Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A small milestone

This site passed 100 hits the other day which made me pretty happy.  I attempted to start this blog twice previously and didn’t get things off of the ground stalling out after a post or two each time.  It was from reading blogs that I got back into the hobby and it was starting my own blog that brought a lot of the fun back.  I’ve made some trades and had fun communicating with other collectors.  The fact that people out there are reading this and enjoying it is great.  Hopefully more people find the blog and enjoy it and more trades get completed.

Thanks to those of you who have been reading and thank you also to those who are writing and helped me get interested in the hobby again.

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Sunday, March 29, 2009

2008 Upper Deck Timelines Baseball box break

Hanley This is the final box from my first purchase at Dave and Adam’s Card World.  I was intrigued by 2008 Timelines and the box was cheap so I decided to pick one up.  It had the retro thing going for it and… well, there must have been some other reason why this looked like a good purchase at the time.  I can’t recall why at the moment though.

The base set isn’t bad at all.  There’s no letter X to be seen anywhere which is a good thing.  I always like when the card borders are in a team’s colors.  It’s a little touch that usually makes a set look better.  It’s especially true on cards like this Hanley Ramirez.  The borders really make the picture pop.


The first subset of cards reuses the design from the 1992 Minor League set.  It’s a pretty good set and I’ve got one in my collection that I put together back in 1992.  The card design is similar to the 1992 MLB design with a few differences.  It even makes Red Sox killer Scott Kazmir look good.


Next up is the 1994 All-Time Heroes design.  I’m not really crazy about this design.  The floating head is kind of creepy.  I don’t mind not having any of these cards from when they were originally released.


Next up is the 95 SP design for a Top Prospects subset.  I really don’t understand why this design was used when it was included in last year’s SP Rookie Edition set.  Why not use a Star Rookie design from an early 90s Upper Deck set?  How about something from Collector’s Choice?  I don’t care as long as it is different.

These cards came with the roller marks through the middle of every card like you find on every other card from this subset pulled out of Timelines packs.  Since it was less than a year from the release date, I sent them in to Upper Deck customer service to see what would happen.  I had a Kobe Bryant Heroes card that I had to send in anyway so I figured that it couldn’t hurt to see if I could end up with some super rare mint condition cards from this subset.  I’ll definitely update on this blog once I get something back from them, but who knows when that will be given the current status of the company.


2004 Timeless Teams is probably the best best subset in Timelines.  I know that it’s a popular opinion, but there’s a reason for that.  The design on the front is nice and again the color of the border matches the team colors.  The backs of these cards are beautiful as well with pictures of the stadium that the player plays in.  This subset is one of the things that makes busting open boxes of Timelines fun.  The Red Sox are well represented in this subset with cards of Ellsbury, Big Papi, Dice-K, Buchholz, Lowrie and Masterson.  As you can see, this set skews towards the younger players especially those that have a rookie card logo such as Buchholz, Lowrie and Masterson.


Here’s another design that was used in the previous year’s Rookie Edition set.  1993 SP.  Been there, done that.  Why not choose something else?

I’ve got the original 93 SP set.  That was back when Upper Deck’s gimmick was actually getting mint cards in packs.  Oh wait, you still rarely get mint cards out of Upper Deck packs.  I don’t know what it is about how they cut their cards or package them that leads to so many soft corners right out of the box.  It’s extremely annoying.


Next up is the 1994 SP set which is a good choice due to it not being a part of the previous year’s Rookie Edition set.  The various foil cards don’t scan well, but I like this set a lot.  I’ve got the original set and will watch as A-Rod chips away at the value with each new revelation of how much of a douche he really is.


Last, and certainly least, is another visit to the 1995 SP design.  These cards are Premier Prospects instead of run of the mill Top Prospects.  You can tell that these guys are Premier by the fact that their cards are gold colored as opposed to the silver Top Prospects.  While I don’t understand using sets that were in another retro set last year, I really don’t understand using a set design twice.  The cards from this subset tend not to have the roller marks that the silver cards do.


Of course there were Yankee Stadium cards in here.  Posada, A-Rod, Matsui and Big Unit.


