Sunday, January 31, 2010

Players I Collect (Abbreviated)

For at least the first half of 2010 I have decided to go with an abbreviated list of players that I collect. I was finding that it was too difficult to collect soo many players. In an effort to collect all of them, I wasn't fully collecting any of them. The four main players that I collect will remain that same, however my list of secondary collections has been limited to 4.

Without further ado, here's the list:

The Big Four:

Derek Jeter
Joe Mauer
Mariano Rivera


Roy Halladay
Tim Lincecum
Andy Pettitte
Robinson Cano

Two More

So A while ago I posted 4 packs of 09 Topps Chrome that I had gotten from Rite-Aid. Well I decided to go back for 2 more of these. I was drawn in by the fact that it was Rite-Aid and they actually had Topps Chrome. I couldn't pass on the opportunity.

This was a couple weeks ago, so some of these cards have already made their way into packages for other bloggers, But I figured I might as well still post my pulls.

Pack 1
Oh Yeah! Elvis Andrus XF. Sweet

Pack 2:
Not bad, a Helton for my PC
Jay Bruce is always a worthwhile pull too

So there you have it. My second set of packs from Rite-Aid. I may eventually seek out more of these.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Mail from Marie

A couple weeks ago Marie and I made a simple trade. 2 for 2, she got two Pujols cards she wanted and I got these:

Thank you Marie for the trade. I hope you enjoyed the Pujols cards, and I look forward to future trades.

Marie can be found over at A Cardboard Problem

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Group Break!!!

No not here silly. It over at Troll's Place, go check it out immediately. Fill up those last 12 spots so it can be awesome.

Click here to read about it. Then email Troll about getting in on the action.

A Surprise!? For me? Oh You Shouldn't Have. (Mail from Mike Gellner)

Last week I received a surprise package from Mike over at JD's Wild Cardz. In it was 34 of the cards on my want list for Goodwin and Champions. What a pleasant surprise that was!

Well ok, it wasn't entirely a surprise cause he had mentioned the incoming package to me during a discussion about a package that I had owed him. I had been waiting for the right items to send to mike in return for a very nice package that he had already fronted me. No sooner did I have the package planned out, than I find out he's already plotting this generous gesture. Great guy that Mike is, you all should be reading his blog.

So here we have it, 34 of the cards I needed for my G&C set:

Card #s: 1, 5, 9, 13, 26, 27, 34, 35, 37, 40, 50, 58, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 75, 76, 80, 93, 94, 102, 104, 105, 112, 116, 118, 119, 120, 122, 132, 139, 149

I'm missing one of the scans, but I'll show you all of the others, just because I like the look of this set so much and I figure everyone enjoys seeing them.

Thank you very much Mike. The cards are a huge help in trying to finish this set, and it was cool to be semi-surprised by the arrival of a package. I hope you enjoy the package that is on the way over to you.

I will update the want list for this set soon, so that it reflects the changes in what I need.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Serial Numbering

Today I read a post on The Priceless Pursuit about serial numbering and it insprired this response from me. I put a good amount of thought into my comment so I figured I'd put it in a post. Please go check out the original post, because if you don't, mine might not make as much sense.

The following was my comment:

"I am in total agreement accept for when it comes to printing plates. The different color printing plates are legitimately different enough that i don’t mind them each being 1/1. It’s not a rarity that is falsely created: because the manufacturing process requires one of each type of plate, so when you receive the plate they are saying that you have the one and only plate that puts the magenta ink on the card.

But when it comes to different variations of the same auto, I am in total agreement. In my opinion, variations are only legitimate when each progressive variation is more intrinsically desirable than the one that preceded it. For example, the Chrome refractor is more desirable than the plain chrome card. another example would be, a card with a patch and an auto is more desirable than a card with a plain white swatch and the auto. However, when it comes to these two cards, the silver is actually uglier than the copper version, so why the heck would anyone prioritize having the silver version?

