Thursday, December 12, 2019

TCDB Trade Recap: Cards From Pelham, AL

This was by far the most unusual trade I've ever made. Last April, a TCDB member named Jeff messaged me about a 2005 Fleer Tradition parallel I had in my collection.  A fellow Red Sox fan, Jeff needed it to complete the team set, and was willing to trade a David Price autograph in return. Sounded more than fair to me, only one little problem. I could find the card he wanted anywhere! I thought I had a pretty good idea of which box I had it in, but it disappeared. I obviously didn't want to agree to the trade until I could put my hand on the card, so I told him I'd keep looking and message him once I had it. Weeks passed, then months. Jeff would occasionally touch base with me and see if I'd have any luck, but the card had vanished without a trace.

Fast forward to October. As I was putting cards away, guess which card decided to once again reveal itself? You got it! I pulled the card for safekeeping and message Jeff to see if he was still interested. He was, and we set up the previously discussed trade. I sent out his card. He sent out mine. He received his card. I....waited.

After almost two weeks, Jeff messaged me. He noticed I hadn't marked the transaction as received yet, and wanted to see if it had arrived. I told him it hadn't and that I'd wait another week. I know funny things happen with mail deliveries sometimes, and I didn't think anything suspicious was going on. Three weeks after the card was mailed out, and still nothing. Jeff offered up two replacement autographs, which I thought was quite generous.

I got those cards within a few days:

The Pedroia is an IP auto, and I absolutely love that it was signed "Laser Show" (One of the best nicknames in sports, IMHO). The Trot Nixon looks really sharp too.

As of this publishing, David Price still hasn't shown up either here or been rerouted back to Jeff. I told him I'd send it back if it ever came, and he generously said I could keep it.  I just hope it shows up somewhere. It'd be ironic if it took as long to arrive as it did for me to find Jeff's card. That would be a fitting bookend to this unusual trade.

Thanks again for the cards, Jeff!

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Repack Haiku #132 (Ryan Vogelsong)

Gather young Giants fans
Listen to this hero's tale:
Hear the Vogelsong!

 2013 Topps #196 Ryan Vogelsong (WS)

Vogelsong's postseason work has gotten overshadowed by names like Bumgarner and Cain, but that Game 3 gem against the Tigers was a shining moment for him!

Monday, December 9, 2019

Blog Bat-A-Round: 2019 Yearbook Page

With a new year around the corner, it's not unusual to start reading about the year in review, best of lists, and memorable moments that defined 2019. That goes for the card collecting hobby as well. I myself have done posts reflecting on how my collection has changed over the year, and have been thinking about other "year end" ideas as well.

I had a thought that I felt had potential to be a fun blog-bat-a-round. I was toying with the idea of a baseball card "yearbook" page. Consider your standard 9-pocket binder page. Nine places to summarize 2019 in baseball card form. Which 9 would you choose? Which sets would you choose?

It was a fun exercise, and before I show off my 2019 page, I'm going to establish a few parameters.

2 3
5 6

Spot #1: Topps has the exclusive license, so a base card gets the honor of the first spot.

Spots #2-6: A base card from any other 5 sets produced this year.

Spots #7 and 8: Cards from any 2 inserts or parallels.

Spot #9: Wild card - any card you want from 2019.

I'd like to challenge you to not repeat designs. That means passing on sets like Topps Opening Day or Chrome (Wild Card excluded of course!) Also, this isn't a team yearbook, so try not to make all the cards from your favorite team. I'll allow an exception for the current World Champions, only because 2019 was their year!
Got it? Awesome. With that in mind, here's what I put together:

(1) 2019 Topps NNO Vladimir Guerrero Jr.:  I could think of a better base card to represent this year than young Vlad's shoehorned inclusion to the set!

(2) 2019 Stadium Club #290 Stan Musial: Stadium Club's photography selection often gives us moments we haven't seen before. This is a great example of that.

(3) 2019 Topps Archives #158 Richie Ashburn: I've always enjoyed the hodgepodge of current players and legends on a multitude of base designs from collecting past.

(4) 2019 Topps Gypsy Queen #18 Cody Bellinger: Honestly, this could have been a toss up between GQ and A&G, but I've always been more of a Gypsy Queen fan.

