Saturday, April 25, 2020

Trade with The Diamond King, '90's cards, and my garden

I have been doing a lot of trading lately. So much so that I'm afraid my wife might get on to me if I keep getting stuff in the mail. I recently did a trade with Kevin of The Diamond King. Kevin collects just about all of the Diamond King inserts/sets, and has a nice Mark McGwire collection. I went through my A's and Cardinals binders and found a good number of McGwire's on his want list, and found a few other various cards I thought he could use, and sent them out. I got his cards today, and let me tell you, they did not disappoint. 
Kevin gave me some really nice new Tigers cards. I love the 2 '01 Bowman Chrome Refractors. The Adam Pettyjohn is a Gold one. The Willie Hernandez autograph is really cool to me because I have been going to Tigers spring training and fantasy camp games for the past 25 years, and I think I had managed to get an autograph from just about every star player from the '84 team besides Hernandez. The Novoa Blue Donruss Champions card was one of his Diamond 9 giveaways, and I was happy to land it. I saw him pitch in 2004 and 2005. He was a big dude.
He also sent a bunch of Rays to add to my Rays binder. Probably half of the cards were refractors/parallels, and that's totally ok with me. I've always loved Toby Hall because of how fan friendly he was, and he would've gladly signed the Donruss Champions card pictured here had I had it when Toby was still playing. The Nick Green is my 3rd version of the '05 Topps card of him, with the other 2 being the base and Chrome versions. I wonder how close I would be to completing a rainbow? The Chris Archer is another Refractor. I'm really happy with the Brandon Guyer autograph. Brandon has always brought me luck. When I drove to Texas with my dad to go to my 2nd youngest sisters wedding, I had just started talking to this girl online. I had mentioned to her that we were driving through Montgomery, AL (where I had lived), and I was going to stop at my favorite baseball card shop. The shop had a 3-4 foot banner of Ken Griffey, Jr.'s '91 Upper Deck card, and I told the girl that I was going to take a picture by it. I went into the shop, got a pack of '11 Topps Pro Debut, took the picture, and went back in the car. The girl wanted to see the picture of me with the Griffey, so I sent it to her, and opened the Pro Debut pack. I pulled a Brandon Guyer card, and was happy, since he was a Ray. Fast forward to February of the next year, and I was engaged to the girl, and I got Brandon to sign the card at Rays fanfest. It wasn't too much longer, and I saw Brandon's MLB debut, and saw his first HR. Then, in 2016, I'm married to the girl, she is pregnant with our son, and we are watching the '16 World Series, and who is on the Indians but Brandon Guyer. That guy will always bring back good memories of me and my wife. 
Kevin really helped out my Favorite Player binder as well. I have a smattering of new Andruw Jones cards, including some early Upper Deck inserts, a few acetate-ish cards, and  a bat card featuring the Netherlands flag (awesome!!!). The Blyleven card is the oldest one I have besides his rookie, and I love the way the green on the Huff card makes it pop. 
The last picture includes the rest of the Chipper cards (continued from the last picture, some cool Big Papi cards (including 2 #d ones), a Heritage Chrome Scherzer, and a few other cards for smaller projects I have going. I appreciate Kevin paying attention to the smaller details on my Wantlist. It's always nice to get some new season/postseason highlight cards, a new Topps Gold card, and a card to put into my rookie binder. Much thanks to Kevin for the awsome trade package. I hope you enjoy yours as much as I did. 

Speaking of the awesome girl I married, she recently had a resident at her job talk about how he had a bunch of baseball cards he didn't need anymore. Karen let him know that I collect, and a member of the residents' family dropped some ziploc bags in her office filled with cards. After disinfecting and letting them sit for a day or so, I finally got to open the up, and was surprised to find that it was more than the '87 Topps, '88 Donruss, and '90 Topps that I was expecting. 
Aparently the guy had a lot of the sets that I didn't buy from '93-'97. There were a few junk wax cards, but I didn't think I saw very many dupes at all. These were all of the Tigers, and I don't think I will have more than 2 or 3 of these cards when I put them in my binders. 
There weren't any Rays in the box, but that's ok. I got some Tigers commons that I didn't have before. I also found a few guys in my PC, as well as some cool random cards. 
There were a ton of '94 UD Fun Pack cards. They had a ton of fun inserts that popped open and stuff. There was one of my PC guy Brent Gates. The oldest card in there was a '74 Topps Frank Tanana rookie. Wish I would've had that 2 months ago. My oldest sister got to meet him at this conference she was speaking at. She got a ball signed for me, but I would've loved to get the rookie signed. Also in the bags were early cards of Carlos Delgado and Vladdy. Back in '93 those Studio Heritage cards were a big pull. I don't know what the '95 Score Pudge card is. It has a rainbow sheen and the words 'Guaranteed Right, Guaranteed Scarce' on it. The back looks like a normal '95 Score card without the stats. Might be a promo or something. The '96 Topps Shannon Stewart is missing gold foil, and the Sorrento and Wells cards are Press Proofs. It was totally awesome to get such a good collection of cards instead of the normal sets you see that you already basically have the set of. If you need any cards to finish off your '94 Ted Williams set Night Owl, there were a good amount (and some inserts). Let me know what you need (I can probably finish off your '88 Fleer set once our LCS reopens).

