Wednesday, November 30, 2011

My Baltimore connection had a pile of the right colored birds

Good Wednesday to you all, hope that your week is progressing along nicely.  I recently completed a trade with Ryan over at "O" No!!! Another Orioles blog in which we exchanged cards that fit our needs quite nicely.

I was not aware that Ryan was also collecting the 2009 OPC baseball set until I looked at his want lists, so naturally I was able to come up with a bunch of dupes to get him a little further toward completion.

We, along with half the collecting universe, are also putting together the Topps Update set from this year, so we were able to exchange some cards along those lines as well.  I will not scan them for you in order to save your sanity.

Ryan, however did send a bunch of Blue Jays my way (yes, the right colored birds!).  I found a bunch of interesting cards in this lot...

Lonell Roberts and Pasqual Coco...yes, I'd never heard of them before either.   Roberts never made it past AAA, Coco had a cup of coffee in the '00 through '02 seasons and was out of baseball a couple of years later.

The back of Pat Hentgen's '98 UD card shows him in a hitting pose.  Don't fret though, he's not a threat.  Career average of .107 tells me it is so.

I always liked Joe Inglett as a ballplayer.  His best season in T.O. he played 2nd, short, 3rd, and all 3 outfield positions.  Utility men like that are hard to find now a days.

Fun fact:  Joe in his 6 seasons in the bigs never wore a double digit uniform number.

(Yea, I know...)

I think Dustin McGowan lost a bet here, a part of his beard is missing.

A couple of world series heroes featured here.  Sadly, Carpenter was a hero for the wrong colored bird team.

Last but not least....Raul Mondesi....what did you think of this trade???????????

Thumbs up baby...

Yea, me too.....

Thank you Ryan, the trade is much appreciated!!

Thanks for reading, Robert

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

My Serial Insanity has created an absolute monster (NSFW: language)

Good Tuesday evening to you all, hope that your week is going well so far.  Keep reading this post to the very end please. 

Yes, you read the title right.  The serial insanity blog has created a monster, and that would be all my friends in the blogosphere who have reached out with a helping hand and offered cards for trade, or in some cases cards as a donation to the blog.

I cannot say thank you enough to you all.   (Yes, you know who you are out there).

This past 5 weeks the genesis of this set has proved to me one thing.  There's no better person in the world out there than a card collector!!  (well indeed there may be, but from where I sit...)

When I first came up with this idea in mid October, I thought to myself that this would be a good way to get through the winter.  Pick up a few cards here and there, maybe make a trade or two to get me into the new year and keep me out of trouble.

My God, how wrong I was.  Let me count the ways...

2 Greg's (East and West Coast)
1 Eric, 1 Erik
1 Fuji
1 Nomo's Platter
1 Henchmeister (got em today Chris, thank you!)
1 Play at the Plate Dude
1 Lost Collector
1 guy with Cool Cards
1 Verlander enthusiast
1 Reds fan from my home state...
1 Royals & Random's
1 Ray hahn, Ray hahn  (e!)

and I know I'm forgetting one or two others....

then there's Ted.

Holy Shit Ted, you're killing me!  I came home from running errands on Saturday afternoon to find that the mail had arrived.  Ted from the Crinkly Wrappers blog had mentioned on previous comments on my blog that he was in the process of  sending me some Jays and some cards toward the insanity set.  I imagined an envelope, similar to the ones I've been receiving all along from everyone out there...maybe 40-50 cards...Ted's been good to me before.

On the dining room a 400 count box.  Jammed.

Full of colors.  Gold.  Black.  Blue.  Red.  Pink. 

Scan doesn't do card's pink.

I always get into trouble when I see pink.  You guys out there can understand where I'm coming from there....


But I digress...

I still get verklempt when I recall opening the box.  I looked at my wife and said "I really don't fucking believe he sent me this!!"  Ask her, she'll tell you I included the adjective.

The stack of Blue Jays cards alone will put me into the 1200's when I am done with sorting them (I'm just short of 1000 now).

I sent Ted an email thanking him for his generosity, and to ask if he was looking for anything that I could send him.   I love Ted's reply  "I'm just doing a little house cleaning".   I naturally wondered what kind of house he has....LOL

You're all probably wondering why I made you all read this. 


Yep, I'm going to do another contest.  I'm going to make you guess.  A number...plain and simple

Ted, you already have an entry into the contest, you can't guess the number of course since you know what you sent me.

Followers of the blog only will be allowed entry into the contest. 

What do you need to guess?  

The number of cards that Ted sent that will go towards the insanity set.

The number is more than 10, but less than 200.

If anyone guesses the number right on, they win!!  If nobody guesses the number exactly, then I will do the for the prize (or maybe prizes....)

Why another contest so soon??  I feel lucky.  Here's a line from the email that AJ over at The Lost Collector sent me regarding the packs I sent him.

"Thanks for the two update packs as well. Thought you'd like to know I pulled a Starlin Castro All Star Jersey Diamond Parallel relic (#d 02/60). It's sweet! I haven't pulled anything  that good in a long time"

Now that made me feel good.    Christmas is coming, so hopefully someone else will get to celebrate a little early.

Deadline for guesses is Friday at midnight EST.

Thanks for reading, Robert

Words in this post, 704.  total for the month, 15339....SUCCESS!!!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Pimpin for the Royals...

Josh over at Royals and Randoms has a "BIG PILE" contest going on right now.  Head on over there and check it out...


Cool cards, #1 & # 2

Good Saturday evening/Sunday morning to you all, hope that you're having a great weekend so far.

Over the 4 months that I've been blogging and reading others blogs, I've developed an appreciation for card photos that I never really had over the many years that I've collected.

Don't get me wrong, I don't just flip cards, look at the stats and put them away in cardboard boxes or binders...I do look at the pictures and enjoy some of the action shots that I do find.

So I figured I would start an ongoing series, detailing "cool cards" that I find in my collection, and try to provide reasons why I like them so.

Here's #1:   Braydon Coburn, Philadelphia Flyers.   '11-12 Upper Deck Series 1, card # 64

Sometimes, a card just speaks for itself.  In this case, the hit that Coburn lays on Jeff Skinner of the Carolina Hurricanes speaks volumes.

You can see it in the reaction on Skinner's face, and at first I thought Skinner was totally in the air, but on closer inspection, you can see his right skate on the ice taking some of the impact away.

