Saturday, October 31, 2009

Delivery Time! Trade with Paul from Carl Crawford Cards

What does a 2009 Allen & Ginter Sketch card plus a few assorted Tampa Bay Rays cards get a person? If you trade with Paul from Carl Crawford Cards, the answer is a nice stack of 1985 Topps cards from my want list! (If interested, Paul was way ahead of me in posting his side of the trade, you can find it on his blog here.)

Here's what Paul sent me:

1985 Topps:

1. Carlton Fisk

9. Bruce Sutter
10. Don Sutton
20. Chet Lemon
46. Gary Woods
192. Howard Johnson
282. Shawn Abner

402. Pat Pacillo
411. Bobby Cox
415. Ron Darling
418. Ken Landreaux
440. Fernando Valenzuela
444. Tony Phillips
498. Ed Romero

506. Frankling Stubbs
507. Ray Fontenot
538. Keith Moreland
539. Aurelio Lopez
552. Chris Codiroli

555. Bob Stanley

Many thanks Paul! And, as always, if anyone else would like to work out a trade, check out my want list and make an offer!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Pack Pair Wars: 2009 Fan Pak

It's been quite awhile since I've been able to purchase any new cards. Thanks to the end of the month (and the corresponding paycheck), a quick trip to Target allowed me to replenish the 'ol card cabinet with fresh packs to bust.

First, I saw box full of "Fan Pak" packs. A cheap pack with six different things in it - sounds good enough for me to try out...even if that savings is from a result of not spelling the word "pack" correctly on the wrapper.

For a little fun, I decided to purchase to "Fan Paks" and have a pack war with them. Scoring will be more arbitrary than usual...and if you've seen past pack wars, you know the scoring is extremely arbitrary to start with!

First the closest thing to typical baseball cards:

Pack 01:
Top Story 09. Vladimir Guerrero (o points. I never disliked Vlad, but I've never really liked him either.)
Top Story 23. Rick Ankiel (1 point for his nice comeback after his disastrous pitching career, but then -1 point for being a Cardinal, so 0 points overall.)

Pack 02:
Top Story 07. Red Sox World Series Champs: (ooh, not a good start pack two. I don't like the Red Sox much - and the '04 season is a big reason why the Red Sox are almost as annoying as the Yankees today. Minus 4 points.)
Top Story 16. Ichiro: Ah, that's better. I never minded the Mariners - and Ichiro is a fun player to watch. +1 point.
Current standings:
Pack 1: 0 points
Pack 2: -3 points
Ouch, the "Fan Pak" has been a "Dud Pak" so far.

Next, each pack contained two pop up cards:

Pack 01:
Jose Reyes (Ugh, a Met. Reyes isn't my least favorite Met, but still, he calls New York home... Minus 2 points for that.)
Carlos Zambrano (Heh, a Cub and a Met in the same pack. Not cool "Fan Pak", not cool. Minus 1 point.)

Pack 02:
Jimmy Rollins (Hey, a Phillie! +1 point for that, +1 more point as an extra incentive to beat the Yankees in the World Series. Total +2 points)
Brian Roberts (The Orioles have always been a team I have no problem rooting for. It's a shame that they've only managed to be marginally better than the Reds this decade... +1 point for Mr. Roberts.)

Current standings:
Pack 1: -6 points
Pack 2: 0 points
Oh my. There might be a reason why these packs paks were only $1.99 each...

And now for the first of the one-ofs, a MLB Trivia & Mini Games card:

Pack 01: The front of the card has a zoomed in picture of the Red Sox logo (minus 1 point), a triple play question that includes 2 (out of 3) questions from pre-1900 trivia (old history is cool, +2 points for that), and a "name that mascot" challenge dealing with the Tigers (+1 point, +1 more because I didn't know the Tigers mascot's name was Paws.) The back includes the full Red Sox logo (minus another point), a Did You Know dealing with the difference between Spring Training Leagues (yep, I did know, minus 1 for not teaching me anything new), and a Baseball, Paper, Scissors icon in the top right corner of Scissors (0 points). If that icon was Spock it would have been an automatic win for pack 1 - just sayin'. Grand total: +1 point.

