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

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Congrats to the new World Champions

Congrats to the Phillies who boisterously celebrated their World Championship in the streets of Philly today. I must say I completely misjudged them and didn't think they had a chance. But that's the same story as 2005 when the St. Louis Cardinals caught everyone by surprise and took out everyone in their path including a very dominant Detroit team. I've seen a lot of teams win the World Series that I never thought would ever do it. The Red Sux...I mean Sox and the White Sox now the Phillies. It's cute, but I'm over that.

That being said. Don't think the Yankees won't be in hot contention for the AL East or Wildcard in 2009. We let a lot of teams beat us this year but I think if we can stay healthy and get back to having a strong 2nd half, we can return to the postseason and get in the mix.

But we have a long offseason so we'll see how things work out.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

2008 Donruss Threads Baseball Video Box Break

Kim wanted me to post the video so here it is. You may need to turn the volume up because my voice is a little low. I've been sick for two weeks and I'm soft spoken which probably doesn't help any. Plus I've been having some weird audio issue with the built-in mic on my laptop.

I did the break very early in the morning so I apologize if it isn't up to snuff. I did a Heroes box break awhile back but due to previously mentioned mic problems the audio was messed up. It really sucks because I pulled a Frank Robinson relic auto from that box and really wanted to post it. If anyone has a good video editing program they use or something to remove background noise let me know.

Be warned it's a 16+ minute video and I look like crap.

There you have it. I was more in shock than anything that I pulled such a high end card.

Looking back at the video I probably should've shown more of the cards. I had a hard time with a lot of the player names and I didn't know many of them so I kinda skipped that part.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

It's not a Mattingly....but it'll do

So I bought a box of Donruss Threads off eBay from AtlantaSportsCards who had an excellent price and free shipping.

My box arrives 2 days later (paid on the 22nd, shows up on my doorstep the 24th) so kudos to their fast turnaround.

I broke the box at 5am this morning. I made a video which I'm debating on whether to publish it or not because it's a bit rough...(I'm a bit rough, I've been sick for like 2 weeks).

And during my break, I pull this (actual scans).....

Not exactly the big Don Mattingly hit I was looking for. But I think it's a decent card (I write this with a big grin on my face). I don't know what it is but I've had some good luck with some of my box breaks this year. I broke a box of 2008 Heroes that I also purchased from eBay and got a Frank Robinson autograph memoribilia card.

I don't know of any Pete Rose card outside his rookie card that's as big as this one. This is a "would've been" Hall of Famer that holds the record for the most hits by a player. His mistakes aside, this is one of the grittiest ball players to ever play the game.

I really like this set because of all the Hall of Famers and legends. The only part I have a problem with are the minor leaguers that I have no idea who they are. I don't really pay a whole lot of attention to minor league teams and rosters outside of the Yankee's and even then I don't know everyone. But being able to pull Shoeless Joe Jackson, Pete Rose, Mattingly, Killebrew, Brooks Robinson, Hank Aaron, Whitey Ford cards is exciting.

That's part of the reason why I liked the Heroes set (even though most hated it). I'm a fan of the 50's and 60's era of baseball and I have a small collection of older cards that mean a great deal to me. That era of baseball was pure magic and I love pulling cards of players from that era. One of these days I'll have to blog about my old cards and post pictures.

Anyhow, I do plan on buying another box and hopefully I can pull something just as grand if not grander (read: Mattingly inserts).

I have no plans of selling or trading that card, it's a big pull and would make for a nice addition to my collection. And in case you were curious Pete Rose 1/25 Jersey Auto. I think if I apply Gellman mathematics, I made out pretty good with this box.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Free Swinger

Introduction: I bought a book at Barnes and Nobles yesterday called "The BIG BOOK of Baseball Brainteasers" by Dom Forker, Robert Obojski & Wayne Stewart. I want to share some of these with people because I've always liked stories about odd plays. That's the reason why I called my blog "Dropped Third Strike." While it can be a routine play, sometimes something unorthodox happens and makes the game more interesting.

The Free Swinger
Gus Zernial of the Athletics was so strong that his teammates called him "Ozark Ike." One day an opposing pitcher bounced a two-strike curveball a foot in front of the plate. But Zernial was fooled by the pitch and swung at it. To almost everyone's surprise, however, he lifted the ball over the left-center field fence for a home run. It was no surprise that the opposition contended that the swing was illegal and Zernial should be a strikeout victim.

