Thursday, September 29, 2016

A Couple Things To Expand On From My Last Post

First, I appreciate the kind words that I have received! You're all too kind! But please remember, I grabbed a few cards from your needs or wants lists that were within my budget - there won't be any Mantles in the mail!

Lastly, I will never turn away free cards! However, I don't want you to feel obligated to send me anything - I certianly didn't have that in mind when I put together these packages. If you feel compelled to send me something, I ask that you first consider "paying it forward" - send a random package to someone in the blogging community that has made an impact on you! There is a lot of negativity in our world today - literally turn on any TV station - so this could put a smile on someone's face and offer them a brief reprieve from all of that.

Anyway, didn't mean to get preachy. Hope everyone is well!!!

No, My E-Mail Didn't Get Hacked

A couple weeks ago, I wrote about how grateful I was for the kindness of fellow bloggers The Lost Collector and Jedi Jeff. It's nice to get random cards in the mail. I mentioned that I would be sending out cards to other bloggers. And that's what I've done. I visited a number of blogs and combed over want lists. Some packages have base cards for set needs, others have cards from "Most Wanted" lists. Don't get your hopes too high - as a grad student, I'm on a pretty tight budget!

If you received an email from me (that may have been a little cryptic), just know that the numbers in the email are USPS tracking numbers. If you click on it, you won't get a virus (well, from me anyway. I can't vouch for the USPS).

If you didn't receive an email from me, just know that I am sending more cards out soon. I ran out of shipping labels tonight, so I need to get some more.

So there it is. Keep an eye out!

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Sharing The Love

I've received two surprise packages during the last two weeks.  First, AJ over at The Lost Collector sent me what I am certain to be a complete team set from 2016 Topps Bunt (you know, the digital cards that are now physical cards). However, he also included this beauty:

This is one of the TTMs that AJ received back from Juan Gonzalez (which he talked about on Beckett Radio, because of course he did...). I was surprised to see that Juan-Gone signed. He's been kind of a d*ck in recent years, even refusing the honor when selected for the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame in 2013 (though the Rangers Hall of Fame Committee placed in the Hall in spite of his objections in 2015). Either way, I was stoked for AJ when he received the cards, and blown away when he decided to share one with me.

Thanks AJ!

A couple days ago, I received a package from the Jedi himself, Mr. Wilk from 2x3 Heroes. He crushed a decent chunk of my set needs for 2015 Stadium Club Gypsy Queen and 2016 Heritage.

Pudge from GQ....

Pineda from Heritage....

And CJ Wilson from Stadium Club. I think he is wearing the shirt ironically, considering he couldn't actually throw strikes for the Rangers. He always dabbled around the strike was painful to watch. Of all players who have left the team over the years, he's the one I miss the least - and it's not even a close contest.

Anyway, I was and am extremely grateful that AJ and Jeff sent me cards for no reason other than to be kind. I love that about the blogging community, as I have received similar packages from other bloggers over my years as a blogger.

So I am going to return the favor. During the next two to three weeks, I will be sending out some care packages filled with cardboard. The cards may be from needs lists, wants lists or PC lists. If I send something to you, it's because I specifically remember getting something from you in the past. If you have sent me something in the past, feel free to comment below - I know that someone sent me a huge stack of '15 or '16 Heritage and I cannot for the life of me remember who! - I want to know about it.

I expect nothing in return. If you feel compelled to return the favor, then pay it forward - send some cards to someone who has sent you a random care package. Let's end the summer with a bang!

Thanks again everyone!

Monday, September 12, 2016

Time To Give Topps Some Praise

Back in 2014, I purchased a redemption for a 2013 Tier One Matt Harrison auto copper rose parallel numbered to 25. I assumed that since version 1 of the card was already live, I wouldn't be waiting very long before I received it.

Fast forward to a few months ago. I was reading my blogroll and saw a post from someone (I'm sorry, I can't remember whose post it was and therefore can't give proper credit!) talking about an email they received from Topps discussing the changes coming to the Topps redemption program. Long story short - the company was abandoning the old site in favor of a new integrated system with their current website.

