Archive for the ‘good bloggins’ Category

the wind cries “trade me”

December 26, 2008

“A broom is drearily sweeping
Up the broken pieces of yesterday’s life”

Partially inspired by the relationship between Jimi Hendrix and Curtis Mayfield, but mostly looking for things to do rather than writing thank you notes for gifts I received for Krismas, I thought I would pull together a quick entry about a number of trades that I have completed “recently.” As much as I enjoy a good trade, it is funny how I almost always have some other ongoing project that requires my attention more than blogging. Here is a prime example of why I sometimes fail to write anything at all

I have no intention on including scans of every card I’ve received in trade, or even listing them in their entirety. This isn’t because I’m a jerk, but because I don’t believe anyone really is that interested in reading about the trades in that detail. On the other hand, if you have made a trade with me and I’ve omitted your name, feel free to chalk that one up to me being a total jerk. Please accept my sincere apology and do not hesitate to call me on the omission in the comments section.

In no particular order then, THANKS!

I recently received ten 2008 Allen & Ginter mini cards from half of the S&M blogging duo that composes A Cardboard Problem in trade for some random Cardinals infielder I’d never heard of. A few days later and I was packing up a few cards for the other half of ACP for a swap for a handful of Steve Finley cards I wanted. True to karma, I’ve pulled more cards of the two players that I sent out in trade in the few days since the trades were completed than I have of anyone else. Geesh!

A sizable trade of Topps 52s Rookie cards with The Easy Life resulted in the addition of a stack of 2008 Goudey baseball cards to my office after I decided I would collect the National League half of that set. Steve also tossed in a bunch of awesome Dodgers cards, including my first Upper Deck Masterpieces card. (Uh oh… these things are NICE!) Not only did I score cards of baby Dodgers to potentially get autographed this next season, but also a couple of cards that had already been autographed.

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Whether we are talking about Cory Snyder or Jay Howell, it must be obvious that I won’t hesitate to scan and post images of autographed cards due to the fact that they are completely different from regular cards that anyone has an opportunity to pull from a pack. It has gotten to the point for me that when I see a baseball card, I feel that it isn’t “complete” until it has been autographed by the player. I guess that is just the historian in me.

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In one of the most intriguing deals of 2008, Mark from Stats on the Back traded me 25 Steve Finley cards in exchange for a full half-inch of empty space in one of, what I assume must be, MANY monster storage boxes. (Expect to read more about that in a future post.)

Not to be outdone, the ever charitable folks behind the curtains at Dinged Corners supplied me with cards shiny enough to top any respectable pine tree, while the Cardboard Junkie continued to feed my addiction with a badly needed A&G mini here, a 75 Topps there, another hit of 08 Heritage that I just can’t seem to kick, and other random goodies I didn’t even know I needed- until I had a taste!

I’ve completed trades in person with local collectors as well as with a number of blogless collectors via a few interweb message boards that have been proving quite useful in chasing out the sets I am building. Oh sure, I could simply be purchasing the majority of these cards on eBay, but where’s the joy in that?

I also want to take a moment to thank in advance Danny at Saints of the Cheap Seats and FanofReds at Nachos Grande for trades that are either currently in the works, or possibly passing like postcards of ships in the night.

If you are looking to increase your pool of card trading friends and have yet to check out any of these bloggers’ want lists, I urge you to do so immediately. That is, AFTER you have revisited my updated want lists!

“Will the wind ever remember
The names it has blown in the past”

– Kris

trade-itions

February 15, 2008

I picked up a handful of interesting baseball cards yesterday, the old fashioned way- via a trade. sort of…. Steve over at White Sox Cards sent me a package of cards after I sent him a baker’s dozen that I figured would be better served in his collection than mine. Click HERE if you are interested in the cards that I sent Steve.

In return, I received the following:

2007 A&G mini – B.J. Upton no. 212 [NEEDED for my set]
07 Bowman – Adam Bass no. BP99 [* Portland 2009]
07 Bowman – Mike Devaney no. BP40 [* New Orleans 8/20-8/24]
07 Bowman – Carlos Gonzalez no. BDPP108 [* Tucson 5/2-5/5]
07 Topps – Scott Hairston no. UH47 [* Portland 2009]
85 Fleer – Ken Howell no. 374
07 Bowman – Jon Knott no. BDP17
07 Topps 52s – Neal Musser no. 132 [* Omaha 5/15-5/18, 6/13-6/16]
07 Topps 52s – Guillermo Rodriguez no. 77 [* Fresno 7/26-7/29]
07 Bowman – Ryan Schreppel no. BP22
07 Topps – Chris Schroder no. UH317
07 Bowman – Gerrit Simpson no. BP29
07 Bowman – Steven Sollmann no. BP39 [* Nashville 4/19-4/22, 5/27-5/30]
07 Topps – Joakim Soria no. UH180 [* Omaha 5/15-5/18, 6/13-6/16]
07 Bowman – Randy Wells no. BP74
07 Bowman – Chris Coghlan JERSEY CARD no. BDPP95

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Although I was happy to receive all of these cards, I was EXTREMELY excited when I saw the Coghlan card as I fully expect that he will spend time playing for the Albuquerque Isotopes in 2008. The card will look fantastic autographed!

