Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Delivery Time! Trade with Blog Reader Jonathan

If there is one thing I've noticed about blog trading, it's this:  Trading goes in waves.  Back when the 2010 Topps base set first came out, people were trading cards left and right...and then not too long after, the entire trading scene mostly dried up.  Flash forward a few months (and to when Topps re-released its base cards along with a chance at a Strasburg shiny card) and the 2010 Topps base set is a hot commodity amongst collectors again!  That's good news for because while I haven't bought a retail pack in over half a year, I am still looking for plenty of 2010 Topps cards!

Note:  I also have a whole bunch of 2010 Topps cards for trade, both base cards and lots of inserts.  You can find the full list here.

The latest package comes from blog reader Jonathan (who I don't think has a blog).  Jonathan knocked a whole bunch of 2010 Topps cards off my want list, so let's take a look!

2010 Topps:
Cards Your Mother Threw Out:
CMT32.  Ryne Sandberg
CMT62.  Yogi Berra
CMT65.  Duke Snider
CMT68.  Brooks Robinson
CMT88.  Rickey Henderson
CMT105.  Derek Jeter

I really like the CYMTO set - but I really hate the original back idea.  Mostly because I know in the future I'll have to look extra carefully at every single card to make sure it isn't some sort of crazy reprint from Topps.

T2.  Gordon Beckham
T8.  Buster Posey
T10.  Evan Longoria

Another funky insert set from Topps.  The 2020 set is kind of neat, though it's almost a bit dizzying when you look at the set in 9 pocket pages (which is how I keep all my sets)!  These three marked the last three cards I needed from this particular insert set, so it's another thing to completely erase from my want list!

Peak Perfomers:
PP-18.  Mickey Mantle

PP-29.  Roy Campanella
PP-53.  Ubaldo Jimenez
PP-68.  Andre Ethier
PP-78.  Mark Reynolds
PP-84.  Jim "Catfish" Hunter
PP-92.  Joey Votto

Finally, the Peak Performers that Jonathan sent me.  For whatever reason, it appears most people don't like this set - though I don't know why.  It seems to be the perfect collection of old and new players, and plenty of teams represented.  Oh well, I like the set and I'm excited to get that much closer to completing it!

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

Monday, August 30, 2010

Delivery Time! Trade with Blog Reader Tim

Another day, another trade complete!  The latest is a swap from blog trader Tim.  I sent Tim a whole pile of 2010 Topps "When They Were Young" cards along with 4 of the 2020 insert cards.  In return, Tim knocked a bunch of cards off of my want list!

2010 Topps:
Cards Your Mother Threw Out:
CMT-53.  Alfonso Soriano
CMT-81.  Willie McCovey
I'm now getting closer to finishing this set off.  I'm only missing card numbers:  1, 3, 23, 29, 30, 33, 44, 47, 56, 66, 86, 95, 96, 106, 111, 112, 113. 

Legendary Lineage:
LL-43.  Mike Schmidt & Alex Rodriguez
This is the last card that I needed for the Legendary Lineage insert set!  I love being able to finally knock a complete insert set off my want list!

Peak Performers:
PP-20.  Mark Teixeira
PP-29.  Roy Campanella
PP-45.  Jackie Robinson
PP-92.  Joey Votto
Another set I'm gradually getting closer to completing.  In fact, I'm only missing six cards from the set now!

Tim also threw in a Reds hologram sticker - you can't go wrong with those!

Thanks a lot Tim!  And, as always, if anyone else would like to work out a trade, check out my want list and make an offer!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Delivery Time! Trade with Blog Reader Ryan

One of the benefits of the blog is the constant opportunities for trading with various blog readers.  One of my most loyal readers (and traders) is Ryan R.  In fact, by my count this is the fifth trade that Ryan and I have completed since October of last year.  In our latest swap, I sent Ryan a few 2010 Allen & Ginter minis he needed for a few minis (plus a This Day in History card) that I needed.