It also appears that this hit went on well away from the play, because Scott Hartnell of the Flyers and Eric Staal of the Hurricanes appear to be headed in the opposite direction.

Still, another example of the great photography by Upper Deck.

Here's #2.  Michael Grabner, New York Islanders.  '11-12 Upper Deck Series 1, card # 81

What's great about this card?  The fact that Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price is getting a snow shower is priceless enough for me.  But for those that are not as educated in hockey, there's a couple things about this photo that you should know.

One, giving a goalie a snow shower is considered disrespectful, and likely will get a response from the goalie's teammates.

Two, the timing of this photo is impeccable.  Considering that the ice shavings only remain in the air for a second or two at most, to get this quality of photo is damn amazing as far as I'm concerned. 

Hopefully, as time goes on, I'll be able to bring to you more cards like this, and you'll be able to agree with me when I say  "wow, that's cool"

Thanks for reading, Robert

Words in this post,  382.  Total for the month, 14635

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Week 18 starts with contest winnings from Play at the Plate.

Good Saturday morning to you all.  As promised from last night's post, here is the other half of the envelope I received yesterday from Brian at the Play at the Plate

First off we have some Jays cards:

A whole lot of fun here, including a couple of numbered cards.  The middle row contains an '02 Donruss Carlos Delgado, numbered 10/100, and next to that card is a Purple refractor of Kyle Drabek, numbered 195/499.  Both are headed straight for the insanity set. 

Another card that I enjoyed receiving is the '99 UD Roy Halladay in the lower right corner.  It's a card that I hadn't seen before, and fits very well into the Jays collection.  Roy looks very serious on the card though, I wonder why.

The Lind on the top row is a refractor as well, and a lot of great cards such as the Lind have come my way recently. 

Now on to a little insanity:

I will say this as well, a lot of Topps Finest has come my way recently, and they are very sharp looking cards.  The scans don't do the cards justice, as they stand out even more when you are holding them. 

The insanity set is starting to come together really nicely, I have almost 200 cards towards the set already.  I've been able to get quite a few of the lower numbered cards, and some of the "round numbers', such as 500 & 1500 have found their way into the set already as well. 

thank you again Brian, the cards and contests are always appreciated on this end!

thanks for reading, Robert

Words in this post, 267.  total for the month, 14253.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Packs Across America: Dallas, TX

Good Friday evening to you all, if you had today off, you're luckier than I am!!  It doesn't matter, the weekend is upon us already, and I'm ready for some posts, some cards, and lots of reading and sorting.

It's been a while since I've done a Packs Across America post, frankly because I haven't done any traveling in the States over the past couple of months.

Well, today in the mail I received my contest winnings from Brian at Play at the Plate,  I also found 3 packs of cards!  A little bit of the new, and a little bit of the past.  It was even better because I resisted buying anything from aisle 21 at Wal-Mart today.  So without further adieu, I present 3 Packs Across America.

City/state: Dallas, TX
     Location:  Unknown
     Packs:  1 pack of 1991 Upper Deck BB, 1 pack of 1992 Topps Stadium Club, 1 pack of 2011 Topps Update.

Pack 1:  1991 Upper Deck BB.  Man, I can remember ripping a TON of these packs in the summer of '91.

78.  Dodgers Checklist  (Ramon Martinez)
153. Terry Steinbach
161. Stan Belinda
255. Tony Gwynn (any HOF card is a good card)

306. Chris Hoiles
408. Darren Daulton
514. Chuck Carr
690. Jim Gott (one time Blue Jay)
711. Junior Felix (Ditto)
729. Mickey Tettleton
754. Tony Fernandez
765. Joe Carter

Kind of wild that two players who were involved in one of the biggest trades in Jays history (in terms of importance anyhow), get pulled in the same pack.

766. Pete Schourek
771. Dana Allison  (fun fact:  his card back says "Scouts consider Dana A left-handed Dennis Eckersley in both control and poise"...his control and poise got him a career total of 11 games, with a 7.39 ERA and a 1.909 WHIP.   Imagine where the A's would have been if Eck had those stats)
789. Barry Jones
Hologram:  KC Royals

amazing what you can find in a 20 year old pack!

Pack 2:  1992 Topps Stadium Club

13. Glenn Braggs
70. Robin Ventura (best of luck to him on the South Side this year)
75. Stan Belinda (got him in both the oldie packs....)
79. Bobby Rose
103. Luis Alicea
117. B.J. Surhoff
130. Benny Santiago
136. John Burkett
205. Herm Winningham
240. Juan Gonzalez
248. Walt Weiss
249. Mackey Sasser
258. Bob Tewksbury
275. Greg Harris
282. Lonnie Smith   (VERY IRONIC that I got this card from "Play at the Plate")

Brian Harper gettin' crushed

Pack 3:  '11 Topps Update 8 card pack.

Diamond Anniversary Code Card:   Turned this into a 1975 Ed Brinkman card (Tigers)
KC 129.  George Sisler
35. Eduardo Nunez
143. Craig Kimbrel
164. Hector Noesi
227.  Kosuke Fukudome
255.  Allen Craig
324.  Melvin Mora

the fact that I could find something interesting enough to type out all this gets these 3 packs a grade of  'A'!!

Tomorrow, the other half of the prize package I received....btw, thank you Brian, you sent a great group of packs/cards my way, it really is appreciated.

Thanks for reading, Robert

Words in this post, 502.  total for the month, 13986.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

'09-10 UD hockey box break #2

Full of turkey yet?   Falling asleep at your computer screen?  Hopefully this won't put you further into the abyss.  I mentioned last weekend that I had a 2nd box of Upper Deck hockey from the Toronto Expo to show you, so without further adieu, here we go.

Base set:  149 cards with no duplicates.   Both boxes that I opened from the show had no dupes, kudos to Upper Deck for this.

 Love the shot UD gets here of Mikka Kiprusoff of the Flames, the eyes show the concentration.  Great photo!


Inserts:   Captains calling: 1  Johnathan Toews ...same as the first box (fail)
              Playoff Performers:  2  Roberto Luongo and Jarome Iginla...same as the first box (Epic fail)
              Draft Day Gems:  2  Daniel Alfredsson and Milan Hejduk...same as the first box  (Fail!!!)
              Hockey Heroes:  2  At least these Messier Heroes were different from the first box
              The Champions:  2  Ben Agosto, Hayley Wickenheiser.   I've had time to think about this insert, and have decided it would have been better served in another product, such as Goodwin Champions, or something to that end.  Figure skaters and ice hockey, at least for me, don't go together.