I've posted before that I like to plant things. I don't always have time to take care and water them, but I like to plant some low-maintenance stuff and see what happens. I've been doing a little more planting and watering now that Kyler is here at the house with the day cares closed. On my days off with him, more often than not, if it is early enough we will water the plants in the back yard. We got a good amount of rain in the last 2-3 days, so stuff is finally starting to grow. Here is a sample of some stuff I have growing. 
The little green shoots are called '4-O-clocks'. They bloom around 4:00 each day. They have been starting to finally come up, and my coworker says they shoot up like weeds.
I have 2 milkweed plants, and I got a ton of seeds from them last year. I have been planting them, and I think pretty soon I'll put them somewhere in the 2 6 by 6 boxes I have in our front and back yard. There may be a sunfower or marigold in there, too.

This is the 6 by 6 box in the front yard. I built it, and placed it around the stump of a tree we had cut down. There are a few snapdragons in it, a milkweed plant, some morning glories, 1 or 2 sunflowers, and 2 gladiolas. I'll have to get a picture of the whole box, but you can see the snapdragon in this one.
Here is the box in the back. If it were a baseball diamond, at 2nd base, 3rd, and home, you have pineapples, a milkweed at 1st, and 3 gladiolas by the pitchers mound. There are other random things in it starting to pop up, including wildflowers, sunflowers, and 2 potato plants.

Lastly, this is the one I'm most proud of. About 3 years ago, I planted a pineapple top by the side of our house in the back yard. I water it every once in a while, but really just left it alone, and it finally started blossoming about 2 months ago. The pineapple is about the size of a pine cone, and it should be ready to pick by the end of the year. They are supposed to grow them faster after they get the first one grown, so with 2 of the plants in the back box being about a year behind this one, it won't be too long, and I can just go outside and pick a pineapple whenever I want.
So that's kind of what I've been doing for fun while not being able to go out. I thought about going in my garage with my digital piano and maybe recording a video or two of me doing some original songs. Perhaps if I get enough interest, I might do that. Are you doing any random hobbies with everything the way it is now?
I should have a few more trade packages coming in the next few weeks, including one from a guy who emailed me about Tigers customs. He has every Topps/Bowman Tigers card from 1949-1988, and offered to send me some Tigers dupes (possibly even a '52 Topps Tiger). He has an Instagram at BrewingCards, so check him out, he has some NICEEEE stuff. Thanks to everyone who has traded with me lately.
Thanks for checking out my latest post.

Friday, April 24, 2020

Trade with The Collector and cards from Rod

A couple of posts ago, I asked if anyone wanted to do some PWE trades. One of the first people to hit me up was Chris, author of The Collector. I had a few cards of guys he collects, and sent them over to him, and I recieved some guys I collect and some Rays. 

I am starting to get a good collection of Alex Cobb going now, and might have to start collecting. Between him and Richie Shaffer, I have amassed some really nice cards of 2 players I might not have considered collecting before. Just goes to show one of the many positive things about trading. The '18 Big League deGrom is new, and I love how it mentions on the back not only Chris Sale (a guy who went to my high school and a guy I collect), but also Stetson University, which is right across the street from my church. I think my favorite card is the '15 Topps Rainbow Steve Pearce (another guy who not only went to my high school, but was in my chemistry and drafting classes). 

I have been getting a lot of mail lately, doing a few larger trades, some PWE trades, and also claiming a few cards that Rod from Padrographs has been giving away. 
He had a few cards of the Rays and Tigers that piqued my interest. The '19 Nick Ciuffo Green Refractor is just a beautiful card, as is the '20 Donruss Tyler Glasnow. The Ziomek card is probably the penultimate Tigers guy I have if they were listed alphabetically, just behind Joel Zumaya. I was happy that the Riggans autograph was in his pile of giveaway cards. I saw him a few times in the minors and with the Rays, and had got his autograph a few times on different cards. When I sold a good portion of my autographs in 2013, all of my Riggans cards were included, so it's nice to get an autograph of him again. Much thanks to you, Rod, for all of the generocity and for all of the work you are doing with these giveaways.

