Monday, December 28, 2009

Trade with John

I haven't posted in several days due to the holidays. I hope everyone had a nice Christmas. I'm actually off until after the 1st so maybe I'll post a little more frequently the next couple of days, or maybe not. Who knows. Now on with the post.

A few weeks ago I received an email from a guy named John asking if I would be interested in acquiring some basketball cards. He said he had lost interest in his basketball collection and had a bunch of Nash, Nowitzki and Finley cards he could send my way. I said, "Bring 'em on!" He also threw in some stuff for the kids. Check out what he sent.

John sent several of Nobie's favorites, here are just a few of them. I'd never seen the cardsupials set before, unfortunately, we only got the baby.

Goose got several football cards to add to his collection as well, including LT, Hines Ward and Champ wearing the hated Redskins uni.

John sent me a few cards each of a few of my other favorites including Pau Gasol, Reggie Miller and the Dream. I'd forgotten Hakeem even played for the Raptors, that just looks weird.

Next we've got some former Mavs. Nick the Quick, the Little General Avery Johnson and every one's favorite whipping boy, the Mantis himself, Shawn Bradley.

John sent something like 3o cards of Steve Nash almost all of them new to me. Here are just a few of my favorites. Gotta love Steve's intensity on that second card. I also like the one in the middle of the second row. Nash versus Kidd, who were traded for one another several years ago.

I also got about 25 or so Finley cards, again almost no doubles from my previous collection. The first card is really sweet, love the clouds and wings in the Soarers logo.

Last, but not least, John sent another large stack of 25 or so cards of Dirk. I don't know how it turned out that way again, but almost all were new to me, so it was a really great package that John sent. I sent him a package of his favorites in return, but I wasn't able to match his generosity by any means. Anyway, I hope you liked what I sent John. As far as I know, John doesn't have a blog, but if you happen to get an email from him stating he would like to unload a few cards on you, by all means take him up on it. Thanks again, John. Later.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I Think I Can Do Better - Entry 1

Okay, now for a spin at something new. This is my first entry in what may or may not become a "series" of sorts. I don't know about the rest of you, but I often come across cards that just don't seem quite right. Most of the time, I'll just think, "You know, that looks a little half-assed, to me! I know I could do better!" I am a graphic artist for a living (I only get to design yellow pages, but hey, it's my official job title) and now I have my own blog, so guess what, I'm gonna show you I could do better. At least I think so, how about you?

For my first attempt, I selected Panini's 2009 Rookies & Stars. Unfortunately, for Panini/Donruss, their cards seem to be the most common when making my claim of "I can do better". They just typically leave a lot to be desired in my opinion. The problems with 09 R&S to me are multiple. First, cut out players with no game background. I don't totally dislike this design element, but I do think it is to prevalent. Second, black and white background for every card. Third, the team logos are teeny, tiny. Lastly, the players names have too much white space around them. So I've made some changes and here they are.

Since I don't have the original photos, I can't put any of the original background back in, so we are stuck with cut out players. I did, however, change the boring black & white backgrounds to team colors for each specific player, which I feel makes the cards much more dynamic. I also increased the size of the logos and player names to take up more of the white space and tie everything together better. The one thing I didn't change, but would if I could figure out how to make it appear correctly is add foil to the R&S logos at the bottom right corner. Panini must not have budgeted in any money for foil, because I have yet to see any on their cards (that I can remember) that weren't completely foil board. Maybe they just don't have any foil stamps. Anyway, at least for their basketball products so far, I feel they look a lot cheaper minus any of the foil that UD and Topps uses.
So there you have it. The first "I Think I Can Do Better" entry. What do you think? Later.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Trade with Democratic Roadkill

I got an email a few weeks back from Duane of Democratic Roadkill offering up a Kurt game used bat card. I said "cool", I'll take it. Duane said he had a nice pack of cards to send for all of us and he'd get it in the mail right away. Anxious to add another Kurt to the collection we checked the mail daily and waited and waited and waited, but no package. I contacted Duane and he said he sent it right before Thanksgiving and this was like 2 weeks later and still nothing. I figured it might be lost for good, but then after about 3 weeks it finally appeared. Duane had accidentally left 1 digit out of our address and I guess it took the post office a while to figure out where it belonged. Anyway, the cards eventually arrived safely, let's see what we got.

