Friday, August 31, 2012

Contest: Round 4 Voting is Now Live!

It is now time to vote for your Round 4 winners!  The winners will then square off in the final round for all the marbles (and bragging rights)!

1.  Carlos Salgado (entry) vs. 13.  30 Years of Cardboard (entry)
Best Post? free polls 

10.  gcrl (entry) vs. 19. Kyle4KC (entry)
Best Post? free polls 

Voting will close at 9:00 PM EST on Sunday, September 2.  If you are interested in the contest, you can find the full bracket here (we've gone from 31 contestants to 4 so far)!

Delivery Time! Envelope from Night Owl

Oh man.  I've gotten so far behind on everything - and that definitely includes cards.  As of this moment, I have 10 envelopes full of cards that I have received in the mail over the past week or so.  All of which need a post written and my want list updated accordingly.  The one good piece of information is that I believe I have mailed off my end of all the trades (except two which are packaged and will be in the mail tomorrow morning).

Since I have so many envelopes to talk about, let's pick one to open up right now, shall we?

Today's package is courtesy of Greg over at the wonderful Night Owl Cards.  Greg has two unique gifts (well, I'm sure he has plenty of other gifts as well but there are two that are super obvious in terms of blogging and trading).

First, he's a great trader.  We've exchanged tons of packages over the past few years - and almost all of them have been "freebies."  When I get some stuff that I know he'd like, I mail it to him.  He does the same for me. It's easy, it's quick, and it's always fun to get a surprise envelope full of cool cards that I like!  Even better, we both seem to have a knack for pulling each other's teams - probably a big reason for all of our trading.

In addition to his trading prowess, Greg is also a great writer.  There aren't many people out there who can make baseball cards interesting...and even fewer can do it on a near daily basis...  Greg, however, isn't like most of the rest of us - he seems to have a never ending supply of great stories or blog ideas for his baseball cards, no matter what kind of cards he's showing off for the day.  I have to admit, I'm often jealous of his writing (and plenty of other bloggers for that matter) because I'm not convinced I've ever written a post that I would consider "good!"  Because of my personal feelings towards my own writing, I give huge props to all of those who entered my writing contest, good on ya I say.

Moving along now, I suppose I should get to the point of the post where I showcase the cards I got.  After all, I really should be working on lessons right now (and packing up group break cards).  Fine - without further ado, here you go:

Ginter minis (yay!)

Another Upper Deck Timeline card.

That's a set that I WILL finish - somehow, someway, someday.

And finally, a stack of Fan Favorite Reds.

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

Group Break 7: The Last Post!

It's finally here - the end of the group break.  I apologize (again) for the slow drip, drip, drip of group break posts rather than the usual torrential rush of pack rips.  The first week of the semester has seemed to be about ten times more taxing than normal, though I couldn't pinpoint why.  You probably don't care about my sob stories though - so here's the final pack (with the promised hit)!

Pack 24:
Jayson Werth - Nationals
Roger Bernadina - Nationals
Elvis Andrus - Rangers
Josh Collmenter - Diamondbacks
Homer Bailey - Reds
The first five cards were all horizontal shots.
Adam Dunn - White Sox

Edwin Encarnacion - Blue Jays
And then a pair of ex-Reds...but the best ex-Red in the pack happens to be the final card of the break:

Josh Hamilton - Rangers:  Relic

I hope everyone enjoyed the break!  As I said in previous posts, I'll do my best to get the cards packaged and mailed out to everyone as soon as I can!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Group Break 7: The Final Four Packs from the Fleer Impact Box

Editor's Note:  This post was supposed to be published about a week ago.  However, I realized that it was sitting in my post history as a draft instead.  Whoops!  Here are the final packs out of the Impact box.

As the title states, this is it for the 2000 Fleer Impact box.  Our last four chances for one of the elusive hits in the product.

