Thursday, February 28, 2013

Barry Larkin Collection 165: 1995 Kraft Singles Superstars - #24

Barry Larkin
Year:  1995
Brand:  Kraft Singles Superstars
Card number:  24

The mid-90s were a time where "oddball cards" enjoyed a renaissance of sorts.  Some of the oddballs were fairly dull while others (like Dennys cards) went for holograms and flash.  There were a select few, however, that actually tried to change the baseball card game so to speak - and Kraft was one such card.  The 1995 Kraft line contained 30 of the most popular players of the time.  Each card was actually a pop-up card (you can probably make out the pre-made creases in the middle of the card.  If I ever end up with a second copy of this card, I'll probably do the pop-up thing just to see how it looks.  For now though, since I only own one copy I'm going to keep it flat and safely tucked away in my binder.


Challenge Accepted! (Nacho Green Challenge)

A few weeks ago, I received a trade package in the mail from Roy over at Plain Gray Swatch.  Roy sent me a bunch of Reds cards (which I'll get to in a moment) but he also sent along a letter which made me think of a new blog challenge (for all bloggers out there):

Announcing:
The Nacho Green Challenge

As an introduction, here's Roy's letter - the part that served as my muse for the challenge is in the PS portion of the letter.

That's right.  Roy happened to notice that he and I have sent the same yellow envelope back and forth three times.  In terms of being "green", he and I are doing a fairly good job!  Hence, the Nacho Green Challenge.  How many back-and-forth trades can you make with someone using the same yellow envelope?  Eventually I would imagine the envelope will pretty much fall apart (or possibly be mangled by the USPS).  Can you beat three times?

Actually, you are going to have to beat four times because this particular envelope will be going back out in the mail headed back to Roy before too terribly long (probably next week when I'm on spring break)!

Now that the challenge has been described, I'm interested to see if anyone can do better.  Of course, it doesn't have to be a back-and-forth trade with me (although I'd be happy to trade).

As for the latest package?  Well, inside was a small pile of Reds cards.  Here's a quick top 4 - plus one "dishonorable mention."

#4:  2011 Topps:  Zack Cozart Blue Border

I still don't know for sure what these cards are (Wal*Mart parallels maybe?) but they are pretty nice looking.  This particular card is even better because Rickie Weeks is about to be called out by a good six feet.  That guy annoys me to no end for some reason.

#3:  2012 Bowman Chrome:  Joey Votto

Joey Votto (or rather #JoeyVotto as he's referred to on Twitter for the Face of Major League Baseball contest going on using Twitter hash tags.  It's down with Matt Kemp I say - vote #JoeyVotto!

#2:  1990 Topps: Herm Winningham

If all goes well, I'll be adding some new sets to my want list over spring break.  One such set that I plan on adding to my list is the 1990 Topps set.  I'm guessing many of you will be just as happy to get rid of your '90 Topps as you were your '91 Donruss back when I collected that set in record time.

#1:  2012 Topps Chrome:  Mat Latos

If I had to select a current Reds player to collect, Latos would get strong consideration.  The dude might be slightly crazy at times (and I don't personally dig all the tattoos) but the guy has a lot of heart and emotion that he wears on his sleeve.  It's actually refreshing to see a guy that seems to genuinely care how he performs on the diamond.

As for the dishonorable mention, it's this Fleer Game Time card of Sean Casey...

Seriously.  What is up with the unnecessary pixelation of Casey's torso in the larger image?  Was Fleer afraid their images were too crystal clear at the time?  Not cool.

Thanks for the cards Roy - and for inspiring a "green" challenge just in time for spring.  Look for a return package before too terribly long.  As for anyone else - wanna trade?  Check my want list (and vote #JoeyVotto).

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Spring Break is Almost Here!

I've finally finished off my box of 1999 Pacific Aurora cards which is bittersweet for me since it means that while I have no more new cards to open I can also finally get around to cleaning off my desk a bit.  This week happens to be the week before my college goes on spring break which means I've been busy writing review worksheets and exams for my classes.  As such, I haven't been good at getting back to people who have offered me trade requests.  That said, I WILL get to everyone soon since I have all next week off!  Hang in there if you haven't heard back, I appreciate your patience.

Now that you know how busy I am, let's see if I can't get a few more trade requests for me to respond to shortly...  I'd really like to empty out some of my excess baseball cards so here's a visual sampler of available cards (in case you don't feel like reading my text list).

All of the following are available for trade - you know what I'm looking for.





There are plenty more 2012 Allen & Ginter cards available here - including a bunch of other minis and box toppers.

