Card Draft II Countdown Part 1: 25-16 + Extras

Lovely parting gifts..

Lovely parting gifts..

With Scott Crawford on Cards‘ Trade Bait Draft III probably happening tonight (If you got $20 or a good trade to offer him, and an hour or two free, hit him up!), I thought it was way past time to start showing off my stuff from my first go-round in his draft’s second iteration.  With the five bonus rounds and five extra throw-ins, I ended up with a total of 30 cards, but I’m only going to count down the drafted cards.  The extras are at the top of the post.  And now, without further adieu, let’s count ’em down.  In my opinion, here are 25-16:

#25

2011 Bowman Mike Moustakas Bowman's Best Prospects..

2011 Bowman Mike Moustakas Bowman’s Best Prospects..

A late-round set need pick for a set I’m waffling pretty hard on whether or not I want to finish.  My love of Bowman’s Best stems from 1996-1999, not from the product’s first year, which this set is aping.  Keeper (for now I guess).

#24

1974 Topps Goose Gossage..

1974 Topps Goose Gossage..

Chosen entirely for the sake of “Hall of Famer in a White Sox uniform”.  I don’t even particularly like Goose, because his opinions on baseball invariably annoy me on the mercifully rare occasions he voices them.  Available for trade, because I don’t want to look at Goose every time I pass the shelves the White Sox cards I give my dad are on when I’m at the parents’ place.

#23

BowChro Jameson Taillon die-cut..

BowChro Jameson Taillon die-cut..

I like Taillon and think he is going to be very good.  The only reason this one is so low on the countdown is the card itself.  Topps has gone crazy with the die-cuts the since 2011, but these are one of the very few that don’t really do it for me.  Available for trade.

#22

Kurt Suzuki Heritage Chrome Green Refractor..

Kurt Suzuki Heritage Chrome Green Refractor..

Although I like that the refractor color matches the player’s team, Suzuki is pure trade bait, most likely for Shot Not Taken if he needs it.  He has no less than a dozen hits I have varying degrees of interest in, and three I absolutely have to get whenever we trade again.  Plus he always seems to pull a few wrestlers I like when he busts pro graps cards, so it’s no wonder we trade so often.

#21

1969 Topps Johnny Podres..

1969 Topps Johnny Podres..

It’s a cool card, no doubt, but mostly a case of picking the best card still remaining on my draft board.  Available for trade, especially if you have a fairly equivalent Cub from the around that time.

#20

Laser Emmitt Smith Sample..

Laser Emmitt Smith Sample..

Even though I don’t actively collect samples and promos anymore (or think that highly of Emmitt Smith as a football player), I can’t say no to a little blinged out ’90s greatness.  Available for trade.

19

1974 Topps All-Star Catchers Fisk/Bench..

1974 Topps All-Star Catchers Fisk/Bench..

Chosen for the Carlton Fiskiness of it all.  Goose started it off, and here is the second appearance in a long run of ’74 Hall of Famers (and one all-time what could have been) in varying degrees of rough condition.  Many more to come.  Reluctantly available for trade.

#18

1986-87 Fleer Maurice Cheeks..

1986-87 Fleer Maurice Cheeks..

This is a great card, and it only fell this far down the list right before I started writing the post.  It was #12 when I got the list back out to start this up.  Oddly, I’ve only ever owned three cards from the legendary ’86-87 Fleer set, and all three of them have been 76ers (Dr. J and Moses Malone were the others).  Reluctantly available for trade.

#17

2013 Topps Yu Darvish '72 Mini..

2013 Topps Yu Darvish ’72 Mini..

YU!  I dunno about these mini sets of sets that were never mini in the first place.  I think Topps may be scraping the bottom of the barrel of their endless nostalgia crazed wankfest.  Yeah, wankfest.  They are clearly in love with themselves and their history, despite how INCREDIBLY MEDIOCRE that history is.  Yeah you never made a bad set from 1971-1985, but a lot of what came before is only well thought of because it’s old, and you’re still spotty as hell and losing ground in modern times.  You NEVER even innovated a damn thing in 25 years of relatively uncontested ruling over baseball cards, and really cards in general.  So, I think you and your history kinda suck!  And I will never, EVER stop resenting you for your current exclusive deal, or MLB for giving it to you.

