Well, we're just about packed up... I have some cards remaining on my desk that I need to scan in and post before we pack up the desk... so... first up is a BUNCH of cards from Mike over at BA Benny's Baseball Card Buffet! We put together a MASSIVE trade, with a bunch of signatures, relics and cards going to each of us. We may have cleared out our Yankees/Mets and Astros to make this happen, but very glad we did! It was a great trade and here are the Astros that ended up in my collection:
Some great Astros cards, lots of Oswalt, Berkman and Biggio!
Josh Anderson relic, we sent him to the Braves a few years back in exchange for Oscar Villareal (I think). Anyways, don't know what he's up to now.
Also, I got this bad boy from Topps via redemption from a box of 2010 Chrome that I won!
The penny sleeve looked like a toddler chewed on it, but the card is great! It's reserved for David over at Rhubarb Runner, if he ever pulls another Astro card! Haha! If anyone wants to put a multi-blogger trade together, I'm sure David wouldn't mind... I'm holding quite a few Twins auto's hostage at the moment!
Have a great week everyone, I'll see you all again from Alabama! If anyone wants/needs my new address, comment here, and I'll reply with my updated address! Thanks everyone!
Alright everyone, the computer is back... they were able to recover all my data, files, pictures, music, etc... and they installed a new hard drive with twice the memory. Still got a lot of work to do to restore all the programs and such. Plus the scanner isn't working yet either... I've got to find the software...
I did count up my Gint-A-Cuffs box points this morning... and I come in with 196 points! Not bad for a box I was very angry with... I'm in 3rd place of the three boxes that have been scored though... meh, I wasn't expecting much... haha! It was fun, and hopefully I counted everything correctly. If you see anything wrong with my scoring, please let me know, I probably screwed something up, I AM the Dimwit!
So I'm posting this from our laptop... as my PC crashed today and is at the doctor's office getting a new hard drive and *CROSS YOUR FINGERS* a hard drive recovery. If the hard drive recovery doesn't work, I might cry. Streams of tears... Apparently there was a power surge at the house today while I was at work. The hard drive just clicked and clicked when I booted up the computer. What does this mean to you? No scans or pictures for a few days on this blog, although my posting will be EXTREMELY SPORADIC the next week or two as we FINALLY move to Alabama.
For those of you working on trades with me via e-mail, please be patient. I've reserved cards for people and I'm probably going to hold off all shipping until after we're in Alabama. If you're planning on sending me something, PLEASE check with me first as I can give you my new address.
Mike @ B.A. Benny's Baseball Card Buffet, I got your package in the mail today.... AWESOME CARDS! I will get a post up as soon as I get a functioning computer back in the house that I can hook my scanner up to.
Not too long ago, fellow blogger Brian over at Play At The Plate mentioned that he was having a hard time getting the Nolan Ryan Rangers die cut off the Topps diamond giveaway. Well, I didn't have a Nolan to send him, but I did have Mike Schmidt. We quickly worked out a deal where I'd trade him the virtual card online, and he'd mail me a beauty of an autograph... see my loot:
That's right, numbered 221/297, this is a Hunter Pence signed auto, even if it is on a sticker... thanks Brian...
Alright, as you may have read, my smitten-ness has transferred from A&G to UD Goodwin Champions... and so I stopped by the LCS and picked up another box of it today and well, I was just as happy with this box as the last... here are my hits:
Gretchen Bleiler is a snowboarder and guys if you haven't seen her FHM spread, well you are missing out. A sloppy but cool auto from an oddball sport. Next is Igor Larionov... apparently a hockey star from the 80's but what a sweet patch! I wonder if it's from a Red Wings jersey or a USSR jersey, either way it's a great card for you hockey collectors out there! And finally we have Texas boy Hunter Mahan who is still early in his PGA career. This may be a card to sit on, wait and hope he really starts playing well. Another cool brightly colored swatch. These are for trade, but the Bleiler auto might be hard to get out of my collection!
