Sunday, May 31, 2015

Waiting 'til Next Year Delivers a Unique Addition to my Collection!

I've been collecting all things related to Barry Larkin for quite some time now.  In fact, my Larkin card collection now totals almost 370 (369 to be exact) on my online collection but then I have another 300 or so card waiting to be scanned and written about.  As such, it's not always easy to find a Barry Larkin card that I don't already own.

Enter Tom from Waiting 'til Next Year.

Tom found something else Barry Larkin related - what it was was a bit of a mystery to me when I unwrapped the package and I was greeted with this box.

Heck, even after opening the inside box I was still unsure...

...until I rotated that baseball a bit.


Yea, that's a pretty sweet "oddball" addition to my collection.  And here, the word "oddball" is quite literal as this is a ball!

This baseball will end up next to a ball I bought back when I visited Cincinnati a number of years ago that had facsimile signatures of everyone one that year's Reds' squad (including Larkin).  I just need to figure out a good way to display the baseballs down in my "man cave."  

Many thanks for the awesome surprise Tom!  It is always a great day when I get to add new stuff to my Larkin Collection - and it's even better when I add a piece that I never even knew existed!

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Sweetening the 2015 Topps Archive Group Break Pot!

In case you missed it, last night I added a few potential goodies to the 2015 Topps Archives group break pot (if you claim the Royals, Blue Jays, or Rays in particular).  I invite you to check it out!

Barry Larkin Collection 369: 1996 Pinnacle Aficionado - #38

Barry Larkin
Year:  1996
Brand:  Pinnacle Aficionado
Card number:  38

The Pinnacle Aficionado set yet another forgettable set under the Pinnacle umbrella.  In fact, I would argue that the front design of the Aficionado card set is one of the worst designs in all of the mid-90s.  That creepy image of half of Larkin's noggin?  It's a bumpy textured, foily mess.  The entire card is begging for a bit of color and pop, but instead all you get is a monochromatic color scheme.  Heck, even the Reds' team logo on the back of the card is in black and white.  Compounding the problems of the card design is the way Barry's statistics are situated.  That chart is darn near impossible to read - and the smattering of logos underneath the stats box is annoying (and why is only the Pinnacle logo in color)!?

It's certainly no surprise to me that Pinnacle didn't keep the Aficionado line for long.  It's boring, ugly, and basically it has no redeeming qualities.  All that said, I am happy to have yet another Barry Larkin card - I guess they can't all be artistic masterpieces!

Friday, May 29, 2015

2015 Topps Archives Group Break: Trying to Tempt - Royals, Rays, and Blue Jays Especially!!

As you may or may not know, I am hosting a 2015 Topps Archives full case group break here at Nachos Grande.  As of the time of this post going live, I have sold ten of the fifteen slots.  Each slot gets you a team of your choice and a random team.  The total cost is only $75 which is pretty good (a full case runs $1000 right now).  Anyhow, I desperately need to sell more slots so my goal with this particular post is to see if I can get someone to jump in!

Here are the available teams (again, as of this post).  You can find the full list here.
Arizona Diamondbacks -
Atlanta Braves  -
Baltimore Orioles -
Boston Red Sox  -
Cleveland Indians -
Colorado Rockies -
Florida Marlins -
Houston Astros -
Kansas City Royals -
Los Angeles Angels -
Minnesota Twins -
Oakland Athletics -
Philadelphia Phillies -
Pittsburgh Pirates -
San Diego Padres -
San Francisco Giants -
Tampa Bay Rays -
Texas Rangers -
Toronto Blue Jays -
Washington Nationals/Montreal Expos -

Now, in an effort to get someone to claim a slot, I'm going to sweeten the proverbial pot for a few of the teams.

Here's the deal:

IF you claim the ROYALS as your team and if, at the end of the break, neither the Royals nor your second random team end up with a hit*, I will add this card from my own collection to your stack of cards.

*Here a "hit" is defined as any relic, autograph, manufactured relic, or any card with insertion rates of 1 per box or rarer.

The card up for grabs for the Royals slot is a Brandon Finnegan dual relic and autogrpah from 2015 Panini Diamond Kings.  This card is numbered 133/299 on the back making it a really nice card!  We actually pulled this card in the last group break but no one claimed the Royals so I ended up stuck with them.

IF you claim the RAYS as your team and if, at the end of the break, neither the Rays nor your second random team end up with a hit*, I will add this card from my own collection to your stack of cards.

*Here a "hit" is defined as any relic, autograph, manufactured relic, or any card with insertion rates of 1 per box or rarer.

The card up for grabs for the Rays slot is a 2011 Topps Allen & Ginter's framed relic of Carlos Pena.  This particular card is a relic card with "travel day-worn memorabilia" of Pena according to the card back.  It's definitely one of the more unique relic types in Ginter (a set known for unique relic types)!

IF you claim the BLUE JAYS as your team and if, at the end of the break, neither the Blue Jays nor your second random team end up with a hit*, I will add this card from my own collection to your stack of cards.

*Here a "hit" is defined as any relic, autograph, manufactured relic, or any card with insertion rates of 1 per box or rarer.

The card up for grabs for the Blue Jays slot is another one of the spoils from the last group break.  This is a 2015 Topps Gypsy Queen (on card) autographed rookie card of Dalton Pompey.  It's a great looking autograph.

I will say that I had a couple of people contact me about reduced pricing on slots but unfortunately that won't be possible with this break.  I'm hopeful that the above deals might spur someone to claim another slot or two - and then I'll just have to pick up the remaining slots - I wouldn't mind landing a Will Ferrell autograph for my own collection!

