Available for Trade (3/14/2010) Cards I Need (12.10.2010)

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Topps 2009 Series 1 Pack Breaks

I had Kim do reconnaissance at a local Target and she came back with 8 packs of Topps 2009 cards. There were no blasters but here is a sample of what we pulled. I apologize for the scans, the foil doesn't come out well when scanned.

Some more....

If you're feigning for packs, look for A-Rod.

The Toppstown cards have players on the front now as someone else has mentioned. And they come in the regular and gold versions. And there's an advertisement in the packs for Topps Attax.

So what are these?

While I was at the card show going through cards at the table where I purchased the Gibson, Snider, Ford and Berra the guy handed us all white Upper Deck packs. He said it was just a gift for looking at his stuff. All three of us got packs, I neatly put it in my hoodie pouch and went about my business. I opened it later and I pulled 3 cards. I don't remember exactly which three but I know I pulled a Longoria and I have since combined all 3 packs of cards together.

But these are the cards that were inside:

Has anyone seen these before or know what they are? I know Upper Deck has mentioned "20 Anniversary cards" being inserted in their product this year. Anybody know if these are them?

The Evan Longoria card is numbered UDC20 UD-77 and the back of the card says Upper Deck 20th Anniversary Card and it even has the id code you enter on their website. To be honest these look more like Collector's Choice "Crash the Game" than something modern. Just thought I'd throw this out in case anyone had more info. I've seen these popping up on eBay but never heard anything about them.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Trade with Marie and John strikes again

I've been trading back and forth with Marie from Cardboard Addiction. We're both collecting the YSL set so we go after each other's doubles. And she's been feeding me a steady diet of Timeline short prints. Marie is an excellent person to trade with and I highly recommend her. She definitely has her stuff more in order than I do. She sent me these beauties as well as 3 YSL cards I needed.

We are actually in negotiations for some more YSL and Timeline cards. Marie is sitting pretty at #30 on the list and I have increased my North Carolina lead to 677 cards making me #37 on the list.

And Mr. John from OldSchoolBreaks strikes again. He bought a Timeline and Stadium club blaster and posted what he got. I left a post asking him to post the Timeline card numbers because I was interested in seeing if he got ones I needed. He sends me a comment saying:

Take these cards off your Timeline wantlist:
139, 148, 157, 166, 180, 287, 347
They're headed your way.

Sure enough...

These cards are tucked away nicely in my binder. And I have the utmost respect for John. He's sent me so many packages now and I have no idea what I could possibly send him back. And he's having a group box break that I'm included in. This guy, lemme tell you, this guy, he's somethin'. I'll have to figure out a way to hook him up this year.

So John, if you're watching, please give me an idea of what I can possibly send you. Anything you're interested in. Maybe what you plan on collecting this year so I can possibly hook you up with something.

Something I've wanted to ask people is how some of you organize your trades? Do you have a certain routine you go through when you begin the trade dance? Any tips you can give me? I'm open to hearing any stories of "how I organize my trades." Comment or maybe post a blog about what you do and send me a link, I'll be sure to post it here.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

And now, my feelings on the word "MOJO" *Reader Discression is Advised*

This is in response to Dave's post on Joe Collector. I completely agree with his description of "Joe Collector." I posted a comment on what I think young Joe Collector might say on a message board. But I want to talk to you about a dirty little word. A word that, in my opinion, has no place in this hobby. That word is M...Mo. Ugh, I can barely say it straight faced.

It's MOJO okay! *shakes head*

Before I brought myself back into the hobby and blogging community that went with it, I felt it necessary to learn about the new culture that is blogging and collecting. So, I found Gellman's blog and read his section dedicated to stupid things people in the hobby do. Pretty much the "don't act like this" encyclopedia to communicating about your collection on the Internet. The links escape me and I know there were quite a few so if anyone can help me find them I'd be more than proud to link them.

Reading those made me aware of the phrase "mojo." Mojo can be affixed to whatever you're doing or collecting. Derek Jeter Mojo means you just pulled a Derek Jeter card or wish to pull one from a pack or box break. Box breaking mojo, Yankee Mojo, autograph mojo, kitchen sink mojo, I live with my parents mojo, etc. You get the idea.

After reading a blog of Gellman's which pretty much piledrives the phrase into a table, I knew not to utter that phrase. But to be honest, I don't think I could ever bring myself to say such a juvenile sounding phrase. I was a kid collecting cards and unless I'm mistaken I don't recall any phrases like that. I'd rather say something like "I hope I'm lucky enough to pull that Jeter Auto" or something similar. Long wind? Sure, but it shows some measure of thought. Jeter Auto Mojo just sounds...well stupid as hell. Ya know, if you pull something awesome just say "Awesome Jeter Card", "Sweet Card", "that card is frickin' sweet."

