Monday, November 3, 2014

Strange times and stranger places

Greetings all, 

I know it's been a long while since I made a post here and I graciously thank all of you who haven't given up on it. 

It's been an odd week for me, with grim bookends on either side. 

Last Sunday my favorite baseball team, the St. Louis Cardinals, lost one of their players. Twenty-two year-old Oscar Taveras had what many consider the brightest future in baseball in a considerably long time. A mythic talent with a swing that translated into pure joy and love for the game. 
Oscar was killed in a single car accident while at home in the Dominican Republic. His eighteen year-old girlfriend was with him. 
The out pouring of love and appreciation from all corners of Major League Baseball was touching and tragic all in the same whirlwind motion. 

That is how the week started for me. 

Then, last night, I got a message from my LCS owner. One of the shops most loved Magic: the Gathering players, Ben, had died. 
Ben died in a single car accident, driving on the interstate that I travel to and from work on, six days at a time. 
Ben was twenty-eight years old, and he was fighting a bought with cancer. Ben will forever be ingrained in my mind from a memory I have of the first time I met him: Ben didn't like foil cards. 
As a collector who loves flashy cards (thank Topps Chrome), and crazy variations, this really stuck out to me. 
It goes so much against all the other players I knew and know that I was stunned when Ben told me in his usual "off-the-cuff" manner. 
I didn't know Ben nearly as well as others did, and now I'm left with regret over the times I didn't say more to him. The times I didn't pick his brain, cause the guy was pretty damn smart. 
Ben will be remembered by the players in this community, and I'm sure they will have something in memorial at Friday Night Magic this week. I have work early on Saturday morning, so I will have to wait until I'm running the event next Monday to pass my condolences on to those who knew him best. 

Both of these young men were still in the stages of living, of being liked, of being appreciated, of being part of a family. 
Being twenty-six, a little over half-way between them, it's been a disconcerting time for me. 

I want to kick the dust of this blog, just to get the wheels in my head turning again. 
If you folks could help keep me accountable, I sure would appreciate it. 

Rest in Peace, Ben and Oscar. 
Thank you for all you did, and all you will inspire others to do. 


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

My Collecting Manifesto

I can really procrastinate when I set my mind to it!
The following text was originally composed back in June (2013) and has lain dormant since. There have been the occasional edits, and I've sent it to some of my collecting friends for tips; but I keep pushing back my publication. 
So now, on the New Year, I figured now is as good a time as any:

I have found that collecting sports cards is kind of like reading books or listening to music. 
There is so much variety out there that it would be nearly impossible to read/listen/collect it all. 
You can wander aimlessly, dabbling in different genres/products, and that's how most people start in the hobby. 
Eventually, however, there has to be some direction in your collecting. If nothing else, it helps with the bane of most collectors, organization. So I have been working on developing my “collecting manifesto” to kind of help with what I want to do with the hobby.

(Note: All collections are focused on the St. Louis Cardinals unless otherwise noted)

1) Player Collections-
I mainly PC Chris Carpenter with Yadier Molina as a smaller PC due to how expensive he's gotten.
*HOF/notable players will have pages as well, but I will not usually go out of my way to track these down.
(With HOF/Notable players, I will try to limit to 2 pages maximum, and avoid the same picture on different cards.)

2) Team Sets-
Currently, I have all the GQ sets up to date, and this is the only set that I'm pursuing the minis for as well. I would like to add A&G teams sets (I have one so far) and the biggest goal of them all: Topps Flagship. Every year. That one is going to take some research and a long time to complete, but why not?

3) The Frankenset:
I want to build a serial numbered set featuring Cardinals players exclusively.
My only guidelines in this set are to not have the same card twice in the set, or to have the same player twice within two pages.
I'm starting with 1-180, and then we'll make our way from there. (Maybe work 10 pages at a time?)