Trade Stack 46: How About A Hall of Famer?

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:  2/27/13

One of the things that I've learned from collecting Barry Larkin cards over the years - I've managed to accumulate quite a few duplicates.  For the most part, I like getting two of each card.  One goes directly into my Barry Larkin binder while the other is saved for my Reds team binders (that I've never actually managed to create) or for the complete set binder (if the Larkin belongs to a set that I've collected).  Even after setting aside two copies (and sometimes a third copy "just in case"), I still have a stack of duplicate Barry Larkin cards.  I figured it might get someone to jump on this trade stack if I put one of the extra Larkins here.

As usual, you can get the entire stack for any ONE (or more) cards off my want list!

1995 Topps Stadium Club
407.  Barry Larkin - Reds


1999 Fleer Ultra
207.  Jeff Bagwell - Astros

2011 Topps:
144.  Lance Berkman - Yankees

2011 Topps Attax:
12.  Alfonso Soriano - Cubs


1991 Donruss:
439.  Jack Armstrong - Reds


2010 Topps Allen & Ginter:
Regular back mini 264.  Captain Nemo

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:  11 cards by Kev 
Stack 37:  6 cards by Tunguska
Stack 38:  12 cards by Baseball Dad
Stack 39:  8 cards by Spiegel83
Stack 40:  1 card by Kyle4KC
Stack 41:  4 cards by dayf
Stack 42:  1 card by AdamE
Stack 43:  1 card by madding
Stack 44:  10 cards by Commishbob
Stack 45:  1 (almost complete) puzzle by Baseball Dad
Stack 46:  ?? by ??

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Final Pack of Pacific Aurora

I'm sad that this is the 36th and final pack of the box, but based on my blog hits when I do Aurora pack breaks you guys got sick of Aurora about half a box ago.  Oh well, it's my blog...

Pack 36:
20.  Greg Maddux

33.  Mark Grace
102.  Jose Valentin
163.  Jim Leyritz
171.  Jeff Kent

188.  Fred McGriff

Well, that was a colossal dud of an ending pack, wasn't it?  Even worse than the player selection was the fact that all but the Maddux and Leyritz were duplicates.  I had hoped to finish the base set with just the packs in the box but that's a dead dream now.  I should have the cards I need posted to my want list before too long.

Reaching the Bottom of the Aurora Box...

Today's the day that I finish off the 1999 Pacific Aurora box.  I managed to milk my two Christmas boxes of cards for almost two full months - that's a lot of enjoyment from only two boxes.

At the moment, the Aurora box has exactly two remaining packs.  In effort to stretch the box out as much as humanly possible (or more likely, in an effort to give me something to look forward to when I get home from work tonight), here's one of the two remaining packs.

Pack 35:
32.  Rod Beck

103.  Fernando Vina
116.  Ugueth Urbina
162.  Wally Joyner
191.  Rusty Greer
Pennant Fever:  7.  Frank Thomas

The Beck, Vina, and Greer cards were all duplicates which means that I only managed to add two more base cards to my set.  I'm hoping people have some of these cards lying around for trade since I'll be missing quite a few when all is said and done!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Barry Larkin Collection 164: 2000 Topps Opening Day - #37

Barry Larkin
Year:  2000
Brand:  Topps Opening Day
Card number:  37

The Opening Day brand doesn't get much love from me (it usually feels like the cheap rip-off of the flagship set that it actually is).  However, there have been select years where the Topps Opening Day set is actually fairly nice - 2000 being one of those years, at least for Barry Larkin!

The front of the card features a nice action shot - complete with the appearance of Barry jumping over the runner and the gigantic Opening Day logo.  The back of the card is standard fare, though the single line of text is amusing (by 2000 Larkin had accumulated plenty of personal statistics).  This card is proof that you don't have to have a lot of glitz, gloss, or bits of fabric to make a nice card (which is what Opening Day should be all about)!

Receiving Bad News from Night Owl!

I received a trade package in the mail the other day from the venerable Night Owl.  Normally, trade packages from the evening bird make me happy...this one, however, made me very sad.

Why?  Behold:

Yep.  One of the interwebs greatest and most prolific traders has nothing left to send me from my want list.  Every pesky Heritage short print is gone, every Upper Deck Timeline nonsense gone.  No more Fleer Ultras, Ginter minis, or even Topps Archive inserts.  Nothing.  Zip.  Nada.

Well, that sucks.

I suppose until I add some more stuff to my want list, this is the last of the trade packages from Night Owl - but at least he went out with a bang.

