Holy crap, it's Opening Day!

Posted by Jonathan @ RGB Cards | Posted in

This kind of snuck up on me. Usually, of course, Opening Day is on the same day as the NCAA National Championship game, aka THE BEST DAY OF SPORTS FOR THE WHOLE YEAR. But this year, Major League Baseball decided to stuff things around. I'm not sure why.

This season, I plan on offering more insight and analysis. I welcome your comments and responses, as always. I leave you with, what else? Some cards from the Topps Opening Day set, which is usually available before Opening Day. Go figure.

Whoever your team is, good luck this year. And smile - because right now, your team is in first place!

Little Package of Goodness - Hand Collated

Posted by Jonathan @ RGB Cards | Posted in ,

I didn't know if I'd ever be able to complete a trade with Scott over at Hand Collated, because he and I both collect the Reds. There's a lot of overlap, and so it's kind of hard to trade cards that I want in the first place, and vice versa.

Thankfully, last month he made a post about 2010 insert sets that he was collecting, and I found that he was collecting a bunch of sets that I wasn't. Here was a great chance to make a trade with someone that I didn't know if I'd get a chance to deal with, and turn some cards in my trade box into cards in my binders.

Here's the cards I got back from Scott. I hope that your package arrived and didn't get delayed by the floods here in the Kimberley!

First up are four Cards Your Mom Threw Out. The Dale Murphy is the oldest. The Ethier is the most resplendent in Green and Gold. The Ramirez looks like he ran into Mr. Tyzik. The Porcello is the most underwhelming because I have the original. But I've got to get this one, too.

Do you think I can just take a spare 2009 Porcello and put it in my binder as an "original back"?

Also in the pile were some Legendary Lineage for my needs. I'm just two LL cards away from completing Series 1 and nine away from Series 2. The Ichiro and Jackie card is, of course, the most awesome, but now I need another for my Ichiro PC. I love the powder blue Royals uni on Vincent Edward "Bo" Jackson, and any card with Eddie Mathews is three kinds of awesome, even if Chipper is wearing a batting practice jersey.

Turkey Red? You bet! I'm steadly making progress. At this rate, I should complete the 2009 set in 2017, and the 2010 set in 2018. Have I mentioned how glad I am that I don't have to worry about Turkey Red 2011?

A pair of Rays prospects from 2009 A Piece of History, and a pair of former Red Sox shortstops from 2008 Baseball Heroes. All needed additions.

Scott also sent a couple of base cards I needed for 2010 Topps Series 2. The Carl Pavano was the best - I like the look on his face! He also sent an Ichiro Masterpieces card. I didn't need it for my set, but it will go nicely in my PC! Thanks for the great trade, Scott!

2011 Topps Jumbo - Pack 10

Posted by Jonathan @ RGB Cards | Posted in , ,

The final pack. I'll tell you right now that I didn't get any new base cards, so this post will be light on pictures. No top three, because I've already posted the top three cards in the set. No happiest to see/least happiest to see, because it was a 42-way day for least happiest between all the dupes. I ended up 21 cards short of a complete set with a jumbo box, but I can't complain because I GOT A FREAKIN' SANDY KOUFAX 1/1 IN THE BOX!!!!

You thought I forgot about that, didn't you?

Insert cards:

Ryan Braun Topps 60

Joey Votto/Adrian Gonzalez Diamond Duos

1996 Mickey Mantle 60 Years of Topps (the start of the #7 cards featuring The Mick - blame this card for the current lunacy)

Jimmie Foxx 1933 DeLong reprint

Mike Stanton Kimball Champion
Any Gold Parallel cards?:

Why yes there was, and I'm pleased to announce it was not a Pirate! It's David Eckstein (#51). I've taken the scan, and this card will probably end up in the Uniform Back series at some point, but it's available for trade.

Any Diamond Parallel cards?:

Yes! Magglio Ordonez (#181). I had already written about this card, favorably, so it was interesting to get the diamond parallel version. You know what? I don't think it improved the card. If anything, it made it worse. Yes, Maggs, the bat and the ball stand out more, but everything (and everyone) else is obscured, and it was all that other stuff in the background that made the card so good, at least to me.

