Sunday, February 28, 2016

The Simpsons custom set for Homer at the Bat

A couple years ago, I did a blog series called The Simpsons Fortnight where each day I posted about a player who guested on the classic "Homer at the Bat" episode of The Simpsons (it ended up not lasting the full fortnight I had originally planned, but I did cover all 9 players from the episode). Each post featured a couple junk-era custom jpg's using images from the show. This was back before I was making hardcopy customs, though a while later with the help from a guy I knew, I did make a limited run of magnet cards featuring some (not all) of the virtual Simpsons cards I had whipped up.

Anyways, now that I've gotten the hang of printing out customs, I had been meaning to make hardcopy customs out of these designs. And so that's what I did!

The autographed Simpsons cards from my recent Wade Boggs-centered contest were easily the most popular of the 3 designs I made, based on the response in the comments. It was no surprise when both contest winners chose that one. (That means I still have a couple each of the Cheers card and the Always Sunny card available for trade, BTW.)

The other catalyst for this project came from negotiating a trade with a reader named Josh, who had a couple nice cards I was interested in, and to seal the deal, he inquired about a set of my Simpsons customs. So I've spent a few hours over the past fortnight cleaning up those original digital customs from 2014, as well as creating backs for them, and making them a physical reality.

So without further ado, I present to you The 2016 Baseball Card Breakdown Simpsons "Homer at the Bat" Custom Card Set!

Wade Boggs cards from The Simpsons
Jose Canseco cards from The Simpsons

Roger Clemens cards from The Simpsons

Ken Griffey, Jr cards from The Simpsons

Don Mattingly cards from The Simpsons

Steve Sax cards from The Simpsons

Mike Scioscia cards from The Simpsons

Ozzie Smith cards from The Simpsons

Darryl Strawberry cards from The Simpsons

Cool stuff, huh?

As with most of my customs, these are up for trade. Drop me an email if interested.
(Sorry, but these are not for sale. It's just too much of a headache from a legal standpoint.)

And if you missed out on the original blog series (it didn't get much traffic at the time), here are links to all 9 posts:

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Buying Cards for their Cases (card show recap)

Man, what a week! It was my first week at my new job. It's my first time ever working downtown. And my first time ever relying on public transportation to get around. I really hate driving (or should I say I hate shitty rush hour traffic), so it's kinda nice to just hop on the train and not worry about stop-and-go traffic, photo-enforced stoplights, and all that crap. But it's definitely a different experience for me dealing with all the homeless and crazies that you encounter on public transportation and downtown. I might need to start carrying a couple ones on me for when I'm accosted by sweet old hobos (true, most of them are not sweet).

The job is fine, just going through a huge spreadsheet flagging duplicate accounts (as a baseball card collector, weeding out dupes is second nature to me, so it's right up my alley), but I'm still extremely pooped at the end of the day. The cool part is my wife works there so we can eat lunch together. We celebrated her birthday yesterday, and much food and drink was consumed.

But anyways, after the big week I felt like I "earned" this month's card show, so I was looking to be a big spender and hoping to land a bunch of celebratory cardboard for myself and trader buddies. It wasn't my best card show haul ever, but I did alright. I think I'll break it up into 2 or 3 posts.

Today's post features a few cards I got for about 71¢ each (7 for $5 deal). A common trait these all have is that they came in magnetic one-touch cases. Those cases are pretty cool, and are like a buck or two each new, so it would be a decent deal for like-new cases even without any cards in them! Throw a decent card inside, and I can't pass that deal up.

These four I would have gotten even if they were in traditional top-loaders. Austin Hedges is great defensively, and hopefully his bat will come along this year for my Padres. The Jose Altuve is the action photo variation and seems to be worth a few bucks. And then there's a couple of Windy City studs.

These cards I probably wouldn't have gotten were it not for their cases, which I will soon harvest for other cards in my collection. I kinda regret the Josh Hamilton purchases since those 2 cases are scratched up. The card on the right is #'d /199, though.
UPDATE: Just realized the Jonathan Lucroy is the Color Swap Variation, which is pretty rare based on the fact there's only one on eBay right now ($33) and it's sold out on COMC. I damn near put this card back but now I'm glad I didn't.. Might be my best pickup of the day. Hey Tony L., I just mailed you off a package today, but looks like I'm already working on the next one.

