Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Two Ginter Code Questions

So the general consensus seems to be that the Celestial cards are somehow related to the code.  Since I have yet to see a pack of Allen & Ginter, let alone one of the rare Celestial cards, I have a question for those that have: 

What do the backs of the cards look like?  I'm assuming they are the same as the "regular" version of the cards but if not then I don't have much of a chance at cracking this thing without tracking down all the Celestial cards.

Updated question:  Who is the subject of card number 5 in the set (the Leo)?

Gint-A-Cuffs Practice: 2010 Topps Series 2 Warm Up - Part 8

There are only eight packs left in the box (2 of each player).  The hit has been found...is there anything else good left?  Only one way to find out.

And once again, the scoring summary:

Base cards:
Cincinnati Reds: +10
Pittsburgh Pirate: +5
New York Yankee: -10
Boston Red Sox: -5
Awesome photo: +1 through +5 points, depending on how much I like it.

Inserts:
Gold parallel: +10
Black parallel: +25
Platinum parallel: +50
Printing Plate: +30
Cards Your Mother Threw Out: +2
Cards Your Mother Threw Out Original Back: +4
Topps Legends Vintage Collection: +2
History of World Series: +2
Turkey Red: +2
Legendary Lineage: +2
Peak Performers: +2
Red Hot Rookies: +4
Topps 2020: +4
Sketch Card, Hall of Fame Buyback, or any of the other crazy hard pulls: +100
Million Card Giveaway: +5
Peak Performance Relic: +10
Peak Performance Auto: +20
Manufactured Hat relic: +20
All other relics/autos: +100
Topps Attax cards: +1
Cincinnati Reds: x10
Pittsburgh Pirates: x5
New York Yankee: /10
Boston Red Sox: /5


Pack 02 - Cobb:
336.  C.J. Wilson
351.  Koji Uehara
462.  Alcides Escobar
482.  Mike McCoy
560.  Ryan Rowland-Smith
615.  Justin Verlander
653.  Nolan Reimold
LL-55.  Rickey Henderson & B.J. Upton (+2)
CMT116.  Rick Procello (+2, seriously though, if your mom threw out your 2009 Topps you probably shouldn't be spending your money on 2010 Topps.)
Topps Attax:  Matt Kemp (+1)
Cobb's Pack Score:  +5 
That's the lowest (expected) score a pack can have...Blah.

Pack 02 - Pedroia:
404.  Mariano Rivera (-10, another Yankee)
405.  Dustin McGowan
446.  Gavin Floyd
475.  Johnny Damon
492.  Brian Wilson
550.  Freddy Garcia
552.  Chris Tillman
PP-66.  Aaron Hill (+2)
598.  Alberto Callaspo (+10, Gold Parallel)

Topps Attax:  Justin Verlander (+1)
Pedroia's Pack Score:  +3 points
Somehow, Pedroia did worse than Cobb despite having a ten point insert card. 

Pack 02 - Ruth:
349.  Felix Pie
456.  Clayton Richard
470.  New York Yankees (-10, lots 'o Yankees on this one)
512.  Scot Shields
536.  Matt Palmer
620.  Geovany Soto
622.  Cleveland Indians
TR88. Eddie Mathews (+2)
HWS22.  Alex Gonzalez  (+2.  I remember watching this game in college.  Lots of Yankee fans, lots of "root against the Yankee fans".  Good times!)

Topps Attax:  Lance Berkman  (+1)
Ruth's Pack Score:  -5
The first three packs from this round have all been rather crappy.

Pack 02 - Mantle
352.  Cameron Maybin
365.  Logan Ondrusek (+10, a Red finally!  The first time Ondrusek was called up to the Reds big league team, he was so bad I referred to him as Ondrusucky.  Luckily, he's been a bit better since that first call up.)

445.  Miguel Olivo
554.  Ramon Hernandez (+10, wow, two Reds in one pack)

562.  Carlos Quentin
589.  Edinson Volquez (+10, well, this pack makes up for the total lack of Reds in the box!)

624.  Carlos Beltran
CMT99.  Cal Ripken (+2)
VLC12.  Jackie Robinson (+2)
Topps Attax:  Josh Johnson (+1)
Mantle's Pack Score:  +35
By using the power of three different Reds cards, Mantle crushes the competition this round...and opens up a huge lead over second place Pedroia heading into the final pack for each player!

Leaderboard (after 4 packs - # of packs won in parenthesis):

Mantle: +120.38 (2 wins)
Pedroia: +76.2 (2 wins)
Ruth: +56.2  (1 win)
Cobb: +50.48  (3 wins)

Quick Hits: Reds, All-Stars, Schedules, and Strasburg.

Quick Hits

Cincinnati Reds:  The Reds just completed a great ninth inning comeback only to blow it in the tenth.  It's the kind of game that shows exactly what the Reds are about...plenty of heart but not enough relief pitching!  As I write this post (10:26 PM EST) the Cardinals are crushing the Diamondbacks which means by the time you read this the Reds will be in second place once again. 

All-Star Voting:  I give the Phillies credit for getting their players on the starting roster, but seriously, Polanco the starting third baseman?  Sorry, but I don't think so.  Wright, Zimmerman, Rolen (my choice but I'm biased) or even Chipper for a "lifetime nominee" would be better options this year.

Unbalanced Schedules & Interleague Play:  I've seen a bunch of articles and blogs lamenting the inherent inequities with unbalanced schedules, specifically in regards to interleague play.  To all of those authors, I say take a look at the standings in the paper before you complain any more...what do you notice?  That's right, the NL Central has six teams and the AL West has four teams.  Until each division winner has to defeat the same number of teams to get into the playoffs, I don't give a flying fruitcake about who has to play the Yankees more often or who "gets" to play the Orioles more often.

Strength of Schedule:  Going into last night's games, the Reds' opponent's winning percentage is 0.468, the Cardinals' opponent's winning percentage is 0.466.  At least that part of the schedule is basically balanced!

Strasburg:  I've seen this mentioned on a couple of other blogs - and if I happen to pull on in my half case of Ginter that I'm splitting with Thorzul you better believe I'll have that sucker on eBay quicker than lager turns to pee (keepin' the blog PG people).

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Gint-A-Cuffs Practice: 2010 Topps Series 2 Warm Up - Part 7

It's time for the seventh pack of cards for each "player."  Right now, Pedroia holds the lead...will that lead hold up?  The box hit still has yet to be discovered so no lead is safe right now!  A quick scoring reminder:
Base cards:
Cincinnati Reds: +10
Pittsburgh Pirate: +5
New York Yankee: -10
Boston Red Sox: -5
Awesome photo: +1 through +5 points, depending on how much I like it.

Inserts:
Gold parallel: +10
Black parallel: +25
Platinum parallel: +50
Printing Plate: +30
Cards Your Mother Threw Out: +2
Cards Your Mother Threw Out Original Back: +4
Topps Legends Vintage Collection: +2
History of World Series: +2
Turkey Red: +2
Legendary Lineage: +2
Peak Performers: +2
Red Hot Rookies: +4
Topps 2020: +4
Sketch Card, Hall of Fame Buyback, or any of the other crazy hard pulls: +100
Million Card Giveaway: +5
Peak Performance Relic: +10
Peak Performance Auto: +20
Manufactured Hat relic: +20
All other relics/autos: +100
Topps Attax cards: +1
Cincinnati Reds: x10
Pittsburgh Pirates: x5
New York Yankee: /10
Boston Red Sox: /5


Pack 02 - Cobb:
350.  Bernie's Bash Brothers
364.  Trevor Hoffman
421.  Doug Fister
502.  Jhoulys Chacin
551.  Evereth Cabrera
623.  Miguel Cabrera
CMT67.  Willie McCovey (+2)
LL-51.  Juan Marichal & Tim Lincecum (+2)
PPA-JR.  Juan Rivera - Peak Performance Autograph (+20.  It's not the most exciting hit in the world...but I guess an auto beats a relic)!

