Grand Cards: May 2009

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Mail Day!

Long overdue, I would like to highlight a trade that I made with Kerry from Cards on Cards. In exchange for some 2009 Topps Turkey Reds, and some Topps "Dark" and "Throwback" cards, as well as a miscellaneous handful of Cardinals that I was able to dig up I received a bounty of much needed cards, as well as a ton of other very nice additions.

We start, with a smattering of vintage Tigers on my Topps Wantlists:

Followed by a couple of the last 2008 Cards that I needed for my sets. Topps:

And Upper Deck:

For the record, I thought that the Topps Dick Perez sketches were terrible. Maybe it was just me, but both Cabrera and Cameron Maybin look awful in these cards. They are not nearly as nice as the hand painted cards that are featured later in this post.

A throwback Marcus Thames smiles back at me as I approach closing out my Series 1 throwback needs:

These cards are all great and, given I'm primarily a Topps collector at heart, go a long way towards my obsessive completion goals. However, that isn't all (not even close). Kerry sent me enough Upper Deck cards to DEMOLISH my wants list from the early years. I now remember why, growing up, I really preferred Upper Deck cards. These are incredible. I know that I had a bunch of these but have no idea where they could have gone. Opening these cards brought a smile to my face and sticking them in binder pages was a joy. Here are the highlights, all of which are from the heyday of my collecting in the early 90s:

Milt! (I know I had this card back then)

And finally, the best of the bunch, in rapid succession:

And my absolute favorite, from the moment that defined the design of my room as a child:


Kerry, you rocked my world with this package and reminded me of all that is good in the world. The Topps, the Upper Deck, all of it incredible, not to mention the thick stack of cards that I had never seen an absolutely love. I hope to trade with you again and I hope you enjoyed your end of the deal.

I will leave you now with my favorite non Topps/Upper Deck card, from a really neat looking set:

Sure, Carlos Guillen looks like an idiot, but look at that autographic! It's silver, shiny and beautiful. Might not work with all players, but for Carlos, it's a gem.

Thanks Kerry!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Why I Blog: Luke Scott Edition

Matt Wieters, Luke Scott loves to crush the hopes and dreams of the Tigers and their fans. Oh, you haven't heard? I will now be using "Matt Wieters" to replace the more popular (for now) "Jesus Christ" as an exclamatory statement. My wife came up with it during tonight's game. Watch out, it's going to be a thing.

Anyway, not too long ago the latest blog bat around asked the question "why do you blog." I didn't have a good answer at the time and didn't really have the time to give it much thought. Well, tonight I have my answer, at least in part.

I blog because of Luke Scott. At least, he is why I blog about baseball cards. If I didn't, I might feel compelled to blog about baseball in general or the Tigers specifically. I don't think that I could put myself through it. I couldn't handle a world where so much rested on each pitch--I am already tormented as a fan. Baseball cards at least, are portraits and snapshots of happier times. I will never have a Tigers card that shows Luke Scott trotting around the bases in front of a scoreboard that reads "Luke Scott 9, Orioles 3, Tigers 3". But that's what I get when I look at the box scores. Baseball cards are neutral, they allow me to forget.

Which brings me to another thing. From here until the end of time, I will destroy every Luke Scott baseball card that I pull from packs. I know this seems overly dramatic and unnecessary, but I feel as though I will get this sick pleasure out of it. Oh, and I'll find new and fun ways to destroy the cards. If there ever comes a time that I can't find a new way to destroy a Luke Scott card, then I'll just stop, simple as that. I'm just giving you a heads up for when a picture of charred ashes pops up here after I start busting some Series 2.

That's it for tonight. Verlander is going tomorrow and we could really use a dominating performance. Matt Wieters.

Well How About That

Bobby Scales got called back up to the Cubs a day after he was sent to AAA Iowa and hit a pinch-hit home run in the 8th inning upon his return.


(from ESPN's Out of the Box column, today)

Tigers to Play God, Birds

Beginning tonight, the Matt Weiters era is upon us in Baltimore. There is a palpable buzz in the entire area. Casual baseball fans have bought tickets for tonight's game. It's been the talk of sports radio all week. This is the turning point for Baltimore Orioles baseball, as he leads the team out of the doldrums and into a glorious new era of AL East dominance.

In my "day job" I've had the opportunity at times to work closely with part of the Orioles minor league system. Let me tell you, this hype has been building for two years. It is justified. The kid is awesome.

It isn't only baseball fans that are going to benefit either. As a regular Baltimore City resident my life has already improved dramatically. How, might you ask?

  • I used to walk to Camden Yards for games, now I can just think about Matt Wieters and fly directly to my seats.
  • When Matt Wieters is at bat, all TVs show him in HD.
  • When Matt Wieters drives to the ballpark, all the roads he drives over become freshly paved. 
  • May 29 will forever be a paid vacation day to celebrate "Matt Wieters Day"
I've got to tell you, life is better.

If you enjoyed my top of the head original creations, then you'll surely love the original which has some real gems in there.

Seriously though, the hype around this kid is like nothing that I've ever seen. Apparently, it is like nothing that this city has ever seen either. For Tigers fans, there is nothing comparable. The current Orioles streak of bad baseball (starting in 1997, I believe) is shorter and less bad than the what the Tigers dealt with for the 90's and first half of the 2000s yet the only thing that comes somewhat close to being in the same ballpark as this was the signing of Pudge Rodriguez--you know, an actual Hall of Famer to-be that was supposed to (and did) turn the franchise around. Minor League wise, we are in the dark. A system stock full of Rick Porcellos and Justin Verlanders wouldn't match this. I'm telling you, the feeling here it is unreal.

That being said, I am happy for O's fans. Things like this are rare and they are fun. I'm glad to see the city get energized over the Orioles. I'm sick of going to O's games filled with Red Sox and Yankees fans, or like last night, where I could basically count the attendance from where I was sitting. If nothing else, I hope that this brings people out to the ballpark. Camden Yards is one of the best places in baseball to watch a game and has aged very nicely. A full Camden Yards would be a true summer night joy.

So here's to the start of the Matt Wieters era, and I wish him well. If he goes on to actually have a great career, then my life as a baseball fan in Baltimore will be much improved. If he accomplishes the near-impossible task of actually living up to the hype, then more power to him. But maybe, just maybe, he can start his domination of the American League and the baseball world on Monday, after the Tigers are out of town with 3 out of 4 in their back pocket.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Tiger Killer Kills Tigers

Outside of Opening Day, this is the first Tigers game that I've seen in person this year (actually, it's the first O's game since Opening Day for me too). I have to say, while they didn't look bad, they give me that unsettling feeling that I've gotten from Tigers teams of the last couple of years.

