Monday, January 31, 2011

Floating an idea out into the blog-o-sphere...

Hello to all of my readers! I have had a preliminary conversation or two with some people and I'd like to present a small idea, plant a seed for everyone to think about and consider. Let it soak into the spongy gray matter and ruminate a little while...

Here's the deal: I listen to several different podcasts throughout the week and just recently found the podcast over at Sports Card Radio that I really like. It got me to thinking... there aren't enough sports card podcasts. But I am a lone collector in Houston. How do I make this relevant to other people who might actually stumble through iTunes and find it? Well, that's when I had what I thought would be a great idea: get a bunch of bloggers involved! What I'm thinking is for me to be a co-host, with the other co-host being another blogger each week or episode. Whether it would be a scheduled rotation or someone simply volunteering on a weekly basis to avoid just listening me drone on and on... well we'll figure that out later. From what I can read out there in the web, using Skype and decent headsets, the audio quality shouldn't be a problem. My wife is confident she can do the audio editing to mix in some music and/or break it down into segments. I am thinking it could be a weekly deal. E-mails and phone calls could be exchanged during the week to clarify content, put some subject matter together, get some rapport built-up. Topics are somewhat limitless... trades, new releases, hobby news, actual baseball, fantasy baseball, blogging, movies...

Well, let me know what you all think. If there is enough interest I'll start putting together the supplies, software and hardware needed to pulling these things together! Email me if you have interest in co-hosting, leave a comment if you'd listen to such a podcast. Thanks everyone!!!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Trade Post... BA Benny (Mike) and Way off Base (Randy) and other random musings...

Hey, I've got a couple of trades to post here today... first of all is another GREAT trade with Mike over at BA Benny's blog. You all may be tired of hearing about how he's such an awesome card trader, but I'm not tired of trading with him! So, onto the loot... not only was Mike able to clear out about 35 cards from my want lists, he sent me some freakin' sweet Astros cards that I know I don't have!

Two on card autos of some former Astros prospects who didn't pan out to much (much like most Astros prospects sadly...) a sweet Berkman RC and some Bagwell and Lima-Time cards! Thanks Mike... I never made it to the post office yesterday, so sadly your cards are still on my desk. Tomorrow they will be mailed after work, guaranteed!

Next up is Randy from over at Way Off Base, we both cleared out some cards from each others want lists, but he also threw in some Astros my way:
Always great to see Nolan in a stack of cards. The Carlos Lee is a pretty sweet looking card in person (even though he's a defensive liability and about to keep some promising rookie from either playing LF or 1B the next two years... boo... hey Rangers, you want him? PLEASE?!?!?!) and I think I may have the rainbow of that Bud Norris now, including the auto although I could be wrong since there seems to be about 40 parallels of Bowman. Thanks Randy! Great cards! Thanks for the trade!

I had Friday off of work and so I spent some time getting a bit more organized. I took an empty 5000 count box and starting pouring in all the Astros that I have received via trade over the past almost year I've been running this blog as a card trading blog (it was utter non-sense before the switch I tell you, utter non-sense) and I managed to almost fill the thing up with just cards I've received from all you readers. Very grateful and for anyone who has traded with me, thanks a bunch. Also, the wife and I stopped at a new LCS we found from the TriStar show and picked up some 8-card and 4-card pages, as we found it hard to binder auto's, relics and the like. I now have all of those style cards in a binder rather than a box and let me tell you it looks pretty freakin' sweet. The only bad part is that the cards tend to slide out of the 8-card pages a bit too easily, that may be because I left them in the penny sleeves, but I'm paranoid about it... should I remove the penny sleeves?

Anyways, I'm one step closer to my goal of getting fully organized. My end game goal is to sort ALL of my cards by team and then by year & set. This way I can pull cards a bit more easier for team collectors. This does pose a problem for pulling cards from set want lists, but with checklists out there it shouldn't be too tough. This is going to be a long-term goal because I've got at least 40,000 cards here at the house and probably just as many in storage. I have a bunch of football and basketball I'm unsure what to do with. I don't want to just throw them away (blasphemy!) but I have no use for them, even ones that may have value. I just don't collect or care about them and don't really want to spend hundreds of dollars shipping them to someone. If any of you have some ideas, I'd love to know. If there are any Houston collectors (or collectors traveling through Houston) who just want to take them off my hands, I'd gladly give them to you once I get them all pulled from amidst my baseball cards...

This afternoon I'm headed over to an old college buddy of mine's place, Matt from Cardboard Conundrum, to trade some cards. He needs 2009 Allen and Ginter and I have it to trade away! Plus I have a Fukudome 2009 A&G Relic that I've been holding hostage from him! Muahahaha!

Finally, I participated in the Razor Letterman Case Break #2 over at Too Many Grandersons yesterday. I was a literally "last second" add-in for the festivities but I got in just in time. I made one trade before finalizing the 6 cards I got from the post and am VERY happy with the results. I think Dennis is going to post each person's loot, so I won't spoil that post for him but I will say that I ended up with some quality Astros cards. He's already said he may do a 3rd break, so if he does definitely get it. It's a great break because you really can go after the specific cards you want in the card draft, plus there's legit stars/semi-stars in the break: Posey, Castro, Wallace, Weiters and even Pete Rose. It has my stamp of approval! I know you were all waiting for that before participating! Plus you might get a chance to steal a 1/1 Ike Davis away from BA Benny, then can command a king's ransom in return!!!! Not that I would ever do such a thing... just sayin'... you could... but don't, it's bad karma...

