Saturday, March 30, 2013

The 1K/2K club: Ivan Rodriguez

2006 Fleer Ultra Fine Fabrics

Why Ivan Rodriguez as the first baseball player featured in the 1K/2K club?  2427 games behind the plate.  That stat in itself is amazing.  I don't think that anybody will ever come close to catching that many games in their career, at least not in my lifetime.  None of the players ahead of him on the all time games played list (2543 games played total, tied for 45th all time with Jim Thome) was a career catcher.   

While catching all those games, Ivan was a helluva hitter, compiling some great career numbers.  .296 career average, 2844 career hits.  Won a world series with Florida in 2003.  AL MVP in 1999. 

14 time all star.  13 time gold glove winner.  8 times he threw out more than 50% of runners trying to steal for a season.  In 2001 he threw out more than 60%

First ballot hall of famer?  I think of Johnny Bench when I think of great catchers, and he was voted in first ballot with 96.4% of the vote.  My opinion is that "Pudge" should at least get that amount of the vote, if not more. 

Love the intense look of Ivan on the 2006 Fleer Ultra Fine Fabrics card above.  This card was picked up at a show for a paltry $2.  A nice addition for the club.

Thanks for reading, Robert

Common card of the day: Tim Salmon

A little less emerald on the card than this years Topps cards, but Tim's card still looks good to me.

Thanks for looking, Robert

There is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow

It's always cool to receive an email from a fellow blogger saying that they have cards for you.  What sucks is when you don't have anything in return for them.

Today, I was fortunate to receive a package from Bryan over at Golden Rainbow Cards, which contained some serial numbered goodness for the SNI project.  The 5 cards bring the total number of cards towards the project to 816, 26 of which come from the 2009 Topps set which is featured below in this lot.

A pair of Yankees bring their total to 38.  I wasn't aware that Phil Coke was part of the mega deal that brought Curtis Granderson to the Yankees.  Nady's 2009 season was limited to a total of 28 ABs after hitting .330 the year before with the Pirates.

Speaking of the Pirates, here's a gold parallel of former manager John Russell.

Kind of feel bad for the guy because he had the misfortune of leading 3 Pirates teams that were pretty much gutted by salary dumps.

The final two cards are players who were featured in Dodger blue, but are both in other locales now...

What goes around comes around.  Juan Pierre finds himself back where had some of his greatest success, down in South Florida.  119 games played for him this year will get him to the 2000 mark for his career, and 9 more stolen bases gets him to 600.

James McDonald started like a house of fire last year for the Pirates, only to see the All-Star break be his undoing.  James enters 2013 as the de facto #3 starter in Pittsburgh, and Steeltown is hoping that he can regain the form that had him among the pitching leaders in the NL for the first 3 months of 2012.

Bryan, thank you for the cards, they really are appreciated!!

thanks for reading, Robert

Friday, March 29, 2013

Common card of the day: Bob Walk

My wife and I have nicknamed him "Grumpy", just because whenever we listen to him on Pirates telecasts, Bob tends to sound a little grumpy at times.

But in truth, the five man rotation that the Pirates have for their announce team do a really good job calling games.

thanks for looking, Robert

Thursday, March 28, 2013

I wouldn't mind seeing more cards like this

In a quick fit of madness while at the LCS last weekend, I picked up 3 packs of 11-12 Score hockey.   I honestly thought that they were this years, but hey there's nothing wrong with any hockey card, even if it's last years.

It was the standard 7 cards per pack, and with the 11-12 set, there was one glossy card in each pack.  For the most part, I really didn't hit anything worth writing home about.  But this one card of Rod Brind'amour really struck a chord with me.

Card #17, the jersey retirement card for Brind'amour was something that I wouldn't mind seeing more of.  I am aware that we don't see many number retirement ceremonies (in Toronto you don't see any), but the shot of Rod watching his jersey rise to the rafters of the PNC Arena is a really good shot. 