Armando Galarraga, who's line actually looks pretty good and pitched almost the entire game on about 100 pitches was not nearly as good as the numbers suggest. He was giving up hard hit balls all over the place and some sharp defense, especially from the likes of Brandon Inge, got him out of a few potential jams. Maybe I'm being hard on him, because he really wasn't that bad. He was ok, I guess. Galarraga was fine.

But that's not really the story, is it?

Last year, during the Orioles/Tigers series at Camden Yards, I went to all four games. During the course of these games I experienced first hands the emergence of a player that had been recently acquired by the O's from the National League. His name was Luke Scott. He had been swinging well, with some power and some average. But he was no game changer. I was less worried about him than a Roberts, Markakis, Jones or Huff. Well, he proved me wrong. Scott demolished the Tigers in the series. If I recall, he his an extra inning walk-off that landed on Eutaw Street for one of the games. He was a beast. The Tigers split the series, stayed below .500 and never recovered. Scott went on to make the "Top Ten Tiger Killers" list at Number 3

Flash forward to tonight. Galarraga forces a double play to clear the bases in the second inning. Luke Scott steps to the plate for his first at bat. I turn to my wife and say "Boy, I'm glad that those bases are empty." Scott swings and sends the ball to the land of the untouchables. 1-0 O's. 8th Inning. 2 runners on and Scott steps up. I say to my wife: "This out would be huge. This guy is a Tiger Kill..." Untouchable. 5-1 O's. Game Over.

Sometimes a player just owns another team. Luke Scott owns the Tigers. There is nothing that they can do. I would intentionally walk him every time there are runners on base. It is absolutely ridiculous.

Almost as ridiculous as the Tigers leaving runners on the basepaths and in scoring position ALL NIGHT, but I'm not really in the mood to get into that.

Anyway, I just wanted to let all the Tiger fans know that that game was as frustrating in the stands as it was on TV, but it was a beautiful night in Baltimore (after the early showers) and they'll be back at it again tomorrow night.

Of course tomorrow's game is kind of a big deal around here. There's some kid getting called up from the Minors and apparently he invented baseball and hits 5-run home runs and such, but more on that tomorrow...

Ask and Ye Shall Receive

Well, that didn't take long:

Thanks to Travis, the wizard of Punk Rock Paint

Get That Man a Baseball Card: Bobby Scales

This "segment" as it were, replaces the "Hello:" tag, which I shamelessly stole from the world's greatest blog. I think that this is a little more appropriate, no?

With everything that has been going on lately, this just slipped under my radar. Apparently, the Cubs, in all of their infield/outfield/injury position shuffling, called up Bobby Scales to play 2nd and 3rd bases at the beginning of May. I'm late to the party, but he was recently sent back to the minors, although there are grumblings that he may make his way back to the show, given his solid performance.

You will remember, of course, (by which I mean, you totally won't remember), that Bobby Scales was the beloved Michigan second baseman on the 1997 Big Ten Champion team and 1999 Big Ten Tournament Champion squad. He was the major stud on the teams alongside a pitcher by the name of J.J. Putz. If I can find my signed team poster from that year (I think it's still in Michigan) I'll post it up for all to see. This was in the era when you could head down to The Fish as a kid to catch a weekend doubleheader and every time a foul ball was hit you (and all the other kids) could run out of the stands, out of the stadium, into the parking lot to get (and keep) the foul ball.

My good friend Rob and I got so good at this, that one weekend we were getting every single ball before the freshman player designated to retrieve the balls got there. A stink was raised because we didn't want to give them back and they threatened not to let us back into the stadium. Thanks to some shrewd negotiating by Rob's dad, we cut a deal. In the middle of the first game, the team gave us two practice jerseys to wear and it became our job to get the foul balls. As a middle school kid, I can tell you that is was a pretty cool experience. The icing on the cake was that I was wearing the practice jersey of J.J. Putz and Rob had Bobby Scales.

Now, the 31-year old Scales finally got his shot. He stuck with it and was rewarded, taking advantage to the tune of 2 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 5 RBI, a .381 OBP and a .838 OPS during his 14 game stint.

With that I ask that somebody make a Bobby Scales baseball card. This is the type of guy who deserves one--he fought and fought in the minors for 10 years before getting his shot. It might be the only one he gets. Would it be too much to ask to throw him into Updates and Highlights? Maybe as part of Upper Deck's enormous base sets? If you don't do it, how will I ever add him to my nascent collection of rookie cards of U-M alumni?

Fingers Crossed.

This Just In: 2009 Goudey #69 (mini!)

Just when I thought it would get easy...bam! No internet at home last night. And with that, we have the single failing of keeping all of your wantlists and tradelists on google docs. However, that didn't keep me from taking some pictures, and so now I give to you a wonderful little card that recently arrived at my door.
2009 Goudey #69 Curtis Granderson (Black Mini: #08/21)

This was the first Goudey card that I saw and person and it is a real winner. Granderson, while typically photogenic, really comes through well in these semi-painted old time style cards. I'm not sure exactly what it is, but both this year and last year's Goudey offerings are among the best in the entire sets.

This particular beauty is the black mini, numbered to 21 and is the shortest-printed parallel in the set. That itself is wonderful, as I don't have to track down some super-rare #/8 card or something like that. It also makes this card relatively affordable, and I stole this one for under $2.50, much to my pleasure.

For me, the key to this card is the unique pose and look of Curtis himself. This is not a standard action shot, it is not a posed shot. Flip up sunglasses and eye black are involved, two things that instantly give cool points to any card. The shot was so good and just looked so natural that in my mind I started praising Upper Deck for putting the card together like this. And then it hit me. I've loved this shot before.

In fact, this picture rated #3 for me out of all of last year's offerings, ironically ranking one spot ahead of 2008 Goudey. So what does that mean for this year? Does this already rank near the top? Hmm...I'm not so sure, as this year's Goudey cards don't stack up to last year's all that well, but I guess that remains to be seen.

Now, this is the part of the post where I say that there is plenty more good stuff to come, as I have a ton of packages to go through. However, starting tonight the Tigers are in Baltimore for a 4-game series which means that I will be spending my evenings in the friendly confines of Camden Yards and not sifting through cards. Frankly, I wouldn't have it any other way--but I'll still try to squeeze a couple posts in here and there.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Back in the Saddle

This past Memorial Day weekend, my wife and I attended a family friend's wedding in Michigan. A good time was had by all, but in all the commotion, my blogging abilities were severely hampered. On Monday, we made the 9 hour drive back to Baltimore. Well, wouldn't you know it, but Monday was also our one year wedding anniversary (great right, spend the weekend at somebody else's wedding and spend your anniversary driving? It's a good thing we like each other and enjoy car trips together because that doesn't exactly fit the description of my ideal 1 year anniversary celebration).

