Friday, January 31, 2014

The Most Crazy Insane Group Break Deal of ALL Time!!!

You like all that hyperbole in the title? I don't, but how else could I explain this deal? As many of you know, the 2014 Typhoon Haiyan Charity Break is going down in just a couple of weeks. Problem is, only 12 slots have been grabbed. I set a deadline for tomorrow at 11:59 PM to hit 15 teams or the break would be called off. I'm holding out for someone to swoop in and save us, so here are some sick insane crazy blah blah blah incentives for your to join!

1997 Topps Stadium Club Series 1 Hobby 
1999 Topps Stadium Club Series 1 Hobby
2013 Topps Archives - 2 Hits
2013 Topps Mini - 1 Hit
2013 Panini Triple Play
2011 Panini Contenders - 6 Hits
2011 Topps Lineage - 3 Hits
2010 Topps National Chicle - 3 Hits
2010 Topps T-206 - 2 Hits
2009 Upper Deck X - 1 Hit

PLUS a 2008 Topps Finest Mini Box - 1 Hit *courtesy of Roger L*

Those are the boxes included as of now, along with a few extra hobby packs courtesy of the Baseball Card Exchange. As always, you'll also get a few of your team's cards from my PC tossed in. If you get skunked during the break, I'll definitely toss in some extra goodies to make up for it. You can pick any of the remaining teams for $38 OR with the WACKY CRAZY deal I'm running until tomorrow night, you can get TWO random teams for just $40! Say what? That's cheaper than a couple blasters of 2014 Topps Series 1 that you have or are begrudgingly buying this week. Yeah, $40 for a ton of cards, with every penny of the proceeds going to feed and shelter children. You can't go wrong. Seriously, if you're on the fence about this, then you must hate scoring a super sweet deal. 

There are some really good teams left including (but not limited to) St. Louis, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Anaheim, Chicago (both of 'em) and more. If you see a slot open that you know someone else would love, refer them here and you BOTH get $5 off entry on any single team still available. Just make sure you both email me at to claim them. Can't pay today? No sweat, claim your team now and pay any time before the break. 

Make this your good deed for the weekend. Do you know how much good karma the card gods will send you for doing this? You'll probably get like a dozen 1/1's pulled for your team during the break. Please also take the time to plug this in a blog post and refer as many collectors here as you can. Help me guarantee that we can hold this break, have a blast, and make lives better for some children who really really need it right now.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Bleeding Kansas

Yesterday was a very important day, and I bet you didn't know it. Sure, it was the official release date for 2014 Topps S1, but more importantly it was the 153rd birthday of the greatest state in the Union, Kansas. Today's post has nothing to do with cards, but if you appreciate history and freedom, stick around and you just might learn something kind of cool.

Thanks to petethan for the inspiration for the above image improvements.

I was born and raised in the great state of Kansas and have lived here all of my life. In addition to collecting to cards, I enjoy reading about the history of this state and my hometown. Long ago we were written off as nothing more than the key to Oz and a red state with a really good basketball university. We're a lot more than that though, especially if you go all the way back to our beginnings, when we changed the entire landscape of the United States and the world forever. 

As Americans spread west in the early 1850's, stealing land from the Indians and plowing everything in site, the USA ran into a little problem. The pro-slavery vs anti-slavery debate was getting pretty hot and no one knew what to do with the new states being added. Do they allow slavery or not? The Kansas-Nebraska Act was created by Senator Stephen A. Douglas as a way to let the citizens of the new states decide for themselves. If the responsibility of the decision rested on a democratic vote, then neither side would be mad at the outcome, right? Wrong. 

The race was on. Thousands of pro slavery and Free Staters rushed to Kansas to gain citizenship and the right to vote. President Franklin Pierce (you know, that one president you could never remember on your history tests) was strictly pro slavery. Pierce filled the Kansas Territory with pro slavery politicians from Missouri to serve as officials. The Free Staters said this was bullshit, so they elected and created their own government in Kansas. As you can imagine, two governments in one state doesn't work too well, especially when they represent the polar opposite views of the North and the South.