I got an serial numbered (to 93) autograph of a player Beavis and Butthead’s would love, Brian Bocock as well as a non-numbered auto of Clete Thomas.  I know that I certainly didn’t purchase this box for the “hits.”


The only decent pull that I got in the box was this Manny card numbered to 25.  Dodgers fans love them some Manny right now.  If he behaves, they’ve got themselves one hell of a player.

I should have listened to all of the complaints online, but I didn’t.  In retrospect, I wish that I hadn’t purchased this box.  Between the damaged cards, poor choice of sets to reuse and lack of anything decent in the packs it’s not really a set worth buying.  I put together a checklist for the set, but I doubt that I’ll be putting it together unless someone were to contact me with 75% of the set they want to trade away.


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Saturday, March 28, 2009

Hit me baby one more time.

One of the best things about having a little bit of extra cash has been finding a baseball card shop near work and being about to go there regularly.  On my first trip to Kenmore Collectibles, I bought a couple of packs of Upper Deck Basketball and Chrome Basketball.  I beat the odds with each and got “hits.”  My Upper Deck hit was a Yao Ming jersey card and my Chrome hit was a Javale McGee autographed rookie.  Jersey cards are a dime a dozen these days so the Ming isn’t anything special.  McGee could develop into something special, but at the moment you can buy the card that I pulled on eBay for a buck or two.

2009UDOrtizJersey On another trip, I purchased 3 packs of 2009 Upper Deck.  My only hit was a David Ortiz triple swatch, but this was a rarity for me.  Not only was this a quality card or a star that is numbered to 99, but it is someone that I collect.  This card went right into my collection.

I’m not sure what the fascination is with having jersey cards spell out things, but this one isn’t too bad.  The single swatches from this year’s Upper Deck are absolutely terrible.


I purchased 4 packs of 2009 Upper Deck on my next trip and pulled “hits” in half of the packs.  If I lived in Minnesota and were a Twins fan, I would have loved these hits.  Since I live in Boston and am a Red Sox Fan, these cards didn’t excite me at all.  Here’s one of those ugly jersey cards that I was just talking about.  JN-J?  It’s obvious that these were an afterthought once the fancier jersey cards were designed.  At least I hope they are because if they came up with these first it is a huge mistake.


An autograph of a career .269 hitter?  This guy isn’t even a starter and only got playing time last season due to injuries if I remember correctly.  Apologies to any Brendan Harris fans out there, but this card has no business existing.  Why would any collector that isn’t a Twins fan want to pull an autograph of a weak hitting middle infielder?  Upper Deck proclaims that there’s one autographed card per box, but if this is the quality of the autographs then why bother?  Autographs just for the sake of having autographs is no good.  Get those junk autographs out of there.


Of all of the insert cards that I pulled out of those 4 packs, my favorite would be the Tim Lincecum Stars of the Game card.  It’s a nice looking card of a star player.  I was much happier when the insert cards that you pulled out of packs were fancy cards of star players.  The bat, jersey, patch, ball, base, autograph, jock strap cards have gotten out of hand.  Card companies have tried saving these cards by serial numbering them, but that only gives them value due to player collectors fighting over them.  That little number on the card really doesn’t make them all that different.

One thing that you might have noticed about my recent collecting purchases is that I buy boxes of Topps product and just packs of Upper Deck product.  I try Upper Deck, but when I get four packs and pull a card of a female general that looks like a man with a bad wig (the second that I’ve pulled), a sign from a gas station and even more Yankee Stadium cards, I get turned off from the product.


I’ve seen a lot of annoyance over pulling cards of basketball players, hockey players, football players and golfers in the 20th Anniversary Retrospective set, but I’d rather have any of those than this.  I guess this is the Periodic Table’s rookie card, but it sat out most of last year with injuries so the value is pretty low right now.  Anyone out there want to send this card off to Germany so that the scientists that created Ununbium can sign it?  Why do card companies think that collectors want ridiculous cards like this?

