Thursday, May 31, 2012

If Ya Need Me...

I will be at the Bradenton Marauders game with my buddy Slade...

Saturday, May 26, 2012

A Day Off After 19 Days...Spending Time With My Cards, Thanking the Topps Collector and Showing Off Photos of the BRADENTUCKY BOMBERS!!! Oh Yeah!

YeS!! No work today! After working 19 straight days without a day off I am off for 3 days in a row... The boss decided at the last minute to close the shop for the weekend and I wasn't about to complain. I do love overtime, but working 29 days a month gets old.

So, what do I do with my day off? First I sort through all the awesome cards I got in the mail for The Topps Collector... We are talking want list annihilation from 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2011 Topps along with a big stack of 2008 Topps which could lead to want list creation...

So far I have only updated the 2009 Topps list, which I must say is starting to look a lot shorter and a whole lot better... I will do my best to post up a formal thank you to my new buddy Edgar from the The Topps Collector blog...  For now, do what I did and start up a trade with him, you will not regret it! TTC want lists can be found HERE. Tell him the Troll sent you!

Aside from card fun, I will be doing a charity car wash with the Bradentucky Bombers at 2 o'clock... My lovely wife is at work, but will be getting a very large tattoo right after. She is thinking about 5 hours to do the outline, so I can wash some cars and then meet up with her. Tonight? I am sure there is fun on the agenda, I just don't know what yet. For now I am glad just to not be at work...

I haven't scanned any of the sweet cards that the Topps Collector sent over yet, so I will leave you with this photo of the wife and I that I think is pretty darn cool...

 Our team, the Bombers, did a photo shoot with an AWESOME photographer named Ken LeBleau last week. I am still waiting to see the official photos, but he leaked out a few extras including this one... The photo is called Bacon and Eggs - I (Side of Bacon) provide the bacon while my wife (Esther Gin N Juice) is giving the ovary gang sign to account for the eggs... Good times!

Thanks for reading! I totally crashed last night before all the group meetings on the field during the Rays game. Interesting stuff, but the final score was all that was really important to me...

Oh, the photo at the top is of some of the folks from the Bradentucky Bombers before a parade we did last month. It rained on our parade, literally, but over 100,000 people still came out and we flung 1000s of beads. The team photo is from our last home bout against Gainesville last Sunday...

Our next home bout is June 30th and we are  going to start playing at our Convention Center and will be able to house 1000s of fans. Pretty psyched about that!

Oh, also thanks to all the awesome folks who have helped me in my quest for 2012 Topps Heritage! Soooo much help and support! I am now well over 80% and need just 46 more short prints and a handful of basecards to stick a fork in this set, I really can't believe it, thanks!!!!!!! The list is once again UP TO DATE!

Thanks again to Edgar aka The Topps Collector for all of the awesome cards, PLEASE go check out his blog right now!

Go Rays! troll out.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Joe Maddon is GENIUS!!!! /// THANX Adam!!!

Here is a quick, one card post of my newest card in the Carlos Pena section of the Rays Stars binder... It comes courtesy of one of my oldest blogging "friends", Adam E from the Thoughts and Sox blog and thanks to him I now have this super rad, super shiny, low numbered (35/99) refractor of the Tampa Bay Rays' Gold Glove, hard slugging LEAD OFF hitter!!!

From 2010 Topps Finest (a fancy, high end product that I have NEVER ripped before) comes this SWEET refractor of Carlos Pena. Pena, who has been a first round draft pick, a Gold Glove first baseman, an All Star, a Silver Slugger, a homerun king, a Comeback Player of the Year - a dude with over 1000 career hits and half of them going for extra bases... A dude who dumped 264 balls into the right field bleachers, a prototypical cleanup hitter whose only flaw is those 1349 times he has whiffed...

A dude who has swiped 26 bases in 12 seasons (about 2 a year), a dude who has batted 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th and 7th when he isn't in the cleanup spot, a dude who has become the Rays LEADOFF hitter the past two games, a job he had yet to perform in 12 seasons in the Majors... A dude who has got on base in those 2 games and has helped his team win and has made his manager Joe Maddon look like a genius!

