27 February 2013

Traders without Borders

Quintessential Robby Alomar.

In the never-ending competition we bloggers have, I am stooping to a new low with this title. So if you've come here to see my convoluted mentioning of a one Pat Borders, you'll have to wait.

But, I guess, it makes some sense. I received a package today from Jeroen, the man behind the Ace and Yankee-centric Dutch Card Guy blog.

This is our second cross-Atlantic trade, the first netting me a forking JP Arencibia 1-of-1 Printing Plate (no big deal). While JP wasn't involved in this particular trade, I did receive some soon-to-be well-loved Blue Jays, along with some 2012 Allen and Ginter's help:

I know you guys have Allen and Ginter base cards laying around. Check out my want list, and I will make it worth your while. I'd love to get this set banged out by the release of Gypsy Queen and forgotten on my shelf of completed set binders.

The Dutchman also contributed to my Blue Jays rainbow attempts for 2013:


The Hutchison is just a common, but at this point I had only pulled his red parallel. I believe le Dimwit may have contributed the Drew to my base set, and now this one will go on the rainbow page - hopefully to be replaced before 2014 by the Silver Slate parallel.

There was also a Jos-eh Reyes sighting:

The emerald is from Jeroen, but the black is from ebay. Coincidentally, the pink and black parallels of Jose both came from sellers based in New York, one being in the town that I still play baseball in during the summer.

If you send me a Bowman Blue Jay in a trade package, there is a strong chance that I will mention it. Daniel Norris loves him some crosses, as does Jose Reyes. Damn, the Blue Jays are a handsome bunch.

Well, except Colby Rasmus.

And now, what you've all been waiting for, a full-bleed, fully-geared, chaw-choked Blue Jays fan favourite and all-around ruggedly handsome gentleman - NAY, Legend, Pat Borders:

Oh sweet hell yes.

26 February 2013

Want List: 2012 Gypsy Queen

2012 Topps Gypsy Queen Want List

  • I will be going after all photo variations, as well, so this is more of a 350 or so want list than a 300er. My needs for the photo variations are not yet posted, but I do know that I have both versions of Jose Bautista, Roy Oswalt and Roberto Clement.

2, 4, 8, 10, 16, 18, 20, 21, 24, 34, 36, 38, 42, 43, 45, 48, 49, 52, 53, 57, 58, 59, 60, 66, 68, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 80, 81, 84, 91, 92, 94, 95, 96, 98.

104, 107, 111, 114, 115, 117, 118, 121, 122, 123, 124, 125, 126, 127, 129, 131, 132, 134, 136, 137, 139, 145, 146, 147, 151, 152, 153, 154, 155, 156, 157, 159, 160, 164, 172, 173, 174, 175, 182, 183, 186, 188, 192, 195, 197, 199.

201, 203, 204, 205, 207, 212, 213, 214, 219, 220, 221, 222, 223, 231, 233, 236, 238, 239, 241, 245, 246, 249, 250, 252, 253, 254, 260, 263, 265, 266, 267, 269, 272, 274, 277, 280, 281, 284, 285, 286, 287, 290, 291, 293, 295, 297, 298, 300. 

25 February 2013

Recent Additions to the Puma Box

I posted a teaser earlier today. Now I am ready to show of the newest beauties to my Puma Box - or as others may say, "personal collection."

First, the oft neglected member and current number five started for your Toronto Blue Jays, Ricky Romero:

A nice large keystone black swatch - and numbered to 50. This is a great-looking card, and 2012 Platinum is starting to grow on me something fierce. I scored this for about $2.50 on ebay, and the seller, some carbon-copy of a JohnnyG screen name took about two weeks to ship it. Sellers have been awful, lately.

Retail odds on this are 1:3226, so I am wagering that this came from a hobby box.

Also coming my way recently via the Bay was this Drew Hutchison from 2012 Pro Debut.

The gold parallel of the base autograph that I pulled from the second of my two boxes back in January. Very nice card, and surprisingly very little competition for it, since it is numbered to only 50.

Slightly more common, but considerably more difficult to find in pack of 2013 Topps was this Brett Lawrie:

It's the short-printed Out of Bounds variation of his 2013 Topps base card. It came my way via Classon Ave, who was very unhappy about pulling it and accepted a pile of 2013 spare parts in exchange.

