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!