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Saturday, January 30, 2010

I'm getting this graded

In my daily trolling of Ebay for Pittsburgh cards, I came across this gem. It was so startlingly (yeah that's a word) funny, I had to share.

At this point, why would anyone bother. I especially like the description of the auction.

1951 Francis Rogel Card (Pittsburgh Steelers)

Peer Pressure Purchase Part 2

4 more packs of the 2010 Topps Baseball Series I for your scrutinizing pleasure.

Pack 5

#153 Justin Duchscherer
#63 Josh Bard
#310 Elvis Andrus
#315 Scott Kazmir
#275 Chris Coghlan
#134 Philadelphia Phillies Team Card
#TR43 Adrian Gonzalez - Turkey Red
#LL20 Frank Thomas/Prince Fielder - Legendary Lineage
#TTT4 Adrian Gonzalez - Topps Town
#264 Arizona Diamondbacks Franchise History
#85 Ken Griffey Jr.
#308 Robinzon Diaz

Another Turkey Red card which I thought I liked originally but now for some reason I don't. Weird. I first thought the Legendary Lineage cards were the same team players but I guess not. Maybe the same position?

Pack 6

#57 CC Sabathia
#18 Tim Stauffer
#79 Francisco Cordero
#86 Gil Meche
#131 Dustin Richardson
#265 Anaheim Angels Team Card
#CMT31 Paul Molitor - Cards Your Mom Threw Out (His '82 Topps...I had this one, too)
TMC8 Million Card Giveaway Redemption
#TTT1 Joe Mauer - Topps Town
Another Topps Attax Ad
#224 Rod Barajas
#313 Jason Kubel (this guy is a DH but they show him in the field...weird)
#246 Leo Nunez

I really am digging these Cards Your Mom Threw Out cards (digging; do people still say that?). I think I may have to see what these Million Card Giveaway things are all about.

Pack 7

#41 Los Angeles Dodgers Franchise History
#67 Matt LaPorta
#169 Pittsburgh Pirates Franchise History
#228 Chris Pettit
#222 Curtis Granderson
#51 Eric Young, Jr.
#1 Prince Fielder
#CMT39 Frank Thomas - Cards Your Mom Threw Out (Nuh-uh. She didn't get this one.)
#TOG18 Prince Fielder - Tales Of The Game
#TTT1 Joe Mauer - Topps Town (In consecutive packs. Great collation system, Topps.)
Another Topps Attax ad (They are really pushing this, aren't they)
#262 Homer Bailey (What other sport could this guy play?)
#173 Kendry Morales

The Prince Fielder Tales of the Game says there is an urban legend that at the age of 12, he hit one into the upper deck of Tiger Stadium.

Pack 8

#19 Felipe Lopez
#12 Doug Davis
#25 Adam Jones
#97 Luis Durango
#171 Hernandez/Sabathia/Verlander (AL Wins Leaders)
#CMT7 Orlando Cepeda - Cards Your Mom Threw Out
#TMC4 Million Card Giveaway Redemption
#TTT13 Ryan Howard - Topps Town
#238 Ian Stewart
#90 Ian Kinsler
#205 Chris Coghlan
#301 Jack Cust

Turns out that I only bought 9 packs instead of 10. I will post the last pack next with some scans of the nicer cards.

Peer Pressure Is A Wonderful Thing

As some of you are already aware, and for those of you that don't, I am not a baseball collector. The only reason I even have a substantial pile of baseball is because of my brother finding my childhood collection. When 2008 Topps came out, I tried to get back into baseball collecting but after opening a couple blaster boxes and realizing I only recognized about 20% of the players, I quickly put an end to that experiment.

But here I am, a hockey collector/blogger, in a seemingly endless baseball collector's world. The countless blog entries of trading triumphs, wax crackin victories, and generally interesting collecting stories are thrown in my face on a daily basis. The latest adventure that seems to be all the buzz is the release and availability of 2010 Topps Baseball Series I.

I told myself I wasn't going to. I pleaded with that inner voice in my head to stop egging me on. "But they are so cool", it says. "But you can trade them away for stuff you need", it says. "But you have an imbalanced, unnatural, bordering sadistic need for opening packs", it says. After reading a half dozen or so blogs yesterday regarding this product, I finally surrendered to the peer pressure (I know it isn't real peer pressure, but work with me here. It's for effect.).

