Friday, May 30, 2008

i Like beisbol CarDz

Hi, I'm Jim, and I'll be blogging here sometimes, so here's a synopsis of my card collecting through age eleven: bluntly, I had a ton of worthless shit. Box sets of 1996 Upper Deck Collector's Choice have yet to give me the return on investment that I was looking for, along with my garage sale purchased set of 1991 Donaruss. Collecting was always enjoyable. I was always able to out collect my brother, whether with my vast Jason Jacome collection, or the fact that I had at least triple the amount of cards he did always brought a huge grin to my face. But, as I matured, by matured I mean entered the 5th grade, baseball cards began to lose their luster.

I slowly became aware that my boxes upon boxes of 1995 Score were not gaining and value, and my 1999 Upper Deck Collector's Choice box set was actually losing value. With an allowance of only 5 dollars a week, I was presented a choice no 11 year old boy should ever have to make. Do I buy a pack of Fleer or do I buy some a tube of green hair gel? I chose the hair gel.

As Andy mentioned earlier, MLB Showdown will be mentioned alot, and I'll explain why. Even though I had ceased in my card collecting, I had not ceased my awful posting ability on, attempting to justify my reasoning behind why I though Ramon Hernandez was the best catcher in baseball, and my rational behind my outlandish statement that Linkin Park was the best band in history. I met Andy on these forums in 2004 or so, and behind is uncanny ability to insult me, we formed a decently strong bond. We figured out that we lived 5 minutes from each other, and began to hang out outside of the internet, eventually got jobs together, and now we're pretty good friends.

Now, as to how that ties into my card collecting is this: Andy can convince me to do pretty much anything. Maybe it's because he is a really convincing person, or maybe because I am really retarded, but it really doesn't matter. Andy had convinced to go to a few card shows with him, and I had almost done some stupid things like buy a guy's entire collection of Kevin Elster's. I'll admit that my interest in MLB Showdown had grown vastly since we starting hanging out (it had never really gone away, I just stopped collecting), but any type of baseball card made after 2000 still was not on my radar, but whenever I would see any MLB Showdown at these shows I would wrecklessly buy them, regardless of how many Jose Vidro's I already had.

We ended up going to The National (card show) last year, and I caved to buying newer cards. 2007 Allen & Ginter had just dropped, and despite knowing absolutely nothing about it, other then Andy telling me I could pull things such as George Washington hair relic cards, I bought two boxes at 100 each. I pulled absolutely nothing worthwhile, but I was reintroduced to the feeling of opening packs of cards, and I got hooked.

So, even though for the past 7 years all my cards have been sitting in my closet organized in their boxes collecting dust and losing value, I have somewhat begun collecting again, nearly finishing my Allen & Ginter set. I am (sadly) eagerly anticipating mid-July when '08 Ginter hits the shelves, and I can buy myself two boxes and pull that William Henry Harrison cut kleenex Auto that I want so desperately. Until then, I'll just be blogging about the random shit Andy convinces me to buy, like a box of Bazooka '96 or something stupid.

First Packs of UD Series 2 and 08 Finest Baseball

Decided to take a trip down to Akron to see two stores I'd never been too yet. The first one featured Magic: The Gathering with thousands upon thousands of Magic cards laying out. His sports section was a few glass cases and one row of basketball, baseball, and football cards.

The owner really didn't have anything, however he did have the new Upper Deck Series which everyone has been raving about. So I bought a jumbo pack.

UD Series 2:
Denard Span, Minnesota Twins (Rookie)
Dmitri Young
Season Highlights CC Sabathia
Season Highlights Jose Reyes
Brian Bocock San Francisco Giants (Rookie)
Orlando Cabrera
Adam Eaton
Josh Beckett
Kenny Rogers
USA Baseball Insert Brett Hunter
UD Anniversary Ad (More about this later)
Bill Hall
Shane Costa
Jeremy Hermida
Duaner Sanchez
Yuniesky Betancourt
Rocco Baldelli
Ryan Church
Brad Lidge
Miguel Olivo
Kazuo Anal Fissures Matsui

Not a bad pack some great pictures (Bill Hall) and some bad ones (Baldelli). I have a Ryan Church card which I'm excited about because I used to be all about him when he was back in Akron. Not to mention the fact I got current Indian, CC Sabathia. I'll probably keep buying packs of this here and there, but I don't think that I will try collect any of it since I didn't pick up any of Series 1.

Next was the second card store, which turned out to be a house where a man just sold vintage items. He had a few of the premium '60's-70's cards, but outside of that mostly just Starting Lineups. He did however have the coveted '89 Griffey rookie, and was asking $40. If I go back, I'm going to be buying the program from the 1948 World Series, he was asking $50 for that.

After being thoroughly let down on my first two stops, I decided that a stop was in order to my usual card store, AllPro in Cuyahoga Falls (or is it Stow?).

I walked in and went straight for the Indians card section to see if any new Grady cards were in; however I couldn't even find the Tribe box. The owner has a big box of relic and auto'd stuff that all costs $5 for a single card. I wanted to see if I could start Drazen Petrovic collection, but nothing in there other than a Sizemore jersey which I didn't have yet.

