Saturday, December 31, 2011

So Long 2011, Hello 2012!

Like almost everyone else on my blog roll, I figured I'd do the whole year end summary post too.  For me, this year was a roller coaster of incredible highs and not-so-great lows.  Luckily, the highs definitely outnumbered the lows so this should be a mostly positive year summary!

In terms of my blog, the year 2011 started off at the end of 2010 when I posted my 2011 Resolutions.  Unfortunately, I haven't sat down long enough to think of resolutions for 2012 but I'm sure I'll find time to do that early next week.   My year ended with 974 posts in 2011 (counting this post) - along with 166 trade packages (plus a ton of group break packages mailed).  I was mildly disappointed the post office didn't mail me a Christmas card thanking me for all my business over the past year.

As for the rest of 2011, well, it was a mixed bag.  On the blogging side of things, I posted the third trade stack back in January - something that I've kept going throughout most of the year.  In fact, the trade stack might be my only contribution to the blogging community as a number of other people have "borrowed" the idea with their own twists.

In early February I decided that I was an idiot (ok, I knew that already) and would collect the entire 660 Topps diamond parallel set.  Knowing how everyone would be going gaga for sparklies, I created a contest where I'd be giving away lots of stuff in exchange for the cards.   The good news is the contest is still active (which means the bad news is that I still haven't finished off the set).  February was also one of the few months where I did my "Best of the Month" posts...a good idea that I somehow didn't keep up with (probably because my memory is incapable of remembering something that only happens once a month, kind of like the new moon).  

In March, I decided I'd be a better blogger and actually create blog entries with content.  Of course, that didn't last long but I did manage to try and figure out why National Chicle didn't get more love.  In April, most of the month was spent wasting money on retail blasters and packs of Topps Heritage.  Yet another set that I'm still quite a few cards shy of completing.  Most of May was dominated by my fifth group break (though that number is mostly likely a lie since I didn't number some of my breaks, such as the Gypsy Queen break).

June as a big month for me personally as I got married to my wonderful wife (and I got some baseball cards as a wedding present).  In July, I tried once again to create some sort of compelling entries - one of which was Why the Trade Post isn't Dead.  That post got a few comments (more than I usually get at least) which made me think I ought to try and do more posts that require thought and brains...but then I realized that I wouldn't have much time for such things because August brought the beginning of graduate school along with a new blog design for Nachos Grande.

September marked the first month of my newest idea - theme weeks.  Much like the Trade Stacks, I was able to keep the Theme Week idea going throughout the remainder of the year (and I have another Theme Week that I'm working on for next week so at least that idea will have a bit of a lifespan.

October sucked.  

November sucked.

And in December, I managed to piss a lot of people off with my thoughts of whose blog is number one.  Also in December, I made the decision to not return to graduate school (more on that another day).

And that, my friends, was 2011.

It was a year of immense joy and immense disappointment - but hopefully the personal roller coaster will calm down a bit for 2012.  As far as card collecting, 2011 marked the first year where I managed to avoid trying to collect almost everything that was released - though as things like Topps Attax that are still on my want list prove, I wasn't 100% successful in that venture.  As I said earlier, I'll try to highlight some of my 2012 goals for the blog and my collection in the upcoming week - until then may you all have a safe and happy New Year's celebration and I'll see you in 2012.

1999 UD Retro Box Break: Packs 7 and 8

I've had a lot of fun with the box of UD Retro thus far.  On Christmas Day, I sat down and opened up all the packs while my wife set up her new digital camera (my gift to her).  However, I was in a bit of a hurry so I made sure to put each pack's contents back in the wrapper before moving on to the next pack.  Now that I'm slowly going back through the packs and organizing all the cards, I'm able to spend a lot more time looking at the card fronts (and backs).  It's a fun process - and one that definitely prolongs the entertainment from a box of cards.  I know some of you don't care to read about pack breaks on my blog - so I guess I'll do my best to make them at least borderline entertaining...and I'll try to post other stuff too throughout the box break (such as Trade Stacks) and who knows what else.  Also, I'm in the process of working on the next Theme Week for my blog - if all goes well, it'll begin the week of January 9th.  The articles require quite a bit of research (though you'll see that isn't always a big burden)...