And lastly, my one and only foray into 2013 Turkey Red.

The Fat Cats at Topps decided to short print an ass ton of the actual good players in this set, and JP was one of the victims. Luckily, I grabbed the first one to hit Ebay. If you've got a favorite player in this set, go get their cards right now. This is the best Turkey Red yet, but the print run is pretty low.

Hey, Nice Rack(s)! 2012 Bowman Platinum x4

Ohh, retail. Why can't I quit you?

I don't need to ask. I know the answer.

Back in the day (TM) before pack searchers and absurdly overpriced retail, great cards often came from your local supermarkets and big box stores. Jersey cards were routine. Parallels were less common, but attainable, and make the rush of ripping pack worth every penny.

Nowadays, I rely on sales. Of late, Target has been picked clean, while SprawlMart has actually had some decent selection as far back as 2010 sets, including $12 blasters of O-Pee-Chee and Topps 206 from that year, as well as hoards of 2011 Topps S1 and Update with those ever-so-enticing manupatches - fo' free!

But I'm so damn sick of 2011 Topps - one of the worst sets ever released in my opinion, that I just cannot pull the trigger on it anymore, especially when the patches only run you $1-$5 on the 'bay.

The last time I wandered into WalMart, I grabbed a steal of a deal  2010 Bowman Chrome blaster for $12. It was a great box. Feeling lousy this morning and pining for more pug-tail-curled 2012 BowChros, I headed back there in search of some Canada Dry for my guy and some BowChro blasters for my heart.

Picked. Clean.

I guess someone else noticed and wiped them out of the 5+ blasters that remained. Bummed, yet determined to rip, I decided to put my long-going feud with Bowman Platinum to the side, resolve out differences, and grab the remaining four $5 rack packs featuring good 'ol impossible-to-pull Yu Darvish.

In case you're unfamiliar, Bowman Platinum rack packs from 2012 are constructed as follows: three four-card packs, each featuring a blocker (free shipping material!) regardless of whether there's a hit in the pack or not, and one clear, three-card pack of Purple Prospect Refractors, or Purpspectfractors, if you will.

I'll start with some base cards, which in this set are all refractorish, but don't call them refractors - those have somehow borderless borders on them. I guess. You'll see when the one I pulled comes up.

Overall, I like the base cards. They're mostly uninteresting poses (save for the Pineda here and the Sandoval which I should have scanned), but the design is clean and elegant. The coloring of the borders matches the team colors, and since the cards are entirely holofoil, it manages to work.

Since this is a Bowman product, there are prospects aplenty, and I assume they fall one-per-pack, the ideal seeding for them:

Photoshopped, sure, but a great selection of prospects, considering my usual luck with Bowman Platinum. Liriano is a very solid prospect for San Diego, but from what I hear is rather unpolished at this point. Montgomery is close to making the Tampa Bay (Devil) Rays roster after coming over in the Shieldsy trade, but I assume he'll start 2013 in Durham - where I'll hopefully see him playing in Syracuse versus the National's AAA squadron. Brentz is also farther away, like Liriano, but a good prospect none-the-less.

And my "refractor" is Matt Adams. Oddly enough, this card scanned the least refractory of the bunch. I have a propensity to pull Matt Adams cards, so I am hoping he makes something of himself. However, I do not expect it to be with the Cardinals, as fantasy baseball superhero Allen Craig and that guy you just wish would go away, Ty Wigginton are ahead of him on the Cardinals depth chart.

Prospect refractors are supposed to fall 1:4, but I only managed one. It's okay though, they're not at all impressive and I made up for it elsewhere.

If you frequent this blog, you'll know that I adore parallels, and I crushed the odds with these rack packs and grabbed the following:

Golds are supposed to fall 1:5, so in 12 packs I would expect only two, but managed four of them. Two pale hosers, Cat Latos and Adrian Gonzalez. The AGon is scanned, but not posted here, as he'll show up again later. All of these are available for trade.

Well, I expect one of these to be claimed almost immediately. Please, Dodgers fans, no pushing, shoving, biting or stabbing. Emeralds fall 1:10 and I lucked out to pull two of them, and great players too.