I plan to order the 2015 Topps Archives case sometime next week - but having a few more slots claimed before then would make me much, much happier!

One final bonus:  If you claim TWO of the above teams (meaning you claim two different slots - $75 per slot) I will throw in BOTH of those team's "bonus cards" regardless of how your teams do in the group break.  If you have already claimed a slot and choose to claim one of the above three teams as an additional slot, I will throw in the corresponding hit for you as well regardless of how your teams do in the break.

In other words, if you buy at least TWO slots (at least one of which is the Rays, Blue Jays, or Royals) you will be sure to get a hit out of the group break!

Please note that this offer ends when I have sold all 15 slots OR whenever I close the group break sign-ups.  Also, this offer is only valid if you claim one of the three above teams.  If say you end up with the Royals as your random team (meaning no one claimed the Royals as one of the 15 claimed teams) this offer is not valid!

2x3 Heroes: What's the Unit of Measurement Anyhow?

If you haven't been able to tell, I'm desperately trying to get through the gigantic pile of mail that had accumulated on my desk over the past several weeks.  I love sending (and receiving) trades so it's only right that I also write about and scan the cards when they arrive.  Not only that, I am in the midst of a complete collection overhaul so keeping my "inbox" of sorts empty is important for that project as well!

In the spirit of getting stuff posted, here's the results of a not-so-recent trade with Jeff over at 2x3 Heroes.  Jeff actually mailed this package out back in March of this year - so it's only been two months... (oof!)

Despite the delay, I have to say that this was an awesome trade package.  I actually opened the package as soon as it arrived at mi casa - and I immediately updated my want list since Jeff hit up a fair bit of that for me.  The problem is that once I do that I lose the motivation to actually scan the cards...and so poor Jeff has had to wait about two months for me to publicly acknowledge how awesome he is.

Then again, he could always go back read one of the other EIGHTEEN trade posts I've written about and tagged him in over the years!!  Needless to say, Jeff is an awesome trader - and this is the 19th post to prove that here at Nachos Grande!

Enough jibber jabber, let's get right to it.  We begin with a big 'ol stack of 2015 Topps Series 1 cards.

I know those are all old news by now to everyone reading the blog, but back in March they were still relatively new and exciting.  I actually am still, somehow, missing a pair of base cards from this year's Series 1 flagship set (#75 and #108).  It's amazing that it's been this long and I've been unable to track down the remaining two cards...I'll have to consult a checklist, I can only assume that the two cards are some sort of rookie superstars or something.

Jeff filled out the remainder of the package with some assorted Reds including a pair of hits.  The first is this not-quite-full-sized mini relic of Chris Heisey.

According to the card back, this is from the 2013 Topps Mini Baseball online exclusive set.  Even as a Reds' fan I think I'd be annoyed if I had paid all that money to Topps to get some online exclusive set and then I only end up with a Chris Heisey plain white relic.  Heisey was a decent AAAA outfielder for the Reds - but Cincinnati shipped him off to the Dodgers at the start of this year,  Just one of the many bone-headed moves that the Reds have made lately.

The second hit from Jeff is decidedly cooler!

That's a Billy Hamilton commemorative pin card.  I enjoyed hosting the Series 1 group break in which we pulled a couple of these pin cards (but never the Billy Hamilton).  Luckily, other people out there have better skills at pulling cool Reds' cards than I do!

Finally, we end with this shiny Fleer card of Barry Larkin.

I think this is from the 1989 Fleer glossy commemorative set - I'll have to do a bit more research to make sure before I add the card to my Barry Larkin Collection!

Thanks again for all the great cards Jeff!  And, for anyone else who would like to trade, check out my want list and make an offer.  After all, my desk is almost cleared off of all the trade backlog now!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

I Purposely Bought a Panini Card Off of eBay (and Now I Sound Off)

Last week, I found myself aimlessly perusing eBay (which is definitely a dangerous thing).  For some unknown reason, I decided to do a search of Barry Larkin cards that were ending soon.  My Larkin Collection is quite large (368 cards and counting listed online plus another 300 or so cards that I still need to scan and post about) but I'm always hoping to add even more, more, more!

Anyhow, I did find an auction for a new-to-me Barry Larkin card from Panini's 2014 Hall of Fame something-or-other set.  I don't even actually know what the set is officially - but I knew I didn't have the card so I put in a bid on it.

And yes, I won!

The card itself is nice enough (for a Panini card anyhow).  I like the fact that it's serially numbered - I don't own a lot of serially numbered Larkin cards so that in and of itself is a nice addition to my collection.  The card is also a lot shinier than it looks in the scan.  I'll talk more about the card itself when I feature in my ongoing Barry Larkin Collection series of posts.

Today, I'd rather discuss what I didn't like about this purchase.

What I didn't like about the card was the seller's shipping.

I had to pay $2.49 for shipping which, when I bid on the auction, sure sounded just about right for a bubble mailer with postage.

No.

What I got was a PWE with four pieces of computer paper holding my card.

Total postage cost?  $0.91 according to the stamp on the envelope.

Trust me, I know shipping costs are exorbitant.

I deal with it with every single group break that I host (not to mention that tens and hundreds - depending on the year - of trade packages that I send out).

...And speaking of group breaks, go here to sign up for my 2015 Archives Case Group Break where I promise not to mail using PWEs!

Back to the shipping issue, I get it that sellers want to make as much money as possible.  I also understand that eBay has taken to charging their fees in a way that also includes shipping costs (which is idiotic - it virtually forces sellers to lie about their shipping charges).  I also get that PayPal eats another chunk out of whatever the final sale price ends up being.

