Sunday, September 30, 2012

Barry Larkin Collection 143: 2002 Fleer Flair - #11

Barry Larkin
Year:  2002
Brand:   Fleer Flair
Card number:  11

The 2002 Fleer Flair set paid a small tribute to Larkin by assigning him card number 11 in the set (the same number as his jersey).  Other than that, the set is mostly a forgettable mishmash of autumnal colors and creepy, faded head shots.  I've never been a fan of vertical text on baseball cards - so the gold foil wording running perpendicular to the bottom of the card isn't good design in my eyes.  Even worse, it's difficult to read with the dried-leaves brown that Fleer used to fill in the background behind the various vertical text sections.  The back of the card is also disappointing in that there are only five years worth of statistics and yet the team logo is still itty-bitty with lots and lots of dead space at the bottom of the card.  Obviously, it's not the best Larkin card in my collection - but it's certainly not the worst (and the card stock is surprisingly nice, that should be mentioned as well).

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Tales of Mail Horror: Listia Edition

I've spent quite a bit of time over the last month or two talking about some fun Listia pickups.  Unfortunately, not every auction ends well...

The plastic bag you see (with a gaping hole) was supposed to contain an entire Lego figure (a Royal Guard figure to be precise).  Unfortunately, the hole in the plastic bag was foreshadowed by the ripped envelope that was sitting in my mailbox.

When I did open the envelope up, I found most of the figurine in place...though no hat (probably the thickest part of the figure and the part that must have gotten caught in a mail machine at some point in time).  One of the little guy's hands were shattered as well.
The yellow bit at the bottom is the other half of the guard's hand.

And so now, I have "half" a guard with nothing to do with it.  Like my box full of 1987 Topps cards, I can't bring myself to throw the figure out...but at the same time it's basically garbage in terms of being a collectible.
He's not nearly so cool without the hat (and half his hand lying on the ground).

Oh well, I guess you can't win them all.

I should mention that the seller was great about refunding my credits, something that I definitely appreciated.

Reds' Bailey Throws a No-Hitter vs. Pirates!

Here's all 27 outs. Great stuff by Homer!

 

Friday, September 28, 2012

A Final Trade with a Blogger (Adios My Friend)

Over the last few weeks, there has been an alarming exodus of bloggers from our rather tight-knit blogging community.  One of the most recent casualties is Ted from the always entertaining Crinkly Wrappers blog.  Ted announced his "retirement" from blogging back on August 14th.  Since then, it appears he's been busy sending off a bunch of farewell packages (mostly as surprises for their respective recipients).  Well, probably thanks to a bunch of trades that we completed over the last couple of years (beginning in 2010 to be precise), Ted sent me one of the aforementioned good bye packages...a thoughtful gesture from a guy who's always been thoughtful (and generous) in all of our previous dealings.

Ted knows that I love all things Allen & Ginter so he sent me a smattering of mini cards from this year's A&G set.  That's awesome, of course, because I'm still working on some of the various mini insert sets (and the full mini regular back set).


The cards that Ted sent me will serve a few purposes:  1.  Some of them went directly into my binder because I still needed them (awesome).  2.  Some will go into stacks destined for other bloggers.  3.  A few will end up on my 2012 Topps Allen & Ginter trade bait page.

The baseball card blogging world lost another great member (and blog) with your retirement Ted.  I hope you still check all of our blogs out once in awhile, at least let us know how you've been!  Thanks again for the cards, they were much appreciated!

I'm a Reds fan, that's what I am.

In honor of the National League Central Champion Reds...
Yep, I'm a Reds fan, that's what I am.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

A Pair of Plain White Envelopes

At the moment, I have four more packages sitting on my desk waiting for me to scan and do a write-up for.  Of the four, two are plain white envelopes.  I know I usually give each package it's own post, but I think I can kill two of the proverbial birds with one flurry of keystrokes.  Yeah, I don't think that mixed metaphor worked either.

First up, a 2012 Topps Allen & Ginter mini card from Jim (aka gcrl).

I'm beginning to think I'm going to need to hit up eBay in order to knock out a big chunk of my 2012 mini needs...but until I can bring myself to spend even more money on cards, I'll continue to appreciate all the help I can get (whether it is one card or twenty cards)!

Jim also threw in a nice UD Vintage card of Adam Dunn from 2003.