I never received the email, but decided to check out the new site. A few minutes and questions later, I was looking at my "Outstanding Redemptions" page, with only one redemption staring back at me: the 2013 Tier One Matt Harrison.

One f the perks of the new site, at least according to the company, is a smoother process for requesting redemption replacements. I decided to try my luck and requested a replacement. For the record, it is WAY easier to do this now.

As soon as I made the request, I began to worry. I made a similar request in 2014 for the same card for Nelson Cruz. The card I received was a base auto of a no-name prospect from 2011 Bowman Chrome and I had to fight to get Topps to send me a equal replacement, which turned out to be a 2012 Bowman Draft Chrome Joey Gallo auto. EDIT: I just went back to look at the card, and I hate myself. More on this at the end. 

Anyway, I waited a couple months. A couple weeks ago, I noticed that the card shipped and saw what the replacement was. I was pretty excited about it. I received the package today. Inside, I found this letter:

Nice, a bonus card as a gift for the lengthy delay!

Okay, so I'm not exactly breaking the bank with this one. But it's the thought that counts, and I appreciate the gesture from Topps. Doesn't hurt that it's from my favorite set since I got back into collecting.

But here is the replacement card, and I am fairly certain it's "equal" to a Matt Harrison auto numbered to 25. Okay, maybe not. You be the judge.

Holy freaking crap!!!! 2013 Museum Collection on-card auto of Johnny Freakin' Bench!!!!!!

Yeah, this is definitely equal! This card is a beauty! I'm not going to remove it from the top loader. Rather, I'm going to send it to Beckett as is and have them slab it. I'm pretty excited to add this to my collection!!!! Thank you Topps!

And now, more to the story: As I mentioned, Topps sent me a card that I didn't feel was an equal replacement. At the time, I was correct. However, I now wish that I would have kept the damn card:

2011 Bowman Draft Chrome Refractor auto of Trevor Story...selling in the neighborhood of $150 now. I think I'm going to be sick.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Gint-A-Cuffs VIII, Part 3: The Finale, Packs 17 - 24

Part I
Part II
Running Total: +88.5

Pack 17

+2 Insert - Numbers Game Randy Johnson
-1 Steve Spurrier

+1 Pack Total
+89.5 Running Total

Pack 18

-1 Jacoby Ellsbury
+2 Insert - Baseball Legends Honus Wagner
+2 Insert - Numbers Game Evan Longoria

+3 Pack Total
+92.5 Running Total

Pack 19

+1 Insert - Baseball Legends Whitey Ford (Yankee)

+1 Pack Total
+93.5 Running Total

Pack 20

+1 Mitch Moreland (FT)
-1 Alex Rodriguez (Yankee)
-1 Paul O'Neill (Yankee)
+2 Insert - Numbers Game Mike Piazza

+1 Pack Total
+94.5 Running Total

Pack 21

-1 Rob Refsnyder
+2 Insert - Natural Wonders Great Barrier Reef
+1 Falcon 9 Rocket

+2 Pack Total
+96.5 Running Total

Pack 22

+2 Insert - Numbers Game Roger Clemens
+2 Mini A&G Back Jill Martin

+4 Pack Total
+100.5 Running Total

Pack 23

+2 David Wright (FP)
+2 Insert - Natural Wonders Old Faithful
+2 Mini Insert - Mayors Hales

+6 Pack Total
+106.5 Running Total

Pack 24

+2 Insert - Numbers Game Dustin Pedroia
+2 Mini Insert - Ferocious Felines Classic Tabby

+4 Pack Total
+110.5 Running Total

+22 Packs 17 - 24 Total

+110.5 Final Point Tally

So there it is. Yet another poor showing for Gint-A-Cuffs. Gah.

All the minis have already been claimed, but just about everything else is up for grabs. You can find the extras in my trade bait. I'm happy to trade one-for-one on my Ginter needs (or anything else I need, for that matter)!

