Sunday, March 31, 2013

MLB Predictions: Part VII (Playoffs)

Now that I've managed to go through each of the six divisions, let's turn our attention to the MLB Playoffs for 2013.  Here's how I see it.

NL East:  Nationals
NL Central:  Reds
NL West:  Giants
Wild card #1:  Cardinals
Wild card #2:  Dodgers

Just missing out:  Braves

AL East:  Blue Jays
AL Central:  Tigers
AL West:  Angels
Wild card #1:  Athletics
Wild card #2:  Rays

Just missing out:  Orioles, White Sox

Playoffs:  
Wild card:
NL wild card play in winner:  Cardinals
AL wild card play in winner:  Rays

NL:  
Nationals defeat Cardinals
Reds defeat Giants
Nationals defeat Reds

AL:
Tigers defeat Rays
Blue Jays defeat Angels
Tigers defeat Blue Jays

World Series:
Nationals over Tigers in 6 games

I would love to pick my Reds to win the World Series but given how they've bowed out in the first round of the playoffs in two of the last three years, I'm going to hold out hope they make it round 2 as part of a baby steps program.  Either way, the Nationals look so loaded that I think they have the best chance to represent the NL this year.  If the Nats do make it to the World Series, I like their pitching better than Detroits - and so this year is proclaimed to be the year of Washington!

Good luck to all the teams - except those playing the Reds!



MLB Predictions: Part VI (NL East)

It's finally here - both the MLB season and the end of my MLB predictions.  Well, it's my final division prediction post.  I think I'll do one more giving my thoughts on the playoffs.

NL East - 2013:
1.  Nationals
2.  Braves
3.  Phillies
4.  Mets
5.  Marlins

You know what would be a fun match up?  The Marlins vs. the Astros...with the loser being forced to go to AA.  I think that would fair for both franchises.

As for the NL East, this is a division of "haves" and "have notes."  Unlike the AL East, I don't see anyway for the Phillies, Mets, or Marlins to claim the divisional crown.  Basically, it's the Nationals or Braves and that's it.  I happened to pick the Nats because they seem stacked (at least on paper).  Harper, Strasburgh (without an innings limit), and the rest of the team should have more than enough to propel themselves to an easy divisional crown.

The Braves are the only team that I can see who has a shot at dethroning the Nationals.  Unfortunately, I don't think the Braves are deep enough to compete if they get an injury to any of their major players.  The Nats, on the other hand, probably have enough depth to cover almost every vital player.

In third, I've picked the rapidly aging Phillies.  In a lot of ways, the Phillies are the NL version of what the Yankees are about to become...old and decaying.

Fourth place goes to the Mets - a team that I see almost no upside for this year...but they should still beat the fifth place Marlins by at least 10 games.  The Marlins ought to stink to high heaven this year.

MLB Predictions: Part V (NL Central)

Welcome to the fifth (of six) prediction posts.  As you all know, I'm a huge Reds fan - but that doesn't necessarily mean I'll predict them to finish in first (or does it).  Let's find out.

NL Central - 2013:
1.  Reds
2.  Cardinals
3.  Pirates
4.  Brewers
5.  Cubs

First, I'm happy that the NL Central now has five teams.  Sure, it'll be a shame to not be able to beat up on the Astros for 17 games a year, but now the remaining five teams have the same 20% chance of winning the division as all the other (non-AL-West) teams have enjoyed since the Wild Card was instituted.  It's about time for equality.  It's also probably time to go to 32 teams and break into division just like the NFL, daily interleague play already annoys me and it hasn't even begun yet.

As for the NL Central - well, yes, I picked my Reds to finish first.  They won the division last year without a healthy Votto (and with a black hole at the top of the lineup).  Votto appears to be healthy (he has at least 4 spring training home runs) and Shin Soo-Choo should be a major upgrade at the top of the lineup.  I expect a better season out of Latos and I truly believe Homer Bailey is due for a major year.

