Thursday, January 31, 2019

Trade Stack 95: It's Brutally Cold, so Let's Start a New Trade Stack Indoors

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)!

New rule:  Please note that shipping large packages to Canada (or overseas) has become too expensive, at least when it means that all I am getting in return is a single base card.  If you happen to want me to ship to a place not in the US, please contact me first.  Maybe we can work out a larger deal that will make the increase in postage worthwhile.  I am sorry for that as I have a number of great traders in Canada but I have no control over what the USPS charges for shipping!

The Trade Stack:
Last update: 1/31/19

We've finally reached the end of January which is a good thing because I'm already completely sick of winter.  With temperatures down around -9 tonight and wind chills reaching about -30 degrees, today is a great day to stay inside and focus on baseball cards (you know, when you aren't going to and from work of course).  

My last Trade Stack was scooped up right away which was a nice surprise given that the Stack before that had me questioning whether or not I should continue this feature any longer!  Let's see if we can get the next Stack scooped up quickly as well.

Remember, you get the entire pile in exchange for at least one card off my want list (or pretty much anything LEGO since I've been getting more and more into collecting LEGO as well)!

1998 Fleer
Vintage '63 parallel:
99.  Eric Karros (Dodgers)



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:  14 cards by buckstorecards
Stack 68:  5 cards cards by Jeff Jones
Stack 69:  17 cards by Steve D.
Stack 70:  2 cards by Jeff Jones
Stack 71:  8 cards by defgav
Stack 72:  24 cards by Trevor P.
Stack 73:  1 card by Night Owl
Stack 74:  3 cards by David
Stack 75:  4 cards by Trevor P.
Stack 76:  14 cards by Trevor P.
Stack 77:  15 cards by Dayf
Stack 78:  29 cards by Chris
Stack 79:  26 cards by John H.
Stack 80:  14 cards by David G.
Stack 81:  3 cards by Trevor P.
Stack 82:  6 cards by Matt S.
Stack 83:  26 cards by Gavin
Stack 84:  1 card by Gavin
Stack 85:  29 cards by arpsmith
Stack 86:  10 cards by Henry
Stack 87:  15 cards by Henry
Stack 88:  5 cards by Adam K.
Stack 89:  7 cards by TSHenson
Stack 90:  16 cards by Trevor P.
Stack 91:  1 card by Chris
Stack 92:  7 cards by defgav
Stack 93:  35 cards by Adam K.
Stack 94:  1 card by Mark H
Stack 95:  ?? by ??

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

30 Teams in 30 Posts: #24

I'm ranking all 30 of the MLB teams in order of how much I like them at this moment in time.  As with most countdowns, I'm starting with the worst (Cardinals) and I'll eventually end up with the best (Reds).  The real question now is, where will the other MLB teams land in my countdown?

In my last 30 Teams in 30 Posts feature, I talked about the Chicago Cubs and placed them in the #25 slot.  Today, we return with another team from my youth (the other "Super Station" team of the 90s).

#24:  Atlanta Braves
Image source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CFZsYRGDcE0

When I decided to put an actual ranking of all 30 MLB teams down on paper, the exercise proved to be fairly difficult.  In the end, if I couldn't immediately decide between two teams I went with the team that I would root for in a playoff game between the two.  In the case of the Cubs and Braves, the Braves eeked by the Cubs thanks to my tie-breaking idea.

Truth be told, if you had asked me to rank the Braves about twenty years ago, they would have easily been in my bottom three. 

Back when the Braves had all the pitching, I couldn't help but notice how it seemed like their pitchers also got ALL the calls.  For much of the 90s, it sure felt like Atlanta pitchers got an extra two or three inches off the plate called strikes when no one else did.  As a Reds fan who had very limited chances to see the Reds play on TV, watching my team get shafted by the umpire game in and game out was super frustrating to me! 

Side note:  If you remember the old TBS Braves games, take a few minutes to watch some of this game.  I had instant flashbacks as soon as the game started (plus the end of the game is pretty fun)!

