Grand Cards: September 2010

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Trading, de facto style

Hey "the market", would you like to trade cards?

Sure, what have you got?

I'll trade you this

and this

for this

Uh, ok. I guess. I mean two is better than one

And $13.

Like, I pay you $13?


That seems kind of excessive.

It sure does, but here we are.

[hands over card and cash]


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tigers Gallery & Review: 2010 Topps Tribute

I know how you people work. You like your card porn. Image after image of autographs and jerseys and the like. Well fine. I'm changing the format of these galleries so that you can have all the instant gratification I can offer. For the continued thoughtful and clever analysis, you'll have to read on after the jump.

Base Set

#3 Ty Cobb

#19 Jim Bunning

#22 Al Kaline

#48 Hank Greenberg

#65 Miguel Cabrera

#81 Ty Cobb (T-205)

Game Used & Autographs

#TR-AK Al Kaline

#TR-GK George Kell

#TR-HG Hank Greenberg

#TR-HN Hal Newhauser

#TR-JBU Jim Bunning

#TR-MC Miguel Cabrera

#TR-TC Ty Cobb

#TAR-MCA Miguel Cabrera

#TAR-MS Max Scherzer

#TAR-MS2 Max Scherzer

#TAR-MS3 Max Scherzer

#TAR-MS4 Max Scherzer

#TAR-RP Rick Porcello

#TAR-RP2 Rick Porcello

#TAR-RP3 Rick Porcello

#TAR-RP4 Rick Porcello

#TADR-GK George Kell

#TADR-JE Rick Porcello

#TATR-MC Miguel Cabrera

#TTR-RP Rick Porcello

Read the full breakdown of this set after the jump

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Yeah I did




This comes courtesy of JD's Wildcardz's World Cup contest. Oh, and there was some more awesome stuff included as well. But before I get to that I'm going to mark my calendar for the sweet sweet arrival of...

Oh fiddlesticks. See you next year. After the season starts. Subtract six O's for delay of game. WOOOO! (Yeah, I'm still excited.)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Triple Threads Hits The Streets

You know what that means:

That's your future MVP Miguel Cabrera in a card that holds the tentative lead for "Worst Sentence Made Out of Jersey Pieces Ever" award. When I was zoomed out on this I thought that it was written in Chinese.

Oh, and this is just the first day for Triple Threads on eBay. I shudder to think of what the future might hold.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Things are looking a little different around here. What you're seeing is Grand Cards 2.0 Beta, which upgrades me to a template that isn't woefully obsolete to the point where my "Followers" disappear and everything is just crotchety and old. There is also a header, which I think I like, but may be tweaked still.

This is a work in progress, but for the moment I'll claim "Upgrade" on this and theatrically dust off my hands to indicate that my work here is done. "Beta" label will be removed once I make tweaks here or there.

Reader comments/critiques would be much appreciated.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I'll Be Waiting

Humph, December 26th seems like a long time to wait. But lo! The miracles of modern technology:
@topps_support: The Following 2010 Topps T206 Redemptions Will be sent out SOON: Cal Ripken, Dustin Pedoria, Rick Porcello, Shin Soo Choo

Soon sounds like October or so. SOON sounds like any day now which, awesome.

I'm glad that this was @topps_support and not that unreliable @toppscards fellow who spouts off with nonsense like this:
@GrandCards Sorry for the delayed response. The T206 hat cards (SPs) do have bronze and mini parallels.
@GrandCards Jackson may have been a redemption in T206. I know he signed late. I don't have the list yet.

Um, no. SP Minis and Bronzes and Austin Jackson autographs don't exist until I see one. Anywhere. Just one. If you need to send me these cards to prove their existence then so be it. So is Topps Support to be trusted, or am I stuck waiting for a card that is scheduled to arrive on the most anticlimactic day of the year to receive a gift?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A Dollar?!?!

I've been searching for this card for quite some time, rarely having seen it as regular eBay auction, and never as a "Buy It Now" for less than $8. Sure, it's an SP mini, but come on...

Suffice to say, it has been on my radar. In fact, it is the last 2009 206 mini card that I need for my team set, and I'm at the point now where I'm willing to overpay for it if I ever see it listed again.

Which it was.

Snatched from my clutches by a $1 Best Offer accepted by a seller who has no idea what this card is or what he's talking about. I mean hell, it "has some staining on the back." Of course it does. ALL of the cards from that set do, by design grumblegrumble.

Am I doomed to wait another six months for one of these to be listed again? For how long will that empty page burn a hole into my soul?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Should They Stay Or Should They Go?

Wow, has this whole "back to school" thing ever caught me off guard. It's only 9:30 and it is designated mental break time even though I've got a long way to go tonight, I'm afraid. Mental break, ho!

