Thursday, July 30, 2015

2015 Allen & Ginter Recap and Trade Bait!!!

I went a bit overboard on Allen & Ginter this year. I have been putting money back for quite a few months. I decided after last year's product came out that I wanted to open a half-case of the 2015 incarnation. I did just that. Stupidly, instead of buying it all at once at one location, I spread it out over a couple different places. I know this definitely hurt me, as I didn't pull any case hits (which I only had a 50/50 chance at anyway)> But enough with that. 

The very first box I opened I am using for Gint-A-Cuffs. I know there are some people that open a lot of Ginter and choose their best box for the contest, but that doesn't really seem fair to me. It isn't against the rules, but I chose to use it, regardless of what was in the box. You'll see those posts when the contest officially opens this weekend.

In the meantime, here are some scans of some of my hits.

I was fortunate. Autos fall roughly 1 every two boxes. Out of the six boxes I opened, I pulled five autos. Four of these are of pretty good ballplayers, including last year's AL Cy Young winner, Corey Kluber. Poor guy couldn't get any run support to save his life this year. Also pulled was Mike Mills of R.E.M.

Also pulled a total of twelve full-size relics. Not too shabby, but still relics.

However, I pulled one mini-relic:

Is this guy any good? The name sounds familiar. More impressive is that the framed mini relics fall in only one of every 61 packs.

I pulled two of these framed cloth mini's, both numbered 5 of 10. The one above is of Yoenis Cespedes. The other was of Pablo Sandoval, but I forgot to scan it.

Last, it wouldn't be a Topps product without a gimmick. The gimmick this time? A&G 10th Anniversary Buybacks. Waste of space if you ask me, but I pulled quite a few of them:

Well, there you have it, a quick overview of what I pulled. It was fun, and I'm glad I did it. I know I won't get my money back on what I invested, but if that's what I was looking for, I'm in the wrong hobby.

Needless to say, but there is a ton of trade bait available. All minis - base and inserts - have already been claimed. But everything else I have left over is available. I am working on three insert sets - What Once Was Believed, What Once Would Be, and Magnates, Barons and Tycoons - so if you have any of my needs, let's work something out!!!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

I Feel Like My Best Friend Just Moved Away

If you've been living under a rock, you probably don't know that Cole Hamels was finally traded to the Rangers earlier tonight. I was pretty stoked to see it, but my excitement waned pretty quickly.

First, I heard that Jorge Alfaro was one of the main pieces, along with Nick Williams. That sucks...Alfaro was supposed to be our catcher of the future. I never want to see anyone traded with the nickname, "The Legend." Williams is also a stud, and I dreamed of an outfield featuring him and Nomar Mazara.

Then I heard Jake Thompson was part of the deal. Since acquiring him from the Tigers last year, I had grown fond of him, and I was getting excited to see him as a solid second starter in Arlington.

But then any excitement I may have had was completely wiped away when I heard that Matt Harrison was also included in the deal. My primary PC guy...gone. And I didn't even get to say goodbye.

I understand why he was included - his contract offsets some of the money owed to Hamels in the coming seasons - but that doesn't mean I have to like it. As a matter or fact, I hate this deal. Jon Daniels has been criticized recently for not caring about the chemistry of the team. He traded Michael Young without understanding how it would change the clubhouse dynamic. Then he sent off Ian Kinsler. I defended both of these moves, saying they were necessary for the betterment of the team. But I can't be a team player anymore. This is just too much for me. 

This is nothing against Hamels. On paper, this deal qualifies for "blockbuster" status, and as much as I love him, Harrison isn't Hamels. Cole should make our rotation pretty formidable in the future, assuming Darvish, Derek Holland and Martin Perez get healthy. Throw in Chi Chi Gonzalez (who is hopefully a bit more polished next year) and that starting five is one of the best in all of baseball. 

But it still hurts to think that my favorite player won't be on my favorite team anymore. 

Friday, July 24, 2015

Holy Sh**!!!! I FINALLY Got A Couple TTMs Back In The Mail!!!!

I sent out about 20 TTMs back in early May after the Spring semester ended. I didn't expect to get any back immediately, but I sure thought I would get some back.

