Saturday, June 18, 2011

i don't understand gold parallels...

Can anyone explain these to me?

Once every few packs, i get a gold parallel. Just opened "Joe Blanton" - nice! Well, what do they even make these? I don't really get it. Is it to make collectors of that "player" need to buy an extra (and i guess far more rare) card?

The cards aren't even very nice - the gold border doesn't make the card look better, and probably makes it look worse!

At least the sparkly diamond parallels (not the ones with the small diamond hidden in the pic - i am talking about the cards with the sparkle effect all over) - they are kinda cool looking.

Do you guys get into these gold parallels?

And what do you do with them, since they don't really complete sets?

And I really appreciate your suggestions to my last post - I guess I need to build up a "trade network" I guess!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

How do YOU complete your set?

I have a question, as a relatively new (yet kinda old) collector.

I recently completed my Topps 2011 Baseball, Series 1 (cards 1-330) set. As I got closer, it became silly to buy packs, as nearly every card I received was a "double." I found myself 24 cards short, went to EBAY and found a seller offering "You Pick 25" - I won the auction for about $6, including shipping.

My question is this - how do you guys complete your sets? Do you have/know a local dealer? Do you belong to groups that trade cards back and forth? Do you use EBAY, like I did? Or do you not really complete sets in this manner, at all?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

topps 2011 series 2 baseball - results soon!


just saw the new topps 2011 series 2 baseball have arrived at target - picked up two of the $4.99 packs (36 cards in each) - will open and post results tonight!

also, i saw a few different purchase options - one is a $7.99 package which includes 4 12-card packs and a "diamond giveaway" card...

also saw a $9.99 box...

which do you guys feel is "best"?

i know it depends on what you are looking for - i like to build base sets (but never really get them all the way finished) - what do you guys like to do?

Monday, February 21, 2011

My first hobby box - Topps 2011 Series 1 - stats!

These are the results of my first hobby box. These are NOT all of my topps 2011 series 1; i just wanted to post the specific results of my box so you can see what I got, and compare it to your own haul. I'd love to see some comments or questions, and as I mentioned in a previous post, I am not sure exactly what I am collecting, and what to do with "extras" - i'd love to hear your ideas!

Totaling up some numbers, here's what I got:

base cards: 253 cards of 330, no duplicates.

SHINIES, i got 9: 59,80,88,95,99,143,285,292,328

Topps Town, i got 36/50: i am missing 14: 7,8,13,16,17,19,24,25,27,32,33,36,44,50

History of Topps, i got 2: hot7 and hot9

Topps Diamond Giveaway, i got 6: TDG 4,5,6,7,8,9

T60, i got 9: 2,12,19,20,25,33,36,44,47

T60A, the auto, and if you've been following, you know it's the immortal Felix Dubront

60 YOT, i got 12: 5,6,11,14,17,20,22,31,35,38,40,50

Original Back, i got just one: 1987 Dennis Eckersley

60 YOT - Lost Cards, i got 3: LC 4,5,6

5 Cardboard Old Guys: CMGR 8,9,17,21,27

diamond duos, i got 9: (alphabetically) BD,CS,HG,HJ,KT,LJ,PC,TU,UR

Gold Parallels, i got 4: 43,212,227,233

I have one short print old timer guy parallel: Jimmie Fox, 315

and finally, 9 Kimball Champions: 8,13,19,24,34,35,37,44,45

some notes: i got so many of the topps town hideous cards. i feel obligated to find the rest, if only to complete it... but i do ask myself why???

also, can someone put into their own words the Diamond Giveaway? do you love it? hate it? i've read lots of complaints about the shipping costs involved in any cards - is that the only problem? and the "virtual rings" that i saw mentioned... is that fun for you? i can't imagine it would be much fun for me, but i'm willing to be convinced otherwise...

also, does anyone use their Toppstown codes online? is THAT any fun?

well, that was more like a list of questions - here's my overall impression: i probably should have bought the jumbo hobby box, for the 3 hits - may have given a bit more excitement. that said, i like chasing the base set, so this probably did its job in allowing me to enjoy that...

Sunday, February 20, 2011

My first hobby box - Topps 2011 Series 1 - post 5

The final nine packs have just been opened, and though i was hoping for another relic/auto card from this - my first - hobby box, sadly it was not to be. I know, I know, I am sure you are wondering, "How could this guy want ANYTHING else after pulling the immortal Felix Doubrant auto early in the box?!?" Well, I guess I dare to dream.