First up we've got some football including Cowboys and the always awesome Fleer cards of the 80s. The great thing about the Fleers of the time was that the helmets actually had logos, unlike Topps. From what I remember Fleer had no cards of individual players, that must have been Topps exclusive, but the more than made up for it with great action shots. Can't beat the Broncos in the snow wearing the orange unis!

Duane also sent a nice little bunch of stickers from the 80s. I used to buy the albums and fill them up, but have no idea what I did with them later on. I love the Air Coryell era Chargers, so it was cool to get a couple of Charlie Joiners as well as some of my other favorites like Elway, Dorsett and Payton.

Here we've got a nice little group of basketball, mostly mid 90's Mavs, when they were at their worst. Dallas had quite a few good players roll through here back then, they could just never put it all together and get anything accomplished on the court. I also got a Hakeem, can't ever go wrong there.

Some baseball minis to add to the Ranger, Cub and catcher collections.

A bunch more catchers including a Fisk I've always liked with big Cecil rumbling towards home.

Up next are some of Nobie's favorite players including a numbered Ultimate Soriano. These are really nice base cards and more expensive than we normally spend per pack, so it's cool to get one now and then in a trade. Duane also sent a few for me as well including a nice Hank refractor.

Which leads us to the crown jewel of the trade and the reason Duane contacted me in the first place. Topps Heritage game used bat Kurt! I've wanted one of these for quite a while, but hadn't gotten around to bidding on one or anything so it was nice to get a hold of one in a trade. I don't know about the rest of you, but even though I buy my fair share of cards online or in shops, there is just something a little neater about getting something in a trade. I guess it's the fact that there are other people who share a passion for the hobby and are always on the lookout for something to make someone else happy. Well Duane, you've made me happy with this trade, hope you liked what I sent in return. Oh, and sorry about Halladay, I guess it was bound to happen. Later.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

I'm My Own Secret Santa!

I went by the card shop a few weeks ago, looking for a gift for the Secret Santa exchange that A Rookie (baseball) Card Collector put together. My wife often complains that I'm hard to buy gifts for because I tend to just buy what I want when I see it, leaving her (or anyone else for that matter) with no choices. Well, guess what. I didn't end up with anything for my Secret Santa person, but I did get a few cards for myself. My wife knows me so well. Anyway, here they are.

I picked up 8 Elways and only one was more that a buck (the Gunslingers one). I got my first Elway "snow" card and I also really like the "mud" one, though it's not nearly as cool as the Greg Landry mud card. I suppose a couple might not be really worth a dollar, but I don't mind spending a little bit more from time to time at this shop. The shop I frequent is really a combination of 4 guys. There are all there on Saturday, but the rest of the week usually only one of them is there and he looks after the others guys' stuff. I should learn their names, but I haven't. Anyway, the guy I bought these from is a really nice older guy and he's never pushy and usually ends up cutting a little off the total anyway, so like I said, I don't mind paying a little extra "sticker" price.

I also grabbed 8 Dirks. I guess that was a coincidence, I don't remember planning it that way. These were all a buck too, including a couple chrome refractors and what I like to call "hippie" Dirk (the Topps 1952 Style). So there you go, another gift for myself. Don't worry, though, I got the Secret Santa gift taken care of a few days later, so if it's your name I drew you can breathe easy. Later.

Dollar Tree Score!

I've been picking up quite a few of these 08-09 NBA Fleer packs at local Dollar Trees lately. Most of the time I just get 8 base cards, maybe an insert here and there, nothing too special. I really like the design though and am at least trying to get most of the Mavs and my other favorite players. This pack, however, did include something special...

game used KOBE! I really like the look of this card and it's got a purple swatch which is cool, the problem is, I can't stand the guy! I've never liked the Lakers except for a few individual players here and there, but I really don't like Kobe. I think he's a total doucher. So what to do with the card? I think I'm going to take it to the local card shop and see about trading it for a Dirk relic. I'm not sure what it's worth, but I aught to be able to get something pretty cool for it. That is, of course, if someone out there in blogger land doesn't have a better offer first. Let me know if you think you do. Later.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

German Mavs

I picked up two awesome cards on ebay the other day, featuring a pair of Germans. Detlef Schrempf, the original German Maverick (Kiki doesn't count, he never played for us) and Dirk Nowitzki, the greatest Maverick ever, German or otherwise.