Have a great week everyone! I have 4 packages going out in the mail tomorrow: BA Benny, Adam at ThoughtsAndSox, Drew from Drew's Cards and Jonathan from Australia. Adam and Jonathan are getting contest winnings, the other two are trade! Be on the look-out for those this week! 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

CSNStores Product Review Coming Soon and a Trade Post

Hey everyone... just wanted to let you know that I've got another review coming soon for my sponsor CSNStores... with over 200 online stores, you can find everything from electronics to a corner TV stand, and even baseball cards! As part of this next review, I promise that the product will be related to the subject of this blog (although our coffee maker does rock!). Stay tuned, hopefully in the next week or so I'll have the review ready and this one will be a video review!

Now, onto some trade post business... I got two packages in so far this week and first of all I have a package from Dustin, an English student at Western Michigan... I don't think he has a card blog so there's nothing to link to. He participated in my Christmas contest and ended up sending me a bunch of cards off my Bowman Heritage want list and then a bunch of Astros, see below. The highlight to me is a double PC card: the Nolan Ryan/J.R. Richard card.... thanks Dustin!
Gotta say that the Berkman RC is pretty freakin' sweet as well. I like the Biggio Upper Deck Vintage card... and any time I can get Bagwell in the vintage .45's uniform, that equals WIN. Thanks Dustin.

Finally, I have a package in from Colbey over at Cardboard Collections. It wasn't really a trade, because he sent these cards on his own without asking for anything in return. Don't really have a picture to post because it was a stack of 21 cards from my 2010 Topps Update need list. The AWESOME thing Colbey did was include two packs of Update with the package, netting me 3 additional cards from my want list! Thanks Colbey, I owe you!

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Story Behind My First Babe Ruth Card - A Cautionary Tale

Well, here's a scan of my first ever legit vintage Babe Ruth card. And only the second graded card I've ever owned. Depending on how you look at this, I either got it for free or as part of a package... you be the judge. I'll preface this story by saying a few things:
1) I know I screwed up, I didn't do my research and I ultimately paid the price for my mistake. I can be a bit too naive and trusting. It's who I am and rather than change and distrust people, I know that I will get burned from time to time. Life's too short, in my opinion... trust people until they prove distrustful, that's how I live.
2) There are extenuating circumstances, Friday I was at TriStar alone and was looking to pick up a birthday present for my wife (this will all make sense later, just wait...) and what I found was something I considered rare. I went for it...
3) Bad/deceitful dealers, Topps and other factors were the reason I was pushed out of the hobby 15 years ago, I'm back now and trying not to let the same factors (they are still prevalent) push me back out again. Finding honest and generous blogger friends has really helped... seriously, thanks guys.
4) I will not be mentioning specific booth owners' names or their company. An effort was made to rectify the situation and while I still am not sure how I feel about it, I'm not going to drag their name in the mud or bash them in any way. If you feel you have a legit reason to know the details, e-mail me and we can discuss.

So here's the story. Friday I went up to Reliant Arena here in Houston for the first day of the card show. I had a few goals: get a lay of the land, see what was available for 1978 Topps, look for UD A Piece of History boxes and finally, find something for the wife. We were planning on making a return trip together on Sunday (which turned into Saturday after the events I'm about to describe) so I wanted to get her something while I was there alone AND I wanted to make sure there was product there she'd possibly be interested in buying. As I made my way around the arena, I found quite a bit of merchandise that I knew she'd be interested in (she collects movie memorabilia and cards, particularly older movie stars, Cagney, Garbo, Bogart, etc and she will trade so let me know if you have anything to offer, I'll trade baseball cards for them)... ok, back on topic...

So I turn one of the last corners before I start to call it a day and find a booth with an intriguing set of cards. They were small tobacco sized and styled cards but instead of baseball players, I could tell they were movie stars. The top card was Marlene Dietrich and while I couldn't tell you a thing about her, my wife had spoke of her often. I had never heard nor seen these cards before, despite spending MANY hours the past two holiday seasons searching for something for her card-collecting-related on eBay and through many other sites. I started talking to the booth owner and he pulled out 5 hard cards full of these cards and started showing them to me. Chaplin, Garbo, Gary Cooper, Lon Cheney, Buster Keaton... all names I recognized and knew she would as well. The owner explained that this was a 1931 set of Josetti tobacco cards. There were 272 in the set and all where there except #151, which was in a graded hard case (see above) as it was the Babe Ruth card in the set, coupled with Harold Lloyd. He named his price for the entire set, which was WELL out of my price range. I, hating myself in even asking, then inquired about breaking the set apart for me to buy all of the cards except the Ruth. He was more than willing to do so for the right price and after haggling a bit, we came to an agreement. This is the part where I was far too trusting and naive. I should have done some research to determine the market value of these cards. But I bought the 271 cards at a price I thought reasonable.

