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 ??

Barry Larkin Collection 650: 2004 Donruss Elite - #PT35 - Passing the Torch insert - Green parallel (#/250)

Barry Larkin & Joe Morgan
Year:  2004
Brand:  Donruss Elite
Insert set:  Passing the Torch, Green parallel #218/250
Card number:  PT-35.

For my 650th (!) Barry Larkin Collection post, I thought I'd show off one of the few Larkin cards where he has to play second fiddle.  In this particular card, Joe Morgan gets top billing while Larkin gets relegated to the backside of the card.  Still, if you are going to be second best being a backup to Joe Morgan is probably the way to go. 

This particular card is a parallel of the Passing the Torch insert set.  From what I can tell, there is a base version of this card (#/500) as well as 3 other parallels (Blue #/125, Black #/50, and Gold #/25).  I don't (yet?) own any of the other parallels but if they are like this green parallel then I should be on the lookout.  I like the shininess of the card quite a bit - and it's fun to get other Reds' legends involved in my Barry Larkin binders.  All told, this one is a winner in my book and a perfect card for Larkin post #650!

Monday, February 11, 2019

30 Teams in 30 Posts: #19

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?

Welcome back to the next chapter in my ongoing countdown of MLB teams.  Today, we head back to the NL West to pick up our fourth team from the division.  That's right, the NL West has 4 of my bottom 12 teams in all of MLB.  Like the Reds, I guess I don't like the west coast teams!

#19:  Arizona Diamondbacks
Image source: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Arizona-Diamondbacks-Snake-Head-MLB-Embroided-Jersey-Patch-Emblem-Tan-Border-/391663569397

Let's start with a caveat to today's team ranking.  The Diamondbacks used to be much ranked much higher in my mind.  In fact, watching them beat the Yankees in the World Series was one of many highlights during my college days.  Nothing like watching the Series with a bunch of Yankee fans and having the scrappy D-backs win it all.

So why the drastic fall in the rankings?

Honestly, I'm not entirely sure.  When I made my list, I simply wrote teams down in the order I felt they deserved to be and the D-backs landed at #19.  If I could blame it one thing, it would have to be that the recently shipped off one of my favorite non-Reds (Goldschmidt) to the Reds' arch rival Cardinals.  I don't like when teams make trades that will hurt the Reds and moving Goldy into the NL Central is definitely not going to be ideal for Cincinnati (or the rest of the NL Central)!

Other than that, there's not a ton to say about the Diamondbacks.  Their ballpark seems kind of neat, though I don't think I get why anyone would want to be in a pool while watching baseball.  Then again, I don't live in a desert so maybe I'm not the right one to ask about that.

Next on my list, we head back to the American League.  In fact, we'll be in the American League for quite some time as I continue my roll down the top 30 MLB teams (in order)!

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
to be continued...

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Delivery Time! The Other World Hooks Me Up: Want List Destruction (Part 2: the Minis!)

Today, we look at the second half a recent trade with Dan over at The Other World.  Our latest swap was a direct result of my Trade Bait Blowout.  Yesterday, I showed off the full-sized cards that Dan sent my way, today we look at the minis!

Let's start with two minis from a set that I didn't mind at the time of its release but now I don't care much for:  2016 A&G US Mayors.

What can I say, with politics dominating every news cycle and conversation having politicians in my baseball cards is becoming less and less appealing.  That said, the two mayors that Dan sent me are actually two of my favorite cards from the entire trade package.  Why you ask?  Well, these were the final two cards that I needed for that particular insert set which means I get to knock the entire thing off my want list!

Seriously, as a set collector I'm not sure there's a much better feeling than that.  It's the natural high that we all chase in some shape, form, or fashion I guess.

While the above two cards did finish off a set, Dan actually helped me get closer to completing a bunch of other mini sets as well (plus he finished off one more for me which we'll get to shortly). 

Depending on the year, I tend to collect Allen & Ginter a bit differently.  Some years, I completely ignore the mini base cards of all types (regular back, A&G back, etc.).  Other years, I act like a crazy person and try to complete a full mini base set - such was the case back in 2012 when I thought I'd chase after the regular back minis along with everything else Ginter related.

