Monday, December 24, 2018

Holiday Break

I decided to take a little holiday break and not post anything until after the new year. To everyone out there, I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. May this season be filled with warmth and good cheer surrounded by loved ones. Here's to a new year full of good health, good times, and lots of cardboard!

2000 Pacific - Ornaments #5 Nomar Garciaparra

Friday, December 21, 2018

Secret Santa 2018 Revealed!

Last year, I participated in my first blogger-community Secret Santa, which was held by Matt at Bob Walk The Plank. This year, Matt turned the reigns over to Jon at Penny Sleeves For Your Thoughts, and once again I signed up!

I received a package two weeks ago. The name and address looked familiar, and I was fairly certain it was with someone I had traded with before. Inside were some sweet cards, which I'll reveal momentarily, but otherwise the package contained no hint as to why it was in my hands. Did my Secret Santa refuse to reveal himself? Was this a random package of Christmas cheer from a former trade partner? An email to Jon confirmed that, yes, this was indeed my Secret Santa!

My Secret Santa is not a blogger, but a member of the Trading Card Database named Daniel, who goes by the handle vrooomed. Daniel is one of the more active members on the TCDB, and even runs the TCDB's fantasy baseball league. I have been on the receiving end of his generosity before. (He helped me complete a couple of sets!)

I must have been a good blogger this year, because my Secret Santa sent me some good stuff:

Starting out with some great Red Sox cards, mostly Bowman. The bottom row contains two refractors and a sweet Hanley Ramirez relic!

Daniel also provided a box of Topps Update! He picked a good one, as I needed all but 10 of the cards inside. Did I get any good hits?

Well, I was happy to get the International Affair insert for Raffy Devers, and the Julio Urias was a gold parallel serial numbered to 50. Also it wouldn't be Christmas without a rainbow foil of Jesus!

Thank you so very much Daniel!

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Repack Haiku #82 (Rick Leach)

A two-way sports threat
All-state high school quarterback
Drafted by Broncos

1989 Topps #682 Rick Leach

Monday, December 17, 2018

No One Wanted a Hall of Famer's Rookie Card!

This is maybe my 4th or 5th attempt at blogging. The others have fallen at the wayside because I haven't been able to consistently create content. I think the longest I've gone has been 2 -2 1/2 years. This one right here is still only 20 months old. Maintaining a blog is hard to do, and harder to do well. When a blog can celebrate a 10 year anniversary, it's truly a remarkable feat worth celebrating.

Greg, aka Night Owl, hit that mark recently over at Night Owl Cards. To be able to keep a blog up and running for a decade requires talent and a love what you're writing about. Night Owl has both of those in abundance!

To celebrate this decade of excellence, Greg held a giveaway for his followers. 30+ cards, all of them impressive - vintage, relics, short prints. There wasn't a stinker in the whole lot. When I was assigned spot #30 on the list, I was actually relieved. There were no Red Sox in the lot, so it would have been a tough decision to begin with. Being at the bottom of the pack meant I only had to pick from 3-4 remaining cards - much more manageable! Like everyone else, I ended up with a great card:

I'll be honest, I was a little surprised that this was still around when it was my turn to pick. I know that "junk wax era" cards don't hold the appeal of the previously mentioned vintage, relics, and short prints. However, we're talking about the rookie card of an inner circle level Hall of Famer! Granted, it's not as iconic as his Upper Deck rookie, and slightly less commonplace than his Donruss or Fleer, but this is still the rookie card of one of baseball's all-time greats. That made my decision easy! I even have a nice way to display it!

Thanks Night Owl! Thank you for the card, but more so thank you for the blog, for giving us things to read, ponder, and discuss for these past 10 years. I'll be reading for as long as you keep writing!

Friday, December 14, 2018

Payday Pack - Medusa

With the holidays quickly approaching, this will probably be my last Payday Pack of the year. Chances are good this may even be the last Payday Pack until the new set comes out, unless something catches my interest. Anyway, let's take another look at some Series 2!

3rd Place

2018 Topps #556 Andrew Benintendi (ASR, FS)

Like I need an excuse to watch this catch again:

2nd Place

2018 Topps #558 Ben Gamel

I know these walls are padded, but man that looks like it hurt!

