Thursday, May 31, 2012

2001 Topps Tribute Ken Boyer Bat Card

I picked up this card a few days ago and was excited to add it to my Cardinals collection.  Ken Boyer is one of the fourteen different Cardinals players to have his uniform number retired by the team and has the unique distinction of being the only non-Hall of Famer among the group.  His career highlight probably came during the 1964 World Series when he hit a decisive grand slam against the Yankees.  Boyer died in 1981, so he doesn't have a tremendous amount of relics or autographs available to collectors.  This card is from the first Topps Tribute set issued in 2001.  There are two different versions of the bat card, so I will definitely be keeping my eyes open for the other version.

2001 Topps Tribute Ken Boyer Bat Card

In addition to the Boyer card, I also received three other cards in this trade.  The first is a 2011 Topps Pro Debut Dee Gordon Jumbo Jersey.  I have a few other cards from this set and have a few posted on this blog.  Great set to grab a premium relic of some up and comers.  

2011 Topps Pro Debut Dee Gordon Jumbo Jersey

I also received two nice throw-ins: a 2003 Leaf Certified Materials Mike Hessman autograph.  Hessman has been in AAA since 2002 and has almost 250 homers in AAA, which would make him one of the best AAAA players ever.  He's at almost 350 for his entire minor league career.  Last, but not least, I also received a 2004 Upper Deck Play Ball Hideo Nomo jersey.  

2003 Leaf Certified Materials Mike Hessman Autograph

 2004 Upper Deck Play Ball Hideo Nomo Jersey Card

Monday, May 28, 2012

Target Mojo

The Target store in Apex, North Carolina has packs of cards right next to the Express Lane checkout.  I trade and buy enough cards that I usually stroll past the display, check out, and head home.  This Saturday, I was in buying a few things when a box blaster of Topps Archives caught my eye.  I decided to try it out and was really happy to dig out this card:

2012 Topps Archives Willie Stargell Jersey Card  

This card is definitely one of the better cards on the checklist of jerseys and I have never pulled a Stargell jersey, bat, or any other sort of relic.  I ended up going back out a little later in the afternoon and picked up a second blaster and pulled this card:  

2012 Topps Archives Jason Motte Jersey Card

Not as cool as, but a great pull nonetheless.  

Saturday, May 26, 2012

My Durham Bulls Strikeout

It has been a bad year for the Durham Bulls and a bad year for me collecting the Durham Bulls.  Part of it is simple choice.  Yes, Jeff Salazar is on the roster.  Yes, Jeff Salazar does have an autograph.  No, I do not want to trade for it, buy it, or anything else.  There are many other equally disappointing decisions to be made with the rest of the roster too.  Lance Pendleton, Jim Pudach, Jesus Feliciano.  Yawn.  A few weeks ago I started to try to find cool cards of Bulls players despite the disappointment of the player's name on the front of the card.  I made one post a few weeks ago and the player was traded to the Phillies later that week.

2007 Bowman Chrome Matt Mangini Autograph 

I'll try again.  This week I bought a Matt Mangini autograph from Check Out My Cards for under $2.00.  Mangini is currently the Bulls third baseman who has zero chance of playing third base for the Rays.  However, he is from the Raleigh-Durham area and attended high school about five minutes from my house at Apex High School.  The school also produced Landon Powell.  Maybe the second half of the year will be better for the Bulls, or I will start driving to Zebulon to watch the Carolina Mudcats.

Friday, May 25, 2012

2012 Bowman Kolten Wong Autograph

This week has been an absolutely crazy week in the life of me and I am honestly ecstatic to have reached Friday evening of a holiday weekend.  I am decompressing tonight in my office waiting to watch a box break a bought into for the Topps Archives (hoping for a Ray Lankford autograph, but will settle for Jose Oquendo).  My desk is crowded with all sorts of cards and packages that I haven't opened that I will go through this weekend.

Tonight I picked out one envelope and opened it to post and finish out a post from earlier in the week.  I traded for a 2012 Bowman Kolten Wong autograph from the 2012 Bowman set.  I love the Bowman autographs this year and have really enjoyed the fact that the Cardinals prospects are pretty much all highly regarded.  Wong is a real up and comer if you don't know the name.  He's playing in the Texas League right now, which is a pitcher friendly league, and has a .325/.392/.471 line.  My only criticism of the card is the fact that it is sticker autograph.   Sticker autographs make me sad.  

2012 Bowman Kolten Wong Autograph

Monday, May 21, 2012

2012 Topps Museum Collection Ian Kinsler

I picked up this card in a local trade over the weekend.  This card is an Ian Kinsler quad relic card from the Topps Museum Collection release.  The card features three very dark blue swatches which are simply identified as Game Used Memorabilia, but the color is a little dark to be the blue from the Rangers alternate jersey.  Curious as to where it came from, but it also has a nice patch piece with a red and blue stripe.

2012 Topps Museum Collection Ian Kinsler

Sunday, May 20, 2012

2012 Bowman Set

I am in the final stages of putting together my 2012 Bowman set.  I've assembled my set by opening one box, several retail packs, and trading and buying several small lots.  Collectors love Bowman and there is always a buzz around the product.  Almost every year there is some noteworthy rookie in the set.  Last year, it was Bryce Harper.  This year, it's Yu Darvish.

