Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Barry Larkin Collection 653: 2001 Leaf Rookies and Stars - #73

Barry Larkin
Year:  2001
Brand:  Leaf Rookies and Stars
Card number:  73

The early 2000s produced a number of interesting sets, but unfortunately, that was also the era for a ton of totally forgettable sets.  In this case, I'd put the 2001 Leaf Rookies and Stars set in the category of totally forgettable.

Sure, the design on the front isn't terrible (though I hate the lower case font for Larkin's first name).  The back of the card is also not awful, but that's about as nice as I can be.  After all, you can barely read the top line of the little bio.

By the way, Larkin's base card was a common - but if you think short prints are bad nowadays, take a look at what Leaf/Donruss did to this set.  Like I said, some sets are better to forget.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

The "C" Word.

About three weeks ago now, I started having headaches.  Now, I get headaches fairly often (work, stress, weather, sinus, etc.) so I didn't think much of it at first.  However, after three straight days of the same headache, I began to get a bit concerned.

The next day, I woke up in the middle of the night with what can only be described as night sweats.  From there on for the rest of the week it was the same thing, headache during the day, night sweats at night.  Rinse, repeat.

I'm not one for going to the doctor if I can help it, but I'm also not keen on waking up in a pile of sweat each night (nor having never ending headaches).  By the end of the first week of the ordeal, it was clear I needed to see a professional.

The doctor who saw me was instantly concerned and had my blood drawn immediately for lab testing.  This was the first bit of scary news as I had only ever had blood drawn once before (for a cholesterol check a couple of years ago).

Of course, with medicine you have to wait a lot and so it took a day or so before my results were ready.  The verdict?  My doctor said I must come back in later in the week and that he was worried.  I didn't exactly know how worried (naive me didn't want to ask I guess).

A few days later, I'm at the appointment and he's going through the usual exam stuff when he drops the "C" word on me.  He told me that my symptoms could all still be explained by some sort of particularly nasty virus.  But that the symptoms also could explained by cancer, perhaps something like Hodgkin's Lymphoma.

Now, no one ever wants to hear that they might have cancer.  An otherwise healthy 36-year-old with a 9-month-old baby and loving wife really doesn't want to hear the word cancer so you can imagine my immediate reaction.  At that appointment the doctor actually sent me directly over to the nearby hospital for more blood work, a chest x-ray, and a urinalysis.

The doctor knew I was nervous about things so luckily he got the results back fairly quickly.  Essentially nothing out of the ordinary on the x-ray and urinalysis but my blood was showing a number of irregularities that he couldn't explain (and my symptoms weren't improving on their own).

A few days later, nothing changed on my end so another doctor's appointment, another round of basic checks (no change to any of my vitals), and then the doctor basically told me that he was out of his element. 

Whatever I had, he couldn't diagnose. 

He did know, however, that my numbers were super worrisome to him and so he called an oncologist friend while I sat and waited.

Next thing I know, I have an appointment at the local Cancer Center.

Unfortunately, the story ends here for now. 

That Cancer Center appointment is scheduled for later today.  In some ways, simply writing it all out was cathartic I guess.  At this point in time, I keep telling myself that it's all okay, that I have some sort of nasty virus that will eventually leave my system.  I mean, what else can I do right now?  Hopefully the appointment goes (went?) well and that I'll eventually have some good news to share here.

Until then, don't feel sorry for me (I'm still convinced I'll be okay in the end) but do please go tell your loved ones how you feel about them.  Seriously, even if you think they already know.  I'm as guilty as anyone in terms of not telling people how I feel about them enough.  That all changes real quick (let me tell you) when you try to have a "normal" weekend with your baby and wife all while wondering how the upcoming appointment at the Cancer Center will go. 

No matter how this episode ends for me, it's been a sobering reminder about how frail life can be.  Sure, we all get caught up in the day-to-day but sometimes it's a good idea to have that big picture reminder.  We are all on this planet but for the briefest portion of second (in geological time terms), make it count - but make it count for everyone who you care about around you as well.  I don't even care that that final sentence was perhaps the cheesiest line I've ever written on a blog named after fake cheese.  The sentiment is real, even if my wordsmith skills are not.


Monday, February 25, 2019

30 Teams in 30 Posts: #14

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?

Had I been born a bit earlier than I was (1982), I probably would find the next team on my list a bit more distasteful and have them ranked much lower.  Instead, I was basically finally old enough to get my first taste of team #14 getting swept by my beloved Cincinnati Reds in the '90 World Series.  That's right, team #14 on my list of MLB teams is none other than the Oakland Athletics.