1st Place

2018 Topps #542 Pittsburgh Pirates (TC)

That hair reminds me of Medusa's head of snakes! I wish I had the photo editing skill to make it look like Jason Jaso is turning all of his teammates into stone. That would look amazing!

Other Not Appearing On Stage
#658 Tom Koehler
#605 Lucas Giolito
#660 Mitch Haniger (FS)
#376 Kyle McGrath (RC)
#653 Jorge Soler
#370 Steven Wright
#424 Matt Wieters
#404 Alex Claudio
#544 Yadier Molina
#367 Liam Hendriks
#622 Ryan Rua
#525 Johan Camargo
#659 Arizona Diamondbacks (TC)
#529 All Smiles (CL)
#692 Tony Watson
#S-48 Wil Myers (Salute insert)
#AJ-13 Aaron Judge (Aaron Judge insert)
#II-20 Buster Posey (Instant Impact insert)
#LITM-6 Addison Russell (Legends In The Making insert)
#LITM-16 Jacob deGrom (leGends In The maKing blue insert)
#351 Bryce Harper
#568 J.C. Ramirez
#664 Gregor Blanco
#483 Drew Pomeranz
#387 Julio Teheran
#687 Blake Treinen
#695 Matt Davidson
#582 Albert Pujols
#541 Dwight Smith Jr.
#496 Leury Garcia
#637 Manny Pina (ASR)
#647 Jose Urena
#484 Kenta Maeda

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Repack Haiku #81 (Steve Cishek)

Now with Chicago
Holds Marlins closer record
Thirty-three straight saves

2012 Topps Update #US169 Steve Cishek

Monday, December 10, 2018

Time Travel Trading Update #24

Willie Jones saw the letter "W" everywhere he went. For obvious reasons it was the first letter he learned how to write, and he always admired the different ways that people would create it. During his career, a "W" was the goal of every game. Now here he was looking at his new cap - a white squiggly-looking "W" from a team that didn't exist the first time he was around. 

"Hey Willie, you're up!" one of the coaches bellowed. Thank the Good Lord no one called him "Puddin' Head" here. He hated that nickname. He wouldn't admit it, but that was the main reason why he turned down the chance to return to the Phillies. They wanted to embrace that moniker. They even had some endorsement lined up with the Jell-o. No thanks, he thought. People thought I was slow because of that name. 

Willie Jones stepped into the batting cage for the first time in almost 60 years. Fans lined up in Nationals gear just to watch him take practice swings. It felt good.

Willie Jones saw the letter "W" everywhere he went.


Sometimes I have an idea for a story based on the cards I'm sending out. Sometimes the cards coming in serve as inspiration. That was the case with a nice vintage I got from Bo at Baseball Cards Come To Life. He offered up a small trade to keep the Time Traveling going. I sent out a 1962 Topps card, and he sent this:

A little bit of writing on a vintage adds character, don't you agree? Besides those W's ended up being my story muse. The Superbowl cards were added as protection, but they get added to the stack nonetheless. Thanks again for the trade, Bo!

Alright, I know the holiday season is a hectic time, but in order to keep this project from losing all momentum I need trade partners! Any card, any condition, as long as it's older than the card I send out. Got some 80's junk wax? I have cards newer that can be had for that! Got your eye on something older? All I need is a card from one year prior! You know what to do!

The Time Travel Trade Stack:

2008-09 O-Pee-Chee (hockey)
#128 Tim Thomas

2001 Upper Deck - e-Card (golf)
#E-TW Tiger Woods

1993-94 Fleer (basketball)
#224 Michael Jordan (LL)

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

1990-91 Pro Set Super Bowl 160 (football)
#16 SB XVI Ticket - San Francisco 49ers / Cincinnati Bengals

