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Group Break entries are now closed, the boxes have been ordered and secondary teams have been randomized. Follow THIS LINK for final team assignments.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Happiness is a Full Mailbox (Part 1) - Trade from Foul Bunt

I just completed my second trade with William at Foul Bunt. The trend so far seems to be 1 Cubs hall-of-famer for 1 Orioles hall-of-famer. For this one I sent him a Brooks Robinson jersey card from 2008 Baseball Heroes. I know he's a fan of Brooks and when I saw it at a very reasonable price, I picked it up, figuring I could trade it for something good. In exchange, William sent me a cool-looking bat relic of Fergie Jenkins from 2010 Topps Tribute.


Thanks for the trade. I'm sure we'll do more soon.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Twitter

I just signed up for Twitter. I guess it's just me falling into peer pressure, since I seem to be the only one on, but I think there will be a few things I like about it. Mainly, it will allow me to give my opinions in short bursts at a time, and allow me to voice ideas that may not require an entire blog post. Either way, my Twitter handle is @Matt_Pederson so look me up.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

New Mets Owner David Einhorn

Am I the only one who thought of this scene upon hearing the name of New York Mets minority owner David Einhorn?


Maybe it's just me.

The Whole "Rookie Card" Thing

I was going through my card boxes the other day where I keep my commons and star players not in my PC, and I got really excited when I came across this gem:


I'm thinking to myself, "A Joey Votto rookie! Awesome!" However, upon further review, it seems as though even though the 2010 NL MVP didn't play in the majors until 2007, his actual "rookie cards" were in 2002, when he had issues in Bowman Draft, Bowman Chrome Draft, and Topps 206.

The frustrating thing, as a collector, is that I don't know what I have in front of me. When I have a card, and it says, "Rookie Card" in bold letters at the top, I expect it to be just that. Especially when it comes to buying singles, (I'm looking at you, ebay) there's a whole lot of room for deception in how the product is advertised.

I'm also thinking of this now, as Strasburg-mania is dead and gone, and Bryce-amania is in full force. We already have Bryce Harper cards out in Bowman this year, and I'm sure we'll see something in Topps Update, but even if he doesn't see the bigs until 2013 or 2014, fans will have to go back a few years to get his true "rookie card."

I was hoping with Topps taking control of the baseball card market, there wouldn't be a big rush to get players out before the competition, but it looks like Topps might be hurting its own product by making some of their rookie cards in their flagship issue, Heritage, Allen & Ginter, etc. meaningless.

Maybe not, though. My only point is, don't slap a "Rookie Card" label on a player, when he has appeared in previous years on your own product. That's all.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Go! Go! Black and Gold!

When it comes to hockey, the Penguins are my team, hands down, but I am really pulling for the Bruins tonight. I have always been a closeted Bruins fan, ever since the days of Ray Bourque pursuing that elusive cup, and as a Cubs fan, I can appreciate Bruins fans sticking by their team during the lean years. If anyone is on the fence about the sport of hockey, watch tonight. There is noting quite like a game 7 in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

More Heritage

Alright. The two-week-old is napping, the two-year-old is napping and the 30-year old is napping. with a quiet apartment, I can now rapid-fire these posts out, before the baby wakes up and I then have to bring her in to the wife and wake her up, with the ensuing crying from the two-week-old waking up the two-year-old. At least I have my Topps Heritage to keep my sanity.

I picked up three rack packs and a blaster box earlier today and was VERY happy with what I got. No hits, a few chrome, but I got 4 SPs, and a ton of cards that I don't already have, which is saying something, with my bad set-building luck from Topps.

The rack packs gave me a rookie cup card of my favorite current Cub (apart from my boy, Kerry Wood), as well as my third (or fourth, I've lost track) rookie card of Freddie Freeman. The Rookie Parade cards is the SP, plus I got two Baseball Flashbacks inserts that I needed, with a chrome card of Mauer and Morneau.


The blaster gave me three SPs (Bautista AS, Kennedy, and Andrus), which is cool, since I usually only pull two from a blaster. The Alexei Ramirez is a regular chrome and the Corey Hart is a refractor. I may have pulled my second Killebrew in one day, but if I have to pull a dupe, I'm OK with it being "Killer."


I still have more Heritage to go. Please keep those cards coming so that I can quit spending all my money on this set!