And some mini's and inserts:
Yes, that is THE Louis Vitton, the namesake of those overpriced pieces of garbage purses that are all the rave. My favorite of the bunch is the "Gentleman" Jim Corbett mini. The foil mini's are great. Delino DeShields mini is cool, not sure if that's Sr. or Jr., but I know Jr. is in the Astros AA Support Group minor league system right now. I really like the look of these mini's and the set in general. I like the die cut inserts and really like the varied list of relic and autograph subjects. I really would have liked to break this via video, however it's packed at them moment... t-minus 8 days until we're living in Alabama!
Alright, as for the base cards, I couldn't be happier. I've bought two boxes and have a grand total of 12 duplicates!!! That's pretty freakin' sweet in my books. Also, I've got 160 out of 210 total base cards from my two boxes. That's also a big plus in my books. A couple blasters and some trades and I should be done with the full 210 card set. Also, cards 211 through 231 are mini only, so I might even go ahead and chase those since this set is so nice. I've got 3 of those SP mini's already... Overall, this box was a solid B+ for me. Topps: this is what happens when you put out a crappy product, my loyalty switches to a superior product (in my humble opinion). I doubt Topps reads my silly little blog, or cares that they aren't getting $200 more dollars from me for additional boxes, someone else will buy them I guess...
So the wife and I headed out to the monthly card show here in Houston and since it was the last one I know we'd be going to for a while, we both got something we wanted... she picked up a hobby box of 2009 Americana and I grabbed a hobby box of Allen & Ginter, no wait A&G sucks this year and I'm not buying another box (I'll explain later), so I thought I'd try out Goodwin Champions! And I was glad I did. The base cards just look cool, the look of the painted cards and even with no licenses it doesn't look horrible. They do a great job and they got some good names to include in the set. Also, I'm really digging the Animal Kingdom patch set. Well, I got an amazing one, seeded 1:4,571 packs... the Western Gorilla. My relic and auto weren't fantastic but at least they are stars in their respective sports (unlike my A&G hits, yes I'm looking at you Derrek Lee, Ryan Dempster and Billy Butler). The die-cut cards are cool as well. I very well may pick up another hobby box or two of this product. Here's my hits...
That Gorilla patch may fetch me a couple hundred bucks on eBay if my research is correct. VERY cool cards, even if I had gotten one of the lesser seeded cards, these are how patches should be done. Natalie Gulbis is a popular women's golfer so I may be able to trade her card for a baseball relic I'd want, and the auto, well I had never heard of her before but apparently she's the first woman in the hockey Hall of Fame so maybe there's a hockey collector out there who'd want to trade for it.
Also, I grabbed a hobby jumbo pack of 2011 Topps to try and get a few cards I need and ended up getting the leather manu-patch from the box in my pack:
Definitely for trade.... And finally I picked up a card for my personal collection:
A very nice bright orange Nolan Ryan swatch! It's awesome and I've had my eye on this card on eBay for a while. I paid a bit more than I wanted for it in terms of trade, but I traded away two cards I've had for a long while and no one expressed interest in...
