Monday, October 31, 2011

There are times when cards and card bloggers just really give me a pick up.

Good Monday evening to all, hope that you all survived the Halloween beggars throwing eggs at your windows/vehicles (yes, it happens in my neighborhood).  The last few days for me have been kind of crappy professionally, and to be honest I believe that it has come out in my writing.  The blast from the past post yesterday was kind of hastily put together, and truly not some of my best writing.  Today, I found a couple of things worth writing about.

All of you guys (and gals) know I'm nuts.  Plain and simple.  For me, the insanity (and the humor) keeps me young.  But I also believe that there are people out there that are contributing to the insanity.  Actually, I know of two that have already contributed.

First, Brian at Play at the Plate sent me quite a few serial numbered cards for the other blog.  Varying colors, chromes and numbers made me a happy camper!!  I am saving the viewing of these cards for the serial #'d blog; needless to say Brian is going to have a few days worth of posts over there.   Brian is also running a contest tonight, so if you haven't entered yet, do so now or forever hold your peace!!  Brian, thank you for the cards, I've already started a Rangers pile (small that it is) for you.

Second, I received an envelope with more cards, from a location that I didn't recognize.  Mind you I have a few trades/eBay purchases happening, so I thought it might be one of those.  Wrong!!  It was another pack of serial numbered cards from Erik @ Sandlot cards.   What impressed me about this envelope (besides the cards of course) was the letter inside.  Love the formality!!   Called me Mr. Mitchell and everything.  Erik also mentioned my lament regarding the lack of singles at my local LCS that I posted on the habit a few days back.  Turns out Erik runs an online singles store on the net as well.  I'll try it out and let you all know what I think.  Thank you Erik!

Sometimes, there are blog posts that just literally speak to you.  G_Moses over at the Basketball (and Hockey) card blog posted today about November being National Novel Writing Month.  I had to look it up for myself to see if that was the case, needless to say my skepticism was proved wrong (like always).  But, he had a great idea, that naturally I decided to put my foot in my mouth and take up the challenge, mainly because of my freaky obsession with anything numbers related.  The challenge is to write 15000 words on the blog during the month of November.  500 words a day.  As you can see by this post, I'm very long winded (or you've read it in the past on other posts...take your pick), so I took up the challenge!!  I will post the number of words of each post on a daily basis, along with a running total as well.  It will be exclusive to the habit, the words on serial #'d insanity will not count.  Works out good for me, because I've had a series that I was waiting to post, and now I can add this as another reason. 

Here's hoping this guy comes back in '12 healthy and dominant, ...just because the game needs someone to jump start it again

Oh, by the way, I feel much better now, thanks to the hobby

Thanks for reading, Robert

Sunday, October 30, 2011

A blast from the past: 97-98 Upper Deck Hockey

Good Sunday evening to all, hope that your weekend has gone well.  I decided to bring back the blast from the past series to feature a couple of sets that I had started many moons ago, but of course never finished.  The 97-98 Upper Deck hockey set mimicked the 1998 Upper Deck baseball release (or the other way around, however you want to look at it).  I have always enjoyed the photography on Upper Deck hockey releases, and this set is no different.

the Cat

Upper Deck was famous for these kind of head shots for goalies in the 90's.  Felix Potvin was the mainstay in the nets for the Leafs during the 90's, and his mask was very famous depicting the cat features. 

The back features career stats that overlay a second in action shot.  The only thing I really didn't care for in this set (and for me this is important) is the fact that the card number is really small, and difficult to see in many of the photos.  Take a good look at this photo, the white "367" is very difficult to see.  The neat feature of the hologram in the lower right is that it is shaped like a goalie mask. 

The set was released in 2 series of 210 cards each.  The majority of the key RCs in the set are still playing in the NHL.  Players such as Marian Hossa, Brad Richards, Vincent Lecavalier, Patrik Elias, Olli Jokinen, Simon Gagne and Mike Ribeiro all have had solid careers in the NHL.  I will post the want list on my hockey want list tab, hopefully there is someone out there who has the remaining cards to fill out the set.

thanks for reading, Robert

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Week 14 begins with a World Series Champion

In case you missed it last night, the Cards won their 11th World Series title, with a 6-2 win over the Texas Rangers.  Good Saturday morning to you all, hope that your weekend is off to a fine start. I don't know about you out there, but I don't recall hearing the announcers say "is this the last game that Albert Pujols plays in a Cardinals uniform".  My prediction for him this off season is that he stays with the Cards, and gives them a hometown discount...probably 6yr/$156 million ($26 million per).

Sadly, to coincide with the end of baseball season, snow started falling here in western PA last night (ugh).  Mind you, it wasn't enough to coat the ground, but the mere reminder that winter is on its way already has me longing for a trip to warmer climates.  On another note, I can now start talking hockey some more here on the habit...

88-89 OPC #11

As many of you know, I am a big Leafs fan, have been since my childhood.  That will never change.   Although, baseball has now crept up to a close 2nd in terms of sports love for me, hockey is now and will forever remain my number one love.  However, the blog has helped evolve my enjoyment of baseball (and baseball cards) even more.

Luckily, at least for me anyhow, I have about 5 months until spring training games start to enjoy my passion.  No doubt I will lose a lot of readers for the foreseeable future while I wax poetic on my Maple Leafs, and some great cards from the past 30 years.

What else can I do?  Baseball season is over, I'm sure that trading will slow down quite a bit until the new releases come out at the beginning of 2012 (another rant there, but that's for another time).  What do diehard baseball fans do between now and the 3rd week of February?  I guess I can read posts from other blogs in years gone by to see what bloggers talk about during the winter.  But I've already "borrowed" enough ideas from others, it's time for me to do some more of what I like (not that I don't like baseball).

As you can see above, the Leafs are a team that I will always love, along with the particular set that I've chosen to feature.   The 1988-89 OPC set is a great set, smaller in size to the early 80's sets  (264 cards in size compared to most of the early 80's sets that featured 396 cards).  I like the design, the push pin was unique to OPC that year.  The backs are an orange color with all the stats and bio printed in both English and French.

You can also expect the insanity to keep on going through the winter.  The posts are currently three days in, and I have enough in my personal collection to last another couple of weeks.  I also have several bloggers either sending me cards or offering me trades for more serial numbered cards.  I was also able to make a trade with a Bench member yesterday that helped pare down some of my 09 OPC stack of doubles in order to obtain 4 more serial numbered cards (one of which is numbered 4/199).  I'll be doing features of cards sent to me by fellow bloggers, so be sure to stay tuned for that. 

Saturday is here, off to do some other stuff for a while....thanks for reading, Robert

Friday, October 28, 2011

Only 14 more days to go until Canada's "National"

You've no doubt wondered what the (15 days) type endings that have been accompanying my blog sign offs for the past few weeks have been all about.   Well, two weeks from today, I will be driving up to southern Ontario for Canada's version of the National.  The fall Expo is the king of shows in Canada (in my opinion), and I have made plans to go.

Twice a year this show goes on at the International Center in Mississauga, Ontario, which is just west of Toronto.  I have not been to one of these shows since the late 90's, and to say that I have the itch is an understatement to the Nth degree.

I have linked an article from the Cardboard Connection from today which briefly highlights the show, along with the standard wrapper redemption going on there. 

Needless to say, I have some questions for my followers/fellow bloggers.