My 1:20 ruby was once-superstar Hanley Ramirez. GREAT looking card. For the Marlins, I wish there was an orange parallel - Topaz, I suppose, to fit the set theme.

Keeping with the colorful theme, I present you the highlights of my individually wrapped Purpspectfractors:

I was very happy that these three were all the front cards in their individual packs. One is very fast, and a Blue Jay. Another is a top Marlins prospect. The third is one of the best prospects in baseball right now.

...and hell, these guys are pretty good, too. I expect Walker to break camp with the Mariners. Simmons was solid enough last season to garner NL ROY votes. Walker, Keenyn is also a solid prospect, and further contributing to the quality of White Sox cards I have been pulling lately.

As long as it's not Alexis Rios, we're good.

The Taijuan Walker, Gose and Olt are not available for trade, sorry.

Hey! A die-cut, you guys!

Adrian Gonzalez cards annoy me. It's also a concern that he's been traded twice in two years or so. He's seemingly aloof and never seems into the game of baseball. Really not my kind of player. This one is very much up for trade.

Unexpectedly, in my third of four packs - I found this:

Whoo hoo! I do manage to get some low-numbered parallels and relics on occasion, but I almost never pull autographs when they're not guaranteed. Plus, Dillon Maples is actually a decent prospect. These fall at a reasonable 1:33 and might be my best pull of the year so far. Sorry, Will Middlebrooks.

On one of my more agreeable prospects websites, the great John Sickles of Minorleagueball.com has Maples listed as #7 in the Chubs system:
7) Dillon Maples, RHP, Grade B-: Could develop into a number two starter due to promising fastball/curveball combination, but we need more data from higher levels to see if his command improves and if his mechanics (which some scouts don't like) become an issue.

Hey, that'll do for me. This card is not for trade at the moment, as I am still living off of the rush of pulling an autograph after a long drought.

Of course, it wouldn't be retail without some weirdness and an excessive Yanking:

Well, at least he's a solid prospect, and a catcher! Although, I highly doubt he'll stick behind the plate, typical of Yankees C prospects: hit, hit, hit. Though John Sickes like to add to the Yankees TOP prospect's profile:
1) Gary Sanchez, C, Grade B+: Youngest of the top Yankee hitting prospects, and plays the most difficult position, showing enough defensive improvement to give decent hope that he can stick there. 

Hey, if you like 2012 Bowman Platinum, check back here later for a big hit from this set from one of my PC guys, and an even bigger on from this year's Turkey Red release...

...in the business, we call that a teaser.

24 February 2013

Want List: Minnniiiiiiiis!

A few months ago, I was complaining rather loudly and consistently about the lack of storage options for my minis from Gypsy Queen and Allen & Ginter's sets. The girlfriend, being the great one that she is, had some leftover gift card monies on Amazon, and grabbed me some pages. I quickly filed about 5 of the 25 pages, and have been looking for minis to add to my collection ever since. However, since minis are inserted and are somewhat rarely, buying them piece-by-piece of COMC, ebay and the like has proven tedious and confusing for someone with meager book-keeping abilities such as myself.

So here's some want lists, or gimme-lists, if you will. I'm sorting them chronologically, so if you've some some lying around, let me know, and I am sure we can work out a deal.

2010 Allen & Ginter's National Animals

6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 36, 37, 39, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 48, 49.

Don't worry, I have AMERICAH'S Bald Eagle. And it is amazing.

2011 Allen & Ginter's Animals in Peril

4, 5, 8, 9, 11, 17, 18, 27, 28, 29.

2010 Allen & Ginter's Monsters of the Mesozoic

2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20.

2012 Allen & Ginter's Giants of the Deep

1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14.

2012 Allen & Ginter's Man's Best Friend

2012 Gypsy Queen Frankenmini Set

Rather than going for minis of just one type of back, I'll be accepting of all variations in this set. Coming soon.

2013 Allen & Ginter's The First Americans - not yet released.

1, 2, 3, 4,  6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15.

2013 Gypsy Queen Frankenmini Set - not yet released.


Like 2012, going for all minis with whatever back variations I can get.

*Also accepting minis of Jose Reyes, Carlos Santana, Carlos Delgado, Ivan Rodriguez.

