Friday, March 30, 2018

Happy Birthday Chris Sale

Just a quick post to wish Boston Red Sox ace Chris Sale a happy birthday!

2018 Topps Heritage #109 Chris Sale

Chris shares his birthday with such famous people as Vincent van Gogh, Eric Clapton, Warren Beatty, Celine Dion, Norah Jones, MC Hammer, and, well, me!

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Time Travel Trading Update #8

Francisco Mejia peeked through the blinds of his hotel room. It's been weeks since he last left the room, and to be honest, he was still no closer to figuring out if it would be safe to venture out. It was only by divine grace that he overslept and missed practice with the Cleveland Indians. The same day the entire complex disappeared. From then, the news has reported on numerous unexplained mysteries around the country - baseball players just disappearing into thin air. For now, he was safe, and if it meant hiding out for awhile longer, so be it.

A knock on the door startled him. It would be his cousin bringing food and other necessities. Francisco opened the door to find two men in black suites. "Mr. Mejia, my name is agent Renko, and this is Agent Travers. We'd like to ask you a few questions about the disappearing athletes."

Mejia was about to speed when his eyes glazed over in horror. Two more men in suites came up behind the two agents, and they were exactly the same two men as the agents who just came in. "Dang it! We've been double printed!" Agent Travers exclaimed. As the four doppelgangers stared at each other, Francisco Mejia passed out and fell to the floor.


Kareem opened his eyes, and found himself in a strange place. Men in suits talked on little rectangular objects with looks of fear and uncertainty in their eyes. Suddenly one of them approached him. "Mr. Abdul-Jabbar, there has been a terrible mistake. You're not supposed to be here. Come with me and we'll get you home." The fogginess in his head only allowed him to nod as he was turned around and led into the same strange door from which he emerged.


Being on vacation, I got a little behind on my Time Travel Trading updates. This isn't a bad thing, as it allowed me to get caught up on the actual trades themselves. Since our last update, I've completed 2 more trades. First off, I received a couple of cards from one of my favorite sets from TCDB member alessandro11:

Love those Topps 1981 caps!

Just before I left for Florida, I received another trade offer from A.J. of The Lost Collector. This is my first trade of a card that I initially received from a prior trade. In exchange for basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, A.J. sent me these 10 cards:

Some modern cards

including a trade back to 2018!

1972 and 1977 goodness

Anyone working on the 1973 set?

One thing I wasn't counting on with this experiment was the generosity of my fellow traders. I was expecting mainly 1-for-1 trades, but with this trade my initial pack of 12 cards has netted me 31 cards!( Or should I say, netted you 31 potential cards!) With these two trades, I'm now officially caught up. There are no pending trades currently, and unless I get some new trade offers in, this may be the end result.

The Time Travel Trade Stack:

2018 Topps
#135 Atlanta Braves (TC)
#LTM-CC Carlos Correa (Legend In The Making insert)

2016 Topps Chrome
#185 Joey Votto

2013 Topps Update
#US84 Stephen Drew

2008 Upper Deck First Edition
#SQ-42 Derek Jeter (Starburst Common insert)

1990-91 Hoops (basketball)
#168 Glen Rice (RC)

1990 Topps
#18 Carlos Quintana

1981-82 Topps (basketball)
#14 Moses Malone

1981 Topps
#63 Steve Renko
#704 Bill Travers

1979 Topps
#455 Bill Lee

1978 Topps
#24 Don Money
#193 Rich Chiles
#347 Terry Forster
#445 Mike Ivie
#471 Roy Smalley
#581 Lynn McGlothen

1977 Topps
#22 Bill Freehan
#294 George Medich

1973 Topps
#18 Leroy Stanton
#36 Steve Barber
#98 Dick Woodson
#99 Carl Taylor
#102 Rudy May

1972 Topps
#374 Jack Heidemann

1971 Topps
#89 Ken Brett
#177 Hal McRae

1964 Topps
#305 Jack Lamabe

1962 Post Cereal
#58 Frank Malzone

1956 Topps Davy Crockett Orange Back
#54 The Alamo's Answer

1954 Bowman
#16 Jim Wilson

The time is now for you to make your offer! All it takes to be a part of the magic is to offer me a card older than the one you wish to receive!  Comment below or contact me on the Trading Card Database (TCDB name: Kep75). I need your help to keep this going!