Why Mojo? Who the hell came up with taking the word "mojo" and injecting it into the hobby like it somehow belonged. Mojo, to me, has always meant some sort of voodoo force or the libido of Austin Powers. I really can't figure it out and I avoid saying that word at all costs. And I know some people say it but I treat it like those who say certain offensive words that I choose not to say. That's fine if that's acceptable in your world, but I think I'll just restrain myself from saying it.

But hearing someone utter it is like hearing "that" word. You know the word I'm talking about. The word that may have a clean meaning but somehow it's like nails on a chalkboard to you. I have a friend who completely freaked out when I said the word "moist." Now for some of us, moist accompanied by delicious means Duncan Hines chocolate cake. Period. But to her, it made her think of something dirty. Certain slang words for female genitalia may invoke the same feeling. My sister, for example, does not like the "T" word for female genitalia and my friend's wife does not like the "C" word. These are perfectly valid reactions to those words. They're slang words that are demeaning or degrading toward women and can sound outright offensive.

Now think of the word MOJO. *shudder* That feeling you may have just got? That's called "douche chills." Yes, that feeling has a name. My friend brought that to my attention in a blog post. If you go to that page, do a Ctrl + F and find "douche chills", when you see Rapping Granny you've found the post. Read it, I'll wait.

Done? For those of you who skipped the post I'll provide his formula:

Make this stop + Euch + I'm embarrassed for everyone involved = Douche chills

Think of old white people using "Bling" in everyday use, how about corporate emails describing "leet speak" when providing information about changing your password (I have it and oh I would LOVE to post that email here!), and how about Nancy Perlosi "Rick Rolling" everyone. Yeah, that's how I feel about the word "mojo." It's a dirty habit that I hope eventually goes away. But I think Joe Collector out there will never let it die.

So if you ever catch me saying Mojo, you can put those "sarcasm html brackets" around them because I don't mean it. In fact, I'm making fun of none other than Joe Collector.



Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Card Show in Raleigh, NC

I made the hour and fifteen minute trek to Raleigh to a card and memorabilia show. I went to a show in Charlotte in December and the trip took about the same time. Do they ever do card shows here in Greensboro or Winston-Salem? Seriously.

Anyway, it was myself, Kim, and her brother were at the Fair Grounds in Raleigh very close to the coliseum where the Carolina Hurricanes play hockey. We walked around the fairgrounds because we went right past the building the card show was in. I don't know how the heck it was colder in Raleigh than in Greensboro but the two native North Carolinians with me had a hard time handling the cold while walking outside.

We finally made our way inside and it was a decent size show. Kim and I were looking to complete some of our sets and it wasn't long before we found a guy with commons. I was able to get card #50 Matt Garza to complete my Topps Update & Highlights, some 2008 Masterpieces cards, and the two common Goudey cards I needed to complete the base (non-short print) set. Kim was finally able to find the last cards to complete her 2008 Allen & Ginter set which is her first official complete set of baseball cards.

As we walked around I was pretty amazed at all the cards from the 50's and 60's. Especially the ones with 5000 count boxes of commons for each of those sets. Plenty of people had Mantles at high prices. I saw a Roger Maris rookie that intrigued me as well as other cards from yesteryear.

Early in the show I saw an awesome card that I really wanted. I walked all around the show thinking about that card and contemplated buying it. While I pondered the purchase of such a poignant card, I found a dealer who had some old cards for decent prices. I picked out a few cards I was interested in and this is what I ended up with:

I love the 1960's Topps set. I almost bought more but I didn't want to go overboard. I don't have any Bob Gibson cards so I got him, I always loved Duke Snider so I got his card as well. I almost picked up a Drysdale and Brooks Robison 1960 card but I didn't want to go overboard. I really like the 1960 set and I thought to myself, "ya know, that's an old set I should try to complete." I already have the Roger Maris, Harmon Killebrew and Roberto Clemente for 1960. As for the 1966 Whitey, I've seen that card all over the place and I didn't own any Whitey cards so I picked that one up as well. And finally, the 1959 Yogi Berra card. I didn't have any Yogi cards and after much consideration I decided to go ahead and get the card.

After visiting that table, I turned around and went back to the first table I saw "the card" at. I began to look around and noticed a Don Mattingly patch card as well as a Don Larsen and Johnny Mize.

I went through his stack of rookies and pulled some Phil Hughes cards and Kim picked up a few A-Rod cards (rolls eyes). And I found another Mattingly I didn't have.