Pena doesn't have much speed and he strikes out ALOT and he has historically been one of the Rays top run producers - 3 good reasons for him to NOT be a leadoff hitter, but simple things like that don't sway Joe Maddon... Looking deeper you notice that Pena is second in the AL with 31 walks, he leads the AL with 6 hit by pitches, he is 7th in the AL with 72 times on base and he has a .364 OBP. Those aint bad numbers for a leadoff guy, but more importantly, since finding himself in that role, his bat is waking up and his team is winning, so I am def not complaining!

Thanks so much for the super shiny awesome card Adam! A great surprise, a great card - y'all know I love refractors!!! I would write more, but I need to be at work in 3 hours or so and I haven't gone to bed yet... That is how much I love this hobby, ha!

Thanks also to everyone who has responded and offered to help me out with 2012 Heritage! Pending delivery I am now better than 80% complete and the first 45 pages or so in the binder are getting nice and full... I still need a ton of short prints and a good handful of basecards, so feel free to check out my needs list and help a troll out...

Go Rays! Go to bed (to me) troll out (cold).

Monday, May 21, 2012

70 Per Cent of 2012 Heritage Is Now In the Binder!!!

The post office has been quiet the past 2 weeks for me... I am expecting a few, but I check everyday and its empty, well everyday except last Friday when I had a box reader Bruce B. from Connecticut... The box was chock full o' Heritage, 32 cards including short prints and also including my first copies of Joe Maddon and Desmond Jennings base cards... My LIST is up to date and current now. You might notice that Maddon and Jennings remain on the list. I don't actually NEED them anymore, but I WANT more copies...

With the 30 cards I did cross off of the list I have officially hit 70%!!!! I seriously didn't think I would get near this close and I am pretty damn psyched about it... Right now the decision is easy cuz I am broke, but should I have an extra 20 bucks next week, do I buy another blaster? Do I bid on eBay or COMC? Do I rip something else and hope to get some trade bait for more trading?

What to do? I could use some advice...

The Rays are down 3-2 to the Jays and I need to be at work in 4-1/2 hours. Blurgh. Come on Rays! Put this away before I fall asleep, please!!!!

If ya have any extra Heritage laying around, PLEASE check out my 2012 Heritage needs list which is current and up to date...Thanks again for the trade Bruce!!! You should have yer cards in the mail this week for sure...

I should mention that this is the first Joe Maddon card I have posted in some time - I don't have many and this is my first Maddon Heritage card, so that is pretty freaking awesome!!! Maddon is one of my PCs and I am desperately chasing any parallels or autos or relics that I can get my hands on... I will say someone headed my call the last time I made this plea and sent not one, but 2 of my MOST WANTED Joe Maddon cards. Stay tuned cuz I just might get around to posting them someday soon...

Before I sign off I wanted to send out birthday greetings! These aren't directed at Josh Hamilton, but it is his b-day, too... The man I am concerned with is my hero, my best friend and my biggest fan - my Dad! Happy Birthday Dad!!!! It was great to see you today and you still don't look a day over 40!

One last thing... The mission for this Friday is to get cards in the mail for Matt F., Julie, Adam E. and  D. Waggoner. If I still owe you and your zip code wasn't listed in my previous post, please drop me a line and a friendly reminder... Thanks also to Kyle from the JABO Blog who included the 2001 Josh Hamilton as a bonus along with my take from his Gypsy Queen break (which I will post someday)...

The score is now Toronto 6 and the Rays 2. Come on guys, LETS GO!!!!!!!!!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks for reading! Go Rays!!!!!!!!!!!!! troll out.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Mail Call

Greetings Trollites!
Sorry I have been so quiet... Down for a while with the flu and trying to catch up with everything... I had a lot of pending trades going before I got sick and today I made it to the post office... Folks in the following zip codes should expect something from me soon...60048, 11229, 76522, 20171, 06066, 60629, 60657, 62863, 60060, 71203, 33411, 16933, M4X 1C6 and 29063...
These packages may not even us up, but I am trying... I still owe people, specifically D Waggoner and Matt F. Soon guys, I promise...
Interleague, yay! Go Rays!
troll out.

Monday, May 7, 2012

2012 Topps Opening Day Inserts - Who Needs 'Em???

I ripped a blaster of 2012 Opening Day and seriously might get another... 10 bucks for 11 packs?

Awesome! And I pulled a blue parallel of Evan Longoria! Ha! My best pull this year!

