Sunday, July 24, 2016

Closing in

I recently placed an order on to try and knock out the remaining cards from my 2015 A&G want list.  I hit up one of my favorite sellers, cochise9, and she sent me another nice stack of cards that brought my meager want list down to just 3...

An interesting group of people on this scan.  Many of you will recognize Aaron Paul from his role in the hit show Breaking Bad (which I really need to get around to watching again).  Aaron is now starring in a Hulu produced series called the Path.  I tried watching it and couldn't get past the first 20 minutes.

I decided to have a look at Ichiro's stats since he is in the news lately with his approach to 3000 career hits.   I knew that he was a star in Japan, but his stats over there are unbelievable.  His first full season at age 20 he hit .385 with 210 hits.  All that in 130 games.  His 9 seasons in Japan left him with a career average of .353. 

His 262 hits in a MLB season is a record that will probably never be broken.  He also has 3 of the top 20 hit totals for a season all time.  The only other player with more than 1 is George Sisler, who has 2.  He's definitely a first ballot Hall of Famer in my book.

Best name on this page?  Why Buck Farmer of course!  Farmer might be the only player that I've seen that was drafted 3 times, by 3 different clubs.  2009, Atlanta 46th rd.  2012, Milwaukee 15th rd.  2013, Detroit, 5th round and finally signed.  He was in the majors the next year...

Had no recollection of Max Scherzer being a member of the Diamondbacks.  I only remember him as a Tiger, then a National.  I guess that's what happens when you live on the east coast and don't get a steady diet of west coast games, you fall out of touch with the somewhat lesser known players and teams. 

Wouldn't Arizona love to have Scherzer back now?

The Mets had their eye on Wilmer Flores as a young kid, signing him to a free agent deal at the age of 16!  The Blue Jays have their own 16 year old in the system, Vladimir Guerrero Jr.  If young Vlad is near the player his dad was, Jays fans have a lot to look forward to.

I'm down to needing only 3 cards to finish the set, 27,148 and 154.  I also have a bunch of the starting points waiting for me in my next COMC order.   I just have to find three more of those as well in order to finish that up.

Allen & Ginter becoming an annual ritual might be something that replaces the flagship for me, as it kind of turned me off this year.  That post is for another time...

thanks for reading, Robert

Saturday, July 23, 2016

It started out innocently enough

A little over 5 years ago, I got the itch to start collecting baseball & hockey cards again.  To be honest, I had no idea what I was doing then when it came to online checklists, message boards and other things related to the hobby that I take for granted today.

Then I ran across this particular post on a well known card blog.

The inspiration to start a card blog of my own was kindled.  I thought to myself "if other regular guys out there can do this, so can I!!" 

So I started hunting around other blogs, looking for potential trade partners, and I settled on one particular gentleman, and completed a trade.  About a week or two later (if my memory serves me correctly) I received a package, created this short post, and 5 years ago today, the $30 a week habit blog had begun.

Along the way I've dealt with quite a few awesome card bloggers, read a lot of material, and learned a lot about not only the card collecting hobby, but the quality of people that are involved.  When you get total strangers sending you emails asking for your address so they can send you cards, and then a package so big arrives in the mail that you could do permanent damage to someone if you hit them with it, how can you not enjoy this hobby?!

In addition, I've discovered a love for vintage, even on a "budget".  I've reinforced my love of numbers by starting (and nearly finishing) the serial numbered insanity set.  I started one player collection over 25 years ago (Joe Sakic), and have upped that number to 5 players now.   I'm sure that I've completed well over 100 trades with fellow bloggers (I stopped counting a while ago),  and added thousands of cards to my collection.  I've spent countless hours sorting, creating checklists, preparing envelopes, and documenting my love for the hobby.

This is post #1369 for me, and I hope I have enough left in the tank to hit the 2000 mark sometime in the future. 

To all those who have read my drivel over the years, I do thank you.  To all those I've traded with over the years, thank you.  You have enhanced my love for this hobby ten fold.  More often than not now, when I manage a nice pull from a pack that doesn't fit my collection, I think to myself "where does this card belong?"  I enjoy reading posts on other blogs when they receive cards that I've sent them, because I know that they appreciate what I've sent.  That to me is what this hobby is all about.

Kindred spirits. 

In our world that is full of turmoil and insanity, it's nice to know that there's one constant out there.

Remember kids, it's all about the cards.  Love em or hate em, it's what we enjoy.

Today is the start of year 6 here at $30 a week habit.

As always,

Thank you for reading, Robert

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

I'm a sick, sick man

Maybe the term sick isn't the proper one, maybe a glutton for punishment would be more like it.  The reason I say this is that the recent rekindling of the Serial Numbered Insanity project has me wanting to do another one.