1990 Pro Set - Theme Art (football)
#10 Super Bowl X Pittsburgh Steelers / Dallas Cowboys 

1986 Sportflics
#122 John Tudor

1986 Topps
#5 Rose Special '75-'78
#6 Rose Special '79-'82
 #401 Fernando Valenzuela (Turn Back The Clock)

1985 Topps
#694 Joe Carter

1983 Topps (football)
#219 Joe Cribbs (LL)
#280 Mike Renfro
#307 Jim Plunkett

1982 Donruss
#NNO Checklist 545-653

1982 O-Pee-Chee E.T. The Extraterrestrial (non-sport)
#15 Among Elliott's Toys

1981 Topps
#63 Steve Renko
#704 Bill Travers

1980 Topps
#143 Bruce Bochte
#157 Willie Wilson
#671 A's Future Stars

1980 Topps (football)
#280 Jack Lambert (AP)

1979 Topps
#130 Bob Watson
#465 Reggie Smith

1978 Topps (football)
#126 Rick Kane (RC)

1977 Topps
#524 Rowland Office

1977 Topps (football)
#206 Cleveland Browns (CL)
#269 Archie Griffin (RC)
#405 Joe Greene

1975 Topps
#378 Derrel Thomas
#402 Bob Tolan

1974 Topps
#38 Don Kessinger
#67 Tommy Helms

1974 Topps - Team Checklists
#NNO Montreal Expos

1973-74 O-Pee-Chee (hockey)
#53 Richard Lemieux

1973 Topps
#18 Leroy Stanton
#29 Tony Taylor
#36 Steve Barber
#79 Jim Willoughby (RC)
#98 Dick Woodson
#99 Carl Taylor

1972 Topps
#43 Rick Wise
#109 Jerry May

1971 Topps (football)
#22 Ken Avery (RC)

1970 Topps
#47 Bob Miller
#56 Phillies Rookies - Joe Lis/Scott Reid (RC)
#103 Frank Reberger

1970 Red Rose and Blue Ribbon North American Wildlife In Danger (non-sport)
#32 Polar Bear

1969 Topps
#139 Andy Kosco

1969 Topps - Deckle Edge
#13 Mel Stottlemyre

1969 Topps (football)
#73 Bennie McRae
#154 Sam Baker

1968 Topps
#4 1967 AL RBI Leaders (Yastrzemski/Killebrew/Robinson)
#348 Larry Colton/Dick Thoenen

1968 Topps - Game
#15 Steve Hargan

1968 Topps (football)
#7 Earl Gros

1966 Topps
#154 Chuck Hiller

1967 Philadelphia (football)
#109 New York Giants (TC)

1966 Philadelphia (football)
#104 Rams vs. Browns

1965 Philadelphia (football)
#193 John Paluck

1964 Philadelphia (football)
#172 Ken Gray (RC)

1964 Topps
#60 Frank Malzone
#79 Bob Heffner (RC)
#352 Eddie Bressoud

1963 Topps
#111 Al Jackson
#155 Bill Stafford
#246 Lee Strange
#343 Johnny Pesky (MGR)

1960 Topps
#95 Frank Thomas

1959 Topps (football)
#80 Joe Perry
#289 Willie Jones

1958 Topps
#371 Marty Keough (RC)

1958 Topps Zorro (non-sport)
#83 Rude Awakening

1957 Topps
#66 Brooks Lawrence
#235 Tom Poholsky
#249 Dave Pope
#371 Bob Lennon

1956 Topps
#21 Joe Collins
#103 Willie Miranda (white back)
#156 Johnny Antonelli

1956 Topps Flags of the World (non-sport)
#70 Jordan

1955 Topps
#126 Dick Hall (RC)

1954 Bowman
#73 Don Mueller

1952 Bowman
#57 Clyde Vollmer

1938 Church & Dwight Useful Birds Of America Tenth Series (J9-6) (non-sport)
#2 Black-throated Green Warbler

The Time Travel Trading Project is simple in concept. I started out with a random pack of 2018 Topps Series 1 baseball cards. My aim was to trade every card in that pack for something older. Each card I receive in turn is then made available for trade, with the goal to get the oldest card I can get.

Number of trades completed: 27
Unique trading partners: 21

Number of cards mailed out: 58
Year of oldest card mailed out: 1956

Number of cards received: 137
Year of oldest card received: 1938

Friday, December 7, 2018

My Favorite Card Of 2018

Once again, P-Town Tom from the blog Waiting 'Til Next Year is having a contest asking bloggers to showcase their favorite card of 2018.  I have to admit, this year it was tough to pick a favorite. There were so many great cards! In the end, I settled on one that I think is more than worthy:

2018 Stadium Club #9 Zach Godley

My favorite cards are almost always cards where you see the players having fun. This is no exception. Stadium Club gives us a side of baseball we had never seen before on cardboard, and it is fantastic. The photograph is almost perfect, and captures a moment few would catch watching as it unfolds. Somebody get Zach a towel!

