Saturday, October 31, 2009

Seven of the Best EVER!

Happy Halloween Blog-O-Sphere!!! Getting ready to head off for makeup so we can participate in Bradenton’s first ever Zombie Bridge Walk… No time for words, but here are a few wonderful cards that came courtesy of Wicked Alfredo Ortega of the My Past Time! Blog. You will have to do your own research, but trust me when I say, these are 7 of the greatest individuals ever to play the game of baseball…All are Hall of Famers, but one and he belongs there. All are instant favorites and new highlights of my collection. If anyone has cards of any of these fine individuals, they are always welcome here! Thanks Wicked!
Roberto Clemente. John “Buck” O’NeillJosh Gibson. Satchel Paige.James “Cool Papa” Bell. Larry Doby. Buck Leonard. Thanks again Alfredo! Happy haunting to all! Troll out.

Friday, October 30, 2009

More Goodies From Roll out the Barrel and Democratic Roadkill aka Aki and Goodwin's Mania!!!!!

The last two posts I have made have been Brian Roberts cards courtesy of Roll out the Barrel and a plethora of Ginter minis from Democratic Roadkill. I am gonna kill two birds with one stone and post up a few of the other cards they sent my way… First off a fun-sized Goodwin’s Champions card of former Rays Ace, Scott Kazmir. The blog-o-sphere has been very, very kind in sharing their Goodwin’s Rays cards with me. Beardy, Cobb and Halladay, Democratic Roadkill, My Past Time, JDs Wild Cardz, Padrographs and Roll out the Barrel have all hooked me up with Goodwin’s a plenty… In fact, other than funky variations that I don’t really know about, I think I have every card except Evan Longoria and Carl Crawford. I have every regular mini except for CC, Pena and James Shields, but, thanks to CaH, I have sweet foil cards of them. Not too bad considering that I haven’t ripped ANY Goodwin’s at all… Anyway, here is the cloudy Kazmir and if anyone has Carl Crawford or Evan Longoria to spare, send em my way! These two Aki minis came from Democratic Roadkill. He knows how much I love the Rays speedy second baseman. I think I have shown these minis before, so how about a shot of the back of the card? He didn’t stop with the minis though, he added along a Goodwin’s full sized card for good measure. I do like the look of these cards. It is weird to me because that is a really old picture of Aki used in the rendering and the background, although cool and old timey, just doesn’t make sense for a player who plays in a dome. Anyway, Aki Rules and these are fancy and cool looking cards. Speaking of fancy-Duane added in a 4th Goodwin’s Aki card in the package! This one is from the memorabilia series and has a sweet gray swatch in the shape of an M on the front. I guess that the M stands for memorabilia? It obviously doesn’t stand for Aki or Rays, maybe TaMpa Bay? I don’t know, but I like it! I am terribly nervous that the Rays are not going to resign Iwamura, which would be tragic. He was a huge part of their rebuilding effort and their success in 2008. He is unmatched defensively at both 2nd and 3rd base, he’s just too valuable an asset to let slip away and I know the Dodgers, Marlins and Mariners are all seriously interested and so are their fans. I can’t go a whole post without including a Carl Crawford card and I do LOVE these Carolina blue Bowman’s! This is a 2009, card #149 and is serial numbered 437/500. Okay, I am going to show one last card from Duane for now. I still haven’t unveiled the surprise he sent in the last package and no one has guessed what it was, here is the hint again. With all these awesome cards I am showing, you would think these are it, but it actually gets even better! I had horrible luck with 2009 Allen Ginter. I had fun putting together the set, but I bought way too many blasters and didn’t pull many relics at all. I didn’t even realize that BJ had a relic in there, but here it is! I really liked his base card this year with the yellow background, but it is very cool that they had a totally new pose for this relic. Thanks so much Duane, your kindness is mind-blowing!
Now, back to Ed… This last trade we did he sent me stuff that I was just getting to pass along to someone else. I asked him for Grady Sizemore cards to use as trade bait and he delivered! Having so many cool and different Grady cards I almost thought of keeping them and starting a new collection, but I did the right thing and moved them on to a proper fan… He did include something awesome for me, though, so this greedy card hoarding Troll was happy. It was actually my first ever Matt Garza relic, from Upper Deck X. It is one of those cards where it says he is on the Tampa Bay Rays, but shows him in a Twins uniform. I really don’t care much for those, but I was still excited to add a Garza relic to the old collection. I know have relics of three of their current starting five (Shields, Niemann and now Garza) which means I will be on the lookout for David Price, Wade Davis and/or Andy Sonnanstine. Anyway, Garza isn’t my favorite Ray on the team. I think it’s because of all of the spitting. I don’t care for that. He had a rough year this season in the win loss department, but actually pitched really well. His ERA was 3.95 (16th in AL) and his 189 strikeouts were good for 9th in the League, but his 8-12 just didn’t look too good. He did much better on turf this year (7-5) than he did on grass (1-7) and after the All Star break he didn’t have too many decisions, but was 2-5 when he did. He’s like BJ Upton though, you know he’s capable, you just wait for it. Last year Garza was the ALCS MVP and was untouchable against Boston. He was 2-0 with a 1.38 ERA in that Series and he Ked 25 Sox in 25 innings. I hope come Opening Day that the 2008 version of Matt Garza shows up to play. If that Garza is out there, I could almost excuse the spitting… Okay, that is all for now. I still have a number of things from DR that I still need to post and I probably have more from RotB, too. As often as I trade with both of these guys, I could conceivably have something in my mailbox tomorrow from either one of them. I will end this post with a little begging… If anyone has Aki cards from this year’s Goodwin’s Champions that I didn’t list here, I want them! I want to be an Aki completist for that set cuz I am so close. Also, my Carl Crawford list is up and is up to date. I seriously thought I was at 200 different cards of him, but unless I have card gnomes stealing them while I sleep, I only ever actually had 129. Much of what I am missing is base cards, so help a Troll out! The list is here: Speaking of links... I have started posting regularly on my ’78 Topps blog so please check that out and add it to your blog rolls if you would - I promise to catch up on new acquisitions one of these days. I still have some really awesome stuff to post from JDs Wild, My Past Time and Cobb and Halladay, plus more from Democratic Roadkill, plus my take on the World Series and a profile of young Wade Davis, so stay tuned! Thanks again ED and DUANE, you guys ROCK!!! Oh, and if you wondering about the card on the top of the post, that falls into the category of a wishlist card...Go Rays! Troll out.