Pack 33:
Ruben Mateo - Rangers
Kerry Wood - Cubs
Eric Karros - Dodgers
Mike Piazza - Mets
AJ Burnett - Marlins
Omar Vizquel - Indians
Johnny Damon - Royals
Moises Alou - Astros
Rondell White - Expos
Tattoo:  Twins

Mighty Fine:  Hideki Irabu - Yankees

Pack 34:
Mark McGwire - Cardinals
Reggie Sanders - Braves
Todd Walker - Twins
Jeromy Burnitz - Brewers
Pokey Reese - Reds
Corey Koskie - Twins
Adrian Beltre - Dodgers
Chad Hermansen - Pirates

Larry Walker - Rockies
Mighty Fine:  Scott Brosius - Yankees

Pack 35:
Kerry Wood - Cubs
Edgar Renteria - Cardinals
Scott Erickson - Orioles
Mike Mussina - Orioles
Masato Yoshii - Rockies
Shannon Stewart - Blue Jays
Rolando Arrojo - Rockies
Jose Lima - Astros
Kevin Young - Pirates
Michael Tejera - Marlins
Tattoo:  Giants

Mighty Fine:  Mark McGwire - Cardinals

Pack 36:
Aaron Boone - Reds
Mike Hampton - Mets
Henry Rodriguez - Cubs
Mike Sweeney - Royals
Robert Fick - Tigers
Tony Gwynn - Padres
Darren Dreifort - Dodgers
B.J. Surhoff - Orioles
Eric Chavez - Athletics
Paul Konerko - White Sox
Mighty Fine:  Pedro Martinez

Well, no hits in the box (but that's not surprising based on the long odds).  Even so, there was something remarkably refreshing about opening pack after pack of quality base cards (even if the set could stand to be 300 cards in size given that there are 360 cards in the box)!  Good stuff from Fleer - and a nice assortment of cards for the majority of the teams.  Next up:  the final box of 2012 Topps Minis!

Group Break 7: Second to Last Pack

There are two packs remaining in the break.  I apologize for the slow pace here at the end, but what can you do?

Pack 23:
Marlon Byrd - Cubs
Miguel Montero - Diamondbacks
Daric Barton - Athletics
Francisco Liriano
Mariano Rivera
Mark Kotsay - Brewers
David Ortiz - Red Sox
This card was both miscut and "dirty".  I don't know how else to describe it, poor effort by Topps on this one.
Brett Gardner - Yankees

Scott Downs - Angels
Starlin Castro - Cubs

No hit yet - and only one pack left.  I actually just "cheated" and ripped the last pack a smidge to see if I could make out a hit in the pack.  The good news is that despite my crappy luck in picking packs out of the box to open, the FINAL pack does contain a hit.  And, though it seems unbelievable, I have posted the packs in the exact order as that which I opened them!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Contest: Round 4 Reminder

All entries for Round 4 of the contest are due no later than 8:00 PM EST on Friday.  I'm too busy to get anything else of substance posted here tonight (sorry).  If you wish, you can check out some student thoughts from the first day at school that I posted on my other blog.

Delivery Time! Trade with Tom from Waiting 'til Next Year

I recently completed a trade with Tom from Waiting 'til Next Year.  You can tell that Tom is a Cubs fan simply by the title of his blog - and with the Cubs performance this year, I'm sure all Cubs fans are waiting for next year to arrive!  Anyhow, this isn't a post to rail on the Cubs (after all, they probably still have a better record than my Reds if you take the last decade or so).  Instead, I'd rather highlight the new additions for my collection thanks to a Cubs fan.  If you'd like, you can read about Tom's side of the trade on his blog here.

Tom sent me four 2012 Topps Archives insert cards that I needed for my collection.  In order, I ended up with a new cloth sticker of Eric Hosmer...

And a reprint of Rod Carew...

And an In Action of Troy Tulowitzki...

And a Deckle Edge card of Ichiro.

Even better, Tom threw in a gold parallel of Johnny Cueto!

I decided not to actively chase the Reds parallels in the Archives set but I certainly won't turn down anyone sending me one!

Finally, Tom sent me two of the final three cards that I need for my 1991 Donruss set.

