Sunday, January 31, 2010

Nachos Grande: Month in Review

I'm stealing inspired by the same concept over at Phungo.

Now that the end of the month is here, it's time to take a look at the good, bad, and ugly:

The good:

I managed to knock off a bunch of cards from a variety of sets on my want list, especially 2009 Topps, 2009 Allen & Ginter, 1991 Score, and 2008 Topps Heritage. I also received a smattering of cards from other sets throughout the month.

I busted a total of one hobby box (2008 Topps Heritage High Series), a five 2009 Heritage High Series blasters (three here and two more here), and a tin of 2009 Upper Deck Sweet Spot (more on that in a moment).

Throughout all of that, the best pull of the month was easy - this Robin Roberts relic card out of the 2008 Topps Heritage High Series box.

The bad:

I still haven't found a single pack of 2010 Topps available for purchase at any nearby big box store. I finally broke down and purchased a jumbo box of 2010 Topps from Atlanta Sports Cards - I've never dealt with Atlanta Sports Cards so I'm hopeful everything will work out nicely. Through the month of January, I've accumulated a measly three 2010 Topps cards, all thanks to Sooz in a trade this month.

And finally, the ugly.

It wasn't a terribly ugly month, but the 2009 Upper Deck Sweet Spot tin from Target took the "honors." The whole thing was a piece of poo, saved only because I was able to trade away a few of the cards for things I actually wanted.

The only other "ugly" for the month was the Bipping epidemic that has plagued blog-land (is that better than blogosphere, I fear it isn't). I got hit once...and I have a sneaking suspicion that the Bippings are quite over with...

So there you have it, the good, bad, and ugly for January 2010. See you in February!

Delivery Time! Trade with Sooz from A Cardboard Problem

I had a Derek Jeter parallel card that Sooz wanted (along with a Topps Heritage card), she had some 2008 UD Timeline cards that I needed.

Wham. Bam. Thank you ma'am.

First, the 2008 UD Timeline cards:
75. Max Scherzer
131. Randy Johnson
286. Ryan Howard

324. Brian Bocock
384. Mike Parisi
Woo, this trade helped fill out a few chunks of the UD Timeline set. I'm now only missing 35 cards (#214, 217, 228, 232, 235, 248, 249, 255, 262, 274, 276, 279, 288, 300, 302, 304, 308, 309, 332, 334, 336, 337, 339, 340, 341, 344, 345, 347, 356, 361, 363, 366, 373, 374, 375) from the set. I now have the regular base set, short printed rookie set, Minor League style set, All-Time Heroes set, and 1995 SP Top Prospect set all complete! If you have any of those cards, I have a TON of cards from the set available for trade - take a look and make an offer! I'd really, really like to finish this set off before the 2010 sets kick into gear, though I fear that might be wishful thinking.

...and, as an extra bonus, Sooz threw in three 2010 Topps Cincinnati Reds cards...which just so happened to be the first three 2010 baseball cards I've got my hands on since no retailer near me seems to have the set in stock!

79. Francisco Cordero
113. Willy Taveras
262. Homer Bailey

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!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Nachos Grande Ranks MLB: #15 - Arizona Diamondbacks

Nachos Grande favorite MLB teams from #30 - #1.

Throughout the offseason (and possibly beyond depending on time), I thought it’d be interesting to rank the Major League Baseball teams in terms of how much I like and/or dislike them. Of course, everyone knows my favorite team is the Reds, and probably everyone knows what my least favorite team is too…and so I’ll be writing up the team reports in an arbitrary order to keep things interesting. In the end, you’ll have my entire list. Also, ALL cards shown on each team's write-up are available for trade.

#15. Arizona Diamondbacks

The Diamondbacks are a tough team for me to talk about. They are relatively new, have had relatively few famous players, and start there games close to midnight EST. That said, they did beat the Yankees in the World Series so that's a major plus! Not only that, but the 2001 World Series was the first World Series that occurred when I was in college, I'll probably always remember the floor of the dorm yelling and screaming throughout that game 7 - a bunch of the people on my floor were Yankees fans...and the rest of us were "fans of whoever was playing the Yankees." Good times!

However, other than that World Series, the Diamondbacks are mostly a team of "who's that"? ...much like the Reds are to most fans I would imagine, not too many players that make the highlight reels on Baseball Tonight. And speaking of "huh, who?" Take a look at that 1998 Diamondback card, it's easy to see why it must be so difficult to start a baseball team and have success...