Topps Attax:  Pablo Sandoval (+1)
Cobb's Pack Score:  25 points.  That autograph sure helped Cobb's score...but as of this moment, it's not enough to put him into third place.

Pack 02 - Pedroia:
467.  Fausto Carmona
516.  Marlon Byrd
531.  Matt Cain
572.  Clay Buchholz (-5, Red Sox...again)
573.  Johan Santana
576.  Paul Maholm (+5, Pirate)
616.  Franklin Gutierrez
625.  Grady Sizemore
PP-56.  Felix Hernandez (+2)
T11.  Joe Mauer (+4, Topps 2020.  The more of these I get, the more I like the set.  I think I'll be chasing this one).

Topps Attax:  B.J. Upton (+1)
Pedroia's Pack Score:  +7 points

Pack 02 - Ruth:
334.  Jayson Werth
408.  Detroit Tigers
418.  Aaron Leffey
461.  Tyson Ross
472.  Toronto Blue Jays
501.  Jake Peavy
591.  Fernando Rodney
HWS14.  Jim Palmer (+2)
TR66.  Nelson Cruz (+2)
Topps Attax:  Max Scherzer (+1)
Ruth's Pack Score:  +5 points
A basically boring pack, five points is the expected mininum for any given pack.  There wasn't even thing scan worthy in here.

Pack 02 - Mantle
440.  Willie Harris
442.  Dan Runzler
460.  Aaron Cunningham
525.  David Huff
538.  Travis Hafner
566.  Maicer Izturis
644.  David Purcey
VLC22.  Roy Campanella (+2)
T13.  Andrew McCutchen (+4 Topps 2020 x5 Pirate = +20 points)

Topps Attax:  Yunel Escobar (+1)
Mantle's Pack Score:  +23 points
A pack saved by McCutchen!  The 23 points are enough to put Mantle back into first place in the overall standings but they weren't enough to overtake Cobb's 25 points this round for a pack win.

Leaderboard (after 4 packs - # of packs won in parenthesis):

Mantle: +85.38 (1 win)
Pedroia: +73.2 (2 wins)
Ruth: +61.2  (1 win)
Cobb: +45.48  (3 wins)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Delivery Time! Trade with Kelly

What does a pile of 2009 Allen & Ginter cards plus a 2009 Topps Heritage card get you?  Well, in the case of a trade with Kelly (from the Baseball Obsession-itis blog), a whole bunch of cards off my want list!

Let's take a look:

2009 Topps Heritage:
596.  Jason Marquis
690.  Chris Tillman
706.  Kyle Blanks

I'm making decent progress on the 2009 Topps Heritage set.  There are still a whole bunch of cards on my want list though - it makes me glad I didn't bother with the 2010 set seeing how many I still need from last year.

2009 Topps:
Topps Town Gold:
TTT46.  Roy Oswalt

I'm now only missing nine of the gold Topps Town cards from the 2009 Topps Series 1 and 2 set.

2009 Topps Updates & Highlights:
UH47.  Carlos Beltran
UH86.  Carlos Pena
UH105.  Luis Valbuena
UH138.  Ryan Church
UH152.  Barbaro Canizares
UH223.  Jack Hannahan
UH243.  Jonathan Papelbon
UH293.  Aaron Hill
UH295.  Miguel Tejada

Now I'm only missing 13 base cards from the Updates & Highlights set.  Good deal!

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

Gint-A-Cuffs Practice: 2010 Topps Series 2 Warm Up - Part 6

It's time for the sixth pack of cards for each "player."  The promised box hit still hasn't been discovered...will round six be the lucky round?

Before that, a reminder of the scoring:

Base cards:
Cincinnati Reds: +10
Pittsburgh Pirate: +5
New York Yankee: -10
Boston Red Sox: -5
Awesome photo: +1 through +5 points, depending on how much I like it.

Inserts:
Gold parallel: +10
Black parallel: +25
Platinum parallel: +50
Printing Plate: +30
Cards Your Mother Threw Out: +2
Cards Your Mother Threw Out Original Back: +4
Topps Legends Vintage Collection: +2
History of World Series: +2
Turkey Red: +2
Legendary Lineage: +2
Peak Performers: +2
Red Hot Rookies: +4
Topps 2020: +4
Sketch Card, Hall of Fame Buyback, or any of the other crazy hard pulls: +100
Million Card Giveaway: +5
Peak Performance Relic: +10
Peak Performance Auto: +20
Manufactured Hat relic: +20
All other relics/autos: +100
Topps Attax cards: +1
Cincinnati Reds: x10
Pittsburgh Pirates: x5
New York Yankee: /10
Boston Red Sox: /5


Pack 02 - Cobb:
378.  George Sherrill
379.  Phil Hughes (-10, Yankee)
453.  Jesse English
490.  Michael Bourn
561.  Ryan Zimmerman
596.  Brendan Ryan
657.  Chris Young
HWS10.  Whitey Ford (+2 /10 = 0.2 points)
LL-33.  Carlton Fisk & Victor Martinez (+2 / 5 = 0.4 /5  = 0.08 points)

Topps Attax:  Joey Votto (+1 x 10 = +10 points)
Cobb's Pack Score:  +0.28 points
Wow, what a terrible pack that was...even the lone Red was a double from the box!

Pack 02 - Pedroia:
392.  Carlos Monasterios
463.  Carlos Marmol
599.  Jay Bruce (+10, finally another Cincinnati Red base card.  I was beginning to wonder if there were any Reds in the base set!)

600.  Hanley Ramirez
637.  Pinstripe Power (-10 Yankee, but +5 for being a great photo for a checklist card. = -5 points)
647.  Alfonso Soriano
PP-96.  Dan Haren (+2)
477.  Nate McLouth (+10, Gold parallel)

476.  Thurman Munson (I have no idea what rate these short prints are seeded at...so I'll say this is worth +20 points, even though it is a Yankee)

Topps Attax:  Jason Bay (+1)
Pedroia's Pack Score:  +38 points
Wow, now that's a great pack!  A short print, a gold parallel (of a Brave no less = trade bait!), plus a Jay Bruce card that I didn't have before.  Good stuff.

Pack 02 - Ruth:
337.  Carlos Zambrano
345.  Chris Volstad
479.  Chris Carpenter
486.  Raul Ibanez
543.  Bird Watching (+2, nice photo showing the boringness that is the Orioles!)

544.  Kevin Kouzmanoff
580.  Ian Snell
TMC-14.  Million Card Giveaway (+5)
TR73.  Chad Billingsley (+2, Turkey Red)
Topps Attax:  Felix Hernandez (+1)
Ruth's Pack Score:  +10 points
Not a bad showing, but no where near as good as Pedroia's pack this round.

Pack 02 - Mantle
356.  Angels
435.  Nelson Cruz
483.  Daisuke Matsuzaka (-5, Red Sox)
534.  Hideki Okajima (-5, another Red Sox)
540.  Sean Rodriguez
564.  Houston Astros (+5, I love the photo of the train!)