Thanks for the great trade Tom!  And, as always, if anyone else wants to trade - check out my want list and make an offer!

Group Break 7: Announcement and Another Pack

Greetings all.  A quick update before I get to the next pack.  This week at work has been extremely hectic (why I ever though hosting a group break the same week as the first week of school is beyond me).  Anyhow, I had originally hoped to have all the packs opened, cards sorted, and envelopes packed and mailed by tomorrow (Thursday).  I can tell you with assurance right now that there is now way for that to happen.  I'll still do my best to get the cards out to everyone ASAP - but it looks like the first batch won't be able to go out in the mail until Saturday at the earliest.  I also have a couple of trade envelopes packaged up that will also go out on Saturday.  Thanks for your patience.  And now, on to the next pack.

2012 Topps Minis:
Pack 22:
Ryan Vogelsong - Giants
Wilson Betemit - Orioles
AL Batting Avg. Leaders - Cabrera, Young, Gonzalez
Texas Rangers
Derek Holland - Rangers
Eric Young -  Rockies
Brandon League - Mariners
Casper Wells - Mariners
Juan Pierre - Phillies
Skip Schumaker - Cardinals - Black Parallel #1/5

Woah, there you go Cards!  A great hit - and #1 out of 5 to boot!  There are still two more packs remaining in the box, so even if your team hasn't hit anything big yet, there's still hope.  I also expect one of the two packs to hold an auto or relic since we haven't found our hit yet (printing plates don't count, right?)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Delivery Time! Trade with Blog Reader Brad

Another day, another trade!  Actually, this particular envelope arrived the same day as four other envelopes (and a box) of cards for me.  It's simply taken me awhile to work my way through the stack!  Anyhow, today's trade is courtesy of blog reader Brad (who doesn't have a blog as far as I know, though my records might be off).  Anyhow, the trade with Brad netted me a bunch of mini cards that I needed for my 2012 Allen & Ginter set.

First up, a bunch (nine in total) of regular back mini cards.

I've been making decent progress in terms of completing the regular back mini set.  Of course, I'm a sucker for all things Ginter so I'm also chasing the other mini versions of all the Reds (gold border, black border, and ad back).

The tenth (and final) mini in the trade was special because it completed another one of my mini sets - the Culinary Curiosities set.  Enter:  Muktuk.

Did you know that Muktuk is made from skin and blubber of whales.  Eat it raw, pickled, or deep fried and breaded, the choice is apparently yours.  Bon appetite!

Thanks for the trade Brad - and as always, should anyone else wish to trade, check out my want list and make an offer!

Group Break 7: Four Packs Remain: Here's One

Pack 21 is about to be opened.

Ivan Nova - Yankees
Randy Wells - Cubs
NL Wins Leaders (Kennedy, Kershaw, Halladay)
Alex Rios - White Sox
Lance Berkman - Cardinals
Freddy Garcia - Yankees
Craig Kimbrel - Braves
Kyle Blanks  - Padres

Kenley Jansen - Dodgers
Jesus Guzman - Padres:  Gold Parallel #49/61

For some reason, I love the Kyle Blanks card.  This was a nice pack for the Padres!

Group Break 7: Pack 20

I am drawing out the last few packs of the group break mostly because it's the beginning of the semester and one pack is all I have time for during any single sit down.  Enjoy it.

Pack 20:
Robert Andino - Orioles
Dan Uggle - Braves
Michael Bourn - Braves
Darwin Barney - Cubs

A.J. Burnett - Yankees
Corey Hart - Brewers
Curtis Ganderson - Yankees
Felipe Paulino - Royals
Bobby Abreu - Angels
Golden Moments:  Clayton Kershaw - Dodgers

That Darwin Barney card is pretty sweet - even if it is a Cubs card.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Contest: Round 3 Results and Round 4 Begins!