I get all that.

It sucks.  It really sucks in fact.  So much so that I have all but stopped using eBay to actually sell stuff.  But, that was my choice to quit eBay.

If I'm a seller who is active on eBay, then it's on ME to make the costs transparent.  It's on ME to be honest with what I charge.  And yes, it's on ME to make sure I don't ship something that someone paid for in a PWE (at least while charging them for a bubble mailer).

Now, don't get me wrong about PWEs.  They can be great.  I send small trade packages in PWEs quite often.  And I also know that a bubble mailer isn't a postal savior.  Speaking of a savior, the good Lord knows the post office can screw up a bubble mailer just as easily as a PWE.

No, it's the principal of it.

If you sell.  Be honest.

If you charge something, be transparent.

And if you force someone to pay a bubble mailer price, for the love of all that is holy, ship in a bubble mailer.

At least the Larkin is nice enough..and yes, this time it did arrive unscathed.  The only thing damaged in the transaction was my wallet...and I guess my patience as evidenced by today's diatribe.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Topps Archives Group Break: The First Bonus Packs (5 Slots Remain - Join NOW)!!

I still have five slots remaining in my 2015 Topps Archives group break.  I'd love to get the case ordered (and paid for) ASAP.  In an effort to speed up the process of people claiming slots, here are the first bonus packs of the break!


Go here to sign up!

Trade Stack 67: More Shiny Joins the Stack (Now at 10 Cards!!)

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:  5/27/15

After today's addition to the Trade Stack, we will be sitting at a rather impressive ten card stack!  You can get all ten cards for the low price of at least any ONE card off of my want list - where else do you get a 10-for-1 deal (you know, besides those old shady CD clubs in the 90s)?!

Turning our attention to today's addition to the growing stack, we find ourselves staring face-to-face with logo-less card purporting to be of the San Diego Padres.  That card joins the likes of Mariano Rivera, Dan Marino, and Yadier Molina (plus others) in Trade Stack #67!

Remember, you get the entire Trade Stack in exchange for at least one card off of my want list!

2013 Panini Elite Extra Edition Baseball:
54.  Erik Schoenrock - Padres (aka San Diego Baseball Club)

2012 Bowman:
66.  Mariano Rivera - Yankees

2001 Fleer Tradition:
17.  David Segui - Indians

2012 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions:
19.  Dan Marino


1998 Topps Finest:
6.  Rusty Greer - Rangers


2000 Fleer Ultra:
31.  Dmitri Young - Reds


2000 Topps Opening Day:
121.  Jeromy Burnitz - Brewers
(miscut!)


2011 Topps Chrome:
151.  Pedro Alvarez - Pirates

2012 Bowman:
18.  Yadier Molina - Cardinals


2009 Fan Pak:
Standees:
63.  Carlos Zambrano - Cubs



If you want the stack, remember - all you need to do is offer up any one card from my want list.  


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:  4 cards by dayf
Stack 49:  9 cards by Swing and a Pop-Up
Stack 50:  9 cards by Commishbob
Stack 51:  3 cards by Need More Cardboard
Stack 52:  1 card by Play at the Plate
Stack 53:  12 cards by buckstorecards
Stack 54:  4 cards by The Junior Junkie
Stack 55:  9 cards by Spiegel83
Stack 56:  2 cards cards by Joe Frecker
Stack 57:  4 cards by buckstorecards
Stack 58:  2 cards by Chunter
Stack 59:  9 cards by Baseball Dad
Stack 60:  8 cards by buckstorecards
Stack 61:  13 cards by Mark Hoyle
Stack 62:  9 cards by Nick
Stack 63:  9 cards by buckstorecards 
Stack 64:  7 cards by Mark Hoyle
Stack 65:  2 cards by Play at the Plate
Stack 66:  10 cards by Roger
Stack 67:  ?? by ??

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

One (Wo)man's Trash is Another's Treasure

Today's blog post is sponsored by Julie from A Cracked Bat.  Julie has recently completed (I think) a move across the country - and as anyone who has ever moved knows, we humans have a way of accumulating a lot of stuff.  Well, Julie decided to purge a bit of her stuff via a recent trade package sent my way...and yes, her junk is my treasure!

So, in the spirit of junk and trash - let's go through some of Julie's items she sent and see why they might be considered junk to some.

Let's start with this Gus Bell.

I mean, who would want that?  It's so old looking.  And there's no foil.  We must have foil.  Also, it's not even serially numbered.  That's pure trash.

Don't like Gus, how about Frank then?

Well, it's got the foil, that's nice.  But where's the team logo.  Where's the serial numbering.  Also, where are the batting gloves?  Real men wear gloves.

I got your gloves right here.

Seriously, two minis do not make a full card.  No, two minis mean you got ripped off.  I want full size cards.  Or, even better, extra full sized cards like Bowman used to do.  You know, back when cards were real and had value.  Man, I used to check my Beckett and plan out my retirement.  I think my 1991 Upper Deck cards were going to allow me to retire by 1998 or so.

Speaking of Beckett.

Just in case you didn't believe me.  Beckett knows value.  Look, it's the "hobby's most reliable and relied-upon source."  That's trademarked greatness right there.  This couldn't possibly be junk.

You want serially-numbered greatness with team logos and some foil.  Here!

I can't even facetiously complain about these cards - Julie obviously has much better luck pulling Reds' cards than I do.  Then again, I bet a lot of people would consider that Votto base card junk...you don't buy Museum for the base cards, just the super sick mojo!