579.  Trevor Cahill
VLC8.  Walter Johnson (+2)
CMT76.  Nolan Ryan (+2)
You Sketch it Card (no points for this waste of space)
Topps Attax:  Yovani Gallardo (+1)
Mantle's Pack Score:  0 points
Wow, that was a dud!  And with that goose egg, Mantle falls behind Pedroia into second place (only 6.18 points ahead of Ruth too).

Leaderboard (after 4 packs - # of packs won in parenthesis):

Pedroia: +66.2 (2 wins)
Mantle: +62.38    (1 win)
Ruth: +56.2  (1 win)
Cobb: +20.48  (2 wins)

Sunday, June 27, 2010

2010 Topps For Trade

Last update:  1/31/15
Note:  The base card list may not be 100% accurate.  Please contact me first!

2010 Topps Series I and Series II For Trade
(Base cards and inserts)
Note:  You can find my want list here.
Base:
1.  Prince Fielder
11.  Orlando Cabrera
13.  Melvin Mora
23.  Shane Victorino
23.  Shane Victorino
28.  Jonathan Sanchez
32.  Cincinnati Reds
33.  Adam Moore
34.  Michael Dunn
35.  Rick Porcello
43.  Marco Scutaro
43.  Marco Scutaro
51.  Eric Young Jr.
53.  Craig Counsell
54.  John Lackey
59.  Kevin Gregg
68.  Brandon Inge
69.  Kansas City Royals
71.  Mike Hampton
73.  NL League Leaders - Wins
77.  Kenshin Kawakami
81.  Ryan Theriot
81.  Ryan Theriot
89.  J.A. Happ
99.  Garrett Jones
101.  Scott Baker
101.  Scott Baker
102.  Minnesota Twins
106.  NL League Leaders - ERA
107.  Scott Hairston
110.  Andrew McCutchen
117.  David DeJesus
123.  Jeff Samardzija
126.  John Smoltz
128.  Garrett Mock
128.  Garrett Mock
130.  Vladimir Guerrero
134.  Philadelphia Phillies
137.  Oakland Athletics
142.  Tim Hudson
142.  Tim Hudson
144.  Rich Harden
147.  Huston Street
156.  Tony Gwynn Jr.
156.  Tony Gwynn Jr.
159.  Vernon Wells
162.  Wade Davis
163.  Josh Butler
170.  Jason Bay
174.  Mike Gonzalez
176.  Yovani Gallardo
187.  Will Venable
191.  Mat Latos
199.  Seattle Mariners
202.  San Francisco Giants
202.  San Francisco Giants
211.  Kelly Shoppach
213.  Ricky Nolasco
213.  Ricky Nolasco
221.  Russell Branyan
221.  Russell Branyan
225.  David Price
225.  David Price
227.  Josh Thole
234.  Tampa Bay Rays
243.  Asdrubal Cabrera
244.  Barry Zito
250.  Mark Teixeira
250.  Mark Teixeira
256.  Akinori Iwamura
263.  Placido Polanco
267.  Toronto Blue Jays
267.  Toronto Blue Jays
268.  Juan Pierre
275.  Chris Coghlan
277.  Jarrod Washburn
277.  Jarrod Washburn
281.  Braden Looper
284.  Ross Ohlendorf
290.  Orlando Hudson
297.  Ben Zobrist
297.  Ben Zobrist
302.  Beantown Backhand
312.  Tyler Flowers
315.  Scott Kazmir
317.  Ryan Doumit
317.  Ryan Doumit
318.  Nate Schierholtz
325.  Julio Lugo
328.  Chicago Cubs
331.  Ryan Braun
336.  C.J. Wilson
351.  Koji Uehara
352.  Cameron Maybin
369.  David Ortiz
372.  Philadelphia Phillies
374.  Scott Feldman
386.  Dan Haren
391.  Manny Parra
394.  Luis Castillo
396.  Jake Westbrook
405.  Dustin McGowan
410.  Oakland Athletics
411.  Jack Wilson
412.  San Francisco Giants
414.  Sean West
420.  Shin-Soo Choo
428.  Baltimore Orioles
433.  Julio Borbon
440.  Willie Harris
442.  Dan Runzler
444.  Yunieksy Betancourt
446.  Gavin Floyd
447.  Jeremy Guthrie
448.  Joakim Soria
450.  Omir Santos
456.  Clayton Richard
457.  Kanekoa Texeira
458.  Todd Wellemeyer
459.  Joel Zumaya
460.  Aaron Cunningham
467.  Fausto Carmona
473.  Jason Varitek
474.  Kyle Kendrick
475.  Johnny Damon
478.  Conor Jackson
485.  Jesus Flores
492.  Brian Wilson
497.  Edgar Renteria
500.  Brad Lidge
506.  Jose Lopez
507.  Francisco Rodriguez
509.  Todd Helton
512.  Scot Shields
517.  Cliff Pennington
521.  Jeremy Bonderman
525.  David Huff
529.  Carlos Lee
548.  Minnesota Twins
552.  Chris Tillman
569.  Jacoby Ellsbury
574.  Milwaukee Brewers
585.  Dioner Navarro
589.  Edinson Volquez
594.  Andy LaRoche
598.  Alberto Callaspo
603.  Gerardo Parra
607.  Ubaldo Jimenez
608.  Pittsburgh Pirates
609.  Jeff Suppan
610.  Alex Gordon
614.  Kelly Johnson
621.  Aaron Cook
628.  Ross Detwiler
629.  Oliver Perez
641.  Chase Headley
641.  Chase Headley
642.  San Diego Padres
649.  Casey McGehee
660.  Brandon McCarthy

Inserts:

When They Were Young:
WTWY-DM  Daniel McCutchen

Peak Performers:
PP-4  Walter Johnson
PP-10  Christy Mathewson
PP-12  Lou Gehrig
PP-16  Vladimir Guerrero
PP-21  Jimmie Foxx
PP-26  Joe Mauer
PP-29.  Roy Campanella
PP-46  Rogers Hornsby
PP-92.  Joey Votto
PP-92.  Joey Votto

History of the Game:
HOTG14  First HOF Class

History of the World Series:
HWS21.  Derek Jeter

Legendary Lineage:
LL10  Bench & Rodriguez
LL13  Jackson & Dunn
LL14  Spahn & Hanson
LL20  Thomas & Fielder
LL21  Greenberg & Braun
LL22  Robinson & Guerrero
LL22  Robinson & Guerrero
LL23  Robinson & Kemp
LL24  Gibson & Lincecum
LL33  Fisk & Martinez
LL43.  Schmidt & Rodriguez
LL55  Henderson & Upton
LL56  Robinson & Zimmerman


Turkey Red:
TR13.  Yovani Gallardo
TR20.  CC Sabathia
TR35.  Stephen Drew
TR55.  Aaron Hill
TR67.  Grady Sizemore
TR92.  George Sisler

Topps Town Silver (all codes unused):
TTT4.  Adrian Gonzalez
TTT5.  Evan Longoria
TTT7.  Josh Hamilton
TTT10.  Tim Lincecum
TTT12.  Miguel Tejada
TTT15.  Miguel Cabrera
TTT16.  Kevin Youkilis
TTT17.  Todd Helton
TTT18.  Vladimir Guerrero
TTT20.  Adam Jones

First Class Ticket Topps Town (all codes unused):
FCTTT7.  Josh Hamilton
FCTTT13.  Ryan Howard
FCTTT16.  Kevin Youkilis
FCTTT19.  Justin Upton
FCTTT20.  Adam Jones
FCTTT20.  Adam Jones