Of course, not all the Diamondbacks are no namers - the team does have one of the best pitchers in the game - Brandon Webb! And, much like I try to collect all Barry Larkin cards, there's a Brandon Webb collector out there too!

Team pros:

They beat the Yankees in the 2001 World Series...and Eric Byrnes approves.

Team cons:

Other than the fact that they get little exposure on the East Coast, there's not a lot negative about the Diamondbacks...


To me, the Diamondbacks are the perfect "vanilla" team. I don't love them, I don't hate them. I don't mind watching them play, but I don't mind missing their game if something better comes up. They are wonderfully generic...much like that yellow background card of D-Back star, Chris Young.

Nachos Grande Ranks MLB:
7. Baltimore Orioles
9. Colorado Rockies
15. Arizona Diamondbacks
26. San Francisco Giants

Friday, January 29, 2010

Nachos Grande Gets a Big Pile of Bipped!

Back when I first started blogging, Matt from Heartbreaking Cards was super kind and overly generous in sending me two packages of cards I wanted for free. I thought that was amazing and really provided the proof that the baseball card blogging world is completely different than the cut-throat, cheating, scamming* baseball eBay world...
*yes, I'm bitter.

Once I got my blogging under control, I managed to return the favor twice with a pair of packages containing cards off his want list. I was rather certain he'd appreciate the cards and I knew that I owed him for his earlier kindness. At that point, it seemed that everything was even Steven...

And then, just like that, the entire blog trading process was dealt a big, fat grenade of Bip-ness...

Tick, Tick, Boom.

Oh but that wily Matt wasn't mean about, not at all. In fact, he was condescendingly nice - he even gave me a second sticky note saying "here ya go, have fun, and oh yeah, there's a Bip-trap just waiting for you*" just in case I didn't believe the first note.
*or something like that, I don't know. I don't like to read...I do math remember?

And so it was.

Matt did throw in some other cards though, you know, cards I actually wanted - mostly Reds from the 80s and 70s (extra cool since I own embarrassingly few 1970s cards). He also through in a slick, shiny Aaron Harang card (which I blame for distracting me from the Bip-ness that *ooh, shiny* ... where was I?)

Finally, Matt threw in three Barry Larkins, and somehow, I didn't own any of them before - so that's extra awesome...each of them will get their own Barry Larkin Collection post in the future so I won't spoil the surprise. I will, however, show some of my favorites amongst the "other" Reds that I got with the Bipness.

And thus, I will begrudgingly thank you Matt for that package of poo (with a side of awesome). And yes, revenge shall be mine - but in the true spirit of Bipping, I won't take it out on the guy who got me...oh no, that wouldn't be fair.

Watch out blogging world, this Bipping just got personal - and you might be next.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Delivery Time! Reds Cards from Jack at All Tribe Baseball

I made the mistake of changing Calculus textbooks for my class I teach over the Christmas break, which means I have to redo all my old lessons, homeworks, and exams... As such, my mailbox has filled up with trades, envelopes, and even a bipping (!) but I haven't had time to plot my revenge post about them. Hopefully I've managed to get things back under control so that I can get back into regular posting!

One of the packages in my mailbox was an envelope from Jack over at All Tribe Baseball. Jack and I have been swapping packages back and forth for awhile now - and every time he seems to find some more awesome cards that I don't yet own!

Here's a sampling of some of the great cards:

2004 Topps Total
Brandon Claussen - Autograph

I miss the old Topps Total, a gigantic set, no gimmicky short prints, all one series...It was a fun challenge. My only problem with the Topps Total line was that, in general, I found the design to be too boring to warrant opening up 200 or so packs. That said, I do like this autograph - and it's the first autograph card I think I've ever seen from Total. The clean, no frills design works well to highlight the auto - even if it looks like Brandon wrote his name in Sanskrit.

2008 Topps
Matt Belisle - Gold Parallel (#1064/2008)

Every time I get a gold card, whether by trade or by pulling it from a pack, I wonder if anyone has ever successfully put together an entire gold set... I know that I managed to put together the 2007 Topps Heritage Chrome set (of which there were fewer cards made per card), but Chrome cards were statistically easier to pull per pack if my memory is correct. I guess that might be a fun challenge to take on some year when I really, really like the design of the base set.

