Saturday, August 30, 2008

Trade Me Your Brewers: Trade #16

An envelope arrived not too long ago. It was from a guy named Chris from Ohio. Let's see what's in it.

2002 Leaf Certified Sample #138 Nick Neugebauer +1
Fun to say name from a fragile player.

2002 Topps Chrome #281 Davey Lopes +1
Another failed experiment in blue.

2001 Upper Deck SP Authentic #49 Jeromy Burnitz +1
I have run out of things to say about certain players. I will therefore distract you with the names of television shows about police. " The Shield."

2003 Upper Deck MVP #110 Eric Young +1
These cup-of-coffee Brewers give me stomachaches.

2000 Upper Deck SPx #14 Jeromy Burnitz +1
"Hill Street Blues."

1980 Topps #579 Charlie Moore +1
Charlie is looking towards the near future in the card, and what he sees is bright.

2004 Topps #29 Richie Sexson +1
"Cop Rock."

2006 Upper Deck #SA-TG Tony Gwynn, Jr. Star Attractions +1
Tony Gwynn is not a star, nor is he even an attraction, at least for the Brewers.

2005 Upper Deck MLB Artifacts #141 Rickie Weeks Future Stars (0741/1350) +4
So I see Topps failed to copyright the subset name "Future Stars." Perhaps I'll give the boys down at General Mills a call, let them know they've got a franchise product name that just fell into their lap.

2006 Upper Deck #941 Jose Capellan (99/99) +3
Chris Harris traded me this one already, so there are no points for originality, but the three points for serial numeration still apply.

2002 Topps Gold #174 Devon White (1257/2002) +4
There's that stomach pain again. Please remember that guys like this are no way to build a winning ball club.

2004 Donruss Classics #178 Rickie Weeks (0441/1999) +4
Rickie needs to get red hot at the end of the season.

2007 Upper Deck SPx #WM-BS Ben Sheets Winning Materials (197/199) +9
Chris is beginning to mount a charge here.

2006 Upper Deck SP Authentic #ST-JC Jose Capellan Sign of the Times (51/75) +14
That's a really neat autograph he's got there. There's a "J" "S" and "PP". I wonder if there's any significance to the letters Jose chooses to make legible.

1994 Signature Rookies #82 Steve Woodard (4471/7750) +14
If I had to sign my name 7,750 times, it would definitely not look that neat, especially somewhere in the middle of the run. I don't think I sign my name that many times in a year. Maybe not in five years. Wow.

2004 Upper Deck Etchings #ET-LO Lyle Overbay Etched in Time (1179/1325) +14
This card highlights the need for me to create my dream card set. The first on the list would be an autographed Joshua Trundle Holiday Moments card. And what would the signature read? Obviously, "All of Us."

1998 Upper Deck SPx #295 Marquis Grissom "radiance" (4421/4500) +4
Kojak.
1998 Upper Deck SPx #207 Mike Kinkade Youth Movement (0718/1250) +4
Aside from 1959 Topps, all lower case on cards stinks.

2005 Donruss Zenith #ZB-52 Paul Molitor +6
Touching this card, I could feel that the piece of bat was used in Molitor's 39-game hitting streak at some point. I have no way of proving this, but all nonbelievers are heretics.

2005 Donruss Leather and Lumber #LC-39 Lyle Overbay Lumber Cuts (054/128) +19
How many Sharpies did Donruss go through with this set. I'd imagine that signing on wood like this would wear out tips pretty quickly. Way to go with a really aesthetically pleasing signature, Lyle.

That last monster puts Chris from Ohio over the top. 107 points... amazing. I'm simply astonished that Chris Harris was overtaken.