And here are a few more cards I probably wouldn't have been as likely to buy were it not for the sweet magnetics. I suppose these 6 are trade bait (and probably the previous 5 as well), so let me know if you want any of them (cases not included!)

So yeah, not a bad haul for under $11.. especially when you factor in the value of the cases. I'll show more cards I picked up today throughout the week. Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, February 25, 2016

trade roundup and the 2nd chance prize winner announced

Let's recap the trade packages that've come in over the past week or so, then we'll figure out the other winner in my big 700th Post contest.

Judson from My Cardboard Habit is a good guy. He recently busted some 2016 Topps and lamented pulling a Marlins hit that no one on the cardsphere would be interested in. Gavin to the rescue! I'm always happy to trade for Giancarlo Stanton cards I don't have.

This beaut of a manurelic pairs nicely with the similar Kris Bryant I got from the group break I was in recently.

Judson threw in a couple additional cards. I had asked for the green Yeison Asencio, since it would pair nicely with the gold auto I have of that card (I hope 2016 is the year Asencio breaks out and gets called up. Last season he hit over .300 and led the AA San Antonio Missions in hits and RBI, but at 26 years old, it's time for him to step up), but the Giancarlo #/50 was a very pleasant surprise. Thanks, Judson! I hope those those 1969 Topps I sent were useful and best of luck to you with your setbuild. Any of you guys with some available '69s should get in touch with Judson about a trade.

-   -   --  ---o

Next up is Pirates fan Nolan, who doesn't have a blog, as far as I recall, but I traded with him once a year or two ago. Speaking of Marlins, he recently got in touch with me to graciously take the box of unwanted Marlins I was trying to clear out of my house. He was also interested in getting some custom-made customs made by me. They came out pretty nicely and I plan to feature them in a separate post soon, with his blessing. But in addition to a few bucks for the project, Nolan was cool enough to send me this item as a thank-you:

A Gaylord Perry autograph on a page of a 1976 baseball almanac type thing. Sweet! I haven't decided if I'll keep it as-is, or use it for a custom cut-auto. It's kind of big, so I'll probably leave it for now.
Thanks again, Nolan!

-   -   --  ---o

Next up, Jon from the cleverly named blog A Penny Sleeve For Your Thoughts got in touch, also interested in some customs I had whipped up. He called dibs on the extra Hrabosky TTM success I had available, and was also hoping for an unsigned Alan Young custom of mine to try a TTM with himself. In return, he sent me a nice, stuffed PWE full of good stuff.

Three cards for my 2011 Topps parallel frankenset. And good ones, at that! Clayton Kershaw. The Willinghammer. A sparkly Jose Guillen sunset card.

I'm not including Lineage in my setbuilding dreams, but am never against a random shiny card popping up in a trade package. And I love that Kellogg's McCovey! Seems like a long time since I last got a vintage McCovey I needed. Definitely a nice addition to the PC.

A double dose of horizontal cardboard with a glow-in-the-dark Smoltz and a Mickey Mantle oddball.

Here's Smoltzy glowing a little, lest you think it was one of those darn non-glowing parallels that look nearly identical in the light..

Is this the first Adventure Time card in my collection? I think it might be. Maybe the second. It seems to be a shiny insert too. Pretty cool. Great show.

A couple appreciated needs for my 1971 Topps setbuild. My progress has been slowed in recent month as I haven't been actively chasing down the remaining cards, but I'm slowly getting there.. 169 more of these black-bordered beauties left to go.

I don't recall seeing these 1983 Topps stickers before, though I'm familiar with the blue-bordered 1982 versions thanks to ripping a few packs of '82 Topps back in the day. Nobody I particularly collect in this lot, but that early 80s Padres uniform is my all-time favorite, so it's nice to see proudly displayed here.