[* Although any of the other players may find themselves playing in Albuquerque in the near future, some may visit the Duke City this season.]

I also added another interesting baseball card to my collection courtesy of Mike from Awesomely Bad (Ass) Wax Packs. Under the rules of the contest that I “won,” I was fully expecting to receive a terrible insert card in the mail. I admit that when I first laid eyes on the Ivan Rodriguez card I thought it was about as exciting as receiving socks for Christmas. Here it is. Judge for yourself.

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After I thought about it for a while, I recalled that sad Christmas tree that Charlie Brown picked out for his school musical in the classic holiday cartoon from the 1960s. Remember, all that little tree needed was some attention and respect, and then even Snoopy was dancing around it like a fool. With that life lesson in mind, I began looking at Mike’s card in a whole new light. And behold…

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I like it!

Thanks guys!

– Kris

caught in the act – act two

February 12, 2008

I thought I would take an opportunity to post a few scans of more baseball cards that tickle me to no end… those with photos of players in the act of signing autographs for lucky fans.

Since my first post on this topic was so well received after I led off with a Milton Bradley card, I thought it best to play it safe and do the same thing this time, but with a different card. This particular card is a 1999 Baseball America card- no. 16 in a 100 card set that was manufactured by Team Best. Bradley is sporting a dapper Cape Fear Crocs uniform.

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It is worth noting that although the back doesn’t contain much in the way of stats, it does come with the warning that Milton “must control his emotions to reach his potential.” Not having spoken to Bradley in person in almost three years, I would venture to guess that he would claim he has made great strides toward doing just that. Again, I wouldn’t stand around and argue anything to the contrary.

Next up is a 1978 Topps card of Minnesota Twins pitcher Dave Goltz. (Try saying that name fast once.) A native of Pelican Rapids, Minnesota, Goltz hurled a one-hit shutout against the Red Sox in August of 1977, in a season where he ended up tied for the most wins (20) in the American League with Jim Palmer and Dennis Leonard.

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It is difficult to tell for certain if Goltz is actually signing an autograph for a fan in this photo, or instead scribbling down an order for pizzas for his teammates in the dugout. This is also the only card in this posting where the player is not wearing a hat. So if that is why you stopped by, you may now move on to the next entry on your RSS feeder.

Oh wait… it appears that Mike Cameron is holding Goltz’s hat and using it as some sort of excuse for not being able to sign autographs for a mob of children before a Spring Training game at the Peoria Sports Complex. If you are planning to see a Spring Training game at the Peoria Sports Complex, it is VERY important that you go to the one in Arizona, NOT the one in Illinois. Otherwise you will end up being cold, lonely and very disappointed. However, you will not be disappointed if you decide to put together a set of these 2002 Upper Deck Vintage cards. This design is absolutely wonderful. I would suggest that really the only thing Upper Deck could have done better was to slip every card into a penny sleeve prior to packaging, as they are next to impossible to keep in pristine condition.

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In early May of 2002, this Midwestern boy combined with Bret Boone to put on a show that fans won’t soon forget as they pounded back-to-back homers TWICE in the same inning- against the team that drafted him out of high school. Three tears to any reader who knows without looking what team that was.

Moving right along, it makes sense to hop across town to see what sorts of events Upper Deck photographers at Wrigley Field have captured. At first glance, it seems that Cubs closer Ryan Dempster is looking to buy a t-shirt before a Santana concert. The reality of that situation is that all those people are thinking he is going to sign something for them. Madness! When crowds for autographs become that dense, you can usually find me making my way to a beer vendor.

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I’m not overly impressed by the layout of the cards in Upper Deck’s 2006 set. I suppose they are trying to prevent piracy of their products, but I still believe that foil belongs on baked potatoes and can also be used to make funny hats. I just don’t like it on baseball cards. Similarly, I don’t have much to say about Dempster. However, if you happen to be a manager in one of my fantasy leagues, I recommend that you draft this fireballer as early as possible.