Many, many thanks for the great trade package Julie - and yes, it was most definitely NOT junk in my eyes (no matter what anyone else might think)!  As always, should anyone else wish to trade - check out my want list and make an offer!

PS:  My 2015 Topps Archives Group Break still isn't full.  TONS of good teams remain - go here to check it out!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Barry Larkin Collection 368: 1996 Pinnacle - #90

Barry Larkin
Year:  1996
Brand:  Pinnacle
Card number:  90

Pinnacle is easily one of my least favorite brands of the 90s.  I know some people love the brand but for me Pinnacle never reached the apex of my collecting mountain (sorry, had to).  The design of the 1996 Pinnacle set is particularly atrocious.  The front of the card could have been nice if it weren't for the giant gold foil triangular name plate.  In this case, it looks like Larkin is about to be impaled by a golden polygon...certainly not the ideal outcome for a baseball card.

The back of the card isn't nearly as bad - but I do find the card numbers somewhat difficult to read.  I like the team logo - but I dislike not getting full career statistics (especially on what is essentially the flagship product for the Pinnacle brand).

All told, this card is easily in the category of "glad to have the Larkin for my collection but I'll never try to collect the full set."  Yes, that's a long-winded category title but I'm a literal guy so it works for me!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Topps Archives Group Break: Help Me Fill It! (5 Slots Remain): Braves, Orioles, Red Sox, Angels, Phillies, Pirates, Rangers, Blue Jays, & Nationals Available Still!!

I am hosting a new group break - a full case of 2015 Topps Archives!  This time around, it's buy one team, get one random team free - and I only have FIVE slots remaining (as of the time I wrote this post).  I desperately need to sell the remaining slots so that I can make the group break run - so go here to check it out and to sign up!  Many thanks in advance!

PS:  Don't forget there are possible Will Ferrell autographs announced for this product.  A bunch of teams that Will signed for are still available to be claimed!  I wrote all about the Ferrell autographs in an earlier blog post in case you missed that bit of information.  It should be a fun break!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Barry Larkin Collection 367: 1996 Starting Lineup

Barry Larkin
Year:  1996
Brand:  Starting Lineup
Card number:  (not numbered)

As a kid, I never got into the whole Starting Lineup craze.  I guess I always had my fill of little figures with all the LEGO minifigures that I owned.  While I'm certainly not sad that I avoided Starting Lineup (I'd have no room for any of the figures these days), it has made tracking down the little baseball card that came with each figurine rather difficult at times!  In fact, I believe this is my first Starting Lineup Barry Larkin card - and it might be the only one I own as of now.  To be fair, I don't actually know how many other Larkin cards exist from Starting Lineup...that would require too much research for a holiday weekend!

Turning our attention to the card at hand, I have to say that this is one ugly card!  The front has vertical green font taking up 40% of the card - and the back is monochromatic and ugly.  And that font for the team name on the back...atrocious.

I'm happy to have the card in my collection but this would never, ever make me want to buy a Starting Lineup figurine...though I probably wouldn't be able to turn down a Larkin figure if push came to shove!

Friday, May 22, 2015

The Home Run Apple Hits a Home Run With Me!

As you probably all know, I'm in the middle of getting sign-ups for my newest group break (a full case of 2015 Topps Archives).  If you are interested in that, you can go here to sign-up.

For today's post though, it's time to take a look at some spoils from one of my previous group breaks...at least in a roundabout way!  In fact, what happened is Keith from The Home Run Apple sent me a few cards from my own want list as a way of saying thanks for one of the group breaks that I held earlier this year.

We begin our tour through the surprise package with simultaneous good and bad news.  The good part is that Keith tracked down one of the few 2009 Allen & Ginter's cabinet cards that I still needed.

The bad news is that my postal delivery person doesn't give a flying f*** about baseball cards.  She folded the package in half and then shoved it into my mailbox with nary a care in the world.  Thus, despite Keith using a bubble mailer AND wrapping the card in a cardboard shell, the card still arrived damaged...  I blame my postal worker though - and the card will be going into the binder regardless because I'm more interesting in completing the set rather than GEM MINT 10 cards!

The rest of the package of cards arrived unharmed which is good since Keith packed in a few other goodies including a trio of Gypsy Queen cards that I needed.

I can't adequately express how awesome it is to acquire some cards from my want list as a surprise mailing.  Simply awesome!  The Tony Gwynn card is particularly nice - though I also like the thematic elements of the Dealing Aces insert set.

Besides a bit of want list assistance, Keith also included a few assorted Reds for me including a fearsome foursome of Reds' parallels.

That's a lot of gold (and green) - including the one Topps mini that is numbered out of 62.  Very cool indeed.

Speaking of very cool - we end with a doozy!  A signature / relic card of Zack Cozart.

Cozart is mostly known for being an all-glove, no-stick kind of shortstop.  Not a bad player but not one likely to help you at the plate.  This year, however, Zack has found the hitting light it seems.  He's been dynamite at the plate and in the field...in fact, Cozart's play has been one of the few positives on the Reds' dismal-so-far 2015 campaign.

Many, many thanks for the great cards Keith!  As usual, should anyone else wish to trade - check out my want list and make an offer!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Group Break Sign-Ups: Only FIVE Slots Remain!!

That's right - we are down to only five remaining slots.  I really, really cannot afford to take all five slots for myself (Archives is expensive) so let's get it filled up!

Here are the remaining teams (go here to sign-up)!