Big thanks for the trade, Jon!

-   -   --  ---o

That wraps up the trade recap. Now let's do the 2nd chance drawing from my latest contest.

Here's the alphabetical list of brave folks kind enough to pimp my 700th Post contest:

Andy Stetson*
Billy Kingsley*
Greg Zakwin*
John Miller*
Kevin P.*
Mark Aubrey*
Mike Matson*
Sport Card Collectors*
Stealing Home*
Stephen Radford*
Tim B.*

And let's randomize once for a winner:

Wouldn't you know it, the first guy alphabetically also ended up first randomly. Congrats, Mr. Stetson! Email me with your address n' stuff.
Andy seems to be a new guy on the scene, among the Cub fan ranks.

Thanks again to all who entered! Hopefully I'll get a few more contests happening during this upcoming season. Don't forget to comment on my blog once in a while if you want to be eligible for the full prize packages that will be available.

Thanks for reading and see you next time.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

shaking out a contest winner

Thanks to everybody who entered my 700th Post contest. Here's the lineup of entrants, first in alphabetical order:

Adam Kaningher
Al Kawamoto
Andy Stetson*
Big Tone
Billy Kingsley*
Captain Canuck
Daniel Dubay
E polk
Greg Zakwin*
John Miller*
Kevin P.*
KO Rob
Mark Aubrey*
Mark Hoyle
Matt (not Scott)
Matthew Scott
Matthew Scott (Joey Pants bonus entry)
Mike Matson*
Nachos Grande
night owl
night owl (Randy Jones bonus entry)
Nolan Tucker
P-town Tom
Paul Hadsall
Play at the Plate
Red Cardboard
Rod (Padrographs)
Shane Kroeker
Sport Card Collectors*
Stealing Home*
Stephen Radford*
the bowl cut kid
The Dimwit
The Lost Collector
Tim B. (Cubs post bonus entry)
Tim B.*
Tony Burbs
Tony L.
Tracy LeVeaux
Warren Zvon
xavier higgins

That's 59 guys, plus 3 bonus entries. And here there are in a randomized order..

Usually to randomly find a winner, I'll use the results of an upcoming baseball game, but games haven't started yet and I don't have the time to screw around, having just started this new job that doesn't afford me the "screwing around" time I used to have, so I'm going to announce #1 Fuji as the winner, as selected by Congrats, Fuji!

I'll do the "second chance" drawing next post, which will be between all the guys with an asterisk after their name.

Thanks again to everyone who entered. As someone who often takes it hard when I lose a contest, I feel your pain. If it really breaks your heart to miss out, I could probably sell you an unsigned Boggs custom for a few bucks, and then you can send it to Boggs with a little donation and hopefully get it signed by him yourself. Just email me if interested.

Now howbout a card to feature in this post? I recently knocked another 2004 Topps Retired Refractor of my wantlist.

Gotta give it up to Dale Murphy. Back to back MVP 82-83 and by all accounts a good guy.

Great looking card and takes me one step closer toward my #1 collecting goal of getting all 76 of the 2004 Retired refractors. Once I finish that, all my other collecting pursuits will just be gravy!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Goonies Never Say Die, Nor Do They Stop Blogging

I start a new job tomorrow so expect my posts to be fewer and further between for at least a while. Maybe I'm being overly dramatic-- I've made similar statements in the past when things got busy for me, and apart from one month when I made a concerted effort to post less, it wasn't much of difference-- but this is different and may mark an end of an era for Baseball Card Breakdown. Time will tell, I guess. But even if my posts become more sporadic, I don't plan to call it quits anytime soon.

Recently, one of the cardsphere's best bloggers, Dimebox Nick, published a "smell ya later" post (ok, it might have been more eloquent than that) saying he's stepping away from his blog, at least for a while. That one really stung, as Nick's has always been a dependable, comforting voice in the hobby. So I'm sorry to see it come to this and hope after a brief hiatus, he comes back feeling recharged about expressing his feelings regarding cardboard. Regardless, thanks a lot for everything, Nick.

