Sunday, December 26, 2010

Trade with Joe.... from the Sandlot

A long, looooong time ago I put in a request for some free Packers cards. The catch was that Joe from .... the Sandlot was requesting some Mets cards for his Piazza or D. Wright collection that he didn't already have. I had some Piazza cards for him and so I asked for some Green Bay Packers cards in return.

For some inexplicable reason I am a Green Bay Packers fan. I'm not sure if I can really go into why I root for the Pack, but I do. Anyway, as it turns out there wasn't much Cheese head excitement left. Didn't matter to Joe. As a fellow Mets fan.(another team I can't quite explain why I like) he sent over a bunch of cool Mets cards.

A few older ones and a few newer ones.

First card up is a brand new (to me) Jose Reyes 206 base card. Pretty cool. Sort of like 206, but never enough to buy more than one or two packs.

This one of Keith Hernandez is a new card of an older player so it's a nice transition to the older cards in the trade.

This Magic Mets card is pretty awesome: A lot of great players. A very young looking Hernandez as well as a healthy looking Darryl Strawberry on the far right. Cool stadium lights and scoreboard lights in the background too.

Any Dwight Gooden card is pretty awesome. Cool expression and pose. The vertical gray lines in '89 Fleer is a nice border for this card.

Lastly the 4 or so Packers cards.

I like them. A cool card of current ESPN Game day co-host and former Michigan Wolverine Mr. Heisman Desmond Howard. Sterling Sharpe and Dorsey Levens. I can still hear Pat Summerall calling out Dorsey Levens name in 2001 John Madden. That was my first introduction to video games since Atari 2600. I still think that he has one of the most distinctive voices in play by play.

Lots of nice cards and Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Trade with Behind these Hazel Eyes- Cool Sketch cards

About a month ago,possibly a few months ago I completed a trade with Lonestarr who runs the Behind these Hazel Eyes blog. Since we are both comic book and sketch card fans we decided to make part of the trade a couple of sketch cards. Since this is the highlight of the trade I'm starting off with the two sketch cards.

This is the first time that I have received a sketch card and I loved both of them. The Adrian Peterson card is really good and sort of funny. I've seen that look on AD's face a lot as he looks up at his replay on the jumbo screen. He always seems to staring up at something on the sideline. This has to be from a card or photo, but I can't remember which one. Great stuff.

I also requested the Fantastic Four as it was one of my favorite comics growing up. I still like the FF, but I don't currently read the newer comics. I still go out and pick up the older ones from the '60's and 70's.

I think it would be really cool to start collecting sketch cards done by bloggers. It would be interesting to see what they would come up with.

In addition to the cool sketch cards he sent over some 2008 Masterpieces to help me out with that set.
I picked this nice one of Harmon Killebrew as an example of the Masterpieces card that he sent over.

He also sent over a nice assortment of Topps Magic Football. A couple of former Buckeyes.

Troy Smith won a Heisman and now is with the 49'ers.

.... and Anthony Gonzalez is currently with the Colts.

A cool card of the Cadillac. A really good running back from Auburn who is currently with the Buccaneers.

I've never really gotten excited over checklists before, but I took a liking to the ones in 2009 T206. It's another way to get Mickey into every pack. I didn't buy much of these cards, so needless to say I need some help finishing this up. Thanks to Charley I only have one more to go.

and lastly he knocked out a few A&G cards for me.

Pretty cool trade. Thanks for the cool cards Lonestarr. If any of you like to check out cool art, you should check out his deviantArt page. It's got loads of cool stuff on it.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

What I don't like about the hobby.

I normally don't like to be negative on this blog. I have negative tendencies sometimes,but I try to hold them back when I write this blog so that I could keep the blog as positive as possible. Card collecting is a cool hobby and if it's not fun then I don't think it should be your hobby. It's still fun for me, but I haven't had much to write about lately.

I haven't had the time to comment much lately on the blogs either, but I still enjoy reading them. I'm not a very good commenter. I'm either too vague or I leave a long winded comment that should be reserved for it's own post.

Since reading a few posts by Brain at Play at the Plate, I have decided to weigh in on one of the reasons why lately I'm disenchanted with this hobby.

