Dec 31, 2009

Plain Beautiful Cards: Volume 2 - 2004 Upper Deck Rafael Furcal #145

This card has it all:
  • Night Card
  • Action Shot
  • Panoramic Stadium Shot (blue at bottom)
  • Composition & Centering
  • Team Logo
  • Player Success (more on that in a later post)
The scan really brightened the card up, which is kind of a downer. The light in the card is really great, and Furcal's jersey has more of a rich hue rather than the bleached-out white of daytime shots.

Oh yeah, and he's like 3"+ in the air. Always a plus.

Dec 30, 2009

12/30 eBay Scores?

Tonight, I purchased two cards on eBay. Not often will I post eBay purchases, but these were both compulsive and dirt cheap. I think it all stems to my desire just to get mail, really. Since I never really got mail until college, and at that point all the mail pretty much said was "PAY US FOR PAYING YOUR TUITION" so...positive things in the mail are just a necessity for me.

Card #1 - Want List Checkmark:

2007 Fleer Ultra Lucky 13 Kei Igawa.

What an awful player. Yankees have the tendency to spend money where they don't need to and Igawa is no exception. According to Cot's, his contract is as follows:

"Kei Igawa lhp
5 years/$20M (2007-11)
  • 5 years/$20M (2007-11)
    • posted by Hanshin Tigers of Japanese League 11/06
    • Yankees bid $26,000,194 for negotiating rights with Igawa 11/06
    • signed by Yankees 12/06
    • 07:$4M, 08:$4M, 09:$4M, 10:$4M, 11:$4M
    • performance bonuses: $0.125M each for 180, 190, 200 & 210 IP
    • sent outright to AAA by Yankees 7/26/08
  • agent: Arn Tellum
  • ML service: 0.104"
Cashman paid $20,000,000 for .104 years of Major League Service. I paid $.21. That's it. Free shipping. as you can tell from the photo, the seller just wanted this thing gone. Didn't even bother capitalizing Igawa's name.

Card #2 - New Want List Checkmark:

2000 Skybox Skylines #6 of 10 Mike Piazza.

These cards are just awesome. Backdrops of the cities the (ten) players played in in 2000 in a very eye-catching but not tacky foil (in team colours). Hats off to Skybox, next to Fleer Ultra, I miss them most of all after the Topps/Upper Deck uprising and buying.

As you can see, this one went for $1.25 for free shipping. Unfortunately, there are 10 cards in this set (of which I only have two), so fitting them into one 9-slot card sheet won't happen. Thinking of aligning them all in a horizontal row 1-10, or finding an American map and slapping them on their respective cities...unfortunately two cards, Mike Piazza and Derek Jeter, would be nearly on top of each other. I would hate to disgrace Piazza by putting him on Long Island...

Plain Beautiful Cards: Volume 1 - 2007 Fleer Ultra #115

Within this space I am going to debut a new string post, honoring cards in which everything works: design, player pose, photograph (player and background) and overall composition. Our debut card is one of my favorites of all time, from one of my favorite sets: 2007 Fleer Ultra Jose Reyes. I don't know what it is about Reyes, but expect to see him back here often. Maybe it's the excitement he brings to the game that always makes the photographers ready. In this case, however, Reyes is stoic and proud, though it seems by his gaze that the ball may very well be behind him.

What makes this card is A) Horizontality (always a plus) and B) Background. What a great background shot. The card appears to be shot at an angle upward from the camera, and the dark background provides nice (a white home jersey would be perfect) contrast.

Dec 28, 2009

2009 Topps T206 Jumbo Pack Rip

Solid pack. Steep in price, but the quality was premium. We'll start with some solid base cards...

Card 1 - Mickey Mantle Checklist 2 of 7
Card 2 - Todd Helton #200

Card 3 - Tommy Hanson #262 (Rookie Card)
Card 4 - Derek Holland #61 (Rookie Card)
Card 5 - Roy Campanella #224
Card 6 - Derek Lowe #45
Card 7 - Luke Scott #152
Card 8 - Alex Gordon #256
Card 9 - Cy Young #143
Card 10 - David Ortiz #24
Card 11 - Troy Tulowitzki #293 (Added to Player Collection)

And Now for the HITS. Yes, HITS. Although this was a jumbo pack, and I never expect to pull much out of them, this one had two solid hits within it.

Card 11 - Josh Outman Framed Piedmont Autograph

I've got a few autos lately, mostly from ebay bargains (see: Dexter Fowler, Jesse Carlson) but I haven't seen a good on-card auto in a long time. Outman has a solid, legible auto, as you can see in the scan, and the sunset background goes well with the blue framed border. Though I had been a fan of Allen & Ginter's Framed sets prior to this pull, I have to side with T206 here, again, as their mini doesn't rattle around inside and worry me of corner dinging.

Card 12 - David Wright #171 CYCLE Mini #/99.

Very solid pull. I was wondering if there would be minis or bronze/gold parallels in the jumbo packs, and now I know they at least have minis. Pulling my first mini T206 short print was great. Now I want more.

Dec 26, 2009

2006-2007 Fleer Ultra Hockey - Want/Need List

This is the first want list of the many (6 Current) sets I am trying to collate, and is the most complete of all six. I have mainly been picking up blasters here and there, usually discounted.

Briefly: I seem to be missing a lot of Calgary Flames, Toronto Maple Leafs (of course, my team) and rookie short prints, which are the least of my concern as the rookies in this set, well, Ultra was never great for rookies anyway (except Baseball sets).