Gint-A-Cuffs VIII, Part 2: Packs 9 - 16

Part I
Running Total: 27

Pack 9

+2 Maikel Franco (FP)

+2 Pack Total
+29 Running Total

Pack 10

+1 Prince Fielder (FT)
+2 Insert - Numbers Game Corey Seager
+2 Insert - Natures Wonder Cave of Crystals
+2 Mini Insert - Ferocious Felines Ocelot

+7 Pack Total
+36 Running Total

Pack 11

+1 Delino DeShields (FT)
+2 Insert - Baseball Legends Hank Aaron
+2 Insert - Numbers Game Billy Williams
+5 Mini No Number Justin Turner

+10 Pack Total
+46 Running Total

Pack 12

+2 Insert - Natural Wonders Pulpit Rock
+2 Insert - Numbers Game Jose Fernandez
+2 Mini Insert Subways & Streetcars Red Line

+6 Pack Total
+52 Running Total

Pack 13

+8 Framed Mini Relic Victor Martinez
+3 Mini Freddie Freeman (FP)

+11 Pack Total
+63 Running Total

Pack 14

+8.5 Full Size Relic Joey Votto (FP)
+3 Mini Brandon Drury (FP)

+11.5 Pack Total
+74.5 Running Total

Pack 15

+5 Full Size Relic Jay Oakerson
+4 Mini SP Shin Soo Choo (FT)

+9 Pack Total
+83.5 Running Total

Pack 16

+2 Insert - Numbers Game Troy Tulowitzki
+3 Mini Black Border AJ Ramos

+5 Pack Total
+88.5 Running Total

+61.5 Packs 9 - 16 Total

+88.5 Running Total

Gint-A-Cuffs VIII, Part 1: Box Loader, Packs 1 - 8

It took me a while to finally get around to scanning my box for Gint-A-Cuffs III. I bought three boxes, but as I always do, I use the first box for my entry. I score all of the boxes, and this one was the worst (though the others weren't much better). Let's go ahead and get into it.


+4 Buster Posey
+4: Pack Total
+4: Running Total

Pack 1

+1 Mike Greenberg
+1 Monica Abbott
+2 Insert - Baseball Legends Johnny Bench
+3 Mini SP - Peter O'Brien

+7 Pack Total
+11 Running Total

Pack 2

+2 Kenta Maeda (FP)
+2 Freddie Freeman
+2 Insert - Natural Wonders Komodo Island

+6 Pack Total
+17 Running Total

Pack 3

+2 Insert - Baseball Legends Willie Stargell

+2 Pack Total
+19 Running Total

Pack 4

-1 Andrew Miller (Yankee)
+2 Insert - Numbers Game David Ortiz
+3 Black Border Mini Stephen Strasburg

+4 Pack Total
+23 Running Total

Pack 5

+1 Ian Desmond (FT)
+2 Insert - Numbers Games Bryce Harper

+3 Pack Total
+26 Running Total

Pack 6

-1 Chase Headley (Yankee)
-1 George Lopez
+2 Insert - Numbers Game George Brett
+2 Black Border Mini Brian McCann (Yankee)

+2 Pack Total
+28 Running Total

Pack 7

+-0 No Scoring Cards

+2 Pack Total
+28 Running Total

Pack 8

-1 Roger Clemens (Yankee)

-1 Pack Total
+27 Running Total

+27 Box Loader and Packs 1-8 Total

+27 Running Total

This is going to be ugly.

Friday, September 2, 2016

A Trip Down Memory Lane

Occasionally, a blogger will have a post in which he or she finds an old box with some cards or other memorabilia that they forgot about and decide to share the find with the blogosphere. I love those posts. It's always cool to find forgotten treasures. 

As I have mentioned before, I live in a small, one-bedroom apartment, so space is limited. In my laundry closet, I have a few boxes. Tonight, I decided to go through them because I am going to try to take some of my stuff home to my parents storage shed so that I can free up a four or five of the 800 square feet in my place.

