Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Poor Memory = Double the Fun!

I'm rapidly approaching the end of the box of 1999 Fleer Sports Illustrated - and I have to admit, the box has been a lot of fun (even if it is the second time I've busted the same box)!  I guess the ability to bust the same exact box twice is one of the few benefits of having a crappy memory.  I can assure you that there aren't many benefits to having a poor memory so any benefit that I can find is appreciated.  Enough of my drivel, let's see some cards.

Pack 17:
8.  Jim Leyritz
36.  Alex Rodriguez
45.  Blue Jays rookies (Halladay, Evans, Witt)

112.  Randy Johnson
156.  Jeff King
162.  Roger Clemens

That Halladay card made the pack if you ask me.  I kind of like the rookie subset - it's fun to look back over ten years later and see how the various players fared.  For instance, who is Tom Evans or Kevin Witt?  Exactly.

Pack 18:
17.  Saves Leaders (Hoffman & Gordon)
51.  Diamondback rookies (Ford, Corey, Klassen)
94.  Tim Salmon
104.  Vinny Castilla
169.  Eric Karros
14 of 15 OW.  Ones to Watch:  Ryan Minor

I vaguely remember Ryan Minor's name from the turn of the century.  Whatever happened to him?  For the box, this is the second Ones to Watch insert (seeded 1:12 packs) so I don't expect to find any more in the remaining few packs.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Political Cards - Who Wants 'Em?

I'm writing this post ahead of time - and hopefully I won't be washed away by the time you actually read it.  At the moment of the writing of the post, the rains are just about to begin at my house.  I called my brother up and he helped me clear off our deck - I didn't want to see my gas grill get blown through our glass door for instance.  My wife and I didn't do much in the way of "preparation" for the storm otherwise - I figure we have a couple of cans of baked beans in the cupboard plus a few bags of chips, that should be enough nourishment to wait out the storm, right?

Anyhow, assuming the worst is over by the time you read this, it's time to get back to trading!  I've been having a blast listing stuff on Listia, but sometimes I figure I should offer the cards up here first.  After all, if I can directly trade for stuff on my want list, that beats doing the whole Listia thing doesn't it?!

Here's what I have for trade today - a bunch of political cards from 2008 Upper Deck.  I would prefer to A) trade them for stuff on my want list and B) to trade all of the cards in a single swoop.  Let me know if you are interested!

Monday, October 29, 2012

So Much Work, So Little Time

School has kept me incredibly busy this semester (hence the mostly one-post-per-day schedule of the blog). That said, did you know that I am also writing a mostly education themed blog now?  I'm trying to use that blog as a sort of public diary in terms of what has (and hasn't) worked in the classroom.  This semester has been even busier than usual because I am offering a brand new course - and both teaching and developing lessons at the same time.  It's been crazy (and hectic) but overall I think it has been a great success.  The one downside to all of my time being spent at work is that the baseball card blogging time has been drastically reduced...but since I have a moment to write a post right now, let me do so by re-opening another pair of packs from the Sports Illustrated box.

Pack 15:
60.  Padres rookies (Clement, Davis, Spencer)
76.  Mike Piazza
79.  Barry Larkin

103.  Kevin Millwood
155.  Curt Schilling
160.  Kerry Wood

Woo!  My first Red out of the box - and it's a good one.  I don't think I had a copy of this particular Larkin yet, so it's a doubly great card!

Pack 16:
65.  Red Sox rookies (Barkley, Cho, Sadler)
68.  Tigers rookies (Fick, Kapler, Santana)
71.  Yankees rookies (Lowell, Tessmer, Bradley)
101.  Jeromy Burnitz
118.  Barry Bonds

143.  Scott Erickson

Bonds isn't exactly known for having a charming personality - but every once in a while you find a baseball card where he has been photographed having fun or being playful.  It's good to know he wasn't a grouch 100% of the time.

Sunday, October 28, 2012


As of the time I'm writing this post (Friday though it isn't supposed to go "live" until Sunday), the main talk around my area of the country isn't politics, it's wind (and rain).  The Storm of the Century, or as some people are calling (or Frankenstorm for the holiday-clever meteorologists out there), is supposed to be making landfall soon.  If that really happens, and if the rain/wind is as bad as they are saying it will be, there's about a 95% chance that I won't have power (I live in north central PA where it is quite rural with plenty of trees surrounding power lines).  Since I've had at least one post scheduled for every day this year (actually, I think I've had at least one post per day for the last 2+ years), I'd hate to see some silly storm ruin my streak.  So, without further ado, let's rip some more packs from my (forgotten) box of Fleer Sports Illustrated - circa 1999!

