Monday, June 30, 2014

Last "June membership drive" push!

My goal of 100 subscribers to the blog by the end of June is hanging in the balance at 94 with mere hours left to go.

Busting out the big, tantalizing guns, if we make it, the following 2 cards will each find themselves in additional lots in the big contest prize pool:

Certified autos of a couple big names, Don Drysdale and Bob Gibson.

If we don't make it to 100 by the time the calendar flips to July (PDT), well, I'll still throw in a bonus lot or 2 to the mix, but not these A-listers. So if you're not a subscriber, click that blue "Join this site" button on the right, or if you're already a subscriber, strong-arm your readers to subscribe at your behest!

Then check back in a day or two as I try to get all the contest entries sorted out and work our way to a big winner.

UPDATE 7/1/2014: So close! We got to 98 subscribers. Still very impressive. Thanks to everyone who helped out. The entry period of the contest is now over. There will be some bonus lots and there will be a "second chance" contest. I'm going back to work today after a few weeks off, so hang with me and give me a couple days to get everything sorted.

Cards at my reception (Last wedding-related post, I promise!)

Last/to night was my wedding reception. We got married in Hawaii a week and a half ago, but had a delayed party for our friends/family back home a while later.

I originally met my wife on a message board for a band we both liked (above), about a decade ago. Seven years ago (to the day of the reception), I got the balls to make my amorous intentions known to her, and I'm so glad I did and that she was receptive to it! After a couple years of long-distance relationship, I took the plunge and moved from San Diego up to Portland, and 2 or 3 years after that, asked if she'd make it official with me. And now here we are, a married couple. Kinda crazy to think about. Life is a funny thing.

We had about 60 people show up to the reception, and while all were appreciated, the highlight for me probably has to be my friend Jason, who was a member of the same message board where I met my wife.. probably known him for a decade, but this was the first time we met in person. He's really a great guy, and I'm so glad he made it up from Salt Lake City for the party.

The best part? You guessed it! He surprised me with my favorite thing.. BASEBALL CARDS! When I was talking to him, he reached into his pocket and pulled out some cards for me. Yep, I received baseball cards at my wedding reception. Perfect! Thanks, Jason!

So let's take a look at the cards that I received on this, the day of my wedding reception.

Yes, a couple Gavins.. autogavphs, at that! Floyd (mini!) and Cecchini. Awesome! Seriously, imagine at your wedding, somebody blindsides you with something from one of your main collecting focuses. I was pretty blown away.

On top of those 2 cards, Jason also gave me a sealed pack of 2012 Archives. Nice! Let's bust 'er open.

Some nice cards, including all-time greats Reggie, Clemente, and Cobb, but the hit of the pack has to be the Yaz '61 reprint SP. Love it! I'll cherish it always as a reminder of one of the best days of my life. And very fitting that Jason/apexsensation is a fan, too, and evident in his old comment on that link (but really, every true baseball fan has to love Yastrzemski, right?) That really was a perfect pull. :)

Thanks again, Jason! And thanks to all you guys for putting up with my wedding/reception posts for these past couple weeks. I'll chill out with all that now and get back to focusing on cards. You'll have to forgive me, as I've been a lonely dork for most of my life, and am very happy to have finally found a great girl who really likes me and can appreciate my silliness and weirdness. I'm a lucky guy.

Take care and thanks for reading!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

More and More Marquis

I've been overwhelmed with great bunches of cards showing up in my mailbox this week. That's great, of course, but as they mount up, it can be stressful knowing I need to give them all their due on the blog, and trying to keep straight who sent what. Still, a nice problem to have! Actually I'm more stressed out due to a big family BBQ at my place today, then the wedding reception tomorrow. I'm sure it'll all go fine, but it's still a big source of anxiety. Hectic weekend.

But back to cards, Max at Starting Nine kindly sent in a PWE with 3 wonderful drops in my Marquis Mania bucket. Bo from Baseball Cards Come To Life also added another one among a sweet-ass box of cards which I'll have to cover more in a future post.

