to work out a trade (or just send me cards, I like that too!) check out my want lists and make an offer!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

RBI Baseball Meets the 21st Century

Gotta love YouTube:

Warning: Rough Language - probably not safe for work.

NOTE:  The video that used to be here had to be removed as it would no longer play.

There's always something fun to watch - especially when your baseball team is stinking up the place. I actually didn't play much of RBI baseball - but I do remember playing a lot of "Cal Ripken Baseball" and then later "Ken Griffey Jr Baseball" on the Super Nintendo. Good times.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Delivery Time! Trade with Jason

Another yellow package - this one courtesy of blog reader Jason who sent me a surprise package of 5 2009 Topps white bordered cards and one 2008 Upper Deck Masterpieces short print card.
Here's what I got:

2009 Topps:
5: John Lackey
6: Raul Ibanez
53: Jonathan Sanchez

86: Kila Ka'aihue
95: Andrew Miller

2008 Upper Deck Masterpieces:
97: Carlton Fisk

Many thanks Jason! I like the '09 Topps set a lot (hence why I decided to go nuts and collect all three versions), but I love the UD Masterpieces set even more! Many, many thanks Jason - the surprise was appreciated! (However, what happened to your blog - the link says it no longer exists!) If anyone else wants to work out a trade, check out my want lists and make an offer!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Delivery Time! Trade with Andy

The goodies in the mail just keep coming - in fact, I've been getting envelopes in the mail MUCH faster than I've been able to write posts about them! One of my recent packages came courtesy of blog reader Andy.

Andy and I agreed to a rather large trade. He sent me a 2 inch stack of Topps Heritage cards and five 2009 base Topps cards. In return, I sent Andy a stack of 2008 Allen & Ginter cards and a smaller stack of 2009 Topps Heritage cards.

Let's dig in and see what cards are about to be added to my set binders:

2009 Topps:
147: Howard, Wright, Gonzalez
180: Cliff Lee
187: Jon Garland
319: Brian Fuentes
LG3: Christy Mathewson

2009 Topps Heritage:
9: Brad Hawpe
10: Hanley Ramirez

13: Garret Anderson
14: Jeremy Sowers
17: Adam Lind
23: Andy Sonnanstine
24: Marco Scutaro
30: Grady Sizemore
34: Ian Kinsler
44: Dana Eveland
46: Brandon Backe
47: Ryan Theriot
49: Doug Davis
51: Aaron Laffey
54: Jonathan Papelbon
57: Win Savers - Shields & Rodriguez
61: Jorge De La Rosa
75: Ryan Garko
86: Jose Lopez
107: Jo-Jo Reyes
108: John Buck
116: Emil Brown
123: Will Venable
140: Lou Marson
143: Alcides Escobar
147: Aaron Cunningham
153: Jacoby Ellsbury
155: Jeff Kent
156: Salomon Torres
158: Gregor Blanco
159: Shin-Soo Choo
161: Jose Valverde
164: Cincinnati Reds

169: Joe Nathan
177: Joakim Soria
178: Jhonny Peralta
195: Ryan Franklin
196: Alex Gordon
199: David Purcey
204: Baltimore Orioles
216: Terry Francona
227: Eric Wedge
230: Mound Magicians - Beckett, Lester, & Matsuzaka

256: Luis Castillo
258: Jack Wilson
259: Kosuke Fukudome
265: Justin Upton
272: Scott Olsen
274: Matt Garza
281: Mike Jacobs
285: Chase Headley
296: Mike Pelfrey
303: Barry Zito
310: Mike Lowell
316: Wilson Betemit
321: Danard Span
322: David Murphy
325: Brad Ziegler
327: Kyle Lohse
329: Edwin Encarnacion
339: Miguel Olivo
357: Vicente Padilla
360: Gavin Floyd
363: Coco Crisp
367: David DeJesus
373: Andy LaRoche
377: Alex Rodriguez
386: World Series Game 2
396: Gary Sheffield
401: Dan Uggla
402: Adam LaRoche
418: Armando Galarraga
424: Erik Bedard

2009 Topps Heritage Inserts

BF1: Mickey Mantle
NAP5: Chase Utley
NF3: Weather Satellite - Tiros-1
TN8: Friend & Lee

Many thanks Andy, now my Heritage set is much, much closer to completion! If anyone else wants to work out a trade, check out my want list and make an offer!

7 8 9

Stumbling around (a great website by the way - check it out if you haven't already), I found this mathematical gem by one of my favorite bands - the Barenaked Ladies. Here's their song "7 8 9".

Best lyrics: "Once upon a time in our solar system, we couldn't make do without 9, but Pluto's not a planet now, so 8 will do fine."

That's pure mathematical genius folks. Happy Monday.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Barry Larkin Collection 12: 1991 Donruss #5

Barry Larkin
Diamond Kings

Year: 1991
Brand: Donruss
Card Number: 5

For Reds' fans and collectors, 1991 was a major turning point in sports cards. The Cincinnati Reds won the 1990 World Series by defeating (sweeping!) the mighty Oakland Athletics - which really got the attention of the different sports cards manufacturers. 1991 saw an influx in Cincinnati cards, especially in regards to the "stars" of the team, of which Barry Larkin was certainly one!

This 1991 Donruss card is an example of their famous Diamond Kings subset that spanned a number of years. The blue border may clash with the Reds uniform, but the card itself is pretty nice. However, I believe that this card is an example of a Larkin card that hasn't held up well into the 21st century. I think all of the Perez sketches in Allen & Ginter have really made me dislike his work - so much so that I'm not sure why he's so famous, many of his portraits don't look anything like the player they are supposed to be representing!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

It's Always Funny Until It Happens To You...

