Friday, July 31, 2020

Epic trade with Johnny's Trading Spot

Around the 3rd week of June, I recieved a decent sized package from John of Johnny's Trading Spot. When I say decent, I mean huge. 

I had so much fun going through them, and it probably took a good 2-3 days to get everything organized and separated. John has been hooking me up with Rays for the past year now. I'm not surprised that he has a good amount of Rays, seeing as he spends part of his time in Ocala. Shortly before we started trading, we actually attended the same baseball card show but didn't know it. I really hope to swing by Ocala sometime or attend a card show and meet up with John whenever this covid stuff starts dying down. Ocala is only about an hour and a half away from me, and I would love to see his card room and all of the set binders he has been working on. 
Ok, now on to the cards. First up is probably one of the first ever Devil Rays card sets. I know nothing about the issue, other than it has the Lykes logo on the back (they put out some Braves sets in the early '90's), and they look like they were punched out from sheets. It looks like they were from 1 or 2 of the Rays' first minor league teams, and I feel like I have to be close to having a complete set. 
Even myself, living in Rays territory since 1990 (6 years before the franchise was even announced), didn't recognize all of the names of the guys in the set. Some guys you will probably recognize that appeared in it were Mickey Callaway (former Mets manager), Tom Foley (former utility infielder and longtime Rays coach), and Alex Sanchez (the first guy to get busted and suspended for taking PEDs). 
While I am only highlighting a few cards, it does not take away from the fact that this was an completely amazing box that John sent, which forced me to add 1 or 2 binders to my Rays collection. 
Some highlights for me included a 1998 Topps Minted in Cooperstown parallel of Rob Butler (always thought he would be a 25+HR hitter with a .300 Avg., a 1999 team photo card (still want to find a 1998 team photo), a cool insert of Canseco, a cool looking Gold Crown Die-Cut of Greg Vaughn, a 2000 SPx Vaughn (first 2000 SPx card I ever owned), and a 2000 Topps Home Team Advantage Josh Hamilton Draft Pick card. John sent near-complete sets of a few HTA and Limited Edition Topps sets, which was cool, as I've never ever come across a card from these kind of sets. The next row included a 2000 Topps Dave Martinez (I had a few copies of the Opening Day version, but never came across the plain Topps one), a 2001 Topps Mike DiFelice (had this card signed back in the day, but it got sold, as did many of the cards pictured), and a 2002 Steve Cox HTA card that I think more people should be talking about. I've always loved the photo on this card. I usually don't pay that much attention to photos on cards. Usually, I just care who the player is, and what team they are from. This photo is funny to me, as you can tell Cox is trying not to get hit by a pitch, the pitch kind of looks like it is going to hit his groin area, and his last name also sounds like an innuendo of where it looks like the pitch is going to hit him. At one point, I had the regular version of this card autographed by Cox. The next card, a 2002 Topps 206 Toby Hall, I had autographed as well, and it didn't make the cut of keepers. The Delmon Young card looked very strange to me, and I finally figured out that all of the 2003 Upper Deck cards had the players uniform number on the left hand part of the nameplate, and the Young doesn't. Also, he is pictured in a photoshopped uniform as well.The James Houser card was one I didn't have of him. I saw him play for the Montgomery Biscuits in 2006 or 2007, and I had some cards of his to get signed. As he signed, I mentioned how I had opened lots of packs since the cards I had of him had come out (2003 and 