Anyways, these past few weeks of unemployment were fun for me (except for the part about not earning money, and the demoralizing task of searching in vain for a new job [the job I ended up getting was through my wife]), mostly spending quality time with my dog and making custom cards. I've been selling some on eBay, and while they don't fly off the shelves or command a big price tag, it's been nice bringing in a little extra flowage to put towards cards. If only I could ratchet it up enough to where I was consistently grossing around $100 per day I could probably skate by without needing a day job. But I'm nowhere near that, so it's back on the chain gang.

But onto the featured item for the blog today, it's another custom overlay, this time for my burgeoning collection dedicated to one of my all-time favorite films, The Goonies.

Joey Pants! Since putting together my framed Goonies autographed cards piece, I've been looking to add more cast members to the collection. (This one won't be going in the frame, however.)

Finally landed a Joe Pantoliano in my price range of under $10 shipped. Cool thing about this is it's on-card. Most of his certified auto cards are stickergraphs, and Joe has a big signature and little regard for staying within the boundaries of the sticker, so his sticker auto cards usually feature a "chopped" partial signature. Not an issue with this one. It's also a neat clear acetate card. Still though, it wasn't cool enough looking for me to not print out a custom overlay to make it into a Goonies card.

Here's the real card..

Kind of a gross picture of him carrying a bloody grocery bag. I'm not sure what the story behind that is. I assume the photo is from his role in the Sopranos, but I've only recently started Season 2 and his character hasn't been introduced yet, I don't believe.

So yeah, I'm happy with the overlay, and knocking another name off my Goonies auto list.

Hey, last call for my big 700th post contest! This evening (2/21) I'll be closing the entry period, so go jump in with a comment ASAP if you haven't yet. Then I'll sort out all the entrants and list them out in my next post in a day or two, then figure out a good way to randomize them out to select a winner.

Last bonus entry opportunity! In the comments below, be the first to guess my favorite Joe Pantoliano movie besides The Goonies. As a hint I will say that it's quite different from the Goonies.. not a comedy or family film. (UPDATE: Matthew Scott correctly guessed Memento. Good flick.)

Thanks as always for reading!

Friday, February 19, 2016

Custom TTM Success: Randy Jones!

Granted this one isn't as epic as my previous TTM return, but I'm still pretty happy with it.

Randy Jones was a bright spot on some crappy Padres teams of the mid 70s. His 1976 season in particular was pretty incredible, leading the NL in several pitching categories on his way to the Cy Young Award. The 300+ innings he threw that year took their toll on his arm, though, and he was never that dominant again. The Padres traded him to the Mets after the 1980 season, and he pitched a couple years for them, but his best days were behind him and he was released by New York after the 1982 season.

He has a 1983 Topps card as a Met that turned out to be a "final tribute" with complete career stats on the back. But a few months ago, I did a double take when I stumbled upon a couple old Topps photos featuring Randy as a Pirate. Looking into it, I discovered he signed with Pittsburg before the 1983 season, but ended up getting released in spring training and called it a career.

I figured the Pirates photos could be used to make a neat "card that never was" and then forgot about it for a while until last month when I was on a TTM requesting bender. Randy is known as a decent signer, so I whipped up a theoretical 1983 Topps Traded card for him to sign and mailed it off. I already have a couple certified autos of his on Padres cards, so I figured I'd go quirky with a "zero year" card. Exactly a month later, it arrived back at my place.

Pretty cool! Between this, the Goose TTM success from a couple weeks back, and the 1977 Dave Parker "Padres" card I made a while ago, I've got a nice little assortment of off-the-wall Pirates customs going.

(UPDATE: I've just noticed that his 1983 OPC card does in fact say "Now with Pirates" though the pictures are the same as the Topps version.)

Big thanks to Mr. Jones for taking the time to sign for me! I remember seeing him at a spring training game in the early 90s when I was a kid, but I wasn't quick enough to get his autograph that day. So I guess there's some nice closure here to have him finally give me an autograph all these years later.

