Thursday, December 14, 2017

12 Days of Christmas Cards and Beermas - Day 2

Twelve Days of Christmas Cards and Beermas continues with A Red and White Christmas and a Kevin Mitchell 2016 Archives Signature auto. Perceptive readers may have noticed that this is a Christmas Eve card. In my eyes, 12/24 cards and 12/25 cards are two peas in the same pod, and for this series, both will be featured. I hope that doesn't offend any Christmas Card purists out there.

As this picture tells you, the beer is a holiday ale brewed with spices, imported from Belgium. Hmm.. should be interesting! My wife doesn't have any backstory on this one, just looked good as she was browsing at the beer shop. Check back later for my review after I drink it later tonight.

As for the card, it's my first Kevin Mitchell autograph. I'll bet there aren't many certified autos featuring him from his early Mets days. That's one of the few things I like about buyback autos: you sometimes get short-term stops that otherwise probably wouldn't be preserved on a certified auto. Easy to forget he was a part of that '86 World Champion team. He then spent a brief stint with my Padres before regrettably being sent to the Giants where he put up his best numbers, including winning the NL MVP in 1989.

Here are the backs. Wait-- Kevin Mitchell played shortstop?! That's crazy. He was a hulk even as a rookie. (Sure enough, b-r tells me he started 20 games at short for the Mets in '86.)
Speaking of being big and strong, looks like the beer has an 8% ABV.

It's shaping up to be a boozy couple weeks for me. This morning my work had a little holiday brunch party for our department with omelettes and mimosas. Drinking at work in the morning is a bit odd of an experience, but sure, why not. And now there's a "happy hour" party in the break room beginning momentarily that I'll be hitting soon after I hit publish. (Yeah, this would not be a good place for a recovering alcoholic to work at.) I usually try to keep myself more reeled in, but hey, it's Beermas.

Anyways, speaking of certified autos of guys in unfamiliar uniforms, I'm running a contest for an Orioles Don Larsen auto and more, so check out yesterday's post if you missed it.

So far in this year's 12 Days series, I've featured cards of 3 baseball players (Larsen included). All three have something in common. Be the first to identify the specific similarity I'm thinking of in the comments for a couple bonus entries to the contest. I'll also give a bonus entry to the funniest answer, if you choose to go that route.

Thanks for reading and Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

12 Days of Christmas Cards and Beermas + contest

Gonna try doing this on the blog for 12 Days of Christmas Cards / 12 Days of Beermas.

In another instance of the blog serving as a journal of sorts, I was able to search my archives and determine it was 2013 that my wife began our tradition of Beermas, where she gifts me with a craft beer for twelve days leading up to Christmas. Ain't I a lucky guy?! This year, we agreed that I could have each beer revealed to me the evening before, so I can get psyched up about it. And that also means that you blog readers can come along for the ride (though if you want to actually have a sip, you'll have to swing by my house at dinnertime).

The 4th Annual Beermas kicks off with this Pecan Pie Porter from Backwoods Brewing Company out of Washington state. Oh man, this looks tasty. At 5.9%, it's a good Wednesday night beer (don't want to get too sloppy this early in the week). My wife noted that when she bought this at the beer store, the clerk was very excited about this one, saying it's one of his favorites.

I'll update this post with my reaction after I drink it, so check back for that soon if you're interested.

UPDATE: Man, this is really good. Smooth. Sweet, but not as over-the-top sweet as you might expect from a Pecan Pie Porter. It's got kind of an aftertaste of vanilla yogurt, which is weird to say about a beer, but I like it.

And the first featured Christmas Card of this series is an Adam Jones auto from 2017 Museum Collection. He's a fun guy to collect. While not a super mega star, he's consistently very good, and you can count on him pretty much every year to bat around .280 with about 25 homers and excellent defense in the outfield. I think this is a great looking card. It's my second auto from him, after one I made a sweet custom overlay for a couple years back. But yeah, no overlay needed on this one. While not the greatest penmanship, he's got a pleasing stylized signature, with what looks like a jersey number inscription too.

I gotta admit I've dropped the ball this holiday season as far as giving to ya'll on the cardsphere. I usually like to get a handful of "Holiday Blast" card mailings out to my trading buddies, usually with some custom surprises (like the LaMarry Christmas ornament and last year's Tony Gwynn ripcard), but I haven't had a chance to work anything up yet this year, and with us now in the "12 Days" zone, I doubt I'll be able to get anything out before Christmas. Sorry, fellas.