2004), and how I was surprised how I hadn't seen any more cards of his. He told me that after he had the 2 Bowman cards come out, that he reconsidered signing or something, and wanted to wait a little bit before his first Topps rookie card came out. Interesting, but I guess if you're in the minors, you don't want Topps making tons of money off of you if you don't ever make it to the show. The Marlon Anderson is a Stat Line Parallel, my 2nd from that set (Carl Crawford was the 1st). The Brazelton is a 1st Edition card. I never pulled many Rays from the 2004 Heritage set, so it was nice to see a Carl Crawford from the set. I had the '04 UD Vintage Zambrano signed before. He is one of my favorite Rays, since he put up good numbers for us, got traded, and then got us Scott Kazmir. The Lou Piniella is a 1st Edition, and the Kazmir is a Museum Collection card. The next 3 are Topps/Bowman parallels, a Glenn Gibson refractor, David Price Green, and JP Howell Orange. The Dylan Floro is a mini refractor?, and the Curt Casali might be my first Casali card, and it is autographed. Another Bowman mini refractor makes an appearance with the Justin Williams card. The 2015 Kevin Kiermaier's are as follows: Toys R Us Purple, Opening Day Blue, and Rays team set. I also believe I have the Opening Day and regular base Topps card. I love the Talent Pipeline Bowman cards, and I believe I have 2 including this one. I hope to get all of the ones eventually. 
The next page starts off with a card that I should've had for a while, and almost ended up on my most wanted list. The 2018 Topps Daniel Robertson was the last card I needed to complete the '18 Topps/Update Rays set. The Kiermaier is a Holiday Metallic card. Be sure to feel all of your Holiday cards. I wouldn't have known it was different if I accidentally hadn't felt the snowflake part. The Wander Franco Bowman Platinum was an exciting card to get, and it completes my '19 Bowman Heritage Rays set. The highlights of the Rays finish up with an '19 Optic insert of Blake Snell.
Next up are some Favorite Players. First is a Rolando Arrojo I didn't have. You don't see it here, but John sent me about 20 new Paul DeJong cards. These 2 are my favorite, a '17 Topps Gold rookie, and an '18 Chrome Pink Refractor. Another DeJong, this time Sidney, makes an appearance with his World Future Stars card from 2006 Upper Deck. I already have the '99 Fleer Tradition Eddie Gaillard, but this one will go in my Rays binder. 2 additions to my Joey Gathright and Gabe Gross collections, and some nice Aubrey Huffs for his part of my binder. The Jaso is part of the '15 team set. I had never seen the '08 Chrome Elliot Johnson, even though I opened at least a few packs of it. I'm not a big Fleer guy, so if you can't find anything to trade me, I probably won't have much from Fleer sets, as it is with the Fleer Focus Quinton McCracken. The Justin Ruggiano and Luke Scott cards were new, and while I had the Topps versions of the Bubba Trammell and Doug Waechter cards, I didn't have the HTA and 1st Edition versions. I believe I've opened 2 packs of Allen & Ginter in the past 8 years, so the Zobrist was one I hadn't seen, and it can be hit or miss with Heritage for me, depending on money and if I've opened a ton of Series 1 or Opening Day or there is newer product on the shelves. I guess I didn't have this particular Heritage of Zorilla, who is now retired. 
Lastly, John sent me some hockey cards. I don't collect hockey, although I enjoy watching the sport from time to time. However, these cards will definitely find a place in my collection. The first 9 cards are from the first Tampa Bay Lightning team. I remember getting some Lightning shirts pretty early during their history, and I wish I had kept them. The last card highlights Wayne Gretzky breaking Gordie Howe's goal record, and that will take up a spot in my highlight binder.