Uh...I did not pick up this card. Sorry Uwe. Later.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Stuck at 39.

I don't know why, but it's bugging me that we're stuck at 39 followers. Maybe it's because I'll turn 40 in a few months and I'd like to get 40 followers before 40 years. Doesn't anyone want to be follower number 40? Anyone? Bueller?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Sweet Spot Trade Bait

Nobie and I really like the look of the Sweet Spot base cards, but buying packs of that stuff for the base cards is absurd. Lucky for us (and possibly some of you) we found a nice 30 card lot on ebay for $5 including shipping. Since that is roughly the cost of most packs containing only 5 or so cards, we jumped on it. We pulled the players we wanted for our binders and this is what is left.

If you see anything you are interested in , check our lists of what we collect off to the right, and make us an offer. We aren't real picky, just looking for cards we don't already have. No limit to how many you can ask for. First come, first served. Later.

Monday, December 7, 2009

What The Heck Is This Stuff?

Found these at a Dollar Tree the other day. I seem to recall someone posting a pack of this stuff awhile back, but decided to try it for myself. I guess I was suckered in by the "Trading Card Investment Series" emblazoned across the top of each pack. It's about time I make a killing off of cards instead of just throwing money away! I picked up a pack of football for Goose, baseball for Nobie and some basketball for myself.

The football & basketball promise "one sports legend trading card in every pack" while the baseball promises only "rookie minor league cards in every pack." All 3 packs include an Investment Grading Service coupon, worth $5 off of having a card graded. They each have a mail in offer for a free autographed card on the back of the wrapper, all you have to do is send in 4 wrappers and $3.99 shipping. I'll bet you get something awesome if you do it! I did not. I will show you, however, what we did get in the packs.

Sorry if I'm insulting any one's favorite player, but what a load of crap. Admittedly, most of these cards come from when I paid only a little bit of attention to baseball, but I figured I'd have a little knowledge of some of the players inside. Uh, not so much. I guess for me the best card would be the RBI Leaders card featuring Simmons, Jackson and Nettles, all of whom I am familiar with at least. I also got a Mickey Tettleton card to ad to the catcher collection. The promised rookie minor league cards consisted of one, Bruce Chen. The pack was only a buck, but I'd have to say, not worth it. Let's check out football next.

Wow, what the heck? A pack of 14 cards featuring 3 sets of doubles, who packed this stuff? Talk about poor collation. A little more name recognition here at least. I got a couple of Cowboys in Chris Boniol and Everson Walls, though Walls is a Giant on the card here. Eugene Robinson was a pretty good player from what I remember, though not worthy of 2 cards in one pack! I guess my promised legend card would have to be Franco Harris. A Steeler, yuck! Maybe we'll fare better with our basketball pack.

Heck yeah, that's more like it. A Maverick, first card out of the pack, even if it is a guy who is better in his post NBA career than he was as a player. I also got a Fat Lever Mavs card and one of former Mav Sam Perkins. Tyrone Corbin was one of my favorites during his college days at DePaul as was the X-man, Xavier McDaniel, though I don't need 2 of the same card of him either. The pack was full of several bigger name players, though the promised legend card, has to be Charles Barkley and I got 2 DIFFERENT cards of him. What a deal! The "hit" of all 3 packs though, has got to be the John Paxson Silver Season card, which apparently came from a pack of Equal sweetener. Sweet! I know, bad joke.
So there, you go. I definitely had more fun with the basketball pack than either the football or baseball, but I doubt if I give these a whirl again. If you find yourself in a Dollar Tree and are feeling lucky or just want to make a "good" investment grab a few packs for yourself. Later.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Trade with Trader Crack's

Just completed a trade with Ryan from Trader Crack's Card Blog. Well, not complete, as I still need to send him his cards, but half complete. He has a list of cards he's willing to give up on his blog, so I picked a few we were interested in. This is what we got.

