Okay, I am back to posting trades, I am still behind by about 10 trades and I have a whole bunch of new goodies to show off, plus I know that more trades are on their way. Anyway, for those concerned, I did get my car running. I am not the world’s best mechanic, but I am way to cheap to pay someone else to fix my car, plus I have owned this Jeep for 15 years and everything under the hood is totally rigged and a real mechanic would likely have a heart attack if they saw it. It was dark before I declared the job complete, but it seemed to run fine with no leaks. The true test will be tomorrow driving in morning traffic… I had thought that game 163 was tonight and I was pretty excited because I had the night off. It wasn’t, Monday night football instead, which I did actually watch and it was a really good game. I didn’t care who won, but it kept this novice football fan interested, so I enjoyed it. The trade today is from my buddy in South Florida, Mr. Wicked Ortega-the author of the “My Past Time, I Love It!” blog. He now has two blogs, both with the same name. One is on word press for his player collections and trades and the other is on BlogSpot for his autograph memorabilia collections. Do yourself a favor and follow and read both of them. This trade with Wicked is actually 3 trades and from what I understand he has a fourth package on its way to me, so I better get caught up. The history between Wicked and me goes something like this. I had posted a Dontrelle Willis relic card as trade bait a while back and got zero takers. I had been a big fan of the D-Train back when he was on the Marlins and I figured that if no one wanted it, I would add Dontrelle to my player collection list. He has a ton of cool cards out there and given his current status, they are pretty damn sweet, so I figured why not. I put together a post to declare myself a D-Train collector and Wicked read it and got in touch. He basically said Dontrelle was his guy and the blog-o-sphere wasn’t big enough for the both of us. He was kidding obviously, but I considered his statement. I could ignore him and try and grow my collection beyond the 5 cards that I had or I could give in. I checked out his blog and realized that he already several hundred Willis cards and I decided that he had me beat in the dedication department. I sent him my 5 five Dontrelle cards and a few other players from his list. He collects Will Clark, Luis Tiant, Big Papi, Manny Ramirez, Hanley Ramirez, Dan Uggla and all of the Marlins, too. He completed his end of the first trade and I was pretty happy with what I got. Then he posted a few cards as trade bait that I wanted badly. I had already sent him all the cards that I wanted to give up. The only thing left that I had that he needed was my Josh Johnson collection. Once again, I gave in and sent those to him, too. He now owns every single Marlins (my second favorite team) card that I had. That’s okay, because as you will see I got some pretty damn nice cards in return and I feel better being more focused on the Rays and the few other players that I collect. On a different topic, I am pretty bummed that no Florida teams are in the playoffs. I do think that the Fish surprised a lot of folks this year. They got off to a pretty bad start and no one thought they would contend and they did. With their pitching staff, their infield solidified with Nick Johnson and if Chris Coghlan can build on his rookie year, they will be a team to watch in 2010. I would love a Citrus Series next October that would be awesome! Okay, so back to the trading. I don’t recall which cards came in which packages, but these are the highlights from all three of them.
He sent a bunch of black bordered O-Pee-Chee. He must have ripped a lot of this. I opened up two blasters before I decided that I just didn’t like this set. I love the player inclusion on it, though. The fact they included players like Gabe Gross, Willy Aybar, Dan Wheeler, Gabe Kapler and Jason Isrinhausen. That is awesome. I love the non-glossy fronts and the complete stats on the back, but the photography is really awful. Bad photos, boring poses, just blah. That said, of course I wanted all the Rays. Wicked completed my team set and he did it mainly with black-bordered cards which is pretty darn cool. He also sent a few regular ones, too, including my favorite Jason Bartlett. There will be more JB cards at the end of the post, just a warning.
I had decide a while back that I wanted to chase all the Gold Rays cards from this years Topps set, I really love that set, especially series 2. I had kind of forgotten about that goal, but Wicked sent me two cards towards it. From series one, a posed spring training shot of Longo and Price and from series 2 a nice action shot of Matt Garza. This year I haven’t cared two much for any products not made by Topps, but that wasn’t the case last year. I loved the 2007 and 2008 UD Masterpieces. He sent along the Longoria from 2008, along with the sweet Carl Crawford that is totally new to me.
Another 2008 card that I needed was this A&G mini of “Big Game James” Shields. He looks all tough in this shot, I love it! It’s a Ginter back, too, bonus! As soon as I finish up the 2009 (4 cards left, now) I plan on jumping into the 2008 set. I have a hobby box on its way and I can’t wait!
A while back I posted my player collection want lists on the side bar of this blog. A few folks have responded and started off my Pat Neshek and Brian Roberts collections, quite a few people have sent me Jonny Gomes cards, but Wicked was the first to send me a Larry Doby. Over the years I have owned many Doby cards-Topps from the early 50s, etc. These are long gone, I miss them and I hope to replace them someday. I was really psyched to finally have a card in my Doby collection, thanks so much for this Wicked! I wish it was a 1952, but I am just glad to have a card of this Legend. This one is from the 2001 Fleer Traditions set. It is card #8 of 25ST. It has a short bio on the back and the Newark Eagles logo on the back, SWEET!
