Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Congrats to the Tampa Bay Rays For Another Amazing Season of Excitement and (Over) Achievement!!!!!

Thanks to a super understanding employer and an amazing spouse I have practically lived at Tropicana Field over the last 6 weeks... During that time span I was lucky enough to see them win 18 games while losing just 2. Last night was the second loss and unfortunately it was the loss that ended their season... This photo was snapped yesterday while the game was still knotted up at 1 and we were all full of hope. I think everyone knows how it all ended. The game, the season and my delightful distraction from real life. I know its just a game and when its all said and done there is one winner and a whole bunch of losers, but I can't help but feel sad, melancholy and a little empty... Congrats to the Red Sox. They played a super tight series. Jacoby Ellsbury was an amazing catalyst, as was Shane Victorino. There is no shame in getting beat by those two.

It does however sting that it was Xander Jan Bogaerts drawing 2 key walks and scoring the game winning and insurance runs last night. Yeah, that stung, but either way the Rays are done, the Red Sox are rolling and now I will be shifting all of my rooting and attention to the Pittsburgh Pirates tonight. I would LOVE to see them face off (and beat) the Red Sox in the Series.
So that is all. My cowbell is gonna sit on the shelf for the next few months, my Rays jerseys are hung up in the closet and Stub Hub will no longer be my most frequently visited website.

It was a great run and I loved be a part of it as a fan. Things worked out so magically for me. I paid my bills before I bought tickets and so many times they just fell into my lap. That happened last night when our friend Lora (pictured above on the end, wife in middle, Troll on other end) offered us 2 of her season tickets and joined us in the last row in right field under the Jumbotron scoreboard. Out of 20 games in 6 weeks we only paid for about half of the games we saw - we relied and benefited from the kindness of strangers (and friends) and to all of them I saw thank you!

To the Rays I say the same thing - THANK YOU! For an exciting season full of hope with a little despair thrown in for good measure... Of course I will be watching the rest of the playoffs and I will be talking over the theoretical hot stove all (Florida) winter long.

 I will be hoping that David Price returns in 2014 and signs a nice long term deal. I will be hoping that James Loney, Yunel Escobar (3 for 3 last night!), David DeJesus, Jose Lobaton and Jamey Wright all elect to remain Rays in 2014 and beyond and I will be hoping that Evan Longoria, Ben Zobrist, Alex Cobb, Matt Moore, Desmond Jennings, Alex Torres, Jake McGee, Wil Myers, Chris Archer, Jeremy Hellickson, Jeff Niemann and company all get plenty of rest, maintain their health and continue to improve on their games through the off season. I will also be hoping that my awesome online friends and fellow bloggers continue to share their unwanted Rays cards with me,too!

Yes, this was a magical year for the Rays and their fans, but its over. I am bummed, I am gonna have a whole bunch of free time and I have less chances to scream my head off and give strangers high fives, but spring training is right around the corner and I eagerly await seeing my team on the field again. Thank you, thank you, thank you! To the Rays, their fans, my friends and game day buddies and all of the generous ticket gifters out there. THANK YOU!!!
Go Pirates!
Troll out.

P.S. A HUGE thank you to my lovely (and tired) wife who cheered for every pitch till the end and didn't get home till 3:00 AM and turned around and went to work at 6 this morning. What a trooper!

P.S.S. This does mean I will be posting more often. I have completed many trades and received several surprise gifts in the mail and those awesome folks need thanks too!

P.S.S.S. I still have many Allen and Ginter dupes and minis available for the taking and for trading... I need only 2 more base cards to finish the set, 1-350, and I need just a few more inserts to finish the master set. Get in touch if you can help me out with that OR if you I can help you... Happy collecting kids!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

It's Enny Romero Time!!!

After a great season in AA and 1 single start in AAA, 22 year old lefty Enny Romero is big league ready!!! Playing 18 innings on Friday after a 12 inning contest on Wednesday has a whole lot to do with it, but this is still pretty darn exciting for a Rays fan... There are only 2 regular season home games left for the Rays - both are MUST WINS and this Troll will be in attendance for both... Best of luck to Enny Romero in his Major League debut!
Go Rays! MUST WIN!!!!
troll out.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Rays Win - I'm a Zombie!

