Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Group Break from The Home of the Toddfather

Back in early October, I grabbed 4 teams in The Home of the Toddfather's Group Break. I was late to the party, so I grabbed Astros and Brewers and was surprised to see The Red Sox and Royals left. So even though, I am a Yankee fan, I figured, that I could get some solid trade chips from taking the Red Sox and I was very right.
I want to thank Tim from Home of the Toddfather for doing this Group Break. It was well run and fun to do and I am looking forward to the next one.

Here are my highlights:

I like the Chrome refractor of Ellsbury and also added 3 Will Middlebrooks Rookie cards and a couple of the Sox's top prospects to my collection. I am a Yankee fan, so the Ellsbury is up for trade.

Tyler Thornburg from the Brewers organization and Jake Odorizzi from the Royals were my big hits from 2012 Pro Debut

This is one of my favorite base cards from 2012 Topps, just a great moment captured on cardboard.
My big hit is this auto of Ryan Lavarnway from Topps Chrome, it is a great looking card, but is in my trade pile for you Red Sox fans out there.

My biggest surprise hit was from my Golden Giveaway Code card with Will Middlebrooks on it.
When I put the code in... Jose Reyes Gold Parallel. 

Friday, November 2, 2012

Blasts from the Past - Topps Archive

Towards the end of May, Topps released Archives, which combined 4 different card designs (1954, 1971, 1908, and 1984).  I will say that this was my favorite product of 2012. The SP cards are cool and while they make it more difficult to complete the set, I still enjoy the checklist. I also like the insert sets that include 1967 Topps Stickers, 1968 Topps 3-D, 1969 Deckle Edge, and my favorite, 1977 Cloth. They add a little more personality to the the insert sets. The All-Time Fan Favorite Autographs cards were a great addition and while the checklist includes some stars, it is made up of players who were home town favorites. It's not the usual star studded checklist, but there are a lot of players, whose cards I think it would be really cool to have like Steve Balboni, Wally Joyner, Mike Scott and Ken Singleton.
I grabbed a box from my LCS and hoped for the best. I didn't get any of the star autos, nor did I get any of the players that I had hoped for, but I did end up with an almost complete set of the base cards, plus some other good stuff. I have since made some trades which have helped me acquire almost all of the base set (I'm still 4 cards short), a bunch of the SP's, and some of the 1977 Cloth cards. I also turned to Ebay to purchase some of the autograph cards that I wanted.
I am still looking to complete the base set with SP's, the 1977 Cloth Insert Set, and the Gold Stamped Reprints. You can check out my needs and what I have for trade: Topps Archives Needs and For Trade List

Monday, October 29, 2012

May I Have a Lot of Cards

Continue on my journey of collecting in 2012, we get to May and the release of Bowman Baseball and Topps Archives. I never collected a lot of Bowman even when I was collecting heavily in the 90's. But as everyone knows, Bowman has the rookie cards. I usually buy up singles of Bowman rookie cards, buying low on some prospects who I think have a chance at hitting it big. Of course that means missing out on the Harpers and Strasburgs, but it does mean grabbing players like Chris Sale, Jurickson Profar, and Manny Machado before their card price rises.
This year I decided to grab a box of jumbo packs from LCS. The design is just okay, but nothing special. The base set has some nice rookie cards, but the real reason anyone buys Bowman is for the prospect cards and the potential to hit it big with prospect autographs and refractors.
I ended up just a few cards short of a complete base card set, but I'm not actively trying to finish it. If i finish great, if not, no big deal.  I also did well with the Prospects and the Chrome Prospects cards. I got a few Harpers and almost all of the top picks from 2011 such as Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon, and Francisco Lindor. The only top pick that I missed out on was Danny Hultzen of the Mariners. I also landed a number of Bowman's Best cards that I would be willing to part with if anyone was looking to complete a set of them.
I got my 3 promised hits from my jumbo box, although none of the 3 were particularly exciting. The Orange Refractor was the biggest hit because there are numbered out of 25. I also got 2 refractors in this box. I was happy that one of them was Andrew Susac, a catcher in the Giants organization, who I think is going to be a very good Major Leaguer some day. Next year, I may just try to scoop up players that I think will make it big one day instead of buying a box, but the lure of the big hit may be just too overwhelming.

Orange Refractor 20/25
Jeimer Cadelario

Blue Jays Prospect
Jacob Anderson
Yankees Prospect
Rookie Davis

Refractor 81/500 Giants Prospect
Andrew Susac
Blue Refractor 23/250 Tigers Prospect
Brenny Paulino

Looking Back at Gypsy Queen

With the 2012 baseball season coming to a close, I have been trying to sort through and organize all of my 2012 purchases. This being my first big year back in the hobby, I was buying a lot of different Topps products to see what I liked. In mid April, Topps released Gypsy Queen. While I like the idea of reproducing card styles from the 1880's and the checklist offered a lot of HOF players that I still enjoy collecting, this was one of my least favorite products of 2012. The design never really did it for me and although many of the photos, especially of the retired players were very good.
I purchased about 5 blasters from Target on a few different occasions and got some nice cards. I liked the minis, but there are just too many variations for me to keep up with. If I had my way either the Gypsy Queen or Straight back would be the base mini card.
Minis: Lou Brock and Mike Napoli Black Borders, Ben Revere Green Border and Strasburg Straight Cut 