A nice little assortment of Nobie's and my favorite players. We've got Pujols & Ichiro, looking like they are about to start clubbing one another, big Prince inside a shiny X, MVP Mauer, Kinsler as a young pup, Mr. Met minus the over sized baseball head and another shiny Pujols that appears to be missing a swatch or something (look at all that empty space!) We will be sending Ryan a little package of Canadian MLB players, since he favors those that hail from the Great White North. Ryan, thanks for the trade and your package should be in the mail no later than Saturday. Later.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Trade with Beardy (Better Late Than Never, Right?)

Okay, I feel like a tool. I usually try to post a trade as quickly as possible, but this one got by me somehow. Only because I've been pestering Beardy about giving up his Kung Fu Panda auto, was it even brought to my attention that I had neglected to let Beardy know I had received the cards he sent almost a month ago. Sorry, Dude! Beardy and I set up a trade starting with a Micheal Young card I'll get to in a minute. Since we were going to be dealing with an Oriole guy, Nobie had me check to see if he may have any Markakis doubles he could send his was. Boy did he!

Beardy sent quite a pile of Markakii (is that plural for Markakis?), which immediately tripled the number of cards in Nobie's growing player collection. Very nice gesture from the bearded one!

Of course, as most of us seem to do, he threw in some random extras from my favorite team, the Rangers. A nice mix of old and new, I really like the black border mini Hamilton and the Ryan with the smokin' baseball. The only one of these I already had was the Byrd, so I very nice lot.

Here is the aforementioned Young card, which as you can see, is not normal size. It is a cabinet card, though I'm not sure why they are called that. I've mentioned in an earlier post, that this isn't exactly one of my favorite Michael Young cards, it just looks a little "weird" to me somehow. It is, however, an unusual card of my favorite Ranger, so it's very welcomed. It is also my first cabinet card of any kind so that is cool too! Once again, sorry for the delay Beardy, don't take it personally, it was a great trade! Later.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Basketball Showdown

While in Target the other day, I decided to pick up a few packs of basketball cards. These are the first packs I've gotten in a few years. I picked one each of what they had that was 09-10. UD First Edition and Flagship, Topps, Panini and Panini Prestige are what I walked away with. Let's compare, shall we? I'll present them in the order of "cheapness" or at least how I perceive it.

First up we have UD First Edition. These cards really are cheap. 10 cards in a pack for 99 cents, so basically 10 cents a card. You get an insert in every pack, I pulled a Mav (yeah) in a Raptor jersey. The cards are by far the thinnest in the group, but they have great photography, the same in fact as the UD Flagship set. They also have a silver or gold stripe up the left side that tells you they are first edition. What they don't have is any foil or much gloss. The design is the same we've seen for baseball and football already this year, so it's very familiar, but I still like it fine. Overall, a very nice product especially for the price.

The second pack is from Topps and like UD, this will be their last NBA licensed set for a while. The Topps cards are a little thicker and glossier, so they feel better quality, but I don't like the look as much. They have a little foil logo and player name, but also a fairly thick white border all the way around. Topps does use action shots, but they aren't as dynamic as UD. Most of their cards show the featured player with only bits and pieces of opponents making it into the frame. (I do really like that they caught Pau guarding his brother on Marc's card though.) Topps come 12 cards a pack for $1.99, which is about 16 cents a card. Not a bad deal at all.

The next pack up is Upper Decks flagship set. The more sophisticated version of First Edition. These cards are even thicker than the Topps and feature foil logos and player names. They also really make UD's superior photography stand out with full bleed photos. The thing I like about these is that unlike Topps, you usually see a lot of action with the featured player as well as opposing players. It makes for some nice unique shots. The UD cards came 18 in a pack for $2.99, which like Topps, is around 16 cents per card. So far, I'd say this is the best value.

Here we have the first "Flagship" set from new exclusive license holders Panini. Surprisingly, these cards were the thickest of them all. Somehow though, they appear cheaper than the UD set. I suppose it's the lack of foil and the somewhat matte finish. Overall , I like the design, especially the full bleed photos, much better than most Panini/Donruss stuff that is filled with odd criss crossing geometric shaped backgrounds behind a cutout player. What is odd about the Panini set though is, while they are all "in action" shots, there is almost no action. Check it out, you don't see any opposing players anywhere. It's almost like they are all playing one on one in a packed arena and the other guy is the one with the camera. Weird. I do like that you get an insert card and a sticker in every pack, which adds some variety. These were priced 12 (11 cards, 1 sticker) for $1.99 also, so they too cost about 16 cents each.