In November of 1854, the first elections were held to send a Kansas delegate to the Senate. Kansas had 1,500 qualified voters, but somehow 6,000 votes were cast. Pro slavery Missourians (now called Border Ruffians) had flooded over the border to stuff the ballot boxes. Dick move. In March of 1855, these punks did it again. To counter the Border Ruffians, 1,200 New Englanders immigrated to Kansas. These fellas from the North didn't come empty handed, they came packing some serious heat. 

Abolitionists such as John Brown (pictured in top picture) came to Kansas in October of 1855. Things got out of hand when a Free Stater named Charles Dow was shot by a pro slavery settler. And when I say they got out of hand, they got out of hand. A war began and violence quickly spread between the anti slavery settlers and the pro slavery settlers. In May of 1856, Missourians invaded Lawrence, Kansas (center of the Free State movement) and burned it to the ground. 

 The outrage spread through the North and South, leading to fights... physical fights... on the floor of Congress. Thousands more from both the North and South hurried to Kansas to form armies. Battles were waged all throughout the eastern part of Kansas between the militias. When the smoke cleared, miraculously only 56 died from the wars in Kansas, but that was just the beginning of the bloodiest time in American history.

Tempers flared from the atrocities in Kansas throughout the USA and nothing could be done to settle them. Kansas was admitted to the Union in January of 1861, and soon after the Confederate States succeeded from the Union.

So there you have it. I bet you hadn't realized how important Kansas was? Without it, who knows how long it would have taken for the Civil War to kick off if at all. Would the Confederates have won? Would we still have some slave states or would the entire country be pro slavery? Who knows, but God Bless Kansas and the men and women from the North who defended her freedom with their lives.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

2014 Topps Officially Begins + Charity Break SPECIAL!

On my detour to Walmart yesterday, I decided to check to see if 2013 Update was in stock yet (Get it? Walmart is so slow at stocking cards!). To my surprise, Walmart had 2014 Topps on display! Of course I grabbed a blaster, despite my scathing preview. When I opened it something magical happened. I realized that if I put my thumb over the annoying sidebar with the team name... these cards don't look that bad! Not anywhere near as good as 2013, but still not... that... bad. The reason I went with a blaster is so I could get 20 cards closer to the blue border complete set. Here are a few of my favorite blue border beauties.
Sick shot of Victorino and a nice RC of Wong.

Durrr nice swing Swish! Cool shot of J-Hey.

I figured we'd get some Rivera retirement cards, but I'm very happy to see Todd Helton included too.
Is Puigmania still on? If so I think I got a pretty desirable parallel. My scanner thinks the color red meant to be the color pink, so it went ahead and fixed it.

1989 Topps Mini Diecuts are okay, but the odd edges bend easily. These are on a very light cardstock that could almost pass as real authentic cardboard.

You'll have to take my word that these inserts look pretty good in person.

I put manu-patch in a toploader and sleeve, so it looks like poo. In real life, these are pretty cool. The photo is on "silk", but the border and team logo are diecut plastic that hovers a few millimeters over the silk for a neat shadow effect. 

Wow, the gold parallels are going to be sexy for Royals this year. The gold flows well with the blue & gold team colors. I'll have no choice but to build this team set.

2014 Typhoon Haiyan Charity Break UPDATE

I set a date of February 1st to fill at least 15 slots to guarantee the charity break happens. Damn we're close! Thing is, I really do need to hit that slot so I'm certain we at least break even. Therefore, I'm holding a ridiculous special between today and Saturday...

TWO Random Teams for just $40!!!!!!!!

That's right. I've had random teams set at $35 each, but you can claim two for just $40 total. On the day of the break, we'll random off the remaining teams on to see which teams you won! Not only will this help out a very special cause, but it's a decent investment that could easily earn you your money back plus some. Email me to claim one of these specials before the end of the day on Saturday, February 1st. 

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Blue Border Beauties Pt 1

Forgive me for last night's rant, but damn it felt good to rant. Yesterday morning I went grocery shopping and did my usual stop at the card aisle. Of course there weren't any 2014 boxes out yet, so I grabbed a hangar box of 2013 Update and have officially kicked off my PC of blue border beauties. If you missed this post, I have come to terms with my love for blue borders and have decided to embrace them. That means that if you find any 2014 Topps blue borders at Wally World, you know where to send them! My goal is to take out the 2014 blue set, but I'm also going to start a frankenset of blue border cards from past releases. That means I definitely need any past blue borders or parallels you have from Bowman, Topps or anywhere else. Let's see the goodies! 
US122 Danny Duffy - Kansas City Royals 
US251 Aaron Harang - Seattle Mariners

US66 James Russel - Chicago Cubs

US107 Andrew Bailey - Boston Red Sox

US117 Willie Bloomquist - Arizona Diamondbacks

Blue Thoughts: 

There weren't any key RC's or star players, but pulling the Danny Duffy was the card god's way of saying "You're on the right track, my son." Barring anymore injuries, the Royals will finally be able to get an extended look at Duffman in the rotation this year and I'm pumped for it. 