23 February 2013

Starting 10: February 23, 2013

2/5 Remaining Jays

It's about time, man. Spring Training games started yesterday for a bunch of teams no one cares about, but today marks the first day of a heavy schedule of games in both the Grapefruit and Cactus Leagues. Of particular interest to myself are a pair of Grapefruiters, starting at 12pm with the Mets and Nationals (Stephen Strasburgh, Shaun Marcum and dearly departed Travis d'Arnaud) and later on at 1pm, the reigning American League Champion Detroit Tigers (Torii Hunter, Alex Avila) take on the 2012 Vegas favourite to win the whole thing - Toronto Blue Jays.

In case you haven't noticed, this is a rather Blue Jays-heavy blog. Also, Spring Training games mean nothing more than entertainment and finally seeing some new guys and young guns in your team's new uniforms for the first time.

So here's your February 23, 2012 starting lineup for the Blue Jays, cardboard style!

1. Emilio Bonifacio, SS
2011 Bowman Platinum
Seemingly unnamed relic-auto Insert /1166
The Trade (TM) brought in a bunch of new Jays to the picture, and aside from Jose Reyes, I am most excited about Emilio Bonifacio. While Reyes will likely bat leadoff every day, Bonifacio provides a more than solid backup, and currently steals more bases than Jose.

Card source: COMC

2. Maicer Izturis, 2B

2011 Topps Black /61
The signing of Maicer Izturis was a middle-infield depth move, which is fine considering the losses of Aaron Hill, John MacDonald and Kelly Johnson (not really a loss) in the past two seasons. For a few weeks, Jays fans were suspicious that Izturis would be the starting 2b this season, but I think a lot of his playing time will be super-utility, starting mostly every day but rarely in the same position.

Card source: I don't own this.

3. Brett Lawrie, 3B
2012 Bowman International
Well, hopefully this is Lawrie's breakout year. He's currently being mentored by Mark DeRosa, or so MLB.com would have you believe. We'll see how it goes.

Card source: Ebay

4. Adam Lind, 1B
2012 Bowman Chrome
Blue Refractor
Adam Lind facing left-handers certainly makes me blue. A platoon would be fantastic, and if the Blue Jays do look like a playoff team come the trading deadline, I expect that to be the move that Anthopoulous will need to make.

Card source: Card show!

5. JP Arencibia, DH

2011 Topps S1
Silk Collection /50
There's a bit too much JPA on this blog, so no comment here. Just cannot wait to bombard ya'll with Team USA homerism this coming month.

Source: Ebay

6. Josh Thole/Mike Nickeas, C

Josh Thole will be starting and Mike Nickeas, who is travelling with the team will be backing him up. JP doesn't catch today's starter very often, so I'm assuming that is why Thole is starting and Mike is with the team. That Thole is a tremendously awesome card and I need to add it to my collection. The Nickeas was added recently in a trade. I expect to see him more with AAA Buffalo this year, however, with Thole's mad skillz in catching RA's knuckler.

Source (Thole): Don't have it, but it's on COMC. Almost all of my Tholes went to The Sandlot.
Source (Nickeas): William at Foul Bunt.

7. Moises Sierra, RF
Bowman Chrome
I forget which year
I like Sierra, and I'd be happy to see him as a bench bat for the Jays this season, but would also love to see him smash some dingers and show off his cannon of a RFer arm for Buffalo. With the surprisingly deep bench that the Jays have this year, that is likely the case, as Moises is behind Bautista, Bonifacio, Rasmus, Gose on the OF depth card. And Mark DeRosa, I suppose, since I do not expect Omar Vizquel, 2013 Edition to get cut.

Source: I don't own it, Moises Sierra cards are ridiculously expensive on COMC for some reason.

8. Anthony Gose, CF
2012 Topps Pro Debut
MiLB Cap Logos
One of the more expensive cards I have ever purchased, and I regret nothing. I scored this back in October or so, and I haven't seen one since.

Also: Anthony Gose is fast.

Card source: Ebay

9. Ricardo Nanita, LF
2009? Bowman Chrome

Little-known Ricardo Nanita will be manning left field and batting ninth today. I know next to nothing about him, and this 2008 BoChromer is really his only card in existance, and he's pictured as a palehoser.

Card source: A steal on COMC earlier today.

