Friday, May 30, 2014

A Chavez Ravining Pack War

I officially started summer school this week. Because of that, I have had very little time to write anything. It doesn't help that I haven't really picked up any cards lately, in store or in trade. After spending 4 hours in math class this afternoon, I decided to drop by Target to pick up a couple of packs in anticipation for my very first pack war. 

I settled on 2014 Bowman, though I am not really interested in it. I wasn't feeling anything else they had, so I dealt with it. 

I will pin the cards, in order, against each other and determine the winning pack. The better card will receive a point, though I can award more points if I see fit. Obviously, pack one is on the left and pack two will be on the right.  Let's get started. 

We started both packs off on a good note, pulling 2/5 of the Dodgers outfield. However, Crawford has no chance in hell to win this matchup, as a Puig card is just about the best thing I could have pulled. 5 points to pack one for pulling the Wild Horse.

PACK ONE: 5 points
PACK TWO: 0 points

Surprisingly, I pulled another pair off teammates at the 2 spot. Both are effective starters for that other LA team, but Weaver gets the nod, and one point, in this match-up.

PACK ONE: 5 points
PACK TWO: 1 point

I thought the first match-up with Puig was a no-brainer, but this one tops it. Bogaerts will be fighting for the Rookie of the Year award in 2014, whereas I have never even heard of Kohler. One point to pack one. 

PACK ONE: 6 points
PACK TWO: 1 point

Well here is a dreaded match-up between two guys I have never heard off. I guess someone has to get a point, soooooo Mr. Dozier and pack two will gain a little ground.

PACK ONE: 6 points
PACK TWO: 2 points

Yay! Another match-up between two guys I have never heard off. I guess this is why I am not a big fan off Bowman. The Rivero card is one of the Hometown parallels, so pack two gets another point. 

PACK ONE: 6 points
PACK TWO: 3 points

Hmmm. I have a feeling that I will never do a pack war with a Bowman product again. Yet another match-up between two unknowns here. They both play for both Chicago organizations, two teams I am fairly indifferent about. I can't pick a winner. Draw.

PACK ONE: 6 points
PACK TWO: 3 points

I am starting to sound like a broken record. Two unknown guys, but pack two gets the win.

PACK ONE: 6 points
PACK TWO: 4 points

Thank goodness, Major Leaguers. Of course, I know very little about Rienzo, but I do know plenty about Alvarez. Big time power beats the reliever. 

PACK ONE: 6 points
PACK TWO: 4 points

More big league guys, though another rookie I know very little about. Either way, Prado gets the win with one of my favorite throwback jerseys from recent years. 

PACK ONE: 7 points
PACK TWO: 4 points

We finally get to the last match-up! Cueto will attempt to make the comeback against pack one, but he will fall just short. 

PACK ONE: 7 points
PACK TWO: 5 points

What a yawner. Pulling these lackluster cards, with the exception of the Puig, was a no better than writing this post. At least I know now that I need to pick different packs for pack wars. Everything seen here, except the Puig and Crawford, are up for grabs. Leave a comment if you are interested. 

Changing Course Yet Again

I recently sent out an email to a fellow blogger letting him know I had a ton of 2014 Series One cards for him. I haven't bought any new cards in awhile, so where did these cards come from?

Well, I decided to stop my pursuit for the Topps Flagship master set.

I originally planned on completing the entire set. Base cards, inserts, yada yada yada. I have had a change of heart recently, and my focus has been elsewhere. I thought about it and knew that I would never spend enough money on packs to get all of the inserts. I also hate spending money on singles online, as I prefer to pick up autos and relics of my PC guys online.

However, I LOVE the minis that Topps releases with the set, so I will still be pursuing those. In fact, you can check out what I still need here.

To sum it all up, I will still collect the base set from Topps Flagship, as well as the minis, but I will no longer try to complete the master set. 

This decision leaves me with a ton of inserts from Series One looking for a new homes. Be sure to leave a comment or send me an email if you are looking for some help.


On another note, I finally got around to updating my Set Needs for my Topps Team Set Project. I beleive it is coming along nicely, and I predict that I will complete the 1980's before any other decade. Thanks again to everyone that has helped me out so far.


Finally, I mentioned that Dikran pulled a sweet Ken Griffey Jr. auto from a hobby box of 2009 UD Signature Stars last week, yet I never showed off the card. Well, here it is.