2006 UD Artifacts AL Artifacts Blue Jersey /325

After that I bought a Mini Box of 2008 Topps Finest. I don't know why, but last night I had a dream that I bought Finest and received the Jay Bruce Redemption Card (Redemption Card #2). I attribute that dream to reading a blog post on the set, and the Beckett hype about Bruce. Now, onto the packs:

Pack One:
Mark Teixeira
Grady Sizemore (!!!!!!)
Justin Verlander Green Refractor (042/199)
Carlos Pena
Bronson Sardinha

Pack Two:
Prince Fielder
Erik Bedard
Jonathan Meloan Rookie Auto White(??) Refractor (Blue Ink Auto 046/499) LA Dodgers
Finest Moments David Ortiz
Chris Carpenter

Pack Three:
John Smoltz
Carlos Lee
Curtis Granderson
Topps Team Favorites Eric Chavez
Donny Lucy Chicago White Sox (Rookie)

Pack Four:
Ryan Howard
Justin Upton
Carl Crawford Blue Refractor 053/299
Redemption Card NUMBER TWO*******
Josh Newman Colorado Rockies (Rookie)
Dan Giese New York Yankees (Rookie)

Pack Five:
Tim Lincecum
Derrek Lee
Finest Moments Matt Holliday Black Refractor
Finest Moments Trevor Hoffman
Garrett Atkins

Pack Six:
Joba Chamberlain
Curt Schilling (he still plays?)
Finest Moments Mark Reynolds (who?) Blue Refractor (146/299)
Topps Team Favorites Alfonso Soriano
Barry Zito

Mini Box breakdown:
Percent of Set Complete: 11% (18 out of 166)
Doubles: 0
Rookie Redemption (1:3): Redemption #2 (Jay Bruce)
Blue Refractor (1:2): Mark Reynolds, Carl Crawford
Green Refractor (1:2): Justin Verlander
Gold Refractor (1:7): Carlos Pena, Josh Newman (Rookie)
Topps Team Favorites (1:?): Alfonso Soriano, Eric Chavez
Finest Moments (1:?): Trevor Hoffman, David Ortiz
Finest Moments Refractor (1:4): Matt Holliday

Yes, I'm not lying when I said I received Redemption Card Number Two. Yes I really did have a dream about getting it. I think it's time to start dreaming about winning the Lottery.

As for the set itself, it's nice. I found that a few of the cards that I looked over turned out to be refractors, and I honestly have no clue how to tell the odds of each refractor. So some of those listed above aren't totally right.

The biggest pull by far is the Redemption card, and then second I guess would be the auto. Granted Meloan isn't pithing well in AAA; with 50 IP under his belt so far he's sitting on a 4.14 ERA with a 1.58 WHIP (47K/27BB). We'll see if he ends up with my "what could have been" autograph club. So far that is occupied by Dennis Sarfate (07 SPx) and Miguel Montero (07 Moments and Milestones).

Well this is by far the longest post, but I had a good haul, so whatever.

Overall, this is a really nice set. And a great way to start it. The premier Redemption card (not named Fukudome) and a Grady card to boot. I'll probably buy a few more of these before the season is over, but I'm most definitely going to purchase a box of UD Legendary Cuts first.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

A Few Pictures...

Like I said I would, here's a few of my premium Grady cards:

2004 Bowman Base Set Grady Sizemore Card Number 161 Red Inked Autograph

I got this off Ebay a few years back. I believe I paid about $25 for it. I didn't know that this was a variant autograph, but after I won the item, I saw plenty of the Blue Inked versions popping up. Supposedly there's only 25 sets out there for all the red inked autographs, so I guess I got 1 of 25.

Since that time I've only seen one on Ebay (or anywhere) and that was last July and the card went for ~$40.

2004 USA Baseball Grady Sizemore SIZE Blue Ink Auto

This card was purchased around the same time as the red ink, however I do not remember how much this cost. Since then, I've never seen the blue inked auto being sold anywhere. Grady was kind of lazy signing this one, but being a blue ink and out of /60, I'll take it. Sharp card too.

2004 Topps Pristine Personal Endorsements Blue Ink Auto

I really don't know why I posted this card. Most likely since it was an blue autograph, and well blue is my favorite color. I never liked the layout of this card, way too busy with the metallic look. Granted that's sort of hypocritical because I loved Fleer Metal when I was younger, but at least for the Metal sets the backgrounds of the cards had awesome shit on it like dolphins, space ships, or fireballs. Although the total chrome Metal inserts annoyed me.

2006 UD Ultimate Collection 4 Swatch 15/25

I bought this last year for ~$25. Serial numbered to /25 and a 4 jersey swatch, with all the swatches being in the home white Tribe jersey is a nice touch, to what I think is a sharp looking card to begin with.

Haven't seen one being sold on Ebay lately though.