I think with this return, I've gotten back all the "safe bet" requests I sent out last month. There are still a couple "maybes" and a couple "shot in the dark" requests outstanding that will hopefully return eventually, but I won't be holding my breath. I'm also gearing up to send out a few requests to spring training in the next few days.

Anyhoo, thanks for stopping by.
Let's do a quick contest bonus entry question: In the comments below, be the first to name the other 4 Padres besides Randy Jones to have their number retired by the team. (Tim B. not eligible since he got the last one.)

Thursday, February 18, 2016

2016 Topps group break haul (a.k.a. A boatload of Cubs tradebait)

I originally planned to sit out Nacho Grande's big 2016 Topps Series 1 group break. But then I noticed a few hours had gone by since sign-ups went live, and the Cubs were still available. Knowing they're a hot team in the hobby right now thanks to the likes of Kris Bryant and Kyle Schwarber, I decided to jump in and grab the slot. Plus I have several Cubs collectors who are trader buddies of mine, so I figured it'd help me load up on tradebait for them.

Let's put our best foot forward and start with my big hit of the break-- in fact the only "hit" I was lucky enough to have Chris pull for me. Manurelics are hard to get excited about, but this one looks really nice. While I would have rather gotten a low-numbered parallel of Kris Bryant (acetate, or silver frame, perhaps), I can't complain about this monster of a card. From checking out eBay, the going rate is about ten bucks for this card. So it didn't "pay for the slot" or anything, but I'm happy.

I ended up with 20 out of the 25-card 100 Years of Wrigley insert set, plus a few dupes. Some PC guys in here for me (Bryant, Jenkins, Goose, Maddux), but most of them are available for trade.

I like the perspectives cards. Two dupes available for trade. The 2015 Bryant is the Berger's Best reprint. A couple Back To Backs with Bryant and Rizzo. My only numbered card of the break was the gold Soler. It's available for trade. I usually don't care about buybacks, but I was happy to see that Maddux, being a guy I collect. The silver stamped buybacks are the rarest besides the gold 1/1, so it was a pretty good pull, as far as buybacks go. Not to mention it's a first-ballot Hall of Famer rather than a common, so that's cool, even if non-vintage buybacks are pretty dumb.

I've got at least 5 base Cubs team sets here. Please let me trade them to you!

I got at least a couple each of these League Leaders cards. Kershaw and Goldschmidt are PC guys for me, so I'll hang onto one of each featuring them, but the rest are available.

I took advantage of Chris' offer to swap out one of my team sets for team sets from a few teams he wasn't able to sell prior to the break. I really only wanted the 4 cards shown on top there (dudes I collect), but the rest of the team sets will go to my trade box.. so let me know if you're working on the set and need any D-backs, Sox, Marlins, or Pirates besides these guys.

Thanks for a fun break, Chris!

As for the trait bait, if anything caught your eye check out my wantlist and get in touch.
I'm specifically looking at you, P-Town Tom, Tony Burbs, Twitch, and Dimebox Nick.. and will give you guys priority, hopefully spreading out the less-plentiful cards somewhat evenly between you four.

Oh, and don't forget about my big 700th post contest that's running right now. Good turnout so far! Thanks for the strong response, guys. I feel I should throw in a bonus entry possibility in this post. I can't think of anything clever right now, so let's just say the first person to comment on this post will get a bonus entry in the contest. Wait-- the catch is the comment has to be in a foreign language! Haha

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

700th Post Spectacular CONTEST + My Greatest TTM Return Ever

It's a good day! Pitchers and catchers have started reporting, signally the return of baseball for 2016. And we've arrived at another big round number here at Baseball Card Breakdown with this being post #700. Woot! Good job, me!

We'll get to the contest in a minute, but first.. I've been sitting on a certain TTM return I got a week or so ago to line it up with this post #700 because I'm so happy with it that I want to make a big deal out of it.

Wade Boggs put together a Hall of Fame career on the ballfield, and perhaps as impressive, has made guest appearances in some of television's greatest shows. In fact, he amazing made his way into at least three of my all-time favorite shows! That's fertile ground for me to make some neat custom cards.