Young Guns:  6   MacGregor Sharp, Devan Dubnyk, Andrei Loktionov, Andreas Thuresson, Bobby Sanguinetti, Braden Holtby.  At least I have heard of 3 of these guys, and there were no duplicates from the first box.

Victory:  1 per pack.  I think I did quite well with these in this box.  I pulled two more gold cards, plus 4 Leafs Rookies (Reimer, Gustavsson, Stalberg, Bozak).  Plus the design of the cards is clean and simple, not a lot of logos or anything else cluttering up the card.

And finally, the one per box relic card.....well....

Sadly, not quite a household name, but as we know with most of the card companies in this day and age, not all of the relic cards are going to be superstar versions.

Furthermore, between the two boxes, I was not able to put one base set together (200 cards).

428,429,432,438,442,448  are the 29! cards I need to complete a base set....not good at all, considering there were no triplicates at all in the 2 boxes.  I could see coming maybe 5-10 cards short, but 29 is totally unacceptable.

Negatives:  Between this many cards needed to complete a set, the 3 different inserts that were carbon copies in both boxes, there were too many excuses for me to knock the total grade down.

Positives:  No duplicates for the Victory inserts, or the Hockey Heroes cards of Messier.  The Young Guns were all unique as well, though I could do without the damn checklist being shortprinted (WHY IS THIS?)

The only thing that saved the two boxes from a D grade was the price...$22 each is less than 1/2 of the original box price, so that makes a big difference.

Final Grade:   C-

Thanks for reading, Robert

words in this post:  479.  total for the month, 13484

Jays, A's and a little insanity

Good Thanksgiving morning to you all, hope that you are enjoying your day off!!

I am definitely thankful for a lot of things right now.  I have a loving wife who supports me in everything I do, I have a good job in this somewhat dreadful economy, and I have a great hobby that I enjoy very much.  My love for card collecting has grown over the past 4 months while writing this blog, largely due to the relationships I've built with a lot of fellow bloggers out there.

One of those bloggers is Michael over at Nomo's Sushi Platter.  I received my end of our 2nd trade yesterday in the mail, and what a great envelope it was to open!!

Like I mentioned in the title, there are Jays:

Some sparkly, some liquor, a mini Ricky Ro, and an orange J.P. 

Great stuff here to add to the Jays collection.

Next up, some A's:

Dual purpose A's no less, as they fit right in with the insanity set!

Finally, more serial numbered goodness for my crazy set.

What I've loved about the reception to this set idea of mine is the generosity of bloggers.  I've received cards from all over the blogosphere, and guys are actually sending me cards of their favorite teams players as well.  This is no different here, as a couple more Dodgers came my way from the Platter.  By the way, one of the funniest things I've seen on a baseball card is featured on the Jayson Werth card in the upper right corner.  Check out the belt.  Has his name on it!!??  Is that like labeling your underwear when you went to summer camp as a kid?   Hilarious stuff...

thanks again for the trade Michael, it is much appreciated on this end.

thanks for reading, Robert

words in this post, 298.  total for the month, 13005.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A Melvin, A Posey and other musings...

Good Wednesday evening to you all, I hope you're all ready for turkey day tomorrow!!

Yes, you are looking at another odd title.  Hopefully it made you wonder, as always, "what is he talking about now?"

Well, I received an envelope today, from one of my Sportlots purchases, and I'm now closer to one set, and completed two different Topps series...

First, I got a Melvin  (I always snicker for some stupid reason when I hear this...check the urban dictionary definition here)

This is the card that kept me from completing this set for a little while now.  Yes, a manager card.  

2006 Topps is done!!


Next up, 6 of the 7 cards I needed to finish 2010 Topps series 1 & 2.

OK, 2010 Topps Series 2 is complete, and Series 1 is down to 1 card, card #2 in the set.

A Posey.

Any one out there got a pocket full of Posey's and can spare one to trade to me??

I looked in the magazine, and was shocked that a Topps base set RC was listed for so much.  Shows you how much I've kept up over the past few years, huh?

Now, on to the other musings...

  • I'm having a blast so far with the blogger hockey pool being run by Brian from the Waxaholic Blog.  My team started out slowly but has done better the past couple of weeks.  If my goaltending hadn't been such a mess from the start, I might even be better off than 9th out of 14 teams (whoever picked up Roloson is finding out now why I dropped him in the first place...)
  • The serial insanity set is coming along quite well so far.  The reception I've received from the blogosphere has been great so far, and the cards I've received either in trades or from generous donations have been fantastic!!  If I haven't thanked you personally yet, consider this a big thank you!! (I should be hitting the 200 card mark soon)
  • Speaking of "card marks", I don't know if any of you readers actually remember this, but I started this blog months ago hoping my Blue Jay collection would hit 250 cards by the end of the calendar year.   If only I knew how great you all are out there.  I've got a pretty good shot of hitting 1000 cards in the next couple of weeks, and I couldn't have done it without you all...thank you!!!  I also need somebody to let me know if the Google docs format is easier to read than the old way I had the LTP Blue Jays page.  Please let me know, thanks....
  • I like the fact that MLB and the MLBPA very quietly signed a 5 year labor agreement, especially in the midst of a NBA lockout that is likely going to kill the '11-12 season.  Now only if the NHL can get their negotiations completed before the current bargaining agreement expires....

Thanks for reading, Robert

Words in this post, for the month, 12747.

Monday, November 21, 2011

It's Pascal Dupuis Error Day

It's also Sidney Crosby's comeback day, but haven't you heard enough about him? 

Thought I'd share some interesting stuff I found this evening on Pascal Dupuis' UD 11-12 base card.

First, take a look at his actual career stats, with a thank you to  The first error you'll notice on the stats is that hockeydb has him shooting right handed, when in actual fact he shoots left handed.

Second, as you can see he's been in the league 10 years now with 4 different teams.

Now, here's a scan of this year's card...
Something not quite right here.

All of a sudden, Pascal has become quite the goal scorer!!  He's also had 5 years of his career lopped off as well.

