Monday, December 10, 2018

TRADE BAIT BLOWOUT 2018 - Round 03: Inserts & Parallels

Welcome to my TRADE BAIT BLOWOUT 2018!

Each day for about a week or so, I'll post at least one group of nine cards or so available for trade (see rules at the bottom of this post).  If nothing catches your eye today, be sure to return for the next round when I'll have a brand new set of cards that might be more to your liking!

Today's trade bait is as follows:

2018 Bowman Chrome:  Bowman Scouts' Top 100:  BTP-34  Alec Hansen (White Sox)
2018 Bowman Chrome:  Bowman Birthdays:  BB-LM.  Lance McCullers Jr. (Astros)
2018 Bowman Chrome:  ROY Favorites:  ROYF-WC.  Willie Calhoun (Rangers)
2014 Topps Heritage Red Border:  140.  Jared Weaver (Angels)
2014 Topps Heritage Blue Border:  477.  Robinson Cano (Mariners)
1998 Fleer Tradition:  In the Clutch:  5.  Nomar Garciaparra (Red Sox)
2016 Topps Allen & Ginter:  Mascots in the Wild:  MIW-1.  Bobcat
2012 Topps Archives:  3-D Lenticular:  Joey Votto (Reds)
2013 Topps Chrome:  Sepia Refractor:  11.  Evan Longoria (Rays) #10/75

Today's round of trade bait is a veritable mixed bag of inserts and parallels that I've accumulated.  The Longoria is a refractor numbered out of only 75 on the back - it's a nice looking card!

If you missed it, I posted ROUND 1 of trade bait here and ROUND 2 here.

To claim a card (or multiple cards), simply leave a comment on this post (first-come, first-serve).  I'll be accumulating requests throughout the entire duration of the TRADE BAIT BLOWOUT 2018 - and then mailing off all the cards at once at the conclusion of the event.

In return for you claim from me, I'm asking for you to send me whatever you think is fair in some combination of the following:
1.  Cards from my want list
2.  LEGO sets (or even a box of random LEGO pieces from random sets - LEGO brand only though)
3.  Barry Larkin cards (while not totally up-to-date, I would appreciate it if you'd look at my list of what I've already written about in order to reduce the number of duplicate cards coming my way)

I am willing to be patient, so you might tell me that you are making a Check Out My Cards order somewhat soon and you'll add in a few cards to send my way, that's perfectly acceptable to me!  I'd love to have my unwanted cards find a new home, and if it means I can also turn those into things that I want all the better!


My TRADE BAIT BLOWOUT 2018 will include cards from a variety of years, brands, and teams.  You are welcome to claim as many cards as you wish, but please respect the rules laid out above.  Also, when/if you do claim at least one card please do me a favor and email me your mailing address ASAP so that I can start a proper card stack for you!

Sunday, December 09, 2018

TRADE BAIT BLOWOUT 2018 - Round 02: Nothing But Hits!

Welcome to my TRADE BAIT BLOWOUT 2018!

Each day for about a week or so, I'll post at least one group of nine cards available for trade (see rules at the bottom of this post).  As you can see from the first batch of cards today, there will be quite a wide variety of cards, teams, and even sports offered throughout the TRADE BAIT BLOWOUT.  If nothing catches your eye today, be sure to return for the next round when I'll have a brand new set of cards that might be more to your liking!

Today's trade bait is as follows:

2017 A&G relic:  FSRA-YC.  Yoenis Cespedes (Mets)
2017 A&G relic:  FSRB-AJO.  Adam Jones (Orioles)
2017 A&G relic: FSRA-MM.  Manny Machado (Orioles)
2017 A&G relic: FSRA-JV.  Justin Verlander (Tigers)
2017 A&G relic:  FSRA-GST.  Gary Stevens (Horse Racing Jockey)
2014 A&G framed relic: RB-JZ.  Jordan Zimmerman (Nationals)
2014 A&G relic:  FSR-CS.  CC Sabathia (Yankees)
2014 A&G relic:  FRB-ID.  Ian Desmond (Nationals)
2016 Topps Team Logo Pin:  TLP-JD.  Josh Donaldson (Blue Jays)

Plenty of nice relics here that could use a more loving home.  As you can probably tell, I toyed with the idea of collecting either the 2014 or 2017 A&G relic set but I decided against it seeing as how I'm already attempting to complete too many sets!