I've always enjoyed hockey cards just as much, if not more than baseball cards.  When I sit and think about it, it's surprising that I didn't start this project with hockey instead.  So, I've toyed with a couple of ideas for a hockey themed serial numbered insanity set.

1.  There's 30 teams in the NHL right now, similar to MLB.  I could easily do the same thing and collect 50 cards from each of the 30 franchises. 
2.  I've also thought about doing the entire set focused on just the Maple Leafs.  Overkill?  Possibly, but I'd enjoy every minute of the chase.

The big difference I would do this time is I wouldn't restrict myself to one card maker.  I left Upper Deck out of the first serial numbered challenge; my thoughts this time lean toward opening up the challenge to all card companies (if I decide to do this).

My heart really wants to do this, but the financial/practical side says that I should be finishing up some of my vintage sets before I start this.  I'm going to take a bit of time and think about this, probably waiting until I finish up with the house purchase (which hopefully is complete by the first week of August).

Meanwhile, let's keep the baseball set moving along and show off pages 7 & 8 today.

#55:  Edwin Jackson, 2011 Bowman blue parallel #55/500.  Courtesy of Max from the Starting Nine blog.  Chicago White Sox card #1
#56:  James Loney, 2010 Topps Finest blue refractor #56/299.  Courtesy of Greg from the Plaschke, thy Sweater is Argyle blog.  Los Angeles Dodgers card #3
#57:  Chris Narveson, 2002 Topps Gold Label Class 1 Gold #57/500.  Courtesy of Max from the Starting Nine blog.  St. Louis Cardinals card #5

#58:  Orlando Hudson, 2006 Topps gold parallel #58/2006.  Courtesy of Jim from the GCRL blog (retired).  Toronto card #1.
#59:  Brett Sinkbeil, 2011 Topps blue diamond parallel #59/60.  Courtesy of Ryan from the This Card is Cool blog.  Florida card #2.
#60:  Mike Schmidt, 2011 Topps Marquee blue parallel #60/299.  Courtesy of Ted from the Crinkly Wrappers blog (retired).  Philadelphia card #2

#61:  Kyle Drabek, 2011 Topps Chrome sepia parallel #61/99.  Courtesy of Kyle from the Just a Bit Outside blog (removed).  Toronto card #2.
#62:  Carlos Quentin, 2011 Topps gold parallel #62/2011.  Courtesy of Ryan from the This Card is Cool blog.  Chicago White Sox card #2.
#63:  Carlos Lee, 2011 Topps Triple Threads #63/1350.  Courtesy of Max from the Starting Nine blog.  Houston card #3.

Max may be the only blogger that winds up with 3 cards on the same page.  We shall see...

#64:  Skip Schumaker, 2008 Topps Heritage chrome refractor #64/599.  Courtesy of Kyle from the Just a Bit Outside blog (removed).  St. Louis card #6.
#65:  Joba Chamberlain, 2008 Topps Moments and Milestones #65/150.  Courtesy of Brian from the Play at the Plate blog.  New York Yankees card #1
#66:  Jayson Werth, 2010 Topps Heritage chrome #66/1961.  Courtesy of Michael from Nomo's Sushi Platter blog.  Philadelphia card #3.

#67:  John Buck, 2003 Topps gold parallel #67/2003.  Purchased from the Sandlot Cards website.  Houston card #4.
#68:  Hiroki Kuroda, 2011 Topps Heritage Chrome #68/1962.  Courtesy of Ted from the Crinkly Wrappers blog (retired).  Los Angeles Dodgers card #4
#69:  Stephen Drew, 2011 Bowman orange parallel #69/250.  Purchased at a card show in western PA.  Arizona card #5

#70:  Garrett Mock, 2010 Topps gold parallel #70/2010.  Courtesy of Jeff from the 2x3 heroes blog.  Washington card #1
#71:  C.C. Sabathia, 2007 Topps Co-Signers #71/225.  Courtesy of Kevin from the Diamond King blog.  Cleveland card #2
#72:  Ryan Ludwick, 2003 Topps gold parallel #72/2003.  Purchased from the Sandlot Cards website.
Cleveland card #3.

After 8 pages, there's only 3 teams that haven't made an appearance yet, the Pirates, Mets and Tigers.   Page 9 will take care of 2 of those...

Thanks for reading, Robert

Monday, July 18, 2016

Acronym free?

Back in April, Gavin at the Baseball Card Breakdown blog dared the blogosphere to write a post using pen and paper, instead of a keyboard.  Surely an art that is lost on us bloggers who have spent years at a keyboard.

Recently, while reading the news/entertainment stories on many websites, I realized something that also seems to be a lost art.  Writing without the use of acronyms.  We've become a society that has become accustomed to writing and reading stories using an acronym in order to reduce the amount of words that people have to read.  POTUS is one that I see more and more now.  President of the United States is something you would think that should be typed out of respect (even if you don't care for the leader of the free world)...

