Sunday, January 31, 2016

Walkin' and Waitin'...

I love trading and sharing cards all around.  When shipping 20 or so mailers in December, I wasn't expecting to receive nearly as many in return - within the same month!

 I do my best every day, to live life in the moment.  It's something I've preached for years.  We truly only have right now - this breath, this heartbeat - for living. Work is a given, so there's 45-50 hours gone plus the two to three hours I spend commuting everyday. I could read, blog, enjoy music or cards, eat, sleep, exercise, visit friends etc.   Time only spreads itself around so far and then it's bedtime.  If I could keep my eyes open longer, I'd be writing more often. So given this, I am behind on blogging/sharing the great trades that came my way over the holidays. 
P-town Tom, always waiting -  and thanks for that!  Here are some of the great and colorful beauties he sent my way at the end of December:

Tom wrote a nice note on the back of this calendar intro.  This is more of a note to myself - GET THIS CALENDAR NEXT YEAR!
From Diamond Kings, one of the best unlicensed products of 2015.

Minis from 87 and 88, next to a 2011 Mud Hen!

Colorful and odd

2015 A&G featuring one of my least favorite pics of Miggy.  Nice looking design overall.

Topps 2000 - already 15 years old.  A bit freaky.

Tom is always great to share his extra Sandbergs.  Along with Mark Grace, Sandberg is a favorite Cubbie.  I have PCs of both boys.

1979 Topps.  Fly Bird, fly.  A career ended too soon.  He passed much too early as well.  What a wonderful card!  Tom, thanks for these.  Packages from Peoria are always packed with surprises!

That said - written? -  a package from Matt, BWTP  contains nothing less than a surprise or two or six:
  2006 Turkey Red pinstripe; 2003 Finest Refractor Oswalt
2008 shiny Spectrum /75;  2011 A&G mini pinstripe
2015 Museum big fat card /99 sweet!
All great additions to my growing Astros collection but wait for it...

Sticker, schmicker.  who cares?  It's ALTUVE!  2014 Prizm, all mine! 
 Surprise?!?!  Matt, wow!  You knocked me over with this one. 
I am so fortunate to trade with the best guys around the blogs.  I have so much more cardboard to share.  Thanks for being a patient bunch too!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

HOT DOG ENCOUNTER: an alien weiner

It came from outer space.  Many were surprised it came at all. But not me. I knew it was coming and would be here very soon.  No flying saucer.  No drone.  The small creature arrived, wrapped securely in a brown mailer.  Transported safely to my mailbox by an unsuspecting postal truck.  How could it be that I was the chosen one?  What made me worthy to host this being from Planet Schnitzel.
He wasn't the first.  There were many others - thousands -  who had joined our citizens. One was a Doug Fister.  He'd had a tough 2015, going 5 and 7 with a 4.19 ERA.  It showed too.  Traveling since 2011, Doug's name had all but faded from glory.

The temperamental one among the group was called David Wells.  He was once their leader but had great difficulties  keeping order within the tribe.