The inserts of Moonshots, Glove Stories, and Sliding Stars were very nice and provided great photos of the players. The Glove Stories are easily my favorite and I really like the Derek Jeter Glove Story (which I am still looking to trade for).
The autograph and relic checklists have a lot of good players and lot of HOFers. The relic checklist is especially loaded with great players. I did get a few hits out of my blasters, although I got a duplicate of the Blue Framed Parallel card, at least it was a Yankee.
No you are not seeing double, I pulled 2 of the same Blue Framed  Parallel card of Curtis Granderson.

Kevin Youkilis relic card.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Update and an Update

It has been way too long since I have been able to post. This summer was an exciting time for me. I got engaged to my charming and beautiful girlfriend, so there was a lot of planning going on in July. August was a month of relaxing down at the Jersey Shore (not the one from the MTV show), so I was not doing much of anything. Towards the end of August, a new job opportunity came my way. I started the new job in September and it has been a lot of work to get things where they needed to be. Finally after 2 months, I was able to catch up on sending out trade packages and putting together a new post.
I was tracing my way through the 2012 collecting year ( I only got through Topps Heritage) and I will still continue to do so, but I figured while they are still fresh in everyone's mind, I would post about 2012 Topps Update.
Although, I wasn't collecting a ton in 2010 and 2011, the Update series has been my favorite. The photos just look crisper and brighter and really make the game come alive. I love getting rookies and guys in new uniforms, so I was happy again with the quality of the photos. I really like the SP's from this release and would like to grab a few of them, especially the Ichiro card.
One of my beefs with the set is that Jose Altuve was left out despite being the lone Astros player at the All Star Game. It would have been nice to see one of my favorite players in his All Star uniform. Which brings me to another complaint about the All Star cards in the set. As many bloggers have said before: use the photos of the players in the All Star uniforms. I like the gold border cards and was torn on whether I should reroute my project of putting together a complete Gold Sparkle set and focus on the Gold border cards. But I decided to stay the course and just try and grab some of the cards I really like.
I bought a jumbo box from my LCS and had some nice hits. I completed the base set and have a few doubles for anyone trying to complete the set. I am looking to complete the 1987 Mini's set and the Gold Sparkles. I am also looking to acquire some of the SP cards. I also have Golden Greats, Golden Moments, and Blockbusters for trade, so if you are looking for cards hit me up and we can make a deal.

My favorite hit of the box, Johnny Bench HOF Plaque.
I am open to trading Bench for another HOF plaque card.

Justin Turner Golden Moments Auto. Trade Bait

Joel Peralta Silk. Trade Bait
Pretty cool card with the Home Run Derby trophy.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Attacking the Toddfather's Attax

I just received a trade package from Tim at I sent him about 50 of the 2011 Topps Attax cards and a few 2012 Archives to help put a dent in his want lists.

He sent me 28 of the 2011 Topps Diamonds and 2012 Topps Gold cards from my want list.

In addition to the sparkly cards that I received, Tim helped knock out some of the Archives that I needed.

One of the other cards that Tim shipped over was this 2010 Topps Opening Day Superstar Celebrations card.  This card brings back some great memories. October 9, 2009 was the night before one of my best friend's wedding. We had a great dinner, watched some of the game and on the way back from dinner, the groom and three of us who were in the wedding listened to the Texieira HR in the car. We capped the night off with a good bottle of scotch and cigars.

Thanks for the trade Tim. Make sure you check out his blog and see if you can help him with his Todd Helton PC.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

2012 Topps Heritage

Flipping the calendar, we move from the release of Topps Series 1 in February to March and Topps Heritage. Being born in 1980 means that I missed out on some great Topps cards, so this was a fun product to open. I really like the design, finish and cardstock of the '12 Heritage. One thing that I also enjoy about Heritage are the manager cards. I used to hate getting manager cards when I was younger, but now that many of the current managers are former players that I used to watch and collect, I actually enjoy getting them in packs. In fact, there is not much about this set that I really don't like with one exception: the 75 short prints. That is a lot of SP's to chase in order to complete a set. So while, I really like this product, I'm not going for a complete set in 2012. There are a few cards that I would like to acquire and I will add those to my Wish List page, which is in the works. Since I'm not putting together a set, I have a lot of singles for anyone trying to complete it.  
Here are some of what's left of my hits from a box, plus a few packs that I purchased from my favorite LCS, The Baseball Card Store in Midland Park, NJ

All of these cards (except the Jeter New Age Performers) are available for trade.
Chase Utley Clubhouse Collection GU Patch

Baseball Flashbacks Hank Aaron, New Age Performers Votto and Jeter.

Chrome Parallel cards

Let the trades begin...