What's your interpretation?

It's a home run. Rule 2.00 A BALL - if the batter hits such a pitch, the ensuing action will be the same as if he had hit the ball in flight.

So there you have it. You can hit the ball on a bounce and it'll be in play.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

SP Authentic 2008 Blaster Box

Kim and I went to Target and found SP Authentic 2008 in blaster boxes. I never thought they would release this product in a blaster box because the hobby box costs about $95 online. But they did dumb down the Spectrum product earlier this year for retail so I guess this is another way for Upper Deck to get their almost-high-end products out to the masses. I must say that the base cards are pretty sharp. I was impressed with the first pack I opened. They cards aren't gaudy but may be just enough to interest some collectors.

The front design of the card is very simple and very clean. Down the left side is silver foil of the SP Authentic logo, the player's name, team city, team name and position. The player is centered in the card with a black graphic background that runs horizontal. The player and black graphic are glossy but the rest of the card stock is ( I don't know how to describe it) plain. Also, if you notice on this particular Joba card, the player's number is watermarked on the bottom right side of the card. You can only see it if you hold it at a certain angle in the light. Otherwise, it looks exactly like it does in the image.

The card back is completely glossed. And as you can see you get the player's full stats. The back of the card reminds me of the 2008 base set from Upper Deck. It's a very simple but extremely effective design. There's also a blurb about the player above the stats on every card, even Greg Maddux's 22-year stats has a one sentence blurb.


So far with our blaster boxes we've seen two inserts specific to SP Authentic. Authentic Achievements and Marquee Matchups.

Authentic Achievements
Authentic Achievements focuses on a particular player's achievement from 2008, I know...your mind has just been blown. The card design is just slightly modified from the base set. The Silver foil is replaced with hologram foil, that black graphic is now at the bottom of the card, and the team city and name is replaced with the logo and centered at the bottom. On the left of the logo is "Authentic Achievements" and to the right of the logo is a synopsis of the achievement. Again, this isn't an over the top design meant to wow you out of your seat but it's definitely clean and pleasant. But for me there's just something missing to make it really stand out from the base card. I don't know what that is particularly but it needs something extra to make it POP at you and say "hey, I'm not like the base set!" The back of the card simply has a paragraph elaborating on that particular achievement. They're numbered AA-# and that number doesn't coincide with the base set so it is indeed it's own insert set and not a parallel....but it still looks too much like the base card to really stand out.

Marquee Matchups
These remind me of the 2008 Legendary Cuts Memorable Memorabilia cards for some reason (I think it's the big SP logo in the middle). The design is simple, face pictures of two players, one pitcher and one hitter. On the back, there's a small description about each player and why they would have success about their on-card opponent.

Rookie Exclusives

The blaster box also came with an extra "pack" which was wrapped in a clear plastic wrapper. That pack contained "Rookie Exclusives" cards. It's the same as the base card but the black graphic is now gold and the card is numbered ER-XX (ER-JC in this case).

How does that make you feeeeel
Well, Kim said this to me, "Ya know, the cards by themselves look really great but when you put a bunch of them together and look at them they're kinda plain." And I think she's right. I was impressed when I opened the first pack but now after reviewing it I'm a little disenchanted by the product as a whole. There are only 100 base cards in the set, 50 Authentic Achievements and 50 Marquee Matchups. The blaster boxes are nice if you're trying to build a base set or bought a hobby box and are missing some cards. Or if you're just looking curious about how they look and wanted a small sample.

Let's face it, the real reason to get a hobby box is to get a By the Letter autograph card or some other autograph relic. Those are what make this set stand out from the other cards. Obviously the chances of getting one of those in a blaster are slim to none (in my opinion). Unless you have UNBELIEVABLE LUCK.

Speaking of luck. Kim pulled 5 Yankees out of her box while I pulled, yep, a big zero. She even pulled most of the top players like Pujols and Griffey while I'm stuck with some Red Sox and David Wright, whoop-de-doo!

For me, I just can't see the justification of 1 By the Letter card and 2 rookie autos in a box where that's my only spot for excitement. The set-collector inside of me says that I would love to collect the 100 card base set and grab any of the inserts along the way. But the value part of me says that those few hits (plus no Mattingly) doesn't really justify spending my money on a box of those when I can just work on finishing my Masterpieces 2008 set. Oh and I'm sure any By the Letter Yankee cards will show up on eBay, like this. So if I REALLY wanted one I could get it (and I did).