Anyhow, back to the issue at hand - two more packs of UD Retro!

Pack 7:
9.  Andruw Jones
22.  Gerg Vaughn

Vaughn is the first Red that I've pulled from the box - but I know for certain that there is a much better Red that is yet to show up on the blog...just sayin'!
26.  Jaret Wright
36.  Shane Reynolds
59.  Chuck Knoblauch
D14.  Distant Replay:  Ivan Rodriguez

That's my third Distant Replay of the box - and seeing how they are seeded 1:8 packs, I shouldn't be finding any more...

Pack 8:
10.  Tom Glavine
71.  Eric Davis
80.  Jose Canseco
90.  George Brett

I love the powder blue unis!
92.  Paul Molitor
101.  Kirk Gibson

 Another insert plus a bunch of base cards - I'm still hopeful that I can complete this set though no one has come forth saying they have any as trade bait...  Maybe I'll get lucky and get the full set from a single box?  I don't think I'll be chasing any of the insert sets - but I'll wait and say for certain once I've opened and collated all the packs.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Trade Stack 35: Let's Begin Another Stack!

Here is how this works:
Every so often (i.e. whenever I feel like it), I will add a card to a "Trade Stack".  Whenever the stack becomes appealing enough to someone, that person needs to comment on the post saying they'd like to claim the stack AND tell me which card they are sending off of my want list.  That's all you have to do - trade me ONE card (or more, of course) card from my want list for the entire stack of cards that I'm offering.  Each time, it will be first come, first serve...so act quickly (unless of course you are a gambler and hope to wait it out until there are 10+ cards in the stack that you want in exchange for a single 2004 UD Vintage card that I am looking for)!

The Trade Stack:
Last update:  12/30/11

A quick update to the trade stack - I've now bolded the requirement that claims be made via comments on the trade post.  The last stack had a little confusion because one person claimed via email while a different person put a claim in a bit later on the trade post.  I try to do the trade stacks as first come, first serve so I honored the email...but from now on, it's the first comment on the current trade stack post - that way it's easier for everyone!  

With that, let's move on to the next stack.  Usually I try to start each stack with some sort of insert or parallel card and this particular stack is no exception.  We'll start off with a highly paid shortstop who no longer plays for New York (and no, Jeter didn't just get traded).  I don't know how I ended up acquiring this card - but that doesn't matter as it's now ready to go to a new home...

2009 Upper Deck:
Star Quest:
Blue Uncommon
SQ-15.  Jose Reyes - Mets  


Want the card(s) in the stack?  Act fast - tell me which card you will send me off my want list in the comments below!  You must leave a comment on the trade stack post in order to claim the card - no more claims via email!  If no one claims this card within a reasonable amount of time (a few hours up to a few days, depending) - I'll add another card to the stack and the process will start again!


Previously Claimed Trade Stacks:
Stack 01:  2 cards by dayf
Stack 02:  8 cards by Justin
Stack 03:  17 cards by Cam
Stack 04:  4 cards by Cam
Stack 05:  9 cards by Daily Dimwit
Stack 06:  4 cards by The Lost Collector
Stack 07:  1 card by Baseball Dad
Stack 08:  1 card by M. Spiegel
Stack 09:  6 cards by bwsmith25
Stack 10:  6 cards by Baseball Dad
Stack 11:  1 card by Patrick
Stack 12:  5 cards by Matt B.
Stack 13:  4 cards by Steve G.
Stack 14:  3 cards by ShaneK
Stack 15:  7 cards by Ryan G
Stack 16:  1 card by longlivethewho
Stack 17:  4 cards by hiflew
Stack 18:  4 cards by Potch
Stack 19:  2 cards by Axemanohio
Stack 20:  5 cards by by Play at the Plate
Stack 21:  5 cards by BA Benny
Stack 22:  1 card by IkesCards
Stack 23:  8 cards by Axemanohio
Stack 24:  1 card by BA Benny
Stack 25:  2 cards by Jeff P.
Stack 26:  10 cards by Axemanohio
Stack 27:  1 card by BA Benny
Stack 28:  7 cards by ThingsAreFunnerHere
Stack 29:  3 cards by TheBrooklynMet
Stack 30:  4 cards by Adam C.
Stack 31:  10 cards by Play at the Plate
Stack 32:  8 cards by Josh D.
Stack 33:  6 cards by Baseball Dad
Stack 34:  1 card by Potch
Stack 35:  ?? by ?? 

