Sunday, July 31, 2011

Gint-a-Cuffs: The Conclusion (Packs 23 and 24)

Box total:  224 points

I'm down to the final pair of packs in the box...and I need nine points to eclipse CommishBob's box total (which is the leader as of the time of my writing this post).  Let's see if I can do it!

Pack 23:

58.  Alcides Escobar
269.  Derrek Lee
298.  Peter Gammons
178.  Ben Revere
175.  Jose Bautista
169.  Dan Haren

Hometown Heroes:
HH82.  Jim Thome  (+1 point)

World's Most Mysterious Figures:
WMF4.  Fulcanelli  (+3 points)

Pack total:  +4 points
Box total so far:  228 points

I needed to average 4.5 points with each of the last two packs in order to beat the high score by one point.  Pack 23 let me down by half a the last pack needs to score at least 5 points...

Pack 24:
219.  Johan Santana
40.  John McEnroe (-1 point, oh no! - That's a terrible time to lose points...must get at least six points now with the final six cards)...
235.  Cole Hamels
117.  Jonathan Sanchez
318.  Brett Wallace (+2 points.  That's better...four more points needed!)

Baseball Sketch:
BHS-25.  Ichiro  (+3 points, alright, one more point...any mini besides a regular base mini should do it...)

Floating Fortresses:
FF8.  Le Napoleon (+2 points, I didn't even need the long as it isn't a Yankee I've got it!)

Portraits of Penultimacy:
PP8.  Sancho Panza  (+3 points)

Junk card

Pack total:   9 points

FINAL BOX TOTAL (barring any errors by me):  237!

What a crazy box that ended up being!  After the first half, I was extremely bummed that I didn't use the box that contained the N43 autograph (and, based on a quick addition of the possible points in that box, I still should have used that one), but the two Reds hits really carried the day for me here!   It should also be noted that I was shorted a mini card in one of the packs (and no pack contained two minis to make up for it).  I've already contacted Topps about that issue along with my missing rip cards (no response from Topps yet I might add).

Good luck to the rest of the participants.  I'm sure if anyone pulls a rip card in their Gint-a-Cuffs box (or an N43 auto or relic of a favorite player) that my score won't hold up...but hey, it's fun while it lasted!

Delivery Time! BA Benny and the Trade Stacks

CD:  Rockin' Your Cardboard Dreams
Artist:   BA Benny and the Trade Stacks

Track Listings:

1.  Diamonds are for the Lady Weak Hitting Shortstops

2.  Total Eclipse of MacRae

3.  Lurking Larkin

4.  Casey at the Bat

5.  Prospects Aren't Pros You Know

6.  I'm Just a Kid

7.  Cough if You Should be in the HOF

Thanks for the great album trade BA Benny (in exchange for one of my trade stacks)!  And, as always, if anyone else would like to trade, check out my want list and make an offer!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Gint-a-Cuffs: Packs 21 and 22

Box total so far:  174 points

Before I open two of the final four packs, it is time to take a quick look at the Gint-a-Cuffs leaderboard (as of 7/28 when I wrote this post).  With a score of 232, Commishbob leads the pack (pun intended)...

And so, doing a quick bit of math, I need 59 points to overtake Commishbob and find myself in first place (by a single point).  That means each of the final four packs need to average a total of 14.75 points.  Can I do it?  I doubt it, but let's not logical reasoning get in the way of dreaming...

Pack 21:

156.  Marlon Byrd
165.  Jo Frost
147.  George W. Bush
63.  Neil Walker
158.  Billy Butler

Ascent of Man:
AOM17.  Hominidae  (+1 point)

This was the last of the Ascent of Man cards that I needed!  Say what you will about evolution being a theme in baseball cards, the actual Ascent of Man cards are gorgeous (and even more so when you line them up side-by-side and get the full mural).  

Hometown Heroes:
HH34.  Chipper Jones  (+1 point)

Animals in Peril:
AP21.  Whooping Crane (+3 points)

I'm still missing a whole bunch of the animals in peril.  By the time you read this post, my want list should be up-to-date with my 2011 Ginter wants.

Pack total:  5 points.

Ouch!  I was 9.75 points off of what I needed to average in the pack to win this thing...

Box total so far:  179 points

With only three packs remaining, I now need to average 18 points per pack if I'm going to eclipse the 232 mark by a point.

