Diamond Giveaway Orders 2-4: By the Numbers

Wow, where does the time go?  Life distracted me I guess.  It wasn’t for bad things for once at least though, so no worries.  Just beautiful distraction… Anyway, my last three orders of Diamond Giveaway cards have arrived.  So,  here’s a quick breakdown by year.

1960: 3- 13 Wally Post (Keeper), 60 Gus Triandos (Keeper), 241 Albie Pearson (Keeper).  Condition: Acceptable.  All three are a bit off-center & have a lil edge wear/corner dingage.  Triandos is scratched up & might be my worst condition ’60 so far, but I know it could’ve been much, much worse.

1964: 1- 372 Howie Koplitz. Condition: Similar to the two better ’60s.  By far the worst problem is centering, so I can’t complain.

1965: 1- 270 Milt Pappas (Keeper).  Condtion: Decently loved.  Bit of creasing, well worn edges, maybe a lil weathered(?).  Worst condition so far, but again, I’m not grading too harshly.

1966: 5- 8 Floyd Robinson, 49 Woody Woodward, 192 Vic Power (Keeper), 283 Jim Perry, 393 George Brunet.  Condition: Woody is the best by far, reasonably well centered & only relatively minor corner dingage.  Floyd & Vic have maybe a similar level of issues, but in different ways, and the last two… well, they kinda suck.  Perry seems to be stained & has a crease running the length horizontally near the bottom.  Brunet is stained, pretty creased up, has well-worn corners, & is centered worse than everyone amongst the ’66s, save Vic Power.  Brunet is by far the worst condition card now.

1967: 8- 27 Bob Saverine, 71 Camilo Pascual, 107 Joel Horlen, 117 Darrell Brandon, 145 Larry Brown, 269 Don  Nottebart, 291 Jim Hannan, 416 Roger Repoz.  Condition: Mostly great!  Repoz is the only legitimately bad one.  Horlen & Nottebart are a little more worn than the rest, Hannan is stained, & Larry Brown is hilariously off-center.  The other three are very nice though, and overall these guys are worlds better than the ’66s.

1968: 2- 28 Ted Uhlaender, 336 John Purdin. Condition: Uhlaender is pretty rough, but Purdin would probably grade out decently.  Not much damage and near perfect centering.  Very nice if you need him for the set or something.

1969: 11- 14 Al McBean, 129 Bill McCool, 154 Jim Britton, 158 Joe Gibbon, 264 Bill Landis, 281 Ted Kubiak, 316 Hal Lanier, 322 Jose Vidal, 337 Marty Martinez, 374 Bob Tillman, 474 Tom Murphy.  Condition: McBean is by far the most damaged.  A few others or worn or weathered, but not much creasing going on.   Tillman & Marty Mart have centering issues, but minimal damage, the former have almost none at all.

1970: 1- 52 Bruce Dal Canton.  Condition: Absolutely beat to hell.  Gives the awesome ’53 Hank Sauer Heartbreaking Cards sent me out of nowhere recently a run for it’s money, without the charm of being from the early ’50s.

1971: 2- 48 Dave Baldwin, 505 Ollie Brown.  Condition:  Pretty nice for ’71s, especially Ollie.  Dave has scratches across his face, though to a much lesser extent than the Triandos & somewhat rough corners, but nice centering.  Ollie isn’t quite centered as well, but is easily my 2nd best conditioned ’71 (after a super off-center but virtually undamaged Hoyt Wilhelm).

1972: 3- 73 Steve Huntz, 240 Dick Allen (Keeper), 258 Randy Hundley (Keeper).  Condition: No complaints.  Huntz is easily the worst, & mostly just looks a little weathered and feels kinda… weird.  Filmy, I guess?  On both sides.  Allen & Hundley don’t have much wrong with them.

1973: 3- 88 Mickey Stanley, 310 Dick Allen (Keeper), 444 Ken Brett.  Condition: Mickey’s seen better days.  Very rough.  Allen looks a little weathered & is off-center, but doesn’t seem to be that beat up or anything.  Ken’s in pretty decent shape.

