Sunday, February 28, 2016

Haggling for the Super Traders

I've been sifting through my collection for the past month getting ready to make my first batch of packages for the Super Traders. I don't purchase a lot of product, so I thought I would search Ebay for a large auto or relic lot to mix into the packages. After watching a few of those lots go for $100 I decided to reach out to a seller who was advertising lots built with 1 Auto, 1 Relic, 1 Star Insert and 1 Star Rookie card.  I mentioned that I was looking for around twenty of the aforementioned lots, but I didn't want any cards of Marlins, Royals or Indians. He complied, but said that he didn't have many relics left and asked if a certified auto or two IP autos would suffice as a fair substitution. DEAL.

In the end I paid a little over fifty cents per card, which I thought was a good deal after watching other Ebay auctions.

The package had one contained one relic, but it was a keeper for this Cubs fan!

This also happens to be the only serial numbered card (#/250).

There were 52 non-certified autographs in the package.  Most of them are prospects, but there are some major league players with recognizable names.
I was a fan of Jake Fox, because he put up some really big numbers in AAA as a catcher.  I thought he was Kyle Schwarber before Kyle Schwarber was Kyle Schwarber. Jovan Rosa played in P-town and his card is a nice coup for my collection.

Twenty-one certified autographs were in the package and the Cubs landed one.
The Cubs didn't pull any inserts, which was too bad. I didn't recognize most of the inserts because they were from when I was on hiatus (1995-2008), and any similar inserts from the lot would have been a nice addition to my collection.

I did get one Star Rookie.

I have about six or seven copies of this card already, but that's okay. Most of the star rookies from the lot are truly stars, but they are largely from the junk wax era.

The cards were split up fairly evenly as twenty-three of the teams will receive at least three cards from this Ebay purchase. The Braves, Dodgers, Yankees and Astros made out the best with eight to ten cards each. Two teams were skunked overall, which I was disappointed about. I'll just have to hunt down some more cardboard.

Be patient Super Traders, for high school baseball season is upon us!  Tryouts for my team start tomorrow, which means any chance that I might have had to get to a post office after school is now long gone. I'm thinking about getting a account and shipping from home. Maybe during my spring break at the end of March?  #patience #SuperTraders

Friday, February 26, 2016

Upgrading My Sleeping Situation

My wife and I have been working on upgrading the master bedroom for the last month or so. No, that's not true, Laura should receive the majority of the credit . . . I just supply the muscle.  She has an eye for coordinating: choosing carpet, picking paint and selecting a new bed. 

Today the local furniture company delivered our new bed frame and headboard combo. It's pretty sweet looking and it has two drawers at the foot of the bed, which might just be perfect for storing baseball cards!  (Laura, if you're reading this, I'm just kidding! Or am I?)

A couple of days ago our mattress was delivered by the FedEx guy.  I was a little shocked that it arrived in water heater sized box. The cats didn't seem to mind, because they had a new jungle gym until the bed frame arrived.
Holiday claiming her spot at the top of the world.
 How in the world does a king size mattress fit in such a box?  Vacuum packed memory foam!
Hugo behind the mattress.
 I suppose I would have not have been so confused if I had taken more of an interest in mattress selection process.
The mattress was an internet purchase through Tuft & Needle, which claims to have the highest rated mattress in the world.  Here's a short video if you're interested in seeing how I was instructed to unpack the mattress.
 I'm still a little curious to see how all of this plays out. Hopefully we won't regret moving from a queen to a king. And, can the mattress live up to its billing?  Only time will tell I suppose.

Thanks for stopping by!  The next post will feature a Super Traders update  . . . stay tuned!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Cards from Childhood #SuperTraders

The Super Trader packages are starting to roll in with regularity.  This time Adam, from Infield Fly Rule, blew up my mailbox with just over 170 cards!  Whoa!

A large majority of them were from my childhood, also known as the Junk Wax Era.  Let's take a look!

My first memories of being star struck by baseball players involved Ty Griffin, Earl Cunningham and Lance Dickson. The aforementioned trio were all #1 draft picks by the Cubs and they all played in Peoria during my middle school years.
 Two of the three made it into Adam's trade package. Nice!

Heathcliff Slocumb!  He had two successful stints in Peoria.  I don't recall the first one, because it was before my family and I started attending Chiefs games with regularity. But in 1987 Heathliff logged ten wins and a 2.60 ERA as a starter. I do remember when came back to P-town in 1989 to start his career as a closer. A 1.78 ERA with 22 saves is a pretty decent start!

Some day I will make a list of my favorite Cubs and both of these gentlemen will make the list.

More Cubs who would make the list: Red Bear and Hector Villanueva!  Who doesn't love a hefty back-up catcher with a nice mustache?