  1. Have you ever been to the National, or a show similar in size? (the show in Ontario is 400 tables)
  2. If you've gone, what has been your primary goal?  Trade bait?  Singles to complete sets?  Box/pack purchases?  
  3. What kind of budget do you put aside for this kind of show?  $100?  $200?  more?
I'm curious to see the responses.

Thanks for reading...Robert 

    Group breaks and rhyming team names

    Happy Friday to you all, hope that you are ready for your weekend!  I am taking the time out now to write about an interesting phenomena that I discovered shortly after starting this blog.

    If you have paid any attention at all to my blog over the past 13 weeks, you'll know that I am a big Blue Jays fan.  Part of the reason I enjoy collecting Jays cards is because of their decade of excellence between 1983-1993. 

    Never had I experienced the "group break"  until I started blogging.  I found it fascinating that for a small amount of $, you can claim your team (or teams), and get cards from sets that you hadn't collected in the past to add to your collection.

    DAMN, what a great idea!!!

    Sam over at the Double D blog (yes, I have an affinity for DDs) recently conducted a group break for the blogosphere; two boxes of '11 Lineage and two boxes of '11 Topps Chrome.  Since there were cards out of both sets that I did not have yet I decided to get in.

    I paid my money, and read the details on how the break was going to go.  The first 15 people claimed their spots, and the remaining teams that were not claimed were randomed off based on the order that you entered the break.  I entered 14th, so I got the 14th team that came out of the randomizer, which in this case was the Oakland A's.  This actually made me laugh, because it seems to be a common thing for me to get A's in group breaks.  I'm beginning to wonder if it's because their colors (green, gold and white) were also my high school colors.  Anyhow, it's all about the cards right?  That's why you here are some of the highlights.

    Gio Gonzalez was the first card in the envelope, and that kind of threw me for a minute because there was no return address.  As I looked through the remainder of the cards, and saw more Lineage and Chrome Blue Jays, I put 2 and 2 together and realized that these were the group break cards.  Sadly, I'm now developing a soft spot for the A's; it's too bad that the team is kind of in the dumps now or it might be worth looking at collecting a few of their cards going forward. 

    Heaven forbid I should start another collection now, what with the plethora of sets and team collections I already have going in both baseball and hockey.  Although Jays and A's would make an interesting combination on posts and pages.....nah, I will pass for now.   Thank you for the group break Sam, much appreciated.

    Thanks for reading, Robert  (14 days)

    Thursday, October 27, 2011

    I had the birthday blues...

    But then I got some cards for my birthday, and all is right with the world again!!  Good Thursday evening to you all, getting ready for a great weekend I hope!

    Yes, today is my birthday (ahem....44), and for me the start of a 4 day weekend.  I had my choice of birthday presents, and of course, cards always do the trick.  The wife and I went to Ruby Tuesday's for dinner, then in the same plaza is Wal-Mart, so we headed there to pick up some stuff for home, and hit aisle 21 as well.

    After we picked up the groceries, I was given the green light to go choose what I liked.  I of course asked "what kind of budget do I have?", and $40 was my answer.  A raise!  Off I went to aisle 21, and sadly, pickings were kind of slim.

    I figured that I had bought a few packs of update already, I may as well give it the go and try to put together the update set.  I grabbed a 72 card box, 4 rack packs and 3 regular packs, and the end of the birthday blues began.

    Here's the highlights...

    first, I got the blues back...

    in this case, it was the Wal-Mart blues.  In case you were wondering, I believe this is color variation number 39 this year for Topps (I believe the only colors they haven't used yet are apple green, cadet gray and french lilac).

    Next up, we're going to double your pleasure...

    I was really stumped on how Koufax and Braun were on the same card.  Then I read the back, and learned an interesting fact, that Koufax's original surname was Braun, until his mother remarried and they took the Koufax name.  (see, fun and educational!!)

    The Brooklyn dodgers uniform that Ethier is wearing reminds me of the KC Royals powder blues.  

    Next up, some legends:

    I think Topps ran out of players in the first two series, so they dipped back into the well again.  Saying that, I like the Nolan Ryan card, I was always a fan of the striped Astros unis, and this card really pops.

    Next up, minis.....

    I always liked the Kimball Champions, but the cards are just too damn small for me, to read and to handle..

    Now, let's get drunk....


    I noticed something today that I hadn't noticed before....notice the logo in the lower right of the Thurman Munson card.  None of the other cards have that feature.  I also took a look at the legends cards that I have in the diamond form from series 2...Rizutto and Bench, do not have the logo either.   The same thing is evident in the diamonds that I pulled....

    As you can see here, none of the diamonds of current players have the logo in the lower right, but the next card you'll see does.

    This guy gets his own spot

    The babe

    Weird huh?  Munson and the Babe have the team logo in the lower right.  Anyone else notice this at all?  

    Finally, I pulled this from a pack.  What was interesting was as I was leafing through the cards, I saw the red border and thought to myself "oh no, not another color to deal with", and boy was I pleasantly surprised.

    I pulled a Danny Duffy auto card.  I do really like the card and the auto, even if it is a sticker. 

    See anything you like....the inserts/parallels/booze cards are up for trade....let me know in the comments.

    Oh, and by the way, the insanity has begun.   Please take a look, if you dare....LOL

    As always, thank you for reading, and happy Friday to you all....Robert

    Wednesday, October 26, 2011

    2009 OPC blaster box #5...packs 97-111, well maybe

    Good Wednesday to you all, here is a recap of the last OPC blaster box that I purchased last weekend.

    Pack 97:

    218. David Aardsma
    241. Jarrod Washburn
    367. Gio Gonzalez
    455. Justin Morneau
    524. Royals team checklist
    26. Brandon Phillips Black Parallel

    Pack 98:

    146. Chad Durbin
    300. Tim Lincecum
    349. Milton Bradley
    504. Astros team checklist
    505. A's team checklist Black Parallel
    281. Jeff Keppinger Mini Black Parallel (I believe this is the 5th mini, still having decent luck)

    Pack 99:

    AW16.  The Award Show Grady Sizemore
    5. A. J. Pierzynski
    11. Jeff Baker
    368. Mark Ellis
    568. Jason Motte
    60. Adam Dunn Black Parallel

    Pack 100:

    165. Edwin Jackson
    266. Chris Davis
    342. Brian Moehler
    384. Chris Volstad
    559. Moments card
    368. Mark Ellis Black Parallel

    Pack 101:

    123. Brian Wilson
    284. Andy Sonnanstine
    416. Chan Ho Park
    575. Trevor Cahill
    1226. Upper Deck 20th anniversary retrospective Middle East peace accord (over 1000 cards in this damn set and I get a dupe....)
    124. Heath Bell black parallel

    Pack 102:

    FF25. Face of the franchise Troy Tulowitzki
    91. Edgar Renteria
    183. Kosuke Fukudome
    457. Emmanuel Burriss
    538. NL ERA leaders
    420. John Lackey Black Parallel (no, he doesn't look drunk in his photo)

    Pack 103:

    51. Ross Ohlendorf
    77. Jorge Cantu
    234. Fernando Rodney
    301. Brian Bannister
    593. Koji Uehara
    547. Moments card Black Parallel

    Pack 104:

    102. Doug Davis
    270. Mark Teixeira
    311. Nick Blackburn
    499. Carlos Villanueva
    510. Cubs team checklist
    14. Jason Giambi Black Parallel

    Pack 105:

    37. Ronny Cedeno
    179. Ryan Spilborghs
    186. Jon Garland
    220. Ryan Howard
    583. Elvis Andrus
    156. Matt Albers Black Parallel

    Pack 106:

    AW17. The Award Show Ichiro
    462. Oscar Salazar
    494. Tom Glavine
    495. Cameron Maybin
    552. Moments card
    241. Jarrod Washburn Black Parallel

    Pack 107:

    78. Julio Lugo
    107. Willie Harris
    122. Orlando Hudson
    435. Jonathan Papelbon
    503. White Sox team checklist
    392. Tim Wakefield Black Parallel

    Pack 108:

    44. Gabe Gross
    347. Jason Kendall
    371. Carlos Lee
    446. Joe Inglett
    600. Joe Martinez
    10. Jimmy Rollins Black Parallel

    Pack 109:

    35. Chase Headley
    243. Javier Vazquez
    460. Roy Halladay
    493. Yadier Molina
    517. Mets team checklist
    587. Colby Rasmus Black Parallel RC

    Pack 110:

     FF26. Face of the Franchise Alex Gordon
     4. Cesar Izturis
     119. Justin Upton
     340. Michael Young
     545. Moments card
     298. Gabe Kapler Black Parallel

     Pack 111:

     MS-3. New York New York Jose Reyes
     369. Brendan Harris
     443. Ty Wigginton
     531. AL average leaders
     303. Jose Guillen Black Parallel

    Pack 112:  ?????????

     203. Rafael Furcal
     285. Josh Johnson
     351. Livan Hernandez
     378. Ryan Fuentes
     562. James McDonald
     183. Kosuke Fukudome Black Parallel

    Now isn't this just wild?  Not until I started typing this post did I realize that the box contained 16 packs instead of 15.  Bonus!  All in all, not a bad box, a 5th black mini, and some decent pulls on the black parallels (Rollins, Phillips, Fukudome, Rasmus).

    We pulled 24 more cards towards the set, we now stand at 366/600 or 61%.  Slowly creeping our way towards putting the set together. 

    Black parallels are always up for trade for you team collectors if you need them.  Lots of inserts as well for trade.  

    Thank you for reading, Robert

    Tuesday, October 25, 2011

    Van Halen gave me some collecting advice last week.

    Happy Tuesday to you all, hope that your week is going well so far.  You're probably wondering "what is that nut Robert talking about now?"  Well, I have satellite radio at work, and not once, but three times last week I heard this song, and it spoke to me, in a set building kind of way.  Plus, I haven't put any music on here in the past couple of weeks, and it also doesn't hurt to look at some good looking women once in a while, right?


    That's right folks, come on baby finish what ya started.  For me, that means completing a boat load of sets, not only from this year, but from years past.  I'm not sure if you noticed, but on the left I added a 3rd set to the list of completed sets since I started the blog.  The 2002 Upper Deck Vintage set was one that I always liked, and I decided to pickup the last 24 cards I needed for the set off of Sportlots, the last 21 of which arrived on Monday.  

    I'm so close on several other sets that it's high time that I finish them up.  To prove that last night's post was not totally stupid, I did enjoy reading the series that Dennis over at Too Many Grandersons did a couple of weeks back, called "you complete me".  Mind you, I don't have quite the amount of cards that Dennis purchased in order to finish up some sets.  But I believe a little over 100 cards are going to complete 8 sets for me.  That in itself will feel good, not only for the fact that the sets are complete, but I will remove a lot of boxes from my "incomplete" table, to the stand in my closet where completed sets go (that closet area is pretty empty right now). 

    Before I start anything new, I set myself a goal in terms of completed sets.  I'd like to have 15 sets completed before I buy a pack of any product I haven't touched previously.  Soooo, I'm going to have to dig deep and finish sets that I'm well away from completing, such as the 2009 OPC baseball I've featured on here lately, as well as some hockey sets that I haven't got around to looking at, and believe me there's quite a few of those.
    OK...enough talk, onto some more Jays that I received from Chris over at Nachos Grande.  

    Love the group of cards here, takes me back to the hey days of the 80's and early 90's in Blue Jays history.  The back of the Otis Nixon card had a bit of trivia.  April 3, 1988, George Bell became the first player in MLB history to hit 3 HR's on opening day.  Anyone remember where he hit them, and off of which pitcher?  No using Google now.....

    Thanks for reading, Robert (17 days)

    Monday, October 24, 2011

    Just how closely do you read blog posts???

    Good Monday evening to all, hope that you survived the beginning of the work week.  If you have read my blog in the past, you know that I have a lot of time to think.  My one hour commute each way to work gives me lots of time to ponder lots of things, especially since the local radio stations don't do it for me any more.

    One thing I thought to myself on the way home today was "just how closely do I read other people's blog posts?"

    Come to think of it, there are times when I really don't read some blog posts thoroughly, because I'm rushed or have other things on my mind.

    On the other hand, I try to take the time and give every blog post that I read the due diligence of reading everything that is said, because each blog post is the blogger's way of communicating with us, the reader.

    Nevertheless, we sometimes take other people's posts for granted and don't give them the time of day when we have a lot of other things to do.

    Time and time again, I've had to read posts over and over, just to understand what the blogger is trying to say!

    Each and every post deserves our undivided attention, no matter what is going on around us.

    Stop and take the time to post comments on posts you really like, because that is the way that bloggers know you're reading their blog.  (Once in a while it's good for an ego boost as well, at least for me)

    Try to read this post as close as you can.  Maybe you will get the gist of what I'm saying.

    If you are still stumped, and wondering "what the f#$% is this guy talking about????", think back to what I said I would do when I hit 50 followers.

    Get it yet????  If not, keep on reading thoroughly until you figure it out. 

    If you still don't get it, details will come later this week.

    I am a mean spirited S.O.B. sometimes when I've had a crappy day....

    Thanks for reading (if you still are by the way),  Robert

    [ EDIT:  Thank you to Greg at Plaschke, thy sweater is argyle for the inspiration for this post ]

    2009 OPC blaster box #4...packs 82-96

    Here is the next blaster box post for the 2009 OPC baseball set:

    Pack 82:

    152. Steven Shell
    333. Joe Saunders
    422. Bengie Molina
    583. Elvis Andrus
    1485. Upper Deck 20th anniversary retrospective President of South Korea (bummer)
    459. Jeff Niemann Black Parallel

    Pack 83:

    FF26. Face of the Franchise Alex Gordon
    29. Jamie Moyer (the only player in the set older than I am)
    202. Brett Gardner
    471. Juan Pierre
    552. Moments card
    289. Mike Gonzalez Black Parallel

    Pack 84:

    126. Jason Marquis
    154. Edwar Ramirez
    283. Ryan Shealy
    442. Shaun Marcum
    503. White Sox team checklist
    595. Kenshin Kawakami Black Parallel

    Pack 85:

    49. Jeremy Guthrie
    135. James Shields
    348. Chad Qualls
    440. Derek Lowe
    600. Joe Martinez
    166. Felipe Lopez Black Parallel

    Pack 86:

    221. Skip Schumaker
    307. Hong-Chih Kuo
    319. Ryan Rowland-Smith
    396. Marlon Byrd
    517. Mets team checklist
    138. J.P. Howell Black Parallel

    Pack 87:

    MM3. Midsummer Memories Mark Teixeira
    75. Chase Utley
    261. Rich Harden
    490. Vladimir Guerrero
    545. Moments Card
    301. Brian Bannister Black Parallel

    Pack 88:

    127. Rocco Baldelli
    171. Carlos Pena
    188. Vernon Wells
    279. Lyle Overbay
    531. AL average leaders
    252. Aaron Cook Black Parallel

    Pack 89:

    172. Nick Hundley
    323. Jeremy Reed
    373. Jesse Litsch
    451. Miguel Tejada
    562. James McDonald
    217. Chris Young Black Parallel

    Pack 90:

    64. Chone Figgins
    248. Willy Taveras
    374. Barry Zito
    567. Scott Lewis
    518. Nationals Team Checklist Black Parallel
    206. Ryan Freel Mini Black Parallel

    Pack 91:

    HM13. Highlights and Milestones Manny Ramirez
    13. Kyle Lohse
    125. Chipper Jones
    456. John Smoltz
    502. Red Sox team checklist
    41. Xavier Nady Black Parallel

    Pack 92:

    16. Gary Matthews Jr.
    180. Josh Beckett
    389. John Danks
    465. Dan Uggla
    571. Scott Elbert
    454. Jon Lester Black Parallel

    Pack 93:

    79. Raul Ibanez
    201. Brett Myers
    326. Andy LaRoche
    379. MarK Reynolds
    544. Moments card
    102. Doug Davis Black Parallel

    Pack 94:

    31. Martin Prado
    136. Matt Lindstrom
    402. Sean Gallagher
    530. Rangers team checklist
    1490. Upper Deck 20th anniversary retrospective Columbus Blue Jackets
    124. Heath Bell Black Parallel

    Pack 95:

    NY-15.  New York New York Xavier Nady
    FF27. Face of the Franchise Miguel Cabrera
    273. Luke Scott
    564. Josh Outman
    471. Juan Pierre Black Parallel

    Pack 96:

    206. Ryan Freel
    225. Johan Santana
    463. Chris Perez
    496. Vicente Padilla
    523. Rockies team checklist
    584. Shawn Kelly Black Parallel

    Interesting box.  11 of the black parallel cards were pitchers.  Pulled a New York New York insert, only the 2nd one so far, a common it was of Xavier Nady.  Pulled I believe my 4th mini, Ryan Freel of the O's. 

    As far as set needs go, HORRIBLE!!  Only 17 cards in the box went towards the set, we're now at 342/600 or 57% even.  46 doubles go into the trade pile, 3 go into the LTP Blue Jays set.  Hopefully the next box is better.   Take a look team collectors, if you need any of the black parallels, let me know!!

    Thanks for reading, Robert

    Sunday, October 23, 2011

    2009 OPC blaster box #3...packs 67-81

    Keeping up with the theme "how many packs will it take to complete a 2009 OPC baseball set", this is the third blaster box I've opened..

    Pack 67:

    31. Martin Prado
    77. Jorge Cantu
    224. Jason Kubel
    410. Rich Hill
    516. Marlins Team Checklist
    417. Jered Weaver Black Parallel

    Pack 68:

    AR3.  All Rookie Team Alexei Ramirez
    220. Ryan Howard
    491. Ryan Garko
    496. Vicente Padilla
    570. Landon Powell RC
    39. Zack Greinke Black Parallel

    Pack 69: (insert your own joke here)

    145. Alex Gordon
    214. Tim Redding
    228. Alex Hinshaw
    470. Prince Fielder
    509. Cardinals Team Checklist
    32. Magglio Ordonez Black Parallel

    Pack 70:

    33. Nomar Garciaparra
    96. Carl Crawford
    407. Erik Bedard
    462. Oscar Salazar
    558. Moments card
    268. Matt Kemp Black Parallel

    Pack 71:

    78. Julio Lugo
    88. Jim Johnson
    157. Endy Chavez
    345. Bobby Jenks
    541. AL Strikeout Leaders
    589. Walter Silva Black Parallel

    Pack 72:

    WK3.  Walk Off Winners Michael Young
    46. Jason Michaels
    92. Brandon Inge
    347. Jason Kendall
    589. Walter Silva
    402. Sean Gallagher Black Parallel

    Pack 73:

    215. Ryan Ludwick
    285. Josh Johnson
    333. Joe Saunders
    429. Brandon Backe
    506. Blue Jays team checklist
    227. Jason Bay Black Parallel

    Pack 74:

    7. J.D. Drew
    202. Brett Gardner
    295. Yunel Escobar
    423. Mark Loretta
    585. Mike Hinckley
    294. Tom Gorzelanny Black Parallel

    Pack 75:

    AW5.  Award Show Jimmy Rollins
    408. J.J. Putz
    468. Chris Getz (whatever Chris wants, Chris Getz)
    490. Vladimir Guerrero
    530. Rangers Team Checklist
    456. John Smoltz Black Parallel

    Pack 76:

    146. Chad Durbin
    205. Ricky Nolasco
    278. Bronson Arroyo (not to be confused with Bronson Pinchot, or Charles Bronson)
    483. Rich Aurilia
    564. Josh Outman
    357. Russ Springer Black Parallel (already, a double on the black parallels?)

    Pack 77:

    11. Jeff Baker
    171. Carlos Pena
    338. Mark DeRosa
    472. Travis Buck
    523. Rockies team checklist
    414. Dontrelle Willis Black Parallel (he looks absolutely miserable in this photo)

    Pack 78:

    342. Brian Moehler
    373. Jesse Litsch
    414. Dontrelle Willis
    537. AL ERA leaders
    1111. Upper Deck 20th anniversary retrospectives Nomar Garciaparra
    182. Aaron Laffey Black Parallel

    Pack 79:

    FF8.  Face of the Franchise Carlos Zambrano (if only they knew then what they know now)
    39. Zack Greinke
    73. Ian Stewart
    180. Josh Beckett
    579. Dave Freese
    439. Johnny Damon black parallel

    Pack 80:

    87. Andy Pettitte
    210. Alfonso Soriano
    284. Andy Sonnanstine
    379. Mark Reynolds
    551. Moments card
    541. AL K leaders black parallel (this one goes into the Jays collection, both Burnett and Halladay on it)

    Pack 81:

    150. Dustin Pedroia
    253. Josh Bard
    294. Tom Gorzelanny (I believe this is the 3rd card in the box that I've pulled the base and black parallel)
    457. Emmanuel Burriss
    596. Dexter Fowler RC
    79. Raul Ibanez Black Parallel

    OK, we did not too badly on this box.  Pulled 39 cards towards the set, for a total of 325/600 or 54.17%.

    The black parallels did us proud again, pulling some good players in the 15 packs, along with one more black parallel for my own collection.  Anything pictured below is available for trade for you team collectors, just let me know.

    Still 2 more blasters to go this week of '09 OPC, stay tuned....
    thanks for reading, Robert

    Serial Numbered Insanity, the Genesis

    Good Sunday morning to all, hope that your weekend has been great so far.  As promised yesterday, I will speak a little more on my crazy set that will hopefully take on a life of its own.  I've had a couple of requests from readers to keep them up to date from time to time on how the set is progressing.  I've decided to go one better, and have the set become a blog of its own.   The name?