I think for a minute, then I realize, those stats are Evgeni Malkin's career stats, not Dupuis.  Now that, is an error card.

To wit, we've all bitched about Topps and their collation issues...well Upper Deck is just as bad here.  I've only purchased 2 rack packs, and in each of the packs, I found the following 4 cards; Nazem Kadri, Tyler Ennis, Logan Couture, James Neal, in the same order, back to back in both packs.

You see that and you wanna scream...what the hell!!?? Then I see this card, and I remember why I buy Upper Deck Hockey cards...

Great card

The scan unfortunately doesn't do the card justice.  This is Drew Doughty of the LA Kings giving away his stick at the end of the game after no doubt being selected the first star.  LOVE the purple and gold retro jerseys, and the purple and gold on the ice gives the card a great look.

UD, you're forgiven....this time.

It's not too often I spot errors on cards like the big error on Dupuis' card, so when I do, I'm definitely going to toot my own horn, or so to speak...

By the way, Sid had 4 points tonight.   No biggie

thanks for reading, Robert

words in this post, 326.   Total for the month, 12255.

2009 OPC blaster box #6...packs 113-127

On we go continuing the "how many packs does it take to complete a 2009 OPC baseball set" experiment.  I found another 40% off blaster box at Wal-Mart on Sunday....take a look.

Pack # 113:

100. Albert Pujols
106. Bobby Abreu
141. Clayton Kershaw
401. Hiroki Kuroda
537. AL ERA Leaders
536. Black Parallel NL RBI Leaders

Pack # 114:

HM10. Highlights and Milestones Adrian Beltre Hits for Cycle
153. Jesse Crain
177. Yuniesky Betancourt
380. Brandon Webb
523. Rockies Team Checklist
311. Black Parallel Nick Blackburn

Pack # 115:

203. Rafael Furcal
303. Jose Guillen
310. Billy Wagner
564. Josh Outman
1182. Upper Deck 20th anniversary Retrospective Peyton Manning
212. Black Parallel Garrett Atkins

Pack # 116:

62. Jeff Francoeur
156. Matt Albers
340. Michael Young
425. Ken Griffey Jr.
530. Rangers Team Checklist
38. Black Parallel Dallas McPherson

Pack # 117:

26. Brandon Phillips
45. Joey Votto
111. Shin-Soo Choo
174. Omar Vizquel
544. Moments card
156. Black Parallel Matt Albers

Pack # 118:

MM10. Midsummer Memories J.D. Drew
35. Chase Headley
287. Gregg Zaun
436. Duaner Sanchez
571. Scott Elbert
338. Black Parallel Mark Derosa

Pack # 119:

114. Gerald Laird
434. Jody Gerut
444. Elijah Dukes
446. Joe Inglett
502. Red Sox team checklist
598. Black Parallel David Patton

Pack # 120:

107. Willie Harris
247. Johnny Cueto
280. Aramis Ramirez
363. Scott Rolen
567. Scott Lewis
51. Black Parallel Ross Ohlendorf

Pack # 121:

186. Jon Garland
296. Scott Hairston
360. Francisco Rodriguez
424. Dan Wheeler
562. James McDonald
93. Black Parallel Aubrey Huff

Pack # 122:

FF20. Face of the Franchise Nate McLouth (if only OPC knew then....)
108. Travis Ishikawa
176. Jarrod Saltalamacchia
256. Brad Lidge
531. AL Avg. Leaders
219. Black Parallel Ubaldo Jimenez

Pack # 123:

36. Mike Pelfrey
238. Mike Hampton
306. John Baker
499. Carlos Villanueva
545. Moments card
26. Black Parallel Brandon Phillips

Pack # 124:

234. Fernando Rodney
298. Gabe Kapler
369. Brendan Harris
430. Nick Markakis
517. Mets Team Checklist
483. Black Parallel Rich Aurilia

Pack # 125:

95. Denard Span
119. Justin Upton
384. Chris Volstad
476. John Lannan
600. Joe Martinez
550. Black Parallel Red Sox moments card

Pack # 126:

AW13. The Award Show Dustin Pedroia
14. Jason Giambi
229. Jon Rauch
230. Carlos Guillen
503. White Sox team checklist
123. Black Parallel Brian Wilson

Pack # 127:

60. Adam Dunn
482. Jason Isringhausen
493. Yadier Molina
552. Moments card
1177. Upper Deck 20th anniversary retrospective Football National Champions
418. Black Parallel Justin Duchscherer

OK, let's see how we did here.  Actually, a lot better than I thought!  I pulled 34 more cards towards the set, which finally puts me over the 400 mark.  Set completion stands at 401/600 or 66.83%, and so far I figure I'm out just under $110 bucks total (6 blasters @ $12 apiece, plus one hobby box at $37).

Still a ways to go here, so be sure that I'll be looking for more cheapo blasters.

If anyone is looking for black parallels for their team collections, I'm at 100+ cards.  They are all up for trade, so if you're looking for someone in particular, just let me know.

Thanks for reading , Robert

Words in this post, 531.  Total for the month, 11929.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Pimpin for Plaschke

Quick contest pimp here folks...Greg from the Plaschke, thy sweater is Argyle blog is having a contest here.  

Check it out before it's too late!!

It really is time for baseball to get their #$% together

Good Sunday evening to you all, I hope that you're winding down a terrific weekend.  I wanted to muse a little bit on the recent development of the Houston Astros being moved to the American League in 2013.  My response to this??

It's time that Major League Baseball got their #$% together, and became one unified entity, with the same playing rules and league alignments.
Moving the Houston Astros to the American League is a good start here.  Now both leagues have 15 teams, and each division has 5 teams.  Nice and uniform.  The next step here?  Get rid of the DH.  In some ways, the DH rule worked; it did bring more offense to the AL which was slumping attendance wise at the time.  But tell me concerned can you be about attendance in the AL when only 4 years after you introduce the DH rule, your league expands by two teams.  Toronto and Seattle came aboard in 1977, thus further watering the talent pool down and creating a pair of teams that were pretty much a laughing stock for the first few years.

Time for the DH to go!  The concern about inter league play?  Useless.  Take a look at the NFL and NBA as examples of this.

The NFL merged with the AFL in 1970, when the owners got smart and finally realized that they could make more money by not having two leagues competing and bidding up salaries on high priced talent.  The rules now are uniform, and teams play the other divisions in the other conference once every 4 years.   Works for them.