A-Rod cards not pictured for obvious reason

Then I told the guy, give me..."the card"

It cost me a bit of money but I really wanted to get it because Lincecum cards have hit the roof since his Cy Young win. I think it's an awesome card. Kim, her brother and I had conversed with the guy about Jake Delhome's failure as a quarterback. Kim's brother, who I never considered a big sports fan, was quite adamant about his hatred for Delhome and went as far as to say "my team has no quarterback, he's dead to me." The dealer was pretty cool and told us a story about him going to Yankee Stadium to see that Epic Fail 22 - 0 Indians win (he was a Cleveland fan) over the Yankees. And I'm sure most of you know what I'm talking about without even having to look it up. After chit-chatting, I handed him my stack of cards and he analyzed the prices and did some math. In the end, I made out pretty damn good. After that, I turned to Kim and said "Let's go before I spend more money."

I had a great time and picked up some cool cards. The only things that I was disappointed was with my not picking up any toploaders (wtf was I thinking) and the fact that there was not one dealer with Yankee Stadium Legacy cards (to my knowledge). I wasted boatloads of time printing out my list just so I could go dig for some and not one person had them. I thought that was strange but I am in North Carolina so that may be it.

I look forward to going back to Raleigh the next time they have a show. I thought it was just the right size. When I was a kid I went to card shows in my local area and they were really small. VFW's and such. This was big enough to have competition and a bit of variety but small enough to where you weren't completely overwhelmed. I look forward to the next one which will probably be an hour and a half away. Who knows, maybe I'll cross paths with the famous Dave next time :)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

#1 in North Carolina: a YSL story part 1 the epic begins from the start...at the beginning

I am number 1 in North Carolina (as of 11:30PM on 01/22/2009). If you go to OwnTheLegacy.com and look at the Top Collectors, I am sitting at #50 with 538 cards. Today I entered in 50 YSL cards and surpassed nc-atcollectible who was the last user from North Carolina.

But I think the lack of new product has really gotten to me this month. I've been buying several lots of Yankee Stadium Legacy cards off eBay. Just today I paid for 24 more cards on eBay and I have at least 60 more cards in transit. A 6500+ card set is a formidable opponent but I'm really determined to complete it...someday. My main goal is to collect all the Mattingly cards. So far I have 39 Mattingly cards. But it's hard to get all the Mattingly cards without buying whole lots which led me to start collecting the whole set.

I know I never went into this but the Yankee Stadium Legacy set is what got me back into collecting. I forgot about baseball cards completely. Then one day while in target with Kim, I walked over to the card section and started looking at the product that was available. After picking up a blaster of Upper Deck Series One or First Edition I saw the Yankee Stadium Legacy information. I did some research about it online. I learned of the chance to win free tickets to the All-Star game, the last game at the Stadium and the first game at the new Stadium and I wanted in on this sweepstakes. I started buying packs and blasters of Upper Deck product, anything that would help me pull those little blue and gold lottery tickets.

But I'd like to thank a couple of people who have given me a whole lot of YSL cards. William and PA, who I see regularly at a local hobby shop, have provided me with about 30 to 40 cards. I'm extremely appreciative of the cards. I know they could've turned around and tried to sell them on eBay but they decided to help me with my collection. Thank you thank you thank you!!!! That's one of the coolest things when other collectors help you out with your own collections. It's funny when I pull any Josh Hamilton cards I think of PA, Orioles I think of William, Rays of course Dave, Indians I think of Saints of the Cheap Seats, and Reds I think of Nachos Grande. It's good when you pull something for your own collection, but every so often you pull something and go "Ya know, so-and-so would really appreciate this card". It's amazing how other people's collections become your own by proxy.

Anyway, I've wandered again. But yeah, I just wanted to announce my latest addiction and thank everyone who has contributed to that addiction. I appreciate it immensely and I hope to return the generosity.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Blog Bat Around #3

This will be the first blog bat-around I'm writing about. 2009 will be the first year since 1995 when I was collecting cards at the beginning of the year. I got back into collecting sometime in July last year so a lot of the base sets were already out and I wasn't (and still am not) aware of the history of certain sets.

What type of sets would you like to see produced in 2009 and beyond? What sets from 2008 and past years do you want to see return?

I would've liked to have Masterpieces return in 2009. I do have to say that discovering that set after I returned to collecting was a breath of fresh air. I hope Upper Deck can figure out a way to get these cards out to people. Even if it's a subset of another set then so be it. Masterpieces has a very "collectible" feel to it and that is exactly what you want to put in collectors hands. Topps Allen & Ginter has the same "collectible" feel. That set has a unique design, contains a variety of images (players and non-players alike), and most of all is aesthetically pleasing.

