Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Group Break: 2004 Cracker Jack - Packs 1 and 2

Here's a pair of packs to start off the 2004 Cracker Jack box.  I already opened one of these boxes for a previous group break and I found them fun enough to try again for this break.  However, it should be noted that there are a bunch of short prints that I'm not going to bother researching again.  I suggest you take a look at the set checklist once you get your cards in your hands in order to figure out which might be short prints...  Consider it a small time saving measure on my part.

Enough chatter, let's get rippin'!

Pack 1:
47.  Nixon - Red Sox

110.  Beltran - Royals
141.  Vizquel - Indians
168.  Young - Rangers
202.  Ansman - Diamondbacks
How often do you see the word "wily" on a baseball card?  Awesome!

 208.  Labandeira - Expos
213.  Hill - Expos

Mini parallel:
110.  Beltran - Royals

Secret Surprise pack:

49.  Sticker:  Williams - Yankees

For record keeping purposes, I'm counting cards in the secret surprise pack inserts but the regular mini cards parallels...mostly because the secret surprise packs also hold relics and autos so you are guaranteed a sticker!  As for the pack victor, this one goes to Kansas City with the two Beltrans, very nice pack for the Royals.

Pack 2:
29.  Gibbons - Orioles
34.  Hernandez - Padres
65.  Tejada - Orioles
This card isn't washed out...I simply tried scanning without closing the scanner lid.  Bad idea.

97.  Dunn - Reds
127.  Winn - Mariners
139.  Washburn - Angels
150.  Burroughs - Padres
Mini:
133.  Rickey -  St. Louis
Secret surprise:
230.  Sticker:  Boone - Yankees

It was a toss up between the Orioles and Padres for this pack but I went with Baltimore since their two players were better than the two that San Diego offered up.  That's two Yankee stickers in two packs if you are paying attention...and three Yankee inserts already.  East coast bias indeed!

Group Break: 2003 Fleer Flair - Packs 1 and 2

The Fleer Flair box has a box topper card but I think I'll hold off on opening that for the time being...let's instead open up the first regular pack.  With hits seeded 1:5 packs we ought to get some fun stuff in a lot of these packs!

2003 Flair:
Pack 01:
24.  Roger Clemens - Yankees
31.  Jimmy Rollins - Phillies

51.  Joe Randa - Royals
55.  Albert Pujols - Cardinals

77.  Matt Morris - Cardinals

 It's no surprise here - congrats St. Louis on the pack win (their second win already)!  As for the cards themselves, they are quite glossy and rather interesting.  I don't know how I feel about the "fog effect" going on at the bottom of the card...

Pack 02:
1.  Hideo Nomo - Dodgers

23.  Hee Seop Choi - Cubs
49.  Bobby Abreu - Phillies
60.  Kerry Wood - Cubs
82.  Mark Teixeira - Rangers

First, the pack win goes to the Cubs.  More amazing, however, is that the Phillies already have cards in the break and we've barely begun!  The Dodgers and Yankees are each close behind with four cards apiece.

Group Break Team Randominzation (Plus 2 Packs!)

Before we get to the packs of cards, we have a little bit of business to attend to.  Here are the people who have elected to claim one of the extra teams...

  1. Jaybarkerfan
  2. apba66and0
  3. Jon
  4. Tunguska
  5. Nachos Grande
  6. Jason
  7. hiflew
  8. Daily Dimwit
  9. Tim G.
  10. Tunguska
  11. J.Bos
  12. NYHitman23
  13. daddyohio
  14. arpsmith 


And here are the leftover teams:

  • Arizona Diamondbacks
  • Detroit Tigers
  • Florida Marlins
  • Los Angeles Angels
  • Milwaukee Brewers
  • Minnesota Twins
  • Oakland Athletics
  • Pittsburgh Pirates
  • San Diego Padres
  • Seattle Mariners
  • Tampa Bay Rays
  • Texas Rangers
  • Toronto Blue Jays
  • Washington Nationals/Montreal Expos 

Using random.org, I'll randomize the list of teams three times and then assign them in order to each of the participants at the top of the post.