The NBA merged with the ABA in 1976, after a battle for several years with both the ABA owners, and the courts (Oscar Robertson sued the NBA under antitrust laws, and the case lasted several years).  The NBA finally took on 4 of the ABA's teams after many of the others had either folded or went bankrupt.   The rules never changed in this league either. 

It's time for the AL to step up and play the same game as the NL, the way it was originally meant to be played.

The attendance problems are no more.  Will this kill a few careers? You betcha, because 14 - 15 professional hitters will be out of work.  Do I think this will happen?  No, probably not.  If it does, it will probably take a few years, and a couple of lawsuits by the MLBPA before the changes occur. 

It's sad that 4 decades after the other 3 sports merged with their "maverick leagues" and formed a cohesive sport, that baseball can't do the same.  Can anyone tell me why baseball is still stuck in 20th century mentality?

One card rule....a double shot of liquor....

Whiskey drinkers will know that CC is a double liquor card.

thanks for reading, and have a great week, Robert

Words in this post: 461.   Total for the month 11398

My own 12 step program for this blog

Good Sunday morning to you all, hope that you're having a great weekend so far.

My Leafs beat Washington 7-1 last night, so that in itself is a great Saturday for me.

If you have read my blog over the past week, I've mentioned here and there about the 12 step program that I devised for myself in order to try and keep my blog both active and successful.  Mind you, not all these steps are related directly to the blog itself, but instead they are more "human" in nature and have to deal with people and not collecting or writing.  By the way, these are in no particular order.

  1. I will promote other blogs whenever possible.  To me, my blog is more than just a blog, it's part of a community.  Whenever someone else in your community does something notable or worthwhile, it should get promoted, correct?  To be part of a community, you have to be involved in the community, and promoting contests, or great causes, or even just a great post will go a long way in order to staying part of the community.
  2. I will post on a regular basis.  So far, this is a given.  I think I've only taken a couple of days off in a row once since I started the blog back on August 1st.  I enjoy posting, sharing my humor and my sometimes warped take on collecting with the blogosphere.  Trades and blogger generosity also make it much easier to post, as you've probably seen many times so far here on the habit.
  3. I will have fun with blogging.  "Once it becomes a chore, then no more."  I look forward to posting every day, trying to keep my brain active by coming up with some ideas for the blog.  Card collecting is fun again for me now that I've discovered this great group of fellow collectors.  I've learned some new things, and I've rediscovered some things from my childhood that I loved.  
  4. I will respond to as many comments & emails as I can.  I've made an effort to try and respond to as many emails and comments that I've received so far.  I have it set up so that I receive emails whenever someone posts a comment on my blog, and I try to take the time to respond to each one as well.  I haven't been perfect here, but I do make an effort.
  5. Comment on other bloggers posts.  I'm trying to come up with a rule for myself as far as keeping active and posting on other blogs.   There are times when I can hit quite a few in an evening, and then there are times when I go days without commenting.  I know I have to do better here, and I'll figure out some sort of method of tracking my participation.
  6. I will "pay it forward".  I've received a few envelopes from other bloggers, totally out of the blue and unsolicited.  I even received a box once (thanks again Ted!).  I've tried to do my best to send a few envelopes here and there without a formal trade or even any communication.  Blogger generosity works both ways.
  7. I will participate in group breaks whenever possible.  I don't get to do as many of these as I would like, because sadly with the amount of blogs that I follow and with the number of them that go on at one time, it just becomes too cost prohibitive.  As I get some of my own financial mess cleaned up, I'll be able to participate more in these.  But know this, if I don't participate, I'm not ignoring you.
  8. I will "finish what I started".  I joked about this a couple of weeks back on the Van Halen advice post.  But for me, finishing a lot of these older sets that I started is a big goal here.  Getting my ass in gear and getting them sorted and on the blog is something that I need to get done.  Finding the cards to finish them in trades, well that's another matter altogether.
  9. I will not hide purchases from my wife.  Now this may sound totally stupid to you all, but I actually did this in my first marriage.  Why, I will never know.  That's probably part of the reason it was my first marriage.  God bless my wife that I have now, she loves me and totally supports me in this.  She knows that if we head to Wal-Mart that I'll be hitting aisle 21 at some point, and totally was in to me heading to the Toronto Expo last week.  My wife even asks me how many followers I have on the blog (she was totally into the contest I did, if you remember).  Wifey knows that I pay the utilities on time and the other bills are not neglected, so she doesn't worry about my spending on cards at all.
  10. I will not use a credit card to make purchases ever again.  I did this for the Heritage box I busted a couple of months back, and felt guilty as hell doing it.  No money, no funny.  Easy!
  11. I will try to do more contests.  This is not a given, because other bloggers for the most part don't do regular contests (with a couple of exceptions).  I so enjoyed doing the first one, and getting the response that I did, that I will try to do more.
  12. I will mail all trade packages and prizes ASAP.  I actually became a bit of a slacker in this regard lately, and felt guilty as hell doing it.  Bloggers have been good in sending packages to me timely, I in turn must do the same. 
Hopefully, you haven't started snoring by the time you reached here (if you in fact did).  If this post even makes any sense or reaches one person out there, then from where I sit, it will be a success.

Here's the one card rule....

Expo pickup

I picked this up at the Toronto Expo, it was in one of the many 50% off boxes that I looked through, and didn't even notice until I got home that it was #'d 200/200 (lol, the old eBay one of one).  Anytime I can pickup a HOFer jersey card on the cheap is a good thing, and I was able to get a couple of them at the show.

Thanks for reading, Robert

words in this post, 1083.  Total for the month, 10937.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Week 17 begins with a box break

Good Saturday morning to you all.  I don't believe that I've ever done a box break for you guys where I've analyzed the contents of a box rip, so I figured I would start with one of the 2 UD 09-10 Hockey boxes I got on the cheap at the Toronto card show last weekend.  Here we go!

Box price $22

24 packs with 8 cards in a pack. (relic card pack contained 6 cards)

Base cards:  147  no duplicates in the box

The base cards featured UD's standard great photos, and this one is my favorite.  Take a look at Ovechkin's stick as he is in the process of shooting.  Look at the bend in the stick, just an amazing photo if you ask me.