If you missed it, I posted ROUND 1 of trade bait here.

To claim a card (or multiple cards), simply leave a comment on this post (first-come, first-serve).  I'll be accumulating requests throughout the entire duration of the TRADE BAIT BLOWOUT 2018 - and then mailing off all the cards at once at the conclusion of the event.

In return for you claim from me, I'm asking for you to send me whatever you think is fair in some combination of the following:
1.  Cards from my want list
2.  LEGO sets (or even a box of random LEGO pieces from random sets - LEGO brand only though)
3.  Barry Larkin cards (while not totally up-to-date, I would appreciate it if you'd look at my list of what I've already written about in order to reduce the number of duplicate cards coming my way)

I am willing to be patient, so you might tell me that you are making a Check Out My Cards order somewhat soon and you'll add in a few cards to send my way, that's perfectly acceptable to me!  I'd love to have my unwanted cards find a new home, and if it means I can also turn those into things that I want all the better!


My TRADE BAIT BLOWOUT 2018 will include cards from a variety of years, brands, and teams.  You are welcome to claim as many cards as you wish, but please respect the rules laid out above.  Also, when/if you do claim at least one card please do me a favor and email me your mailing address ASAP so that I can start a proper card stack for you!

Saturday, December 08, 2018

TRADE BAIT BLOWOUT 2018! - Round 01: All Shiny and Some Serially Numbered Goodies

Welcome to my TRADE BAIT BLOWOUT 2018!

Each day for about a week or so, I'll post at least one group of nine cards available for trade (see rules at the bottom of this post).  As you can see from the first batch of cards today, there will be quite a wide variety of cards, teams, and even sports offered throughout the TRADE BAIT BLOWOUT.  If nothing catches your eye today, be sure to return for the next round when I'll have a brand new set of cards that might be more to your liking!

Today's trade bait is as follows:

2018 Donruss Green Foil parallel:  246.  Marcell Ozuna (Cardinals)
2018 Donruss Green Foil parallel:  252.  Mike Piazza (Mets)
2018 Donruss Green Foil parallel:  196.  Trea Turner (Nationals)
2018 Donruss Green Foil parallel:  142.  Kirby Puckett (Twins)
2018 Bowman Chrome:  Top 100 Prospects insert:  BTP-26.  Austin Hays (Orioles)
2018 Bowman Chrome:  Gold parallel:  BCP36.  Dennis Santana (Dodgers) #54/75
2016 Panini Phoenix Football:  Adrenaline Rush Orange parallel:  Jamaal Charles (Chiefs) #265/299
2016 Panini Phoenix Football:  Adrenaline Rush Gold parallel: Devonta Freeman (Falcons) #55/99
2016 Panini Phoenix Football:  Adrenaline Rush Gold parallel: Thomas Rawls (Seahawks) #49/99




To claim a card (or multiple cards), simply leave a comment on this post (first-come, first-serve).  I'll be accumulating requests throughout the entire duration of the TRADE BAIT BLOWOUT 2018 - and then mailing off all the cards at once at the conclusion of the event.

In return for you claim from me, I'm asking for you to send me whatever you think is fair in some combination of the following:
1.  Cards from my want list
2.  LEGO sets (or even a box of random LEGO pieces from random sets - LEGO brand only though)
3.  Barry Larkin cards (while not totally up-to-date, I would appreciate it if you'd look at my list of what I've already written about in order to reduce the number of duplicate cards coming my way)

I am willing to be patient, so you might tell me that you are making a Check Out My Cards order somewhat soon and you'll add in a few cards to send my way, that's perfectly acceptable to me!  I'd love to have my unwanted cards find a new home, and if it means I can also turn those into things that I want all the better!