Time does heal wounds though and now the Braves are one of the teams that are slowly working their way back up my rankings.  The current iteration of the team doesn't seem nearly as objectionable to me - and I'll definitely root for the Braves over the likes of the Nationals.  That said, I still like the rest of the NL East better than Atlanta, though at least one of the remaining teams in the East is rapidly falling down my list so there's a chance if I revisit this exercise in a few years that the Braves might end up a bit higher in my rankings!

My list of favorite MLB teams (from worst to first):
#30:  St. Louis Cardinals (post)
#29:  New York Yankees (post)
#28:  San Francisco Giants (post)
#27:  Washington Nationals (post)
#26:  Boston Red Sox (post)
#25:  Chicago Cubs (post)
#24:  Atlanta Braves
to be continued...

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Delivery Time! A Giant Pile of Minis from Bubba's Bangin' Batch of Baseball Bits

I'm back with the second part of my end of a trade with Matt over at Bubba's Bangin' Batch of Baseball Bits.  Last time, I showed off the full-sized cards that Matt sent my way.  Today, we shift our attention to the minis!

In addition to the Joey Votto gold parallel you see above, Matt sent me mini cards from TEN different mini sets (including one set which he sent me the final card that I needed).  I thought it'd be fun to show off the cards while ranking the mini sets based only on the cards sent along from Matt.

#10:  US Mayors (2016)

Back in 2016, I was fairly tired of politics.  Now that it is 2019, I'm completely sick of politics and I'd be happy if Topps didn't include another politically themed insert set in Allen & Ginter for at least another decade.  On the bright side, while Matt didn't quite complete this set for me he did send me three of the five remaining cards that I needed.  The set is certainly now within striking range of being finished off via either trade or a COMC purchase later this year.

#9:  Indigenous Heroes (2018)

The Indigenous Heroes inset set is actually quite nice - but it suffers from being the "common" mini set in the 2018 edition of Ginter.  That is, if you happen to find a few mini inserts in a box or blaster, there's almost a 100% chance that at least one of those minis will belong to this set.  There's a much, much smaller chance of getting a mini from one of the other sets that might be of more interest to a person (such as the Flags of Lost Nations set which I loved)!  That said, despite the set being fairly common I'm still missing a ton of cards from the set:  MIH- 3, 5, 8, 9, 11, 12, 15, 16, 17, 23, 24.

#8:  Folio of Fears (2018)

Unlike the Indigenous Heroes set, the Folio of Fears mini set has proven to be quite elusive to me this year.  The set is much, much smaller in terms of number of cards but I'm missing almost as many as I am missing from the larger Heroes set:  MFF- 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9.  I also find that Claustrophobia picture to be weirdly unsettling - mostly I guess because of the blurry image used.

#7:  Subways & Streetcars (2016)

Remember, this countdown is only based on the card(s) that Matt sent me from each set.  With that said, the Subways & Streetcars set as a whole is pretty cool - but this particular card of a motorcycle doesn't do as much for me personally.  Then again, I just read an article the other day about how millenials are killing Harley Davidson and motorcycles in general and so perhaps this card doesn't do it for anyone of my generation!

#6:  A Healthy Mind (2015)

One of my 2019 resolutions is to read more books than I have in the past few years - so this card is basically right up my alley as compared to the motorcycle card.  That said, a baseball card about reading a book isn't exactly the most exciting thing to see depicted on cardboard!  The good news for me is that the Healthy Mind cards are tough pulls - so having one sent my way by Matt is definitely appreciated!

#5:  Bust a Move (2017)

Here's the second set that Matt helped me complete in this trade package (the other being the 2018 base Ginter set which I showed off yesterday).  The Bust a Move set is kind of cool - and while I cannot dance, perhaps if I studied the card backs where they depict the dance moves there might yet be hope for me.  On second thought, I don't think so.  Still, I am quite pleased to be able to knock a full set off of my want list (another 2019 Blog Resolution of mine)!

#4:  Exotic Sports (2018)

I mean, it's a card about Beer Pong.  How often do you get to see that?  Seriously though, if you ever wonder why I love Allen & Ginter, just scroll up and down this trade post.  Simply look at the HUGE array of sets and subjects that A&G covers.  It's all in good fun (even the political stuff)!