I'd love to know how Willie Bloomquist is still playing baseball. I swear this guy has blackmail on all 30 GM's and USA Baseball. Or they've just seen what he can do to a boar. Through 150 plate appearances, Bloomers slashed .317/.360/.367 in 2013 for the Diamondbacks. That's one of the best years of his career, and it's not uncommon for his SLG to be below his OBP. In the field, he fits the definition of "Spork" perfectly, he can do about anything but he can't do anything well. 

So there we go, the first 5 entries into the frankenset binder. Make my day and hook me up with some people who can help the binder grow!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Very Early 2014 Topps Thoughts - RAGE EDITION

Wednesday, January 29th should be one of the best days of 2014 for collectors. But it won't be. Warning: I'm about to shit all over 2014 Topps and I haven't even held it in my hands yet. If I can despise it as much as humanly possible going into the middle of next week, maybe I can be pleasantly surprised when I begin to waste money on it.

Out of 330 cards, 9 of them are Royals. That's fair, but Topps selection of Royals is pretty much piss-poor. I'll NEVER understand why they don't only include guys who are under contract for the next season in Series 1. It's so frustrating to see cards of players who had zero chance of being with their former team in the new season, still appearing for that team on a card. This made a little more sense when Topps used to release Series 1 shortly after the World Series ended, but now it comes out just a couple weeks before spring training. That's laziness. Because of that, I'm stuck with players like Chris Getz and Bruce Chen in a Royals uniform for one more year. If they show up in Heritage, I will riot.

As soon as I heard that 2014 Topps had started to leak at some Targets, I hopped on Ebay to get a preview of what people were pulling and DEAR LORD WHAT IN THE HELL IS THIS MONSTROSITY!?!?!?

You know how in every sorority hazing scene in movies there's one bitchy Senior who takes a marker and marks an "X" where all of physical flaws are on the Freshman pledges? Yeah, give me an effing marker. Imagine that 2012 Topps made love to 2013 Topps stickers.

Now since 2012 Topps and 2013 Topps Sticker Collection are both in the Topps family, they would put out an defective incest baby that happens to look like this:

What's with the wavy crap on the bottom, then the robotic nameplate that doesn't fit on the side? Why? There's no rhyme or reason! After years of mediocre Topps flagship designs, 2013 was supposed to be the light at the end of the tunnel. Well it was, but Topps turned around and headed deeper back into the dark. Don't get me started on the green border. Topps has finally hit the point where they've put out so many parallels, that they're running out of combinations of ROYGBIV to put around the border. One of the set designers must be a new parent who got their inspiration from what they found in their baby's diaper. 

As you can see, I'm not in the best of moods. I honestly don't think Topps could have come up with a worse design than this. If I pull either a "Booger Green" parallel or a "Piss Yellow" parallel, I will set it on fire, then light a fat cigar off of it to toast the moment Topps jumped the shark. 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Killer COMC Swipe

I'd be the first to admit I have an addiction to COMC. As soon as I sell a card and have a few pennies in my balance, I'm constantly refreshing to see what new cards are added. Thankfully, I'm more of a browser than a buyer. The beauty of COMC is you can admire a card and even read the back without buying it. The majority of COMC sales seem to go to "Flippers". These sharks scour COMC looking for an under-priced card that they can either purchase and put up for sale on COMC, or have shipped and sell elsewhere. Those guys are good too. Every once in a while I try to play along, but to varying degrees of success. Last night I think I hit a winner though. 

Can you guess the price I paid? Click here for the answer. Not too bad, eh? They've sold on Ebay for as high as $50+ and as low as around $20. Mine is now re-listed on COMC for a fairly high price that I'm willing to take offers on, but I have no problem holding onto the card or eventually trading it. 

