Tuesday, March 30, 2010

First Day Issue Has Got Some...Issues

Things might be a bit sporadic on my end for a while because my computer (rest in peace) finally passed away over the weekend. It's about 5-years-old so it wasn't completely unexpected, but it still throws thing out of sorts with all my images saved on the computer, and not all of them backed-up. The good thing is I've got more money than Scrooge McDuck so replacing it won't be a hassle (shakes head sadly from side to side).

I apologize in advance if it takes me a while to get recent trades posted (much to Thorzul's delight) as I will have to re-scan numerous cards in order to do justice to the generosity of fellow bloggers.

Thanks to Night Owl and Mr. Scott, both of whom I recently received cards from; I'll make sure to share what you sent me as soon as I can. Sorry again for the inconvenience, I know my reader(s) will be crushed. Hopefully I be back soon.

Until then...release the kraken!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The King and I (Directed by Ryan's Memorabilia)

I recently acquired the crown jewel of my King Felix collection, this beautiful 2008 UD Heroes Jersey Autograph #21/25, in a trade with Ryan's Memorabilia Blog.

He busted a great box of Heroes that also contained a Tim Lincecum patch and Roger Clemens YSL, and was generous enough to part with the Hernandez for about 30 Ripkens to add to his amazing Ripken library.

This is my second Felix autograph (he's got an amazing signature doesn't he?) and fifth jersey card, but the first card I have of the Mariners' young ace with both. I have extremely high hopes for Hernandez in 2010 (a Cy Young isn't out of the question).

He's got a ton of great cards to trade, so if you've got some Ripkens that he doesn't have on his Zistle page, let him know.
You could walk away with a gem like this!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I'm a Man and I've Got Needs!

I can't believe I haven't gotten around to posting a needs list before today (it's certainly not because I'm lazy--no way), but here is what I'm looking for:

2009 Allen and Ginter: 305 and 343 (so close...this would be the first set I ever put together by hand. I have about 100,000 doubles to trade if anyone needs help with the set)

2007 UD Masterpieces: 4, 11, 22, 24, 26, 28, 30, 34, 35, 37, 39, 42, 46, 52, 59, 60, 65, 68, 78, 82 (I got two hobby boxes of this and still need 20 cards...ouch)

2008 UD Masterpieces: 1, 15, 24, 29, 38, 65 + SP's 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 99, 101-106, 108, 112, 113, 117-120 (I'm more concerned about the base set, but the SP's would be nice)

Let me know if you have any of these cards and I would be happy to work out a trade with you. Thanks for stopping by!

Come on Opening Day!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

One Last Impassioned Plea for Topps Platinum

I'm not exaggerating when I say that this is the most loaded retail product ever. Out of two blasters and a handful of packs I've pulled two rookie autographed patch cards (including one of ROY Percy Harvin), tons of big name rookies (Stafford, Sanchez, Maclin, McCoy, Harvin, Cushing, Curry, Orakpo, etc), and this gorgeous Javon Ringer Red Refractor RC #10/25 that I scored yesterday. If I were looking to flip these cards (I'm not), I would easily make my money back. How often can you say that about blasters? I'm not getting compensated by Topps for this advertisement (although it sure seems like it), but rather just trying to help fellow collectors find a fun (and valuable) alternative to their usual card purchases.

I know that not everyone who reads this blog collects football cards (and that's okay), but if you do, you'd have to be crazy to pass up the chance to buy one of these blasters. The base cards are well designed and shiny, there's at least one rookie card per pack and you've got a great chance to walk away with an autograph or patch card from a diverse and talented group of players (Dan Marino, Adrian Peterson, Dwayne Bowe, etc.) I'm not saying you need to rush out and buy one, but if you find yourself at Target sometime soon, why not try something new and exciting rather than another ho-hum blaster of Heritage? Just my two cents...

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Box Break: 2008 Upper Deck Masterpieces (Hobby)

This is the second of three boxes that I treated myself to for a recent birthday last week (I'll try and post the results from the third box later this week). Just a warning: since I turned 23, a number made famous by Michael Jordan, I have no choice but to be an arrogant, insufferable prick for the next 12 months. I apologize in advance. As I've mentioned numerous times before, I love UD Masterpieces. Even though there are only 12 packs in each box, it's still a very enjoyable break, with plenty of framed parallels and two "hits" per box and a shot at some beautiful patch autos. Enough with the jibba-jabba, let's see what I pulled:

Brandon Webb Brown Framed Parallel #54/100: Well, I guess it could have been Luke Hochevar. Hopefully Webb bounces back from injury because he is certainly a talented hurler when healthy.