STANDINGS
1. 107 pts: Chris from Ohio
2. 90 pts: Chris from Stale Gum
3. 72 pts: dayf from Cardboard Junkie
4. 42 pts: Cliff from Capewood's Collections
5. 30 pts: Dan from New York
6. 23 pts: Rob from Rangers Cards
6. 23 pts: Eric from Iowa
8. 20 pts: Patricia and Lucy from Dinged Corners
8. 20 pts: William from Virginia
8. 20 pts: Don from Arkansas
11. 19 pts: Kerry from Oregon
12. 18 pts: David from Tribe Cards
13. 17 pts: Paul from Pennsylvania
13. 17 pts: Bo from New York
15. 16 pts: Amy from Pennsylvania
16. 14 pts: John from the UK

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Trade Me Your Brewers: Trade #15

My mailbox has been looking pretty empty lately, but I've got another trade to post today. This comes from Amy is Pennsylvania. I've had a few people ask when the contest will end. Some people have agreed to trade but haven't sent anything yet. Because of this, I'm making next Friday, September 5, the cutoff date for trades reaching me. Anything received after that will not be a part of the contest. If anyone still wants in and thinks they can challenge the leaders, get in contact with me.
Now, here's what Amy sent.
2004 Topps Fan Favorites #135 Gorman Thomas +1
Another nice addition to this cool set.

1981 Topps #659 Brewers Future Stars +0
I completed the 1981 set not too long ago. Sorry.

2007 Bowman #BP15 Michael Brantley +0
Despite not buying this product, I have this card. Someone already sent me this as a throw-in part of a trade prior to this contest.

2002 Topps Total #MIL12 Paul Rigdon +1
I kind of remember the name. The back of the card states that Paul had "major elbow surgery" in 2001, but still said he had a "bright future." He actually never pitched another game.

2003 Leaf #191 Jeffrey Hammonds +0
Traded to me in Trade #11.

2004 Donruss #299 Wes Helms +1
A similar card was already traded to me, but it was serial numbered. This one is not.

2005 Topps Heritage #196 Geoff Jenkins +1
Easily my favorite card of this lot. If I was collecting when this set came out, I'd be a lot poorer right now.

2001 Donruss Classics #69 Geoff Jenkins +1
Another nice Jenkins card, very smooth and somewhat similar to stainless steel.

2004 Fleer Paltinum #169 Geoff Jenkins +0
Acquired in Trade #7.

2004 Flair #22 Scott Podsednik +1
This guy would have been good for the current squad down the stretch.

2005 Fleer Ultra #138 Junior Spivey +1
This set has huge numbers on the back. Plus the player's name looks what you see on the back of high school letter jackets. Pretty neat.

2002 Upper Deck MVP #158 Richie Sexson and #159 Geoff Jenkins +2
Hmmmm, I haven't checked in on Richie since he's been signed by the Yankees. Let's see...he hit a grand slam on August 5th, then was designated for assignment ten days later.

1984 Topps #35 Don Sutton, #630 Ted Simmons, and #718 Save Leaders +1
Man, it's tough to get in on this so late! Someone already traded me the Sutton, and I got the Fingers out of a pack of Hidden Treasures, of all places. The Simmons salvages the point.

2003 Upper Deck Forty Man #413 Richie Sexson +1
Ironic that Sexson is now on nobody's forty-man.

2004 Donruss Studio #110 Lyle Overbay +1
I hope Lyle enjoyed the boat trip he's on. That's the only vantage point from which this photo of the Milwaukee skyline is possible.

2004 Donruss #39 Alejandro Machado Rated Rookie +1
Quite a confusing card. He never actually played for the Brewers. He certainly got around a lot, but earned only five at bats in the majors, for Boston in 2005. Most interestingly Baseball Reference states he was drafted by the Twins (Rule 5) twice in the same day, once from Boston and again from Washington.

2008 Upper Deck Piece of History #54 Prince Fielder +1
Currently second in baseball in sac flies. That's what the fans clamor for...sac flies. Hey, at least they're not strike outs.

1995 Topps D3 #10 Cal Eldred and #49 Dave Nilsson +2
These are the first cards I've ever seen from this set, and I like them. It's an almost seamless blend of Sportflics and ViewMaster technology. Anybody know if this was a stand-alone set or an insert of some sort?

That's a nice group of cards, but this trade only earns 16 points and a bunch of Phillies.

STANDINGS
1. 90 pts: Chris from Stale Gum
2. 72 pts: dayf from Cardboard Junkie
3. 42 pts: Cliff from Capewood's Collections
4. 30 pts: Dan from New York
5. 23 pts: Rob from Rangers Cards
5. 23 pts: Eric from Iowa
7. 20 pts: Patricia and Lucy from Dinged Corners
7. 20 pts: William from Virginia
7. 20 pts: Don from Arkansas
10. 19 pts: Kerry from Oregon
11. 18 pts: David from Tribe Cards
12. 17 pts: Paul from Pennsylvania
12. 17 pts: Bo from New York
14. 16 pts: Amy from Pennsylvania
15. 14 pts: John from the UK

The end is in sight, people!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The eBay Auctions From Hell

While searching for other things today, I came across this eBay auction. This seller is offering a 36-card lot featuring John Franco.