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Repack Haiku #44 (Joe Boever)

"Boever the Saver"
Led '89 Braves in saves
Threw a mean palm ball

1989 Topps #586 Joe Boever

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Cardboard History Radically Changed My Collection

I love hockey. It's my second favorite sport behind baseball. Despite this, I was never a collector of hockey cards. I appreciate them, I enjoy other bloggers writing about and sharing theirs, but when it came to my own personal collection, my focus was always on baseball. Here's my hockey collection as it stands now:

That's it - 47 cards. Most of them came from some packs I purchased on a whim last year, and a few came from a fantasy baseball win recently. But that's it - nothing noteworthy to say the least!

Until now, that is.

Billy from Cardboard History recently celebrated his milestone 500th post, and decided to hold a contest. I won, and as a result Billy generously stuffed a box full of hockey cards!

Each of these packs is stuffed with roughly 50 cards apiece in them. This is going to take awhile! So much so in fact that I think I can get quite a few blog posts out of them. Since there are eight packs, I'll devote a blog post for each one, going through and picking a handful of cardboard that catch my eye and stand out. At the end I'll compare my collection from this point and see how radically it's changed!

I'll start off today featuring one of the pack that has a Sabres player on the front:

This pack had 47 cards in it - just like that, I've doubled the number of hockey cards I have!

2015-16 Upper Deck Sam Reinhart

The big name in Buffalo right now is Jack Eichel, but Sam Reinhart is a good young player I like as well. He has genuine talent, and I think he could be a star player.

1991-92 Pro Set French #319 1991 Stanley Cup Champions

This is just an awesome card. This is how I want all championship cards, across all sports, to be depicted. Win as a team, celebrate as a team.

1991-92 Pro Set Platinum #8 Dave Andreychuk

I can't complain about a new Hall of Fame inductee!

1990-91 Pro Set #26 Alexander Mogilny (RC)

I remember all the hype Molgilny had when he defected from Russia and came to play for the Sabres. He was a great player, even if he didn't turn out to be the legend we were all hoping for. It's very cool to have his rookie card.

1990-91 Pro Set #25 Clint Malarchuk

There are some moments in history that you will never forget where you were when it happened. For Sabres fans, it's Clint's horrific injury. Ironically enough, just  a few days ago, his story was posted on the Players Tribune. You can't help but feel for the guy and everything he went through. The fact that he's taken his life experiences and is helping others is nothing short of heroic.

These are just some of the highlights! I can't wait to see what else in in store! Thanks again Billy!

Friday, March 23, 2018

Spring Training Game 2018 Game #3 - Red Sox at Orioles


Because of Tuesday's rainout, I got a rare opportunity to see my favorite team instead. We had awesome seats, beautiful weather, and a great game (outside of an absolutely ugly 6 run inning that cost the Red Sox the game).
The starting lineup


Jackie Bradley Jr, just before he got doubled off.. :(

Ed Smith Stadium in a beautiful stadium and considered one of the best fan experiences in Spring Training. A big reason is the staff. The one downside is that the stadium isn't the most conductive for autograph seekers. The players enter and exit the clubhouse near the dugout, so there is a limited opportunity when the players come out to stretch. I was able to snag a quick signature from 4th string catcher Dan Butler beforehand, but as the players stretched it was a tough go. The staff informed us we had 5 minutes before we had to return to our seats, and it looks like I would just get the one autograph. At the last moment, one more player came over, and in the mad rush of extended arms holding balls, cards, photos and pens, I got this great autograph:

Boston's big off season signing J.D. Martinez! He was very nice and Made for a great final autograph for the week!

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Spring Traing 2018 - Other Adventures

We were supposed to go to Sarasota on Tuesday to watch the Orioles take on the Rays. Heavy rain and a tornado watch however cancelled it. The good news is that we got makeup tickets to Thursday game against the Red Sox! I'm Ok with that! 

Yesterday, we traveled to Tampa to George Steinbrenner Field. We didn't go to the game. (Prices there are rediculous - at the parking lot, we checked with a "reseller" and he offered us tickets at $70 each!)

Anyway, our primary intent was to hang around the practice field and try to get some autographs. We had a good view of the pitchers doing drills in the outfield.