Next, the amazingly consistent St. Louis Cardinals.  The Cardinals appeared to be weakened when they lost Pujols and yet they didn't skip a beat.  This year, the Cards lost Lohse but I see no reason to expect that to affect them much either.  In fact, I doubt Lohse has a very good year...I think the Cardinals didn't offer him any sort of big contract for a reason.

In third, I've slotted the slowly improving Pirates.  As someone who lives in PA, I would like to see the Pirates stop their string of futility (but still finish behind my Reds - state bonds only go so far).  I do think this is the year that Pittsburgh finishes .500 or better.

Fourth place is the Brewers - and they might finish in fifth if Braun gets suspended for cheating.

That leaves the lowly Cubs in the cellar.  I think the Cubs will be a force sooner than later, but not as soon as 2013.  Enjoy that fourth place finish Milwaukee, right now I've got the Cubs beating you in 2014.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

MLB Predictions: Part IV (NL West)

Now that the my American League predictions are in the books, let's turn our attention to the real league - the National League.  Since I began with the East in the AL, let's switch things up and begin with the West in the NL.

NL West - 2013:
1.  Giants
2.  Dodgers
3.  Padres
4.  Diamondbacks
5.  Rockies

The Giants have been great lately (two World Series in three years) and yet no one seems to give them any respect.  Sure, the Reds should have beat them in three games (stupid Scott Rolen error) but that's just sour grapes on my end.

Ignoring my personal bias, I slotted the Giants in as the division winner - too much pitching for them to finish anywhere but first.  Plus, Posey is a true beast.  Like most people who have made predictions, I too see the Dodgers as a good team this year (for all the cash they spent they better be a good team)!  That said, I don't see them quite toppling the Giants.

The San Diego Padres are my pick for NL sleeper team (Royals get my sleeper nod in the AL).  I don't anticipate the Fightin' Friars making the playoffs but I do think that they will be a team that people won't necessarily want to face.

The Diamondbacks and Rockies both appear destined to have losing seasons this year.  I can't come up with any plausible scenario where either team is able to finish ahead of the Giants, Dodgers, or Padres.  At least there's always next year.

MLB Predictions: Part III (AL West)

Welcome to part three of my 2013 MLB Predictions.  For this post, we move to the AL West - a division that now has the same number of teams as the rest of the divisions (five instead of four).  While one might think that would lessen the chances of the other AL West teams making the playoffs, I have a feeling that getting to beat up on Houston will be healthy for all four "original" AL West teams (at least for this year).

AL West - 2013:
1.  Angels
2.  Athletics
3.  Mariners
4.  Rangers
5.  Astros

The Angels have enough talent to win the division.  Of course, they had enough talent last year as well but that didn't work out for them.  Even so, I don't see them botching two years in a row - especially given the pressure that will come from the nearby Dodgers for fans and media coverage.

I've got the Athletics second, though I don't know why for sure.  I guess I'm a believe in their small market approach to baseball.  The are definitely the David to the Angels' Goliath.

In third, I've got Seattle narrowly edging the Rangers (who I think are destined to fall this year).

Finally, the Astros.  I haven't seen a single person who thinks this team will finish out of the basement - in fact, almost everyone pegs them as a 100+ loss team.  Given the sell off of all their players, it's hard to imagine Houston being any good...but you never know for sure - that's why they play the games!

MLB Predictions: Part II (AL Central)

Last night, I posted my AL East predictions.  Moving to the center of the country, let's take a look at how I see the AL Central breaking down at year's end.

AL Central - 2013:
1.  Tigers
2.  White Sox
3.  Royals
4.  Indians
5.  Twins

The AL Central is much, much less volatile than than AL East.  In fact, while I could envision a scenario where each of the AL East teams ends up in the playoffs, I can't say the same about the AL Central.

The Tigers appear to be heads-and-shoulders above the rest of the division.  If Detroit doesn't win the division by at least ten games it will be a minor upset.  Of course, most people said that about the Tigers last year and we all know how that turned out.