Randomization 1:

Randomization 2:

And the final assignments:

Summarizing, we have: 
Note:  I've tried to update who has (and who hasn't) paid. Please pay up now!
Last updated:  2/3/12  2:08 PM EST

 Atlanta Braves - Jaybarkerfan (PAID)
Tampa Bay Rays - Jaybarkerfan (PAID)
Baltimore Orioles - apba66and0 (PAID)
San Diego Padres - apba66and0 (PAID)
Boston Red Sox - Jon (payment in 3 days)
Arizona Diamondbacks - Jon (payment in 3 days)
Chicago Cubs - Tunguska (PAID)
Los Angeles Dodgers - Tunguska (PAID)
Los Angeles Angels - Tunguska (PAID)
Texas Rangers Toronto Blue Jay - Tunguska (PAID)
Cincinnati Reds - Nachos Grande (PAID)
Minnesota Twins - Nachos Grande (PAID)
Cleveland Indians - Jason (PAID)
Detroit Tigers - Jason (PAID)
Colorado Rockies - hiflew (PAID)
Toronto Blue Jays Texas Rangers - hiflew (PAID)
Houston Astros - Daily Dimwit (PAID)
Florida Marlins - Daily Dimwit (PAID)
Chicago White Sox - Tim G (PAID)
Kansas City Royals - Tim G. (PAID)
Oakland Athletics - Tim G. (PAID)
New York Mets - J.Bos (PAID)
Washington Nationals/Montreal Expos - J.Bos (PAID)
New York Yankees - NYHitman23 (PAID)
Pittsburgh Pirates - NYHitman23 (PAID)
Philadelphia Phillies - daddyohio (PAID)
Seattle Mariners - daddyohio (PAID)
St. Louis Cardinals - IkesCards (PAID)
San Francisco Giants - arpsmith (PAID)
Milwaukee Brewers - arpsmith (PAID)

Now that the team assignments are complete, trading of teams can commence.  Both parties need to confirm any trade on this post in order for it to be official.

Now, let's start opening packs in earnest!

2002 Fleer Showcase:
Pack 01:
19.  Alfonso Soriano - Yankees

38.  Roger Clemens - Yankees

68.  Rafael Palmeiro - Rangers

113.  Javier Vazquez - Expos

1 of 20 BB.  Baseball's Best:  Derek Jeter - Yankees

Woah, holy Yankees Batman!  The Baseball's Best inserts are seeded 1:8 packs so that along with the other two Yankee base cards make this an easy pack win for New York.   As for the base cards, the border is raised which gives the card a bit of an "art work" feel.  The backs are simple, but I kind of like them!

Let's see if Pack 2 is a little less Yankee heavy...

Pack 02:
15.  Greg Vaughn - Rays

34.  Steve Finley - Diamondbacks
47.  Tom Glavine - Braves

82.  Scott Rolen - Phillies
101.  Aramis Ramirez - Pirates

 Pack 2 had a much better selection of teams, though the majority were the "unclaimed" variety and thus randomed off amongst those who elected to have a second team in the break.  I guess I'll give the pack win to the Braves since Glavine is probably the best player in the bunch.  The Greg Vaughn card is terribly miscut, hopefully that's a anomaly rather than the rule for the box...time will tell I guess.

Monday, January 30, 2012

What Happened to all the Red Sox fans?!

Seriously now, what happened to all the Red Sox fans out there?

My latest group break is 3 teams from selling out completely - but of those remaining teams is the Boston Red Sox.  6 boxes, over 15 hits, over 1,000 cards, and only $25.00 per team - but the Red Sox remain unclaimed.

Some teams I'm used to be unclaimed (the Marlins and Diamondbacks - which are both available as well - jump to mind almost immediately)...but the Red Sox?  They used to be the second fastest claimed team in my group breaks (surpassed, ironically, by only the Yankees).  Now the pecking order is clearly:
1.  Atlanta
2.  New York Yankees
3.  Almost everyone else.
4.  Marlins, Diamondbacks, Twins, Blue Jays
5.  Red Sox

Ok, that's not really fair - the Red Sox should be lumped with the above team, but quite honestly I believe the Blue Jays have been a claimed team more recently than the Red Sox.  Given the huge fan base the Sox have, not to mention all the Red Sox bloggers that (used to be?) are active, it's surprising.