My TRADE BAIT BLOWOUT 2018 will include cards from a variety of years, brands, and teams.  You are welcome to claim as many cards as you wish, but please respect the rules laid out above.  Also, when/if you do claim at least one card please do me a favor and email me your mailing address ASAP so that I can start a proper card stack for you!

Friday, December 07, 2018

Coming Soon to This Blog: TRADE BAIT BLOWOUT 2018!

As you may know from reading my blog earlier this week, I am in the midst of a complete baseball card collection reorganization.  Truthfully, this is a slow process for me, so slow in fact that it's been something that I've sort of picked away at for the past five years or so.  Obviously, a full reorganization takes time but even I can admit that I've been overly pokey about the whole thing.  That all said, while I have made a fair bit of process with the reorganization lately I want to do even better!

With the new year rapidly approaching, I would LOVE to whittle down my want list to something more manageable.  In order to do that, I know that I need to start trading in earnest again - and that's where my TRADE BAIT BLOWOUT 2018 will come in handy.

The basic idea is as follows:

Each day for the next week or so (ideally), I'll post a number of different cards to my blog as trade bait.  If you see something you want, comment on that post with the card(s) you'd like to claim.  At the end of the series of posts, I'll gather up all the cards claimed by each person and mail them off.

In return, I'm asking for you to send me whatever you think is fair in some combination of the following:
1.  Cards from my want list
2.  LEGO sets (or even a box of random LEGO pieces from random sets - LEGO brand only though)
3.  Barry Larkin cards (while not totally up-to-date, I would appreciate it if you'd look at my list of what I've already written about in order to reduce the number of duplicate cards coming my way)

I am willing to be patient, so you might tell me that you are making a Check Out My Cards order somewhat soon and you'll add in a few cards to send my way, that's perfectly acceptable to me!  I'd love to have my unwanted cards find a new home, and if it means I can also turn those into things that I want all the better!

My TRADE BAIT BLOWOUT 2018 will include cards from a variety of years, brands, and teams.  You are welcome to claim as many cards as you wish, but please respect the rules laid out above.  Also, when/if you do claim at least one card please do me a favor and email me your mailing address ASAP so that I can start a proper card stack for you!

Any questions?  Now's the time to ask.  The first TRADE BAIT BLOWOUT 2018 post will go up tomorrow at 8:01 AM EST.

Thursday, December 06, 2018

Barry Larkin Collection 633: 2001 Donruss - #44

Barry Larkin
Year:  2001
Brand:  Donruss
Card number:  44

The 2001 Donruss set can best be summed with one word:  red.

As a fan of the Reds, you'd think a red-themed set would be up my alley.  However, in practice I think the card is actually a little too reliant on the bright red color scheme (it's my understanding that the border color changes depending on the team of the depicted player so your mileage may vary in terms of how the color combination works with your favorite team). 

Usually in my Barry Larkin Collection posts, I like to try and take a look at the particulars of the given set (and ideally figure out which, if any, Barry Larkin cards there are that I'm still missing).  However, I spent the last five minutes reading through the baseballcardpedia entry for the 2001 Donruss set and if there's one thing I learned from that exercise it's that I definitely DON'T want to go down the rabbit hole that is 2001 Donruss with all of its peculiarities!

That being said, I do own a couple of other Larkin cards from the 2001 Donruss set so this isn't the last you'll see of the brand.  I also should mention that I kind of like the stars in the background of the photograph on the front of the card - it works with the design (and the Reds' bright red color scheme).  I also appreciate the career statistics on the card back - I often complain when a card features no stats so I should give Donruss credit here for making good on the one thing a baseball card is known for!  Still, those good things aren't enough to save this set in my eyes - it's simply too wild and convoluted for my taste!