Thanks so much John for the awesome package of goodies! I look forward to playing bingo tonight (that is, if I don't get caught up at the grocery store).
Thanks for checking out my latest post.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

All Tuckered out

Getting "Tuckered". It has happened to the veteran collector, the kid who purcahsed his first packs this year, even the Bowman-hunting idiot who hoarded all of the new boxes of baseball cards put out in Target since March of this year. It started out innocently enough in 1998, perhaps just an oversight by an employee at Topps. Now it is just ridiculous, and nobody does a thing about it. It is time to stop that! I am going to list each and every time that Topps has Tuckered us collectors and hold them accountable. "What is Tuckering?", you say. I'm glad you asked.

Back in 1998, Michael Tucker of the Braves had a card in the 1998 Topps Series 1 set, card #19.
Really, a nice card, complete with a vertical post of him sliding. I actually pulled this card once apon a time. I must've not opened many Series 2 packs, because I missed out on pulling this next card.
That's right. Another Michael Tucker Braves card. This time it is card #410, and in Series 2. Why do we need 2 Michael Tucker Braves cards in the '98 Topps set?  It would only get worse.
Fast forward a few years to 2001. Topps was going to give us a big 2001 set with 792 cards in it. Managers would get a card, many middle relievers would get a card. Michael Tucker got a card in Series 1, card #132
I pulled this one from a pack, and looked forward to getting some Series 2 packs when it came out. Unfortunately, when I busted some Series 2, this card came out of one of the packs.
That's right. Another '01 Topps Michael Tucker Reds card. Card #703. Yep. Topps did it again. I don't know why Tucker ended up with it happening TWICE to him, but for me, he is the poster child of getting 2 cards in the same set picturing him playing for the same team, so I submit to the collecting gods and powers that be for every time that this happens to be called "Getting Tuckered".

Why is getting Tuckered bad? Because as a collector who opens a few packs of most sets that are put in front of me at Target and Wally World, I want to get the most for my money. If I wanted 2 2020 card of some random player, I would buy them. I honestly don't need 2 2020 Topps cards of Ryan Braun picturing him as a Brewer, and I don't think anyone else does. Give the spot in the set to a middle reliever, or some guy on the Rays who I will never own a card of. It's bad enough that for the league leader cards they take up 3 cards instead of just one. Why do we need all of these cards that we don't want taking up space in the sets?

If you don't think Topps has Tuckered us very much, think again. Here is a list of all of the times we've been Tuckered since they started doing it to us in 1998. (I somehow don't have the 2017 and 2018 Topps sets in my findings, but wouldn't be surprised if there are a few cases in those sets. Let me know if you find any).

1954 Ted Williams
card #1
card #250
While doing my research, I stumbled on these cards, which I'm surprised I forgot. I guess we can't really talk about getting Tuckered by Topps before we talk about the very first time it happened with the 1954 Topps set featuring 2 Ted Williams cards. 

1998 Michael Tucker
card #19
 card #410
2000 Todd Zeile
 card #293
card #T107
Mike Lowell
card #133
card #392
2001 Michael Tucker
 card #132
card #703
Brian Meadows
 card #316
card #486
It's at this point where I want to point out that it is the exact freaking SAME PHOTO! Just moved up and to the right about a millimeter or two. The Lifetime Topps Project did a good article about the card. Back to the Tuckering.

AJ Hinch

card #469
card #T157
Matt LeCroy
card #667
card #T204
2003 Shawn Estes

card #580
card #T14
Joe Girardi
card #521
card #T26
Eric Owens
 card #379
card #T104
2004 Juan Encarnacion

card #172
card #T64
2006 Fausto Carmona
 card #308
card #UH157
2007 Bengie Molina
card #4
card #342
Brian Burres
card #289
card #UH330
Edgar Gonzalez
card #462
card #UH296
Ubaldo Jimenez
card #43
card #296
Steve Trachsel

card #558
card #UH5
Gary Sheffield
 card #133
card #470
Mike Rabelo
 card #294
card #636
Carlos Silva
 card #91
card #UH29
Ron Belliard
card #551
card #UH7
2008 Jason Jennings
 card #374
card #UH230
Willie Aybar
 card #654
card #UH217
Darin Erstad
 card #656
card #UH151
Rod Barajas
 card #652
card #UH187
2009 Stephen Drew
 card #39
card #345
Gaby Sanchez
 card #202
card #UH278
Mike Cameron (SABR Card Blog did an article about these 2 cards)
 card #162
card #346
 Nick Hundley
card #101
 card #514
Edgar Renteria
 card #558
card #UH160
2010 Akinori Iwamura

card #256
card #UH54
Russell Branyan
card #221
 card #US19
2011 Jason Hammel
 card #338
card #642
Adrian Gonzalez
 card #425
card #US1
2012 Matt Downs
 card #522
card #US244
Mike (Giancarlo) Stanton (this one I guess I could see a reason for since he decided to change monikers after the first card was issued)
card #567
 card #US154
Eric Chavez (wouldn't have got a 2nd card if he was an Athletic, would he?)

