Sunday, April 29, 2012

2011 Topps Diamond Die Cuts

I've entered a few codes for the Golden Giveaway on the Topps site this year and am having my first three die-cuts shipped out to me this week.  Last year, I did the Diamond Giveaway and tried to only focus on the die-cuts.  I never got a single good vintage card and figured I could get Don Mossi from somewhere else.  I tried to turn around all my unlocked cards for the die-cuts and even unlocked a few myself.  Once I got a die-cut I tried to flip it around for a Cardinal, Ray, or just someone good.  Sure, I walked away with a Mark Reynolds and Aaron Hill, but overall not a bad haul.

2011 Topps Diamond Die-Cut Ryan Braun

2011 Topps Diamond Die-Cut Billy Butler

2011 Topps Diamond Die-Cut Chris Carpenter

2011 Topps Diamond Die-Cut Jeremy Hellickson 

2011 Topps Diamond Die-Cut Matt Holliday

2011 Topps Diamond Die-Cut Austin Jackson 

2011 Topps Diamond Die-Cut Desmond Jennings 

2011 Topps Diamond Die-Cut Jon Jay

2011 Topps Diamond Die-Cut Josh Johnson

2011 Topps Diamond Die-Cut Aaron Hill

2011 Topps Diamond Die-Cut Yadier Molina 

2011 Topps Diamond Die-Cut David Price 

2011 Topps Diamond Die-Cut Albert Pujols 

2011 Topps Diamond Die-Cut Colby Ramsus

2011 Topps Diamond Die-Cut Mark Reynolds 

2011 Topps Diamond Die-Cut Scott Rolen 

Saturday, April 28, 2012

More Trade Highlights

I put a little sneak peek up for today's blog on my Facebook and Twitter page last night.  The last two post on my blog, the Shelby Miller and Matt Kemp card, were from the same trade.  Today's blog entry is some more highlights from that same trade.  After almost thirty years of collecting, and a few hundred thousand cards, I am trying to sacrifice some of the quantity from my base card collection for some quality in other areas.  The Kemp, Miller, and an Ozzie Smith card were the primary cards that I was targeting in this trade, but ended up with some other really nice pieces.  Today, I will start with the Ozzie.

2007 UD Premier Ozzie Smith Patch Card 

My other highlight card was a 2011 Bowman Platinum Jeremy Hellickson jersey/autograph.  The card is serial numbered out of 99 and took a lot of convincing to get it into the trade.  I have a few other Hellickson autographs, but did not have a copy of this card in my collection.  

2011 Bowman Platinum Jeremy Hellickson Jersey/Autograph 98/99

The rest of the cards in the trade were icing on the cake.  I got a couple of autographs, a few cool relic cards, and a plate as a throw in to make the trade complete.  Here are some highlights:

1997 Upper Deck Rey Ordonez Game Jersey Relic

2011 Topps Finest Michael Pineda Dual Jersey Autograph 

2009 Topps Tribute Prince Fielder Triple Jersey

2003 Topps Chrome Dennis Eckersley Record Breakers Jersey

2009 Upper Deck USA Baseball Triple Jersey Kolten Wong

2011 Bowman Platinum Brandon Guyer Autograph 

2008 Topps Opening Day Ryan Garko Plate 1/1

Friday, April 27, 2012

2009 Donruss Elite Shelby Miller

Ever since Donruss/Panini/Playoff lost it's license to produce official baseball cards back in 2005 I have not been busting a lot of their wax, or thought highly enough of their products to pursue collecting them.  The one exception is the college patches.  Really cool.  Today I was lucky enough to snag this card in a large deal with a shop in Iowa.

Shelby Miller is one of the up and coming pitching prospects in the game and is rated by most publications as a top 10 prospect and one of the best starting pitchers around.  I have several other autographed Miller cards, including another copy of this card, but I have high hopes for the future and the value of his cards.  Miller does have several appearances in Bowman products which have included autographs, jerseys, and inserts.  Great player to keep an eye in the future!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

2008 SP Authentic By The Letter Matt Kemp Autograph

I try to keep a look out for good deals when I am trying to trade for cards.  Usually, I will ask about Rays or Cardinals, but sometimes I will venture away from my collection staples.  I especially find that collectors can capitalize on this when deal with stores, card show dealers, etc.  Stores and dealers often have a set market that is determined by their location and cliental and can often do little to change the types of products and cards that they can sell successfully.

For example, I used to regularly attend the Cardinals Winter Warm-up when I lived in Saint Louis.  The amount of cool Cardinals memorabilia and cards was staggering.  I would usually spend two or three months worth of my card budget at the event and walk away with a few nice pieces.  One of the last years I attended I went with a fellow collector and picked up on something pretty sharp that he did with the vendors.  He would approach a booth, peruse the Cardinals cards or memorabilia and then pick out something nice that was a non-Cardinal.  The conversation would usually bring out the amount of time the dealer had been stuck with the item and how there was no market for player X in Saint Louis.  Then there was an offer.  It worked surprisingly well.  The next table I tried the approach and walked away with a 1995 Upper Deck Reggie Jackson Autograph for $20 in 1999.  Great price at the time.  