#3:  World's Hottest Peppers (2018)

Another great mini set from this past year's A&G set.  I enjoy cooking a lot so to see a card set all about food means I'm going to be all-in so to speak.  Unfortunately, these little hot pepper cards are tough to find in the wild meaning I'm still missing a peck or so of them:  WHP- 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15.

#2:  Flags of Lost Nations (2018)

My favorite mini set from 2018 - for some reason I love the flag sets throughout A&G's history.  East Germany was the communist side of Germany up through the end of the 1980s before it was dissolved.  From my couple of visits to Germany, you can still see remnants and influences of the old communist state throughout the country.

#1:  World's Deadliest Snakes (2007)

And with that, we arrive at the #1 set on the list - the rather rare 2007 Deadliest Snakes insert set.  This was an unannounced mini set back in the day and at only five cards in size has remained elusive throughout the entire decade.  In fact, I now own two of the five snakes - the missing three being S1, S3, and S5. 

Many, many thanks to Matt for all the goodies!  Getting able to finish a pair of sets was awesome - but making progress (to varying degrees) on ten different mini sets was amazing.  I seriously hope to do lots of damage to my want list over the span of 2019 - Matt certainly got the ball rolling!

Now it's your turn - if you'd like to help me out, check out my want list and make an offer!

Monday, January 28, 2019

Delivery Time! The First Sets Completed of 2019 (Thanks Bubba's Bangin' Batch of Baseball Bits!)

Considering how cold and snowy it's been here, I have to admit that baseball trading has been fairly brisk (in a good way)!  Today, we take a look at the first half of an awesome package that arrived recently courtesy of Matt over at Bubba's Bangin' Batch of Baseball Bits.

Back in November of last year, I sent Matt a big envelope full of Allen & Ginter stuff that he needed for his own sets.  Like myself, Matt goes hog wild for Ginter each year and so he and I usually end up with at least one big trade which is mutually beneficial for each of us. 

Our latest trade was no exception!  Last week, a return envelope from Matt arrived at my doorstop and within it were the cards I needed to complete not one, but rather two different sets from my want list! 

The package was large enough - and varied enough - that I though I'd split the mail day post into two parts.  Today, we'll look at the full-sized goodies that Matt sent my way and then next time I'll show off the minis.  I can say that Matt sent me the final cards needed for one full-sized set and one mini set, so that's fun!

Speaking of completed sets, let's jump right in with this past year's base Allen & Ginter set. 

During the summer, I bought a lot of Allen & Ginter but somehow I never managed to track down the entire base set!  Thankfully, Matt had the cards that I was missing (all short prints) and mailed them out with the package. 

Obviously I like getting to complete sets that I'm working on, but this year completing any sets from my want list is that much sweeter since one of my 2019 Blog Resolutions is to whittle my want list down from the 132 sets on it to a much more reasonable (?!) 100 different sets.  Every card acquired gets me that much closer to completing my goal - and Matt had the honor of helping me knock the first of what I hope will be many sets off of my want list this year!

Most of the cards that Matt sent me were from 2018 Allen & Ginter, but not quite all of them.  Before I show some of the non-A&G stuff, let's look at the last of the full-sized A&G cards from Matt.

That's two more Fantasy Goldmine inserts from last year's A&G set.  While these two were both needed, I'm still missing quite a few from this set (and most of A&G's other insert sets).  Should you happen to have some unwanted cards lying around, here's what I'm still looking for out of 2018 Ginter:
2018 Topps Allen & Ginter:Full-Sized Inserts:Baseball Equipment of the Ages:  BEA- 4, 9, 16, 26, 28, 30Fantasy Goldmine:  FG- 8, 14, 17, 25, 26, 27, 30, 32, 36, 38, 43, 44World Talent:  WT- 8, 15, 19, 20, 21, 29, 31, 33, 34, 40, 42, 43, 47Mini Inserts:Baseball Superstitions:  MBS- 1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15Exotic Sports:  MES- 2, 9, 11, 14, 15, 21, 23, 24, 25Flags of Lost Nations:  FLN- 1, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 16, 18, 19, 20, 22, 23, 24Folio of Fears:  MFF- 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9Indigenous Heroes:  MIH- 3, 5, 8, 9, 11, 12, 15, 16, 17, 23, 24Postage Required:  MPR- 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 15World's Hottest Peppers:  WHP- 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15Unannounced minis:  MS-1 (Cuddy Calabrese), MS-3 (Dennis the Rash)
Moving on to the non-Ginter stuff. 

