And this one belongs to the Reds

Posted by Jonathan @ RGB Cards | Posted in , ,

After 15 years of waiting, the Reds will return to the postseason for the first time since they lost to the Braves in the 1995 NLCS (I don't count the wild-card playoff game against the Mets in '99, and neither should you).  The Braves, of course, won Bobby Cox's only World Series title that season, so it was destiny that the Reds should get swept. But with the very real possibility of facing the Braves again this time around, a measure of revenge would be sweet.

Man, 15 years is a long time. When I think back to where I was the last time I watched a Reds playoff game, well, let's just say I was a bit younger, had quite a bit more hair, and stayed up a lot longer doing a lot more things that a young man can get away with. In many ways, it seems like a lifetime ago, but at the same time, no way it's been that long.

The fellow at the top of the post didn't do it all himself, of course. But when he stepped up to the plate to lead off the 9th inning and deposited a Tim Byrdak pitch over the center-field wall, that set off a scene similar to this one:

As the great Marty Brennaman said approximately 2.7 seconds later, "The National League Central division belongs to the Cincinnati Reds!"

I couldn't be happier.

My three pack a day habit

Posted by Jonathan @ RGB Cards | Posted in ,

Simply put, this is probably the greatest three-pack stretch I've ever had in my life, so I'm going to share it all with you, card by card. The numbering is off because these are the fourth, fifth and sixth packs from this particular box. Remember that I already pulled a Carlos Quentin jersey card in an earlier pack.

Pack 4

Francisco Rodriguez (This Date in History)

16 - Carl Pavano

139 - Miguel Cabrera

288 - Bobby Jenks

221 - Mike Leake - Woo-hoo! My first Mike Leake card with him in a Reds uniform.

242 - Jules Verne (Mini)

AGR-SV Shane Victorino Game Used Bat

Pack 5 (Hereafter referred to as "The Douchebag Pack")

Josh Johnson (This Date in History)

44 - Chris Coghlan

210 - Chris Johnson

114 - Milton Bradley - Believe it or not, he's just the second-biggest douchebag in the pack. You'll see.

136 - Garrett Jones

311 - Chone Figgins

272 - David Blaine - Yep, there he is. The biggest douchebag in the pack, if not the whole damn set.

NA18 - Canadian Beaver (National Animals)

Pack 6

Chase Utley (This Date in History)

211 - Johnny Strange

184 - Jake Peavy

145 - Jim Thome

123 - Mariano Rivera

272 - David Blaine - Mini douchebag to go with the full-sized douchebag!

AGR-IS Ichiro Suzuki Game Used Jersey

This is the first time I've pulled a relic from a pack that's from a player I actually collect. The closest I've ever come in the past was during one of the Thorzul's group breaks, when I scored a Ken Griffey relic card. But that doesn't really count because Thorzul was the one who actually opened the pack - I just got the card in the mail. So this, really, is the biggest pull I've ever made.

I was buzzing after this one, I don't mind telling you. I took the dog for a walk (we're getting paving done at the house so the dog has to stay inside) and worked through what I would say in this post while we were walking. It looks like I've gotten all three hits in the first six packs, but I don't care. Getting an Ichiro relic card is huge for me and it's doesn't matter what's in the rest of the box, it's a winner as far as I'm concerned.

Hey might want to re-think this one...

Posted by Jonathan @ RGB Cards | Posted in ,

As a history fan (and history teacher) I definitely appreciate the idea behind the "This Day in History" insert set. 75 cards is probably a bit too big for me to collect it, so I'll probably stick with certain players and teams.

But Topps, when deciding who to put in the set, do you think it was a good idea to include a player that's well-known for perpetrating fraud with respect to his birthday?

Can we even trust the date on the back of that card?

