Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year, The Contest Is Closed!!!

This post is scheduled, but I wanted to wish everyone a Happy and Healthy 2011! We are out watching a News Years roller derby bout between Oklahoma City and Tulsa to be followed by a Flaming Lips show. I can guarantee we are having a blast...
I am officially closing the contest now and showing off a photo of 3 generations of Trollness...

To end the suspense, on Wednesday December 22, 2010 at 11:35 PM Atlas Ray Generous entered this world!!!

Obviously I am a very proud Grandpa. Atlas is an awesome and amazing little person and spending time with his awesome Daddy and Mommy is great. Esther Gin N Juice and I are having an awesome time!

The contest is now closed. Thanks to all who have entered. When I get back to Floriduh I will take care of the business of picking out the winner. I loved that so many of you played along. Choosing the prizes is going to be a game in itself. I have 10 different Hall of Famer cards in sealed envelopes and will pick out 3. You might get Jackie Robinson, you get Phil Rizzutto, you might get Robin Roberts or Eddie Mathews or Hank Aaron or Larry Doby or any combination of the 3. Like I said, the prizes are NICE. I want to say thank you seriously to all who read and comment on this blog of mine. I am looking forward to a great 2011 and blogging and collecting and being a Grandbaby spoiling machine!

Happy New Year!!! go rays! troll out.

Last Chance...

I heard a rumor that this contest is closing SOON... So far no one has guessed the exact time nor name... Act now or miss out! troll out

Another Chance to Win Them '56 Topps Cards - The CT Card o' The Day!

The CT Card of the Day Today is card #60 from 1962 Topps. ’62 is one of my least favorite sets of the decade. Actually from the 60’s there are 3 sets that I LOVE, they are 1960, 1963 and 1965 and the other ones I am either indifferent about or just don’t like at all. 1961 was a boring set that I felt indifferently about. 1962 I just don’t like. In fact I think that for the first time since 2006 I am going to skip out on collecting 2011 Topps Heritage. Believe it! I do intend on tracking down some singles to write about and for that same purpose I have saved up about 30 different cards from ’62 Topps. You can expect them to appear on the Nitty Gritty soon.

Today’s CT Card of the Day is one of those cards… Despite the hideous wood paneling background, this is a near perfect card – for Dodgers fans at least. It makes me think of the much cooler League Leader card from 1965 Topps which is pure blue and shows Don Drysdale and Sandy Koufax alone at the top. This card includes DD and Koufax both and but could not have been limited to the two of them.

Sandy Koufax ran away with the National League strikeout title in 1961 when he struck out 269 batters. Remember, 1961 was a year similar to the mid-1990s. Balls were flying out of ballparks like crazy (more so in the AL, but…) and 11 different batters topped the .300 mark, led by Roberto Clemente at .351. I’m saying that what Koufax did in ’61 was a testament to his dominance. He faced guys like Clemente, Mays, Pinson, Cepeda, Boyer, Aaron, Mathews, Musial and Frank Robinson on a regular basis, but still punched out 269. Koufax had 64 more strikeouts than his nearest rival. The second place pitcher in that category wasn’t really a rival at all; it was his teammate Stan Williams with 204. Another teammate, the aforementioned Don Drysdale ranked 3rd in the NL that year with 182. Pretty good, but nowhere near Koufax. The card could have been pure Dodger blue against the wood grain, but Topps went 4 deep on the League Leader cards and included Cincinnati Reds starter Jim O’Toole who finished 4th in the K race with 178, 91 strikeouts less than the League Leader. If you look at the back of the card you will see that 91 Ks was an entire season for many – it was for Dick Ellsworth of the Cubs who finished 29th in the NL with 91. It was more than Koufax’s teammates Ron Perranoski, Roger Craig, Turk Ferrell or Larry Sherry had.

Basically with this post I am saying two things that I think everyone already knew. #1 Sandy Koufax was straight up dominant. #2, the Dodgers had a damn good pitching staff. Their starters ranked 1, 2 and 3 in Ks in 1961. If you look down the list a little further you will notice that their #4 starter Johnny Podres tied with Hall of Famer Juan Marichal for 10th with 124. Now that is a dominant pitching staff. Of course everyone already knew that. Koufax was also only 25 and just hitting his stride.

I will end this post by saying that I am in Oklahoma City, finally. We spent Wednesday night in Houston. Our flight was delayed and eventually cancelled due to the weather. We killed 16 hours at the George Bush International Airport and did so without our luggage, without internet and with a whole lot of anger towards Continental Airlines. We got through the night without murdering each other, so that is a plus. The contest remains open. One entry per day is the rule, unless I post more than once, then you can have one entry per post. It will end soon and without notice, so GUESS AWAY Trollites!!!

Good news coming, for now I just want to take a shower… PLEASE please enter the contest and have fun and guess… Internet access is limited, but I will be around… Don’t forget the reward is 3 cards from 1956 Topps of Hall of Famers… Go Rays! Screw Houston! Troll out.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Live and On Location

Greetings Trollites! I am currently in Houston at the airport on a layover... I should be in OKC in a few hours. I wanted to share this photo which taken on December 26, 1991 of my little baby Zadeh (the one in the Santa suit). I thought I would share and embarrass him and let you know that there is still time to enter the contest. I may close it later tonight, maybe tomorrow, whenever I can get access. Basically, GUESS, guess and guess some more. Have fun with it... No one has come close to guessing his name yet, so that means that the world will have to wait for Revolving Door Generous. Go Rays! troll out.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Doesn't Anyone Want Some Free 1956 Topps???