What can I say I’m a Paul Heyman Upper Deck Panini anyone willing to put up a decent alternative to Topps guy.

But I’ll take a YU! every chance I get.  This, despite my rant, is a reluctant keeper.  At least until I finish and can start upgrading my Yu Darvish page.

#16

2011 Score Colin Kaepernick RC

2011 Score Colin Kaepernick RC

What a thrill to watch last year.  Even Kaep’s early struggles were of the rather epic variety (the infamous halfback toss to nowhere that, iirc, eventually cost the Niners that game).  Can’t wait to see what he can do over a full and hopefully healthy season.  I’ve never seen a running QB with such deadly timing on designed runs.  Just unreal what he can do.  It is never a good idea to anoint a team, but the 49ers are built to compete for championships for years on end, and it will be a huge disappointment if they don’t get at least one.

That’s it for the first of what will most likely be three of these countdown posts.  If Card Draft III does end up being tonight, I will hopefully be able to get the countdown done before the next bunch of cards arrive.  Thanks for stopping by!

Until our next…

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The Trading Post: Marie of A Cardboard Problem

Hey all.  So I guess I’ll start with the most recent trade to arrive and work my way back.  This package arrived sometime between Tuesday and Thursday this past week from Marie of A Cardboard Problem.

Some specific Cubs player collections..

A nice mix of specific Cubbies I collect.  The only one here I might have already is the ’10 Aramis Chrome.  The Attax look great!  Which reminds me… The random coupon generator at Target finally spit out something useful last time I was in there.  It gave me a $2 off an Attax starter set coupon.  I will have to be sure and use that sometime, if only for the novelty of having a coupon for sports cards (and the trade bait, oh the tradebait).

Btw, when is topps going to realize that the flagship set’s base cards look better without the foil and ditch it.  The price-per-card of Opening day and regular is about the same anyway.  Just lose the messy, hard to read foil touches on the name already.  Jeez.

New Hawks and Fukudomes make it worth getting up in the morning. 🙂

And Ryan Dempster is staring into your soul.  He says it’s dark and moist in your soul, like a humid midwestern night, and that it smells like burnt cheese and Hai Karate.  Is that normal?

I don’t even want to talk about the Cubs this year and Soriano being the only guy being an offensive threat and hitting home runs means I can’t blame it on him.  So I’m just going to move on to the big prize.  A prize so rich that it completes my unlikely trifecta of one of the hottest young stars in all of sports!  Behold!

Derr-... Soriano?!

Oh yeah, there were two of these Heritage Fonzies.  Neither one seems to be a variation or anything, so I’ll be sure to send one along to the BigD crew when I get around to trading with them (got a TON of stuff for you guys).

The Big Prize..

That’s more like it!  A jumbo swatch from one of the longstanding favorites of Donruss and now Panini’s stalwart Absolute Memorabilia brand: Tools of the Trade.  The card is #’ed /49 and has a nice-but-not-obnoxiously-overbearing-shine that the scan doesn’t pick up at all.  All in all, it’s an outstanding addition to my collection, and a great way to cap off what may be my first (if not, then still only second completed trifecta.

I do have one gripe, and it’s for Panini.  It would be nice if they said what the swatch was supposed to be.  I just figured it was jersey when I watched it being pulled over on ustream, but the lil white dots you see on the swatch are kinda… shimmery, I guess, and the fabric is softer than any that of any other jersey cards I had on hand.  It also feels slightly thicker/puffier than plain jersey, but not enough to think it’s a shoe or prime/patch.  I really have no clue what it’s supposed to be.  Too hazard an insane guess, I’d say it’s some part of a tuxedo.  It is kinda satiny-feeling, now that I think about it.  None of the obvious choices seem right, so why not?