Another Long Overdue Trade Post-B-Robs From Roll out the Barrel!!!

Yesterday I posted the Brian Roberts cards that Beardy had sent me, so today I will post the ones that Ed from Roll out the Barrel sent to me. I received both on the very same day (last month) but a coin flip decided which package would get posted first and Beardy won. Ed and I have swapped cards more than any other person in the world. I think we have done about 15 trades in less than 6 months. Every time I tell him that I am out of Brewers and I can’t trade anymore, more Brewers cards find me, they have a way of doing that. I actually have more un-posted cards from Ed, so getting these out of the way is a good thing, plus now that Roberts has his own spot in a new binder, I can’t wait to get these in there. This puts me over 27 cards and stretches the collection out onto a 4th page. When I posted the other B-Robs yesterday, I gushed about some of his stats, well, with the season over, they haven’t changed so I won’t repost his statistics, but I will say that this season, at 31 years old, he posted career highs in games, doubles, RBI and runs scored. Not too shabby. Anyway, for the sake of making this post quick so I can go to bed, here are my four favorite new B-Rob cards that traveled all the way from Wisconsin… I showed the 2009 version last night, here is the 2008-Upper Deck X card # 9. I really liked the Fleer Traditions card series. I like the little hat in the corner ala 1981 Topps and i like the action batting shot on this 2006 card, #116. Chrome makes every card look cooler including this 2008 Topps Chrome, card #89. Even though I have never bought a pack of this brand in my life, I do miss Flair. Those were some fancy and shiny cards. This one is from 2006, card #20. The last one is often the best and this is no exception. I posted my first B-Rob bat card yesterday; well this is my first B-Rob game worn jersey. It is from the 2009 A Piece of History set, it is card #FH-BR. It is actually the first Piece of History card that I have gotten that has a piece of anything on it, so that counts for something. The FH in the number stands for Franchise History and to celebrate that, the back of the card lists the team’s record the previous season. The Orioles didn’t have a great year this season, or in 2008. Something about seeing their 68-93 record all big and bold on the back of the card is both sad and funny to me. Thanks again Ed! You have come through again and again and again and I truly appreciate it! I am tracking down Brewers for you at this very moment. These cards are only half of what came in this particular trade, if you guessed that the other half was Rays cards, you would be correct and if you guessed that I will post them soon, you are once again correct! Thanks again for the trade, as always you rock! Go Rays! Go Roberts! Troll out.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

