The cards just keep getting older

I first must start off by apologizing. I never indended to post about every card I get from Topps Million card giveaway, but recently the cards have been so cool.

I have been buying packs way too much this year, one reason is that I actually want to complete the set, and the second reason is because I am addicted to this giveaway. So on the way to work I stopped by Target and picked up two more packs, inside one of them was a code card. It turned out to be this:

The first thing that catches my eye and imidiatly puts me in a good mood is that the card is from 1967. The card is 43 years old. The next thing I do is Google Mr. Cuellar. This just keeps the mood high.

According to the infallable Wikipedia:

He played for 5 teams from 1959 - 1977
(Reds, Cardinals, Astros, Orioles, and Angels)

He was a four time all-star (1967, 1970, 1971, 1974)

He was the AL Cy Young winner in 1969

He won a World Series ring in 1970

He also gave up Harmon Killebrew's 500th career home run.

Topps has got me hooked


More Topps Million Card Loot

I finally got cards that I am really happy with. No its not Mantle or Mays. It's not Bench or Rose. It is not even Will Clark or Matt Williams. It the year that is exciting, well for me at any rate. I now "own" two of the oldest cards I can ever lay claim to. It may not seem like a big deal to many collectors that may have cards this old scatter throughout their collection, but to me it makes me happy. As a collector that is what matters.

I am not saying they are the greatest pulls ever, but having only 3 cards older than 1988 in my collection prior to this, it makes me very happy.

Thanks Topps!


More TTM Success from Mr. Neshek

I sent Pat Neshek another package of cards. I was emboldened by his simple coolness to fans, and that he doesn't seem to mind multiple requests. I sent him Eight cards, two duplicates for him to keep and the rest to sign (Including the mini above). He signed all of them. check out the images here.

He also filled out a small questionnaire:

1. What is it like on the receiving end of a TTM request? Can you give an idea of the volume?

P.N. - "It's about 3-5 letters a day right now ... It goes up a tad during the season. I don't mind"

2. What is your favorite card featuring you?

P.N. - "My 2002 Elizabethton Twins Card. (My) 1st card."

3. In your personal experience with other players, who do you admire the most in regards to being "a good guy" - with fans, with other players, and just in general?

P.N. - "I think guys like Thome and Moyer have been great, being stars and sign a lot"

4. What are your favorite autographs that you have collected?

P.N. - "My H.O.F. baseball collection"

Pat is such a great guy, I hope he has a great comeback season this year.

Thanks Pat.

Updated Wicked Ortega Custom Card

Mr. Ortega generously supplied a photo that was more suited for this card release. Below is the "Official" card.

Alfredo "Wicked" Ortega - 2008 Allen & Ginter "Blogger Edition" - #1

Second "Blogger Edition" Card

I have been completely swamped with work. I have no time to spare, so of course all I can think about is the blog. I decided to take a moment to create another Custom 2008 Ginter card. This blogger I heard about long before I checked out his blog, let alone traded with him. The "Troll", "Bacon" as it were, is a staple now as one of the blogs I have to check daily. His trades, and generosity is becoming legendary. I had to include him in this set.

The Collective Troll - 2008 Allen & Ginter "Blogger Edition" - #2


New Project Idea

As often as I can, I like to put my youngest son in the stroller and take him for a walk around the neighborhood. He loves getting out of the house and just being outside, and I love the quiet time to relax and go over things in my head. A lot of times those "things" are Blog related.

One of the things I constantly think about is my next victim, er... individual to send a TTM attempt to. While I love sending cards out to Baseball players and Ginter subjects, my mind does wander to other individuals. Maybe a soldier over seas, or just someone who may not be famous, but I think my deserve attention too. It is, in a small way, one of the reasons why sending out the Grand Canyon card to sheriff Joe was so cool, I was able to step out of the box a little bit.

With out taking you on a confusing and frightening trip on how my mind works, I will just fast foward ahead to the conclusion. I have decided to create a custom sub set for the 2008 Allen & Ginter cards. "Blogger Edition" will be custom made cards honoring the individuals in the blogging world that produce quality blogs, entertain, and inform us, and push the hobby to new levels. Initially I will produce only two of each card (maybe more if other want them but this hasn't been thought out fully yet). I will send both cards to the individual in a typical TTM fashion. One will be for them to keep, and the other...well I am hoping they will sign it and return it for my collection.