My lovely wife has been incredibly supportive of my card collecting exploits to date, even if she doesn't understand them entirely. She likes opening packs, she humors me when I show her a new card and she even reads my blog. As part of my gift to her, I left the site post-less yesterday and left my fantasy baseball teams untended last night so we could enjoy the remainder of our evening.

So now, with this weekend behind us, the old apartment 90% moved out of and clean-ish and life starting to settle down, I am back in the saddle. I have about a dozen packages to go through and post about, and some progress on my Series 2 Dilemma to report (hint: it involves going full steam ahead). I may get to some of it tonight, some of it tomorrow and the rest interspersed over the rest of the week.

So thanks for sticking with me, and I assure many many new card pictures to come in the days ahead.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Topps Series 2 Dilemma

I go through this with each of Topps' major releases, and I have always chosen a different outcome. This is the first time that I will chronicle my collecting from start to finish.

Topps Series 2 is out. There are a plethora of Tigers. I am conflicted, as usual, about buying a box, culling as many Tigers from there as I can, trading to fill some holes and hitting eBay for the rest. In the past I've found that I've been happier with my Jumbo Box purchases, although I actually enjoy buying Hobby more, because I get to open more packs. I could also eschew that entirely and buy blasters. Let's say that I'm going blaster-free for this set. That leaves me with three options, Hobby Box, Jumbo Box and eBay--somehow, I'll collect the Tigers.

Here's what I'm thinking: A Hobby Box can be had for around $60. A Jumbo costs about $125. There are internet costs plus shipping. My local (Baltimore) hobby shop has them too, but based on the past, I'm guessing that Hobby will be more like $75 and HTA (which isn't usually this expensive--I paid $90 last year, I think) is more.

This year, I just can't justify the purchase of the box. I think part of it is that there are so many Tigers that one box just isn't going to cut it. So, I'm going to do this:

The $65 that would have gone to a hobby box will go directly towards purchasing cards from the team set instead. I will track each purchase, including shipping costs and see how far the price of one Hobby box gets me. If I fall short, we'll see if I can get everything that I need for less than the price of a Jumbo box.

I will track these cards as they come in and we can see how this little experiment will go. I'm really not sure what to expect, to be honest.

2009 Topps Series 2: Deep Breaths

Topps Series 2 is Live and pumping on eBay. I wanted to quickly browse what Tigers were out there and was immediately overwhelmed by what I found. Remember, there were only 9 Tigers and a handful of inserts in Series 1. In an effort to keep myself organized, I have whipped together a quick provisional checklist. I will be updating it in my wantlist as I learn more, but I though I would post it here, out of public service if nothing else.

Disclaimer: This is my best guess so far, based on what I've seen on eBay and nothing more. Feel free to chip in with additional info.

I'll throw in a few images swiped from eBay just for fun.

Base Set (15 Cards)
339 Jim Leyland
342 Gerald Laird
387 Adam Everett
395 Magglio Ordonez
425 Curtis Granderson
434 Guillen/Cabrera
451 Ryan Perry RC
458 Jeremy Bonderman
515 Gary Sheffield
529 Fernando Rodney
548 Carlos Guillen
559 Placido Polanco
566 Dontrelle Willis
636 Armando Galarraga
658 Rick Porcello RC

WBC Cards
BCR-FTN Fu-Te Ni (Jersey)
BCR-MO Magglio Ordonez (Jersey)
BCS9 Fu-Te Ni
BCS14 Miguel Cabera
BCA-CG (?) Curtis Granderson WBC Auto (#/100)

"Career Best" Cards
CBR-CG Curtis Granderson Jersey (Again?!)
CBR-MO Magglio Ordonez Bat
CBR-MC (?) Miguel Cabrera Bat

Those Relics all come in regular and Platinum (#/99) versions.

CBA-GS (?) Gary Sheffield Auto

CBDR-TS Gary Sheffield/Jim Thome Dual Jersey/Bat #/99
CBDR-HC Ryan Howard/Miguel Cabrera Dual Jersey/Bat #/99
CBDR-PC (?) Albert Pujols/Miguel Cabrera Dual Jersey/Bat #/99

Ty Cobb Cards
LGCB-TC Ty Cobb "Career Best Legends"
LLG-15 Ty Cobb Target Exclusive: Gold Career Best
TR87 Ty Cobb Turkey Red

Ty Cobb Commemorative Legends Patch #/50: Spells "Ty Cobb"

Other Cards
TTT43 Curtis Granderson Toppstown (Blue and Gold versions)

Silk Collection:
Armando Galarraga
Jeremy Bonderman
Magglio Ordonez
Carlos Guillen

So for those of you out there who were interested in perusing the list of Tigers cards in this release, here you go. I'm sure that more cards will surface and I will start to put these things into some semblance of order on my wantlist for future reference. However, I thought that this could be a useful tool for those of you who don't even know where to begin with this set.

Finally, the only 1/1 Topps Platinum Curtis Granderson card that I've ever seen is on eBay right now. With 3 days and 7 hours to go is is at $92.40. Sigh. For posterity, since this will end up buried in somebody's collection, here it is for all to see:

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Elsewhere in Cyberspace

The Cardboard Connection has my most recent commentary on the base set trifecta that I'm anxiously awaiting in Topps Series 2. Of course, you can read all about it right here.

An excerpt: (From "Topps Grabs By Ankles; Lifts, Shakes")
I once read that parallels are just doubles for idiots—I wish I could remember where, but I laughed out loud when I first heard it—likely after splurging on a semi-rare but not really parallel of some sort. On that alone, I must be quite the fool.

Worth a read, if you ask me.

While I'm on the topic, don't forget to sign up for a team(s) for the Series 2 Group Break that will be happening here, as soon as those specially marked blasters hit the light of day.

In a couple hours I will be making the 9 hour drive back to Michigan (and back, on Monday) so I expect posting to be on the lighter side for the next few days. On the plus side, I'm now officially caught up on sending out packages and get the joy of going through and cataloging all of the new cards that sit in bubble envelopes on my desk when I get back! Enjoy your Memorial Day everyone!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Look out Mailboxes, here I come!

Tomorrow I have packages going out to Cards on Cards, Night Owl, Dinged Corners, and Zach Mills before I head home to Michigan for Memorial Day Weekend (and my 1 year anniversary).


Also, I have about a dozen packages that I will sort through and post about when I return, especially now that the house is in pretty good order.

Also also, If you're interested in participating in the Retail Group Break for Series 2 Topps Black and Throwback, just leave a comment over here to claim your team.