Pack 13:
33.  Mark McGwire
63.  Rangers rookies (Johnson, Sasser, Sheldon)
86.  Andy Pettitte
102.  Kenny Rogers
116.  Edgar Renteria
6 of 15 OW:  Ones to Watch:  Gabe Kapler - Tigers

Unlike most of the cards, the Ones to Watch insert cards are quite shiny!  The insert set is seeded 1:12 packs so I should find a second card before all is said and done.  Packs of cards from 1999 seemed to be chock full of Gabe Kapler cards - a prospect that mostly went the way of guys like Todd Van Poppel.

Pack 14:
48.  Cardinals rookies (Drew, Polanco, Little)
74.  Rafael Palmeiro
77.  Devon White
108.  Sammy Sosa

117.  Andruw Jones
120.  Jamie Moyer

Overall, I would say that the 1999 Fleer Sports Illustrated set does NOT feature photography that is on par with sets like Topps Stadium Club.  However, there are a few cards that have been awesome to look at - including the Sammy Sosa card above.  It's not often you see a photo from that point of view, couple it with the perfect placement of the baseball, Sosa, and the catcher and you have a true masterpiece!  This instantly goes down as one of my favorite cards from the set.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

EPaDel All Day. Jealous Much?

I'm at an EPaDel (Mathematics) conference all day today - so today's post is pre-scheduled for your viewing pleasure.  By the time you read the post, I should be in the car driving myself and two of my students back from our conference.  Since I'm not around to offer any sort of timely blog entry, how about we dip back into the 1999 Fleer Sports Illustrated box and re-open another pair of packs.  By the time we finish opening these two packs, the box will be halfway busted (for the second time)!

Pack 11:
38.  Sammy Sosa
56.  Mariners rookies (Guillen, Holdridge, Guevara)
81.  Raul Mondesi

113.  Bobby Higginson
149.  Alex Rodriguez
158.  Roberto Alomar

Eesh.  That pack was full of guys that I don't particularly care for.  I scanned the Mondesi card only because he was the lesser of the many evils in the pack.

Pack 12:
21.  Travis Lee
41.  Orlando Hernandez
128.  Denny Neagle
152.  Derek Jeter

164.  Chan Ho Park
8 of 13 FF.  Fabulous 40s:  Juan Gonzalez

The worst part of the late 90s (in terms of baseball cards) is that I seem to be a magnet for Juan Gonzalez cards.  I seem to get more cards of his - inserts, base cards, etc. than I know what to do with.  Is there a Juan Gonzalez collector out there?

Friday, October 26, 2012

When Acetate Cards Were the Rage

Welcome back to another post detailing my re-breaking of a 1999 Fleer Sports Illustrated box of baseball cards.  Busting older wax is a lot of fun - especially stuff from late 90s/early 00s because all the card companies were cranking out some really unique stuff (and weird stuff too)!

Pack 9:
24.  Barry Bonds
70.  White Sox Rookies (Simmons, Johnson, Wilson)
140.  Moises Alou
171.  Edgar Martinez
24 of 25 HL.  Headliners:  Pedro Martinez

3 of 10 DD.  Diamond Dominators:  Randy Johnson

The Headliners are seeded 1:4 (the Pedro is the third out of the box so far).  The Diamond Dominators, however, are the rarest non-serially numbered, non-auto insert set in the 1999 Fleer Sports Illustrated set!  In fact, the pitcher Diamond Dominator cards are seeded 1:90 packs!  The Diamond Dominator hitters are even rarer, seeded 1:180 packs!

Despite the box being well over a decade old, it's still a blast pulling a rare card - and I have to admit, I really like the design of the card!  It's printed on acetate AND the image of Johnson is raised a bit (as is his name at the bottom of the card).

Pack 10:
2.  Scott Brosius
5.  David Justice
57.  Marlins rookies (Gonzalez, Fontenot, Wilson)
126.  Jason Kendall
142.  Robin Ventura

176.  Chuck Finley

I think the Randy Johnson insert card from pack 9 made this box worthwhile on its own!  Anything else is simply frosting on the Sports Illustrated box cake at this point.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

More Proof that I'm Crazy!