    Serial Numbered Insanity

    My plan, hopefully, is to post two cards as day.  Of course, I do not have the requisite number of cards to post every day as of yet, but I have some coming in via trade from Chris at Nachos Grande (note to self, be sure to eat in the morning before you think of Chris's blog, that only makes the hunger worse if you don't).   In addition, Ted over at Crinkly Wrappers has mentioned that he is going to send some my way as well.  (Thank you Chris and Ted!!).  If you do send some my way, you will of course get a plug in the blog, not that a lot of you need it...

    Please note, I do not need jersey or auto cards for this set.  That for me will just throw the cost of the set into the stratosphere.  I will be collecting just the various colored parallels from Topps products (gold, purple, bronze, black, and any other colors that may be numbered).  It doesn't just have to be from regular Topps as well.  It can be from Heritage or any other Topps release that has numbered parallels. 

    Also, they can be from any year that Topps has produced serial numbered parallels.  See the example below:

    Airbrushed ball heading into Galarraga's glove?

    Two gold parallels from 2003 Topps that I found in my collection, and they fit perfectly into the set.  Naturally, the Galarraga will morph into a hit for the Senators portion of the set, but you get the idea.  These two cards will actually be my fifth post, I have the other 4 all ready and scheduled to post daily starting Thursday the 27th (yes, my birthday). 

    I hope you take the time to follow the insanity; to be honest it will only be a couple of minutes out of your day, because there will not be a lot of blather over there (meaning you will not get the blather that comes daily with this blog!).  Questions?  Cards to help the insanity?  Comments are always welcome.

    Thank you for reading, Robert  (19 days)

    Saturday, October 22, 2011

    Birthday week begins

    Hello all, hope that you are getting the most out of your weekend so far.  Now I know what you are thinking.  Birthday week? Kind of contradictory, wouldn't you agree?  A week to celebrate one day?  I say, hell no.

    We spend the whole year doing things for other people.  I work 48 weeks a year...yes due to my tenure at the company, I do get 4 weeks of vacation a year.  We spend most of our holidays doing things for other people, such as buying presents at Christmas, putting together visits and get togethers for other holidays such as Thanksgiving, 4th of July, etc.  How many weekends have you spent doing chores around the house, running the kids to God knows where.  I did this for years, and then I wondered  "when do I get time for myself?"

    Birthdays.  The one day of the year where you are special.   People treat you like a king.  Presents come to you.  But after the one day, it's over just like that.  So, a few years back, I decided that  I'm using a week to celebrate my day!!!  Treat myself right, do things I want to do, take time off from work, that sort of thing.  Why limit the special time for yourself to just one day?

    For me, birthday week began today.  Of course, I did things around the house (they just don't go away because of birthday week), but I did them at my own pace.  The wife and I normally do some kind of running on the weekends (groceries, etc.), but today was different.  I decided I was starting birthday week with some cards. 

    I had a little extra dough in the budget due to the cheapness of last week, so I figured on visiting the LCS.  The wife was going to spend her time at her craft store picking up some things that she needed.  I dropped her off there, and decided to walk to the LCS, which is about 1/2 mile away.  On the way, there is a K Mart, so I decided to hunt in there first, see if there was any cheapo blasters of 2009 OPC left, because I've been unable to find any in my local big box stores.

    I scoured the card rack, and found one...score at 40% off!!  I keep looking, and jackpot!  4 more sitting off to the left, all priced at 40% off.  I grabbed 3 of them altogether, and for $38 including tax, I made out with more than I would have received had I purchased a hobby box at the same price (3 blasters=45 packs, hobby box only 36).

    After that little purchase, I still had some coin left in the budget, and decided to keep on going to the LCS.  My primary goal was to finish off my Lineage set from this year.  First question I asked the shop owner, "do you have any Lineage singles", his reply "I have no singles of any products from this year at all".   HUH?  That response truly blew me away.  How in the world do you run a card shop, and not have one single from any products out this year. 

    Don't think I'm going back there any time soon.  I did however buy some packs, I grabbed 3 of 09 Heritage High Numbers (I've had decent luck with those), and 3 Hobby packs of '11 Update (yeah I know, last weeks rant).  But I had to have something to scan and show you all...

    Nothing major came from the 09 High's, one chrome that you'll see in a moment.

    As far as the Update goes....


    When you buy retail for so long, you tend to forget that hobby packs are different.  There were two each of the liquor cards in the first two packs, and one plus a regular diamond parallel in the 3rd pack (Chris Gimenez of the Mariners).  Need em for a team set?  They are for trade, just let me know. 

    I also pulled Topps 60 cards of Cy Young (135) and Fergie Jenkins (117), these are also for trade if you're trying to complete the set.  Now the scan of the serial numbered cards...

    Two more towards serial numbered insanity.  Oh, by the way, that's going to be the name of the blog that will describe my pursuit of this serial numbered set of mine.  More on that tomorrow. 

    1st Yankee of the set, Andruw Jones from this years update, will be card # 982.  On the bottom is Matt LaPorta of the Indians, he will be card # 627.

    Should be a good week for posts, I have 3 blaster boxes of 09 OPC to go through, keeping on with the "how many packs does it take to build the 2009 OPC set" theme. 

    By the way, in case you were wondering, my actual birthday isn't until next Thursday

    Thanks for reading, Robert

    Week 13 begins with a post on magically appearing cards

    It's the weekend!  Good Saturday morning to you all.  Week 12 ended quietly, no pack purchases at all since the 2 update packs last weekend.  Earlier this week however, I received two envelopes.   The first was from Sam at The Daily Dimwit , who kindly offered me a chance to knock down my Topps Lineage wantlist.  Sam sent me about 70 cards towards the set, which now leaves me needing only 23 cards.   They can be found on my baseball want list.   Thank you Sam very much, they are very appreciated!!

    I also received an email out of the blue on Wednesday from Darren over at Potch Wheeler and the Cardboard Heroes.  I had left a comment on a post he made a couple of weeks back regarding duplicates he had for the 77 Topps set, and had asked him to contact me when he had finished with others who had requested cards from that set as well (I believe Night Owl was one of the others...).  Darren's email stated that I should be receiving an envelope any day with some cards that I would enjoy.

    That evening I get home from work, and magically the cards have arrived!  What a great bounty as well.  Let's start with some Jays to add to the collection.

    Top row, 1990 topps David Wells, 1985 OPC Buck Martinez (I went from having no OPC baseball in my collection to 2 in less than a week), and 1990 Topps All Star Fred McGriff (led the AL in HR's in 1989 with 36).

    Middle row, George Bell and Duane Ward from 1989 Donruss.  I must say do like the different colored borders of that set, especially the green and purple of Ward's card.

    Finally on the bottom we have the "mistake by the lake" as we called it in Toronto.  Old Exhibition Stadium, which was not the greatest place to watch a ball game, especially in April when the cold winds howled in off of Lake Ontario.  But, you could get bleacher seats for $2 back then, so there was the good with the bad.  What is also interesting about this card is that on the back there were stickers, but of the Giants and the Royals?  What gives here, why not put stickers of the Jays and maybe, the Expos? 

    What I enjoyed the most in the envelope is the 77 Topps cards that were in there.  Some great stuff, and not all commons either!!

    First, the broadcasters section:

    Next, some other great cards that came my way:

    I was especially glad to see the Yaz card, that is a listed card in the magazine, and having it arrive at my doorstep was an unexpected pleasure to say the least.  It was also cool to see the other cards, I enjoyed the Griffey Sr. card as well as the two Dodger cards.  In total, 48 great 77 Topps cards came my way, thank you very much Darren!