Something different every once in a while is always good.  With photos like this one, out of the norm is even better.

thanks for reading, Robert

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The bloom is off the rose

Last year, I had the itch.  The year before, same thing, the itch was there.  2013, well that's a different story.

I've come to the conclusion that the modern set just isn't doing it for me any more.  There, I said it. 

I wanted to love the 2013 Heritage set.  I really did.  But 3+ weeks after its release, 2013 Heritage just isn't giving me the itch.  I will collect the set, but there's no hurry.  By the time A&G comes out in the summer, I'm sure that I'll be able to find dealers that are trying to dump the SPs for a buck or 2 in order to move product.

If I don't get them then, oh well.  There's always next year, or the year after that.  I'm still trying to complete 2011 Heritage after all, so what's the hurry?

But to say that the bloom is off the rose for me as far as the 2013 baseball card releases go, would be quite an understatement.  So far, the most excitement from the '13 Heritage set for me has been pulling these 15 SPs.

Outside of Andrew McCutchen, who I get to watch quite a bit since I reside in the Pittsburgh market, none of these players really excites me.  Ryan Braun?  Nope.  Stephen Strasburg?  The potential is there, but the sample size is small.  Same with Bryce Harper. 

Non-numbered purple parallels?  They don't do it for me either, unless they are Blue Jays. 

Topps has it right though, I do love the thrill of the chase, but even more so now for chasing cards like this:

Or this:

Or this:

Trust me, this is not a complaint at all about the current products that Topps has released.  The flagship design (or sea turtleus designus for those looking for the genus) and the Heritage design are both fine from where I sit. 

Who knows, maybe it's the modern players on the cards.  Maybe it's the umpteen inserts that are quenching my fire. 

Maybe it was finds like the $10 Koufax that thrilled me to no end (and will for a long time, no doubt).  It could have been the National last summer that showed me that there was a great world of vintage out there to be explored and bought if I only searched hard enough.

Pre '86 baseball, I'm all ears.  Newer stuff is going to be purchased at a more leisurely pace, if purchased at all.  I realize that this may take away a lot of my potential for trading in the blogosphere.

Sorry about that, but the thrill of the chase is going to be on my terms.   The bloom is off the rose.

Thanks for reading, Robert

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Common card of the day: Derrek Lee

Taken back when the Marlins had a least I think they did..

thanks for looking, Robert

Monday, March 25, 2013

Now that 2008 UD Masterpieces is complete...

Bring on the original.  The quest for the 2007 UD Masterpieces set has now begun.  I was fortunate enough to have a pack of them sent to me courtesy of Pat over at Hot Corner Cards (a nice surprise by the way, thank you Pat), and they did not disappoint.

I will not give you scans of John F. Kennedy and Tom Glavine, but this one card of two Hall of Famers is definitely worth a look.

A great reason why my love for these cards is justified.  I may be 6 years late in trying to collect this set, but at only 90 cards, with no SPs, I should be able to knock this one out of the park relatively quickly.

I only have 84 to go....

Thanks for reading, Robert

Common card of the day: Ron Perranoski

Involved in two different trades with guys that had a 'Z' in their names.  Was traded in 1960 for Don Zimmer, and then in 1967 was part of a trade that sent Zoilo Versalles to the Dodgers.

Thanks for looking, Robert

Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Purple Card Eaters

I stopped by my closest LCS yesterday, probably for the last time ever.  This is the same store that I've kind of complained about before, but it is close to me and I was in need of a couple different supply items.

Why will it be for the last time ever you ask?  I opened the door to the shop, and it hit me.  The absolute stench of cigarette smoke.  Don't get me wrong, I have no problems with people who smoke.  Mrs. Habit is a smoker (kind of an ironic statement there...), but she doesn't smoke in the house at all. 

When I walked in and that wall of smoke hit me, it truly turned me off for good.  I got what I needed, and I got out of there for the last time ever.   It really is a shame, because it's only about a 20 minute drive from my house, and the Mrs. and I are in that town at least once or twice a month. 