I stopped on the way home and picked up 10 packs of 2010 Topps. As I walked around the store with the packs in hand, I second guessed myself about 300 times until I finally walked back to the counter to put them back in their home and walk away. Within seconds, I returned, chose 10 new packs and began thumbing through the random loose pack box for anything that could justify this madness. For some reason, they had old 2002-03 In The Game First Edition Hockey packs. I grabbed all those, some pages, and my 10 forbidden packs and checked out. I felt so dirty.

So now I am the proud (ashamed) owner of 120 cards from the 2010 Topps set. Since I have no idea what is good/bad/or otherwise in here, I will leave it up to everyone else to decide. Here are the first 4 packs.

Pack 1

#178 Kerry Wood
#83 Mark Teahen
#223 Ryan Church
#TTT7 Josh Hamilton - Topps Town
#1 Mickey Mantle - 1951 Topps Red Back (I've heard of this guy)
#139 Frank Francisco
#189 Adrian Beltre
#249 Jon Niese
#100 Albert Pujols
#20 Tommy Hanson
#145 Justin Upton
#PP44 Roy Holladay - Peak Performance

I suppose getting a Mickey Mantle in the first pack is a good thing. I am not sure if anything else in here amounts to much. I will admit that I kind of like the design though. It reminds me of the mid 90s stuff when I stopped collecting.

Pack 2

#136 Adam Wainwright
#64 Drew Stubbs
#14 Ted Lilly
#159 Vernon Wells
#187 Will Venable
##CMT8 Bob Gibson - Cards Your Mom Threw Out (Interesting name for an insert set)
#TMC10 Million Card Giveaway Redemption
#TTT19 Justin Upton - Topps Town
#132 Cliff Lee
#258 Edwin Encarnacion
#180 Jayson Nix
#215 John Lannan

I really like the Cards Your Mom Threw Out idea. Its like getting the original card, only on heavier card stock, and glossy, and airbrushed, with a different back, and in mint condition. Actually it's nothing like the original card...but still cool. I'm still trying to figure out the Million Card Giveaway card. More on that later.

Pack 3

#115 Grodon Beckham
#182 Coco Crisp (Older brother of Rice and Apple)
#181 Nick Johnson
#155 Zack Greinke
#42 Fielder, Howard, & Pujols (NL RBI Leaders)
#316 Chris Young - Gold #1392/2010
#TR48 Willie McCovey - Turkey Red
#LL29 Carl Yastrzemski/Kevin Youkilis - Legendary Lineage
#TTT16 Kevin Youkilis - Topps Town
#103 Daniel Murphy
#150 Joe Mauer
#44 Howie Kendrick

I Gold parallel serial numbered card is cool although they have been doing this since 2004 or 2005 I think. The Turkey Red card is kind of cool.

Pack 4

#276 Matt Lindstrom
#31 Jason Grilli
#76 Joe Saunders
#316 Chris Young
#307 Henry Rodriguez
#260 New York Yankees Franchise History
#197 Cleveland Indians Team Card
#CMT41 Manny Ramirez - Cards Your Mom Threw Out (I think my mom did throw this out)
#TOG16 Bo Jackson - Tales Of The Game
#FTTT7 Josh Hamilton - Topps Town
An advertisement for Topps Attax (wow, they even have commercials in baseball cards)
#61 Skip Schumaker
#96 Jon Garland

A second Josh Hamilton Topps Town. But, wait. This one has an F in front of the number and the picture on the front is different. I don't know what to think of that. Anyone know what the difference is? Another one of those Cards Your Mom Threw Out and a "Bo Know" card. I wonder if I still have my all time top 10 favorite Bo with the shoulder pads and bat?

I will post more later and maybe some scans.

Friday, January 29, 2010

The old man retires

No not that one. The other one.

Kurt Warner hung up the cleats, ending his 12 year NFL career. I think anyone who doesn't live under a rock and is a football fan knows the story of Kurt. For those rock dwellers...

Warner came out of the University of Northern Iowa, having only started his senior year. After being cut by Green Bay in training camp, who instead went with Brett Favre, Mark Brunell, and Ty Detmer, he was out of football. Relegated to stocking grocery shelves back in Iowa and helping with the UNI football program, he finally got another shot with the AFL. He played three seasons for the Iowa Barnstormers and led them to two Arena Bowls. He then was able to get another shot at the NFL by the Rams.