Jack Morris Red Framed Parallel: This card commemorates Morris' gritty performance in one of the best playoff games ever: Game 7 of the 1991 World Series. Morris pitched 10 innings (!) to slay the Atlanta Braves and bring another championship to the Twins in his only season in Minnesota.

Ken Griffey Jr. Black Framed Parallel: I don't know if there is a better feeling than pulling a great looking card of your favorite player. I would love to track down a red-bordered version of this card; Night Owl already sent me the brown-bordered variety. The other black borders in the box were Manny Ramirez, David Ortiz and Mark Teixeria (need any Beardy?)

Garrett Atkins Captured on Canvas Jersey: Well the good news is that it's not another white jersey swatch. The bad news is that it's Garrett Atkins. At least it's a well designed card.

Matt Kemp Stroke of Genius Autograph: Cool! These on-card autos are simply stunning and I was thrilled to pull one of an up-and-coming star like Matt "I am actually dating Rihanna" Kemp. I don't think I want to trade this, but if I do, you've got first dibs Night Owl. My 2007 Masterpieces box yielded a Ryan Zimmerman auto, so I've definitely done well with autographs from these sets. This card really saved the box from being an utter disaster.

I also got a few more SP's towards the base set, though I will probably need help completing it (look for a needs list sometime in the future). If you haven't busted a box of 2008 Masterpieces...what are you waiting for?! Check the weekend special on Blowout Cards, you can usually get this box for just over $30.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Card of the Week: 2003 UD Honor Roll Ken Griffey Jr. Leather of Distinction Game-Used Glove

Although much loathed by many members of the collecting community, eBay's Buy-It-Now feature netted me a 50-percent discount on this card; no small thing considering the rarity of this particular gem. 2003 Upper Deck Honor Roll inserted game-used fielding gloves and batting gloves into packs at some unworldly odds, with only between nine and 70 of each player's cards produced. I couldn't find the exact figures for the Griffey fielding glove (anyone else know?) but I was very happy to pick it up at the price I paid. Although it may seem like small peas, I also like that the black game-used swatch matches the glove that Griffey is wearing in the photo.

With the acquisition of a fielding glove, I am nearing completion of the National Griff-ography (every piece of Griffey memorabilia every produced). The main target moving forward will be his 2000 UD Ovation Game-Used Shoe Card limited to 400 copies. If anyone finds this card, I would be willing to pay handsomely for it. Thanks for stopping by and enjoy your weekends!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

It's a Birthday Miracle!!

So I found myself at Target on my birthday with some cash burning a hole in my pocket and grabbed a blaster of Topps Platinum and two packs of 2010 Topps. What was I supposed to do, buy underwear? I had already received some terrific birthday presents (tickets to the Mariners home opener! The Natural Collector's Edition Box Set! An authentic mid-90's Ken Griffey Jr. jersey!) so I wasn't expecting anything out the packs, but I was pleasantly surprised (to say the least). Here's the loot:

Rick Ankiel Peak Performers Jersey: Score! I never, ever pull anything out of the base set of Topps (though that's not why I buy it) and on this day I pulled a jersey card of one of my favorite players.

2009 Topps Platinum Percy Harvin RC Auto Patch #248/300: Seriously, if you like football cards at all and love pulling great hits out of blasters, do yourself a favor and grab some Topps Platinum. This beautiful card features a 3-color patch and nearly illegible auto of one of football's top rookies. I'm holding onto this one for a while.

So there you have it, some great cards on a great birthday. Coming up soon: two more box breaks. Stay tuned!

Friday, March 12, 2010

A Stellar Swap with Sign Here and Here

Chris, from the fun and unique Sign Here and Here blog, recently sent me a giant batch of Mariners and Griffeys in return for some on-card autos and Brewers. The variety of cards was amazing with plenty of refractors, x-fractors, numbered parallels, etc. Here's a handful of my favorites:

2005 Upper Deck Reflections Wladimir Balentien RC #95/99: A cool looking card even if Balentien never quite panned out with the Mariners (although I don't think they gave him a long enough look--they made the same mistake with Shin-Soo Choo) this comes from a set I've never seen in person before--it's pretty snazzy. I hope Balentien gets a shot with the Reds this season.