2007 SPx Winning Trios Tri-Jersey Swatch

This was a $20 purchase last year from a card store in Canton. I forget the name of the shop, but the guy was playing Gears of War on Xbox360 and getting rocked. When I was looking through some of his cabinets I saw plenty of Tribe players and then on top of the counter was the Sizemore swatch card.

I figured since it's serial numbered to 30, SPx had just come out, and Beckett doesn't list cards with that low of a serial number, I was at the mercy of the owner to make up his own price (I was expecting somewhere between $50 and $100).

Instead he said $20, and I bought it. He was more into the fact that Jose Reyes was on the card rather than hometown superstar Sizemore which I thought was odd. But whatever.

2005 Etopps Cleveland National Show 2007 1/1

This card came in packs of 1-3 (I think) and were $15 bucks each at the National last year. I had just purchased both the 2005 and 2006 versions of Grady's Etopps for $12 and $15 respectively and when I heard that there were 1/1's in the packs, I was sort of pissed.

My co-blogger, Jim, purchased two packs of these cards and pulled a Piazza 1/1 along with Ichiro 1/1.

I scoured Ebay in hopes that I'd find the Grady 1/1 because everyone was dumping the 2007 Allen & Ginter Promos on there, so who knows what I'd find. Not more than a week later the 05 Sizemore 1/1 showed up, and I purchased it, don't remember how much though. I'm not sure if I can really classify this as a true 1/1 just because of the Cleveland National Stamp, but if Topps says it's a 1/1, well then it's a 1/1 I suppose.

That's all for now.

Nothing really new

Yeah, I got two more Sizemore cards that I bought off Ebay this weekend, the 2004 Bowman Heritage serial numbered to /1955 and a 2008 Topps Moments and Milestones 22nd Home Run Card Serial Numbered to /10.

So far for the 2008 M&M set I'm going to try and collect a single card of each of the blue parallel for each of his 24 homers. 2 down, 22 to go...not bad for a complete shit set, huh?

I was also really bored and looked at some of my older cards and found my two Albert Pujols 2001 National Promo cards (for the Heritage set of 2001), and wow. Ebay had one going for nearly 60 bucks and Beckett Marketplace (ha) had one going for $125. Not bad considering I traded a few MLB Showdown foils a few years back to scoop up my second Pujols promo off my cousin.

I'm debating going to the card store to pick up some packs but most of the stores around here aren't really that great, aside from one. Guy specializes in wax and I might be waiting for more stuff (Allen and Ginter) to come out before I drop more money in his store. Plus the way gas is going, I can't really travel very far to find new stores.

If I get around to it tomorrow, I'll maybe upload some pictures of my Sizemore cards.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


I'm sifting through my room and find a box of 2006 Topps Bazooka. Everything was opened except one pack so I figured why not open it and see if I pull a fourth game used card. Odds are 3 per box, and I've already pulled a single jersey (home) of Adam Laroche (Braves), game used bat of Chase Utley, and a game used bat of David Ortiz.

Wow these cards reek of the stale gum that comes with each pack. Pack contents are as follows:

Scott Rolen Blue Parallel
Brian Roberts Thick Gold Card
Oakland A's Comic (Breakup of Big 3)*
AJ Burnett
Matt Morris
Dontrelle Willis
Moises Alou

*Funny that I get this card considering Mulder went on to Saint Louis and was never heard from again, Hudson is with the Braves (no idea what he's doing), and the last strip talks about how the one pitcher from the "Big Three" that is left is Zito, and he's a stud. Boy, that's a fun card.

The Dontrelle card is cool though because he's in mid-windup probably about to throw a fastball which most likely was hit out of the park because he sucked that year.

First Post (Probably one of the last also)

I made this blog because I like so many other people collect baseball cards. I remember being very little when my dad took me to card shops and shows. I really had no idea what was going on, but it seemed like sports cards were the real deal. This was in the early 90's, before all the bullshit parallels, autographed cards, memorabilia/game-used cards, serial numbered cards, and even parallel autographed game-used serial numbered cards. It was just about collecting.

I remember being in Myrtle Beach one summer (I think 1992), I was 5 at the time and my dad took me to a card shop. It was late August and the Football sets were about to be released. My dad bought a bunch of packs and the shop owner was very pleasant, and seeing how he appreciated my dad's business, he asked me who my favorite player was, which meant I was probably going to get a free card or two. So instead of saying "Kenny Lofton", I said "BIP ROBERTS!!!". The owner looked really confused and my dad said "yeah, he likes odd players." That is my first memory of cards, and probably why I like to collect oddball stuff like MLB Showdown (which this blog will talk about frequently.

Lately, I really haven't bought any packs because most of the ones I want to buy are out of my price range (stupid stuff like SPx that is $20 a pack when I pull a Dennis Sarfate auto, yeah no thanks). So I look to the almighty Ebay and scour the Grady Sizemore cards. Outside of Sizemore, I'm going to try and finish my Fleer Metal baseball card sets and my 1989 Fleer set (all Ripken Varients and RJ Varients included).

Hopefully I'll have maybe 2-3 more contributors aside from myself, but that's wishful thinking.