Speaking of giveaways, I had one on my last post, and I still have 2 cards left, a 2010 Topps Chrome Mickey Mantle card, and a 2017 Topps Chrome Pink Refractor of Nelson Cruz. If you want either of those cards, leave me a comment or email. Also, whomever claimed the '18 Topps Gold Tanaka card, I need your address. If you could email it to me, I will have it in the mail asap.

Thanks for checking out my latest post.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Free stuff!!!

I decided to do a little giveaway post since a number of people on the blogosphere are doing it. Going from top to bottom, left to right we have:

2010 Topps Chrome Mickey Mantle
2000 Pacific Gold Crown Die Cuts Jeter
2018 Topps Gold Masahiro Tanaka
2018 Topps Chrome '83 Giancarlo Stanton
2017 Topps Chrome Purple Refractor Nelson Cruz
2018 Topps Independance Day Nelson Cruz
2018 Topps Chrome Purple Refractor Rougned Odor
2005 Studio Portraits Zenith Sepia Stan Musial
2005 Donruss Classics Legendary Players Eddie Murray

Send me a comment or e-mail me at karensjer at gmail dot com, and I will have a PWE out to you. If you don't think I have your address, please e-mail that to me as well.

Thanks, and stay safe!

*UPDATE* All except for the 2010 Topps Chrome Mantle and 2017 Topps Chrome Purple Refractor Cruz have been claimed. Whoever claimed the 2018 Topps Gold Tanaka, I still need your address.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Trade with The Collective Mind

Recently, Greg from The Collective Mind purchased a pretty big collection, and has been trying to disperse what he didn't need for his collection. I asked him if he would be willing to part with the Rays he had in it, and he was happy to oblige. I was able to find some SPs in my collection to help him with some sets, and he sent me back a nice box of over 100 Rays I didn't have. 

I was hoping there would be a nice chunk of late '90's and early '00's Rays represented, and the package Greg sent didn't disappoint. I love the Chrome cards ('98 Topps Flaherty and Saunders, '01 Bowman Kelly, and '02 Topps Riggans), the '00 Opening Day duo (Boggs and Canseco), and the '01 Fleer Focus Kelly was a parallel I have never heard of. On the way home from my senior prom, we stopped at a gas station, and I picked up a Fleer Focus pack and pulled a Chris Richard rookie. Rookies in that set were serial #d to 2,000, and it was my first ever serial #d card. This was was #d to 500, I believe, and the lettering is green instead of red, which leads me to believe it's a parallel.
The next photo is full of names and cards I remember. I always wanted to pull a Rays Joey Gomes card, but never did. Now I have 2. I believe I had each Pete LaForest card signed at some point. They got sold when I sold a bunch of my autographs, but I still have a lineup card signed by Pete where he hit a game-winning walkoff RBI 2B in the bottom of the 11th for the Orlando Rays against the Moblie Bay Bears in 2002, I believe. The '04 Topps Gold Crawford is new to me, as I don't even have the base version, surprisingly. 
A number of these sets I don't have many cards from, including the SP Authentic, and Topps Co-Signers ones. I plan on going through my want lists as soon as I get the remaining 5-6 missing player checklists done and also make a list of every sunset card. Once I update the page, I have a feeling a number of these new sets I have cards from will be completed. 
I purchased packs from each of these sets (besides the Co-Signers one), but all of these guys are new to me. It's kind of surprising I didn't have any from '11 Heritage, as I purchased a blaster and a good number of packs from that set. 
Here are some of the more recent sets and Guys I Collect. Although the Wells isn't a Rays card, it is a cool Serial #d parallel, so I will happily add it to my shiny card binder.
Greg was able to boost my Joey Gathright collection by 1 and my Aubrey Huff collection by 4. Thanks again for a great trade Greg!

