Sunday, February 28, 2016

WHAT'S THE CATCH? - a trade post

The catch is this: an awesome selection of cardboard from an awesome blog,  Catching Up With Collecting.  Jared sent a fat stack of cards!  I can't share them all, not even all my favorites.  I'm forced to choose so here's a glimpse into the padded mailer:

Publicity shots of a couple Tiger men.  A color photo of Scherzer would've shown off that pretty baby blue - and brown.

Jared did not forget my great love for Altuve - one of today's best 2nd basemen.

I recently read The Bird: Life and Legacy of Mark Fidrych by Doug Wilson.  Mark Fidrych was one of the game's great personalities.  Quirky, sincere; a fan's ballplayer.  When his career was cut short, baseball lost a great ambassador.  His family and friends lost a very good and humble man when he died in a tragic accident at 54 years of age.  The book is a great read, and frankly I didn't want it to end.  Mark was very much alive as I enjoyed page after page.  The final chapter came and with it, Mark's passing.

Gibby is sporting his college colors on 2008 Donruss Threads. Since moving to Michigan, I've been asked many times if I follow U of M Wolverines or Michigan State's Spartans.  My answer: Oklahoma Sooners. 

These cards are so colorful, I wished the scan had turned out better. Upper left of this group features a 94 Fleer Ultra On Base Leader foil beauty - Tony Phillips.  Tony passed away on February 17, two months shy of his 57th birthday, of an apparent heart attack. He spent five years of an 18 year MLB career with the Tigers, 1990-1995 where he walked 519 times.  

The era of  peel or don't peel:  from 97 and 98 Topps Finest.  To peel is better.  Many cards that weren't peeled  have yellowed splotches.  The top right card - Brian Hunter - shows some of this yellowing at his belt buckle.

CHAD CURTIS: then and now

Chad began serving 7-15 years in 2013 for criminal sexual conduct.  I do not know if the Gus Harrison Correctional Facility in Adrian Michigan has a prison ball team.

Fun batch of cards with profiled player peel and stick cards from 85 Topps.  Both Fielders are from Cardtoons.  He made $125,000 in 1988.  By 1994, his salary ballooned to $7,200,000.   His wallet wasn't the only thing ballooning in the 90s.

2011 Topps Lineage in its only year of release. Topps wasted a great idea on this product.  It would've been a nice flagship design.  Clean, white borders. Delightful!  Ty Cobb cloth sticker and gorgeous Diamond Anniversary Martinez.

Three versions of  1995 Stadium Club Extreme Corps subset - Darren Daulton, my favorite Phillies catcher,  Great job Jared!!!!  I need all of these!!!!

A nice lot of relics and  2013 Pinnacle Access - a see-through card - as a friend of mine would say.  I think there is a hint of cork in the Gonzalez bat chip.  Hmm.

A nice arrangement of vintage players.  Ty Cobb is an absolute favorite, and Cochrane one of the greatest catchers.  The pennant is from 2013 Panini with the reverse showing 1947 - his HOF induction year.  I love these pennants!!!

Jared, you hit the spot with these!  Thank you very, very much!

A reminder for anyone interested - LONG SHOT, Mike Piazza -  a book giveaway is happening right now on this blog.  Go HERE to comment and enter.  In recognition of the Trump presidential campaign, no entrants from outside the USA borders are allowed.

Saturday, February 27, 2016


Insanity has a face.  It's not the look of an axe wielding maniac or the Mad Hatter. 

It's this
Founding Father of Super Traders, Wes Moore is a silent warrior.  A bomber.  The victims are often intimidated into surrender.  Wes simply can't be outdone.  I already know this.  After receiving two packages from him on the same day, I sensed warning shots had been fired and threw in the white flag almost immediately via email, begging really.  Wes is known throughout bloggerland as the most generous of traders.  The cards below are only a small sampling.

In silver sharpie: #bombed

1987 Fleer sticker fun
LEAF: 1992 gold and 1988 Donrussy
    Trammelled, Fahey'd and Herndon'd.

95Pinnacle Artist Proofs and two shiny parallels from Score

More Tigers

and more Tigers featuring Kuenn with chaw-jaw

Here's an early chunky card #/700, a number once found rare. 2001 Playoff. 

Wes began the Supertrading initiative with a blast, breaking a box of 2013 Museum to share among the newly founded trading group.  Did I mention his generosity?  Many sweet cards were pulled.  I couldn't believe my eyes and ears when Wes pulled a Tiger hit.  I replayed this portion of the video a couple of times before grasping this card was really mine.