1974: 2- 22 Cy Acosta, 528 Bill Bonham.  Condition: Cy is a little rough, particularly the corners, but is well-centered.  Bonham is noice.

1975: 5- 283 Steve Foucault, 301 Dave Roberts, 305 Jim Colborn, 579 Skip Pitlock, 588 Rick Auerbach.  Condition: Foucault & Colborn are the roughest, Pitlock is a lil scruffy, the other two are fine.

1976: 8- 12 Richie Zisk, 15 George Scott (Keeper), 227 Oscar Zamora, 351 Randy Hundley (Keeper), 359 Rick Reuschel, 391 Jerry Hairston, 455 Dick Allen (Keeper), 545 Sparky Lyle.  Condition: Nothing too bad.  Just some dinged corners mostly.  Sparky has this slight… tear(?), on the lower left edge, but it isn’t something I’m going to lose it over.

1978: 3- 93 Bobby Cox MGR, Henry Cruz, 380 Ted Simmons. Condition: Cruz is a little beat up, but again, nothing too severe here.  Most of my other ’78s are in worse condition than the Simmons & Cox at least.

1979: 3- 145 Rick Rhoden, 216 Wilbur Wood, 720 Expos Prospects (Jerry Fry/Jerry Pirtle/Scott Sanderson.  Condition: Looks like just the slightest of corner dingage here.  I have game-used that have come out of the pack looking worse.

1980: 1- 117 Dock Ellis (Keeper).  Condition: We’re in the ’80s now.  Expecting better than… multiple poke spots(… The hell?), and weird scuffy/stainy lines.

1981: 1- 310 Vida Blue.  Condition: Scratchiness by the hat in bottom left, lil edge wear on bottom, & a dinged corner.  Pfft.

1982: 1- 721 Greg Luzinski In Action.  Condition: Not quite perfect.  Meh, close enough.

1983: 1- 177 Harold Baines (Was going to be a keeper, might just be trash).  Condition: Crap.  Creases, scuffiness, corner wear, a lil warpiness?  WTF?!  I’m actually kind of genuinely pissed off by this card.  It’s seriously one of the more beat up cards in the entire lot.  You couldn’t get ahold of an ’83 semistar less beat up than this?!  C’mon, man!

1984: 3- 171 Frank Robinson MGR (Keeper), 276 Angels Batting/Pitching Leaders Rod Carew/Geoff Zahn (Keeper), 390 Tim Raines All-Star (Keeper).  Condition: Best shape of any of the ’80s cards so far, though none are quite minty fresh.

1986: 2- 254 Ozzie Guillen RC (Keeper), 760 Andre Dawson (Keeper).  Condition.  Ozzie is in line with the ’84s and thus good enough, but Hawk is somewhere between Luzinski & Vida Blue…

2011 Diamond Die-Cuts: 4- DDC-16 Justin Upton (Keeper), DDC-60 David Wright, DDC-94 Marlon Bryd, DDC-119 Kurt Suzuki.  Condition: Nothing wrong here I guess.

N/A: 1- 1975 Dock Ellis.  The only card I didn’t get.  We’ll see how it looks whenever it gets here.

Overall Grade:  The condition of the ’60s & ’70s mostly met or exceeded expectations, and only the 1970 the Bruce Dal Canton was probably unacceptably awful.  But I was expecting a lot better of the ’80s stuff.  I give the overall condition a B-.  That Harold Baines hurt bad.

I think I got all my keepers labeled.  Most of the rest is up for trade.  Sorry about the lack of pictures.  I’ll try to get them all scanned and posted before the week is out (no guarantees of course).  Thanks for stopping by!

Happy trails to you…

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Diamond Gallery #2: The Diamond Die-Cuts

As mentioned last time, my first Diamond Giveaway order (of four full 25-card orders total) arrived last Friday.  It was the free one, and contained most of my Diamond Die-Cuts. So here they are now.  Enjoy.