I went ahead and filed all the 1990 Upper Deck #9 Marquis Grissom cards that've stacked up since I last added to the binder. It came to a clean 21 pages. My calculator tells me that adds up to 189. Add to that the card on the spine and I've got 190 copies (I did that calculation in my head, not to brag). Looking good.

Thanks, Max! I'll give you some extra entries in the contest. And thanks, Bo! I've just about got a return box loaded up for you.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Once a Gavin...

Matt from Once a Cub was kind enough to send me a couple Gavin Floyd cards for my Greatest Gavins collection.

I do need these, Matt; thanks! Can't have too many Autogavphs. This one's #'d 147/300.

Gavin Floyd bounced back from Tommy John surgery to put up a stellar ERA+ of 139 in 9 starts for Atlanta. His comeback was shortlived, however, as he underwent surgery yesterday to repair a fractured bone in his right elbow. He'll miss the rest of 2014. Bummer. His record for the year was 2-2, keeping his lifetime record at an even 72-72. Love his consistency! As far as I know, he hasn't gotten any cards put out this year. That sucks. Hopefully he's included in Update. I'd like to get at least one card of him as a Brave. He's a free agent after the season.. and who knows if he'll be able to mount another comeback. Oh well. Best of luck to you, Gavin!

I was gonna try to do a big post updating all the Gavin cards I've gotten since the last Greatest Gavins post (Floyd and otherwise), but I'm just way too busy right now. A bunch of family is in town for our delayed wedding reception this weekend. Fun, but way more stressful on us than the wedding, ironically enough. Lots to do and get done, and running out of time. I'm gonna try to hit the card show tomorrow, but we'll see if I can fit it in.

But wanted to at least post this to say Thanks, Matt!.. I'll assign your extra entries into the contest, and hope to return the favor with some Cubs one of these days.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Declaring my tawdry intentions with 1971 Topps

A while back when I was trying to pick a vintage set to go after whole-assed, I narrowed it down between 1973 vs 1971. They both feature a stellar checklist of ballplayers, iconic designs, and a bunch of quirky action shots mixed in with typical posed photos. The black borders of 1971 sure are cool and the bonus headshot on the backs are nice, but in the end I had to go with 1973 thanks to the cartoons and full stats on the back, not to mention scoring sentimental bonus points as it was the first vintage set I ever owned a card from, landing the Pete Rose in a controversial middle school trade for Super Mario Bros 3.

As I creep toward the 2/3's complete mark with 1973, I still have an appreciation for 1971. When Robert at $30 a Week Habit offered up some rough-shape '71 cards to a good home, I was one of 2 readers to bite. Another reason I backed off from attempting to collect 1971 is I worried that the wear-vulnerable black borders would be too frustrating in putting together a decent-condition set.

Robert's generous offer helped me decide to put together a "condition insensitive" 1971 set. What a relief! No pressure trying to find NM high-numbers or whatever. Creases? Writing? Round corners? Paper loss? Hole punches? No problem! As long as at least 51% of the card is there, I'll count it. Not that I'm super picky with my 73 set-build, but with 71, anything goes. No particular intentions of upgrading later, either.

So, anybody with beat-up '71s haunting his trade/dupes box, please consider me a receptive dumping ground for them!

The set consists of 752 cards, with 644-752 being pesky high-numbers. I haven't typed up my haves/needs yet, but I think I'm somewhere around 200 cards deep, the vast majority of which are thanks to Robert's recent kindness (This is the 2nd time in as many months that Robert hooked me up with cards for nothing.. I'm putting together a PWE of cards from his Blue Jays wantlist to help return the favor a little bit.)

While it's not a top-tier goal of mine at the moment, I'll definitely be happy to receive any 71s in trades, regardless of condition, so let me know if you want to swing a deal.

Let's close this post back with 73 Topps. The Magnificent Mr. Hoyle was accounted for in my mega mailday with a PWE containing 7 Tigers for my 73 set, plus a Dick Williams I needed for my PC, his 1972 Topps.