World's Biggest Hoaxes, Hoodwinks and Bamboozles, the Complete Set of 20.

As promised, here are the 2009 Allen & Ginter Hoaxes, Hoodwinks and Bamboozles set in its entirety. I pulled quite a few of these, but got caught up in the frenzy of trying to finish my set, which is done thank you very much. Anyway, I traded away every Hoax card that I pulled as soon as I pulled it, so I have to thank 3 people for making this happen for me. First, the Night Owl for delivering the final card, second the Hamiltonian for sending over 2 of them and sparking my interest in the set again. It was pretty easy for me to get sucked in to this one, the cards just look cool. The classic parchment color, the laid look of the smooth cardstock, the interesting stories behind each hoax; I wanted these cards because I actually wanted to read them. I did get to read them all and now I can share each and everyone one of them with the blog-o-sphere. I do have to send a HUGE THANK YOU to one final person - my buddy Duane from the Democratic Roadkill blog sent me a bunch of great stuff including 17 cards from this awesome set. He is desperately trying to find the final four cards he needs to finish the 2008 minis set, so check his blog out and see if you can help a blogger in need. Here we go, in order…
HHB1 Charles Ponzi. Yep, he is the swindler behind the scheme that bears his name that has come back in style of late. The Ponzi Scheme is scam that offers cash return to early investors, but the money comes straight from the pockets of later investors. He bilked unsuspecting folks for millions in 1920 and then spent a bit of time in prison.
HHB2 Alabama Changes the Value of Pi. This is straight from the back of the card… “In an internet proliferated parody of attempts to ban the teaching of evolution, the April 1998 issue of New Mexicans For Science reported that Alabama had voted to change the value of Pi from 3.14159 to the “Biblical value” of 3.0
HHB3 The Runaway Bride. In 2005 a crazy lady from Georgia faked her own kidnapping to avoid marrying a guy named John Mason. You got lucky dude. After a massive manhunt she surrendered to police and was sentenced to probation and community service.
HHB4 Idaho. I really wanted this card so I could read what the hoax was. I have been to Idaho and I eat potatoes that come from there on a regular basis, so I wondered how an actual state could be a hoax. Turns out that the hoax comes from the state’s name. Lobbyist George Willing convinced the US Congress that “Idaho” was a Shoshone Indian word for “gem of the mountains”. He eventually admitted that he just made up the word.
HHB5 The Turk. In 1770 a machine called “The Turk” was “invented”. This machine could play chess and the “machine” defeated many people including Benjamin Franklin and Napoleon Bonaparte. Turns out it was just a costume and there was a person inside it, but it was a person who was really good at chess.
HHB6 Enron. This shouldn’t need an introduction, but here goes… Enron had been a legitimate Houston based energy company before its bankruptcy in 2001. Then, it was found out that it operated almost solely on fraud and deception. The whole scandal brought down many, including the Arthur Anderson accounting firm.
HHB7 Anna Anderson. She claimed to be the long lost Grand Duchess of Anastasia. She wasn’t, but it wasn’t exposed until post-mortem DNA tests exposed her.
HHB8 Ferdinand Waldo Demara. This guy was a lot of things, but not really. He is the inspiration for the book “The Great Imposter” and the TV show “The Pretender”. Throughout his life Demara impersonated a surgeon, psychologist, prison warden, lawyer and a monk.