If you want to claim the Red Sox, or any of the other remaining teams, you've got about 15 minutes or so before I close the break.  Go here to sign up - prove that Boston still has some fans, or more amusingly to me, prove that the Marlins, Diamondbacks, and/or Twins do indeed deserve to be labeled as a more desirable team than the Red Sox.  Seriously Yankee fans, here's your chance to knock Boston out once and for all*!


*until my next group break of course.

The Group Break: A Second Sneak Peek (2003 Donruss Team Heroes)

Once again, I'm writing a post a few hours before it is schedule to go live - but as of this moment there are still six three available teams in my group break (see the sign-ups here).  I figured that before the break gets going in earnest, I would try once more to tempt you guys (and gals) to pick up the remaining teams by showing another pack from the break.  All the cards you are about to see are part of the break - so jump in on one of the unclaimed teams now!

Note:  I am closing the group break at 9:00 PM EST tonight (1/30/12).  Any unclaimed teams will go to me so that I can get the break going "for real."  There are still a bunch of good teams left - but only three possible slots remain given that most group break participants have opted for the +1 option which is one team of their choice and one random team from the remaining, unclaimed teams.

Here's a pack out of the 2003 Donruss Team Heroes box.  This particular box was chosen because A) I've never opened anything from the set and B) it promises a whole bunch of cards to all the teams, and C) there are some retired legends mixed in with the stars of the day (and a bunch of non-stars too a la Topps Total)!

There are 13 cards in each pack and (I believe) one of those cards is some sort of parallel in every pack (either a glossy card or a sequentially numbered stat line card).

Pack 01:
275.  Paul Molitor - Brewers

400.  Steve Carlton - Phillies
527.  Vernon Wells - Blue Jays
507.  Aubrey Huff - Rays
406.  Dave Williams - Pirates
274.  Paul Quantrill - Dodgers
389.  Eric Valent - Phillies

257.  Eric Karros - Dodgers

229.  Octavio Dotel - Astros

145.  Lance Davis - Reds
64.  Larry Bigbie - Orioles
123.  Magglio Ordonez - White Sox
96.  Glossy Parallel:  Fred McGriff - Cubs

After opening the first pack, I must say that I'm looking forward to the rest of this box.  I really like the base design - and I like the assortment of players too!  As for the parallel, you can't really tell by the scan but the card is printed on what feels like a thicker card stock and it is definitely glossy as compared to the other base cards.  A nice start for the Cubs in the break!  However, although the parallel is nice, I think the pack win is going to the Phillies for having two cards (including the Steve Carlton base card).

The Barry Larkin Card Experiment: Round 3 (plus results)!

The first two rounds of the Barry Larkin Card Experiment are in the books!

Round 1 Results:

In round 1, the 1987 Topps Barry Larkin rookie card smoked the competition which basically meant it was a battle between three cards for second place (remember the top two cards from the first set of match-ups moves on to the next round).  As it is, you guys (and gals) voted a tie between 1988 Fleer and 1988 Topps.  I don't know what's wrong with the five of you who voted for the '88 Fleer card...the Topps is definitely superior so I'll use my vote to break the tie.  Congrats to both '87 and '88 Topps for moving on to the next round.

 Round 2 Results:

Round 2 saw fewer total votes (actually exactly half of round 1's total) but that might be more a case of four rather boring cards where there wasn't a lot of strong feelings for (or against).  In a rather tight vote, the 1990 Fleer card takes first place while the 1990 Donruss card barely eeks ahead of the 89 Topps and 89 Score.  Personally, I would have voted in the '89 Topps (and probably as the number one choice) but the people have spoken.  Sorry '89 Topps, it's back to junk wax status for you!

Now that the results are out of the way, let's move on to Round 3!

Here are your nominees, and once again, it's the top 2 vote getters that will move on to the next round.

1990 Score:

The 1990 Score card has a lot of good things.  The front and back photos are different.  There are plenty of statistics.  There is a really nice write-up on the back.  The Reds running man logo is featured on the front, etc.  However, there are also a few things holding this card back...the green border with yellow accents for a Reds card, yikes!

1990 Upper Deck Reds Checklist:

I've always liked team specific checklists - even more so when I was a kid so I happen to like this card quite a bit.  I don't know if a checklist card matches up particularly well in a competition like this but it wouldn't surprise me too much to see this card moving on to the next round.