Lastly, we have Panini Prestige. These were the most expensive at $2.99 for 5 cards, which is 60 cents apiece. Yikes! They are no thicker than their plain Panini counterparts and also feature no foil, though they are quite glossy. The photography is also basically the same as the cheaper set, but features a white faded edge at the top that I don't really like. I'd rather they just run the photo to the top edge and make the portion at the bottom a lot smaller. For the price, this set seems to be a rip off. I don't have any idea why they cost so much more. No foil, no guaranteed insert per pack and no stickers! Give me the base set any day. So there you have it. If I rank them in order of best bang for the buck, I'd say UD has a slight advantage over Panini because of better photography, First Edition third, Topps fourth and Prestige last. I just can't see what is so great about any of the more expensive Panini/Donruss stuff and that goes for the football offerings as well. Anyway, that's my opinion, like it or not. Later.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Ebay finds

I'd been looking around a little for a Michael Young rookie card and when I saw his 2000 Topps Chrome one, I decided that was one that I needed to get. They had one at my local shop, but it was more than I wanted to pay so I decided to go the ebay route. I'm glad I did, because for just a couple bucks more I also got 2 other neat Young cards.

In addition to "Mike" Young's rookie card (that's kind of funny that it just says Mike Young, I don't know why really, it just is) I also got 2 Bowman Sterling game used bat cards. Sterling is way out of my price range as far as packs or boxes go, so it's cool to grab a single here and there. I really like the one with the bat cutout in the shape of a crown. The other card I picked up was this one...

That's right, another Kurt for the collection. Autographed, too, though it is on a sticker. It's a nice action shot of Kurt about to gun down a runner at second, or maybe, he's just throwing back to the mound. Whatever. I like it. My buddy Mojo sent me a Kurt auto a few weeks ago, so now this makes 3 total in the Kurt pages. Well, that's all for now, hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving. Later.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

2009 Topps 206

I made another trip to the card shop to hit the quarter boxes to scratch my recent basketball itch. If you grab 100 they sell 'em to you for $15, so that's only 15 cents a card, I'll post some of those in a few days. As I was checking out I saw they had just gotten in 09 Topps 206, so I grabbed a pack.

They were selling for $6 a pack, which gives you 9 cards. Here is what we got.

Well, yeah. Not a lot here in my opinion. We didn't get one Ranger or any of my or Nobie's binder players. The Johnson mini is alright, it's a Piedmont back, which isn't listed in the odds rundown on the wrapper, so I'm assuming it's the normal back, no parallel or anything. There are some good players, just no one we really collect. The cards themselves are pretty unspectacular, just another retro set that uses a photoshop filter on the player's photos to give it an old tyme look. Personally, I think Topps could do without another retro set, as I find Heritage and Allen & Ginter to be more to my liking. What I do like about the 206 cards are the framed relics & autos, though we didn't get any, I like what I have seen on ebay so far. Anyway, there you go. See anything you want, let me know. Later.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


I was at the card shop the other day with nothing in particular on my mind to buy when I had a revelation of sorts. Well actually, I just had to ask myself a question. Why aren't I collecting basketball cards? Since I returned to collecting I've focused on baseball & football only. I haven't bought basketball cards since around 1992 when I built almost complete sets of Fleer and Skybox. That was when I gave up collecting altogether. Basketball is (to quote Kurtis Blow) my favorite sport. It's the one sport I'm decent at and played in high school and in rec leagues since the 5th grade. I'm 6'6'', hence the nickname Big D. I LOVE the Dallas Mavericks and have followed them closely since the early '8os, even though I didn't live anywhere near Dallas at the time. All of these are reasons I decided I should collect basketball again, so I bought some cards, right then and there. Here are some of the cards I picked up.