1999 UD Retro: Packs 5 and 6

It's time to continue the box break (to be precise, the lunch box break) - here are the next two packs.

1999 UD Retro:
Pack 5:

3.  Tim Salmon

11.  Javy Lopez
12.  Albert Belle
27.  Kenny Lofton
31.  Tony Clark
39.  Craig Biggio

I have a feeling it wouldn't have been much fun to be an Angels fan if you didn't like Tim Salmon in the late 90s.   For a few teams, there always seems to be one or two guys that I would always pull for that team - off the top of my head:
Angels - Tim Salmon
Rangers - Ivan Rodriguez & Juan Gonzalez 
Cubs - Sammy Sosa
Astros - Lance Berkman

I'm sure if I thought about it a little more, I could come up with another half dozen players for various teams that seemed extra prevalent as I collected cards.

Pack 6:

17.  Sammy Sosa

 25.  Jim Thome
44.  Adrian Beltre
54.  Edgardo Alfonzo
60.  Bernie Williams
102.  Bucky Dent

See, there's a Sosa!  I probably could add Adrian Beltre to the above list as well - I seem to get a ton of his cards too.  In other news, I happen to like the Bucky Dent card quite a bit - even if he is a Yankee.  What can I say, I'm a sucker for legendary players (especially of the non-Mantle and Ruth variety).

Now that I've opened up six packs, or a quarter of the box, it's time to take a look at what I've found so far.  At the moment, I have four inserts (2 Distant Replays and 2 Throwback Attacks).  As I said already, there is an autograph in each lunch box - though there are at least one or two redemptions that you definitely want to avoid now that the set is over a decade old.  I also have 32 different base cards - no duplicates (which makes me happy)!  What else will the box yield?  Only one way to find out - stay tuned!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Trade Stack 34: A Sparkly Legend Variation Begins the New Stack.

Here is how this works:
Every so often (i.e. whenever I feel like it), I will add a card to a "Trade Stack".  Whenever the stack becomes appealing enough to someone, that person needs to comment on the post saying they'd like to claim the stack AND tell me which card they are sending off of my want list.  That's all you have to do - trade me ONE card (or more, of course) card from my want list for the entire stack of cards that I'm offering.  Each time, it will be first come, first serve...so act quickly (unless of course you are a gambler and hope to wait it out until there are 10+ cards in the stack that you want in exchange for a single 2004 UD Vintage card that I am looking for)!

The Trade Stack:
Last update:  12/29/11

Here's a bonus for all of you who are still awake and reading the blogs late at night (at least fairly late for the east coast - a new trade stack begins now!  To start things off, I figured I'd begin with a really nice card - one of the sparkly legend variations of Johnny Mize from the 2011 Topps set.  Good luck - I don't expect this stack to last very long...
  
2011 Topps:
Diamond sparkle variation:
425.  Johnny Mize - Cardinals


Want the card(s) in the stack?  Act fast - tell me which card you will send me off my want list in the comments below!  If no one claims this card within a reasonable amount of time (a few hours up to a few days, depending) - I'll add another card to the stack and the process will start again!