4) “Odd ball collections”:
*Gaming: Cardinals cards from Attax, MLB Showdown, and anything else I can find!
*Cameos: Cards that are not of a Cardinals player, but that have a Cardinals player in the picture somewhere.
*Dropping the bunt: Cards that feature a pitcher (from any team) in a bunting stance. This may be expanded to “Pitchers at the Plate” at some point. I'm beginning to notice there aren't that many cards of pitchers bunting…
*Throwbacks: I feel this one is self explanatory. Players in throwback unis. Plain and simple.
*Colored parallels: When it comes to Chrome products, I will mainly strive for blue parallels. Unless I come across a lower numbered variety for cheap. We'll cross that bridge when we get to it. (Excluding the emerald parallels of 2013 flagship. Love those. Gonna get the whole set.)
*MSU: I will have a binder set aside for Mississippi State university team sets and alumni. Still trying to decide if each pro player will get their own page.
(They most likely will.) (Will also collect hits of MSU alumni.)
*Bowman: I'm still trying to figure out how to work these. Maybe just a prospects binder in general?
*Chrome: I'm not entirely sure what to do with Chrome cards that don't fit in any of the non-Bowman categories. Absolutely no clue what to do with them.
*Multi-player: Cards that have more than one player on them, with at least one player being a Cardinal. (These have designated pages based on how many players are on the card.)

4) “Hits”-
Aside from “PC/HOF/Notable” I will try to not chase non-auto hit, unless that player doesn't have a Cardinals certified auto.
 (Note: I will accept these in trades and will trade for them if approached.)

I know there's a ton of stuff out there, but I just needed to sit down and really think about what I want to collect. I know this isn't the sternest course, but I feel like it's better than nothing at all. 
If you have any questions, feel free to ask!

Thanks for reading!
Staying unabashed and interested, 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

My view from the Upper Deck...

Hey folks!
Sorry I've been away for a while (seems to happen a lot, huh?), my collecting strategy has changed a bit.
I wish I could do more pack busting, but it's way more rewarding for me to purchase singles for the time being.

With that said, here are two of my more recent eBay purchases:

2006 Ovation
I was really glad to see this pop up on eBay. 
The 3D texture is awesome, it's out of 99, and I'm always a fan of cards with BP jerseys.
I've posted before about how I hated to see Skip get traded. 
Don't get me wrong, he'd have gotten ZERO playing time this year, 
I just hated to see an 11-year member of the organization go. 
2007 Black
First off, let's have a moment to look at that patch on the bottom right. 
Heck, both of those bottom patches are sweet. 
That's how 2007 UD Black was.
There are only two Cardinals in that set, not I just need the Scott Rolen...
As a Cardinals fan, I feel there is a hierarchy of "patches". 
At the top is any part of the birds, followed by any part of the bat, then any "commemorative" patch, and finally any part of a number or name.
Chris was part of the 2006 WS team and played for a few more clubs before returning to St. Louis as a popular radio personality.

I know Upper Deck doesn't have a MLB license anymore, but cards like these make wish they did. 
With cards like this, I do not care that the autos are on stickers. Would you?
With cards like this, I am proud to have them in my collection. Wouldn't you be?
With cards like this, who cares that these guys do not play for the team anymore?
I know these are a very small sample of the products UD produced, but I've been feeling kinda "blah" with what Topps is offering (and often) these days. 
No, this isn't a Topps rant, I just haven't been overly impressed with the offerings this year. 
Well, except for Tribute: WBC. 
I guess I'm just weird that way. 

Thanks for stopping by!
Staying unabashed and interested,


Thursday, August 22, 2013

Mail from 2x3 Heroes...

A few months back, Jeff over at 2 by 3 Heroes published a post that requested addresses from his followers so that he could send PWEs containing cards of that person's favorite team(s).
It was a few weeks after responding to that post that I received some mail from Jeff, and then I forgot to post about it… (Sorry Jeff!)

However, upon checking the mail the other day, I discovered another one!
Here is what I got this time:
 Washington spent almost 10 years with various MiLB teams before spending about a month at the pro level. Since then he has played in Japan and non-professional leagues. 
He'll go into my non-Topps rookies section. 
I'm still trying to decide how many pages in my player binder to dedicate to Pujols. I feel this one makes the cut, however. 
As far as Ludwick goes... 
Not really sure what to do with him. 
Maybe a "Best of the Number" section...

 Ozzie, Yadi, and Ray will all make it to their respective pages/sections. 
Great looking cards of Cards. 
Cards that are on cards. 
Cards of Cards. 

Again, a big thanks to Jeff for the care package!