card #618

card #US45
Wade Davis

card #48
card #578
2013 Chris Carter

card #607
card #US141
Daniel Nava
card #66
card #US185
Matt Adams (This is where Topps is just getting lazy. They don't put Adams in Series 1 or 2, then they decide to give him 2 UPDATE CARDS???!!!)
card #US4
 card #US213
Dayan Viciedo

card #437
card #US57
2014 Mike Olt
card #386
card #US219
Alfredo Simon

card #21
card #US112
Ramon Santiago

card #406
card #US163
Brett Anderson

card #431
card #US116
Justin Morneau

card #465
card #US165
Ryan Wheeler
card #352
 card #US227
Santiago Casilla
 card #636
card #US307
Jackie Bradley, Jr. (Really, Topps? A card just to have one without the Future Star notation?!)

card #439
card #US110
Adam Eaton (Again, Topps?!)

card #555
card #US62
Matt Shoemaker

card #163
card #US268
Kendrys Morales

card #156
card #US22
Dustin Ackley

card #9
card #US328
2015 Vance Worley
card #66
 card #US70
Eric Sogard

card #87
card #US150
RJ Alvarez
card #689
card #US261
2016 Daniel Hudson (This is the guy Topps made a card of that had a photo of him getting injured, maybe they were just making it up to him)
 card #620
card #US60
Tyler Flowers
card #701
 card #US131
Chris Coghlan
card #231
 card #US274
Keon Broxton (went to same high school as me)

card #364
 card #US108
Jon Niese

card #145
card #US37
Pedro Alvarez
 card #367
card #US8
Sam Dyson

card #389
card #US248
Steve Pearce (classmate of mine, and my favorite instance of Topps Tuckering us with not 1, not 2, but 3 cards in the 2016 Topps/Topps Update set, including 2 in Update alone! 
 card #303
 card #US51
card #US64
(now, don't forget that I didn't keep records for the 2017 and 2018 Topps sets, so there are probably some from those years that I missed)

2019 Zach Greinke

card #222
card #661
Jeurys Familia

card #589
card #US156
Ian Kinsler

card #525
card #US22
And finally, Lance Lynn

card #532
card #US258

Now that's a ton of extra cards there, my friends. 2014 was especially bad. I haven't purchased much 2020 Series 2, but who knows, there are probably some in there, and whenever Update comes out, we will get a final verdict, but you get my point. There are way too many instances nowdays when Topps puts a card into Series 2 or Update when it doesn't need to be there because they already got a Series 1 or 2 card showing them with the same team. It just shows another instance of when Topps hires cheap people right out of college who don't follow the sport, but are just anxious to get thier foot in the door so they can get some experience, and then leave in 2-3 years for their dream data input or whatever job. HIRE SOME FREAKING BASEBALL FANS, TOPPS!  You already have that Sooz lady that people sometimes talk about. That's a start. Why don't you have her or somebody like Fuji or Night Owl start making the checklists? This is almost enough to make me want to start a Twitter account just so I can @Topps this post and maybe someone will read it. This took me a lot of time and research to do, and this was just going from the '98 to '19 sets. That's only 21 years. I'm sure I've missed some. Give us some good quality product Topps! We wouldn't be seeing this if Upper Deck had a license. Actually, Upper Deck was pretty bad at Tuckering us as well. I'm not really a big UD guy, but I can think of at least a Jon Lester, Kevin Kouzmanoff, Carl Crawford, and Pat Burrell card off of the top of my head, and those are just from 3 or so sets. I'm just saying that a little friendly competition does nothing but make the product better. 

With this post done, I just have to write one about my big trade with John, work up a post for another blogger, which will be seen on his blog once I finish it, and pretty much, the big projects and things blog wise are out of the way, and I'll be crankin customs out.
Thanks for checking out my latest post, and if you like the term Tuckering, start spreading it around.