Tuesday, September 30, 2014

More Than Cards

It's now time to take a sigh of relief. This is the last of my vacation haul posts.

What better way to end than with out favorite players? That's right. I said "our". You know what that means...Ashley gets included in a post!

You didn't think I'd leave her out, did you?

I thought it would be difficult to find Mr. James Laurinaitis in Myrtle Beach, SC, but I pulled off the near impossible thanks to searching and asking around.

Luckily, one of the gentlemen had a dime box of Rams that included some gems that Ashley was proud of.

Oh, not just one scan...

And not just common cards...

I thought the pink towel and gloves was a nice touch. Ashley loves when they add the Breast Cancer Awareness theme to a card of her player so score one for the home team.

Let me preface these next few scans with a confession. I'm 98% sure Ashley's player stash was much better than mine this go-around.

That doesn't mean I won't show them off anyway. Ha!

I could have sworn I had the World Series Heroes card. I do now!

Until I purchased the Total Domination, I had no clue they existed. It's not like Total didn't have enough cards. "Hey! Let's add some parallels!" Great idea genius. (Rant over)

My biggest score may have been the Finest Refractor. Great condition with the protective plastic still in place.

Admittedly, I probably shouldn't have bought this GU. It wasn't in the best of shape, but I couldn't find it cheaper elsewhere. Why not throw it on the pile?

One last thing...BROTHER!!!

I finally picked up the 2006 A&G Mini of the Hulkster! I was stoked to find it in one of the random boxes...and it cost less than a dollar! SCORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So there you have it. My trip in the blogosphere books. Aren't you so glad? Me too. Now, I can show off some cards I've gotten in trades since I got back. Hooray!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Start It Up

Since beginning the process of reorganizing my collection, I've debated the idea of adding a few more players to collecting habits. And after a few minutes searching through nickel and dime boxes, I've decided to make it official.

Time to start up a few new collections! I promise these will last long than Jon Jay and Tyler Colvin did. Why you ask? Because these guys are already retired and can do little to sway my confidence (aside from scandalously admitting to steriods, of course).

#1 Juan Gonzalez

When I was a young tike, my dad and I would discuss baseball in simple terms. Did the Braves win? Did the Yankees lose? But I can specifically remember our conversations about Juan Gone partly because that's how we referred to him. Simply, Juan Gone.

Such amazing strength from such a weird stance, a la Julio Franco, who Gonzalez played with in Texas. Sure there is the conversation about PEDs, especially being teammates with Jose Canseco, but Juan entertained me at a young age. For that, I'm grateful. Grateful enough to add him to the Player Collection list.

#2 Magglio Ordonez

Tons of players can be considered a consummate professional: Jeter, Cuddyer, Konerko, etc. We cannot overlook Maggs. Ordonez just went out and played the game the right way. Whether in the South Side or Motor City, Magglio produced and if not for A-Riod would have an MVP award under his belt (2007).

Maggs may never be honored by the Hall of Fame, but he is welcome here at HOT any time.

#3 Vladimir Guerrero

Affectionately known in the Byrd household as Vladdy Daddy, Guerrero was amazing to watch at the plate and wasn't too shabby manning the outfield either.

I will never forget the ball Vlad hit in Baltimore that bounced before getting to the plate and blooped it in for an RBI single. Again...AMAZING!

This will sound really biased, but Guerrero is possibly the second most important Expo in franchise history right behind Gary Carter.

No matter how old I live to be, I will never be able to see enough videos of Vladdy golfing a home run out of any park...EVER!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Finest Countdown

Last week, I shared the cards I purchased to help complete my set already started. Tonight, friends, I unveil the set I was able to start on my trip.

I talked about how 2013 Finest was possibly my favorite sets from last year. Well, with a 20 cents box in front of my, I was able to put a big hurtin' on this ole set. Twenty-two cards in all with some pretty big names.

How about Beltre and Doc rocking the throwback unis! I prefer the Rangers power blue over the Phillies. Can't forget A-Gon and Cy Young runner-up Johnny Cueto (not too hard to call that one). Throw in Webster and Odorizzi rookies, and it's a good start.

Got some West Coast love in this scan. Kemp, Posey, Tulo and Arenado. Let me just take a second to say, I love the purple Rockies unis!!! Get rid of the black vests and wear these instead. Please?!?!?!

Anyway, Cliff Lee is one of those guys I really want to like, but he's never on a team that makes that possible for me.

Oh, and whatever happened to Bruce Rondon and him as the closer of the future situation? Did it really flame out that quickly. Give the guy a chance. Has to be better than Joe Nathan this year.

Rookies and Vets dominate here, though none of these have made anywhere close to an impact on their respective teams. Jered Weaver is sneaky good this year. Did you know he leads the AL in wins with 18? Crazy!