I was genuinely excited about getting these cards for my wife. They were vintage 1931 cards! Pre-WWII!!! They were movie stars and would be a piece of collecting that we could share together. I was so excited about it that I couldn't wait until March 15th to give it to her, so I gave it to her once I got home. Needless to say, she was VERY excited! I explained to her that it wasn't a complete set but that the one card we needed to complete it was the Babe Ruth and too expensive for us. She was ok with that. That's when I then went to eBay and did some much needed research which I should have done before purchase. That's when I found that for what I paid for the 271 cards, I could have gotten the entire set AND the Babe Ruth card (graded 3.5 instead of 4) off of eBay. To say that I was livid and angry is to be putting it mildly. I was mainly upset with myself for being so naive and quick to purchase. I stewed about it all night. It kept me up that night for a while. I wanted to be mad at the owner, but I also was kicking myself for not doing my own due diligence. So we decided Saturday to head up to TriStar then instead of Sunday and do our shopping and to give me a chance to do my Festivus "Airing of Grievances" with this booth owner/dealer.

So we printed out both eBay ads, and headed up to the show. I made a bee-line for the booth. For one of the few times in my life, I had a restrained yet pointed conversation without blowing my lid. I explained how I felt he took advantage of the situation and how I felt he was both greedy and unscrupulous. He explained that he had paid "X" amount for those cards and was only looking to make a marginal profit from the sale and could not believe that the set was selling that low on eBay. He acted remorseful and regretted that it upset me to the point that it did. I still don't know how genuine this is, with time maybe my emotions on it won't cloud my judgment as much. He then asked what I thought was a reasonable resolution. Two things crossed my mind: 1) I knew he wasn't going to give me a cent back and 2) I didn't have the cards with me so I couldn't give them back either. There was no reasonable solution, and I had come to confront him on his getting one over on me. I really hadn't expected any kind of resolution. In the end it was my fault and I very much expected him to wash his hands of it all and it be a learning experience for me. I told him that I had no resolution in mind. He said that if I could help him a little, and give him $40, he'd sell me the Ruth for that much. The thought of giving him MORE money almost made me lose it. I told him that my wife and I needed to go discuss it.

After spending a couple of hours shopping, we returned and I told him that mentally and emotionally I couldn't justify giving him another cent of my money, just on principle alone it goes against my sense of right and wrong. I was fine with walking away at that point and going home knowing I had made my case and handled my temper very well (which is a HUGE victory for me personally). He refused to let me go, he reached into his case and pulled out the Ruth card and handed to it me. He said he wanted me to have it, that it wasn't worth it to him to leave me with such a rotten feeling in my stomach about it all and that he didn't want any customer of his to feel like he scammed them or pulled a quick one on them. I really didn't feel right taking it, as he had explained the amount of money (supposedly... I mean, how do I know for sure what he paid!?!?) he had sunk into the set. After some more debate, he finally told me that he wasn't going to let me leave without the card.

So, there's the story. Do I feel great about it? Not particularly. Am I afraid that it's bad-collectors-karma that could haunt me? Possibly. I want/need to know what you readers think. I mean, I absolutely LOVE the card, and if I had known the cost of it all, I may have bought it to complete the set if I bought it through eBay. Do I walk away with a lesson learned and just enjoy owning the card now? I'm conflicted...

P.S.... got two trade packages in the mail today... will post later in the week...

Sunday, January 23, 2011

A Great End to a Busy Weekend...

Well, the wife and I decided to make our trip to the Tri Star show yesterday instead of today, so you get to see the results earlier than expected... the highlights: autographs, jersey hits, Hollywood stuff, knocked out somewhere around 150-200 cards from my 1978 Topps project and above all else, my first vintage card from the 1930's... I won't spoil it for you, I'm going to do a follow-up post this week to discuss this card in further detail, including the frustrating story of how it was obtained... have a great Sunday everyone!



Oh yea, everything is for trade, except that one big card at the end! I've got a need list posted for the box I broke (which Mike over at BA Benny's has already helped with)...

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Trade Post - Cards from Tristar - Contest Winnings

Hey everyone, a quick video to show off some cards from various trades... Mike, Rhubarb Runner, The Card Investor and Community Gum! Plus some cards I picked up at the TriStar card show... and a card for a friend over at Cardboard Conundrum... enjoy!



Again, sorry about the absolutely horrible audio... I will be working to fix this soon...

Friday, January 21, 2011

CONTEST!!!!

Ok, so for once lately it's not one of mine... but if you want to get in on Community Gum's contest, you better do it quickly! He's giving away the contents of one box of high end prodcut: 2010 Panini Century Collection. Head on over and let him know the Dimwit sent ya! Have a great Friday everyone!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Topps MCG Cards Have Arrived! Trade Post! And MORE!!!!!

I'll start this out with the video of me opening my Topps Million Card Giveaway cards, as well as a trade with Chris from MadduxGlavineSmoltz (sorry I didn't give you accurate blog credit on the video, I couldn't remember which blog you ran!!!)... here you go:


Well, overall I'm pretty happy with the cards. The vintage cards had plenty of corner damage and the like, but I expected that based on Topps' disclaimer. I'm a bit ticked that they REALLY overcharged on shipping. Really, $2.92 for the first card and $0.83 per card after that, then put a stamp on the package that says $2.92? I paid $15.00+ for my free cards, kinda annoying, but whatever... they are some pretty sweet cards. The 2 Johnny Groth cards and the Bob Trice are up for trade for vintage Astros/Colt .45's. I work with the niece of Dave Friesleben, so I'm taking his RC to get it autographed to her so I can get it autographed. The Jim Wynn card is going to be my first attempt at a TTM auto, I've been told he's pretty good at returning them and personalizes them all; which is fine by me because I don't plan on selling it!