The contest is still open. The prizes are waiting... Remember you can guess once per day everyday till I close it... More to come... troll out.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Another Great Sombrero Custom Card...

I don't know why I love seeing people wearing sombreros so much, but I do... I don't think I ever imagined getting a card of the winningest manager in baseball history, Cornelius Mack, but I did... This came from my friend Mark, proprietor of the Mark's Ephemera blog. This came from a newspaper photo in 1934. Mark mentioned that my name (marck) was a combination of his first name and Connie's surname. Thanks for the great custom and enjoy! Ole! Go Rays! troll out.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

The Collective Troll Christmas Card of the Day!

Welcome Trollites!!! I wanted to extend a Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday wishes for the blog-o-sphere once more. It has been a wonderful year for me and I wanted to thank all of you for having a hand in making it so.

I didn’t want this post to solely be of holiday well-wishes, so I found another glorious red and green card to feature. This one was on my wantlist for over a year, but I can scratch it off and for that I am thankful. It is also one of the sharpest cards I own…

The Christmas Edition Troll at the Plate Card of the Day comes from 1965 Topps Baseball, aka the best set of the past 50 years. It is card #42 of Boston Red Sox pitcher Earl Wilson. Despite the fact that he never played in an All Star Game, Wilson was one of the top pitchers in the American League during the 1960s. He was signed by the Red Sox organization as a teenager in 1953 and made his Major League debut with Boston in 1959. He was the second African American player on the Red Sox, after Pumpsie Green, and was the first pitcher.

By 1962 he was a regular part of the Red Sox rotation and posted a record of 12-8 that year. That same season, as the back of the card mentions, Wilson no hit Bo Belinsky and the Angels 2-0. Wilson provided the offense in that game for the Sox hitting a homerun to put the Sox on the scoreboard. With that no hitter on June 26th, Wilson made the history books several ways. He was the first African American pitcher to throw a no-hitter in the American League and he became just the third pitcher to throw a no-hitter and hit a homerun in the same game.

Wilson was a successful batter and hit 33 homers in 740 at bats over his career. This ranks him 5th All Time among pitchers. Only Wes Ferrell, Red Ruffing, Warren Spahn and Bob Lemon matched him in that category.

Of course it was his arm that keep him employed and from 1962-1969 he was among the best righties in the AL as he won more than 11 games in each of those 9 seasons. He tossed a no hitter in ’62 and in 1966 he was 18-11 with 200 strikeouts for the Sox and Tigers combined.

In 1967, his first full season in Detroit, he had his finest year. He was 22-11 in 38 starts for the Tigers. He logged 264 innings and completed 12 games. His 22 wins tied him for the League lead. Had the Sox not traded him away many believe they would have won it all in ’67, but alas the Curse of the Bambino and all…

The following season Wilson saw the postseason. As a member of the Tigers he won it all in ’68. In the rotation with Denny McClain and Mickey Lolich, Wilson won 13 games for Detroit in ’68 and had a stellar 2.85 ERA. He would win 12 games for the Tigers in 1969 before heading to San Diego in 1970. That would be his final season. He retired with a 121-109 mark, a 3.69 ERA and 1452 strikeouts. He earned a ring with the Tigers in ’68 and at the plate had a .195 batting average with 35 homers and 111 RBI in 740 at bats. A poor year at the plate in his final year with the Padres plunged his career batting average under 200.

As a long sought after card and a lovely red and green color scheme, this seemed the perfect Christmas card…

Don’t forget to enter my contest and win yourself some sweet 1956s…

Go Rays! Good night Pumpsie Green wherever you are and thanks to everyone who has hooked me up in my quest in for '65 Topps AND thanks to Larry and everyone else who has sent me Holiday greetings! You guys rule!! Troll out.

Merry Christmas!!! And Enter the Contest!!

Greetings Trollites! Hope y'all are having a very merry day! Hoping your stockings are filled with short prints, on-card autos and vintage gems. All is wonderful at the Troll house. Relaxing with the lovely Esther Gin N Juice and counting our blessings... I have added a new set to my chase list for 2011 and I think it is the ideal Christmas card, so from Esther Gin N Juice, myself, Emma, Sally and Bill Virdon, MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!

I am keeping details regarding the newest member of our family Top Secret and therefore the contest remains open, so... Guess away collectors!

With regards to this Red and Green set from 1963 - I worked out a trade for 92 cards from this awesome set and as soon as they arrive they will join the 4 cards I already own and a wantlist will be formed. I don't think that Pete Rose is included in the deal, so if you have a spare one hanging around I would probably be willing to deal for it...

That is all. I hope everyone has a wonderful day filled with family and friends. Regular posting will resume shortly, so until then... Merry Christmas from Esther Gin N Juice and the entire Troll family!!! Go Rays! troll out.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Nitty Gritty Goodness... Plus, Still Time to Enter the Contest...