But I'll at least throw in a contest now.

I plan to add to the prize package as the 12 Days go on, but to kick it off, here's a certified auto of Mr. World Series Perfect Game himself, Don Larsen. So one lucky winner will win that plus probably a few more cards to be revealed as we go.

Just comment on this post to enter. And there will be plenty of bonus entries available as the series goes on, so be sure to continue along.
Small print: Anyone can enter, but a condensed PWE version of the prize package will be sent in the event that the winner either A) doesn't have a US address, or B) hasn't commented on my blog this year on a non-contest post. Also Zippy Zappy is ineligible since I know he doesn't like entering contests anyways.

Thanks for reading and Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Trade Recap and so much more

Very happy to just now learn that Alan Trammell and Jack Morris got the nod for the Hall of Fame. I suppose that makes Trammel a "guy I collect" now since he fits into the parameters of a HOFer who suited up for the Padres (he was a coach with them for a few years; count it). Jack Morris I never collected much, but always liked him alright. My baseball fandom was at its peak as a kid in the early 90s when he had his greatest moments, so I suppose that stuck with me. I know some stat-heads don't think he's worthy, looking at his career numbers that won't blow you away or anything, but I'm happy to see him get in. (and I'm bummed the other guys on the ballot didn't get in. Marvin Miller not being in is especially an embarrassment for the Hall. I was really expecting the vote to be just for him this year, no players. So it's bittersweet that 2 players got in, but not him.)

I'm a large hall guy with the HOF. Though when it comes to decking the halls, I'm a small hall guy. Here it is December 10th and I'm just now getting the decorations out of storage. About two weeks before Christmas through one week after, that's acceptable time for Xmas decorations in my household. Try bringing that shit in my house in November and you'll get that yule log up your ass.

Ok, with that rambling out of the way, let's catch up on some trade packages that've arrived over the past week.

First up was a big, heavy box from Billy over at Cardboard History. Very appreciated, but I feel bad when somebody pays a lot of postage to send me something. Always remember to look into Priority Mail flat-rate boxes when choosing a shipping method. If you're sending something heavy, chances are you could save some money using a flat-rate box, and they're available free from your local post office.

Check out these cool Simpsons cards Billy hooked me up with. It's an all-time favorite show of mine, but I really haven't delved into Simpsons cards much yet. Maybe one of these days. But yeah, definitely appreciate any given to me in trades.

Here's a look at the same cards but without the light shining through them.

And a page of Star Wars cards. These were in such great shape that I assumed they were from a recent product at first, but no, copyright 1983 Return of the Jedi cards. Very cool.

And here we have a couple more of those Simpsons cards. That Ramones card is a lock for the "We Didn't Start The Fire" Binder for punk rock. Also a couple more Star Wars cards, a couple Tim Duncan cards, and a couple lady olympians.

But the real heft of Billy's package was this lot of 9-card pages. He offered these up on his blog a while ago, and I jumped at them.

I have a few binders I snagged from my old work a couple years ago when they skipped town and have been meaning to score some pages for them ever since. Billy to the rescue!

Now I just gotta decide what to put in them. My 2011 Topps frankenset is probably the top candidate at the moment. And perhaps a vintage set or two. Which vintage set would you say looks best in pages? I haven't even started 1959 Topps yet, but they always look so good when I see a page/scannerbed full on the blogs, so if/when I go after that set, it's gotta go in a binder, even though I'm generally a box guy.

Big thanks, Billy! I'm sure I'll be hitting you back with another box before long.

- - ----o

Next is Bo from Baseball Cards Come to Life!

Bo's latest mailing was entirely candidates for the Billy Joel binder. There are some shoe-ins, like Davy Crockett and Albert Einstein, and some others that might be a stretch, but will still fight for a spot and probably at least make it in as temporary placeholders.

As a Dead Milkmen fan, I'm pleased to finally have "their card" (the '88 Score Jim Walewander that mentions them in the write-up on the back). That was for consideration for the punk rock slot, though I think I've got to give the nod to the Ramones card featured earlier in this post.

I need to sit down with the binder and slot in the new additions sometime this week.

Thanks, Bo! Glad to hear you're happy with the recent batch of cards I sent your way.