Previously Claimed Trade Stacks:
Stack 01:  2 cards by dayf
Stack 02:  8 cards by Justin
Stack 03:  17 cards by Cam
Stack 04:  4 cards by Cam
Stack 05:  9 cards by Daily Dimwit
Stack 06:  4 cards by The Lost Collector
Stack 07:  1 card by Baseball Dad
Stack 08:  1 card by M. Spiegel
Stack 09:  6 cards by bwsmith25
Stack 10:  6 cards by Baseball Dad
Stack 11:  1 card by Patrick
Stack 12:  5 cards by Matt B.
Stack 13:  4 cards by Steve G.
Stack 14:  3 cards by ShaneK
Stack 15:  7 cards by Ryan G
Stack 16:  1 card by longlivethewho
Stack 17:  4 cards by hiflew
Stack 18:  4 cards by Potch
Stack 19:  2 cards by Axemanohio
Stack 20:  5 cards by by Play at the Plate
Stack 21:  5 cards by BA Benny
Stack 22:  1 card by IkesCards
Stack 23:  8 cards by Axemanohio
Stack 24:  1 card by BA Benny
Stack 25:  2 cards by Jeff P.
Stack 26:  10 cards by Axemanohio
Stack 27:  1 card by BA Benny
Stack 28:  7 cards by ThingsAreFunnerHere
Stack 29:  3 cards by TheBrooklynMet
Stack 30:  4 cards by Adam C.
Stack 31:  10 cards by Play at the Plate
Stack 32:  8 cards by Josh D.
Stack 33:  6 cards by Baseball Dad
Stack 34:  ?? by ?? 

Trade Stack 33: The Stack Continues to Grow!

Here is how this works:
Every so often (i.e. whenever I feel like it), I will add a card to a "Trade Stack".  Whenever the stack becomes appealing enough to someone, that person needs to comment on the post saying they'd like to claim the stack AND tell me which card they are sending off of my want list.  That's all you have to do - trade me ONE card (or more, of course) card from my want list for the entire stack of cards that I'm offering.  Each time, it will be first come, first serve...so act quickly (unless of course you are a gambler and hope to wait it out until there are 10+ cards in the stack that you want in exchange for a single 2004 UD Vintage card that I am looking for)!

The Trade Stack:
Last update:  12/29/11

This stack was claimed a week ago but the person that claimed it didn't leave me any way to contact them (nor did they return reply on the previous post) so I'm opening the stack back up again - and adding another card to it.  The stack had a distinctive holiday theme so I guess I ought to continue that for at least one more trade stack addition...   I already added a bunch of red to the stack at the start - so now let's add a little bit of green!  This card is from a set that I'm still trying to finish off - In fact, I still need a whole bunch from the set:
 Topps High Definition (HD): 2, 7, 8, 11, 14, 15, 22, 30, 33, 36, 37, 39, 41, 45, 46, 49, 51, 59, 61, 63, 68, 69, 79, 80, 82, 88, 90, 91, 96, 99, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, 119, 120
Remember, you can make all of these cards yours in exchange for any card on my want list!
  
2001 Topps High Definition (HD):
65.  Shawn Green - Dodgers  

2011 Topps Heritage:
406.  Tyler Colvin - Cubs
413.  Chris Young - Diamondbacks  

2011 Topps:
484.  Gerardo Parra - Diamondbacks
491.  Fernando Abad - Astros
  

2011 Topps Allen & Ginter:
Baseball Highlight Sketches:
BHS-15.  Aroldis Chapman - Reds
  

Want the card(s) in the stack?  Act fast - tell me which card you will send me off my want list in the comments below!  If no one claims this card within a reasonable amount of time (a few hours up to a few days, depending) - I'll add another card to the stack and the process will start again!