Finally, Wilkin Ramirez, who was recently featured here hit a go-ahead home run in his debut for his first major league hit.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

What You Talkin' About


Tonight, the Tigers starting pitcher went 6.1 Innings, allowed 1 Hit, 2 Walks and 0 Runs. He recorded 5 Strikeouts. His fastball ranged from sub-major league caliber at 87 MPH to a quality Major League Pitch at 93 MPH. He threw 100 Pitches, 61 of them for strikes. He accomplished the impressive feat of making me smile at my computer as I tracked him on Gamecast. I can only imagine that he garnered as loud a standing ovation as Comerica Park has ever heard when he left the game in the 7th. This pitcher gave the Tigers a gem, which they parlayed into a 4-0, 1 hit victory over the 1st place Texas Rangers. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you:

Oh wait, my mistake. I'm not sure who that guy is. Here was the actual starting pitcher:

Welcome back D-Train, your All-Star form is a welcome sight for sore eyes.

Sorry for the lifted pictures, non-essential cards are still buried in boxes in the basement so I had to resort to eBay.

Hello: Wilkin Ramirez, enjoy your coffee!

The Tigers have called up the blazing (fast, and hot) Wilkin Ramirez to the big league squad. A rather unheralded prospect in the offseason, he had a very strong showing in Spring Training and has been superb for the Mudhens so far this year to the tune of
.316, 3 2B, 1 3B, 5 HR, 13 RBI, 14 SB

He will temporarily take the place of Magglio Ordonez, who is on bereavement leave while his wife undergoes surgery. Look to see Ramirez on the basepaths late in the game, although I suppose he could even play a game in lieu of Ryan Raburn or Josh Anderson. Whatever his role, this is just a cup of coffee for him and a chance for us to see one of the system's rising stars in action.

I, for one, would like to begin the call now for a Wilkin Ramirez rookie card in Updates and Highlights.

(Tuesday) Fantasy Wrap: Week 6

Sorry for the late post here--things should be getting back to normal in the next week or so (for the love of God, let them return to normal in the next week or so)

This was a hit or miss week for the ol' fantasy squads. Let's see how it went.

MegaLeague: Last Week 18-23-4 (5/5 Division, 15/20 overall)

So, I didn't win, but I didn't get killed. In commemoration of Dontrelle Willis' return to the major leagues, let's call that progress, at least until it becomes a pattern. This week ended in a tough 3-4-2 loss, that actually bumped me up to 3rd in my division and 13th place overall. Generally abysmal pitching killed me and I couldn't pull through to get that last RBI or SB to break a deadlock in those categories.

A Gold Star goes to Michael Young for his .500 OBP and 1 SB. He was consistently solid all week. In fact, so was Arod, who's much maligned return netted 2 HR, 4RBI and a .444 OBP (8 walks!) to help my team on the offensive side. His return stands to be a big boost to this squad.

No Thanks To Andy Sonnanstine and Armando Galarraga. These two pitchers each had two starts this week. Sonnanstine rewarded me with 12 ER, 4K, and a 14.09 ERA. In turn, I rewarded him with a place on the waiver wire. So long. Galarraga's 2 starts yielded only 6.1 Innings (*gasp*) and included 10 ER, 4K and a 14.21 ERA. Super! He'll be sitting on the bench this week as we wait for him to return to form. I'm not expecting Cy Galarraga like we saw at the start of the season, but I wasn't looking for Chan Ho Galarraga either. Somewhere in between would be nice.

Work League: Last Week 39-30-1, 4th place 1.5GB
Domination of the league's commissioner was the story of this week. I was on the good side of a 10-4-0 bootstomping, despite some more poor pitching. Bless the man who created a league that is heavily skewed towards the offensive categories.
This win pushed me back into a tie for 1st place, a nice place to be now that more than 20% of the season is behind us.

A Gold Star goes to Raul Ibanez and the following line:
9 R, 4 HR, 12 RBI, 1 SB, 26 TB, .481 AVG, 1.539 OPS

No Thanks To: Gil Meche, yet another early season stud to fall to the law of averages. A 10.38 ERA/1.85 WHIP and only 1 K is not going to cut it my man. Time for you to Greinkeize yourself a little bit.

Blog League: Last Week 1820 Points (+208), 1st Place
The points flowed freely this week thanks to some stellar pitching by the majority of my starters. None moreso than the Doc himself.

A Gold Star goes to Roy Halladay, who threw down 60 points, a team record for points in a week. My main man Curtis Granderson added a cool 30 and Miguel Cabrera 32 on the offensive side as the Tigers had a hot and cold week (sweeping, swept, sweeping again in last 9 games).

No Thanks To a pair of pitchers who underperformed. Jonathan Sanchez and Chris Volstad each ended up at -1, which really, is not that bad considering the alternatives. Jose Lopez only put up 5 points at 2B, which certainly needs to improve, however.

In all, the 1st place lead grew as the 2200 point threshold was cracked. I have a feeling that this buffer will be much needed as players start to cool off over the next few months.

So there we have it, a good week on balance considering I moved up or stayed at the top of the standings in each league. Things need to improve in the MegaLeague, but we are into our second "round robin" payout schedule now, so this is an ok start on that. To wrap it up:

MegaLeague 21-27-6, 13/20 Overall, 3/5 Division
Work League 49-34-1, T-1st
Blog League 2206 Points, 1st (+270)

Good luck with all of your teams this week, and be remember not to over-manage.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Topps Series 2 Walmart & Target Retail Parallel Group Breaks Are Coming!

That is one mouthful of a title.

Once upon a time, Walmart and Target decided to sell parallel sets (in "Black" and "Throwback/Retro" flavors) in secret blasters denoted by a serial number. With Series 2 having unofficially found its way to shelves last week, we can only assume that Target and Walmart will continue their parallel retail sets and I, for one, want to get my hands on those Tigers.

So, let's do this thing again! Just like last time, I will hold group breaks right here for the Walmart and Target Parallel Blasters. There will be separate breaks for each set, at a price of $6 per team, including shipping. Like last time, we will need 14 teams to be chosen for the break to go forward and 3 blasters will be broken of each set. I am announcing this now so that people have more than a 3-day window to get a team's claim in.

Now, there is the off-chance that I will be able to get a 4th blaster of each set, which would be downright wonderful. If that is the case the fee would increase to $7.50 per team to cover the cost of that 4th box. Of course, all of this is contingent on my actually finding the cards, which was quite the challenge last time (at least now I know where to go, hopefully), and the fact that these blasters exist for Series 2 and that the serial numbers are again made available so that we can distinguish them from regular blasters.