I want to thank Randy, Colby and Mike, within a couple hours of posting my 2010 Topps Update need list, they have knocked out a considerable portion of it. (I back dated it, so it says I posted it 12/30 but I really posted it today). I have removed the cards they've promised from the need list. I appreciate it fellas.

Finally, I want to thank The Card Investor, he did a giveaway where just by following his blog he gave away sets of cards. I ended up with the 2008 Bowman Draft Picks and Prospects set. Thanks so much!

I am headed to the Tri Star Houston Collectors Show tomorrow evening and Sunday afternoon. Hoping to grab some value-priced boxes, cheap vintage and maybe a few autographs. Hopefully by Sunday or Monday I'll have a post to re-cap some successful purchases or box hits!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Joy of a Completed Set - Trade Post!

Good afternoon everyone! I got to the mailbox today and I had a package waiting! Greg from Plaschke, Thy Sweater Is Argyle had contacted me a while back regarding a Russell Martin auto/jersey card and we quickly worked out another trade. It seems we have a pipeline going of Astros/MyNeeds coming my way and Dodgers/HisNeeds headed his way. It's been great trading with him, especially with cards like this:
First of all, there's a selection of sweet 1978 cards for my collection! Lou Brock, Sparky Lyle, Phil Neikro and The Bird... and best of all, one of the best names out there, the man, the legend: Johnny Wockenfuss. Look at that mustache as well, legen...dary!!!! Alright, then there is the HIT of the package, a nice Morgan Ensberg RC autograph. He was a bit of a flash-in-the-pan here in Houston, but as I've said in my blog before, I certainly have a lot of respect for him as a person! And finally... drum roll please... we have DEREK HOLLAND!!!!! WOO HOO!!!!!! The BEST CARD IN THE TRADE!!!!! (At this point, many of you are scratching your heads wondering what all the hoopla is about in regards to Texas' southpaw.) Well, this one card is the LAST card I needed to complete my 2010 Allen and Ginter base set!!!! And it's about freakin' time I tracked this one down!

This reminds me, I have very few needs left for my 2009 A&G, 2010 Topps Series 1 and Series 2... I have an entire row of a 5000 count box worth of duplicates from 2010 Topps Series 1 and 2 and about as much for 2009 A&G... send me your want lists or a link if you can help me out... I will knock out as much as I can from your want list if you can provide me with even one card from mine (see blog sidebar for needs lists)! I will soon be posting my needs for the Update set as well! Thanks everyone!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Box Break and Contest Results Are In!!!!! And the winner is....

Alright, you are all going to have to wait until the end of this post to find out the contest winner... but I'll get started with doing a bit of a review of the cards that I got and the overall experience of opening this product. First of all, a big thanks to Paul at Tri City Sports PL for giving me this opportunity. There are some surprises and I did beat some odds here, so onto the cards!

So due to time constraints I went ahead and opened the boxes yesterday, recording the video and such. Overall, I was pretty happy with the cards that I ended up pulling. I won't go in exact order because I don't remember and don't feel like watching the video again to document it all, but I'll go ahead and post the first picture of cards. Each is in a penny sleeve, the in a hard single hard slip case and then enclosed in a single card resealable bag:

So, the rundown of the first size: a 1/1 Gino Cimoli, Frank Riccelli, Brett Butler, Billy Sample, Julio Solano and the mighty Bud Selig. Now, I had never heard of Cimoli, Riccelli, Sample or Solano... but did find out that Solano and Riccelli spent part of their careers in Astros uniforms so that's pretty cool. I like how the Brett Butler has the smiley face too. The most impressive of this lot, to me, is Bud Selig.

Alright, so now we get to the surprises! As you can see, there are 6 cards above... and I got 7 boxes... but how, you may ask, does the Dimwit have more than 1 card left to show you?!?!?! Well, it turns out I got a Hot Box, with 2 cards in it. Although if you watch the video, you'll see that I had no clue I got a Hot Box and only figured it out in the end when I started breaking down the boxes to put in the trash and found that one of them still had this card still in it:
Yea, I got a Silver Screen Cuts card of Ben Kingsley! You may know him from the title role in Gandhi and many other motion pictures through the years. He is also a knight, so call him Sir! This card is also marked as a 1/1 on the back. My wife really digs this card, as she is a movie buff and really likes the movie star autographs. If any of you readers have movie related cards/products, please let me know I will trade baseball cards for those items if you like.

Now that brings us to the final card. It was actually the first one I pulled... it's a dual cut auto, with 2 HOF'ers!!! First the front:
HOF 2B and HORRIBLE announcer Joe Morgan. Another Astros connection and one that I'm very happy to get, even though he frustrates the daylights out of me due to his bias and unresolved issues with the Houston Astros. Hey Joe, everyone who was here when you got traded away is gone, the management is changed, the attitude is changed, the ownership has changed... go see a therapist and LET IT GO!!!! Alright, rant over, I'm guessing you're just dying to see who the other HOF'er is on the back side of this card... well, here you go:
There you go, Boston HOF second bagger Bobby Doerr. Honestly didn't know much about him until I read his wikipedia page yesterday and I gotta say that I gained some respect for the man. This is a great card, two HOF 2B, and another 1/1. In this way, I beat the odds in that I got 3 1/1 cards and 1 Hot Box. Below is the video, should anyone care to watch me open and go through the boxes. (I apologize for the absolutely HORRIBLE audio, I warn thee in advance...I don't know what the deal is with the audio on my videos, if you have any suggestions, please let me know)...