I won big in A Cardboard Problem's case break of 2010 Topps 206. In addition to a team set, a handful of Bronze and mini parallels and two, count 'em two autographs, I also came away with these:

2010 Topps 206 Ty Cobb Silk (#/50)

2010 Topps 206 #T2C45 Miguel Cabrera Gold Chrome (#/50)

That's four hits from that case for the Tigers. And here I am, about to look a gift horse in the mouth. Karma (cardma?) is going to come back and get me, I just know. Why? Because I kind of want to sell them.

It's odd, actually, because even with my draconian new collecting policies in which I only collect pre-designated items for specific collecting needs, things like "Silk" and "Mini" tend to pass muster. And, in fact, I find both of these cards to be pretty nice examples of both silks and minis. The problem, I think, lies with the alt ighty ollar. These card are semi-big hits that I wasn't going to chase down on my own. I could sell them and buy cards that I would have gone after, say, other Tigers autographs from T206. Or from A&G. Or any number of other mid-dollar value cards that I would prefer to have in my collection.

At the same time, would I regret selling them? I could chase down the rest of the Tigers from T206, only to find that I'd be only two cards away (A Cabrera Silk and a Cobb Gold) from a master set had I not sold. Would I regret not keeping them in that scenario? Can I summarily dismiss the silks and gold minis as unnecessary parallel subsets that I can ignore? Would I feel differently if these cards were not parallels, in the "they use the same picture as the regular card" sense of the word?

Probably, Maybe and Yes. I'm a bit OCD with card-set completeness, so completing the rest of the set and having only a silk or a gold to chase down is appealing and this gives me quite the head start. Which leads me to #2--If I sell them I can mentally separate the need to chase down silks and golds. To me they won't count. Like the stamp card that I'm not going after (unless I can find it really cheap...) Now, had Topps made these inserts and not parallels, maybe we'd be talking.

I don't know. What do you think? Are these cards worth keeping? If it was your collection, what would you do? What is your opportunity cost of keeping versus selling? Why do I keep going back and forth over this? Why do I have so much homework that needs to get done??

Any help would be appreciated.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Start of an Era

What were you doing 33 years ago today?

If you were a Tigers fan you were probably listening to Ernie Harwell describe the simultaneous debuts of a young Lou Whitaker and Alan Trammell in Fenway Park. Or you were one day away from reading about it in the newspaper. It was, unbeknownst to us at the time, the start of an era that included a World Series victory (1984) and the most prolific double-play partnership of all time.

I won't go into how Tram has been under-appreciated by Hall of Fame voters. I certainly won't talk about how Lou was criminally disrespected by the committee when he was booted off the ballot in his first year. Are they Hall of Famers? Maybe. This is neither the time or the place. Do they deserve consideration, discussion and respect beyond what they have received in retirement? Absolutely.

The cornerstones (yes, two) of the Tigers for eighteen years, starting 33 years ago today:

A big thanks to 30 Year Old Cardboard for pointing out this Anniversary to the rest of us!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A Checklist Per Day

I'm not going to say that this isn't a stupid idea. Note the current scenario:

1. A blog to which I am struggling to post as frequently as I would like
2. A work schedule that, in three month segments dating back a year, looks like this: slow, manageable, busy, utter chaos
3. Entering a graduate school program while still dealing with (2) full time and (1) as a hobby.
4. All that other stuff that you need to deal with in life.

But screw it, am I right? You only live once*

Anyway, here is the plan. Every day, from here until I am done, I will compile a complete checklist of Detroit Tigers from a particular set. The goal is to end up with a full checklist of all Tigers cards ever made. This should take me about a year to complete, give or take.

The caveat is that I will not be posting these checklists every day. Rather, I will put them together in my publicly-available google-docs spreadsheets. Then, over time, I will gradually convert them into the "Gallery Checklists" that you've all come to know and love.

This is a horrible idea for all the aforementioned reasons. It's also a great idea. It provides structure, eliminates that pressing weight of trying to do this but finding the task too daunting (b/c its too big), and lets me use this blog as a commitment device. We'll just have to see if it works and I can stick to it, and I think I'll be able to, honestly. Heck, I've already finished 1950, so let's just keep this train a'rolling.

After all, it's just one checklist per day.

*note how sad it is that I am equating "living" to the compilation of baseball card checklists.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Birdie and Hoot

A very quick post as I attempt to get back into the swing of things

We live in an information society. There is tons of information out there, available, for free, to anyone. The problem is sifting through it to find what is valuable. I've tried to do the sifting on behalf of Tigers card collectors and fans, but even I am only one person. That's why it's so great when I get emails like this:
I recently purchased 2 cards for my PC that you may want to add to the pictures for 2009 Legendary Cuts. You don't have a picture for the Birdie Tebbetts or Hoot Evers. I attached a picture of the Birdie Tebbetts I have coming in and the Hoot Evers is different than the one I am getting, but this one in on eBay right now. Just thought I would let you know in case you hadn't seen them.