A couple of Topps Finest from the '90s. Lo Williams was one of my favorite players from the really bad Mavs years. I mean they stunk back then, but I loved them just the same. Lorenzo was waaay undersized to play center in the NBA, but he worked his tail off. Derek Harper was around seemingly forever, in fact he is still featured on the Mavs tv broadcasts today. He and Ro Blackman were the guards in the Mavs late '80s heydays when the went to the Western Conference Finals for the first time against the Lakers. That was when the Mavs were great, right before I moved to Texas. I was so excited to finally be able to see the Mavericks from up close after following them from Illinois and Indiana for so many years. Of course, right after I moved here is when they began to fall apart and then spend a decade of so as a really bad team. Figures.

Here are a couple of my favorite ex-Mavericks. Yes, that is Steve Nash, long before his now famous shaggy hair. I still can't believe Mark Cuban thought Nash was basically a year or 2 from being done and decided not to resign him. That was like what, 6 years ago. Nice one! Michael Finley had many good years in Dallas and it kills me to have to watch him play for the hated Spurs now, but I still like him.

Jason Terry, Jason Kidd & Josh Howard are three of the current Mavs. "Jet" has been here for several years now and had to play a lot of point guard before Kidd returned to the club. Josh Howard has been kind of up and down over the years, hampered by injuries often. He's also had a few boneheaded off the court mishaps, but when he's healthy he is a great player, at least for the first 3 quarters of the game.

Lastly, we have my 2 all time favorite Mavericks. Mark Aguirre is the whole reason I became a Mavs fan in the first place. I lived in Illinois during his time in college at DePaul and became a big fan of his as a Blue Demon. I didn't follow the NBA a whole bunch at that time, so when the Mavericks drafted my favorite player, guess who became my favorite team? Since then I've stuck with them through thick and thin, even after I moved to Texas and they began to wallow around in their own futility. Then came Dirk and things began look up. Since Dirk arrived they have steadily stayed near the upper echelon of teams and even made an appearance in the NBA Finals, which unfortunately didn't go so well. Dirk is definitely the greatest Mavericks ever and even though he gets ripped a lot for being soft, not playing D or whatever, the truth is, we most likely will never see another guy do what he's done in a Mavs uni. I'm just glad I've been around to see it all. So there you go, my first basketball post. I have updated my header picture at the top to better represent what I plan to collect from here on. I've also updated my "What I Collect" list to include some non-Mavs as well. If you've got tons 'o Mavs taking up space, send them my way! Later.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Don't You Hate It When...

a pack fails to live up to your expectations? I'm not a pack searcher. Really, I'm not. Sometimes though, you can see through the wrapper what the top card is.

In this instance I was looking at a pack of 09 Topps Mayo and LT was looking back. Since he is Goose's favorite player, I had to pick it up. Since the top card was so good, the rest of the pack will surely be awesome too, right?

Wrong! Not only did the other five cards contain three non-football players, two of them are of the same guy! So we get a guy simply labeled athlete, 2 cards of an appliance mogul, a silver parallel of a rookie I've never heard of, and Jenkins. Meh! I guess in this case, beauty really was only skin deep. If for some reason, you disagree and think the rest of this pack was awesome, they are all up for trade. Let me know. Later.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Trade with Ryan's Memorabilia Blog Part Deux

Okay, this is it, I'm finally caught up. To the best of my knowledge, I have no more trades to post. If I happened to have missed one, I'm sorry, but all the cards are long since mixed in with everything else, so they won't be posted. This trade was with Mike from Ryan's Memorabilia Blog. We traded awhile back, but then Mike dropped me a note to say he had the last 3 cards Nobie needed to complete his 07 Masterpieces set. He was kind enough to send those along with some other goodies.

Besides the 3 cards Nobie needed which are the 3 in the upper right corner, Mike sent several others, mostly Cubs. There was also a HanRam and a Tony Gwynn for me.

Here are a few more Cubs for Nobie, plus a very shiny Peavy.

What basically amounts to 3 packs of 09 Donruss Threads were included for Goose. I think I'll steal the Romo and Barber though, for my Cowboys binder.

Lastly, we have a nice little bunch of Ichiros all but one of which was new to me. Mike also included an old school Eddie Murray with the cap and Oriole logo, I've always loved the best. Mike thanks, a bunch for the cards. Technically, I guess, this isn't a trade yet since I haven't sent anything back. It's more like a donation, but I'll remedy that soon, don't worry! Later.