- - - --o

And finally, here's a surprise package from Jason at Hoarding Cardboard.

Trout rookie cup parallel! Also a 2011 Topps parallel and a few other dudes I collect.

Nice 4-card lot of Albert Pujols. Some recent chatter on what the Angels' big signing of Shohei Ohtani will mean for Pujols' playing time. Chances are Ohtani will see plenty of time at DH, perhaps relegating Albert to being a very expensive pinch-hitter. But regardless, the guy is still a future first-ballot HOFer due to his incredible prime years.

The UD Masterpieces cards here are special variations from a Red Sox Fan Pack thing, which Jason's accompanying note kindly pointed out.

And here's a perfect card for the vaccine slot in the Billy Joel binder! Not sure if the "fired up" Bryce Harper card was included for consideration into that project too, or just included because he's a guy I collect. But regardless, thanks, Jason! I'll try to hit you back with some cards soon.

- - ---o

Ok, one last thing for today. I've sent out big "CDs and cards" boxes to a few different collectors now. You can read satisfied customers' glowing blog posts here, here, here, and here. Again, it's just $20 (with free US shipping) to me via Paypal and you get a big box chock full of random CDs and cards, with me doing my best to go heavy on teams/bands you like, given what I've got available. While I've successfully pared down my collections a lot (both CDs and unwanted cards), I could still fill another 2 or 3 boxes to reach my goal, so if anyone out there was thinking about taking me up on the offer, let me know!

And as a bonus, you can pick any 2 of these below encased cards, while supplies last..

Thanks as always for reading and best of luck in the coming week!

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Giancarlo Stanton PC

Giancarlo Stanton is headed to the Bronx. Wow, the Yankees are gonna have a hell of a team!

You gotta expect his overall cardboard interest/values will see a bump thanks to going from a team with hardly any card collectors (at least here on the cardsphere) to the most popular team in the game.

He was a top collecting guy of mine circa 2014/2015, but as is my collecting style, I cooled it on him once I hit one hundred different cards, giving myself "an out" since I collect so many different players n' things. Since there are basically no Marlins collectors out there, I ended up with a lot of his cards in trades.

I originally did a post for my Giancarlo PC way back on 4/24/15. But I've pretty much doubled the collection since then, so I figured I was due for an update. So now let's take a look at my Giancarlo Stanton collection as it stood the day he began Act 2 of his career.

Just a couple early cards.

A few RCs from 2010.


Part 1 of 2012, highlighted by my only auto of him, also pictured at the top of the post.

Part 2 of 2012.

Part 1 of 2013.

Part 2 of 2013.

Part 1 of 2014.

Part 2 of 2014.

Part 1 of 2015. The top left relic is a Christmas Card (12/25). The middle dual relic with Cutch is /10, a generous surprise from Matt Scott.

Part 2 of 2015. (Whoops.. looks like a dupe slipped by me in that Archetype insert that was also pictured in Part 1.)

2016. It's not often that manufactured relics move the needle for me, but I sure love those metal logo thingys.

2017. You can tell he was off my main wantlist by this year. Hell, I don't even have his flagship Topps card!

Here are some odds and ends. I couldn't read the super tiny text on the Chipz and didn't care enough to look up what year it was from. The "2008 Ginter" minis are Munnatawket customs. They're not dated, but must've been made sometime around 2014-2016. I made the Hostess custom and the middle sketchcard. The other sketchcard was a gift from Twitch.

So many doubles and triples! This is a big reason I had to take him off my wantlist. Just kept getting too many cards I already had. But yeah, these dupes are available for trade, so if any Yankees fan wants to jumpstart a PC of the guy, let me know. (SCC already called dibs on the Bowman RC.)

Looks like I've got somewhere around 175 different cards of the guy. Wow, that's gotta be one of my largest PCs. I think only my Gwynn collection is over 200 cards. Even if I'm not super active in collecting him anymore, I'd still be down for any Giancarlo cards in trade that aren't pictured in this post.

Thanks for reading. And best of luck to Mr. Stanton in the Big Apple. They're gonna be a tough team to beat.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Probably my most epic trade ever

I recently completed a bigtime trade with Bubba's Bangin' Batch of Baseball Bits. No slight against Matt, who is a terrific guy, but this was a strenuous negotiation with lots of back-and-forth stretched out over several weeks. There were some valuable cards in the mix, so a simple blind trade wouldn't suffice. Our deal nearly fell through a few times (or at least reverted back to a smaller trade), but I was persistent and wouldn't let it die. So it was quite the relief when we were finally able to virtually-handshake on a deal.