Now, as for an actual review of the set. With the limited number of cards that I have, I would have to say that this is a solid first product for Tri City Sports PL to enter the market. The cards look great, and as you can see in the Doerr scan, there is a hologram serial number on the back and a short paragraph (that is on the backs of all cards) stating the authenticity of the cards. I would say that it would be nice to know which authentication firm authenticated which cards, so that independent verification can be done. The cards are packaged well to prevent damage in shipping and I think the autographs are centered well within the frame of the card. They are clear signatures, no smudges or illegible print. It looks like all of these were taken from index cards or plain white paper, as opposed to a "frankencut" of an already autographed baseball card or photo. It would have been interesting or cool to get one that was part of a canceled check, lease/contract paperwork or something of the like, but I still like these. They may not appeal to all collectors, and that's certainly the sentiment that I got from a few bloggers out there, but I really dig 'em!

So here's what you all are waiting for... who wins the free box!?!?!?!? Well, there were a total of 7 people who got at least 1 name correct, but no one who got more than 1 name right. So, I took those 7 names and put them into the ol' randomization machine, randomized it 3 times and here's the results:
Congratulations Dawgbones, you're the winner! I'm pretty sure I have your address from a previous trade, but shoot me an e-mail anyways because me trying to find it in my e-mail archive will take forever! I want to thank EVERYONE who participated and I wish I had a box to send out to all 12 of you. If it weren't for my readers, this blog would be just a bunch of pointless ramblings... now they are pointless ramblings that people READ! Have a great weekend everyone!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Trade With Nick Jacoby! And MORE!!!!

Hey, it was a wonderful MAIL DAY for me!!! I have the day off from work and after getting some stuff done around the house, I ventured to the mail box to find a plethora of great stuff!

First of all was a trade package with Nick Jacoby, one the Ginter code breakers. I had a slew of mini's for his collection and he apparently had a slew of cards from my needs lists! So, he sent me 16 cards from 2008 Masterpieces, 16 cards from my Upper Deck 20th Anniversary set chase and 22 cards from my 2009 Allen and Ginter set needs! But the most awesome card of the trade was this beauty!
If only he hadn't personalized it, I could have sold it on Ebay for big bucks!!! hahahaha... just kidding Nick, this is going in my personal on-auto collection! Very cool of you to include this card as part of a trade! I really do appreciate it!

The next package was from a contest that I won over at Heartbreaking Cards of Staggering Genius (AWESOME NAME FOR A BLOG BY THE WAY!!!) which turned out to be a slew of 2010 Topps Update cards which I needed to work towards completing that set plus a Clay Buchholz All-Star game workout jersey card. This card is going to Adam over at Thoughts and Sox as part of his prize package for winning out Fantasy Football League!

Finally, I got something today that I wasn't expecting. Actually I was expecting it to get here on Tuesday, but it's here early! It's my half case and promo box of Diamond Cuts Baseball Series 1!!!! The contest is still live! Go get your entry in TODAY... because I will be busting the box open tomorrow and declaring a winner! So, get your entries in by 8AM CENTRAL TIME TOMORROW!!!!

Oh yea, and the results of the poll I posted yesterday were overwhelmingly NOT in favor of a twitter feed (THANK GOD!!!!) I've told my wife time-and-time again that I REFUSE to join twitter-nation. I said the same for facebook, but finally relented... I hope to never give in to twitter... my resolve has been strengthened by your overwhelming votes against it! Thanks everyone!!!! There'll be a post tomorrow with the box results and the contest results!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

News on Diamond Cuts Baseball - Series 1 and Change to the Blog

Hey everyone, as some of you may have noticed already, I've added an additional membership to my blogging groups, MLBBlogBuzz. There is a link and a widget further down to take a look at. Basically they bring a bunch of baseball blogs together and help centralize readership. I think it will really help grow the blog.

Now for the big news, for those who have become members of the Tri City Sports PL site you may have noticed a major announcement today. Per their site, due to an "international tax law" situation, they have had to reduce their Series 1 production run from 200 to 30 cases. They have also published a more detailed checklist that you can find through the link on their main page. There is still time to enter my contest for a chance to win a FREE BOX of this product! So far I have 11 entries! I'd love to get that number up to 20 by Tuesday!

I do have a question that I would like to pose to all my readers. I've read an article or two that recommend a twitter feed for a blog, so that readers can know when updates occur via the feed. Would this be something you readers would use or be interested in? Please vote below!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Trade Post and Contest Reminder

Once I posted my need list for 1978 Topps, Scott from Smed's Baseball Card Blog shot me a list of cards he had available and we quickly worked out a trade. I can't quite remember exactly what I sent him, but he managed to pull over 75 cards from my need list! Below is a scan of some of the highlights!
First and second row contain once, current (at the time) and future Astros! The third row well, I just thought a guy named "Bake" was funny, then there were familiar names in Hal McRae and Ray Fosse! Scott, thanks for the cards and hopefully we can pull off another trade soon!