Glad to see see y'all have been doing well, my A&G post will be short and sweet when it happens. 

Thanks for stopping by!
Staying unabashed and interested, 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Blogger Trade: NAPKIN DOON!

A few months ago, I saw the blogger known as Napkin Doon issuing out a call for some base cards from 2011 Gypsy Queen. I had given up on completing that particular base set (mere moments beforehand) and immediately informed him that I had the cards he needed.
I got the cards together, took them to work with me so I could mail them on my way home, and then promptly misplaced the package. I still have no clue where in the Prime 9 of collecting hell that those cards disappeared to. So after digging through some boxes, I found duplicates and sent them off to a home where they would be loved, appreciated, and scanned for posterity.

Doon then sent me a prize package, the contents therein I share with you now:
First up, some retail parallels from 2013 S1!
I have to say, the Target reds look really sharp...
But Wal-Mart blue with the red "diamond" makes me think of those powder blue uniforms...
And really Topps? Fuentes?!?! C'mon now...

 Next, we have some international parallels from 2013 Bowman!
Have I mentioned that I LOVE these cards?
I don't think I have...
But I do!

And finally, as Sir Doon is often known to do, there was a wax pack waiting to be cracked...

1990 Donruss!
Let's do this!

 I've got show my "cardboard casualty", which isn't as bad as some I've come across...
*I wonder if anyone is crazy enough to build an entire set of cards that are from the back of the pack?
I sure as heck am not going to descend into madness that way, no sir!

 Finally the cards of note out of the pack!
Okay so half those are noteworthy, the two are a Cardinal the brother of guy that was ridiculous on the mound. 
*Also, does anyone collect player cards of coaches for their team? 
You know, pitching coach, hitting coach, manager, etc.
I'm just wondering, cause I've considered it from time to time...

Again, a big THANK YOU to Mr. Doon for sending me this trade package!

Thanks for stopping by folks!
Staying unabashed and interested, 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

I love it when interests come together!

Here's an item that showcases two of my interests, one of which you are already familiar with:
 Batman Adventures #18
Mike Mignola Variant Cover!
*Mignola Trivia: Mike came up with the Mr. Freeze character design that was used in Batman: The Animated Series.

Not only is this a really cool picture, the interior of the comic is in German!
I really like foreign variants of comic books and cards, it's always neat to see what words or phrases you know look like in a language other than your native one. 

Also, this is not my first foreign comic book, I picked up this a few years ago and hope to have it signed by Mr. Mignola at some point: 
Hellboy: Almost Colossus (Part 1 of 2)
This one is in Polish!

Now, to fulfill a promise a made a few many months ago, here is the photobucket of my Mike Mignola Collection! I've still got plenty of books to get, and a little work to do on the album; so keep coming back to check it out! (Now if only the really nice people over at Sports Card Album would add a comic book section...)

*Seriously, if you haven't made a visit to SCA, then I strongly suggest you do so. They're making stuff happen over there!

Thanks for stopping by folks!
Staying unabashed and interested, 

Monday, June 24, 2013

A fantastic mail day!

Sorry to be gone so long folks, it's been a busy few weeks!

That being said, today's mail day was quite good.

First up, there's a birthday gift from my friend Andy over at The Wax Fantastic:
 A sweet, shiny Wainwright relic?
With a stitch on the left side?

Now to showcase two eBay purchases...
This was one BIN, for less than half of what most are asking for the Miller by itself. 

Now, this next item was something I had been eying for a few weeks; and given recent developments, I had to go ahead and pick it up:
A 2013 MSU team set!

 These are the four Bulldogs that got drafted this year:
Renfroe- Padres (1st)
Frazier- Pirates (6th)
Graveman- Blue Jays (8th)
Girodo- Blue Jays (9th)

This guy will be a senior next year, and I'm looking forward to see what he does:
6'5", 272 lbs. 
Rea was a highly recruited OL out of high school, 
he decided to play baseball instead. 
This fella has made some amazing defensive plays in the CWS. 
Seriously, his footwork is off the chain. 

I have to say, it was great to see three packages in the mail chock-full of keepers.

I hope all of you have been well, I've been enjoying keeping up with the posts. 

Staying unabashed and interested,