Ultimately, I end up with a complete Bowman set every year.  I box it and put it away for safe keeping.  In a few years I either have a great set, or a box of cards.  This year's set features many of the Bowman hallmarks.  Prospects, variations, chrome, and even a few inserts.

 Here are a couple:

2012 Bowman Gold Yu Darvish 

2012 Bowman Blue Josh Bowman 

2012 Bowman International Ben Zobrist

 2012 Bowman International Brad Peacock 

 2012 Bowman Bowmans Best Jurickson Profar

2012 Bowman Bowmans Best Evan Longoria

I am most excited about the autographs in this years set.  The Cardinals have some excellent first time signers in the set.  Oscar Taveras is probably the best, but Carlos Martinez is also an excellent prospect. I've also picked up a Charlie Tilson and have a Matt Adams on the way.  

2012 Bowman Oscar Taveras Autograph

2012 Bowman Carlos Martinez Autograph

2012 Bowman Charlie Tilson Autograph

Saturday, May 19, 2012

2011 Topps Marquee Roy Halladay

I picked up a cool card earlier in the week that arrived by mail this afternoon.  I acquired this card in a trade for a Brett Anderson autograph.  I don't have a lot of Halladay cards and seemed liked a good pick up for the price.  The card has four pieces of materials one of which is clearly a patch from a Phillies jersey.  I am a little bit puzzled why the jersey piece is from a Phillies uniform, but the picture on the card features Halladay in a Jays uni.  Great card nonetheless.

2011 Topps Marquee Roy Halladay Quad Jersey/Patch  

Bautista and Garvey

It's been a busy week and I've had a little less time for blogging.  I am hoping to get caught up this weekend.  The highlight of my week was getting to see Dice-K pitch on a rehab assignment in Durham.  Hideki Matsui and Kevin Youkilis also appeared in the game.  Best of all the Paw Sox got shut out and Henry Wrigley (there is such a player) hit a three run jack off of Dice K that cleared the Bull by at least twenty feet.

I've been working to put together a Bowman set and will post a little bit more about that tomorrow morning.  In the meantime I did make a bunch of small trades this week and landed a bunch of relic cards.  The two highlights were a 2012 Topps Gypsy Queen Steve Garvey Jersey and a 2011 Triple Threads Jose Bautista relic card.  The other cards were small additions, but still some good finds.  Enjoy!

2012 Topps Gypsy Queen Steve Garvey Jersey

2011 Topps Triple Threads Jose Bautista Triple Relic Card

2004 Leaf Certified Carl Crawford Jersey Card

2002 Topps Ten John Burkett Jersey Card

2007 Upper Deck Masterpieces Lance Berkman Jersey Card

 2007 Upper Deck Masterpieces Miguel Cabrera Jersey Card

2012 Topps Alex Avila Jersey Card

2011 Topps Triple Threads Andre Either Jersey Card

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Two New Gypsy Queens

I am rounding out my Gypsy Queen set for the year.  I posted last week about the some autographs and a relic card I had traded for to put with my set.  I found two other nice relics to trade for this past week to round out my set.  The first card I traded for is a David Freese jersey.  I had a Rays relic card with the Hellickson, but was happy to get a Cardinal.  Freese is having a great year and isn't overproduced quite yet.  Ask again next month.  I also picked up a nice Mariano Rivera jersey.  I don't have any Rivera relics at the moment...I was actually trying to recall if I've ever owned this one is a keeper.

2012 Topps Gypsy Queen David Freese Jersey Card

2012 Topps Gypsy Queen Mariano Rivera Jersey Card

Monday, May 14, 2012

2012 Topps Tribute Sandy Koufax Jersey/Autograph

I am going to let the picture do most of the talking today.  Traded for this card at the end of last week.  This is the best card I have picked up this year.

2012 Topps Tribute Sandy Koufax Jersey/Autograph

Sunday, May 13, 2012

2002 Topps Barry Bonds Autograph

I have some really good autographs rolling in this week from a few different trades.  I worked hard on a big one last night that netted me a really special card that I will share later in the week.  In the meantime, I found an outstanding autograph a few days ago that a collector was eager to unload.

2002 Topps Barry Bonds Autograph

I can completely understand why some collectors hate Bonds, but steroids or not, the guy is still an incredible talent.  Probably the best left-handed hitter that I ever watched in person.  I really like the fact the autograph is signed on card and that the design allowed the player to sign in a clean white area of the card.  I picked up two other cards in the trade pictured below.          
The first is a 2001 Pacific Private Stock Barry Bonds bat card.  Bonds has a jersey and a bat card in this set, and while I already had a copy of this card, I am not going to say no to the words "throw-in".  I also picked up a 2000 Upper Deck MVP Javy Lopez batting glove card.  Three really good additions to the collection.  