Recently promoted to the rank of HOF, Piazza would soon be their new captain.  He was a natural leader and veteran warrior. 
His first officer was young Posey, a rising star in their army.  This Posey possessed all the skills necessary to negotiate peace with the Earthlings should hostilities arise.
This group of travelers were seemingly more advanced than the earthlings who surrounded them. Blues and reds, no matter what colors bordered their faces - all were equal.  Some had no borders at all, reflecting the openness of this alien society. 
One called Cobb, lived in an emerald pool of crystal shard. His beauty was of such greatness that he withheld his reflection to protect the eyes of the beings on his host planet.
The newest member of the alien tribe was Altuve. He shone with promise, bedecked in colors of our planet's Sun, also the colors of Schnitzel's greatest resource - mustard.  The ruler of Planet Schnitzel chose this newcomer to make special contact with our world. 
They brought bats and balls, bases and gloves.  And they played.  For us.  In time, their magnificent leader would follow, eventually becoming a presence at every game played.
 It was my duty to protect the Schnitzel King. He'd been a visitor to other galaxies, each time narrowly avoiding death. The King was a beautiful thing, wrapped in a bun so soft, befit for royalty.  Wearing golden mustard jewels, smelling of sweet relish, the King was a divine being. 
I left him for only a moment, returning too late. What I found disgusted me.  My friends laughing and handling the alien King so carelessly.  My heart broke as the first bite was taken. Shazbot, I yelled at the nimnuls, The mustard!  Don't get mustard on the carpet!!! as it dripped slowly to the floor. What was I to do?  The King was gone.  
Could I tell his followers the truth?  Will the bright yellow stain ever come out of the carpet?  Will Xavier Higgins ever forgive me for this wretched story?
Xavier contacted me for a trade back in early November.  An incredible array of cards arrived the first week of December: an electric foil and purple refractor Altuve, early  Cabrera 02 Stadium Club and so many others.  What could possibly top these cards?  THE HOT DOG ENCOUNTER!  What a riot!  Thanks for parting with this gem, Xavier!
Xavier doesn't blog - yet anyway.  He is a marvelous communicator.  If he reaches out to you, trade with him!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Brad's Blog: givin' it away

Brad was moving.  Hauling cards ain't easy.  To lighten the burden, Brad offered up cards to any and every one.  I wasn't familiar with his blog and not sure how I stumbled across this opportunity.  Who says no  to free anyway?  Three days after the post, a fat mailer was on the way to my place.  Brad sent nearly 100 cards, all Tigers.  Elated was I.  It was hard to choose a reasonable number to share. 

There were the shiny and tiny:

Topps Lineage is a favorite of mine. The 75 styled minis make this a favorite release from 2011.  Topps Chrome, Bowman Platinum and Upper Deck Spectrum add great color to this lot.

Vintage - UD style:
It's always a bit sad to see the manner in which Upper Deck chose to cut their own throat.  These cards did not help their cause.  I happen to like the black borders and design.  In fact, I've liked them since 1971 - or since I discovered 71 Topps, I should say.  Upper Deck released Vintage in 2002.

Courtesy of Google Images, 1971 Topps:

Really.  How did the once flourishing Upper Deck Company think this
would fly?  No one at Topps would be paying attention??

Here's a fun card which somehow escaped my knowledge:

 2003 Fleer Double Header: one half of Fernando Rodney unfolds to reveal a full-figured Barry Wesson. The card back lists stats for both boys.

A couple of hits:

 At 16, Aussie Rikki Johnston signed with the Tigers, receiving a $400,000 signing bonus.  This card is from 2000 Royal Rookies.  According to Beckett's catalog, he disappears from all card releases after 2003.  4,950 hand-signed cards.  Just what does that do to a pitcher's hand?

And finally these gems.  I'd like to have a complete set of the Conlon Collection, color version.  My first of these is a Cobb, my all-time favorite Tiger.  That's one beautiful card!

I appreciate these and more so, our introduction.  I needed a Phillies fanatic on my trader list.  I owe you Brad.  Thanks for your patience!

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Random Thoughts: Win Some, Lose Some