1995 Upper Deck Reggie Jackson Autograph

Recently I started working with a card shop owner in Iowa, whom I met through a friend in Saint Louis, and started working with him to trade him Cubs and Cardinals cards for his baseball section of his store.  I do not really value the Cubs cards, so I am happy to trade them.  However, I have found the principle I learned at the Cardinals Winter Warm-Up thirteen years ago still applies to the industry today despite all the changes.  My preference is to have as few Cubs cards as possible.  The store owner wins.  Since I met him through Saint Louis friends he understands that any Cardinals cards that I trade or sell him I could easily sell or trade other stores or collectors.  I win.  However, I can also help the store owner win and my card collection win by taking on valuable cards that do not have a market in their current location.  One day this Matt Kemp card is sitting on a card store shelf for three years in Iowa.  The next it is finding a spot in my house.    

Remember that when you go to a card show or your local card shop to take time to take the the owner and the store employees.  Talk to them about their business.  Look for cards that seem to be "stuck" in the store.  

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Two more Trades

I picked up a pair of Cardinals and Rays cards this week in two separate trades that I was pretty excited about completing.  The first trade I made with Joshy on Facebook.  I've actually made several trades with him over the past month since I started my blog.  He's got his own trade group on Facebook, with some real solid traders, and he's always in the market for Red Sox cards.  You can find him in some other trade groups too, but he posts heavily in his own group and always has something for everyone.  This week I picked up three cards from him: a 2011 Triple Threads David Price Jersey, a 2011 Topps Allen & Ginter Joe Maddon Jersey, and a 2005 Donruss Diamond Kings Lou Brock Bat card.  

2005 Donruss Diamond Kings Lou Brock Bat Card 57/100

2011 Topps Allen & Ginter Joe Maddon Jersey Card 

2011 Topps Triple Threads David Price Jersey 12/27

Last card of the night was a cheap trade from a dealer in Iowa, but I was extremely happy about finding a copy of this 2009 Topps Ticket To Stardom Kyle Lohse Ticket Stub.  This set was a little bit different when it was released a few years back, but I thought it was a cool concept.  The set focused on ticket stubs and featured player autographs and relics attached to a ticket stub of a game where the player had starred.  Some of the cards only featured a ticket stub.  Lohse has no relics cards and no certified autographs, but was a key part of last year's Cardinals championship team.  I guess this card is as close to a certified anything of Lohse that I am going to find.  

2009 Topps Ticket To Stardom Kyle Lohse Ticket Stub 107/100

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

2012 Topps Museum Collection Jeremy Hellickson

Just added another Topps Musuem collection card this week of Ray's pitcher Jeremy Hellickson.  I have a few other cards from this set which I have picked up this spring.  At first glance this card seems like the typical quad jersey card from the set with a single patch piece in the top corner.  However, the patch really caught my eye when I was first offered this card in a trade.

2011 Topps Museum Collection Jeremy Hellickson Quad Jersey

The patch piece on this card is actually red instead a color that would normally be associated with the Rays.  Which led me to look up variations on the Rays uniforms since Hellickson's debut with the Rays.  Hellickson first appeared with the Rays at the end of the 2010 season, but the team did not wear any throwback jerseys during the time that Hellickson was with the team that season.  During the 2011 season the Rays did have a throwback jersey game where they wore red jerseys.  In fact, the jerseys were a bit controversial because they initially featured a cigar.  I thought it was pretty cool to actually be able to track the jersey/patch pieces back to a specific game on a card and I will definitely enjoy adding this Hellickson card to my collection.   

Monday, April 23, 2012

2004 Leaf Limited Lou Brock

This is my newest Lou Brock autograph which I got in a trade two weekends ago.  I do not specifically collect Lou Brock cards.  However, being a Hall of Famer, if a Lou Brock card appears I will at least kick the tires.  I swapped out a Luis Aparicio White Sox autograph for this Brock autograph which hails from the 2004 Leaf Limited Cuts Autograph line.  This is my second card from this set, which I consider to be one of the best, released by the Leaf product line during their Donruss/Playoff years in the early 2000s.

2004 Leaf Limited Cuts Lou Brock Autograph 

My other Leaf Limited Cuts card is one of my favorites in my collection.  I've owned it for about five years ago and bought it from a store that was closing in western Saint Louis County.  Just sharing.  

2005 Leaf Limited Cuts Hank Aaron Autograph 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

2001 Pacific Private Stock Collection

I started this collection during the summer of 2001 and have accumulated the majority of the 182 jersey and bat cards in the set and many of the variations within the set.  I could scan and post the cards I have collected, but I am not sure how much space I want to dedicate to dedicate to the likes of Ruben Rivera and Gil Meche.  Instead I am going to focus on my favorite three favorite cards from the set.