I'm off tomorrow, so I'll probably try to spend some time going through binders in search of cards for some trades I'm in the midst of doing, but probably the majority of my day will be spent doing puzzles with my 3-year old. Here in Florida, the governor shut the schools down through the end of the school year. With my wife being in the medical field and her knowledge of the subject and with her compromised immune system, I think it's the right decision, although I'm as ready as anyone for this thing to be over with. I would think this would mean that all of the businesses will stay closed until then as well.
I feel lucky since both my wife and I have jobs that won't be shutting down anytime soon. Although I usually lean towards the republican side of things, I really applaud the left for coming up with the hero bill, which would give a lot of money to people in the front lines. I think it's a good idea, as they all need to be applauded. However, my only thing is that most families that have 1 (or more) people working on the 'front lines' won't really need the money to survive while everything is shut down. Why not use the money they have allocated for the 'hero bill' and give it to people who need it to make mortgage payments/food purchases due to not having a job? Why not use it to help small business owners pay the rent on their business? You can always issue some kind of check to people on the front lines whenever everything is all better again. I'm hoping that if we do end up with some kind of extra money out of all of this that we can use it to help someone who really needs it. Makes you realize how important things are and that as much relaxation as collecting can bring, that it is just a hobby. Hopefully everyone in the blogosphere and in the hobby makes it through ok.
Stay tuned in the next few days, and I'll try to pull a page or so of cards to give away, kind of in the style Rod from Padrographs and others are doing.
Thanks for checking out my latest post.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Rays customs and 4 burning questions

I've been kind of in a custom making mode lately. Between making a few to put into trade packages and getting a little tired of working on nothing but checklists, I've kind of been wanting to make customs, so I decided to try my hand at making customs of 2 of the most important moments in Rays history that were largely ignored in the 2012 Topps regular set.

Most everyone knows the story about the 2011 season where the Red Sox were leading the Wild Card by a number of games but then collapsed (or the Rays got hot as I like to look at it), and the Rays won the Wild Card spot on the last day of the season. The Rays did their part during the final game by beating the Yankees. The big blows were a HR by Dan Johnson with 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th, and a walkoff HR by Evan Longoria in the bottom of the 12th. The plays didn't make it into Topps's set in 2012. They would've made nice cards to have as checklists instead of giving checklists to retiring guys like Mariano Rivera and giving them another card. Here is my version of a Dan Johnson Highlight card.
And here's the Longoria card.
Another example of Topps not giving the Rays any love. I would've loved to see them get a card in the 2009 set highlighting their 1st World Series win in Game 2 of the '08 World Series. The game got a card in the '09 Heritage set, but instead it showed Eric Bruntlett's Home Run in the Philles loss. Come on, Topps!  Here is a card righting that wrong as well.
Since this would've been Jackie Robinson Day, here is an old custom I did in the '98 Topps set highlighting the 1st Jackie Robinson Day in 1997. 
This year is giving us a lot of 'what if?'s' and a number of unanswered questions. I figured I'd post some and see what everyone else thought. 
1. How are you getting your card fix right now? Packs from retail places? eBay/COMC/other online places? Trading?
2. What do you think will happen with upcoming card releases like Bowman? Will they be pushed back?
Those are kind of the questions that deal with everything right now. These next ones kind of take on a worst case scenerio theme.
3. Let's say that the MLB season gets shortened pretty well in 2020 and everything is shut down through the All-Star Break. Will this affect future card releases like Series 2? Will 2021 card releases sell very well? People that were old enough to remember the 1994 strike (I was 11) tell me that '95 card sets didn't sell very well. 
4. If the stay-at-home orders go on long enough, would it be enough to do some card shops in? I know we had a shop open up near me that isn't even a year old, and I can't really picture them being in a good position right now. They deal more with jerseys, replica rings and such, but they do have baseball cards. They had a good nickel box which I would've loved to spend a day digging through but haven't yet, and I just don't think they sold all of the things that weren't cards. This leads me to believe that they aren't going to be able to keep the doors open if they fall behind on the rent for very long. 

I really hope that everything opens up again soon and that the people in charge of making the decisions to open don't jump the gun either. I sure miss places like my card shop and such, but if everything opens too early, we will just be back where we started. While I'm waiting, I will still have fun things like trading, sorting cards, and making customs. I hope you can find things to pass the time too.
Stay safe.
Thanks for checking out my latest post.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

10 Things I don't like that most collectors do

Taking a queue from Dime Box Nick's recent post, I decided I would do one on 10 things that I don't care for that most collectors do.

These are in no particular order. Some have to do with collecting, some don't.

1. Mini cards.
For me, it just comes down to an issue with sorting and storage. When I pull a mini card fresh out of  a pack, it never fails to fall out of the stack as I am sorting them into teams. They are just easy to fall out of a stack because they are smaller. They are a pain to take out of a binder page. If you are putting a normal sized card in the page behind it, there is a good chance that the bigger card will be difficult to get into the spot, and many times, they fall behind the mini card and get on the wrong side of the page. Add to it the fact that mini cards have been overdone since around 2003, and you get my reasons for not caring for them. That doesn't mean don't send them to me, I will just wait until my stack is sorted before putting the minis in it, and I will take extra care when putting them into binder pages.