Young Guns:  6  (Parse, Desharnais, Eckford, Perreault, Stoa, YG Checklist)

 While no major names were pulled, collation was exactly as expected, with one every 4 packs as advertised.

Inserts:  10

The colors really pop on the Luongo and Iginla inserts, and I've always loved the Hockey Heroes cards, so getting 2 of Mark Messier in this box was cool. 

There were other inserts, such as Draft Day Gems, Captains Calling and Rookie Debut that I also pulled as well. 

Victory Update cards:  24    These cards are inserted one per pack, and come with cards that didn't make it into the original Victory set. 

I was also fortunate to pull two gold victory cards, including the best rookie in the set, John Tavares.

Relics:  1   I pulled a Victor Hedman Rookie Materials jersey card, a nice black swatch.  

Photo shoot material only 

I don't get to break full 24 packs boxes very often, so getting 2 boxes of this at $22 apiece was certainly a great deal for me, and the rip was fun for sure. 

I'll review the other box in a couple of days for you all.  

Thanks for reading, Robert

Words in this post:  314   Total for the month so far:  9854

Friday, November 18, 2011

Hey Mo!! Hey Mo!!

Good Friday evening to you all, hope that you're ready for a great weekend!! 

For the past couple of weeks, Eric over at Manupatches and Mustaches has done his part to make the blogosphere aware of a worthy cause, prostate cancer.  From his posts I have seen that he is very passionate about the cause, which I totally respect and admire.

Part of my 12 step program that I mentioned a few days back is being more active in other bloggers' pursuits.  Today, I decided to put my money where my mouth is.  I donated a week's worth of my blog ($30) to the cause. 

Want to donate?  Click on this LINK and donate to Eric's team. 

BTW, Eric has no idea that I did be honest, it was something I felt I had to do.

Maybe if we get enough donations from the blogosphere, maybe I will run another contest for you guys & gals.   If you do donate, please leave a comment for me.  You don't have to give what I gave, any amount will do. 

In honor of Thanksgiving next week, here's a short video on how NOT to prepare dinner on Thursday...enjoy!!

Thanks for reading, Robert

words in this post:  197, total for the month, 9540

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Good Thursday evening to you all, hope that you're ready for another great weekend (I know I am!).  I came home today to find a brown envelope in my mailbox, from Dennis over at Too Many Grandersons Verlanders.  We had completed a trade last week that saw me send some cards his way in return for some serial numbered insanity that was very welcomed into my house.

If there's one thing I've missed over the past 8-9 years, it's trading online.  The ability to get cards that you want for the price of postage, along with some cards out of your collection that someone else really wants.

Another thing that I'm really behind on is the staggering array of cards that I've missed over the years by only purchasing packs here and there at the big box stores.   Here are some examples:

'08 Co-Signers

I received a couple of these a few weeks back in another trade, but not to the extent that I pulled in today.  The '08 Topps Co-Signers set is fast becoming a set that I may have to look into when I can start putting together some newer sets.  These cards are fantastic!  Of course, they're serial numbered as well, which only adds to my enjoyment.  It's a little tough to see on the Young and Utley cards, but the holographic image in the background of another player on the same team is pretty cool, at least from where I sit. 

Great cards for the insanity

I'm sure that a lot of you looked at the 5 cards above and knew right away that they were black parallels from '05 Topps Chrome.  I never would have known if it hadn't been written on the back of the cards.   Man I am so out of touch.

More Jays Goodness

A multitude of colored Jays cards also came with the envelope.  Purple, Red, Blue, Black, Brown...all great stuff.   Still more yet!

Building Blocks

Another trio of cards that I had never seen before, but gathered that they were older because calling Troy Glaus and Eric Chavez "future foundations" definitely could not have happened in the past couple years.  I turn over the cards, and they're from '99!  Serial numbered even.  I was like a junkie today with the fix I got with serial numbered cards. 

You've hopefully read this far and are still wondering "why did he title this post 'unforgettable'".  Well, I'm just poking a little fun at Dennis' post about our trade from yesterday.  To quote "File this under yet ANOTHER trade I completed and promptly forgot about, to my amazement when I popped my mailbox open today."   LOL!!

I had to laugh when I saw that, because I can totally understand sometimes that when life gets you going, smaller things like cards and blogging can take a back seat.  

From my end Dennis, this trade was great, and for me unforgettable.   Thank you very much!

This one's for you....thanks for reading, Robert


( Words in this post 494, total for the month, 9343)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

There is life outside of the blogosphere.

Good Wednesday to you all, I actually stumbled across something very interesting on Tuesday that I thought I would share with you.

Most of you know I'm a numbers freak, so while looking over my stats for the Serial Insanity blog, I noticed a rather large amount of hits on Tuesday.  This link was actually responsible for 23 hits, which is more than that blog has received on a lot of days total.   So I decided to check it out, and I found this.

I have become an inspiration!! 

There is another collector out there that actually liked my serial numbered insanity idea enough to attempt one on his own.  His idea varies somewhat from mine, as he's going to go up to 3000 instead of 1500, and he's going to use all 4 sports and all types of cards (relics/autos) as well. 

The fact that he published a link to my blog was flattery enough for me!  I emailed him really quick on Tuesday, and his main worries were about cataloging and cards that had players from multiple teams.  Both worries I understand completely.

It may not be much to anyone out there, but to me this was a big deal, because as one of the new kids on the block, this is a triumph in my own mind.

The one card rule....another pickup from the Toronto Expo last week:

Any bad asses from the west coast interested???

Thanks for reading, Robert

(words in this post, 231.  total for the month, 8849)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Features on other blogs that I could never think of imitating.

Good Tuesday evening to you all, hope that you've survived the toughest portion of the week.  As many of you know, I try to stay active in other blogs.  Some of my posts do border on the verge of stealing other bloggers ideas. 

Imitation is the sincerest form of

Well, during my evening drive home from work today, there were several thoughts about truly unique ideas that I could never get away with stealing.  Take a gander.....

There are practical reasons I could not get away with copying these ideas: 

1. Airbrushed Fridays by Kerry at the Cards on Cards blog:

What's great about it?  A weekly series about cards that were absolutely butchered by Topps, fantastic!
Why I couldn't copy it:   I don't have the trained eye, or the card collection that Kerry has...simple enough.