I don't have many of the '03 Vintage cards (I'm working on the 2004 UD Vintage set however).  I must say, I think the '03 set might be a better design than the '04!

The second plain white envelope is from everyone's favorite Troll!

Once again, the little white envelope held some 2012 Allen & Ginter love - this time in the form of two different mini cards - both depicting players from the Washington Nationals.

Thanks to both gcrl and Troll for getting me that much closer to completing the mini set!  As always, if anyone else would like to trade, check out my want list and make an offer!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

I List, You List, We List.

I might not be buying any new baseball cards packs or boxes lately (and by lately I mean since July) but that hasn't stopped me from using Listia.  A few days ago, I showed off some baseball cards wins from Listia.  Today, I return with another Listia win, although this time it's not baseball cards.

That's right, the Legos are back!

I did the Listia equivalent of "Buy It Now" and purchased a pair of unopened packs of Series 5 minifigures.  

Looking over the checklist, I already had the Graduate, Fisherman, Dino guy, and Zookeeper but I took a risk that the two unopened packages would yield new figures for my collection.  Within Series 5, I was hoping to land two of the following:  the gladiator, the royal guard, the lumberjack, the clown, the investigator, the boxer, the Egyptian queen, or the gangster.

The good news:  I didn't get a duplicate.

The bad news:  I only landed one figure from the list of the ones that I wanted.

On the list of figures, I didn't have much interest in the Evil Dwarf but that's who I got out of my first minifigure bag.  

He's actually kind of cool in that he's smaller than the regular Lego minifigures (hence Evil Dwarf I suppose)!  He has a pretty wicked beard too.  Unfortunately, the picture I took is piss poor but I didn't realize that until it was too late (i.e. I already uploaded the photos and put the camera away).  Sorry about that.

The other bag gave me a figure that I wanted - one that goes with the other sports figures that I've already acquired:  the Boxer.

The boxer is kind of cool in that his head is double-sided.  In the first shot, you can see a victorious boxer...but if his fight didn't go so well, you can turn his noggin' around and...

Ouch!

Listia has been quite a bit of fun for me, I've been (slowly) getting rid of extra cards for a few hundred credits a piece and then eventually I can turn those credits into either other cards that I do want or (as has been often the case), Lego figurines.  

Allen & Ginter N43s: Wants & Haves!

I recently stumbled upon a stack of N43s from this year's edition of Allen & Ginter that I had purchased off of eBay.  I pulled out the ones that I needed for my set - but I still have a bunch of leftovers for trade.  Right now, I am looking for the following:  N43:  10 (Josh Hamilton), 11 (Ken Griffey Jr.), and 14 (Mike Schmidt).

If you happen to have any of the N43s that I need (or anything else off my want list), I have a bunch of 2012 N43s for trade, including the following:

N43-2.  Brian Wilson - Giants (x2)

N43-4.  Eric Hosmer - Royals (x3)

N43-5.  Ernie Banks - Cubs (x2)

N43-6.  Evan Longoria - Rays

N43-8.  Joe Mauer - Twins (x2)

N43-9.  Johnny Bench - Reds

N43-13.  Miguel Cabrera - Tigers (x2)

N43-15.  Tony Gwynn - Padres (x2)

Leave a comment below and/or shoot me an email and hopefully we can work out a trade.  If I don't get any takers for the above N43s, I'll probably throw 'em up on eBay as a last resort!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

JABO-wockery

The blog-o-sphere lost a great blogger and trader a few days ago when Kyle from Juuust a Bit Outside decided it was time to retire his collection.  He left a nice send-off message on his blog - certainly a kind thing considering some of us worry when our favorite bloggers disappear without any advance warning.

However, in Kyle's departure from the hobby, he still found time to send me a small package full of Reds (plus a card that I needed for my Topps Archives set).

First, the card I needed was this reprint of Mr. Reggie Jackson.

The 2012 Topps Archives blasters have totally disappeared from my local Wal*Mart (the only place I have to buy cards now).  As such, I'm relying 100% on the internet in terms of completing the full set.  I have made a few purchases off of eBay (which helped me close the gap towards completion) but I haven't bought any more cards lately.  That said, I am getting fairly close to completing the entire set so maybe I should think about looking at CheckOutMyCards or a similar site to see if I can finally finish the set off.

Speaking of finishing sets off, here's one that I'm no where close to completing.

Yep, the gold bordered minis that are retail exclusives.  Luckily (for me), I decided to only chase the Reds in the set, but even that has been a tough, tough road!