And today's starting pitcher:

Brandon Morrow
2012 Bowman
Red Ice /25
Ahh, the cornerstone of my limited Brandon Morrow collection. I love Morrow, but his cards suck. This, though PhotoToppsed, is awesome in-hand. Personally, I think Morrow should be the Opening Day starter, but I guess trading two huge prospects for the reigning Cy Young award winner kinda defaults you to Opening Day status.

Source: Ebay Steal $.99 + Shipping

I plan on doing these posts every once in a while when I add new cards from small trades, ebay pickups and COMC orders. It allows me to avoid the MAIL DAY!!1 post a bit, plug some good blogs, and talk a little bit about Jays other than Arencibia, Romero, Reyes and Hutchison.

20 February 2013

Thinking about 2013 Heritage

I have never been a fan of Topps Heritage.

The sets have been bland. Not that the exhumation of fifties and sixties Topps nostalgia is bad, but looking at modern, overpriviledged, males with frosted tips and Phiten necklaces just skews the message you'd expect from something named Heritage.

The faux gloss on the cards makes me physically uncomfortable at times. That squeaky-clean, sterile feeling of a bargain Castles of Caledonia calendar.

My memories of purchasing this product, the few that I do have, are miserable. There's one joke of a sports card shop in the entire Syracuse area, a tobacco smoke-filled alley buttressed on one side by a leaning tower of junk wax and on the other by smoke-filmed glass protecting 200% markup products. I ventured in once in 2009 and purchased three pitty packs of, you guessed it, 2008 Heritage. Quite possibly the worst packs I have ever bought.

When getting back into the hobby in summer of last year, I purchased a seemingly harmless blaster of Heritage from 2012. I had no intention at the time to flip the short prints or land some magnificent relic or what have you. I just wanted some nice cards of possibly some players that I enjoyed or could trade. 

From that entire blaster I remember the following cards: a red parallel of Gaby Sanchez, a Sandy Koufax insert and two cards featuring President Kennedy. There were seventy-two (72!) cards in that box. 

The box (almost) single-handedly pushed me back out of the hobby.

The Topps Heritage checklists, however, have been amazing, and the 2013 product will not disappoint in this department. As a Blue Jays fan, it's wonderful to finally have players to fill out a proper checklist again. Included in 2013 will be:

Jose Bautista
JP Arencibia
Jose Reyes (Short Print, possibly a Metro Marlin)
Casey Janssen
RA Dickey (Short Print, possibly a Metro)
Adeiny Hechavarria (RC, possibly a Metro Marlin)
Edwin Encarnacion
Adam Lind
Josh Johnson (possibly a Metro Marlin)
Anthony Gose (RC)
Brett Lawrie
Ricky Romero
Mark Buehrle (possibly a Metro Marlin)
Colby "Cletus" Rasmus
Rajai Davis
Josh Thole (Possibly a Metro)
Emilio Bonifacio (Possibly a Metro Marlin)
Yunel Escobar (Possibly a Ray)

That's incredible.

Any set that includes my man Casey Janssen is fine by me. But why such a great checklist? Surely, The Trade(s) (TM) had something to do with it. But what else contributed?

Oh, I see. A 500-card checklist. Yeah, that'll adeptly cover most of the 20 teams 20 mainstay player pretty well. I suppose it also makes up for those 350 card sets in which 285 are Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, Giants and Cardinals.

But what about the inserts?

This is where Heritage really sticks in my craw. Peruse the checklists currently available for 2013 Heritage.

Reincarnations of previous, awful Heritage inserts. The travesty of chrome-up 1964 design. Stamps. Doctors. Unobtainable cut signatures. The same players in every checklist. Boring relics. Mary Poppins?

Topps, I want baseball. Not Mary Poppins.

Pretty much everything considered a hit is hobby-only or requires a 16-month crusade battling Tigers in Primorski Krai. If you're going for this for anything other than set-building, give up now.

The base set will be daunting. It may seem like a nice challenge, collecting the whole 500 card set. Not to mention there are seventy-five short prints seeded 1:3. I'm still working on 2012 Allen & Ginter SPs, and there were only 50 of those.

Quickly doing some math, 75 short prints (multiplied by) 3 packs is 200 packs for the whole set, assuming no doubles, or about $600 red-blooded, hard-earned American dollars. Without applicable taxes.