I know the Blue Jays are pretty much out of the race at this point, but could you image where they'd be if Jose Reyes were out as much as he was last year. Probably even worse than your last place Boston Red Sox.

Anthony Rizzo has finally had a breakout year. It's about time, right?

A UT alum, a bird, a PED user, a Trum-bomb and a couple rookies for this scan. The Cards can't really figure out what they want to do with Carlos Martinez. Starter to the pen back to starting. In their defense, maybe he should be a bit more consistent in his appearances. 

Did you guess the Tennessee alum? That'd be the knuckler R.A. Dickey.

Here's a couple guys that have spent more time of the deal than the diamond this season. Remember the time when you were afraid when your team played these two. Not so much now.

In addition to the cards above, I did grab four more Finests at a bit steeper price of $2 apiece. Once you see, though, you'll know it was a good deal.

See what I mean. 

So there we go. Another set for me to try to finish, but I couldn't pass up the deal especially with the price of a box of Finest! You'd think there was three gallons of gas in that box. Haha! I made a funny! (It's ok to laugh.)

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Sets To Be Filled

What would a trip to a card show be without filling some gaping holes in my sets? A failure, that's what.

Fortunately, failure is not in my vocabulary...or at least I don't say it loud enough when others are around.

While no sets were finished in the making of this post, every inch helps.

Here we see a trio of 2012 Topps Chrome. One in the cellar, one in the wild card, and one leading the NL West. Oh, and one sponsors barbecue sauce. Cards missing: 10.

Ok, This is a 25-card set. I should have been done before I started, right? WRONG! These 2011 Elite Extra Editions are hard to come by in person, and when I make an order on Sportlots, eBay or COMC, I don't ever remember to check for these. Whatever. Cards missing: 8.

I wasn't sold on these 2014 A&G Pastime's Pastimes when I grabbed my first taste of them, but they're growing on me. Enough so that I've decided to complete the set. One thing I've proven to myself since 2011 is that I drive myself to finish A&G sets (base, SP, inserts) faster than anything but Flagship base. I've gotten a good start on these, but I'm going to have to catch up on the base. Cards missing: 78.

Admittedly, 1997 Collector's Choice Stick Ems are not a valuable set by any means...but I LIKE THEM! I have since I first laid my 10-year-old eyes on them. Now that I have the means, I must complete the set. Cards missing: 11.

Lastly is the hodge-pod of cards from the nickel box I found that I thought I needed, except the Michael Choice. It was a bit more than a nickel. I've need the Famous Chicken for a long time and have seen a few of them to buy. 1992 Triple Play is one of those sets I never remember to check, though.

By the way, am I the only one who loves the 1995 Score Hall of Golds? Freaking sweet design!

Cards missing - 1992 Triple Play: 1, 1995 Score Hall of Gold: 97, 1997 Collector's Choice The Big Show: 7, 1998 Score Rookies & Traded: 222, 2014 Donruss Series 1: 6.

Not much girth on the set side, but you gotta start somewhere. These are a good a start as any.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Knocking on Completion's Door

Inching closer and closer and closer. That describes the long process for my 2013 Player Collection Project...and by the end of this post you will see exactly what I'm talking about.

But before we go there, I must show you what I was able to swipe at my card show ventures from Myrtle Beach. 

There are only three parallel sets included in the collection that are numbered. Topps Gold, Topps Heritage Purple Refractor and this...

I'm not sure why Topps went from the red-lettering (2006) to gold-lettering (2007) to blue (2009) to blue sparkle (2013), but the Sparkle definitely specific to the Opening Day label and not borrowed from the flagship color pile.


Hey, look. Weren't we just kinda talking about this design. To be completely honest, I prefer the Target Red to the Walmart Blue. It just looks better. Seeing as how the closest Target is approximately 30 miles away and the Walmart is 3 miles away tops, I get the bigger crop of Blues.

Let me also say, that I enjoy the All-Star and Home Run Derby cards Topps throws into Update. Probably the loner on that one. Oh, well.

Ready for more colors?

Boom! I do live in the heartland of Rocky Top Country and am a University of Tennessee grad, so this Chrome Orange Hosmer is right up my alley.

For the record, I don't have a preference to the Orange or Purple Refractors for 2013. 2012 is a different story, though. You'll have to glance at my Want List to see which I'm referring to.

Blue Sparkle, Walmart Blue, Orange Refractor...what else could I possibly have in store for this post?

Emerald, of course! I'm really torn on the Emeralds. It was a great change of scenery to the parallel landscape, but did it have to be sparkly? Apparently, yes. Let's just say, I like it better than the Orange and Yellow parallels from this year. Quit overdoing the colors, Topps!!!

A promised here is an updated standing on this Project.