To wit, my first 2013 Topps card:

I can't say that I'm super high on Chris Heisey, but the guy seems like a pretty nice guy.

The next card is some sort of parallel from 2013 Topps - and this one is of a player that I'm quite high on.

Todd Frazier.  The guy who hit a home run while letting go of the bat in a major league game last year.

You really need to see that video if you've never seen it.  Todd Frazier is the man.

Speaking of the man, Night Owl sent me a guy who was supposed to be the man for the Reds for many years...

...and a guy the Reds felt wouldn't be the man again...

The trade package concluded with two cards.  The first of which I believe I'm legally required to introduce as a MMMMMMIIIINNNNNNNNIIIIIIIIIII!

The other?  The last remaining card Night Owl owns that I need (apparently).

Take that Heritage - I'm now one card closer to completion!  It's also amusing to me that the final card that Night Owl had that I needed was a San Francisco Giant.  I would have thought he would have eliminated all Giant-stink from his collection many years ago!  Oh well, it's my gain since I needed the card!

Thanks for the great trade Night Owl - and I'll be sure to get some new sets up on my want list before too long.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Trade Stack 46: Five Cards High - and a gorgeous fifth card no less!

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:  2/24/13

Since it's been a few days, I suppose it's time for me to add another card to the trade stack in the hopes of prying any one card from my want list out of your hands.  The previous addition to the stack was a Yankee - one of the oldest American League franchises.  Now, let's add an Astro to the stack - the newest American League franchise (that still feels weird to me).

This particular card is from my 1999 Fleer Ultra box (it was a duplicate that I already owned) and it's a beauty.  The horizontal shot simply works wonders here.  Claim it now (or else hope no one else claims it and I add a sixth card, the choice is yours really).

As usual, you can get the entire stack for any ONE (or more) cards off my want list!

1999 Fleer Ultra
207.  Jeff Bagwell - Astros

2011 Topps:
144.  Lance Berkman - Yankees

2011 Topps Attax:
12.  Alfonso Soriano - Cubs


1991 Donruss:
439.  Jack Armstrong - Reds


2010 Topps Allen & Ginter:
Regular back mini 264.  Captain Nemo

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:  11 cards by Kev 
Stack 37:  6 cards by Tunguska
Stack 38:  12 cards by Baseball Dad
Stack 39:  8 cards by Spiegel83
Stack 40:  1 card by Kyle4KC
Stack 41:  4 cards by dayf
Stack 42:  1 card by AdamE
Stack 43:  1 card by madding
Stack 44:  10 cards by Commishbob
Stack 45:  1 (almost complete) puzzle by Baseball Dad
Stack 46:  ?? by ??

The Final Four: Halfway Home!

It's finally here - the final four packs out of the 1999 Pacific Aurora box.  I think at this point the only one interested in the packs remaining is me.  You are all probably sick and tired of Pacific...after all, no one else seems to love the craziness that Pacific was known for quite as much as I do.

I began posting the packs on the blog though so now that there are only four packs remaining in the box it'd be foolish to quit.  Here's the fourth and third to last packs.

Pack 33:
29.  Darren Lewis

35.  Mickey Morandini
61.  Derrick Gibson
141.  Gary Bennett
168.  Marvin Benard
184.  Jose Canseco

Not much exciting to say about that pack.  I needed four of the six (only Lewis and Bennett were duplicates).  

Pack 34:
31.  John Valentin
104.  Marty Cordova
132.  Bernie Williams
161.  Trevor Hoffman
172.  Bill Mueller

190.  Tom Goodwin

This pack is the nail in the coffin in terms of my dreams of completing the full base set from this box alone.  I ended up with four of the six cards being duplicates - and I'm now missing more base cards than there are cards remaining to be opened.  It's a big disappointment to be sure - but at least it'll allow me to add more stuff to my want list.


Saturday, February 23, 2013

More Listia Wins!

The other day, I posted one of my recent Listia wins (in which you can be part of if you want).  Today, it's time to shed some light on a couple of other Listia wins.

As you probably know, I recently began posting to a third blog - one dedicated to all things LEGO.  Because I don't currently have a budget that allows me buy cards (or LEGO sets) willy-nilly, I've had to search the mess pile otherwise known as Listia for deals that I could afford.  When you are in that mode, beggars can't be choosers.

Case in point, my first win from Listia:

Yep.  A fairy.

It's not any fairy though, it's a LEGO Collectible Minifigure Series 8 fairy.  I don't think that makes it much better, but it does make it good enough that I "needed" it for my collection.  It's hard to feel manly spending credits on a fairy but at least it wasn't cash.

