Wicked Ortega: The First Trade

Ya know what’s funny?  Due to the distraction of coloring sketch cards, that last post actually took at least five hours to do, lol. 😛

Anyway, here’s a selection of cards from my first trade with the Don hisself, Wicked Ortega.  And remember, this is less than half of what he sent.  He sent so much, there were even multiples of a few cards.

Sweet Lou

Start it off with the manager.

Aramis and KOSUKE~!

Why do Sweet Spot’s base cards have to come from hit-a-pack packs that cost $20??  The three years I have some from (2005, 2008, and 2009) are about the nicest looking sets from each of those years.  If set builders could get just the base cards in the standard 8 pack, 5 cards per pack, $20 blaster version with an outside chance at a hit (instead of those horrible ripoff $30 tins), they’d be all over it, or at least far more likely than with retail versions of more expensive sets like the always hugely uninspired SP.  Hell, you could even guarantee the jersey in the $20 blaster, because the Sweet Spot jerseys look like utter crap this year.

Wait, what was I talking about?  Oh yeah, the trade.  Umm, the infield power insert is hella tight, and the O-Pee-Chee subsets, inserts, and black border parallels have grown on me a lot.

Big Z!

I want to get all the versions of the Fukudome and Zambrano topps cards.  I think I have four of Z, the three above, and a Chrome refractor, and I think I have three Fukudomes, though I’d have to check.

Then we have Zambrano’s no-no.  Umm, no-hitter.  Is anyone still bitter about that?

OPC would’ve been so awesome if Upper Deck wasn’t so stingy with the amount of cards per pack.  This is a recurring problem I have with them.  It seems like they are as clueless with low end cards as topps is with the high end stuff (UD flaship very aside, though I’m very hesitant to even call it low end).  It really is a shame, because OPC mostly kicked ass otherwise.  It really nailed the fun, colorful ’70s retro feel without resorting to using a past design (yes topps, that jab was at you).  I just couldn’t bring myself to buy more than a couple packs when there were so few cards per pack and I knew there was no chance at anything special.  At 8 cards for the same price, I can guarantee I would’ve bought at least another half-dozen packs.

Goodwin Champions suffered from this too, maybe worse than any other, though SP and Icons aren’t good for making retail versions, and need a couple more cards per pack just to mitigate the suck, like topps did with Ticket to Stardom.  8 cards per pack is pretty much the cutoff point where crap retail versions of higher end than flagship stuff to starts to become tolerable.  It is also where I stop caring so much that stuff like OPC is the cute chick that has nothing else to offer.

Hmm… I seem to be mode-locked in rant mode.  More cards!

Yes!

I love the arty old arty checklist cards.  Was so glad they brought them back in ’09 Upper Deck Heroes football (even though I pulled a Packer).

All kinds of good stuff!

We got vintage!  We got minis!  We got more proof that blue makes any design they throw on card look better (the Derrek Lee Timeline)!  We got Shawon Dunston Rookies!  My Shawon-o-Meter is at .298 and rising.  How about you?

A Turk Wendell rookie, Dwight Smith cuz I can, a Randy Myers Silver Signature parallel, and... a scandalous pic of the mayor of Souvenir City poopin' in a bucket of baseballs.

Yeah, I went there.  Deal with it. 😛

Lots of groovy random stuff here.

You can never, ever go wrong with sending me Pinnacle cards. And is Ted Lilly playing up to that fat contract or what?

I wonder if these came from the same play...

Lee, Soto, some Sorianos, and Derrick May, my secret shame...

I thought Derrick May was gonna be a superstar when I was little.  I was wrong, and I guess… I’m just gonna have to put it behind me. *sigh* 😥

Yay Rynos!

Okay, I feel a little better now.

These are several thousand year old cave drawings...

But seriously though, Moyer’s been around since I was about two years old.  I dunno how I’m gonna handle it when he retires.  It’s like… he’s been there as long as I can remember.  What am I supposed to do if he’s not around, man?

The fun just doesn't stop!

I know Big Z is a great power hitting pitcher, and if quit pitching to focus entirely on hitting, he could probably go .265-25-80 or better on a yearly basis, but this isn’t Micah Owings we’re talking about here people.  Zambrano is actually a really good pitcher too, he even has a no-hitter.  You don’t have to show him hitting all the time.

Have we got time for one more?… Okay, here ya go:

Fergie!

Good stuff, good stuff.  Give it up for Wicked Ortega everybody!  I gotta sleep some more now.