Fast forward a couple months. The first two came back! Not surprisingly, both had a North Texas postmark, so I knew where they were coming from. Let's take a look!

First up is Martin Perez. Such a beautiful card...that clearly was damaged by something, I'm assuming a paperclip. Ouch. Oh well, at least I got it back!

I can't really make it out in the signature, but I also got one back from the Bulldog himself, Colby Lewis! I'm pretty stoked about this one, thought it has damage also. That signature, while not complete;y legible, is still damn beautiful!

There they are. Let's hope more are on their way!!!!!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Another Addition to the American Caramel Auto Project

A quick post today. I was able to snag this for my 2010 T206 American Caramel Auto project:

For some reason, this card always seems to be overpriced whenever I see it. Nothing against Jed Lowrie, but I don' think he's done anything to warrant $20 for this card.

Last I heard, Lowrie was with the Astros. Not sure if he still is. Such is life. If you have any autos from this set you are willing to part with, let's talk!

UPDATE: A quick Google search informed me that Lowrie is still with the Astros and has recently begun a rehab stint. So there ya go.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Topps "Call Your Shot" Game Lands A Bigger Fish Than Expected

I had some pretty good luck with Series 2 earlier this year. I pulled a sweet Ted Williams birth year stamp/coin card and an even sweeter John Smoltz Royalty Relic numbered to 25. I also managed a couple cool photo variations and knocked out my Rangers team set.

Along the way, I think I managed to pull roughly 20 of the "Babe Ruth Call Your Shot" scratch game cards. Almost religiously, I scratched the box for the autograph card and put in the code, only to find out that I was a loser (my ex-girlfriends would probably say that wasn't a big surprise. Ex-girlfriends for a reason, right?!). However, the last one I scratched showed me those beautiful words...

"Congratulations, you're a winner!"

So I paid nearly $5 for shipping and waited.

And waited.

Finally, I received my card in the mail yesterday. After seeing posts from other people who had won cards, I didn't get my hopes up. It didn't look looked like Topps was really just trying to clean out the storage room.

But maybe my luck with Series 2 would continue....

You tell me:

An Adrian Gonzalez auto from 2013 Five Star?!?!?!

Hell yeah, that's a win!!!

I was expecting some no-name base auto from 2007 Bowman (or something similar). I definitely wasn't expecting a bigger name like Gonzalez, and I damn sure wasn't expecting an auto from a Five Star product!!!!

So now I just have to decide if I want to keep it or trade it. I'll think on it for a few days. If you have a Ranger auto that you think would be a fair trade, let me know!

Some Additions to the Nick Martinez PC

When Series 2 dropped, it happened to have one of my PC guys in it. Nick Martinez started the year off swimmingly, but has since fallen off the wagon. This is both a blessing and a curse: his cards have come back down to earth in terms of price, but the Rangers could really use the ace-like stuff he showed earlier in the year.

Anyway, let's look at some cards.

This is the acetate parallel, numbered to 10.

The reverse side of the acetate. Big fan of the stained-glass effect in the background.

This is the snow parallel. I think it is technically called the "snow camo" parallel, but let's face it: we aren't exactly going to war with sea lions in Alaska, so I don't understand the need for "snow camo."

The traditional black parallel.

And the silver framed parallel numbered to 20.

I still need the pink, gold and rainbow foil variations, so if you have any, let me know!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Some Random Thoughts on Over-Production Era Rookies

With 2015 Topps Series 2 streeting last month, I think it's time to discuss Rookie Cards. Why, you ask? Well, because the Kris Bryant rookie card was featured in the set, and naturally, everyone went bat-crap crazy trying to get their hands on one.

Yup, I'm guilty, too. I have four that I pulled, and I'm going to send all of them to PSA. Why would anyone do that? Well, if Bryant lives up to anything remotely close to his hype, those PSA rookies will sell like hot cakes. Don't believe me? Go search eBay for Mike Trout rookies.