    Finally, a quick discussion on some sets that I would like to have magically disappear off of my want list.  I have 7 sets that are close to completion, and I'd love to get them off of my want list for good:

    2011 Topps Series 2 :  Need 1
    2010 Topps Series 2:   Need 7
    2011 A&G:                    Need 8

    2011 Lineage:              Need 23
    2010 Topps Series 1:   Need 11
    2010 Topps Update:    Need 35
    2006 Topps Series 1:   Need 31

    It will be nice to get these out of the way so that I can focus on completing some older sets that I never did get around to working on back in the day.  .

    My birthday is next Thursday, so I think I'm going to treat myself to some packs to rip open today...maybe a visit to the LCS is in order.  

    I'll keep you posted.   Thanks for reading, Robert (20 days)

    Thursday, October 20, 2011

    Craziness Rules

    Good Friday to all, here's looking forward to a great weekend.  I'm going to describe my crazy set in the post; I call it the crazy set because I must be crazy to think I can complete it.  I am going to give it the old college try though.

    I started formulating the idea last week when I bought the 2 rack packs of 2011 Topps update and posted my rant on the liquorfractors (the term "cognac parallels" is no longer applicable in the blogosphere).  Out of those 2 packs came a gold parallel of Brandon Belt, #'d 924/2011.  I've seen many people collecting the gold parallels and making sets out of them, but I had no real interest in putting a gold set together, because it's just another version of the base set.

    I've also seen posts on other blogs where collectors are putting together their own special sets based on personal interests (WAR rating, Mustaches, etc. )  I developed an itch to do something like that for myself.  I also didn't want to have to look up stats, or find cards with interesting features.

    What to do....

    I think to myself...I'm a numbers freak.  I love numbers, and I've enjoyed pulling serial numbered cards out of packs (don't ask me why, I am a little crazy).  I also wanted to make the set a challenge as well.  In order to complete this set, which is going to be 1500 cards in total, here are the ground rules:

    1. All cards will be serial numbered and from Topps products only.
    2. My card #'s will be based on the first number of the parallel (for example, the Brandon Belt will be card #924 in my set)
    3. The cards may come from any year or any Topps product (Heritage, Chrome, Base Topps, Marquee, etc.)
    4. More numbers for you now, and some math as well.  1500 cards divided by 30 teams=50 cards per team.  Yes, you guessed it, each team will be represented equally in this set, making it more of a challenge.
    5. I take a size 52 jacket, so if you have any white jackets with the arms in the back, I'm ready to be fitted now.
    Challenges I expect to face in completing this set?  Yes, there are some:

    1. Low numbers.  Cards numbered 1-10 will be difficult to find, you really don't see them too often because once pulled they usually end up in personal collections.
    2. Round numbers.  This is another sometimes difficult aspect to locate, which is kind of weird, but round numbers like 50, 100, 1000, etc. tend to disappear as well.
    3. Highly collected teams.  This will make it more tough, because cards of teams such as the Yankees, Red Sox, Braves and Dodgers are collected by a lot of people, making the available pool of cards smaller, and potentially more costly if bidding wars ensue.  I'm hoping to avoid eBay, or having to purchase any of these serial numbered cards at all for that matter.
    4. The last 100 cards.  As the set nears its completion, staying at the 50 cards per team and each card having its own "first number" will become more difficult.  Looking for card # 1125 of a Brewer, or #362 of a Yankee will be a challenge in itself.  (Yes, crazy)
    Here are the first two cards in my "set":

    2 down, 1498 to go

    Numbers 400 (Millar) and 924 (Belt)...Got Em!!  

    Have teams in your personal collection that you hate?  Serial numbered parallels of A's or Rays or Pirates or Dbacks that you don't want....I'll take em!  Donations are gladly accepted.  If you'd rather trade, I can definitely try to work something out. 

    Insanity, thy name is Robert....

    Have a great Thursday, and as always, thank you for reading. 

    Wednesday, October 19, 2011

    I récéivéd somé Blué Jays this wéék from é, rayhahn rayhahn

    Good evening all, hope that you've survived the week so far.  I just want to apologize for all the accents on the "e"'s in the title, it was the only witty way I could think of for the post title.  I have to say thank you to David at e, rayhahn rayhahn for this trade, he really hooked me up with some cool Blue Jays cards for my collection.

    To start...

    Doc and some other fine Jays from the past

    we have some 08 UD documentary...5 cards of Roy Halladay to be exact.  I'm still sad that he's no longer a Jay, but I am glad to see the success he's had so far as a Phillie.

    Next are a couple of recent Topps 60 cards of Jays from their WS teams in the early 90's, Roberto Alomar and Paul Molitor (anyone remember what Milwaukee fans called Molitor the first time he went back to Milwaukee in a Jays uniform??)
    Finally we have another Upshaw card, an 85 OPC card, which is very cool because I do not have a whole lot of OPC in my Jays collection. 

    Next up....

    Millar is the first of the Jays "freaks"

    5 serial numbered cards of Millar, Hill, Cecil and Rzepczynski.  The Millar shows the serial number because he is going to be the first Jay in my serial numbered crazy set I'm going to put together...more to come on that soon.

    Finally, I got goosed...

    Nice jersey card from UD artifacts of Gustavo Chacin.  I was fortunate enough to get the matching auto in a group break in September at the daily dimwit, so this is the perfect complement to that card. 

    I sent David a few Twins cards that I had, plus a relic of Ervin Santana as well.  This trade worked out well for both of our collections.   Thank you again David!!

    Have a good evening, and thank you for reading...Robert

    The slacker took a couple of days off...

    Good Wednesday to all, I hope that your week is going well so far.  Yes indeed, the slacker here actually stepped away from blogging for a couple of days in order to get some stuff accomplished.  In no particular order, here's what I did:
    • Caught up on some sleep.  These swing shifts can play havoc with me sometimes, so I stepped away from the computer and slept.  
    • Monday evening was spent reading and commenting on posts/sending emails.  I don't do enough of this sometimes, and Monday evening was the perfect opportunity to catch up on some blog reading.
    • Cleaned out an entire 4 row box of cards.  Needed to do this because the trade cards listed on my trade page are starting to blow out my 2 row box.  Plus, I also found a few more sets that were never completed that I'm going to finally put together (one was as old as 94-95 UD hockey...still makes me shake my head that 17 years later I'm gonna finish this finally)
    • Thought about the crazy set I'm going to put together, and where I'm going to store it.  1500 cards doesn't just fit anywhere...
    • Looked over a couple of envelopes I received from Sam at the Daily Dimwit and David from
      é, rayhahn rayhahn.  (thanks to you both!  I will have posts coming on those in the next couple of days.)       

      Finally, I also started thinking about more blog posts and what to say.  I hit a little spot where I really had nothing interesting to put on the blog, so instead of writing drivel, I decided to step away and think about some stuff. 

      Have to show you all one "card" that I received on Monday, just because the blog can't be always about me running my mouth.  I received this from David (rhubarb), and found it to be fascinating.

      This is actually something I had never seen before, a 5" x 7" "poster" card of Willie Upshaw.  It was printed in 1985 by OPC in Canada, and it  is in perfect condition.  It isn't exactly a card per se, because there are no stats on the back and it is printed on regular paper and not card stock.  But it was great to get and a welcome addition to my Blue Jays collection.  Thanks to David for sending it to me. 