I pulled this card out of a pack of 2009 Upper Deck SPx Baseball.  Normally I would avoid a 4 card pack that cost $8 like the plague, but I had won some money the previous night at bowling and it was the only new product available so I decided to take a shot on a couple of packs.


Here’s something else that card companies rely on way too much these days.  I’m not a big fan of redemption cards.  At least it is a rookie redemption which makes a little bit of sense since they’re trying to make a card available of a player which may not be eligible yet.  If you believe eBay auctions, this is packed out one per case.  Then again, eBay auctions are also incorrectly saying that this card could potentially be Yu Darvish who will be exclusive to Topps unless he gets posted, but at the moment Darvish has said that he has no intention of coming to the United States.  It'll be interesting to see what happens if his team posts him looking for the insane posting fee that he’ll command when Darvish doesn’t want to leave Japan.

These redemption cards are selling for between $40 and $50 at the moment on eBay.  If I had checked that first, I may not have been so quick to redeem the card, but redeem it I did.  I’ve got card #6 and it should be here in 3 to 4 months if the website can be believed.  Big names like Price and Wieters are starting the season down in the minors.  Price can be on a card even if he’s still down in the minors, but I’ll be hoping that Wieters is called up before Upper Deck starts producing these cards.


I’m calling BS on these cards.  I’ve seen some on eBay that have colored swatches which are impossible given the team that they are supposed to be from.  There are swatches with pinstripes on them from teams that have never had pinstripes on their uniforms.  Then there’s too many ridiculously stupid cards like this Delgado here.  Why even bother with this card if you are going to put two grey swatches in it?  I’m starting to jump on the No Upper Deck Baseball in 2010 bandwagon based on uninspired cards like this.


I shouldn’t be complaining about the contents of my two packs given that I got all kinds of “hits” in them, but I will.  Here’s a Brewers team quad jersey that I pulled.  It’s nice, but where’s Ryan Braun?  This card would be awesome if Braun were on it.  He could easily bump either Sheets or Hall.  Even without Braun, this is still a good card, but is there anyone out there that would rather have this card without Braun?  It is these kinds of stupid decisions that will end up costing Upper Deck their MLB license if that does indeed happen.


Again, I’m happier with a plain, basic card.  I like the design on the DiMaggio cards.  I won’t be collecting the set and this card probably won’t stay in my collection for long since I’m sure many people will be chasing them, but I do like the card.

According to the card companies, I should be thrilled with all of those hits that I pulled, but that’s not the case.  The Ortiz is great, but the rest of the relic and auto cards leave something to be desired.  The rookie redemption is probably the best of the bunch, but I won’t know how good until the card arrives months from now.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Trading Block: Chris from SacBunt


The first trade that was initiated by someone reading my blog was with Chris from the Sac Bunt Baseball Card Blog.  I’ve been making comments all over the blogosphere and I think he found my site through one of those.  He read my post about 2007 SP Rookie Edition Baseball and had a good amount of cards that I needed including the Dice-K over to the left.  In return he asked for Orioles cards and you can see what I sent him in his post about the trade.

ChecklistTo the right you’ll find what I still need for the set.  It’s mostly short printed cards so I don’t know how long it’ll take me to complete the set.  I’m not a big fan of chasing those.  Hopefully someone else with a stack of these will happen across my site and we’ll be able to work out a trade for some of the others.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Trading Block: A Heavenly Trade

PiazzaFeatures Another trade that I made before I really got going on my blog again was with Mario from Wax Heaven.  While going through some of the various cards that I pulled from 2007 releases, I came across an Andrew Miller card that Mario didn’t have and wanted to change that.  The card inspired a whole post about Turkey Red and was the last Andrew Miller parallel that Mario needed from the 2007 Turkey Red Set.  In return, Mario sent some very cool Piazza cards for my collection.


I really like these first two Finest cards.  The Ballpark Bounties card especially is a very cool one.  I love the design and colors and wouldn’t mind picking up more cards with that design.


The Finest Masters card is kind of bland looking to me.  If I remember correctly this is when the Finest sets had bronze, silver and gold cards and a ton of different subsets.  Not really fun to collect in my opinion.