2007 Bowman Heritage
Ken Griffey Jr.

The Bowman Heritag set is pretty cool - and it's one that I wish I would have bought more of when it came'd be a nice one to have complete! The only gripe I have with this particular card is that shiny sunglasses seem to contradict the old-school feel of the Heritage line.

2000 Topps Chrome
Sean Casey

One of the most common complaints about the baseball card industry is that (at least up until this year) there were too many brands and too many product lines. For me, the Topps Chrome line was always a relatively easy choice for me to ignore. I figured it was more beneficial to focus on other sets that weren't shiny copies of cards that I had collected earlier in the year...especially when the packs were moderately pricey with too few cards. However, as time goes on, I'm really liking the Topps Chrome brand more and much so that I think this year will be the first year that I make an honest effort to collect the entire set!

And finally, Jack sent me a bunch of Barry Larkins. Most of the Larkins I didn't have - and the the three that I did have (pictured below) are great additions because now I can have a Larkin in both the set binder and the player binder!

Thanks a lot Jack - and, as always, I'll be keeping my eyes open for any Indians I might pull. If anyone else would like to work out a trade, check out my want list and make an offer!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Barry Larkin Collection 39: 1990 Topps #10

Barry Larkin
Brand: Topps
Card number: 10

The 1990 Topps set is the first set that I had a ton of as a kid. At the time, my father used to buy me packs of cards when he went to the grocery store - and the store must have had 1990 Topps on sale constantly (along with 1991 Score)! As such, the '90 Topps set holds a special place in my collector's heart as the set that really launched me into collecting cards!

Unfortunately for me, this particular Barry Larkin card is an exceedingly boring card. The front features Larkin sitting in a dugout looking quite glum - perhaps he is glum because he knows he'll soon be surrounded by a blue and white border with a yellow nameplate - ick. This card must break almost every artistic rule there is about color composition...

The back of the card features a yellowish card stock with Larkin's full stats (up to that point in time of course). I do like the little "monthly scoreboard" feature at the bottom of the card, it provides a different take on statistics rather than the usual... I think this feature was eventually transfered to the Stadium Club line of Topps cards.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

2008 Topps Heritage High Series Hobby Box Break

Everyone else seems to be buying 2010 Topps cards...but my local Target doesn't have any so I'm stuck purchasing hobby boxes off of eBay with the hopes of completing some of the sets on my want list before 2010 begins in earnest! As it turns out, I think I was an idiot for purchasing this turns out that I hardly needed any '08 High Series cards...and the ones that were missing were mostly inserts - whoops! At any rate, I've got a bunch of these available for trade now!

2008 Topps Baseball Updates & Highlights Presents 2008 Topps Heritage High Number Series Hobby Box
(seriously, that's the official title of this set on the box)
I got a bunch of base cards, including the last two I was missing. All the others are up for trade.

Black Back Variation:
523. Jose Molina
531. Ryan Doumit
532. Willie Blooomquist
541. Jon Rauch
545. Justin Masterson
557. Dallas Braden
563. Doug Mientkiewicz
579. Jose Guillen
595. Clayton Kershaw
597. Sidney Ponson
619. Blake DeWitt
621. Jeff Samardzija
639. Mike Redmond
653. Alfredo Amezaga
655. Angel Berroa
682. Zach Miner

Short Prints:
677. Ryan Langerhans
689. Eric Patterson
691. Oliver Perez
692. John Lannan
703. Matt Stairs
707. Wilson Betemit
710. Eric Hurley
712. Jack Hannahan

C204. Ryan Dempster
C210. Kosuke Fukudome
C213. Joe Crede
C236. Glen Perkins
C257. Troy Percival
C288. Joel Pineiro
C296. Brian Moehler
C297. Aaron Miles

All of these are available for trade - perferably for a 2009 Topps Heritage Chrome card that I need off of my list!

Rookie Performer:
RP 14. Justin Masterson
Finally, an insert that I needed!

Then & Now:
TN9. Early Wynn & Jake Peavy

FB2. Tim Lincecum
FB6. Albert Pujols

Chrome Refractors:
C213. Joe Crede
C300. Jay Bruce

I'll keep the Bruce but the Crede is available.

Buyback card:
402. Hector Lopez

Clubhouse Collection - Relic:
HCC-RR. Robin Roberts

Now that's a cool Heritage relic. A piece of an old uniform, complete with a stripe - very, very nice! Easily one of my favorite relics that I've ever pulled!