Matt found an autograph of a random Red for me - in this case Chris Dickerson. 

While I'm generally not a fan (or collector) of Bowman, I do love the trees in the background of this shot. 

Matt also sent me what I think is my first Topps Fire card from 2018. 

I believe that the Topps Fire set is a Target exclusive (sort of like Topps Gallery is a Wal-Mart exclusive).  I don't have a Target in my hometown so I don't get to that store very often.  As such, I haven't had the chance to even buy a pack of Topps Fire - but if they are as nice as this card, I am definitely missing out!

Finally, I'd be remiss if I didn't at least show off one more Ginter card - but this from the Ginter X set which is an online exclusive set.

*side note:  What's with Topps and all of these exclusive sets?! 

Anyhow, the card in question is none other than Barry Larkin - chalk up one more for my collection!

Many thanks for the great trade, Matt - and as I said at the top of the post, this is only the start!  The collection of mini cards that Matt sent my way definitely dwarfs what you see in this post.

As for anyone else, if you'd like to trade and help me out with my various collections, check out my want list and make an offer!

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Trade Stack 94: Starting Anew with Gold Label #/999

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)!

New rule:  Please note that shipping large packages to Canada (or overseas) has become too expensive, at least when it means that all I am getting in return is a single base card.  If you happen to want me to ship to a place not in the US, please contact me first.  Maybe we can work out a larger deal that will make the increase in postage worthwhile.  I am sorry for that as I have a number of great traders in Canada but I have no control over what the USPS charges for shipping!

The Trade Stack:
Last update: 1/27/19

I was all but ready to give up on my Trade Stack feature after Stack #93 reached 35 cards.  Luckily for those of you who are fans of this long-running feature, Adam K. claimed the entire pile and thus kept my hopes alive for the future of the Trade Stack concept.  

I usually try to start each Stack off with something pretty cool - and I think today's addition fits that bill perfectly.  I'm putting up a Topps Gold Label card which is a gold parallel numbered out of 999.  That may seem like a high number to those of you who collect "high end" stuff, but for average joes like myself, it's still kind of a thrill to pull numbered cards like that from a pack.  

Remember, you get the entire pile in exchange for at least one card off my want list (or pretty much anything LEGO since I've been getting more and more into collecting LEGO as well)!

2001 Topps Gold Label:
Gold Parallel
Class 1
89.  Carl Everett (Red Sox) #541/999

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:  14 cards by buckstorecards
Stack 68:  5 cards cards by Jeff Jones
Stack 69:  17 cards by Steve D.
Stack 70:  2 cards by Jeff Jones
Stack 71:  8 cards by defgav
Stack 72:  24 cards by Trevor P.
Stack 73:  1 card by Night Owl
Stack 74:  3 cards by David
Stack 75:  4 cards by Trevor P.
Stack 76:  14 cards by Trevor P.
Stack 77:  15 cards by Dayf
Stack 78:  29 cards by Chris
Stack 79:  26 cards by John H.
Stack 80:  14 cards by David G.
Stack 81:  3 cards by Trevor P.
Stack 82:  6 cards by Matt S.
Stack 83:  26 cards by Gavin
Stack 84:  1 card by Gavin
Stack 85:  29 cards by arpsmith
Stack 86:  10 cards by Henry
Stack 87:  15 cards by Henry
Stack 88:  5 cards by Adam K.
Stack 89:  7 cards by TSHenson
Stack 90:  16 cards by Trevor P.
Stack 91:  1 card by Chris
Stack 92:  7 cards by defgav
Stack 93:  35 cards by Adam K.
Stack 94:  ?? by ??