Contest at Baseball Cards Rule

If anyone is either a Prince Fielder fan or a fan of multiple jersey swatches on a card, a contest is being held over at Baseball Cards Rule for a 4-swatch jersey card of the Brewers slugger. Head on over there and try your luck!

Big Trade From This Card is Cool

I received a BIG help in my Gypsy Queen set building yesterday from Ryan at This Card is Cool. A few weeks ago he received about 900 cards from this year's GQ and was trading off all of the duplicates. I put together what I could for him and he was very generous in what he sent my way. The cards finished off probably 2/3 of what I needed for my base set and he also sent an SP that I didn't have.



He also sent me a couple of Topps inserts, including the Stan Musial that finished off the Lost Cards set for me.


Thanks for the trade Ryan!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Giving eTopps a Try

I've heard a little bit about eTopps but never really looked into it, until I saw this week's offering. Along with Jered Weaver, this week's rookie is Cubs second baseman Darwin Barney. Along with Starlin Castro, Barney represents the Cubs' youth movement and has put up some decent numbers. So far, he is batting .315 with 52 hits and 21 RBIs, and has been pretty impressive on the field. The eTopps issue is a decent looking card, but we'll see how it looks when I get it in hand.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Trade With Plaschke, Thy Sweater is Argyle

I just completed my third trade with Greg from Plaschke, Thy Sweater is Argyle and I think we were both very happy with our ends of the deal.

The trade began, I think, with him busting a box of 2008 Tristar Prospects plus and pulling, among other things, a jersey card of Cubs prospect Josh Vitters. While I am not a prospect guy when it comes to collecting, this guy appears to be a gamble worth taking.


I also managed to get two autographed cards of two current Cubs in their old teams' uniforms. From a 2004 Fleer Platinum box, there is Marlon Byrd as a Phillie (or would it be a Philly?) and Koyie Hill as a Dodger.


I now have a new oldest card of my collection, courtesy of Greg: a 1953 Bowman card of Cubs catcher Toby Atwell. Sorry, 1955 Ernie Banks, there's a car din my collection even more vintage-y than you.


Last, but certainly not least, was a card Greg agreed to trade me, even before he had it in his possession, a 2010-2011 SPX dual-jersey card of Penguins center Jordan Staal. Easily my favorite card of the trade, the swatches are from the Pens' home jersey, but the photo shows Staal in their beautiful powder blue sweaters. Sadly, those were replaced this year at the Winter Classic by different blue jerseys.


Thanks for yet another fantastic trade, Greg. I'm sure we'll do more real soon.

Finally Got My Chrome Ruth

While I have had some good luck when it comes to pulling hits out of Topps retail, I have had horrible luck when it comes to trying to build sets from Topps. Case in point, from the Topps/Heritage value packs, there was a special 3-card chrome refractor set. I bought a total of SEVEN of those boxes since they were released, pulling 4 Jackies and 3 Mantles. NO Babe.

Luckily, a fellow blogger, Colbey at Cardboard Collections came to my rescue. He sent me the card, asking for absolutely nothing in return.

Thanks for the Card, Colbey. I can finally put that pesky 3-card set behind me!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

2 Retail Blasters = 2 Awesome Cubs Cards + Another Hit!

I tried to continue my retail luck a few days ago and picked up a blaster each of Gypsy Queen and Heritage. As always, I got quite a few cool cards from the set, but the big prize for me was a card that I thought I'd have an incredibly difficult time getting my hands on: a bronze-bordered Ryne Sandberg (455/999).


I also pulled my third hit from Gypsy Queen, a jersey relic of Alex Rodriguez. So for a total of 2/3 the price of a hobby box, I've gotten my hands on the three hits, the other being a David DeJesus auto and a Neftali Feliz auto. Mike from Ba Benny's Baseball Card Buffet is in negotiations for the card, but I'm an A-Rod fan, so I may decide to keep it.


Also, if anyone has any of these bronze-borered cards that they don't mind parting with, Sam from the Daily Dimwit is running a contest for some awesome hits. To enter, send him a bronze-bordered card from his needs list and you'll be in the running for, among other things, a Brooks Robinson relic card from Topps.