And now, pack 28: Zito (just bring him up because I love the photography of the whole set, and nowhere is it more evident than the "little things" - check out his fingers around the ball, showing that change-up grip... very cool);
inserts: Old Cardboard George Sisler, T60 Andre Dawson, TT Zimmerman

pack 29: Lucas May RC (again, on the photo, looks like a great crush-the-ball swing, but on the extreme close-up provided, check out the bat splitting on the handle... nice!);
inserts: SHINY Jeffress, 60yot 1973 fisk, TT A-Gonz

pack 30: Buster Posey RC (not a good pic, though, to me);
inserts: GOLD Pedro Feliz, t60 duke snider, tt manny

pack 31: Josh Hamilton MVP;
inserts: SHINT David Price, diamond giveaway, tt ichiro

pack 32: Joe Ceda RC (i point this out because it may be the most boring photo setup of the set);
inserts: tt cabrera, dd braun/ike davis (why are these 2 on the same card?!?!?)

pack 33: Votto;
inserts: 60yot '57 mantle, kimball braun, tt vlad

pack 34: Ankiel (such good action on the photo, esp 3rd base coach)
inserts: Jimmie Fox weird old card parallel, dd utley/rollins, tt brett anderson

pack 35: hong chih kuo (check out his stats in '10: 60 ip, 29 h, 18 w, 73 k - that's about as good as it gets!);
inserts: diamond giveaway, tt adam jones, kimball morrow

pack 36: Jose Bautista (hgh statline: hr's last 5 years: 16,15,15,13,54)
inserts: t60 p fielder, GOLD ramon hernandez, tt braun

closing thoughts on today's packs:

first, in my entire hobby box, NO diamond thingie's. you know, the small diamond somewhere on the card? what was the odds on pulling one? just curious?

best base card: Posey
best insert: the parallel (is that what you call it?) Jimmy Foxx, though he has his eyes closed! i like the t60 Dawson, too - the old expos uniform makes me smile - i guess that is the honorable mention...

i'm going to do some totals in the next day or two, let you know what i have, once it's all counted.

my question, though, as i mentioned in one of my early posts...

what SHOULD i be collecting? i want a base set, but what else? what are you guys out there collecting from this set? what should i do with "everything else?"

i've never sent a card through the mail - what are the "rules" to make sure it gets to its destination "safely"???

thanks for reading!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

My first hobby box - Topps 2011 Series 1 - post 4

this'll be a quickie -

9 packs in 9 minutes of typing... ready... go!

p19: David Wright, yes! (he prob made an error on this play...), Kershaw, David Price checklist, and cool Polance pic with some fannies in the background...

inserts: TT Ortiz, ugly HoT: 1989 Reintro Bowman, DD Sabathia and Carlton

p20: Lannan (just like his overbite on the pic)
inserts: Kimball Lester, TT Verlander, 60YOT: '82 Jim Palmer (i remember this card!)

p21: Michael Saunders (already saw this blogged about, SUPER photo!),
inserts: Gold McClouth, T60 - Johan, TT Halladay

p22: Aroldis Chapman RC (cool horiz pic, too!),
inserts: SHINY Desmond Jennings, 60Yot: '71 Nolan Ryan, TT Tulowitzki

p23: AL RoY Neftali Feliz (nice horiz from overhead angle pic), Josh Johnson,
inserts: Kimball Pence, Diamond Giveaway, TT Votto

p24: inserts: T60 Orlando Cepeda, Ugly HoT Eisner face, TT Chubby Sabathia

p25: Lester, Brennan Boesch (great horiz pic moment before he crushes the ball), Garrett Jones (this may be the Ugliest and Worst pic in the set)
inserts: TT Youkilis, SHINY Darren Ford RC, 60Yot: '86 Winfield (sweet card!)

p26: King Felix Cy Young,
inserts: 60Yot Lost Cards: '55 Whitey Ford, DD Cabrera-Pujols (both in the news this spring), TT CarGo

p27: Oswalt,
inserts: Kimball Cobb, 60Yot: '01 Manny, TT Wright (Wright opened and closed the session!)

best base card: Wright (personal preference), but Saunders is a great pic, as well!
best insert: '71 Ryan, '86 Winfield, T60 Johan

one more session, nine more packs to go...
(then a stat breakdown of the hobby box)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

My first hobby box - Topps 2011 Series 1 - post 3

aiming to finish the first half of the hobby box - that's 8 more packs...

and i'm hoping for some Mets-related goodies, such as this:

So, here we go!
pack 11: Bobby Jenks kicks off the session... then David DeJesus, who lives in my new hometown, Manalapan, NJ! Miguel Cabrera is next - he was in the news today! Stephen Drew and Billy Wagner - nice base cards...
inserts: TT Choo, T60 Manny, Old Cardboard Cy Young... all in all, a pretty nice pack!
pack 12: first two cards i see, Heyward TT (hate TT, but Heyward is Heyward) and Johan! Love Santana - please let him be back around the all-star break! nice pack - Carlos Santana, Cano, Desmond Jennings RC, Hank Conger RC, SHINY Brian Bogusevic RC; other insert: Diamond Giveaway
pack 13: SHINY Pedro Alvarez! Freeman RC, 60YOT - Gaylord Perry 1962, Longoria TT
pack 14: Greinke, B. Snyder RC, Hellickson RC, Ozzie Martinez RC, Gold Brendan Ryan, Billy Butler TT, Diamond Duo: Ricky Henderson/Desmond Jennings
pack 15: Luke Scott, Chris Carpenter, DD Takahashi/Uehara, TT Hanley, and the last card is an original back Dennis Eckersley from '87
pack 16: ARoid, Bay, 60Yot: Lou Brock, '65, TT Castro
pack 17: Marmol, SHINY Conger RC, 60Yot Roberto Alomar '91 - this guy was just another player who came to the Mets and left all his skills with his old team, TT King Felix, Kimball Votto
pack 18: Gio Gonzalez (stud to be?), McGee RC, Anderson RC, 60Yot Lost Card '55 Musial, DD Larkin/Jeter, Posey TT
and now a recap of the session:
3 SHINY's, 1 gold
favorite insert: Cardboard Cy Young? maybe '65 Brock? i think Brock, but both are good looking, for different reasons...
favorite base: Johan. Best Met. Wright is my favorite, by Johan is a close second...
only one Kimball, kinda disappointing...
kinda fun pic: Justin Upton catching a ball that he doesn't really seem to be looking at!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

My first hobby box - Topps 2011 Series 1 - post 2

the next few packs...

pack 5: Mike Stanton, Clay Buchholz, first Met: Lucas Duda?!??, cool Sterlin Castro pic;
inserts: t60 Adam Jones, TT Latos, old cardboard Ty Cobb

pack 6: Bonifacio very cool pic, ooohhh Sparkly: Ben Revere RC!;
inserts: TT Carlos Santana, Diamond Giveaway

pack 7: Alexei Ramirez, Brandon Inge (lifetime .237 hitter, really?!?), Posey ROY, Utley;
inserts: Diamond Giveaway, Kimball Josh Johnson, TT Hamilton

pack 8: Horizantal Halladay, Gaby Sanchez (ASR), Latos, future Met Michael Young (I dare to dream)
inserts: D-Duos Hamilton-Guerrero, Lost Cards Campanella, TT Price

pack 9: CarGo, Cousins RC, Met - Pagan;
inserts: T60 Nolan Ryan (one of my faves), old cardboard Gehrig, TT Garza

pack 10: Bogusevic RC;
inserts: 60YOT Rizzuto, Kimball Strasburg, TT Wells

and that's it for tonight!

my favorite inserts of the session: Nolan Ryan T60, Campy and Rizzuto 60YOT...
my favorite base card... probably Roy Halladay

My first hobby box - Topps 2011 Series 1

After reading all of the baseball card blogs out there, I decided to jump in and purchase my first hobby box. Went to ebay, paid $59 (plus $7 shipping), so for $66, it was mine. Decent price, I think?
It's time to open a few packs. Let me start by saying that I have no idea exactly what I am collecting. I will try to complete the set, and I like the Kimball mini's and the sparkles, but other than that, I am not sure exactly what I am gathering. As a Mets fan, I am hoping that my "hits" are related to them, but I honestly am just collecting for nostalgic reasons... I want to enjoy ripping the pack and seeing what's inside!
So, since I am painting my remodeled bathroom and simply taking a short break, here are the first few packs:
first card: Cliff Lee... well, that's omimous for a Mets fan to see!
others: Padres team card has a cool pic (i really like the photography of this set), Andrew McCutcheon's card has a cool pic, as well.
inserts: Dan Haren on boring Toppstown, 60 YOT: 1968 Frank & Brooks Robinson, David Ortiz Kimball's Champion.
pack two:
Mo Rivera, Jimmy Rollins (what happened to him the last 2 years?!?), Andrew Bailey
T60: Andre Ethier, Jimmie Foxx cool cardboard card CMGR-17, TT Pedroia
pack three:
ooohh, shiny Gaby Sanchez topps all-star rookie!
Jay Bruce is probably best base card - kinda boring pack...
inserts: 60 YOT: 1989 Bo Jackson on Royals Leaders card, TT Chris Young
pack four:
Koji Uehara, great k:bb ratio! (55:5), Chacin, Brian Wilson, Arroyo - nice pitcher pack!
inserts: Diamond Duo Killebrew-Thome, TT: Brett Wallace...
and then, I am looking at the back of a T60 card... who is this guy? Felix Doubront??? let me see his face... I turn the card over, and...
did you guys know that Felix was tied for 13th in strikeouts in the South Atlantic League? Go Greenville!
hmm. I was excited to see the auto... but Felix Doubront?!?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Strat 50th Anniversary