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

The Great Reorganization: Step 33: Challenge Update and a Goal Check-In Time

Back in September of this year, I wrote my last update to my ongoing Great Reorganization that I've been working on for literally years now.  At the time of that post, I put forth a challenge to myself:  not to buy another box or pack of cards until I cleaned my desk off once and for all.

So far, I've (sort of) kept my goal.  I mean, I failed the challenge spectacularly by the letter of law but by my original intent I'm still going strong.  More specifically, you may recall that I recently hosted a HUGE group break full of boxes and packs, all of which I technically had to buy.  That said, I haven't bought any boxes or packs for myself in that time so I consider challenge goals met to date.

Now, the big question:  Did I manage to clean off my desk finally?  Let's have a peek, shall we?

As you can see, the desk is mostly clear (yay)!  However, it isn't totally devoid of cards yet so I need to keep going.  What's left you ask?

Well, the small white rectangle (near the glass of water) contains cards that I've received in the mail and written about but not yet actually filed away in my set binders.  That's an easy enough thing to do but it does require me to locate the correct binders (I think I have four or five sets there with only one or two cards for most sets to go in each binder).  A more ambitious person would have done that just prior to taking the above photo but who am but to be the person who wants to be as historically accurate as possible!

Closer to the edge of the desk (I started clearing closest to my laptop and then worked to the desk's edge), I have a stack of Gypsy Queen cards (inserts and hits mostly) that I need to figure out what to do with.  I also have a bunch of inserts and hits from this year's Donruss set that I need to figure out what to do with.  Finally, there's a stack of cards that I plan to add to my ongoing Trade Stack.  The only non-card items left on the desk to take care of are a pair of envelopes that are reminders to me of return mailings that I (still) need to put together.  Luckily, that rather large stack of cards closest to my laptop and the baby monitor is going to eventually go out to one of the two people that I still need to mail cards to.

In the end, it's been a couple of months but I've made actual progress for once!  It feels great to have my desk (almost) cleared off.  Of course, what I haven't shown lately is the two tables sitting near my desk that will be the next two big goals to get cleared off.  The one happens to be full of both LEGO and baseball cards - but the other is pretty much all cards and will definitely be a major project for 2019.

When all is said and done, I'm always going to be happy if I am making actual progress toward my overall goal of a complete collection reorganization.  I still have a long, long way to go until my goal is complete, but every step done gets me that much closer which makes me happy!

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Barry Larkin Collection 632: 2001 Bowman Heritage - #329

Barry Larkin
Year:
  2001
Brand:  Bowman Heritage
Card number:  329

The 2001 Bowman Heritage set was the first of Topps' homage to the historical Bowman brand.  The Bowman Heritage brand would last until 2007, but you can't beat the 2001 set for a true historical flashback sort of set.  Topps improved upon (in my opinion) the original Bowman design by producing the 2001 Heritage set at today's standard card sizes (original Bowman cards were smaller than today's cards and thus would be a big pain to store in modern card pages as they would slide all over the place). 

As for the Larkin card itself, the front is entirely a minimalistic design, but it works fine here.  You can instantly recognize Barry, even without a team or player name plate to be found.  The back of the card features a nice write-up of Barry's many accomplishments (but no statistics).  The legalize and logos at the bottom of the card are a bit distracting (and much too large) but otherwise I think this is a nice retro card design. 

I should note that there is a partial set parallel of chrome cards in the 2001 Bowman Heritage set but only the first 110 cards got the chrome treatment (and thus the card above is Larkin's only card in the 2001 edition of the set). 

Monday, December 03, 2018

Barry Larkin Collection 631: 2012 Panini Cooperstown - #23

Barry Larkin
Year:  2012
Brand:  Panini Cooperstown
Card number:  23

I firmly believe that Panini has a bad reputation among many baseball card collectors because of the drivel that they released in their early days of making baseball cards.  Case in point:  2012 Panini Cooperstown. 