But we're talking about modern rookies. Production has been curtailed to create a market for these cards. We know that vintage rookies sell for a good deal, but they are vintage and hard to find in good shape. What about the dreaded era of over-production? Well, there are still some rookies that carry value. The top three in my mind are simple: Derek Jeter, Chipper Jones and Mariano Rivera.

1993 SP Derek Jeter
Out of all the rookie cards for Derek Jeter, this one is the most valuable. It routinely goes for over $100, and it is pretty distinct as well. SP was produced by Upper Deck, and foil coating makes this card stand out even today.

1991 Topps Desert Shield Chipper Jones
Even though he was one of the best in his era, Chipper Jones never really got the credit he deserved. With that being said, he has one of the most valuable rookie cards from this particular time. These cards were produced during the Iraq war, and the limited production makes the price tag just slightly below Jeter.

1992 Bowman Mariano Rivera
In 1992, very few people knew anything about Mariano Rivera. He certainly did not look like a guy who would be the best closer in the game. Jeter and Jones were first round picks, but Rivera was just trying to find his footing. Because of this, there are very few true rookie cards for him, and that influences value. You can find one for $50 to $60.

All of these are most likely to hold value, at lest for the time being. All three players are fresh in our minds and soon-to-be Hall of Famers (most likely, first ballot HOFers), so they will be in demand for a while.

So there you have it, my take on some good rookie cards from the 90's. What do you think? Agree? Disagree? Lemme know!

Ready to try out the new daily fantasy leagues that everyone is talking about?
Click the link here to receive a 100% deposit bonus at FanDuel. Use Promo code BONUS200:

My First Inception Purchase

I've been squirreling away spare pennies ("squirreling away"? I sound like my grandparents...) whenever I can. When I first saw the design for 2015 Bowman Inception, I fell in love with it. I finally pulled the trigger and bought myself a box, knowing full-well that I was most likely spending a good chunk of change for $20 in cards (if I was lucky).

Well, I wasn't wrong.

Each box comes with four on-card autos and one auto relic card. There are multiple parallels for each card. My box was filled with a lot of base.

Aaron Blair. Never heard of him, but the card says he was the DBacks' Minor League Pitcher of the year last year and has/had a sub-2 ERA. Okay then.

Franklin Barreto. Heard of him, but don't know much. I know he was in the Toronto farm system last year, and I can't remember exactly what deal brought him to Oakland.

Aaron Judge. What is a Topps product without a Yankee, right?!?! Regardless, this is probably the best card in my box. Judge is a big dude that has a helluva bat evidently.

Rymer Liriano. Padres. Well, hm.

Robert Stephenson. Never heard of him either. Seems to be a common theme.

So that's it for my Inception box. Nothing terribly exciting, and I'm happy to trade any of these away for Rangers autos!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Holy Crap, It's Been A While!

June 29, 2015. That's the last time I had a new blog post. I was finishing up the class I taught for Summer I and trying to wrap up a very, very brief research project. Once all of that was finished, I returned home to spend some time with my dad.

But now I am back in Lubbock, briefly. I was awarded a fellowship and had to come back to fill out and sign the paperwork. So I decided to break the post-less streak and start sharing some cards that I've picked up recently.

My first post shares a single card, but it's one I recently found that I had no idea even existed:

This is the card number 152 in the 1991 "Nobody Beats the Wiz" set. The cards are about three-quarters the size of a regular card and came in sheets, separated by tearing the perforations.

I'm clearly not from New York, but I have no idea what "The Wiz" is (other than some kind of entertainment store). 

As for Grieve, this card kind of makes me sad. Grieve moved with the Senators to Arlington in 1972. He was traded to the Mets in 1978, but left after one year with the team. He returned to Texas in a front-office role, eventually becoming the GM. His most significant action in this role is signing Nolan Ryan. 

After working in the front office, Grieve transitioned to the broadcast booth, where he still resides today. He was inducted into the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame a few years ago and is affectionately known as "Mr. Ranger."

If you feel like the name sounds familiar, but you can't really place way, maybe this will help. Tom is the father of former major-leaguer Ben Grieve.

So there it is, my first post in what seems like forever (almost a month!!!). There is more to come, so keep an eye open!