Cards Your Mother Threw Out (regular back):
CMT-53.  Alfonso Soriano

Topps Attax (all codes unused):
Yunel Escobar
Derrek Lee
Joey Votto
Joey Votto
Josh Johnson
Matt Kemp
Matt Kemp
Yavani Gallardo
Yovani Gallardo
Jason Bay
Jason Bay
Chase Utley
Tim Lincecum
Tim Lincecum
Pablo Sandoval
Pablo Sandoval
Matt Holliday
Matt Holliday
Jon Lester
Jon Lester
Alexei Ramirez
Grady Sizemore
Max Scherzer
Max Scherzer
Justin Verlander
Justin Verlander
Billy Butler
Zack Greinke
Zack Greinke
Justin Morneau
Felix Hernandez
Felix Hernandez
B.J. Upton
B.J. Upton
Ian Kinsler

You Sketch It:
Blank card

Gint-A-Cuffs Practice: 2010 Topps Series 2 Warm Up Part 5

It's time for the fifth pack of cards for each "player."  Let's see how it goes.  Before that, a reminder of the scoring:

Base cards:
Cincinnati Reds: +10
Pittsburgh Pirate: +5
New York Yankee: -10
Boston Red Sox: -5
Awesome photo: +1 through +5 points, depending on how much I like it.

Inserts:
Gold parallel: +10
Black parallel: +25
Platinum parallel: +50
Printing Plate: +30
Cards Your Mother Threw Out: +2
Cards Your Mother Threw Out Original Back: +4
Topps Legends Vintage Collection: +2
History of World Series: +2
Turkey Red: +2
Legendary Lineage: +2
Peak Performers: +2
Red Hot Rookies: +4
Topps 2020: +4
Sketch Card, Hall of Fame Buyback, or any of the other crazy hard pulls: +100
Million Card Giveaway: +5
Peak Performance Relic: +10
Peak Performance Auto: +20
Manufactured Hat relic: +20
All other relics/autos: +100
Topps Attax cards: +1
Cincinnati Reds: x10
Pittsburgh Pirates: x5
New York Yankee: /10
Boston Red Sox: /5


Pack 02 - Cobb:
343.  Brian Bruney
372.  Philadelphia Phillies
387.  Josh Fields
396.  Jake Westbrook
447.  Jeremy Guthrie
511.  Chicago Cubs (I like this photo...especially because the Reds are ahead according to the scoreboard.  +3 points)

609.  Jeff Suppan
CMT93.  Mike Schmidt (+2)
LL-55.  Rickey Henderson & B.J. Upton (+2)
Topps Attax:  Yovani Gallardo (+1)

Cobb's Pack Score:  +8 points
A decent pack.  I doubt eight points will be enough to win the pack battle for this round though.  It's also not nearly enough points to catch up to third place Pedroia.

Pack 02 - Pedroia:
465.  Chien-Ming Wang
480.  Boston Red Sox (-5 points)
515.  Seattle Mariners (+3 points, a great photo of two Seattle icons)

524.  Dusty Hughes
549.  Derek Jeter (-10, Yankee)
626.  Glen Perkins
650.  Dustin Pedroia (-5, another Red Sox)
PP-83.  Bobby Abreu (+2)
CMT110.  Cole Hamels (+2)
Topps Attax:  Tim Lincecum (+1)
Pedroia's Pack Score:  -12 points
Sheesh!  Just when I said Cobb's eight points wouldn't be enough to win the pack race, Pedroia pulled out a stinker.  I guess this pack would be fine if you were a Red Sox fan...but since I'm not, it's a big 'ol negative pack.


Pack 02 - Ruth:
331.  Ryan Braun
416.  Ruben Tejada
489.  Russell Martin
499. Michael Bowden (-5 Red Sox)
506.  Jose Lopez
513.  Scott Sizemore
605.  A.J. Pierzynski
TR92.  George Sisler (+2, Turkey Red)
TMC-18  Million Card Giveaway (+5 points)
Topps Attax:  Jason Bay (+1)
Ruth's Pack Score:  +3 points
Another blah pack.  The Million Card Giveaway insert is nice but the rest of the pack was ho-hum.  Unless Mantle's pack has something good in it, it looks like Cobb's eight points might win the round after all!

Pack 02 - Mantle
383.  Derek Lowe
422.  Vin Mazzaro
514.  Rafael Soriano
571.  Brandon Lyon
604.  Atlanta Braves
646.  Trevor Crowe
659.  Nick Blackburn
VLC13.  Eddie Murray (+2 Vintage Legend)

T9.  Madison Bumgarner (+4 Topps 2020)
Topps Attax:  Zack Greinke (+1)

Mantle's Pack Score:  +7 points
Well, that wasn't a very exciting round for anyone...Mantle's 7 points were second to Cobb's 8 points.  Blech.  It is interesting that Cobb has two pack wins and yet is in last place by about 8 points.

Leaderboard (after 4 packs - # of packs won in parenthesis):

Mantle: +62.1    (1 win)
Ruth: +46.2  (1 win)
Pedroia: +28.2  (1 win)
Cobb: +20.48  (2 wins)

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Gint-A-Cuffs Practice: 2010 Topps Series 2 Warm Up Part 4

It's time for the fourth pack of cards for each "player."  Let's see how it goes.  Before that, a reminder of the scoring:

Base cards:
Cincinnati Reds: +10
Pittsburgh Pirate: +5
New York Yankee: -10
Boston Red Sox: -5
Awesome photo: +1 through +5 points, depending on how much I like it.

Inserts:
Gold parallel: +10
Black parallel: +25
Platinum parallel: +50
Printing Plate: +30
Cards Your Mother Threw Out: +2
Cards Your Mother Threw Out Original Back: +4
Topps Legends Vintage Collection: +2
History of World Series: +2
Turkey Red: +2
Legendary Lineage: +2
Peak Performers: +2
Red Hot Rookies: +4
Topps 2020: +4
Sketch Card, Hall of Fame Buyback, or any of the other crazy hard pulls: +100
Million Card Giveaway: +5
Peak Performance Relic: +10
Peak Performance Auto: +20
Manufactured Hat relic: +20
All other relics/autos: +100
Topps Attax cards: +1
Cincinnati Reds: x10
Pittsburgh Pirates: x5
New York Yankee: /10
Boston Red Sox: /5


Pack 04 - Cobb:
339.  Jose Reyes (+5, great photo even though many other bloggers have already shown this card)

360.  Justin Morneau
431.  John Raynor (+5 Pittsburgh)
436.  New York Mets
444.  Yuniesky Betancourt
500.  Brad Lidge
570.  Josh Willingham
HWS6.  Mickey Mantle (+2 / 10 = 0.2 points)
LL-36.  Andre Dawson & Alfonso Soriano (+2 points)
Topps Attax:  Zack Greinke (+1)
Cobb's Pack Score:  13.2 points
That was a much better showing for Cobb.  Other than (yet another) Yankee insert, this was a nice pack.
Pack 04 - Pedroia:
430.  Julio Borbon
484.  Mike Fontenot
521.  Jeremy Bonderman
530.  Steve Pearce (+5 Pirate)
541.  Jason Motte
545.  Fred Lewis
617.  Luis Valbuena
PP-54.  Ian Kinsler (+2 Peak Performance)
350.  Bernie's Bash Brothers (+10, Gold Parallel #1946/2010)

Topps Attax:  Chase Utley (+1)

Pedroia's Pack Score:  18 points
A great pack from Pedroia, will it be enough to secure his first pack victory and even the individual pack crown race?