I am going to try and build this set and will try and get a list together, but I have the Raymond mascot card - thanks Brian! and that was my most wanted insert... I would like the Rays Superstar Celebration card and any other Rays inserts, but I won't be chasing any insert sets, even though the 3D Opening Day Stars are pretty cool, every thing I pulled is up for grabs.
Here is what I got:

BLUE Parallels: #153 Aramis Ramirez and 160 Carlos Ruiz.

MASCOTS: M4 Arizona Diamondbacks unnamed kitty kat, M5 Fred Bird and M25 Junction Jack.

FANTASY SQUAD: FS1 Albert Pujols, FS14 Brian McCann, FS15 Joe Mauer and FS16 David Ortiz.

ELITE SKILLS: ES2 Alex Gordon, ES3 Prince Fielder and ES22 Jacoby Ellsbury.

OPENING DAY STARS: ODS7 Justin Verlander,  ODS14 Hanley Ramirez and ODS17 David Wright.

SUPERSTAR CELEBRATIONS: SC13 David Wright, Mets, SC17 Adam Jones, Orioles (2 copies of this one) and SC18 Brett Lawrie, Blue Jays-TAKEN
If you want ANYTHING posted here, claim it in the comments please, first to comment gets 'em. Then, shoot me an e-mail with your mailing address and if we have never traded before, let me know what you are giving me in return...
Thanks for reading! Hope somebody can use a few of these... I also posted my dupes from 2012 Heritage, find them here.
Oh, before I sign off, congrats to one of my favorite bloggers on hitting the 200 followers and 100,000 hits plateaus... Keep up the great work! Hit up Skate at the Plate and congratulate him yourself.
Go Rays! troll out.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

All Things 2012 Heritage

I bought myself a blaster of 2012 Heritage… Probably doesn’t seem like a big deal to most of you, but my budget has been jammed up at nothing for a while now, getting a blaster was pretty exciting… I have been so lucky getting so many cards towards this set without buying any wax myself… Before I ripped my first pack I had 312 out of 500 cards in the set.  

The box promised 72 cards and after ripping the 8 packs inside I was in fact left with 72 new Heritage cards. The problem was that of the 188 cards that I need to complete the set I only pulled 6 cards I needed, the rest were dupes and inserts. Now I didn’t think I was going to scratch 72 cards off my list, but I had really thought I might do better than 6 cards.

I pulled 2 short prints out of the box. At this point I had 5 short prints in my binder, now I have 6 as one of them was a dupe. What are the odds? The SP I pulled that I did need was pretty sweet though, card #495 of Big Game James Shields – Ace of the Tampa Bay Rays staff and owner of a perfect 5-0 record.

Beyond that SP there wasn’t much to be excited about. I bought the box at Wal Mart and I pulled 1 blue parallel (Yadier Molina), I landed 1 chrome card, 2 News Flashbacks, 2 Stick Ons, 1 Baseball Flashback, 1 New Age Performer and 56 base card duplicates including multiple copies of cards #73 Fredi Gonzalez, 160 Mark Buerhle and 187 Shelly Duncan. Not cool Topps!

Anyway, I still had fun ripping a little bit of wax even if the results weren’t ideal. I am still in love with this set and love flipping through the binder and reading the card backs. I despise Topps collation and hate how difficult it is to pull short prints… I mean based on my results with 2 SPS in 8 packs, I would have to open 200 packs to pull 50 short prints. At $3.29 a pack that is $658 to pull 50 SPs and the chances of them being unique are very slim… Basically unless you have a card blog, trading partners in good standing, a lot of money, a lot of luck and a lot of patience, you are screwed if you want to complete this set to 500.

That said, I am not giving up, I want to finish this set and I intend on it. This afternoon I got a bubble mailer at the PO Box from Ryan of the Ryan’s Pitch blog. He had posted that he had 3 SP dupes on his blog and I jumped on them. He sent those 3 along with some Rays cards and a few other base cards from my needs list.

The 3 short prints included card #449 Geraddo Parra, 458 Adron Chambers and card #468 of Nelson Cruz and his 8 postseason homers in 2011.