Unfortunately, the sets I would like to see return are sets from dead or non-licensed companies. Donruss's base offerings in 1994 and 1995 are probably my favorite sets. They have a good design and their inserts and parallels range from easy to find to limited in number and harder to find. Leaf and Leaf Limited were also sets I enjoyed collecting. I'm saddened by the fact that the Pinnacle brand is no longer around. Their mid-tier products were very nice and I always enjoyed collecting them. Fleer Ultra is another set I collected religiously when I was young. Sure their "insert in every pack" was blatant overkill but the product always seemed fresh to me (I'm still talking 90's).

Which brands would you like to see killed off? How could existing brands be improved and what new types of card sets would you like to see created?

I think these ideas go hand in hand. You need to destroy some product lines that aren't or repackage them to make them more fresh or modern.

It wouldn't break my heart to see Upper Deck X die. That is definitely a set that should have never of seen the light of day. I'm not even sure what they were thinking when they created that set. The only aspect of this set I would keep is the Exponent insert design. Maybe not the tier level aspect, but certainly the card design.

I think Goudey should be laid to rest. It doesn't really connect back to Upper Deck very well. They would probably be better off taking their O-Pee-Chee design they insert in their base set and made a set of those. I know Goudey is Upper Deck's answer to Heritage but Topps just has them beat with the amount of sets it produced so it can reach back and create retro sets with ease. Goudey seems like a stretch to me. Although I really liked Dave's idea of rehashing Fleer designs.

Ultimately, Upper Deck needs to reconnect with its own heritage and re-release some of its designs that were popular in the past. Timeline was trying to do this but it was poorly executed. They jammed about 6 different designs into one set. And to make matters worse, they just kept using the same players over and over in the set. What a set of wasted potential Timelines turned out to be. That 1993 SP design itself could've been made into a Heritage set all by itself. Maybe they could've rehashed the 1993 base card design and then used the 1993 SP design as the inserts or short print rookies. Something along those lines.

Upper Deck's claim to fame in the 90's was their holograms and foil technology even before Topps debuted their chrome technology. I don't know why they don't try to leverage that as their "signature." To me, Topps as a company has major impact points. They include some aspect of Chrome in almost all their sets which is their staple. Their Heritage set has major notoriety because of its nostalgic and universally recognized designs. Allen & Ginter has become a major flagship for Topps and it seems to draw in collectors of all types of cards. I can say that I'm probably one of the only people that has not collected that set (that's mostly because Kim is collecting it). But I've seen everyone else have Topps A&G on their wantlist which tells me that this brand is universal for collectors. They got it right with that set and I hope they don't screw it up in 2009 (assuming it's released).

Should new sets be geared more toward set collectors, or should the number of hits (autographs and game-used relics) be increased? What about short prints? Parallels? Inserts? Gimmicks?

I don't think all sets should be geared for set collectors but I do think that that aspect should be available. Think SP Authentic, does the base really matter? Honestly? No, people are going after those By the Letter autograph patches. But what about combining a set that's collectible with a powerful insert concept. What if you put letterman auto patches in base Upper Deck on a very limited print run? Sure you won't get 3 in a box, to be honest you may not even get one in a box. But maybe 1 in every other box? Does it make sense to produce a base set around an insert set? Look at Ballpark. What purpose does its base cards serve? It's a product that's entirely hits, base cards are completely out of place there.

Card companies seem to be producing sets geared toward different people. Relic collectors (Ballpark), Auto collectors (Co-Signers...stop laughing, Stadium Club Hobby), insert collectors (...drawing a blank), player collectors (Heroes) all have some product geared toward them. Oh yeah, and base cards and parallels for set collectors (lots).

Should it be like this? I don't know. A product like Sweet Spot certainly has a large following and high end products like Sterling and Prime Cuts seem to have a large following. So that model must be working for somebody.

I'm going to abstain from going too deep into Short Prints, Parallels, etc just because I think that's a very large topic that would take up more than just this one blog. I started to write about Short Prints and realized it would be bigger than what I've already written. So I will tackle those at another time.

What do you love about current cards, what do you hate, and where should the card companies go from here?

What I love about the current cards is the photography and player selection. If a player played in the majors during the year, odds are there's at the very least one card of him (and that card will have parallels). There are rookies and up-and-comers who are knocking on the doors of the majors that have cards. Those guys may be the breakout star of the year next year. You may be holding their rookie autograph card a full year before they hit it big and what a surprise it'll be when they do. You may have felt like an idiot when you pulled it but you'll look like a genius when he makes it big and you still have the card.