So yeah, until I find out otherwise, this is Derrick Rose-worn tuxedo.  That classes up my trifecta a bit.  Haha, yeah! 😛  Thanks, Marie!  Will have your stuff out this week.  Bye.

More jumbo swatchy goodness next time...

Flea Market Fail, Retail Mostly Win

The Big Hurt..

So yeah, if you heard on twitter, there was no flea market on Saturday, and apparently there won’t be one at all this month.  It’s okay though, I took my what basically amounted to my entire monthly card budget to Target and Walmart, and had the good fortune of it turning out fairly well.  We all know how hit-or-miss doing that can be, but it can turn out rather nicely at times too.  I picked up a 33%-off ($20 instead of $30) blaster of 2009 SP football (the only dud of the bunch) and a Heritage value box (should’ve doubled up on these) at Walmart, and the last two 3-pack value rack pack things of Gypsy Queen at Target.  So let’s see how it all turned out, shall we?

Just uh, pretend you didn’t read my tweets from Sunday afternoon.  They were spoiler city for this post.  We’ll start with the Heritage Value Box.

The value box bonus refractor. Classy design with rather subtle and subdued refractoring that perfectly highlights without being gaudy. End result: An excellent bonus card.

The only card of note from the Heritage hobby packs..

There weren’t even any SPs that I know of.  Nothing wrong with getting an insert of a legendary pitcher, but the design is snooze inducing, so without chromeyness or a hit (or some sort of super SP variation nonsense), Heritage tends to be… forgettable.  It’s cool though, the regular topps was on point.

Start it off with a much-needed mini, because I think I'm still in single digits on this set, unless this McCutchen gets me to 10.

A Frank Robinson card is ALWAYS a welcome addition to my collection. 60 Years of topps.

A diamond parallel of a star. No longer collecting this set (just Cubs and my other player collections), but Cruz is probably worth one of bigger players I am after, to the right trader.

topps60 > Peak Performance, I'm just sayin'. Fairly classy design. These are for trade..

Another cool insert for trade..

I also pulled two Diamond Giveaway cards from the packs, so I ended up with four instead of two.  That was nice.  Oddly, they were both the same as the two that came with it (’77 Reggie, ’50-something Jackie).  I ended up with an ’88 Tony Gwynn, an ’05 Reds team card, an early ’90s cards so forgettable I can’t even remember which of my three forgettable early ’90s cards was the one I got in this bunch, and a ’70 Don Young (Vintage Cubs!).

Other cards of note were base of Beltre and King Felix for myself, a Steve Carlton/CC Sabathia Diamond Duos, ToppsTown of Mauer, Markakis, Carlos Santana, and two David “I hit a game-winning home run with a broken freakin’ back!” Wright.  Oh, and this:

A jersey card of The Ace of the Angels staff! Weaver is 6-3 with an ERA in the low 2s and a WHIP below 1(!) so far this year. Bonus: It's a nice red swatch. None of that white or gray business here.

Great to pull a great player when you hit on a 1:96 pack card, that’s for sure.  He’ll be added to the For Trade page when I get around to it.

Now, for the dud blaster… Presenting 2009 SP Signature Edition Football:

Purple swatch is nice & all, but John David Booty is so very not worth the price of admission, even at 33%-off.

What can I say?  Even with a better hit, this wouldn’t have been very exciting.  There were Bears base, but this was just disappointing overall.  Why would anyone ever be willing to pay $30 for one of these, when the vast majority of them were most likely just as lame as this one, which stunk on ice at $20?  It was a mistake, plain & simple.  I would’ve been much better off going with a second Heritage value box, even if it turned out to not be any good itself.

Needless to say, only the Bears in the top row are keepers.  The other 57 cards in the blaster can’t be gotten rid of fast enough.