Starting now, consider this post the official team-claiming page for these Group Breaks. In the comments section, please indicate the team(s) you would like to claim and which breaks (Walmart, Target, Both) you would like to participate in. You do not need to pay yet. I will provide updates as necessary as details become clear. You do not need a blog to participate, but if I haven't dealt with you before advance payment/deposit may be required (TBD) I'll get things started:

Grand Cards: Tigers--Both
Greg (Lake Effect Cards): Cubs--Both
Night Owl: Dodgers--Both
Adam E (Thoughts & Sox): Red Sox--Both
Tim Rooks: Dbacks--Both
Baseball Dad (All Tribe Baseball): Indians--Both
RWH (I Heart Halos): Angels--Both
Doubleplay (Blue Jays Cards) Blue Jays--Both
Wicked Orteaga: Marlins--Both
Flash: Yankees--Both
Dan (The Other World): Phillies--Both
--David (Tribe Cards): Mets--Both
--David (Tribe Cards): Random Team #1--Both
Jonathan (NatsTown): Nationals--Both

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Ultimate Checklist: 2002 Bowman Chrome Draft

Grand Gallery: This pre-posted post will now constitute the "Grand Gallery" for 2002 Bowman Chrome. To make life easy, I'll stick the gallery on top, but I strongly recommend reading the whole post after you peruse the pictures.

#BDP71 Curtis Granderson
#BDP71 Curtis Granderson Refractor (#/300)
#BDP71 Curtis Granderson Xfractor (#/150)
#BDP71 Curtis Granderson Gold Refractor (#/50)

Oooh. Shiny. I'd like to note how neat the "Gold Refractor" is. When I saw it in isolation, it didn't look all that impressive, but side by side it is apparent that the whole think has been tinted gold--look at the seats compared to the others.

Original Post:

2009 releases are coming fast and furious now, my cards are still sitting in boxes as we make a final push to finish the move/organize the house and new trades and sitting in a pile, waiting to be sorted. Amidst all of that, let's harken back to the olden days to see if we can't get over this Ultimate Checklist hump.

2002 Bowman Chrome Draft is widely regarded as the release that contains Curtis Granderson's most desirable rookie cards, all of which are #BDP71 in the set. The chrominess and refractory all play a part in this decision, I'd imagine, and I'd be hard pressed to disagree. A few weeks ago, I got my first Granderson Rookie Card from this set. It turns out, it was the 300th card in my collection. Here it is again, for all to see:
2002 Bowman Chrome Draft #BDP71 Curtis Granderson

Of course, the reason this release is such hot stuff isn't because of that card, it is because of the hard to pull parallels that accompany it. In this case, three of them.

Refractor: #/300
Xfractor: #/150
Gold Refractor: #/50

The Gold Refractor is the Holy Grail of Granderson cards. I've seen it listed as high as a couple hundred dollars in the past, making it easily the most expensive Granderson card out there.

About 6-8 months ago, in that dead period of collecting between the end of the new releases and the new year, I found an eBay lot that included the regular card, refractor and xfractor with a starting bid of $49.99. I watch it go, with no bids, down to the final 10 minutes. I decided, "I don't really have the money for this right now, so let it go without any bids and haggle with the seller after the fact." Oops. It sold at the end for the asking price and I missed my Golden Opportunity to add 3 major rookie cards to the collection. Now, I didn't really have the money for it at the time, so it wasn't a total disaster, but to put things into perspective, the Xfractor just sold for nearly $40 on its own a few weeks ago and the refractor went in the mid-upper 20s. Shortsightedness 1, Long-term collecting philosophy 0.

As for the card itself, that picture looks pretty familiar, no? Of course, it is the same picture as was used in 2002 Bowman Draft. No surprise there, as repeating images is standard operating procedure for regular and chrome releases, and is no big deal. I will warn that this is not the last time that this picture rears its head, however. The chrome, even just the regular chrome, adds a very nice effect to the card that changes depending on the angle of light. To me, it is a far superior card to the regular Bowman Draft offering for this reason alone. The added texture and dimension is a major positive--I can only imagine that the refractors, as they tend to, look about a thousand times better.

Sadly, all I have to show is the one card from this release. As Granderson's rookie cards go, I see why it is such a hot commodity. However, I will go out on a limb right now and say that it is not my favorite Granderson rookie card. That will be revealed in an Ultimate Checklist post to come.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Cardboard Connectivity

So there's this fine new place in cyberspace called the Cardboard Connection. Maybe you've heard of it before? If not, I strongly encourage you to check it out. Not only does it offer the card collectors the social network that is all the rage these days, but it provides news, reviews and other fun card-related stuff.

Like me!

Somehow, the all-knowing editorial staff at the site has allowed me to be a regular contributor to the site, something that I plan to do once a week. In fact, baseball card insight #1 was just published yesterday for all interested parties. The way I see it, the general tone and style of stuff over there will be the same as stuff over here (think of me as a baseball card Craig Calcaterra, if you want to paint me in a favorable light), although I will try to keep content separate so as to not repeat myself.

So if you haven't already, take a peek at the Cardboard Connection--not because my now-biased self said so, but because there's actually a lot of good stuff over there. Like none other than Ms. Sooz, for starters.

Hello: Nolan Reimold

I heard on the radio when I was driving up to work that Nolan Reimold is getting the call. The Baltimore Sun is on it too. The hot-hitting prospect for the O's hit .394 with 27 RBI for the AAA Norfolk Tides. Sure, he's no Wieters, but he's some more young blood for an Orioles team with a bright future (offensively, at least).

So why do I care? First of all, I do live in Baltimore, so the Orioles have claimed the "team I root for and wish well" status in my heart. They've got that hard-luck, pathetically bad but there's always hope feel that I know from my years of Tigers fandom. However, that hardly warrants a post on this blog, which is decidedly Tiger-centric. So I give you reason #2:

2005 Just Minors Nolan Reimold/Curtis Granderson/Javier Herrera

I am no prospector, but the fact that Reimold is making his way to The Show means that this card is now 2/3 not a bust. Sadly, it looks like Javier Herrera isn't on the fast track to make the leap to the bigs.

Talkin' Softball(s)

Company softball game left me without internet during the day yesterday. Got home and our brand-spankin' new internet connection yielded nothing at all. Using my imagination, I played the Tigers/Twins game out in my head and snapped out of my trance in night terrors envisioning Dontrelle Willis lofting softball to the Twins hitters.

Well, game reports indicate that it wasn't quite that bad. Perhaps Dontrelle is on the road to recovery after all? The Tigers certainly had their chances in this one, and in nearly became the Curtis Granderson show in the 13th after he took the game into his own hands by hitting his first triple of the season and then forcing a balk to score. He also apparently robbed Joe Mauer at the track (the wall?) late in the game. If only the Twins didn't have Joe Crede, notorious for his Tiger-killing ways with the White Sox. Of course, the bullpen was a disappointment, but can you expect Brandon Lyon to pitch three innings? Or Zumaya? These are 1 inning guys, 2 MAX (although I would prefer that Lyon never sniff a high-leverage situation again) What ever happened to our long relievers? Ugh. Box scores and news reports are so unsatisfying, especially because I have to go through the full range of game emotions over the course of two pages instead of three+ hours and still can't grasp the flow of the game.