Here's what I got from Ryan:

2010 Allen & Ginter:

This Day in History:
TDH15.  Manny Ramirez

Regular back minis:
33.  Bengie Molina

239.  Mike Cameron
303.  Trevor Cahill

Ryan also threw in a 2010 Topps Cincinnati Reds team card for good measure!

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

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Hitting a Milestone (Post #1000)

It's hard for me to believe it, but the post you are currently reading is number 1000 for my humble little blog.  For all of my faults, perhaps it is my inherent stubbornness that can be most blamed for me reaching that particular milestone.  You see, I'm not one to give up easily - especially when I'm not one of the best at what I'm trying to do.  I'll never possess the eloquence of Night Owl's posts, the creativity and earnestness of Dinged Corners, or the blatant, raw emotion of Sports Cards Uncensored but I hope that I'll eventually be able to settle nicely into a comfortable spot that is a combination of all three.  Until I'm satisfied with my output, I'll continue to craft my little blog on a daily basis!

That said, while I don't exactly think my blog is perfect, there are many things about it that I'm proud of.  First, I'm proud of the great group of people out there that I've traded with.  For the most part, trading has been an absolute joy with only one or two people playing the role of "bad apple."  In fact, I've enjoyed trading so much that I'm quickly nearing 100 trades sent out this year alone (I'm at 95 at last count - you can see my counter on the side of my blog).  Without the network of traders, I would have no shot at completing all the sets that I'm working on (and many that I've already completed).  I also would have no one to dump all my Red Sox, Dodgers, and Marlins on!

Second, I'm proud of how (relatively) quickly my blog has grown.  It was last October when I hit 500 posts. This past July I cracked 100,000 page views.  And now, I'm within 700 visits from the 70,000 visit threshold.  I'm also happy to report that I've begun getting some legitimate blog sponsorship offers.  I'm hoping to parlay some of the sponsorships into cards and/or other products for both myself and as giveaways or prizes for my loyal blog readers!

Finally, I'm most proud of all of you - my loyal readers.  Many of you visit my blog on a daily or weekly basis, a whole bunch of you send me emails and/or leave comments on my blog articles, and heck, some of you even talk a little smack before I end up laying down the lumber on you (Beardy, I'm looking at you).

Let me end this self-congratutory post with the following:  To all of you, whether long time reader or first time visitor, Thank You.

-Nachos Grande

Barry Larkin Collection 62: 1993 Upper Deck Diamond Gallery #22

Barry Larkin
Year:  1993
Brand:  Upper Deck Diamond Gallery
Card number:  22

There aren't a lot of sets from the early '90s that escaped me - but the Upper Deck Diamond Gallery set was one that slipped through the cracks.  Thanks to a trade with BA Benny, I've now acquired a Larkin card that I didn't have from a set that I didn't even know existed!

The front of the card features a small photo of Larkin surrounded by a shiny, holographic background.  If you tilt the card correctly, you can make out an "11" which was Larkin's number with a holographic picture of Larkin superimposed over the number.  In fact, the scan above shows the hologram quite well.

The back of the card features the typical brief stats that Upper Deck was known for along with a full color, crisp photo of Larkin in the field.  Overall, it's a nice little card - and a great addition to my ever growing Larkin Collection!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Delivery Time! Trade with Blog Reader Edward

In the past couple of days, I've agreed to and mailed out over 10 different trade packages - some large and some small.  One of the first trades packages to show up in my mailbox is this one from blog reader Edward (who I don't think has a blog).

Edward sent me one card off my want list - a 2010 Allen & Ginter "World's Biggest" card #4 of a tree.

He also stated in his email he'd throw in a few more cards for trade fodder - which I've included below (all cards seen below are available for trade - see my Allen & Ginter Have List for all my ginter cards available).

WB5.  World's Biggest Mountain

MO10.  Monsters of the Mesozoic - Brachiosaurus

LO6.  Lords of Olympus - Apollo

Ad back mini - #125.  Hideki Matsui

AGHS12.  Baseball Sketch card - Troy Tulowitzki

As always, thanks for the trade Edward!  And, if anyone else would like to work out a trade, check out my want list and make an offer!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Delivery Time! One for One Trade with Jason

Outgoing card:  2010 Allen & Ginter base card #65 (Andre Ethier)

Incoming card:  2010 Allen & Ginter regular back mini #156 (Cameron Maybin)

And just like that, another trade complete!