      That's all for now, gotta get ready for work.  Have a great day

      Thanks for reading, Robert  (23 days)

    Sunday, October 16, 2011

    Cognac?? I think Topps just lost me....

    Good Sunday morning all, hope that your weekend is going well so far and you're ready for Week 6 of the NFL season.  (Jaguars at Steelers, 1pm is what I'll be watching today).

    I got the itch yesterday, yes the itch to rip a couple of packs open.  I grabbed a couple of rack packs of Topps update from this year, just to see what was going on.   I came across these two cards, and was not impressed:

    Wine colored parallels

    Now really, do collectors need this?  Don't get me wrong, I love a good parallel set, the diamond parallels I liked, but a second parallel set?  When I think of cognac, I think of this, not cards.  Mind you my distaste may have been tempered if there was a good whiskey parallel.  (Crown Royal anyone?) 

    Actually, now that I think about it, this really is the 4th parallel set, because there are also black and gold serial numbered parallels.  Is Topps really running out of ideas in order to sell product?  I've defended the mother company all along while others bashed them, and then watched as others rejoiced when Panini got their MLBPA license.  I'm torn as to whether I should join them or not. 

    Eighteen (18) percent of the cards I pulled out of these packs yesterday were inserts/parallels/minis/redemption cards.  I sat and pondered this for a minute.  Did this seem quite excessive?  Would I truly have to buy 18% more packs of cards in order to complete a set?   While thinking about this, I looked at one of the many piles of cards on my desk and saw the black bordered parallels from 2009 OPC baseball that I have for the Night Owl.  Those black bordered parallels come one a pack, and in a pack of 6 cards, that's 16.67% right there, before counting the inserts and retrospective cards that came with those packs, you're now probably closer to 20%.  OK then, so Topps isn't the only one to bombard us with inserts/parallels. 

    So why am I upset all of a sudden at Topps?  I really don't know, I think a lot of it is the disappointment in seeing another colored parallel.  I honestly don't think that collectors needed this.  I would love to know if anyone out there is going after the cognac parallel set, because I would like to know 2 things:

    1. What really attracted them to this parallel?
    2. Do they know that the entire set of 990 cards is encompassed here?
    I really am starting to think about what I want to do when next years products come out, because to be honest, I really can't keep going after all this product.  I may become like a lot of other collectors out there, and only complete one set, and then collect my Blue Jays from the others.  I've got a lot of other sets started that I may just work toward completing, such as 77 Topps, 09 OPC, and others.

    Only time will tell.....

    Thanks for reading, Robert 

    Saturday, October 15, 2011

    The 5 aspects of blogging that I enjoy, part 5

    Good Saturday to all, hope that your weekend is off to a fine start.  This is the 5th and final post in my little mini series, and today's post is about blogger creativity.

    There are some creative ideas in the blog world.  I'm not just talking blog design here, I'm talking collections as well.  Bloggers put a lot of thought into what they do, and what they collect.  Here are a couple of my favorites:

    • 1 vs 100:  I love this idea.  Bamlinden over at My Hockey Card Obsession is putting together a set of jersey/auto cards numbered from 1 to 100.   Meaning, he has a card #'d to 1, a card #'d to 2, and so on.  He is still looking for a few, so if you have any of the numbers he is looking for (the link is provided above), drop him a line.
    • The Mustache set:  How can a guy not like a set based on a masculine characteristic?  Eric over at Manupatches & Mustaches (yes, he's changed the name of his blog, at least for a little while) is putting together a Franken Set of cards featuring prominent mustaches.  The scary part for me's numbered up to 700!  Eric needs 42 more, so if you have any of the numbers he needs, drop him a line.
    Those are a couple of the cool ideas, now on to the names.   There are some very creative names out there for blogs, here are some of my favorites.

    • Potch Wheeler and the Cardboard Heroes.  Love it.  Darren who runs this blog has changed the name, but it appears he is returning to his roots, and a good choice it is.  
    • The Daily Dimwit.  Truly an oxymoron here (get the play on words?  dimwit, oxymoron....yea yea I know, epic fail)  Sam over here runs a great blog, and truly the word dimwit does not apply here.
    • Plaschke, Thy Sweater Is Argyle.  How Greg ever came up with this blog title, I will never know.  Greg is a very active collector and has truly great collections going, so check his blog out.
    What impresses me the most however, is the writing.  There are two blogs that have really inspired me with their writing.

    • Greg over at the Night Owl Blog is probably the best writer I have come across in the time that I have been reading/writing.  The one thing that comes out in each post is his love for the cards.  If you are not already following Greg, make it part of your to do list.
    • Brian over at Play at the Plate is another writer that I enjoy.  Not only does he has a love for all things card related (especially his Texas Rangers), but he has written several posts that have reminded me that there is life beyond cards, something that is always good to remember.
     I hope you all have enjoyed my attempt at being a writer over the past 5 days.  Now, it's time to get back to the cards.

    Thank you for reading, Robert    (27 days)

    Week 12 begins with a Play at the Plate

    Good afternoon all, just got in from a much needed grocery run to find two envelopes in my mailbox.  One of them was an eBay find that I'm especially proud of.   This is an on card auto of Royals young pitching prospect Jeremy Jeffress, numbered 090/600.  I've had some good luck snagging some on card autos lately, and getting this one on the cheap ($0.54 + shipping) was right up my alley.

    Next up is my first of hopefully many trades with Brian over at the Play at the Plate blog.    I was more than happy to send a few Texas Rangers cards Brian's way, and in return, he hit a handful of cards off of my A&G wantlist (including 3 SP's...thank you!), and some more Jays to add to the collection (about 35 total).  Here are some of the beauties I received.

    Chrome & Platinum
    Some Chrome and Platinum goodness to start off here.  The Lind in the middle row is a refractor, and as you can plainly see, the Drabek and Hill in the middle are both orange bordered parallels from this year.  Super stuff!

    Minis and Masterpieces

    The top two cards in this pic are from the 2008 UD Masterpieces set, one that I feel is very underrated.  I love the feel of the front of the card, and the pics are well drawn. 

    Below are some minis that he sent me (I didn't use the term mmmmiiinninniiiisss, because that would be plagiarism, and that's wrong).  The Adam Lind is an A&G back mini, and the Drabek is a regular back.  For me, the Tom Henke card is the most interesting of the group of cards I received, because I'd never seen a mini from the 1987 Topps Design.  I did a little digging and found out that it came from the Mini Leaders set from that year.  Very unique stuff here, thank you again Brian!!

    Numbered cards, my true weakness

    Finally, we have a couple of numbered cards, the first on the left is an Alex Rios card from the 2008 Topps Co-Signers set, a silver-gold parallel numbered 41/150.  On the right is a Jason Frasor 2009 UD Gold parallel, numbered 95/99.  Sadly, these two cards gave me the idea for my own crazy set to put together.  I will post about that crazy set in the next day or two. 

    Brian, thank you for the great trade, it is really appreciated on this end! 

    Have a great weekend all, and thanks for reading,  Robert

    Friday, October 14, 2011

    The 5 aspects of blogging that I enjoy, part 4

    Good Friday to all, hope that you all are ready for the weekend, I know I am!  Today we have part 4 of my little mini series about the aspects of blogging I enjoy, and that would be the trades I have completed.