I have a charity softball game tomorrow (that should be it for work-day softball for the season), so I'll just say one thing. My internet damn well better be working when I get home from work tomorrow, because this is no way for a baseball fan to live his life.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Mail Day!

A quick lunchtime catchup post.

Back when Miguel Cabrera was hitting .500 and Justin Verlander was stinking up the American League I got a nice little package of Upper Deck First Edition from Marie at A Cardboard Problem. Since then, Miguel Cabrera has cooled off to a a measly .393 average and Verlander has looking like Cy Young himself in his last few starts. Let's take a look, shall we?

I'm a fan of this year's starquest offering, much more so than last year's. The sunburst effect projects more of a star quality and is pretty neat. I'm sure that Upper Deck has paralleled this to death in their regular release, but as an isolated card this isn't bad at all. Word on the street is that Granderson is in line for Series 2 so we can get a direct 2008 vs. 2009 comparison going then.

Speaking of comparisons:

Am I crazy, or is First Edition better in many ways? Sure, that big 'ol FIRST EDITION banner down the side kills the card, but other than that, I think it's a winner. I'm not anti-foil, by any means, but there is something nice about being able to actually read the stuff printed on the cards. Take away a little gloss, let me read the players' names and keep that logo clear and crisp and I'm a happy camper. I feel like too often, regular Upper Deck leaves me twisting cards in the light to see things from the right angle.

Also of note with this side by side: The Old English D on the cards. Upper Deck First Edition uses the D that the Tigers have adopted as their primary logo in the last few years (replacing the Tiger jumping through the D). It can also be found on their jersey. Regular Upper Deck uses the D from the hat, which I would always doodle on notebook paper as a little kid, before I realized that there were actually two different D's. The jersey D is certainly more suitable for a primary logo, it seems. I'm sure that Upper Deck didn't even notice this as they opened up their logos/baseball/detroit.jpg file without so much as a second thought, but it actually helps distinguish the two similar card versions from one another a little bit more.

So, thanks to Marie! We tend to send small packages back and forth to one another and I am never disappointed. Once I find some more cards for her collection they will be on their way.

Grandy, Sure! Cougar, No!

From the Detroit Tigers Weblog:

Curtis Granderson made a spectacular catch on Friday night, saving the game for Justin Verlander and the Tigers. There is an unfortunate by-product of this play though and that is the proliferation of a new moniker for Granderson. Unsatisfied with calling him by name, or even by Grandy, ESPN has taken it upon themselves to dub him “The Cougar.”

Intelligent commentary follows--check the link.

Listen, nicknames develop organically, they are not to be manufactured and peddled by ESPN or whoever just for the sake of it. Some names are not conducive to nicknames. Granderson is kind of one of those. I'll admit, "Grandy" is not the world's greatest nickname. But you know what? It's really not that bad. The important thing is that it is authentic--it is how he is addressed by his teammates. Now, you might end up with a genius like Ernie Harwell who can dub Todd Jones "The Rollercoaster," and it is usually the local announcers who create the lasting nicknames ("Michael Jack Schmidt", anyone?). So stay out of this ESPN. If all you see is one spectacular catch on your Top-10 you don't have the right to start handing out nicknames. Enough with "The Cougar." Yeah, its kind of clever (CuGr, get it?) but given its other, far more prevalent use in the parlance of our times, let's leave that one to Hollywood and Sunday double-features at The Apex, if you know what I mean.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Monday Fantasy Wrap: Week 5

No TV and No Internet make Dan...something something.

Yes, I was mostly TV and Internet free from Wednesday on last week, which made successfully managing a fantasy team a bit difficult. Here's what happened:

MegaLeague: Last Week 16-17-3, 2nd Division, 11th overall

I was slaughtered this week 2-6-1, by my good friend Mike. I got beaten in every offensive category (-2 SBN!) and won two of the four pitching categories while exactly tying ERA at 2.975 (!). It wasn't a good showing, as my team has dramatically cooled since a hot april start.

A Gold Star goes to Adam Lind, the sole offensive bright spot, who had a .433 OBP and 8 RBI to make my losses in those categories narrower than they would have been otherwise. Rick Porcello also gets a mention for his 7 inning shutout performance at the start of the week. He was inadvertently benched on Sunday because of lack of internet access, but he went another 5 with 1ER.

No Thanks To Gerald Laird who happened to go ICE cold right after I picked him up (.158 OBP this week, only Alexei Ramirez's .133 was worse). If he can sit in the .260 AVG range things will be ok.

Work League Last Week 33-22-1, 2nd Place 1.5 GB

A disappointing loss in this league as well, and although I remain 1.5 games out of first, I am now in 4th place. More pitching success and offensive ineptitude was the name of the game convincingly loosing almost all batting categories except for SB and R. Managing difficulties hurt me on the back end, as a few starters with QS were wasted on the bench. Still, not a good performance this week here.

A Gold Star goes to Hanley Ramirez. Does it ever. Every time I got a chance to check he was doing something awesome to the tune of 11 R, 4 HR, 7 RBI, 3 SB, 30 TB, .533 AVG and 1.576 SLG. Wow.

No Thanks To James Loney, who continues to struggle and not produce for power or average. Not exactly what I need out of my Corner Infield position.

Blog League: Last Week: 1360 Points
It is necessary to stay humble this early in the season because so much can change, but this team is playing really, really well right now. A MONSTER week increased my lead to 208 points over the second place team. Surely an unsustainable margin, but a nice cushion for an upcoming down week TBD.

A Gold Star goes to none other than Justin Verlander who complete game shut outed his way to 52 points in one game. In fact, the whole pitching staff was lights out, going 11-5 this week (although some of those wins were not recognized due to accidental benching). Let's not forget Jason Bay who actually out-pointed Verlander (53) but who did so through consistently awesome (4 HR, 14 RBI!) play all week.

No Thanks To Brandon Inge (5 points) who got cold fast. Worse, Jonathan Sanchez's -13, on two losses, was no good either. He may end up being a bust this season.

So that's it for this week. Internet is scheduled to come back today (YAY!), so I can stop making excuses over my poor performances and actually fess up to it. This is the start of new divisions and some tough matchups so it will be important to pull down a few wins this week. As always, the wrapup is below, and good luck on your own teams this week!