It's time for the REVENGE ROUND!  For this round, some of the vanquished competitors submitted card scans for me to use for a future round - that round is now here!  However, before I unveil the cards - we need to look at the Round 3 results.
58 votes were cast for Carlos Salgado.  I have no idea how he managed to rally his voters - perhaps one of the leading political parties should enlist his help!  There is a reason why Carlos is the number one seed in the contest!

An extremely close vote, but BA Benny fell just short.  Even so, with 50 total votes cast, a difference of only two is impressive to be sure!  

Gcrl rolled to a 10 vote win over Play at the Plate - but both competitors had a great showing throughout the competition.  Of course, there can only be one winner at the end of the bracket so losses like this will happen!

Kyle4KC cried "underdog" when paired against Dayf in the previous round (which he won by 10 votes).  Following that win up with this 19 vote victory over Spankee only furthers to solidify Kyle4KC's place among the elite vote drawers in the competition.  The final couple of rounds should be a lot of fun!

And with that, we can update the bracket...and now, your next card prompts:

1.  Carlos Salgado vs. 13.  30 Years of Cardboard

The Saberhagen card was a revenge card from the upper half of the bracket (Josh D.).  Since both Carlos Salgado and 30 Years of Cardboard are upper half contestants, it only seemed right for them to square off using Josh's revenge card.  When I saw this image in my email, I instantly laughed...we should have some great posts with this card!

10.  gcrl vs. 19. Kyle4KC

Since gcrl and Kyle4KC are the lone survivors from the bottom half of the bracket, I used Robert's revenge card.  Even better for the idea of revenge, Robert was knocked out of the contest by gcrl!  I like this card as a prompt as well - another one that should result in creative posts!  

As usual, make sure you write about the card that is directly above your name.  All entries are due by 8:00 PM EST on Friday, August 31.  Make sure you leave a link to your entry on this post.

Group Break 7: Pack 19 of the 2012 Topps Minis Box

Today is the first day of school...Here's one pack to celebrate me getting through the first two classes of the semester.

2012 Topps Minis:
Box 2:
Pack 19:
Rick Porcello - Tigers
Joe Benson - Twins
Jason Donald - Indians
Carlos Corporan - Astros
Jonathan Sanchez - Royals
NL ERA Leaders:  Kershaw, Halladay, Lee
Tim Hudson - Braves
Matt Kemp - Dodgers
John Lannon - Nationals
Michael Taylor - Athletics
Clayton Kershaw - Dodgers

Ryan Roberts - Diamondbacks - Gold parallel:  #25/61

If you though there were a lot of names in the post, you'd be correct.  The packs are supposed to hold 10 cards - this one had 12 minis cards instead!  I could tell it was thick when I grabbed it out of the box - to be honest, I was expecting a relic.  Still five packs remaining to find the last hit.

Group Break 7: 9 Packs Remaining...

There are 9 packs remaining in the box.  One remaining pack should hold a hit.  That means we have a 1/3 shot at a hit in this post since we opening another three packs.  If the math didn't jive with you, maybe you should be reading my new education related blog.  On to the cards!

2012 Topps Minis:
Box 2:
Pack 16:
Adam LaRoche - Nationals
Mat Gamel - Brewers
Jack Hannahan - Indians
Paul Goldschmidt - Diamondbacks
Ubaldo Jimenez - Indians
Yoshinori Tateyama - Rangers

Prince Fielder - Tigers
Miguel Olivo - Mariners
Rafael Furcal - Cardinals
Andrew Bailey - Red Sox

Oh, that's not the Ranger's rookie pitcher that everyone wants?  

Pack 17:
Kyle Kendrick - Phillies
Tommy Hanson - Braves
Mariano Rivera - Yankees
Jeremy Guthrie - Orioles
Chris Sale - White Sox
Luke Hughes - Twins
Troy Tulowitzki - Rockies
Daniel Descalso - Cardinals
Collin Cowgill - Athletics
Golden Moments:  Al Kaline - Tigers

A nice card of Kaline, good for the Tigers' stack.