The auto is a bit cut-off, but it is still a great card. It is currently listed on eBay for those interested. 

*EDIT* - This was supposed to be auto-posted yesterday, before the auction ended, but it looks like that never happened. The card sold for $49.99, not as much as we were hoping for, but still a decent price. 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

A Bounty of Winnings and Awesome Dodger-ness

I recently won a contest over at Andrew's Baseball Cards. As the winner I took home these sweet minis which are #'d /25. 

I don't collect either guy, so these are up for trade. I haven't added them to my new and improved Trade Bait page yet, but they will be there soon. 

Andrew and I decided to make this a trade while we were at it, so I also received some great Dodger cardboard.

I was targeting this Hanley relic when we decided to make a trade. Although it is an awesome addition to my Hanley PC, the other cards Andrew sent along are what made this trade great.

Take this Kershaw card from 2013 Bowman for example. I have started to gravitate toward other sets lately, but Bowman is still a cool product. The numbering on Bowman cards may be annoying, hwoever this card is anything but. The Brooklyn cap Clayton is rocking goes great with the shot, as well as the Texas flag backdrop. 

Andrew also sent along this sweet mini that I did not already have for some reason. Looks like Clayton is about to fire in a 4-seamer.

Here is another card of Kid K that I didn't have before this swap. It seems like greatness follows the number 2 in Dodgers lore. Tommy Lasorda wore 2, Kershaw wears 22, Koufax had 32, and Jackie Robinson had the infamous 42. We can go ahead and forget about Jeff Kent, who wore 12 during his stint with the Dodgers. 

Now that I have this card in my hands, I understand why Greg loves these so much. My copy isn't #'d /99, but I love it nonetheless. I am going to file this as a Matt Kemp card, so I will need another one of these to add to the Kershaw binder. 

Following the Kershaw card from the same set, this Kemp is a new addition to my growing Bison PC. I absolutely love this shot of the Dodgers outfielder, especially since I noticed the bat in his hands. For all I know, that bat may be the one hanging up in my room right now. 

If you have made it this far then you deserve to celebrate. Of course, your celebration won't be as star studded as this great shot above. Let's try to identify who is shown on the card: Matt Kemp, Kenley Jansen, Juan Uribe, James Loney, Andre Ethier, Mike MacDougal (not really a star), that's about all I can spot. 

Thanks again for the great contest winnings, as well as the awesome cards from the trade Andrew! Your cards will be heading out this weekend.

Monday, May 26, 2014

So Josh Beckett Threw a No-Hitter

That happened. It is still a little shocking to me. I usually follow most games via or Twitter, but yesterday I was unable to because of work. Well, that is not totally true. I managed to get my headphones on while doing some work outside to listen to the bottom of the ninth. That is all that really mattered at that point anyways.

I won't go into detail, I am sure ESPN and the MLB Network have already done that enough, but it was a very exciting experience for me. Like I mentioned yesterday, I have only been following baseball since 2001, and even then I was only 8. Needless to say, great moments like this probably went right over my head in those days. 

The last Dodger to throw a no-no was Hideo Nomo in 1996, so I am considering Beckett's feat my first Dodger no-no. Beckett is probably the Dodgers worst starter in a rotation of aces, so the fact that he was the one to get the no-hitter makes it that much more confounding to me. These types of things are usually accompanied by weird facts though.

The no-hitter made me realize how much I have dismissed Beckett's Dodger cardboard. I managed to pull all of my Dodger Beckett's last night, all 4 which are in this post.After some thinking, I decided I wanted to celebrate the great start by adding a Beckett auto to my collection.

I have not yet looked up prices, or what cards are out there, but I am sure I will be able to find something cool for a fair price. Of course, some of you lovely readers may have a Beckett auto looking for a new home. If so, just shoot me an email and I am sure we can come to an agreement.

Congrats Josh! Games like this make me appreciate baseball that much more. 

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Manny Being Manny

I have had a pretty decent sized stack of Manny Ramirez cards next to my desk for quite sometime. I have been putting off this post for quite some time, but I have not had the time (or money) to buy any cards recently and I haven't done much trading as of late. So I guess it's time to clear out a small space next to my desk and get down to business. 