Heritage didn't give me any autos or relics, but that's ok. Heritage has been VERY good to me this year. I was, however, ecstatic when I opened up the first pack and found a chrome parallel of Starlin Castro staring at me. I know he's only had one year under his belt so far, but this guy has a bright future.


The SPs were a let-down. I got 2, which is a good amount for a blaster, but they were two that I already have: Tim Lincecum (429) and Jason Castro (492). When I only have 13 out of 75, I don't want to see any duplicates. Still, if anyone is trying to put a full set together, these two are both up for trade. I'm looking to swap them for other SPs that I don't already have.


Well, despite a let down on the Heritage SPs, it's looking as if my 2011 retail magic is continuing. I was very happy with what I found in both of these boxes.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Retail Magic from Various 2011 Topps Products

A few days ago, I managed to find some Gypsy Queen at my local Target and picked me up a blaster box. I got the typical base cards, a Babe Ruth SP and a few inserts, along with an autographed card of 2010 AL ROY Neftali Feliz.


Now I will NEVER complain about finding autographed cards, jersey cards, or any card rarities. Since my LCS mostly sells singles and has few unopened packs, I am stuck busting wax almost exclusively from my neighborhood Target and Wal-Mart stores.

This year, I've noticed that my luck has been incredibly good when it comes to Topps. In 2010, my only retail hit was a Peak Performance jersey card of Brooklyn Dodgers hall-of-famer Roy Campanella.

In 2011, I found that Feliz auto in a blaster and a David DeJesus Gypsy Queen auto in a rack pack. From Topps Series 1, I pulled a Torii Hunter relic from a Series 1/Heritage value box, and from Heritage, I pulled a David Wright jersey card out of a blaster, and an incredible Frank Robinson/Mike Stanton dual auto/relic from a value box.

Has anyone else noticed a higher concentration of retail hits or have I just been INCREDIBLY fortunate? Again, I'm NOT complaining at all, but I've never been lucky in this hobby and was wondering if anyone else has had a recent run of luck.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Group Break from Cards From the Quarry

I participated in a group break at the Cards From the Quarry blog earlier this month featuring a box each of 1998 Bowman series 1 & 2, 2003 Bazooka, 2004 Bazooka and 2008 Documentary.

The Bowman boxes gave me 12 cards, but only 3 were familiar names: Mark Grace, Sammy Sosa and Kerry Wood. The rest were either utility players or rookies who never hit it big.


Bazooka gave me quite a few stars. from 2003 I got a Kerry Wood base, a Mark Prior colored-logo parallel, and a Sammy Sosa stand-up. 2004 gave me an Aramis Ramirez, Mark Prior, and a Sammy Sosa mini parallel.


2008 Documentary gave me some cards for my player collections, but this is a perfect example of why I'm not a huge fan of the set, while I like the concept, look at the two Fukudomes. Different games. Same picture. If you can't do it right, Upper Deck, don't do it at all.


That's it for the break. It was affordable, fun, and gave me some Cubs that I never would have had otherwise. Keep track of the Cards From the Quarry blog and show him some love the next time a group break comes up.

So long and happy trading!

Monday, May 9, 2011

More Retail Magic from Topps Heritage

I'm not sure if it's the fact that there wasn't any Gypsy Queen available or the fact that I REALLY like the set, but I picked up a few more blasters of Topps Heritage. I know that Gypsy Queen is the hot item right now, but I just can't seem to take myself away from this year's Heritage. Maybe it's been my INCREDIBLE luck with pulling some awesome hits, but really, it's the fact that they stayed incredibly faithful to the original set and for some reason, it just WORKS.

Blaster number one didn't give me anything out of the ordinary, but I did get a few decent cards. I found rookies of Freddie Freeman, Jeremy Hellickson, and Darwin Barney, along with rookie cup cards of Jason Heyward and Mike Stanton.


There were also 3 short prints and two inserts. One of the SPs was of Tim Lincecum, which would have been an expensive card to purchase without pulling it from a pack.


Box 2 was the big winner. In a weird way, sometimes you can just feel a winner. This one was dented in where the empty space inside the box was, but as haggard-looking as it was, I grabbed it up. And it was a good thing. Just a few packs in, this is what I found:


A great looking relic card of a really good player. If I could only pull a Cubs card this nice. But that's not all. I also found 3 REALLY cool variations, a green-toned Hank Conger rookie, a Neftali Feliz chrome serial numbered 1181/1962 and a black-bordered refractor of the Giants clinching the 2010 World Series with a low serial number of 49/62. As always, scanners do NOT do these cards justice.