In second place, I see the White Sox sneaking in ahead of the rapidly improving Royals.  I think I'm more bullish on Chicago than a lot of people (I even drafted a couple of their players for my fantasy team).  However, I can't envision them toppling the Tigers.

The Royals are an interesting team in that if their youngsters all manage to be as good as the hype suggests then I could see Kansas City taking major steps forward.  In fact, it wouldn't totally shock me if the Royals end up in second place - but it also would shock me if they finished in fourth if their youngsters flounder.

The Indians and Twins bring up the rear in my predictions, though I know some people think the Indians have at least an outside shot this year.  Personally, any team that willingly trades for the strikeout machine known as Drew Stubbs is suspect in my mind - and since that's exactly what Cleveland did over the winter, I've got them fourth.

That leaves the Twins for last place.  To be honest, I don't know much about this year's Twins team.  I'm guessing that by year's end I still won't know much about them.  Hence, a last place prediction.

That concludes the second division in my preview series.  I plan on getting all six divisions complete by tomorrow afternoon - stay tuned.  And, as usual, let me know what you think.  Perhaps you find my views idiotic, feel free to say so - but maybe in a slightly nicer manner than simply saying I'm an idiot (though that might be a fair statement).

Friday, March 29, 2013

MLB Predictions: Part I (AL East)

With the start of the MLB season almost upon us (finally), it's time for me to take a look at the six divisions and make my predictions.  To begin the series, let's turn our attention to the American League East.

The AL East seems to have the reputation of being the most difficult division to predict in 2013.  While I understand why some people believe that to be true, I didn't find the division nearly as difficult to predict.

AL East Predictions - 2013:
1.  Blue Jays
2.  Rays
3.  Orioles
4.  Yankees
5.  Red Sox

Can you imagine the panic if my predictions actually come true for the AL East?  Whatever would ESPN show us on Sunday Night Baseball - a last place and second-to-last place match up? (Ok, yes, they probably would still show Yankees/Red Sox).  No matter, this is how I see the division shaking out when all is said and done.

Let's begin at the top.

The Blue Jays and the Dodgers (arguably) made the biggest splashes over the past year or so in terms of signings and deals.  I'd be willing to bet that one of those two teams manages to miss out on the playoffs in 2013...and given that I put the Blue Jays first in the AL East you can probably figure out who I think might miss out on the playoffs.

Simply put, the Blue Jays are a stacked team - and although Romero apparently can't throw strikes (except those that end up as 450 ft. home runs), I still think Toronto has what it takes to win the division.

Following the Jays, the Rays and Orioles will probably spend most of 2013 battling for one of the AL Wild Card spots.  I don't see Baltimore being able to match how great they were last year in one-run/extra inning games, so I'm giving the nod to the Rays (a team that has proven over and over that they can win despite having one of the lowest payrolls in the majors).

The last two spots in the division are going to the two "heavyweights."  This year's Red Sox team seems destined to be but a shell of what the team was a few years ago...and the Yankees are aging (and breaking down) more and more.  Jeter won't be starting on Opening Day - and if you think signing Vernon Wells is the secret to NY's success then...well...there's not much I can say but "good luck with that."

As usual with my rankings, I'm curious to see what you think.  Am I totally nuts to have both NY and Boston at the bottom of the division?  Will Baltimore crumple like a wet cardboard box and end up with 100 losses?  Will the Jays talent end up fighting with themselves and knock Toronto out of the playoff picture?  Will the Rays finally not have the answer within and be forced to spend money or shut up?  Let me know!

2 by 3 Heroes: Turning Ginter into LEGO!

Happy Good Friday everyone.  For me, Good Friday means a day off of work (my college doesn't close for President's Day or any other such holidays but they do close for Good Friday).  What better way to spend an off day than to write up trade post from a package that arrived in my mailbox about two weeks ago?

