One Man's Thoughts on Sports Card Collecting

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas To All!

Hey all!  Just wanted to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas!

(I've said it before and I'll say it again - why didn't anyone ever tell me that these ornament cards existed?!?  :-D )

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Diamond Sparkle SPs - Finally An Answer!

Ever since I first saw one of these "Diamond Sparkle" short prints I've been wondering if the sparkle is something shiny or just part of the image.  I could never get an answer at my local card shop, so when I saw my current favorite Brewer had one of these cards I decided to go out and get the answer for myself.  The latest addition to my Brewer binder:

It only took me all year, but now I know that the sparkle doesn't actually sparkle.  This means I might have easily missed one while busting packs.  Great, now I'm going to have to go through all my Topps base cards from this year...

Previous Trivia Question:
What franchise became the first team to lose 10,000 games in 2007?
A: The Philadelphia Phillies recorded their 10,000th loss with a 10-2 drubbing by the Cardinals.  To be fair, the franchise has been around since 1883, so it shouldn't be surprising that they have lost that many games.
Today's Trivia Question:
Who delivered the famous "The Giants win the pennant!" radio call for Bobby Thomson's "Shot Heard 'Round the World"?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Platinum Diamond Griffey!....Sort of....

One of my biggest disappointments in 2011 was the fact that Topps introduced a card design that immediately became one of my all-time favorites - the Platinum Diamonds along with the various parallel colors - and they did it the frickin' year after Griffey retires, so there isn't a single Griffey to be found in the entire damn set....

(As an aside, what is the rule on when a retired player can start appearing in sets again?  This year's Topps set had SP cards of players like Frank Thomas and Paul O'Neill, but not a single Griffey, not even in insert sets.  I miss that feeling of excitement from seeing my boy in a freshly opened pack!!)

However, I was able to score a small victory with the acquisition of a Griffey that is kind of like a Platinum Diamond.  I recently discovered the 1993 Topps Mini Prism cards, and they almost look like a precursor to the Platinum Diamond design. The Mini Prisms were found in the 1993 Topps Mini factory sets; there were 12 Prisms per box.  Luckily I was able to locate the Griffey from that set on eBay.

These cards are really very cool, and not just because they are sparkly.  You might have noticed that the quality of the image isn't that great - well, there's a reason for that.  Back in 1993, when they said "mini" card, dammit, they meant MINI!:

Yep, that is the 1993 Griffey Prism resting on top of the Hank Aaron from this year's Kimball Champions mini set.  The small Aaron card still manages to dwarf the Griffey Prism by comparison!  Quite a neat (and tiny) addition to my Griffey Collection.

Previous Trivia Question:
Through the 2011 season there have been 107 World Series - how many were won by the National League?
A:  The National League has won 45 out of 107 World Series titles
Today's Trivia Question:
What franchise became the first team to lose 10,000 games in 2007?

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Great Big Cat Safari - Ocelot Captured~!

About a month ago I announced the start of The Great Big Cat Safari - my quest to collect all of the cats in the 2011 UD Goodwin Animal Kingdom set.  I've added a page to track the collection (see the right side of the page), and today we are announcing the second addition to the set, the Ocelot!:

The Ocelot is found in South and Central America.  As you can see, they resemble a smaller version of the Jaguar, weighing between 18 and 40 pounds.  They are nocturnal and fiercely territorial, sometimes fighting to the death.  They frequently spend their days up in trees, that is of course until it is time to deliver death from above.  They dine on various small mammals, reptiles, birds and fish.  In captivity they can live as long as 20 years.

In addition to capturing the Ocelot, there was a recent Sabre-Toothed Cat sighting on eBay.  This is of course the rarest of all the cats, and I assumed it might be a bit pricey.  The list price on the auction? - $3,000 or best offer.  I'll let Geoff Peterson sum up my reaction.  Geoff?....

Thank you, Geoff.

Now I know that just because it is listed for $3000 doesn't mean that it's really worth that, but still, not a good sign for my chances of adding that one to the collection.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Trade with Play at the Plate

This morning I finally got to do some long overdue card scanning, several posts worth in fact.  For starters, the cards I got from Brian at Play at the Plate.  I sent him an assortment of Texas Rangers a while back, and a couple weeks later I received a nice package in return - a group of Platinum Diamonds!

This lot pushes my total Platinum Diamond collection over 400!  Thanks a lot Brian!