2. Panini Golden Age
2013 Panini Golden Age Baseball |
I know I am in the minority on this one. I have just never cared for the set. Never cared for the no logos, never cared for the design of it, and just never got the big deal of it. Topps puts out Allen & Ginter every year if you want your fix of non-baseball guys. I'm sure there is some set out there every year if you want TV people/celelbrities. Plus, if that is your only reason for buying the set in the first place, why buy it and get all of the baseball cards you don't want? When the cards first came out and I saw them on blog posts, the red box logo almost looked like it was a relic. I kind of thought the set was neat if it had tons of relic cards and wasn't very expensive. When I found out it was just the logo, I thought 'what is the big deal?'. So what if it has retired players on it. That's what Topps Archives (more on that later) is aparently for. With that being said (and the same goes for all of the card things on the list), if you send them to me, I will happily add them to my collection. I just don't get the big deal.

3. Allen & Ginter
2018 Topps Allen & Ginter Baseball Checklist, Set Info, Boxes ...
I'll admit, I purchased a pack of Allen & Ginter in 2006 when the hype behind the set started. I purchased 2 or 3 boxes of the 2011(?) set. Now, it just seems like it is the same thing over and over again. The designs are so similar, I can't tell them apart (note the '?' when I was talking about when I purchased the boxes of it). It has minis in it. It's usually a higher priced set, and just another set I don't really need to be buying packs from. Call me old and crotchety, but I'll stick with flagship Topps, a pack or 2 of Bowman, Donruss, Topps Chrome, and Update, and I'm good.

4. Pitchers hitting
I know in the couple of blogs I've seen with lists like these that most people said that everyone liked the DH, but everyone I've ever talked to is like 'wah, wah, wah, I don't like the DH!'. There is a reason why the AL adopted the DH. Nobody likes to watch a pitcher strike out or bunt. It's like being almost ready to leave work and getting stuck with a slow customer or having your idiot boss have you do some extra cleaning for half an hour. Nobody wants it. People are like 'the NL has strategy!' and 'well, Madison Bumgarner can hit good'. As for strategy, there are many ways for strategy to be in an AL game without having to see a sorry pitcher strike out. It is actually more strategic to HAVE to pitch to a DH with 2 outs and guys on base than being able to strike out the pitcher in the #9 spot for the last out. Guys will have to think on their toes instead of walking the #8 hitter to face the pitcher and escape the jam. As someone wrote in the comments of a blog I was reading, there isn't much stragegy in the NL. You know when the #9 spot is coming in the lineup, and you know the manager is going to pinch-hit. It will actually make pitchers that much better at pitching if they aren't going to have to waste 10% of their training time on hitting.

5. Low-scoring games
Speaking of pitching, I know all of these people who love low-scoring games, and I just don't get it. I love baseball, but I tell you what, it can get boring sometimes if nobody is scoring. If I wanted to watch something boring where nobody scores, I would just turn on some soccer (while muting the TV, of course, so I didn't have to hear those vuvuzela things). It's fun to see a no-hitter every now and then, but I've watched no-hitters on TV, and I've watched 24-17 games, and the latter are more fun to watch. I am always more in awe of power stats and some of the records that HR hitters have broken than pitchers and their records. Heck, even singles are kind of boring to me. Let's see some Home Runs and doubles in the gap.

6. The hit-and-run
I've never really cared for the hit-and-run in baseball. It can be effective when the batter actually hits the ball, but there are so many ways to create outs on the play. The hitter can miss the pitch altogether and the runner gets thrown out. The batter can hit a liner for a double play. The batter can pop it up or hit a fly ball, and you are back where you started, only with one more out. It can only be used with less than 2 strikes, because you have to hit whatever pitch is thrown no matter what. It can pay off if the batter does make contact, and you might even get really lucky and end up with guys on 1st and 3rd, but it's definitely playing Russian Roulette.

7. Relic card hate
2014 Topps Series 1 Baseball Checklist, Set Info, Boxes, Reviews, More
I love relic cards. They came out in '97, and I was just getting old enough to buy packs with my own money. I never hit one until 2002, but that didn't sour me against them. I think it's insane that you can own a piece of a jersey worn by your favorite player, a Hall of Famer, or just anyone who is a star in MLB. relic cards have opened up a myriad of different game-used things on cards, like cleats, hats, dirt, different parts of stadium, things from historical people, documents, grass, tickets, things flown in space, the list goes on. Give me all of your unwanted relics. I'll even take ones of the Yankee$. Just don't mention to me that they might not be real.