The card that I send out in an TTM attempt will be hand numbered to 2, just in case later on I decide to print more for others who may want them. In addition, I have a number of blogs in mind, but if anyone wants to nominate a blogger for this shoot me an e-mail. You can not nominate yourself though, and I would like you to give a reason why you nominated the blogger that you did.

I am not promising any sort of time table as time can be troublesome for me, and I still need to find a place to print these in the quality I want.

The honor of the first card goes to:

Alfredo "Wicked" Ortega - 2008 Allen & Ginter "Blogger Edition" - #1

That is right, the 2009 Trader of the Year award winner himself. Be careful how you say that, he may get a little upset if you called him the Traitor of the year. Just a thought.

Maybe I am a little crazy, but for now on there will be a little of these subset cards being sent out along with my usual cards.


Topps Million Card Loot

Well, like everyone else I pulled out my Topps Million card giveaway codes last night and waited for the website to launch.

I stupidly assumed that it would launch at Midnight on the 15th. I was working late last night anyway, so I had a tab open to the site. I was constantly refreshing the page until I stopped working at 3 am.

The attemps continued the next morning. My youngest son woke me up at 8 am this morning politely asking for milk. Well truth be told, my one year old slept with us last night, and I awoke because he was slapping my forehead saying "Me-elk!" and "Uppa!"

On my way to the Kitchen, while forcing my eyes open, I passed the computer. "Hmm," I thought. I woke the computer up from sleep mode (It wakes so much easier than I do) and refreshed the site. Nothing.

I gave up for a while. I figured that the 15th was more of a suggestion than a set date, so I started working again. As is usually the case, my mouse finds its way to the blog bookmarks on the browser windows and while checking blog posts, I noticed this: "Topps Million Card Give Away is now live..." from the Trade Bait blog.

Oh the journey doesn't end there, but I will spare you the play by play. Lets just say, there must have been a few more people than just me wanting to log on today.

The first card I was awarded was:

Team Leaders - Tigers - 1988

Sweet! I had to laugh at myself when I saw the first card. There are so many things I don't show the same kind of perseverance for. But for the 1988 Tigers Leaders card...I will jump through untold hoops!

Then Came:

Jose Lind - 1993

Last was:

Matt Young - 1987

The browser crashed while loading so I didn't get to take a screen shot of the great moment in baseball card history.

All wrapped up, well so far. I am left with:

Overall though I am actually very happy with what Topps put together. Sure I didn't get anything great, but the whole thing is pretty cool. I would even be happy if it was just a digital card, but hey I am nerdy like that.

I can't image how cumbersome this can be for topps. Not the purchasing the cards, but even the site they put together is actually decent. I was half expecting no card images, but they have front and back, and they link cards by similarities. Not to mention that they have to have a system in place to mail you the cards if or when you request them. Although, after reading the blogs, if it is anything like the redemtion cards my 1993 Jose Lind may end up being a 1990 Jose Uribe.

Sending cards (Pre-Spring Training v3)

Continuing on with the spring training batch, while I wait for Topps Million Card Giveaway site to feed my information in amongst the other gazillion request that site must be receiving. Nine cards have already gone out in my spring training onslaught, and here are Four more. That leaves seven remaining.

Dan Haren

Haren and Webb, our new Johnson and Schilling combo. Dan Haren was insane last year, doing what he could to salvage a season riddle with injuries and 8th innings that made men weep. I am too far away and was too busy to cross statelines to get to fan fest, so my only hope is TTM. I will love getting this back.

Evan Longoria

Not really much to say about this one, other than it would be a fabulous addition to the collection.

Joe Nathan

After seeing Donna's success with Mr. Nathan, he crept up my list of "to send to's".

Stephen Drew

The Diamondbacks, AKA the Younger Brothers' squad. Don't get me wrong, I am vary happy with out version of the older siblings. Stephen almost instantly became one of my favorite players, and I am not sure why. Oh, and I love this card by the way. I think its the image. Too bad it is a short print.


Sending cards (Pre-Spring Training v2)

I have a list of guys I want to send to this spring training. Five went out last post, and here are Four more. That leaves Twelve remaining. I figure that now is a good time to send them, so why not send more than my usual.

Josh Hamilton

Hamilton, The feel good story a little bit ago. I didn't see his home run derby, but I was listening to it on the radio. Yeah, its kinda hard to follow on the air. It sounded impressive.

Grady Sizemore

Don't know much about Sizemore (wow, I should have a hot key for that sentence). He is one of those players that I like and don't know why.

