Monday, December 30, 2013

Old School Advice (POLL!)

As things start to heat up for the 2014 Typhoon Haiyan Charity Break, I've got to thinking about the list of boxes we have lined up. Everything looks good, but two boxes stand out as a waste. 2013 Topps Series 1 & 2. If you call yourself a collector and don't have the team cards you want from 2013 Topps base, then get with the program. So I've decided (barring any objections) that we'll scratch those two off the list and add in something better. To spread the appeal of this break, I wanted to add in a couple "old school" boxes, but I think it's best if I give you guys some choices. 

Which two boxes would you like to see added into the break? The poll is on the right side of the screen and the candidates are below!

1999 Stadium Club

1999 Topps Series 1

1998 Skybox Dugout Access

1997 Stadium Club

1997 Pinnacle

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Bloody Sunday

With Week 17 of the NFL meaning mostly worthless games, I decided to get crackin' on the PWE's I'm sending out this week. I was overwhelmed by the nearly 40 entries I got! If you missed out, feel free to sign up at this link. I had to cut it off around noon since I only had so many envelopes and stamps, but I'm sure I'll do more rounds in the future. As hefty a task as it's been, thankfully my dog has been here to cheer me on!

Actually, he just sat there and whined because I wouldn't play tug of war with him.

 Instead of football we watched the 1999 WWF Royal Rumble. Disclaimer: I'm a nerd for pro wrestling. I haven't kept up with it over the past few years, but I'm obsessed with anything pre-2002. The 1999 Royal Rumble featured the infamous "I Quit Match" for the WWF Championship between Mankind and The Rock. To win the match, you had to make your opponent say "I Quit" into the microphone.

It quickly became one of the most brutal matches in wrestling history. For 30 minutes The Rock threw Mick Foley around the arena, through the announcers table, into the steps, off of a platform into the electrical equipment and everywhere else. Mankind refused to say "I Quit", so the Rock beat him over the head with a steel chair like 13 times or something until he was unconscious.

The most sickening part was that Mick Foley's wife and young children were in the front row watching. As you can see, they were both too young to understand why their dad was being beaten so savagely and that it was all part of a story. You could hear them screaming and crying during the match. The match was covered in depth in the award winning documentary "Beyond the Mat" which you can watch below.

This is my kind of Sunday.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Gimme Yo (Address) Digits & Get Free Cards

In the spirit of the holiday season wrapping up and the January blues setting in, I'm getting ready to send out PWE bombs to everyone I can! Therefore, I need the digits (and words) of your address. Even if we've never corresponded before, I want to send you cards. Trust me, I get just as much enjoyment out of sending them out as you do opening them, so send me your address and a great friendship shall be born. If you think I already have your address, send it to me anyway. I've finally recreated my trade partner database that I lost with my last computer and it's a lot smaller than it used to be, so I know I'm missing some.

To sign up, just click this link and fill out the information form.

In the meantime, sign up for the 2013 2014 Typhoon Haiyan Relief Break. I only need a few more teams to sign up before I can place the order and get this rolling!

After you give me yo digits, check out the digits from Willie Wilson's 1980 season. They never get old.

Have mercy!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas! Time to Right the Wrongs

Merry Christmas blogosphere! It's been a grand year for me and I have a lot to be thankful for today. Santa quit bringing me presents long ago, but this year I've opened up my mailbox to find more presents than I could ever deserve. Being the naive young blogger I am, I ripped into the bubble mailers like they were presents under the tree. A time or two I misplaced or mixed up the envelopes and lost track of who I owed what to. Combine that with a poorly timed hard drive crash, and I'm certain I didn't deliver my end of a swap or two. If you haven't received something from me, PLEASE EMAIL ME!!! I'm sure I still have your cards to send out, I just don't have record of where they're supposed to go. Whether we talked last week or three months ago, please email me. I'll feel so much better getting the cards to you. It goes without saying that my #1 resolution for 2014 is to create a better system for keeping track of trades.

Well folks, I'm off to finish wrapping presents for a few folks! Have a Merry Christmas!!! (Do you capitalize the "M" in Merry? There's no grammatical reason to, but it looks wrong otherwise.)

I envy the fans of big market teams. There was no Johnny Damon, Carlos Beltran or Mike Sweeney ornament cards made by Pacific. For their sake, that's probably a good thing. 