I still want a Shawon-O-Meter hit counter…

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Belated Night Owl Trade

I sent Night Owl some Dodgers a few weeks ago (or is it months at this point), and here’s what I got in return:

Cards from Night Owl #1 Minis

Starting it off with some Cubs and A&G wantlist minis...

I am unsure of what that Leon Durham is.  It’s not really a card, it’s on paper that’s about newsprint thick.  Whatever it is though, I do like it. 🙂

Straight outta 1960, It's 2009 Topps Heritage... and a couple Target old schools

Straight outta 1960, it's 2009 Topps Hertage... and a couple Target blaster throwbacks

Makes me want to get some more actual 1960 topps Cubbies to go with my lone card from that year, great defensive innovator (and pretty decent hitter to boot) Vic Power.  And is Reed Johnson ever the right guy for an old school version or what?  The hustle & effort, man.  Granted, he’s gritty & hard-working because he’s no better than mediocrely talented, but still, hustle is a motivator for others sometimes… He will make a fine manager someday perhaps.

Cards from Night Owl #3 OPC

2009 O-Pee-Chee, approximately 1/8th of the Cubs base set... 😛

Wasn’t a fan of OPC this year.  Not to say that some of the cards aren’t nicely designed (though plenty of photography stinkers there are).  Not enough cards for the price of admission, considering the ginormity of the set.  If they were eight or more cards per pack with the same insert & hit rate for the $45 or so hobby boxes were going for when it first came out, I *might* have picked up a box.

This brings me to gripe I should mention to Upper Deck sometime if I ever get a live mic with someone with some stroke there.  Upper Deck does not seem to even be able to grasp the concept of low end (flagship VERY aside).  Even the surprisingly decent Upper Deck X suffers from the low end-itis a bit.

Let’s continue with the pretty pictures of baseball cards then, shall we?

Cards from Night Owl #4

Another OPC, some '09 Goudey, '09 UDX, Attax, and '08 Timeline

Thusfar, my favorite Upper Deck brand of the year is UDX.  Is that crazy or what?  I didn’t hate ’08 (one of the few, the proud), and the ’09 version was a vast improvement.  It’s the only baseball product truly geared towards kids too, aside from topps’ surprisingly excellent flagship.

Goudey was sometimes not pretty this year, but the Cubbies I received looked fine for the most part.  The Uncanny Valley ookiness is mercifully kept to a minimum.

I still don’t like the Timeline base design, but there is something about the blue on it that give it a certain I don’t know what.

Attax are Attax.  Rolling out a new game every year or two and never sticking with one can’t be helping the baseball CCG cause, I’m just sayin’.

Cards from Night Owl #5

Tristar & Bowman & a different Zambrano & topps Chrome

It’s a shame Tristar’s stuff gets no love, because most of their stuff looks very good, better than Boredom Bowman most years.

I think that’s the first ’94 Fleer Ultra Cubbie I’ve got.  I was going to say the mid-’90s (’94-’98ish), were a good place to start for my Cubs collection needs, but really, I don’t have that many from just about any era.  Vintage aside, mid-’90s is certainly a very low point, but I don’t even have that many junk wax era Cubbies, particularly of the non-topps persuasion.  I guess this is because while I’ve been collecting cards since 1996, it’s only been the last couple of years that baseball cards became my top priority.

Fonsie, just… try to come back healthy next year, ‘kay?

2009 Upper Deck

2009 Upper Deck Cubs

There they are.  Amazing that through all the horrible offseason moves, injuries, and just bad years in general, the Cubs finished over .500 in 2009.

Cards from Night Owl #8

Cards from the dark ages...

Well, the late-’80s/early-’90s were colorful, if nothing else.

Cards from Night Owl #6

'09 Icons & more '09 Allen & Ginter needs

Icons are kinda meh and the foil parallels are mostly fugly, but the blue does the halfhearted baseball design some good.  And there’s Fukudome, the whole reason for the trade in the first place.  Someday, I’m going to update my A&G trade page.

Someday.

Some great great cards from the man with one of the 5 coolest names in the sports card blogosphere (along with Wicked Ortega, Mojo Hand, Collective Troll, and yours truly, Lonestarr, modesty aside ;P).  Give it up for Night Owl one more time!

Oh, Mr. Owl, do you still need the Broxton All-Star card from Updates & Highlights?  If so, I will send it along with the Kershaw & any other stuff I might have.

That’s all for this post.  Just a reminder, only about a dozen guesses have been made in the contest so far, so keep ’em coming.  Remember, even if you’re guess is wrong, you’ll still be in the drawing for a chance at the four football cards.

Play again?