Curtis Granderson

Granderson was completely off my radar until he started blogging on Yahoo Sports. From reading those I have built up a respect for him. He seems humble and very down to earth. I love that in a player.

Troy Tulowitzki

I couldn't stand Tulo, until I started playing 08 MLB The Show. Very addictive game by the way. I created myself in the role-playing mode, and worked my way up to the starting shortstop position for the Diamondbacks. After my rookie season (called up mid season), Arizona goes out and signs Troy. So now I am competing with Stephen Drew, and Troy Tulowitzki. In typical video game fashion, I did win the position but I had to platoon with Troy for almost a full season. Strangely enough I actually started like Tulowitzki from that. It is interesting how that works. My dislike for him had no basis in reality anyway. I have no reason to dislike him personally, it was purely rivalry based. Now I like him, and again its nothing he did. It was a video game.

From Russia with Love

Well, like others I have joined JD's Wild Cardz Olympic contest. After numerous failed attempts at picking a number (how hard can it be right? Too much for me apparently), I landed Russia. Not to shabby, Russia does well in the Winter games. In 2006 at the Torino games, they came in 4th over all with 22 total medals. Not to mention that since they have been competing as Russia (opposed to Soviet union which dominated for years) the worst they have done is fifth. 196 Athletes, in 15 sports can't be too bad. Plus, I get the benefit of paid off judges.


Pat Neshek: Bad Letter

I thought that most of you would enjoy this. Pat Neshek posted on his website a letter that he says is, "Bad Letter of the Month". I won't steal the man's image, just go here and check it out.

Sending cards (Pre-Spring Training) *Updated*

After seeing on the Diamondbacks website that already a good portion of the team is in Arizona for an initial voluntary work out, I figured it would be a good time to get some spring training TTM attempts out. Due to the total lack of postage in the house I only was able to send out 4. I had a 5th. Mr. Kershaw, but he is the odd man out when the stamps ran dry.

Roy Halladay

I actually wanted to send Mr. Halladay last year, but I wasn't sure how to make a self addresses stamped envelope (SASE) with Canadian postage. I actually haven't seen him pitch, but I would love to. I want to see what everyone is talking about.

Vladimir Guerrero

This man I have seen play. Watching Ichiro live is impressive, in person his speed is amazing. Guerrero is the same with hitting. I don't think I have ever seen someone other than this beast golf a ball from his shoe laces into the outfield seats. How do you pitch to a guy that even your bad pitches end up out of the park. I can't imagine the relief the Rangers pitchers felt when they found out he was now on their side. This guy brutalized them particularly bad.

B. J. Upton

Here is what I know about Mr. Upton in a nutshell. He is the elder brother of a phenom on the Diamondbacks squad. That is messed up I know, but its the truth. Sorry B.J. I will try to correct this problem in the near future.

Justin Upton

Oh hey look, I know this Upton. The future of the franchise. The most well known of our youth movement. Him and his other youthful cohorts are looking good. I look forward to the 2010 season. Of course I had the same eagerness last year.


Clayton Kershaw

Hey I found some stamps. Mr. Kershaw's request is going out today. Yes, he is a Dodger, but he is still young he may grow out of it. I am sorry, I had say it.



I was doing some pondering earlier. I took at look at my participation in this hobby from the most basic question. Why? Why do I collect cards. Printed cardboard that probably cost less than a penny to produce. Well, just the printing. I am sure that one could debate to actual cost of the card, what with labor, overhead etc. But I digress. Why do we love to collect cards. We can even extend the question even further. Not just, "why do I collect baseball cards", but "why do I LOVE the hobby so much"?

Taking all of the knowledge and emotion away from the hobby that I have built up over the years and attempt to take a fresh look at my involvement is pretty interesting, and refreshing. What is a baseball card? why collect this instead of Bats, Baseballs, Photos, Jerseys, Tickets, Game Programs, anything else that could be considered more apart of the game of baseball?

For one, availability.

Getting a pack of cards is much easier to obtain than all of the previously mentioned items. I haven't gone to a lot of games but I have been to a fair amount, and I have already given up all hope of ever getting a foul ball. In addition, the last time a player gave me a bat was, well um still waiting on that one actually. Other than game used items, I personally don't see any collector "value" to bats or balls purchased at the stadium.

Another is Price.

Sure, I will spend a lot of money on cards. Heck, I have already spent a lot of money on cards. But the cost of autographed baseballs, game-used items, and other baseball memorabilia make these items seem pretty much unobtainable to me to collect seriously. A certified autographed baseball averages about a hundred bucks, that buys a decent hobby box of cards.