Allen & Ginter highlights

Posted by Jonathan @ RGB Cards | Posted in , ,

So I purchased a box of Allen & Ginter thanks to the good folks at Dave and Adam's (who, as regular readers of the blog know by know, actually ship to Australia). I opened the box on the holidays, and, in the spirit of rationing, have limited myself to three packs a day, much like a smoker! :o

The first three packs (without the box topper, which I'll open later) included one of the hits. It also included a quasi-mangled mini card, which was a bit frustrating.

Here's the hit - as you can see, it's definitely one worth having:

It's Carlos Quentin. TCQ got off to a slow start this season, but eventually became a big contributor to the Bunbury Biscuits success in fantasy baseball. Unfortunately, the Biscuits regular-season triumph did not translate into post-season glory, going out in the LCS to an inferior team. Sometimes I hate fantasy baseball. Bring on fantasy hockey!

Here's the quasi-mangled card.

Negro Leaguer Robert Scott, so I'm annoyed that this happened. There's a gouge on the right-hand side of the card in the middle, like it was caught in a crimper. You can sort of see it on the scan. Regardless, this still goes into the Frankenset, because beggers can't be choosers, and I'm just starting out.

The other two minis were National Animals, the Jaguar and the Elk. I wonder who would win in a fight?

As far as regular cards, the only one that I got, and really wanted, isn't even a baseball player:

It's marathon champion Meb Keflezighi. If you're not familiar with his story, check it out. He's bringing marathon glory back to the USA. Even if he is originally from Eritrea.

Joy of a Completed Page (Legend...wait for it...dary edition)

Posted by Jonathan @ RGB Cards | Posted in ,

Yes, it's more Strasburg Money. In this case, I was able to buy a lot of Legendary Lineage cards that have helped me put a big dent in my collection. Now I have not just one, but two completed pages, both from Series 1:

This is the first page, the first nine cards in the set. Of the two, it's the one I like better. Why? Have a look at the top-left-hand corner. There's your answer. It makes up for the preponderance of Yankees in the bottom right.

Here's page two (cards LL10-LL18). Highlights include Cal Ripken, Johnny Bench, and that card right in the middle. Warren Freakin' Spahn.

I love the Legendary Lineage series. It's one of the two insert sets from 2010 that I'm collecting (the Yo Momma cards are the other). In both cases, the sets are ones that tie in the history of the game with today's baseball. Of course, some of the selections are questionable and the links tenuous at best (Grady Sizemore and Tris Speaker, anyone?). But I like the simple design of the cards, and they have featured some of my absolute all-time favorite players. Overall, it's been a really enjoyable set to collect, read and display.

Back from the dead

Posted by Jonathan @ RGB Cards | Posted in ,

Well, another term is in the books here and that means two weeks off for me. I also got a package in the mail from back home - there were clothes from Old Navy for my lovely wife and a bunch of baseball cards for me. These were cards I purchased with Strasburg Money and had sent to my folks' place because the sellers would ship internationally. There's also three various hobby boxes waiting to be opened.

What does this mean for you? Well, more posts for the next couple of weeks, of course. Maybe even a post a day,!

Here's another Strasburg Money card. This is my fourth short print from the 2009 Topps sets. But unlike some of the others, it's one I actually wanted. I mean, really, really wanted:

Being an Obama card is great in and of itself. But the fact that he's in a White Sox jersey (yes, I know he's a Sox fan) makes it all the better. I'm almost considering making Obama the "fifth PC". This is my fourth Obama card. I won't stop until I reach 44 cards.

Anyway, that's my latest acquisition. But there's plenty more cards to come, so stay tuned!

Friday mailbag

Posted by Jonathan @ RGB Cards | Posted in , , , ,

(This post is fourth in a series of what I bought with the money I got for a 2010 Bowman hobby box. You know, the one with Stephen Strasburg on the front)

I had been waiting for a while for this particular package to come, and it took a couple days extra than I expected. I've given up trying to figure out Australia Post - this particular package was mailed, from California, a day after another was mailed from Pennsylvania. Both used the same postage rate - International First Class. The one from California - three thousand miles closer to Australia than Pennsylvania - took three days longer to get here. If you can figure out why, please let me know, because I can't.