Card I was most happy to see:

That's right, it's another hit! That makes six for the box, and the second 1/1. A magenta printing plate of Coco Crisp (card #190). I don't really think of printing plates as 1/1s (although I know they are) because they're not cards. I liked the actual card that was printed, so it's kinda cool to have a piece of that in my collection. I think I'll hold on to this for the time being, unless the right offer came along.

Card I was least happy to see: Like I said, a 42-way tie with all the duplicate base cards.

Final numbers: 309/330 base cards (93.6%) 

Lyle Overbay sightings: 2
Hits: 6! (two autographs, one relic, one manu-relic, one printing plate, one sketch card)
Diamond parallels: 10
Damaged diamond parallels: 5 :(

Gold paralells: 4
Pirates gold parallels: 1
Gold parallels I actually want: 1
Cards available for trade: Plenty - list coming soon!

2011 Topps Jumbo - Pack 9

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

Back on the horse. My intermittent Internet service made it hard to post these past two weeks, but so close to the end of this box, I have to get the last two packs in. I can't give up. It's been a while since I scanned these cards, so let's hope I remember what I was going to say. And even if I don't, I can probably fake it.

Best three cards (in reverse order):

#3 – Jose Bautista (#216): For me, this is the enduring image of 2010. Jose Bautista, the Brady Anderson of the 21st century, hitting one of his 54 home runs from last season. Or is it? The more I look at this card, the wonder I don't wonder if this was just a long foul ball. The angle that his body is turned at (extremely closed off), his line of sight (down the left-field line from my estimation) and the general lack of urgency (kinda of hard to tell from a still photograph, but check out the body language) makes me think not is all it seems.

Yes, it could very well be one of his many taters from last year. But something tells me he was right back in the batter's box five seconds after this photo was taken.

#2 – Scott Hairston (#221): Another card that shows the power of the Padres throwback uniforms. I particularly like how the brown and yellow of the unis match the brown and yellow of the infield. I know for a fact that the Padres didn't pick those colors to save on laundry bills (or in honor of brown hamburger patties and yellow cheese) - in fact, they wore brown because it was the favorite color of original Padres owner C. Arnholt Smith. What that says about a man whose favorite colors were brown and yellow, on the other hand...

But now, it's time for a word about Scott Hairston. Unfortunately, Scotty isn't with the Padres anymore. He's moved on, this time to the Mets. It's his fourth team in three seasons (if you count his two stints with the Padres separately). Brother Jerry has moved on, too - gone to Washington. It's his sixth team in six seasons, and seventh overall. I don't know what the record for most teams played for by two brothers actually is, but the Hairstons have to be making a good run at it.

#1 – Jonathan Lucroy (#105): My favorite card of the whole first series. The first thing that popped in my head, looking at Lucroy sitting on the bench, staring into the distance with his shinpads still on, waiting for the next inning to begin, was the title The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner. This picture captures what being a catcher is all about - you're with the team, but not one of them.

Catchers are a breed apart. Other teammates rarely socialise with them, at least during the game. They usually sit alone, watching the game, thinking about the situation, what pitch they would call for, what they are going to do when it's the home half of the inning. At the same time, catcher is the only position that affords a view of the entire field. They are the leaders, and they take precedence over anyone else. No wonder so many of them end up becoming managers.

Call it The Loneliness of the Second String Catcher.

Worst card:
Jason Kubel (#4). Seriously dude, are you whistling? You just seem too pleased with yourself.

Jamie Moyer Award for best card back:
Mariano Rivera (#42). You might think this might be another lifetime achievement award, showing all of Mo's sure-fire Hall-of-Fame stats. But you'd be wrong. The reason this card gets the Jamie Moyer Award is there in the upper right-hand corner. Card #42 for Mo Rivera. Classy move, Topps.