Doesn't get much better! 
Wes sent a package way back in May which I've yet to repay him for.  I had initially gathered a few cards for him when his collection went in a new direction.  I put these aside and have been searching for something else to thank him for his generosities.  Braves are a-gathering for you Wes.  Thanks much for your kindness and patience!  Check out his blog here!
I'd like to take a moment to re-introduce a friend of mine, once referred to as The Ump in a very early post.  Cheryl  is an avid baseball card collector but at this time, does not blog.  She does read many of the blogs found here in our special world.  The Ump has a creative streak with many of her Facebook posts shared at a high rate, and once interviewed Mark Fidrych for her high school paper.   I offered her an opportunity to post on this blog.  Cheryl will be featured on occasional Wednesdays known as UMP DAY.  Who knows?  Maybe she will one day take over  the blog world.  But for now, please welcome her to the blog-o-sphere and check out UMP DAYS, right here on Cracked Bat.
We've reached the giveaway portion of this post. Up for grabs is my personal copy of LONG SHOT - Mike Piazza.  Read once, from a smoke and pet hair free environment with absolutely NO mustard stains.  If you enjoy reading baseball history and biographies, or just a plain ole Dodgers fan perhaps you'll enjoy this book.  As a new member of the Hall, we know Piazza had an excellent career.  He has a few character flaws as well - who doesn't?  I enjoyed the book but my opinion of Piazza was unchanged in the end.  I still view him as pampered and whiny.  Despite this, he remains one of my favorite modern era players.

If you want a chance to own this book, comment below and mention so.  No international shipping, sorry BFE.  The list will be randomized five times with the fifth name our winner, in honor of Mike's five game appearances with the Florida Marlins.  Where are you Marlins' blogger??? WHERE???  The contest will close at 8pm Friday evening.
Good luck and thanks for reading!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

A Man and His Beibers

This man needs no proper introduction. A faraway friend whose blog is The Card Papoy, Kevin gets an odd high from including these in his trade packages:

I have to ask how many others have handled this Beiber?  Kevin was nearly out of his Justin supplies. I returned Beiber cards to him which basically makes them used. Who else has made this same mistake?  We are not helping Kevin by replacing his JBs.  He needs an intervention.  These cards can be quite informative.  For instance, on this one we can see Justin isn't playing the drums, isn't singing and therefore isn't talented.  

Kevin did try to sneak this card past me by including a delicious box of chocolates, which by the way is now was a nice Christmas surprise!  The cards included were certainly meant to distract from the Beiber. 

It's true, I'm collecting some Astros these days.  New players Altuve and Correa; old stock Ausmus, Caminiti, Biggio, Bagwell, and Nolan Ryan in his Astro  duds. I'm also adding cards which highlight the Astrodome and those great Tequila Sunrise uniforms for my 70s binder.

The player costumes from the early 90s were looking good too, as shown on 91 Upper Deck. Yes I said costumes.

1993 Flair, one of the first sets I fell in love with. It's a bit funny receiving  Astros via trade packages because I've given hundreds of them away over the years.  Nostalgia kicked in and I'm now asking  for them.

Seriously colorful 94 Stadium Club!  Then the uniforms changed to the drab colors shown on 94 Upper Deck. Y-A-W-N.

2004 Upper Deck Origins Lance Berkman
   2014 Topps - 89 Bowman Is Back Correa - now that's  a uniform!!

Kevin remembered my Piazza pc with two I needed - a 98 UD Stick Um and 05 Pros and Prospects. Of course, he sent Tigers:

                                               2005 Studio  and 2015 Topps Chrome autos

2015 GQ jumbo swatch 30/50  and 2005 Donruss Champions Trammell bat chip.  Kevin usually includes autos and relics - and vintage:

1960 Topps, very nice card and one of my favorite Topps designs.  Wow, Kevin!  Thanks for such a diverse cardboard assortment!  It's always fun trading with my overseas pal.  I'll have another little something to you soon.  I haven't decided if the Beiber will be returned to you.  It has some strange and hypnotic hold on me, surely your intention all along.  

I'm calling it a day; it's dinner time. Here's a peek at tonight's menu:


Friday, February 19, 2016

I Love the Smell of a Trading Post ... er, Spot?

Ahhhhhhhhh.  The sweet aroma of a freshly broken pack of cards.  It ranks right up there with the smell of a new book and freshly ground coffee.  I begin each morning with a fresh cup and a great book. Both are equally difficult to put down as I scoot out the door.  If I were to work  play with cards in the morning, unemployment would be a likely reality. 

Fortunately, this isn't MY problem.  Tim loves the smell of cardboard in the mornings, so much so that he named a blog after his habit, which in turn feeds mine. Don't let him tell you he's not addicted.  It's a little thing called denial. 

A great sticker and a MLB Showdown Steal.  Fister is new to me and the mini is not so small.  It only takes one card, no matter the size to send you spiraling into addiction.  Trust me on this.

Simon is gold and Farmer, a luscious purple which won't be shared by my scanner.  I love purple cards!  The other four fellas are all refractors.  If you ever had any doubt, confident men can wear pink  - and look good doing so!

Tim included a nice but unscannable auto, which isn't legible anyway - smnlhks - near as I can make it out.  The patch card is super nice.  I have mini Ginter relics but believe this is the first regulation size Ginter in my collection.

Tim closes out the team bagged boys with three fancy refractors from 2015 Topps Chrome.  Great, great stuff Tim and always appreciated!!!

Whoa there cowboy,  we aren't quite done here just a-yet.  Hitch yourself right up to the Trading Post and take a look at these little fancies from Johnny - Johnny's Trading Spot that is.