#14:  Oakland Athletics
Image source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/501729214707409592/

My Reds have had very little to hang their hat on in my lifetime, but beating the vaunted A's in four-straight games in the World Series is definitely the highlight for Cincinnati since 1982.  Therefore, it's hard to hate the A's if you are me. 

Furthermore, I kind of like the book (and even the movie) Moneyball - the idea that using math and statistics to make a better baseball team definitely appeals to me as a math teacher.  I also respect the fact that the A's are a small market team that continually finds (and in some cases, invents) new ways to keep itself relevant. 

While those are all great attributes for the A's, they still end up in the middle of my rankings because the A's also suffer from a bit of Marlins-syndrome.  That is, at times they put together a lovely little team but then they always seem to choose to be cheap and dismantle/trade everyone rather than actually going for sustained success.  All of us can name lots of ex-Athletics who ended up being great players elsewhere, but who can name lots of current Athletics players?

Finally, like much of my rating, I must say that the A's get dinged a bit because there aren't all that many Oakland collectors out there.  I'm always looking to unload my unwanted cards and trade bait but no one ever seems to claim stuff from Oakland.

My list of favorite MLB teams (from worst to first):
#30:  St. Louis Cardinals
#29:  New York Yankees
#28:  San Francisco Giants
#27:  Washington Nationals
#26:  Boston Red Sox
#25:  Chicago Cubs
#24:  Atlanta Braves
#23:  Los Angeles Dodgers
#22:  Milwaukee Brewers
#21:  Miami Marlins
#20:  San Diego Padres
#19:  Arizona Diamondbacks
#18:  Texas Rangers
#17:  Los Angeles Angels
#16:  Kansas City Royals
#15:  Minnesota Twins
#14:  Oakland Athletics
to be continued...

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Trade Stack 95: Griffey!

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: 2/24/19

I've been going through a lot of (not fun) stuff so today's time is severely limited.  How about I throw another nice card into the Trade Stack?

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)!

2000 Fleer Impact:
100.  Ken Griffey, Jr. (Reds)


2014 Topps Heritage:
1.  AL Batting Leaders:  Miguel Cabrera (Tigers), Joe Mauer (Twins), & Mike Trout (Angels)

1995 Score Summit:
164.  Terry Bradshaw (Brewers - but really Cardinals)

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 ??

Saturday, February 23, 2019

30 Teams in 30 Posts: #15

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?

I hope everyone is enjoying my ranking of the 30 MLB teams.  I know I've certainly enjoyed reading your feedback and why you do (or don't) agree with where I've ranked certain teams!  The feature should get a bit more interesting now that we are moving into the top half of the MLB teams as I see them beginning with today's post for team #15.

#15:  Minnesota Twins
Image source: https://kfgo.com/news/articles/2018/jan/18/minnesota-twins-hire-retired-justin-morneau-as-assistant/

I consider myself to be a pretty big baseball fan but I admit that there are certain teams that I simply don't watch a lot their games.  For the most part, I watch National League games since I usually watch the Reds when I can.  If I'm not watching the Reds (or if their game is over), I'll probably be watching some west coast teams that I like (more on those teams in upcoming rankings)!  That basically leaves the middle of the country unwatched, especially on the American League side.

I can probably count on one hand (maybe even a hand that got into a fight with a chainsaw) the number of Twins games that I watched last year.  However, based on the Twins' projected 2019 rankings (2nd place in the AL Central) perhaps this year they will get a bit more coverage (or at least show up on my radar a bit more often)!
Image source: https://www.rotochamp.com/baseball/ProjectedStandings.aspx

Finally, like many teams on my list, the Twins' final ranking is determined in part by the number of traders (or lack thereof) for the team.  In my case, I have traded with a few Twins fans, but not enough since I have a large amount of Twins trade bait sitting around waiting to be claimed by someone!

In the end, the Twins are simply "meh" to me - which a ranking of 15 out of 30 accurately reflects.  I don't feel any particular way about them, I'll root for them over teams I actively dislike but I won't bother watching their games given other (better) options.  Maybe in 2019 the Twins can change my mind a bit and move up my rankings for the next time I do this...or maybe they'll slide the other way.  When you are stuck in the middle, you have equal chances of going up or down!