Luckily for me, while the trading well has become much shallower, it hasn't completely dried up.  As you can see, Dan managed to find three cards I needed which got me down to only 15 more minis missing until I'll have the full set complete.  That's not too shabby if you ask me - and it's nice that only one of my remaining missing cards is a short print mini.  Completing the set is still doable!
2012 Allen & Ginter regular back mini wants:  45, 96, 97, 108, 156, 171, 181, 189, 197, 199, 245, 262, 288, 289, 322
While in 2012 I may have decided to go wild with base minis, in 2013 I cut back to trying to only collect the Reds in each of the "main" varieties of minis:  regular back, A&G back, and black bordered.

Somehow, I'm actually further away from my goal of getting just the Reds minis from 2013 than I am from acquiring the entire regular back mini set from 2012 (I need 17 more Reds minis if you were wondering).  That said, I guess the numbers were even up until Dan made them uneven with this trade!

We aren't done yet with the minis - Dan helped me with some more recent stuff too including one more World's Dude mini from 2017.

The New York Ferreter Dude celebrates guys raising ferrets to be used for hunting rabbits and varmints (ferrets are great at burrowing down holes to chase critters).  I don't think I want to be referred to as a "Ferreter Dude" ever but the card is pretty cool.  I really like the retro vibe that the World's Dude set exudes.  You'd think there'd be more A&G insert sets with such a retro theme but that hasn't been what Topps has gone for much at all over the lifespan of the modern A&G set.

Next, we turn our attention back a year to 2016.  Dan had a pair of minis for me from that year including another Ferocious Felines card of the Caracal. 

Now, I'm unabashedly a dog person but even I can admit that's a pretty cool picture of the middle eastern cat that can leap up to six feet.  My Felines set is still missing four more cards but the next set is the second mini set that Dan fully completed for me.

That's the final Subways and Streetcars card that I needed for my set.  Having the RV tucked safely away in my binder means that I've now managed to complete five sets already this year.  Not bad for doing most of it through trades!  I've also started to pick at my want list via Check Out My Cards but I haven't (yet) shipped what I've chosen to buy.  I think I'll hold off a bit longer on shipping with the idea that maybe I'll be able to grab a few other wants for cheap over time.

Finally, we reach the end of the trade with Dan.  The final two cards both belong to one of my all-time favorite modern A&G insert sets:  the 2007 Flags of all Nations set.

The 50 card set features flags (plus a little vignette) of 50 different countries including a whole lot of places that I'd love to visit some day.  Both the Netherlands and Norway are two such places that I'd like to go.  I particularly like the viking ship on Norway's card as it sails up a river towards a waterfall.  Good stuff and a great way to end a trade package!

Thanks a ton for the swap, Dan!  As for anyone else, if you'd like to trade be sure to check out my want list and make an offer!

Saturday, February 09, 2019

Delivery Time! The Other World Hooks Me Up: Want List Destruction (Part 1)

My Trade Bait Blowout has officially become a success in my eyes (even if I still have a ton of unclaimed trade bait available)!  You see, today's package is yet another package where my want list takes a major beating.  Today's beat down is courtesy of Dan over at The Other World.

Dan claimed some rather rare A&G minis that didn't fit within my own collection as well as an autograph (if I recall correctly).  In return, he sent me quite a few goodies from my want list.  Enough goodies, in fact, that I split the trade package up into two separate posts.

For today, we will look only at the full-sized cards sent my way.  Despite all my talk about my want list being hit, we actually begin with a card that wasn't on my want list but that I still like quite a bit. 

That's a Upper Deck Goudey on-card autograph of former Reds' great Brandon Phillips.  Brandon's exit from Cincinnati may have left a sort of sour taste in my mouth but I have to say that while he was a Red he was always exciting to watch.  You never knew what sort of crazy defensive play he might pull off in a given game.  In fact, in my lifetime I'd say only Phillips and Billy Hamilton were Reds that worth the price of admission to see them play defense.  Even better, Phillips wasn't (usually) too bad offensively either!