Saturday, December 21, 2013

TTM FTW Volume 1

What originally brought me back to collecting was the appeal of TTM autographs. I bought a box of cards to send off for autographs through the mail and ended up hooked on two great hobbies that go hand in hand. Eleven months ago I sent off a ton of 2013 Topps Series 1 cards to spring training facilities in hopes of getting a few back. I received a lot of them within a few weeks (mostly relief pitchers and bench players) but was blown away by some that I got in return. Today, I received two cards that I never expected to get back after 11 months of waiting. In February I sent them to the LA Angels complex in Tempe, Arizona. They arrived today postmarked from Santa Ana, California.

Say what you will about Josh Hamilton, but he's someone I respect immensely. His story is well told. After being the #1 overall pick by the Devil Rays in 1999 he fell into drug and alcohol addiction leading to suspensions and eventually an early retirement. In 2005 Hamilton was finally able to go clean and return to baseball. We all know what's happened since.

If you know any addicts you understand why they say that "Once an addict, always an addict." Once your mind is addicted to something it will forever be that way. You have to fight each and every day to stay sober for the rest of your life. Sure it gets easier with time, but it never goes away. In February of 2012 Hamilton temporarily fell off the wagon at a bar and consumed 2 or 3 drinks before calling Ian Kinsler to come talk to him. The very next day he held a press conference to apologize. Can you imagine that? You're going through something so personal and life-threatening and in the middle of it you have to hold a press conference to let the entire world know that you're sorry for hurting them, never mind your own issues. 

Last off-season, after an ugly divorce with Texas, Josh signed with the LA Angels. He struggled mightily for the first few months of the season before starting to return to form late. Again, if you know an addict you know how fragile their state of mind can be. If you know baseball, you know how much of it is a mind game. Hamilton's issues are to be expected, but it takes a special kind of person to battle through them with millions of people watching your every step.

I consider Josh Hamilton a helluva role model for a young man like myself. After experiencing more failure and success than I ever will, he managed to take some time out during his extremely busy life to sign a couple autographs for me during the Christmas Season. How cool is that? Thank you Josh!

Friday, December 20, 2013

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Christmas will be cardless for me this year. Poor me, I just can't convince anyone to buy me cards, but I wouldn't dare to try anyways. As much as I love them, I need things like ties and dress shirts far more. That's a good thing though, if there's a time of year where cards feel more insignificant than right now, I don't know what it would be.

Cards feel especially insignificant when you take a second to think about the problems going on elsewhere in the world. Every once in a while a feeling of guilt will hit me as I purchase that $20 blaster filled with 24 cards... "Damn, this money could be put to far better use than 24 pieces of paper." So how can I tackle that guilt while still enjoying cards? Duh!

The Typhoon Haiyan Group Break! For a measly $38 you can select a team and receive all of the cards for that team from 10 great boxes we'll be busting together. A fat portion of that $38 will go to help children in the Philippines that desperately need shelter and food this Christmas and beyond. The boxes will be ordered as soon as we get just a few more teams sold! Check out this link for more information. Did I say 10? I meant 11! My friend Roger has pledged to toss in a free mini-box of 2008 Topps Finest! The box will have one rookie autograph that could be Joey Votto, Jay Bruce, Clayton Kershaw or a slew of other stars! Head to that link to sign up.

If you sign up by Christmas I'll throw in one of my patented repacks as a bonus! There's no way you can lose!!!

Now that you're super pumped about the group break and have signed up, check out some sweet PC cards I've added this year that I haven't shown off yet.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Hit of a Lifetime... 2 Years too Late

I've been overwhelmed this week with cards. I've started two different posts but decided halfway through that they weren't going anywhere. Hopefully you'll forgive me, you see, I finally got my Black Friday boxes in! I limited myself to only the best deals because I can't afford to be buying anything right now. Oh how we card addicts justify things...

My loot came in the form of six 2011 Topps Value Boxes (five 2011 Update Packs, a Harper Chrome card and a 2011 Bowman Chrome Hobby Pack in each box) and ten blaster boxes of 2011 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects. Since I wasn't collecting in 2011, I figured I'd never get a shot at building these sets for a good price. With the deals I got, I couldn't resist. I'm glad I didn't! In the first 2011 Bowman Chrome Hobby pack I pulled this thing:

That's the black auto'd printing plate from 2011 Bowman Chrome of Manny Banuelos. Banuelos was the man in 2011 for the Yankees and he went into 2012 as the #13 prospect in all of baseball. It's rare that the Yanks have a top 50 prospect, much less one that's that high. Unfortunately Banuelos blew out his arm and missed all of 2013 due to Tommy John surgery. Reports are that he's rehabbing really well and is back to throwing 94 MPH. He should be ready to pitch in 2014 but who knows if he'll ever be the super prospect he once was. Most Yankees top prospect lists have him sitting outside of the top 10 in the organization, but at 22 anything is possible. 