Arizona Diamondbacks -
Atlanta Braves  -
Baltimore Orioles -
Boston Red Sox  -
Cleveland Indians -
Colorado Rockies -
Florida Marlins -
Houston Astros -
Kansas City Royals -
Los Angeles Angels -
Minnesota Twins -
Oakland Athletics -
Philadelphia Phillies -
Pittsburgh Pirates -
San Diego Padres -
San Francisco Giants -
Tampa Bay Rays -
Texas Rangers -
Toronto Blue Jays -
Washington Nationals/Montreal Expos -

Remember, each slot gets you one team of your choice plus one random team.  Go here to sign up!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

2015 Topps Archives Group Break: Will Ferrell Autographs?! Only FIVE Slots Remain (Braves, Orioles, Red Sox, Phillies, Pirates, Rangers, Nationals, ++!!)

I'm back again begging and pleading for people to join my latest group break.

Cases of 2015 Topps Archives are going for about $1000 right now which means I definitely need to sell all 15 slots in order to make the break work without busting my own wallet!  As of the time that I wrote this post, there are a TON of good teams left to choose from.  Which teams, you ask?

Well - here's who is available (with the most up-to-date list here):
Available teams (a * denotes a possible Will Ferrell autograph): 
Arizona Diamondbacks* -
Atlanta Braves  -
Baltimore Orioles -
Boston Red Sox  -
Cleveland Indians -
Colorado Rockies -
Detroit Tigers -
Florida Marlins -
Houston Astros -
Kansas City Royals -
Los Angeles Angels* -
Minnesota Twins -
Oakland Athletics* -
Philadelphia Phillies -
Pittsburgh Pirates -
San Diego Padres* -
San Francisco Giants* -
Tampa Bay Rays -
Texas Rangers -
Toronto Blue Jays -
Washington Nationals/Montreal Expos -

Of the available teams, the Athletics, Angels, Diamondbacks, Padres, and Giants should all have Will Ferrell autographs as possibilities in the case!  You can read about that concept here.  I've marked those teams with an asterisk on the above list for your convenience.

Also, remember that each team slot is for ONE team of your choice plus ONE random team.  If you were to claim say the Giants, you might get the Athletics or Diamondbacks as your random team (if they go unclaimed) which could potentially double your chances of a Will Ferrell autograph!

Go here to sign up so I can quit begging!!

Barry Larkin Collection 366: 1996 Upper Deck Collector's Choice - #520

Barry Larkin
Year:  1996
Brand:  Upper Deck Collector's Choice
Card number:  520

I've always enjoyed the UD Collector's Choice line of cards.  When I was a kid, it was the one brand that I could afford (low price per pack) but that also felt like I was getting a good deal.  The Collector's Choice brand has always had fun inserts (stickers, stand-ups, etc.) as well as a high quality base card design.

The 1996 set is no exception to the rule (even though I didn't actually buy much of this product when it was released).  No matter, the front had a clean design with a nice, bright team logo.  I could do without the vertical text but otherwise I have no complaints about the card front.

The card back is equally nice - you get a secondary photo (in Larkin's case a nice action shot) plus full career statistics (something I appreciate).  You also get a baseball quiz - and this one happens to be Reds' themed which earns the card bonus points in my eyes!  All told, this is a sharp looking card - and proof that a card need not come from an expensive pack in order to be nice (or, put another way, you can produce nice, high-quality cheap cards)!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

2015 Topps Archives Group Break: Only SIX Slots Remain (Braves, Orioles, Red Sox, Indians, Angels, and More!!)

Go here to sign up!  I'd love to get this break filled so that I can order the case.  Thanks!!

When Organizing Fails...(or You Can't Fix Stupid)!

I haven't been doing a lot with Listia lately because:
1.  It seems like there has been incredible credit "inflation" on the site.
2.  The recent group break ate up all my free time.

Despite the two reasons above, for some reason I found a moment of time about a week ago where I did click over to Listia - and I did my usual search for Barry Larkin...and wouldn't you know it, there were a pair of new (to me) Larkin cards listed by the same seller.

A few bids later...and then a couple of days for the mail...and my Larkin Collection has grown once again!

I ended up landing a new Bowman Heritage Larkin from 2001:

Plus a 2000 Upper Deck Larkin.  Actually, the seller sent me a pair of the 2000 Upper Deck Larkin cards...probably because neither was in great condition.

I'll keep one of them and put the other in my "for trade" box I guess.

EDIT:  When I went to file the Larkin cards in my binder I realized that I actually own the 2000 Upper Deck Larkin.  It's from the Upper Deck Legends set...and that one I own.  My list was correct - I just didn't look at it carefully enough.  For some reason, this card simply looked new to me...  Stupid error on my part!

Oh well, I still ended up with one new Larkin...and it was all "free" thanks to Listia credits!  Unfortunately, I can't fix stupid so I wasted a bunch of credits on the other Larkin cards...  Whoops!

PS:  Want to join my latest group break?  A full case of Topps Archives (sign up here)!

Monday, May 18, 2015

2015 Topps Archives CASE Group Break: Details, Sign-Ups (and Will Ferrell Autographs!!)

I am now accepting sign-ups for my 2015 Topps Archives CASE Group Break (go here for all details and to sign up).  Since the full checklist isn't out yet, I thought I'd spend a moment to discuss what we do know is in the product:  Will Ferrell autographs!
Image/Information source

Remember during spring training when Will Ferrell played for a whole bunch of teams in a single day?  Well, Topps jumped on that opportunity and got the actor to sign cards depicting Will with each of the teams he played for.  The Will Ferrell cards will come in both autographed and non-autographed form (and since a team is clearly designated on the card - any autograph pulled will go to the appropriate team)!