It makes me very frustrated to see this happening. And the companies don;t even realize that they are eroding the ground on which they stand. there are only so many innovations that can be applied to baseball cards, and serial numbering is one of them. They demean the intrigue of a serial numbering when they do things like create a million variations of the same thing. Soon enough people won’t care about serial numbering, which means that the companies will lose that innovation as a selling point for their products, and they will have to move on to new ideas. Sooner or later there will be no new ideas worth implementing and baseball cards will lose much of their value and relevance. In essence, manufacturing companies are doing the same thing that the American public did leading up to this recession. They are taxing their future in favor of living large in the present."

What does everyone think of the issue? I'd like to hear people's different takes on it.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Mail from Dinged Corners

Recently I received a package from Dinged Corners. I had expressed an interest in a couple cards from the 08 Moments and Milestones set that had been posted as being available for trade. Little did I expect this entire package! Here's what was sent my way:

2007 Topps Chrome: #MMS8 Mickey Mantle Story
2004 Fleer Tradition: Texas Team Leaders
2008 Goudey: #131 Ian Kennedy
2006 World Baseball Classic: #5 Alex Rodriguez

There was a bunch of T206
#120 Derek Jeter
#100 Ramiro Pena (RC)
#261 Johnny Damon
#248 Mariano Rivera

More T206:
CL1 Mickey Mantle
CL2 Mickey Mantle
NNo Mickey Mantle (SP)
#73 Joba Chamberlain (Bronze Border)
#184 Jorge Posada (Bronze Border)

I actually like the T206 set, I think I will try to collect the base cards for the players that I normally collect, and maybe some SPs.

Contrary to what I've heard from a lot of people, I enjoy this set. Sure Topps employed somewhat of a manipulative rarity system, but as someone who collects a lot of players in this set, it is really nice way of looking at their achievements.
There were five of Arod: 4 commemorating his 500 career home runs (2 of which were black variations #d/25) and 1 commemorating his 54 hrs in 2007.

I also got a Mickey, a Cano, and a Pettitte.

I really like the look of this set but the arrangement can certainly be frustrating to try to collect. Either way, I'm certainly happy to have the cards.

Then there are these Jeters. These are not confusing at all. I actually have 2 of the ones from this countdown. I think the design on these is great. The affect of the gold strips behind him give the feeling of triumph, which I like. Even though a random sampling from the entire set may look disjointed, once you put several cards of the same countdown together, they look great.

Last but not least:
A Mark Teixeira Bowman Heritage relic

It came with a note explaining the the scrape on the right edge as damage that was there when pulled from the pack :( Come on Bowman! People pay good money and hope to pull nice stuff, not damaged product. However, I can still appreciate it. If you hold it with your finger over the damaged part, it's pretty sweet!

Thank you Dinged Corners for the generosity of the package. I hope you enjoy what I've sent in return.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Trip to Rite-Aid

I picked up some package materials for trade packages that I need to send out, and I happened to see that they had some 09 Chrome. Of course, how could I say no to some chrome. I got four packs. Here they are:

#56 Randy Johnson
#138 Joba Chamberlain
#195 Kenshin Kawakami (RF)
#57 Jon Garland

It's a good pack when I pull a Yankee that I like. Can't forget about the freshly retired Randy Johnson.

#137 Travis Hafner
#104 Victor Martinez
#W38 Cheng-Ming Peng (WBC)
#97 Dustin Pedroia

I am a chrome Hafner magnet. In the span of a booster and 8 some-odd packs I've pulled 3 regular Hafners and 1 XF. Apparently there were no retakes allowed for the WBC photo shoot cause some of these guys pics are laughable.

#6 Jon Lester
#215 Anthony Claggett
#6 Jon Lester (XF)
#147 Garret Anderson

Two Lesters in one pack! The odds of that have got to be awfully slim. I like the XF better than the RF. This guy Claggett keeps coming up too. I have 2 normal and an RF of him, which works out fine cause he's a Yank. Anyone know if he's any good?

#30 Chris Young
#120 Curtis Granderson
#18 Jermaine Dye (RF)
#205 Ramiro Pena
Check List 1

Sweet Ramiro! I finally got Pena. I'm glad that they don't consider the CL one of your four cards for the pack. It's hard to tell but the Dye is in fact a RF.

The Pena and the Chamberlain are mine but everything else is fair game for trade.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

My Take on Chicle

I love art, I love producing art, I love looking at art, I love analyzing art. Therefore must I love National Chicle?