A little weird, but not entirely outside the realm of possibility that it will sell. There might be a hardcore Mets or Reds fan out there that just got started in card collecting and wants to build from the ground up.

Then I got curious. This seller has a feedback number over 3,000, so s/he must be doing something right. I was left wondering what else might be for sale.
And this is what I found.
The first page of card lots doesn't look so bad. Someone might want 36 Vince Coleman cards or 32 Lou Whitaker cards.

Then I clicked over to page 2. Rico Brogna, Ted Power, Bill Swift, Jose Uribe...?
This seller is obviously out of his mind. Nearly every card comes from a junk set that can be obtained for a little more than a win on just a handful of the auctions. The insertion fees alone are going to result in a net loss.

Yet, I am strangely comforted by the fact that I could become one of the world's foremost Gary Redus player collectors in one fell swoop. Capitalism at its finest.
I'll keep my fingers crossed I get the Mike LaCoss lot.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Topps Redemption Saga

About two weeks ago I received some redemption cards from Topps. I must say that I was impressed by the turnaround speed of this deal. It was probably no more than three weeks from the time I mailed the redemption cards until I received the real ones in the mail. You might remember one of the cards I pulled from this post.

Well, here it is.

The problem is, here's what Topps used to send me this card.

If you can't tell, those are three quarters fitting snugly into a multi-card top loader. Great work, Topps. You send me a valuable autographed card halfway across the country, but you package it about as safely as Harry delivered those show dogs in Dumb and Dumber. Wonderful. The card is less than a millimeter thick, but Topps sees fit to seal it inside what would pass for a luxury apartment in Tokyo. Granted, there is only the slightest bit of edge wear along the black-bordered side, but this is ridiculous. I did get another autographed card from Topps, but it arrived in a separate package and was carefully placed in a regular top loader. What even make this more ridiculous is that the Marmol/Soto card was sent via certified mail while the other one wasn't. Now while Topps may claim that they make no assertions as to the future value of their cards, they clearly made a distinction between the two that they sent to me. Two big-name stars means I had to go to the post office and sign my name at least three times. A no-name rookie (Daniel Moskos, BDP&P '07) just gets put in my mailbox. This means that Topps recognized the inherent value of their product, yet chose to package it in a fashion that had a high likelihood of sustaining damage. By the way, this card is now up for bid on eBay. I just couldn't live with myself with this card infecting my collection.

At the same time all of this is happening, I find myself buying fewer new cards this year. I still haven't pulled the trigger on the 2008 factory set, and this might not ever happen. There's only really one set I'm willing to take a run at completing (Heritage, but just barely), and I'm willing to predict that this will continue into the future. I foresee more money being spent on older cards than newer ones. And while we're on the subject of finances, why don't you take a look at my fiancee's jewelry store. Help Thorzul pay for his wedding in November. Pick out something nice for your wife/girlfriend/mom/whoever. She makes really good stuff that you and your significant others are guaranteed to like.

Topps, this is for you: Boooooo!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Today, I Consider Myself...

...the luckiest collector-or-or-or...
...on the face of the earth-earth-th-th...


Well, maybe that's a bit of an overstatement. But I am excited because the final card I needed to complete the base set of 2007 Upper Deck Masterpieces just arrived.

2007 Upper Deck Masterpieces #8 Lou Gehrig

Let's review some of the finer points of this set.
Pros:
*A small, manageable set from a company who has since seen fit to create sets that require municipal building permits in order to house them. Ninety cards fits perfectly in ten Ultra-Pro pages. That makes huge sense to collectors whose hobby might be seen as a form of OCD. Placing a 100-card set in pages always leaves that one leftover. Unsettling.

*Some of the greatest moments in baseball history are portrayed. Recent history is treated on par with classic moments.

*Good, rough card stock and tasteful artwork. While most of the art is taken from photographs, the results are understated and classy.