The photography is sensational. I think Upper Deck base has some of the best photography I've seen on a card. Stadium Club also has some stunning shots. But I think Upper Deck really should be commended on their photography for their 2008 set. That was one of the first things I noticed when I started collecting the '08 base. The photos are crisp and clear.

I hate the having a parallel or autograph insert in a set just for the hell of it. Seriously, you don't need to put a bloody parallel in every single set you make. It's okay to skip out on it if it doesn't fit with the rest of the set (read: Timeline). I don't like the overload of relics. You can make them harder to find, it's okay. This isn't the "no child left behind" where every person HAS to have a relic when they buy every product. We can make it without them in certain sets, I promise. Crappy autos are another one. What happened to exclusive autos of Derek Jeter or Ken Griffey Jr limited to 5000 produced randomly inserted in packs? Shiny cool technology inserts that can be cheaply made can replace the glut of "this guy isn't even good" autos. While I think it's cool to pull an auto, telling me there's an auto in a box doesn't get me excited. I know the chance of pulling something good is slim to none.

Instead, why not make a product people are interested in, throw some pretty cool inserts that are hard enough to get that they aren't overkill, and throw a fancy patch or auto 1:N boxes. That way, you can have that excitement when you actually pull one of those because they're so limited. You don't get auto and patch burnout. It really isn't exciting when you're tossing relics to the side like a cheap overproduced insert. Limit the autos an inserts, save yourself some money and then pass the savings onto us so we can buy more packs, boxes and cases.

It's up to card companies to listen to all the different types of collectors and gauge what people are asking for. If Topps can get it right with Allen & Ginter then I know there's hope. Now, it's also the card company's responsibility to be looking to the future. I'm sure Upper Deck didn't think about creating a product like Ballpark when they put the first Game Used Patches in their product over a decade ago. Much like any other entertainment driven product (like videogames), it's very hard to get the formula right. Sometimes you stumble across it and other times you anticipate and deliver ahead of time. But there's such thing as product burnout and people can easily turn on a very successful or beloved product if you tinker with it too much.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Second place ain't that bad

I have to give major props to John from Old School Breaks. He had a quick "What's wrong with this card" trivia question on his page and I answered 4 minutes too late to Night Owl. I was kinda screwing around with my answer to make it a bit more interesting which in turn cost me first place. Even those I answered too late John decided to give me a runner-up prize due to style points. Well, I was pleasantly surprised when this baby showed up:

Ladies and Gentlemen, say hello to the first Devils Autograph card I have ever owned. I'm not a hockey card collector but I would never refuse a Devils card. Kim pulled a Marty game used swatch from a pack of Artifacts from Target and I begged her for it. After a few minutes of sweet talk and the promise of many A-Rod cards, the card was mine.

But this is one of the coolest cards I've ever owned. An on-card auto of Scott Nedermayer! Nedermayer was one of my favorite Devils from the Cup years. I was really sad to learn that he went to play for the Ducks. But I always liked him and I was happy when he was able to win the Stanley Cup again with the Ducks. He helped NJ to three Stanley Cups so I was glad he was able to find success with another team. Saddened by it, but glad for him.

I also received a 1995 Don Mattingly Donruss Studio Gold Card and a 2001 Donruss Classics Phil Rizzuto card numbered 1342/1755. I love getting cards like the Phil Rizzuto one because I missed out on a lot of these old sets. It's nice to see the card designs and what I could've expected to pull if I had been collecting back then.

But that Nedermayer card is by far one of the coolest cards I've ever received via trade or winnings. I thank him from the bottom of my NJ Devil loving heart and I hope to someday find something to send him to show my appreciation for his generosity. Thank you again John, I really love the card.

Trade Props 2

On top of the massive eBay purchases I've made this month, I've made a few trades. I sent a package to Marie from Cardboard Problem, I just sent out one to Daniel of Saints of the Cheap Seats and I've yet to send out my package to Chris from Nachos Grande (but that will probably work in his favor when I pull more cards for him).

Marie sent me some Goudey short print cards to help chip away some of that. That set has proven to be a very tough one to complete. She also sent me some 2008 Masterpieces cards to help out with that one. And a few Updates and Highlights. I'm pretty close with Masterpieces and I will savor in completing that set. I really like the 2007 and 2008 Masterpieces cards and vowed to complete both sets. It's a shame they will not be bringing that set back in 2009. I think that's one of the most anticipated sets each year.

Daniel from Cheap Seats sent me an Allen and Ginter card that Kimaloo needs for her set, a few Updates and Highlights cards, and some Phil Hughes cards. His package went out Saturday afternoon and I hope he enjoys the cards I sent.