If you love the horizontal cards like me, are a die-hard Braves fan, or have a thing for giant balls… this card is where it is! The 235th card in the 2002 Topps set is worth several double takes. Whether he is keeping busy slugging home runs, diving to rob opposing players of well-deserved extra base hits, playing football, providing television commentary, or taking time out of his schedule to help a fan finish a crossword puzzle (pictured), one can’t help but wonder if there is anything that Brian Jordan can’t do. Ah…. But can he blog? Apparently so.

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I don’t have a Brian Jordan autograph, but if I ever get a chance to meet him, this is definitely the card I would ask him to sign. Perhaps he would recall if that kid on the far left edge of the card was extremely small, or if he was holding a softball.

It was only a matter of time before I got around to bringing up Tony Phillips, right? Check out this amazing card (no. 29) from the 1986 Topps set. The lighting and exposure used in this photo are flawless. In fact, it is such a great shot that I wish someone would produce a set of cards that would give camera settings on the back instead of player stats. (Nikon, Cannon, Kodak…. Are any of you paying attention here?) At any rate, it is a fantastic photo of Tony as he pauses in the middle of his inscription that probably read something along the lines of “Tony Phillips – 2 GW RBI 1985.”

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If this wonderful card has failed to capture your imagination you’ll want make sure you check into an interesting project over at Awesomely Bad Wax Packs where blogger Mike is going to attempt to collate an entire set of 1986 Topps from only two boxes of cards. He is predicting that he will accomplish his goal even without having to open approximately 14 percent of the packs. He hasn’t stated if he will be counting cards that are stained by gum or wax, but it should prove to be way more interesting than the next statement issued by Roger Clemens’ lawyers.

Finally, I realize that several readers are here to see autographs. Although I don’t have any autographed cards that fit into the overall theme of this post, I am moved to include one to make everyone happy. Inspired by the recent trend among a number of other baseball card blogs to tease a very nice trader/blogger who goes by the alias “Steve” at White Sox Cards, I thought I would join in on the fun. Unable to figure out “why” Steve had posted a particular card of Frank Thomas as part of a recent post, I decided to include a scan of the same card that I was fortunate enough to have gotten autographed in person at Phoenix Municipal Stadium a few springs ago.

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I’m pretty sure that no professional photographers were shooting the Big Hurt while he was signing his rookie card for my collection; so my dream of appearing on a baseball card will have to live on to see another season.

– Kris

real or no real

February 3, 2008

There are a number of very interesting blogs dedicated to baseball cards and the hobby of collecting currently in orbit in cyberspace. I try to read as many of them as possible. Steve over at White Sox Cards recently posted a bizarre entry documenting how he had been contacted by an eBay “user” claiming to be a baseball player who went on to lambaste him for what he believes was an attempt to forge his autograph on a card.

The player in question is Darren Clarke, a relief pitcher. The card in question is his standard base card from the 2007 Topps 52 Rookies set when he played with the Colorado Rockies. The autograph in question is the facsimile signature that was printed on all of the cards in the run with exception of 3,000 cards. Topps paid Darren to sign those 3,000 cards, then inserted them randomly into packs along with similarly autographed cards by other players to increase sales and collector interest.

Topps has been printing facsimile autographs on their sports cards for decades, and most people seem to have no problems accepting them for what they are. Every second blue moon or so, I will run across a silly person attempting to sell a card that I want on eBay under the false assumption that the facsimile autograph is real. I’ve never heard of a player not being familiar with Topps reproducing their signature from their contract on their baseball cards, but anything is possible.

However, it appears that person claiming to be Clarke is insisting that the facsimile signature on his card is not his in the first place. While it cannot be presently ruled out as an elaborate hoax by one of Steve’s buddies, it appears that either Darren is mistaken, or someone at Topps has forged his signature (or made some sort of error).

While I’m not a handwriting expert, I would have to say that I see quite a difference in the signature in question in comparison to this autograph I received in person this past July.

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Especially noted is the difference in the “D.” Although portions of my signature may differ from time to time, I would say that the initial “K” is more or less consistent.

Obviously Topps makes mistakes. Case in point is the facsimile signature used on these two cards from the 2006 Topps 52 Rookies set. I was intrigued when I first noticed that both Tony Francisco Pena (card no. 36) and Ramon Antonio Pena (card no. 274) not only had similar names, but also had IDENTICAL signatures.

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I pretty much abandoned my quest to solve how and why that may have happened after not hearing about it from any other source. Also, anyone I pointed it out to didn’t hesitate to accuse me of having too much free time on my hands. At least I now know that I may have an audience for my ravings the next time I run into Darren Clarke.

If you love a good mystery, be sure to stay tuned to White Sox Cards to see how this one plays out! Things being as they usually are in this crazy, tiny world, I predict that Darren Clarke (currently a free agent if I’m not mistaken) will end up on the White Sox roster at some point in his career, and will end up buying Steve a beer.

– Kris