Besides the above two cards that were on my want list, Kyle also sent an assortment of other Reds.

The Brandon Phillips card is part of the 2008 Upper Deck Spectrum set.  A set that I inexplicably decided to complete.  I sometimes wonder if I'm the only person who actively sought to complete the Spectrum set (even worse, I also completed the hideous purple Spectrum set from the next year)!

Kyle may have gotten out of buying and collecting cards, but not before he must have purchased at least a few packs of 2012 Bowman Platinum.

For the record, I have yet to purchase a single pack of cards since Allen & Ginter came out - but I wouldn't say that I'm moving out of collecting.  I'd rather try and prune my want list a bit before adding even more sets to the list!

The last two cards that I scanned were my two favorite cards within the stack of assorted Reds and both happened to be of Joe Morgan.

I really, really like the Topps Sterling card - that's one of those upscale sets that I probably will never have the opportunity to bust a pack of, so I appreciate getting one of the Reds in a trade!  The Upper Deck Reflections card is kind of cool too - and very, very shiny!

Thanks for the cards Kyle - and know that you will be missed within the blogosphere.

Who Wants 2012 Ginter Relics?

I have a lot of 21 different 2012 Topps Allen & Ginter relics up on eBay right now.  I set the Buy It Now at $100 but I'm willing to listen to reasonable offers if that's a bit too high.  I'm hoping to recoup some of my investment in the case from the summer so I really don't want to go too much below $100.

In case you are interested, here is the full list of relics included in my auction.

DJ.  Derek Jeter
EL.  Evan Longoria
FT1.  Fatal1ty
HH.  Hank Haney
BH.  Bob Hurley Sr.
MH.  Marty Hogan
PP.  Phil Pfister
KB.  Keegan Bradley (redemption card - unused)
CH.  Corey Hart
MM.  Mike Morse 
IK. Ian Kinsler
CBI.  Chad Billingsley
DG.  Dillon Gee
JW.  Jason Werth
JLO.  Jed Lowrie
MR.  Mark Reynolds
DU.  Dan Uggla
APG.  Angel Pagan
CI.  Chris Ianetta
ABA.  Andrew Bailey
MBO.  Michael Bourn

Thanks, as always, for your support!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Who Cares What Beckett Says? This is Clearly Better!

My slow march towards finishing off the 2012 Topps Archives took one more small step forward with an itty bitty trade courtesy of Dan over at It's Like Having My Own Card Shop.  Dan happened to have one of the few remaining Topps Archives cards that I needed.

Luckily for me, we were able to work out a deal quite easily - after all, who doesn't have a pile of unwanted Diamondback cards that need a good home?!  You can see what I sent him here.

Although that one card was more than enough for me to be happy with the swap, Dan went above and beyond the call by including TWO new Barry Larkin cards for my collection.

I don't actually have the words to describe that Bat Patrol card.  I think it'll take me awhile to process the card before I do a write up for my Barry Larkin Collection!
Anyone know anything about this set?

Dan also threw in a pair of other Reds cards, one being a rather nice insert card of Austin Kearns.

I initially thought that Kearns would be a great Red for a long time but it simply didn't work out that way.  He was part of the infamous trade (infamous at the time, turned out to basically be a wash for everyone involved).

I also got a Textbook Excellence card of Greg Vaughn - I'm not sure what textbook Vaughn was reading though...

And, in a super surprise:

That's an Adam "big donkey" Dunn relic card!  I love me some Adam Dunn, even if most Reds fans seem to hate the big guy.  Dan noted that the card was a bit dinged but that it was "not bad as an extra" in a trade.  I should say so!  Thanks Dan!

As always, if anyone else would like to trade, check out my want list and make an offer.  I'm happy to work out big 'ol trades or little trades...anything to reduce the number of cards on my want list!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Another Pair of Listia Wins!

Now that I've sold about 50 or so different auctions on Listia, I've accumulated enough credits so that I can actually buy some stuff that I want!  Over the past week, I won a pair of auctions that have already arrived in my mailbox.

First up, I won a four card lot of 2011 Topps Heritage.  I already have the non-SP base set complete so the three base cards weren't of much value to me...

...but the reason that I bid on the auction wasn't for the base cards, it was for this beauty.