1990 Upper Deck base:

Here's one card that might spell doom for the Upper Deck checklist - the actual Larkin base card from the same set!  This round is probably the most competitive of the first three rounds because I could realistically see all three cards garnering some support amongst the voters...but all three cards will have their work cut out for them if they are going to top the fourth (and final) card in this round of voting...

1991 Donruss Diamond King:

Who doesn't love Diamond King cards?  Sure, the 1991 Donruss set might not be the prettiest of all the Donruss sets, but even so, it's a freakin' Diamond King!  I'll be shocked, shocked I tell you, if this card doesn't win this round.

Those are your four nominees, now go vote on the side bar!  Thanks for your help.

The Group Break: A Sneak Peek!

It's almost 11:00 PM EST as I am writing this post - but you won't see it until the morning hours.  As such, I don't know whether this post is actually a sneak peek (as I labeled it) or a "first packs" of the new group break type of post.

You see, as I am writing this post there are still 12 remaining teams in the break (including a few of the "big names" like the Dodgers, Tigers, Mariners, and Red Sox).  Speaking of those teams, what happened to all the Red Sox collectors?  This is shaping up to be the second consecutive group break where the Red Sox end up as one of the random teams!  Of course, if the Dodgers also remain unclaimed (as they are currently), this might shape up to be one of the oddest breaks yet.   With all the hits in the break, I'm guessing someone will come through and claim the two teams but I guess we'll wait and see!

Anyhow, I promised a sneak peak, so here you go.  I had to open the 2002 Fleer Genuine box anyhow in order to figure out exactly how many cards (and cards per pack) there were - so let's start with that box.  As I mentioned in the original sign-up post, the Genuine box had 3 mini boxes in it...and each mini box contains 8 packs for a total of 24 packs in the entire box.

The mini boxes look almost exactly like the big box...


And here are the contents of the first pack of the break!

5.  Todd Helton - Rockies

26.  Adrian Beltre - Dodgers

45.  Bobby Abreu - Phillies

100.  Richie Sexson - Brewers

TC 8 of 25.  Tip of the Cap:  Albert Pujols - Cardinals

Like the last break I held, I'm going to keep track of pack wins along with the usual statistics that I like to keep.  It keeps things interesting for me - and hopefully for you (whether or not you are participating in the break).  The first pack victory of the break goes to the Cardinals with a die-cut Albert Pujols insert card.  The Tip of the Cap cards are seeded 1:6 packs which means we ought to find another three before all is said and done.  As a side note, (as of the time I wrote this post), both the Dodgers and Brewers were unclaimed...jump in to nab one of the first five cards of the break!

As for the rest of the cards in the pack, I must say one thing immediately...these cards look MUCH better in person.  For some reason, the scan makes the cards almost appear to be black bordered but in reality each card has a metalic sheen border that is the color of the team (the Dodgers and Rockies have a blue border, the Phillies a red border, etc.).  The team name and player name are both in shiny foil - the entire card actually looks quite classy.  Since I didn't scan the backs of the base card, here's Mr. Sexson's backside.

I like that there is an alternate photo and a team logo to go with the statistics and vital information.  I hope you enjoyed the sneak peek...and hopefully the entire break will be filled by the time I'm off work today!

Then the real fun will begin!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

New Group Break Sign-Ups are LIVE! Full Details here!

I've teased it for a couple of days, but it's finally here:  My second group break of the new year!  For the second break, I'm going to switch up the format once again - gotta keep things fresh!
A great big thanks to the group break sponsor:  Baseball Card Exchange

Here are the details:

For $25.00 (including shipping) you get ONE team (of your choice).  Note:  For non-US buyers, please add $5.00 shipping.  In addition, you may pay an extra $5.00 in order to claim an "extra" team which will be randomly assigned after all participants have paid.  In short: $25.00 for one team, $30.00 for your team plus a random team.   For those that want to claim multiple teams at the start, the first team is $25.00 and each additional team is only $20.00.