Like most bloggers, I maintain a want list on my own blog that helps keep myself (and others) on track with the variety of things that I collect.  Speaking of helping others keep track of what I collect - a recent trade with Jeff from 2 by 3 Heroes serves as a perfect case study of a great, great trade!

For those who are interested, you can read about Jeff's side of the trade here.

First up:  The obvious.

As anyone who has read my blog (even sparingly) over the last few years, you know that I love me some Allen & Ginter.  I own the complete base set (with short prints) for every year of Allen & Ginter's existence (at least the modern version of A&G).  Furthermore, for most of the years I have worked on various insert sets that struck my fancy.  For the 2012 edition of Allen & Ginter, I decided to chase ALL of the inserts - both mini and regular sized.  Currently, I am missing two of the code cards - Jeff sent me the third-to-final card for my set.

Furthermore, I have been working on the full regular back mini set for a couple of different years - including 2012.  Once again, Jeff helped me out here as well - to the tune of 12 regular back mini cards!  I love knocking a double digit number's worth of cards off of my want list!  

Next up:  The slightly-less-obvious:

Jeff must have scoured my want list because lurking in the middle of it is a few lists of rather strange wants.  For this year, I decided to chase the various Reds parallels in the Allen & Ginter set (ad back, black border, and gold border).  Jeff helped me out with a pair of A&G back mini Reds...

...and one gold border card.  

The gold bordered mini was particularly appreciated because these things have been tough to come by!  The retail only aspect of the gold borders has seemingly damaged the amount of them available for trades.

Next:  A few slowed (but not forgotten) collections:

As I said before, Jeff did a great job of perusing my want list and knocking off cards.  He found a single 2010 Topps Diamond parallel that I needed (which is a great find for me since I'm inching ever so close to having the full 2010 Diamond parallel set complete)!

In fact, I think I'm probably more likely to complete the 2010 diamond parallel set before I am going to finish off the 2011 Topps Gypsy Queen set.  

That said, this Matt Kemp card certainly helped out the Gypsy Queen cause!

Next:  A Why Does He Collect That?

Yep, I got another 2008 UD StarQuest card.  

I still don't know why I'm chasing all four versions of the set - but I've had them on my want list for such a long time I can't bring myself to remove the sets now.  I still gladly accept any of the cards that I need, despite not knowing why I decided to ever collect the set in the first place!

It wasn't just baseball cards that Jeff sent me though.  Nope, he also saw the line on my want list that said I collect Lego minifigures as well.  He sent me a trio of unopened packages, one each from Series 5, 7, and 8.

Series 5 - Cleopatra

Series 7 - Cowgirl

Series 8 - Computer Programmer

And finally:  Random Reds

Yep, when all else fails - I'll always take assorted cards of my beloved Cincinnati Reds!

You see, I really am crazy.  There's not much rhyme or reason to what I collect - but as long as I am enjoying the act of collecting it's all good!  Thanks for the great, great trade Jeff!  And, as always, if anyone else would like to trade - check out my want list and make an offer!

Re-Vote! Blogger Stopped Counting...

I have four polls on the side of my blog as part of the Barry Larkin Card Experiment.  Unfortunately, for some reason Blogger deleted the results of all the polls when the closed.  With that said, I need everyone to re-vote (or, if you didn't vote before), vote now!  Thanks!

Addendum:  The polls aren't working again.  I'm going to have to investigate.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Maddux and the Puzzling Yankees

I'm still working my way through my forgotten box (see here for more information).  The 1999 Fleer Sports Illustrated set had 4 different base card subsets - the next pack provides my first two from the Postseason Review subset.

Pack #7:
1.  Derek Jeter

4.  Sterling Hitchcock
44.  Athletics Rookies (Chavez, Stein, Neill)
121.  Darin Erstad
138.  Dante Bichette
153.  Greg Maddux

Pack #8:
20.  Sammy Sosa & Juan Gonzalez
23.  Roger Clemens
95.  Fred McGriff
106.  Craig Biggio

124.  Mo Vaughn
159.  Travis Lee

Eight packs and still not a single Red.  No wonder I put this box in the drawer and forgot about it.  When the best card out of two packs is a Yankee, you know it's a rough pair of packs.  Admittedly, the puzzle Sports Illustrated cover card is pretty cool...  The Biggio card cracks me up - I don't think you are allowed to shorten your strike zone by squatting like that.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Who Needs Heritage? I've got Sports Illustrated!