Pittsburgh 10 - Atlanta 0. (story)

Sure, the Pirates are divisional rivals of the Reds and I ought to cheer against them. Of course, with the string of bad luck / lousy management that the Pirates have had (since about 1990), you almost have to be lacking a soul to truly root against them in April.

Cleveland 22 - Yankees 4. (story)

As a Steelers fan, I hate the Cleveland Browns. As a baseball fan, I hate the New York Yankees - but I like Cleveland alright despite them being the other Ohio team.

And then, wham. All that good karma just went out the window with:

Houston 7 - Cincinnati 0. (story)

Ugh. And with Aaron Harang on the mound no less (he being one my fantasy pitchers...I took a beating tonight).

I guess there's always tomorrow for Reds, Yankees, and Braves fans.

Nacho Cheesing: Volume 01

In today's world, there's a plethora of 24-hour news stations, plenty of online news sources, and even news beamed directly to your mobile phone. However, even with the constant attention to the "big" stories (like what the latest celebrity did or did not say or perhaps who they did or did not marry or divorce), it's still easy to miss some of the other stories...the stories that are more the melted gooey cheese on the plate of the nachos of life. (In other words, these stories won't help you at all, but they make those nachos so much more delicious).

Volume 1

The economy sucks - but you didn't need me to tell you that. Everyone is looking for ways to reduce their costs, but do your cost avoidances earn you up to 5 years in jail? A woman from my home state of Pennyslvania did just that. According to this report, Dorthea Hunt owed her electric company over $1500. Instead of paying off the bill or working out some sort of legal arrangement, she decided it would be easier to forge a federal bankruptcy seal in order to force the electric company to leave her power on. Sure that sounds incredibly stupid to most of us, but look at it this way - Ms. Hunt will have electricity for the next 5 years while she sits in a flourescent light brightened jail cell.

Speaking of things that suck, how about those Nationals? Perhaps they should look overseas at another team clad in red and white and learn a few pointers to help them retain the few fans they still have. The football (or soccer) team Energie Cottbus recently played an away match in which they lost 4-0. The team issued a press release after the match saying the Energie Cottbus' players would be reimbursing the cost of admission for the 600 fans who traveled to watch the Energie Cottbus team lose its sixth game in the last seven attempts.

Until next time, keep eating those nachos - remember, you're only young once.

Image source:

Gone Fishin'

No seriously, I'm spending my Saturday fishing.

A great win by the Reds tonight, a drive back to my apartment, and then up and at 'em early in the morning...should be knee-deep in a stream within an hour or so of now...

Enjoy your Saturday everyone!

Image source:

Friday, April 17, 2009

Barry Larkin Collection 11: 1990 Upper Deck #167

Barry Larkin
Brand: Upper Deck
Card Number: 167

One of my favorite early 90's Barry Larkin cards - the running shot, combined with the running man logo on the front makes for a great card front. The back shows Larkin at bat, probably slugging a homerun and beating the at-the-time-NL-West-division-rival Dodgers! The stats running sideways (and thus difficult to read when in a binder) bug me, but the rest of the card is excellent.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Delivery Time! Trade with Larry

Another package in the mail, another bunch of cards knocked off the 'ol want list! This time, it's a package from Larry - a valued reader of my blog! Larry and I agreed to a trade of Goudey (for him) and Goudey/Topps (for me). Larry sent his package out quite quickly, whereas I finally got his in the mail today!

Here's what I got in exchange for 9 different 2008 Goudey Short Prints:

2008 Upper Deck Goudey:
210: Ryan Sandberg
223: Whitey Ford
227: Willie McCovey

With these cards tucked away in my binder, I'm about 25 cards short of the entire 2008 Goudey set! The short prints have been quite difficult to find, especially the last few since it seems I'm one of the few people still working on this set.

Hit Parade of Champions:
HPC-12: Joe Namath

2009 Topps:
Turkey Red:

TR3: Jimmie Foxx
TR20: George Sisler
TR22: Cliff Lee
TR34: Kelly Johnson
TR50: Tris Speaker

Once again, many thanks Larry! If anyone else wants to work out a trade, check out my want lists and make an offer!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Barry Larkin Collection 10: 1990 Upper Deck #99

Cincinnati Reds Checklist - Barry Larkin
Brand: Upper Deck
Card Number: 99

The 1990 Upper Deck was one of the first sets to portray Larkin as the face of the Reds. This particular card holds a special spot in my heart simply for the list of ballplayers on the back - most of whom played a large role in the Reds only World Series victory of my lifetime! Names like Sabo, Rijo, Dibble, and Davis are enough to make any Reds fan remember the only good year in the past 2+ decades of Reds baseball!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Delivery Time! Trade with Topher from Crackin' Wax

I love mail!

Trading is one of the best parts of my blog (since I don't get free product nor do I make anything off of those ads over there because no one clicks on them...)! This time, I agreed to a swap of cards with Topher from the Crackin' Wax blog.

I sent Topher a bunch of Twins cards from a variety of sets, in return, he knocked off a bunch of cards from some of my want lists. Let's see what he sent me:

2008 Upper Deck:
69: Jim Edmonds
104: Takashi Saito
221: Tim Wakefield
333: Josh Newman
369: Jake Peavy If that's not an iconic picture, I don't know what is! Peavy looks like a giant banana out there.
606: Pedro Feliz
630: Mark Prior

2009 Topps (white border):
3: Andy Marte

146: Glen Perkins
182: Daniel Murphy

203: Jair Jurrjens
306: Javier Vazquez

LG12: Mel Ott

2009 Upper Deck Spectrum:
8: John Smoltz

24: Jim Thome

Many thanks Topher! And if anyone else wants to work out a trade, check out my want lists and make an offer!