I am going to leave the contest open until I leave for OKC regardless of whether Baby Boy Troll is born or not. Remember the closest guess wins a little stack of 1956 Topps... No Troll post right now, but there is a little Nitty Gritty to check out... Go Rays! Good luck! troll out.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Nitty Gritty Type Troll at the Plate Card of the Day!

So, I am all about Oklahoma right about now and I think I am going to do Oklahoma-themed posts here on the Troll until I leave for OKC on Tuesday... Typically you would find this on the Nitty Gritty, but today's Nitty Gritty Oklahoma Troll Card of the Day comes from 1957 Topps baseball, card #79 of Cardinals pitcher Lindy McDaniel. This is McDaniel's rookie card and it shows him as a 20-year-old starter for St. Louis. Although this is Lindy's rookie, 1957 was McDaniel's 3rd season in the big leagues, but at 21 years of age, 1957 was his coming out season. He worked mainly as a starter and posted a very impressive 15-9 record with a 3.49 ERA in 26 starts for the Red Birds.

The back of the card mentions that he was a well sought after bonus baby who signed with the Cards for a $50,000 bonus in 1955 out of the University of Oklahoma. He skipped the minors all together and joined the Cards that year. He only pitched in 19 innings, but the following year he was 7-6, followed by his 15 win season in '57 when he finished 10 of his 26 starts. By 1959 he had converted to a reliever and that same year he led the National League in saves with 19. He would remain a reliever for the bulk of his remarkable 21-year career. In 1960 he was named to both All Star teams and won the first ever Sporting News Reliever of the Year Award. He would lead the NL in saves again with 26 and also led in winning percentage (.750) and posted a 12-4 record with a 2.04 ERA. He finished third in the Cy Young vote that season as well.

He was traded to the Cubs as part of a 6-player deal after the 1962 season and in his first year in Chicago he would once again lead the NL in saves with 22. He would finish in the top-1o in that category 7 times over his career. In 1963, with the Cubs, McDaniel would be named Sporting News Relief Pitcher of the Year a second time.

As a member of the Yankees in 1968 Lindy McDaniel set a record by retiring 32 consecutive batters over 4 games. He set a record in the NL by playing in 225 straight games without an error.

He saved a total of 172 games which ranks him 59th on the All-Time list, but at the time of his retirement only Hoyt Wilhelm and Roy Face had more saves than him. He also ranked second only to Wilhelm in relief wins.

The Oklahoma native stayed healthy and consistent and enjoyed success in both leagues over his 21 year career which spanned 3 decades. Since broken, he had held the single season record for saves for the Cards, Cubs and Yankees. His 987 games ranks him 15th on the All Time list and his 2139 innings is far greater than most ahead of him.

McDaniel retired after the 1975 season when he was 5-1 over 40 games for the Kansas City Royals. All tolled, McDaniel posted a 141-119 record playing for 5 different teams. He has a career ERA of 3.45 and struck out 1361 batters. McDaniel dropped off the Hall of Fame ballot after his second year of eligibility, but is regarded by some as one of the finest relievers of his era.

The native of Hollis, Oklahoma is alive and well and still living in Oklahoma. Perhaps I will run into him next week.

I was unable to reach my son by phone today, but the contest is still open!!! Regardless of my posting frequency y'all can guess once per day. Keep em coming! Thank you all for the well wishes and kind words, y'all have made this Grandpa to be feel really good... Go card collecting! troll out.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Be Sure To Enter the Contest Daily...

...if you want to win. This kid could be born any day, so guess now!
Go Rays! troll out.

The BEST Card of 2010!

I have noticed that several other blogs have voted and posted on the best cards and top mojo hits of 2010. I wanted to cast my vote for my fav card of 2010. I may be partial, just a little bit, but this card gets my vote as the BEST CARD OF 2010. Released by Big D! Sportscards, check it out! This would be Esther Gin N Juice’s rookie card and hopefully her first of MANY. I owe a HUGE thanks to Big D for sending a stack of these my way… I LOVE IT!!!! Go Bombers! Troll out.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

No Baby Yet...

Grandbaby is not born, so I am opening a new comment thread. Remember you can guess once per day regardless of there being a new post here. I would like to try and get some new material up though... Off to work. Gotta make that money with another mouth to feed... Go Rays! troll out.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Are You Ready for some FREE Cards? The CONTEST!!!

Okay. The contest. I will be hosting a special contest here at Troll at the Plate to commemorate getting 100,000 hits on this here blog. There are other things for me to celebrate, too, and that just makes it cooler (to me at least).

Before I get into the contest you will have to indulge me while I share some personal news. It DOES tie into the contest, so…

I, the Troll, am going to be a GRANDFATHER! Yes, a Grandfather. My oldest son Zadeh and his girlfriend Holly are expecting and have been for a while. The wife (Esther Gin N Juice) and I will be heading to Oklahoma City next week to hang out and hopefully meet our new grandson.
I say hopefully because he hasn’t been born yet.

There in is the contest.

I want you folks to guess what time he is born.

Pick a time, any time, once a day until he is born. The winner gets a prize of sweet vintage goodness which will include at least 3 Hall of Famers from the 1956 Topps set. I am not going to tell you who just yet, you are going to have to trust me on this one.