My list of favorite MLB teams (from worst to first):
#30:  St. Louis Cardinals
#29:  New York Yankees
#28:  San Francisco Giants
#27:  Washington Nationals
#26:  Boston Red Sox
#25:  Chicago Cubs
#24:  Atlanta Braves
#23:  Los Angeles Dodgers
#22:  Milwaukee Brewers
#21:  Miami Marlins
#20:  San Diego Padres
#19:  Arizona Diamondbacks
#18:  Texas Rangers
#17:  Los Angeles Angels
#16:  Kansas City Royals
#15:  Minnesota Twins
to be continued...

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Barry Larkin Collection 652: 2001 Fleer Triple Crown - #3 - Crowning Achievements insert

Barry Larkin / Andres Galarraga / Craig Biggio
Year:  2001
Brand:  Fleer Triple Crown
Insert set:  Crowning Achievements
Card number:  3

Despite being a Hall of Fame player, Barry Larkin wasn't featured in nearly as many insert sets as many of his other Hall of Fame worthy peers (such as Griffey, Jr., Bonds, or even guys like Maddux).  Therefore, it's always fun to get an insert card of Larkin's from his late playing days.  Unfortunately for team purists, this particular insert features Larkin alongside two guys who play for "other" teams (Galarraga for the Braves and Biggio for the Astros). 

This 2001 Fleer Triple Crown insert is from the Crowning Achievements set.  In total, the Crowning Achievements set contains 15 cards but only card #3 features three players (all other cards feature one player only).  I guess it's Fleer's "fun" nod to the "triple" in Triple Crown to make card 3 feature three guys.  They did the same little trick with their other insert sets as well (Larkin wasn't featured in either of the other two sets it should be noted).

As for the card itself, there isn't a lot to say.  The front is a mishmash of  a bunch of dudes swinging a bat while the backside features three different styles of head shots and brief descriptions of each of the three players.  I don't hate the card but it's definitely not my favorite design ever.  I do appreciate Larkin getting included in an insert set, even if he has to share the spotlight with two other players.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Celebrating Good Customer Service!

It's basically human nature to complain when things go poorly, but rarely do humans give enough thanks when things go well! 

I aim to be a more positive person, it's something I've actively been working on over the last year or so (since it's so easy to be negative)!  I hope that a lot of my positivity comes through on the blog - and I hope that today's post is simply one more example of me giving thanks when it is deserved!

Today, we are going to take a quick look at customer service from a Kickstarter campaign.  Now, if you aren't totally familiar with Kickstarter, let me give you a quick primer.  The essence of the site is that a project creator creates something (game, book, video, object, whatever) and you, the consumer, decide to back it by giving the creator some money (typically different amounts of money given will give you different rewards when the project comes to fruition and ships).

This may all sound great (and it is when it works) but there is actually quite a lot of risk for the consumer.  See, there's no guarantee that the project you decided to pledge some money towards will ever ship.  And if it does, there's no guarantee that what you get will match what you thought you were going to get! 

Luckily for me, I've backed a fair number of Kickstarter projects (all but one of them board games) with quite good luck so far.  Today's post is one such story - a game that I backed way back in January of 2018 - called Dwar7's Winter.

The game is a semi-cooperative game where the goal is to keep the castle defended by taking out monsters and disasters.  You want to have the highest score when all is said and done but if the castle is taken out everyone loses.  I plan to revive my board game reviews on the blog (or maybe a seperate blog) at some point in the semi-near future so I won't get into the game more than that for now.  What I'm more interested in talking about is the customer service from the game's publisher:  Vesuvius Media.

See, when I got my game one of the little dwarf figures was missing his base to stand on.  It wasn't game changing, but for the cost of the game (board games aren't cheap at all!) you do want your game to at least start out pristine. 

I contacted the company, sent them the requisite information, and a couple of weeks later a padded envelope arrived with the correct dwarf (with his stand attached)!

Quick and easy customer service!  And for that, I give thanks.

For what it's worth, I ended up backing another one of the company's games recently so their great customer service ended up getting them a repeat customer.  That's a win-win if you ask me!

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

30 Teams in 30 Posts: #16 (the best of the bottom half)

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 have finally reached team #16 in my countdown which means we get to take a look at the "best" that the bottom half of MLB has to offer. 

#16:  Kansas City Royals
Image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kansas_City_Royals

I rooted for the Royals in the World Series in both 2014 (against the hated Giants) and again in 2015 (when they beat the Mets).  It might be worth noting that the Mets are now ranked ahead of the Royals in my MLB rankings, that's how fluid the rankings can be!

So, why the Royals in spot #16 if I was actively rooting for them not all that long ago? 