The Donruss Certified is a very nice card.  I already had the red serial numbered version of the card, but not the regular version.  Now that has been remedied.

Thanks Mario!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Trading Block: Trading with Dayf

One of the main things that has gotten me back into collecting is the amount of great baseball blogs out there.  One of the best is Cardboard Junkie written by Dayf.  I read one of his posts where we listed off the Target Heritage minis that he needed.  I happened to have the last two that he needed sitting right in front of me from a blaster that I had just purchased, so I contacted him and soon was completing my first Internet trade.  I sent off the cards pictured here in Dayf's post and here’s just some of the cards that he sent back:

PiazzaMike Piazza – 2008 Heritage.  I bought one blaster of Heritage at Target and 7 or 8 loose packs one night at a Cracker Barrel (which I didn’t even know carried baseball cards) and that was the extent of my Heritage purchases.  I didn’t pull a Piazza myself so this was a welcome addition to my Piazza collection.  On a side note, the Heritage blaster that I purchased was full of smashed up cards.  So, I sent the blaster back and got one back from Topps that deserves a blog post of its own.


Mike Piazza – 2007 Topps Red Back.  I didn’t buy a whole lot of 2007 Topps.  In fact, I don’t even think that I have the regular version of this card.  Topps can definitely get out of hand with the parallel sets, but they took that to a whole new level with 2009’s black Walmart and retro Target parallel sets.

Papi David Ortiz – 2008 Allen & Ginter.  Big Papi is my current favorite player on the Red Sox.  He was a favorite late round pick of mine in fantasy baseball drafts when he was with the Twins.  I told all of the Sox fans that I knew that the signings of Ortiz and Billy Mueller would pay dividends for the Sox if they could remain healthy.  I had no clue that Ortiz would become the hitter he is today under the tutelage of “Papa Jack.”  The low risk, high rewards type of signing has become the calling card of Theo Epstein and combined with an amazing ability to scout and develop talent is why the Sox have become the huge success they are at the moment.


Manny Ramirez – 2007 Bowman Heritage.  While it was great seeing Manny destroy baseballs in a Sox uni, the antics eventually got to be too much.  The stunts that he pulled to get the Red Sox to trade him and not exercise his option years took away all of his leverage when trying to find a new contract.  It’ll be interesting to see how he behaves this season in LA.  He skipped the part of Spring Training he dislikes the most and has already had one “injury” pop up.  There’s no reason to believe that this tiger will change his stripes.


Jonathan Papelbon – 2008 Goudey.  Papelbon is proof that you can be a character and be goofy while still being professional.  I could care less about his dancing or any of that stuff as long as he continues to stare down batters like Ricky “Wild Thing” Vaughn and blow the heater by them.  I can understand why he wants to be the best paid reliever of all time though, the poor guy can’t afford a chew toy for his dog.  The little mutt has supposedly destroyed two historic baseball including the one used to record the final out of the 2007 World Series.


J.D. Drew – 2007 Heritage.  I really wanted Drew to prove everyone wrong when he came to the Red Sox.  His first season was a disaster until the last couple of months.  His huge home run in the playoffs bought him some good will with the fans and since he was dealing with family problems in 2007, there was hope things would get better in 2008.  While his numbers were improved in 2008, the injury bug started to show its ugly head again and Drew was a non-factor when it came playoff time.  The Sox didn’t have a good bench in 2008 and they suffered for it in the playoffs.  Injuries are already a problem for Drew in 2009 and it remains to be seen whether this once hobby darling will ever fulfill his potential.


Kevin Youkilis – 2007 Fleer.  2008 was a breakthrough season for Youkilis.  It was the first time he had been able to perform well for an entire season and it got him 3rd place in MVP voting.  As good as Youkilis has been with the bat, he’s even better with the glove.  He set a record for consecutive errorless games at first base after moving there from the hot corner when the team acquired Mike Lowell.  Youk makes up part of a young core of players that should keep the Sox in contention for at least the next 5 years.

This is just a sample of that cards that I got.  It was a great trade that added some cards to my collection from years when I wasn’t buying too much.  Thanks dayf, anytime you get a pile of Sox together I’ll gladly search for some Chippers and Braves to send your way.