Chris from Nachos Grande sent me some much needed Timelines cards. Most of them were the very shiny 1993 SP design that I love so much. I haven't sent his package out yet but I think I have some things he'll be interested in. Hopefully I can finish packing his cards together and ship them out so they'll get there by midweek.

I trade often with Daniel and Chris. So often that I get the two of them confused when trying to remember what I'm trading to them. Seems like I'm always trading with both of them at the same time. We're all set builders so I think we naturally help each other out. It's tough being a set builder sometimes. I mean, it's hard enough with all the damn short prints these companies shove down our throats but if you're collecting a set that no one else is collecting it's hard to put a set together. Now if you have someone else buying the same boxes you're buying, then you can trade cards back and forth and help each other out.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

New Year same old me the eBay trance continues (ode to ebay?)

Looks like I'm not off to a great start. I promised myself I would blog more but I'm having trouble keeping up with that. I promised myself I'd work on organizing my collection *looks at the desk to my right that's loaded with stacks of cards* that ain't happening.

The only thing I have been doing is hunting eBay for Yankee Stadium Legacy cards and Don Mattingly cards (of course). I had plans of buying more 2008 Timeline boxes to help complete my set. Instead of buying about 2 boxes of those, I went in the opposite direction and bought tons of YSL cards and very expensive (but hard to find) Mattingly cards. It seems like even though there's no new product out there I appear to be spending way more money.

eBay has been my drug and I've been taking steady doses of it this new year. There's something about hunting down those hard to find cards and winning them. Or snatching YSL lots from others at the last minute, claiming them as your own *picture viking standing on defeated foe*

I can honestly say that I could not return to collecting without eBay. I doubt the local shops here in North Carolina will carry the Mattingly cards I would be interested in collecting. So my alternative is to find those out in the world who are willing to part with their Mattingly cards. And eBay is my main supplier of those. I'd like to thank Al Gore, the Interwebs, Bill Gates, the people who made eBay, PayPal *grumbles inaudibly*, and the little mice that power my computer.

I hope to one day, step away from eBay long enough to actually write a meaningful blog. Judging by all the money I spent in a matter of 3 days, I think that time is coming much sooner than later.

To Be Continued...

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Sometimes parallels just get in the way

You ever get a parallel and scream NOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

I was organizing my 2008 Timeline base set and then I ran across this Randy Johnson card.

I apparently had no idea this was a parallel and put it with the rest of the base cards. I completely missed the gold numbers stamped neatly across the Big Unit's....well, you know. And obviously because it's a short print I don't have a double to replace it.

Phrases like, "Aww man!" "COME ON!" "Son of a...." are uttered.

But is that the proper response for a getting a parallel? Shouldn't it be "ooohh, an 83 of 100, yay!" But not when you're trying to build a freakin' set! I had this very same problem with 2008 Heroes. It seemed like I was getting parallel cards for all of the cards I needed for the base set. And I got them frequently. If it wasn't for me buying the rest of the cards I needed from Sportlots, I'd still be looking for Troy Glaus who I had 2 black parallels and one red.

Let's face it. Parallels sometimes just get in the way and have no business in a set. It's cute but to be perfectly honest, the parallels in Timeline are utterly unnecessary. I can understand the gold parallel for the non-short print base cards. But parallel numbering for cards that are already short printed? STUPID STUPID STUPID!

This is yet another way Upper Deck screwed up a set which could've had potential if it was configured properly.

NEW RULE FOR THE HOBBY: If you put a parallel of a card in a box, put at least one base version of the paralleled version. Hell, to make things simple, just put them in the same pack back to back. That way you can ensure the collector has both versions so they can feel special about it. "I'm a big boy, I got both the parallel and the base card!"

frickin' ridiculous

Here's my own cartoon in the style of Cardboard Junkie.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

2008 Timeline Box Break #2

I've come to really like the Timeline set. Although the short prints are a little over the top, the product is relatively inexpensive and features some nice designs. I was pleased with the hobby box I busted. I saw a lot of new faces that I hadn't seen before so that helps me get closer to completing the set.

Here we go...

A very determined Phil Hughes.

My favorite card of this set:

It reminds me of the elusive 1993 Derek Jeter SP rookie card. I wish they would resurrect this as a complete set in 2009 as a type of "Heritage" edition. The foiling technology today is far superior to that of 1993 and I think a full set of these would come out extremely sharp.

Gold Parallel cards - 5
20th Anniversary stamped cards - 2

4 Yankee Stadium Legacy cards

I've never pulled a numbered parallel from any packs or the previous box. But I did this time. It's a Daric Barton numbered 25/25. You can barely see the number on his thigh and if you notice the A's logo is kind of hologrammed.