HHB9 San Seriffe. Britain’s “Guardian” newspaper created the island of San Seriffe as an elaborate April Fools day joke in 1977 when they published a 7 page history of the phony island.
HHB10. D.B. Cooper. This was the name given to the mystery man who hijacked a Boeing 727 in 1971 obtained a $200,000.00 ransom and parachuted from the plane never to be seen or heard from again.
HHB11. Wisconsin State Capital Collapses. Another April Fools Day prank, this one happened in 1933, complete with photos of the ruins and all. The Madison Capital Times newspaper ran this story as a joke saying the Capital fell after a gas leak caused an explosion.
HHB12. Victor Lustig. The man who sold the Eiffel Tower. He posed as a Parisian official and told the scrap metal company that it was too costly to maintain and had to be destroyed in 1925.
HHB13. The War of the Worlds. Good ole Orson Welles and his narration of the HG Wells novel on the air on Halloween night in 1938… One million Americans were convinced that the earth was being invaded by Martians. Read a book America!
HHB14. George Parker. Much like Vic Lustig, Parker was a business man who sold things that he didn’t own including a number of New York City landmarks, the most famous being the Brooklyn Bridge. The expression “And if you believe that, I’ve got a bridge to sell you” came from Mr. Parker.
HHB15 The Bathtub Hoax. In 1917 the New York Daily Mail published a fictitious history of the bathtub which is still repeated as the truth today. The story claimed that bathtubs were unacceptable by the populace until President Mallard Fillmore got on himself.
HHB16. The Cottingley Fairies. Again, in 1917, but this time in England, the news fooled the public. Two children were photographed with “fairies”. The photographer later admitted that the pictures had been faked and the fairies were cardboard cut-outs, but insisted that they had actually seen spirits.
HHB17. James Reavis. In the late 19th century, Reavis devised an elaborate scheme to attempt to prove that he owned the state of Arizona. He had false family diaries, deeds and a long family tree to attempt to substantiate his right to ownership.
HHB18. The Piltdown Man. For 40 years the discovery of bones in Piltdown, England were regarded as evidence of a new type of early man, but in 1953 they were found to be an amalgamation of human and chimpanzee bones.
HHB19. The Cardiff Giant. In 1869 workers digging a well in Cardiff, New York allegedly found the petrified remains of a 10-foot-tall man. It was actually made of gypsum and planted there by George Hull who hired the workers to unearth it.
HHB20. Cold Fusion. Had it been real, “cold fusion” may have provided the world with an inexpensive and plentiful source of energy. This was claimed by two scientists in 1989, but was later deemed impossible and an example of pathological science.
Well, there ya have it folks! Thanks to Allen & Ginter, you may have learned something today, I did. I love baseball cards, but I also love the way that A & G slip in a little history, some Americana and a bit of legend and pop culture into their card sets. This was a fun set to chase, I am glad it is done and I want to thank Duane from Democratic Roadkill once more for hooking me up with all of these neat little cards. I think Creatures of Myth, Legend and Terror may be my next stop… The main thing that I learned from this is that it has been far too long since someone has pulled off a real good hoax that didn't involve ripping people off. I am excited to be a part of the blog-o-sphere in April this year! This was an awful lot of scanning and uploading, so please spread the word that these are up. Gotta go to work, enjoy! Go Rays! Troll out.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Long Overdue Trade Post ~ B-Robs from Beardy!!!