Goodness! What a long, exhausting, emotionally draining game to go to BEFORE work!!! Had an AMAZING time with my co-workers and the other fans. Watched what was at times horrible baseball from both sides, neither team really played well. They def did not look like teams battling for the postseason, but a win is a win and my Rays finally pulled it out and didn't lose...
I was responsible and avoided the ball park beers that were calling my name, and I did stay till the end. I screamed and clapped and had lots of fun as fan, but by 5 AM I was a total zombie...
Even though it wasn't pretty, I am hoping that was one of those momentum changing, difference making, rally starting type of wins... Matt Moore vs. Yu Darvish tonight. I will be watching on TV...
Go Rays!
troll out

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Rays Game Tonight - I Will Be There!!!!

Getting ready to head to Tropicana Field to watch the Rays versus Rangers tonight... For those who don't know, I work third shift in a machine shop that isn't too far from the Trop. Its a HUGE company, but the building I work in has just 22 guys working there on my shift. Nearly everyone is a big baseball fan and most love the Rays...

I typically hit games with the wife and don't get out with the boys too often, so I am pretty amped about this... I do have to work tonight, but not till eleven pm. Me and five co-workers are checking out the game before work. That idea seems a little odd, but it will be awesome as long as the Rays win...

We picked out this date and got the tickets back in July. At the time the Rays were neck and neck at the top of the AL East with Boston and Texas was out in front of the West. It seemed it could be a preview of the ALCS... Since then both teams have struggled. The guys have joked that they hope the game will actually matter by the time they play. Well, tonight, it really, really matters. The Rays and Rangers are neck and neck, tied up for the Wild Card with the Indians (amongst others) hot on their heels... Its time to go, so I must sign off...

Gonna be decked out in Rays blue. Our seats are on the field behind the Rangers on-deck circle. We really lucked out and got a bargain. Not too surprising because the Rays have barely drawn 10,000 fans the last two games. Hoping for a sell out (yeah right) tonight...Excited. Very excited. I think the game is on ESPN tonight, so check us out. Just ignore all the blue seats, he he. Chris Archer is on the hill tonight for the home team, so I am decorating this post with all 3 Archer cards I own right now... I would love to grow this collection and I have 2 copies of the Turkey auto, so get in touch if you wanna trade...

This will be my first time seeing Archer pitch in person - hoping for a complete game shut out, come on Arch!!! Bragging rights are on the line for this one Brian, ha!

One last thing... Got a giant padded mailer from Sam at the Daily Dimwit today... He beat up my Ginter want list pretty bad! Lists are up to date, so check 'em out... Thanks SO much Sam!!!
troll out.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Great Things Coming! Of a Vintage Nature...

So I have yet to write a post, that will be coming later this week, but I have been invited by mega blogger Jim from Downing Town to join the crew at the 1963 Topps Blog.

I started working on the '63 Topps set about 2 years ago when I was still regularly blogging... I have been buying lots and making trades and I am now in possession of 217 cards (out of 576). That means I am 38% complete and I am working hard to make that number climb!

I will begin blogging the cards I already have for the '63 Topps Blog and will ideally be posting 2 - 4 times weekly. That means I can keep it going for at least a year even if I don't acquire any more cards.

The baseball season is nearing the final stretch and I am very focused on cheering the Tampa Bay Rays into the playoffs... Hopefully this happens and they return to the World Series to play for all the marbles, hopefully.

Whether they do or not - I would like to keep blogging and collecting throughout the MLB offseason. I don't really follow football (I am a Bucs fan and we saw the great start they got off to) so I think that VINTAGE is the perfect subject for me to write about.

If you don't already follow the 1963 Topps Blog, you should check it out. All the current content is from Jim, who is a very knowledgeable collector. I will do my best to follow his format and follow his lead. It should be pretty awesome. I am very excited about the opportunity to try something new and write for a well respected blog about an awesome set.