Because I had such a hard time, I also wanted to give due to others that I considered:

2018 Stadium Club #15 Hanley Ramirez

I'm not going to lie, I'm going to miss Hanley. He was the catalyst for my pick last year, and I was tempted to go with him again.

2018 Topps #659 Arizona Diamondbacks (TC)

I love fireworks, and this is just an amazing display of pyrotechnics!

2018 Topps #379 Power Up (CL)

I'm sorry, you'll have to speak up over the yelling of the Zimmwerth!

2018 Topps #297 Kevin Kiermaier

My first Payday Pack of the 2018 set featured this card. It still amazes me how Kiermaier makes this leap and manages to look just like the Air Jordan silhouette. Bonus points for throwing up the Texas Longhorns/Aloha surfer dude sign.

So what do you think? Did I pick the right card? Do you have another one in mind? Check out the contest and submit your own favorite card!

Thursday, December 6, 2018

10 Year Anniversary

 10 years ago...

...Mike Lowell was dealing with a torn hip labrum that caused him to miss most of the postseason.

2008 Bowman #121 Mike Lowell

...John Kruk was an analyst for Baseball Tonight on ESPN.

1990 Topps #469 John Kruk

...Scott Schoenweis was a successful reliever for the New York Mets.

2007 Upper Deck #828 Scott Schoenweis

... Chad Bettis was playing college baseball for Texas Tech University.

2016 Topps #149 Chad Bettis

... Jameson Taillon was a junior at The Woodlands High School (Texas).

2016 Topps Update - Wal-Mart Retail
Exclusive Rookies #W-8 Jameson Taillon

...Tyler Austin was a junior at Heritage High School in Conyers, Georgia

2017 Topps Gypsy Queen #83 Tyler Austin

10 years ago, on this day, I was in a hospital having a cancerous growth removed from my right testicle. 10 years ago today, I became a cancer survivor. In honor of my 10 year anniversary, I wanted to highlight a few players who are also testicular cancer survivors.

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.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Repack Haiku #80 (Huston Street)

Question, collectors:
Has anyone ever scratched
Magic Answer Box?

2013 Topps Heritage #206 Huston Street

Obviously it was more prevalent with the original 1964 Topps cards - no one cared about keeping their cards in mint condition back then. With these Heritage cards though, I wonder - has anyone ever defiled their card to get the secret answer?

Monday, December 3, 2018

Trade Recap: This Trade Will Rule!

When I was in high school, the youth group I was in would occasionally hold free card washes as a fund raiser. Yes, I said "free" and "fund raiser" in the same sentence. The caveat was that while the car wash was in fact free, donations were accepted and appreciated. Most people would throw a few bucks our way. Every now and then we'd get someone who would put in a $20 bill. Although I believe that generosity played a big part in these instances, I also felt some people struggled with what to donate as a fair value.

This happens to me personally a lot, especially in situations where it's customary to tip. How much is enough? It's often difficult to assign a value to things, even when we know what we're receiving on our end.

Thorzul Will Rule does a series where he opens some product and allows people to trade him anything. I always thought it was a fun idea, but never participated. This time round the product was 2018 Topps Update. There was one Red Sox card in the lot, which I decided to claim. I also threw my hat in for an autographed card, because why not?

Now came the hard part. What to send him? In the past, people have sent him a variety of things, not always card or even baseball related. I knew I wanted to have some fun with this, and even had some stuff that pertained to his favorite team, the Brewers. You can read about what I sent him here. It was a decent collection of stuff, but even now I wonder if I gave fair value. For his part he seemed to appreciate the return, so I guess I did well.

So what did I get?

The Pedroia is a refractor parallel that came in a special silver pack from the box he opened. It's a great looking card in hand! Austin Meadows used to be with the Pirates, and I've had a few chances to see him play in Spring Training. That's why I claimed the auto too.

Thanks for the trade Bill!

By the way - he still has a lot of great stuff available, head to his blog and trade him anything!