But I won't maintain my stubborn ways. I have four coupons for 2013 Heritage that found their way to me from Target blasters of 2013 Mothership Series 1. So I'll dabble in the retail a bit. Maybe try and piece together the Blue Jays team set and their parallels, of which I expect to pull nor more than zero of.

Admittedly, the base set design is nice. '64 was a great year. But 500 of them, 75 of which are short-printed? I cannot. I will not.

I'll just wait until my Gypsy Queens come out in May.

17 February 2013

$20 Blaster Challenge: 2013 Topps S1 (Target)

Welcome to the first of what I hope is many in a long series of challenges:

The Twenty Dollar Blaster Challenge!

Here's how it will go. I go to Target, WalMart, Kmart, Toys R Us (unlikely) or wherever and buy a blaster. Sounds great, right?

There's a catch. For these carefully selected blasters, I will happily open packs, place some cards in tidy, organized piles, scan them, and FLIP 'EM in an attempt to make the $20 back from the blaster, and, on occasion, make a profit or at minimum - offset the cost of this sometimes expensive but damn fun hobby.

So without further Apu, Challenge the First!

2013 Topps Series 1!

What else did you expect to read about in February?

This is a random card from Series 1.
I don't even remember if there was one in this blaster.
I just like this card.
I won't go too much into the contents, here. You'll mostly just see scans of the card which I intend to flip, those which I may be too attached to part with, and the chronology of the sales.

Some background: I generally only start auctions on ebay on two days, Sunday nights (7-day) and Tuesday nights (5-day). I post cards on these days because most auctions are found within their last 48 hours, and using the weekends to my advantage when everyone is home laying around, I can hopefully entice sales during this time.

Now, on to the contents of the Blastoid:

10 8-card packs (80 cards)
1 additional pack with a Commemorative Patch card

Should contain 1-2 emerald parallels, 1-2 Chasing the Dream, 1 Calling Card, 2 1975 Minis.

Since this blaster was purchased at Target, 2 of the 8 cards in every pack will be a red parallel.

Also, since this is Topps, base cards are pretty much priceless. By which I mean no significant resale value through ebay (these challenges will be done through ebay for rapid selling process - I could likely get more money from COMC, but it may take months.)

So, on to the most common inserts in the box, the Target-Exclusive Red parallels. And I did pretty good:

These two solid red parallels have two things going for them: they're great young players (Bryce Harper and Starlin Castro) and the red emphasizes individual parts of the player's uniforms.

Luckily on the Castro, the red numbers on the Chubs jersey is emphasized. As for the Harper, damn. There's a lot of red on that one. The Harper card sells from $3-$8 shipped on ebay. Castro, on the other hand, is surprisingly absent from ebay. So needless to say, I'm hoping to make a good amount from it.

Goal for the Harper: $4.50
Goal for the Castro: $2.50

The card is the Commemorative Patch. Upon opening the box, I promptly felt up the pack to ruin the surprise of logo-type patch or rookie silk. Sadly, I could tell right away that it was going to be a rookie card patch. Not sadly, it was one of the best you can get:

Well, that could have been considerably worse.

I quickly researched this on my phone, and some ebay auctions showed this going for, over the past few days, from $13-$18. I could possibly make the price of the blaster back simply by selling this card.

Sorry Spigel, Night Owl, Zakwin, etc. This guy was headed to the 'bay.

Goal for Sandy Koufax Patch: $13.00

The next card was what some may consider a mega-hit for a retail blaster of 2013 Topps Series 1. No, it's not an Ian Kennedy box-hit plain gray swatch.

Nope. It's a 1:357 Desert Camo Foil of Baltimore Orioles center fielder, Adam Jones:

Hot damn! Card #10 in the set is serial numbered 43/99, so no 10/99 EBAY 1/1 LULZ!! mega hit.

Like the Castro, I am yet to see this on ebay. I sold Brian McCann's camo parallel for $7, so I am expecting about $10.

Goal for Adam Jones: $10.00

So that's it for the cards I am selling for offset of this blaster. Four cards, hping to average out at $5/card, and with the Koufax and Jones I should be able to make that easily. While the Castro and Harper are seemingly more common, I am expecting they may be my downfall, if I have one in this mission.

All of the cards have starting bids of $0.99 and $3.03 shipping. Shipping will not be considered in the totals for the challenge.