Previously Claimed Trade Stacks:
Stack 01:  2 cards by dayf
Stack 02:  8 cards by Justin
Stack 03:  17 cards by Cam
Stack 04:  4 cards by Cam
Stack 05:  9 cards by Daily Dimwit
Stack 06:  4 cards by The Lost Collector
Stack 07:  1 card by Baseball Dad
Stack 08:  1 card by M. Spiegel
Stack 09:  6 cards by bwsmith25
Stack 10:  6 cards by Baseball Dad
Stack 11:  1 card by Patrick
Stack 12:  5 cards by Matt B.
Stack 13:  4 cards by Steve G.
Stack 14:  3 cards by ShaneK
Stack 15:  7 cards by Ryan G
Stack 16:  1 card by longlivethewho
Stack 17:  4 cards by hiflew
Stack 18:  4 cards by Potch
Stack 19:  2 cards by Axemanohio
Stack 20:  5 cards by by Play at the Plate
Stack 21:  5 cards by BA Benny
Stack 22:  1 card by IkesCards
Stack 23:  8 cards by Axemanohio
Stack 24:  1 card by BA Benny
Stack 25:  2 cards by Jeff P.
Stack 26:  10 cards by Axemanohio
Stack 27:  1 card by BA Benny
Stack 28:  7 cards by ThingsAreFunnerHere
Stack 29:  3 cards by TheBrooklynMet
Stack 30:  4 cards by Adam C.
Stack 31:  10 cards by Play at the Plate
Stack 32:  8 cards by Josh D.
Stack 33:  ?? by ?? 

UD Retro Box Break: Packs 3 and 4

I mentioned yesterday how much I loved my wife (she's the one who gave me the box for Christmas) but really, I probably should mention my love for her all the time, even when cards aren't involved!

Ok ok, you don't want Nachos Grande turning into Mushy Grande now do you?  You want baseball cards!  Well, you've come to the right place:

1999 UD Retro:

Pack 3:


 5.  Travis Lee
32.  Juan Encarnacion
41.  Carlos Beltran

48.  Corey Koskie
49.  Todd Walker
D9.  Distant Replay - Mike Piazza

Not the most exciting pack, though this is the second Distant Replay in four packs (seeded 1:8 packs according to the pack wrappers).   I kind of liked Beltran as a Royal, but as a Cardinal - not so much.

Pack 4:
8.  Chipper Jones

43.  Raul Mondesi
77.  Alex Rodriguez
82.  Juan Gonzalez
91.  Robin Yount

T12.  Throwback Attack - Frank Thomas

The Yount card is a great, great card!  The sheer determination on his face, plus all the flying dirt, is cardboard gold.  I also landed the second Throwback Attack card from the box (seeded 1:5).  Finally, I scanned the Chipper simply because I know there are lots of Braves fans that check out my blog from time to time, you're welcome.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Reason #945,223,256 Why I Love my Wife. (Or Merry Christmas Me)!

This Christmas was a great success - especially on the card receiving front.  My dad bought me a blaster of Bowman, my brother bought me one of those value packs that hold Topps Update and Bowman Chrome, and my wife...well, my wife knocked both of those gifts out of the proverbial water with this:

That's right, a lunch box full of 1999 UD Retro cards!

I remember first seeing an advertisement for Upper Deck Retro in an issue of Tuff Stuff back in 1999.  From that moment on, I've always wanted to own one of the lunch boxes and bust the packs.  Before I opened the box up (and yes, I opened the box before I scanned it, I couldn't wait to dig in), I had no idea what the actual cards from the set looked like...I simply knew that I liked the concept of a "retro" set.  Remember, this was back in 1999 - well before the retro craze of the 00s.

Anyhow, even though it's over a decade later, I was still extremely excited to open up the box - and let me tell you, the box didn't disappoint!  Over the next few posts, I'll reveal the contents of a box from a set that many people probably didn't ever even see on store shelves let alone purchase.  And once again, a HUGE thanks to my wife for the awesome gift!

1999 UD Retro:
Pack 1:


For the first pack, I'll scan all the cards so that you can get a feel for what they look like.