When I first got into blogging/trading I was mostly interested in Mets, some Yankees and I really wanted to get as much 2009 Allen and Ginter that I could get my hands on.

(Don't worry this won't be a Gintercentric post; only a mild Gintering will follow.)

As I mentioned earlier, Brian has posed a few questions about the state of the hobby and blogging in general. I decided to use his post as a jumping off point on a very important (to me) part of card production that I think people haven't complained about enough and that's the use and reuse of the same stock photo for different sets.

I first noticed it when I went Ginter crazy last year when 2009 Ginter came out. I liked all the cards, but I put a little more time and effort in examining the cards of my beloved Mets. One of the cards I pulled was this pedestrian card of pitcher Francisco Rodriquez. You might remember him recently for his semi-Oedipal outburst after one of his losses.

A few weeks later I pulled this card:

Same set, different verse.

I like both cards. I just don't like the recycled photo, but I didn't think much of it because it's from the same year and product (2009 A&G) so I let it go. I mean, it still has a different border and a completely different back so I thought it wasn't a big deal.

Around that same time a trade came in the mailbox. I'm pretty sure it was from Mike at JD's Wild Cardz. (sorry if it was from another blogger, but it's been like a year and a half. Forgive me).

Notice anything similar?

Obviously the same pose. Same lighting. Same last year at the Shea Stadium logo thingy on the hat. Except there is one big difference: this is from a different company Upper Deck.

I'm guessing that the stars get different cards each year, but I haven't done enough research on that. I know that Jose Reyes and David Wright usually have a different photo in the same A&G set and I'm almost sure they have different cards from different companies.

I realize that it's hard to mass produce these cards sets year after year, and even more so when you have like 30 sets a year.

If you're going to do a set why not make a flagship, retro and high end product. Maybe an entry level product like Opening Day or Kickoff and leave it at that.

Flag ship could be inexpensive but with a huge checklist and smallish price with a COMPLETELY NEW PHOTO for the retro set and then a nice card stock for the high end product with.... and wait for it: A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT PHOTO for each card. Don't rehash the same photo year to year and product to product.

I realize as I write this that I haven't done a huge research to find all the examples of Topps and Upper Deck regurgitating the same photos, but I don't have to. You guys have all experienced this much more often than I have. We just all except just like we except miscut cards, missing hits and bad collation because we are all addicted to card collecting and we hope that things will get better. I've got to think that the card companies have a pretty decent library of photos of different guys to include in their sets.

I'm almost certain that I've seen this happen with other players, not just F-Rod. It's a laziness and more importantly a factory system approach to producing sets.

I'll leave you with this:
Some gratuitous minis of F-Rod.

The reason why I'm showing these off is that I'm sooo close to finishing off the 2009 mini set and maybe 1/3 of the way from finishing the black bordered mini set. This is the part of the hobby that I've been focusing on these past few months; which is the all the different Allen and Ginter sets.

I couldn't do a rant without at least posting up a few cool cards from my collection.

Thanks for reading and feel free to vent your feelings, comments and frustration with the hobby.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Yet another Ginter post! Avert your eyes if you're tired of the Ginter!

I'm a little uninterested in the new stuff that's out there so I thought I'd show off some cool stuff that I purchased quite a while ago, but haven't gotten around to talk about.

I know that some people don't like Ginter and some people love it. I'm assuming at this point most everybody is sick of it and are looking for something else to collect, but I still have a few more A&G posts in me, so hopefully it'll be worth it for ya'll to go down the Allen and Ginter path with me one more time.

This is a little different in that it's from last years release so maybe that'll be more interesting.

When I started collecting last year, one of the products I was most excited about was Allen and Ginter. I really like the original stuff from the 1800's and I sort of liked the individual years from 2006-08. I really loved the overall feel of the sets. The minis, N43 cards, the weird non-baseball and non-sports people included in the set. I was even interested in the odd sized cabinet cards.

Up to that point I had always assumed that all cards were basically 2 1/2 by 3 1/2 size and that was it.

I once found a few uncut 1985 topps cards that I'm still not sure where they came from. (the backs have no info or stats on them.) but that was it. I didn't know much about tobacco cards except for the reprint of the Honus Wagner card that I owned when I was a kid.

So when last years A&G came out I went nuts. I bought every variation that was available.