My first question is how to pronounce this name? Is it like saying the word "gum" in Spanish, which is pronounced cheek-lay?

So back to the main discussion. What do I think of National Chicle? Well, basis the pictures that have been released the set looks very rough and unrefined. Certainly not a pile of art that I would be proud of, or is it? Let's compare some Chicle art to that of Masterpieces, which is one of my favorite sets ever!
These two pictures are just a small example of the gorgeous artwork that the masterpieces sets are. The 2007 and 2008 sets are full of well produced individual works of art that capture historic baseball moments in ways that every baseball fan can appreciate. Water color was the perfect medium with which to produce a set commemorating historic baseball moments. It gives a kinda hazy feeling to the images, depicting them as memories of the past rather than vivid images of the present. Now, that said, let's look at 2010 National Chicle:
Here are examples of the good, the bad, and the ugly. Now we all know that the Jackie Robinson is the good; however I'll leave you guys to decide for yourself which of the remaining two is the bad, and which is the ugly.

I want to start with the bad and the ugly. Putting the non-sense of these two cards aside, I want to take a look at the art. (If you want to read about the non-sense that Topps continues to produce please read Cardboard Junkie's take on the sitation, because I believe he hit it on the nose, and worte an all-time great post about the issue: view it here)
Chipper Jones, oops I mean Babe Ruth looks too flat in this image. There isn't enough depth to his body. We all know that a real painting of ruth would have some serious depth to it considering how round he was in '35. Also, the colors on this card are too garish. It is this concentration of color that continues to flatten the image. Don't even get me started on the fact that the foreshortening on his back shoulder is questionable.
The card of the mystery White Sox Player is also a funky work of art. This artist clearly has trouble depicting hands. The right hand of the White Sox player is quite petite and I shall refrain from critiquing the endless issues with the runner's hand. Also, this piece looks like it was done in colored pencils! I love color pencils but this drawing makes me feel like I need to get my eyes checked. the key with color pencils is to leave subordinate areas fuzzy while intensifying the focal points. In this case, the White Sock should be the focal point, and should have more detailed facial features and intensified shadowing to create good contrast. Oh wait, I forgot, if you give him more detailed facial features that would totally ruin the ambiguity of this player's identity. FU Topps.

Before we move on to the good in this set, I would like to cut these artists some slack. Art is very hard. It takes time to produce, and time is money. I tend to favor pieces of realism such as:
"Entombment" done by Carravagio

However, if we were hold our baseball art to such standards it is likely that we would be paying more money for packs of Chicle than we would for a box of Topps Stearling. The type of art featured on cards must be produced efficiently.

Let's look at some of what I believe to be the good in this set.

Very solid work of art. Intense background but the hierarchy is established by the detail work on Jackie vs. the simplified forms of the background. Also, the the two parts are tied together by incorporating the tones of the sky in the tones of Jackie's skin. I like this card.

Very nice relic card. The picture is nicely coordinated with the theme of the card. Mickey is holding bats on a bat relic card. The artist executed this piece in a way that makes the glow of Mickey's smile resonate throughout his body. I actually have a 1/1 Sketch card of mickey boasting a similar smile, and I absolutely love it!

This is another solid work of art. Great depiction of Stan's jersey. I actually believe the way in which it is stretched across his shoulder unlike the Chipper's back shoulder on his card. Also, a very nicely depicted expression on Stan's face.

I am torn when it comes to this piece. The shadows on Pujols' jersey are not pronounced enough. They are too fuzzy and need to have darker darks. However, from the shoulders up, this is a beauty. Another great expression and a nicely done helmet.

I believe that this set will be more widely collected than people currently believe. I also tend to think that there will be way more examples of pleasant art than of artistic atrocities. The art will probably be more impressive in person than the online pictures. I myself, will pursue this set, if only because I love to analyze the art on cards. People will most likely buy a lot of these cards despite complaining about the set the entire time.