As nice as the autograph is, I'm even more excited to continue my 2019 resolution of drastically whittling down my want list.  Dan helped me out here quite a bit by including one of those pesky 2011 Gypsy Queen short prints.

The Aaron (along with a slew of other base cards ) have eluded me for nearly eight years now.  Obviously, I have quite a ways to go with the set still but every short print that I acquire gets me one big step closer to completion!  For the record, here's what I am still missing from the 2011 Gypsy Queen set...anyone have any of these cards still available?
1, 48, 303, 306, 310, 311, 312, 313, 315, 317, 323, 326, 330, 331, 334, 339, 341, 342, 345, 346, 348, 349
The last of the full-sized cards from Dan's package was a 6-pack of 2011 Topps Diamond parallels.

Remember when the diamond parallels were all the rage?  Now, Topps has all but killed the parallel by including twenty bajillion such parallels in each set.  But back in 2011, this concept was fresh enough (and the cards common enough) that I decided to take a stab at completing the entire set.  I'm not done with this one either but Dan's six certainly gave me some positive momentum moving forward.  Of all the sets on my want list, I'd like to think that this one is still quite doable since none of the cards are actually all that rare.

Speaking of the cards, I should probably share what I need from the 2011 Topps Diamond parallel set as well:
306, 369, 380, 381, 408, 462, 534, 537, 550, 573, 612, 652, 657
Next time, I'll show off all of the non-full-sized cards that Dan sent me.  You know I'm a sucker for mini cards...and even more of a sucker for completed sets.  Dan hit all the right notes for that, so stay tuned to the blog to see what else I was able to acquire!

In the meantime, if anyone else would like to trade - check out my want list and make me an offer!

Friday, February 08, 2019

30 Teams in 30 Posts: #20

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?

The Marlins rounded out the bottom third of the MLB teams as ranked by me.  Now we move into the middle third, a group that starts off with a bunch of teams that are sort of "meh" to me but then ends with some teams that I kind of actually like.  Before you know it, we'll be into the Top 10!

#20:  San Diego Padres
image source:  https://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/SDP/1980.shtml

If I had done a similar list to this one a decade or two ago, the Padres probably would have been in the Top 10.  I always like Tony Gwynn and the Padres themselves were almost always a "harmless" team to my Reds.  In fact, on the Reds' west coast trips, it was usually the series against the Padres where the Reds might have squeaked out a win or two.  The Giants and Dodgers always seemed to have Cincinnati's number, but not the Padres!  I don't have the same love or admiration for the Padres these days, but they remain safely "neutral" in terms of teams I like versus dislike.  Basically, they are the Switzerland of baseball teams.

I also like San Diego for their goofy chicken mascot.  I think the Phillie Phanatic is still better, but you west coasters will simply say that's my east coast bias talking.  I also love the old Friar logo of the Padres, they should bring that back more often!

Finally, San Diego gets some credit for being just about perfect weather wise.  I've been to San Diego exactly one time in my life (but I did get to catch a ballgame there at least at the old Petco Park - at least, I think that was the name of the park at the time).  Anyhow, I enjoyed my brief time in the city and the weather was lovely. 

All things considered, one could do a lot worse than root for (or visit) San Diego, that's all I'm saying here.

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
to be continued...

Thursday, February 07, 2019

Trade Stack 95: Is it a Cardinals card or a Brewers Card?!

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: 2/7/19

Today's addition to the Trade Stack is an "error" card of sorts.  It's a 1995 Score Summit card of Terr Bradshaw (not that one you are probably thinking of though).  No, the error here is that the card is stamped with the Brewers logo on the front (thus making it a Brewers' card in my eyes).  However, Bradshaw was never a part of the Brewers' organization.  Instead, he was a Cardinal.  At least in 1995 this error wouldn't have been nearly as annoying to fans of either team since one was a NL team while the other was an AL team.  Now though, putting a Brewers logo on a Cardinals card is almost as bad as putting a Red Sox logo on a Yankees card, right?

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)!

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 ??