After playing in NFL Europe for the London Silly Nannies, I mean, Amsterdam Admirals (just seeing if you were paying attention) he ended up the third on the roster behind Tony Banks and Steve Bono. In 1999 he finally got his chance when both Banks and Bono were released and newly acquired Trent Green tore an ACL in preseason. We all know the rest...a Super Bowl victory and 2 other appearances.

He will most definitely be wearing a yellow jacket in Canton one day. You don't need anymore proof than this (cue obligatory stat lines):

--Reached 10,000 yards passing in less games than anyone in NFL history
--Tied with Dan Marino for the fastest to reach 30,000 yards passing.
--Has the top three passing performances in Super Bowl history. In fact, his 1,156 yards passing in the 2008 playoffs broke his own NFL record he set with St. Louis in 1999.
--2nd Highest Average Passing Yards Per Game, Career
--Highest completion percentage in a single game
--Most Yards Passing, Playoffs
--Tied with Joe Montana for the most touchdown passes in a single postseason
--Highest career playoff completion percentage
--2nd Highest career passer rating in the playoffs behind only Bart Starr
--Only NFL quarterback to throw 40 touchdowns and win a Super Bowl in the same season (1999).
--Only quarterback to throw for over 14,000 yards with two different teams (St. Louis Rams, Arizona Cardinals)
--One of only 2 players in NFL history to throw 100 touchdown passes with two different teams (Fran Tarkenton is the other)
--Only the second quarterback to make Super Bowl starts with two different teams joining Craig Morton (1970 Dallas Cowboys and 1977 Denver Broncos).

More than all the on field achievements though, Warner is a great humanitarian and ambassador for good will. I don't think you will ever find a guy that is more humble and grateful for all he has been given. And for that reason alone, he will be missed. A certain #4 can take a lesson from this.

Since this is a card blog, here are 10 of my favorite Warner's in no particular order...

Save of the Day

I would like to see all goalies play like this.

Atlanta Thrasher goalie Johan Hedberg (and former Penguin goalie, I might add).

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Big Ebay Win...Literally Big

Yes that's right. In this case of the use of the term "Big", I am not referring to some hidden gem of a card that I have been looking for all my life. I am literally talking big as in size. I picked up two auctions from another collector that was getting out of the hobby. He was selling his football collection by the box load. Those new "if it ships" boxes from the USPS, to be exact. The two auctions that I won included over 3000 cards in each box. That's over 6000 cards for those of you not proficient in the ancient art of math.

Since the auction closed on Monday, imagine my surprise when, at lunch, my wife calls to inform me that there are two giant boxes that weigh at least 15 lbs each sitting on our dining room table. Usually the only thing in the mail are the bubble mailers which already annoy her to no end. Here's to sticking it to the, woman.

After getting home tonight, I decided to bust them open to see what 6000 cards look like in a giant, unorganized, completely random pile. Here are the results.

Yes, that's my cat back there, basking in the glory of a big pile o' cards.

There's some 80s stuff...some 90s stuff...some 00s stuff. Even if they are all commons, it will be fun to look through.

I bet there are even some complete (or at least mostly complete) sets in here.

As you can see, I started to pile them nice and neat there on the right but quickly gave that up for a more conventional piling method of sorting.

So now I have my work cut out for me for a while. What to do with all these and where to put them? Plus, I haven't even begun to make a dent in the long, lost collection. I have started to log everything I have into my Zistle database. If you aren't familiar with Zistle, you need to be. It is a great alternative to most of the card organization programs out there. It is waaaayyyy better than the "new" Beckett server system.

Any football collectors out there with player or team wants, hit me up with your lists and I can see what I have in here.

Dear Abby-ner

Since the discovery of my long, lost collection from my youth, I have been pondering those things that deserve to be pondered upon. Like, what do I do with all these baseball cards? Or, where am I going to put all these baseball cards? Or my new favorite, should I start to collect baseball cards again?

That last one has been at the forefront of my mind for a while now. As I mentioned before, I, like many before me, deserted baseball for greener pastures years ago. The last time I actually paid enough attention to know who players were and where they played, steroids were only for professional wrestlers and race horses. I guess it all boils down to the answer to one question. Do I or don't I?

If the answer is no, then everything becomes fodder for trade, just like much of my football has become. With the exception of sorting by team and listing, my work is essentially done and I will move on to bigger and better things. If the answer is yes, then it begs the follow up questions, what do I collect and how?