Putting the failure of the day behind us, let’s get to the main course and do us up some Gypsy Queen!

You saw one of my keepers up top.  Frank Thomas with the White Sox is an official player collection now.  I’ll take hits from anywhere he played, but base and inserts and such I’d prefer be of the White Sox variety.

Anyway, everyone always says “Since you’ve already seen the base on countless other blogs, we’ll just skip to the inserts and hits”. No, EVERYONE says this, so no one that doesn’t break down single packs shows the damn base at all (save for the occasional shortprint)!  So here are three more base cards (okay, Markakis is a shortprint).

Kyle Drabek RC, Andruw Jones in what has to be one of the least flattering pictures on a baseball card this year, and a Nick Markakis SP. The base isn't getting as much love as I expected, but it's got style and is anything but boring.

With that taken care of, now here are some inserts.  Was that so hard?

Pujols, Alexei, Rollie, McGee RC, and the Gypsy Queen back is Chris Carter.

I'm suckered in and collecting this set, so if you have any extras, the nine I have will be posted on the set wantlist page later, so you can see what I be needin'. Also, STARLIN!

It wasn’t all Hot Pockets and singing frogs with sombreros in Gypsy Queen land though.  The second of the two value rack pack things had about a half dozen damaged cards, the worst two being the best two cards I pulled from thing.

This is a Gypsy Queen-backed shortprint. Difficult to see, but the damage is visible on my oldass low-def monitor at least. The bottom of the left vertical edge is slightly raised on the front, as if someone tried sticking a finger nail in the edge or something.

Jackie Robinson Framed Paper #'ed 100/999. Then it got worse. The card came out of the pack with that little chunk below the words at the bottom ripped up and barely hanging onto the card. What the hell, pack searcher and/or lollygagging topps quality control person?! Like half of the inserts in this same rack having minor damage on *two* corners, and my short print and Aroldis Chapman base having far worse on one of theirs wasn't bad enough, let's screw up the two best cards too... Will be sending these back for replacements.

Fortunately, there was a saving grace with the Gypsy Queen.  Behold!

The Man!

There was a lot of good in this little binge, and plenty of bad, but it can’t be denied… Retail has it’s occasional moments.  A lot of my better hits seem to have come from retail, and this… well this card is right up there amongst the best of them, team allegiances or not.

That being said, ol’ Stan here is going to be available, seeing as how I am a Cubs fan and have no love for that whiny team from St. Louis, but I’m not in any rush to get rid of him.  You’ll maybe want to set about blowing me away if you’d like to add Mr. Musial to your collection. 😉

So there you go, my latest binge.  I think I would’ve preferred taking another $25 to the flea market, but aside from the SP and what should be replaceable damaged cards, I am exceedingly pleased with the Heritage value box and Gypsy Queen, and it only amounted to $10 more.  We’ll just call SP a $20 learning experience and try to be smarter in the future.

And this overly long post is finished!  Sorry it’d been a couple days without posting by the way.  My sleep got JACKED UP by a linebacker that goes by the name Ray Insomnia.

EDIT: Forgot the Gypsy Queen inserts, and the sign off!  Here you go:

How could I have forgotten these funderfulriffic cards?! These are the undamaged inserts. I am definitely collecting the Sticky Fingers set entirely because the design is so utterly perfect. Just now noticed the spider motif on the Wall Climbers too! I was going to collect it, but probably not now because I'm so utterly terrified of spiders. Admittedly, that is a terrible excuse, because bees are actually the thing I had a traumatic incident with in my youth (one somehow got in my shirt and stung me on the back several times DURING a little league game). My dad lost a toe to a Brown Recluse bite though, so my spider fear isn't misplaced though. Ah, screw it, I'm not collecting either one. Crap.

Now that’s a wrap.  I’ll post up the two insert sets I will be collecting later on tonight.  Thanks, as ever, for stopping by!

Also, I got my new computer, baby!