2.  JayBee Anama's Sports Card Blogroll

What's great about it?  How can a blogger not like a one stop shop for finding pretty much any type of blog you're looking for.
Why I couldn't copy it:  I don't have the patience or the tenacity to keep up with each and every blog out there, an arduous task to say the least.

3.  The Hot Dog Tournament Championship on the Adventures of Napkin Doon:

What's great about it?  Baseball and hot dogs are part of America, so a perfect marriage was born.
Why I couldn't copy it:  There is only one hot dog vendor where I live, and the thought of driving 40 miles for multiple hot dog vendors....well let's just

4.  You complete me by Dennis on Too Many Grandersons

What's great about it?  Although not a regular series, this was a group of posts that I really enjoyed because Dennis took a great line from a great sports movie and used it effectively.
Why I couldn't copy it:  Two reasons, one it would be blatant stealing, and second, I really need to complete a set before I could use it.

There are humorous reasons I could not get away with copying these ideas:  (well, at least to me they're humorous)

1.  Delivery Time by Chris at Nachos Grande

What's great about it?  Chris turns each trade into a work of art, highlighting his favorite cards, and making the other person look great.
Why I couldn't copy it:  Two reasons, I) I don't trade near as much as Chris, II) I work for a delivery company, and using the word delivery each time I published a trade post would mean more work...which is a 4 letter word.

2.  Sketch Posts by dayf at Cardboard Junkie

What's great about it?  Dayf's great sense of humor and artistic talent come out in each of these posts.  Although I am new to reading his blog, the love he has for his ponies is almost mythical.
Why I couldn't copy it:  I couldn't draw a stick figure if my #@%$# life depended on it.

3.  Movember by Eric at Manupatches & Mustaches

What's great about it?  A great idea for a "franken-set" and promoting a great cause, fighting cancer.
Why I couldn't copy it:  I have a goatee.

4.  Awesome Night Cards by Greg at the Night Owl

What's great about it?  129 night cards and counting shows a love and dedication for these cards that few other collectors will ever possess.
Why I can't copy it:  Since I do the majority of my posts at night, posting about night cards at night is like using a double negative, which in turn would simply just cancel out my post (which I bet most of you are hoping would have happened by

I hope you enjoyed my look at other bloggers and their regular features, hopefully you haven't fallen asleep by now.

By the way, I have to show at least one card right?!  So I figure I'll show you #1, and leave it at that...

Thanks for reading, Robert

(words in this post,  650.  Total for the month, 8618)

The year a reliever almost won the ERA title

Good Tuesday morning to you all, hope that you survived Monday unscathed.  I was taking a deeper look into the cards that Kerry from Cards on Cards  had sent me, and came across a bunch of 1987 Leaf cards.  Leaf was Canada's version of Donruss, and it was pretty cool to see these cards again.

Case in point...

Here are 4 of the cards from the '87 set.  I like the black borders, the cards for the most part were pretty simple, no fancy logos or anything to distract you from the player on the card.

Joe Johnson started 15 games for the Jays in '86 after coming over in a trade from Atlanta, going 7-2.

Ernie Whitt was a long time Jays catcher who platooned with Buck Martinez for several years in the 80's,

Jim Clancy was also a long time starter for the Jays, spending 12 seasons in Toronto and winning 128 games. 

In the upper right hand corner is Mark Eichhorn, and yes he is the reliever that almost won the ERA title in 1986.  To say that he was a rubber armed pitcher that year was an understatement; check out his stats for the season.

14-6, 1.72 ERA, 10 Saves.  157 IP, 166 K's 45 BB, 105 Hits allowed.  All that in 69 appearances.  Mark was the talk of Toronto that year, so much so that there was a faction of people that wanted him to start a game during the last week of the season in order to get enough innings and qualify for the ERA title.  Mark refused, and Roger Clemens wound up winning the ERA title in '86 with a 2.48 ERA.  (Clemens won the Cy Young award unanimously as well that year)

1987 was also another good year for Mark, as he led the league in appearances with 89 but his innings pitched dropped to 127.2.

Mark also spent time in Atlanta, California and Baltimore, but to me will always be remembered for the 1986 season where he was the rookie with the golden arm.

Thanks for reading, Robert

(words in this post, 343:  total for the month, 7968)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Hello, my name is Robert M., and I'm a parallel/serial numbered card addict

Good evening to you all, hope that your week is off to a good start.  As I've talked about in previous posts, personal experiences play a big part in blog posts, so I figured I would delve a little into my past to enhance what I want to talk about in the present.

You may or may not have figured out what the post title represents.  If you, or any one of your family members may have dealt with an alcohol or drug problem, that is how people introduce themselves at meetings.  I personally have never joined Alcoholics Anonymous, but have had a close family member actually leave home for a month to enter a center and help himself "dry out".  I do not attempt to make light of this situation, I just use it to lead myself into this post, and offer a little more background into my life.  Anybody who knows AA is familiar with their 12 step program, and I am going to incorporate this into my own 12 step program for a better blog (for me anyways).  Look for that post soon.

OK then, enough of the preaching...on to what you came for,  the cards!!

Yes, I admit it, I am an addict when it comes to serial numbered parallels.  Hence the 2nd blog I'm working on as well.  I don't know what it is about serial numbered cards that fascinates me so much.

Case in point...

Reed Johnson, Chicago Cubs.  Card # US157 from this years Topps Update.  Cards are exactly the same except for the gold border on the left card.  Oh and the "60 years of collecting", can't forget that.

The only difference on the back?


That's it...


What's wrong with this picture.  Two minor details that are different from the original, and for some reason, I love the gold one more.  Makes no sense.

I've devoted an entire blog to chasing the damn cards.

It's because of my obsession with numbers, of which baseball over the years has done nothing but enhance.  Formulas for generating ERA, winning percentages, magic numbers, batting averages, etc.  All of these numbers did nothing but exercise my mind.

I am a numbers freak, and always will be.  Some of the new stats, such as WAR and OPS+ I still have not taken the time to digest and figure out how they are calculated and what they really mean to a major league team.  But I digress...

Here's another case in point...

maybe one of the best baseball names ever...

Another great card I received on the weekend while I was away, with arguably one of the best baseball names ever, Wesley Dodge Swackhamer.  The reason I picked it up?  Well, it's serial numbered as you can plainly see.   Sick I tell you, I'm just sick.