So, at this point, you may be wondering why I am not going to buy more A&G, as I said I'd explain later... well, there are several of reasons. First of which is the way they distributed hits this year. In previous years, you generally got 2 relics and an auto and if you got a printing plate it was a bonus. From what I'm seeing this year, most boxes are 3 relics. You're lucky to get an auto at all, and printing plates, well I haven't seen or heard of someone pulling one yet but I am sure they have. To me, this is a sign that Topps believes we're suckers and will just keep buying box after box. Second, the relic subject list. It's a whopping 174 subjects long. That's ridiculous. There aren't 174 people I'd want a relic of, and again I'm looking at you Derrek Lee, Billy Butler and Ryan Dempster. There's no reason those three guys should be in the relic list at all. Relics should be limited to stars. I'd rather get 2 guaranteed hits and know they are STARS rather than roster fillers. Sure those three have had good games and a good year or two, but they will never threaten to even knock on the door of the HOF. Thirdly, the autographs... I've heard it may be as low as 3 autographs per CASE!!! That's ridiculously low when paying nearly $100 a box. Especially when that auto turns out to be Chris Sale, David DeJesus or even Brett Wallace. Even as an Astros fan, I'd want someone better than Brett Wallace (Hunter Pence wasn't available?). Fourth, the code. I was hopeful to participate this year, as each year it seemed pretty accessible to the common collector. However, with a 350 parallel code set, and one-per-case decoder cards, this code is now designed only for the rich; for those guys who Tribute and Triple Threads are already designed for, sorry but I don't have $10,000 to throw down on cases to get the cards needed to crack the code. Thanks for alienating me from the quest there Topps, fan un-friendly. Finally, the inserts... there are 74 (rough estimate) different ANNOUNCED insert sets this year. This means we as collectors end up with less base cards and more incomplete insert sets out of each box. Way too many!!! Which is Topps' way of getting us to buy more boxes. This all points to my final conclusion: Topps got greedy with A&G, ruined its quality and what drew collectors to it, and has killed its cash cow. Honestly, I won't buy another pack, box or blaster. And I was one of the biggest proponents of A&G, LOVED the set. Not this year, and if Topps doesn't learn something from this set then I don't know if I'll ever be back. I've read way more dissatisfied blog posts about this product than positive ones. I think that's a reflection of the quality of the product. Yes, there are some fabulous hits, but those seem more likely to be pulled by $10,000 case buyers than the average collector. So, I turn my attention now to Goodwin Champions instead. Sorry A&G, it was great while it lasted...
All my minis are for trade (including a "mexican hat" Flora mini), all my hits are for trade, and all my inserts are for trade. I'm going to try and finish the 165 base cards I need for the set but that will be it. If you're a super mini or insert collector, here's your chance to snatch up a nice little stack of minis or inserts. Anyways, I honestly hope you all had a better experience with A&G than I did this year...
I made another trade with reader Jeff W. He had acquired a card I really wanted, and well I was quick to make a deal for it. A few cards sent his way and he rewarded me with quite a few cards from my needs lists from 2011 Topps and 1978 Topps. Here's the keys to the trade though:
First, a nice Morgan Ensberg relic:
A nice pin striped card, he threw it in for free because of the slight manufacturer's wrinkle on the right side of the card, you can see it in the scan. I'll take in the damaged and flawed Astros cards, they are rather representative of the state of the actual team these days...
Ok, but here's the big daddy of the trade, and no scan of these cards do justice to how AWESOME they are in person. The cardboard stock is super thick, the colors are awesome, very reflective and yes I did take the protective layer off, how else would I be able to see how awesome this card is:
For those of you scratching your heads, wondering what this is, it's a Die Cut card exclusive from the Topps Website as part of the Diamond Topps code cards. Have Pence in hand, I REALLY want the Brett Wallace one now... and I can't wait to order my Nolan Ryan that I've already traded for! Awesome stuff, thanks Jeff! If he contacts any of you about a trade, go for it because he's an AWESOME trader!
Well, as you can tell from my previous post, I got my box of 2011 A&G today and here is the video of my results:
Base Cards - 134/350 including 14 SP's and 3 code cards. There were two packs that had 2 SP's in them, so I ended up with a couple extra SP's. They were seeded 1:2 packs this year. I swear they were seeded either 1:4 or 1:6 in years past. Anyways, I'm glad there are more per box, as I hate chasing these down and I don't consider it a complete set unless all 50 SP's are there. Now that leaves me with 36 to chase!
Box Loader - The jumbo cabinet style card celebrating Roy Halladay's post-season no-hitter.
Mini Cards - There's a big variety of mini's. There were 2 black borders, 7 regular back mini with 2 being SP's, 6 A&G ad backs with 1 being a SP, 2 World's Mysterious Figures, 2 Portraits of Penultimacy (dupicates of each other), 2 Univited Guests (duplicates again... Grade: F for Topps Department of Collation), 2 Animals in Peril and 1 Step Right Up. Here's a spattering of those mini's...