1-10: 2, 6
11-20: 19
21-30: 28,29
31-40: 32, 33, 36
41-50: Complete
51-60: Complete
61-70: 63
71-80: 73
81-90: 82, 83, 89
91-100: 98
101-110: Complete
111-120: 116, 119
121-130: Complete
131-140: Complete
141-150: 148
151-160: 151, 160
161-170: 164
171-180: 179, 180
181-190: Complete
191-200: 192, 193

Rookie Short Prints:

201, 202, 206, 207, 208, 211, 212, 213, 217, 218, 219, 220, 221, 222, 224, 227, 228

Rookie Redemption Short Prints:

231, 232, 234, 235, 236, 237, 240, 241, 242, 243, 245, 246*, 247*, 248*, 249*, 250*

*Do these even exist?

Dec 21, 2009

One Hell of a Pack

First off - I had been waiting on a purchase of 2009 Topps Allen & Ginter's for a while. My initial forays into '09 vintage sets had been moderately successful - an Aramis Ramirez Goodwin Champions relic (plain gray blandness, of course) and a Porcello short print out of T-206. Goudey didn't show me too much either, so my goal of creating a post solely for the comparison of '09 vintage sets lost steam.

Then I picked up this pack of Allen and Ginter's...which in all reality is the best pack I have ever ripped. Let's go worst to first in terms of hits here:

Card 1 - David Patton - Chicago Cubs Rookie Card. I have paid zero attention to this card thus far - and will continue to. Mediocre prospect from a team I just cannot make myself like (blame: Carlos Zabrano, Alfonso Soriano, etc.)

Card 2 - Charles Goodyear - Entrepreneur. Not a bad looking card, I thought it was a president at first, so I was a bit disappointed when I read the text.

Card 3 - Troy Tulowitzki - Allen & Ginter's Add-Back Mini. As I wasn't well-versed in the add-back variations in this set until just before posting this, I didn't know what I had until I flipped the wrapper over. Topps states odds od attaining this variation at 1:5. Not bad. At this point, as well, I had noticed a hit looming behind this card, which had become impossible to ignore.

Card 4 - Jonathan Sanchez - National Pride (Puerto Rico) insert. I'd just like to say I am a sucker for any card featuring a player's home country in glory like this insert set. Not only is it a great shot/rendition of this years FIRST no-hitter pitcher, but these inserts are just beautifully designed and are a welcome sight among inserts, which have been downhill since the mid-1990's.

Card 5 - MOJO HIT Yovani Gallardo - Framed Uniform Relic. Man, I have some Gallardo luck, and seeing him as one of the fastest rising stars in the game, I am ok with that. These framed cards are great, but this one was kind of scratchy and had some sort of adhesive stuck to it in some parts. Still, a great looking card but my request to Topps A&G for any possible future releases: make the frames fit around the card. It scares me to think some corners are getting dinged up bouncing around in there.


Dec 6, 2009

Gummie Award Nominations

A call for nominations for Stale Gum's Yealry (and this year, decadal) Gummie Awards!

Check it out:

EDIT: Should probably include the link.

Dec 5, 2009

World Baseball Classic Relic Checklist

United States of America:


South Africa:






South Korea:


Puerto Rico:



Dominican Republic:

Kingdom of the Netherlands:


Edit 12/21: One down, too many to go to countdown.

Dec 4, 2009

Breaking the (PayPal) Bank

I'm a sucker for refractors.

...and certain half-Iranian, half-Japanese phenoms. I mean, seriously, a phenom. You ever see Yu Darvish pitch? It can bring tears to your eyes if you appreciate baseball as more than entertainment. If you've ever spent hours at a time practicing change-ups, 12-6 curveballs and two-seamers against a shoddy 6-piece cinder block wall.

I'm also a sucker for anything World Baseball Classic. My goal right now, aside from 2004 UD SP Prospects National Honors Jersey cards (way too long of a name) is to own a relic of every team from the World Baseball Classic. So far, I have none. In fact, aside from the navy Team USA hat I own, I have nothing related to WBC yet. Except this.

And this is a start.

Oh, and when I say "bank breaker", I mean more than $4. This beauty I definately overpaid for on eBay, totaling about $7.50 with shipping. It's rough being cheap in this hobby.

Dec 2, 2009

A Change of Luck.

I should know better. The luck of the hits is random, but I got spoiled. I got greedy.

In November, I decided to try my luck at '09-'10 UD Artifacts Hockey. Instantly, I was gratified. I picked up a few packs, noticing one definitely contained a hit. Sure enough, out to the Jeep and quickly held a Borje Salming jersey card in my hand. I was hooked at this point.

So I bought a few more packs.

Bang, bang, bang,

Alexander Ovechkin, Mike Modano, and Ilya Kovalchuk jersey hits, as well as a short-printed Jamie Siefert rookie thrown in.

But as we all know, luck changes. After I decided to pursue the complete set (100 cards, without short prints), Artifacts utopia came crashing down.

Eight packs later, at too high of a cost for me to mention happily, a lot of 30+ doubles, and a set completion at a paltry 55%.

But why am I complaining? Four jersey hits, three of which are not plain white swatches (although, all low-scarcity inserts) over the course of...less than 20 packs? Maybe I should stop complaining and bask in the glory of deep red Thrashers jersey swatches.