2 autos: Brian Bocock and Clay Timpner

His autograph looks like "BBQ"

I'm fairly familiar with Bocock's cards, but I've never heard of Timpner.

There was this one pack that was in my box and it's nothing I've ever seen before. It looks like when register tape is almost finished. They have that strip of color to let you know you're about to run out.

So I decided to open this pack last and these are the highlights of that pack:

A towering Travis Hafner...


Joey Votto prepared to do battle...

And yet another awesome looking Longoria card:

I posted my doubles and I'll soon post my wantlist. I know the short prints are a turnoff but Hobby boxes are really chock full of them and the product is cheap.

If Upper Deck had put in new players in the short print section and put the more common players in the base set I think it would've made this a better set. It's really stupid to have Jeter and A-Rod in this set 3 times each. I really would've liked to be in the meeting when they designed this set.

I get so frustrated when I look at this set and then the rest of the Upper Deck products. Topps uses chrome technology and from what I can tell the majority of people like it. Couldn't Upper Deck do something like that? I mean the hologram on the back is cute and all but when you think of Upper Deck is there a specific technology that comes to mind? Holograms and Foiling, perhaps? They just never really took technology like that and made it a staple. You don't have to put it in ALL of your sets but instead of stupid gold foil stamping on just the name, make the entire card foil similar to what's on the 1993 set. And maybe make one set foil and give it a higher price than base but don't make it unaffordable. Like I mentioned before, take a look at Topp's chroming technology and how they use it and apply the same principal.

I think Upper Deck is going to have a horrible 2009 year, especially with Masterpieces and Sweet Spot gone. If they release Goudey and it has the same short print design as 2008, I'm not touching it. Everyone harps on Timelines for having so many short prints but at least you can buy a box for $30 and get only 2 base cards and the majority of the cards in the packs are the short prints. Goudey is still $70 a box and trying to put together a set of short prints is like finding a needle in a haystack. You're not guaranteed a short print in every pack. I don't believe I'll ever put that set together because of the scarcity of the short prints. And it doesn't encourage me to buy more boxes like they think it would. Now, if I buy a pack it's because there's really nothing else to collect until the '09 stuff comes out. When that happens I'm sure Goudey 2008 will be on the backburner.

Anyway, that's my box break complete with mini-rant. Wantlist will go up soon and doubles are already posted. Take care.

2008 Masterpieces Box Break #3

Sometimes it's really hard to say "I'm content with the box I just broke." Usually box breaks go either two ways, you got one really awesome hit and the rest is kinda meh or it's just all crap and you feel like you blew your money.

I'm here to say, I'm content and very pleased with my break. I can't remember the last time I broke a box and was just happy with everything I got from the box. I think the part that helps is the fact that I only paid $39.95 for this box of 2008 Masterpieces.

I knew this would be a pretty good box when the first Yankee Stadium Legacy card I pull is non other than Don Mattingly.

Here is what I ended up with:

4 base cards I needed - Joba, Fukudome, Mauer, Tulowitzki
4 short print cards I needed - Eddie Murray, Derek Jeter, Al Kaline, Albert Pujols
2 short print doubles - Reggie Jackson, Johnny Bench

4 Yankee Stadium Legacy cards (including Don Mattingly game #5171)

Captured On Canvas Relic: One of the newest Yankees...Mr. C.C. Sabathia

Stroke of Genius Auto: Joe Nathan

I think I made out the best with the border cards

Border Cards
Black: Magglio Ordonez, Freddy Sanchez, Ryne Sandberg, Tony Gwynn

Red Border: Greg Maddux

And the highlight of my box break:

Blue Border

Cal Ripken Jr numbered 30 of 125

Can't beat that for 39.95. I really enjoyed opening this box, there seemed to be something in every pack and that's always a plus. I'm down to 14 cards I need to complete the set. I doubt I'll buy another box but if I can find one for $40 (the price of 2 blasters), I'll be very tempted to get another.

Monday, January 5, 2009

On tap this week on Dropped Third Strike

I'm pausing on trades based off of my wantlist until I break a couple of boxes I have coming in. According to UPS, my boxes should be arriving on Tuesday.

I got a steal of a deal on 2008 Masterpieces and 2008 Timeline from Blowoutcards. Also, I got Kim a box of 2008 A Piece of History. And she gives me the YSL Legacy cards from her packs so I plan on getting a bunch of those. I'll add any doubles to my tradelist after those boxes are broken.

I bought 3 lots of YSL cards on eBay and I'll have some doubles so keep an eye on my cards available for trade.