So, beginning today, you can guess a time. If you want to be more thorough, you can pick a day as a tie-breaker. That way more than one person can pick 7:00AM and the day will serve as the tie breaker. If you want to go one step further, you can try and guess his name. I will give you a hint, his name appears in this year’s Allen and Ginter set. It isn’t Prince, Carl, Ponce de Leon, Stegosaurus, Pan or Francisco, but you would be on the right track. So, my dear readers, you can start guessing immediately and closest to the minute will win a pile of 5 (at least) 1956 Topps baseball cards including at least 3 Hall of Famers.

The prizes are good, you want in, trust me. The prize will not be mailed out until after the New Year. I don’t get back to Floriduh until January 5, 2011. I will determine the winner then.

You can enter once a day every day until I close the contest. I will try and post daily to keep up. You can advertise on your blogs, BUT that doesn't give you any extra credit. You need to pick the time and be the closest. For example, if he is born at 7:58 AM and Joe guesses 7:55 and Bob guesses 8:00, Bob would win as he would be the closest. If Bill also picked 8:00, too, then we would go to the tie-breakers.

Okay, that’s it, comment away. Go Rays! Go Grandparents! Troll out.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Now That Joe Morgan is Unemployed, Is it Safe to Recognize Him as One of the Best Second Baseman of All Time?

... and not just one of the worst broadcasters who played pro ball at one time on the same team as Steve Carlton...

I have decided to stop hating on him personally. I will probably even change the Nitty Gritty blog header. I am pleased to say that in my 1965 Topps binder I have changed the card in the slot for card #16. I really can't believe that I was able to complete this odd trifecta.

So, is Joe Morgan forgiven?

Okay. Off to work. A few notes... The Legendary Cardboard Junkie just offered up a huge trade involving 1965 Topps. Of the 27 trade bait cards I offered, they are ALL taken. BA Benny, Daily Dimwit and Captain Canuck - yours are all on the way AND dayf will be taking the rest off of my hands in return for a huge chunk off my wantlist. I am PSYCHED!!!! Oh, speaking of psych... I got an A in Psychology last year, but pulled off an A in Sociology this semester after getting a 99 on my final exam. Woo hoo!!! My other grades are still pending.

I will announce the contest tomorrow. There was an issue with the prize card, but I bought a few more to try and replace it. I think all will be pleased, I hope. Thanks to everyone for trading with me! Just a few more cards and the first 20 pages of my 1965 Topps binder are done!!!

Go baseball card collecting! troll out.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Checking Off...

Any set-builder knows the thrill of scratching a card off of their needs list. Since I prioritized 1965 Topps, I have had great luck doing just that. Earlier this week I got a card in the mail – a single card purchase I made from an auction site (it isn't the sweet Norm Cash card). With this card I needed only 3 more cards to complete the first 99 cards of the set.

With each new card I get I generally spend a while staring at the photo, reading and re-reading the back, googling the player to look for new information and career stats, then I scan the card and finally put it in the binder.

The card I am writing about today broke that routine. It was a much needed one and I anticipated owning it, but holding it in my hands I didn’t feel that excitement I generally do.
It did fill up a page, which is awesome, but there was no googling, no memories, no stories, no sweet photos, no getting to learn about a player I may not have been too familiar with.

That is because card #79 is a checklist.

When I was a kid checklists were cool. Like many others, I used them. Well, I didn’t write ON them, I put them in a penny sleeve and then marked them off AND I used them to make my want list. Now, with the power of the internet I had a checklist before I even bought a binder. All this card really does is fill a hole in a page. This card is in GREAT shape, a little off-center, but has sharp corners and no markings. I got a good deal on it and it shipped to me for 3 bucks, but that was only after a lot of careful searching. These can and do sell for 5 bucks a pop PLUS shipping, for a card with no pictures.
Looking at this one does make me smile now that I think of it. The front lists the first 34 cards in the set. I have ALL but one.

The back shows cards numbered 35 – 88. I have all but 2 of those.
Collecting this set has renewed my love of this hobby. All of crap with Topps’ monopoly, overpriced cards and crappy inserts goes away when you dive into a set like this. I definitely recommend it to anyone who is getting disenchanted with the hobby.

But, I am wondering – how do y’all feel about checklists?

That’s all for now. Details on the contest will come soon along with details on my grades. I have to wait till Monday for my test score so I don’t know whether to be happy or sad just yet. Feel free to check out my want list. The binder is looking damn good with 97% of the first 100 cards safely sitting in its pages. Oh, Norm Cash has little to do with this post, but I wanted a real photo of a card that I got REALLY excited about scratching off my list...
Go Rays! Troll out.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I'll Be Back!

I take my final final exam tomorrow at ten AM. I am mega stressed on this one. Regular posting should resume on Friday unless failure related depression takes over. I haven't been to the Post Office all week. I haven't shipped nor received. I have a very exciting personal announcement and I will tie that into the pending contest. I am working on acquiring an amazing prize. Cross your fingers and stay tuned. I STILL LOVE this hobby! Go Rays (whats left of them)! troll out.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Happy Baseball Bloggers Alliance Day to All! AND My Ballot for the Hall of Fame...