Wednesday Night:

Bryce Harper - Red Border
Bids: 0 @ $0.99
Views: 3
Watchers: 0

Starlin Castro - Red Border
Bids: 0, Views: 3, Watchers: 2

Sandy Koufax Commemorative Patch
Bids: 0, Views: 7, Watchers: 4

Adam Jones - Desert Camo Foil
Bids: 0, Views: 6, Watchers: 4

Thursday Night:

Bryce Harper - Red Border
Bids: 0, Views: 3, Watchers: 0

Starlin Castro - Red Border
Bids: 0, Views: 4, Watchers: 3

Sandy Koufax Commemorative Patch
Bids: 0, Views: 8, Watchers: 6

Adam Jones - Desert Camo Foil
Bids: 1, View: 9, Watchers: 5 Two days before the first bid. Not bad, not spectacular. We'll see.

Friday Night:

Bryce Harper - Red Border
Bids: 0, Views: 4, Watchers: 1. First watcher. Looking up...

Starlin Castro - Red Border
Bids: 0, Views: 6, Watchers: 4 A few more views and a new watcher. 

Sandy Koufax Commemorative Patch
Bids: 1, Views: 14, Watchers: 8 First bid and a pile of new views and watchers. This one should be fun to watch.

Adam Jones - Desert Camo Foil
Bids: 2, Views: 10, Watchers: 5 Bid up to $2.08, so at a guaranteed $3, we're 3/20 the way there!

Saturday Night:
I didn't pay much attention. Sorry. The Castro did recieve the minimum bid sometime Saturday, though.

Sunday Night - Results!:

First, the goals:

Harper Red: $4.50
Castro Red: $2.50
Adam Jones Camo: $10.00
Sandy Koufax Patch: $13.00

Actual Sales:

Harper Red: $0.99 Fail
Castro Red: $2.02 Push
Adam Jones Camo: $13.63 Goal Exceeded
Sandy Koufax Patch: $7.47 Fail

Yikes, the Harper red and Koufax patch hurt. Every damn Koufax sold Sunday was over $8 until mine went. About 5-10 of these seem to get posted every day, so it is in no way rare anymore.

The Adam Jones, however, makes the whole experiment worth it. Thirteen bucks and change was more than I could have ever expected for it, seeing as I have been picking of Blue Jays camo cards for $3-$5/each.

The goal of reaching $20 to supplement purchasing the Blaster last weekend was a success. Without factoring in shipping (I do not take a loss in shipping), ebay fees, and PayPal holding me upside down by my ankles and shaking American currency from my outwardly-turned pockets, I pulled in over $24 from the blaster. Keep in mind, I wandered into the stupid luck of landing a camouflage parallel of a very solid young star on a team that's pretty hot right now - even netting a lowly Brandon Lyon or Travis Ishakawa would have been a lofty 1 in 357 shot.

The whole experiment leads me to believe that the addition of all the parallels in this year's Mothership set was a great move on Topps' part. I myself plan on grabbing another blaster, this time from WalMart, just to see if I can grab another gem in blue tint or hopefully even a lowly Blue Jay.

That and I have nothing to do until Heritage comes out this year...in March?

Gahh...winter is hard.

16 February 2013

Rainbow Jays

Hey, did you know Saturday delivery from USPS doesn't end until August? Neither did I, until I looked it up this morning. You see, I've been slowly picking away at my 2013 Topps Blue Jays rainbow (which you can see the progress of here and here) and was hoping some would come in today after a rather uneventful (read: lazy ebay sellers) week in manila packets.

However, rather than wait around until who knows when, we decided to head to a local nursery (for plants, not chilluns) which just so happened to be closed. Not to waste our entire day, we stopped at a pair of local thrift stores - which may very well warrant their own post later this weekend or possibly next week sometime.

Anyways, upon returning, I could tell pulling in (as, of course, I always look) that the mailbox lid was being pushed up a bit.

That means cards!

First up, some unexpected rainbow help and an ebay win jammed into the same JPEG:

The Target Rojo comes from Mark over at This Way to the Clubhouse... and is greatly appreciated. I've been holding off on purchasing the red/blue/purple variations in hopes that some of you fine gentleman traders will send some my way for spare Dodgers or Mets and so on. So far, I'm having the most success and with the greatest efficiency of spending with Romero. Oh, what a terrible season can do for a collector.