Pack 18:
Mark Ellis - Dodgers
Kyle Lohse - Cardinals
Pablo Sandoval - Giants

Ben Revere - Twins
Brayan Pena - Royals
Jordan Schafer - Astros
Brandon Allen - Athletics
Cameron Maybin - Padres
Ryan Kalish - Red Sox
Wade Davis - Rays

Once again no hit.  We did find the printing plate earlier in the box but I still think we should get either  a relic or autograph since that's what the box promises.  There are still six remaining packs (which happens to be a quarter of the box) so I guess there's no real reason to panic quite yet.  

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Round 3: Voting Closed

Voting for Round 3 is officially closed.  Look for a summary of who won later this evening if all goes well.  For now, go check out my post on my newest collecting interest...

Kickin' It With Legos!

I wrote about my newest collecting vice twice already - and now I'm back with a third delivery package that contains at least one Lego minifigure.  My collection already sports a tennis player and a bagpiper from my initial purchase and a fisherman and graduate from my second purchase.  Today's addition to the collection is only a single minifigure - but it happens to be one of the ones I wanted the most as soon as I saw it:  the soccer player.

At this right, I'm going to get a nice collection of sport themed figures!  The soccer player is part of the 4th series of Lego minifigures.

As you can see from the packaging, there is quite a variety of characters in the 4th series.  In fact, looking over the checklist, there are quite a few figures that I'd like to eventually acquire.

In Series 4, I hope to eventually get the Sailor (my brother is in the Navy so that'd be a nice one to get), the artist (my wife was an art minor in college and I've never seen anyone who is a better artist than she is), and the Hazmat suit guy (because he's awesome).  I wouldn't mind the mad scientist guy, the 3-Amigos guy at the top, or the hockey player either.  And I wouldn't turn down the Norse warrior (#6).  

Finally, here's a photo of my new collection:

The one bad side to the collection?  For the life of me, I can't figure out where to buy these things (other than eBay or Listia).  Grr!

Group Break 7: More, More, More, I Want More

Do you want more packs?  Ok then.

2012 Topps Minis:
Box 2:
Pack 13:

Alex Rodriguez - Yankees
Sean Rodriguez - Rays
James McDonald - Pirates
Josh Hamilton - Rangers
Erick Aybar - Angels
Mike Minor - Braves
Peter Bourjos - Angels
Brendan Ryan - Mariners
Chris Dickerson - Yankees
Lonnie Schisenhall - Indians

Pack 14:
Grady Sizemore - Indians
Stephen Drew - Diamondbacks
Craig Gentry - Rangers
Wei-Yin Chen - Orioles
Chris Volstad - Cubs
Joey Votto - Reds

Clayton Richard - Padres
Howie Kendrick - Angels
Jeff Karstens - Pirates
Kyle Hudson - Orioles

Pack 15:
Brett Wallace - Astros
Ben Zobrist - Rays
NL HR Leaders (Kemp, Fielder, Pujols)
Albert Pujols - Cardinals

Jonathan Lucroy - Brewers
Ruben Tejada - Mets
Hisashi Iwakuma - Mariners
Andruw Jones - Yankees
Jesus Montero - Yankees
Mark Melancon - Astros

Not the most exciting trio of packs, now was it?  I do like the mini Votto though.

Group Break 7: Sunday Special

Today marks the final day of my summer vacation.  Let's celebrate the last remnants of summer with another trio of group break packs from the 2012 Topps Minis box.

2012 Topps Minis:
Box 2:
Pack 10:
Hank Conger - Angels
David Price - Rays
NL HR Leaders (Jones, Pujols, Jones)
Russell Martin - Yankees
Drew Stubbs - Reds
Tim Lincecum - Giants
Matt Harrison - Rangers
Henderson Alvarez - Jays
Alcides Escobar - Royals
Golden Moments:  Tony Gwynn - Padres

Pack 11:
Andre Ethier - Dodgers
Chris Carpenter - Cardinals
Brandon Dickson - Cardinals
Alexei Ramirez - White Sox
Dee Gordon - Dodgers