Monday, January 25, 2010

2008 Topps Heritage (Low & High Series) for Trade

Last update:  6/28/16

2008 Topps Heritage (Low & High Series) for Trade:

Base - Low Series: 30, 50, 74, 78, 110, 111, 119, 121, 146, 149, 152, 171, 171, 184, 212, 214, 214, 214, 216, 241, 247, 251, 269, 272, 272, 289, 293, 319, 323, 323, 328, 328, 335, 335, 351, 351, 351, 351, 356, 357, 357, 374, 376, 382, 384, 387, 393, 406, 406, 460, 476, 476, 476

Base - High Series:
501, 501, 503, 503, 503, 504, 508, 508, 510, 511, 512, 515, 520, 522, 522, 523, 526, 530, 533, 534, 535, 535, 536, 536, 536, 537, 537, 537, 540, 544, 544, 546, 547, 547, 550, 551, 552, 553, 555, 555, 556, 558, 559, 560, 561, 564, 564, 566, 566, 569, 570, 570, 571, 572, 574, 575, 575, 576, 586, 589, 589, 590, 591, 593, 605, 605, 605, 605, 606, 608, 608, 610, 611, 611, 615, 616, 617, 617, 618, 622, 623, 625, 627, 628, 629, 631, 631, 632, 633, 634, 635, 636, 636, 637, 640, 641, 641, 642, 645, 646, 646, 646, 656, 658, 663, 667, 667, 667, 669,  673, 675, 678, 679, 683, 683, 684, 720

Black Back Variations:
3, 18, 40, 42, 60, 78, 82, 91, 92, 92, 98, 126, 175, 177, 177, 180, 197, 211, 226, 228, 264, 265, 266, 283, 286, 322, 322, 323, 332, 335, 336, 347, 531, 532, 532, 532, 539, 541, 545, 549, 557, 557, 563, 563, 579, 579, 579, 595, 597, 597, 619, 621, 621, 621, 639, 639, 649, 653, 655, 655, 659, 682

Baseball Flashbacks (Low Series):
BF 6.  Frank Robinson - Cincinnati Reds

HTCP6.  Joey Votto - Cincinnati Reds

C235.  Vicente Padilla - Rangers  #0710/1959

As always, check out my want list and make an offer!

Delivery Time! Trade with Nico from NrMt Cards

Awhile back, I posted some 2009 Upper Deck Spectrum cards that I had for trade. Nico, from the NrMt blog, claimed a bunch of them promising to send me a Barry Larkin card he was sure I didn't have plus some Reds. Well, Nico delivered all counts.

First, he sent me a bunch of Reds - including my favorites:

2003 Upper Deck Honor Roll - Ken Griffey Jr.
Now that Mr. Griffey Jr. is no longer a Red, the Reds don't have the marquee name to fill every insert set in a given base set... I suppose that Joey Votto may become that player in the future, but for now, if I want a Reds' insert card I'll most likely have to go back to early-to-mid 2000 sets and find Griffey cards. That said, this is a pretty nice card. It's classy, even if it has the slighlty goofy combined HR monogram for "Honor Roll".

2008 Upper Deck Baseball Heroes - Johnny Bench
I already own this entire set - but it's still a great card of a player that I can only wish I had been able to see play live...

2005 Fleer - Jason LaRue

I was never much of a fan of Jason LaRue, but I do like the 2005 Fleer set - it's got a nice late 80s vibe to it...much like LaRue's mullet.

2005 Donruss Leather & Lumber - Adam Dunn
Let's play a game with this card. Was Dunn included in the "Leathers and Lumber" set for his:
A. Glove
B. Bat
C. Both

If you answered (A) you are probably reading the wrong blog or else you completely suck at guessing.

2008 Topps - Year in Review - Brandon Phillips
Not a lot to say about this card other than the fact that I like it! It's one of the many newspaper-themed insert sets that I think has actually been done quite nicely.

Nico also sent me a Barry Larkin card that I didn't have (and I suppose he was sure to be correct since the card is also serially-numbered). That card will get its own post in my ongoing Barry Larkin Collection series.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Barry Larkin Collection 38: 2004 Leaf Certified #17 - Relic

Barry Larkin
Brand: Leaf
Subset: White Warrior Relic (#ed/200)
Card number: 17

While I'm not sure who decided to sign off on the insert name "white warriors," this Barry Larkin card is a beauty! Thanks to Paul over at Card Crawford Cards, I am now the proud owner of what is probably one of the all-time shiniest Barry Larkin relic cards!