Barry Larkin Collection 648: 2001 Fleer Premium - #76

Barry Larkin
Year:  2001
Brand:  Fleer Premium
Card number:  76

The 2001 Fleer Premium set does not scan well, but I do think it looks quite nice in person.  Oh sure, the backs are typical Fleer laziness (I should say typical of early 00s Fleer laziness, early 90 Fleer backs were amazing) but otherwise this is a nice enough card.  For a Larkin collector, the '01 Premium set is kind of nice because there are only two Barry Larkin cards to track down. The base card you see here and a Ruby parallel (numbered out of 125).  I don't (yet?) own the parallel, but even without it I can say I'm 50% done with this set!


Saturday, January 26, 2019

30 Teams in 30 Posts: #25

I'm ranking all 30 of the MLB teams in order of how much I like them at this moment in time.  As with most countdowns, I'm starting with the worst (Cardinals) and I'll eventually end up with the best (Reds).  The real question now is, where will the other MLB teams land in my countdown?

We've gotten through the worst in MLB of the worst (according to me).  My bottom five teams consisted of the Cardinals, Yankees, Giants, Nationals, and Red Sox.  Other than maybe the Nationals, I don't think there were a lot of surprises there.  In fact, probably the biggest surprise was a team that didn't make my bottom five:  the Chicago Cubs.

Well, perhaps they missed out on the bottom five but they didn't miss by much!

#25:  Chicago Cubs
Image source:  https://www.bleachernation.com/2019/01/25/ricketts-family-purchases-the-final-5-of-the-chicago-cubs-from-the-tribune-company/

The Chicago Cubs automatically lose some points with me since they are in the Reds' NL Central division.  I think most of us probably find the teams within our own division to be less palatable than many of those in other divisions (something that is definitely true with my list, as you'll see - though there is a pretty glaring exception to that rule on my list as well). 

Truth be told, the Cubs were quite a bit higher on my list a few years ago before they won the World Series.  The lovable loser Cubs were kind of fun.  I enjoyed the fact that they were "cursed" and that something always seemed to go wrong for them at an inopportune time *cough* Bartman *cough.*  That said, once a team wins they are no longer able to be called lovable losers...and honestly, that World Series win definitely changed the entire aura around the Chicago Cubs (not for the better in my book).

At this point, you might be wondering why the Cubs escaped my bottom five if I have nothing nice to say about them.  Here's why: 

My grandfather on my dad's side of the family as a huge Cubs fan.  My grandfather and I didn't have a ton in common to talk about, but we could always bond over baseball.  Over the years, I was fortunate enough to go to a number of baseball games with my grandfather (both at the MLB level and minor league games).  Those adventures never failed to be fun, both for me and him.  Unfortunately for him, he passed away before the Cubs finally won their World Series - but if there's baseball in heaven then I know he was looking down smiling (and probably wishing he could needle me just a bit about my pathetic Reds too)!

I should also add that the Cubs get some points in my book (along with the Braves) for being the only baseball teams that I could consistently watch back in my youth.  The Cubs on WGN and the Braves on TBS were my window into MLB games.  The Cubs, in particular, because they played a number of day games which I could watch in their entirety without being faced with a bedtime! 

At this point in my countdown, it's probably going to start to get a bit trickier to guess which team is next.  I will say, we won't be moving out of the National League for a few more spots now...but at least for the next couple of position we will leave the NL Central.  Who will be next on my list?  Stay tuned to find out.

My list of favorite MLB teams (from worst to first):
#30:  St. Louis Cardinals (post)
#29:  New York Yankees (post)
#28:  San Francisco Giants (post)
#27:  Washington Nationals (post)
#26:  Boston Red Sox (post)
#25:  Chicago Cubs
to be continued...

Friday, January 25, 2019

30 Teams in 30 Posts: #26

I'm ranking all 30 of the MLB teams in order of how much I like them at this moment in time.  As with most countdowns, I'm starting with the worst (Cardinals) and I'll eventually end up with the best (Reds).  The real question now is, where will the other MLB teams land in my countdown?

Today, we take a look at the final team in my bottom five of my favorite MLB teams.

#26:  Boston Red Sox

Like most fans of small market teams, I get annoyed with the big market teams seemingly going out and buying whoever they want.  The Yankees did that for years and years, but more recently teams like the Red Sox, Nationals, and even the Dodgers have done similar things.  It's probably no surprise then that three of the four teams I just mentioned landed in my bottom five (and as for the Dodgers, you'll probably see them on this list sooner rather than later as well).