Ok, I got confirmation today that my cards have shipped from Tri City Sports! Delivery is expected by next Tuesday! GET YOUR ENTRIES IN NOW!!!! Go here for more details!!! FREE BOX OF CUT SIGNATURE PRODUCT is being given away!!!! Thanks for reading everyone!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

CONTEST!!!! IT'S CONTEST TIME EVERYONE!!!!!

Alright, here's the deal people, it's time for a contest! And this is one I think you'll LOVE! Why do I say this? Because it involves a chance to get a free box of Tri City Sports' Diamond Cuts Baseball! Retail value: $80. I've given a rundown of the product line here. There is not a definitive checklist yet, but you can get a review of the highlights of the set and a short list of some of the highlighted names in my rundown and on their site. There will be HOF'ers, stars from the 70's, 80's, 90's and today as well as Hollywood stars!

I've covered the shipping cost for you, so here's the rules:

1) Go to www.tricitysportspl.com and register to become a member of the site. Becoming a member of the site will give you access to giveaways and contests that Tri City Sports PL will be doing in the coming months as well! (If you register at Tri City with a different screen name than you use here, please indicate so in your contest entry comment! Thanks!!!!)

2) Once you've registered with them, come back and enter my contest by leaving a comment. You cannot win if you aren't a member of TriCitySportsPL's site.

3) You'll need to guess 7 names of cards that you think I'll get in my half case break. I'll be getting my cards in the mail late this week or early next, so this contest will remain open until I get my box in the mail. Whoever guesses the most names correctly will win the contest box and I will mail it to you direct. It is marked as a contest/promo box so I will not know what's inside!

That's it everyone! In the case of multiple entries having the same number of correct guesses, I'll run a randomization to select the winner! Easy contest to enter and win! Let me know if you have any questions! If you plug this contest on your blog and are the winner, I'll throw in either a game-used or auto card from my personal collection (whatever I've got) from either your favorite team or if I have someone from your player collection! Just send me an e-mail with the link to your blog post!

The State of the Hobby - A Dimwit's Perspective as 1:21AM

It's 1:21am. I've been sick this week and I've got a cough that's keeping me from sleeping, which of course is probably just making things worse because I can't get the rest my body needs to recoup. So, I'll blog... I'm suffering, you people must suffer with my rants at, now, 1:22am! I apologize in advance for bad grammar or spelling...

My wife (know lovingly to me as the Hotwit) and I have driven all over this fair city of Houston to try and find good deals at Target, Academy and anywhere else we can find cards. One thing really does surprise me the more often we do this: the lack of product on the shelves. By all means, this is a good thing. People are buying and collecting. There are fewer and fewer baseball blasters wherever we happen to stop. (And no it's not because I've already bought them all... I wish...). There are a lot of complaints out on the web on blogs and in forums that Topps' "monopoly" on the licensed baseball card field has harmed the market. While I'm not a huge fan of what the industry has allowed to happen, after years of mismanagement, print overruns and unnecessarily large base sets it is a bit comforting that there are some limitations. There are some good products out there, in my opinion Allen & Ginter is not just nostalgic, but it's a good set with the right amount of variants and inserts. Then there's the mediocre stuff like, again in my opinion Chicle, T206 and Topps Chrome where it just doesn't look like Topps tried very hard. And I'll tell you, those are the three products that I see the most often still on the shelves, there's a reason for that. And thus T206 won't come back. As for Chrome products, I just don't see how Topps thinks that sending out cards shaped like boomerangs is good quality control. But I just don't buy them and I move on with my day. Do I wish that Upper Deck was still producing Masterpieces sets? Oh, heck ya I do. A limited base set with decent insertion rates, on-card autos and great artwork? Sign me up any day.

Kevin posted at Mojo and Beardy's the other day about the negativity in the blog-o-sphere about the hobby and admitted in the comments that it's probably the 10/90 rule (10 percent of the people cause 90 percent of the problems) but I definitely see his point. It is frustrating to see bloggers constantly bash one card company or the next but then the next day post their latest box break, then complain about the cards they didn't get. It's called "randomization" people, if you got all the cards you wanted, that'd be "standardization". Stop buying, get out of the hobby, vote with your wallet. I did. From about 1995 to 2009 I just stopped buying. The card companies were producing junk and I wasn't going to keep spending my (or in actuality at the time, my parents') hard earned money chasing 880 card base sets with only one nearly impossible-to-collect insert set. When I stepped away there were little to no "game used relics" or autographs in packs. I like the change. A bit over-estimated and over-hyped now a days, but the change is good. You really can get great cards out of the average box now, so what if you miss every once in a while? That's part of the fun in my books. Disappointing yes, but nothing to get all in a snit about!

Also, there were no blogs that I knew of then, and no trading online. No way to show off your cards other than put them all in binders and show them to your neighborhood card shop owner who really just wanted you to spend your money and get out (at least mine did, he's out of business now, he was a jerk, good riddance to fine rubbish). The industry has changed, it's evolved. Do all the complainers really want to go back to the late 80's and early 90's? Oh no, they just want Babe Ruth auto's and jersey swatches in each and every one of their packs. I'd love me an A&G Dino Relic or 7... Sorry guys, it's not happening. Just collect and be happy... Wow, looking back, not too shabby for 1:47am...