Anyhow, while I was making my supply purchase, I grabbed a few hobby packs of Heritage and brought them home for ripping.  To what did my wondering eyes see, but a purple refractor in each of the 6 packs:

I pictured only 5, because the 6th one is already in a PWE headed to another blogger.  I didn't see any odds listed for these cards, so is 1 per pack the norm, or did I stumble into a purple hot box? 

They are not serial numbered (damn), so for me, they are trade bait.  Drop a comment if you wish to own one or more of these cards, and I'll do my best to get them to you as quick as I can.

Thanks for reading, Robert

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Auction #1: 2011 Topps Diamond Parallel Babe Ruth SP

Duration:  As long as it takes
Buy It Immediately Price: $15.00
Description:   Pulled from a pack many moons ago, I decided to put this up on my own auction site to see if I could attract anyone's attention.  No reasonable offer refused.
Shipping:  PWE is free, otherwise single cards are shipped in a bubble mailer for a cost that I feel like charging you depending on the day of the week.

If you haven't grasped it yet, this post is a semi-humorous/semi-serious attempt at poking a little fun at our friends over at eBay.  I've thought about this post for a couple of days now, largely due to the response I've seen over the increase in fees that eBay is putting in place.  I wonder how big a hit (if any) eBay will take from card sellers decreasing/removing their auction load altogether.  eBay does have the power of a world wide audience, but you know that some people are just going to be fed up with all the extra money they are losing and they'll end up searching for other avenues to sell their product.

Like it or not, most of us do sell cards.  My success recently with the numbered Gwynn and Pfister cards only helped to enhance my collecting/blogging experience by affording me the luxury to buy cards such as the Brett and Yount RCs from 75 Topps. 

With the money that eBay and other auction sites charge for fees, I wonder when someone will turn their own blog into a money making venture by incorporating auction style posts into their day to day posting regimen. 

For all I know, there may be somebody out there doing it now, and I just haven't come across their blog as of yet.  If they are, all the power to them if they can make it work.  

Little guys like me, who knows what the future holds when it comes to selling cards...

thanks for reading, Robert

Common card of the day: A.J. Pierzynski

2009 OPC #5.  Whoever that is sliding into home, I'm pretty sure he's out.

thanks for looking, Robert

Friday, March 22, 2013

Cards from a fan that doesn't live in an attic

I could sit here all damn night, and would never be able to come up with a catchy post title for this one.  I received an email a couple of weeks back from Jeff over at the brand new blog Fan-Attic Sports Cards.  Jeff obviously had read a few posts of mine that portrayed a love of anything blue and white, and dug up a few cards for me, which of course are always welcome.

While the bulk of the package is '92 Topps (I'm still wondering how in the world I needed so many of those cards...), I found 15 others for your perusal, which will be counted down 5-4-3-2-1 style.

Let's start with 5 cards from 1992 Donruss, which is another set that I couldn't believe I needed so many of:

Love the CTV Sports banner in the background of the Kelly Gruber card, even more interesting is that Kelly is wearing a road uniform, which means a US ball park was kind enough to let the Canadians post their banner. (I'm thinking maybe Detroit?)

How about 4 cards of one of the greatest Jays ever, Roberto Alomar:

The '93 Upper Deck card (upper right) is a great shot, even the back of the card has a great photo of Robbie hitting in the batting cage wearing a headband.  Maybe if I ever get off my ass and put together a greatest Blue Jays cards countdown, that one will be there for sure.

Not to be outdone, the Blue and White purveyors of puck were represented as well.

Gilles Thibaudeau?  Man, that is a guy that I had completely forgotten about.  Gilles was one of those players that was too good for the AHL, but just not good enough to make a career for himself in the NHL. 90-91  was his final NHL season; Gilles would play 9 more years after that in Switzerland, where he actually had quite the career by scoring 435 points in 332 Swiss League games.