Overall, I'm at 85.2% complete and scoring a C+ or better on all but one set (I've never liked Bowman Chrome).

A little research, box searching, eBay perusing and friendly help and I'll be able to finally put this puppy to rest.

Let me get my John Walsh voice on. Uh hmmm....If you or a loved one have seen or know the whereabouts of any of the missing cards from my set, please contact me at one of the email addresses above, Facebook or Twitter. Thank you and have a great night.

Anybody have a throat lozenge?

Friday, September 12, 2014

Can't Close My Book

What would a sweet out-of-town card show and card store haul be without a few cards for my Player Collections?

Terrible. That's what!

But never fear...got the proof right here! Let's start with Joey Bats.

Love the Gold Platinums and Bowman Hometown! Got a nice addition with the Finest and Allen & Ginter insert. Oh and the Lineage is a Venezuelan back. 

What about the newest Red Sox outfielder?

How about a sweet 2014 Series Two insert? Totally reminds me of the mid-90s Fleer Provision. Anyone else?

Speaking of 2014, check out my trio of Craig Kimbrel parallels. I was actually unaware Kimbrel had two cards in the 2014 flagship set.

Is it me, or does the Platinum Sapphire not look ridiculously awesome on this Longoria? Gotta love the oversized A&G, too. It will go great with my Hosmer.

Did some one say Eric Hosmer?

I honestly don't know much about these Gold Rush card, but I like them. Anyone have a clue?

This goes to show you the show had something for everyone. Mark Trumbo, everyone. I'm kinda shocked he's not taken to Chase Field and the National League better than his first year shows.

Finally, here's your Freddy Sanchez fix for the day.

Not a big fan of the Moments & Milestones. Couldn't pass up on the sweet deal for more Freddy, though.

That Upper Deck is one from the Special F/X sets. You know, UD's version of Chrome. Oh, and you can never have enough Gold. Bowman to be exact.

Those are just the bright spots. Starting to same up pretty good, huh? This is only the knob of the bat, friends.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Beach City Rockies

Outside of Helton, Tulowitzki, Carlos Gonzalez and maybe Larry Walker, it's difficult to find any other Rockies on this side of the country. Very few shops or even shows have a row, box or section dedicated to the boys of Denver.

Needless to say, if I find a Rockie I want, I snatch it up.

There were no rows, boxes or section at the card store or show in Myrtle Beach...but there was nickel, dime and quarter boxes that have a few hidden Mile High gems.

I'm not a huge fan of the 2011 Diamond and Cognac Sparkle cards. That doesn't mean I don't pull out every Rockie I see, though. They just seem to look better.

I like Rex Brothers as the Colorado closer of the future, but Walt Weiss is going to have to take the reigns off the big horse once he is 100% healthy, which I feel he hasn't reached yet. At least two of these six are fighting for the 2014 Playoffs (Hammel & Street).

Let's time-travel to 2013 with this group of Rox.

I'm just going to throw this out there: I can't stand Adam Ottovino or Matt Belisle (not pictured). Every time I watch them come into a game, the lead is gone! And leads are hard to come by in Denver this year, friends. Hopefully Friedrich and Chatwood will break out in 2015 and lead a full-out Rockies assault on the National League.

Speaking of...this guy might be able to help.

According to reports, Jon Gray has been honing his control in Double-A Tulsa this year, which ultimately brought down his velocity. Gray, a former Oklahoma Sooner, is another hard-throwing hoss that once he puts everything together could be Roy Oswalt 2.0.

Talk about young talent. This guy has a huge bright side. I like the tools Kyle Parker has. Hits for average, has some pop and drives in runs.

Got my first taste of Bowman Platinum thanks to South Carolina, too. Pretty simple design, but I like it.

Coming soon to a Rockies blog near you...I'll finally reveal my ever-growing Garrett Atkins and Brad Hawpe Rockies stash. Don't worry. I'll share eventually.

I even found some affordable Colorado Game-Used and Autos.

If only Chacin could stay healthy and put every thing mechanically together...As for the auto, it was pretty. That's about it.

Gotta get the Cuddies in this post.

Bowman Hometown and Emerald Update. Not a bad looking De La Rosa and Cook either. Remember the days of Cook and Jeff Francis atop the Rockies rotation? At least we knew they'd be there for their starts.

I was even able to grab some never-before-seen Rockies for my collection.

I'm actually working on something similar to a lot of other bloggers and getting at least one card of every Rockies player who appears on the card as a Rockie. Tricky, I know.

Finally, some odds and ends.

Got a numbered Heritage Chrome Huston Street and Gold Seth Smith along the left side. Ubaldo even sneaks into this post. I honestly couldn't believe I didn't have this RC already.

Vacation post number uno is complete. Didn't like any of these? Just stay tuned. They're not all Rockies...just mostly.