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Saturday, March 21, 2009

A Cautionary Tale: Sportlots.com

I first heard about the Sportlots website from reading the Squeeze Play Cards blog.  I checked it out and was soon using the site to fill my wantlists.  I had a bunch of cards that looked like they might sell on there, but weren’t really worth listing on eBay and so I took the plunge and began listing items on Sportlots.

I soon found out that the fees are pretty ridiculous unless you sell more than $25 a month worth of cards, but since these were mostly cards that wouldn’t sell any other way I overlooked that.  It seemed like some of the sellers on Sportlots padded the shipping costs that they charged to recoup these fees, but I’m not a fan of shady practices like that.

I didn’t list a ton of items on Sportlots and was only getting 3 or 4 orders to fill a month, but I sold some of my Yankee Stadium inserts and other inserts that I have no desire to add to my collection.  I placed a couple of orders here and there because you could get a lot of cards on there for eighteen cents that would cost you more elsewhere.

I had placed one order and it had been over a week since the seller said that it had been filled so I should have gotten it even with the slowest shipping method available.  I went to check on the status of the order and got a strange error message upon trying to enter the site.  I got the same error when I tried to search for cards.

Upon contacting Sportlots customer support, I was told that due to not filling an order my account had been closed, all of my inventory had been removed from the site and basically I had been banned from the site.  It isn’t even possible to purchase from the site anymore because my account has been restricted from accessing any page on the site.

My first thought was that maybe an order that I shipped got lost in the mail, but I couldn’t even check which order it was because I couldn’t access the site.  Customer support got me the information and it was an order that I hadn’t seen before.  I checked my e-mail and I hadn’t gotten one e-mail notification for this order even though the site supposedly sent them for a week.  I had e-mails letting me know that Sportlots had sent me my payment for the past month of sales and I had e-mails notifying me of the status of my purchases, but strangely I didn’t have any e-mails notifying me of the order that I had to fill.  Strange since they are all coming from the same place.  I don’t have any kind of Spam filters on the web interface of my e-mail so that rules out that option.  The e-mails just didn’t get sent to me.  I also never got any kind of notification that my account was getting shut down.

Sportlots took the stance that sellers shouldn’t rely on the e-mail notifications and rather should check into the site regularly.  That’s fine for people who might get orders frequently, but I’m not going to check in every day when I may get 3 or 4 orders a month for something like one Heritage SP that I happened to pull from a pack.  It’s a very lame way to position things and is very poor customer service in my eyes given the exorbitant fees that they charge.  Don’t even get me started on how poor the search engine is there.  The fact that there’s no secondary search by seller is ridiculous and makes it a chore to minimize shipping costs.

So, Sportlots customer service made it sound like they’d be doing me this huge favor by reinstating my account to fix an error due to e-mails never sent.  I told them to please go ahead and do so in order to allow me to shop and check on my orders, but to not bother reloading my inventory into the system (and damn it takes a long time to load that stuff in) because I was no longer interested in selling on their site.  We’ll see what happens.  No big loss if they don’t reopen my account.  It’s easy enough to delete my cookie and create a new account for shopping.  Imagine what eBay would be like if they deleted every seller’s account after their first bad transaction.  I’ve had a stellar history on eBay, but there are plenty of idiots out there and eBay doesn’t always do the most thorough of investigations.  Even though I’ve only ever had one negative feedback on eBay in over ten years of buying and selling on the site, if they had the same rules as Sportlots then I would be banned from the site.  Just a heads up to those of you out there selling on Sportlots.

UPDATE: I’ve exchanged e-mails with the person who runs the SportLots site and have a better understanding of the site.  There is a search by seller option if you click on the details link for a card.  I’m still not a fan of the way that things were handled originally, but I’m happy with the resolution.  So much so that I placed two orders the day that my account was reopened.

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

2007-08 NBA SP Rookie Edition box break


I really enjoyed the first box of 2007 MLB SP Rookie Edition that I opened and so I ripped open another box.  I also ordered a box of 2007-08 NBA SP Rookie Edition because it was a similar set that brought back old designs.  For similar sets, they couldn’t be more different.