Shin-Soo Choo..

They are nice & shiny all over.  The only thing that could make them better is if they were in the much prettier blue or purple Walmart or Toys B Fun versions. They are great as is, but red doesn’t do it for me.  Give me the darker, cooler colors any day.

Andrew McCutchen..

The  diamond in the background glows almost as much as it shines.  This is especially true of the black diamond.  But we’ll get to that in due time.

Big Papi..

I ended up with most of what I was after, but I never was able to land Ernie Banks, and I’m still a little tweaked by that.

Dave Winfield..

There were way too damn many Yankees in this set, but it’s hard to argue with most of them.  Only Swisher and Teixeira are really debatable, and the latter only because he’s sucked in 2012.  Still, I’d have taken out both of them and either Maris or Munson and a few of the lesser Braves and added Johnny Bench, Joey Votto, and Matt Kemp, amongst others.

CarGo..

I’m not sure what I’m going to do with CarGo and the others that aren’t players I specifically collect or are otherwise spoken for.  Ya better bring it if you want one though.

Longo..

I’d like one of the few of these I still want or need in return (Ernie Banks, Carlos Marmol, Tyler Colvin, Jackie Robinson, and Reggie Jackson, amongst others I potentially accept).  In lieu of that, make a specific offer of something pretty darn nice.  I sunk way too much time into this and I’m not just going to accept any ol’ thang for these bad mamma-jammas.

Chris Sale..

Alexei..

These are the two White Sox I picked up for my dad’s little collection of things I pull or pick up cheap.  I miiiiiiiight be able to let one go if you have the ammo to deal, but I’m not moving both.

Adrian Beltre..

2012 All-Star starter, future Hall of Famer?  After the unspectacular-yet-steady early years and lone monster contract season with the Dodgers and somewhat awful stretch with the Marinerds, he’s really turned it on since leaving the M’s and seems to be getting better with age.  The numbers are starting to look Hall of Fame quality for 3B.

Aramis..

Speaking of guys closing in on Hall of Fame numbers at the hot corner.  Aramis maybe isn’t aging quite as gracefully (or perhaps it’s just the Brewers relative irrelevance when not in the playoff hunt), but he’s still playing fairly decent up there in Milwaukee.  And if the Brew Crew completely fall out of playoff picture, look for Aramis to catch fire and look and make people take notice of his offensive prowess again.  It’s what he does, kinda.

Ichiro Suzuki..

To hell with that one name BS.  It doesn’t matter if how amazing someone is, this ain’t soccer!  And “Fred” ruined it for soccer anyway.

King Felix..

And now the pitching half of what was a two man team for most of the last few years, King Felix.

Vlad..

Why is this guy not in the majors right now?!  He had his worst season last and still hit .290!

David Wright..

One of two die-cuts likely bound for Long Fly Ball.  Don’t worry though Wright fans, because I have another on the way.  For the same reason I couldn’t get Ernie, I’m a little tweaked to still have the second David Wright.  I tried EVERYTHING to deal the second Wright for Ernie, but no matter how ridiculously lopsided in whoever the offers were going to’s favor, I got jack and diddly to show for it.

RickyRo Black Diamond #’ed 48/60

Check the black diamond’s dark, ominous glow.  This is what made this order free, and the other die-cut most likely bound for Long Fly Ball.

Starlin Castro..

Goin’ bigtime with the last two.  2011’s NL Hit (and error) King, Starlin Castro!

Ryno!

Finally, one of the only two die-cuts I actually hit myself (though I guess I only unlocked 34-ish cards total), Ryne Sandberg!  Although, come to think of it, I hit this and the Black Diamond Gaby Sanchez that eventually became RickyRo in just 30-some shots, so I actually did incredibly well, I guess.

That’s it for this one, sports fans.  The Diamond Giveaway (which I keep wanting to hash tag and not space…) is over, so please make your final selections and proceed to checkout.  Thank you for shopping your local Diamond Giveaway.

Until our next…

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!