So what are the ten teams he played for (i.e. what team might produce an awesome autograph from the case)?

  • Athletics
  • Mariners
  • Angels
  • Reds
  • Diamondbacks
  • Cubs 
  • Padres
  • Dodgers
  • Giants
  • White Sox

Interested in the break?  Go here to sign up.  Many of the above teams are still available (and remember that each slot gives you a team of your choice plus a random team - you might end up with TWO chances at a Ferrell autograph depending on which teams get claimed)!!

In addition to the Will Ferrell cards, Topps Archives is packed with other goodies including a larger base set (300 cards), silver, gold, and black parallels, printing plates, and fan-favorite autographs.  There are also #1 Draft Pick autographs (expect some big names here) and parallels of all the various autograph cards.  There are also Topps Originals and a 1968 Topps Game insert.  Oh and did I mention cut signatures of US Presidents?  Yeah, Archives should be a fun product this year - don't miss out!

Topps Archives Group Break: Only 9 Slots Remain! (Dodgers, Red Sox, Orioles, Phillies, Giants, Pirates, Rangers, Nationals, and MORE)!

I'm hosting another group break since this time of year has lots and lots of interesting releases.  For this particular break, we are going to bust a full CASE of 2015 Topps Archives.  As of the time I wrote this post, there are only nine slots remaining.  Go here to sign up!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

New Group Break: A CASE of 2015 Topps Archives! Sign Up Now!!

Sign-ups for the 2015 Topps Archives FULL CASE group break are now live (go here).  For one cost, you get a team of your choice and a random team.  I MUST sell all 15 slots in order to make the break run - so jump on in now!

NEW Group Break Sign-Ups START NOW!

That's right, it's time for another Group Break here at Nachos Grande.  I am pleased to say that all the packages from the last group break are either in the mail or else packed up and waiting to go to the post office Monday morning (except for two packages that I'm waiting on addresses for)!

With that break basically completed, let's turn our attention to the next break:  A FULL CASE of 2015 Topps Archives.  

A case of 2015 Archives contains 10 boxes with TWO autographs per box!  According to the write-up on Dave & Adam's page, this year's Archives will pay tribute to the late Tony Gwynn as well - this could be the perfect break to claim the Padres!!

The Topps Archives set is to be released on June 10th.  I'm going to open up the group break NOW (and start accepting payments) but I will not be ordering the case until I can be sure the break will actually run.  If the break doesn't run, I'll refund all payments of course!

Here's the deal:

$75 gets you TWO teams (one of your choice, one random).  Shipping to the continental US is included in the price.  I can ship other places but you'll have to add in payment for the additional shipping charge.

In order to make this break run, I MUST sell all 15 slots - hopefully that won't be too hard since a number of you expressed interest in this idea already.  As always, I will be including some bonus stuff as we go along - and all boxes will be opened on video as I've been doing for awhile now.

The Break is Now Closed!!  See here for up-to-date final team assignments.


Arizona Diamondbacks -
Atlanta Braves  -
Baltimore Orioles / St. Louis Browns -
Boston Red Sox  - metallattorney (PAID)
Chicago White Sox - Brett B. (PAID)
Chicago Cubs - P-Town Tom (PAID)
Cincinnati Reds - Nachos Grande (PAID)
Cleveland Indians -
Colorado Rockies -
Detroit Tigers - Julie O.  (PAID)
Florida Marlins -
Houston Astros -
Kansas City Royals -
Los Angeles Angels - Nachos Grande (PAID)
Los Angeles Dodgers - Brett B. (PAID)
Milwaukee Brewers - jaybarkerfan (PAID)
Minnesota Twins -
New York Mets - buckstorecards (PAID)
New York Yankees - jaybarkerfan (PAID)
Oakland Athletics - Nachos Grande (PAID)
Philadelphia Phillies -
Pittsburgh Pirates -
San Diego Padres - The Underdog Card Collector (PAID)
San Francisco Giants -
Seattle Mariners - Junior Junkie (PAID)
St. Louis Cardinals - BMan (PAID)
Tampa Bay Rays -
Texas Rangers -
Toronto Blue Jays - buckstorecards (PAID)
Washington Nationals/Montreal Expos -

If you are interested in joining the break:

1.  Please leave a comment below with the team(s) you are claiming.
2.  Send PayPal payment to:  fanofreds (dot) auctions (at) gmail (dot) com (the same email that is in my profile).  I would appreciate all payments sent as "gifts."  
3.  Send me an email (to the same address as above) with the following information:

  • Your user name
  • The team(s) you claimed
  • The email address you sent payment from 
  • Your mailing address

I ask that everyone do the above three steps, even if I have traded with you many times - it makes packaging the cards a much, much quicker task for me.  Thanks!

Finally, if you have a blog, I would greatly appreciate it if you would advertise this break to your readers as well.  The quicker I sell the slots, the quicker I can place the order (and hopefully lock in the prices)!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

New Group Break (FYI)!!

I have decided to try and do a FULL CASE group break of 2015 Topps Archives.  I will have the sign-up page go live on my blog tomorrow (Sunday) at 8:01 AM EST.  This blog post is simply an announcement so that everyone is aware!

The break will consist of 15 slots - 2 teams per slot.  One team of your choice, one random team.  Come back tomorrow morning to sign-up!