The baseball set brought back 4 designs and each design had the same 50 rookies with a few exceptions.  Two of the designs were short printed and two were not, but you got a good number of them in a box.  It made for a very fun box to break.  I’d break a third at some point, but I’m down to just short prints that I need for my set and there are too many dud autographs in the set to go chasing those.

The basketball set is ridiculous.  It starts off the same way with a base set of established stars.  This is followed by a subset of the rookies.  After that is a Premier Prospects subset.  Everything is alright up to this point, but from here things get really stupid, really quickly.  There are three set designs that are brought back as short printed sections of the set, but you only get one card from each set per box.  You get most of the first 120 cards in your box, but you only get 3 cards from 121 – 210.  The average collector isn’t going to open more than one box because you just get more of the base cards and just 3 more SP cards to show for it.  The first two short printed subsets consist of rookies while the third is made up of veterans and legends.  Even with the low price that these boxes have dropped to, you’d have to drop a small fortune to put this set together.  It’s no wonder that this stuff continues to sit on shelves.  At the very least, I’ve got some Celtics cards that I didn’t have before including Paul Pierce and Glen Davis to go into my collections.  What did I get for hits?  Not too bad.


Morris Almond Rookie Auto – I’m a basketball fan and I didn’t even know who this guy was.  I looked him up on NBA.com and now I wish I didn’t know who he was.


Spencer Hawes – The 10th pick in the draft.


Al Horford – This is more like it.  The short printed Horford rookie is a good pull.


Keyon Dooling – Really?  Seriously?  What is he even doing in this section of the set?  Instead of LeBron, Wade, Jordan or Bird I get this bum?  This is why buying wax for the hits is a fool’s quest.  Card companies continue to put shit hits like this in packs and make them one per box so that you pay five bucks for a common in order to finish your set.


Tony Parker Auto – This is a great looking card.  The only thing that could have improved it would have been an on-card auto.  Parker’s a star, but not a superstar outside of Spurs fans.

When it comes down to it, you’re paying $36 - $46 for 5 cards.  For that price, you might be better off plopping down your cash for 2007-08 Fleer Ultra SE.  I guess it depends on whether you want your hits to be short printed cards and a couple of autos or jersey cards and one auto.

I do love the look of these cards.  I didn’t collect any of the SP sets that are reprinted here so it’s all new to me.  The collation was good and I didn’t get any doubles.  I just wish that Upper Deck hadn’t made the decision to make the short printed cards in the set so ridiculously short printer.

All things considered, I would give this set a D-.  The only things saving it from getting an F are the Parker auto and Horford SP card.  If the set could be purchased in a factory set, I would give it an A.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Picture Pages: Mike Piazza


It’s going to take a while, but I’ve started the process of scanning all of the cards in my Piazza collection.  I’ve taken a couple of hiatuses from the hobby and haven’t had the cash lately to track down some of the higher priced cards, but I’ve still got a monster shoe box (3 rows) full of top loaders along with half of a regular shoe box (2 rows).

There's a link right under the header or you can click here to check it out. So far I've got 2000 and 2001 up there.  I’ll switch it up and get some of the cooler cards in my collection up before heading back to the base cards.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Clay Buchholz

Ticket I was lucky enough to be at Fenway Park when Clay Buchholz tossed a no-hitter against the Baltimore Orioles.  It was a last minute thing occurring only because of a phone call on the day of the game from my best friend who was visiting from Florida.

The way that the game started, you never would have guessed that there would be a no-hitter thrown that evening.  Buchholz hit a batter and had three walks total with two coming in the 5th when the Orioles got a runner to third before Jay Payton flied out to end the inning.

BuchholzNohit My friend noticed that there was a no-hitter in progress before I did and tried to tell me without telling me due to the superstition that you don’t talk about a no-hitter while there is one in progress.  He wondered out loud if his ticket stub was in good condition and mentioned that Baltimore’s box score looked like a sideways snowman.  Meanwhile, I’m completely clueless and wondering why the fans are going so crazy over each out when the Sox were up eight to nothing.