Here's where I'm at with 1973:
59.51% complete
as of 6/26/14

Not bad. The next 73-PWE (if I may be so presumptuous) should take me over 60% complete. Thanks a bunch, Mark. I'll tally you up some extra entries in my big contest, plus try to get you some Red Sox in the mail before long.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Enchanted Cards: Rise of the Living Balls

This is somewhat of an unsolicited companion piece to a recent Night Owl post about cards that feature photos of balls in midair. Through the ol' magic incantation ("photoshopus animatis!"), I went ahead and brought life to a few of these cards. Enjoy!

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Unrelated.. a begrudged congrats to Tim Lincecum for no-hitting my Padres again moments ago. Booo. I figured it would be a good time to throw the few cards I have of him on Lista, and got the auction up just minutes after the final out. I've also been thinking of putting some of my unneeded Gwynn doubles triples up while he's on people's minds, but I'm concerned it might be just the slightest bit disrespectful to my beloved hero to try "cashing in" on his death. Thoughts?

Christmas in June: Don we now our Gaylord Perry

I collect any card serial numbered 12/25.. "Christmas Cards" as I call them. On the 25th of each month, I like to pull out something from this eclectic minicollection to feature on the blog.

June 25th. We're halfway to Christmas already.

When I stumbled back into being an active collector around 2012, I think my first "main guy" I decided to go after was Gaylord Perry. He just seemed like a fun player to collect, sticking around for lots of years, putting together a HOF career that included a stop in my hometown of San Diego, where he became the first player to have won the Cy in both leagues. I started drafting up a PC post of all my Gaylord cards many months ago, but got derailed when I realized I seem to have misplaced a few cards, notably a signed 1973 Topps card. I'm hoping my slowly-but-surely organization project will uncover them one of these days and I'll finally finish that post.

But yeah, I've got quite a few Gaylord cards now, including several autos. --perhaps even more than I need, to be honest. So a couple weeks ago when I was searching my collection for a decent Giants hit to offer ARPSmith to seal the deal to obtain his Bip printing plate, I was only slightly hesitant to offer him one of my certified Gaylord autos. The card, like probably over half of Perry's post-career cards, features him in his days in San Francisco. While a little sad to see that card go, no regrets in making that trade, and I've still got plenty of his autos in my collection.

The card I'm showing here today is also a "Giants" card (though unlicensed, so whitewashed generic), but I'd be much less willing to part with it thanks to its serial number.

So there you go: my Gaylord Perry Christmas Card. Thanks for reading and happy holidays!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Mega Mailday / Hawaii recap

I'm home from a lovely Hawaiian vacation. That was a lot of fun. Highlights included:
  • getting married on the beach to my special lady
  • snorkeling with tons of neat-looking fish and some really cool sea turtles
  • a private stand-up paddling lesson (basically stand on a big surfboard and paddle it around kinda like a gondola) where we again ran into some turtles
  • hanging out with a "wild" cat that lives on the patio of a place on the beach where we stayed the first part of our trip
  • watching baseball on TV (as mentioned last trip, I don't get TV service at home)
  • we went to a luau, which was mostly boring but the fire-spinning part was cool
  • the bride's side of the family stayed in a pretty sweet mansion, and we had some fun swimming in the pool. I spent so much time in/on the water this past week that I still occasionally feel the sensation of gently bobbing around. crazy
  • even the flights were fun; the in-laws sprung for first-class tickets for us, so the booze and on-demand entertainment helped pass the hours.

And the best part of coming home was getting a week's worth of mail, including lots and lots of cards.

Hey, I just realized that today is my half-birthday. So this is a pretty sweet half-birthday haul of cards from blog buddies, eBay sellers, and in one case, an eBay seller/blog buddy hybrid. I'll get several posts' worth from these packages and envelopes.

Today, I'll crack into the mega mailday with a 2-card PWE courtesy of Jeff at 2x3 Heroes. He used my old address, but luckily the post office was on top of things, as it didn't seem to cause any delay getting to me. Jeff also used a bunch of old-timey stamps to mail the envelope, which are pretty cool in their own right!