I sent Jeff (from 2 by 3 Heroes) a bunch of 2011 Allen & Ginter mini insert cards (read his version of the trade on his blog).  Since he said he didn't have much to offer off of my want list (this was before I added a bunch of new stuff to my list), I said that I would gladly accept LEGO sets and/or packages of collectible minifigures in return.

Jeff didn't disappoint!

In fact, he went above and beyond the call in sending me three unopened LEGO Series 9 Minifigures.  I was excited by the series 9 packs because I only owned two (out of the 16 in the set) at that point.

We begin with the bad news (in a way):

Roman Emporer

Yep, I previously owned exactly two figures and one of them happened to be the Roman Emporer.  The good news is that I LOVE the figure - so having two isn't such a bad deal (I will make it available for trade however if I could land some other figures - from any series that I still need).

Luckily, the next two packages held new figures - and both were different which means I now own 4 of the 16 Series 9 figures.

First up, the Hollywood Starlet.

One of the good things that the LEGO company has been doing lately is making the sets more gender balanced.  Sure, the Collectible Minifigures are relatively easy to ensure a nice mix of males and females...but  LEGO has also taken steps to ensure a better gender mix within its other "regular" sets.  If you didn't know, I recently began a LEGO-centric blog called Legends of LEGO where I try to review sets and highlight some of the various minifigures in my personal collection.  If you look at the Minifigure Museum page on that blog, you'll see plenty of female figures - and that's only those in my collection!

Personally, I like females such as tennis players, rocker girls, and zookeepers much more than the stereotypical "red carpet darling" but I can see a place for figures like the Hollywood Starlet as well.  In fact, the Hollywood Starlet would go great with the newly released (and awesome looking) LEGO Palace Cinema.  The cinema is a set that I hope to get someday, but I need to figure out a way to raise some more cash first!

The third (and final) minifigure bag that Jeff sent me housed Cyclops!

The Starlet was cool enough I guess, but Cyclops is really where it is at!  He has a great body design (plus a mean looking club) but where he really shines is his eye.  He can either have his one eye open (as above) or you can switch around his head and make him squinting...

Good stuff!

Here's the trio that Jeff sent looking happy to be in my collection!  Alright, so the Roman guy is looking a bit dour but the other two are happy!

Thanks for the trade Jeff!  And, as always, if anyone else would like to trade - check out my baseball card want list and/or my LEGO want list.  I'll also happily accept ANY unopened LEGO sets that I could use as review fodder for my other blog (in exchange for cards or what have you).

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Jaybarker's Junk is my Treasure!

I'm fairly certain my post title isn't unique - but it doesn't matter.  I recently received a PWE from Wes over at Jaybarkerfan's Junk.  Wes is another trader with whom I have an ongoing "send some cards when I feel like it" type of trading going on.  It wasn't all that long ago that I sent Wes a package of Braves (see those on his blog).

As a return of sorts, Wes sent me a small package of six different Reds.  Among them were a Corey Patterson (who will not be shown), an UD Documentary card, and a Justin Lehr.  While those three were appreciated (yes, even the Corey Patterson) - the real highlights are below.

Fleer Ultra - Austin Kearns

I had high hopes for Kearns when he first burst onto the scene as a Reds' rookie.  He possessed a rifle for an arm and seemed poised to learn how to hit for both average and power.  Unfortunately, he never really managed to take the next step into stardom.

Topps Heritage - Reds team

I'm a fan of the team checklists, though I wonder why Topps thought it was a wise idea to crop out the bench the players are sitting on.  I also have to wonder if there is some Photoshop tomfoolery going on - it looks like two of the Reds (Baker #12 and Juan Lopez (?) #59) are playing footsie.

Fan Pak - Johnny Cueto

This card amused me because I recently offered up all of my Fan Pak cards as trade bait.  I will be holding on to this particular card but the other Fan Paks that I own are still available!

