Gint-A-Cuffs: The first three packs

Posted by Jonathan @ RGB Cards | Posted in ,

Release the Kraken box topper!

It is time for my inaugural Gint-A-Cuffs entry. I finally got myself organised in time to enter the contest. I have also avoided the pitfall of picking the wrong box to open by only getting one box. I plan on getting three, one when I'm on my trip in September (too late for GAC) and one for my birthday, which I don't know will arrive in time or not. I also don't know what the limit on entries is. Is it two? I thought it was two. If it is two, maybe I'll have a second entry. If not, well, like I said, this is the only box I have.

Anyway, on to more important things, like the selection of the packs that I will open. Last year, I proceeded to get a relic in my second, fourth, and sixth pack, all in the first two rows off the top. This, of course, proceeded to give me lovely visions of the hot box to end all hot boxes, or at the very least a bonus fourth hit.

Alas, this was not to be. Those were my three hits. The rest of the box was anti-climactic. So selecting packs in the right order is crucial. Do I tempt fate, and clear out one side of the box at a time, or do I keep picking off the top? Will be hopes be dashed I think that due to the insane Series 1 jumbo box, my luck on hits might be used up for a while - bad news for Gint-a-Cuffs.

All right, enough yammering. Here's the envelope at the top:

CB-3 Dallas is perfect in Oakland (+8)
I really wanted the cabinet card that Nachos Grande pulled, because that would have been beaucoup points, plus I want it for my collection. But this card is pretty cool. I'm still willing to trade it for the Felix/Ichiro one, though.

And now, Pack #1:

118 Rafael Soriano (-1 Yankee scum)
What a shit start to the pack. Don't worry, it gets worse.

254 Denard Span
56 Scott Kazmir
30 Hanley Ramirez

AGA-AT Andres Torres framed auto (+10)
The autograph checklist Allen & Ginter fans have been waiting for, my foot.

Stuck to it was...

mini #7 Mickey Mantle (-1 Yankee scum, but...

...thank goodness it's an A&G back, so +2, so +1 overall)
Does the Mantle mini go into my Frankenset? Yes, but does it even matter? Don't worry, it gets worse.

HH79 Hometown Heroes (+1!)...

...Derek Jeter (-1 Yankee scum, so nil overall)
PBBBBBTH! A Bronx cheer for all the Bronx Bombers.

Total for pack: 10 points
Running total: 18 points

Pack the 2nd:

181 Mark Buehrle
132 Colby Rasmus
16 Gordon Beckham
85 Chris Sale
Why didn't I make the White Sox my favorite team?
110 Jake McGee

171 John Lackey (Ginter Code card: +3)

WMF1 Rasputin (World's Most Mysterious Figures: +3)

HH50 Josh Hamilton Hometown Heroes (+1 HH, +2 Favorite Player = +3)
I personally think I should get bonus points for pulling a Hometown Heroes card of my own hometown. I named my dog Raleigh, for goodness sake!

Total for pack: 9 points
Running total: 27 points

Pack III:

252 Omar Infante
243 Mike Nickeas
188 Daniel Descalso
226 Andre Ethier
88 David Ortiz

183 Mike Napoli (Ginter Code card: +3)

116 Josh Beckett black-bordered mini (+3)
Slot 116 is blank, so this goes in the Frankenset.

HH53 Justin Verlander Hometown Heroes (+1)
I'd like to average ten points per pack. After five cards, I was at zero, so seven is a decent result.

Total for pack: 7 points
Running total: 34 points

Spot the difference

Posted by Jonathan @ RGB Cards | Posted in

Notice anything about these cards?

I must say, I had them in my collection for two years but didn't notice them until this week when I was cataloguing.

Gint-A-Cuffs Update

Posted by Jonathan @ RGB Cards | Posted in ,

It's here!

That's the box of 2011 Ginter that I ordered. And yes, I will be competing in Gint-A-Cuffs this time around. Colbey has gone out and set the first mark - 197 points. Will that hold up? We shall see. Expect an excruciatingly slow reveal from some folks - like me. I'll be opening the packs three a day (got to make them last!) but revealing them every other day.

Stay tuned...

Who wants ToppsTown cards?