That's right, Felix Hernandez was one of the eight remaining short prints that I needed from the set!  You can imagine my (happy) surprise when I saw this card listed on Lista!  As of this moment, I'm down to needing a mere 7 cards before I can call the 2011 Heritage set complete:  426, 436, 445, 453, 460, 464, 499.  Of course, any help is appreciated.

The next auction that I won was actually two auctions from the same seller, so for all intensive purposes it felt like a single auction.  I keep picking up Lego guys because there's nothing on the card market that's currently interesting me, so now I can add the Jungle Boy to my collection.

And the evil knight.

I've been enjoying listing cards on Listia (and mostly turning credits into Legos but once in awhile I get some cards out of the site).  I would encourage more of you to check the site out, it's a nice "fee free" alternative to eBay for sure.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

I Haven't Bought New Cards in Ages. I Think I Know Why.

I've been thinking about the fact that I really haven't bought much in the way of baseball cards this year.  Granted, I did buy a full case of Allen & Ginter, but that was a result of sales from last year's case.  I bought a few blasters of Topps Archives and, well, that's it.

No Heritage.  No Chrome.  Not even any flagship.  No Opening Day.  No Bowman anything.  Nada.

Thinking about why that is (besides money of course), I think I have the solution...

Boredom.

I've noticed a general malaise creeping over a lot of the blogs lately.  Some of our most esteemed blogging brethren have packed up their proverbial bags and headed for greener pastures.  Others have got bat crap crazy with ponies, politics, or even Legos (oh wait, that last one was me).

I believe it was Night Owl who lamented a few days ago about how the blogs were silent in regards to Topps' announcement of 2013 Topps Heritage.  I'm guessing we were silent because I'm not the only one bored.

Heritage is the same thing every year.  We know the designs by heart (Topps beat the reprints into the ground for the last five years or so)...and so now they aren't special.  Seeing current players on old designs?  Yep, hello Topps Archives.  Seeing all the old designs?  Yep, hello Cards Momma Threw Out.  Et cetera, et cetera.

And then there is the flagship brand.  

Camouflaged cards?  Sounds great if I have a hankering to open a pack of cards while hunting.  Oh wait, the crinkly foil would scare off the game anyhow.

Pink cards?  Yeah, the best way to pander to the female demographic is to slap some pink on there.  Right on Topps, I bet it's that easy.

Gold parallel, mini, short prints, gimmicks, squirrels, who gives a rat's patootie anymore?

I think what I'm saying is that I need to see something new.

I like the idea of the Panini Triple Play set.  Unfortunately, my Wal*Mart doesn't carry them - and since I have no place besides Wal*Mart to buy packs of cards on whim (i.e. when the wife sends me to get milk or maybe eggs), I didn't get the chance to purchase any.

You know what my Wal*Mart does carry though?

Series 8 of the Lego Minifigures.

That's right.  I can't buy packs of cards, so I buy $2.99 packs of Lego minifigures.  And I love 'em.  Not a bad one in the bunch.  I bought four packs - and since I can't show off any cards, the least I can do is show off Lego dudes (and a dudette).

Actor / Thespian

I used to play with Legos as a kid with my younger brother.  We had tons of Legos - and I still had my collection I could probably sell it all on eBay and pay for at least two or three years worth of baseball cards.  Of course, if I still had my collection I would be keeping them all - and maybe selling baseball cards in order to acquire more Legos.

The point of the matter is actually the skull in the actor's hand.  Throughout all my years of playing with Legos as a kid, I never realized that one side of a Lego guy's hand stuck out far enough so that a block could sit on it as if the figure were holding the item.  Not once did I figure that out.  To the best of my knowledge, neither did my brother.  I'm entirely too tempted to try and see if I can find some of my old Legos in my parent's house and see if maybe the Lego company changed the figures hands after I stopped playing with the toys.  That would make me feel better.

Anyhow, moving on.  The second minifigure is a female skier.  

If you ask me, that's an awesome figure - and there is a male skier in a previous series of minifigures that I still need to track down.

Third, I got a Santa Claus.  

Of the four figures, this one is probably the least exciting in terms of interesting pieces or things I learned...but it's probably the most "useful" figure - I could at least use it to decorate around the holidays!  Heck, the skier would fit in with that theme as well!

Finally, I got the football player - complete with trophy and shoulder pads.

I love the minifigures...and you can be fairly certain that I'll be buying more of these since the card aisle remains a wasteland of crappy Bowman, strange Pokemon-esque games, and blasters of Allen & Ginter (which I definitely shouldn't buy).  