After a pretty insane rookie season with 31 GS, 15 Wins, and a 3.06 ERA, Shelby Miller disappeared in the postseason. Michael Wacha came out of nowhere to dominate headlines and steal Miller's thunder, while Miller got just 1 IP in the postseason. Were there injury concerns? No, the odd use was and still is a mystery. There were rumors of a trade during the offseason, but nothing came of them. Miller is ready to get back into the rotation and dominate, and I'm pretty pumped to own a pointless but gorgeous RC parallel for just $6.

For just $38 or $35, you can join the Typhoon Haiyan Charity Group Break to benefit Childfund International and the thousands of starving children in the Philippines. Shoot me an email to reserve your team and join in the fun! 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Stadium Club - Please Come Back!

The formula for card products has changed a ton over the last decade, and that's a shame. As bad as some points of the 90's were for cards, some incredible innovations swept in. In 1989 Upper Deck presented the first "premium" card set with higher quality stock, ink and photos. Topps freaked out and introduced 1991 Stadium Club, a product similar to Upper Deck, but taking it a step farther. They introduced gorgeous photography without card borders. For the next decade plus, Stadium Club and Upper Deck battled it out. 

Stadium Club revolutionized the "Swing" shot. 

They made routine plays a thing of art.

Web gems became something to behold. 

They didn't do much to improve pitching shots, so they largely ignored pitchers. 

Stadium Club gave us insane looks at players turning two. 

And it began Topps infatuation with the celebration. 

With Upper Deck out of the business and Stadium Club long dead, there isn't much hope on the horizon for collectors who appreciate photography. The current business model Topps has is genius. They've learned that they can reuse stock photos over and over in releases throughout the year. By stamping a worthless number on the back of some cards, collectors buy the products up like it's cocaine. Borders and backgrounds are a must so that we can have three dozen parallels. None of that formula can be applied to a product like Stadium Club. 

My favorite edition of Stadium Club will be ripped in the upcoming charity break! It's crunch time and I need just a few more teams claimed before I can give the break the green light and place the order for the boxes. Click here to find your team and claim them. Whether you can pay today or can't pay until the break goes down in a couple weeks, it's fine, I just need some heads up so you can get dibs on your favorite team. The break even point will be around 15 to 16 teams, so anyone who joins after that will be putting money in the pocket of Childfund International as they try to feed, clothe and shelter the thousands of children in the Philippines who remain in desperate condition after Typhoon Haiyan. BUT we can't do that until we hit the break even point and we're getting soooooo close! 

Saturday, January 18, 2014

A Royal Haul from Dominic

Today has been pretty damn good so far. As of now, Kansas is rocking Oklahoma State and an unexpectedly big package arrived in the mail from my good friend, Dominic. There were over 50 great Royals cards for my PC, but here are some of my favorites.
This is my first blue border arrival since I declared them my niche! It also may be one of the last great catcher collision cards. 

I love chrome diecuts, and this Hosmer card from 2012 Topps Chrome has eluded me as has this 2011 Heritage RC of Jarrod Dyson... until now.

No package is complete with an Alex Gordon, so Dominic threw in tons of them. This Prizm-style card from 2013 Select is one I've been drooling over on Ebay, and I can attest that it's way cooler and shinier in person.

It's a shame that this "Band of Brothers" insert left out the Royals best player in Alex Gordon, but it's still a winner. John Lamb on the other hand is not. A once hyped prospect, he's now an example of how not everyone returns from Tommy John surgery well.

I about crapped when I saw this Bo Jackson card sitting on top. It's glossy and gorgeous, so my first thought was "TIFFANY!?!" but it ended up just being a Cards Your Mom Threw Out insert. It was one that I needed though! Also, James Shields wants you to look at his butt.

Manea is my new favorite Royals prospect. He could turn some heads this year.

I almost missed the day glow orange on this Hosmer card. I already miss David Lough who is now taking his gritty all American playing style to Baltimore.

When this USA photo was taken, the player on the left was supposed to be "the next" player on the right. Instead, he became "the first" Alex Gordon and I love him for it.

I'm compiling some more loose packs for door prizes during the 2014 Typhoon Haiyan charity break! Assuming we get another 4 or 5 teams claimed soon, the break will take place during the second or third week of February. Claim your team now and pay any time between now and then!