When I opened the third box, I found some treasures! I decided to share, but not all of them are related to baseball, so bear with me here.

First up, the campus directory from my first (and true) alma mater, Mount Marty College in Yankton, South Dakota. Yes, South Dakota. I loved that place - I still do. However, I posted the campus directory because of the picture in the lower-left corner. Here, let's get a closer look:

Why do I care about this? Well, this image is of my roommate (on the left). It should be me! He's sitting at my desk, underneath my loft. That's my stereo, my computer, and my books! Being in South Dakota, there weren't a lot of people who weren't white. So I guess they decided they wanted a shot that was a little more...diverse. Oh well, what are ya gonna do.

Next up, an image of my extremely poor hand writing! But wait, it's two-sided:

While working on my Master's degree, I was "fortunate" enough to intern in D.C. for my congressman. I don't have a lot of good memories from that time, but one thing I did enjoy was giving constituents tours of the Capitol building. These were my notes on the art in the rotunda. I remember taking them on my first day, and I didn't think there would be any way that I would remember all of that stuff; however, by the end of the first week, I knew it all by heart.

Probably the best of these memories came on my last official day as an intern. Even though you are just an intern, you get credentialed as a government employee. As such, myself and the other intern in my office waited until the doors were closed to the public and tours were done for the day. We went into the rotunda and sat on one of the benches and just took it all in, embracing the history and importance of the building we were in. It was incredible, and I will never forget that day.

Okay, moving on!

I've only been to Vegas once, and I went with my now ex-girlfriend. She said she wanted to see a burlesque show, and I was certain that her request was a trap. I refused to buy tickets. So she did. It was a cool show in an iconic (and dirty) casino. 

I found this ticket in a stack of others. I'm kind of a ticket hoarder. I love them. I've got stacks of them squirreled away back at my parents place. But I also found one in my box. The burlesque ticket was on top, followed by a handful of Rangers tickets.

Let's take a look:

I could talk a lot about each one of these (except the last one - I really don't remember it). After showing the Matt Harrison tickets last night and then finding these, I think I am going to devote a page to ticket stubs! Hey, a new collection! Exactly what I needed!

Well, thanks for humoring me as I took you on a lovely stroll down memory lane! I hope you are well, and thanks for reading!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Moving Into Uncharted Territory

Recently, Matt Harrison cards have been the only pieces of cardboard that I spend any amount of time searching for on a daily basis. I haven't lost interest in collecting, but I have noticed that this is the PC that I care most about.

So I decided to roll with it.

An eBay seller had an assortment of "oddball" Harrisons (well, of a bunch of different Rangers, really). I got in touch with him and let him know what I wanted, and we were able to swing a deal.

Lemme show you what I got:

The first three cards were all given out as a stadium giveaway (SGA) and are technically considered postcards. I would argue against that because they are printed on glossy paper rather than typical postcard card stock. But no one cares what I think. Regardless, this one is from 2010...

...This one is from 2013...

...And this one is from 2014.

The next card is the same size, but from a different event:

This hails from 2014 Texas Rangers Fan Fest. Each player that appears at the event has a stack of these available to them to sign in the event that the fan doesn't bring an item to be signed.

The next one is actually a card that I've known about for a while, but Raz was able to snag one before I did:

This is card (one of a set) that features Harrison with his two dogs, Bella and Harry. The card was sponsored by Merrick, but was actually produced in conjunction with the Humane Society of North Texas. Very cool.

Lastly, I snagged a couple of ticket stubs that feature Harrison:

The Rangers lost this game, 5-1. Harrison wasn't the starter; that honor went to Martin Perez.

Harry is all alone in the photo on this ticket. The Rangers beat the Yankees, 3-1, behind Matt Garza. It might be the only game he won for us. (I'm kidding....well, sort of)

I really enjoy all of these. After seeing Dodger Penguin get his Kershaw debut ticket autographed and slabbed, I wouldn't mind having these slabbed. Far less valuable than his, but I still treasure these.

Two posts in one night! I must be sick!