I rarely start out my posts with my favorite card, but I am bucking the trend today. This is by far the best Manny card I have in my possession. I don't know if this would unanimously be the best Manny rookie out there, but it is the best in my collection. I love it when players are smiling like this for some reason, especially a player like Manny. 

As I was looking through these cards yesterday, I realized that I never saw Manny in an Indians uniform. By the time I got interested in baseball (2001) Manny was already a member of the Boston Red Sox. Thanks to Evan (Uncle Charlie and the Public Enemy No. 1), I was able to add this sweet card of Manny in Indians garb. 

Manny may have started his illustrious career in Cleveland, but his most memorable seasons were spent in Boston as a member of the Red Sox. You can see one the earliest Manny cards I pulled back in 2005 above. I have mentioned this before, but I bought baseball cards off and on in 2004-2005, but most of my cards from those days are either gone or damaged due to how I stored them. This sweet Cracker Jack card isn't in the best shape, but was definitely worth a scan. 

Manny is most memorable to me as the Dodgers left fielder, but his most noteworthy cards come from his time in Boston. Take this awesome card designed like a magazine cover for example. I wish there were more cards like this produced today.

I know some people out there aren't very big fans of sketch cards, but I love them. The players don't always look spot on, but at least we won't see the same picture in every Topps release the rest of the year. 

The best years of Manny's career came with the Red Sox, but the best half season came with the Dodgers in 2008. In 53 games with the Dodgers, Manny hit .396/.489/.743 with 17 homers. It actually got him into the MVP discussion if I recall, but my memory is not all that great. 

However, Manny was suspended in the 2009 season for PEDs, but I don't need remind you of that. PEDs in baseball can create quite a stir, so I try my best to avoid the conversation. I personally don't have a big deal with PED users from the past, but now that it is outlawed I don't like seeing players get caught. I actually just wrote a 7 page paper on PEDs and the Hall of Fame for my English class, and not to brag, but I got a 100%. :)

Manny's career quickly went downhill after the whole PED fiasco, and he last appeared in a major league game with the Rays in 2011. I am not an expert, but this may be Manny's "sunset" card. But I will have to refer to Nick (Dime Boxes) to know for sure. He seems to be quite the card expert around these parts.

When it is all said and done, I have 33 different Manny cards in my collection. My next step is to inventory them and stick them in a binder along with my other tertiary guys. I have 2 more tertiary guys to highlight, but my I have so few cards from both that it may be awhile before I get around to it. 

If you have any extra Manny cards laying around, let me know. If you happen to have any Manny autos/relics laying around, all the better. 

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Trade Loot from the Great White North

I've been noticeably accident this week because of finals. School is just the best. 

On the bright side, I am done with finals and get to enjoy my Memorial Day weekend. Except, no. I work all weekend then start Summer school on Tuesday. There is nothing better than 18 weeks of school, than following it up with 4 more weeks of school. Not only did I decide 4 hours of school everyday for the next 4 weeks was a good idea, I decided it would be a good idea to take a math class. 

Anyways, I recently completed a trade with Mr. Seidle of the always great Condition Sensitive. It took me far too long to get his cards out, so I will be sure to throw some extra cardboard his way sometime soon. 

This trade netted me some cards for a few different set needs, most notably some minis 2014 Flagship. I also received some awesome O-PEE-CHEE cards, though I forgot to scan those. 

Let's take a look at a few of the awesome cards I did manage to scan. 

This was definitely my favorite card from the trade. I have a special place in my heart for black parallels, and I am slowly warming up to these tobacco-sized minis more and more. Ryu is quickly becoming one of my favorite players, and this card is a great addition to my modest Hyun-Jin Ryu collection. 

I was also lucky enough to receive this sweet green parallel of Babe Ryu-th. I am not particularly fond of these green parallels, but I dig this one for some reason. That Topps Rated Rookie emblem is a nice touch by Topps. 

I guess I was really grooving with the Korean lefty when I scanned the cards from this trade, because this trade post contains nothing but Ryu's. Not that there is a problem with that, as Ryu has been dealing this year just like the card indicates. 

I hope to add a Ryu auto sometime in the near future, but I am going to need to make some more money in order to afford one. My birthday is coming up in July, so maybe I will get a few bucks for making it to 21. 