Friday, January 8, 2010

My Goals for Collecting

I currently have several goals for my collecting:

1. Complete the 2007 Masterpieces set

2. Complete the 2009 Goodwin and Champions set

3. Complete the 2008 Topps Wal-Mart Exclusive Dick Perez insert set.

4. Complete the 2007 Topps Turkey Red set

5. Collect the base cards of several sets for all of the players that I collect:
-Goodwin & Champions
-Topps 206
-Topps 2009 Heritage
-Topps Allen & Ginter 2008 & 2009

6. Bolster my player collections with nice inserts, parallels, serial numbered, jersey, and auto cards.

The only goal that is prioritized is completing the 2007 Masterpieces set. Other than that, all of them are on a level playing field.

Check out the sidebar for my needs lists and a partial list of cards available for trade (these will be posted shortly). Let me know if you can help me out with these goals. I hope to complete these goals by the time 2010 Topps Heritage is released (except #6 which is ongoing).

Pack of Topps Unique

I made a last minute run to the card shop before leaving for school and I decided to try my luck on a pack of Topps Unique. Little did I know that I had forgotten to bring my four leaf clover with me. Darn

Well here's $7.50 down the drain. I should have instead bought a second of the baseball grab bags with a guaranteed relic that the shop owner had put together for $5. The one that I bought was actually quite good. But that's another post for another time.

Anyway, here's the pack:

5 Base Cards
#21 Rick Ankeil
#31 Braden Looper
#71 AJ Burnett
#89 Akinori Iwamura
#114 Vernon Wells

At least there's a Yankee in the mix. But can someone please explain to me why Rick Ankeil continues to appear in sets other than the flagship set each year? The guy isn't good. And for some reason I am an Ankeil magnet!

The base cards are actually quite nice. I like the design much more in person that I had based on the posts that I had seen. The mix of the matte black frame with the glossy player name up the side is pretty neat.

Red Parallel #d/1199
#179 Jordan Schafer (RC)

I've never heard of this guy. However, that is not my issue with this card. Apparently, Topps took the "Unique" labeling of this set a little too far. They thought that their serial numbering needed to be completely unique as well. Has anyone ever heard of a card serial numbered out of 1199? This has to be the most arbitrary numbering I have ever seen! I'm thinking that the creator decided to use his bank card pin number or something.

The overall trend of serial numbering cards annoys me. Why make a card numbered to 499, or 1299, or 199? It should be 500, 1300, or 200. This isn't like labeling prices on items in Wal-Mart. Can we please get some nice, round numbers?

Lastly there was this Unique Unis card:
#UU16 David Wright

So there it is for you. My pack of Topps Unique. I also have a card of Josh Johnson that I got in the grab bag that I had purchased.

All of these cards are available for trade.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

2007 UD Masterpieces: "Needs" and "For Trade" lists

2007 UD Masterpieces:

NEEDS: 3, 14, 16, 17, 28, 29, 34, 35, 42, 46, 47, 53, 55, 56, 59, 60, 68, 69, 78, 81

FOR TRADE: 4, 5, 6, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 19, 23, 25, 32, 33, 38, 45, 45, 48, 49, 49, 51, 57, 58, 62, 64, 65, 70, 75, 83, 84, 87, 88, 88

These bordered parallels pictured below are also for trade. I was hoping to trade them for bordered parallels of players that I collect

#12 Ryan Howard

#39 Frank Thomas

#64 Jered Weaver

Delmon Young #d/50

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A Merry Christmas to Me Part II

Yes I know, I'm way behind the ball in getting this christmas post up. So here it is, baseball card gift number two:

My grandma always gets the Topps year set for my brother and I. Grandmas are the best.

It also came with this:

Yet another random card of Mickey Mantle. I always have so much trouble keeping up with the checklist of Mantle Cards out there. This refractor is really nice looking though.

More Christmas gift posts to come; stay tuned

Mail from Baseball Dad from All Tribe Baseball

I had sent Baseball Dad some cards a while back and this package arrived recently in return. Everyone knows him from All Tribe Baseball but he has also opened up a new blog that everyone should check out; it is called Baseball Dad's Sportscard Trading Post.

To start, he sent four cards from my Diamond Kings needs list:
1991 Donruss Diamond Kings: Gregg Olson, Matt Williams, and Len Dykstra
1989 Donruss Diamond Kings: David Cone

My very empty binder of Diamond Kings just got a little bit fuller. Seeing as I started with so few of these cards, I have a long way to go, but thank you Baseball Dad for getting me a little bit closer.