Pack 04 - Ruth:
338.  Brett Cecil
374.  Scott Feldman
382.  Kyle Davies
412.  San Francisco Giants
458.  Todd Wellemeyer
520.  Randy Wells
555.  B.J. Upton
CMT92.  Robin Yount (+2, Cards Your Mother Threw Out)
TR60.  Al Kaline (+2, Turkey Red)
Topps Attax:  Tim Lincecum (+1)
Ruth's Pack Score:  +5 points
Well, that was a boring pack...nothing even worth scanning.  Ruth's climb to the top was severely hurt by his latest lackluster effort.  In fact, at this point Ruth is only 3 measly points ahead of Pedroia!

Pack 04 - Mantle
380.  J.D. Drew (-5 points for being a Red Sox...bad start for Mantle)
426.  Mark Reynolds
434.  Kevin Slowey
533.  Gary Matthews Jr.
597.  J.R. Towles
643.  Michael Young
652.  Chipper Jones
T19.  Zack Greinke (Topps 2020, +4 points)

VLC4.  Tris Speaker (+2, Vintage Legends)
Topps Attax:  Max Scherzer (+1)
Mantle's Pack Score:  +7 points

After 4 packs, each of the individual pack wrapper contestants has one win...but Mantle has an almost twelve point leader over second-place Ruth.  Cobb is almost 28 points behind third-place Pedroia...which means the race at this point is really for second place...  Of course, the promised box hit still hasn't been found...and that can be a game changer depending on which pack it is in!

Leaderboard (after 4 packs - # of packs won in parenthesis):

Mantle: +55.1    (1 win)
Ruth: +43.2  (1 win)
Pedroia: +40.2  (1 win)
Cobb: +12.48  (1 win)

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Reds are in First!

It's late and I'm tired...but this needs to be written (typed) for eternity.

It's June 25 and the Reds are in first place (albeit for a half a game). 

In other good news, it looks like I'm going to have at least one job offer to consider for next school year...and I'm waiting to hear back from a second college.  Also, my half case of Allen & Ginter should be arriving soon.

Good times - and good night!

Gint-A-Cuffs Practice: 2010 Topps Series 2 Warm Up Part 3

It's time for the third pack of cards for each "player."  Let's see how it goes.  Before that, a reminder of the scoring:

Base cards:
Cincinnati Reds: +10
Pittsburgh Pirate: +5
New York Yankee: -10
Boston Red Sox: -5
Awesome photo: +1 through +5 points, depending on how much I like it.

Inserts:
Gold parallel: +10
Black parallel: +25
Platinum parallel: +50
Printing Plate: +30
Cards Your Mother Threw Out: +2
Cards Your Mother Threw Out Original Back: +4
Topps Legends Vintage Collection: +2
History of World Series: +2
Turkey Red: +2
Legendary Lineage: +2
Peak Performers: +2
Red Hot Rookies: +4
Topps 2020: +4
Sketch Card, Hall of Fame Buyback, or any of the other crazy hard pulls: +100
Million Card Giveaway: +5
Peak Performance Relic: +10
Peak Performance Auto: +20
Manufactured Hat relic: +20
All other relics/autos: +100
Topps Attax cards: +1
Cincinnati Reds: x10
Pittsburgh Pirates: x5
New York Yankee: /10
Boston Red Sox: /5


Pack 02 - Cobb:
332.  Brad Hawpe
450.  Omir Santos
523.  Phil Coke
528.  Brian Bannister
575.  Ryan Perry
635.  Carl Pavano
656.  Jon Lester (-5 points)
HWS18.  Paul Molitor (+2)
LL-33.  Carlton Fisk & Victor Martinez (+2 / 5 Red Sox = 0.4 / 5 for the second Red Sox = +0.08)
Topps Attax:  B.J. Upton (+1)
Cobb's Pack Score:  -1.92
Ugh.  This pack was terrible it doesn't even deserve a scan...  Moving right along.

Pack 02 - Pedroia:
333.  Ryan Ludwick
376.  Esmil Rogers
409.  Kosuke Fukudome
419.  David Aardsma
581.  Chris Dickerson (+10, Red!)
602.  Kansas City Royals (+5, awesome photo - the waterfalls completely make the picture.)

633.  Daniel Bard (-5, Red Sox.  Booo!)
CMT114.  Derek Jeter (Cards Your Mother Threw Out Three Years Ago:  +2 / 10 = 0.2)
PP-60.  Mike Schmidt (Peak Performance +2)
Topps Attax:  Pablo Sandoval

Pedroia's Pack Score:  12.2
A fairly decent pack showing for Pedroia.  Will it be enough to carry him to a pack victory?  It certainly was enough to crush Cobb...but Ruth and Mantle have been putting up much more of a battle.

Pack 02 - Ruth:
362.  Travis Snider
415.  Cincinnati Reds (+10, great card!)

487.  Dan Uggla
532.  Hunter Pence
This is the third Pence card in the box so far...
601.  Blake DeWitt
610.  Alex Gordon
642.  San Diego Padres
The non-gold parallel version which goes along with gold version I pulled in an earlier pack.
TR80.  Kosuke Fukudome (+2 Turkey Red)
TMC-11 Million Card Giveaway (+5)
Topps Attax:  Jon Lester (+1 / 5 = 0.2)
Ruth's Pack Score:  17.2
Another nice pack from Ruth.  Will it be enough to win the individual pack title for this round?

Pack 02 - Mantle
369.  David Ortiz (-5)

381.  Miguel Montero
414.  Sean West
476.  Yadier Molina
503.  Austin Jackson
517.  Cliff Pennington
603.  Gerardo Parra
VLC23.  Cy Young (+2, Vintage Legend)
474.  Kyle Kendrick (+10, Gold Parallel)
Topps Attax:  Felix Hernandez (+1)
Mantle's Pack Score:  +8
And there it is, after three packs only Pedroia hasn't won an individual round.  Of course, he's still almost 20 points ahead of last place Cobb in the overall standings.  Mantle maintains his hold on first place but Ruth did gain a bit of ground this round...  What will happen next?  Only time will tell!

Leaderboard (after 3 packs - # of packs won in parenthesis):

Mantle: +48.1    (1 win)
Ruth: +38.2  (1 win)
Pedroia: +22.2
Cobb: -0.72  (1 win)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Delivery Time (and Contest Update): Cards from Roger at I Don't Know...3rd Base

I announced a contest a few days ago - there is still time to enter...  Another entry has rolled into my mailbox, this one from Roger over at I Don't Know...3rd Base blog!

Roger sent me three cards he thought I'd like as a way to score some bonus points in the contest.  Check your mailbox Roger, a letter with the two promised cards is on its way!

Let's take a look at the "point bribe" that Roger sent along:

2009 Topps - Target "Old School" Throwback back:
74.  Trey Hillman

Sweet - I'm getting exceedingly close to having all of the 2009 Topps (Series 1) sets complete - that is, the regular, Wal*Mart black, and Target Throwback sets complete. 

2010 Topps:
Legendary Lineage:

LL29.  Carl Yastrzemski & Kevin Youkilis

Another great card to knock off my want list, I'm now only missing one Legendary Lineage card from Series 1!

2009 Topps American Heritage:
Chrome:
C6.  Emily Dickinson

At one point, I thought I'd collect the entire chrome set...but I've since decided that I won't do that.  This particular card will be up for trade at some point...but it'll still count as a bonus point since I did have this on my want list not so long ago!

Thanks for the entry Roger - and for anyone else, if you'd like to enter the contest look here or if you'd like to work out a regular trade check out my want list and make an offer!