A couple sweet 2014 Topps parallels of Padres. Very cool. I think that Josh Johnson is my first camo parallel.. first one from 2014, at the very least. The Colt Hynes blood rain is pretty snazzy too.

Thanks a bunch, Jeff! I'll add a couple extra entries for you in my big auto contest as well as add you to my mental "I owe ya one" list.. actually, you were probably already on it. But yeah, I owe ya one.

And thanks to everybody else who mailed me some cards.. I look forward to covering them in posts over the next week or so.

Also thanks to everybody who congratulated me on getting hitched. It's pretty nice, I gotta say. I'm in my mid 30s, but this is my first time tying the knot. I feel good about taking my time and making sure it was right. We're a perfect match for each other and are very happy together. But enough sap. Thanks for stopping by. I'll leave you with a few more photos from the trip.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Wish You Were Here

Hey everybody, I'm a newlywed in Maui having a great time. (Sorry for the smooching pic.. it's the only wedding photo I've got at the moment.) Still finding a few minutes here and there to check in with the cardosphere, doing a decent job keeping up with the many blogs I follow. As much fun as I'm having on my trip, the obsessed card collector in me is anxious to return home to the haul of cards the post office has been accumulating for me.

Was kinda cool that Kershaw threw his first no-hitter on my wedding day, though I would have preferred it were Andrew Cashner. Oh well!

And it's cool that my blog's anniversary is just a few days before my wedding anniversary.. that'll help me remember! LOL.

My big contest is going great.. with lots of entrants and plugs and such. Thanks to everybody who has pimped the contest and/or followed. My goal of 100 subscribers is in reach too, with the current count at 90. Very nice! Let's add a little more incentive to get over the hump: If Baseball Card Breakdown cracks 100 subscribers by the end of June, I'll "unlock" another option for the grand prize pool for this contest.. a certified auto of a big-name first-ballot HOFer. Mysterious! So yeah, click that blue "Join this site" button if you haven't yet and comment on that contest post to enter. If you're planning to send in a PWE to help your cause, better hurry and get it in the mail soon so I'll receive it by the end of the month. And pretty soon we'll get a winner or two picked out. Thanks!

Monday, June 16, 2014


I was standing in the line for airport security this morning when I got a text from Doug, my best bud since elementary school telling me Tony Gwynn had died. As a lifelong Padre fan, I don't need to tell you what a sad day it is for me.

Here I am in Hawaii. Obviously don't want to be bummed out while I'm on vacation and getting married. So I'll try to instead celebrate his life and "dedicate" my vacation to Mr. Padre, cheesy as that may sound.

The jewel of my Gwynn collection is his minor league card from his days on the Hawaii Islanders, so I guess that's kinda fitting.

Love you, Tony! Thanks for everything.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

1st Anniversary auto lot contest!

Today, June 15th marks the One Year Anniversary of Baseball Card Breakdown! I'm not sure if I feel more like "wow, it's already been a year!" or "wow, it's only been a year?!"

Of course the best way to celebrate is with a contest. I'm busting out the stops with a supped-up Grand Prize Pool, of multi-card lots of all certified autographs, including a few Hall of Famers!

A lucky winner can pick one (1) option of cards from below:

Lot A - 4 cards: Davy Lopes, Al Oliver, Bob Brenly, Adam Eaton

Lot B - 3 cards, a phan's dream: HOFer Fergie Jenkins, Bob Dernier, Greg Luzinski

Lot C - another team-centric lot, this time O's: Earl Weaver, Cuellar, Grich, some kid.

Lot D - Luis Tiant, Tony Armas, Tony Fernandez, Mike Rouse

Lot E: Tony Oliva; a couple Yankees, Bobby Richardson and Dave Phelps; & Ruddy Yan

Lot F - George Foster, Daryl Boston, Toby Harrah, Ron Swoboda

Lot G - Here's a big name! Ernie Banks (w/COA); plus Jim Frey, who led the Cubs to the playoffs in '84.