    I've completed 24 trades so far, and every one was a pleasure.  Every blogger or reader I've dealt with has been amazing, and some of them were very generous.  Take a look at my Blue Jays list for example.  I had the modest goal of hitting 250 unique cards by the Christmas holidays.  Not only has that goal been surpassed, it's been destroyed.  700+ now, probably be close to 800 by the end of the month.

    I've sent people a handful of cards, and received a box full back.  This just blows my mind.  I've also completed two sets, and I am a lot closer on a few others as well.   Being involved & surrounded with all this generosity inspires me, makes me believe in the concept of paying it forward.  I've tried to send a few cards here and there to bloggers that have been good to me, but I still feel like I'm in debt to some of you out there.  There are also some that I read on a daily basis, but have unfortunately have not had the good fortune of trading/emailing with you.  Hopefully that day will come soon. 

    Forget the cards for a minute, I've started some great relationships (card wise, don't get any ideas here...) with other bloggers out there.   I've had some good back and forth via email with a couple of bloggers that are great.  It's always great to get to know someone on a little more of a personal level, especially when their hobby is the same as yours.

    Plus, trading gets you some great cards....

    As always, thanks for reading,  Robert (28 days)

    Thursday, October 13, 2011

    The 5 aspects of blogging that I enjoy, part 3

    Good Thursday to you all, we're getting closer to Friday by the minute.  Here we go with part 3 of what I enjoy about blogging, and this goes part in parcel with why we're all's the cards.  

    I've said it before, and I'll say it again now, there are a lot of great blogs out there.  Guys & gals writing about their passion for card collecting.  What I've discovered, especially with those who are bloggers, is the love for the basics.  A "big hit" in the blogosphere means something totally different than what it does on eBay or at a card show. 

    It can be a great find of the last card or two to complete an older set.  It can be the oddball find of a card of your favorite player from a bag of Twizzlers, or out of a fire department issued team set from 30 years ago.  It's not all about the jersey cards, or the autos; with bloggers, cards have more meaning. 

    My specific example here is the 1977 Topps set that I have started to build over the past couple of weeks.   There are no relics, inserts, or fancy shiny cards involved.  Just great cards that bring back old memories of me going to the variety store on the Danforth in Toronto in the late 70's to pickup a couple of packs of cards with my allowance.  Pulling cards of guys like Freddie Patek, one of the shortest players ever to play in the majors.

    This guy makes me look tall, and I'm only 5'9".

    Freddie was 5'4" tall, but a heckuva shortstop, and something different as far as the game goes.  In the 70's, shortstop was a truly different position as far as offense went.  Back then, the position was all glove, and any hitting was considered a bonus.  Freddie never hit higher than .267 in a season, his best OPS was .693, and yet he was a three time All Star, and finished 6th in MVP voting one year.  His assets were his glove, and his speed, he stole 30+ bases for 8 straight years.

    Cards like this bring back the passion in me for collecting.

    I see it everyday in posts.  The passion, the enjoyment, the fun.  The great trades that bloggers make, and those on the other end that enjoy the cards they received.  The way that people send cards to others that they've traded with out of the blue, for no reason at all but to give someone else a little enjoyment. 

    For those of you out there who read my blog, or who have blogs of their own, we are part of a unique group.  A group of people that share a love for their childhood memories, and yet still enjoy making memories for others, as well as themselves.  All of this, because of a little rectangular piece of cardboard with a picture on it.

    Part 4 tomorrow...

    Thanks for reading, Robert

    Wednesday, October 12, 2011

    The 5 aspects of blogging that I enjoy, part 2

    Good Wednesday to all of you, hope that your week is going well so far.  This continues my series of posts on the 5 aspects of blogging that I enjoy.  Today's aspect is you can blog at your own pace.

    What I've discovered so far is that there is no right or wrong to posting.  Post daily, twice a day, twice a week, twice a month.  You call the shots, and go at your own pace.  Nobody pressures you, there is no time limit or clock that hits zero and kicks you out of blogging. 

    You also can post at whatever time of the day you want.  4 in the afternoon, sure!  3 in the morning, why not?  Somebody out there will read it soon enough.  Not only is blogging just posting on your blog, but making comments on others as well.  There are days when I sit there and do nothing but read blogs, especially if I don't have any inspiration to write.  Sometimes I go several days without reading, and nobody knows (well until now) unless I post a comment.

    What a blog writer needs to be aware of is burnout.  Sometimes you post for several days straight and you feel like you're making progress.  What you have to be careful of though is trying to do too much too quickly.  I think I suffered from that a couple of weeks back.  Sometimes, blogging at your own pace means stepping away from the blog for a day, or several, and letting things happen around you, instead of trying to make them happen.  The blog will be there when you get back. 

    Have fun blogging, make sure that you are posting at a pace that is comfortable for you, and keep yourself active in the blogosphere.  But don't let the blog take you over.

    Thanks for reading, Robert

    Tuesday, October 11, 2011

    Post # 100: The 5 aspects of blogging about cards that I enjoy the most.

    Yes, I know what you all are saying out there.  This guy is at 100 posts already?  Didn't he just start a couple of months ago?  Man, it must be one of two reasons he's at 100 already:

    • He trades a lot and prattles on endlessly about mindless stuff....(er, well...)
    • He just doesn't know when to shut up....(BINGO!!)
    Well I'm sorry, but for me this first 10 1/2 weeks has been a lot of fun so far.   I've come across quite a few excellent blogs, and met the creators of them (at least via email by the way).  I've also gained a lot of knowledge from reading blogs, emailing back and forth with collectors, and finding websites that others have posted on their blogs that have helped me create checklists and gain knowledge about certain sets/cards. 

    Over the next 5 days, I'm going to talk about blogs, and 5 aspects or characteristics that I've enjoyed the most so far.  Today's is simple, the blog name itself.

    Blog names are great.  They are an expression of the blog creators personality.  There are several categories of blog names that I have discovered:

    1. Team based.  Blogs such as Indians baseball cards, Royals and Randoms and Cards on Cards are some examples of this.  Naturally an easy one to describe.
    2. Hobby based.  Now, there are a lot that would fall into this category.  Blogs such as Waxaholic, Cheap card collecting, and the Lost Collector are examples of hobby based names.
    3. Collection based.  Lifetime Topps Project, Manupatches and Chrome Scratches, and Vintage Sportscards fit this category.
    4. Food based.  Nachos Grande and Nomo's Sushi Platter fit this one (remember not to eat food while sorting cards by the way).
    5. Totally off the wall (or personality based).  The Daily Dimwit, Plaschke, thy Sweater is Argyle, and the Adventures of Napkin Doon I feel fit this category.
    6. Pack based: A Pack to be Named Later, Crinkly Wrappers and  Two Packs a Day are some examples of this. 
    7. Legends.  There are three blogs in this category, but I feel that naming them might give the bloggers a swelled ego, so I'll decline (lol).
    What do all these have in common?  The people behind the blog are collectors, no different than you or me.  They may collect the shiny, the vintage, the beat up, the set, the jersey or auto, the mini, you name it.  Their love of cardboard and all things related come out in their blog titles, their blog posts, and their trades.  They may post daily, 4-5 times a week, once a week or once a month, and it's all good. 

    Over the next 4 days, I will write a post on the other 4 aspects that I enjoy about blogs, and I hope you'll read and share any comments you may have. 

    Oh, and enjoy your cake on the way out.

    Have a great Tuesday, and thank you all for reading, Robert  (31 days)