Pack 02: The same basic information as the card in pack 1, so let's briefly summarize the points. (Oriole logo on front, +1. Trivia where the Reds is an answer, +3. Name the Pirates mascot, +1. On the back, full Oriole logo +0, Did You Know factoid about the mud - I did know but it's actually interesting, +1. Name of the Pirate's mascot - Pirate parrot, seriously? That's dumb...minus 1. Paper for the Baseball, Paper, Scissors thing...guess I need to give Pack 1 an extra two points because Pack 1's scissors beat Pack 2's paper. Total for pack 2: +5 points. Revised pack 1 totals: +3 points.

Current standings:
Pack 1: -3 points
Pack 2: 5 points

And finally, tattoos - because of course you don't can't possibly have a Fan Pak without tattoos!

Pack 01:
Reds (Oh yeah. Finally a Reds related something for pack 1. +5 points.)
Homer! (Chicks dig the long ball right? +2 points)
Weird Baseball icon thing: (Eh, this doesn't do anything for me. 0 points)

Pack 02:
Yankees (Boooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo. -3 points)
Brewers (Booooo. -1 point)
Strange MLB logo (Booooooring. 0 points)

Current standings:
Pack 1: 4 points
Pack 2: 1 points

So there you have it! Pack 1 pulls off a crazy win thanks to the Reds tattoo. I'm not sure these two "Fan Paks" were really meant for me though - not a single actual card of a player that I'm a fan of. Oh well - it was fun... Everything listed is available for trade - check out my want list and make an offer.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

500 (+1) Posts!

I happened to look at my edit post page as I was getting ready to type another "Delivery Time" post when I noticed it said 1-100 of 502 posts. Holy smokes - my last post was #500 on this blog (I've got 2 more typed and waiting in the queue)!

It's been an interesting transition - I started blogging over at Sporting News a few years ago - but a lot of drama combined with shoddy customer service convinced me to start my own blog. After that, it slowly morphed from a outlet for me to offer commentary on the Reds to a full blown baseball card blog with the occassional post on cooking, origami, or whatever else struck my fancy that day.

I started this blog on June 17, 2008. After a bit of a slow start, it really began to take off....

And now that I'm firmly entrenched in my second year here at Nachos Grande, I'm happy to report that I'm averaging about 3,000 viewers a month.

Of course, I wouldn't still be blogging after all this time if I didn't have great readers who regularly trade with me and/or comment on my blog entries - so for that, I'd like to offer up a heartfelt thank you to everyone who's ever stopped by my blog!

As for future posts, I'm getting ready to post a second round of "Clunkers" - hopefully within the next couple of weeks. I'm also still trying to complete a plethora of sets, so if you have anything on my want list I'd love to try and work out a trade.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Delivery Time! Trade with Sooz from A Cardboard Problem

Awhile back I ran my first "Cards for Clunkers" on my blog where I offered up a bunch of cards I deemed "clunkers" with the hopes of nabbing some cards off of my own want lists. It turned out to be a great success - in part because of Sooz from A Cardboard Problem.

I was able to unload a couple of clunkers (a 2009 Topps Gold Joba Chamberlain and a 2008 Topps Chrome XFractor of Phil Hughes, plus a few assorted Yankees for good measure) in return for two cards off of my want list...

2009 Topps Heritage
Short print:
460. Cleveland Indians Coaches

Baseball Flashbacks:
BF6. Frank Robinson
Not only did I need this card, but it's a Red! Extra awesome in my eyes!

That trade worked out well for me, I got rid of a bunch of Yankees AND I was able to acquire two more cards from my 2009 Topps Heritage set. I still have a bunch of 2009 Topps Heritage cards available for trade and I still need quite a few more. Thanks a lot Sooz! And, as always, if anyone else would like to work out a trade, check out my want list and make an offer!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Delivery Time! Trade with Tim from Great Sports Name HOF

The midpoint of the college semester occurred about a week ago - which means that as a professor the busy time is now as I have to grade all those exams, quizzes, and midterms! As such, I've fallen a bit behind in my blogging...not to mention the fact that I have a couple of envelopes that I really need to mail out - and hopefully I can work out some new trades as my mailbox has been full of nothing but bills for the last week!