For starters, I feel like the Royals have operated their franchise in much the same way the Marlins have.  That is to say, lots (and lots) of losing with maybe a season or two of trying to "go for it."  Like the Marlins, the Royals let most of their stars from their two-year World Series run leave the squad and not surprisingly, the Royals went back to being a rather crappy team (58-104 last year definitely counts as crappy)! 

Secondly (but related), the Royals don't have any current players that "move the needle" for me.  Seriously, other than the most die-hard Kansas City fans, who can name ten different current Royals (without cheating)?  Heck, who can name five?!  That's not a good way to run a ball club and I will certainly think less highly of any franchise that is consistently "tanking" in MLB.

Now on the bright side, despite the crappy ownership method of slashing payroll and signing nobody, the Royals still came close to making the top half of the MLB teams.  Why is that?  Two words:  Powder Blues.

Seriously, we need more powder blue uniforms in our life and the Royals are the MLB team to provide that.  If you are going to lose 100+ games in a season, you might as well have some nice uniforms, right?!

Next time out, I stick with the AL Central as we discover who makes it to the bottom slot in the top half of MLB. 

My list of favorite MLB teams (from worst to first):
#30:  St. Louis Cardinals
#29:  New York Yankees
#28:  San Francisco Giants
#27:  Washington Nationals
#26:  Boston Red Sox
#25:  Chicago Cubs
#24:  Atlanta Braves
#23:  Los Angeles Dodgers
#22:  Milwaukee Brewers
#21:  Miami Marlins
#20:  San Diego Padres
#19:  Arizona Diamondbacks
#18:  Texas Rangers
#17:  Los Angeles Angels
#16:  Kansas City Royals
to be continued...

Monday, February 18, 2019

30 Teams in 30 Posts: #17

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?

Team #18 on my list was the Texas Rangers.  One spot better is a rival of the Rangers also from the AL West.

#17:  Los Angeles Angels
Image source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JGM3nuNzmu8

Unlike the Rangers, I can actually name a few Angels.  Obviously, Mike Trout gets main billing but there are other Angels that I can root for as well (ex-Reds Zack Cozart being one such player).  In fact, by and large, the Angels seem like a perfectly likable team, or at least they don't seem to be overly hate-able.

All that said, if you are a team that ends up in the middle third of my rankings, you basically don't register much in the way of any sort of real emotion (positively or negatively) in me.  Much like the Rangers, the Angels play out west so I don't get to see many of their games...and when I do, the team itself seems rather "ho hum" to me. 

Another thing that is kind of a bummer about the Angels is that they are another team without many card collectors out there.  Oh sure, lots of people like Mike Trout cards but there aren't many people who are willing to take non-superstar Angels cards off of my hands.  I think blog trading definitely plays a role in how I look at the various MLB teams these days.  I know it plays a role in whether or not I consider a box rip successful (for example, if I get a Dodgers hit I know there are plenty of people who might be interested but if I pull a Marlins hit then I know I'll own that bit of cardboard until the day I die because no one collects Marlins cards).

That basically sums up the Angels to me.  Perfectly adequate.

Next up, we stick with the American League some more but it's time to change divisions.

My list of favorite MLB teams (from worst to first):
#30:  St. Louis Cardinals
#29:  New York Yankees
#28:  San Francisco Giants
#27:  Washington Nationals
#26:  Boston Red Sox
#25:  Chicago Cubs
#24:  Atlanta Braves
#23:  Los Angeles Dodgers
#22:  Milwaukee Brewers
#21:  Miami Marlins
#20:  San Diego Padres
#19:  Arizona Diamondbacks
#18:  Texas Rangers
#17:  Los Angeles Angels
to be continued...

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Delivery Time! The Fun of Trading with Team Collectors (Infield Fly Rule)

My mailbox has been somewhat busy once again with baseball card packages coming and going - perhaps a true sign that spring is closer than it currently feels right now!  For today, we take a closer look at a quick swap with Adam over at Infield Fly Rule.

Adam claimed one of my Trade Stacks not all that long ago and in return sent me three cards from my want list.  What's more interesting about this particular swap is that Adam is a Rockies fan.  As a Colorado collector, he probably accumulates duplicate Rockies cards much in the way that I often end up with duplicate Reds cards.  His doubles ended up being my gains though as he sent me three Rockies from three different sets that I'm currently working on collecting!

1999 Pacific Aurora:

I'm an unabashed fan of most things Pacific-related from around the turn of the century.  Admittedly, Pacific Aurora is one of the company's "tamer" offerings but for whatever reason I liked it enough to try and collect it.  Unfortunately for me, finding other people with spare cards from a set this old is kind of tough - so I'll take what I can get including this rather well-worn Dante Bichette. 