If you also collect '63 Topps and want to trade - you can find my needs list right HERE.
If you are a fan of this set and you want to blog about it also - contact Jim through the blog. The more the merrier!

As always, I love to trade and to talk cards, if you wanna get in touch you can reach me HERE.

Thanks for reading and please, please check out a great vintage card set blog right here. You can find links to all of Jim's fine vintage set blogs on the page and if you check back in about a week, you can see the debut of yer pal the Troll trying his hand at set blogging.

When I write my first post, I will link it here, but just the first post. If you like what you see, I hope you will follow the 1963 Topps blog...

Vintage forever!
Go Rays!
troll out.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

The Magnificent Seven

Yes, the Clash reference is intentional as they are my favorite band of all time… I am referring to my 7 favorite Rays – the 7 players who dominate my Rays binder. I have decided to collect JUST current Rays. I haven’t ditched my collections of Carl Crawford, Jonny Gomes, James Shields, Wade Davis or Carlos Pena. Still have em, still enjoy them, just not pursuing any more cards of them really.

The players I do pursue, in order I guess, are the Magnificent Seven, they are:
1.       Ben Zobrist
2.       Desmond Jennings
3.       Evan Longoria
4.       Alex Cobb
5.       David Price
6.       Matt Moore
7.       Joe Maddon

Not really in order. I have the fewest cards of Moore and Maddon and probably have the most of Longoria and Price. I seem to hunt for Zobrist and Jennings more than anyone and I have a knack for getting really cool Alex Cobb cards in trades. There are other guys I keep in the Rays binder. I don’t dislike Jeremy Hellickson or Matt Joyce. I am a big fan of Sean Rodriguez, Jake McGee, Jose Lobaton and Alex Torres – I just don’t have many cards of any of them.

I don’t really care for cards of Jose Molina or Luke Scott. I am still indifferent about cards of Fernando Rodney, James Loney or Yunel Escobar. I guess the Magnificent Seven are my favorites. I love the variety of cards of Longo and Price and I love tracking down every variation of Zobrist, Jennings and Cobb and I get psyched any time I can add any card of Moore or Maddon to the binder.

I illustrated this post with a few cards that I got in my first trade package received in a long, long time. It came from Nick W. who still doesn’t have a blog yet. Turns out I did a trade with Nick nearly two years ago – actually he sent me cards, I forgot to return the favor… Fortunately he didn’t hold a grudge and he hooked me up with a variety of cards from my 2013 Ginter needs list, PLUS a bonus pile of awesome Rays cards. Inserts, parallels, base cards, oh my! Including these 3 archives cards of players on my Magnificent Seven list.

Thanks for the hook up Nick! I look forward to many, many more trades in the near, near future. Cheers!
Go Rays!

Troll out. 

Friday, September 6, 2013

Quickly, Quickly...

Greetings Trollites!!!! 

I must be brief, but I wanted to take a moment to give a sincere THANK YOU to everyone who read my last post and a HUGE, WHOLE-HEARTED THANK YOU to all who commented and messaged me. I was honestly shocked that people remembered me, but the warm response seriously brought tears to my eyes. Thanks sooo much for that!!!

I also owe a big ole, Florida-sized thanks to everyone who has beat up my Ginter needs list. When I made this post over the weekend I needed over 130 cards and I was out of money after buying far too many blasters. I was ready to give up hope, but the Blog-O-sphere came to the rescue!

As I type this I need just 10 more base cards to finish the set!!! WOOT!!!

Anyway... I have updated ALL of my Ginter lists including the trades lists - I added up a bunch of minis, plus more SPs. I have dupes of 25 different SPs - half the set! All are there for the taking, just waiting to be claimed...

More to come, I promise...

Till then - THANKS AGAIN!!!!

Go Rays (it is okay to win on the West Coast guys)
troll out.