Retail, hobby packs 12 card blister packs, blasters and lastly a hobby box.
In my one lone hobby box I pulled an N43 card.

At some point in my quest to finish the black border and regular minis I came across a huge lot of cards that included, among other things, a 3 card lot of cabinet cards.

That was all it took for me to consider trying to finish all ten of the cabinet cards.

I kept at it and eventually finished off the cabinet cards around the same time I finished ripping the packs of my 2010 hobby box.

It's a pretty nice part of my overall 2009 Allen and Ginter collection. I have them all in binder pages in the front of my binder before the base set starts.

I have thought about framing them. Normally I wouldn't think of doing that because I'd like to look at the backs from time to time, but these cabinet cards really don't have much in the way of info on the backs. Just a partial checklist, so it's still on the table as far as possibly framing them and putting them on the wall. Has anybody else done this with any current releases?

The ironic thing is that I got CB1 last. It took forever for the seller to send it over. With the cabinet cards in place I feel like I'm really on my way to having a really nice somewhat complete master set of 2009 Allen and Ginter. Now all I need are about 20 more relics. 30 more autos and some cut signatures! Ha! That ain't happening. But I'm happy with what I've got so far. I'm really not that keen on having a master set, but a few more N43's and those pesky minis would be nice to have in the collection.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Contest at The Vintage Sportscards Blog

The Vintage Sportscards blog is having a cool contest of vintage cards. (What else would a blog about vintage cards be offering up!!) Head over there and see if you can win a cool vintage card. Chris is also the guy that has the cool 1973 Topps photography blog. Check out either of them if you are into vintage.

Respect your elders

I haven't done a vintage Saturday type post for a while so I thought I'd knock one out. I know that technically it's not Saturday, but I've been busy with football season and life stuff. The life stuff is good stuff, not bad stuff. But still, life has a tendency to get in the way though.

This particular post is sponsored by the Topps Million Card Giveaway. I finally got around to having some of my cards delivered. I'm really surprised by how quickly they got here! I think it was late Wednesday night when I ordered them and by Saturday I had them in my hands. I know that there was a least one blogger complaining about Topps not having the cards in stock that they requested. Thankfully I didn't have to go through that.

First up is this card of Skip Pitlock. This was one of the cards that I showed off when the Giveaway was still fresh on people's minds, but now that I have the card in hand I wanted to scan it and show it off again. He looks just as dorky in "person" as he does online, but the card itself is in pretty decent shape. A little miscut, but not much chipping.

I noticed that the 1971 cards are a lot darker compared to other vintage cards. The 1970 cards have those gray borders and they don't call the '72 set the psychedelic tombstone set for nothing.

Maybe it's because I "pulled" this 2007 card out of the bubble mailer right after the Pitlock card, but I think the 1971 and 2007 cards have some similarities. Obviously the black borders, but...

..also on the two cards you can see a box for the players head, albeit much smaller on the '07 than the window on the 1971 card. There is also an absence of a cartoon on both cards. The 1970 and 2006 cards both had cartoons. Hmm. That might be the impetus for another post, but for now I'm just saying their are a few similarities. I guess you can make a case for a lot of the card sets having some similar traits.

Yes, I had a 2007 card set to me. Don't ask me why, possibly I just had a brain freeze. I had about 6 cards that I was on the fence about having sent home, and three of them made it to my house. I probably shouldn't have done that, but oh well. I just can't stand the idea of something that I "own" sitting in some warehouse. I think I still have two cards sitting in the virtual warehouse gathering dust.

This card was a no brainer to have delivered. It's a 1966 Ray Herbert card. Looking at it in person I originally thought it was from 1970.

Side by side you can see the similarities.

The backs of the two sets are similar too. Again, I guess with a little imagination a lot of the card sets could be "similar" in most respects. cartoons, stat lines and player portraits, but these '66 and '70 seem pretty close in a lot of ways. ( for full disclosure I got the Alomar card at a flea market, not the MCG site)

The most colorful and oldest card that I obtained from the Giveaway was this cool Murray card.

It's got all the makings of a vintage card:

1. Miscut? Check!
2. Colorful background Check
3. Confused expression on subject's face Check!
4. Retired franchise Check!

Great card!