Please send payment via PayPal to the email address in my profile.  When paying, please pay as "gift" and DO NOT put any other information in the payment.  Instead, send me a separate email stating:
1.  Your user name you used to sign up for the group break
2.  Your email address used for payment
3.  The team(s) you claimed.
4.  Your mailing address

ALL TEAM CLAIMS MUST BE MADE ON THIS FORM.  PAYMENT IS EXPECTED WITHIN 24 HOURS.  If you cannot pay in that time frame, please email me and perhaps we can work something out!

Now, you ask, what's in the break?  There are SIX different boxes which should make for a fun break.  Even better, there are a plethora of both possible and guaranteed hits lurking in the boxes.  Here are the six boxes in the break:

First, so that every team gets a nice sized stack of cards...

2003 Donruss Team Heroes:

This box contains 24 packs with 13 cards per pack (312 total cards).  I decided on this particular box because it is Donruss' answer to the popular Topps Total set...lots and lots of cards for all the various teams.  In fact, the 540 card base set has up to the 30 card per team with both current and retired players!   There is also the possibility of pulling an autograph or a relic cards - along with a glossy base set parallel and a sequentially numbered parallel set.

Next, because I enjoyed the Flair Showcase box from the last break...

2003 Fleer Flair:

The Flair box contains 20 packs with 5 cards per pack (100 total cards).   There are memorabilia cards inserted 1:5 packs which means this box should contain 4 different such cards plus a oversized Sweet Swatch card is found in every box!  As with most Fleer sets, there are plenty of other parallels (all of which appear to be serially numbered according to the box).  There are also autographs lurking int he boxes, including 1 of 1s!

2002 Fleer Showcase:

The Showcase box contains 24 packs with 5 cards per pack (120 total cards).  Based on the stated odds, this box should contain three "hits" (either autographs or memorabilia cards).  Much like the Flair box, there are also serially numbered parallel sets (plus a couple of different insert sets).  This set boasts both Derek Jeter and Barry Bonds autographs (how sweet would that be to pull)?!

2003 Upper Deck UD Patch Collection:

The Patch Collection box contains 20 packs with 5 cards per pack (100 total cards) and includes three embroidered patch cards plus an All-Star Patch box topper card.  There are also short print cards and signature patches in the set.

2004 Topps Cracker Jack:

The 2004 Topps Crack Jacker box contains 20 packs with 8 cards per pack plus 1 secret surprise per pack for a total of (180 cards per box).  I opened a Cracker Jack box during one other group break with some pretty decent results so I thought I'd try again.  There are a bunch of short prints in the set and the possibility of relics and/or autographs.

And finally, one more box!

2002 Fleer Genuine:

The Fleer Genuine box didn't state how many packs were in each box so I had to open the box already to count.  As it is, there are three mini boxes within the main box.  Each mini box is individually wrapped and contains 8 packs (with 5 cards per pack).  In total, there are 24 packs (for a grand total of 192 cards).  Memorabilia and autograph cards are seeded at a rather strange rate of 1 in every 4.5 packs which means we ought to discover 5 hits for sure and a 1 out of 3 chance of a 6th hit!

How's that for a break!  In total, there are approximately 1,004 cards in the break plus a couple of box toppers.  There should be at least 17 hits guaranteed (plus a bunch of other possible hits)!  For the low price of $25.00 you can be part of the fun!  Don't miss out...I'm expecting the break to sell out fairly quickly!

Here are the available teams:
Teams remaining:  0 BREAK CLOSED!
Last update:  1/30/12 at 9:07 PM EST  (see the team randomization post for up-to-date team / payment information).

Arizona Diamondbacks
Atlanta Braves - Jaybarkerfan +1  (PAID)
Baltimore Orioles - apba66and0 +1 (PAID)
Boston Red Sox - Jon +1 (payment pending)
Chicago White Sox - Tim G (PAID)
Chicago Cubs - Tunguska +1 (payment pending)
Cincinnati Reds - Nachos Grande +1 (PAID)
Cleveland Indians - Jason +1 (PAID)
Colorado Rockies - hiflew +1 (payment at end of week)
Detroit Tigers
Florida Marlins
Houston Astros - Daily Dimwit +1 (payment pending)
Kansas City Royals - Tim G.  +1 (PAID)
Los Angeles Angels
Los Angeles Dodgers - Tunguska +1 (payment pending)
Milwaukee Brewers
Minnesota Twins
New York Mets - J.Bos +1 (PAID)
New York Yankees - NYHitman23 +1 (PAID)
Oakland Athletics
Philadelphia Phillies - daddyohio +1 (PAID)
Pittsburgh Pirates
San Diego Padres
San Francisco Giants - arpsmith +1 (payment pending)
Seattle Mariners
St. Louis Cardinals - IkesCards (payment pending)
Tampa Bay Rays
Texas Rangers
Toronto Blue Jays
Washington Nationals/Montreal Expos

Group Break Information...