How about 2 cards from a set I completed not too long ago, 1986 Topps.

Every other Cliff Johnson card I've featured shows him with a mean/angry look on his face, so this card is a nice change.  I truly believe that #37 should be the next number sent to the rafters of the Skydome, because Dave Stieb has easily been the franchise's best pitcher of the first 35 seasons.  Yep, better than Halladay, Guzman, or any of the other guys that came and went from 77-12.

Let's see how well this last card scanned...

Sandy kicked around for quite a while in the bigs, a lot longer than I ever remembered.  2004 was the last season that he appeared in a major league game, even though he was signed by teams up until his retirement after the 2007 season.  While researching Sandy's stats, the Baseball Reference website pulled up a little tidbit for me, Sandy has 4 major league seasons to his credit with less than 25 ABs.  Check out the link to see the stats for Paul Hoover, who has the distinction of 6 major league seasons with less than 25 ABs.  (I thought I had too much time on my!)

Jeff, thank you very much for the cards, they were really appreciated!! 

Thanks for reading, Robert

Common card of the day: Mike Beard

Mike Beard is missing something, though I just can't figure out what...

Gotta love a gently used '76 Topps card.

Thanks for looking, Robert

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Common card of the day: Tim Thomas

Oh how the mighty have fallen....well sort of.  Enjoy your career on the Island Tim

thanks for looking, Robert

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

I still have a lot of catching up to do

Over the past few weekends, I've said it many times and it still hasn't happened.

"I'm going to get this mess cleaned up this weekend".   Yea right.

I always end up finding something else to do.  Housework.  Groceries.  Stare at the TV and yell at the Leafs.  It's real easy to find any kind of excuse not to work on the land mine that is my collection right now. 

One of the many projects that I want to get started is the cataloging of my 2 player collections, Joe Sakic and Jim Thome.  Thome's collection of 25 cards should not be that difficult. My Joe Sakic collection, of which I have at least 10x more, is going to be a little bit more of a task.

I was fortunate to pick up a handful of Joe Sakic cards during my trip to the "new" LCS a few weekends back, and I've finally resolved to at least write a few words about them.

This first card is probably my favorite of the five that I bought:

This 2003-04 Victory Freshman Flashback insert is one of only 3 cards (Joe's OPC/Topps RC's being the other 2) that feature Joe wearing the #88 on his Nordiques jersey.  I could be wrong and there might be other cards that feature Joe with the double snowmen, but for now this is a great find for me. 

This next card still strikes me as odd when I look at it.

It's kind of hard to see from the scan, but that extra area around the top of the card is indeed a border, quite a large one as a matter of fact.  I originally thought that this was an early 90's insert card, but upon further review, it turns out that it is actually card #55 in the 92-93 OPC set. 

The final card is one that I really like as well, it features Joe in the middle of a faceoff win:

That is card #54 from 06-07 Upper Deck, a set that I have never bought one pack of.  Someday, that will change as well, as this design is one that I really like, and as usual the Upper Deck photography is top notch.  Yes, I am grading the set on only one card, but in the end I only have to answer to myself. 

My frenzy of Heritage buying the past couple of weeks has only added to the clutter, and for me to ever hope of catching up with the madness that I call a collection, I'm probably going to have to sit down and write a list of the things I need to do.

Maybe slowing down would be a good start...

Thanks for reading, Robert

Common card of the day: Tim 'Rock' Raines

Great shot of Tim making contact....

6 straight seasons of 70+ steals, 2nd in ROY voting to Fernando Mania, 2600+ hits, .294 average.  I think it's time for Tim to be in the HOF.  (just my opinion)

thanks for looking, Robert

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Common card of the day: Oscar Gamble

I had to look twice, but there are actually four players pictured on this card.