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

Barry Larkin Collection #170: 1995 Topps - Cyberstats #189 - Insert

Barry Larkin
Year:  1995
Brand:  Topps
Insert Set:  Cyberstats
Card number:  189

In 1994, Major League Baseball suffered a strike as a direct result of the players and owners arguing about (what else?) money.  The strike resulted in a cancelled season - and for many fans, a complete exodus from the sport entirely.  For baseball card companies like Topps, I'm sure the strike was extra painful...after all, who would want to buy cards depicting rich players arguing about money (and not playing)?

Remarkably, Topps managed to skirt around the ugly issue of the 1994 strike in its 1995 set by issuing a cyberstats insert set.  Basically, Topps used a computer simulation to finish off the 1994 season and then they plastered the results of the simulation on the backs of baseball cards.  That's right, that big bold red line of stats is pure garbage!

Although a quirky idea, I kind of like it!  It showed a bit of creativity from Topps - and the card design is fairly good as well (though the backs of the cards look like they belong to a Score set to me).  The front of the card is refractor-esque in nature, something that didn't exactly show up in the scan by the way.  All told, I think I actually like this card quite a bit better than the actual 1995 Topps base card for Larkin!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Trade Stack 48: Doubling Up on the 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:  3/27/13

First, let me admit that I pre-wrote this post.  Thus, if Trade Stack #48 has already been claimed (look here) then the new card you are about to see will be considered the start of Trade Stack #49.  If the previous trade stack was not claimed when this post goes live, then you get both cards in the stack for any one (or more) cards off my want list (which now includes 2013 Topps).

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

1991 Donruss:
594.  Tracy Jones - Mariners


2010 Topps Allen & Ginter:
Monsters of the Mesozoic:
MM1.  Tyrannosaurus Rex


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:  8 cards by buckstorecards
Stack 47:  5 cards by The Junior Junkie
Stack 48:  ?? by ??

A Slew of 2013 Topps - My First Look!

My 2013 Baseball Card Buying Statistics (to date):

Number of 2013 packs purchased:  0

Number of 2013 single purchased:  0

Number of 2013 cards specifically traded for:  1

Number of 2013 Topps flagship Reds missing:  5 (out of 17 total)

Here's the full Reds team checklist from 2013 Topps (Series 1) - with scans of a few of my favorites.  Note: The cards in italics are the cards that I am currently missing.

19 Joey Votto

51 Jonathan Broxton
70 Todd Frazier
81 NL League Leaders Clayton Kershaw/Johnny Cueto/R.A. Dickey
86 Henry Rodriguez
106 Drew Stubbs
142 Tony Cingrani
155 Mat Latos

161 Bronson Arroyo
166 Logan Ondrusek
195 Chris Heisey
202 Zack Cozart

246 NL League Leaders Ryan Braun/Mike Stanton/Jay Bruce
251 Sean Marshall
275 Johnny Cueto
287 NL League Leaders Johnny Cueto/Gio Gonzalez/R.A. Dickey
296 Didi Gregorius

Not bad!

In addition, I now own this beautiful Joey Votto patch card (I don't even care that it's a manupatch)!

And, to top off the Votto love:  A mini!

All of the above cards are courtesy of Brad who I recently completed a trade with.  Thanks for the great cards - and for saving me from having to buy packs of 2013 Topps in order to get my beloved Redlegs!

I have now updated my want list to include the 2013 Topps cards that I want (only Reds this year)!

Anyone else want to trade?  Check out my want list and make an offer!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Some More Trade Bait!

A lot of cards on my want list are inserts, minis, and/or short prints.  In an effort to try and pry some of those type of cards away from you - I present some trade bait in a a similar vein.

All the cards below are from 2009 Topps American Heritage Heroes Edition.

Note:  I will also consider trading cards for unopened LEGO sets.

A Hero's Journey:
HJ-5, HJ-7, HJ-10, HJ-15

The four cards that I have for trade all tell the story of Abraham Lincoln.  They are quite nice - but I had my fill of Lincoln with the Obama/Lincoln short prints and thus I decided not to chase this set.