Anyway, on to my latest purchases. Yes, this is more Strasburg money, folks. I'm almost starting to feel bad - when I coined the term and started this series, ol' Double S wasn't even on the disabled list, much less the operating room table. It now feels kinda like profiting off someone else's misfortunes. Kinda.

Let's start with the big ticket item. This was the card that I really wanted, the rest I just bought to help defray shipping costs:

It's a 2009 Spectrum rainbow card, in this case, a turquoise Tim Lincecum. It's numbered 9/25 and is the second rarest, in terms of print run, card in my collection. I have a 1/1 printing plate that I pulled out of a box of '09 Topps Series 1. But this card is infinitely shinier and better looking than a printing plate. I can't even remember what color plate it is now.

I'll admit it - I've caught rainbow fever. I've got four Spectrum rainbows in various stages of completion (care to guess who?) and I'm thinking of starting others. But this is the first top-end card I've actually got in my possession, although there may be another one arriving within the month. Stay tuned.

Here's the next favorite card in my bundle - a 2007 Brian Roberts relic. You know, from back when he was healthy and could play. His 2010 season just sums up the Orioles in general. Disappointing.

But B-Rob is a fellow Tar Heel, even if he left midway through his college career. I don't fault him for it - after all, the school fired his dad, former UNC baseball coach Mike Roberts. I'll always appreciate Coach Roberts - he brought me on board as the team's announcer, and I enjoyed every minute of working for the Tar Heel baseball program.

Let's stay with the Orioles for a minute. I picked up this Brooks Robinson mini for a very reasonable price. Something happened with my scanner because his name on the bottom looks just fine on the actual card. I was just too lazy to re-scan it. But the best thing is what's on the back:


I assume they mean best cigarettes. If so, I guess they were wrong about that.

Finally, two random Ichiro cards for the PC. I don't really have that much to say about either one, just that I didn't have them before, and now I do. The Flashback Fridays one on the lest is kinda interesting, but I have no idea what Topps means by "Flashback Fridays." Flash back to what? And was the card only made on Fridays, or sold on Fridays, or supposed to be looked at on Fridays? At least I received the card on a Friday.

Hmm, maybe Australia Post knew what it was doing, after all...

Drew's Obak contest

Posted by Jonathan @ RGB Cards | Posted in ,

Drew, who I have traded with in the past, is running a contest at his blog. You could win some Obak cards. This is a shameless plug because I want to win the cards. So by all means, visit his site. But don't feel like you have to enter the contest. Unless you really want to.

It's what you don't know that gets you

Posted by Jonathan @ RGB Cards | Posted in ,

Sometimes I'm reminded of how little I actually know about collecting baseball cards.

About a month or so ago, I busted a box of 2010 Series 2. As many of you are aware, I'm collecting the "Cards Your Mom Threw Out" subset, with a particular quixotic pursuit of all the original back cards. It's been slow going, needless to say.

One of the cards in my box looked like this:

Unusual - I thought it was just another crappy Yankee insert. I didn't stop to think how Babe Ruth couldn't possibly have been born in 1910, or that the card actually has his birthdate - in 1895! It seems unusual, possibly valuable - maybe a short print. At least nobody smacked a pie in the Babe's face. I put it in a penny sleeve and continued on my merry way.

Occasionally I would come across that card on my desk, and wonder what its story was, but it was never really more than idle curiosity. Once the box break was done, the card joined the rest in a pile of odds and ends on the bookshelf.

You see where this is going, don't you?

Fast forward to today. I'm doing a inventory (think of it as a "stocktake" for my cards) and I'm logging in my Yo Momma cards. Not really paying much attention to the names, just the numbers, I happen to notice on a website that the 1995 Yo Mamma card for Series 2 belongs to...