Gint-A-Cuffs Practice: 2010 Topps Series 2 Warm Up - Part 2

It's time for the second pack of cards for each "player."  Let's see how it goes.  Before that, a reminder of the scoring:

Base cards:
Cincinnati Reds: +10
Pittsburgh Pirate: +5
New York Yankee: -10
Boston Red Sox: -5
Awesome photo: +1 through +5 points, depending on how much I like it.

Inserts:
Gold parallel: +10
Black parallel: +25
Platinum parallel: +50
Printing Plate: +30
Cards Your Mother Threw Out: +2
Cards Your Mother Threw Out Original Back: +4
Topps Legends Vintage Collection: +2
History of World Series: +2
Turkey Red: +2
Legendary Lineage: +2
Peak Performers: +2
Red Hot Rookies: +4
Topps 2020: +4
Sketch Card, Hall of Fame Buyback, or any of the other crazy hard pulls: +100
Million Card Giveaway: +5
Peak Performance Relic: +10
Peak Performance Auto: +20
Manufactured Hat relic: +20
All other relics/autos: +100
Topps Attax cards: +1
Cincinnati Reds: x10
Pittsburgh Pirates: x5
New York Yankee: /10
Boston Red Sox: /5


Pack 02 - Cobb:
391.  Manny Parra
464.  Francisco Liriano
529.  Carlos Lee
548.  Minnesota Twins (terrible photo, I should take away points.  In fact, I will.  -2)

563.  Bronson Arroyo (+10 for being a Red)

614.  Kelly Johnson
Kelly helped my fantasy baseball team out a lot in the early part of the season but he's cooled off considerably since then.
641.  Chase Headley
LL-45.  Babe Ruth & Ryan Howard (Legendary Lineage +2/10 Yankee = 0.2)
TMC-12.  Million Card Giveaway (+5)
Topps Attax:  Ryan Zimmerman (+1)

Cobb's Pack Score:  +14.2
A much better pack for Cobb.  In fact, that's enough to give him a positive overall score!
 
Pack 02 - Pedroia:
403.  Jimmy Rollins
495.  Carlos Pena
507.  Francisco Rodriguez
569.  Jacoby Ellsbury (-5 Red Sox)
628.  Ross Detwiler
629.  Oliver Perez
654.  Collin Balester
PP-61.  Hunter Pence (+2 Peak Performance)
T6.  Hunter Pence (+4 Topps 2020)

Seriously, two inserts of Hunter Pence in the same pack?  Ugh.
Topps Attax:  Joey Votto (+1 x 10 = 10 points for being a Cincinnati insert)

Pedroia's Pack Score:  +11
Much like Cobb, Pedroia is in the positive score column now too.  The race is tightening up...and the hit hasn't been found yet!
Pack 02 - Ruth:
344.  Brett Myers
346.  Taylor Teagarden
353.  Jason Heyward
394.  Luis Castillo
594.  Andy LaRoche (+5 Pirate)
607.  Ubaldo Jimenez

Jimenez has been a great pitcher for my fantasy team so he gets the scan in this pack.
TR95.  Ty Cobb
CMT69.  Roger Maris (+2)
Topps Attax:  Ian Kinsler (+1)

Ruth's Pack Score:  +8
Heading into Maris' second pack, Ruth has a firm hold on second place.  Barring a terrible pack from Maris, Ruth won't be able to catch up until round three (at the earliest).  Only one way to find out though!

Pack 02 - Mantle
386.  Dan Haren
400.  Alex Rodriguez (-10 Yankee)
459.  Joel Zumaya
497.  Edgar Renteria
535.  Andy Sonnanstine
608.  Pittsburgh Pirates (+5)
638.  Paul Konerko
VLC24.  Pee Wee Reese (Vintage Legends +2)
Red Hot Rookie #7 (+4)

642.  San Diego Padres (Gold Parallel +10)

Topps Attax:  Alex Rodriguez (+1 / 10 = +0.1)


Mantle's Pack Score:  +11.1
Wow, another good showing by Mantle.  If I didn't penalize Yankees so heavily (or if I had realized what the Red Hot Rookie card seedings were) this pack score would have been much, much higher!  Even so, it's a good showing and Mantle will retain his lead going into pack three.

Leaderboard (after 2 packs - # of packs won in parenthesis):

Mantle: +40.1    (1 win)
Ruth: +21
Pedroia: +10
Cobb: +1.2  (1 win)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Gint-A-Cuffs Practice: 2010 Topps Series 2 Warm Up Part 1

Gint-a-Cuffs is around the corner which means that everyone should be fine-tuning their game.  In an effort to make sure I'll be able to dominate this year's Ginter Challenge, I've purchased two hobby boxes of 2010 Topps (Series 2) to practice with.  In the true spirit of Gint-a-Cuffs, I first have to make up a bunch of goofy rules in order to practice scoring:
Note:  These two hobby boxes are the first Series 2 cards that I've bought so I'm not 100% sure what to expect.

Pre-Gint-a-Cuffs Warm up Rules:

Base cards:
Cincinnati Reds:   +10
Pittsburgh Pirate:  +5
New York Yankee:  -10
Boston Red Sox:  -5
Awesome photo:  +1 through +5 points, depending on how much I like it.

Inserts:
Gold parallel:  +10
Black parallel:  +25
Platinum parallel:  +50
Printing Plate:  +30
Cards Your Mother Threw Out:  +2
Cards Your Mother Threw Out Original Back:  +4
Topps Legends Vintage Collection:  +2
History of World Series:  +2
Turkey Red:  +2
Legendary Lineage:  +2
Peak Performers:  +2
Red Hot Rookies:  +4
Topps 2020:  +4
Sketch Card, Hall of Fame Buyback, or any of the other crazy hard pulls:  +100
Million Card Giveaway:  +5
Peak Performance Relic:  +10
Peak Performance Auto:  +20
Manufactured Hat relic:  +20
All other relics/autos:  +100
Topps Attax cards:  +1
Cincinnati Reds:  x10
Pittsburgh Pirates:  x5
New York Yankee:  /10
Boston Red Sox:  /5


Alright, there's the rules - let's bust the cards. 
After taking all the packs out, there are 4 equal stacks of pack wrappers (once I take one of the Pedroia wrappers and put it in the Ty Cobb stack that is).  So, it'll be a four-way competition:
Pedroia vs. Cobb vs. Mantle vs. Ruth.

Let's get it on!

Pack 01 - Cobb (this is the extra Pedroia that is going to count as a Cobb)
410.  Oakland Athletics (Cool photo, that's a ton of green on a card considering it has a white border! +3)

413.  J.J. Hardy
432.  A.J. Burnett (-10 Yankee)
473.  Jason Varitek (-5 Red Sox)
474.  Kyle Kendrick
592.  Brian Roberts
595.  Mike Lowell (-5 Red Sox)
PP-57.  Max Scherzer (+2 Peak Performer)
CMT79.  Juan Marichal (+2 CYMTO)
Topps Attax:  Matt Holliday (+1)

Cobb's Total Score:  -12 points.
Wow, it looks like Pedroia really sabotaged Cobb with that stinker of a pack.  Minus twelve points is no way to start off a competition!

Pack 01 - Pedroia
Seeing as how Pedroia really stunk it up pinch-hitting for Cobb, let's see how he does batting for himself.
411.  Jack Wilson (+2.  I've seen Wilson play a lot as a member of the Pirates, he always seems to make great plays in the field...this card is a nice example of that)

420.  Shin-Soo Choo
448.  Joakim Soria
457.  Kanekoa Texeira
509.  Todd Helton
547.  Brett Gardner (-10, Yankee)
649.  Casey McGehee
PP-80.  Ozzie Smith  (+2 points)
T12.  Chris Coghlan (Topps 2020, +4 points)

Topps Attax:  Billy Butler (+1)

Pedroia's Total Score:  -1.  Well, Pedroia did better for himself than he did for Cobb...but it's mostly akin to saying grounding into a double play twice is better than grounding into a triple play and a double once each.  Neither one is any good.