Thanks Jason - and as always, if anyone else wants to complete a trade (large or small), check out my want list and make an offer!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Gint-a-Cuffs Winner - Who Me? Win a Complete Set of 2010 Allen & Ginter Then!

A quick look at the Gint-a-Cuffs blog informed me that I'm the "unofficial winner" of Gint-a-Cuffs.  Obviously, the big prize there is the box of Ginter (which is a pretty sweet deal for me if that's the case).

However, in order to persuade as many of you to root for me as I can - I've got my own giveaway.

IF I am declared the official winner and get the box of Ginter, I'll give away (on my blog), a COMPLETE set of 2010 Allen & Ginter, complete with all 50 short prints AND the 75 card This Day in History insert set.  The only thing more fun than one winner is two winners right?!

Now, I haven't quite decided how I'll determine who gets the set, but I guess I ought to start with this question:

Would you be interested in "winning" the complete set?  If not, what would be a better giveaway for me to do if I end up winning the box?

Delivery Time! Cards from Adam at Thoughts and Sox

Awhile back, I announced a contest on my blog that required two things:
1.  An SASE sent to me (so there was no confusion about who was entering the contest and who wasn't).
2.  Creativity

Unfortunately, I didn't do a great job of publicizing my contest...however, a recent "signing up" envelope from Adam over at Thoughts and Sox gives me the perfect excuse to reopen the contest in hopes of getting more than four participants (and to, perhaps, remind those participants that I still need their final entries)!

Of course, contestants can "bribe" me with cards for some bonus points - and Adam did just that by hitting a bunch of my 2010 Allen & Ginter needs!  Here's what he sent my way:

2010 Allen & Ginter:
This Day in History:
68.  Brian McCann

Regular minis:
151.  Kanekoa Texeira
180.  Gordon Beckham
215.  Daniel Murphy
264.  Captain Nemo
300.  Nolan Reimold

World's Wordsmiths:
WGWS 15.  Confucius

National Animals:
NA11.  Harpy Eagle
NA19.  Alpaca

Thanks for the cards - and for the entry Adam!  I'm looking forward to your submission - and everyone elses!  Finally, there's still time to enter the contest if you wish!  Shoot me an email.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Delivery Time! Trade with Mike from BA Benny's Baseball Card Buffet

It's been quite awhile since someone has offered me some cards off my 2009 Upper Deck Goudey want list.  Apparently, the set's similarity to previous years, plus a lack of interesting "hits", contributed to relatively few people buying the product (and thus, relatively few people for me to trade with)!  Well, the drought is finally over thanks to Mike from the Baseball Card Buffet blog.

Mike recently busted a box of Goudey and offered up his cards for trade.  Of the cards I still needed, Mike pulled three and mailed 'em off:

2009 UD Goudey:
205.  Rollie Fingers

276.  David Ortiz

282.  Hanley Ramirez

Of course, like many other bloggers, Mike wasn't content to just throw a couple of cards into that big yellow envelope!  He also stuffed it full with assorted Reds cards (plus three Barry Larkin cards).

I will, of course, post each of the Larkins in their own post as part of my Larkin Collection (see the side column for previous entries).  However, I do have a question - can anyone tell me what set this card came from?  It's a 1993 Upper Deck something, I just don't know what.

Thanks again Mike!  And, as always, if anyone else would like to work out a trade - check out my want list and make an offer!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Nacho's Take: Why the Pirates Aren't the Devil.

If you've paid any attention to sports news today, you already know that the Pittsburgh Pirates' internal books got leaked somehow.  Furthermore, you know that the Pirates have "won by losing" as so many talking heads have spouted on radio and TV today.  In fact, they've "won" by a tune of about $29.4 million in 2007 and 2008.