I finally figured out what was going on after the third out in the top of the 8th inning.  At that point my friend and I were hoping that the Red Sox just swung at the first 9 pitches they saw so that Clay could get back out there and finish the deal.  Buchholz was on a pitch count that he had already exceeded and each passing moment was another that could have seen the phone ring in the bullpen.

The Sox didn’t go down in order in the bottom of the 8th, but that wasn’t a bad thing because we got to see newly called up Jacoby Ellsbury hit a two run double.  Seeing Ellsbury was what we were most excited about heading into the game.


When the 9th inning started, I started filming with my digital camera.  That’s the video that you see in the upper left corner of the site.  The video actually had 15 minutes of fame when I sent the link to Bill Simmons and he posted the link in his daily links section.

There’s usually a key defensive play in a no-hitter that you can point to and say that it saved the no-no.  In this game it was a spectacular defensive play by Dustin Pedroia on a hard grounder up the middle by Miguel Tejada.  Pedroia made a diving, backhanded play on the ball to retire Tejada.

Since the game, I’ve been collecting all of the cards that have been produced commemorating the no-hitter.  I went to a card show today with the specific goal on my mind of picking up as many of those cards that I  could find since all I had prior to that was the 2008 Upper Deck Season Highlights card.  Today I found 5 new cards to add to the collection:


  • 2008 Upper Deck Baseball Heroes #29
  • 2008 Topps Heritage #369
  • 2008 Topps Year in Review #YR151
  • 2008 Topps Red Sox Set #2
  • 2008 Finest Moments #FM-CB

One thing that I noticed is that Topps got a little lazy on three of the cards that I had.  They used the exact same picture for the card from the Red Sox box set, 2008 Heritage and the 2008 Finest insert card.  Something like this is a little more understandable since there’s a limited number of pictures to choose from, but was this the only picture Topps could get their hands on?


I’m not sure exactly how many cards there are out there in celebration of Buchholz’s no-hitter.  I’m sure there’s got to be a card in Documentary, but it probably has David Ortiz pictured on it.  As long as I keep discovering new ones, I’ll keep adding them to my collection.

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Finishing Move – 2007-08 Topps Bill Russell Missing Years


Last year, I purchased a box of 2007-08 Topps Basketball HTA jumbos.  I’ve always had good luck with Topps and Stadium Club Basketball jumbos.  This box yielded my first ever Rip Card.  Since the card had Camby, Okafor and Jermaine O’Neal on it, it was an easy decision to rip it.  Inside was a Josh Howard red ink autograph card.  Sometimes you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

The box also yielded 5 out of the 11 cards in the Bill Russell The Missing Years insert set.  I had set them aside and forgotten about them until recently.  Upon discovering them, I made my way over to SportLots, dropped a few bucks and now I’ve got the complete set.  Topps also did a Larry Bird insert set similar to this, but people aren’t giving those cards away for next to nothing like the Russell cards.  These cards remind me of the Topps Basketball Archives set that Topps did in the early 90s.  The set was all “rookie” cards of players in the design of that year’s baseball set to give you an idea of what might have been if Topps never stopped making basketball cards.  That set is still one of my all-time favorites.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Gotta Go To Mo’s

During the two Celtics basketball games last week they had an announcement of an upcoming autograph appearance by a quartet of C’s to promote the launch of the new Reebok Ubuntu line of apparel.  I love events like this and so I made plans to leave work early and head on down to Modell’s to pick up some autographs.  I forgot to pack my digital camera so there aren’t any pictures to go with the post.  I bought a disposable camera so once I finish the roll and get it developed I may eventually have pictures to share.

The event was scheduled to begin at 4:30.  When I arrived around 3:20, the line was already winding around half of the perimeter of the store.  There was a requirement of an Ubuntu t-shirt purchase, but paying $20 for a t-shirt and four autographs isn’t too bad.  The main thing that made it bearable was the fact that a portion of the proceeds was going to the Shamrock Foundation and they do a lot of good things in the community.