I have made a flurry of trades with some fellow bloggers and I hope to get them all up this week. I do have to say, I really enjoy making trades with people. It really reminds me of when I was a kid trying to swap a bunch of Wade Boggs cards for a 1987 Topps Jose Canseco.
My recent trades started with James from

I sent him a 2012 Topps Ubaldo Jimenez jersey card and bunch of Braves stuff and in return I got a few cards for my 2011 Topps Diamond Set and 2012 Topps Gold Set.
The thing I was really glad to get in this trade is a 2010 Topps World Series Derek Jeter patch card.

It was great trading with James, check out his blog, especially if you have Braves cards to deal.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Collecting in 2012

As I said in my first post, this is really my first full year back in the hobby. In 2011, I sporadically started collecting Topps Attax(more on those in a later post), Topps Series 2 and Topps Update. So as 2012 release dates started approaching, I wasn't quite sure what I wanted to collect.
I looked at some of the products that Topps had planned to release and tried to figure out what I wanted to collect and what I might shy away from.  The next few posts will be a trip down memory lane, of course it will be a short trip because it is only July, but I will take you through the collecting year of 2012, so far and talk about the Topps products that I purchased, show some of my hits (maybe some misses) and provide some Trade Bait for anyone who may be interested. 

Topps Series 1
I had already settled in my mind that I would collect the flagship Topps product. I like this year's design, especially the Gold Variation cards, and I liked the idea of some of the insert sets. I especially enjoyed the 1987 mini cards. There is just something about the 1987 design that draws me in. I also liked the idea of the Golden Moments and Gold Standard, but wasn't big on the fact that they highlighted things that weren't really stand out events. Curtis Granderson's card highlights an RBI single and run scored that earned the Yankees a win in May. I vaguely remember the game, but it wasn't exactly "golden". The Gold Standard cards, I think were created to honor milestone achievements, but even some of those, while impressive (3,000 K's for John Smoltz), they don't exactly get everyone excited. I also enjoyed the Classic Walk Offs and the Gold Futures inserts. I think the Timeless Talents theme which compares a modern player to a great former player is starting to get overdone. The Golden Greats insert set has a nice look, but was quite large (75 cards) and got boring with 5 cards for each player included.

I was very excited for the release day, I purchased a few blasters from Target and a Hobby jumbo box from my LCS, The Baseball Card Store in Midland Park, NJ, its a great shop with awesome owners, who love to talk about the hobby. If you live in Northern NJ, it is worth the trip.
I completed the Base Set with ease, had a good start on the 1987 mini and Gold Futures sets and traded a bunch of my inserts to acquire cards I wanted from the other insert sets. I ended up with only 15 of the Gold cards, but still have decided to take on the long, and probably expensive challenge of completing the entire set (see previous post). 
As for my hits, I wasn't overly excited about my first two hits (both of which are available for trade):

But my next hit made up for it. Growing up in NJ in the 80's there was only one Yankee that you really cared about:

It is a really great card, the weight of it is cool, but the feel of the ring makes it an awesome card. It was a great pull for me and I was very happy about it, so all in all I consider the box to be a success. This was the first box of cards that I purchased in a very long time. I really enjoyed ripping into it and really like the product itself. I love completing sets and getting the Mattlingly Retired Rings card, just made this a great way to start off collecting in 2012.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Diamonds and Gold are My New Best Friends

I decided that I wanted to take on a long term collecting project, something that would be challenging, but not too over the top expensive. One of the things that I really liked about 2011 Topps was the Platinum Diamond variation cards. I just love the look of them, so despite only having a handful of them, I am going to go for it and try to complete a full set of 990 cards of Topps and Update. And since you can't have diamonds without gold, I am also going to work on the 2012 Topps Gold variation cards set too.  It is a big challenge and will cost a bit to do, but I hope that I can find smart ways of grabbing cards that I need. 
So if you have any 2011 Topps Platinum Diamond or 2012 Topps Gold cards laying around, use the comment section at the bottom of this post or send me a message on Twitter to let me know what you have and we can try to work out a trade.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Giving it a shot

I remember the first back of 1989 Topps Baseball cards that I opened when I was 9. I was hooked from the first pack. I had just started getting into baseball and my neighbor and I rode our bikes to the corner store that had everything from food to comic books. I bought my first pack and pulled the card that we both wanted most, it wasn't a game used bat card or an autograph or anything fancy, it was card #700 Don Mattingly. From that moment on I was a collector.
Now I'm in my 30's and making my way back into a hobby that I paid little to no attention to for almost 10 years. I would buy a few packs here and there, chase some rookie cards of players I thought would turn into stars, but it was nothing like I had when I was a kid. I have read some great baseball card blogs and have really enjoyed them. They helped get me back into the hobby, so I thought I would start a blog of my own as a way to record my collecting, trading, and thoughts on the hobby. I also intend on adding cards I have for trade, my want lists, and cards that I really enjoyed collecting. I hope I can keep it current and interesting so that others can gain in some way from it. Thanks for reading!