The fairy acquisition means that I'm now only missing one more figure from Series 8 (the alien villainess).  Once I manage to track that one down, I'll have three of the nine Collectible Minifigure Series complete.  Not bad for a project that I only recently started.

Next, a much more manly LEGO purchase (if that even makes sense).  Cops 'n Robbers baby!

I like picking up actual LEGO sets from Listia when I can since it gives me fodder for my LEGO blog.  I enjoy building the sets (large or small) and writing reviews is sort of my forte.

As for this set itself, it's still sitting unopened on my desk (and will remain that way until I decide to write a post on my LEGO blog about it).  I think I made out pretty well on the deal though because the set comes with two different minifigures (which are akin to gold to the LEGO community)!  I could probably sell those two and keep the remaining pieces and still make out in the end.

It's deals like that that keep me coming back to Listia.

The Barry Larkin Experiment: A New Round of Voting Begins!

I've been a bit slow in writing (and posting) my Barry Larkin Experiment.  I started the experiment last year and at the rate I'm currently going, I'll be lucky if I finish it next year.  Even so (or perhaps because of that fact), let's get right to the next round of voting.  Before I reveal the next few match ups, here are the final results for the last three pairings.
Not a big surprise (to me) for the first poll.  The Fleer Greats set from 2006 is pretty awesome.

Our first tie of the bracket!  Since I only vote in case of a tie, I was able to exercise my powers.  In doing so, I sent the Topps 60 relic card on to the next round (barely).  The '91 Fleer All-Star card is quite nice, but the relic marked a return to Barry Larkin cards for Topps (a move that I love of course)!

There were two '06 Fleer Greats cards in the three polls, both made it on to the next round.  Should they both win again, there will be a 2006 Fleer Greats showdown!

If you are interested in the bracket so far, check out the link.

Now, on to the next round of voting!  As usual, you can find all of the polls on my sidebar to the right.

1993 Fleer Ultra vs. 1988 Fleer

It's the battle of Fleer!  Will it be the shinier and slightly flashier Fleer Ultra or will the barbershop set otherwise referred to as 1988 Fleer reign supreme?

1995 Tombstone Pizza vs. 2001 Fleer Triple Crown

This is an interesting match up because it features one of the oddball Larkin cards in my collection.  In the initial seeding round, the Tombstone card proved to be quite popular.  In fact, it locked down the #15 seed. For comparison, the Triple Crown card barely eeked into the tournament by landing the 50th seed.


Friday, February 22, 2013

Running Out of Things to Say.

I'm almost through opening the box of 1999 Pacific Aurora.  That's sad for two reasons:
1.  I won't have any more baseball packs to open.
2.  I won't have much to blog about!

While I can't do a lot about #1, I'm hoping to come up with something new and possibly interesting for #2.  We'll see.  Until then, let's continue the trek through the box - here are packs 31 and 32.

Pack 31:
39.  Mike Caruso
48.  Greg Vaughn
59.  Vinny Castilla
89.  Jeff Montgomery
109.  Shane Andrews
On Deck Laser-Cuts:  4.  Sammy Sosa

Another Laser-Cuts beauty!  I was happy that my box produced all four laser-cut cards (they are seeded 4:37 packs) which means there are a few boxes that exist without four laser-cuts hiding within.  

Pack 32:
38.  James Baldwin
46.  Hal Morris
60.  Edgard Clemente
140.  Bob Abreu
173.  J.T. Snow
193.  Rafael Palmeiro

Not much in this pack but the Laser-Cut from the first pack made up for it.  The horizontal backs are quite nice (though they are not so nice mixed in with vertical backs)!  I actually meant to scan the back of the Palmeiro card but too late now!

Doubling Up on Halladay Rookies

There are only eight packs remaining in my 1999 Pacific Aurora box.  Here's two of 'em for this wonderful Friday.

Pack 29:
4.  Matt Luke
27.  Nomar Garciaparra
41.  Magglio Ordonez
90.  Mike Sweeney
107.  Brad Radke
199.  Roy Halladay

I needed Luke, Garciaparra, and Radke - and getting an extra Roy Halladay rookie card isn't exactly the worst thing that could happen to me.  The Ordonez is actually a triple - the second triple out of the box.

Pack 30:
40.  Ray Durham
57.  Omar Vizquel
79.  Jeff Bagwell

88.  Jeff King
108.  Todd Walker
198.  Alex Gonzalez

Ouch!  I only got one new card in that pack (Vizquel) and it was badly miscut.  Not cool...and not a good sign if I am to actually finish off the base set using only this box.