Needless to say, as much as I hate the Yankees, I'm now one of Banuelos biggest fans. If I had pulled this card in 2011, I probably could have sold it for close to $1000, but I'd be lucky to get $50 for it today. If he comes back strong, maybe this ugly little printing plate and sticker combo can justify how much I overspent on cards this year. 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Getz Outta Here

As of this morning, Luke Hochevar is still a Royal. As sad as that is, I can't help but rejoice for the fact that Chris Getz is not. The Royals acquired Getz in the winter of 2009 along with Josh Fields for Mark Teahen. At the time Getz was a 26 year old with little upside. Despite that and his lack of a bat and average defense, he somehow managed to man second base for four seasons. That gave him 1,124 PA, good for 69th most in Royals history. Over that time he hit one homerun. 1 HR. His SLG was above .287 only one season of his four in KC. His OBP peaked at .313 in 2011. This guy was awful. Nonetheless, he got the designation as a good "clubhouse guy" who plays the game "the right way". Fans like myself can't comprehend that since I've never played in the MLB. No, he didn't do anything to help us score runs or avoid outs, but he sure as hell did something else to make Ned Yost and Dayton Moore fall in love with him.

As for me... the biggest loss will be not having his insanely gorgeous wife in the stands next season. In a way, Chris Getz is a role model for anyone who has never been very good at something. It just goes to show that you can suck ass and still land a wife way out of your league, you just have to be rich. Or a good clubhouse guy.

Nicky became a bigger household name than her husband this Fall when she teamed up with David Dejesus's equally hot wife to compete on CBS's "The Amazing Race". Despite getting saved by the producers twice, the "Bunnies" were eliminated a couple weeks ago. It's dark times in the Getz household, but happy times in mine.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Willie Wilson Comes Home

Yeah... that title blows. My original title was "Speed Kills" but with the celebrity death of the weekend, I thought it was inappropriate. I probably shouldn't have said it here either. Oh well. I recently did a trade with a new friend of mine named Roger. The trade involved this Willie Wilson relic from 2005 Donruss Champions for that 2013 Topps Update Max Scherzer SP I pulled. I was happy with the trade as it was, but Roger also threw in plenty of Royals goodies with some of my favorites below. 

EJ had one of the weirdest seasons on record. It began in Tampa before the Royals claimed his as the PTBNL from the Wil Myers trade. Johnson showed up and impressed with stellar defense at 2B and a decent bat. That fell apart in mid-August when the Royals cut him after an 0 for 31 streak at the plate. The Braves then grabbed him up (role reversal) and he caught fire for them, infamously replacing Dan Uggla on the playoff roster.

As I'm writing this this morning, today could be the last day that former #1 overall pick Luke Hochevar is a Royal. By midnight the Royals have to decide if they'll tender him a $5 million contract to be our 7th inning setup man. I like Luke in the pen, but the Royals are supposedly tight on cash, so I'd hate to see him on our Opening Day roster. In the unlikely even he is non-tendered, he'll instantly become a top bullpen arm on the FA market.

Slugger was so much happier in his pre-assault charges days. He'll enjoy his day in court... the Supreme Court.

Oh boy... what can be said about Ken Harvey.

Kila was the ultimate AAAA star, elite at AAA and worthless in the majors. Fun Fact: I've seen Kila's brother Kala Ka'aihue and Ken Harvey both play in Kansas City! Not for the Royals, but for the independent Kansas City T-Bones of the American Association. 

Roger did me in with this cookie.
The best part of this deal isn't the trade itself with Roger, it's that he's committed to the Typhoon Haiyan Charity Break AND he's agreed to donate another box! It's a big one too... I'll hold off on the announcement because it deserves its own post. 

I've also received some goodies from Nomo's Sushi Platter and Brad's Blog to tackle some set needs and spoil me with Royals. Thanks fellas, keep your eyes on your mailboxes!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Still Hungover from Turkey

Relax, I'm alive. Despite a serious turkey hangover that still hasn't subsided, I'm still kickin'. For once I didn't let Black Friday sucker me in with outstanding deals on crap I don't need and nobody I know would want for Christmas, so I spent the day recuperating and chopping prices on my COMC inventory. I managed by far my biggest sales day yet with COMC yesterday thanks to the Black Friday special they're running. Not only have I undercut everybody, I'm running it at 40% because I'm tired at looking at most of the stuff in my inventory. I was hoping other sellers would feel the same way, but the majority are selling at like 10% off.