MegaLeague: 18-23-4, 5/5 Division, 15/20 Overall
Work League:39-30-1, 4th Place, 1.5 GB
Blog League: 1820 Points (+208)

Zach Putnam is now an Akron Aero

Despite the fact that I have no cards of him, I am a passive collector of Zach Putnam, formerly of the University of Michigan and current Cleveland Indians farmhand. I'd like to congratulate him on making the jump from Single-A Kinston up to the AA Akron Aeros and for his 2-Inning, 0 Run, 2 Strikeout debut this weekend. If anybody busted some Razor or Donruss EEE last year and has some extra Putnam's that they don't care about, feel free to send them my way.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Granderson 2, Indians 0

We're still internet-less (and TV-less) at the new house, so I have to swing by the apartment to find out what is going on in the world. So, how pleased was I to see that the Tigers just completed a sweep of the Indians and Granderson added to his claim as AL Centerfielder extraordinaire.

I encourage you to take a look at his special Mother's Day catch. Nice.

UPDATE: Here it is in picture form--NOTE TO STADIUM CLUB:

(Tony Dejak/AP)

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Programming Note

No internet at the new house yet--scheduled installation for Monday evening, so posting will be light and will only occur when I can get back to the apartment. However, WBC cards have been packed and sent out, so expect those in the days ahead. Also, Kerry from Cards on Cards sent me a ridiculously awesome package and I am pulling my end of the trade together as we speak. A Cardboard Problem is also in the queue of people to be recognized for sending cards my way.

Return to normalcy is pending. If you need something to do, go back and watch Granderson's catch from last night again.

Grandy 1, Grady 0

There is a long-standing debate amongst Tigers and Indians fans over who is the best centerfielder in the AL Central. Conventional wisdom says that it's Grady Sizemore--he has the accolades, the all star appearances and (somehow) the Gold Glove. Granderson, shockingly, has none of those, yet Tigers fans maintain that their team holds the Jewel of the AL Central. Last night provided one of the rare opportunities for the two to "face off" head to head.

Guess who wins?

MLB won't let you embed videos (Boo!), so click on this link to see what Granderson did last night. You won't be disappointed.

Curtis Granderson's Game Saving Catch 5/9/2008 Detroit Tigers 1, Cleveland Indians 0

It is also worth noting that Granderson scored the only run of the game, in case you needed a cherry on top.

Friday, May 8, 2009


Best case scenario: Zach Greinke/Rick Ankiel feel good story
Worst case scenario: Dontrelle Willis circa 2008

We're pulling for you man, see you Wednesday.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Last Call for Free Cards

For all of you that claimed one or more WBC cards in my giveaway, this is your last chance to send me your address.

I plan to get to the post office to send all of these out on Saturday, so for the sake of packing them up, please send your address to me no later than 11pm EST on Friday. All you need to do is email me with your Name, Address and the cards that you claimed. Please make the subject of your email "Free Cards." Any claimants that do not get their email into me will lose their cards to my personal collection, ebay, a future giveaway or something else TBD. Suffice to say, they will not be sent to you.

Any of you that have already emailed me are fine and they will be sent out on Saturday as well.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

On Granderson, Power and 5 Holes

No, not that 5 hole (Go Wings!).

Some of you may have noticed, especially those of you lucky enough to have Curtis Granderson on your fantasy team, that something peculiar has happened so far this season. As of last night, Grandy has 9, count 'em, 9 Home Runs this season, good for second in the American League. Keeping in mind that he had 23 and 22 in the last two years, respectively, I would say that this qualifies as a rather torrid start. On the flip side, he has only 2 Doubles, and 0 Triples which is equally peculiar given his history as a triples machine and doubles enthusiast. He is also only batting .259, partly because of a very slow start and in part because of this:
""It's just a weird spiral right now," Granderson said after his go-ahead two-run homer Saturday, "and I'm not sure what to make of it. I'm still just trying to even everything back out."
"I'm still not in a groove each at-bat. It's just consistency. I'm trying to get it back, but in no panic by any means. It's May 2, so there's still plenty of baseball to go."

Apparently, Curtis is playing in some sort of baseball bizarro world, in which he hits home runs at an incredible pace, still doesn't feel comfortable at the plate and hits lefties at a .333 clip--well above his lifetime average and substantially exceeding his batting average against righties.

What is going on?

Personally, I think that Granderson is looking to get into his comfort zone. He looked really bad at the plate earlier this year, and although he was getting some hits, there was a lot of ugliness in those at bats--you could tell he was battling. The lefty/righty dynamic is a taste of things to come, in my opinion. No, I'm not saying that he's going to struggle against rights and dominate lefties. I think that he has turned the corner against lefties and will return to equilibrium against righties to raise his overall average. Here's why:

Curtis Granderson's Offseason Mission List
2006: Play Better Defense
2007: Cut Down on Strikeouts
2008: Hit Lefties Better

Hmm...Check, check and check (so far). Each season, Granderson has set a specific goal for himself in the offseason and accomplished it. He should have won a Gold Glove in 2007, Strikeouts went from 141 to 111 in 2008 and he is tearing up lefties so far in 2009. This man is one of the most dedicated, hard working players in the game.

Why all the power? Well, it was actually there all along. You don't hit that many doubles and triples unless you can swing the bat for power. However, this year Granderson added a little more muscle to his frame and now those doubles and triples to the wall are going over the fence. This is how players evolve. I expect more home runs and fewer of the other XBHs this season on account of Granderson's added strength.

Finally, the 5 hole. Last night, Granderson batted 5th, in what was welcome change for many Tigers bloggers. Here's why: By moving Granderson down in the order you add power to drive in runs, speed to avoid the double play, a left-handed bat and protection for Miguel Cabrera. You think Miggy isn't thrilled about this? He went 3-4 with a HR and 4 RBIs last night with Granderson protecting him. In theory, I like this move. However, Granderson has been such a perfect leadoff hitter for this team--consistently setting the table for the big boppers in the lineup that moving him worries me. However, with him not feeling comfortable yet this year, there probably isn't much to disrupt. Also, with Guillen hitting sub-.200 (and now on the DL) and Magglio Ordonez having lost all of his extra-base power, this is really a change that needed to be made. If it is permanent (or even occasional) and Granderson starts to feel comfortable there, expect two things:

1. An MVP for Miguel Cabrera
2. A possible 30/100 season out of Curtis.

Granderson had a breakout year in 2007, but I think 2009 is the year that he finally gets recognized as one of the game's premier players (We can start with getting him a freaking spot on the All Star Team).

Mail Day!

With the organized chaos that surrounds me (I have taken the entire day off to move to the new house, and was over there until 1:30 last night, which means I can write a quick post while my wife is still in bed this morning), I thought that I would recognize an package that came not too long ago from Greg at Night Owl Cards. Doing so will allow me to move them from my queue on top of my desk and into their appropriate box, just in time to send them packing to the new house.