2001 Pacific Private Stock Barry Bonds Bat Card

2000 Upper Deck MVP Javy Lopez Batting Glove

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Jim Edmonds Lot

I dabble in purchasing cards.  I would always rather trade, but every once in awhile I will go down that avenue.  This past week I had a few extra bucks in Paypal and decided what I could get on Check Out My Cards.  This is a pretty good site for buying cards, but I would certainly stress patience when buying here.  First, the cards are priced using Beckett.  Don't get me started.  However, you can find some bargains if you look carefully.  So, I set out to find some Jim Edmonds cards with $20 to spend.

I am currently in the process of rebuilding part of my Edmonds collection.  I was really unhappy with him during his brief stint with the Cubs and Reds, but I have come back around during the last year since he has retired.  I checked out the autographs first, but couldn't get anything.  I moved to materials cards and ended up with six cards including two jumbos.  I had the cards shipped out and they arrived late this week.

2002 Upper Deck Connections Diamond Collection Jim Edmonds Jersey

2002 Fleer EX Behind The Numbers Jim Edmonds Jersey

 2004 Fleer Ultra Seasons Crowns Jim Edmonds Jersey

2001 SP Game Bat Jim Edmonds Bat

 2005 Prime Patches Jim Edmonds Jumbo Jersey

2005 Prime Patches Jim Edmonds Jumbo Jersey

Thursday, May 10, 2012

A D-Bull and Two Trades

One of the best parts of living in the Raleigh-Durham (the Triangle) area is the awesome baseball.  Sure we are known for our basketball, but the quantity and quality of baseball is pretty awesome.  We have two teams in the immediate area, the Durham Bulls and the Carolina Mudcats, and several more within an hour or two.  The Durham Bulls are by far the most recognizable minor league franchise in these parts and they are often quite talented.  I usually pull together cards of players on the team and am pretty happy with the cards both in the short and long term.

This year has been difficult for the Bulls.  For the first time in a long time they are bad.  Really bad.  There are really very few players to be excited about.  Alex Cobb is the team's ace at this point and he is not a star in waiting.  Tim Beckham has been suspended for 'roids and there are a lot of thirty somethings on the team.  So, I have been reduced to finding cool cards of scrubby players.  Example:

2010 Donruss Elite College Patches Kyle Hudson Autograph

I also picked up a bunch of different materials cards and an autograph in two separate trades this week.  The autograph is an Eric Gagne from 2005 Showcase.  This is my second copy of this card, but the person trading it was looking for very little in return.  

2005 Showcase Eric Gagne Autograph 

I also picked up a few Rays and Cardinals relic cards from a trade on Facebook.  I also picked up a few 2012 Topps relics including a David Price, Justin Verlander, and a dirty Evan Longoria.  The cards all came from Ryan who is a fabulous and reliable trader.  Always looking for some good Brewers.   

2001 Fleer Final Cuts Wade Boggs Jersey Card

2010 Topps Allen & Ginter Jon Jay Bat Card

2009 Topps Heritage Clubhouse Collection Ryan Ludwick Jersey

2012 Topps Evan Longoria, Justin Verlander, David Price, and Sergio Santos Jersey Cards

2012 Topps Gypsy Queen James Shields Jersey Card

2008 Bowman Sterling Carl Crawford Refractor Jersey 14/25

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

2000 Upper Deck MVP Ken Griffey Jr. Batting Glove

I picked up a really cool card this weekend that I was excited to share on my blog.  The person trading the card wasn't asking for much in return, but I used to love this set back in the day and had to get this card.  It's a 2000 Upper Deck MVP Ken Griffey Jr. Batting Glove card.

2000 Upper Deck MVP Ken Griffey Jr. Batting Glove Card 
Scratches are on the screw down case, not the card

Upper Deck MVP was about the cheapest pack of cards available about ten years ago and they were pretty much exclusive to retail stores.  They had a few autographs and the what not, but I always thought this was a cool idea for a relics set.  If you search for these cards at your local store, Ebay, or trading partners they are very reasonable in value, but offer a cool and unique piece of memorabilia.  I actually own several of these cards and love the unique textures, cool colors and patterns, and genuinely used look to the relic.   Great pick up for any collector at an affordable price.  

Monday, May 7, 2012

New Gypsy Queen Cards

I've been working on putting together a set of Gypsy Queen, but I actually didn't buy a box.  I've been trading for lots and I've opened some retail packs, but those routes generally don't land you any autographs or materials cards from the set.  Since I am putting together the set through trades, I have had my eyes open for some cool autographs or materials cards to put together with the set.  Busting open wax is always fun, but it is also nice to have some control over what extra inserts, materials, and autographs.  I got my two primary autograph targets from the set in a trade last week.  I received a Jon Jay and Allen Craig autograph.  I particularly like the Craig autograph since the picture is from the last out of the 2011 World Series.  Craig caught the last out in left field.  I also picked up a Jeremy Hellickson jersey card from Gypsy Queen and a 2012 Museum Collection Longoria jumbo jersey card.  I have a few more cool Gypsy Queen materials cards coming later this week.

2012 Topps Gypsy Queen Allen Craig Autograph 

2012 Topps Gypsy Queen Jon Jay Autograph

2012 Topps Gypsy Queen Jeremy Hellickson Jersey Card

2012 Topps Museum Evan Longoria Jumbo Jersey