The Red Sox aren't nearly as unlikable as the Yankees - and truthfully, Boston probably could have made it much higher up my list if it weren't for the likes of companies like ESPN constantly trying to shove the Yankees/Red Sox rivalry down our collective throats.  Over the years, Boston has had a number of players that I've enjoyed watching such as David Ortiz, Pedro Martinez, and even Manny being Manny.

Besides the big market stuff and the oversaturation of the Red Sox brand on TV and the like, the other reason that Boston lands so low on my list is the World Series.  More specifically, the World Series game between Boston and Cincinnati where Fisk hit (and then willed) that game winning home run.

My problem isn't with that World Series (the Reds ended up winning the whole thing in Game 7) but rather it's Fisk that gets all the glory for the '75 series despite his team losing to my Reds.  (I should note that I wasn't born during the '75 Series so my view is definitely slanted but the perception remains...and as they say, perception is reality).


My list of favorite MLB teams (from worst to first):
#30:  St. Louis Cardinals (post)
#29:  New York Yankees (post)
#28:  San Francisco Giants (post)
#27:  Washington Nationals (post)
#26:  Boston Red Sox
to be continued...

Thursday, January 24, 2019

30 Teams in 30 Posts: #27

I'm ranking all 30 of the MLB teams in order of how much I like them at this moment in time.  As with most countdowns, I'm starting with the worst (Cardinals) and I'll eventually end up with the best (Reds).  The real question now is, where will the other MLB teams land in my countdown?

We've knocked off a bunch of hated teams already in my list.  The Cardinals landed in the most-despised spot followed closely by the Yankees and then the Giants.  While some of the commenters made great guesses of the Cubs, Dodgers, and Red Sox for the next spot on the list it turned out they were all wrong.

My #27 least favorite team in MLB right now is the Washington Nationals.

First things first, I admit that this probably seems like kind of an odd choice here from a Reds fan.  The Reds and Nationals don't have any real sense of a rivalry (other than maybe who had to get stuck with Jim Bowden back in the day).  No, my reason for disliking Washington is for a couple of other (admittedly perhaps petty) reasons.

Reason #1:  The hype machine (and attitudes) that followed Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg as they entered the big leagues.
Image source: https://www.theringer.com/mlb/2017/10/7/16442672/bryce-harper-nlds-game-two-home-run-zimmerman-chicago-cubs

Generally speaking, I'm not huge on hype in the first place.  As a baseball card set collector, all hype does is make things more expensive for me to acquire.  I don't like that.  I also don't like when Topps decides to go "all-in" on a certain team or player and produce tons of cards of the player.  Topps was guilty of that with both of the Nationals' much ballyhooed rookies.

Reason #2:  I miss the Expos and I hold the Nationals franchise responsible for the Expos' demise.  This reason alone is enough to rank the Nationals quite low on most people's lists I would think.

Reason #3:  On a more personal note, Washington's stadium is one of the closer stadiums for me to visit (it's about 5 hours or so from my house).  Unfortunately, I basically never want to go there anymore because of how expensive it is to park at the stadium.  One of the last times I went, we had to pay $40 for game day parking (and the Reds lost)...pretty sure we had two tickets for less money than that.

As always, I do try to find the good in each team on my countdown as well.  For the Nationals, while parking is absurdly expensive (or at least it used to be), I did happen to like their stadium quite a bit once I was in it.  The second time I went to a game there, I even ended up on the jumbotron which was fun.  During that game, I was decked out in my Reds gear and I was with two friends who were in their Yankees gear.  If I recall correctly, the game we saw was a meaningless game between the Nationals and the Diamondbacks.  There weren't many people in the stands that day - but when the jumbotron's cameras turned on to the three of use, we all cheered and pointed to our respective team's logos.  When my two Yankee friends did that, the few fans in the stands actually booed which cracked me up (I also booed them because that's the kind of friend I can be).   It was all in good fun!