Thanks again for the trade! Hope to do it again soon. 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Trade Bait Tuesday

Editors Note: This post comes from Dikran Samarjian. He will occasionally have posts here. As you may know, Dikran and I usually split the price of higher end cards to share, at least until we are out of college and can actually earn some money. If you would like to get in touch with him, you can give him a follow on Twitter @D_Samarjian. Any comments you leave will be forwarded to him as well. Enjoy!

The other day I had the itch to crack some wax. I was far away from our local shop, so I settled for the closest Target. I was planning on just grabbing a blaster box, but that notion soon changed when I saw a hobby box of 2009 Upper Deck Signature Stars tossed in the corner of the card section. At first I was skeptical because I've only bought this product one time before and I had some major mojo pulling a Bryce Harper patch auto. I was thinking, “What are the odds of pulling something great again, especially from Target.” I called Alex to see what his thoughts on buying this were and he told me to just go for it. So I went for it.

If you’re not familiar with the product, each box comes with 4 hits (2 autos and 2 patches). The first 3 packs I opened were 2 patches and 1 auto, all duds at that. At this point I was pretty upset because the first 3 packs contained 3 dud hits. The 5th pack I opened, I got my 4th hit. The second I saw it I jumped out of my chair. In that pack was a /99 Ken Griffey Jr. auto. I was so excited I didn't even care about the rest of the box. Good thing I opened the rest though because come to find out it was a hot box. Though duds, I ending up pulling one more patch and a patch auto.  

Without further adieu, enjoy the dud hits! (All are for trade)

I Went to Jarrod!

About a week and a half ago I posted about some cards I received from reader Jarrod. You can check that out by clicking this fancy blue text. Shortly after posting that, I decided to browse Jarrod's eBay page in the hopes of finding some more Dodger goodies. I came across an auction full of Yasiel Puig cards. Though I want to get my hands on all things Puig, one particular card in the lot stood out. 

Considering this was a card desperately needed for my Topps Chrome Rainbow, I messaged Jarrod expressing my interest in it. The auction came and went with no bids, so Jarrod decided to offer it up to me. We settled on a price (I didn't pay enough in hindsight) which also included some other cards that I will get to in a minute. 

Though I am not normally a big fan of orange cards, especially Dodgers cards, I love the look of these orange refractors from 2013 Topps Chrome. This orange refractor is not only my first colored Puig refractor, but it is my eighth orange refractor out of the ten needed. Carl Crawford and Matt Magill are the only ones I am missing. 

STOP: Check out Jarrod's eBay page here and see what he has to offer!

Of course, I did say I got some other cards in this purchase, so let's get to it. 

The first card I saw when opening up the package was this beauty. Julio Urias is the Dodgers uber-talented pitching prospect. He is quickly becoming one of my favorite prospects, but Corey Seager has a solid hold on the top spot for now. As much as I enjoy this card, it depresses me a bit. I am only 20 years old, but the fact that this kid is only 17 makes me feel like an old man. Though I am sure many of you probably despise both me and Julio :)

Next up is this fantastic card featuring The Bison. I am surprised that I did not already have this card. I have always done my best to stay on top of blue parallels of my favorite player, but I guess this one slipped though the cracks. Thanks Jarrod!

Jarrod wasn't done with blue bordered Dodgers though, as he added this bad boy to the mix. The blue on these Opening Day cards tends to look a bit more electric than most blue parallels. I really enjoy these blue borders from Opening day.

Jarrod also sent over this sweet Opening Day insert of the Dodgers young stud. I haven't bought a ton of Opening Day, so these inserts are greatly appreciated.

Now here is where the surprises started. The first being this totally awesome Steve Garvey auto. This is my first Garvey auto, and I could not be happier. I don't pick up a ton of autos/relics of Dodger legends, so anything I can acquire through trade, or eBay purchases like this one, is a bonus. I will gladly add this to my pile of Dodger hits. A pile of cards that will be uploaded to the blog sometime soon. 

Finally, Jarrod sent over one last card that was probably the biggest surprise of all. 

The scan did not come out as well as I would have liked, though it still works. At first glance, I thought this was an in-person auto. It took me a second to see the numbering at the top and the sticker on the back that said 2004 Topps Originals Baseball. I took a quick look into the set, but was unable to find out a ton. I did find out that these cards were sold 1 card per pack with 6 packs per box. Regardless, this is a fantastic addition to my growing stack of Dodger hits. 

Thanks again Jarrod! I am sure we will be dealing again very soon.