Today, December 10th is BBA Day. Baseball Bloggers Alliance Day.
I have been a proud member since March 2010, so this is my first BBA Day as a member. Actually I think it the first BBA Day period.
So what does BBA Day mean? Well, it is a day to advertise our network, reflect on why we are members and encourage more to join the Alliance.
My first introduction to the BBA came from C70 at the Bat, a Cardinals blog. I was trying to get a take on how Jaime Garcia was going to factor into the Red Birds plans for 2010 and found that website after a bit of googling. While reading the blog I noticed that C70 was a member of the BBA. Actually it turns out he is the founder.
I sent him an email asking how I could join. I thought there would be a long approval process and some form of an interview, but there wasn’t. I was approved automatically and could remain a member as long as I participated in the BBA Awards voting. Turns out that is the best part.
How often have you complained about how the BBWA voted for MVP or Cy Young or for the Hall of Fame? For me it’s pretty constant. Well, with the BBA WE GET TO VOTE!!! We aren’t actually placing players in Cooperstown, but it’s a real voting process with votes coming from people who cover the game they love and are generally doing it for free.
Every year I make my picks for the All Star Game and put a lot of time into my selections. This year I was able to vote as part of a group to choose the starting line-up. Ditto that with postseason awards. I voted with the group for the Walter Johnson Award for top pitcher, the Goose Gossage Award for top reliever and the Stan Musial Award for best overall player.
Presently we are voting for Hall of Fame suggestions. I just voted and as soon as the ballot came up on my screen I was hit by a rush, some goose bumps, some anxiety and a generally crazy awesome feeling.
As a baseball fan, a sentimentalist and a writer, so many times I have written about so and so belongs in the Hall of Fame.
When I clicked on the ballot I was greeted by many of these names and instantly got a taste of the pressure that the Baseball Writers must feel when they get their ballot.
I pasted all of the names from the ballot below; it is quite a list…

Alomar, Roberto, Baerga, Carlos, Bagwell, Jeff, Baines, Harold, Boone, Bret, Brown, Kevin, Blyleven, Bert, Franco, John, Gonzalez, Juan, Grissom, Marquis, Higginson,Bobby, Johnson, Charles, Larkin, Barry, Leiter, Al, Martinez, Edgar, Martinez, Tino, Mattingly, Don, McGriff, Fred, McGwire, Mark, Mondesi, Raul,Morris, Jack, Murphy, Dale, Olerud, John,Palmerio, Rafael, Parker, Dave, Raines, Tim, Rueter, Kirk, Santiago, Benito, Smith, Lee, Surhoff, B.J., Trammell, Alan and Larry Walker.

Wow. That is a long list of names, some pretty big names, and some pretty HUGE numbers. The rules for BBA Hall of Fame Suggestion Voting state that you can vote for up to, but no more than 10 players. I could have picked 10 names but I didn’t. Take away Kirk Rueter, Bobby Higginson and Kevin Brown and you could make a case for nearly every one of these guys. I voted for 5. Bert Blyleven was a no-brainer and that was the first name I checked. I scanned through the list and on the next time through I selected Barry Larkin and Jeff Bagwell. Those 2 aren’t really no-brainers, but I think they are legit Hall of Famers. Juan Gonzalez, Rafael Palmeiro and Larry Walker have Bagwell-like numbers, and I came close to checking Larry Walker, but I couldn’t this time. My third time through the list I came close to voting for Harold Baines, Dave Parker, Jack Morris and Lee Smith, but resisted for some reason. The last 2 I voted for were Tim Raines and Fred McGriff. I couldn’t think of a reason not to vote for those 5, the other players, well, I just couldn’t come up with enough reasons TO vote for them. Regardless of whether a player used steroids or not, the stats produced by steroid era players have to be taken with a grain of salt and it isn’t easy picking and choosing the best of the best from that time. It also makes the numbers put up by Dave Parker, Dale Murphy and Harold Baines that much more impressive… For my vote Bags and Larkin got extra credit for team loyalty. I thought long and hard about Allen Trammell for that same reason.
BBA Hall of Fame voting stays open till December 28th. I believe if you join now you could still vote for the HOF Suggestion.
I hope that everyone has a Happy BBA Day!!! I am VERY happy that I joined before last season. I was quiet with my baseball writing, but that is because I didn’t have much to complain about – my team had a GREAT regular season. This year I already have lots to gripe about, so you can look forward to hearing my voice much more this year.
I hope that some of you writers out there consider joining the BBA today and for the upcoming baseball season. It is a GREAT network of baseball bloggers. I have made friends and contacts that I value and it provides great exposure for your blog.
Thanks for reading! Oh, feel free to agree or disagree with my picks for the Hall. I am ready! Oh, speaking of ready… What are you waiting for? Go check out the BBA website and see if its something you would like to be a part of… Oh, as evidenced by my choice of images - the BBA WELCOMES baseball writers who blog about baseball cards... Go Rays! Troll out.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Topps Update, I Got It! I Love It! - Mucho Pictures From My Cardboard Collection!