13.  Cal Ripken Jr.

19.  Frank Thomas

The card backs feature up to thirteen years of major league stats.  For most players, that's more than enough...but as you'll see in a moment some players had a 25+ year career by the time they were on a 1999 trading card.  The other thing that I like about the back of the cards is the "Claim to Fame" blurb.  Each player gets one - and you can learn an interesting thing or two by reading through the various cards in the set!
40.  Carlos Febles

89.  Nolan Ryan

105.  Gary Carter

The Gary Carter card (along with the Nolan Ryan) show off another highlight of the UD Retro set - retired stars!  I'm always a sucker for sets that feature great players of the past - yet another reason why I was drawn to this set in the first place!
D6.  Distant Replay:  Roger Clemens

 The Distant Replay cards are seeded 1:8 packs (there are also sequentially numbered parallels of the Distant Replay cards but this wasn't one of those).  I don't really like the design of the insert that much - I'd actually rather have another base card I think so that I could get closer to completing the set but I'm guessing if I had the entire Distant Replay set in a binder it'd look pretty sweet.

Pack 2:

4.  Randy Johnson

20.  Ray Durham
57.  Tino Martinez
74.  Barry Bonds
87.  David Wells
T1.  Throwback Attack - Ken Griffey Jr.

The Throwback Attack cards look suspiciously similar to a certain Topps design...  That said, I have to say that I still enjoy pulling a card of "the Kid" so this one is special to me.  The Throwback Attack cards are the most common of the inserts and are seeded 1:5 packs.

And that's the first two packs (out of a total of twenty four packs).  My question for you is:  Did any of you collect this set?  And, if so, do any of you have any cards available for trade?  I haven't collated the box yet but I'm guessing I won't have a complete set on my own...  Stay tuned throughout the week for more packs from the box - and as a special hint:  Each box contains an autograph, and that autograph may be either a "current star or retired legend."  Unfortunately, there are some redemptions that are lurking (and have long since expired)...but I can say that I was fortunate enough to NOT pull a redemption...who did I actually get for my auto?  You'll have to wait to see!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Delivery Time! A Long Lost Package from May 2011...

Way back in May of this year, I participated in one of Cameron's group breaks (over at Cardboard Heaven).  My memory is a bit hazy, but I do know the main draw (for me) of the break was some Gypsy Queen - so much so that I picked up four different teams - the Reds (of course), plus the Red Sox, Athletics, and Mets.  Along with the Gypsy Queen, based on the cards in my package, there was also a little bit of 2009 Goodwin, some 2009 Icons, and a few other sets represented in the break.

Somehow, this package got pushed to the back of a drawer, and then the days turned to weeks, which turned to months, and before you know it, I forgot all about the package.  Flash forward to today and I am now able to knock five more cards off my Gypsy Queen want list simply by organizing a package I've had in my possession since late May!  Whoops!

Here are the five "new" cards for my collection:

57.  David Ortiz
200.  John Lackey
211.  Rollie Fingers
324.  Jay Bruce
GO12.  Johnny Bench

As you can see, it was good I picked up all four teams since I ended up with one card per team that I needed for my base set.  The Bruce is an extra nice pick up since that's one of the fifty short prints (of which I'm still missing a bunch)!

In addition to the above cards, I also landed a pair of Gypsy Queen minis (both Reds).

The Arroyo mini is one of the Gypsy Queen back minis which is nice because I already had the black backed mini card.

As for the rest of the cards?  Well, there were some that I'm going to keep - and a bunch that I'd be willing to trade away.  Here's a sampling:

Gypsy Queen - Future Stars:
FS7.  Ike Davis

I ended up with a whole bunch of Gypsy Queen duplicates - you can find the full list of what I have available for trade from the list here.

A few minis, including this Adrian Gonzalez Gypsy Queen, Jason Veritek Goodwin Champions, and this really nice black bordered Angel Pagan mini.

Like the Davis insert above, the Gypsy Queen minis are listed on my "for trade" page.

As I mentioned, there were also some cards from a variety of other sets - some of my favorites include the team leaders cards from 2009 Upper Deck.

