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.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Wasn't There a Really Big Baseball Series Held Not Too Long Ago?

Gosh, the World Series seems like it happened years ago... When it ended I had promised to post some Giants cards on my other blog. Well, I finally put one up. You can check it out in all of its Nitty Gritty goodness right here...

Aside from that, I have been a card sorting, list compiling maniac. I sorted through ALL of my Rays cards which is about 30,000. I sorted everything into seperate boxes of Topps, Topps Chrome, Upper Deck, Bowman, Topps Heritage, Bowman Heritage and Bowman Chrome. I want to document and finish all of those sets first. The Fleer, Donruss and spinoffs of the other brands will be dealt with later...

I did pick out a few favorite sets to work on, like Fleer Tradition, Upper Deck Vintage, 2008 Upper Deck Documentary and Topps Total. Lists will be coming soon. I have also spent a lot of time getting all of the cards I have recieved into their appropriate binders. I owe some traders some posts, but it feels a ton better knowing all the cards are where they belong...

I do also realize that I stumbled past 100,000 hits. I have the prize cards in my hot little hands and will open the contest soon... Thanks for reading! Go Rays! troll out.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

2010 Updates and Highlights Needs List is Up...

My local Target finally got 2010 U and H and I picked up 8 packs this afternoon... A few of you have asked for a needs list and I just added them to the 2010 Topps Needs list. Thanks for looking... Go Rays! troll out.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Would a 1952 Topps Card be the Oldest In Your Collection???

If you answered yes to the question posed in the title of this post then you qualify for this amazing giveaway from Chris of the Vintage Sports Cards blog. Chris is chasing down the 1952 Topps set... Seriously. I think he is pretty close. He has 202 cards to go which puts him past the halfway marker. To someone who doesn't own a single 1952 Topps card - that is unbelievable! He is at the point where he actually has dupes from that historic set and today he is feeling generous and offering to give away 2 of them. The only stipulation is they must become the oldest baseball card in your collection. I tried to enter the contest myself. I do own a 1951 Bowman card, BUT my oldest Topps card is from 1956, so that WOULD BE THE OLDEST TOPPS CARD IN MY COLLECTION. I will have to wait and see what the judges have to say on that one. There are 3 cards total that he is offering. I have my sights set on a 1953 Topps Hank Thompson that received some scissor modification. I am a big Hank Thompson fan. I have been bidding on his Bowman cards on the 'Bay lately, but haven't won one yet.

Anyway, my advice to you my dear readers is to go check out the Vintage Sports Cards Blog right now AND IF one of those cards would become your oldest you need to comment and give yourself a shot at winning one.

Other than the '53 Thompson, Chris is offering a '52 Topps card of Bob "Sarge" Kuzava - a pitcher who won three consecutive rings with the Yankees from '51-'53. The third card is of journeyman catcher Clyde Kluttz (great name!) shown as a Washington Senators. Despite what his name indicates Kluttz was a superb defensive backstop who led the league in thwarting base stealers multiple times.

So, I will repeat, if you meet the requirements, one of these cards can be yours just for commenting on a really great blog. If you don't regularly read Vintage Sports Cards, you should probably consider it. Chris has an AMAZING collection and a really informative blog, so go check it out, enter the contest and tell him the Troll sent you! Go Rays! troll out.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I am Still Alive

Sorry for the lack of posts... It might take a couple of days for me to get back on track. Soooo busy, plus the tiny bit of card time that I have I am spending on sorting my team sets. When I come back I hope to have even more wantlists! Go Rays! troll out.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

My 679th Post...

I just got home from work. I had to stop at Wal Mart to pick up dog food and unbelievably I didn't come home with any cards. I did visit the card aisle, but they had no Heritage, Topps Update, Allen and Ginter or single packs of anything baseball. I am trying to stick with my "no ripping new wax" personal policy, but sometimes I surprise myself...

Speaking of surprises and ripping wax... My buddy and fellow Floridian blogger Wicked Ortega is hosting a HUGE group box break. He is ripping 19 different boxes of a whole bunch of different interesting baseball brands. The surprise is that there are still slots available, there are actually 13 teams that have not been claimed... Of those 13 teams, both Pennant winning teams are still open. I cannot believe that a week after the series nobody has jumped on the Rangers or the Giants. Craziness. Seriously people, grab up the last dozen or so teams so the break can start up. Its only 19 bucks and he is RIPPING 19 DIFFERENT BOXES!!! That is a lot of cards of your favorite team... One last time, 19 boxes of cards for only 19 bucks. Click this link and be on your way. Tell Wicked that the Troll sent you!

For a mailbag update I will tell you that I have packed and or shipped a whole bunch of trade packages including my international buddies, so check your mailboxes people!
Now for a contest update... Y'all voted and vintage it is. Vintage can be a pretty wide and inclusive term so I need to narrow it down and figure out the who, what, why and where these vintage cards will be. I think this blog is within 900 hits of reaching that 100,000 hit plateau, so the contest should happen in 2010 for sure. My thought is, that since I collect and therefore blog about 1965 Topps so much, that would be the ideal year for the vintage prize. Feel free to share your insights on vintage with me in the comments. If you wanna win something for defining vintage, then you should click HERE. Trust me...

Since this post is filled with babble and want list links, I thought I would pop a juciy piece of trade bait in here. I somehow ended up with 2 Barlett silk cards. I hate to be greedy, so this one is on the block. I would prefer to trade for another Rays silk or black parallel or auto, but if you want it, make me an offer, okay?