American Celebrity:
AC2.  B.B. King

AC4.  Penn & Teller

AC6.  Jesse Ventura

I'm not much of a celebrity guy so here you go.

Heroes of Spaceflight
HSF-2.  Project Mercury

In my opinion, this is the best insert set in the American Heritage set.  The Project Mercury card is my only duplicate (though I'm missing quite a few).

See anything you are interested in?  Check out my want list and make an offer!

Listia Out, Listia In.

I've been spending a bit of time each week gathering up and scanning a few cards that I think have the potential to sell over on Listia.  With the success of my sales, I have also been trying to pick up interesting cards for myself (plus the occasional LEGO set).

My latest acquisition Is an authentic 1965 Topps card that I scored for just over 1,100 credits.

Considering what I've been selling lately, it is as if I traded four cards from 1990 - 1998 for the Reds Rookie Stars card.  That's a trade I'd make any day!

Listia can be a lot of fun - and there's something that's nice about sending a single card (or receiving a single card) in PWE rather than forking over in excess of $2.00 at the post office for a bubble mailer!

If you happen to want to help me acquire more random stuff from Listia, feel free to check out the cards that I currently have for sale.

Monday, March 25, 2013

A Card Junkie Bipping (Part II)

Earlier today, I posted part 1 of a recent Bipping at the hands of Dayf.  Now, it's time to look at some of the cards that I actually wanted...

The main part of the trade was a big 'ol stack of 1990 Topps.

5.  Nolan Ryan

When I was a youngster, it always bothered me that I had the other Nolan Ryan 5000 K cards, but not the one where he was pictured with his current team.

301.  Don Aase

Ok, this isn't a favorite but I picked on poor Aase in the previous post so he gets his chance to shine on the blog now.

469.  John Kruk

Back around the time this set came out, John Kruk came to the town next to mine and signed autographs.  I am 99% certain I had him sign this same 1990 Topps card.  Unfortunately for me, I have no idea what happened to his autograph - if I had to guess I'd say that my mom stuck it in a photo album for "safe keeping" since you can't trust little kids...

789.  John Wathan

For whatever reason, my manager cards from 1990 seemed to have some of the worst wear.  I don't recall being overly interested in manager cards back in the day but I must have been based on their condition relative to the other players.  That said, Dayf must not have had the same issue with manager cards - this Wathan is pristine (or as pristine as any 1990 Topps has any right to be).

In addition to the '90 Topps cards, Dayf also threw in a couple of nice Reds cards.  I believe he said something to the effect of "to make it worth the postage" or something like that.  No matter his reasoning, I appreciated it!

Tom Seaver:

The Seaver is a reprint from 2000.  Although glossy (rather than standard cardboard), it's still a great card to add to my collection.  I'm not sure if I have the original version of this card or not.

And we end with a serially numbered beauty of Aaron Boone.

Anything Donruss after the year 1994 confuses me - so while I don't know for sure what set this is from I do know that it's shiny (and I like it)!

Thanks for the trade Dayf!  As always, if anyone else would like to trade, check out my want list and make an offer!

A Card Junkie Bipping (Part I)

The sun rises and the sun sets.

The winds blow and the winds calm.

The rivers run and the rivers dry.

But the bippings?

Well, they keep on coming.  Relentlessly.  Like a pack of feral dogs.

My latest Bipping is thanks to Dayf over at Cardboard Junkie.

Undearneath all those ponies he blogs about?  Pure, unadulterated wickedness.

Or, as he says "some poor sucker wants 1990 Topps".  

And so, I present...

....

...

Yep.

I've been Griffey bipped.

Luckily, in terms of possible 1990 Topps bipping Topps, I think I got off easy with the multiple Griffeys.  It sure beats getting eight Don Aase's*, right?

*I did get one Don Aase - and one is all I needed for my set!