Again, since I have been out of the baseball mind frame for so long, I can't say I have a favorite player. My first inclination would be to rekindle what I once had with my favorite collections as a kid. As I discussed in a previous post, all my childhood heroes have since been indicted, either in a court of law or in the court of public opinion. Is that what I want to pass on to my kids one day? An all "Cheater" collection? So I guess player collecting is out.


As for collecting a favorite team, I grew up a Pirates fan. The Buccos haven't fielded a winning team in 17 years. 17 YEARS!!! The team that, according to their Wiki, introduced the baseball world to the pullover spandex uniform jersey can't even break .500. Even the Cubs can't say that. Do they even make cards of Pirate players any more? No really. That wasn't rhetorical. Other than a few prospects or rookies now and again, I can't remember the last time the Pirates caught my attention on any level other than that of utter dismay or indifference. Since I have relocated to the Chicagoland area, it would make sense to then collect Cubs or White Sox cards. Their stuff can be found everywhere and it would be easy to begin amassing a collection. The only problem is that I have a general disdain for all teams hailing from the Windy City. So I guess team collecting is out.


Maybe set collecting is the way to go. I would have to go after either Topps or Upper Deck because I really don't like the Donruss sets of the early 80s and early 90s and the Fleer sets seem to be too hard to come by. Or maybe, I can target the vintage, pre-80s era of cards. I know the shows that periodically appear around where I live are loaded with dealers that focus on vintage.

Or maybe I will just pack them all back up and put them in my attic and dig them back out in another 15 years.

Confused In Cooperstown

(Oh, and welcome to number 14...Nick. That's all I know. His (or her) name is Nick. Welcome Nick!)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Blaster Box Break - - 2009-10 O-Pee-Chee Hockey

I know I said I was going to stop with the retail blasters and such but I am so far away, it is going to take a miracle to complete this thing. I am more than a few dozen away so a blaster or two may be my only option. I just don't want to get carried away like last year. At least this was a tin and not a box. I like the tins even better, even though there is 1 less pack. Since I already posted this one, I will give a quick list.

The Good News:

I pulled 38 Cards that I needed for my set. Woo hooo!!

The Bad News:

27 cards were doubles. All the Marquee Rookies were doubles (Sean Collins, Jesse Joensuu, John Scott). All the Legends were doubles (Darryl Sutter, Bernie Federko, Borje Salming).

The Indifference:

--There were 7 retro parallels, none of which I had.
--I got 2 Canadian Heroes, both of which I had (Drew Doughty, Derek Roy).
--There was 1 League Leader, my third Mikka Kiprusoff.
--There were 2 Team Checklists, again, both I had (Flyers, Blues).
--There was 1 Rainbow, Jhonas Enroth Marquee Rookie.

This has to be one of the weakest boxes I've opened of this years OPC. So far, I have had at least one case hit in each box (3 total), except for this one. I guess you can't win them all. I'm not deterred though.

Any takers out there on a wantlist trade? I'm all ears.

(Lucky #13...The Collective Troll is the newest follower of The REAL DFG. Thanks to the Troll for giving me a shot. For those that don't know, the Troll is a "seasoned" veteran to the blog world and is well known around these parts as a great trader. Check out his site.)

Another PC Pickup

I finally received a card I won back in December. It seems like Canada/US shipping is taking longer and longer these days. I used to be able to get stuff within 10-12 days. Now it has been taking 3-4 weeks. Either way, it's all good. Here is card #2 of my Penguins PC for 2010.

1968-69 O-Pee-Chee Wally Boyer #105

Wally played 3 solid years for the Pens from 1968-69 through 1970-71. In that time, he scored 32 goals and 61 assists. He spent the next year with the Hershey Bears, playing only 1 game for the Pens. His last year was spent with the Winnipeg Jets of the WHL. The nice little cartoon on the BOTC features what Wally was probably best known for. It says "As a Pro, Wally has played in 12 cities in 12 years." That's a journeyman.

I love the design of this year's cards. They are very clean looking, with the player as the focus of the card. Although there are no action shots, typical of this era, the background art makes up for it. I have a few others from this set but this is my first Penguin.

(A warm DFG welcome to Justin G. from Is This a Wasteland - No It's Tampa Bay Sports. If you are a Tampa Bay fan, his blog will give you "a look at sports inside and outside the Tampa Bay Area." I think he sells himself short on the "better at the day job" comment. Thanks for following, Justin. Hope you enjoy.)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Another Great Day For Hockey

For the second straight night, the Pens chalked up another win. With a 1-1 tie going into the third period, the Pens came storming back with 3 goals in the third to win 4-2.