I heard he was a dependable TTM signer-- an undefined monetary donation is requested, which Boggs generously forwards to a children's hospital charity (All Children's Hospital)-- so I whipped up some customs and cut a check. Less than a month later, my return came back successfully. I was through the roof! And though a week has passed, I'm still pretty stoked on the cards.

The Simpsons is my all-time favorite show (or maybe tied with MST3K), so there was never any doubt I would try to get a Simpsons custom signed. Victory! This marks my first ever Simpsons-related autograph and I love it. I actually designed this custom over two years ago, originally posting it in the series of Simpsons posts celebrating the "Homer at the Bat" episode. So with the heavy lifting out of the way, I just needed to clean it up a bit and print it out.

Rather than copy the real 1991 Topps back, I whipped up a special back recapping Wade's part in the episode.

Another classic show I love is Cheers. Like most of America, I watched it pretty much every week during its original run. These days, my wife and I watch an episode per week or so, working our way through the series on Netflix. A lot of these episodes I haven't watched since they originally aired. While a bit dated at times, it's still 80s sitcom television at its finest.

I really like how this faux 1996 Leaf Signature Series card came out. Instead of the foil oval, you've got the sharp Cheers logo.

Again, the back has another relevant photo and recaps his appearance on the show.

And rounding out the trilogy of Wade Boggs tv customs, we come to probably my current favorite show: It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. If you haven't seen it, it's about a despicable group of friends who get into hilarious situations, often leaving a trail of destruction in their wake. Not for the faint of heart, but it cracks me up. One particularly memorable episode is when the gang takes a cross-country flight and attempts to break Wade Boggs' legendary drinking record. Again, Wade steps up for a scene and knocks it out of the park.

The 1990 Fleer Super Star Specials subset cards are just made for comedy, so I was excited to make this one. It turned out terrific, I'd say. Wade, always the pro, was sure to only sign on his space of the card, leaving room to complete a dual auto. And while it wasn't my original plan, I now think I'll look into the possibility of having Charlie Day sign the card too. That would be perfect.

Spoiler alert, don't read the back of this one if you haven't seen the episode yet (and you plan to). Always Sunny is also streaming on Netflix, FYI (And no, I'm not sponsored by Netflix or anything. I just watch it a lot, so it gets mentioned on my blog from time to time.)

You may have noticed these cards are all hand-numbered /3 on the backs. You guessed it, I got 3 each of these cards signed (Big thanks again to the generous Mr. Boggs!), and am looking forward to spreading a couple extras around to lucky readers.


Grand Prize
- Your choice of one of these Wade Boggs autographed customs
- a custom card of whatever you want**
- a Pretty Girls custom mini complete set**
- some assorted real cards of the MLB team of your persuasion (Hopefully I'll be able to dig up some nice cards for you, but depends on what I have on hand and/or what I can find at the next card show.)

**These middle parts of the prize package are only included if the winner has posted a comment on my blog already sometime this year (between 1/1/16 and 2/16/16). I think I'll start doing crap like this with my contests as a way to encourage comments/participation, and discourage people from only coming out of the woodwork when there's a contest. Hopefully this motivates lurkers to chime in once in a while.

Just comment below to enter!

I'll also do a second-chance drawing (identical prize package as above) that will be offered to those who pimp this contest with a link on their blog, Twitter, Instagram, or the like and subsequently mention that they did so in the comments below.

I may also throw in "bonus entry" possibilities in upcoming posts, so be sure to check back.

Contest is open to everyone worldwide, though non-US folks may end up with a truncated prize package due to postage costs.

Entry period will last a few days, ending at some point Sunday evening, 2/21/16. Then we'll shake out the winners randomly that week.
[UPDATE: Contest is now closed! Thanks to all who entered!]

Thanks for reading and good luck!

As far as comment-spurring ideas you can choose to answer if you want:
Which of the Wade Boggs customs would you want?
What is your idea for a custom-made custom if you win?

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Some huge hits in the latest trade roundup

Let's check out the cards that've shown up at my place over the past week or so.