Posted by Jonathan @ RGB Cards | Posted in ,

I've managed to accumulate a stack of ToppsTown cards (haven't we all?) from 2009 to 2011, which I put together last week when cleaning up my collection.

The thing is, I don't want them. At all. I'd just toss them in the bin, but I can bring myself to do something like that to baseball cards, no matter how unwanted.

Does anyone want/need any of these cards? Send me an e-mail or leave a comment. Maybe this can be the start of a larger trade, who knows?

Junior is ready

Posted by Jonathan @ RGB Cards | Posted in ,

Well, I'm feeling incredibly productive - I've finished my Ken Griffey Jr. PC page. That's three down, one to go. Unfortunately, I've saved the biggest for last, and given how long the Junior page took (not long, but tedious, so I didn't work on it straight through), I'm not looking forward to Ichiro since that collection is twice as big as the Griffey.

Anyway, my Junior cards are catalogued and up on the site. The link, as always, is available on the right-hand side of the website. It now points to the Junior PC page instead of the White Sox project page, which is still at the top. I also have some Junior cards (as well as cards for the other three) that are sitting in my CheckOutMyCards account and aren't listed on any of the player collection pages. I really should get those cards shipped to me. It's been a year since I bought some of them, for crying out loud!

What do you think, should I add the pictures from COMC onto the page? Or should I just stick only with the cards I have on hand in my binders?

Everybody's All-American

Posted by Jonathan @ RGB Cards | Posted in ,

During my last eBay buying frenzy, I picked up a strange little set for 99 cents. Card No. 1 featured Ken Griffey, which is why I got the set. I figured I could put that card in the bottom right-hand slot of a binder page of my Griffey, then put the other nine in a page behind. While I realise this might offend some of your sensibilities, frankly, I'm not losing any sleep over this.

I scanned the whole set it while scanning in my Griffey cards (news flash! - I'm now done scanning in all of my PC cards!). So here, I present to you, the 1989 All-American Promo Cards set. A giant among card manufacturers, to be sure.



A couple of things - first, AAPC's attempts to hide MLB logos makes Upper Deck's attempt 21 years later look positively professional. I don't think AAPC even tried, or cared. Secondly, the choice of players seems strange - Griffey was in his rookie season, and appears to be the reason for the set since he has two of the ten cards. If you can figure out rhyme or reason behind the other eight players, please let me know. Jim Abbott was also included as a rookie. However, the back of his card lists "1988 Pitching Record" then says "No Major League Stats". However, the back of Griffey's cards say "1988 Batting Record" then list his numbers for the San Bernardino Spirit. Plus, they got the number of runs wrong.

So which is it?

Posted by Jonathan @ RGB Cards | Posted in

Look carefully at the back of this card:

The blurb says Altherr was born in Germany, but the stats say he was born in Arizona. So which is it?

King Felix cards are up

Posted by Jonathan @ RGB Cards | Posted in ,

I've completed my second Player Page, the one that lists my Felix Hernandez collection. I've also scanned in all of my Ichiro cards but haven't started work on that page yet. Remember that picture of my desk? Well, I would like to get that cleared off by tomorrow, which means more scanning and less typing. The good news is, scanning is an excellent activity to do when doing other things, such as listening to the Tour de France in the background.

The Reds game will be shown live tomorrow morning (Friday evening USA time) so I am looking forward to watching that. Looks like an early start for me tomorrow.

You can find my King Felix collection by clicking at the link on the top of this page or the sidebar on the right-hand side.

Joyeux le 14 de Juillet

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It's Bastille Day, the French national day. I'm currently watching the Tour de France, where the malliot jaune is being worn by a Frenchman, Thomas Voeckler.

Did you know that there are nine Major League Baseball players who were born in France? Here's profiles of the three whose baseball cards are in my collection.