Apparently, most people are up in arms about the Pirates.  I listened to MLB Radio on Sirius today on my way home from work where Jim Bowden (I think) said that the Pirates' spending pocketing of all that revenue sharing cash would end up being a huge problem in the next collective bargaining agreement.  While Bowden may be correct in his conclusion, he (and many others whom I heard or read from today) is completely off base when it comes to how they feel about the Pirates.

The Pirates are not the devil.

At least, they aren't the devil any more than the Yankees or Red Sox are the devil.

Here's why:  Pittsburgh, according to MLB representatives, has fully complied with the rules governing spending*.  As such, they are playing by the same set of guidelines as every other club, including the big boys like New York, the middle guys like St. Louis, and the so-called poor paupers like Florida.  Pittsburgh, however, has taken a different route to the ultimate goal of every professional sports team.  Making a profit.

Sure, it's an ugly way to get there - jettisoning players such as Jason Bay, Jack Wilson, and Matt Capps to keep payroll at a bare minimum, but it's a legitimate way to earn money.  And, as the leaked numbers prove, Pittsburgh is making money.  

Of course, many people (and most pundits) aren't willing or able to understand that.  Instead, they've been focusing on the sentimentality and illusion of playing the game "the right way."  The Yankees, they all say, play the game the right way.  They abide by the rules and pay their luxury tax so that they can acquire the best players to help them win.  The Yankees play to win they say.  

Wrong.  Well, not wrong in so much as not correct enough.

The Yankees don't play to win - they play to win so that they make money.  By the transitive property, the Yankees play to make money - and I'm not begrudging them of that in any way.  Going back to the Pirates, most say the Pirates play to lose.  I say the Pirates play to lose to make money - once again meaning, the Pirates play to make money (just like the Yankees).  

In short, neither the Yankees nor the Pirates are living up to the sentimental "play the game for fun" idea.  Both teams, like every other professional franchise, are playing to make money.  Do you honestly believe that there would be a professional league in any sport if the teams/players/owners etc. didn't make money?  If you do, look no further than the XFL or the women's soccer league.

Finally, going back to the Pirates one last time, consider the following:  If you were offered two jobs, one where you worked 5 days a week for a decent salary, and the other where you worked 2 days a week for a salary slightly hire than the first job, which would you take?  I'm guessing the second choice - which is essentially the same choice the Pirates made.  

You see, the Pirates aren't the devil; they are simply too much like us.  We'd rather our sports players be heroes and our sports teams live up to lofty goals like "playing to win" rather than dealing with the bottom line.  Unfortunately, it's the bottom line that keeps sports going - and because of that, the Pirates aren't the devil, they just aren't any better than you or I.

*There is some debate about this point.  If it is eventually discovered that Pittsburgh has somehow circumnavigated the rules and lined management's pockets with cash, well, then Pittsburgh might be the devil after all.

Image source:  http://www.google.com/images?hl=en&source=imghp&biw=1280&bih=648&q=pittsburgh+pirates&gbv=2&aq=f&aqi=g10&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=

The Many Wonders of 2010 Allen & Ginter ...

Like many other bloggers out there, I've been furiously collecting the 2010 Topps Allen & Ginter set.  I've busted a case and a half worth of product, found plenty of cool cards, and genuinely loved every minute of the set (except for the crappy first case but I've already hashed that problem out).  Up until yesterday, I thought I had the set all figured out.


I spent a bit of time last night searching eBay looking for some of the minis that I still need for my set (since some of the trading has slowed down).  Well, it didn't take long until I stumbled across an auction for a World's Biggest card.  Nothing unusual there, I've had World's Biggest 1 through 5 on my want list for awhile now, heck, I've even gotten #5 in a trade already and #1 and 3 should be in the mail on the way to me as I type this.  But no, the particular auction I ran into was for World's Biggest #20.  What the heck I thought, since when is there 20 cards in the set?!
How to find the World's Biggest mini cards:

As far as I can tell, it looks like the World's Biggest #1 - 5 can be found (somewhat) easily in retail blasters.  The entire World's Biggest set can apparently be found seeded in gravity feed retail packs.  Hobby packs do not seem to contain any World's Biggest mini cards.  There are actually 25 cards in the set which I was able to find most of on eBay after a bit of searching.