Chris Connor was called up last night and tallied 2 goals, with Crosby recording assists on both. Crosby is now, I believe, 1 assist shy of 300 for his career. Connor played like a madman. He was all over the ice. Prior to tonight's game, he spent the last three years in and out of the lineup for the Dallas Stars. He was brought up from Wilkes-Barre for his 7th game and the first time since November. He definitely made the difference in this one.

Since this is a card site, I checked all my Pens and realized I didn't have a Connor. Upon further review, it would appear that currently, his only card is an AHL 2005-06 Iowa Stars Team Issued card. Something tells me that even if I wanted to, I wouldn't find this one anywhere.

The Rangers lost their 7th in a row against the Pens, the 4th time this year. Is it just me or do the Rangers look extremely slow (other than Gaborik)? With the exception of the last 10 minutes of the game, the seemed flat and lethargic.

The Pens are now just 2 points behind the Devils for the lead in the Atlantic. Here's hoping for an epic New Jersey collapse.

Sidenote: Did anyone see Ray Whitney absolutely make Zdeno Chara look 2 feet tall the other day? The Canes smoked Boston in that game but that was a sweet set up. My vote for play of the week.

This was a great weekend for sports (IMO)

That is how people abbreviate "In My Opinion", isn't it? I am a noob when it comes to all the abbreviation etiquette in the blogosphere. At any rate, like I said, it was a great weekend for sports.

First off, the Pens won a heck of a game against the hated Flyers, 2-1. The first period alone had 30 minutes of penalties. Fleury was out yet again with his broken finger but despite a shaky start, Brent Johnson was pretty good in net. I will say this, the Pens got lucky with Gagne's high stick that cost the Flyers a goal and the fact that Timonen flipped the puck over the glass to give the Pens a power play at the end. Otherwise, it would have been a different story. The best highlight of the game was the goal by Gonchar that went through the legs of not one, not two, but three Flyer defenders. It was like he was playing croquet, only with ugly bright orange colored wickets. That game pulled the Pens to 10 points ahead of the Flyers and 3 back of the Bruins for the 3rd seed in the East. Go Pens!!

Second on the agenda...the Colts beat the Jets for a trip to the Super Bowl. My ambivalence and frightfully uncharacterizable feelings toward the Colts and their organization is equally matched by my disdain and hatred for all things New York...including the J-E-T-S (Just End The Season). I was on Cloud 9 after the game ended and Peyton began packing for another trip to Miami. Within moments of the closing seconds, the phone was dialing my sister-in-law, who is a huge Jets fan, to toast her teams gallant effort. Actually, I had my 6 year old sing "Na, Na, Na, Na, Hey, Hey, Hey, Goodbye" into the phone like a petulant child. I wonder if she was sobbing uncontrollably into her Wayne Chrebet jersey? If you are reading this and don't have kids, I would suggest getting some. They are wonderful tools for doing stuff you don't want to actually do yourself.

Finally, to cap the weekend off in superb fashion, The Greatest American Hero (...believe it or not...) was vanquished in his attempt to shove himself down the country's throat for one more week. Brett Favre and his "clandestined" season was put to an end by some heavily mistake ridden gameplay and the luck of a coin flip. I am not a Viking hater, nor am I a Saints bandwagon jumper. I am, however, not too keen on Mr. Favre (or as my 2 year old says Brett Fart) and his lack of respect for tradition and selfishness for the game of football. But that is neither here nor there and should be left for a conversation at a later date.

After the game, of course, the speculation began once again on whether he will or won't retire for the umpteenth time. The players, according to everyone's favorite football gossip queen Jay Glazer, seem to think he is done. What does that mean? If you ask me, it means that if there is a team on the cusp of making a run but lacks a solid QB and leader, sign him up. Why not? Let him be the rent-a-player that he seems to want to be. Just keep him off my TV. While your at it, keep his wife and family off my TV, too. Also, mandate that the announcers, analysts, and color commentators not speak his name for at least the next six months.

So there we have it. The Colts and Saints in the Super Bowl. The first time that I can remember (at least in a loooonnnnnggg time) we have both #1's against each other. It should make for some entertaining football.

Sidenote: Why is all the Super Bowl advertising promotion focused on The Who playing during half time and not the game itself? You would think the ads would be spouting "Feb. 7th, the Super Bowl" not "February 7th, The Super Bowl Halftime Show featuring The Who". I don't get it. Bring back the Bud Bowl.