Pack 01 - Ruth:
The bar hasn't been set real high thus far...can Ruth finish with a positive score at least?
340.  John Buck
406.  Jeff Francis
468.  Delmon Young
485.  Jesus Flores
519.  Alexi Casilla
558.  Ronny Paulino
621.  Aaron Cook
TR54.  Andrew McCutchen (+2 Turkey Red x5 Pirate = +10 points)

HWS9.  Bob Feller (+2)
Topps Attax:  Derrek Lee (+1)

Ruth's Total Score:  +13
It wasn't the most exciting pack, but it was the first pack without a Red Sox or Yankee penalty.  Ruth opens up an early lead, can Mantle catch up with his first pack?

Pack 01 - Mantle:
361.  Washington Nationals
397.  Colorado Rockies
577.  Jason Jaramillo (+5 Pirates)
585.  Dioner Navarro
590.  Ryan Howard
631.  Marc Rzerpczynski
660.  Brandon McCarthy
You Sketch It
CMT61.  Al Kaline (+2)
VLC18.  Johnny Bench (+2 Vintage Legend x10 Red = +20)

Topps Attax:  Justin Morneau

Mantle's Total Score:  +29
What a great pack for Mantle, the Johnny Bench insert is really nice - and great point scorer given my grading system.  Let's take a look at the leaderboard after 1 pack.

2010 Topps Series 2 Warm Up #1
Leaderboard:
Mantle:  +29
Ruth:  +13
Pedroia:  -1
Cobb:  -12

Wow, Mantle has a nice lead after one pack...but there are still 8 packs of each to go so this competition is a long way from over!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

New Year's Resolutions Revisited: How Am I Doing?

Back in January, I posted My New Year Resolutions:  Sports Edition.  Now that the year is approximately halfway over, it's time to check in on my progress.

1. Visit a MLB Stadium that I haven't yet been to.

Complete?  No.
I did, however, visit a minor league park (Scranton) this year to watch Aroldis Chapman pitch.  Unfortunately, I've already been to that park...and that's the only professional game I've attended up to now.
2. Finish at least three of the sets on my current want list.
Complete?  No.
I've gotten tantalizingly close to completing a couple of sets but I haven't actually finished any off.
3. Continue blog trading.
Complete?  Yes.
To date, I've mailed 71 trade packages out, roughly one package every 2.4 days or so.  That's not too shabby.  I fully expect to complete more trades in the near future now that my move is over...and with Allen & Ginter almost hitting store shelves!
4. Attend at least one Cincinnati Reds game.
Complete?  No.
As I mentioned earlier, I haven't been able to make it to a single Major League game yet this year.  I do, however, have tentative plans to see the Reds play in July so there is still hope that I'll complete this resolution.

5. Make a blogger happy as a surprise.
Complete?  Yes.
I've sent a couple of "surprise" packages out, plus I added some surprise cards to group break packages of teams that didn't otherwise get any hits.  Both have resulted in some happy fellow bloggers judging by email and blog comments.
6. Continue growing my Barry Larkin Collection.  (And as an addendum, continue scanning and posting my Barry Larkin cards that I already have.)
Complete?  Yes.
My Barry Larkin Collection has grown considerably, and while I'm still wayyyyy behind on doing write-ups for all the Larkin cards I have, my online Larkin Collection is moving along nicely as well.  As of now, I have 58 different Barry Larkin cards scanned and posted.  It's not inconceivable that I could cross the 100 mark before December 31.
7. Be more a more visible blog presence.
Complete?  Yes.
I still don't post a reply to every blog I read but I have made a conscientious effort to post replies to at least a couple of blogs every day.  For the most part, I'm happy with my output in this category.

8. Come up with a contest.
Complete?  Yes.
I actually have a contest going on right now (click here to sign up)!  I also (still) have a great idea for a more diabolical contest...but it requires me to do a lot of work up front...and I'd really prefer to have some sort of great prize which requires me to contact Topps or Upper Deck I believe.  The diabolical contest may have to wait until next year...but at least I have another contest that's a bit more fun (and less work for everyone involved) going on now.
9. Finish my MLB Team Rank blog series before the regular baseball season begins.
Complete?  No.
I didn't complete that series before the regular season.  In fact, I ended up so busy with other posts and ideas that I only recently posted the final entry in the series in which I basically just listed the remaining teams in their corresponding spots.
10. Add more variety to the blog.
Complete?  Yes.
I'm going to say that I've completed this resolution, but I still think I could have a bit more variety on the blog.  I have added new things such as occasional contests, plenty of trade posts, snarky commentary, and a couple of group breaks.  I've also done a few photo blogs, some origami, and a cooking post or two.

Overall, I've completed 6 out of the 10 resolutions I set at the beginning of the year.  In all honestly, that's pretty good for me...especially since there is still half a year remaining!  I'm not sure if I'll actually have time to visit a new ballpark this year but the other three resolutions are all still within reach.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Barry Larkin Collection 58: 1994 Fleer Flair #146

Barry Larkin
Year:  1994
Brand:  Fleer Flair
Card number:  146

Sensory overload...or else a card that really could have used 3-D technology that's become all the rage lately.  This particular Larkin card features two (different) photos of Larkin on the front, one superimposed over the other plus a garish font with a crazy large L (for Larkin) and some spikes sticking out of it.  Apparently this card doubles as a way to stop a battering ram from knocking down your house door (that and a good 'ol bucket of hot oil from the second floor window). 

The back of the card features a third picture of Larkin (and this time you can see half his face) along with his statistics.  The card itself is on rather nice card stock so it does feel a bit more "special" than the average card from 1994.  I do know that not only did I not buy any of these cards back when they came out, I wasn't even aware of their existence as a kid (other than mention in a Tuff Stuff price guide perhaps).

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Delivery Time (and Contest Reminder)! Entry from Mike at

As part of my recently announced contest (that I've reopened to get a few more participants), Mike from BA Benny's Baseball Card Buffet sent me his SASE as well as three cards off my want list (each card from my want list is worth bonus points).  Thanks to the three cards, BABenny is out in front currently on the contest leaderboard.

Here are the cards he sent with his SASE entry:

2010 Topps:
Peak Performers: 
PP-3.  Honus Wagner
PP-43.  Dustin Pedroia

Legendary Lineage:
LL6.  Jimmie Foxx & Manny Ramirez

Thanks for the cards and contest entry Mike - and for everyone else, if you'd like to either trade (or enter the contest), contact me for my new address, check out my want list, and then we'll work something out!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Contest Update!

Reminder:  Contest!
I haven't done a great job publicizing my latest contest so I'm going to reopen it!  I've already mailed back a few of the SASE's I've received (BABenny, yours is in the mail today) but I'd like a few more entrants.  Plus, it's free cards for any entrant (well, minus the cost of a stamp or two).


Here's the deal:

You send me a SASE with a penny sleeve (remember I just moved, email me for my new address if you haven't yet) in a top loader AND pick a MLB team.

Then, I send you two cards.

One will be a card of the team of your choice.

One will be a second card of a random team.

You use what I send you. You may use them any way you wish.

You post your results on your blog in photo/video form (or email me and I'll post it on my blog). You also comment back on this post with a link to your blog.