...Babe Ruth

Thanks to eBay, I confirmed that this card pictured above was indeed the card. I had CMT-102 in my collection all along, and didn't even know it. Now, the trick was to find the damn thing.

First place I looked - the pile of insert cards from the box break. Logical place, right? Not there.

Second place: with the duplicate base cards...nope.

Third place: underneath the box hits from my Obak box...nada.

Now I'm getting annoyed - where could it be? Oh, how I hope I didn't leave it on the desk for my dog to eat or my wife to throw away!

I notice that I also can't find a stack of cards that I've set aside for trades. These cards were in the same general area of the desk as the Ruth card. Shit - she couldn't have thrown them all away, could she?

Finally, after what seemed like an eternity but probably wasn't even five minutes, I found the stack of trade cards on the top shelf. Sure enough, the Ruth card was there, too, along with a stack of unredeemed Million Card Giveaway cards. Still in the penny sleeve, I scanned the Babe and put him in his proper place - with the rest of my Cards Your Mom (not my mom, she would never do such a thing!) Threw Out. A happy ending.

Oh, wait, I didn't tell you the best part. Here's the back of that card:

It's an original back card! After a month of being annoyed because I got screwed since the only CYMTO original back card I got in the box was a 2008 Ryan Zimmerman, it turns out I had a second one all along.

I just didn't know it.

(For the record, I did notice that "reprint" in the bottom left-hand corner of the card. I just thought it meant that it was a reprint of a 1995 Topps insert set. You see, that big red "3" confused me, and I thought it was the 3 of a set, and Topps had reprinted all of them. I have no idea why I thought Topps would have done such a thing on this, the 115th anniversary of the Babe, but there you go. I can be shockingly dumb sometimes.)

Cards are coming...

Posted by Jonathan @ RGB Cards | Posted in

One week early, I placed an order with Dave & Adam's for a box of 2009 Obak and 2010 Ginter. Why one week early? Because I got an e-mail today advertising their Labor Day sale with every item on sale. Mental note - wait for U.S. holidays to order cards from D&A.

Anyway, the cards are on their way - according to the tracking on the UPS website, they've just left Singapore:

Raise your hands if you've ever had cards pass through Singapore on their way to your house... :)

By the way, we're heading to the accountant tomorrow. You know what that means - TAX REFUND!!! After the accountant, we're going to the outlet mall...for shoes, actually. But the outlet mall is about a 15 minute walk from the card shop. And I'll have a tax refund in my pocket, burning a hole. (Not literally, of course, because then I'll have to buy a new pair of pants along with the shoes. But you know what I mean.)

Thank you, Upper Deck, or, the Griffey Project Became a Lot Harder, or, How I Spent My Strasburg Money (Part 3)

Posted by Jonathan @ RGB Cards | Posted in , , ,

On the occasion of Sufjan Stevens's 35 1/6th birthday, a post title that sounds like it could have been one of his songs...

I posted the first card I bought with some of my Strasburg Money - it was a 2009 Spectrum Swatches Ken Griffey card, as you can see from the link. Well, guess what? It turns out that Junior has not one, but two cards in the Spectrum Swatches subset. Which means twice the relic and auto cards I need to collect. There's this one, the "base" card, SS-KG:

And then there's this one, which arrived in my mailbox a few days ago. It's card SS-GR:

Both show Griffey in his Reds uniform, but with a White Sox logo. And because of that, both need to be collected. Damn you, Upper Deck!!! *shakes fist in the general direction of Richard McWilliam*

Also in the mail was this little beauty:

I was perusing the seller's other listing for cards I could buy to save on shipping, when I came across this little beauty. The patches themselves are plain - boring old gray and white, although Felix's looks like it has a seam. But hey, any time you can get a serial numbered quad patch card featuring two of the players you collect, you gotta do it, right? The only question is, do I need to get two? One for the King Felix collection, and one for the Freak collection? What do you all think? Let me know in the comments section.

More cards are on their way from America, Stay tuned for parts 4, 5, 6, etc. in the epic series...