Cons:
*Overrepresentation of then-current rookies. While a Dice-K card makes some sense in this set, there's just too much nonsense from unproven rookies here, especially in such a small set. Just listen to the first ten cards in the set:
1. Babe Ruth's called shot.
2. Babe Ruth retires.
3. Bobby Thompson's "Shot Heard 'Round the World."
4. Bill Mazeroski's 1960 Game 7 home run.
5. Carlton Fisk waving his ball fair.
6. Kirk Gibson 1988 World Series.
7. Don Larsen's WS perfect game.
8. Gehrig.
9. Roger Maris 61 home runs.
10 Cal Ripken consecutive games streak.
Now you tell me (actually I'll tell you) if these next ones belong in the same set.
51. Delmon Young homers in first MLB game. (No.)
65. Alez Gordon being compared to George Brett. (No.)
68. Akinori Iwamura: Devil Ray extraordinaire. (No.)
34. Troy Tulowitzki unassisted triple play. (Yes.)
Pick any card at random from this set and you're expecting an honest-to-God "masterpiece." Upper Deck needs to realize that one man's Andy LaRoche (#84) is most definitely not another man's Jackie Robinson (#24).

*No Brewers. I'm sure there are some other teams without any representation in this set, but that doesn't make it right.
Editor's Note: A thorough check reveals that the only other unrepresented team is the Toronto Blue Jays. Bastards!

*Cards per pack. Even for such a high quality set, four cards for $2.99 (Retail) is asking a lot from collectors. An '08 set is in the works, so we shall see if improvements are made. (Actually, the checklist shows cards for Fielder, Braun, and Yount.) Since I'm more in set-completion mode right now rather than starting something new, I'll probably just go after these separately.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

2001 Topps Archives Box


You may have read about my Willie Mays debacle over at A Pack a Day. While I have not yet taken steps to resolve the situation, I'd like to share some of the positive aspects of opening this box. Here are some of my favorites from the box.

Upon opening the box, we can see that there's a checklist, a love note from Topps, and two stacks of five packs.

Dig a little deeper and an autographed baseball is revealed. This is a nice little bonus from this product, but not really necessary. The ball is wrapped in a black plastic wrapper. Let's see who signed it.

Impossible to photograph under the given lighting conditions, the ball was has the autograph of Paul Blair on it. Blair was a long-time Oriole (who later had stints with the Yankees and Reds), two-time All-Star and eight-time Gold Glove winner.

Here are the cards, grouped for your reading pleasure.
Guys I Saw Play
1985 Kirby Puckett, 1975 Robin Yount, 1975 George Brett



Here are three of the young'ns of the set. The Puckett card was the most recently produced original card I pulled. The Yount I already have, but now I have the man whose career paralleled his own.

Guys Known Better By Other Names
1952 Orestes Minoso and 1962 John Powell


That's Minnie and Boog to you and me. Minoso's card comes from one of the 14 different decades in which he's played. As for Powell, maybe a reader can back me up on this. I remember a beer commercial (Miller Lite) that had a bunch of ex-players in it. One of the guys said something like, "I vote for me and Boog Powell!" Can anyone back me up on this? Maybe it was one of those commercials where a lot of masks were ripped off faces.

UPDATE!
A little research found that the Boog Powell commercials were for Miller Lite.

Flat-Out Legends
1953 Satchell Paige, 1968 Johnny Bench, and 1955 Roberto Clemente



The Clemente is just one of the iconic cards of the hobby, and Paige gets his only Topps card. I love the Brownie on Paige's card. If I'm thinking of the right thing, it's a sort of Scottish folklore creature. Milwaukee used to have a character called "Billy the Brownie" who was sort of like a spy for Santa Claus. The Bench is also a chopped card.

Second Fiddles
1952 Dom DiMaggio and 1958 Roger Maris


"The Little Professor" had his big brother to look up to, while Maris stood in the shadow of another Yankee, Mickey Mantle, for most of his career.

Eventual 1957 Milwaukee Braves Champions
1952 Warren Spahn, 1952 Eddie Matthews, and 1952 Joe Adcock



The best baseball team Milwaukee has ever known.

Relics
1952 Al Schoendienst and 1960 Willie McCovey


"Red" would actually fit into the "Other Names" and "Future Braves" categories. And as always, "McCovey is off the table."