Insert cards:

Frank Thomas Topps 60

Evan Longoria/Ryan Zimmerman Diamond Duos

1955 Ernie Banks 60 Years of Topps

1953 Stan Musial 60 Years of Topps Lost Card (a lot of these cards seem to feature Stan Musial, thanks to the Bowman lawsuit)

Pee Wee Reese Kimball Champion

Was there a hit? Is it available for trade?:
Yes! Another hit, that makes five for the box:

Randy Wells sticker autograph. Available for trade.

Any Diamond Parallel cards?:

Yes! Russell Martin (#114). Oh dear, another printing error. I've gotten more printing errors than I've gotten hit. Not even Night Owl wants this card.

Card I was most happy to see: I thought it was going to be this one:

Joey Votto NL MVP (#211). Why wouldn't it be my favorite card in the pack? It's the card that commemorates the best player on my team winning an MVP award, the first Cincinnati MVP since Barry Larkin in 1995 (you forgot about that one, didn't you?) It's a great moment in Reds history. The only problem is, there's a greater moment in the same pack...

Jay Bruce (#191) ...namely, Jay Bruce's NL Central-winning home run against the Astros. Again, the first time this has happened to the Reds since 1995. What's more, this is only the fifth time in major league history that a player clinched his team's trip to the post-season with a walk-off home run. Can you name the other four?

Card I was least happy to see: Alex Rodriguez Checklist (#155): The second of two A-Fraud cards in this pack, almost undoing all the good work the pack did earlier. However, I think Jay Bruce, Joey Votto, Scott Hairston's mustard yellow uniform and Jonathan Lucroy's pensive stare make up for this congratulatory wankfest of Rodriguez's 600th steroid-aided home run. (*barf*)

I really don't like Alex Rodriguez.

Set Progress: 309/330 (93.6%) 

Lyle Overbay sightings: 2

Not what I was expecting

Posted by Jonathan @ RGB Cards | Posted in

Well, I didn't plan on following up a one-year anniversary with one week of inactivity. However, that's what happens when you lose your Internet connection for five days out of seven. Which is what happens when the phone lines get washed away in a flood 250 kilometers from here. Which is what happens when the phone company lays the phone cables on the side of the highway instead of burying them underground.

Telstra - working for you! Not really.

If I've been working with you on a trade proposal, thank you for your patience.

Back with a real post soon, weather permitting (there's more rain forecast)

Little Package of Goodness - Democratic Roadkill

Posted by Jonathan @ RGB Cards | Posted in , ,

The resolution to get more trades done this year is already into high gear. I can't count the ones that started last year, so this is my first trade of 2011, from Duane at Democratic Roadkill. I sent Duane some Blue Jays and some unwanted insert cards, and he sent back some wanted inserts. I like this idea of turning cards I don't want into cards I do want! Let's see some of what was inside.

Duane put a big dent into my Turkey Red wantlists. I'm starting to think that it was a folly to collect these insert sets, but I'm too far along to turn back now. But I am glad that there isn't a Turkey Red 2011 set to chase, and I'm not going after the Kimball minis. I need a breather!

Duane sent about 20 Turkey Reds from 2010 alone, including many from the Update series (numbered 101 to 150). While there were current stars such as Joe Mauer and Andre Ethier in the pile, a lot of the cards were the legends, which was awesome:

One of those cards is not like the other - I know. But I included the Shin-Soo Choo card in the scan because I liked how it looked, and I needed twelve cards for balance.

2009 Turkey Red got some love, too. Duane sent about a dozen of them my way, including Hambone, Jay Bruce and Lincecum's buddy Matt Cain, plus old-timers Cobb, Reese and Wagner.

But it wasn't all Turkey Red. Here are four 2008 Baseball Heroes base cards that I needed, including ICHIRO!!!! and Matt Cain again.

I'm collecting the base set and chasing the rainbows for my four players (Griffey, Ichiro, King Felix and Lincecum). The King Felix rainbow is nearly complete, thanks to COMC. I only need the two most-rare colors now.

Finally, a surprise inclusion into the package, a 2008 Allen & Ginter mini of Ken Griffey (with the Old Planter back). I don't even need to look at the Frankenset™ (© Dayf) to know that this card is going in there - whatever's in spot #290 (if there is anything) can certainly be bumped for this!