Check out my deals!

I've tried hard to avoid buying, but some deals have been too good to be true. Here are the steals I nabbed yesterday.
I'm not a Cardinals fan, but I grew up hearing stories of the great Cardinal teams of the '60s. 
The SP that has eluded me all season.
Despite his reputation, I've always liked Jason Giambi. I couldn't pass up his autograph for $4.
I wish these gold parallels had a different color swatch, but since Gordo is on it I had to grab it.
As sad as it is, you can get an autograph of the most accomplished Royal of the last 20 years for just a dollar.
I don't want to like Big Game James. If he didn't exist, I'd still have Wil Myers to fill my dreams. Nonetheless, he's to likable not to like. 
I've got a few hundred cards set to be added to COMC by the end of the day, so check again later for some new stuff at stupid low prices. I apologize for the longish absence, but with the season winding down and the holidays approaching I let myself slip a bit. If you've sent me a package recently and haven't heard back, then yes, I have received it and I sure as hell have enjoyed it. Look for a post or two recapping a few great trade hauls from the last couple weeks soon.

I'm still taking entries for the Typhoon Haiyan Charity Break! Again, it's a matter of when, not if, this break will happen. I've had just a few hard signups, but there are a good amount of you who have said you may want in but cash is tight. Believe me, I understand. Unfortunately the cleanup and recovery in the Philippines won't happen overnight, so when we're able to make it happen, our donation will still do a world of good. Steel City Collectibles has already said they'll throw in a few goodies for door prizes.

My goal is to make sure no one leaves without a "prize" of some sort, whether it be a hit from the break, a door prize or something from my own collection. If the break doesn't fill completely then I'll just auction off the cards from the unsold teams with the proceeds going directly to Childfund International. If you're holding out to see if I lower prices, then you might be disappointed. If this break was just for my enjoyment then I'd wheel and deal all day, but I think the price set right now is more than fair. Of course I'm willing to work with anyone who wants to grab their team but can't pay right away. There's a strong chance I'll add a box or two to the current list when I come across a good deal. As of now, I am hoping this break takes place around New Year's, but sooner if it fills up. Hopefully by then we'll be jonesing for some box breaks and have the extra finances to buy in!

Friday, November 15, 2013

2013 Heritage Minors & Breakin' for a Cause

Admit it. You're only reading this because of the hip lingo I used in the title, right? "Breakin' for a Cause"...

A few weeks back I bought a box of 2013 Topps Heritage Minors from Steel City Collectibles for under $40, a deal I couldn't pass up. For whatever reason Heritage Minors doesn't seem to get the love of Pro Debut or any of the Bowman sets, but it certainly impressed me. Here's the highlights.

My first pack wielded the second plate I've ever pulled, featuring Jimmy Nelson, a prospect who is expected to start next season in the Brewer's rotation after some solid starts this season.

Brentz is a 24 year old fringe prospect for the Red Sox. Heritage Minors isn't necessarily just about elite prospects, which adds a cool quirkiness.

These cute little minis are designed after the Bazooka cards from long before my time.

Unfortunately the Venezuelan backs are much less rare in HM than in Heritage

Black borders #'d to 96

This black auto is #'d to 50. My first thought was "Please don't tell me he's Sean O'Sullivan's brother". Yup, according to the back he is. S.O.S. was a disaster in his brief time with the Royals, hopefully his brother fares better.
I about crapped myself when I pulled this. After all the luck I'd already had, I pulled a dual auto #'d to 15! Salazar broke into the Indians rotation this season and has a good upside. So does Dillon Howard. The problem is that Howard enjoys him some banned substances that got him banned for 50 games this season. Hopefully he can bounce back next year and earn his big-time prospect status.

If you missed it yesterday, check out the upcoming charity break I'm hosting for the relief efforts in the Philippines. It's a 10 box mixer for just $38 per slot. The break WILL happen (despite the slow signup) so register now while your team is still available! Even if your team is one of the few gone, grab a random team for just $35. The break will be packed with door prizes, and I can all but guarantee that no one will go home without something special. 

It's so important that we fill this fast! The victims in the Philippines need our help NOW. The quicker this fills, the quicker the break can happen and the faster we can provide relief. Did I mention that if this break fills up, we'll raise nearly $500? How is that for a good deed during the holiday season? Please grab your team now! Even if you aren't able to sign up, please please please share it with as many collectors as you can via your own blog, message boards, Twitter and word of mouth. We can do something special and have a great time, so why not?