So a couple of weeks ago I bought a cool retail 4-pack of Topps Update. As usual it didn't arrive in Bradenton, Florida until months after most of you had already finished your sets. I was pretty happy with the 48 cards I pulled and ended up with 3 MCG codes and one of them actually unlocked a 1965 Topps card! I was pretty amazed as I had been on a long streak of unlocking 1987 Topps. Anyway, I flipped that '65 for one that I needed and I quickly typed out a VERY long wantlist for the set. Within minutes of posting the list I got a comment from Colbey Flywheels saying he could put a big dent in my wants list. Sweet. This weekend I bought 1 more pack (it was pretty awesome, more on that later) and got a used Ultra Pro binder with 50 pages CHEAP at my LCS. I put the 50 cards that I had in it, filling an average of 1 card per page. It looked pretty sad. Anyway, that all changed yesterday when I got a package from Colbey aka Mr. Flywheels from the Cardboard Collections blog. Colbey sent over no less than 146 different cards that I needed. I could not believe it. Thats practically half the set! I was floored with his generosity and pretty darn psyched too. 5 packs and one generous package and I am 70% of the way done with Updates. Sweet! I only have a few minutes before leaving for work, but I wanted to show off a few of my favorites. Oh and by the way, since I owe Colbey now and already owe some of you other Braves fans out there, I am going to post up some Braves cards from the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s very soon. Stay tuned for that. Anyway, here are some of my favorites from 2010 Topps Updates. I will start with a trio of my favorite players. One current Ray (hopefully that title remains) and 2 Ex-Rays. A trio of guys who I watched in spring training, but then disappeared from my radar. Interesting to see where they ended up... Argenis Diaz shown at Pirate City in my hometown of Bradenton, Florida... A guy I had never heard of who has an awesome name to match his awesome stache... Anthonys Lama. Ha. A classic goofy delivery shot. Former Ray Mitch Talbot in his new role as starting pitcher in Cleveland... Heath Bell in front of some folks who just got married... Rays catcher John Jaso eating dirt. Mike Gonzalez looking like a bad ass on the mound. This obviously wasn't opening day when Mr. Gonzalez blew the save and the game for the O's. One of my favorite non-Rays, catcher Jason Kendall blocking the plate as only he can. I love the indifference on the bench behind him. J-Kendall sliding into home against Rob Johnson, JK looks safe and there is a slight bit more enthuisiasm behind him...There is a guy who hit 56 doubles in 2002 and 6 in 2010... Then there is Vlad Guerrero showing his speed and Mark DeRosa swinging like Mark Reynolds. And last, the starter for the American League All Stars and perhaps the last Ray Standing... Awesome. Thanks SO much Colbey!!! I can't believe this was our first deal. I will find you some Braves goodies very soon. In the mean time go check his blog, Cardboard Collections its cool even if he is a Braves/Panthers/Bobcats fan. Thats still okay... Speaking of okay, the goings on at the winter meetings are NOT okay. My team is being dismantled and I aint happy, but this is a happy post so I will refrain from that topic for now... Thanks again Colbey! Go Rays! troll out.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Yet Even More Phun!

Way back in February I posted these cards that I got from everyone’s Phavorite Phillies Phanatic, Mr. Deal from the Phungo Blog. It was a pretty awesome trade package and that Aki patch is still one of the best cards in my collection. Anyway, at the base of that post 10 months ago I mentioned that there was a Phungo Cards Combo Pack included in the package. I think I said I would post it the following day or something like that. I am a little late with it, obviously, BUT I am trying here… If you have ever traded with Deal before, you have probably gotten a couple of his sweet custom cards. He hooked me up with Rays players and Negro League Legends AND a very cool Don Zimmer card in a Rays uniform. He also included a non-custom card created by Topps over 50 years. I can’t believe I waited so long on this awesome card, I really hope that I thanked Deal for it. If I didn’t, sorry, and THANKS DEAL!!! You rock! Oh, you want to see the card? You can find it right here as it is the Nitty Gritty Card of the Day today… 2 pictures plus 656 words equals 2,656 Nitty Gritty words! Go Rays! Troll out.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Its a Nitty Gritty Monday...

Good afternoon Trollites!!! As always I had a post planned for today, but I need to rush off to work, so... Maybe tomorrow. My '65 Topps trade bait is still up if you haven't yet checked it out. Speaking of trade bait, I will post a card on the Nitty Gritty EVERYDAY this week. All Vintage goodness and all cards that I would be willing to deal if the price is right... Check it out! Go Rays! troll out.

Trade Bait Update

Greetings Trollites!!!
I wanted to thank everyone for checking out my 1965 Topps Trade Bait Posts. Four of you took advantage of these, a few cards have been claimed, I scratched several cards off of my wantlist AND I finished up 2 different Allen and Ginter mini subsets, so I am pretty happy. There are still a bunch more cards available. I want to keep on posting more vintage trade bait, but unless there are readers out there who have cards from my wantlist that are just waiting for the right bait card, I think it would be a waste of time. What do you guys think? Anyway, I think I need only 14 more cards to polish off the first 20 pages in my binder. This number includes Hank Aaron and Roger Maris, but whatever...
Go Rays! troll out.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