My list of favorite MLB teams (from worst to first):
#30:  St. Louis Cardinals (post)
#29:  New York Yankees (post)
#28:  San Francisco Giants (post)
#27:  Washington Nationals
to be continued...

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

30 Teams in 30 Posts: #28

I'm ranking all 30 of the MLB teams in order of how much I like them at this moment in time.  As with most countdowns, I'm starting with the worst (Cardinals) and I'll eventually end up with the best (Reds).  The real question now is, where will the other 28 teams fall in my countdown?  In my last post, team #29 was revealed to be the New York Yankees, probably no surprise to most people who follow my blog (or baseball in general).

Today, we turn to team #28:  The San Francisco Giants

I have to be honest, the battle for the title of my least favorite team in MLB was actually a tough call. Truth be told, the teams in spots 24 - 30 on my list could have been ordered a number of different ways, but there was never a doubt in my mind that the Giants would end up somewhere in my bottom three.

If you aren't a Reds fan, a logical question might be "why the hate for the Giants?"  Sure, San Fran doesn't play in the NL Central nor do the Giants seem to have overly obnoxious fans (or players).  So why the hatred?

Easy.

Buster Posey.
Image source: https://ftw.usatoday.com/2014/10/buster-posey-san-francisco-giants-inevitable-derek-jeter-comparisons-mlb

And here's the problem.  I like Buster Posey.  Except for that one playoff game a few years back where he helped the Giants come back from a 2-0 deficit in a best of 5 series by sweeping the Reds three games in a row in Cincinnati.  In my mind, that game was actually the beginning of the end of the last decent Reds team.  Because of Buster Posey, I've had to suffer through multiple 90+ loss seasons.  Because of Buster Posey, I've had to watch the likes of Cueto, Frazier, and Bruce all leave the Reds and join greener pastures.  Because of Buster Posey, I've had to come to terms with the fact that I'm rooting for one of the most pathetic teams in MLB for the past several years.  It's all Buster's fault, and for that, the Giants have definitely earned their spot in my bottom three.

Now, you might be wondering why the Giants didn't end up #30 (or even #29) on my list if they really ruined the Reds like I claim.  I should probably respond to that as well.

First of all, the Giants and their fans don't come off as morally superior like the Cardinals and many of their fans seem to do.  Second of all, I have always loved the look of the Giants' home ballpark (it's on my bucket list of stadiums to visit).  And third, I actually do like a lot of the Giants players.

Also, truth be told, I can't truly blame Buster for the Reds' demise.  Sure, he had the big hit that served as the final nail in the coffin but any Reds fan could see the writing was on the wall prior to the start of that game.  The Reds blew the lead, and with it, they blew the collective hope of an entire generation of Reds fans.  After all, the Reds last World Series appearance was way back in 1990.  I have college students who no longer were born when 9/11 happened, never mind something that occurred way back in 1990. 

In the end, the Giants do end up as my third least favorite team in MLB at the moment.  Who will take spot #27 on my list?  I'll give you a slight hint, we are staying in the National League for the next team.

My list of favorite MLB teams (from worst to first):
#30:  St. Louis Cardinals (post)
#29:  New York Yankees (post)
#28:  San Francisco Giants
to be continued...

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Barry Larkin Collection 647: 2001 Fleer Platinum - #475

Barry Larkin & David Espinosa
Year:  2001
Brand:  Fleer Platinum
Card number:  475

This is the third different Barry Larkin card within the 2001 Fleer Platinum base set.  While I can't say I like the set as a whole all that much, it's kind of neat that Barry was featured three different times.  I've already shown off the other two cards (here and here).  Besides the three base cards, there are also Platinum Edition parallels of each of Larkin's three cards (but I don't own any of those as of this moment).

Turning our attention to the card of the day, the idea here was that Fleer picked a current player and a future player that might take over for that position.  For the Reds, Barry got paired with David Espinosa, a guy who ended up with 3,051 official minor league at bats and exactly zero Major League at bats.  Needless to say, Espinosa was definitely not the future of the Reds' franchise (but the fact that he was a first-round pick of the Reds who flopped mightily was in fact indicative of the Reds' future for the next decade or so following the 2001 season)!