Rafael Devers 2015 Bowman Chrome refractor Auto #BCAP-RD #/499 Rookie Autograph

As far as current value, this might be the top card I've ever landed in a trade. Rafael Devers is a mega hot prospect with Boston. He made his MLB debut this past season at only 20 years old and looked really good, figuring to slot in as Boston's third baseman of the future for many years to come.

This is his first Bowman Chrome auto (he was in 2014 Bowman Draft, but only a base card, no autograph), which always seem to carry a premium with collectors. This card is pretty crazy on eBay these days. In fact, when I first asked Matt about it, I hadn't realized just how much it was fetching.

The card was a lucky pull from Matt a while back. I had to see about scoring it from him since I'm a sucker for hot rookies, plus I consider the Sox to be one of my favorite non-Padres teams (though I might have slightly more trouble rooting for them now since their new manager was one of my least favorite players of the '00s, always being a little bitch and starting shit against my Padres, and honestly I'd like to see him fail.) Matt made me work for it, but I was able to score a real nice HOF Braves auto to get him to budge (I'm reluctant to say who it was, because you readers might think I was a fool. So fingers crossed Devers is the real-deal. Ok, fine: it was a Maddux. On-card and licensed.)

But what initiated the dialog is I approached Matt for help with the SPs I needed to nail down my 2016 Allen & Ginter X set. He's a renowned Ginter aficionado, after all. Incredibly, he was able to hook me up with all but 3 of the SPs I needed. (And after a couple recent pickups from Sportlots, now just waiting on my COMC shipment for the final card needed to complete the 350-card set.)

As if that wasn't enough, one last card sealed the deal:

To be honest with you, José Ramírez is a name I wasn't familiar with until late this past season. Guess I don't pay enough attention to the Indians besides my boi Lindor, but @MrLapara here has strung together a couple excellent seasons in Cleveland. Really an under-the-radar five-tool guy. Was 3rd in the 2017 AL MVP race behind Altuve and Judge (and he's even a little younger than Judge). So I was very happy Bubba was willing to part with this RC auto from 2014 Chrome to complete our big trade.

Thanks again for working with me on this deal, Matt! I hope you're as happy with your side as I am with mine.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Simply the Wes, better than all the res

The ever-generous Wes has been dropping packages of cards down the chimney of many-a cardsphere boy and girl over the past week or two, and I was lucky enough to be included on his rounds.

Let's kick off with this beauty. The relic cut-outs on this Dave Winfield Triple Threads card trumpet the impressive fact that not only was he drafted by the Padres, both the Atlanta Hawks (NBA) and the Utah Stars (ABA) drafted him, too. And even though he didn't play college football, he was such an amazing athlete that the Minnesota Vikings selected him in the 17th round of the NFL draft just for the hell of it. I've got a pretty legit Winfield PC going these days, and this is a great addition to it.

Here are some more shiny Padres.

A couple Canadian Templeton cards (recently listened to an interesting interview with him on the Super70s podcast) and a jumbo relic of Rymer Liriano. Bummer that Rymer never panned out for the Padres. Looks like he last surfaced with the White Sox.

Wes tossed in some vintage too, including a bunch of 75s.

Of course any large Padre-centric mailing of cards will include some solid Tony Gwynn cards. I seem to recall those black-bordered Hometown Heroes parallels were tough pulls, just one-per-box or something like that.

But the real featured player here was definitely Bip. I don't mind a good Bipping now and then, especially when I can add a couple new cards to the PC.

Crossing over to football, here's a gorgeous Kenny Britt Christmas Card. If/when I do another "12 Days of Christmas Cards" countdown, this would be a good pick for Day 10.

A couple big hits for my Michael Sam PC!

Gavin Escobar hits galore!

When Wes asked if he could dump his Chargers cards on me, I reluctantly agreed to take them, but I had assumed they were just a boring stack of base Score and Pro Set or whatever. But no, some good stuff here, for sure!

But the best Chargers card...

1 of 1 Antonio Gates relic. Very nice!

Awesome stuff. Thanks so much, Wes. I'll hit you back with some stuff soon.