Besides the Griffeys and the Aase, Dayf actually sent me a whole bunch of cards that I actually needed for my set.

If you want to see some of the actual cards within that stack, you'll have to check back later tonight when I post part II of the trade.  I promise it won't be all 1990 Topps either!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Trade Stack 48: A T-Rex Sighting!

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:  3/24/13

The last trade stack only lasted five cards before it was claimed.  How long will this one last?  We begin with a card that I'm going to guess will be claimed fairly quickly - it's a dinosaur card from Allen & Ginter, what more could you ask for?!

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

2010 Topps Allen & Ginter:
Monsters of the Mesozoic:
MM1.  Tyrannosaurus Rex


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:  8 cards by buckstorecards
Stack 47:  5 cards by The Junior Junkie
Stack 48:  ?? by ??

Getting Ready for the Spring

  Although it's still cold (and windy) in northern Pennsylvania, I can't help but to think about sunnier (and warmer) days!

A couple of days ago, I found myself in Target - and while I did visit the card aisle I didn't lay down any of my hard earned cash on cards.  Instead, I took a stroll to the back section of the store to look at the sporting goods.  I was hoping to get a few more softballs (which I wanted to use for practice with the bat that I got over the winter from a blog reader - and fantasy baseball league opponent)!

I managed to get a four pack of softballs for about $10.00.  Not a great deal, but terrible either I suppose.


After picking out the softballs, I decided to take a gander at the metal bats.  I've never actually owned my own bat (despite playing in baseball leagues since I was just a little tyke).  My brother and I had one we shared back in our Little League days - but that's it (until the aforementioned wood bat).  Unfortunately, my league doesn't allow wood bats during league play, so I thought I might as well look at the metal bats.

Imagine my surprise when I saw this:

Yep.

One dollar and eighty-six cents.  Less than a pack of cards for a brand new bat.

Sure, it was labeled "as is".  There were actually two of the same bat marked down to $1.86.  One had a fairly large scratch on it - the other one I bought ;)

To my eye, this bat is flawless.

And so my trip to Target to get a few new softballs ended up with me getting what will probably go down as the best bargain I get all year.

Happy days indeed, now if only the sun would shine long enough to melt all the snow and dry out the lawn enough to be able to play without sinking in mud up to my ankles!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Topps American Heritage: The Conclusion (Saving the Best for Last)

Earlier today, I posted the last few "regular" pages of my 2009 Topps American Heritage Heroes Edition set.  Included in that post were some photos that I took back when I had the opportunity to watch the space shuttle Atlantis launch in Florida (check it out if you missed the post).  For the final post for American Heritage Week, I present the final page of the binder - a page that just so happens to include two of the coolest cards I own in my entire collection!

Page 24:

Top left:  Space Shuttle Atlantis Orbiter Payload Bay Liner

Top right:  Spacelab wiring

Bottom left:  Col. Gordon R. Roberts shirt piece

Bottom right:  retail blaster odds

I like keeping the odds and/or pack wrappers in my sets - that's something that I've only recently begun to do for my various completed sets so that explains the bottom right addition.  As for the Roberts relic, quite honestly I only still have that because I haven't found a trade partner for it - I'd love to acquire another Spaceflight relic.

Speaking of spaceflight relics:

From Group A (seeded 1:130 retail packs), Space Shuttle Atlantis Orbiter Payload Bay Liner.

It's a nifty little card with what appears to be gold colored tin foil within the relic window.  It's even more awesome (to me) because I got to see Atlantis' final launch!

The other Spaceflight relic that I own is a card featuring wiring from Spacelab.

The Spacelab wiring cards were seeded 1:500 so I hit the proverbial jackpot with the above card (at least in terms of rarity from a blaster)!  The wiring card is also super thick - so thick, in fact, that I couldn't store my relics in a typical 9 pocket page.  Rather, I had to opt for the next best thing that I owned, a four pocket page that I usually use for the N43 Allen & Ginter cards.