I'm still missing a huge chunk of this set - and truth be told, this is a set that might end up getting axed by the end of the year if I don't make some more substantial progress (remember my goal is to get my want list down to no more than 100 different sets that I'm working on by the end of 2019).  Even trying to complete 100 sets sounds silly but my want list has ballooned so drastically in the past few years that I need to do something to get it back under control! 

Want to see me finish 1999 Pacific Aurora?  Well, here's what I need yet:
1999 Pacific Aurora wants:Base:  3, 9, 10, 13, 30, 37, 47, 49, 52, 53, 56, 70, 77, 80, 82, 83, 84, 93, 94, 123, 124, 125, 127, 129, 130, 131, 133, 134, 135, 136, 137, 138, 139, 148, 149, 150, 152, 156, 160, 164, 169, 179, 180, 181, 183, 189, 192
Next, we travel back a bit further in time to a set that seems to be in much higher supply in people's trade bins:  1996 Upper Deck Collector's Choice.

The David Nied card is a nice horizontal card - but that angle on Nied's arm makes me cringe looking at it!  I don't have much else to say about this particular card, neither the front nor the back are overly interesting.  The interesting part is that I'm making progress on a set!
1996 Upper Deck  Collector's Choice:Base:  10, 11, 12, 13, 42, 59, 60, 62, 74, 80, 82, 88, 95, 123, 127, 131, 142, 143, 144, 145, 149, 161, 164, 165, 179, 183, 184, 187, 189, 198, 220, 221, 222, 231, 235, 248, 252, 254, 256, 257, 272, 280, 290, 292, 295, 300, 304, 345, 347, 349, 351, 352, 354, 357

And finally, the newest of the three cards from Adam was this 2000 Topps base card of Pedro Astacio.

The 2000 Topps set doesn't get a lot of love from what I've seen but I happen to like it quite a bit.  Of the three sets in today's post, this one is also the set that I'm closest to actually completing.  In fact, there's a chance that by the end of 2019 I'll have this one safely tucked away and complete in my binder!
2000 Topps:Base:  46, 47, 84, 143, 209, 216, 219, 237, 328, 370, 449, 478, 479
Thanks for the quick and easy trade, Adam!  As for anyone else, if you'd like to trade be sure to check out my want list and make an offer.  My goal is to seriously whittle down my list so any trade (big or small) is appreciated!

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Barry Larkin Collection 651: 2001 Kahn's

Barry Larkin
Year:  2001
Brand:  Kahn's
Card number:  no number

The Kahn's baseball card brand might be an oddball to most, but to Reds' fans they are a rather iconic stadium giveaway brand.  Unfortunately for me, I don't live anywhere near Cincinnati so all of my acquisitions of Kahn's cards are either via trade or purchase from a site like eBay.  That's too bad too because based on this card design, these are some solid oddball releases!

I like most of the front of the card - the only part that doesn't work for me is the text running along the side of the card.  It makes the card look more like a baseball program and less like a baseball card.  The backside of the card, while plain, is actually quite glorious.  Look at all those statistics!  Good stuff - even the use of the team logo on the front and back is nice (and notice how the brand logo is integrated into the background design of the backside of the card but otherwise nowhere to be found).  This is definitely a baseball card first, advertising vessel second and I appreciate that.

Friday, February 15, 2019

30 Teams in 30 Posts: #18

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?

I'm rolling right along with my 30 MLB team countdown.  Today, we take a look at team #18 on my list.

#18:  Texas Rangers
Image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Texas_Rangers_(baseball)

The Rangers are another team that is perfect for the middle of my MLB rankings because quite honestly, I don't feel any particular way about them currently.  Oh sure, in the past they had some great players (like Nolan Ryan) which I liked but they have also suited up a number of guys I didn't like (such as Alex Rodriguez and his gigantic contract back in the day).  Today, however, the Rangers don't really have any players that I particularly care about (positively or negatively).  In fact, I'd be hard-pressed to name more than five or six current Rangers - that's how middle-of-the-road boring this team is to me.

To make matters worse, there aren't a lot of Ranger baseball card collectors out there these days - and Texas almost always is a team that goes unclaimed in my group breaks.  Even worse for Texas, they aren't even close to the best team in their state, let alone their division (hello Houston for that honor).  No, the Rangers are decidedly mediocre these days and a perfect fit for spot #18 in my list.