That's me and Doug Glanville, at the Strat-O-Matic 50th Anniversary Celebration!
Glanville told wonderful stories about playing the game as a kid, and how it shaped his baseball career. Apparently, his older brother (by 7 years) had made a list of steps for Doug to achieve on his way to becoming a major league player - and learning to play Strat was one of them!
He also told a story of giving Cal Ripken all of Cal's strat cards - one for each season - as a farewll gift.
A great time, and really appreciated the chance to celebrate this amazing game.

Friday, February 11, 2011

The greatest game ever MADE

Tomorrow I head to the Strat-O-Matic 50th Anniversary celebration. I'll be picking up my cards and computer game for the year, and also a copy of the "founder's edition" copy of the original game made in 1961.

I just wanted to take a moment to thank the company, and its inventor Hal Richman, for creating, maintaining and improving a game that I've played off and on for the last 30 years.
I can remember vividly one my by best childhood friends, in a tough moment dropping his cards, and running around my house when he was unable to find one, "I dropped my Pettis! I lost my Pettis! Have you seen my Pettis?" I truly think I will never forget that moment, nor the great (ish) centerfielder Gary Pettis.
To all who have played this game, you know exactly what I mean about being a kid, imagining the game - and an entire world - unfolding in front of you with a simple role of the dice.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Mint Condition - final review

So I finished "Mint Condition: How Baseball Cards Became an American Obsession" -

This is a good read, but not quite perfect.

I simply loved the beginning, where the author focused on his own experiences and how his epic search for the life cycle of the hobby had materialized.

I do think, though, that at times he got bogged down in the minutia of his search. Perhaps too much time describing unsavory characters who I found myself not liking, and therefore not enjoying the time I was spending on them.

His incredile attention to details at times wound up hindering his narrative when I became less interested in that particular phase of his journey.

In the end, his proposed solutions for the hobby seem rushed and less significant than I think they should be, especially considering the breadth of his research.

I wanted MORE time spent on the collecting of the 80's and 90's, but these sections were short - perhaps due the fact that this era of card production probably set the seeds for the destruction of the hobby.

In the end, the book does make me consider EXACTLY why I felt compelled to shell out $66 on a hobby box of Topps Series I Baseball cards in ebay last week.

Perhaps the goal of this blog will be to formulate an answer to that question.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Mint Condition

Nearly finished reading "Mint Condition" by Dave Jamieson. At the end of his introduction, he notes that "cards aren't really a hallmark of childhood anymore; they're a way for collectors to return to it."

What a great way to describe why I've raced to The Hobby Shop in Aberdeen and the local Target a few times in the last week.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Topps 2011 Rack Pack

I see many of these posts out there, so i thought i'd share yesterday's bounty:

Ike Davis SHINY (my 4th shiny overall, and first Met!)


T60-23 - Neftali Feliz
Toppstown 27 - Ethier
60 years of topps #351 1998 Topps Bob Abreu (with a gold border)
the lost cards: Stan Musial, 1957 #408
diamond duos Kinsler and Andrus
Diamond Giveaway (only the 2nd one i've got!)
Kimball: Mike Stanton

some good base cards:

Votto #5
Hanley Ramirez #20
Strasburg #183
Halladay #300

and some rookies:

Sale #65
Gee #203
Morel #322

Monday, February 7, 2011

Topps 2011 Series 1

Every year, when the weather makes it look as if Spring will never come, I make sure to keep my eyes open for the first baseball cards of the new year.

And just last week, spotting the first sign that the 18-inch snow-pack still alongside my driveway may someday melt, I found a pack of Topps 2011 Series 1 waiting for me.

It was good to see some the amazing photography on this year's cards - and I even had the joy of pulling my first Met, Jason Bay (he has to be better this year, right? RIGHT?!?)

I don't yet know what my collecting plan is - but I've bought a few more packs, and surveyed the amazing array of collector's blogs out there. I can't believe exactly what the simple hobby of enjoying opening a pack of cards has evolved into...