Pack 22:

28.  John Lindsey
217.  Shaun Marcum
295.  Chris Carpenter
335.  Jason Heyward (+2 short print, +2 favorite player = +4 points)

Floating Fortresses:
FF3.  Henri Grace A Dieu  (+2 points)

Uninvited Guests:
UG8.  The Winchester Mystery House  (+3 points)

Framed Printing Plate!!!
 5.  Aroldis Chapman - Yellow Printing Plate  (+30 points x 1.2 favorite team = +36 points!)

HOLY COW!  I've NEVER pulled a printing plate before in any set...and to end up with a Red as my first plate, that's all sorts of awesome!  This is also marks the second Reds hit to come out of the box - that's got to be some sort of record (at least for me)!

Pack total:   45 points!
Box total so far:  224 points!

 I'm now only nine points away from taking the lead in Gint-a-Cuffs...with exactly two packs remaining.  I should be able to do that, right?  I mean, an average of only 4.5 points per pack...that should be cake walk right?

Stay tuned...

Delivery Time! A Shiny Catastrophe Awaits!

I, of course, mean catastrophe in a good way - you know, like Cardboard Catastrophes.  Jeff, from the already linked blog, and I recently completed a little trade that sent some 2011 Topps base cards and 2011 Topps Heritage cards his way and a bunch of shinies my way!

2011 Topps:
Diamond parallels:

333.  Tom Wilhelmsen
335.  Buster Posey

Posey's injury probably forced the Giants into the move to acquire Beltran.  Since it looks like my Reds won't be making the playoffs this year, I definitely will be rooting for the Giants over the Cardinals...or Brewers...  
346.  Jose Bautista
367.  Hiroki Kuroda
394.  Austin Jackson
460.  Cole Hamels
485.  Delmon Young
490.  Matt Holiday
492.  A.J. Burnett

There's something that seems wrong about where the baseball is in relation to Burnett's arm.  I'm wondering if Topps Photoshopped the ball into the picture...
500.  Kevin Youkilis
519.  Corey Hart
539.  Brandon Lyon
562.  Gordon Beckham
583.  Ryan Spilborghs
619.  Jonny Venters
642.  Jason Hammel
656.  Raul Ibanez

There is a lot of green on this card - which is a bit jarring given that it is a card of a Phillie (you'd expect red to be the primary color)...

Of course, each of the above diamond parallels also nets Jeff an entry into my complete set giveaway contest.

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

Delivery Time! Smed Hooks Me Up With Ginter!

So, I recently mailed Smed roughly half of the 2011 Allen & Ginter set based on his want list.  In return, he sent me some of the "rarer" cards from the box that he busted.  If anyone else would like a big 'ol pile of Ginter cards in a similar type exchange, let me know!  I've already sent off three or four giant boxes of base cards (and short prints sometimes) for similar hauls.

Anyhow, let's check out what I got:

First up,  a pair of relics from 2011 Ginter.  I've mostly decided to go for the relic set - or at least I'll attempt it for awhile and see how far I get (hence the trades like this).  Anyhow, the Helton relic is quite nice with the pinstripe while the Ike Davis relic is majorly boring.

Next, a fun little insert set (to me anyhow), the Flora of the World.  Smed hooked me up with the Black-Eyed Susan card.  As I think I've mentioned before, I am trying to land at least two of each of the flower cards, one for my binder, and any extras for the garden next spring!

Smed also sent me a few mini cards, three black bordered cards plus a Portrait of Penultimacy.

There were also a couple of Allen & Ginter Code Parallels in the package, neither of which I want now (and I just sold off most of my other code cards) so these are available if anyone is interested.

And finally, the biggest draw of the package:

A Chuck Woolery Autograph!

Thanks for the great trade Smed - and for anyone else who might be interested, check out my want list and make an offer!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Gint-a-Cuffs: Packs 19 and 20

So far, my box has produced 151 points.  With six packs left, I'm still hoping for a 10 point per pack average to climb up and over the 200 point threshold.  Will I make it?

Pack 19:

186.  Yunel Escobar
96.  Daniel Boulud
104.  Huston Street
174.  Joakim Soria  (+2, favorite player)
312.  Cody Ross (+2 short print)

Baseball Sketch:
BHS-2.  Jay Bruce  (+3 sketch, +2 favorite player, +1 favorite team = +6 points)

Minds that Made the Future:
MMF29.  Antoine Lavoisier  (+2 points)

Portraits of Penultimacy:
PP9.  Thomas E. Dewey  (+3 points)

Junk card

Pack total:  15 points!
That's a much, much better pack.  I've had packs with relics that didn't hit the 15 point mark.  I'm slowly approaching 200 - let's hope the next pack continues the momentum!