One of the trades that I neglected to write up is from Tim over at the Great Sports Name Hall of Fame blog. Tim sent me a bunch of 1991 Score cards that I needed in exchange for "future considerations." Well, his future considerations have been fully considered and will be in the mail this week - as for my end of the deal, here's what Tim sent me:

1991 Score:

445. Andre Dawson

480. Fred McGriff
523. Jack Clark

528. Greg Vaughn
677. Donovan Osborne

741. Rico Brogna

752. Randy Hennis
756. Phil Clark
813. Mosies Alou
825. Ozzie Smith

Many thanks Tim (and I promise, your package will be in the mail this week)! If anyone else would like to work out a trade, check out my want list and make an offer!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Barry Larkin Collection 33: 1993 Topps Black Gold #11

Barry Larkin
Brand: Topps
Subset: Black Gold
Card number: 11

The 1993 Topps set holds a special honor in my personal collection - it's the first set I can recall buying cards for and hoping to "pull" something special, in this case, a Black Gold card. Of course, my luck when it comes to pulls out of packs is usually pretty poor so I never did experience the joys of cracking a Black Gold card. However, years later my father gave me a complete set of 1993 Topps, including the Black Gold insert set - you can imagine my excitement when I found out that I had TWO Black Gold cards featuring Barry Larkin!

Of course, while the cards were rare, in hindsight they aren't overly special. In fact, the front of the card is almost downright boring with a big splotch of black taking up the majority of the card (I know, I know, black gold, black dominates the card, etc. I don't care, it's still boring). The back of the card features a second photo of Larkin with what can only be described as rather horrible photoshopping - eesh, why a bright white border around part of Mr. Larkin?!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Delivery Time! More Cards from Greg at Night Owl Cards

Awhile back, Greg from Night Owl Cards had a call for Clayton Kershaw autographs - which I was able to answer thanks to the contents of one of the many Allen & Ginter boxes that opened this past summer. As part of the trade, Greg said he'd keep an eye out for another Allen & Ginter relic (since I'm crazy and am slowly trying to collect them all)!

Well, the other day a yellow envelope appeared in my mailbox from Greg and I knew that it must contain a relic card. After eagerly opening it up, I was surprised by finding a few other extras that Greg threw in, including an Allen & Ginter mini I needed, a 1991 Score card that I needed, and a super sweet Pacific die-cut Barry Larkin card that I had never even seen before, let alone owned!

Here's a sampling of what Greg sent me:

2009 Allen & Ginter:

AGR-DAW2: David Wright

Regular mini:
165 Chase Utley
Black bordered mini:
266. Johnny Cueto

Sweet, another mini off my want list - and a black bordered Reds card that I didn't have. Thanks!

1991 Score:
681. Dan Wilson

By my count, knocking this card off my want list means I only need another 2,423 1991 Score cards...or so it seems - this set is huge!

2009 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions:
145. Joey Votto
Dear baseball card companies. Please stop showing Joey Votto in that hideous camo jersey. Seriously. Thanks.

1992 Fleer Ultra:
186. Tom Browning
I've always been a sucker for this set, even though I probably only own about 30 cards from it. It seems remarkably classy for set born in the early 90s. Take from that what you will I guess.

Thanks a lot Greg! If anyone else would like to trade, please check out my want list and make an offer!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Delivery Time! Trade with Joe from The Priceless Pursuit

A couple of days ago, Joe from The Priceless Pursuit issued a call for help in tracking down the last few 2008 Upper Deck Baseball Heroes cards he needed for his set. I was able provide him with two that he was missing in exchange for the always alluring, slightly mysterious "stack of Reds."

Well, Joe delivered the Reds - 24 of them, including two Barry Larkins (that I didn't yet own) and a bunch of other awesome cards! Here's a small sampling of what Joe sent me:

2003 Fleer Authentix
49. Adam Dunn
Here's the set that Topps was "inspired by" when they designed the 2009 Topps Ticket to Stardom. I haven't bought a single pack of Ticket to Stardom, but from all written accounts on the various blogs it seems that the Fleer set is a better all around set - especially in regards to card stock.