I also got two short prints, three Babe Ruths, and two inserts.


With every pack I buy, I'm liking this set more and more. I'll get a needs list up soon. With as much Heritage as I've gotten this year, I might as well go for the set.

Also, for anyone who is interested, I've re-listed the auction for my Frank Robinson/Mike Stanton dual auto/relic here. And since I can't post a photo of the card enough times, here it is again:


So long, and happy trading!

Is It Just Me...

Is it just me, or does this guy....


remind anyone else of this guy:

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Heritage and Some Gypsy Queen With a Contest Plug for The Daily Dimwit

I recently picked up some more Gypsy Queen packs along with another pack of 2011 Heritage. While an extensive Gypsy Queen collection is one of my goals, I am not in any way trying to put a set of Heritage together. Still, I can't seem to keep my hands off of the stuff. It is simply just a fun pack of cards to open. And this particular pack was a winner. While my recent run of retail hit luck didn't strike it on that particular day, I found a spectacular pack of cards, including a Babe Ruth card and a rookie card of 2011's hottest rookie, Freddie Freeman. It's my second Freeman from Heritage this year, so I'm willing to trade it if anyone's interested.


Gypsy Queen also treated me well. No hits, but let's face it, it would have probably been one of the millions of Andrew Cashner or David DeJesus autos anyway, but I did fin a Thurman Munson bronze-bordered card numbered 372/999. Sam at The Daily Dimwit is running a contest for the bronze-framed cards. Anyone who sends one in gets an entry, with prizes including a jersey/auto from your favorite team, an autographed letterman patch of Rangers prospect Justin Smoak, and a grand prize of a Brooks Robinson bat relic from 2011 Topps numbered 60/60. So, needless to say, this card is most likely headed his way.


I also got a few really cool inserts to add to my collection. These are my duplicates and are up for trade to anyone who is interested.


And, of course, the minis. The Brandon Phllips, obviously, was my only black border and the Andruw Jones and Al Kaline are GQ red-backed. I don't really go after the minis, so if anyone is interested in some, let me know.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Robinson/Stanton Auction Update

Just to keep you all posted, if any of you care. The auction for my Frank Robinson/Mike Stanton auto/relic from Topps Heritage ended not too long ago. Luckily, I get to keep the card, since it didn't hit my reserve price. Much to my surprise, the card only went up to about $150, with no end-of-auction activity whatsoever. Maybe I overestimated the value of either Robinson, or Stanton, or both, but I was hoping for a little bit more than that. The plan now is to watch a few other auctions of similar items to get a better approximation of its potential value and see what other strategies might work better for me. Either way, I'm so glad for the reserve price option that ebay has, because I would not have wanted to sell the card for what it went for. I'll most likely give it at least one more shot, but worst case scenario, it doesn't sell again, and I'm stuck with a BEAUTIFUL card in my collection of a hall-of-famer and one of baseball's biggest up-and-comers.

Contest Winnings From Baseball Cards Rule

Ben over at Baseball Cards Rule held a contest recently for an extra Ike Davis rookie card from Topps Chrome. While I may not be a Mets fan, I know a few who are, and I figured I'd give it a shot and get myself some future trade bait, or at the very least, a rookie card of a player with the potential to be pretty good. I was lucky enough to win it, and since we live in the same city, I got the card super quick.


I also got a few super cheap serial-numbered cards from ebay a couple of days ago. The Andre Johnson is from 2009-2010 Classics and is numbered 25/25, the Derrek Lee is from 2008 Topps Moments and Milestones and is numbered 6/10, and the Eli Manning is from 2008 Playoff national Treasures and is numbered 14/99. I'm keeping the Texan and the Cub, but the Manning is up for trade to anyone who is interested (I'm looking at you, BA Benny).

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Gypsy Queen - Working Some Retail Magic

Picked up some more Gypsy Queen. There weren't any blasters available, so I went ahead and picked up a few rack packs. There weren't as many cards, but I was able to pick up a few of the green-framed parallels, as well as (SURPRISE!) an autographed card of David DeJesus. I was not expecting this at all, but I seem to have some luck picking up hits out of retail packs. It's a nice-looking card, with a blue signature. Completely illegible, but nice looking.