8. Derek Jeter

I got this picture from the Wikipedia page of an Error in baseball. Kind of funny. I've never got why everyone loves Jeter. He only got his shot in 1996 because Tony Fernandez went down with a season-ending injury. For all of the times he made a great play in the postseason, I can name you 2 where he struck out or hit into a double play. How did the Yankees make it to the postseason so many times from 2001-2010 and only end up with 1 title? Jeter. I can remember listening the the 2006 ALCS, and there were 2 times in the final game where Jeter could've pulled them ahead of the Indians, and he struck out and hit into a DP. Nobody talked about it. Everyone wants to talk about that catch where he went into the stands against Boston. Brandon Inge made an even better catch. Go ahead and watch it. I'll wait.
It was even put on a card.
Why didn't Inge get all of the publicity that Jeter got? Because Jeter is in New York and his highlights get played daily, even if they aren't good, and Inge is in Detroit, and only people in Detroit know about the Tigers. Sure, Jeter has got a lot of hits and made the 1 play against Oakland, but other than that, if you take a good look at his defense (not being able to make plays to his right), make park adjustments on power for playing in a bandbox like Old Yankee Stadium, and maybe take his highlights with a grain of salt since he played in New York and they are constantly put on the news, then maybe the crap comes out from underneath the rug and you realize that he was a decent player, maybe a borderline Hall of Famer, but certainly not as good as the analysts want you to think he is.

9. Mike Trout
Kind of similar to Jeter, Trout's name is mentioned on all of the talk shows and highlight shows. He is good, but he was NOT good enough to win an MVP award away from Miguel Cabrera in a Triple Crown season. I don't care if the Tigers would've lost 100 games, you give the MVP to the guy who wins the Triple Crown! I think Trout is just like Jeter where if his name would be mentioned a little less, maybe like an Alex Bregman or Acuna or Javy Baez, then maybe I would like him more. Kind of like that Counting Crows song that you liked at first, but now it's been played a zillion times and you can't stand it (Wait. That's all of their songs). I guess I'm defensive because I'm a Tigers fan and I'm sick of people saying he should've won all of these MVP awards. I really think Bregman should've won it last year, but you don't see me and all of the people in Houston whining about it. Trout can take his stolen MVP awards and put them on his mantle at home, but that's going to be the only thing you see on it until the Angels get some better players. If Trout was so good, why doesn't he hit 4 HRs every game and make it so the Angels don't have to worry about pitching or scoring runs. I like how he plays baseball at 100% but you have to wonder if he would've legitimized all of the talk about him if he could actually play a full season. I believe it was this season where he was leading the AL in HRs that I was starting to perhaps come around on him, but then he got injured again, and his quest for 50 HRs went bye bye. Time will tell, but for now, it just seems like he's's golden child and he can do no wrong, but I get sick of hearing about him 24/7.

10. Not getting Rays hits (or Rays cards at all, for that matter)
There is nothing better to me than buying a pack of baseball cards, and getting some Rays in them. Well, one thing is better: getting a Rays hit. It doesn't happen very often for me. I believe the last one I pulled was a 2017 Evan Longoria Blue parallel from 2017 Topps. Other than that, it's been a few parallel cards, and maybe a jersey card. Everyone who pulls Rays hits complains, but I feel the same way when I pull Yankees, Rangers, Twins, Indians, Giants, etc. hits (I would like to note that although it is in the picture, I don't consider manufactured-whatever cards as 'hits'). I think that's why trading is so important to these blogs. I pull a Dodger hit and send it over to Night Owl. I pull a Brian Giles parallel, but know that Gavin collects him, so off to Portland. No matter what hit or base card I pull, there is a good chance that someone on the blogosphere could use it. I have been doing a lot of trading lately, and it's alwasy surprising to look on someones want list and see that you had random cards they could use just sitting away in a binder. Cards that you could really live without. So you pull them and turn them into cards you could use. Like Rays guys.

I hope this post wasn't negative and didn't turn you off to me as a person. It is kind of interesting to me to read what other people don't care for and then reading some of the comments posted. I think my biggest fear is that I wrote some of this stuff out of ignorance and then someone is going to blow me away and make Jeter look even better, but I guess I'll take that risk. Thanks to Nick for getting this whole thing started.