2004 Fleer Tradition
478. Trio Prospects (Sledge, Hall, & Claussen)

A quick look at those "prospects" and you can see why my beloved Reds haven't had a winning season this decade...

2004 Topps Cracker Jack
109. Austin Kearns
I missed this set when it came out - but I've been toying with the idea of buying a hobby box of it online. I hesitate because I'm worried no one has many of these left to trade (because I know I'll want to complete the set as soon as I start it)!

2007 Upper Deck Goudey
139. Brandon Phillips
Dear card companies, please don't ever make minis of this particular size again. I would prefer the Allen & Ginter / Goodwin Champions mini size to become the "standard" mini size. Thank you, that is all.

2008 Upper Deck Baseball Heroes
50. Johnny Bench
Oh sure, I have this set complete already - but anytime a Reds fan gets a Johnny Bench card in a trade he almost has to scan it and show it off!

Many thanks Joe - and good luck acquiring those last couple of cards for your set! As always, if anyone else would like to work out a trade with me, check out my want list and make an offer!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Prizes for Me! Part 3 of 3: Goodwin Champions plus extras!

I've already about the first two prize packs I opened here and the second two prize packs here. It's now time to open the final prize pack plus take a look at the other goodies that Brian from Play at the Plate sent me!

2009 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions
Pack 5:

45. Peyton Manning
114. Michael Jordan
141. Bobby Orr

24. O.J. Mayo

I certainly don't mind the occassional non-baseball card in my packs - but it seemed like quite a letdown when I opened that pack up and I didn't get a single card of a baseball player...That's the problem with only 4 cards in a pack Upper Deck, I hope you are listening!

In addition to the promised prize packs, Brian also sent over a generous sampling of Reds cards plus two 2008 Stadium Club cards that I still needed.

2008 Topps Stadium Club:
114 (version b): Michael Aubrey
144 (version b): Justin Ruggiano

Assorted Cincinnati Reds - including an autograph of former Red Rob Bell (with a very much unflattering photo) and a 2002 Topps Archive card of Cepeda, Mays, and Frank Robinson.

Many thanks Brian!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Prizes for Me! Part 2 of 3: Goodwin Champions

Earlier I posted the first part of a prize package from Brian over at Play at the Plate. Here's the next two prize packs. Part 3 will feature the final pack plus the other "goodies" that Brian included.

2009 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions:

Pack 3:

14. Donovan Bailey
41. Ted Williams
121. Dustin Pedroia

245. Rick Ankiel
Meh, 2 out of the 4 cards were Red Sox. Not much exciting in this pack, though I'll never complain about pulling a Ted Williams card - I love the "old timers" in new sets!

Pack 4:
104. Nate McLouth
118. Bucky Dent
I love the Pirate logo on the front of the McLouth card. Did the Pirates ever use that as an official logo or did Upper Deck just throw it on there for fun? Questions need answers people.

Animal Series:
AS-10. Giant Panda
Uhm, a panda? I didn't know this insert set existed until I opened up this little guy staring back at me behind a card of Bucky Dent. Still, I like eccentric so I like this card quite a bit!

68. Matt Ryan

I mentioned last time that I hadn't opened any packs of Goodwin until Brian sent me these. Although I've seen plenty of the cards featured on different blogs, I hadn't exactly made up my mind on whether or not I liked the set. After opening four packs, I think I put my finger on what I DO like about the set as well as what I DON'T like.

I do like:
* The photos. Much more interesting (in general) than Allen & Ginter photos - though I'm a sucker for the A&G type card and never, ever would want Topps to change the basic formula.
* The minis. Another similarity to Allen & Ginter.
* The offbeat inserts. Seriously, a Giant Panda? That's cool - and it beats pulling some stupid crap like Upper Deck 20th Year Anniversary Commemorative Giant Set That No One Wants (or whatever they call it).

I don't like:
* The aforementioned Upper Deck giant insert set that plagues all their products. It's even worse than the Yankee Stadium Legacy because I at least had people who were willing to trade for the Yankee Stadium Legacy cards to take them off my hands.
* Only 4 cards in a pack. If I buy a pack of baseball cards, I expect to get some baseball players...seems like a fair assumption. However, with only 4 cards, it's awfully easy to feel cheated in the "baseball" department...and there are packs that exist with ZERO baseball players in it (hint: my last pack)!
* The thin card stock. I don't know why, but it feels "cheap."
* The backs of the base cards. Boring!
* The different levels of short prints. Ugh. I'm a set collector, so I'm used to tracking down short print after short print...but at some point enough's enough.