You see Topps, the Lego company knows how to separate my money from my wallet.  They offer a varied product.  A product with enough innovation despite remaining true to a formula (16 figures per series).  A bit of fun in an otherwise way too serious world.  

In other words Topps, if you don't start innovating you will lose me as a collector (at least of new products).  While I know you don't care about me personally, you do care about the collective conscious of sports card collectors.  And you know what, if the blogs are any indication (and they should be since only the most passionate collectors would even think about starting a blog), the people are getting bored.  And bored people turn to other things.  Like Legos.

You know what, I still want the Lederhosen guy.

And the robot.

And the conquistador.

And the cowgirl.  And the businessman.  And the pirate.  And the diver.  


Barry Larkin Collection 142: 2011 Topps: Kimball Champions Insert #79

Barry Larkin
Year:  2011
Brand:  Topps
Insert set:  Kimball Champions
Card number:  KC-79

For the most part, Barry Larkin's career took part before the mini craze hit the baseball card world.  As such, I don't own many Barry Larkin cards that are small in stature!  However, given how beautiful this particular card is, I wouldn't mind it if Topps released a few more mini Larkins over the next few years!  The front of the card has a nice posed shot of Larkin at the top of the card with a "watercolor-esque" image of Larkin turning a double play at the bottom of the card.  It's a little weird that Larkin is described as a "Champion Base Ball Fielder" on the card (as opposed to shortstop) but even so it's a nice looking front of a card.  The back, however, leaves a lot to be desired since it's only a checklist (and only of the cards from Series 2 which makes it even worse).  Despite the blah back, I still like this card quite a bit - mostly for the variety that it adds when placed in my Barry Larkin binder!

Friday, September 21, 2012

A Trade So Good It Takes Three Posts: Part III

I've shown off the highlights from a recent trade with blog reader Steve for the last two days.  Today is the final day for this particular trade!  I think the final portion of the trade basically sums up exactly how random my baseball card collection actually is.  

I like shiny stuff.

I like sticky stuff.

I like inky stuff.

I like history based stuff.

I like mini stuff.

and I like completely random, basically uncatagorizable stuff.

Thanks for the great trade Steve!  And, as always, if anyone else should wish to dabble in a trade, take a gander at my want list and maketh me an offer I can't refuse.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

A Trade So Good It Takes Three Posts: Part II

Welcome back to the second part of my recent trade with blog reader Steve.  You can check my blog archives to find part I of the trade, but right now it's time to look at part II!

Steve helped me out with a lot of sets that had seemingly stalled out in terms of trade offers.  One such set that I was excited to acquire a few more cards from was the 2011 Topps Heritage set.  Before Steve's trade proposal, I was missing ten of the short prints from the set.  Not terrible exactly, but not close enough to put the set on my Elusive Eight page either.

Luckily for me, Steve had not one, but two of the short prints that I needed (and, as you'll see in a later post I was also able to nab a third short print off of Listia) which means I am down to needing a mere seven cards from the set!  I don't know if/when I will finish the set but it felt great to get three cards closer in such a short amount of time.

Staying in the year 2011, Steve also helped me out with my quest for the full base set of the Topps Diamond parallels.  I've been tracking down all 660 cards - and thanks to the eight that Steve sent I'm now a bit closer than I was before.  In fact, by my count I am now down to needing only 30 more which means I'm 95% of the way to my goal!

Another set from 2011 that I am working on is the Gypsy Queen set.  At the time of the 2012 set's release I still needed so many cards from last year's set that I decided I wouldn't tempt myself by buying any of the newer set.  Luckily, thanks to Steve's generosity, I might be able to buy some 2013 Gypsy Queen (assuming Topps keeps the brand for another year).  Steve helped me out with ten base cards (including a few short prints)...

...and two more of the inserts that I'm chasing!

The Nolan Ryan card is particularly nice!

Along with the previous sets mentioned, I'm also working on the 2011 Topps Lineage set.  Actually, to be more precise, I'm working on some of the insert sets.  Steve happened to have one of the two remaining 3D cards that I needed which was great for me.

I'm now only missing Shin-Soo Choo's 3D card from the set.

The final card for Part II is both the least and most exciting.

Yep, a Topps Town card (boring!)

However, I needed that card - it was the final card for the set...which means no more Topps Town on my blog, hooray!

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