Zach Britton - Orioles
Placido Polanco - Phillies
Jacob Turner - Tigers
Jose Valverde - Tigers
Golden Moments:  Dennis Eckersley - Athletics

Pack 12:
Yunel Escobar - Blue Jays
Lyle Overbay - Diamondbacks
Reed Johnson - Cubs
NL ERA Leaders (Lincecum, Carpenter, Oswalt)
Ryan Dempster - Cubs
Chris Narveson - Brewers
Cody Ross - Red Sox
Doug Fister - Tigers
Salvador Perez - Royals
Edwin Encarnacion - Blue Jays - Gold Parallel #33/61

A pretty nice finish to the first half of the box.  I believe there should still be either a relic or auto lurking in the second half (I don't think printing plates count as a hit in this product).  Stay tuned throughout the week for the rest of the break - things will almost definitely slow down around the blog as school kicks back into gear but I'll do my best to still post at least once a day.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Group Break 7: Three More Packs!

Tomorrow marks my last day at home before the college semester kicks into gear.  I guess I'll "celebrate" that fact by opening some more group break packs.

Box 2:
Pack 7:
Mike Adams - Rangers
Chad Billingsley - Dodgers
Nick Hundley - Padres

Justin De Fratus - Phillies
Nathan Eovaldi - Dodgers
Cliff Pennington - Athletics
Dayan Viciedo - White Sox
Ryan Madson - Reds
Yadier Molina - Cardinals
Yonger Alonso - Reds

Pack 8:
Alexi Ogando - Rangers
Nate McLouth - Pirates
Max Scherzer - Tigers
NL RBI Leaders (Jones, Pujols, Helton)
Mark Trumbo - Angels
Daniel Hudson - Diamondbacks
Delmon Young - Tigers
Brennan Boesch - Tigers
Dustin Ackley - Mariners
Golden Moments:  Stan Musial - Cardinals

Pack 9:
Kyle Farnsworth - Rays
Rafael Betancourt - Rockies
Freddy Sanchez - Giants
Javy Guerra - Dodgers
Desmond Jennings - Rays
Mat Latos - Padres
Zack Greinke - Brewers
Julio Teheran - Braves
Logan Morrison - Marlins
David Hernandez - Diamondbacks - Gold Parallel #39/61


Group Break 7: Box 2 of the 2012 Topps Minis (Packs 4, 5, and 6)

I teased yesterday that there would be a printing plate in today's pack post.  Let's see who got the lucky card...

Box 2:
Pack 4:
Danny Valencia - Twins
Jason Motte - Cardinals
Gavin Floyd - White Sox
Juan Francisco - Reds
Adrubal Cabrera - Indians
Grant Balfour - Athletics
Brian Matusz - Orioles
Daniel Bard - Red Sox
J.P. Arencibia - Blue Jays
Printing Plate:  Phil Hughes - New York Yankees

A great hit for the Yankees - and even better for everyone else, I'm pretty certain the printing plates don't count as the one promised hit per box!

Pack 5:
Luke Hochevar - Royals
Matt Dominguez - Marlins
Coco Crisp - Athletics
Chris Carpenter - Cardinals
Wilson Ramos - Nationals
Anibal Sanchez - Marlins
Alexi Casilla - Twins
Gio Gonzalez - Nationals
Stephen Lombardozzi - Nationals
R.A. Dickey - Mets

Pack 6:
Johnny Giavotella - Royals
J.J. Hardy - Orioles
Nelson Cruz - Rangers
World Series Game 6 - Cardinals
Hunter Pence - Phillies
Joel Pinero - Angels
Brandon McCarthy - Athletics
Luke Gregerson - Padres
Humberto Quintero - Astros
Neil Walker - Pirates

Not much in the final pack of this round but the printing plate was a fun pull.  By my count, that's only the third or fourth 1/1 that I've ever had the fortune of pulling.  I believe I've now pulled three 1/1 printing plates (2 of which were for group breaks) and the 1/1 Allen & Ginter original that I found in my case this year.  Put another way, I've pulled three 1/1s this year alone - maybe my luck is changing for the better.