Apparently, the blogging world went ape crazy over the fact that Topps decided it was a good idea to charge $100 for a box full of 100 Heritage cards.  I agree that Topps made a bad choice...but really, from Topps perspective if they sell out of the boxes (only 1,000 boxes total), then it's hard to argue that the company screwed up.  Even so, I think I'll stick with my forgotten packs for now...

1999 Fleer Sports Illustrated:
Pack 5: 
19.  Tom Glavine & Roger Clemens

27.  Chris Hoiles
30.  Kerry Wood
127.  Frank Thomas

147.  Mike Mussina
150.  Javy Lopez

It must be said:  the Thomas card is pretty much a perfect baseball card!

Pack 6:
10.  Ken Griffey Jr. & Mark McGwire
13.  Rickey Henderson & Tony Womack
135.  Tino Martinez
141.  Chuck Knoblauch
8 of 25 HL.  Headliners:  Cal Ripken Jr.

1 of 13 FF.  Fabulous 40s:  Mark McGwire

Our second (and then third) inserts of the box.  The Fabulous 40's are seeded 1:20 packs making them a fairly tough pull (about one-per-box).

Monday, October 22, 2012

More Packs from the Forgotten Box!

In case you are confused, I refer to the box of 1999 Fleer Sports Illustrated as a forgotten box because I opened it months ago and promptly forgot about it.  You can go back through my archives to get the long-winded explanation but I think you get the idea.

Pack 3:
62.  Pirates Rookies

67.  Royals Rookies
84.  Tony Gwynn
115.  Jaret Wright

145.  Greg Vaughn
165.  Damion Easley

Do you think Jaret regrets his hair color decision now that it is forever enshrined on a baseball card?

Pack 4:
54.  Giants Rookies
73.  Shawn Green
91.  Ron Coomer

107.  Andres Galarraga
172.  Cliff Floyd
178.  Omar Vizquel

Four packs in and still no Reds.  The late 90s weren't exactly a boon for Reds collectors, but still.  At least one Red by now would have been nice.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Barry Larkin Collection 145: 2011 Topps Gypsy Queen - Green Border Parallel - #22

Barry Larkin
Year:  2011
Brand:  Topps Gypsy Queen
Parallel:  Green paper border (retail)
Card number:  22

Unlike the bronze paper parallels found in hobby packs, the green parallels are not serially numbered.  In every other respect (besides the color obviously), the parallel cards are identical.  I suppose that's the true definition of a parallel, though having a bunch of similar looking cards (especially when comparing the back side of each card) is sort of boring.  It also doesn't help that the red in Larkin's uniform seems to clash with the sparkly green border.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Forgotten Packs? How About a Forgotten Box?!

A few days ago, I wrote about discovering some forgotten packs.  Today, I'm a bit embarrassed to say that I can trump the forgotten packs with an entire forgotten box!  That's right.  Next to my desk, I have a filing cabinet.  Most of the cabinet is full of things like bills, health insurance information, and boring stuff like that.  However, it also has a little bit of extra space that I sometimes use to hold stuff for the blog.

I guess you could say time claimed the box - because while I opened up the packs months ago, I left them all in their respective wrappers with a plan to blog about the box at some point.  Who knew that some point would be almost a full year later?!

As I discovered before, it's actually kind of cool to open a box up, and then put it away for months on end.  You get twice the joy of opening packs (unless you memory is really good - mine clearly isn't) for the price of a single box.  That's a much better deal than anything that Topps is currently rolling out.

1999 Fleer Sports Illustrated (hobby box):
Packs 1 and 2:

I plan to (re)-open the box over the next few days.  It should provide a nice change of pace since I haven't actually purchased any new packs of cards since July!

Pack 1:
39.  Dennis Martinez

82.  Jason Giambi
96.  Matt Stairs

122.  Al Leiter
173.  Vladimir Guerrero
180.  Checklist

Eesh.  Maybe that was why I put the box away and promptly forgot about it...what a boring start!  A pair of Athletics and a checklist (that counts as a "real" card).  I guess it technically is a real card since it is numbered as part of the set, but even so it still stinks...especially in a 6-card per pack product.

Pack 2:
22.  Roberto Alomar
89.  Bret Saberhagen
99.  Mark Grace
136.  Travis Fryman
166.  Manny Ramirez
17 of 25 HL.  Headliners:  Nomar Garciaparra

The first insert of the box - the Headliners are seeded 1:4 packs.  Unlike the base cards, the Headliner card does not have a glossy front, making it feel more like a newspaper.  A small touch, but a nice one.  Kudos to Fleer for that.