The concept of Panini's set was solid, but the execution was flawed (and perhaps even doomed from the start since team logos couldn't be present).  For Larkin's case, it meant Panini had to give us an image of his back while swinging at a pitch on the card front while cropping the "head shot" on the back of the card such that half of Larkin's head is missing.  I also don't like the idea of black and white photographs for players who retired in the 2000s. 

Truthfully, I don't think this is the worst Larkin card in the 2012 Panini Cooperstown set...and that's saying something but if you check out this card I think you'll agree with me. 

In terms of completing the set, I am still missing a bunch of Barry Larkin cards from the 2012 Cooperstown set including:

  • Crystal Collection parallel (serial-numbered to 299 copies)
  • Red Crystal parallel (serial-numbered to 399 copies)
  • Blue Crystal parallel (serial-numbered to 499 copies)
  • HOF Induction Class Year relic
  • Autograph card (numbered to 199 I think)


That's quite a list for a set that I don't exactly like much...safe to say I won't make collecting the set a priority though I won't turn down any of the above Larkin cards should you have them available for trade!

Sunday, December 02, 2018

Delivery Time! Highly Subjective Trading!

Today's delivery post is courtesy of Brian over at Highly Subjective and Completely Arbitrary.  Back in early August of this year, Brian sent me a fun little package chock full of Reds (plus a couple of Ginter minis which I'll show off in a moment).  In return, poor Brian had to wait for quite some time...but seeing as how this is my final "old" trade package that I hadn't got to, I am pleased to report that 1) I am caught up on my trade posts for the first time since my baby boy was born and 2) Brian's package is in the mail - and should have even arrived by now if the post office isn't too backed up already!

Being all caught up on packages is a great feeling, though it does mean that I'm going to have to be a bit more creative when coming up with blog topics (mail day posts sort of write themselves in a way that other sorts of posts definitely don't).

Brian sent along a bunch of random Reds cards, many of which will probably make their way into my Reds Frankenset that I've actually started to work on finally!  I've set aside cards to be used in the set for a number of years now, but only within the last few weeks have I started to sort through the various cards and, in many case, figure which card to keep for specific set numbers.

A big thanks to Brian for all the great cards!  As for anyone else, if you'd like to trade be sure to check out my want list and make an offer!




Saturday, December 01, 2018

Box Review: 2001 Topps Gold Label (Hobby)

I recently opened a box of 2001 Topps Gold Label as part of a group break.  While I didn't get to keep most of the cards (they went to the various group break participants), I did think that it might be worth keeping track of what I opened for another entry in my ongoing Box Review series of posts.

Before we get to the box contents, I should start by saying that I generally like Topps Gold Label (though I wasn't nearly as familiar with the 2001 set going into the box rip as I was with some of the earlier Gold Label sets).

The box I opened up was a hobby box which meant we got 24 packs with 5 cards per pack.  Furthermore, we should expect to pull a hit (seeded 1:24 packs).  While there are no inserts to speak of in the set (there is one true insert set but the cards are seeded at a staggering 1:224 packs so I'll ignore that), there are plenty of parallels.  In fact, the parallels are kind of the point of Topps Gold Label.

Each base card comes in three versions, Class 1, Class 2, and Class 3.  Each of those has a second, rarer Gold parallel version.  Furthermore, there are shortprinted rookie cards scattered about the base (all of which have the same parallel breakdowns except they are much, much rarer at each respective level).  It's a confusing mess to explain, but in practice it is pretty simple.

Basically, each pack will have either five Class 1 (common) cards or four Class 1 cards plus one rarer card.  It makes spotting the "special" card that much easier if nothing else.

Our box yielded a total of 105 Class 1 cards.  The base set itself only contains 115 Class 1 base cards so you'd expect that we should have almost entire base set.  Unfortunately, that didn't quite pan out because we pulled nine Class 1 duplicates (Albert Belle, Brad Fullmer, Juan Gonzalez, Jermaine Dye, Alex Rodriguez, Darin Erstad, Bobby Abreu, Mark McGwire, and Randy Johnson).  I was happy to see that we did pull the Barry Larkin Class 1 base card.