As for autographs, I scored two big ones. (Sorry, not THOSE two....)

First I got former Yankee ace Ron Guidry, then later got current Yankee ace Luis Severino! Even a Red Sox fan like me can't complain about that!

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Repack Haiku #43 (Dave McKay)

All-time great mustache
An original Blue Jay
Now coach for D-backs

1983 Topps #47 Dave McKay

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Spring Training 2018 Game #2 - Twins at Pirates


I'm a Red Sox fan.  The two other gentleman I am with are Yankee fans. Over the years, we've adopted the Pirates as a mutually agreed upon second favored team. We usually stay in Bradenton where the Pirates play. Lecom Park is a beautiful place to watch a game and it's usually the one place we visit yearly.

Today was a great game V's the Twins. The Pirates came back from a 6-2 deficit to win a slugfest 11-8.

The starting lineup

In game action

Migel Sano on 3rd

Pirates bullpen

Lecom Park at McKechnie Field

Selfie with a pirate!

Today established a new personal best for autographs with 11 signatures between both teams. No All Stars, but still very cool. Here's the first signature on the ball, Twins backup catcher Mitch Garver.

Home Runs hit (5): Sano, Bell, Dozier, Osuna, Bostick

Amusing Moment: Late in the game, the Twin centerfielder and left fielder were named "Granite" and "Cave".

Answer to yesterday's game: Blue Jays Quality Control Coach (whatever that is) Mike Mordecai.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Spring Training 2018 Game #1 - Pirates at Blue Jays


First game of vacation was in Dunedin  Stadium in Dunedin, Florida. This is my first time at this stadium and seeing the Blue Jays. We got there early and did a little tailgating before heading into the stadium.
It was 74 degrees, but the humidity made it feel like 82. Luckily we were in the shade for most of the game, which the Blue Jays win 5-2.

Here's the lineups. The Jays had there big guns out, while the Pirates sent a slot squad.

A few pre game pictures taken along the first base side.

Let's play a game. I was successful getting an autograph at the game. Can you guess who this is? I'll start you out with 5 points. Subtract 1 for each clue you need. Ready?

Clue #1: He's a member of the Blue Jays.
Clue #2: He has a World Series ring.
Clue #3: He made his debut as a Brave
Clue #4: He's a member of the coaching staff.
Clue #5: He had a key hit in one of the most famous post season games in NLDS history.

Take a guess in the comments below.

I'll end with a shot I took of the sunsetset off the Gulf of Mexico this evening.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

By The Time You Read This...

...I'll be on my way to Florida!

My father-in-law, a friend, and I will be making our annual pilgrimage to enjoy the sights and sounds of the Grapefruit League! This will be my 5th year making the journey, and I'm going to try and throw some blog posts up during the week. We'll be taking in 3 games at 3 stadiums, along with some other adventures I'm sure!

I'll apologize in advance for the quality of the posts - it'll be my first time using the Blogger app on my phone to create them, and I'm not sure how much down time I'll have. There will probably be some hastily thrown together stuff, so hopefully they'll come out alright.

Hopefully it'll be a good week for autographs!

 (Oh, and a Happy St. Patrick's Day to everyone!)

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Repack Haiku #42 (Kevin Witt)

Bowman's card design
Looks like it was borrowed from
High School Picture Day

1998 Bowman #328 Kevin Witt

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Swapping Cards With Nachos Grande

For the second time in the past month, I've traded with Chris from the blog Nachos Grande. He was one of my trade partners in the Time Travel Trading series, and recently he blogged about the Eric Hosmer card I sent him. From that post I saw his want list for this year's base set. I knew I had some cards off his list, and initiated another trade. In exchange for 8 cards on his list, he sent me these in return:

2017 Topps Archives

When Archives came out last year, I was able to snag one pack. The next time I went shopping, they were all gone, and neither Wal-Mart nor Target would stock any more. The curse of Judge-mania hit and prevented me from buying a set I had every intention of buying plenty of. Oh well. I'm happy Chris could at least put a dent in the Red Sox cards I needed from that set. Thanks for the trade Chris - you are officially my first multi-trade partner!