I also happen to like the 2009 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions set.  I didn't bother collecting the set, mostly because 4 (or was it 3) card packs are super lame...but the set itself is quite nice.

As for sets that aren't so nice, well, pretty much anything Bowman (that's a non-Red) sucks in my book.  I've got no interest in cards like Mr. Doubront here.

Just to cleanse the palate, here's another sweet Goodwin card - this one of Johnny Bench with the Reds' running man logo in front of an outline of Ohio.

And finally, I managed to land a pair of hits - one of which I'm definitely keeping while the other is available for trade.  I'll let you guess which is which.

Thanks for hosting the group break Cameron - sorry it took me over half the year to get the cards posted!  

Monday, December 26, 2011

Delivery Time! The Make-Up of a Blog Trader (plus 21 Cards from Section 36)

In my trading experience, there are four types of people with whom I've dealt through my blog.

Type 1:  Active traders.
Active traders are people who constantly look at other people's wants/haves list and make offers.  Although the offers may end up large, active traders are just as happy dealing a small handful of cards.  The most active traders will gladly exchange plain white envelopes if need be.

Type 2:  The planners.
 The planners are people who wait until they have a fairly large stack of cards and then send the stack to the recipient.  For many planners, the stack for a certain person may grow over a period of months.

Type 3:  The suprisers.
The suprisers are people who love to send packages to people "just because."  Often, such packages take the form of helping knock cards off of posted want lists but other times a surpriser will send someone a card simply because they know that person will enjoy it.

Type 4:  The bums.
Unfortunately, if I'm going to classify traders, I do need a category for bums.  In the two years that I've kept track of my trades (close to 300 trades total), I've only encountered a small handful of bums.  Most of the time, the bums are people who don't have a blog - though there are a few bloggers out there that did promise to send me cards for cards I sent them that I've never received.  Unless you are on the strictest of budgets where every penny spent on postage is of the utmost importance, it's best to try to ignore the bums (and, of course, not deal with them ever again).

Now, most people probably don't fit 100% into a of the above categories (and hopefully no one is a 100% Type 4 person).  In fact, for myself I would say that I'm 50% Type 1, 40% Type 2, and 10% Type 3.  Hopefully, I've never neglected to send someone a card that I promised them and thus am 0% Type 4!

Why do I bring all of this up?  Well, Ron (from Section 36) made me think of it.  You see, I keep a spreadsheet of all the trades that I complete with people.  Each person gets his or her own page where I keep track of the date, what I sent, what I received, and any other news or notes.  It's fun to look back at what I've traded people before - and when!  For instance, with Ron, we've exchanged three or four packages since I've started keeping track - each one was a "surprise" package for the other person full of cards off their want lists (thus we both fit into Type 2 and Type 3).

The latest envelope in our series of trades happened to be destined for me - and true to form, Ron included a bunch of cards off of a variety of my want lists.   Here is a sampling of the 21 different cards that Ron sent my way.

2011 Gypsy Queen:
Ron sent me five different base cards including this Mitch Moreland short print.

 I happen to like the running view (it's quite a bit different than what you usually see on cards) - plus the expanse of dirt makes it look like Moreland is running away from a desert twister rather than a baseball!

In addition to the base cards, I also got two inserts from Gypsy Queen (both Future Stars cards).

 Of the two, the Jose Tabata is my favorite - after all, Tabata idolized Roberto Clemente growing up (how can you go wrong with the choice...especially since Tabata is a Pirate)!

It wasn't all Gypsy Queen in the package though, there were also a pair of animals.

2011 Allen & Ginter:
Animals in Peril.

The Mountain Gorilla looks like he's been eating too many Big Macs!

There was also a Topps Heritage card I needed...

And a whole slew of Topps Diamond parallels (the Brandon Phillips is the easy favorite)!

Thanks for all the great cards Ron - and I'll be sure to start saving up a stack to return to you.  Finally, as always, if anyone else would like to trade - check out my want list and make an offer!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all (and if you don't celebrate, uhm, happy December 25th)!