1965 Topps Trade Bait Volume 3, The Final Offering...

Okay, this is my third post on this topic and my third post today. I can barely keep my eyes open already and I still haven't even started my shift at work yet. It is going to be a LONG night! Anyway, without any further adieu, here is the final page and last 9 cards I have to offer up for trade. It might help if you read this post first. Reading my 1965 Topps wantlist may be helpful as well. Anyway, here we go! I am offering for trade cards #ed:
152 Phil Ortega - Senators
156 Bob Sadowski - Braves - Claimed Waxaholic
162 Russ Nixon - Red Sox, no Twins!
177 Pete Mikkelsen - Yankees - Claimed BA Benny
181 Senators Rookie Stars - Loun and McCabe
211 Steve Ridzik - Senators
226 Yankees Rookie Stars - Jiminez and Gibbs (2 available)-1 Claimed-BA Benny
333 Tommy Reynolds - Athletics
409 Astros Rookie Stars - Beauchamp and Larry Dierker - CLAIMED-Daily Dimwit
As always, thanks for looking. If you want a card, claim it in the comments and send me an electronic mail message with your offer. This will be the last formal trade bait post. Be aware that all cards here, in the header and being posted on the Nitty Gritty are up for trade in exchange for '65 Topps from my want list. As you are reading this, I am at work. I love the magic of scheduled posts... Anyway, thanks for looking. Go Rays! troll out.

1965 Topps Trade Bait Volume 2, Come and Get 'Em!

Okay, if you are just stopping by, please read the post below. I am trying to finish off a set, 1965 Topps Baseball to be specific. My needs list is HERE. Below you will find 9 cards from that very set that are duplicates and I no longer have a use for them. My idea is that perhaps someone does need them and might have something that I need and be willing to make a deal. It sounds solid in theory. Here we go!
Cards #ed
70 Moose Skowron - White Sox
86 Les Narum - Senators
87 Nelson Mathews KC Athletics
109 Walt Bond - Colt 45s (a bit off-center) - CLAIMED Daily Dimwit
117 Wes Stock -KC Athletics
128 Vic Davalillo - Indians
142 Bill Monboquette - Red Sox
146 Ron Hansen - White Sox
148 Willie Kirkland - Senators (yes, he has a toothpick in his mouth, does anyone collect those?)

Okay, that does it for round 2. I have one more page to post today. I really hope that someone needs something here. If you do, claim in the comments and send me an email por favor. Go Rays! RE-SIGN CARL CRAWFORD! troll out.

1965 Topps - Begging and Offering...The First in a 3 Part Series of '65 Topps Trade Bait! Come and Get It!

Okay, my needs list is updated for 1965 Topps. It now includes my needs for the first 314 cards - it is a long list... I also included my dupes and most wanted cards. I REALLY want to get card #3. It is the last League Leader card that I need and if I get it I will have the first 3 pages filled. Anyway, here are 27 cards I have 2 of. In most cases I took the better condition card for my binder, but not in all. If you are really interested I can send you single card scans of a card shown. Anyway, here they are in all their glory... The first page includes cards #ed:
13 Pedro Ramos - Yankees - Claimed BA Benny
23 Bob Tiefenauer - Braves
27 Dick Bertell - Cubbies
51 Billy Bryan (really rough shape) Athletics
56 Ron Kline - Senators (has a pen mark below pennant)
57 St. Louis Cardinals (duh) - Claimed BA Benny
60 Jim O'Toole ( a little creased) Reds
66 Bill Rigney - Angels Manager
68 Del Crandall - Giants
Okay, there you have the first 9. There are 18 more cards coming, probably in about an hour or two. The rules are - claim the card on the comments here and send me an email with your offer.
My goal is to pick up as many 1965 Topps cards for my set.
I do have other want list needs that I will consider. I will probably not trade a '65 Topps card for a 2008 Topps Willy Aybar. Just saying.
One thing I can guarantee I would consider is Topps Gold, Black or Platinum Rays parallels. If I don't have it I could def consider trading vintage for those Topps parallels. A Rays uniform auto of any of the players listed on the side bar would be pretty nice too...
I hope there is something here that somebody wants.
I bought a couple of lots on the 'bay on Veterans Day (my day off from work!) and although they were both good deals, I ended up not scratching too many numbers off of my want list AND getting a whole bunch of dupes. I bought a 20 card lot and a 27 card lot and I have now 27 doubles left. Not too good Troll. Anyway, thanks for looking, lot 2 will be up shortly.
A few quick notes... Cash is limited around here, so unless you object the chosen card will be put in a penny sleeve, top loader and team bag and shipped in a plain white envelope with a single stamp.
Also, unless I note it otherwise, EVERY card I post will be available to trade for cards on my needs list, especially card #3! Go Rays! troll out.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Rest in Peace Ron Santo

Known generally as the best third baseman NOT in the Hall of Fame. Ron Santo passed away today at the age of 70. I am not a Cubs fan, but I have always recognized Mr. Santo as a legendary player, a good broadcaster and a Chicago home town Hero and a class act. My wishes are with his family, friends and MANY fans. You will be missed Mr. Santo, thank you for the memories! troll out.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

1965 Topps - Trade Bait Coming Soon

My biggest collecting focus right now is my 1965 Topps set... I really wanna fill some holes in it. I found 27 dupes from the set that I will post tomorrow. I have some completed pages to post up, too... If you have any '65 Topps cards, please take a second and glance over my needs list. If you have a card I need, I will find a card that YOU need. All of the cards in the header are up for grabs and I will be posting random cards here and on the Nitty Gritty from 1956 on up - they are all out there for trade for '65s I need. Till tomorrow. Oh, the sooner I can determine what cards I am trading, the sooner the contest will go up... Go Rays! troll out.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Dead Letter Office Delivers

I check my Post Office box every single day on the way to work. Some days the box is empty, but others it is overflowing with goodies. Last Tuesday was one of these days. I had 5 fat envelopes crammed into my small PO Box. The interesting thing was several of these packages had been stuck in the postal system for a REALLY long time.