Lot H - One of today's biggest stars, Miguel Cabrera (#'d 013/150), plus Ronald Belisario 

There you have it, 8 lots to choose from.

Easy-enter Contest! Free! One of these lots could be yours.

Here's how to enter.
Subscribe! Well, I'll stop short of saying, "You must be a subscriber," but I would really appreciate it if you were a subscriber. Just click that blue "Join this site" box on the right. And if you run blog with a blogroll on the sidebar, howsabout making sure lil' ol' Baseball Card Breakdown is included? Again, not completely necessary, but very appreciated!
1 entry - Comment on this post.
1 additional entry - Pimp this contest on your blog by 6/21 (then comment below to let me know.)
Additional entries - If someone comments and mentions that you referred them, you'll get an extra entry.
Additional entries - Send me a PWE with something that fits into my wantlist. You'll get an extra entry for each card. Email me for my mailing address if you need it.

Max entries per person is capped at 7, just to keep it balanced.

The contest will be open till around the end of June, to give people a chance to spread the word and maybe send in a PWE. Then I'll randomize and assign numbers and pick an upcoming ballgame where the total hits in the game will determine the winning number, similar to my last contest.

My personal goal for this contest is to hit 100 subscribers for Baseball Card Breakdown, so let's see how we do. I know "Blogger followers" is a dying stat and all, but still, it'd make me happy to crack triple digits. Currently at 79; this may be over ambitious, but let's give it a shot. How's this: If we get to 100 subscribers by the end of the contest, I'll hold a special "2nd chance" bonus contest for all the non-winning entrants soon thereafter.

So that's about it. Thanks for celebrating my blog's anniversary with me! I suppose it's nice to have a question to answer in the comments, so if you win this contest, which lot would you pick?

UPDATE 7/1/2014: The entry period of the contest is over. We got to 98 subscribers.. not bad! There will be some bonuses. Give me a couple days to sort out all the entries and we'll work toward crowning a big winner.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

last mailday for a while is a good one

Heading to Hawaii this coming week, but had a nice sendoff of cards show up at my door today.

Here's a gorgeous card I need for my 2004 Topps Retired auto set. Down to 8 left to go.

Bip plate auto! Thanks again for the trade, ARPSmith!

A Topps shirt! Call me a dork, but I'm excited to wear this and broadcast to the outside world that I'm a baseball card collector. Maybe some old guy will see it and be like, "oh yeah, I've got some old Mickey Mantles in my attic that aren't doing me any good.. Want 'em?" and I'll be all like "Shuu-YEAH!" (No, but more likely some guy with a ton of 88-93 junk will ask if I want to buy his collection for a grand.)

Finding a baseball card shirt wasn't easy (this was secondhand off eBay). I think Topps and Panini are really dropping the ball with potential merchandise cashflows. (I also looked into finding a Rated Rookie logo shirt, but seemed to be sold-out everywhere.)

Finally, Rod from Padrographs is another Padre fan in Portland, and he graciously swung by my house today with a big-ass box of Padres to gift me.

Very excited to spend some time going through this stuff. Already took a quick look at some of the good stuff, including a few Jake Peavy jerseys and some various autographs. Awesome! And cool to meet a blogosphere buddy in person, if only for a couple minutes. Huge thanks again, Rod.. Please just let me know if I can ever return the favor with anything!

So that's it for today. I have something big planned for the blog tomorrow (contest, mayhaps?), if I can find time between packing and other preparation activities.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Enchanted Cards: more cards brought to life

That "blinking baseball cards" post the other day was really just a throw-away.. something I found amusing, but doubted more than one or two others would bother clicking on (see Baseball Card Dance Party, for example). But lo and behold, it got a pretty good response! And so I might as well milk it and make it a regular feature here. I'm christening it "Enchanted Cards" since a few people mentioned it seemed like something out of Harry Potter. These are random cards that I've subtly (creepily?) "brought to life" via Photoshop a magic spell from an ancient scroll. Enjoy!

These are pretty fun and easy to make, so I think I've found a new go-to for days when I'm having trouble coming up with a post idea.

Have a great weekend and thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014