Saturday, June 20, 2009

Trades, Trades, Trades, Trades and Gift?

This week was hella great for mail at the Troll compound! I got 3, count ‘em 3 packages this week, all chock full o’ Rays stuff, plus some Heritage cards from my lists. The culprits? Well, The Easy Life, Night Owl, The Great Orioles Autograph Project and Roll Out The Barrel. I didn’t link any of those names, because they are all listed to your right on the blog roll, don’t be lazy! Anyway, those add up to 4. There was one more package. It lacked a return address (but the zip code was 19118-in the heart of Philadelphia) and it contained this very cryptic message: The message was typed and unsigned. If you can’t read the scan, the gist of the memo was that the sender likes this blog, but doesn’t like the Rays and is sending a bunch of awesome cards without expecting anything in return. Cool.
Here is what the mysterious Philadelphian sent me.
There were 4 cards in the parcel. Each one was carefully packed in a penny sleeve, then a top-loader. It was a padded envelope. Tells me the mystery man (or woman) actually did care about these cards.
First is a 2007 Topps Co-Signers dual-autographed card of (Devil) Rays prospects at shortstop, Joel Guzman and Ben Zobrist. Joel Guzman is now a third baseman, he came to the Rays in the Julio Lugo deal. He was a shortstop at the time, but his power suggested a move to a corner position. He hit 20 homers for AAA Durham last year and he’s playing for the AA Harrisburg Senators presently. Zobrist, on the other hand, was also cast as shortstop at the time of this card. He’s made it to the big leagues at that position a few times. Now, with the injury to Akinori Iwamura, he’s become the Rays full-time second baseman, while still playing right field on occasion. He’s leading the AL in slugging percentage right now, and his offensive numbers are both surprising and astounding. He’s hitting .302 with 14 homers. I’d say he panned out as a prospect. This is incidentally, my first autograph of both Guzman and Zobrist.
The next card is a 2007 Topps “All Star Game Stitches” card of Carl Crawford. It has sweet swatch o’ orange batting practice jersey on it. It looks like CC is heading to his third All Star Game next month.
There is another CC jersey card, this time a 2007 Upper Deck Essential Elements dual-swatch jersey card. This is the first EE card I’ve seen; I really like the design with the pic in the center and the two-tone, classy background.
Rounding out the mystery package is yet another jersey card, this one being a 2004 Upper Deck USA Baseball, card # GU-GG, of current Rays right fielder Gabe Gross. It is numbered 436/850 and has a blue jersey swatch on it behind a die-cut star. This is only my second Gross card and my first super premium one. This card is from long before Gross became a Ray, but I’m glad to take these off of your hands mystery person.
I hate to look at gift horses, but the anonymity of this is driving me crazy. The zip code and hatred of the Rays are the only clues I have, help!!! As a note to all concerned parties, I recognized the potential danger of postal terrorism and opened this package with the proper safety gear on. No white powder visible and the cards were decontaminated before scanning.
Oh, thanks for all the rockin’ cards mystery guy or gal!
Go Rays!
PS. I will post the actual trades, too.

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