Regular Inserts - I got 3 Floating Fortresses, 4 Baseball Highlight Sketches, 3 Minds That Made The Future, 18 Hometown Heroes and 4 of the AWESOME full bleed Ascent of Man inserts. There's 26 of them, I wouldn't mind getting them all if any of you just don't like them!
HITS - Well, to say these were underwhelming would be to be putting it lightly. I'm not happy about these three. All three looks like they could have been cut from the same jersey/pants. Dull grey... and it just ticks me off. Certainly Topps can ensure that three absolutely CRAPPY hits don't end up in the same box. Seriously, even collectors from these guys' teams would be disappointed. At least give me something I can trade away. I could be stuck with these three for a LONG TIME...
With hits like these, is this going to be my only box? Highly doubtful... will there be lots of retail ripped, of course... hopefully I'll end up with some better cards from other boxes and packs! Needless to say, the hits are all available for trade...
Alright, I've ripped my cards and all that kind of good stuff for 2011 Allen and Ginter. Here is the checklist and pull odds.
I believe if you click on them you'll get a good high resolution look at them. Send me an e-mail if you'd like the picture files e-mailed to you.
I've opened all my packs, but I'm not sure what the Gint-a-cuffs rules are for posting, so I'll hold off on that until I get some clarification...
It's not too exciting... and I did get 3 Ginter Code cards. I'm willing to share what I have with anyone willing to share a scan of theirs. I have Logan Morrison, Howie Kendrick and Dillon Gee. E-mail me if you want to swap scans.
Well, I got a package in the mail today from Mr. Napkin Doon. And it's awesome, but the bad part that I've failed to get his package out in the mail yet this week. I know, I'm a horrible person... Napkin, your cards will be headed out soon, as well as Mr. BA Benny and Jeff W. A post office trip is scheduled!!!! But here's the cards anyways!
Very nice Bowman Sterling swatches of Bagwell and Berkman! And a sweet Club 3000 Nolan Ryan... thanks Mr. Doon...
Here are a couple of other recent pick ups, that's a 1/1 Roger Clemens that got cut off by the scanner by the way...
So I won me a nice little contest over at Play At The Plate the other day and got my contest winnings in the mail today... 3 packs of Topps Series 2 and some nice Astros. I knocked off one card from my set need list and 1 mini from my Kimball Champions need list. I also go a diamond code card and got a ring I needed and a 1973 Freddie Patek card that has a sweet action photo of Freddie turning a double play! Below are the inserts that I pulled, the Astros and the cards that I was able to cross off my want list. Thanks Brian for another great contest!
I scanned the back of the "original back" Dale Murphy Topps 60 card... that Berkman rookie is pretty cool.
So, since we've started packing and I've stopped doing a lot of trades, it's really slowed down my mail days and I really don't have a lot to post and share about. So I figured I'd just start writing tonight and see what happens...
I've been pretty intrigued with a series of posts over at I Am Joe Collector as he works to expose a autograph faker. That Evan Longoria "auto" that he pulled from Masterpieces is AMAZING and that post really put a smile on my face. Always good to see a good guy go after these complete idiots on eBay trying to pass of autographs onto unsuspecting fans. This is why I tend to avoid autos on eBay unless I can see the back of the card and it either has the correct wording, or a serial number I can verify with the manufacturer. Keep up the good work there Mr. Joe Collector. His posts really help remind me to be wary of things that look too good to be true.
As for my Astros, the depths to which they have fallen is just depressing. It's not fun to watch them play the game, the manager is a complete idiot and Carlos Lee is still fat & a horrible player. None of those things are going to change this season or probably next for that matter. Brad Mills doesn't know how to use his bullpen efficiently and his constant insertion and pulling of Brett Wallace out of the lineup needs to stop. Brett needs to learn to hit left handed pitching. He'll never learn that sitting on the bench watching. This season is the most opportune time to give him at-bats against lefties. It's not like a few more strikeouts are going to ruin our season... I really can't wait for Drayton McLane's sale of the team to Jim Crane to be complete and some hope being interjected into the fan base. I only wonder what will happen between now and the trade deadline. I know there is not a chance in hell that Carlos Lee will be traded (who would want him!?!) but I am hoping that Wandy and Bourn get dealt. Both are getting too expensive to justify keeping them and again, it's not like trading them will ruin our season. Bourn is a Boras client and won't sign an extension but will rather look for a big pay day in free agency, so let him go now and save the headache of trying to re-sign him. Alright, enough of that depressing topic...