I could have just as easily gone on about how Wes never made it above high A ball, or played for a team with the great name of Swing of the Quad Cities in the Midwest League.   But no, it's a parallel, that's why I have it.

I am weird.  But I love it, I really do.  This is what makes me unique.

Hi, I'm Robert M., and I'm a serial numbered parallel card freak, and it's a pleasure to meet you.

thanks for reading, Robert

(words in this post, 552:  total for the month, 7625)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Week 16 begins @ a card show

Good Sunday evening to you all, I hope that you've had a great weekend.  I am a day late with the posting of the beginning of a week, mostly because I had no access to a computer last night. 

The show I mentioned you all are well aware of, it was Canada's "National", a 400 table event at the International Center just outside of Toronto.  I haven't been to one of these shows since the late 90's, and to be honest it really hasn't changed much.  Aisle after aisle of some great memorabilia.  Not only cards, but jerseys, sticks, masks, and meat  (YES, I said meat).

After perusing the show for the better part of 5 hours on Saturday, I realized I learned a lot of things:

1.  I'm 44 years old, and I can no longer do the things that I did when I was 24.  20 years ago I would have had no problems walking that floor and chatting it up with every dealer that had an interesting card.  This year, it's sad that after only a couple of hours, the most memorable thing for me was seeing an elderly woman riding in her wheelchair and thinking "I could use one of those right about now". 

2.  I still love hockey, and hockey cards.   Yes, I said it.  You can take the boy out of Canada, but you can't take the Canada out of the boy.  There was a ton of hockey cards there at some absolutely sick prices.  You'll see some of the cards I grabbed over the next little while at prices that were anywhere from 50-90 % off.

3.  Set builders at these types of shows are a dying breed.  Unless you're building a set of jersey cards, or building vintage sets from the 50's and 60's, which currently I am doing neither, you are out of luck.  I could count on maybe two hands the dealers that had stacks of commons boxes, and most of those weren't anything that I was collecting.  Maybe I'm just out of line with what's hot in collecting.

4.  I'm ready for another show like this.  There is a show in a Pittsburgh suburb every May that has a great selection of dealers carrying a wider variety of singles and sets.  I'll be there.

Well, the show for me was a great success, I was able to pick up some wax for dirt cheap prices, including a couple boxes of 08-09 series 2 UD hockey at $22 a box, along with a bunch of singles to put towards my Leafs collection.  Here's a couple of cards I really liked:

The mustache says it all

The first card I featured above is from 08-09 UD Artifacts, a dual patch card of Lanny McDonald.  Yes, it features him in his Flames uniform, but it also had a blue swatch, and my favorite memories of him will always be when he was wearing the blue and white.  Great card, numbered 19/50.

Next up, another great longtime Leaf (of course):

Had to have it

2008-09 Black Diamond Mats Sundin 4 swatch card.  Again, another card I got on the cheap, and loved the blue and white swatch in the lower left. 

These cards symbolize what's right, and what's wrong with the hobby right now.  Yes, I do love these cards, the fact that I got them for half "book" value, and that they picture two great Maple Leafs players.  But the show focused on what seemed to be nothing but these types of cards, especially from high end products such as the Cup, and Dominion. 

I hit one booth, I'm going to say he had approximately 10 shoebox storage boxes full of nothing but jersey cards!  Crazy.  Why?

I guess what I'm trying to say here is that I'm conflicted.  The set builder in me really wanted to hit this show and knock off a few of the set want lists that I brought with me.  The truth there is, I never took them out of the bag, because I couldn't find any of those sets. 

So I settled.  Settled on buying wax and jersey cards.  I loved the show, don't get me wrong, but a part of me left there unfulfilled.  Probably because the true collector in me didn't get to come out.

Thanks for reading, Robert

(words in this post:  721, total for the month, 7073)

Friday, November 11, 2011

A bounty of Blue Jays arrives on my doorstep

Good Friday to you all, hope that you are ready for a great weekend!  I got home last night from work, and headed straight to the dining room table, where the days mail is normally left for me to peruse.  Naturally, I look immediately for the bubble mailers that contain the travails of another collectors' desire to keep my collection growing by leaps and bounds.

This envelope was a lot thicker than the normal envelopes I have been receiving lately.  I open it up and there are three bricks of cards, all from Kerry at the Cards on Cards.  I had sent him a stack of '03 & '04 Topps Heritage that he needed, and in return I got an envelope stuffed with some great cards.

Kerry first hit some of my '11 Heritage want list:

This is still one of my favorite sets from this year, unfortunately for me I've had little luck pulling the short prints.  Of the 62 cards I need to complete the set, 53 of them are short prints, so this is gonna get ugly. 

The Adam Lind card encased in a top loader is a short print, which is good, but I'll also have to find one of those for my Blue Jays collection.

Speaking of Blue Jays, that was the meat of the envelope.  Slightly over 100 of the Blue Birds came into my possession, some great cards from a wide variety of years.  Today, I'm going to discuss 4 of the cards, because if I were to go over all of them, those of you who are insomniacs out there would be no longer.

These 4 cards intrigued me because I remembered buying a few packs back when they first came out. 

These cards are from the '91 and '92 OPC Premier sets that at the time were popular in Canada.  The '91 set was released to capitalize on the hockey release which collectors went nuts for(in Canada anyhow).   The set size mirrored the hockey sets as well, there were 132 cards in the '91 set, while the '92 set contained 198 cards.  As you can see, the cards on the front had solid action photos, along with the players position listed in both English and French.   The backs contained a head shot photo, the team logo, and stats featuring the most recent season along with career stats.  The stats were also limited, as for hitters they only contained batting average, hits, HR and RBI, while pitchers stats were W-L, K's, shutouts and ERA. 

These cards have really fallen off the map as far as the magazine thinks, because neither of them are listed. 

OPC tried to mimic the success of the hockey set by making the checklist heavy in 2 ways:

  • Lots of Blue Jays, 13 of them by my count in the '91 set.
  • RCs...remember Kirk Dressendorfer anyone?  I'm sure you don't, but he was popular back in the early 90's.  Kirk was one of those up and comers like Todd van Poppel was, and we all know how that turned out.

There are still dozens of cards that I can sit and describe, but those are for another post (s).  Thank you very much for the cards Kerry, they are appreciated!!

Thanks for reading, Robert

(words in this post, 542.  Total for the month, 6352)