There was a package from my buddy in South Florida, Wicked Ortega from the My Past Time…I Love It! Blog with a post mark from early August.

I generally don’t look at postmarks, but what triggered me was a package from an unknown sender that wasn’t addressed to Troll. I hadn’t bought anything online or traded with anyone new, so all the envelopes were from familiar senders except this one. I tore it open first and found this 2010 Topps Chrome autograph of my favorite Rays rookie Wade Davis.

I had bought this card from an eBay seller in late September when the product first dropped. I was searching around for the card late one night after work and found a BIN or Best Offer card. I made an offer, a really low offer, just for fun and the next morning I had an invoice for the card in my inbox. I didn’t really want to buy the card – actually I did, but I really couldn’t afford it, I couldn’t afford to be buying anything that week, but I did make an offer, it was accepted and I was on the hook to pay for it. Anyway, I “wrote” an e-check to pay for it and checked my PO Box in anticipation of the new card for the next 2 weeks with no success.

Finally I wrote a “hey WTF” letter to the seller. The seller actually turned out to be really nice and cool about the situation. He said he sent the card out the day I paid for it and he had a tracking code for the package. That was pretty cool of him considering I had only paid 5 bucks for the card including shipping and the asking price was $9.99 plus shipping. Anyway, he tracked the package down-it got stuck in his home post office and he couldn’t get an answer as to why. He offered to refund my money and said if the card arrived I could keep it as bonus. Sweet! I was happier to get my money back; I left him good feedback and forgot about the card. I tried using the 5 bucks to buy a different Wade Davis auto, but got outbid every time.
Anyway, 2 months after I dropped 5 bucks I didn’t have on this on-card autograph of Lake Wales native Wade Davis, it showed up in the mail.

What made it even cooler was that the seller had included a couple of 2010 Topps cards of Davis as freebies along with the card I “bought” which ended up being a freebie too. Yeah, getting an on-card auto of my favorite Rays pitcher for free is freaking awesome! On the negative side, looking at the card it ain’t that great and the autograph looked nowhere near as good as the photo in the auction. Same card yes, but a far weaker looking autograph.

So, that was the reason that I started looking at postmarks and that one took 2 months to make it to Bradentucky. The package from my homie Wicked Ortega was lost in transit even longer. It spent 3 and a half months hovering in postal purgatory. This package was a total surprise to me. Wicked never mentioned sending it to me, so I had no idea it was lost. Either way I am psyched that it showed up. He sent a 2007 Topps Tampa Bay Devil Rays retail team set along with 2 autographs.

Before I show the sweet autographs I have to send out a LONG overdue and HUGE thank you to my buddy Wicked! I am going to show the 2 autographs that were in this surprise package now, but I still owe you my readers a Wicked Week of posting to show off all of the unposted autographs and cards that I have got from Wicked this past year, there are a LOT of sweet autos he has shared with me and SOMEDAY I will actually post them.

Okay, here are the two autographs liberated from the Dead Letter Office.

He sent a Select Rookies and Stars autograph of Brent Abernathy. BA was the Devil Rays starting second baseman for the 2002 season, had a decent year, but was taken off the waiver wire by the Royals in April of 2003 and he never found a regular job in the Majors again.
Next is a 2003 Donruss The Rookies autograph of prospect Brian Stokes. In 2003 the D-Rays were awful and Stokes was coming off a 10-7 season in A ball and represented hope for the pitching staff. Stokes wouldn’t see Tampa Bay until 2006 when he came up as a rookie starter, he moved to the pen in ’07 and moved to New York after that. He was since moved to the Los Angeles Angels and hopefully will have a shot to stay in the Big Leagues in 2011. He is one of those players that I am surprised doesn’t sign TTM. Relief pitchers are generally pretty good about keeping up with their mail. Thanks to Wicked, I don’t need to waste ANOTHER stamp on him…

Okay, now I mentioned that I had received 5 packages that day. Funny thing (awesome thing) is all 5 packages included autographs in them. One came from The Great Orioles Autograph Project which will get its own post because he sent a bunch of autographed cards - the 5th package will remain a mystery for now, but I will show off a one card surprise treat from Zack of the Autographed Cards blog. He included a note saying that I needed to get my Rays autograph list online again because it made it a lot easier to surprise me with an auto that I needed. I am working on getting the list together again and will hopefully have one online again soon.

The card that Zack sent WAS in fact one that I needed. He sent along an in-person autograph from former Rays pitcher Mitch Talbot which looks great! Talbot was a 13 game winner in AAA with the Durham Bulls in both 2007 and '08 and earned himself a call up with the Rays in 2008. He spent all of 2009 in the minors before being traded to Cleveland as part of the Kelly Shoppach deal. Talbot won 10 games for the Tribe and I think they got the better end of the deal. Either way I am glad that Talbot is in the big leagues and I am thrilled to scratch him off of my autographs need list.

A HUGE thank you to everyone who made my day and my week with their generosity! Thanks Wicked, thanks Zack! Thanks Ryan! Thanks everyone! Go Rays! Troll out.