If there is anyone who reads this blog and has been reading it for a while, you know the horrible things that happen when I attempt to make a trade with Captain Canuck, author of the finest blog North of the border-Waxaholic. It isn’t that we can’t make a deal, no we get along just fine. I know that he likes cards of guys with first names like Chipper and last names like LaRoche and he’s a sucker for anyone in a Braves jersey. He knows I am a sucker for Rays cards and he actually remembers the players I collect. Should be the perfect situation right? Wrong. Our first trade became a matter of International security at a level similar to the outbreak of Peruvian Flute Bands. He had sent me an extremely SUSPICIOUS package filled with old wax packs and Tampa Bay Rays cards. Naturally the good folks at border patrol wanted to protect me (an innocent American) from this crazed Canadian Terrorist, so they knifed open the package and sliced the contents of it. The gum was removed from the wax packs and several of the cards were cut up pretty bad. Shawn Riggans was the worst victim, but I can’t find that original scan, so you will just have to imagine a Rookie card of the young Rays catcher with an X cut into it. The next package that he sent arrived unscathed and unopened. It did take nearly a month to travel 2000 miles (or so) though. The package was awesome, the contents of it were awesome and everything was in tact. Yay! As soon as it arrived, I tore the package open, starting crossing cards off my list and scanning the contents of the package. I was psyched to have an incident free package from the Captain; I may or may not have done a little happy dance in my dining room. What I did do was start scanning and I began with the pack-hit, a 2008 Allen and Ginter Jersey Relic of Carl Crawford. This was especially cool because Paul (an American) from the Carl Crawford Cards blog had sent me a Crawford bat relic from the same series and now I had a matched pair! I also had the base card, the mini, the black-bordered mini and now, two relics. This gave me the Carl Crawford 2008 Allen and Ginter nonafecta (is that correct?). I was thrilled! After it was scanned, I grabbed for the next card from Captain’s package and then heard a crash followed by my computer going black… Fudge! I ran outside (via the porch) and looked out (down) and saw that a pick-up truck had crashed into a telephone pole on my front lawn. Temporarily forgetting about my package, I ran downstairs to check on the driver of the truck. She was okay. Her truck was pretty okay, too, but she managed to cut two telephone poles in half. We called the police, Power Company and Phone Company. I was glad the driver was okay, but the damage was pretty incredible and it looked pretty cool up close. I went back upstairs to grab my Nikon D60 (product placement in blogs!) and returned back to the mess downstairs. The driver was on the phone with her boss as she was driving a work truck. I got on the phone; too, I called my editor at the newspaper. He said it wasn’t a story, but he would put a picture in the local section of the paper, he told me what it would pay and I quickly snapped my phone shut. I couldn’t post a trade, but I could make some easy money and go buy a box of cards! Every cloud has a silver lining! I surveyed the scene, the lighting and started to compose a shot, but when I went to snap the shutter I realized that the battery was dead. Fudge! My charger can do a quick charge in 5 minutes, but the power was out. Fudge again! I went upstairs anyway to see if my backup camera body might have some juice to it. It took me about 5 minutes to find it (the Troll casa is a little cluttered…) but it had power. I added a memory card, lens and flash and trotted back downstairs. The police had arrived at the scene by now. As I walked towards the wreck, camera in hand, a police officer with a megaphone, yes a megaphone shouted at me “Sir, go back in your home, this is a crime scene!” I wanted to make some money, plus there actually was some damage to my yard and I needed pics for the insurance company, plus I was feeling just a little bit feisty… “It’s not a crime scene, it’s my yard” I explained as I still walked towards the truck. He repeated his message through his megaphone even though I was only 5 feet away from him. “Okay, it might be a crime scene, but I pay a mortgage and taxes on this crime scene” I insisted. He threatened to arrest me for interfering with a crime scene and faked like he was calling for back up. There were two other officers there, but they weren’t paying attention to us. We went back and forth with this for a while, he with his mega phone and increasing profane language, me with my insistence that as a homeowner and a member of the press, I had every right to be there. Finally, he threw down his megaphone and got in my personal space; he pushed me a little and threatened me. He also claimed what he would do to me if I didn’t leave his crime scene. It involved my camera being shoved somewhere post-mortem. I didn’t want to give up, but I didn’t wanna deal with the abuse or confrontation either. Plus no one was doing anything at the “scene”, just watching the two of us argue, and I really wanted the power to go back on. I thanked him for keeping the streets safe and went back upstairs empty handed. I called my editor and told him everything. He said not to worry about the photo, the local editor already had something planned for the space anyway. He did want the cop’s name and car number, which I gladly provided for him. I was still pissed off. I sat down in my chair and stared at my blank computer screen, it was August in Florida and it was way over 100 degrees outside and getting hotter every second inside. No power, no picture, no money, no blog, no computer, no A/C, and today was Friday which is my only afternoon with no school and now it was wasted. I went out on my back porch to read a book and I brought my camera with me. I slapped on a telephoto lens and took some distant shots of the wreckage and also took some shots of the lazy cop who threatened me who was now sitting in a folding chair beside his car. I glared at him and snapped away in spite. Anyway, back to the trade… We had traded twice and both times law enforcement somehow got involved. This was a unique case that seemed to only happen to me when trades with the Captain were involved. Then, yesterday, I got two packages in the mail, both from Canada and both arrived unopened and both got here in aboot (intentional misspelling) a week. As a side note, the Captain always addresses the package with my name and the wife's, too. Nice touch. Could the curse be lifted? I hoped so, but I wasn’t gonna risk it by waiting. I am not going to allow an incident to occur before I post this trade. So, if anyone is still with me, here is the latest trade, the third times a charm trade, sent all the way from the great white north, courtesy of Captain Canuck and the Waxaholic blog:
We will start with two gold looking Bowman cards of two of my favorite Rays, Carlos Pena and Carl Crawford. I have not purchased any Bowman this year. Last year it was kind of boring and I just didn’t get excited about it this year, but judging from what I have got in trades, it’s pretty cool. I had already had the black versions of these cards, now I have the gold and wait… He also sent blue versions! I like these. It’s a North Carolina, Kansas City Royals kind of powder blue on the border, and they are serial numbered to 500. Cool. I believe that there are also orange versions with lower numbers and refractors in each color. Is that correct? He sent over some more Bowman, too, but I want to get through this post before the Apocalypse. The Cap’n once took a bite out of my Jason Bartlett player collection sending 10+ cards of JB. Some were dupes, but all were appreciated and two of them were cards that I didn’t even know existed. I LOVE the look of the Topps Turkey Red cards. Last month I received my first Gomes TR card and also got my RED Turkey Red card of Carl Crawford. Perhaps someone can enlighten me on the color differences-red vs. gray? Are there any other colors of the Turkeys? If not, I now have JB covered with a Red and Gray Turkey Red card of JB as a youngster on the Twinkies wearing number 88. Awesome! He also sent two 2008 Topps cards of Bartlett. The scan is weak and doesn’t show it, but one card has his name in gold and the other one shows it in silver. The last JB card I will show is from 2009 Upper Deck Series 2, card #893. The back of the card explains how Bartlett became known as the “Taco Bell Kid” when he stole a base in game 1 of the World Series. Cool. Lately my fellow bloggers have been super generous in jump starting my new player collections of Brian Roberts, Jonny Gomes, Pat Neshek, Larry Doby and Roberto Clemente. I have a bunch of cards that I need to post, but trust me; the blog-o-sphere is taking good care of me. One player that I collect, actually the first player that I ever collected is Danny Tartabull. I don’t know why, but the first time I saw him play back in 1985 or ’86, he instantly became my favorite player. Maybe it was seeing someone the size of a linebacker playing second base. I don’t know. I do know that I chased his cards for years and I still have a binder with over a thousand Bull cards. I blogged about early in my blogging career and I think the Captain was the only person not related to me who read the blog back then. And yes, he sent me about 15 Tartabull cards which I truly appreciate. I think that I have every card ever made of him from his minor league career up until 1988. After that, it gets shaky and I have very few cards of him in the 90’s. The Captain sent a bunch, but the cards that I will show are his 1986 Topps Traded Rookie card, card 108T. Reading his stats on the back, Tartabull hit .300/43/109 with a .650 SLG% in AAA in 1985 in only 125 games. That earned him a call up and he hit .328 for the Mariners-all the while playing second base. Amazing! The game winning RBI was the stat of the mid-eighties and Bull had 50 game winning RBI in his minor league career. Not too shabby. After the Mariners, he moved on to the Royals, as shown here on the 1992 Topps Stadium Club. After that, he signed a huge contract and played in NYC for the Yankees as shown on this 1993 Bowman card. Here is another Yankees card, this time a 1994 Score. It was around the time that he signed with the Yankees that I stopped following Bull’s career, I had actually stopped buying cards in 1991 when my son, Zadeh was born. I really didn’t like seeing him as a Yankee and I blame that organization for ruining his career. As the year’s past and he signed with the White Sox in the mid 90’s, I became a fan again. I finally met him (which was a disappointment) but I did begin to respect and appreciate him as a player once again. I do enjoy super collecting Tartabull-I said this about Quinton McCracken the other day, but Bull was in his prime long before the age of relic cards, but if any do exist, I would love to get my hands on one! Thank you Captain, again, for the awesome Tartabull cards and everything you have sent me, this time and the last, two. You are one of the first people I met (cyber-style) in the blog-o-sphere and I think you were the first person to actually read one of my posts all the way through. I know you were the first to comment and I really appreciate that! Thank you sir!
Before I end this post, which admittedly has gotten longer than even I had imagined…I wanted to state publicly that I did something over the past two weeks that I have never done before. I did it because I love baseball, I hate the Phillies and I have absolutely no feelings for the Colorado Rockies. Maybe I did it because bloggers like the Captain, dayf and McCann Can Triple are rubbing off on me somehow. The Marlins (Floridians Unite!) were out of it and I got caught up in the emotions of the playoff hunt, the stretch run and their September hot streak, plus I love an underdog. I hope that my Mother is not reading this because I am not proud. I did it in the memory of Johnny Sain and Lew Burdette. I did it because the Rockies embarrassed the NL in 2007. I did it because the Phillies embarrassed the Rays in 2008.
I ROOTED FOR THE ATLANTA BRAVES!!!!
And they let me down and I will probably never do it again. I am glad to get that off of my chest, it’s been eating me up inside.
Okay, now I can end this post and rest easy this weekend. I do want to send a huge thank you to Captain Canuck of the Waxaholic Blog. I have really enjoyed every trade that we have done, even with the card slicing, it has still been fun. This last trade, being incident free, has been especially special. There are cards en route to you, I hope they make it safe and arrive sometime in 2009. I also wanted to thank everyone who has traded with me or sent me cards. They are greatly appreciated and I will eventually post everything. I would also like to thank anyone who reads this post or any of my posts for that matter, I know they are long and pointless, but this is therapy for me and I appreciate everyone playing along. Since I have admitted to rooting for the Braves, I am planning on a post to reveal a deep, dark secret of mine. It will be about a certain major market team that I rooted for in the mid-to late 1980s. I may also explain one of the reasons why I really hate the Red Sox. There is a big Derby bout this Saturday in Tampa! I will be there, so will the Bombers. We intend to Whip It Good! Go Bombers! Go Angels! Go Rays! Sign Akinori! Troll out.