I have spent the majority of the day and night, up till now, sorting, sorting and sorting cards some more and I do feel like I am making some headway. I had at least 50 different stacks spread out across my bedroom floor, but I feel much more organized already. I have all of my Topps cards in a binder, in order, year by year. Trying to figure out who is in each set, including the updates or traded set, is not an easy thing, but for now I am just putting one of every card I have for each year in the binder. 1999 is slim, 2000 is slim, too. I have about 4 different 2001 cards and not many more 2002’s. By 2003, I have 12 different and 2004 I have 27, which is everything, I think. I feel like I am getting close on 2007, I think I am done with 2008 and I am plugging away at 2009. I also started player binders and have pages filled up for Willy Aybar, Ben Zobrist, Dioner Navarro, Pat Neshek, Evan Longoria, David Price, Roberto Clemente and Brian Roberts. With that said, I am 4 lots behind on Brian Roberts trades alone and with my new self determined parameters, when a trade is received, it is filed in a box until scanned and posted and then and only then will it placed in the player collection binder. I titled this post “long overdue” and I wasn’t kidding, I think I received these cards in early September. It was kind of funny because on the same day I received two packages, each full of new B-Rob cards from two different sources. It was hard to pick which one to post first, so I flipped a coin and Beardy was tails, so here we go… Initially, when I declared myself a B-Rob collector, I was nervous that I would be stepping on Beardy’s toes, I had a long argument prepared, but when I sent him an e-mail nervously telling him I wanted to chase Roberts-his reply was along the lines of “Cool, good luck” and soon thereafter he sent me package with 11 new B-Rob cards including my first bat card of the All Star second baseman. My reasons for collecting Roberts are abundant. I have had a long history with him, from playing in the same organization, playing with him in amateur leagues, knowing his father as a coach for many years and also interviewing him on numerous occasions as I broke into journalism and he climbed the ladder with the Orioles organization. I can remember driving to North Carolina to watch him play in college when he was a shortstop; he was an amazing talent then and the hardest working amateur athlete that I had ever watched. When the Orioles grabbed him in the 1st round of the 1999 draft (50th overall) I was excited that we would be in the same organization. In 2000 he began his pro career in the Gulf Coast League with the Sarasota Orioles for 9 games before being bumped to their high A team. The next year he would be promoted to the Major Leagues and has been a staple of the Orioles infield ever since. He has represented the Orioles in the All Star Game twice and has twice paced the AL in doubles, this past season he set a record for most doubles by a switch hitter with 56. Despite playing for a last place team, Roberts continues to turn in all star numbers. Aside from leading the league in doubles this year, he was third in runs scored with 110, in the top-10 with 30 steals while batting .283, hitting 16 homers and driving in 79 runs as a lead-off hitter. Even more impressive to me is that he has spent the last 9 seasons with the same ballclub; he has been the only thing that Orioles fans can count on this past decade. Anyway, those are a few of the reasons why I am collecting B-Rob and here are some of the cards that Beardy sent me to get that collection going…Shown above (in order) are 2009 SPx #77, 2009 A Piece of History #8 and 2005 Topps #178. There are 10 years worth of Roberts cards out there in the World and I am making no effort to try and collect him with any type of completion, 10 years worth of cards probably translates into over 1000 different cards. Once the last 3 trades are binder ready, I should be up to 25 different cards. I would like to continue to add more, I would even like to chase some of his fancier cards, but by no means do I intend to be a completist and he will not be overtaking Carl Crawford, Akinori Iwamura, Jason Bartlett or Roberto Clemente as my primary target. Part of the appeal is that with potentially 1000 cards out there that I don’t have-many traders have more Roberts cards lying around than they have Rays cards and I am all about the trading! Anyway, back to the cards that Beardy sent… This postage stamp looking card is from the 2009 SP Legendary Cuts set, card #1 of Roberts who wears #1. I always like it when a leadoff hitter leads off a set. Next is another 2009, this one from the Upper Deck Icons set, card #13. Next is another Topps regular issue, from 2006, card #15. The back of the card talks about his evolution from “smurfish” leadoff hitter to an improbable power hitter in 2005 when he hit 18 homers. I have never been a fan of 2008 Topps, I think it is one of the most boring designs ever, but make the white background red (like they did for Opening Day) and it looks a whole lot better, this is card #157. I think I may have posted this one before, but I did it when I needed this card to finish off the base set of 2009 Heritage. Now I have an extra for the PC, card #419, horizontal…Here is another fancy card that I really like, from one of my favorite sets to get in trade, 2009 Topps Finest, card #29-it makes me really want the refractor now. That was the last of the base cards, so that means there is one card left and it is just a little bit thicker than the rest. From the 2008 Allen and Ginter set (which I absolutely love!) this is card #AGR-BR2, a game used bat relic card of the All Star second baseman. Nice! Thanks so much for all of these great cards Beardy! I always seem to come up ahead when we trade and I really appreciate it. My little collection is well on its way now. Hope y’all enjoyed the momentary break from Rays central and enjoyed some pics of another star from the American League East. I doubt there is anyone who reads this blog but doesn't read his, but just in case, check it out! Thanks so much Beardy! Go Rays! Go Roberts! Troll out.