Barry Larkin Collection 365: 1996 Leaf Limited - #43

Barry Larkin
Year:  1996
Brand:  Leaf Limited
Card number:  43

The mid-90s were a time of transition for me.  I moved from one town to another town an hour away - and as someone who didn't yet have a driver's license that basically ensured that I left one life behind and had to start over.  Besides the usual friends and school issues that come with moving, I ended up with a baseball card related issue as well.  In my old town, there was an honest-to-goodness hobby shop with actual packs of baseball cards.  I could go there and at least see the new stuff (even if I couldn't afford most of it).

My new town?

Nothing.

The only spot to get cards was my local CVS pharmacy.  And CVS didn't care fancy stuff like Leaf Limited.

Thus, I can thank my Barry Larkin Collection for introducing me to the 1996 Leaf Limited set - and it's a pretty cool looking set.  A bit too much foil for my tastes but I could see how the flashiness of the set in the 90s would be a good thing.  Like many 90s fads though, I don't think foilboard aged well...and for that Leaf Limited does suffer a bit.  No matter, I do like this card - and while it doesn't have most of what I usually want in a card (statistics for one thing), it's still pretty darn nice!

Friday, May 15, 2015

New Changes at Nachos Grande?

Way back in 2011, I polled my readers in regards to a possible switching of my blog's template.  By that point in time, I had grown tired of my old template and wanted something fresher.  What ended up happening from that conversation is the current blog template!

Now, about four years later, I'm once again at a point where I'm sick and tired of how my blog looks.  I'd love another makeover - and once again, I'm asking all of you for your input.

Here is a potential NEW template for my blog.  You'll notice that I filled in a few things just to see how it would look but the majority of the template is placeholders and gobblygook.

I would appreciate it immensely if you'd take a minute or two to check out the new template and then return here and give me your feedback on what you like/dislike about it.  The sidebar on the right will need some reordering of the elements (and some added/subtracted) but I think it gives a pretty good indication of what the blog would look like.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

NEW Nachos Grande Group Break: Tossing Around Some Ideas

A few of you expressed interest in another group break here at Nachos Grande (and that's before I even get all of the previous group break packages in the mail)!  With that said, let's take a look at a few options - as always, I want to know what you think!

Note:  All prices include shipping to the continental US

Option 1:
1 case of 2015 Topps Archives
Cost:  2 team slot (1 of your choice, 1 random):  $75

Option 2:
2 hobby boxes of 2015 Topps Archives
2 hobby boxes of 2015 Topps Finest
Cost:  1 team slot (your choice):  $20-$40 (tiered pricing based on teams - similar to what I did with the last group break)

Option 3:
1 jumbo case of 2015 Topps Series 2
Cost:  1 team slot (your choice):  $35

Option 4:
1 2015 Stadium Club case
Cost:  2 team slot (1 of your choice, 1 random):  $75


Option 5:
Some combination of the above options.  All of the sets on the list come out some time in June (Stadium Club is late June so we could presumably do an earlier break and then pick up a Stadium Club break later in the summer if people are interested in both).

Let me know what you think!!

Barry Larkin Collection 364: 1996 Fleer Ultra - #179

Barry Larkin
Year:  1996
Brand:  Fleer Ultra
Card number:  179

It's no secret to long time readers of my blog that I generally like the Fleer Ultra line of cards.  However, I think in the entire lifespan of the Fleer Ultra series that the 1996 edition is one of the ugliest, most disappointing sets.

For starters, the front and the back of the card looks like each belongs to a different set.  The front features a fairly clean design (albeit with an ugly choice of font for the player's name).  The borderless design works well - a mainstay for the Fleer Ultra line!  In fact, other than the font choice I don't have any complaints about the front.

But the back of the card.

Oy.  Vey.

It's a hodgepodge of images, unreadable statistics, and a card number in white (ugh)!  The only redeeming feature on the back is the team logo...but even that is basically swallowed up by the plethora of images.  In fact, if the 1995 Fleer set were to have sex with 1995 Flair set, then 1996 Fleer Ultra would be the result.

And now that you are imagining baseball cards getting it on with each other, my work here is done.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Nachos Grande Group Break: We End With Topps Museum (and our THIRD Patch of the Break)!!!

First, my apologies for missing my usual 8:00 AM posting yesterday.  I got caught up with some stuff around the house and didn't get a chance to do much with the blog.  Luckily, today's a new day and so here we go - the FINAL post for the third group break of the year!

Our fifth and final box of the break was the big one:  2015 Topps Museum Collection.  Each hobby box contains four mini boxes - and each mini box contains a hit.  Overall, a hobby box contains 1 on card autograph, 1 autograph relic, 1 quad relic, and 1 jumbo relic.

I filmed my opening of the box (which you can view here).  Otherwise, let's get right to the scans!

First, a quick look at the base cards.

The front of the cards are clean - and quite sharp looking if you ask me!  I especially liked the Ken Griffey Jr. card so you get a scan of that one!

The backs of the cards aren't quite as good - but they are still nice enough I guess.

 I like full career statistics but for the legends of the game I can understand the draw of having a write-up and a single line of statistics instead.

Now, to the real reason anyone would ever buy Topps Museum Collection - the inserts, parallels, and, of course, hits!

First up, we pulled one insert - a Canvas Collection Reproduction card of Stephen Strasburg (Nationals).

The Canvas cards are seeded 1 per hobby box - and at 50 cards in total size, good luck ever actually building the entire set!  Assuming you can buy a hobby box for about $190 - and if you have perfect collation, you'd need 50 boxes x $190 per box for a grand total of $9500 just for the set.  Ouch.