But this might be a litmus test for you. Go to this youtube link. And watch one hour of these guys busting a case of this product (or just see the recap at the end of the video) and see if you still feel like buying a box. After watching it and seeing what I got in my blaster, I felt like this may not be the product for me.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The PayPal FBI is on a manhunt

They're hunting the guy who took my $38.50. I had won an auction for a box of Topps 2008 Heritage Baseball cards by a guy who lives in Albemarle, NC. I was perusing for boxes of cards and I noticed this guy and I figured I could win out the auction (including shipping) for cheaper than what it's going for on wholesale sites. I like the 2008 Topps Heritage cards because they look like the 1959 Topps cards which I always liked growing up.

After winning the auction on October 2nd at around 10:50-something PM, I promptly pay as I normally do with Paypal auctions. And I go on my merry way thinking this guy will ship it and should arrive very soon because I'm literally an hour and a half away from him.

I'm generally a trusting person and I give people the benefit of the doubt because the last thing I want to do is jump to conclusions and look stupid for it. For the auctions I win, I let them run their course and only become concerned when it starts hitting the 2 week mark and I haven't heard from the seller. I've noticed some people ship in cycles, some ship right away, some are procrastinators I suppose and just take their time, hell something could come up to delay shipping. I read user feedback (specifically negative or neutral feedback) to get a feel for the seller. Speaking of which, this guy's feedback had been 100% positive...up to that point.

A couple of days ago I started to wonder about this auction and checked the date and time of the auction. At this point, I've forgotten this person lives in Albemarle otherwise I would've realized that 2 weeks is a long time to ship. Dave from Fielder's Choice
sent my girlfriend some cards and they arrived in one day. He lives the same distance from me as does the dude from Albemarle! So when I realize this guy is the Albemarle guy, then I realize that I've been hitting the snooze on this one for way too long.

I check the guy's feedback. HOLY CRAP! 12 Negative feedback's since October 8th and all of them claim he never sent the item. At that point, I wanted to give him instant negative feedback but I know I couldn't wholeheartedly do that without making an attempt to contact him. Maybe there was an explanation and some people were jumping the gun on the negative feedback.

I send this letter to him via the "Contact a seller" thing on eBay:
Do you have any information on when this item was shipped out and possibly a tracking number? I live about an hour and a half away from you so I figured the shipping wouldn't take very long."

I knew in my heart I would never get a response but I had to send it out so it wouldn't look like I jumped to conclusions. This was yesterday...fast forward to today.

I get on eBay and go to my "I need to leave feedback on" link to get to the auction site. The first thing I notice is a nice little "This user is no longer registered on eBay" note next to that auction. So I click on the auction url. BAM
This listing (320306795856) has been removed or is no longer available. MOTHERF@#$@#....!

So, I took it upon myself to file my very first Claim Dispute with PayPal. So what happens now? I have to wait for the PayPal police to investigate this guy with my claim and the other 12 or so people who were rear-ended by this guy. Will I get my $38.50 back? I have no idea, I see all these guarentees that my purchase is protected or whatever but I have a hard time coming to terms with how that works in a real situation.

There's still a piece of me that believes something horrible happened to the guy and he's unable to complete any transactions or someone hacked his account and started selling fictious items. But either way, I should be informed IMMEDIATELY of said situation. This is someone else's money we're talking about and we deserve to know what's going on. If it turns out that Mr. Donald Short of Albemarle, NC has taken our money and ran with it. I want my damn money back. I don't care about cards, I could care less about the amount of money. I hate being lied to and taken for a fool. I sent you money in good faith and all you had to do is honor that by sending the goods or simply say, "hey, I can't do this, here's your money back." THAT'S ALL. I hate it when someone takes something that is such a good idea then rapes and defiles it.

This isn't how I wanted to start out as a blogger but I guess starting from the ugly side can only mean that the blogs can only get better from here on out. I'll add updates when I learn what Paypal is gonna do to help right this wrong. I guess I'll just have to be more vigilant on eBay from now on.

On a random note, I loved typing Albemarle over and over because it reminds me of Kelly Pickler on American Idol saying that word with her very Southern accent. She always seemed like a person that was a few cards short of a full set.