Once again, thanks a lot Brian!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Prizes for Me! Part 1 of 3: Goodwin Champions

A few days ago, Brian over at Play at the Plate held a contest where each participant had to guess a number. Hey, I'm a mathematician, I know lots of numbers - which obviously means the contest was right up my alley! Well, it wasn't quite that easy, but thanks to some counting, estimating, integrating, deriving, and rounding, I came up with the correct answer to his question. My prize? A bunch of Goodwin Champions packs...some opened, some not opened.

Confused? You shouldn't be - at least, you won't be after the third part of the prize is posted!

Here's the first two unopened packs (which just so happened to be the first two packs of Goodwin Champions that I've opened this year)!

Pack 1:

28. Brian McCann
67. Josh Beckett

148. David Price

213. Erik Bedard

Pack 2:

79. John Lackey

66. Buffalo Bill Cody
160. Mike Parsons

120. Stephen Drew

Thanks a lot Brian! There's still plenty more prize cards to come though - so stay tuned!

As for my thoughts on Goodwin Champions:

1. Nice cards though it's impossible NOT to compare this set to Allen & Ginter - heck, there's even a mini card in each pack.
2. The biggest complaint - only 4 cards per pack, and only 3 base cards per pack.
3. The backs of the cards are boring. Yes, I still like to actually look at my cards - and a gray back with minimal stats, no color, no pictures...that's just boring. Even the team logos on the back are boring in a black outline form. Blech.
4. The minis are nice - I like's why I try to collect every mini in the Allen & Ginter set. So far I'm trying to be strong and not get sucked into Goodwin Champions too...

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Per Yahoo! Sports:
Yankees 13th inning:
Cabrera safe at first on second baseman M. Izturis' throwing error, J. Hairston Jr. scored, R. Cano to second

There you go Angels - down 2 games to 0 thanks to a game ending error.

Maybe it's good my Reds never seem to make the playoffs, I was stressed out watching this game and I don't even like the Angels all that much (though they are certainly the lesser of two "evils" in this case).

Postseason predictions now that they are halfway over:

Phillies win in 6
Yankees win in 5

World Series:
Phillies win in 6

Obviously* the best time to make sports picks is when you are angry.

*complete and total lie, unless my picks end up accurate in which case "I told you so."

Friday, October 16, 2009

Delivery Time! Cards from Dan of Saints of the Cheap Seats

More yellow envelopes - this one is a jam-packed envelope courtesy of Dan from the excellent Saints of the Cheap Seats blog. Dan and I have completed a bunch of trades over the last year or so, so I already knew he was a generous trader, however, the latest package blew me away as it was basically "for future considerations."

Dan sent me a big 'ol stack of 1985 Topps, I'm slowly but surely whittling down my want list for that set. The '85 Topps set is one of the few Topps sets from the 80s that I don't have complete! He also threw in some Reds (including two Barry Larkin cards that I didn't yet own) and a couple of other cards from my assorted wantlists.

Here's a brief sample of some of the cards Dan sent:

1985 Topps:

2008 Upper Deck Timeline from my want list:

Assorted Cincinnati Reds:
I like the Sweet Spot cards. I have only ever bought one tin of the stuff (from Target) and wasn't impressed...but this is a nice card - I bet I would have bought more Sweet Spot had I actually pulled a player that I like.
Alright, I'm puzzled by this one - what set is it from? No matter, I love the card...I just need to figure out what set it is so that perhaps I can buy some more!
And finally, a couple of Topps Finest cards. I'm always thankful when people trade me higher end cards - I don't have any hobby shops near me to be able to pick up a pack or two of stuff like that...and there's no way I can ever buy a full box of this stuff, way out of my budget. Therefore, anytime someone sends me some "high end" Reds it's almost a 100% chance it'll be a card that I didn't have!

Thanks a lot Dan! If anyone else would like to trade, check out my want list and make an offer!