Next, our box yielded two parallels.  The first wasn't  surprise at all - the green parallels are seeded 1 per hobby box after all.  Our green parallel goes to the Pirates (Gregory Polanco) and it is numbered 046/199.

The second parallel was a blue parallel numbered 67/99 and it is of Dalton Pompey of the Blue Jays.

The blue parallels are seeded 1:7 mini boxes or a bit more than 1 in every other hobby box.  A nice pull no doubt - and the blue works really well with the Blue Jays uniform!

And now, let's turn our attention to the FINAL FOUR scans of the break - the four hits out of the Topps Museum Collection box.

First up, our jumbo relic.

The jumbo relics are arguably the least exciting of the four hits in the box - but I won't be complaining about that since our jumbo relic was a Cincinnati Reds' card of Todd Frazier.  I never seem to pull Reds' hits so I was happy with this pull.

I have to admit - as a group break host I sometimes feel guilty in the rare cases where I pull a Reds' hit - but for this particular break we KILLED it so I'm happy to get a small slice of the proverbial pie!  The Frazier card is also numbered out of only 50 (07/50 for those keeping track of such things).  Pretty cool.

Our on-card autograph goes to the Red Sox - a really nice Jim Rice numbered 164/399.

That's a really nice signature of a retired player - and a great score for JWillden27 (who isn't quite yet finished with this break)...

Before we get to the final hit, we have our quad relic.

That's a pretty nice CC Sabathia card (Yankees).  Jaybarkerfan picked up the Yankees and I'd say he was rewarded for his choice!  The Sabathia is numbered 26/75.  The only bummer about the card is the fact that all four bits of cloth appear to be cut from the same item (pants perhaps)?  I also didn't realize it when I opened the box up on video but this is a COPPER PARALLEL quad relic which makes it even better!  The single player quad relic copper parallels are seeded 1:15 mini boxes (or about 1:4 hobby boxes).  Not bad at all!

That's leaves us with our final hit - and yes, it goes to the Red Sox.

This is autograph relic - but not any old relic - a single player signature swatches triple relic autograph gold parallel numbered 25/25.  I thought this was one of the patch cards (1:428 mini boxes) but according to Cardboard Connection the gold parallels (1:86 mini boxes) are the ones numbered out of 25. This is clearly a patch card however - so perhaps Topps ran out of "regular" relics for the gold parallels for Napoli and thus were forced to include some patches?!

No matter, it is an AWESOME card - and it's even greater that we ended up pulling three different patch cards in three different products for three different teams.  For me, that made for an awesome group break - and I hope all of you feel the same way.

Over the next couple of days I will be packing up everyone's cards and hitting the post office.  I usually stagger my trips to the post office so that no one gets too angry with me for holding up the line!  I'm also already thinking ahead to the next group break - would there be interest in Topps Archives?

I could do a full case of Archives (for a fairly hefty price tag per team slot though) or else I could do a couple of boxes of Archives and maybe augment that with some other new product?  Let me know via the comments (or email if you prefer).

While you do that, I need to go pack up some cards for mailing!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Trade Stack 67: Yadier Molina, Dan Marino, Mariano Rivera + 6 Others!

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:  5/12/15

Thanks to the group break which has kept me quite busy, I haven't had a chance to add to my current Trade Stack in nearly a month's time.  That's unacceptable since I would LOVE to get these cards out of my collection - and in return, edge ever closer to completing something that I do want!  

For today's addition to the stack, you get a Yankee legend.  Even for non-Yankee fans (like myself) it's hard to not respect Mariano Rivera.  Say what you want about the other Yankees (Jeter, A-Rod, etc.), Rivera seemed to be a good guy who stayed out of the spotlight (which isn't easy in New York)!  Not only that, he was definitely a great pitcher.  This is your chance to get one of his last cards from his playing days - plus a lot of other goodies in the stack!

Remember, you get the entire Trade Stack in exchange for at least one card off of my want list!

2012 Bowman:
66.  Mariano Rivera - Yankees

2001 Fleer Tradition:
17.  David Segui - Indians

2012 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions:
19.  Dan Marino


1998 Topps Finest:
6.  Rusty Greer - Rangers


2000 Fleer Ultra:
31.  Dmitri Young - Reds


2000 Topps Opening Day:
121.  Jeromy Burnitz - Brewers
(miscut!)


2011 Topps Chrome:
151.  Pedro Alvarez - Pirates

2012 Bowman:
18.  Yadier Molina - Cardinals


2009 Fan Pak:
Standees:
63.  Carlos Zambrano - Cubs



If you want the stack, remember - all you need to do is offer up any one card from my want list.  


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:  4 cards by dayf
Stack 49:  9 cards by Swing and a Pop-Up
Stack 50:  9 cards by Commishbob
Stack 51:  3 cards by Need More Cardboard
Stack 52:  1 card by Play at the Plate
Stack 53:  12 cards by buckstorecards
Stack 54:  4 cards by The Junior Junkie
Stack 55:  9 cards by Spiegel83
Stack 56:  2 cards cards by Joe Frecker
Stack 57:  4 cards by buckstorecards
Stack 58:  2 cards by Chunter
Stack 59:  9 cards by Baseball Dad
Stack 60:  8 cards by buckstorecards
Stack 61:  13 cards by Mark Hoyle
Stack 62:  9 cards by Nick
Stack 63:  9 cards by buckstorecards 
Stack 64:  7 cards by Mark Hoyle
Stack 65:  2 cards by Play at the Plate
Stack 66:  10 cards by Roger
Stack 67:  ?? by ??