(5) 2019 Topps Heritage #310 Red Sox Celebrate World Series Title Win!: If I'm going to limit myself to one red Sox card, I better make it count!

(6) 2019 Topps Living #132 Daniel Mengden: I felt one of Topps' online products should make the cut, and decided Mengden's beautifal 'stache should be commemorated!

(7) 2019 Topps - 150 Years of Professional Baseball #150-114 Ichiro: One of the best insert sets of the year celebrates MLB's 150 Years of baseball. I thought it'd be cool to show Ichiro's card since he also retired this year.

(8) 2019 Topps - Evolution Of #EO-22 Vintage/Modern Catcher's Mask: I also enjoyed this insert set showing how much things have changed over the course of those 150 years!

(9) 2019 Panini Diamond Kings #24 Christy Mathewson: For my Wild Card, I decided to include one of the better unlicensed products Panini was able to put out. The Diamond Kings set really shines when you have turn of the century ballplayers who don't necessarily need a team name or logo on the jersey.

So there you go! Your challenge, if you choose to accept it, is to create your own yearbook page and show it off. Let me know when it posts, and I'll gather it all together for future blogging enjoyment. Have fun!

*****New Blog Alert!*****

Last week I became aware of a new blogger in our little community. Go check out The Best Bubble!

Friday, December 6, 2019

11 Years And Counting

Just a heads up, this isn't a sports or sports card related post, but it's one I hope you'll stick around and read nonetheless.

Today is an anniversary of sorts for me. 11 years ago today, I was in a hospital having a cancerous growth removed from my right testicle. I officially became a cancer survivor on this date.

I was lucky. I caught it early enough to where I didn't need chemotherapy. Because of this, I encourage others to perform regular self examinations. Since most of my readership is male, that includes you. I'm providing information to help you learn what to check for. Do yourself a favor and read it. Check yourself. It doesn't take long to do, and it could save your life.

Maybe you've skimmed this post, and maybe you've truly read it. Maybe a few of you will consider this but forget, and maybe some of you will actually take the time to check. If I can get just one person to start regularly checking themselves, then I've done my job.

Go for it. Play with yourself. Just wash your hands before you go back to sorting cards! ;)

Thursday, December 5, 2019

TCDB Trade Recap: Cards From Poynette, WI

Today's trade comes from a TCDB member named Tom. He helped me grow my Mookie collection by sending a handful of cards from this year's insert set.

My favorite is probably the last one, due to the little ghost hand protruding from the side to congratulate him. This little batch almost doubled the amount of cards I have of the insert set. I'm not quite at the 50% mark, but I'm close enough to where I might start considering trying to finish the set.

Thanks again for the trade Tom!

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Repack Haiku #131 (Michael Pineda)

"Pine Tar" Pineda
Injuries and suspensions
Have kept him off-track

2011 Topps #595 Michael Pineda (RC)

Monday, December 2, 2019

The Collector's Christmas Kindness

Whenever I go to check the mail, there's a good chance my youngest daughter will ask if she got anything. She's pretty consistent when her birthday or the holidays are near, but she regularly asks even during the stretches of the year when she has no real reason to expect anything. She just loves getting mail. What kid doesn't?

As you get older, mail gets less exciting because it's more bills and junk than happy unexpected surprises. But every now and then, you get a happy and unexpected surprise. That's when your inner kid perks up and makes the smile on your face just a little bit wider.

I was blessed to receive such a mailing just before Thanksgiving from Chris at The Collector. My first thought was that this might be my Secret Santa gift for the year (which would be funny since it was the Secret Santa exchange from two years ago that first introduced me to Chris and his blog.) However, Chris made it very clear that this was not the case.

Inside were a delightful little cornucopia of cards - set building needs, Red Sox, and Sabres cards!

The highlight is probably the Jackie Bradley Jr. in all his pink refractor glory, but I can't deny those Red Sox of yesteryear speak to me like the ghosts of Christmas past! It's all great stuff, and the kindness of the card collecting community is just one more thing I gave thanks for this past Thanksgiving.

I hope all of you had a joyful Thanksgiving as well, and that Christmas brings you plenty of happy unexpected surprises! Thanks again for the cards. Chris!