While waiting in line I got to say hi to Celtics announcer Willie Maye who didn’t seem to be as popular with the crowd as his NBA Championship ring was.  They do some amazing work with those rings.  The wait wasn’t too bad.  The bad weather delayed the players a little bit, but they arrived and started signing right around 5.

First up was Kendrick Perkins.  I’m not a huge fan of Perk.  He’s got too many bad habits that keep him from even becoming an average player.  He turns down way too many open shots and almost always pulls the ball down after catching a pass instead of going right up with it which gives the defender time to react.  He just doesn’t have the natural basketball IQ that you see in guys like Rajon Rondo, Ryan Gomes and Glen Davis.  These guys always seem to find the open teammate and know how to sneak in there for rebounds they have no business getting.  I only had glossy cards of Perk and even though I spent a while erasing away the gloss, the Sharpie still streaked a little.


The next player in the line was Brian Scalabrine.  This is a player that I’ve always liked even though the majority of fans disliked him when he first came to Boston.  The main reason for the dislike was a contract that many thought was too big.  It’s not their money and it wasn’t a crippling contract like the one the Celtics gave Vin Baker years ago so I didn’t understand what all of the fuss was about.  Scal always plays full out.  He’s a big guy who can hit the three and stretch out defenses.  He can play tough down in the post and doesn’t often make stupid mistakes.  Now that the Celtics are winning, many of the new fans have hopped on the Scalabrine bandwagon and he has become a fan favorite.  He’s currently on the injured list because of post concussion syndrome which isn’t something you often see in the NBA.

Scal enjoyed the card that I brought for him to sign and joked with Perk that it was “a rare card of me dunking.”  Basketball cards are usually dark if the background isn’t the floor and that can make it tough to see black Sharpie on them.  Scal signed it in a good place though and it came out nicely on this non-glossy Bazooka card.

Third in line was Leon Powe.  Powe and Davis were relatively unknown last season and due to that many “pundits” picked the Lakers over the Celtics.  Once people saw the bench of Powe, Davis, P.J. Brown and James Posey completely dominate and overpower the Lakers bench, it was clear that the Lakers didn’t stand a chance.  After a bit of a rough start to the season, Powe has picked up his game as of late and the timing couldn’t be better since Garnett has been out with an injury.  All I had for Powe to sign was a glossy card from the same Upper Deck team set that the Perkins card came from.

Last, and definitely not least, was the main reason that I went to the signing.  “Big Baby” Glen Davis was there complete with his big goofy grin.  I took a liking to Davis during his rookie season and have been a fan ever since.  He’s the kind of guy that always seems to pop up on championship teams.  He dives for loose balls, makes perfect passes to open teammates, gets offensive rebounds with four opponents surrounding him and always busts his ass out there.  He’s been the biggest beneficiary of minutes with both Garnett and Scalabrine injured and he hasn’t disappointed.  Unfortunately, it looks like he might miss a few games after spraining his ankle again the Magic in a game the Celtics lost due to an already depleted roster.

I knew right away that I wanted Big Baby to sign my new Topps Murad card.  I love the set and his card is a great one.  His eyes lit up when I placed the card in front of him.  He asked me what it was and I told him what set it was from.  He elbowed Powe and said, “Oh yeah, somebody’s getting backed down.”  The autograph just pops off of the Murad card and looks great. 

It was all a blur and it was over before I even realized it.  I had a blast and I especially liked seeing the athletes appreciate the cards that I brought for them to sign.  One thing that I noticed right away, which is related to something that Mario over at Wax Heaven had been talking about, is that Davis’ signature differed from what I had on cards that he had signed for Topps and Upper Deck.  It’s not a huge difference and it’s not an illegible squiggle like Mario had encountered with some players, but it is different.  Here are a couple of autographed cards for reference:



It might just be something that Davis changed as he started signing more autographs.  The new signature isn’t bad at all.  Sure, it’s just “GD 11",” but it’s not like his old signature was all that great to begin with.  There’s even a good deal or variance between the Upper Deck and Topps cards.  That could have something to do with the bumpy surface of the Upper Deck card though.