I would say that I'm as guilty as the rest, especially since my posts are sports/sports card related.  It's easy to type HR, RBI, and many other acronyms that predominate the sports writers vernacular.

I wondered recently if I would ever be able to type a post acronym free.  Not just one of my little three line posts that I use on my Player Collections blog, but a real post with a few hundred words about an actual topic.  Maybe this week I'll try to do just such a thing....

In the mean time, here is another page of Serial Numbered Insanity cards, the 6th for your perusal.

#46:  Chase Utley, 2008 Topps Co-Signers #46/400.  Courtesy of Dennis from the Too Many Verlanders blog.  Philadelphia card #1
#47:  Vladimir Guerrero, 2009 Topps Ticket to Stardom #47/50.  Courtesy of Ted from the retired Crinkly Wrappers blog.  Los Angeles Angels card #3
#48:  Dustin Moseley, 2003 Bowman Chrome refractor #48/170.  Courtesy of Mark from the Chronicles of Fuji blog.  Cincinnati card #2

#49:  Michael Wuertz, 2011 Topps gold #49/2011.  Purchased on ebay.  Oakland card #2
#50:  Matt Cain, 2008 Topps Co-Signers #50/400.  Courtesy of Dennis from the Too Many Verlanders blog.  San Francisco card #2
#51:  Prince Fielder, 2008 Topps trading card history #51/400.  Purchased at a card show.  Milwaukee card #1

#52:  Michael Hills, 2002 Topps finest refractor #52/299.  Courtesy of Brian from Play at the Plate.  Houston card #2
#53:  Ramon Hernandez, 2007 Topps Co-Signers #53/75.  Purchased at the 2002 NSCC.  Baltimore card #4
#54:  Carlos Zambrano, 2009 Bowman orange parallel #54/250.  Purchased at the 2002 NSCC.  Chicago Cubs card #2.

See, I was only able to get through the first 7 cards of the post before I started using acronyms.   National Sports Collectors Convention could have been easily typed out twice...

I'm now down to 7 teams that haven't been represented as of yet, this will change with the next post/page.

thanks for reading, Robert

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Seeing double--Serial Insanity page #5

All I have to say is thank goodness for electronic signatures.  I signed another batch of paperwork tonight as the process of purchasing a home continues for me and the better half.  The documents that we were sent today totaled 71 pages, and by having them signed electronically was a great way to save paper.

Sadly, the way these electronic document signing programs work now, I could have easily signed something twice and may never know about it.  I'm pretty sure I didn't, but when you do things electronically, skim reading becomes the norm.

Speaking of seeing double, page #5 is the first one that features the same player on two different cards.
Current Pirates pitcher Francisco Liriano is featured twice in this post, both cards showing him as a member of the Twins.  At least they're from 2 different sets.

Here's page #5, enjoy!

#37: Francisco Liriano, 2010 Bowman Chrome blue refractor #37/150.  Courtesy of the I collect ball cards blog (closed, I believe).  Minnesota card #2
#38:  Dan Uggla, 2011 Topps Sepia parallel #38/99.  I believe that I got this at a card show back in PA.  Atlanta card #5
#39:  Curt Schilling, 2007 Topps 52 chrome #39/1952.  Picked up at a card show in PA.  Baltimore card #2.

#40:  Willie Bloomquist, 2011 Topps Update black parallel #40/60.  Courtesy of Ryan from the This Card is Cool blog.  Arizona card #4.
#41:  J.J. Hardy, 2012 Bowman blue parallel #41/500.  Courtesy of Dennis from the Too Many Verlanders blog.  Baltimore card #3.
#42:  Jimmy Paredes, 2012 Topps mini gold parallel #42/61.  Courtesy of Chuck at the Lifetime Topps Project blog.  Houston card #1

#43:  Kevin Rivers, 2011 Bowman Chrome purple refractor #43/700.  Courtesy of Weston at the Fantastic Catch blog.  Seattle card #3
#44:  Matt Antonelli, 2009 Bowman blue parallel #44/500.  Courtesy of Brian from the Play at the Plate blog.  San Diego card #4.
#45:  Francisco Liriano, 2011 Topps Chrome blue refractor #45/99.    Picked up at a card show in PA.
Minnesota card #3.  

Houston gets on the board with their first card, leaving 9 teams that haven't been represented yet.  Atlanta is now the only team that has an average of a card per page, which can't last forever...

You've also seen an early pattern of SNI greatness from two big supporters of the project, Brian from PATP and Dennis from TMV.  The final count between these two gentlemen reaches 130 cards total, so get used to seeing their names. 

4 posts in 5 days.   Hopefully I can keep this going for a while...

thanks for reading, Robert