This is an early warning that the Group Break sign-ups will be active on my blog at 6:00 PM EST tonight (1/29/2012).  The break consists of 6 different boxes.  $25.00 nets you one team of your choice while $30.00 nets you a team of your choice and a random team.  This break features a bunch of guaranteed hits (plus even more potential hits) and just over 1,000 cards total!

Don't miss out - sign-ups are about 2 hours from the time I'm making this post.

Want a hint as to what to expect in the break?  Here's one of the six boxes:

See you in two hours!

Trade Stack 36: The Closer Carousal

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:  1/29/12

Today's card post is abbreviated because I'm actually writing it after spending a full day at my wife's grandmother's funeral and then lunch (and dinner) with the extended family.  Although we all have heavy hearts, I believe our evening of revelry and reminiscing (including their old home videos) was cathartic to everyone involved.  My thanks go out to those of you who reached out to me - she was a great lady (and always welcomed me with open arms into the family as well).  

When it comes to cards and the blog - some things simply take a back seat.  However, I find blogging to be a way for me to express my thoughts in ways that perhaps I couldn't otherwise.  I'm terrible at vocalizing how I feel about things, either because I don't want to sound clichéd or because I can't seem to locate the proper words to match the feelings circulating in my brain.  Blogging may not bring out the best writer in me (that person would use spell check and/or proofread a lot more) but it does give me an avenue to explore my feelings when I feel like opening up.*

*apologies to my freshman composition professor for that last sentence.  We would lose 5 points for every instance of the word "feel" or any of its derivatives. 

Anyhow, here's today's card.  It's an (admittedly) low thought inclusion but hey, there are a lot of people out there who might now be interested in Papelbon now that he has changed teams.  
Finally, I will TRY to have the group break sign-ups post go live sometime this evening.  Once again, I won't be home during the morning or most of the afternoon but I'm going to try to get the thing written and posted.  I will say that I'm quite excited for the break - there are some brand new products (in the sense that there are boxes of things I've never opened...or even seen in some cases)!  

2009 Upper Deck:
52.  Jonathan Papelbon - Red Sox
   

2011 Topps Allen & Ginter:
Mini:
Short print:
332.  Luke Hochevar - Royals  



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:  9 cards by Cool Breeze
Stack 36:  ?? by ?? 

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Group Break (Coming Soon)

The mailman (mail woman actually) just delivered a box full of boxes for my next group break.  I plan to have sign-ups this weekend at some point, though right now (when you read this at least), I'll be at the funeral for my wife's grandmother.

Cards take a back seat for now - but if we get back home in time tonight, I'll post sign-ups tonight.  Otherwise, look for them either Sunday or Monday.

Trust me, you won't want to miss this break - don't go out a buy a blaster of crap this weekend...save that $20.00 and join in the group break - this one might be the best one yet!

Does Topps Hate Bloggers?

A few days ago, I wrote to Topps in an effort to inquire about a possible blog sponsorship - or rather, a way for me to review Topps products for the upcoming baseball year.  As the author of a blog that's been averaging 200+ visitors lately, I don't think it is a stretch to say that my blog is well read amongst the baseball card blogging community (even if I don't approach the likes of Night Owl or Dayf to mention just a couple).  Anyhow, here is the (verbatim) response via Topps:
 Please be advised we do not sponsor blogs. 
Thank you
Topps CS Team
Well, that's blunt - and a bit snooty to boot.  I could have sworn that I have seen blogs with Topps as a sponsor, and I'm fairly certain I've seen more than one post here and there from people who received free product to review, so I'm not entirely certain Topps is being honest with me.  Rather, I have the feeling that my little blog is exactly that, little.  So little and insignificant in fact that Topps can't be bothered with my inquiry.