Friday, January 7, 2011

Trade Post - BA Benny and MR. Thoughts and Sox

I've got a trade post to do but I've got a small problem... I accidentally already binder paged the cards that were sent to me... eeks... This makes it a little tough, hard to scan in cards already put away, or do a video... So, here's what I'll do: just tell you what I got!

So, Mike over at BA Benny's contacted me after my 2007 Upper Deck Masterpieces box break, interested in the Jeter box loader and some additional cards. We ended up swapping box loaders, he sent me the 5"x7" Reggie Jackson, which looks really nice. It is up for trade if any of you Yankees fans want it. He also sent me a bunch of Astros cards, and a HUGE chunk of cards from my 2007 Bowman Heritage Need List. These additions have been reflected. Finally, he sent me two SWEET cards: a Lance Berkman Turkey Red Jersey card and a Roy Oswalt 2010 Topps Black Border numbered 48/59. Thanks Mike, always a pleasure trading with you! We've already got another trade in the works, so be prepared for another blog post soon!

The second trade is with Adam at Thoughts and Sox. This is the guy who just beat the tar out of me in our fantasy football league championship game, but we worked out a trade nonetheless! He sent me over 50 cards from my 2009 Allen & Ginter, 2010 Topps Series 2 and 2007 Bowman Heritage need lists! Thanks Adam! I stopped by the card shop today and think I got a couple of cards you'll like for winning the fantasy football championship. Hopefully we can work out another trade soon so I can make it worth the postage to ship these to you.

I'm getting dangerously close to finishing off 2009 A&G, 2010 A&G and 2010 Topps Series 2 thanks to these recent trades. The last card I need for 2010 A&G is should be in the mail in the next few days. As I finish off these want lists, I'm going to be adding two more want lists: 2008 Upper Deck Masterpieces and 2009 Upper Deck A Piece of History. This is part of my New Years Resolution to get organized - stop leaving uncompleted sets hanging out there 5-10 cards from completion! So, as I get some knocked off the list, I'll be adding a couple straggling sets to the list. Hopefully, thanks to all of you who've traded with me, I'll be organized to a point where I have a collection that I can not only show off, but that isn't riddled with incomplete pages!

I do want to thank all of you who read my blog. I am trying to provide as much content as possible while still getting in a post every day. I don't know how long I can keep up the 1-a-day pace (especially on weekends) but I am going to give it a shot! Thanks again Adam and Mike for these trades!

2008 Upper Deck Masterpieces Need List

DONE!!!!!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Welcome To My Newest Sponsor!

Well, the paperwork is done and I officially have a sponsorship deal with Tri City Sports PL. Above is the logo for their first ever baseball release hitting the market officially on January 15th! As of now, part of my sponsorship is the chance to get in at dealer pricing on the initial release. After my interview with Paul a couple weeks ago, we continued to exchange e-mails to discuss the hobby as a whole, blogging, the industry and his product. I am really excited about this release and I will be getting half a case of this product to open and show all my readers. Hopefully this will lead all of you to put in an order yourself or find this product at your local card shop! Here's the details of the release:

  • 1 Cut Auto Per Hobby Box
  • 4 1-of-1 Cut Auto's Per 14 Box Case
  • 1 Duel Cut Auto numbered 1-of-1 per 28 Boxes
  • 1 Auto-On-Patch or Auto-On-Jersey cut card  numbered 1-of-1 per 10 Cases
  • Golden Ticket Redemptions - Once in a lifetime trips and real 1/1 type items from the golden age of baseball; 1 per 10 Cases
  • 1 PSA Game Used Gear Auto memorabilia redemption cards - 1 per every 20 Cases - numbered 1-of-1
  • HOT PRODUCTS: Hot Boxes - 1 per 14 boxes; each box will contain 2 cut auto's instead of 1; Hot Cases - Total of 5 Hot Cases, each of which offer 8 1/1 Auto's and 28 total cut auto's in the case.
I can't wait to get my hands on this product. I'll be doing a video post when I open my half case and will of course scan in all of the results. I want to thank Paul at Tri City Sports PL in advance for this opportunity and I wish the best for this release and future releases!

Stay tuned! I have no idea what I'll be getting, but there most likely will be a contest/giveaway for one or more of the cards I get!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Trade Post and BOX BREAK!!!

I finally got my Christmas box-o-cards from my Dave and Adam's Card World order from Christmas day today. I've got the box bust below in the video as well as a couple of trade results from Joe at The Sandlot and from Greg at Plaschke, Thy Sweater Is Argyle. I've also got a few random hits from some lucky hot packs and a hit from a box my wife opened that may interest you MMA fans. Have a great day everyone!


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Major Sponsorship Announcment - Coming Soon

Hey everyone, I am happy to announce that I'm close to signing a sponsorship deal with a card company very soon. I've been given the OK to talk about it, but I'm going to build the suspense a bit. Hopefully by the end of the weekend I'll be able to post a blog and official logo on the site. Just want to clue you all in and hopefully this sponsorship will lead to some great cards for not only myself, but possibly for you readers down the line! I previously have had a post regarding my sponsorship with CSNStores, but this new sponsorship is with an actual card company... feel free to guess in the comments if you'd like! More details to come later in the week!

Also, I have a few trade posts to eventually catch up on, they are coming soon so if I haven't shown off your cards yet (you know who you are) just know that as soon as I can dig through the desk and get down to the scanner, I'll be getting some photos up of the great cards that have been added to my collection via trades!