This is the first Christmas where my wife and I are married, but alas we each have younger siblings who are (most likely) in their final year of living at home...  As such, we decided to split up and each head to our respective parent's houses.  It's not a huge deal though seeing as how our folks live about 2 miles from each other!
A sampling of our Christmas tree!

Anyhow, I'll be at my parent's house all morning (this is a pre-scheduled post) and then celebrating Christmas with my wife in the late afternoon. I highly doubt I'll get any blog time in so let this be my Merry Christmas wish* to all of you!

*and may all your stockings be filled with fun baseball cards.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Delivery Time! Vintage Goodness from Steve!

As the holidays approach, what better way to celebrate than with some Vintage Reds goodness?  After all, red is one of the two main colors of Christmas!

Way back in October (I'm behind on some of my trade posts), Steve and I worked out a great little deal.  I sent Steve a whole bunch of 2011 base Topps cards, plus five Kimball minis.  In return, Steve sent me the following:

First up, a diamond parallel from the base Topps set.

I've still got a long ways to go to completing the set - and my contest is still active seeing as how people are still (slowly) trading me diamond cards.  Steve will get himself an entry into the contest for the diamond card he sent me.  Speaking of cards I need, as of the time of me writing this post, here are the diamond parallels that I still need:
83, 138, 306, 338, 339, 342, 343, 344, 349, 351, 352, 356, 359, 362, 364, 366, 369, 371, 376, 377, 378, 379, 380, 381, 383, 385, 388, 389, 390, 393, 396, 397, 400, 401, 402, 403, 407, 408, 412, 414, 415, 418, 419, 420, 421, 424, 429, 431, 432, 434, 438, 440, 442, 444, 448, 450, 452, 453, 455, 456, 458, 462, 464, 466, 471, 472, 473, 477, 478, 482, 483, 484, 493, 494, 504, 506, 509, 511, 517, 518, 520, 522, 524, 527, 528, 529, 531, 532, 533, 534, 537, 540, 543, 545, 546, 547, 548, 550, 553, 555, 557, 559, 560, 561, 569, 570, 572, 573, 579, 581, 582, 584, 587, 589, 590, 593, 594, 595, 596, 601, 602, 603, 605, 607, 610, 612, 615, 617, 621, 622, 626, 627, 631, 633, 635, 637, 639, 640, 645, 646, 647, 649, 650, 651, 652, 654, 657
As you can see, there are quite a few in that list - but every card I get to knock off gets me one step closer to completion...and so, I'm much appreciative! 

Next up, going back one decade we find a new Barry Larkin card for my collection.

I'm perpetually stunned at how many different Barry Larkin cards there are - and how few of them I seem to have!

And now, we get to the vintage portion of the trade...(depending on what years you call vintage I guess):

First up, a pair of 1976 Topps cards.  I like the Plummer card quite a bit...mostly because of the sweet aviators.

The NL RBI Leaders cards features a Phillie (Luzinski) along with two Reds (Bench & Perez).

However, the real highlight of the card is the back - a listing of every NL RBI Leader from 1901 until the present day (that being 1975).  It's hard to believe that 71 RBIs would lead the league (as it did in 1918) but I guess that's the "charm" of the dead ball era!

Next up, a 1958 Johnny Temple All-Star card.

Sure, the card is well loved and won't be winning any grading contests - but you know what?  I think I love it all the more because of that!  There's something irresistible about old time cardboard cards!

And finally, the big prize of the package:

A 1959 Willard Scmidt.

The design, the uniform, the Mr. Redlegs logo, everything about this card is pure gold!  If I had to make a list of my top 10 favorite cards, this one would definitely be on there somewhere.

Thanks for the awesome trade Steve!  It's not every day I get to turn some modern day Topps base cards and inserts into vintage goodness!  And, as always, if anyone else would like to trade - check out my want list and make an offer!