Monday, September 2, 2013

My Ripping Addiction Causes the Troll to Resurface... 2013 Allen and Ginter

Greetings friends and bloggers!
Yes, it has been about a year since my last post. I don't have much of an explanation - there are about 6 thousand reasons and excuses. I won't try to claim that I am back, but I will say that I am back into collecting again and with the long weekend I had tons of extra time to hit the storage boxes and fill the binders, all the while making list after list.

I am trying hard to get the cards I have had scattered around for the past couple years safely stored in binders with corresponding lists. I have been pretty darn successful. I ordered 10 boxes of 100 Ultra Pro Platinum pages along with a dozen d-ring binders (thank goodness for back to school sales!) and a small bookshelf for the extra bedroom.

Yes, I was burned out pretty bad on collecting. I took a solid year off, then spent the next year as a casual collector, then started liquidating cards on eBay. I made a little bit of money, but ended up reinvesting pretty much all of it back into cards. I worked hard at finishing 1965 Topps (so close!), building my '63 Topps set (getting respectable), finishing 1979, 1991 and 1996 Topps and working hard at 2007 - 2013 Topps flagship. I still Topps Heritage, but it is so damn expensive and so damn tough and so damn frustrating. I will get back into next year when they do my beloved '65 Topps design...

So, the title of this post... I mentioned selling cards and buying more. One of my purchases was a hobby box of 2013 A & G. I really wish I had been ready to get back to playing Troll because I would have loved to actually participate in Gint-A-Cuffs this year... I wouldn't have fared very well. It was a HORRIBLE rip! It was enough to reignite my addiction, obsession and true love of the rip, especially the always fun and full of surprises Ginter rip.

I would estimate that since the hobby box I have ripped 8 (maybe 9 or 10, I've lost count) retail blasters, along with a couple jumbo hangers and retail packs. Basically I have invested over $300 into this product and I am nowhere close to completion.

Subconsciously, this may be why I decided to try and remember my blogger password... I went to Target and left with a blaster and a hanger pack. I ripped the hanger first and got 2 cards that I needed and also nabbed  a black bordered mini. The blaster, on the other hand, was a horrible mistake. I tore into the 8 packs and sorted the cards into stacks of base, SP, inserts and minis and then checked them against the binder. I then realized that out of 8 packs I did not find a SINGLE card that I needed!!!! Not a base card, not an insert, not even a short print. In fact I got my second extra copy of Cole Hammels' SP.

After this I decided that I can't blow another 20 bucks on one of these boxes.
So... I sorted and sorted and sorted some more. I filled a binder with the regular set plus all of the full sized inserts. I organized all of my dupes, put each one penny sleeves and sorted them numerically and typed out a list and posted it here on this blog.

Its amazing how motivating the frustration of Topps' crappy collation can be...It got me to update this page for the first time in a year. I didn't stop at A and G either. Nearly ALL of my lists are current and up to date.
Yep, that's right, yer friend the Troll is READY TO TRADE!!!!!!!! Help me out with Allen and Ginter PLEASE! I made 4 separate page to cover my full sized haves and needs and the same thing for minis. I can't waste any more bucks on blasters. Especially with this many dupes kicking around. If you can help me out, I promise to do my best to make it worth your while...

I haven't listed them out yet, but I have ripped many, many blasters of each series from 2012 and 2013 Topps both and I have stacks upon stacks of inserts, parallels and singles, so if you have a needs list, send it my way.

All of my want lists, as well as my Ginter trade list are on the side bar. My address is, too. If we've traded before, I no longer have my post office box, so make a note of my new address. My e-mail address is the same, though. You can reach me right here.

Hey, thanks for reading my 3 AM rant. I should note that as I type I am watching (for the 2nd time) the replay of the Rays loss to the A's earlier today. Yep, they got swept and I am getting nervous. I still LOVE the Rays. I still collect their cards and you can find me at the Trop for nearly EVERY home game.

Thanks again for reading. I am going to bed.

Please trade with me! Wait... Una cosa mas (one more thing). I started the post with a Bill Buckner card. Question for parents out there. If you are going through cards with your child and they pick up this card and ask "who is Bill Buckner?". How do you respond? Just wondering. Signing off for real now...

Go Rays!
troll out.