Next up, another AL West team that actually has some star power.

My list of favorite MLB teams (from worst to first):
#30:  St. Louis Cardinals
#29:  New York Yankees
#28:  San Francisco Giants
#27:  Washington Nationals
#26:  Boston Red Sox
#25:  Chicago Cubs
#24:  Atlanta Braves
#23:  Los Angeles Dodgers
#22:  Milwaukee Brewers
#21:  Miami Marlins
#20:  San Diego Padres
#19:  Arizona Diamondbacks
#18:  Texas Rangers
to be continued...

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Delivery Time! Trade with Sport Card Collectors

Another day, another trade post - just how I like it here at Nachos Grande! 

Today's envelope is actually a pair of PWEs both of which come from Sport Card Collectors.  The trade was yet another one spurred on by my Trade Bait Blowout - I mailed off a couple of Allen & Ginter hits (one relic, one autograph) and in return received some Barry Larkin cards for my own collection.

Each of the Larkin cards will (eventually) be featured one-by-one as part of my ongoing Barry Larkin Collection (hard to believe I just posted Larkin #650 a couple of days ago)!

PS:  Happy Valentine's Day if that's your type of thing.  My wife and I decided to keep it low-key this year since we have a 9-month-old baby in the house.  Kind of hard to even go out for dinner or a movie, and frankly, we both rather enjoy spending time with the little guy!

As for the trade, many thanks to Sport Card Collectors for the easy swap.  If anyone else would like to trade, be sure to check out my want list and make an offer!

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Trade Bait Blowout! More Cards Added!

At the end of last year, I ran a week long Trade Bait Blowout where I basically posted a whole bunch of goodies (baseball cards and other things) for the taking.  The only thing that I'm asking for in return is either help with cards off of my want list, Barry Larkin cards that are new to me, or LEGO sets/pieces (authentic LEGO only though).

I've also been trying to reorganize my collection and as part of that I've uncovered even more trade bait!  Rather than dumping it all out at once (if you are anything like me, your eyes gloss over at long lists of cards), I figured that I would occasionally make a post showing what new trade bait I've added to my Trade Bait page.

So what's new you ask?

2000 Fleer Tradition:  Dividends:  5.  Derek Jeter (Yankees)
2012 Topps:  Gold foil parallel:  31.  Brent Morel (White Sox)
1999 Fleer Flair Showcase:  Seat 1, Row 5, Showpiece:  Ben Grieve #0439/1500 (Athletics)
2003 Donruss Studio:  Studio Stars:  SS39.  Craig Biggio (Astros)
2015 Bowman Chrome:  Mini.  PP-3.  Corey Seager (Dodgers)
2014 Topps Heritage:  Chrome:  425.  Yoenis Cespedes #420/999 (Athletics)
2007 Bowman Heritage:  Foil parallel:  181.  Ichiro (Mariners)
2000 Topps Stars:  Progression:  P1.  Bob Gibson (Cardinals), Pedro Martinez (Red Sox), and Rick Ankiel (Cardinals)

Be sure to check out my Trade Bait page to find lots of other goodies.  I've broken everything down by sport and then team.  Let's trade!

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Trade Stack 95: Adding Mike Trout to the Stack!

Here is how this works:
Every so often (i.e. whenever I feel like it), I will add a card to a "Trade Stack".  Whenever the stack becomes appealing enough to someone, that person needs to comment on the post saying they'd like to claim the stack AND tell me which card they are sending off of my want list.  That's all you have to do - trade me ONE card (or more, of course) card from my want list for the entire stack of cards that I'm offering.  Each time, it will be first come, first serve...so act quickly (unless of course you are a gambler and hope to wait it out until there are 10+ cards in the stack that you want in exchange for a single 2004 UD Vintage card that I am looking for)!

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: 2/12/19

We had yet another winter storm here in northern Pennsylvania today.  The only good news is that my college closed (for once) so I didn't have to make the tough decision as to whether or not I should drive my 52 miles to work while risking life and limb.  Since I got to stay home, how about I add another card to the current Trade Stack?

Today's addition is a great card from Topps Heritage - and the first card in the set no less.  With all this star power in the Trade Stack there is a good chance the pile won't remain available for long.  First-come, first-served so don't delay claiming the cards!

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)!

2014 Topps Heritage:
1.  AL Batting Leaders:  Miguel Cabrera (Tigers), Joe Mauer (Twins), & Mike Trout (Angels)

1995 Score Summit:
164.  Terry Bradshaw (Brewers - but really Cardinals)

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 ??