Monday, March 12, 2018

Time Travel Trading Update #7

Some days, it felt like he was beyond redemption. Although he played the game right ever since he served his suspension, Ryan Braun knew that most fans wouldn't forgive him. He wished he could go back in time and handle it better, but he couldn't.

Braun sat at the bistro table with his agent discussing his career, and life in general. Although engaged in the conversation, his agent rarely took his focus off of his sandwich. "I don't know what you're hoping for, Ryan" he said between bites. "Even if we got you traded out of Milwaukee, the past is going to follow you..."

"I know" Braun said with a sigh of resignation. "I just wish I could go back and do things over, You know? Maybe even try my hand at basketball or some other sport...."

His agent looked up with renewed interest. "What did you just say?"

Braun rolled his eyes. "I don't know. Sometimes, I just wish maybe I never got into baseball. I always was pretty good at basketball. I wonder if I would have been good enough to make the NBA. It's all just crazy, wishful thinking."

"You know, Ryan" his agent grinned, "Maybe it's not so crazy after all! I may have an opportunity for you..."


Another of the original 2018 Topps came off the board recently when I traded Ryan Braun to TCDB member airpete. We never specified a return package, so when I got a PWE from him I was curious to see what my return would be. It wasn't baseball cards, but it was still very cool!

Even if you don't follow a particular sport, there are always names you know because of their greatness. I don't follow basketball, but I know Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Moses Malone. They were among the best to play the sport. I had to look up Glen Rice though, but his career was impressive as well! These are some pretty sweet cards, even if they don't fit my collection. The design of these Topps 1981-82 cards are fantastic. I love the starburst in the corner!

The Time Travel Trade Stack:

2018 Topps
#135 Atlanta Braves (TC)

2013 Topps Update
#US84 Stephen Drew

1990-91 Hoops (basketball)
#168 Glen Rice (RC)

1990 Topps
#18 Carlos Quintana

1981-82 Topps (basketball)
#14 Moses Malone
#20 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

1979 Topps
#455 Bill Lee

1978 Topps
#24 Don Money
#193 Rich Chiles
#347 Terry Forster
#445 Mike Ivie
#471 Roy Smalley
#581 Lynn McGlothen

1977 Topps
#294 George Medich

1971 Topps
#89 Ken Brett
#177 Hal McRae

1964 Topps
#305 Jack Lamabe

1962 Post Cereal
#58 Frank Malzone

1956 Topps Davy Crockett Orange Back
#54 The Alamo's Answer

1954 Bowman
#16 Jim Wilson

So now the stack has a bit more variety in it. As always the goal here is simple. I'm looking to trade all these cards away, and I'm looking to get an older card in return.Let me know in the comments below or propose a trade on my TCDB profile (Kep75)!

Friday, March 9, 2018

Payday Pack - I Only Read Topps News For The Articles

I picked up some of the Topps Heritage that half the blogging world has reviewed already. Overall, I like them. I don't think I'll chase the set, but I can see myself picking up a few more packs and chasing certain cards. Here are the best of the bunch:

3rd Place

2018 Topps Heritage #389 Shelby Miler
2018 Topps Heritage #234 Zack Godley

These two get to share 3rd place honors because I noticed how well they sync up. Almost exactly the same pose and same field. Plus you get the whole midday/dusk time lapse effect.

2nd Place

2018 Topps Heritage - Chrome Refractor #THC-356 Brian Dozier

If it wasn't for the serial numbering, I wouldn't have known the difference between Chrome and Chrome Refractor. Ease up on the parallels, Topps...

1st Place

2018 Topps Heritage #167 Joc Pederson

Between these and the All-Star cards, Topps has done a decent job recreating the 1969 subsets. These are cool.

Other Not Appearing On Stage:
#275 Mike Trout
#230 Ryan Zimmerman
#368 Jason Heyward
#86 2018 Rangers Rookie Stars (Calhoun/Gardewine)
#260 Khris Davis
#174 Welington Castillo
#462 Mike Napoli
#355 Brandon Kintzler
#290 Jose Berrios
#257 Hunter Pence
#296 Reynaldo Lopez
#135 2018 Nationals Rookie Stars (Read/Fedde)
#268 Kyle Schwarber
#123 Carson Fulmer
#102 Edwin Diaz
#373 Enrique Hernandez