2006 Topps Finest Felix Hernandez Blue X-Fractor #140/150: Me gusta mucho! This card comes from one of my favorite sets of Finest and features the 2010 AL Cy Young Award Winner. The blue really works well with the Mariners' uniform.

1996 SPX Ken Griffey Jr: Back in the day Upper Deck was really the frontrunner in bringing cutting edge technology to baseball cards. Case in point, 1996 SPX, which had only one card per pack but darn it all it was one cool card. It looks better in person, but it is a little unnerving as Junior's head moves from side to side (though thankfully not all the way around). I'll miss you Upper Deck...I'll miss you.

2006 Flair Showcase Freddy Garcia Showcase Stitches: I was always a fan of the "Chief" during his tenure with the Mariners, including the 2000 season in which he led the AL in ERA. This card features a swatch of his Team Venezuala jersey, which I think is pretty rad. Garcia is slated to be the #5 starter for the White Sox this year, but I'm not sure he's got much left in the tank.

2010 Topps Throwback Parallel Mariners Team Card: In a word: "awesome". I wasn't a huge fan of this year's Topps base set, but I loved the team celebration cards and this is the one I had to have. Can't wait for Opening Day!

Thanks for the great cards Chris and good luck to the Blue Devils!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Box Break: 2008 UD Masterpieces (Retail)

With my birthday coming up on Friday (there's no need to send presents, but if you feel so inclined, I wouldn't say no to them) I treated my self to a trio of boxes from a Blowout Cards weekend special. The first box was 2008 UD Masterpieces Retail, which contained 24 packs and 4 cards per pack. I had wanted to put the set together for a while and with 96 cards in the box I had a decent shot at completing the base set (I ended up 6 cards short; I'll post my needs at a later date) plus pulling a few framed parallels and a jersey or autograph. Here's what I got:

Steve Carlton Black Border

Eric Chavez Black Border

Pedro Martinez Blue Border #20/125

Vladimir Guerrero Captured on Canvas Jersey

Overall Thoughts: While it wasn't a great box in terms of hits, I was able to complete most of the base set and I pulled a few SP's if I decide to pursue the full set. The cards themselves are absolutely beautiful and the framed parallels are some the best looking cards of the decade (yeah, I went there). It was a fun box to open and I really wish UD had put out a set of Masterpieces last year. If you are interested in any of the cards pictured, drop me a line and we'll work out a deal. Stay tuned for two more box breaks in the coming days!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A Post-Vacation Trade with Teddy D.

I just got back from Hawaii and was happy to find a couple of trade packages waiting for me. The islands were as beautiful as described and I hope to get back there again someday. I actually found a card shop in Honolulu (the first time I had been in a hobby shop in abotu 5 years) and bought a few packs but didn't pull anything worth mentioning (a die-cut /100 from Donruss Elite was the lone highlight). Thankfully, blog reader Teddy Dzuiba, made up for my back luck with a package full of Mariners and M's prospects. Here's the loot:

2000 Bowman Chrome Rick Ankiel: Looking at Ankiel's stats on the back it's pretty evident that he was destined to be one of the best pitchers in all of baseball before the inexplicable wildness took over. His story never seizes to amaze me...who is going to play the role of Rick Ankiel when the movie gets made? Paul Walker? Matt Damon? Kevin Costner? I think we all know it's going to be Robert Redford.

2009 UD Sweet Spot Ken Griffey Jr: A sharp looking card of my favorite player but another unfortunate reminder that UD is done in baseball for the foreseeable future. I don't know about you, but I was pretty crushed by the news of the settlement.

2009 Choice Teddy Dziuba: Easily my favorite card of the trade, Teddy was a former Mets farmhand and was kind enough to personalize this card for me. Very, very cool. You can never go wrong with flattery in my book. A really unique addition to my collection.

Thanks for the great cards Teddy; they made the sting of leaving Hawaii a little less painful. I'll keep my eyes open for more Mets prospects and NY Giants in the future.

Last night on the beach.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

First Day Issue Is On Vacation

Don't worry loyal reader(s), I'll still be writing, but not for the next week or so as I enjoy a well earned (?) vacation with my family in the tropics.

I'll make sure to soak up some sun for those of you still buried in snow back east, and hopefully I can grab a few packs in Hawaii (just to say I did) and post the results when I get back.

Surfs up!