The box contains 24 packs with 6 cards per pack.  Since the set appears to have 180 cards in it, there's no chance that I'll end up with a full set.  I think I may have opened up a pack or two of this stuff back when it was first released so I'll have to go back through my old binders to see if I can come close to completing the set (once the entire box is re-opened of course)!

Friday, October 19, 2012

I'm Oh So Sick. Call a Nurse!

One of the downsides of working in higher education is the students.  Well, ok, not the students so much as the germs that the students bring back with them when they go home for long weekend and then return to school.  Without fail, every year I end up sick the week after long weekend - and as usual, this week was no exception.  In fact, I ended up sicker than usual this week, so much so that I had to leave school early one day and then cancel all of my classes the next day.  Not good.

What can possibly make me feel better?  How about a trade package from Mark over at Collector's Crack. I sent Mark a Lego minifigure plus a few Allen & Ginter cards (you can read about his end of the swap here).  In return, Mark sent me a bunch of goodies.

Since I'm sick, we might as well start off with the Lego nurse.

This is easily one of my favorite minifigures in my rapidly growing collection.  The x-ray tile is quite cool - and the full scrub get-up is perfect.  Now if only that nurse could prescribe me something to relieve my sinuses!

Mark also sent along a second Lego figure - the bandit. 

 I bet if I had acquired the bandit back when I used to play with Legos as a kid that it would easily be one of my favorites.  I guess it's a sign that I'm growing older that I prefer the nurse to the bandit now...but it's also a sign that I'm not completely grown up since I'm still collecting Lego figures!

The trade wasn't just Legos though - nope, Mark also helped me out with my 2012 Allen & Ginter mini set.

I'm slowly but surely making way towards the end of the 2012 regular back mini set.  I still need quite a few mini cards though - so any help is appreciated!

Finally, Mark threw in a few extra Reds.  I didn't buy any 2012 Topps cards so this gold parallel is appreciated...

and really, all the Reds were appreciated but none quite as much as this nice (on card) autograph of Paul Bako.  

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

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Newest Addition (Thanks Listia)

Like many bloggers, I've been selling (and buying) on Listia.  One of my latest wins was this nice Barry Larkin gold parallel from 1993.

I remember back in 1993 that the ToppsGold cards were awesome!  At the time, collectors were just being used to "gimmicks" like foil and so the ToppsGold cards were indeed a chase card.  Of course, it didn't take long for Topps to overdo the gold foil and only a few years later the ToppsGold cards would be no more.  Even so, this is a nice addition to my Larkin collection.

As a quick reminder, make sure you check out the latest round of voting for my Barry Larkin Card Experiment - a task designed to determine the best Larkin card made (at least out of the first 100 on my blog).

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Next Round of Voting is Open!

The first three votes are complete.  It's now time to take a quick look at the winners and then move on to the next portion of the vote.

1989 Upper Deck defeated 1988 Topps by a 11-7 score.  I can't say that was a surprise even though the two cards were seeded #32 and #33 respectively.

1994 Topps beat out the 1995 Topps base card by a 10-8 margin.  This is our first "upset" of the tournament, the 1994 Topps card was seeded #49 in the tournament (whereas the '95 version was seeded 16)!  A Gonzaga like performance out of '94 Topps!

And in the final vote of the first portion of voting, 1992 Fleer Ultra trounced 1991 Bowman in a contest that was surprising to absolutely no one.


At this point, it's time to finish off the votes for the upper quarter of the bracket.  As usual, you can find the polls on the side of my blog!  We have four votes this time around:

1993 Stadium Club vs. 1990 Classic

Will the classy card prevail or will the "Saved By the Bell" design card win?

1994 Tombstone Pizza vs. 1991 Fleer

Our first "oddball" card gets a fairly favorable match-up against the hideous yellow of 1991 Fleer.

1993 Topps Black Gold vs. 2002 Topps Total

The Topps Total has an unbelievable fan base despite the boring design of the cards.  The 1993 Topps Black Cards were great chase cards back in the day, but you can get them for cheap now.  This should be the most interesting match-up in the upper half of the bracket.

1996 Pacific vs. 1992 Post Cereal

Our final match-up of the upper fourth of the bracket pits Pacific (a personal favorite brand of mine, though not this particular card) against Post Cereal - a set of cards that reminds me of my childhood like no other set.  I'm mostly sad that one of these two cards has to be eliminated!

And with that, the first quarter of the bracket is completed!