I should note that while I don't have any attachments to the Roberts relic, it was seeded 1:126 packs so it too was a fairly rare pull.  Unlike the spaceflight relics, Col. Gordon Roberts is available for trade - again, preferably for a Spaceflight relic.

That concludes my tour through the 2009 Topps American Heritage set.  I hope you enjoyed seeing all the cards as much as I enjoyed writing the posts.  It is fun to (once in a while) really delve deep into a particular set.  I must say, this set would make an excellent "blog set" where you examine each card one-by-one (preferably pulling in more pieces of history and other photos for each event in the set).  Good stuff by Topps - a set that I hope they revive again before too long (maybe once every five years or so).

Topps American Heritage Heroes - Pages 21, 22, & 23

This afternoon, I present the final three "regular" pages in my 2009 Topps American Heritage Heroes Edition binder.  Tonight, I will have the final post that is part of the ongoing theme week - and it will have some of the coolest cards in my entire collection!  Don't miss it.

For now though, let's take a look at the rest of the Heroes of Spaceflight cards that I own (and there are quite a few I'd still love to acquire should you have any lying around):

Page 21:

Page 22:

Page 23:

The final page is particularly sparse but it should be noted that the bottom two spots are to be empty (the Apollo 17 card is the final card in the set).

In terms of the actual cards, I think the Gemini 4, Apollo I, and Apollo 10 cards are my favorites.  I had the opportunity to see the building that is in the background of the Apollo 10 card in May 2010 when I witnessed a launch of the space shuttle Atlantis!

Here are just a few of my many photos from that trip:

Inside Kennedy Space Center

The day before the launch!

Mission details

Waiting for the launch across the river (about as close as you can get without special permits)

The actual launch of the shuttle!

I think the space shuttle launch will go down as one of the most exciting things I'll ever witness in my life.  There's no way for to explain how cool it was - and the wave of sound was so intense that it truly hit your like a wave (you could see it coming across the river which was awesome).  I think it's this experience that has made me love the Heroes of Spaceflight cards as much as I do.


Topps American Heritage Heroes - Page 20

As I mentioned in last night's post, the 2009 Topps American Heritage Heroes Edition set focus now shifts away from the first insert set that I'm working on (Heroes of Sport) and into the second (Heroes of Spaceflight).  The Heroes of Spaceflight insert set is by far my favorite insert in the entire set - it might even be my favorite insert set of 2009!

Page 20:

Before I get to the awesome space cards, let me address the missing card in the middle of the page.  That's a missing retail checklist - #1 of 2 to be precise.  Unfortunately, I doubt I'll ever find one of those for sale - so if you have one lying around please let me know...I love having complete checklists to go with my sets in binders!

Now, on to the some of the best cards in the set - the Heroes of Spaceflight cards.

The set has a total of 28 cards (of which I am still missing nine).

Happily for me though, I have the first three including the Mercury 6 card which celebrates Friendship 7 - the mission that sent John Glenn into orbit (and returned him back to Earth safely).

As you can see, the card features the mission patch and a photo of the actual capsule that Glenn was in.  It's a great design - and the back includes just enough information to keep you interested with being bogged down by the details.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Topps American Heritage Heroes - Page 19

It's taken me all week, but I've managed to scan almost every page out of my 2009 Topps American Heritage Heroes Edition set binder.  Here's page 19...

Page 19:


Unfortunately, I'm missing 2/9 of the cards on this page...inserts from the set have been hard to come by lately since no one seems to be opening the product any more (and those that did either traded their inserts away or else put their cards away a long time ago).

Once again, although all the players featured were great players in their own right, I don't think they were heroes (besides perhaps Jim Brown).  I like the Wagner car dbest - sort of looks like he's playing ball next to a covered bridge or something (despite said bridge being over land).

This is the final full page of the Heroes of Sport cards in my binder - the next page will conclude the Heroes of Sport set and then begin my favorite insert set in Topps American Heritage Heroes edition!  Stay tuned.