Thanks for the trade, Duane. You've certainly helped whittle down my want list! Hopefully you will receive your cards soon if you haven't already but I guess that's really down to Australia Post, isn't it?

I look forward to more trades from everyone this year! If you think you can help, check out my want list. And if you see something you're interested in, let me know!

One year ago...

Posted by Jonathan @ RGB Cards | Posted in , ,

...at this precise minute (I know, because I looked it up and then set it to automatically post), RGB Cards was born. The first post, which you can find here, featured, of all things, 1993 O-Pee-Chee, specifically, this guy:

Yes, it's John Smiley, ertswhile ace of the early-to-mid '90s Reds. And I wrote a post about him. Then I decided it was a strong lead, and made it the very first post of this blog. What was I thinking?

Self-deprecation aside, I'd like to take this opportunity to say thanks to all my readers. I have had an absolute blast writing this blog, making trades with some of you (and hopefully more in the future) and just getting back into card collecting. You all have made it easy, and fun. Thanks a million.

At one year and nearly 200 posts, this is easily the longest-lived blog I've ever written. You could combine the other seven blogs I've written over the years and it still wouldn't even be close. The secret to my longevity is knowing that I have an audience, and that they (you) keep coming back to read what I have to say and share. Believe me, I write this blog for you, not me. I enjoy the writing, but I enjoy reading your comments even more.

The usual staples of audience participation (giveaways, contests, group breaks) are cost-prohibitive when you're running things from Australia. While the information and digital world shrinks every day, the logistics world is sadly still massive, and expensive. But there is still one avenue for audience participation open to me - trades. I really enjoy them and look forward to making a lot more during RGB Cards' second year of operation. If you are interested in something I post, or can help out with my want list, send me an e-mail or leave a comment. My goal? To triple the number of trades I participated in last year. Together, we can do it!

From me to you, happy birthday. Thanks for a great first year, and here's to an even better 2011!

The Staff at RGB Cards
(me, the dog, the lady at Australia Post who mails out the trade packages, and, of course, my long-suffering wife)

Even more Diamond Giveaway cards

Posted by Jonathan @ RGB Cards | Posted in ,

In the Diamond Giveaway, I had a good run of "luck", with none of my cards (except for the two diamond die-cuts) being less than 30 years old. That, of course, will come to a screeching halt.

Let's clear some of the surplus Yankee cards. First is a Mickey Mantle. He unlocks:

A '79 Larry Cox and a Boston Red Sox ring. Kind of funny that the Mick led me to a Sawx virtual bauble, but as it's not in my collection I'm not too fussed.

Next is a Jeter die-cut. I just love how two of the ten Diamond Parallel code cards feature Jeter. I much prefer last year's cards that had old cards on them. Speaking of old cards...

...this is definitely not one of them. A '92 Gary Sheffield - blech. I knew the streak had to end some time, but '92 Topps wasn't the way I wanted it to go. Not much to say about the Diamondbacks ring, other than I needed it on my drive to 15.

So what do you think? Should I give Jeter another shot?

Why, oh why did I listen to you? Or trust Jeter? A 2009 Dave Roberts is even worse than a '92 Sheffield! I have this card in my house! I don't think I have the Sheffield, at least, but that's because I don't want it. The Tigers ring, by the way, gives me nine rings. One more to the gift certificate that I will probably never use. Maybe I'll by a blaster and get another code card. That's what Topps probably wants me to do.

Okay...NO MORE YANKEES! Pujols - I'm turning back to you. Do you have some more late-'70s cards for me?

No you do not. The junkiest of the junk wax - 1987 Topps. This is one card that I wish I could just donate out of my account. Maybe, when the trading opens up, I'll trade to turn it, one year at a time, into a 1950s vintage card. Or at least a late-70s card.

The Milwaukee Braves ring is the nicest of the bunch. Just as well - my virtual baseball diamond has so many holes now, it's starting to resemble Bushwood Country Club, the golf course from Caddyshack.

Oh yeah, I got my gift certificate.