Most creative entry wins. If I get approval from Strat-o-Matic, winner will get a game, otherwise I'll have a different prize... And, to make it interesting, if you include a card(s) off my want list in the top loader, you get bonus points.  I will also update the side bar of my blog to include each contestant's name (and a link to their blog if I know it).  Please pass the word along to others who might read your blog and not mine, the more entries, the better!

Note: Please leave a comment if you are participating (and haven't yet mailed me the SASE), at some point I'll run out of the "special" cards and will be unable to add more participants.

Coming Attractions!

I've been busy moving and all that jazz lately, but that doesn't mean I've been completely quiet on the card front...

In the next week or two, I should have the following to rip:

1.  Two hobby boxes of 2010 Topps Series 2
2.  Three 2010 National Chicle Hobby packs (added to an order to make free shipping!)
3.  Half a case of 2010 Topps Allen & Ginter

As you can see, lots of (hopefully) good stuff will be ripped and posted - not to mention the Gint-a-Cuffs hijinks that are about to begin in earnest on blogs near you.  I've also got a few trade packages to post (and a few to send out). 

All that, and more, will commence next Thursday (June 24) - posts will be sporadic until then - stay tuned!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Crazy Busy

A few quick notes:

As I mentioned before, I have finally completed my move into my new house (if you still haven't contacted me for my new mailing address please do so)! 

I hope to get back to regular posting soon - but most likely not before late next week since I have a conference Sunday - Tuesday and an all day job interview Wednesday. 

I also owe a few people packages - I haven't forgotten...I simply haven't had time to do any mailing.  That will be the first priority for me next week - unless I get a chance to package things up before I leave for the conference.

Until then, thanks for checking out my blog and sticking with me - new posts (with substance) will arrive shortly! 

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Finally Back!

The move is "officially" complete now - I've got internet and cable in the new house!

More posts to arrive shortly!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Move Complete!

The move to the new house is complete...and regular posting should begin shortly on my blog.  The cable/internet guy is supposed to hook up the 'net on Wednesday...which is when I hope to be back in full force on the blog.  Until then, I've been reading a lot of great blogs (and trying to comment on at least 10% of those that I read)! 

Reminder:  If you still need my new mailing address - please shoot me an email and I'll provide it!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Barry Larkin Collection 57: 2001 Fleer Triple Crown #16

Barry Larkin
Year:  2001
Brand:  Fleer Triple Crown
Card number:  16

2001 was a busy year for me - I graduated high school, began college, and most assuredly did not spend my few hard earned dollars on baseball cards.  As such, this particular card must have arrived in a trade at some point over the life of my blog.  Unfortunately, I never thought to keep track of who sent me which Larkin card (and many of my readers have sent a veritable plethora of Larkins over the years). 

This particular card is quite cool - the front is a little busy with fonts going up and down, left and right all over the place (think 1995 Fleer but on Ritalin).  The back of the card earns bonus points for the faux dirt at the bottom with the white chalk stripe.  It's a seriously simple idea that I haven't seen implemented many times in baseball cards - use the dirt & chalk as part of the design!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Moving!

Ugh. 

Honestly, that's all I have to say at the moment.  I've spend all week packing, loading, unloading, and unpacking box after box (including more baseball cards than I realized I had)...  I've finally managed to get everything out of my old apartment and into the new house (one hour away) though, so that's good.  The bad news is that the cable and internet guy can't show up until early next week - so the only internet access I have is if I head over to my parent's house (who live a few miles away from my new digs). 

What does this mean to you? 

If you are someone who is waiting for me to get some cards out to you - be patient.  I fully expect to have all cards in the mail by this weekend or else early next week at the latest.

If you are someone who trades with me, please shoot me an email so I can provide you my new address!

If you are someone who simply loves reading my blog (and uhm, I'm not convinced there are many people in that role) hang in there - more new content, including a possible new contest (and Gint-a-Cuffs II) will all be featured here at Nachos Grande shortly.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Barry Larkin Collection 56: 1991 US Playing Cards - 6 Clubs

Barry Larkin
Year: 1991
Brand:  US Playing Cards
Card number:  6 Clubs

As any player collector can attest, one of the hardest types of cards to track down are the "oddball" cards.  Specifically, cards much like this playing card!  This particular card shows Larkin on the front with name, position, and all team logos while flanking him with a pair of six of clubs.  The back of the card has the manufacturer name and a big 'ol gaudy Baseball - Major League All-Stars logo. 

This isn't my favorite Larkin card (heck, it isn't even my favorite Larkin as a playing card) but it is a great addition to my collection - and the first true oddball card featured in my Barry Larkin Collection series!

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Barry Larkin Collection 55: 1992 Post Cereal #23

Barry Larkin
Year:  1992
Brand:  Post cereal
Card number:  23 of 30

There are a number of things that make me think fondly of my childhood.  Legos, dinosaurs, and Post Cereal baseball cards are three such things (which might explain why I'm so excited about the dinosaur insert set in 2010's Allen & Ginter set too).  Of course, this Larkin card isn't a dino nor lego, but it is a Post Cereal card which makes it pretty cool.  The front of the card features Barry Larkin, a large MLB Players Association logo, and a photo of Larkin without any Reds logos at all.  However, do check out Larkin's wristband...that's right, he's rocking a wrist band with his own photo on it. 

The back of the card features a small photo of Larkin (sans logos of course) and full career batting statistics.  There is also a fascimile signature and the cheerful looking Post logo.  The entire card is clean, and the red of the Post brand goes nicely with the Cincinnati Reds...I doubt a Blue Jay would look nearly as nice in this set because of all the red!

Delivery Time! Trade with Mark from Stats on the Back

I'm in the middle of a move so this trade post is going to be brief...but that's ok because each Larkin card that Mark (from the Stats on the Back blog) sent me will get its own chance to shine in my Barry Larkin Collection series.

A few days ago, Mark posted a trade bait post full of different players with last names starting with the letters G through L.  In exchange for any players claimed, all Mark asked for in return was a single card!  Of course, thanks to Mark's genorosity, I've sent him more than one card - hopefully a few that he doesn't have even!

Although each Larkin gets an individual post at some point, here's a sneak preview of the cards Mark sent me!

Thanks a lot Mark!  And, as always, if anyone else wants to work out a trade - check out my want list and make an offer!

***And please remember:  I've moved - if you want my new address shoot me an email!***

Monday, June 07, 2010

Delivery Time! Huge trade with blog reader Kyle

Before I get to the latest envelope, I have a quick announcement for anyone who has trade and/or is interested in trading with me in the future!

My address has changed!  If you'd like my new address, please shoot me an email.  That said, let's get to the latest trade package, this one from blog reader Kyle (who I don't think has a blog).

I sent Kyle a big pile of 2009 Topps Heritage, a bunch of 2009 Allen & Ginter, and a few 2008 Topps Stadium Club cards.  In return, Kyle sent me the following from my want lists:

2009 Allen & Ginter:
National Heroes:
NH4.  Rigas Feraios

2009 Topps Heritage:
Baseball Flashbacks:
FB-04.  Ian Kinsler

2009 Topps:
Turkey Red:
TR18.  Jose Lopez
TR68.  Lance Berkman

Kyle also sent me 28 cards from my 1985 Topps want list...

...and 63 cards from my 1991 Score want list!

Kyle also sent me a few Barry Larkin cards - all of which will get their own chance to shine in my ongoing Barry Larkin Collection series.

Thanks a ton Kyle for the great trade!  And, as always, if anyone else would like to work out a trade, check out my want list and make an offer!