The Bowman International parallel of Brian McRae may be my favorite card in the package. 
 Although, I love me some Kerry Wood.  Especially cards that celebrate his 20 strike out game!

Facial Hair!  Did I tell you that for the first time ever I tried growing a beard earlier this year?
 It wasn't nearly as cool as Goose Gossage's or Carlos Villanueva's, so now I'm back to being clean shaven. The Goose card is from the 1988 Topps Traded set and fills a need. The Villanueva is from the Topps Mini set and also fills a hole. Thanks, Adam!

 At first I thought Adam was off his rocker when he sent me the above cards of Cardinals and other NL teams. Then I saw a theme.

These six cards had a different theme altogether!
I wish Stadium Club would put the rookie cards of players on the backs again.

Hey, look!  There's Mark Grace trying to tag out the uber-talented Gary Redus.
 I'm fairly certain Redus is safe in this attempt. I dare say that's a more youthful and slimmer (perhaps less cantankerous) version of Joe West behind the two players.
 Here's the front of the card.  Look, it's one of those nifty photo negative parallels that Topps is doing this year, but I guess UD beat them to the punch back in 1990.  I hear some guy in Hazel Green is a Redus Super Collector, so it'll be shipped to Alabama before too long.

Thanks for a fun bunch of cards, Adam!  I'll get a package out to you before too long! 

Sunday, February 21, 2016

My 1st 2016 Card #SuperTraders

Some of us are still sorting through cards, whiles others are already living up to the Super Traders moniker.  I'm definitely the former, and Brian, from HSCA, definitely qualifies as super. Heck, I just finished posting his last package and he's already at it again!

He sent a PWE my way and it was full of some great stuff.
 Right out of the gates we have ROCK SHOUDLERS! I miss Rock. He was a PC guy for a brief spell until he took his talents to Texas.

 Another Kieschnick auto from the 1997 Donruss Signature Series set, but this one has a red brackground.  Brian must have gotten a good deal!  Buck Coats had a brief stint with the Cubs back in 2006.

 A diving Oh Henry!  It's a pretty sweet action shot, but a horizontal card would have maximized the potential of this card a bit more.
 This is a 1998 Fleer card modeled after the 1963 Fleer set.  I don't think Fleer did any horizontal cards back in the day.  I can't fault them for staying the traditional route.

Ryno!  And a new one at that!
I have the base card from the 1997 Score set, and the one above is the foil board Showcase parallel. This is number 792 in my Sandberg player collection. Every time I see that number I think of baseball cards. Yes, I am a product of the junk wax era and Topps sets numbered to 792.

And finally, we're 18 days past the release date of 2016 Topps Series 1 and I finally have my first card of the new collecting season. That is correct folks: I have not bought any packs nor have I made a trip to my LCS during this span.
 I think the era of 300 win pitchers has pretty much ended. Starters don't go as deep into games anymore and everyone is worried about overusing arms.  It's crazy to think that Maddux pitched 23 years and logged 5,000 innings while Pud Galvin pitched 8 less years and logged 6,000 inning. The days of the Pud Galvin type hurlers are long gone.

Thanks for the cards, Brian!  I'll get some cards out to you before too long.  #SuperTraders

Friday, February 19, 2016

BOOM Goes the Dynamite!

If I keep receiving trade packages of this quality I'm going to have to invest in a better catch phrase. The High Subjective and Completely Arbitrary Brian and I have been swapping cards for just about a year now and each package seems to pack more of a wallop than the previous. Let's see what the man from up north has in store for me this time!

It's been raining 1965 Topps on me as of late. Last Friday I posted a Ron Santo and now I have a Dick Ellsworth to add to my collection. Fifty year old cardboard is being thrown at me? #firstworldproblems  (Edit: It's not a Topps card.  It's O-Pee-Chee!)

I enjoyed Brian McRae as a player and I loved his shades. He obviously wears them to protect his eyes from lasers, as in Topps Laser from 1996.
A year later, in 1997, Dr. Evil stole Topps' idea about lasers.

Both cards are beauties, but I'm personally lovig the design of the Kris Bryant card.  Although, I might sing a different tune if I'm eventually able to find the other two Cubs to complete this triumvirate.
 Oh and for what it's worth, I'm setting the over/under on the combined home runs hit by Bryant and Soler at fifty in 2016. I'm actually a bigger fan of Soler than Bryant, and I truly Jorge is just scratching the surface on his power potential. A few year from now NL pitchers may be collectively hoping to ONLY give up fifty bombs to these two.

Yeah, I know.  I need to stop drinking the Cubbie Kool-Aid.