Storage and display.

Recently I recieved a really cool package from a great individual. in it, among other things, was a Signed Bobblehead, a Signed Baseball, and a Signed hat. I still have these items in the box they arrived in. Why? Because I can't find the money to buy the proper display case. The Ball/Cap display is 60-80 dollars and the bobblehead display was 50. The items are "priceless" but still, that is insane. I can't find that kind of money laying around for a case that will just hold the things.

These reasons though, all are reasons to settle on cards, but why do we LOVE the hobby so much.

Here is are a few reasons I tried to put together of why I LOVE the hobby (no particular order).

1. Breaking packs.

Not sure why, but I love ripping into a pack of cards. You don't know what you are going to get. Will you pull and auto? A relic? A player from your favorite team? Your favorite player? I love the initial opening of the packs and seeing the new cards for the first time. It really is addicting.

2. Extension of the game

I can't afford to go to a baseball game all the time. I can't even afford to watch my team play televised. I live in Los Angeles and my team plays in Phoenix. MLB.TV is a hundred dollars or more, and if I want to see them at the ball park I have to go to Dodger stadium. While there I either have to suppress my cheers and groans or watch my back (thank goodness I am not a Giants fan, that really could get messy. No offense Dodger fans. Really). I do enjoy Angel games but time is a factor, although I do hope to get to more this year. Anyway, I can lose myself into baseball on my terms through the hobby. Not to mention the thrilling new sub-hobby I have been participating in, TTM. That aspect of the hobby makes the players seem so reachable. It is amazing. Sure you can send a ball TTM, but the cost and hassle compared to sending a card makes it not worth the effort, to me.

3. Set building

I think this is the same with any hobby, but I can have set goals and really see them come true. Whether it be collection the complete set of an 80's topps set (755 cards), or the Propaganda cards (30 cards). I can collect and have a final completion that is measurable and rewarding.

4. Nostalgia

This is a cheap one. I know that it pretty much requires an emotional component to have this as a reason, and I tried to sell this as a non-emotional, basic evaluation. This one though, has to be here. I think almost all of us started this hobby as kids and for one reason or another left and returned. Part of the reason for collecting is nostalgia and familiarity. Not a big reason, but no denying that is there.

5. I really have NO idea.

Even after all of this analysis, I come back to: I have no clue. There is a huge part of the draw to this hobby that is intangible. It actually makes my head hurts just trying to pin it down. I do have to say that the Blogs and this community has multiplied my love for the hobby immensely. Being able to share it with others really brings a element to the hobby that really has been missing since the childhood days.

Sorry for the long incoherent and image less post. Just thought I would throw this out there, I would love to hear others that could express their thoughts as to why we love to collect baseball cards. I know the people that actually have the skill of writing could capture and express it far better than I can


The Fifth TMM Success this Year

Wow that title just doesn't get old. Well for the third straight day there was a TTM Success. This one though was a dream return. Don't get me wrong I am trilled with all my returns, but Gonzo has been my favorite player for years. Even my wife saw my reaction when I pulled the card from the envelope and she had to see what it was.

Thanks Gonzo!


The Fourth TMM Success this Year

For the second consecutive day I received a TTM Success in the mail. The day previous it was the Sheriff, the it was Ms. Strug. I am a big fan of these Olympian Ginter cards. This one looks wonderful signed, but she does have a beautiful signature.

Thanks Kerri


Incoming Cards: The Collective Troll

Mr. Troll asked me if I would be interested in a Randy Johnson Bat Card, I can't say no to a "Big Unit" lumber card. When the package arrived it was so full it looked like Troll had stuffed a baseball in the envelope instead of cards.

Here is a run down of the generosity.

2008 Allen & Ginter
223 - Pluto

183 - Harriet Tubman
292- Elijah Dukes
187 - Marie Curie
137 - Annie Oakley
283 - Andrew "William" Ocean Litz
247 - Lisa Leslie
158 - Mary Shelley
128 - Golden Gate Bridge
122 - Gateway Arch
29 - Empire State Building
147 - James Fenimore Cooper
217 - Friedrich Nietzsche
166 - Bram Stoker

Crack the Code Cards x8

2008 Allen & Ginter "The Worlds Greatest Victories"

10 - Big Blue

6 - The Fall of the Berlin Wall

2009 Allen & Ginter

98 - Josh Whitesell x2

84 - Justin Upton

213 - Stephanie Brown Trafton

276 - Michael Phelps

237 - Walton Glen Eller
289 - Milky Way
260 - Louis Braille
252 - Lasting Milledge
118 - Scott Olsen
103 - Aaron Harang
248 - Colby Rasmus
141 - Carlos Zambrano