That's from blog-reader Mike who also happens to have a mean collection of Tigers autograph cards. He is the embodiment of my dream-reader: "I read your blog and have some information that can help make it better. Here's some pictures." All blog writers should be so lucky.

Thanks to Mike, not only do I have two more cards to show anybody who is interested, but they are for players named "Birdie" and "Hoot," and really, who could ask for anything more?

2009 SP Legendary Cuts #LC236 Hoot Evers (#/20)

2009 SP Legendary Cuts #LC267 Birdie Tebbetts (#/20)

You can now find these cards conveniently added to the 2009 SP Legendary Cuts gallery (where there are many, many more holes to fill).

Friday, September 3, 2010

Programming Note

It's (almost) officially Labor Day weekend. Get away from your computers, get out of the house, BBQ, stay safe if facing hurricane conditions and come away refreshed and pleased with a 1-0 Michigan team for the first time in what feels like forever and/or a Tigers team that after burning through pitching like wildfire in yesterday's 13-inning win, rally to play some great ball against the Royals this weekend. Please (especially the first one).

Enjoy the holiday. I may or may not be active on twitter, in case you're dying to get little kernels of GrandCards wisdom. The blog is almost certainly shut down until Monday.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Quick Thoughts on 2010 T-206

This morning I watched about an hour of the Cardboard Problem case break for 2010 Topps T206, in which I have the Tigers cards bought and paid for. For the chunk of the video (2nd video) that I saw--approx 4 boxes of cards--here are some quick thoughts, ordered by what struck me the most:

  • Man, screw those non-baseball minis. Mini cards are one-per-pack and were the best non-"hit" part of 2009's T206 set. They were the only Tigers I chased down, as I was unimpressed by the full-sizers. They're still one-per-pack this year, except a bunch of random-ass non-baseball minis are also in there. This is bull. This is not Allen & Ginter and it's already hard enough putting together a team set at 1-per-pack. It took at least two boxes to pull a single Tigers mini. Ridiculous.
  • Bronze parallels. What is the point of these? Another one-per-pack insert, they are completely unnecessary and add nothing to the product.
  • BIG hits. There were some legit hits in this case, with the mini relic booklets standing out. The framed autographs and relics look fantastic again this year, although the white doesn't sing to me the way last year's blue did. I understand switching it up though.
  • "Big" hits. What's with the American Caramel autographs? They are awful. A landscape oriented card with a tiny picture and huge sticker autograph is a disaster for this product. What were they thinking? Sure, there were some good subjects (I saw a Duke Snider come from this case), but these are a poor effort.
  • Quality control. A handful of bronzes and minis had centering/cutting issues. Need to get cards in-hand to see how bad.
  • Yay me! I appear to have done well in this break. I saw a Max Scherzer auto pulled, and then a Brandon Inge cycle mini, and then...
  • ...A Clete Thomas autograph? Why was this ever produced? I'm not going to look a gift horse in the mouth, but come on. Clete Thomas has played in exactly zero games at any level this year after season-ending surgery in Spring Training. It is September. It is obvious that he hasn't played by the time these cards were being designed. He wasn't even on the prelim checklist! I don't know man. I like off-beat Tigers cards a lot, but if I had just bought a box of this and pulled Clete as one of my hits I'd be pissed.
  • Speaking of checklists, can I get some freaking Brennan Boesch? I mean WTF? I get an RC and autograph of Scott Sizemore, who played on the team for all of a month but I can't have the rookie phenom who helped carry the team in May and June? Last year it was no problem to sneak in Wilkin Ramirez, who had played all of two games, into this set, and now Topps stiffs me on Boesch...Again? How long will we have to wait? I'm not happy about checklist selection here.
  • I like the variations, the old-timer backgrounds and the no-hat motif. It give us something a little different, which is always nice. As minis, I'm sure these will look great. As full size? I was really unimpressed with the quality of the 2009 cards, so I'll need to get these in hand to really see how they are.
In all, I think that you will do right by T-206. I really think that the autographs and relics are worth the price of admission and rival their beloved Allen & Ginter counterparts. Topps needs to be careful though. This already screams "A&G Lite," and I don't like the direction they've started going with the non-baseball subset in the minis. As a team collector, watching this break reminded me why I don't really buy packs/boxes any more. I saw pack after pack of no Tigers and no Tiger minis (until a little run later on), until every now and then when a multiple-Tiger pack would rear its head. Too much chance for me. I'll just go onto eBay and buy what I want, thank you very much. Of course, that is exactly what I'll do with this set once I see what I'm missing.