Player Collection Additions!  Heck yeah!
 I only collect Brooks Kieschnick as a Cub, but that still leaves plenty of cardboard to chase. The card is from the 1997 Donruss Signature Series and the sequential number on the back is 0739; coincidentally enough, it's the 39th different card in my Kieschnick collection.

Here's another piece of cardboard from 1997.
  This is from a minor league (?) Upper Deck SP set.  In the bottom left you can see the Iowa Cubs logo, and it's also on Kerry's hat.  He looks super young there! At the time this card with produced Kerry pitched in ten games at Iowa, but he fanned 80 batters in just over 57 innings. This is the 443rd Kerry Wood card in my collection, but only the third autograph.  Thanks, Brian!

 The VOGELMONSTER!  He's going to terrorize the Pacific Coast League all summer long!  Those poor baseballs are going to take a monstrous beating! Will this be the year he makes his MLB debut? I sure hope gets a cup of coffee in September.  Oh, man!  How epic would that be?  I can't wait!

I know, I know.  I need turn stop being such a fanboy.  The above card is already five years old. Where does the time go?  It's also the 48th in my Vogelbach collection and my 7th autographed card.  Woot!

Allow me to be completely honest here. When I first saw this card I thought about passing it on to a Diamonbacks fan. I know Randy Johnson and Dan Haren are sporting different uniforms, but the card lists them both as members of the Dbacks. I was thinking, "Huh, Brian must think I'm a big Dan Haren fan since he played for two months with the Cubs last year."
 After I took a picture of the front I turned the card over to look for a serial number.  I couldn't find one.
But, my jaw did drop. Kerry Wood card number 444!  Plus jersey swatches of DLee and ARam! I know most collectors don't get too excited about relic cards anymore, but this 2008 Upper Deck Ballpack Collection card features six swatches on one card.  How cool is that?

Lastly, we have a blast from the past.
 It's a 1911 T205 Sweet Caporal Cigarettes card of Lewis Richie, not to be confused with Richie Lewis who played with the Marlins eighty years later. Lewis just missed playing for a world champion in Chicago, but that doesn't mean I love this card any less. It's the second oldest card in my collection, and certainly one of my top ten coolest!  What a great find!

Thanks for a really fun package, Brian! I'll be sure to hit you up again in the future, you Super Trader!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Super Trader Commandments & Trade Package

I guess there's twenty-seven of us, but I don't think there any guidelines or rules that have been set forth. I still imagine Wes walking down a mountain carrying a stack of clay tablets which will forever be immortalized as the Super Trader Commandments.
 I'm just going to live by the following until someone tells me I'm going about it all wrong:

1. Send cards when you can.  We're part of this group because we have a reputation for not blowing off our trade partners. Life gets in the way. Some of us never have local card shows or an LCS. If you send me cards in February, I may not have anything for a couple of months to send your way, but I will send something back. I'm good for it, and I know you are, too.

2. Don't worry about the condition of the cards. I like vintage. Vintage with creases, holes, paper loss, fuzzy corners, and ink pen on it is even BETTER!  I'm sure there are others out there who are of the same ilk. (If not, I'm sorry for any fuzzy cornered cards I might sent you in the future.)
3. Don't worry about duplicates. I like cards. When I get duplicates of cards I send them to another Cubs blogger or find a project or two to use the cards. (If you don't want duplicates, then tough, because you're going to get some when twenty-six other bloggers have your address. Box up you superfluous cardboard and take them to your local children's home.)
These guys played in Peoria!
4. Don't worry about book value. I get it, some people are in it for the money, but I don't think any Super Traders would list that as their number one modus operandi.  I collect because it lets me momentarily forget the stresses of adulthood and it gives me a passageway to my childhood. I can't think of one blog whose sole purpose is to make a buck.

5. Don't break the bank. The thought of the postage costs are making me pump the breaks on me joining the Super Traders all by itself.  Send what you can within reason.  I can find a good deal on cards and I think it's something others don't have or may like then I'm snagging it.

6. Not all trade packages are created equal. We all have our favorite trading partners and you'll treat them better than what you'll treat me. I'm cool with that and I wouldn't expect any different.

7. Blog. Show off the cards! There are two ways I know how to show someone I appreciated their time and effort when sending cards: 1. send a nice return package and 2. write a blog post.  I like seeing cards I used to own around the blogosphere cardsphere knowing that I potentially made someone's day a little better. I'm sure many of you feel the same.
Boom!  A Kid K relic!

8. Have fun!  It's a hobby and it should be fun!

Eight. That's all I could come up. Feel free to add your own in the comment below.

I'd like to thank the brains behind the Super Traders group, JBF, for sending me my first official Super Traders package (pictured above).

Thanks for stopping by!