The funny thing is that I didn't notice that it was larger than the other cards. This is my first time dealing with a card this old and I forgot that they were of a different size than modern cards. Hopefully this side by side comparison shows off the dimensions better. I didn't realize that their were toploaders that size too. I guess you learn all sorts of stuff from vintage cards.

The cartoon is pretty cool. For some reason I always have an affinity for players who have played in Oklahoma at some point in their career.

This is by far my oldest card in my collection. Pretty nice if you ask me. Thanks for reading and if for any reason somebody else has used the title "respect your elders" in regards to a vintage style post I'm sorry in advance. I didn't try to plagiarize anybody I just thought it was a clever title.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Trade with Reds and More

I've been a procrastinating blogger these days. I want to blog. I need to blog but I just can't get up the energy to post up anything . I know the world is clamoring for another one of my lengthy trade posts so here goes.

I personally love reading other peoples' trade posts for the simple fact that I want to vicariously live through their card acquisitions. I'm hoping that people will want to live vicariously through my card acquisitions too and see what cool stuff came in the mail.

This selection of cards comes all the way from Bixby, Oklahoma which should easily be the closest blogger to me in proximity.

Cam of Reds and More was advertising a team set giveaway. Like any greedy blogger I jumped at the chance to pick up some Mets cards. I really didn't expect the amount of cards that would be in the box though. The scope of the years and different sets is staggering.

Before Cam I only had a small Mets team set binder. After seeing the box of cards he sent over I went out and got a bigger binder and a lot more pages. It's been easily a month and I still haven't gotten a chance to really go over the entire box and organize everything like I want.

The cards range from vintage to retro to shiny and everything in between. The vintage took me by surprise.

You can probably tell from the photos how many cards he sent over. Actually this is only a small portion of the cards in the box.



...and retro...

Let's start with the vintage.

I have only two '75 Mets cards. Seeing this assortment of vintage cards reminds me that I need to get to the card store and see what kind of cool old cards I can find. This Ted Martinez card was one of 9 cards that Cam sent over. I have this goal to complete as many team sets or complete sets and these cards gives me a good start on the Mets team set.

This is a great indication of the other '75 cards with the cool expression and even cooler facial hair!!

I have about 10 or so cards that I'd like to have from 1974 detailing the world series games between the A's and Mets. Seeing this team card makes me want to try for the whole set.

Let's work our way down to the retro.

I haven't had a chance to see any Cracker Jack cards in person, so this is my first exposure to them. Pretty nice. I think they're nicer looking in person than online. This would be a neat set to try and complete or at least search around for some singles.

This Reyes mini is cool. I have the base card and the mini goes nice with that one. I think I have two of the minis from this set now. I still enjoy seeing the dirt on his jersey in this card.

Lastly some shiny:

Prior to this I didn't have nearly enough shiny in my collection. That's a pretty common theme amongst bloggers though. Everybody could use more chrome. I have a random chrome card or two from this year, but now I'm pretty close to finishing off the 2009 chrome Mets.

A nice selection of Walmart black Mets to go with a couple of others already in the binder.

a bunch of really nice 2008 chrome cards to go with a huge stack of non-chrome base cards from '08. Here's an example of one each of my favorite pitcher Johan Santana.

These two shiny 2007 cards are the first chrome cards from 2007 that I've laid my eyes on.

Cool actions shots make these cards better in my opinion.

All bloggers probably are like me in that we find little things that appeal to us that makes us like a card more than normal. One big reason why I like this card is that it's a "Farmhand Signature" card, but the dude's name is Vineyard. Get it? Oh well. It's sort of a reach, but it amuses me and that's all that matters.

Unfortunately it looks he's retired from baseball. Still it will be a good addition to my unusual names collection.

Another prospect who has done well for the Mets is this guy:

A Just Minors card of David Wright has a slight Heritage feel. The minor league uniform complete with dorky batting gloves set against a minor league stadium background with billboards and pine trees seems more Heritage-y than Heritage. Maybe Topps could pick some old fashion backgrounds to shoot their subjects against.

I still haven't gotten to the Packers cards that he sent over that were much appreciated. Maybe I'll do a part two post to show off the rest of the cards.

I loved the cards Cam! Thanks very much. I'm working on another package to send your way.