On the other hand though, what if Topps actually is telling the truth and they don't do any type of sponsorship.  Is that wise on their part?  On the one hand, most of us buy their product anyhow (and review it) using our own hard earned dollars.  On the other hand, there are plenty of products that I don't buy simply because either I can't understand them (pretty much anything Bowman) or because they are either out of my price range or nowhere to be found (Triple Threads, Tier One).  For some of those sets, if I had actually opened a few packs or a box, there was a fairly high chance that I would decide to go for the entire set...because that's what I do!  In fact, I ended up with a blaster of Bowman Platinum for Christmas (a set I didn't even consider buying myself) and now I'm trying to collect the entire base set!

Since my blog is so small (and quite honestly nowhere near the top of any "best of" blog list), I can understand why Topps wouldn't want me to be the one reviewing their product.  What I don't understand though is why they wouldn't want someone (or more than one someone) reviewing their product on the web.  Whenever I am researching boxes for my next group break, where do the reviews come from?  Almost always the Google searches yield results from various blog entries that people have posted over the years - NOT Beckett magazine articles!  Topps is really losing out in the long run (assuming things like group breaks are still popular five or ten years from now) by not having more (quality) reviews of their product out there.

I suppose I don't have any particular answer to my initial question, but seeing as how I've contacted Topps in the past hoping to get a full checklist of the 2010 Allen & Ginter relics that they produced (Topps customer service told me no such list exists), I can't say I'm impressed with Topps online presence (or customer service) at all.  I would think companies realize that the internet is best used as a friend rather than as a combatant, but Topps seems to act like they are the only game in town (which they are, for now) and that if they don't feel like doing something (or disclosing what they put in their products), they don't have to.

Indeed, Topps may hate bloggers!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Trade Stack 36: An Allen & Ginter Mini Short Print Begins a 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:  1/27/12

It's time to begin the 36th edition of the Trade Stack!  As is my custom, I like to try and mix it up a bit with what I feature in my stacks, so how about if we start off with an Allen & Ginter mini short print card from this past year's set?  I don't know who is trying to collect the mini set (or maybe a Royal's collector will jump on this), but I wouldn't be surprised if this is the ?? 1-card trade stack claimed!

2011 Topps Allen & Ginter:
Mini:
Short print:
332.  Luke Hochevar - Royals  



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:  9 cards by Cool Breeze
Stack 36:  ?? by ?? 

Barry Larkin Collection 117: 1994 Bowman's Best #95 - Mirror Image

Barry Larkin and Derek Jeter
Year:  1994
Brand:  Bowman's Best
Subset:  Mirror Image
Card number:  95

The Mirror Image cards were seeded 1 per pack in Series 1 of the 1994 Bowman's Best set.  Although inserted at a special rate, the cards were numbered as part of the regular base set (which is a confusing base set - two versions, one red and one blue - each number having two different players associated with it, one for each color).  There was only one version of the Mirror Image cards per number at least.

The front of the card features a bit of shiny gloss and a fairly solid design.  The back of the card, however, is horrific.  I don't know what type of drunk monkey thought it would be a good idea to simply slap text down on the card and orient it any which way, but that monkey ought to have been fired long before he or she had access to card development plans.  Yikes!

PWE Week: This Card is Indeed Cool!

I hope PWE week was as much fun for you as it was for me.  Ok, I'm guessing it was a lot more fun for me since I ended up with all the cards - but still, hopefully you enjoyed a slightly new twist on the classic trade post.

For today's post, the final envelope is courtesy of Ryan (This Card is Cool)who is halfway around the world right now.  I'm jealous of that because as you may know (my longtime readers probably remember), I like origami A LOT which is much, much more popular in Japan than it is here.





 One of my goals for the year (that I didn't think to add to my New Year's Resolutions explicitly) is to show off a bit more of my origami.  I'm guessing I won't get a chance to do that before my teaching responsibilities are done for the semester but hopefully during the summer I can make that happen (before Ginter madness preferably)!

Anyhow, back to the PWE.  Ryan found a Jay Bruce Topps Finest refractor #308/399.

As someone who doesn't collect Topps Finest, this is a great addition to my personal collection as it's one that I'm positive I don't already own!

Thanks for the card Ryan, and enjoy your time across the sea!  For anyone else, if you want to trade - check out the want list and make an offer!