This tall boy is Mr. Bill Freehan and he has a story to tell.  In 1964, he became the first Tiger catcher to bat .300 in 29 years - from page 5.  Both of these are from 1970. That's a right good-looking Topps Super!

City Boys from 1994 Upper Deck All-Time Heroes

Bring on the appetizers Johnny! 1977 and 1978 Hostess, 1988 Chef Boyardee
There aren't many people who dislike pizza - unless it's from Domino's.  I enjoy thin crust pizza and think they get a bad rap.  Of course, I live in the country and can't be too choosy.  If they deliver to my place, there's a good chance I'll try it.  It's the cheese blend and spices that make me have the second and third piece.  It's not a slice really because the pizza is cut into squares.   How do I know when I've had my three slices with all the little squares??  When it's half is gone? 
Here's a 1988 Complete Team set from the pizza whose crust is often compared to cardboard.  I happen to LOVE cardboard!

Often simplicity equals beauty.  I find this most often true with any release by TCMA.  White borders, no logos or any distracting words/fonts.  Simple.  These are from 1978, from a set of 293 cards.  I'll pursue the entire set one day but happy for now to have these Tigers.

Johnny, thanks for a great batch of oddballs cards!  Love them all!

Thank you for reading.  I hope you haven't been waiting to find out just what does a trading spot smell like?   Perhaps we'll seek to answer this question, another time. Preferably on someone else's blog.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Chopped, Nicked and Cynical

I've determined being one step ahead of the trade mail will not happen.  This is in no way, a complaint! Just yesterday, I received two more incredible packages: Off Hiatus Tony and Subjectively Arbitrary Brian.  Thank so much guys!  You do  know it will be the end of Summer before these are shared, right??
Mark  aka Cynical Buddha of Collector's Crack sent a great batch of cards in exchange for a big helping of 2015 Topps Update.  I was elated to see those cards out the door and on their way north - to Alaska.  It was a more than generous exchange because he included shiny cards, an auto and a low numbered Joc Pederson.  All for Update???  Let's Make a Deal!!
Another reminder from Verlander that Spring Training is upon us! 
2015 Topps Foil
Eulogio 'Frankie' de la Cruz, 31 years old and done. The card is better-looking than his short MLB pitching career numbers of  0-0 and 8.16 era and 11.57era with the Mud Hens. 
Have a Coke and a smile, along with a couple of great cards from 1981 Topps!
2015 Topps refractor of my favorite new catcher, James McCann.  I'm hoping big things for this young man. He appears to call a good game and hits the ball!
And finally, this gem of a card from Panini's 2015 Black Friday giveaway.  Thick and numbered 18/50,  Joc Pederson.  Super nice card to own!!
Mark, thank you - not just for these cards but for taking Update off my hands.  Oh I have more to ditch on some needy collector.  Just ask for it.  Please - ask.

Another fun blogger, Steve from the Card Chop, sent a another great mix :
 Special A&G minis with Jackson's reverse featuring an A&G back
old school Topps logos.  lovin' the throwback Stars uniform!
Verlanders, featuring 2008 Upper Deck.  The headline celebrates his no-hitter against the Brewers on June 12, 2007.
 2002 Topps Gallery - great design
The Gallery set is one I've paid little attention to.  I need to look over the checklist to see what I've missed.  A very clean design!

2009 Upper Deck 20th Anniversary Retrospective
2008 Stadium Club, showing off Comerica Park

The Great Ty Cobb

Steve included great vintage too, featuring Topps from 1969, 1961 and 1971.  Steve, thank you!  Thanks for your patience too!  I've been a bit overwhelmed but no less than appreciative!!

Do we have time for one more??  Why yes, we do.  Nick from the Dimebox took a little time to put together another fun package.  These always include the odd and a vintage card or two plus cards for my PCs. 

2015 Topps foil, base and gold

Shiny goods included a sweet holo-foiled Fielder from 94 Upper Deck Home Run Allstars.
The late Berra. 

I love adding these sets from Front Row featuring the All Time Greats. This 1995 issue pays tribute to HOFer George Kell: 19 years, 2054 hits, .305 average.
Nick hit a PC with Altuve.  Altuve loves the game and it shows with every play and at bat. I hope he's in the game for years to come.  I'd love to see Altuve stay with the Astros for the better part, if not all, of his career.  Odds of course are it won't happen. The Franchise Flashback features him in a Houston Eagles uniform, a Negro Leagues team in 1949/50.  Just an awesome and colorful card! I believe Nick pulled the patch card.  Thanks for thinking of me!  A great card to add!
This package from Nick would not be complete without a food issue and some vintage.  1981 Drake Bakeries Steve Kemp and Topps 1964 Lumpe and 1965 Lolich.  The 65 design is a hard one to beat.
Three great trade packages!  I highly recommend trading with these fellows!  Take a moment to check out their blogs.  Forthcoming on this blog will be a small box break for the newly formed Super Traders Group.  I'm honored to be included among them. I can't do high end cards but perhaps something from the early to mid-90s would be fun, like 91 Topps or Donruss.  Ok, that's a joke.  Just calm down everyone.  I'm not THAT cheap!