Sheesh!  While it's cool that there are still surprises in Ginter, I'm a bit bummed that the set is retail only - I would have liked to think that buying a hobby case would have given me a shot at every card.  Even so, I've decided to add the World's Biggest set to my want list - we'll see what happens I guess!

Finally, in case you missed it, I posted another round of Cards for Clunkers last night.  Check it out here.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Cards for Clunkers - Another Round!

It's time for another round of Cards for Clunkers.  I still have a few relics left over from last round - but it's time to introduce some "fresh cards" into the mix.

2008 Topps Allen & Ginter:
Regular mini short print:
#349.  Frank Morris

World Leaders Inserts: (minis)
WL21.  Berie Ahern
WL33.  Qaboos Bin Said Al-Said
WL39.  Thabo Mbeki

2008 Topps Chrome:
Blue Refractors:
39.  Brad Penny

86.  Carl Crawford

149.  Ronnie Belliard

Dick Perez Inserts - Refractors:
WMPDC10.  Prince Fielder

WMPDC14.  Josh Beckett

2009 Topps Heritage Chrome:
CHR191.  Derek Holland (#0831/1960)

There you have it - as always, check out my want list and make an offer!

Barry Larkin Collection 61: 2003 Donruss #259

Barry Larkin
Year:  2003
Brand:  Donruss
Card number:  259

After the mid-90s (when I basically stopped collecting cards), I never really got back into the Donruss brand. Whenever I think of Donruss now, my immediate vision is of rather cheap looking, boring cards.  This particular Larkin card does nothing to dispel my stereotype.

The front of the card features one of the most boring "action" shots ever with Larkin completing a one handed swing.  The back of the card features a giant block of text (Larkin's career stats) and basically nothing else other than a big 'ol black bar across the bottom.  For all of the crazy, interesting, and neat baseball card designs out there, this has got to be one of the most "blah" designs of all time.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Delivery Time! Trade with Greg from The Mojo Beard

Another dip into the mail bag - this time it's a pair of yellow envelopes from Greg over at The Mojo Beard.  Greg and I both opened more 2010 Allen & Ginter than anyone probably ought to...so we each had plenty of duplicates to help eachother out.  In return for all the Ginter cards that I sent Greg, he sent me the following:

2010 Allen & Ginter:
Base:  About 19 base cards - I believe, if I counted correctly and didn't trade cards by accident, that I now have three full base sets of 2010 Ginter.

Regular minis:  Greg sent me about 25 regular mini cards, which obviously helped out my collection considerably.  I still need a whole lot of the regular minis though - so if anyone else has any for trade, let me know!

National Animals:
18.  Beaver
23.  Elk
34.  White-Tailed Deer
46.  Ring Tailed Lemur

A few more National Animals to knock off the 'ol want list.  I now am only missing ten of the animal cards (#6, 7, 11, 15, 16, 19, 28, 38, 41, and 43).  If you happen to have any of those, shoot me an email!

AGR-RZ.  Ryan Zimmerman

AGR-SV.  Shane Victorino

Another two relics to add to my collection, I believe I now have about 40 different relics from this year's Ginter!  

Cabinet card:
NCCB9.  Ellsbury Establishes Himself as the Master Thief

Thanks to the latest Cabinet card that I received, I am now only missing Cabinet card #3.

N43-AE.  Andre Ethier

Another N43 for my collection, the only two that I am now missing are Joe Mauer and Evan Longoria!

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

Friday, August 20, 2010

Cards for Clunkers - Reminder

A quick reminder - I posted another round of Cards for Clunkers the other day.  Starting tomorrow, I will be contacting those who offered the "best" deal for each card.  I can say that right now, there are a few relics going for just a couple of cards off my want list - so the bar isn't exactly set real high on all of 'em!

Here's the link to the post and cards available.

Cooking Recipe: Spicy, Cheesy, Tailgater Dip

With the baseball playoff push in full swing and football about to start up, it's time to begin thinking about tailgating and other sports related get togethers!  Since I haven't shared a recipe on here in awhile, I figured I would share one of my "staple" dishes that I often bring to fall gatherings - it's sure to be a hit (and while it may look like it makes a lot, trust me, it goes fast)!