He also sent a trio of sluggers from the LA Angels. These 3 combine for 12 All Star appearances, a slew of Silver Sluggers and a bunch of Gold Gloves. The card in the center celebrates Albert Pujols blasting 3 homers in 1 game for the Cards in the 2011 postseason. I had a little bit of time on my hands and combined 2012 stats for these 3 Angels. They are batting a cumulative .207 (61  for 294) with 4 homers (all by Wells), 19 RBI and 2 steals. Sad really.

Thanks to all for reading! Please check out my freshly revamped 2012 Topps Heritage page. Aside from the 180 or so cards I need, this page now shows ALL of my dupes, plus all of my inserts and parallels for trade. A huge thank you to Ryan from Ryan’s Pitch for all the Heritage help, he is another blogger on the short list of Troll-endorsed traders. Aside from chasing the standard modern sets, Ryan has taken on the task of chasing 1960 Topps. Wow. Go check him out and check out the Rays tonight, Jeremy Hellickson will be on the hill and they can’t lose at the Trop, so if that holds true he will be 4-0 at the end of the night.

Oh, as an endnote I did get a 90 on my Statistics final exam and got a B as my final grade. Due to schedule change at work I missed 2 weeks of school, so pulling off a B is pretty huge. My GPA dropped to 3.37, but I ain’t worried. Once again, PLEASE check out my well organized haves and haves not 2012 Heritage page...

My next ventures will be posting up the rest of the 2012 Gypsy Queens from the JABO break and I have a blaster of 2012 Opening Day to rip... I wanna chase the base now, but all the inserts will be up for trade, so stay tuned in if you need any...

Go Rays! Troll out.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Rays Win ***yawn***

Not really news, the Tampa Bay Rays are 13-1 at home.


David Price struck out 12 and won his 5th game. Damn.

Just 2 more games on this homestand... Hellickson is on the hill manana... The leather nameplate came from Texas many moons ago, from the Skate at the Plate blog. Thanks Brian!

Go Rays! troll out.

Rambling On - Oh Yeah and Another Set is Done!

Life is good in Trollville!
I just got an e-mail from my Statistics professor. I got a 90 on my final exam – I could have done better, but I was worried that I had done a lot worse. I came down with the flu earlier this week and felt horrible during the exam, so I am thrilled that I pulled off an A on an exam that took me three hours to complete…

Other great things: after finishing this semester of school I celebrated by buying a blaster of 2012 Heritage AND a blaster of 2012 Opening Day (I am really liking this set!). I also picked up another binder and a few packs of 9-up Ultra Pro Pages and a few packs of penny sleeves, too. I have also got to spend a little bit of time filling up those new pages and updating my want lists again. Later today I will do posts on either the Heritage or Opening Day. I have a lot of dupes, plus extra inserts and parallels from each series. I will post them as “trade bait” on a first come, first claim basis, so stay tuned!

There are a lot of other reasons for a Troll to smile – my favorite team; the Tampa Bay Rays have the best record in baseball. Our best player, Evan Longoria, is on the disabled list, but the team continues to win, win, and win. Without their top offensive threat in the lineup, they are more reliant on their pitching staff than ever and boy are they delivering!  James Shields is 5-0. Jeremy Hellickson is 3-0 with a 2.51 ERA. The starting 5 is a combined 15-5 with 132 strikeouts against 60 walks in 160 innings. They have one of the best rotations in baseball and their whole staff is homegrown. Freaking awesome! The one free agent acquisition they made for the mound this off season was the signing of Angels cast-off Fernando Rodney.

Rodney (who really needs a nickname) has been ridiculous this season. He leads the league in appearances, saves and games finished. He has a 1-0 record with a 0.73 ERA. He has 12 K’s and just 2 walks (1 intentional) in 12 innings of work over 14 games. He has 9 saves. I don’t expect him to be 50 for 50 this season, but he is holding the fort quite nicely. When I look at the contracts that guys like Heath Bell and Jonathan Papplebon got, it really makes me ill – and Rodney is doing way better than each of them at a fraction of the cost…

I have lost a little focus here… Although I have to work this weekend through and have another 13 days or so before I get a day off, I am making the most of my free time. School is done for now and the wife and I are going to Gainesville, Florida (about 3 hours away) to see one of our favorite bands (Tragedy) this weekend and have a dinner date planned for Thursday…

One last good thing to note is that people keep on sending me awesomely generous packages in the mail and they are totally whittling my want lists down to nothing.