I certainly put together an eclectic grouping for this photo
Alfredo Aceves RC, Lou Gehrig Legends of the Game, and Ichiro TTT

I really like the look of the A Piece of History set and Lou Gehrig was a great addition to my "Legends of the Game" collection.

3 cards of Yankee Old Timers
I really like the card design on the two Babe Ruth cards. I had never seen these before, but they caught my eye as a well done set of flashback cards. I'm wondering how many cards there are to the World Series Heroes set? Is it all Yankees?

4 bygone Yankees
Reggie, Henderson and two Winfields

I'm actually trying to collect the set of mini cards that the one Winfield is from, but I don't know what it's called in order to find the rest of them. Including the Winfield from Baseball Dad, I now have about 15 cards from the set.

4 Wade Boggs cards
That is one awesome Wade Boggs card!!! Sweet foil detailing and the diamond area around his portrait is see-through. Really cool looking. Thank you Baseball Dad. The Chrome Boggs duo card is also really neat.

Three mickey's that I didn't have. It's a good bet that I could be sent a pile of 100 Mickey Mantle cards from present day and I wouldn't have any of them. There are just sooo many.

3, 2009 Heritage
Heritage Yanks, two of which I collect, very nice. This set has some of the most unflattering pictures that I have ever seen. Topps really butchered the players with this one.

This Heritage set on the other hand is done by Bowman and is one that I really like the look of. Maybe I'll try to get the Yankee team set for this one, with these cards (minus the Hanley)I'm probably about 1/3 of the way done.

The Zimmerman, Chamberlain, Mariano, and Ichiro all go toward my player collections. The RC Tyler Clippard and the Helton will work toward completing their respective sets. Thanks to trades, my player collections are really starting to grow.

Like my last post I am somehow missing a key piece of the package. Baseball Dad had sent a Todd Helton jersey card from Sweet Spot. I forget what year the card was issued in, and now that I am at school, separated from my PC's I have no way of knowing. Either way, it's a great card and one that I really appreciate.

Thank you Baseball Dad for a great package. He packed in some great variety and some really cool cards to add to my collection. Be sure to check out his new blog.

Wow, I'm a jerk. The first time that I published this trade post, I totally forgot to mention that Baseball Dad had also included a Holiday Greeting card that he had created and wrapped around an extra baseball card for me. This card was the 2009 A&G Ichiro pictured above. Great guy he is.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Mail from Fanofreds of Nachos Grande

A while ago, Nachos held a Cards for Clunkers promotion. This is what he sent me for what I should have mailed out several weeks ago. The holidays have really held back my end of several trades. For all of those who are waiting, I apologize. Cards are on their way.

Nachos had a great list of stuff to choose from. I picked out a bunch of stuff that would contribute to player collections.

There were 4 cards from 2009 Topps Heritage:
Hanley Ramirez, Tim Lincecum, Robinson Cano, and Todd Helton.

I can't help but laugh when I see the Cano card. It is a very unfortunate picture of him. Another blogger a while back wrote about card photos that fall under the category of defamation of character, this is definitely one of those photos!

5 base cards from 2009 Allen and Ginter:
Mariano Rivera, Robinson Cano, Hanley Ramirez, Ryan Zimmerman, and Joe Mauer

A couple 09 Goudey
Derek Jeter, and a green mini Mariano Rivera

3 National Heroes inserts
Robi Cano, Mariano Rivera, and Jorge Posada

Sadly I am missing the picture of the 08 chrome Wal-Mart Exclusive Dick Perez insert that he sent me. But you can imagine: Dick Perez painting with a detailed wooden frame around the edge. I think this insert set was pretty neat. Me and my art cards

These next two are my favorite:
Highlight sketches from Allen and Ginter of Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter.
Two of my favorite players done up in art. These type cards always become instant favorites of mine.

Thanks for the trade Nachos, and for being so patient with me. If all went well, my mom got those in the mail today. I had a last minute packing rush in order to go back to school, and getting baseball trade packages in the mail was the thing that had to give. So mom got left with the job of mailing them out. They were all packed up and just needed postage, so I trust her to manage that.