On to two more envelopes, including the overly large one that was pushing up the mailbox lid:

 Pink? On a baseball card?! Why yes. Pink. On a baseball card. The pink /50 parallels from this year's Topps, along with gold and black, are some of the best parallel sets I've ever seen. They're just outstanding.

And if that doesn't get you into the holiday spirit, how about some even more festive Jos-eh Reyes:

Ohh, yes please. The previous pair came in another package earlier in the week from El Dimwit. FYI, he's busting a wholedamncase of 2013 Gypsy Queen. Im in on it, why aren't you?

I'm surprised as to how excellent the red parallels look with the new Jays unis. The emeralds, however, don't look good with anyone. Unless you have a nice-slot page of Blue Jays in various colours. Then, they look great?

Do you have any? Wend them to me. KThanks.

14 February 2013

Completeness: 2013 Topps Chasing the Dream Series 1

The Chasing the Dream insert set from this year's Mothership Part 1 was not very well accepted by the blogging community. This is a shame. It contains a very solid checklist of young stars in the Majors right now (including two Blue Jays).

Seeded 1:6 and only containing 25 cards, collation of this set is realistic. In fact, I pulled my first one on January 30th, and completed the set yesterday with a purchase from a Blowout Cards forum member. The inset only took a total of two weeks and due to it's lack of popularity, was a cheap one to complete (the BOC member sold them for about $.20/card.)

The cards remind me of the large video boards taking over professional American sports arenas of late. An action photo on the front and a huge pixelated logo in the background and borders reflecting the team colours round out the fronts and continue onto the back, which features a short bit on each player. Only the Topps logo and player's large last name running vertically along the left side are foily, which is nice when you compare them to other gaudy reincarnations of Topps inserts the past few years.

On to the cards:

I stated what I like about this series, now for what I do not:

  • Card Numbering: Harper and Trout are 1 and 2. Not helping the page-flipping desire there, Topps.
  • Two Athletics are together: Tommy Milone and Jarrod Parker, but they are separated from Josh Reddick. Also: three A's in one set?  Come on...
  • The White Sox (Sale/Reed) are next to each other, the Marlins (Stanton/Turner) are next to each other, yet Drew Hutchison and Brett Lawrie are 10 cards apart from each other. Either group them by teams or separate them. We know you didn't use random numbers - as Trout and Harper are 1 & 2.
  • Hutchison is card #13, while Lawrie actually wears #13 and is card #24.

Also, my Jacob Turner is badly damaged on the lower right edge. Does anyone have a replacement?

13 February 2013

Blogger Awesomeness

Lately, our little community has been mostly card shows and 2013 Topps Series 1.

This post is slightly about one, and not at all about the other.

The good news is, it is not about 2013 Topps Series 1.

It's about how great our community is. Today's example comes all the way from Los Angeles and the awesome Spiegel at Nomo's Sushi Platter.

A month or so ago, he held a contest. Since this contest was just a "first three to comment" type and not a randomizer (the randomizer HATES me), I WONNED!

He said winners would get a few cards to fill up a team bag of their favourite teams at a local card show. Good luck, I though. Card shows don't have Blue Jays! Silly Dodgers fans.

Apparently, in the reverse bizzarro wilderness that is the Los Angeles-area, card shows do have Blue Jays cards, even better, 2012 Bowman Chrome cards:

Every thing about this card is awesome, and I don't think most of you even know my goal for the 2012 Bowman Chrome Frankenrefractorainbow set that I am working on. This one fits delightfully into that niche, and is a damn beautiful card even if there wasn't a Frankenrefractorainbow to worry about.

While beautiful, the Johnathan Silviano (13th round, 415th overall in the 2012 Draft) has nothing on this:

When The Spiegz said "pick up a few guys from your favorite teams" I never expected an autograph of out 2012 1st Rounder, however, that's what popped out. I was stunned.

This is why the blogging community is so great. I didn't do anything special for Michael. We read each other's blogs, complete a few trades, joke around a bit.

I guess it's just that camaraderie that we have. A kinship, something.

Cardboard. Connecting us all.

Thanks, man. These were great.