One such awesome and generous blogger is Clark from the Fantastic Catch blog. Clark had sent me a note a few weeks back offering to help me out with my 2011 Topps needs. I had pretty much forgotten about our “conversation” when the mailer appeared today in my box today. In fact even after I tore it open I couldn’t place who the sender was. I had to scour old messages to figure it out. I was glad I did cuz I wanted to give him credit for finishing off 2011Topps for me!

I had mentioned last week that this had been a busy week for getting Topps base from 2009-2012. I am CLOSE on so many series’. Now, for 2011 Topps, I am beyond close. I put (what I thought was) the final card into Series 2 this Saturday. As happens to me far too often, I made a mistake and actually need 4 more cards to finish Series 2 - #s 388, 523, 574 and 653.

Today, card #35 of Shin-Soo Coho completed Series 1 FOR REAL.

I do still need 3 more cards to polish off Updates and Highlights – cards numbered US54 Jerry Sands, US78 David Ortiz and US109 of Jair Jurrjens. I wouldn’t mind getting them, too, and closing the book on this set – all 3 series.
Anyway, for now I am psyched to have the top 2 series done. Clark didn’t stop there, though. He also included some Kimball Champions minis – card #KC55 Stan Musial and KC79 of Barry Larkin.

He also included a cool Diamond Duos card featuring two very good young third basemen who are both on the disabled list…

Clark sent along some random Rays and a couple more Longos for the PC – my favorite card in the package was this gold version of David Price, card #328.

My 2011 list is current and up-to-date. I now have 115 Kimballs out of 150! I am gonna add in a list of some of my insert dupes for trading.

My work schedule is going to remain hectic for a long, long time, but with school done for now I should have a little bit more time to blog and trade and to watch the Rays remain the best in the League.

Thanks again to Clark! Check out his blog, Fantastic Catch. He is officially a Troll-endorsed trader and a solid new blogger, so give him a shot!

Many, many great packages these past few weeks… So much to post. Gonna do my best to stay current, but we will see…

I am on a roll with trading right now, wanna get in on that roll? Drop me a line...
Go Rays! Troll out.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Tampa Bay Rays!!! On Cardboard Via 2012 Topps Gypsy Queen, Courtesy of Kyle from the JABO Blog!!!

Greetings Trollites!!! Tomorrow I take my final FINAL EXAM. This means my hiatus from blogging will be over soon. Actually, Monday I will be shipping out a bunch of cards, getting caught up with everyone that I owe - I will be buying some more pages for the binder and doing more organizing and keeping my want lists up to date...
Though I haven't been posting, I have been watching the Rays every night. The comeback on Monday night, capped off by Elliot Johnson's walk off single was awesome! Aside from the first inning, Big Game James Shields has looked great tonight. My guy Sean Rodriguez hit a homerun and the score is tied. The Rays are without Evan Longoria for at least 2 weeks, maybe a month or more... They don't really have a back-up third baseman anymore, but they have a ton of second baseman who can play anywhere... Former Tigers 2nd baseman Will Rhynes was called up from AAA to play third base tonight and just turned a double play... Between him, Jeff Keppinger, Elliot Johnson and Sean Rodriguez - I think they can handle things for a little while...
Anyhoo, I participated in a really awesome group break with the King of the Group Break - Kyle from the Juuuust A Bit Outside blog... I think he has done about 20 breaks this year alone and has a lot of happy collectors... I wanted some 2012 Gypsy Queen and for just 9 bucks I got 2 boxes worth of Gypsy Queen Rays shipped to me... I had planned on posting all of them, but I am exhausted and need to study, so I will just quickly post a scan of the 4 minis that I received from the break...
Thanks again Kyle! Juuust a Bit Outside is for real one of the best new blogs out there and a great spot for group breaks. He has the Troll seal of approval!
I have everything scanned up and will post in a few days, gotta get to work, get to bed.... Its the botttom of the sixth inning, the Rays are up 5-4 after Luke Scott just hit a solo homerun... Centerfielder Michael Saunders knocked the ball over the wall with his glove, but it counts as a homer, so I will take it!
Oh, couldn't resist posting 1 full sized card... Go Big Game James Shields!!! Go Rays! troll out.