Okay, I am falling asleep as I type. Not good... Just a few quick updates... I received several giant (like 800 count) boxes of Rays cards this past month. I put an eight foot folding table in my extra bedroom and I am sorting them right now. Starting by sorting by brand, from there I will go year by year and ultimately I will create have and needs lists for EVERY Rays team set since their inception. Considering I have around 40,000 Rays cards, I think I am in pretty good shape. That said, I still haven't even finished my Topps team sets yet. I probably have at least 40 copies of Aubrey Huff's 2004 Topps card, but somehow I did not have a single copy of the World Champion sluggers 2003 Topps card. I have had it on my "Troll's 21 The Card Way" (which I will update and repost soon) list for months now. Thanks to one of my favorite new blogs, Smed's Baseball Cards, I can cross it off of my list.
A couple weeks back, I got two boxes full of cards from Smed's and also from BA Benny's Baseball Card Buffet on the very same day. Each box had a ton of Heritage cards from my want lists, 2010 Topps inserts and Rays cards a plenty. I had all but given up on finishing 2010 Heritage, but BA Benny and Smed knocked 40 cards off my list between the two of them. You guys rock! Now that set is on the FRONT BURNER once again. You can find my 2010 Heritage List HERE. I am 92% of the way done, I have 461 out of 500. I know that high numbers will be out soon and I will have to start over, but for now I am pretty happy... Okay, I need to get some sleep. I will just pimp a couple more links for you... The card of the day on the Troll is this 2003 Topps Aubrey Huff that has eluded me for over 7 years...
Thanks so much to Smed (top of post) for this one! You can find my Rays Topps Team set list HERE. I hope to find a few more cards while sorting this weekend. Get in touch if you can help me out with any thing from my lists.
Also, get in touch if you are Omega Wax OR Darkship Todd. I have a box of cards from the group break for both of you. If I don't hear from you guys by this coming Thursday I am probably going to send your group break cards to someone else. I have a Royals fan in mind, but if you are a Giants fan, get in touch just in case...
Okay, thats it for now. I think I have rambled long enough... I do intend on keeping my word and listing 7 more former Giants greats on the Nitty Gritty... Look for a post tomorrow morning, it will be mainly 1965 Topps, but I might add in some '78s and maybe a '64 too.
The next Troll post WILL be a trade from the Night Owl. Stay tuned! Go Rays! 2011 Champs, wait and see! Don't forget to roll on over to My Past Time...I Love It! and get in on that 19 box group rip! Oh, as an end note I got 23 new Joe Kennedy cards in the mail this month. The JK player collection is growing! The goal is to get EVERY single card ever made of him in a Rays uniform. The total domination list includes: Carl Crawford, Jonny Gomes, Dewon Brazelton, Wade Davis, Jared Sandberg and Joe Kennedy. Of course I collect everyone on the team, but I will chase EVERY card of those guys.
I have retired a couple of PCs. Get in touch if you are interested in Scott Kazmir OR James Houser. I have a pretty nice small collection of each guy.
Okay, signing off for real now... Go Rays! troll out.

Friday, November 5, 2010

19 Boxes For 19 Bucks!

That is the deal going on over at My Past Time... I Love It! The man, Wicked Ortega has 19 boxes he is ripping. You can get a team slot for only 19 bucks. There a bunch of teams available - The Brewers, Dodgers, Yankees, White Sox, Astros and more are still available! Get on it! Off to work. Go Rays! troll out.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Wow, I Just Realized That I Had Giants Cards on BOTH My Blogs...

Never thought that would happen... I am trying to be a good loser, but I don't wanna lose all of my readers... I am off to vote and then work. I hope everyone has VOTED today... Oh, speaking of voting (again with the smooth segue), don't forget to vote your choice for the prize in my pending 100,000 hits contest. If you vote Bacon, that will be the prize, but that would be one greasy envelope in your mailbox. Just saying...

To end the trend of all Giants on every blog, here is the Captain Pee Wee Reese sliding in safe in 1993 Topps style...

It will be Giants Week on the Nitty Gritty. Since I don't have any vintage Willie Mays or Monte Irvin cards, Willie McCovey kicked it off. Please check it out... Tomorrow, it could be anybody... Well, anyone out of the 8 different vintage Giants I own that aren't Willie McCovey...

To try and offset the Giants domination I plan to post a Night Owl trade on Thursday and maybe a few from my all too small Wade Davis PC. Both are on the scanner right now... troll out.

Congrats Giants!

I didn't think the Giants would make the postseason. I didn't think they would do away with the Braves and I was sure the Phillies would sweep them. They shocked me by making the World Series and shocked me even more by winning, especially in such quick fashion... I didn't think y'all had it in you, but I have to says congrats on a GREAT Series San Francisco. I dedicated my blog to the Rangers and their postseason run and to keep things fair I was planning on posting some Giants cards on my other blog - the Nitty Gritty. I really didn't think the Series would be over after 5 games, over before I made my first post. Sheesh.

I will catch up and the next 7 days I will find the most Nitty Gritty Giants to post, starting with this one. Thanks to Rod from Padrographs for sending this card my way about a year ago - I was waiting for the perfect time to post it. I guess the time is now... I was also looking for an excuse to post this 2010 Topps Vintage Legends of McCovey which came to me from BA Benny's Baseball Card Buffett ... There are MANY more where this one came from...

I didn't think you could do it San Francisco, but you proved me wrong. Congratulations to Bochy's Band of Misfits! troll out.