That's all I have so far, I've been keeping an eye on people's wantlists and seeing if I have anything they need. If you're interested in anything especially Goudey 2008 base or 2008 Topps U&H let me know. Kim has a whole bunch of A Piece of History doubles and 2008 A&G doubles so either shoot me or Kim an email of your wantlist. And it's never too late to start a 2008 Upper Deck base set, I'd be willing to send whatever you're looking for either via trade or simply for the actual cost of shipping (but Shoebox Legends has first dibs on them) .

If I get ambitious enough, I may blog about a 4 way box break of 1991 Topps we did at All About Sports this past Saturday with Kim, PA, and William.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Origins: The Flash

Sometimes I feel like my card collecting lives in perpetual flashback. Looking at new designs or cards from the '98-'07 time period are alien to me sometimes. Pictures of Mid-90's Fleer Ultra or Donruss insert cards are comforting and remind me of the card shop I used to work at. That is the origin of the "Flash."

I'm sure a few of you have noticed "Flash" show up as my name when I publish comments on Blogspot blogs. That's me, Peter of Dropped Third Strike, we are one in the same. I've been wearing Flash in almost every aspect of my Internet life, it has proven to be a very useful nickname. The majority of my username handles contain Flash.

Anyhow, I began working for a local card shop "Kearny Rare Card and Coin" in Kearny, NJ during the 8th grade. I was a regular at the shop during 7th grade and one summer while at a card show I somehow convinced John, the owner of the shop, to have me work at the card shop. I don't remember if I began working there that summer or if I started when school started. But during my lunchhour I would walk about a block to Peter's Pizzeria to get a slice of pizza and then walked 3 stores over to the card shop to handle lunch duty. I barely worked 40 minutes but I helped handle the kids coming in to buy packs of cards, individual cards or pogs (that was the fad at the time). I didn't really get paid much but then again I was only 13 or 14 years old. What was I going to spend my money on, really......well, other than baseball cards.

And that brings me to one faithful night early on in my employment. See I worked at lunchtime but I also worked Friday nights and sometimes Saturdays. One Friday night, my dad came to pick me up and I was fighting that internal struggle of spending my just earned money on cards. Now, I've walked away from that shop with no pay and even out some of my own money but with a Hank Aaron or Willie Mays or a crap ton of Fleer Ultra. It was a blessing and a curse to work in that shop. After having my father wait however long it was until I made up my mind, I started moving toward him and the door. He looks at me and goes, "You all done there Flash?" With that my boss chuckled with a laugh that could only be described as Santaesce. He then says "Flash, I like that, I think I'll call you that." It just happened to be a name my dad threw out there. My dad calling me Flash was a little change in pace. He used to call me "Chief" all the time which is what we would sometimes call my grandfather (who is also named Peter and has his own nickname of "Fish.") Anywho, my father and I were departing John says, "Have a good night, Flash." And thus my card shop name of Flash was born.

While you might think it's strange to walk into a building and take on a completely different name, it's something that apparently happens routinely for me. While I worked at a Pizzeria here in North Carolina I was called "Pino" which I think is an Italian singer. And where I work now, the HR people call me Uncle Pete because I became an uncle about 4 and a half years ago.

But when I walked into that shop or anytime I was around John, I was Flash. And it felt like I had just put my shoe on the wrong foot if someone called me Peter or Pete while I was at work. All my co-workers called me Flash and none of them really knew my real name unless they asked. Conversely, outside of the card shop if anyone called me Flash it felt awkward and uncomfortable.

My Flash nickname is as much apart of my collecting baseball cards as the box of Mattingly cards I accrued while working at the shop. It doesn't bother me on the Internet because that's the place of anonymity and different personas. But in person I reserve the right to be called Flash by only two people, my father and "John from the card shop." And I had the privilege of being called Flash during my recent visit to NJ...

but that's a story for another time.

Friday, January 2, 2009

The MLB Network

I'm not happy at all with Time Warner. I received the emails from MLB.TV about the new MLB Network Channel. After some searching I was able to find the channel among my HD channels. But the channel was unavailable and I would have to "order" it. If I can get ESPN and Versus with my regular package why can I not get MLB Network?

I'm a premium subscriber with MLB.TV and I would love to see what they do with their own channel. MLB 24/7? Are you kidding, I would never have to watch ESPN ever again!

Anyway, I sent an email to Time Warner. But concidering the horrific MASN incident that's been going on with them, I don't believe I'll have the MLB Network channel anytime soon. MLB.TV would blackout Orioles-Yankee games because of the region I'm in. MASN would've been the way to watch it but Time Warner refused to add MASN to the lineup.

Can someone explain to me why there's only one cable company in this region?

Anyway, any channel that can bring me non-stop baseball information is alright by me. But until Time Warner gets off their ass and actually does something, I'll be in the dark.

To Be Continued...