Great stuff indeed

Thanks for looking, Robert

Monday, March 18, 2013

You just never know what you'll get on Twitter

I enjoy Twitter.   I'm not a big tweeter, but I enjoy certain hockey/football insiders that get the inside scoop on all the happenings in the sports world that I care to know about.

I also follow a few of the card bloggers/case breakers out there as well.  A lot of the conversations that I've seen on Twitter regarding card related issues have kept me entertained, as well as informed.  Twitter is where I learned that Topps had its' exclusive license with MLB extended until the year 2020 (which is a conversation for a later date, I still have to process what this means to the hobby, and to me). 

Twitter is also where I won something.

Yes, you read that correctly.  I awoke to an email from Twitter last week stating that I had won a prize from one of the many card breakers that I follow. 

Well alrighty then!!!

Saturday I come home from running errands to a brown envelope in my mailbox.  Less than a week from providing my address to receiving my prize, from Canada no less.

Now, it's not a card that features the blue and white of my beloved Maple Leafs, but for free, this is still a pretty damn good card.

A dual jersey of P.K. Subban and Josh Gorges from 2012-13 SP Game Used.  Yes, it features a couple of players from the Evil Empire of hockey (at least from where I sit), but I still can appreciate the card design.  It helps that at least one of the swatches isn't white as well.

It reminded me that I'm overdue to run a contest here as well.  I plan to do one at the beginning of April, so stay tuned for that.

Thanks for reading, Robert

Common card of the day: Wally Szczerbiak

Found in a sea of baseball/hockey cards.  I figured what the hell, let's go outside the norm.  Then I started to type his last name and regretted it instantly.

thanks for looking, Robert

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Compare and contrast

Whenever I see those two words together, I get the shivers.  Compare and contrast were the buzzwords for my high school English teachers when they wanted me to write a load of b.s. about a book that we were reading.   My whole problem was, I could never grasp just how to do it.

Likely because I spent too much time in 1st period English trying to look up the skirts of the beautiful young ladies that sat across from me in class.    Memories....

While going through the blasters (yes, I said blasters plural...) of 2013 Heritage I've bought recently, I came across one card that hit me right away.

Card #200, Clayton Kershaw of the LA Dodgers.  Now before you go out of your mind thinking that I'm turning into another Dodger blogger, don't hit that panic button just yet.  There are plenty of other great people out there that can take care of the Brooklyn side just fine.

What hit me about the card is the comparison to the #200 card of the '64 set, one Mr. Sandy Koufax.

Both players had great seasons prior to the release of the card (Kershaw's W-L record aside), and were/are star left handers for the Dodgers.  The only contrast really between the 2 players is that Koufax was part of the 1963 World Series champion team, while Kershaw's 2012 Dodger squad finished 2 games from a wild card spot, and 8 games out of first.

While I'm sure that Topps had known for a least a year that Kershaw was going to be #200 in the set to make the comparison to the '64 set a lot more tolerable, I thought about the other cards in the set and how they compared to each other.

I'm sure I'll be able to find a few other card #'s in the set that will be either as close as the Kershaw-Koufax pairing, or as far apart as the sun and the moon. 

Now only if high school English had more cards, maybe compare and contrast would have meant a lot more to me....

Thanks for reading, Robert

Common card of the day: Al Leiter

A little wearing of the green for all the fine Irishmen/women reading today.  Happy St. Patrick's Day to all!

Thanks for looking, Robert

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Moving the Heritage & Flagship inserts/parallels

As you may know, I'm not a big insert collector.  Parallels in certain circumstances, yes, but not inserts. 

I've tried to keep them moving as quickly as I can, just to keep a little room around for other cards.

So, without further adieu, let's get the party started, and see how many of these beauties we can move out in the next couple of weeks.

Let's start with flagship:

The calling card inserts look really nice,but I'm sure that there are fans of these three who would enjoy these cards much more than I. 

The chasing history inserts is an interesting idea, but there's no place for them in my collection.  Help me find them a good home.