Box total so far:  166 points

Pack 20:

21.  Logan Morrison
10.  Miguel Cabrera
183.  Mike Napoli
124.  Chad Billingsley
323.  Orlando Hudson (+2, short print)

Hometown Heroes:
HH15.  Matt Holliday (+1)

Baseball Sketch:
BHS-19.  Matt Garza (+3)

Regular back mini:
350.  Joe Mauer (+3 points - short print)

Pack total:  9 points

Not the best, but certainly not the worst.  I guess I'll take 9 points from a pack that didn't really have anything particularly good in it!

Box total so far:  175 points
Thanks to a correction by hiflew back on my Pack 10, 11, 12 post, I missed a point my real total is 174 points!

Delivery Time! Some Shinies for my Set!

A couple of days ago, blog reader Wes (who doesn't have a blog as far as I know) and I completed a little trade.  Wes sent me a bunch of 2011 Topps Diamond parallels in exchange for a bunch of entries into my contest plus about 25 Expos and Braves...

What shinies did I end up with?  Behold!

 337.  Jordan Walden
340.  Evan Longoria
The back of Longoria's card features a quote from former Reds (and Nationals) GM Jim Bowden.  Reds fans will forever refer to Bowden as 'ol Leatherpants.
353. Cliff Pennington
382.  Travis Snider

I wonder if the baseball was photoshopped in or if Topps' photographers are actually that good...  Knowing Topps, I'm guessing Photoshop was used.
467.  Wade Davis
530.  Felix Hernandez
586.  Carlos Lee
597.  Rick Porcello
614.  Minnesota Twins

This card looks excellent in diamond form!  If only the stupid logo in the upper right corner was smaller (or better yet, gone), this would be a complete card!

Thanks for the trade Wes!  And, as always, if anyone else would like to trade - check out my want list and make an offer! 

Gint-a-Cuffs: Packs 17 and 18

Box total so far:  135 points

I'm down to the final eight packs - let's see if I can at least crack 200.  I need about 10 points per remaining pack to have any sort of shot at the championship...

Pack 17:

131.  Chris Ianetta
36.  Eric Sogard
228.  Brandon Snyder
257.  Andew Bailey
146.  John Danks

Ascent of Man:
AOM 26.  Homo Sapiens Sapiens  (+1 point)

Hometown Heroes:
HH43.  Joba Chamberlain  (No points because it's a stupid Yankee)

Uninvited Guests:
UG2.  The White House (+3 points)

Pack total:  4 whopping points.
Box total so far:  139 points

Pack 18:

 103.  Andres Torres
149.  Lars Anderson
276.  Desmond Jennings

Ascent of Man
AOM1.  Prokaryotes  (+1 point)

Hometown Heroes:
HH2.  Colby Rasmus (+1 point)

Regular mini:
131.  Chris Ianetta

AGR-BD.  Blake DeWitt  (+10 points)

Pack total:  12 points

Box total so far:  151 points

Well, I lost ground in terms of getting a championship caliber box even with pulling the third relic out of the box.  I really wish I would have used the box with the Gonzalez auto'd N43 even more now...that one would have smoked this box out of the water.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Delivery Time! Blog Reader Jeff Sends Me Cards!

Although my trade summaries will be scattered about in terms of when they go live on my blog, this is the seventh post that I've written today (most of which were trade posts).  It feels good to be getting caught up again in terms of posting the trade packages - and it feels good to keep eliminating cards from my want list!

As my post title suggests, the latest person to knock cards off my want list is blog reader Jeff.  Jeff sent me a total of ten cards in exchange for some 2011 Topps and 2010 Allen & Ginter cards from me...  Let's take a look at what I ended up with (some of which is immediately up for trade by the way):

Topps Town:
TT2-30.  Carl Crawford
TT2-38.  Brian Matusz

Another couple of Topps Town cards off my want list.  I've already promised myself that I won't ever try to collect something as stupid as Topps Town cards again.  Topps made it a lot harder by seeded these 1:6 packs or something - even though no one collects 'em, they are rare enough that people (seemingly) aren't pulling any of the ones that I still need...

60 Years of Topps:
60YOT-85.  Don Sutton
60YOT-116.  Ryan Braun

I happen to like the 60 Years of Topps cards.  However, I won't be collecting a third year of Topps reprints - so if Topps is going to woo me with their 2012 base set, they better have something new up their sleeve instead of a re-rehashing of two years' worth of insert card ideas.  The Braun card is up for trade as I already received it from someone else.