Stay safe, stay healthy, and stay inside when all possible.

Thanks for checking out my latest post.

Monday, April 6, 2020

Trade with Highly Subjective and Completely Arbitrary

A few weeks ago, I stumbled across the blog Highly Subjective and Completely Arbitrary. While reading some posts and getting familiar with the blog, I came on a Free Stuff Friday post that had a nice Enny Romero auto/jersey card. Can you imagine that? Someone wanting to get rid of a Rays hit? I immedeately sent Brian an e-mail and we got a trade going. Brian was extremely fast at getting the cards to me, and I was able to put his package in today. I recieved a bunch of Rays cards, a good selection of cards from the early Rays years and current Rays guys. 

The first card is from the '97 Topps set, which was the first year Rays got cards in a set. The '98 Bowman Chrome Yan is a card I wished I had about 15 year ago, as I would've been able to get it signed multiple times, as Yan bounced back and forth between the Rays and Tigers, 2 teams I've ssen in person around a hundred times. The '00 Opening Day Martinez is a kind of interesting card. I thought that only stars got cards in Opening Day, and Dave was ok, but I'm really surprised that he got cards in '98-'01 Topps sets, let alone the '00 Opening Day one. The card next to it, the '00 UD Ultimate Victory Greg Vaughn, was a card that I once had, got signed, and then ended up selling when I dumped a bunch of my autographs. The rest of the picture feature such Rays stars as Randy Winn, Joe Kennedy, Vinny Castilla, Ben Grieve, Carl Crawford, and Delmon Young. Guys who (except for Crawford) played with the team a bit to early to see the fruits of their labor in the postseason.
Next photo, we get to the era of where I didn't purchase too many cards from. Many of these are new to me, and some of my favorites are the Riley Unroe '14 Bowman Sterling autograph, the David Price Target Red parallel, the Crawford Signature Skills card, the Price Draft insert, and of course, the Romero that got this whole trade started. The jersey is really textured, and I've never got a relic card like it.
This photo is highlighted by a ton of '15 Heritage, and a bunch of '17 Topps horizontal cards. When I finally redo my wantlist page, I think many sets, including the '15 Heritage one, will either be completed or really close to being finished. The '17 Cobb and Team card are All-Star Game parallels, the Longo is a Chrome, and the DeLeon is a Holiday card. 
Lastly, we get a '19 Walgreens Yellow of Yandy Diaz, a '94 Topps Future Star Flashback of Austin Meadows (amazing!), and some cool Chrome cards. I really like the Rays future. With guys like Willy Adames (with a Future Star adn base refractor), Charlie Morton (Chrome), Kevin Kiermaier (Fish-Fractor), the aforementioned Meadows, pitchers like Tyler Glasnow, Blake Snell, Brett Honeywell, dual guy Brendan McKay, and others, I think the Rays have a solid pitching staff and some good young hitters who will hopefully help them beat out the tough AL East and get to the World Series again. Unlike my other favorite team Detroit, who only has their pitching staff set up for the future, the Rays also have young hitters. Let's hope the Yankees, Red Sox, and other AL teams get old.
The last 5 cards are guys for my Favorite Player binders, in Rolando Arrojo, John Jaso, Quinton McCracken, Bubba Trammell, and Doug Waechter.

I hope everyone is staying put (as much as they can), and is being able to stay healthy as well as make ends meet, whether they are working outside the house or at home. Thanks to everyone who has traded with me during these times. It is helping me keep my mind of all of the madness.

Thanks for checking out my latest post.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Finally got some '20 Donruss (and '20 Opening Day)

I'm fortunate that I work as a baker at a grocery store. My job is secure through the duration of these shutdowns. Should I run out of something like toilet paper (why are people hoarding it for craps sakes??!) or something, I can get it before the store opens. It also give some added frustrations. The amount of people that come in the store can be insane at times. I'm positive it's more crowded than normal days and closer to the amount of people that would be there during holidays at times during the day. People don't get that we can only bake a certain amount of bread at a time, and that it takes time to bake all of it. At times, I would love to be like others I've read about on blogs, who have a little extra time to devote to the hobby, yardwork, or binge-watching a show.
I tend to look at the bad side of things, and it's one of the worst points of me, and so it's hard for me to see and end to all of this. I feel like if people keep going out to places just to get out of the house and not planning their shopping to only do it 2-3 times a month, that all of these lockdowns won't ever end. My wife works at an assisted living facility as their Director of Nursing, and she had a conference call with the CDC, and they were afraid that these closings could last 12-18 months, so that doesn't help my outlook either. 