A couple of chasing the dream inserts.  I'm sure that there are some team collectors that would be interested.

The Emerald Green parallels are of a couple of stiffs who will never amount to a hill of beans.  The '72 mini looks a little fishy to me.  Cardinals fans might enjoy the camo and cut to the chase cards.  I'm not sure if there are any Yankees fans left out there, but if there are one of them might like the Pettitte.

On to Heritage.  Let's start with the Blue Parallels, which in my opinion look kind of snappy.

Again, nothing but stiffs here.

How about a black backed base card....close your eyes because this one features two guys who just won't do anything for your fantasy team.

Neither of these guys are from Venezuela, but the card is...supposedly

I kind of like the New Age Performers insert, probably one of the few times over the years of Heritage that I have enjoyed the design.  I already have the R.A. Dickey NAP card for my Jays collection (thank you Pat)

The News Flashbacks are an insert set that I wouldn't miss if they ever stopped producing them.

Here are some more various inserts from Heritage for your consideration:

Those Trout and Jeter guys just keep popping up, don't they??

Finally, a couple of chrome goodies.

I've had good luck with the refractors, I've hit 3 so far, 2 of which were numbers I needed for the serial insanity set. 

So there you have, trade bait from the first quarter of 2013.  Let me know what you would like to trade for in the comments, and if you're just wanting to do a 1 for 1 or 2 for 2 trade, if you prefer the plain white envelope method of shipping.

Looking forward to hearing from you, Robert

Common card of the day: Ed Kea

Now just imagine if his parents would have named him Ian.

He could have signed everything  I. Kea.  (insert groan here)

Thanks for looking, Robert

Friday, March 15, 2013

PWE's are all right by me

One of the things I've tried to do on my last couple of trips over to Sam's club is to bring home bubble mailers.  They have a pretty good deal on boxes of 25, so for an extra $6 on the grocery bill, I keep myself stocked up for trading purposes.  I actually have two full boxes in reserve right now, along with the one I have open with about 2/3 remaining.

Now, the PWE revolution seems to be beginning.  I honestly don't blame any of you out there either for starting to send stuff in a PWE.  It's cheap, quick and you don't have to wait in line at the post office (unless you need stamps of course).

I've even bandied about the idea of getting a few PWE's together for some of you, heaven knows I probably owe a few of you out there.

Speaking of PWE's, I received one today from Matt over at Card Anathema with three more pieces of the 1500 card serial insanity puzzle, all courtesy of 2011 Topps.

I just noticed, all 3 are in gray unis.  And what do I see in the middle, an Astro!  They are the last team to be 1/3 complete, as Barmes is the 17th Astro towards the set. 

Matt, thank you very much for the cards, they really are appreciated!!   PWE's, yes they are all right by me.

I may have to look into whether Sam's has a good deal on PWE's. 

Thanks for reading, Robert

Common card of the day: Rollie Fingers

Okay, maybe this card isn't really one you would consider a common, but I thought a shot of Rollie without the trademark handlebar was worth showing.

thanks for looking, Robert

Thursday, March 14, 2013

From 4 to 2 to 1 to done

The 2008 UD Masterpieces adventure is over.   The set was finally completed today.  The last 4 cards of the set that I needed were all SPs, and arrived at my doorstep within the past 3 weeks.

First, a couple of ebay auction wins provided a couple of great catchers, Carlton Fisk and Johnny Bench:

When I was down to 2, I received one of the two from Pat at the Hot Corner Cards blog, Ryne Sandberg:

When I got down to 1, I hit eBay running, and within 4 days, Bob Gibson showed up on my doorstep, in a PWE no less...

Great cards indeed.  That's the 23rd set completed since I started the blog, and also means that one of the Fab Five has been completed.

I finally decided to add a hockey set to the Fab Five, the 99/00 UD MVP silver signature parallel set.  I only need 9 more to complete that set, hopefully that task will not require a year or two to complete.

thanks for reading, Robert