I've signed up for Gint-a-Cuffs III. I need to get my box ordered, but I need to wait and get some funds. There's also the sticky situation of moving. If the product releases at mid-month, then I don't know if it'll get here in time before I move to Alabama on the 29th. I may just have to wait and order it once I get to Alabama. I'm really looking forward to A&G this year, I really like the design and am really excited about the many new inserts this year. I think I'll go after the base set again w/ SP's and then maybe pick 1 or 2 mini sub-sets to go after. Of course I'll try to pull as many Astros variations and inserts as possible, hopefully there are more Hunter Pence cards than Carlos Lee this year.
Well, hope you all are having a great week. Sorry for the lack of posts lately, let me know if you have any topics that you'd like me to give my insight on. Any reader who submits a topic, I will address it in some way or form, no matter how ridiculous... ok, well, just keep it appropriate people, hobby-related preferred... but if you really want my opinion on the feminist movement arising from the French Revolution then well, you'll get a paragraph of my insanity, as my opinion on such a topic will be non-nonsensical. Ask away!
Hey everyone... I thought I'd highlight some recent picks ups from Tromps Sports Cards that I got in the mail today. No, seriously, I'm done with Lance Berkman and Roy Oswalt... right... keep telling myself that, then find cards out there that look cool and are not difficult to get... well, here you go...
The middle Berkman is numbered 98/99 and I'm about 99% certain that patch is from his numbering, it's a sweet patch. The only other serial numbered card is the Berkman on the right which is 257/500. The Oswalt game used bat is kinda cool because usually you don't get pitchers' bats, and the 2008 Topps "2007 Highlights" card has a pretty sweet pinstripe. Head on over there and check out what he's got, some great cards!
Alright, so the move is officially happening on the 28th of July... so I am currently putting a moratorium on all trades until after the move. I will complete all trades currently in negotiation and here's what I'm showing as open deals:
1) Dennis at Too Many Grandersons - I'm holding a Rich Hill 2007 UD Masterpieces Auto for you.
2) Chris at Nachos Grande - I'm holding a bunch of 2011 Topps for you. I know we're in the midst of negotiations...
3) Nakpin at The Adventures of Napkin Doon - I am holding a Michael Young dual relic for you.
4) Johnny at Cards from the Quarry - I am holding a 2010 Topps Chrome Eric Young Jr. auto. I think we both forgot about this one.
5) Cam at The Bullpen Cardboard - I am holding a J.R. Towles auto for you.
6) Adam E. at Thoughts and Sox - I am holding a few GQ Red Sox mini's and a GQ Green border for you.
7) Phillip at PAW's Dugout SportsCards - I know we're working out a deal involving the GQ stuff you have for me, and the Duvall auto and others you may want.
8) Mike at BA Benny's Baseball Card Buffet - I am holding a MEGA DEAL for you, including your group break cards. I think I may go ahead and ship this, as I cannot put any more cards into this box and I need to get my desk cleared!
9) Tim at Better Luck Next Pack - I know we're working on a deal that involves your Nachos Grande group break Astros cards. I've pulled some cards for you (UD Masterpieces and X) and may include a couple of Indians jersey cards as this group break goes along. This may be the one trade that lingers into August, but we'll just see what we can do before then.
Alright, those are the only 9 deals I show as pending. If we have something pending and I forgot it, let me know and I'll add it to the list. If I owe any of you anything and you're not on this list, please e-mail me and we'll talk it over. I want to get all these cleared out before July 15th if possible. Hopefully I can get everything posted before I head out and that there isn't a huge lag between blog posts once we get to actually moving. At some point I'll let you all know my new address.