In the end, we landed 96 of the 115 Class 1 base cards plus the nine duplicates mentioned above.  For a small set, I guess that's not that bad.  It was good to see that we pulled some stars as duplicates and not just doubles of guys like Brad Fullmer or Jermaine Dye - nothing against those guys other than who wants more than one copy of their cards?!

Moving on the main star of the show here, the parallels!

The most common parallels in our box were the Class 2 parallels which makes sense since they are seeded 1:4 packs.  We ended up with a grand total of five Class 2 parallels rather than the expected six that the odds would suggest...however, I think I can explain the "missing" Class 2 parallel in a bit!  Our Class 2 parallels consisted of the following:

Nomar Garciaparra

J.T. Snow

Juan Gonzalez

Brian Giles

Jim Edmonds

Next up, the Class 3 parallels.

The Class 3 parallels are a much tougher pull as they are seeded 1:12 packs.  As expected, we did in fact pull two Class 3 parallels.

Pedro Martinez

Jose Cruz, Jr.

I must say, the Class 3 parallels look amazing - the silver background along with the dual images of the player really makes the cards pop!  When you open a pack up with a Class 3 parallel in it, you know you've just gotten something kind of special - and that's all you can really ask for out of a parallel set.  On the other hand, while the Class 2 parallels do seem to up the "shiny factor" a bit, they don't really look different enough from the Class 1 cards to feel special in any meaningful way.  I constantly had to flip the cards over to make sure I didn't miss a Class 2 parallel (the class is printed on the backside of the cards which is helpful).

There are 1-of-1 parallels in addition to the three classes but my box didn't have any of those in it so I won't worry about them (that's my general attitude on all 1-of-1 cards anyhow)!

Next, we pulled a number of gold parallels including three Class 1 golds (each is numbered out of 999).

Sean Casey

Carl Everett

Travis Lee
The Gold Parallels are unmistakable from the gold background - but also because they are serially numbered on the back of the card.  Like I said, the Class 1 golds are all numbered out of 999 and are seeded 1:8 packs so we were right on there.

The Class 2 golds are seeded 1:11 packs (and numbered out of 699).  We ended up with the expected two:

Charles Johnson

J.D. Drew

Finally, the Class 3 golds are seeded 1:26 packs (or a little rarer than one per box) and are numbered out of only 299.  We lucked out and did get a single Class 3 gold of Ivan Rodriguez.

The Class 3 golds are actually quite beautiful to hold!

That leaves us with only two more cards, the first is the relic of the box.

Seeded 1:54 packs, the Award Ceremony bat relics are actually rarer than I originally thought.  We lucked out I guess by getting one - and I'm glad we did because the relics are gorgeous!

Our relic was of Andres Galarraga, not the most exciting name on the checklist in my mind but since this box was for a group break I was happy to see the card go to someone who is a Rockies collector!

Finally, remember how I said it appeared we were shorted a Class 2 parallel?  Well, I think I know where ours went because we pulled a Class 2 rookie parallel of Brian Roberts.

What's the difference?  Well, first the cards are numbered out of 699 (unlike the regular Class 2 parallels which aren't numbered).  Second, the Class 2 Rookies are hard pulls as they are seeded 1:75 packs)!

Overall, I give the 2001 Topps Gold Label Baseball box the following rating:
Set design:  A-
Collation:  B
Opening Thrill:  A-
Overall:  A-

While we did pull a few duplicate base the cards, the base set is small enough that you should still get all the Class 1 cards if you open a pair of boxes.  Still, the set is big enough that there shouldn't actually be any duplicates (hence the lower collation rating).  Other than that though, I cannot complain about the box.  There were just enough parallels to keep each pack rip interesting.  Furthermore, hitting that gorgeous relic card was simply the icing on the cake.  I'd happily rip a box of 2001 Topps Gold Label for myself if I ever get the chance!