Spicy, Cheesy Tailgater Dip:

1 lb. Velveeta cheese
1 can (10 oz.) Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
3/4 pound ground beef (or more/less depending on how "meaty" you want the dip)
1/2 cup sliced green onion or white onion

Brown the ground beef.  If using white onion, I recommend adding the onion to the ground beef and simmering for a few minutes before removing from heat.  In the meantime, cut up the Velveeta cheese into small chunks.  In a large oven safe dish (preferably an attractive oven dish such as Le Creuset if you are planning on serving the dip to guests), combine all the ingredients (except the green onions, if using).  If serving immediately, heat the dip on the stove for about 6 - 8 minutes (until Velveeta is fully melted).  Add the green onions, stir and enjoy!

Note:  This dip works well if made in advance (which is what I often do).  Prepare as above, except do not heat the dip.  Instead, cover the mixture and place in fridge.  Before your party/event, heat the dip, stir in the  green onions, and enjoy.  You can also use the oven to heat the dip (or to keep it warm until all the guests arrive as I often do).  To make the dish spicier, I often use plain diced tomatoes and a sliced jalapeno pepper or two.  Serve with tortilla chips (or crackers) and enjoy!

Note 2:  I forgot to take a picture of my dip for the blog until it was already half eaten...next time!

Related recipe by Nachos Grande:

Corn Salsa

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Delivery Time! Trade with Thorzul

I've completed hundreds of trades since I've started this humble blog - and almost all of them have been quite successful.  At the moment, I can only think of two times where I got royally screwed over - once for about 150 Topps Heritage cards and once for some Heritage Chrome cards.  Other than that, most of the other trades have been great...  Unfortunately, all good things come to an end...or at least in this case, hopefully only a rather long pause.

Thorzul (from the Thorzul Will Rule blog) and I agreed to a swap of 2010 Allen & Ginter cards about a month ago, he sent off his package and I sent off my package, everything seems fine right?  Well, sure, it would have been fine if I weren't an idiot.  You see, I keep an Excel spreadsheet with names, address, and trade histories for everyone that I trade with.  Each person gets his or her own page in my spreadsheet (where I also keep track of favorite teams and/or players if I know them).  Unfortunately for me (and Thorzul at the moment), he happened to share the last name with another person whom I traded with awhile back - who also happened to live in Wisconsin.  Without realizing it, I mailed Thorzul's half of the trade to someone else.  Now, to be fair, that person did call my parents (my old phone number is still on my check that was included for a shipping reimbursement...I should probably work on fixing that since I haven't lived at home for years now).  Anyhow, the guy who I accidentally sent the cards graciously said he'd send the box back to me - but that was about two weeks ago and I still haven't seen the return box.

Long story short, I owe Thorzul some cards...and if that box full of cards doesn't show up here within another week or so, I'll be begging and pleading people to get the cards that I (tried to) send Thorzul once before.  I guess given the hundreds of trades that I've completed, I can't complain too much about one mix-up, but I can say that I've reorganized my spreadsheet to have both last AND first names on all of the tabs to avoid any mix-ups in the future.  Hang in there Thorzul, I haven't forgotten - I'm still hoping that box of cards shows up!

Anyhow, here's what Thorzul sent me!

2010 Topps Allen & Ginter:
Base:  I got a bunch of base cards - which should finish off a couple of complete base (1 - 300) sets of Ginter.  As of the time I wrote this post, I haven't gotten around to actually collating everything yet.

Sketch cards:
AGHS2.  Mark Buehrle

This Day in History:
TDH13.  Adam Dunn
TDH21.  Magglio Ordonez

Sailors of the Seven Seas:
SSS3.  Sir Walter Raleigh

National Animals:
NA16.  Leopard - Somalia

Monsters of the Mesozoic:
MM21.  Bambiraptor

Thanks again Thorzul, and as always - if anyone else would like to work out a trade, check out my want list and make an offer!