As for the green-framed parallels, I got a few winners, including Nolan Ryan, Buster Posey, Stephen Strasburg and a few others including a Cub (Starlin Castro). I'm keeping the Castro and Posey and the Ryan is set asaide for Sam at the Daily Dimwit, but all of the others are up for trade.



The only drawback was that I got another damaged bronze parallel, this time of Jimmy Rollins (572/999). Just like the one I pulled the other day, a thin layer of the bronze paper seems to be peeling off of the bottom. I'll definitely have to send Topps an e-mail to see if I can get these replaced. I didn't get anything phenomenal out of the minis, apart from red-backed cards of Dale Murphy, Ryan Dempster, and Daniel Bard. There are also regular minis of Frank Robinson, Al Kaline, Lou Gehrig and Cy Young, but nothing notable with the active players.

I've updated my wantlist to reflect what I need for Gypsy Queen. I'm not going for any of the minis or parallels, but I'm going to try hunt down all 350 cards, as well as all of the regular-sized inserts. Let me know if you have anything you're willing to part with.

So long and happy trading!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Gypsy Queen - Retail

Picked up some Gypsy Queen retail the other day. Seeing pictures of these cards didn't do much for me, but having them in hand has gotten me really excited. It reminds me of the Upper Deck Masterpieces cards I love so much and has a good mix off current players and legends.


There are also a number of full-sized inserts, such as Future Stars (I pulled 2 Stradburgs), Great Ones, Gypsy Queens, Home Run Heroes, Sticky Fingers and Wall Climbers. The inserts take the basic format of the set and incorporates different colors and background patters, like a spiderweb for Wall Climbers and honeycomb for Sticky Fingers. I don't care much for the fictitious Gypsy Queens, but it's a full-sized insert, so I'm sure I'll be going for it.


And it just wouldn't be a Topps throwback set without MINIS!!! The Garcia and Andrus minis on the bottom are Gypsy Queen backs.


Among the rest, I picked up 2 rack packs, containing 3 retail packs each, along with 3 aqua-bordered cards. I also found a bronze-bordered Rogers Hornsby, but the bottom was damaged, so I might have to contact Topps for a replacement.


Well, another Topps set out. Another one I'll be trying to collect.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Package From BA Benny. Trade + Group Break

I recently completed a trade with Mike at BA Benny's Baseball Card Buffet. He knocked a huge dent out of my wantlist for 2011 Topps and sent a few other great cards as well. The big 2 in the trade were a Greg Maddux autographed card and a Kerry Wood jersey from 1999 Upper Deck. The Maddux was purchased from a local dealer who he trusts with its authenticity and the jersey card prominently features a pinstripe which aligns perfectly with the angle of the cut.


I also received the goods from the gigantic group break he hosted a month ago. There were numerous unopened boxes, a ton of unopened packs and plenty of surprises. I would say I made out pretty well.

There were plenty of cards from Topps 206 from 2009 and 2010. While I didn't get any hits from what was opened, I got a good portion of the Cubs sets from those years. Which I wasn't a huge fan of 2010 having all of the players hatless, I loved finding cards of older players like Frank chance and Mordecai Brown.


There were also a few other packs opened, like Goudey, National Chicle and Topps Heritage. While I enjoy most cards from any of these sets, the best one easily is the Ernie Banks "Heads Up" SP from Goudey. Just and AWESOME card.


Mike also busted a couple boxes of Upper Deck Signature Stars from 2009. What was interesting here is that I got exactly 2 cards each of the same four people. I just thought that was weird.


The next four cards are three chrome-style cards, along with my only "hit" of the break. The Cashner is from 2010 Bowman Platinum and is numbered 642/999, The Trachsel is from 1998 Topps Finest and is a variation that features a chrome-style back, and the Soriano is an insert from 2010 Topps Chrome numbered 161/499. The Hagerty jersey is from 2002 Upper Deck Prospect Premiers, and features a jersey "worn by Luke Hagerty in an official Upper Deck photo shoot." Oh well, you can't win 'em all.


There were TONS of other Cubs cards that came my way, but I'm simply too lazy (and too tired) to post them all. Just know that this was an incredibly fun break and hopefully Mike will put another one together soon.

So long and happy trading!!!