Fortunately, my wife got me some cards the other day, and cards are always good to take my mind off of tough times. I have been wanting some '20 Donruss cards for a while so I could check out some of the parallels. Before everything was shut down, we went to Target and Wal-Mart, and they were out. We have been out of some things that we normally get at Target for a few weeks now, so my wife decided to go to Target yesterday, and I asked if she would look for some '20 Donruss for me. The had it, so she got me a pack, a hanging box, and 2 packs of '20 Opening Day (are you used to seeing the current years' cards listed as '20 Topps/'20 Donruss/'20 Whatever yet?  Not me).

I wasn't thrilled with the '20 Donruss base design from what I've seen on blogs, and seeing them in person didn't really change that. The base cards almost remind me of the '91 Donruss set. The '86 set cards were nice, and overall, I loved the parallels. Here are the highlights I've got. 

I wouldn't count the Bumgarner card as a D-Back card, since he is pictured as a Giant. The 2nd Alzolay is a variation. After going through the cards a few times, I figured out that the '86 cards have a black circle with the number if it is a variation card, and the normal cards that are variations have an old-school Donruss 'D' on the back. The ballpark one is of whatever the Reds stadium is called now. I have pulled 2 of the Alvarez Opening Day card. I believe I pulled a gold version from the regular Topps set, and forgot that he was one of the hottest rookies last year until I read a COMC blog post about the hottest rookies in '20 sets. The Harper card is an actual sticker. The Bell is an alternate city name variation. I've seen the Clemente card before, and if Collecting Cutch needs it for his Clemente collection, I will set it aside. I did well with Nats, pulling a Soto sticker and National's park card from the Opening Day. The Betts is an alternate city variation, the Rice is a normal '86. The Bradley is a variation. The last ballpark is of Seattle, and I pulled a Rangers mascot from the Opening Day packs. 
A few months back, my wife got a matcing game for our 3-year old Kyler, and he has loved playing with it and has gotten pretty good at recognizing some of the MLB teams. He usually gets the Cubs, Reds, Rockies, Marlins, Brewers, Phillies, Pirates, Padres, Red Sox, White Sox, Indians, Tigers, Angels, Yankees, Rays, and Blue Jays right. When he saw the cards, he recognized the Rangers logo on the mascot card, and thought the mascot was a cow. It's been fun hanging out with Kyler on my days off since his day care is closed. He's got to the point where we play the matching game a lot, he asks to watch baseball, and helps me in the garden just about every time. 

Back to the baseball cards. Here are the rookies and parallels. The Alvarez is technically a dupe, but one will go in my rookie binder, and the other in my Astros binder. The Olson parallel confused the heck out of me when I first saw it. I remember one of the Donruss sets had like donut parallels or something, and after looking at the back of the pack, I realized that it was a 'Baby Shark' parallel. Would've liked to have only seen these with Nats cards, but oh well. The first 2 Now Playing cards are Diamond parallels, and the 2nd Tatis towards the end is a Vector parallel. The next 4 cards are Orange parallels, then 3 Red ones, and the aforementioned Tatis Vector. Don't know how the Votto got in the picture. It is a double if anyone wants it.
On to my favorite pulls out of any packs I get, the Favorite Players, Tigers, and Rays. The Blyleven and Bogaerts are normal cards, the DeGrom is a varaition. The Dozier I think finally evens out the parallel/base card scale with his cards. Hicks and an Orange variation of Scherzer round out the Favorite Players. I'm not sure what the Cabrera Diamond King is. I didn't see any Blue parallels listed, but it is some kind of parallel. I picked up another Cabrera from Opening Day, as well as a Goodrum and a Paws insert. Got lucky and picked up 2 Rays from Donruss, and 2 from Opening Day.
I genuinely hope all of this craziness ends and life will get back to normal sooner than later. I know I have taken a lot of things for granted lately. Things like going to ballgames whenever, going to a card shop whenever, having a full day off by myself, playing with the band at church, going out to eat inside a restaurant with my wife, and countless other things. I guess I'll just get through these times by working at a job that I'm fortunate is still open, finishing up these missing player checklists (working on 2011 now), doing baseball stuff with Kyler on days off, trading (only with those who are comfortable doing so, I have 2-3 in the works currently), and perhaps getting some stuff done around the house. Oh yeah. And cards. Between trades and purchasing packs every now and then, there will always be new cards to sort.

Stay safe, stay in, and stay healthy. Thanks for checking out my latest post.