I'm not sure what it feels like to place first in any contest and don't recall ever being a first place anything. I was an above average student in high school and college but never ranked at the top of my class. I was someone others often turned to for help with their studies - math not included.  That was enough for me - enough to create the bitter spirit I've carried throughout life.
Example: this week, I joined the office pool for tonight's Powerball drawing thereby jinxing it for everyone else.  Sure it was selfish.  I knew there was no chance in this big, blue world that I could win.  Why should any of my co-workers have the opportunity?  WHY?  Life isn't fair as I am living proof!  HA on them.  They will all be at work Monday morning just like me - which makes ME feel good.
Last Sunday, I posted my first contest of the year. I neglected to mention how many times I would randomize the entries and which random number would take home the much-coveted Classic set.  The were 14 names added to the list which was then randomized twice. 
Before randomizing, I recalled the few contests I entered this past year.  Almost every time, I found my name near or at the bottom of a list.  Based on this, my decision was to award the set to the name which fell next to the number..................ONE.  That's right I said ONE. 
But wait...
I was holding out on you when I offered this set up for grabs. What I didn't share was the fact that I had two - TWO - of these beautiful minor-league sets to give away.  It is only fitting that the loser takes home a prize too.  And by loser, I really only mean the name which fell fourteenth on the list.  Defgav is by no means a loser. 
Mark Hoyle and defgav, you will each receive this handsome and far from one-of-a-kind set.
So maybe I'm not a loser. Maybe my name just falls quite naturally, into last place.  I'll make an effort to enter more contests this year to test my theory.  In the meantime, I'll continue to offer more giveaways.  I'm still making room on my shelves for the fantastic cards so many of you generously send my way. 
It's almost time for the Powerball drawing.  I'm not one to spend cardboard cash on lotto tickets but if it keeps my coworkers employed...well, that's the least I can do.  In these days of rampant unemployment, I'm sure they'll thank me. 

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Goals, Trades and Contests - OH MY!

Happy New Year!  I hope your holidays were peaceful, joyful and filled with good cheer!  I've been under the weather with no desire to even log on to the laptop.  It seems like only a couple months ago I bragged about being caught up with trade posts.  Pride goeth before a fall. By mid-December, I was buried by generosity from so many of you.  Posts will be forth-coming, and coming, and coming...

I've been pondering my hobby goals recently.  One thing that must change is how I send trade packages.  For example, this past month I shipped to three different gentlemen named Adam.   I'm honestly not sure if the contents reached their correct destination.  I know these were delivered...but to which Adam?  Did each Adam get the cards intended for him, or those of another Adam?   Only Adam knows.  I think I'll limit shipping to no more than five packages and one Adam at a time.

I'll also be updating my want list with specifics.  I still enjoy blind trades but also plan to offer a trade bait page to encourage a card for card exchange.  Plans are to have my want list and bait page updated by the end of 2016.  I like hard deadlines.

 Let's begin the trade portion of this post with an envelope filled with some homemade holiday cheer.  Baseball Card Breakdown's defgav spread some joy around and was kind enough to include me:
1993 Action Packed          2015 Pro Debut

2000 Gold Label
2015 Bowman Chrome auto

These are sweet new additions to my collection!  But there was another card, numbered 11/12.  Gavin has too much fun as this card reveals:

 I certainly laughed aloud at the sight.  LaMarr would be flattered to know he is still bringing joy to baseball fans - at least twelve of us anyway.  Gavin, you're too much!  Thank you!

SH from ATBATT spread PWE love around the card-o-sphere this Christmas.  I'm not sure how I was chosen as a recipient of his goodness but am grateful!  I collect Jackie Robinson and he had a few to share:

All nice additions to the JR pc!  I hope to repay your thoughtfulness with some Dodger Blue soon!  Thank you and Happy New Year!

 The Night Owl came calling as well.  Greg sent a nice selection of Tigers and a little JR too.  Here's a sampling:


Ron was serving 5-15 years for armed robbery before his baseball redemption.

NO wrote that he hoped these did the trick.  I'd say yes, these were a treat!  Thanks as always!!!

Only 20 trades or so left to share. At the rate I post, I should be caught up by mid-May. Any wagers?  No? How about a contest then?  Comment below and specifically mention you'd like a chance at this lovely sealed 1992 Classic Minor League Baseball Set:

Yes there are a LOT of young faces in this set who were never called up. There are also a few familiar faces: Jeter, Piazza, M  Ramirez, Damon, Delgado, Edmonds and more. High BV according to the omniscient Beckett is $25, with a breakdown value of $100.  You want a chance?  Two things: you must live in the USA and should comment specifically to say you want in on the Randomizer.  I'll end the contest sometime next Saturday afternoon, randomize twice and post the results a bit later in the evening.
Thanks for reading and sharing this hobby!  I enjoy collecting so much more now that we are friends!