2009 Allen & Ginter "National Pride"

NP32 - Rich Harden

2008 Topps

130 - Justin Upton

2008 Topps U&H

UH252 - Tony Clark

2007 Topps Heritage

9 - Randy Johnson
BHP49 - Andrew Fie

2008 Topps Heritage

3 - Eric Byrnes

2009 Topps Heritage

552 - Daniel Schlereth
540 - Clay Zavada
525- Chad Qualls

2009 Topps

358 - Chad Tracy

2008 Goudey

1 - Eric Byrnes

2009 Upper Deck

7 - Mark Reynolds

2002 Topps Chrome

576 - Greg Colbrunn

2009 Bowman "1st Bowman"BCP162 - Mark Hallberg

Oh yeah, Don't forget....

SP Game Bat Edition

RJ - Randy Johnson

Thank you so much Troll. I owe you.


The Third TMM Success this Year

I got another response back from my 2010 TTM attempts. This time though it didn't come VIA my SASE, but rather from a metered official Sheriff's office envelope. When I first saw that response didn't come back as expected, I assumed the worst. That he had not signed the card but a PR person just sent me a form letter. This was not the case. Mr. Arpaio had not only signed the card, but sent me another card signed as well (featuring him, I assumed it was meant for school kids) and a personal letter to me also signed by him. Oh and he sent my unused SASE back to me to use again, saves me some money.

Very nice response. Thanks Joe!

Thank you Jeff!

Incoming Cards: Night Owl Cards

Mr. Night Owl had told me he was sending over the Mannywood propaganda card, what he didn't say was that Manny had company.

2009 Topps U&H - Manny Ramirez (Propaganda) - PP20

In addition to the Mannywood card, He also sent more cards to chip away at my want list.

2008 Allen & Ginter - Matt Holliday (Statehood) - US36

Also in the package were the following state hood cards:

US35 Nick Swisher/Ohio
US26 Taylor Tankersley/Montana
US41 Mark Ellis/South Dakota
US42 Todd Helton/Tennessee

2008 Allen & Ginter - The Fall of the Berlin Wall (World's Greatest Victories) - 6

And then there were just good old Diamondback goodness.

2005 Fleer Ultra - Randy Johnson

2009 Topps Chrome - Conor Jackson (Gold Refractor) - #32/50 - 61

The scan does not to do this justice. It is beautiful.

In addition there following were included:

2006 Topps Heritage - Royce Clayton - 421
2009 O-Pee-Chee - Arizona Diamondback Team Checklist (Chase Field) - 511
2007 Turkey Red - Randy Johnson - 113


The Second TMM Success this Year

When I got the envelope in the mail yesterday it was pretty obvious who it was. When the post mark says it is coming from Alaska, you kinda know its not A-Rod getting back to yah.

Thank you Jeff!


More 2008 Topps Campaign Match-up Cards

I picked up some more 2008 Topps Series 2 Campaign match-up cards from checkoutmycards.com recently. I am still pretty far of from completing this set, but I will keep plugging along. That is all you can do right? Plus I would rather go slowly, it makes completing it much more gratifying.

Bush vs Gore - HCM - 2000

Please, no political comments about this one. I know this is still a sore spot among many. I am partial to this card because this was the first election I voted in.

Lincoln vs Breckinridge - HCM 1860

One of our greatest presidents. It is surprising to me that I don't know much about his elections. Another great edition to my colleciton

Washington vs Adams - HCM 1792

Another of my favorite presidents. Not so much for his acting as president, but more for his actions as General Washington. The more I read or hear of this man during the revolutionary war, the more I like him.

On the 1989 Topps front, I just completed that set. Well, save for one card. I have this character flaw that when I put together my list of cards I need I inevitably leave out one or two. Anyway after purchasing a bunch from a gentleman on EBay, he contacted me asking if I need more help. After convercing with him VIA e-mail, I ended up purchasing my entire want list from him. I am going to also get the full '88 set as well (plus a certain '89 topps card). If any of you are interested in picking up any cards from Topps '72 - '92, you can check him out: gnadtj@hotmail.com. I am not good on sniffing out deals, so I can't speak for that (although I am not discrediting it either, all I know is; I feel the deal was fair for me), but I can say that I am very happy with my dealings with him, and I recommend him highly.