I didn’t even realize that Upper Deck put out A Piece of History this year. I haven’t seen any wax anywhere, but I haven’t really been looking either. Wicked included a couple of these, but this is my very first Mitch Talbot card. Mitch won 13 games in the minors in 2007 and 2008. This year he spent a lot of time rehabbing and not too much time pitching, but he did earn a September call up to the big club. I really wanted to get this out to him for a TTM attempt, but I was late on the draw, there is always next year.
Sticking with 2009 Upper Deck he sent along a handful of cards from this years X series. I didn’t really care for this and didn’t rip any, I don’t think Alfredo liked it either, but he got a blaster and shared his wealth. I think I have all of the Rays covered now, I was missing the Longoria and now I have die-cuts of both Crawford and Upton. He included a penny sleeve with a couple of 2009 Ginter minis in it. They weren’t Rays, but minis are cool regardless. I don’t actually remember who the first 4 cards were of, but sandwiched in the middle was this Inventions of the Future card. AWESOME! I think that this was one of the secret insert sets that weren’t on the checklist; it is definitely the first one that I have seen anywhere. This is the clock defier, card #F12. The back has a checklist of the other 4 cards in the set. I kind of wish that it had some info on this clock defier because I am intrigued. Of course I would love the other 4 cards in the set, but I don't wanna set my sights too high...
Okay, there are two more cards that I will post out of the three packages that I received from Mr. Ortega and as I generally do, I saved the best for last. He had picked these two cards up at his local card with me in mind, but he posted them under the title trade bait. Perhaps checking to see if I read his blog or maybe just to make me drool. Well, either way, I read his blog every day and I drooled quite a bit when I saw these cards. We were able to work out a deal pretty quickly, this was the deal that discontinued my collection of Josh Johnson, but that is okay, it was totally worth it…Anyone who reads this blog knows that my number one favorite player is the Tampa Bay Rays shortstop, Jason Bartlett. Carl Crawford, Jonny Gomes, Scott Kazmir and Carlos Pena are close 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th, but Bartlett is the man. One of the original main focuses of this blog (of course I got sidetracked) was for me to grow my Bartlett collection. I have probably pulled off more than 50 or 60 trades and I still have less than 20 JB cards. I guess there just aren’t that many cards of him out there. Prior to this trade I owned 1 relic of Bartlett, it’s a triple relic and he shares space with Luis Aparicio and Rafael Furcal, I also had one autograph that came from Roll out the Barrel last month. The last category grew by 2 with this trade. Wicked Ortega found (and sent) me not one, but TWO Jason Bartlett rookie autographs. These are seriously sweet and shiny cards, both with very nice black ink sigs. The scans really don’t these justice at all. Trust me, they are awesome! The first is a 2004 Upper Deck Etchings Rookie Autograph of JB. It has a serial number on front, 578/700, right below a portrait shot, which is above the sig. The card’s design is pretty nice with the bronzy/gold color and the baseballs framing the corners.
The next is from 2004, too. This one is a Leaf Certified Cuts Rookie Auto. I don’t really like the design of this one too much, but it is a freaking Bartlett auto, so its still one of my favorite cards. It has a fairly low serial number (on the back) of 071/100 with a short bio and his AA stats. The part of the design that I dislike is that the auto sticker cuts right through the full length posed shot of the player in the corner, that’s just a bad design. It’s still a super sweet card and now I own 3 Bartlett autos, woo hoo! My goal is now to pick some relics and autos of him in a Tampa Bay Rays uniform. I think 2010 might be the year that the card companies begin to notice guys like Bartlett, Aaron Hill, Pablo Sandoval, Adam Jones and… Well, I can’t think of anyone else right now, but there are a bunch of quality players that are consistently overlooked. Anyway, HUGE thanks go out to my buddy Wicked Ortega for hooking me up. It's hard to believe that a Dontrelle Willis card started our friendship, but I am so glad it did! He just posted the last package that I sent his way (more Willis cards included), which means I have a new one coming soon. The Rays are my team and this is my hobby and I LOVE IT!!! Thanks so much Wicked, Go Rays! Go Twins! Oh, I nearly forgot… I have stooped work tomorrow night, so I will be limited to watching the highlights of the game after work, which really stinks. I am pretty confident that the Twins will take care of business, but if not, the Tigers ain’t so bad either. I do have a contest challenge for the Tigers fans out there, if they actually read this post all the way through. Post a comment with your prediction of the score. I think the Twins are gonna win myself, but if I am wrong, I will reward the Tigers fan who can come closest to the final score with a Tigers relic card, how’s that for a challenge? Comment here. Sorry Twins fans, don’t mean to leave you out, but if you make the playoffs that is a prize in itself, plus there will be a contest prize for whatever team knocks off the Yankees. Okay, bedtime, school tomorrow. I really hope the car doesn’t explode. Troll out.