Previous  Trivia Question:

What is the record for most home wins in a single season by one team?
A: The 1961 New York Yankees won 65 out of 81 home games.  The 1975 Cincinnati Reds own the National League record with 64 home wins.
Today's Trivia Question:
Through the 2011 season there have been 107 World Series - how many were won by the National League?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Say it ain't so, Braunie.

This just blows on so many levels.....
After so many years out in the baseball desert my team had finally struck gold - we drafted a superstar player that produced big time from day one, seemed to actually like Milwaukee, and took less money to remain a lifetime Brewer.  Not only that, after getting his super long-term deal the guy actually goes out and has his best season yet and wins the NL MVP award.

And now, no matter the outcome, Ryan Braun is going to have questions following him for the rest of his career.

Like I said, this SUCKS.

For now I'm holding on to the slim hope that there is an actual, legitimate excuse for the positive test.  They are reporting that Braun immediately requested a retest when he learned he tested positive and that result came up negative, which is a good sign.  Plus it seems weird that his people would immediately come out so strongly saying that there are "highly unusual circumstances surrounding this case."  Granted, you wouldn't expect them to be like "Yeah, he did it," but the choice of words seems odd.

On the downside, it is hard to ignore that Braun's people used that famous qualifier word in their defense, that Braun "didn't KNOWINGLY" take any banned substance.  And as Michael Hunt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel noted - "There is also this sobering statistic about those who appeal positive tests - no player has overturned a positive drug test through arbitration."  The deck is already stacked against players in terms of proving no negligence of any kind (and I agree it should be that way), but in Braun's case the hurdle may be impossible to beat because you know the Commissioner is going to want to avoid any apparent conflict of interest and accusations of favoring his old team.

It's times like these that I'm glad my childhood hero's career took a normal path.  As painful as it was to watch the frequent injuries and rapid decline in Griffey's skills at the end, at least I knew that was how your body is supposed to act after 20 years of playing pro ball.  To me it confirmed that he did things the right way.

(sigh)....Go Pack Go....

Friday, December 9, 2011

Any Other Sticker Collectors Out There??

Hey everybody - I went a little overboard on the sticker nostalgia this year and started collecting both the Topps MLB Stickers and the Panini NFL Stickers.  I've accumulated a nice stack of doubles and am looking for trading partners to help finish the books.  Anyone that is interested just comment below and let's help each other out!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Cool New Griffey - 1995 Studio Gold Credit Card

My fiance recently gave me a surprise gift of cards - the entire 50-card set of 1995 Studio Gold Credit Cards!  I had never even heard of these before, but they are very cool.

As you can see, the card is designed to look just like a real credit card, complete with plastic card stock, embossed lettering, a hologram of the team logo, and a "signature" on the back.  The American and National League logos in the background are a nice touch.

Here are a couple more examples:

Apparently the first 25 cards of the set have Platinum versions as well - I'll most definitely be picking up the Griffey!  If you collect any of the players on the checklist below, I would highly recommend picking up their card.  It will make a unique addition to your player collection!

1 Frank Thomas
2 Jeff Bagwell
3 Don Mattingly
4 Mike Piazza
5 Ken Griffey Jr.
6 Greg Maddux
7 Barry Bonds
8 Cal Ripken
9 Jose Canseco
10 Paul Molitor
11 Kenny Lofton
12 Will Clark
13 Tim Salmon
14 Joe Carter
15 Albert Belle
16 Roger Clemens
17 Roberto Alomar
18 Alex Rodriguez
19 Raul Mondesi
20 Deion Sanders
21 Juan Gonzalez
22 Kirby Puckett
23 Fred McGriff
24 Matt Williams
25 Tony Gwynn
26 Cliff Floyd
27 Travis Fryman
28 Shawn Green
29 Mike Mussina
30 Bob Hamelin
31 David Justice
32 Manny Ramirez
33 David Cone
34 Marquis Grissom
35 Moises Alou
36 Carlos Baerga
37 Barry Larkin
38 Robin Ventura
39 Mo Vaughn
40 Jeffrey Hammonds
41 Ozzie Smith
42 Andres Galarraga
43 Carlos Delgado
44 Lenny Dykstra
45 Cecil Fielder
46 Wade Boggs
47 Gregg Jefferies
48 Randy Johnson
49 Rafael Palmeiro
50 Craig Biggio

Previous  Trivia Question:

In 2010 the Colorado Rockies set a record for hits by consecutive batters while playing against the Chicago Cubs. How many batters in a row notched a hit?
Answer: The Rockies racked up 11 consecutive hits versus the Cubs.
Today's Trivia Question:
What is the record for most home wins in a single season by one team?