Man, this first package from Wes at Jaybarkerfan's Junk blew me away. You probably know he recently set up a #Supertraders group where a team collector from each of the 30 MLB teams can get in on lots of groupbreaking action and other cross-trader hook-ups. It's a great idea, and I'm sure it'll be a big hit for all involved. Unfortunately for me, I'm not really a team collector, rather a player collector whose interests are sprinkled throughout both leagues. While I could have jumped in for the Padres, it wouldn't have felt right, as the vast majority of cards I received wouldn't mean much to me. For every card I wanted (Gwynn, Cashner, Kemp, autos, etc), there would be a stack of the likes of Yonder Alonso and Kyle Blanks that would overflow my for-trade box.

So I'll be watching the super-trading from the sidelines. But God bless him, Wes didn't want me to be sad and left out, so I dropped a jaw-dropping batch of cards on me.

Not one, but two Gavin Floyd printing plates! I think this is the first time I've ever gotten a plate from the cardsphere. (I take it back, I did trade for a Bip plate from ARPSmith before, but I think these are the first "blind trade" plates I've gotten.) Just wow! I think these are also my first Floyd plates and 1/1s. These are definitely impressive additions to my biggest "Gavin" PC.

Let's take a closer look at the wear on the Bowman plate. Always cool to get a plate with some "battle scars" on it. Looks like there are also a couple fingerprints from the worker at Topps who decommissioned this plate.

Speaking of Gavin Floyd and the color blue, he recently signed on with the Blue Jays for the 2016 season. I was glad to see him go to a contender, and hope he's able to come back strong and stay healthy for Toronto.

Wes kept the Gavin love going with a couple sweet hits of Gavin Escobar. These are both damn cool.

Another Gavin! This time, it's a needed minor league card of Gavin Osteen.

And lastly from Wes...

Whooo boy! A Christmas Card featuring Chipper Jones and Ryan Zimmerman! I know Wes is a big Braves fan, so to part with the low-numbered Chipper just proves that there is no more generous trader out there. Incredible! Thank you so much, man! I don't know how I'm going to repay you for all this stuff, but I'll do my best. Please, please speak up if I post any trade bait you want or if any of my customs catch your eye or anything.

-   - - - -------o

While it'd be a tough order to follow a trade package like that, I got a couple more incoming mailings to show off that are pretty nice in their own right.

When I posted about my Ron Cey TTM success and mentioned I had an extra signed copy available for trade, Mr. Stealing Home from All Trade Bait All The Time spoke up making his intentions known and I was happy to send it to him. Here's what I scored in exchange.

A great selection of Adrian Gonzalez cards, highlighted by a Sega CardGen and a A&G mini relic. Very cool!

A few nice Dodgers minis.

Some Padres. Love that Ozzie. The '84 Gwynn is a 6o Years of Topps insert.

And the package is rounded out by a couple Steve Carlton cards and a couple Mariners.

Great stuff.. thanks for the trade, Oscar!

-   - - - -------o

Tony L. and I have had a good thing going for a while now. I dig up Brewers for him and he hits me back with misc oddballs, Padres, and the like. His latest mailing definitely didn't disappoint.

The top 2 cards are oddball reprints, while the bottom 2 are from Corn Flakes. Gotta love 'em.

I don't know anything about Austin Smith, but when I saw Tony pulled a Padres prospect from a box and it was up for grabs, I spoke up for it.

More old-timers I collect.

Gavin Floyd makes another appearance thanks to this needed Bowman Chrome USA card.

Willie Stargell Front Row set! Nice. I have the autograph card, but didn't have the base 5-card set.

Even a couple Stargell dupes (oh wait-- these aren't dupes; they're promo variations, marked by big "PROMO" watermark text on the back!) plus a Tom Seaver.

The highlight of the package might be this great-looking 1959 Topps Hoyt Wilhelm. It's a nice upgrade over the beat-up copy that was in my PC.

Thanks a bunch, Tony! I've got a stack of Brewers I'll mail out to you shortly.

And big thanks again also to Wes and Oscar!