Diamond parallel:
409.  Vin Mazzaro
591.  John Axford
628.  Blake DeWitt

These three diamond parallels earn Jeff three entries into my contest (see the side bar of my blog for futher details).  I am slowly but surely closing in on the diamond set...though there are probably another 250 cards or so that I need (maybe more, I'm a little scared to count)!

Jeff also sent me a couple of retail specific insert cards (Mark Teixeira and Josh Johnson) and a single base card that I had needed (Dominic Brown).  Those cards are also available for trade (see all my 2011 Topps cards that I have available here).

Thanks for the trade Jeff!  And, as always, if anyone else would like to trade - check out my want list and make an offer!

Gint-a-Cuffs: Packs 15 and 16

Box total so far:  124 points

After 14 packs, I'm averaging  about 8.1 points per pack which would give me a final Gint-a-Cuffs score of 204.4.  Based on most of the scores I've seen so far, that would put in the bottom half for sure.  Let's hope I can raise my per pack average so that my box has a fighting chance...

Pack 15:
189.  Dexter Fowler
164.  Heather Mitts
225.  Jack LaLanne
145.  Victor Martinez
134.  Matt Cain

Hometown Heroes:
HH38.  Andre Ethier  (+1 for being boring)

Ad back mini:
93.  Evan Lysacek  (+2 for being an ad back at least)

Code Card:
111.  Pablo Sandoval  (+3 points for being one of 350 different code cards)

Pack total:  6 points

Well, that's not getting it per pack average went down instead of up.

Box total so far:  130 points

Let's see what the next pack has in store...

Pack 16:
53.  Chipper Jones
300.  Ryan Braun
34.  Pedro Ciriaco
281.  Adam Lind
179.  Shane Victorino
342.  Mike Pelfrey (+2 for being a bit tougher to find)

Minds that Made the Future:
MMF23.  Florence Nightingale  (+2 points)

That's my second Minds that Made the Future I've gotten in the box - and the second one I needed (as of this moment, I only need two more for the full set)!

 What mini?  I got ripped off with this mini to be found.  Thanks a lot Topps for your terrible collation and card insertion (or lack thereof).

Pack total:  +5 lousy points since I didn't even get a mini.
Box total* so far:  135 points

Uhm, yeah, that sucks the big one.  It's going to take something special to make this even close isn't it?

Does Anyone Want These? (Topps Diamond Giveaway Edition)

So, I am sure that I'm done buying both Series 1 and Series 2 of Topps, and thus, I'm probably done having any new codes to redeem in the Diamond Giveaway.  As such, it's time to turn my cards into things that I actually want...  Here's the deal, I've got a bunch of cards (all listed below) for trade via the website.  I'm looking for ANY diamond die-cuts - I can try to spin them into actual players I'd collect using the site later on.  I'm perfectly willing to trade two or three cards for a diamond die-cut (or more if necessary).

If you see a card (or more) that you'd like, leave me a comment stating which card(s) you want and what die-cut you are willing to trade.  I'll go on the diamond site and propose the trade which should then pop up on your page as a potential trade.  My user name is NachosGrande on the giveaway site so that should be easy to find!

Remember:  I'll gladly trade more than one card for a die-cut!

Delivery Time! Cards From my Brother From the Same Mother

I'm writing this particular trade post at 12:30 in the morning...that post title was the first thing that popped into my head.

Anyhow, as the title suggests (so poetically I might add), it's time to take a peek at another package of cards from my brother!

First up, a pile of 2011 Topps base cards.  In fact, thanks to him, I now have the entire 2011 Topps base set complete!

J.D. Drew earns the honor as being the last card out of the 2011 base set that I needed - although why he looks like a pitcher when he's really an outfielder is beyond me.  (Is he about to throw a curveball there, look at his grip.)

In addition to the '11 Topps cards, my brother also threw in a pair of 2009 Topps Heritage cards!  I know, I was shocked too - I figured my '09 Heritage set needs would simply sit on my want list forever unless I hit up a site like eBay or CheckOutMyCards.

534.  Cesar Izturis

592.  Cliff Lee

I still need a few more cards from the set to complete the entire thing - any help is appreciated if you happen to have any Heritage sitting around (or perhaps you've officially given up on your set and wish to trade away your pieces a la Johnny Gomes and the Cincinnati Reds).

Thanks for the cards bro!  And, as always, if anyone else would like to trade - check out my want list and make an offer!