My favorite card from the set is the Mark McGwire bat card.  At the time the set was released it was a controversial card given that McGwire had an exclusive contract with Upper Deck and few relics or certified autographs for collectors.  Pacific also included a Sammy Sosa jersey card in the set, but copies are nearly impossible to find.  The McGwire card may be controversial and short printed, but I own two copies, and paid less than twenty dollars for both on Ebay.  There are usually a couple of Buy It Now copies for $100, but if you like the card and are patient you can do much better with the price.

2001 Pacific Private Stock Mark McGwire Bat Card

The last two cards are a little less exciting than the McGwire card, but cool nonetheless.  The majority of relics in the set are either bats or jersey, but Pacific also included patches cards too.  The patch cards are a skip set, so only some of the players with a jersey or bat also have a patch card.  In some cases, Pacific's choices with the patch pieces were head scratchers.  The Cardinals set included Will Clark, J.D. Drew, Edmonds, McGwire, Edgar Renteria, and Garrett Stephenson.  Of course the only patch card of a Cardinals player is Garrett Stephenson.  There are some solid patches in the set, but there are plenty of Adam Piatt's too.  

2001 Pacific Private Stock Garrett Stephenson Patch Card

Last card for the day and another favorite from the set.  The 2000 season was the last decent half season for Mark McGwire in a Cardinals uniform.  McGwire actually injured his knee in the middle of the year and the Cardinals made a trade for Will Clark.  At the time Will Clark was old and not doing much for the Orioles.  However, his Cardinals career lasted 51 games and produced 12 home runs, 42 rbis, a .345 average, and an OPS of 1.081.  He led the Cardinals to the NLCS where he batted .412.  I am indifferent to Will Clark cards as a Ranger, Orioles, and even Giants.  However, I try to pick up his Cardinals cards.  I consider this card to be the best relic of Clark in a Cardinals uni.  

2001 Pacific Private Stock Will Clark Bat Card

Saturday, April 21, 2012

This Week's Trades Part II

The second half of my trade run down from this week is a bit longer than the first half, but well worth the extra reading time.  Do it for the cards.  Starting off with a cool card that I both traded and traded for in the same week (different copies).  Is there a better player than Matt Kemp at the moment?  I would argue no.  So, I traded for this card from a dealer in Springfield, Illinois for a few nice Cardinals; a 2004 Topps Matt Holliday autograph and a 2011 Marquee Descalso, as well as a pair of manufactured patches from Eddie Matthews and Ozzie Smith.  I ended up with this:

2008 Topps Allen & Ginter Matt Kemp Autograph

I also received two packs of Gypsy Queen as a throw in and landed a Desmond Jennings Future Stars insert card.

2012 Topps Gypsy Queen Desmond Jennings Future Stars

My second trade of the week also involved a Matt Kemp Allen & Ginter autograph which I traded to DodgerBobble, along with a Milton Bradley autograph and got pack a big package of cards including; a 2012 Topps Bob Gibson manufactured patch, 2010 Topps 206 Sean Rodriguez autograph, a 2011 Topps Update Matt Joyce All-Star Jersey, a 2011 Topps Allen & Ginter Carlos Pena jersey (plaid), a 2011 Topps Tier One Matt Holliday, 4 Topps Heritage Short Prints, and a 2007 Bowman Justin Ruggiano.  

2011 Topps Tier One Matt Holliday 

2012 Topps Bob Gibson Manufactured Patch 

2010 Topps Allen & Ginter Carlos Pena Jersey 

2011 Topps Update All-Star Game Matt Joyce Jersey

2010 Topps 206 Sean Rodriguez Autograph 

2012 Topps Heritage Short Prints and a 2007 Bowman Justin Ruggiano Rookie  

Two more trades to run through for this week which are related and were made on Facebook.  In 2001 I put together a master set of relics and autographs from the Topps HD set.  I thought it was the coolest thing ever at the time and started also working on the 2001 Pacific Private Stock set.  The set was Pacific's last baseball release after they lost their license to produce baseball cards and they literally dumped everything they had into the cards.  There are 182 cards with either bats or jerseys and then numerous cards that featured pieces of patches.  After 11 years of work I have a lot of the cards, mostly the bats and jerseys, and have a hard time walking past a lot of them without taking a look.  I ran into a lot on Facebook with a Craig Biggio bat card which I was missing from my collection.  I traded a Keith Foulke and Trot Nixon autograph and received the Biggio bat along with a Barry Bonds bat, Matt Williams jersey, Dee Brown bat, and Alex S. Gonzalez bat.  

2001 Pacific Private Stock Alex S. Gonzalez Bat

2001 Pacific Private Stock Craig Biggio Bat

2001 Pacific Private Stock Dee Brown Bat

2001 Pacific Private Stock Matt Williams Jersey

2001 Pacific Private Stock Barry Bonds Jersey 

Last trade of the week.  I traded my Matt Williams, Dee Brown, and Alex Gonzalez dupes for another Private Stock I did not have:

2001 Private Stock Rickey Henderson Bat