Monday, January 3, 2011

The Case for Jeff Bagwell Going Into The Hall of Fame

There has been a lot of debate across the internet, television and radio regarding Jeff Bagwell's candidacy for the Baseball Hall of Fame. What has surprised me thus far is how much traction this story is getting in the national spotlight considering how undervalued Bagwell was during his career by that same national media. Now, this may be tinged by my hometown bias, but it always bothered me that the national media tended to find another star to focus on rather than the guy who put up such big numbers in the cavernous Astrodome for so many years.

I'm not going to re-invent the wheel trying to explain why I feel he's a first ballot HOF'er. Smarter and more eloquent writers like Jerry Crasnick and Peter Gammons have put out all the data and reasoning needed to convince any sane person that Bags deserves the vote. I'd just like to point out a few things that remain etched in my memory through all these years.

First of all, there was the raw power and strength that Bagwell unleashed with each swing. It was an awesome sight to see that swing start, wind up like a corkscrew and then explode through the ball. There was always a positive and negative to this effect. When he swung and missed, it was an unmitigated disaster... oh but when he connected, it was a thing of beauty. It was not a swing that could be replicated (believe me, my little league career was probably ruined by trying to mimic that swing) but it was the perfect swing for Bagwell in the dome. There was enough to power in it to push the ball out over the fences or get it into the gaps when he would just barely miss. Every at bat seemed full of drama, because he was capable of blasting one out every time, even in the last few years when the shoulder kept him from being a full-time player.

Second, there is his base running. Many players, coaches and reporters have said that Bagwell was one of the best base runners they played against and it wasn't all about stealing bases either. His secondary leads and anticipation was unrivaled. He knew exactly how far he could push an outfielders arm and his own speed. Also, his sliding skills were just awesome. I remember a game against the Texas Rangers, Bagwell is heading home and the throw looks like they'll have him by a mile. However, he charges HARD about 3-4 feet wide of the plate, slides at the last second past home plate but sticks his arm back to swipe the plate; all the while barely avoiding the tag. It was just another example of a play Bagwell makes and 99% of other players fail to make.

Finally, his defense. Have you ever seen anyone charge a bunt as hard as Bagwell used to do? He had supreme confidence in Biggio to cover 1st base. He had no fear in charging the bunt to try and get the runner out at second and ruin the sacrifice bunt. He had a knack for being in the right place, and as much as a liability he would become in later years due to the aforementioned shoulder, he still found a way to make plays. I was always surprised at how few teams challenged him in the later years, knowing he was barely able to throw the ball. It was his defense that made him a complete player, in my opinion.

I would leave this post alone at this point under normal circumstances. However, there is the lingering suspicion continuing to follow Bagwell well after retirement: PED's. I firmly WANT to believe that Bagwell did not use steroids, HGH or any other PED. However, as I feel with all baseball players of this era (I repeat, ALL PLAYERS), I believe that every one of them would use whatever they needed to use to continue their careers. I think there is a big difference between the 15-year minor leaguer using steriods to get his one shot at the majors vs. an already complete player (Bonds, Clemens, et. al.) allegedly using PED's to take their talents to new heights. I feel that the only fair way to judge the players in this era, and that is to put them all under the same umbrella. Just as players in the 20's & 30's have a stigma against them for playing during a segregated era, and with the "dead ball", I also view the players of the 70's, 80's and 90's with a certain stigma. There's no way to say who benefited and who was hurt by PED's; I feel everyone kind of knew it was going on, but cheered on all the home runs, strikeout numbers and record-breaking performances. In some respect, we as fans are partially responsible for the mess of the era. All of that said to say that I would vote for Bagwell even if he came out tomorrow and said he did steroids. He's denied it all along and as I said, I want to believe but the skeptic in me can't ignore the facts that are out there. There was no testing system in place until it was too late, the drugs were readily available, the consequences were lacking and there was no incentive for players to stay clean. We can't retroactively and blindly punish whomever we suspect might have used by destroying their HOF candidacy.

Alright, that was long-winded, but if I had a vote here's who I think should get in: Bagwell, Alomar, and Blyleven. All were great players who are head & shoulders above their peers in terms of accomplishments and ability. Blyleven is the only one I'm even close to iffy about. But in the end, the teams he played on did him more harm in his overall stats than he did to himself. He deserves the call.

Agree? Disagree? Feel free to fill the comment box with your own rants.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Organization and Need Lists

Alright everyone... as part of my effort to get more organized, I have put together an organized link list of needs lists on the right hand side of this page. Hopefully this will help you all find cards to trade with me more easily and I'll do my absolute best to keep these lists updated!

One note, I have 1 card left for my 2010 Allen and Ginter base set!!!!! It's a SP Derek Holland #344. I've double checked my collection and I do not have this card. I've placed a bounty on his head/card... whomever trades this card to me will be rewarded rather handsomely!

Thanks everyone!

2009 Allen and Ginter Need List

Base:

82

Updated 03/17/2012

2008 Allen and Ginter Need List

It's a bit lengthy, but I eventually plan on buying another box at some point, so however you can help would be greatly appreciated.

Set complete, thanks to anyone who helped!

Updated 6/17/2011

2011 Topps Want List - Kimball Mini's Only - BASE COMPLETE

DONE!