This package came completely out of nowhere and was a wonderful surprise. A handful of 2009 Topps Heritage, none of which I had, were the highlight for sure and there were a few 2009 Upper Deck cards as well, which I may need in the future (I'll let you know what I mean by that in a couple of days, before you start asking about what I could possibly be talking about).

First, we have the resurgent Justin Verlander and his chrome counterpart:

We also have the Tigers' early-season ace, Armando Galarraga

How good could these two guys be for this team, throw in Edwin Jackson, who has been stellar this year and that's a pretty solid 1-3. If Rick Porcello can pitch more like he did last night and less like he did last week, this team is going to be a force to be reckoned with.

Rookie unknown Chris Lambert is in there, as is the once-powerful Magglio Ordonez, but it is the last card that I really liked:

That's right, it's the whole squad, sitting on a card with a fundamentally different design than the rest of the set. Love it.

Thank you so much for the cards Greg! I'm sorry that I'm so late in posting this up, but I can tell you sincerely that this package made my week when I got it. You have put me way closer to finishing my Heritage Tigers set. As for the Upper Deck cards, those are going to help me out in a new collection of mine.

That's right, it looks like I'm going to be branching out in collecting again, as I have discovered a new, fun and cheap way to add to my collection. Details will follow in the next few days.

Also, new house=no internet, although I still have my apartment for the rest of the month. Just a heads up in case posts appear sporadically, at odd times or (gasp) not at all. I'll try to avoid that last one.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Monday Fantasy Wrap: Week 4

Has been PPD. Like a ballgame caught with bad weather, a lost weekend, lost power and attempts at starting to move have delayed the wrap-up, to the point where I figure that we might as well move on to Week 5 next Monday.

In a nutshell though:
MegaLeague: Lost 3-6 last week , Dropped to 16-17-3. Still 2nd in division, now 11th overall

Work League: Won 9-5-0, still in 2nd place, now 1.5 GB at 33-22-1

Blog League: 1360 points, still in first place by an ever-shrinking margin, derailed by an unintentional benching of Justin Verlander's 11 K win on Sunday, brought on by being out of town will little time to devote to fantasy baseball managing so that I could pursue some of life's finer pleasures.

That's the quick and dirty--I hope that the ship of life will begin to right itself here shortly and regular posting will be able to resume.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Won't Somebody Please Think of the Children?

Whoops! Meant to post this on Saturday morning but it never published.

Don't worry. Curtis has got you covered. Apparently, during this whole steroid crisis in baseball, Curtis Granderson started to get worried about the impact that it could have on today's youth. Always proactive, Curtis decided to put together his own DVD's to teach kids how to train properly for success. The program is called B.A.S.E.S (Balance, Agility, Strength, Explosiveness and Speed) and is the program that Curtis himself uses. I've got to say, they look pretty legit. If I were still playing High School baseball, I'd totally pick them up.

So there you go. Mothers can sleep easy at night, Curtis is keeping an eye out. This was pointed out to me by none other than The Rollercoaster himself, while I was checking my fantasy baseball team. I'm going to assume that he was not a devotee of the program.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Contest Winners and the Unveiling of My 300th Curtis Card

I'm glad that I extended the contest until 8pm, because if Dinged Corners didn't come in at 7:30, I don't know what I would have done.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the 300th Unique Curtis Granderson card in my collection:
2002 Bowman Chrome Draft #BDP71 Curtis Granderson Rookie Card

Yes, I've been hyping this card over the last week because I knew that it was something special. It is the most desirable Curtis Granderson base rookie card. It will be the subject of a full post in the next edition of my Ultimate Checklist.

With the comments as evidence, nobody guessed the card correctly. In fact, until Dinged Corners' post, nobody had guessed a card that wasn't from 2009! I would like to point out one thing: Per my clues, and link to my collection, anything from 2009 Topps, Upper Deck and Heritage are out, because I already have cards from those sets. 2009 Goudey, Piece of History and Finest were all solid guesses. However, Dinged Corners looked outside the box and chose something from an earlier year. Not only that, but they chose a Bowman brand--2006 Bowman Heritage as a matter of fact! That's pretty good stuff, if I do say so myself. Interestingly, I have cards from 2006 Bowman Heritage, but had them mislabeled in my collection as 2005 cards. So, Congratulations to Dinged Corners for winning their first choice of prize in this contest and thanks for helping me set my collection straight. Let me know which item you would like in the comments.

As for Part 2, it was a very close battle. My finishing time in today's race was 1:15:18. This came down to Mark of Mark's Ephemera who guessed 1:12:30 (2:48 off) and Greg of Night Owl Cards who guessed 1:17:27 (2:09 off). I'd like to thank both of you for giving me more than my due credit, as this was the fastest race that I've ever run pace-wise. The rest of you put in guesses that were closer to what I was expecting (low 1:20s), although flash, I'm disappointed that you thought a 3+ hour 10 miler in the stars. So, congratulations to Greg for winning 2nd prize in a nail-biter. You will receive whichever prize Dinged Corners doesn't accept.

Thank you to everyone who participated in this contest. I just thought it would be a little something fun to do and I hope the winners enjoy their prizes. Have a good night everyone!

Card Contest--Get Those Guesses In!

Come on people, this is an easy contest. You should enter even if you don't care about the prizes--I can send you something else instead. Deadline is 8pm tonight.

So get to it and make a guess!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Weekend Contest: Card Giveaway

UPDATE 6:15 am: Leaving for the race. Get those guesses in and I'll announce a winner this evening when I get back to Baltimore. You may guess up until then, so go for it!

I'm moving and motivated to clear some space, so why not lighten the card load a bit?

Here's the contest, it comes in two parts:

1. Card #300 is here. Guess what it is.
2. Guess my finishing time in tomorrow's race.

Here are your clues:
1. I do not have any Curtis Granderson cards from the set that #300 is from. (Browse My Collection)
2. Tomorrow's race is 10 miles. The last distance race was my well publicized battle royale with Hideki Okajima.

The Rules:
You must submit a guess for BOTH parts. The closest guess in each part wins a prize. How can you get a close guess on a card, you might ask? I will be the judge of that, but it will have something to do with a year/brand combo. There are two prizes, and can be up to two winners. You do not need to get both answers right to win.

The Prizes:

Prize #1 is a wonderful Curtis Granderson card that I have two of.

Prize #2 is an assortment of very unique 1989 Topps cards. I guarantee that these are nothing like the regular Topps cards, and I have shown you two of them as an example. I have somewhere between 6 and 10 and the winner gets them all. Stars like Kirby Puckett, Mark McGuire and Will Clark are among the highlights.

Whoever has the best guess for the card #300 will get the prize of their choosing. The best guess on my race time will receive the other prize. UNLESS somebody's guess is within 1 minute of my actual finishing time, in which case they will get their first choice of prize, because that is impressive.