The front of the card features a shot of Larkin running the bases and has a decent-sized window showcasing a swatch of jersey (complete with a red stripe running top to bottom). The back of the card has the typical "certificate of authenticity" and is serially-numbered 128/200.

Overall, I love this card. I'm usually more of a fan of the throwback type sets...but for whatever reason this particular card really impresses me. I think the combination of shine, nice photography, great jersey swatch, and serially number really makes this card seem "special." Of course, I don't usually ever buy anything high end so perhaps that's why this card has me so transfixed!

Friday, January 22, 2010

2 More Blasters of Topps Heritage High Series

Thanks to the sale of a bunch of video games on eBay, I had some discretionary money available to spend on baseball cards. I headed down to Target since rumor has it they have 2010 Topps cards in stock...but alas, my Target apparently is the last store in the nation to get new cards. So, instead of keeping that $40.00 in my pocket, I grabbed the last two blasters of Topps Heritage High Series on the shelf with the hopes of taking a chunk out of my want lists. Not quite as exciting as new product, but hopefully beneficial to my collection. Let's dig in.

Base cards:
Out of the two blasters, I pulled 34 base cards that I needed which was many more than I expected! I also ended up with a bunch of doubles which have been added to my list of 2009 Topps Heritage cards for trade list.

Short prints:
Six short prints out of two blasters, not bad. Even better, I needed all six of the short prints!
692. Brett Anderson
694. Colby Rasmus
701. Ivan Rodriguez
703. Jordan Zimmerman
712. Nate McLouth
717. Randy Johnson

More good news, five chromes...and I needed them all!
CHR125. Michael Saunders
CHR137. Jose Contreras
CHR139. Jhoulys Chacin
CHR151. Fernando Martinez
CHR168. Nolan Reimold

Then & Now:
Boo. Double. It's up for trade at least...
TN5. Roger Maris & Ichiro

Rookie Performers:
The inserts in Topps Heritage aren't exactly exciting...but at least I needed this one.
RP-05. Nolan Reimold

More inserts that I needed...not much else to say about these. I'm basically sick of the "Flashbacks" insert lineup that Heritage always seems to feature.
FB-01. Jonathan Sanchez
FB-06. Albert Pujols

Well, once again I was able to beat the odds and ended up with a relic. The Hamels is up for trade though - especially for some short prints or "hits" from 2009 Allen & Ginter that I don't yet own.
CC-CH. Cole Hamels

While it was a bit disappointing not to bust some packs of new product, I can't complain about the two blasters. I was able to knock a substantial chunk of cards off my want lists - and if you have any cards on my want list please contact me and we'll work out a trade!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Delivery Time! Trade with Brian from Play at the Plate

Awhile back, I had the unfortunate experience of opening a couple of 2009 Topps T206 packs with miscut cards. However, thanks to Brian from Play at the Plate, one man's trash (i.e. mine) became another collector's treasure. This wasn't the first trade I had completed with Brian (you can read about the first one here on his blog).

In exchange for the miscut Rangers card, Brian sent me a bunch of Reds as well as 4 Barry Larkins (that will get their own post eventually)! Here are a couple of Topps T206 cards cut correctly...

Plus a sneak peak at the Larkins...

And finally, a card of Travis Dawkins - better known as Gookie Dawkins to Reds fans.

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

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Delivery Time! Trade with Duane from Democratic Roadkill

Duane (from Democratic Roadkill) and I recently completed our sixth trade - and (as usual) the latest swap involved a bunch of Allen & Ginter mini cards. I sent Duane a bunch of Ad back mini cards and he, in return, sent me some regular back minis plus a couple of mini inserts. Let's take a peek.

2009 Allen & Ginter
Regular back minis:
22. Mariano Rivera
26. Charles Goodyear
62. Dan Uggla

64. Jordan Zimmerman
82. Justin Verlander
89. Elvis Andrus
125. Randy Johnson

147. Coco Crisp
184. Chris Young
185. Dustin Pedroia
190. B.J. Upton
345. Carlos Delgado

National Heroes:
NH18. Severyn Nalyvaiko
NH36. Joan of Arc
NH38. David Ben-Gurion

Many, many thanks Duane! I'm creeping ever so slowly towards completion of all the Allen & Ginter mini inserts and regular back minis! In fact, I'm now only mising 5 cards out of the National Heroes insert set! Thanks again Duane, and if anyone else would like to work out a trade -check out my want list and make an offer!