Steve Jeltz was born in Paris on May 28, 1959, and is perhaps best known for his exploits with the Phillies throughout the 1980s. He also holds most of the career records for players born in France, including most singles, doubles, triples, RBI and games played. But it's not all sunshine and lollipops - Jeltz also holds the record for most career strikeouts by a French-born player. His most famous game came in 1989, when the Phillies faced the Pirates in Pittsburgh. After the Buccos put up a 10-spot in the first inning, the game seemed over. However, Jeltz, who entered the game as a substitute, led an improbable comeback. A switch-hitter, he became the first Phillie to hit a home run in the same game from each side of the plate. Even more remarkable, Jeltz had exactly five home runs in his career - and two of them came in that game! After seven seasons in Philadelphia, Jeltz finished his career with the Royals in 1990.

Charlie Lea was born on Christmas Day, 1956, in Orléans. No, not New Orleans, but the town that the Big Easy is named after. Old Orleans, if you prefer. Lea spent most of his seven-year big league career in Montreal, so you'd imagine that he felt right at home. Except that Lea grew up in Memphis, then starred at Memphis State, and even played his Double-A ball with the Memphis Chicks. Lea's career highlight came in 1981, perhaps the année miraculous of Montreal baseball history. On May 10, Lea pitched a no-hitter against the Giants, becoming the first Expo not named Bill Stoneman to pitch a no-no (Dennis Martinez and his perfect game was the third and final Spo to accomplish the feat). In 1984, Lea made his only All-Star appearance, being named the starter for the National League (over players such as Fernando Valenzuela and Dwight Gooden) and picked up the win. Sadly, he wrecked his elbow, and missed both the 1985 and 1986 seasons. He pitched one inning for the Expos in 1987 before finishing his career with the Twins in 1988.

Perhaps the best-known and most successful French-born major-leaguer is Bruce Bochy. Bochy, of course, is the manager of the defending champion Giants. He became the first (and only) European-born manager to win a title, as well as the first to manage in the World Series when his Padres won the NL pennant in 1998. Bochy's father was in the Army, which explains why Bruce was born in Landes-de-Boussac in central France. Bochy first broke into the big leagues with the Astros in 1978, but it is with the Padres that he acheived the most fame. Prior to becoming the Padres manager, his most notable feat was perhaps being the catcher on the field when Pete Rose broke Ty Cobb's all-time hit record. Bochy also holds the career record for home runs by a French-born player, with 26 circuit clouts.

As a manager, Bochy led the Padres to the post season four times, winning the NL pennant in 1998. After leaving San Diego for the Giants at the end of the 2006 season, Bochy has proven to be a steady hand on the wheel, mentoring young Giants pitchers such as Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner.

Six other major leaguers were born in France, all of whom played parts of one or two seasons, most in the dead ball era. They are Ed Gagnier, Claude Gouzzie, Paul Krichell, Duke Markell, Larry Ressler and Joe Woerlin.

As I write, the day's racing in the Tour de France has come to an end, and although Sammy Sanchez, a Basque, won the stage, Thomas Voeckler has kept his overall lead and will wear the yellow jersey again tomorrow. Vive La France! Joyeux le 14 de julliet!

A new feature: Player Pages

Posted by Jonathan @ RGB Cards | Posted in ,

The main reason behind pulling out all my cards and scanning a bunch of them in was so I could get scans of all the cards in my PC. Ideally, given enough money and time, I'd scan all the cards in my collection, so I could have a virtual collection and record of what I have collected over the years. But let's face it - that would be a monumental undertaking that would probably result in my wife leaving me and my dog biting me because I was too busy scanning images to take it for a walk.

However, in this week alone, I have made some progress. And I have scanned all of the Tim Lincecum cards in my PC (the smallest of my collections by far). Not only that, but I have put them up on a page for your perusal. You can reach it any time by clicking on Lincecum's name under the "Players I Collect" section (I've turned it into a link). Alternatively, you can just click here, but this post won't be on the front page forever.

As I scan in more cards from other players (Felix is next), I will put up more links. I'm trying to organise it by year because my file-naming system makes it easy for me to do that. Eventually, the Ken Griffey link will point to his player collection page instead of the Griffey White Sox Project page (which will always be available at the top).

Okay, this post got way more geeky than I wanted it to be. So here's another random Lincecum card and we'll be done with it. As always, thanks for reading!

All-Star Recap

Posted by Jonathan @ RGB Cards | Posted in

I'm happy to report that the National League won the All-Star game for the second straight year. Might we be in for a return to the glory days of Pete Rose and the 1970s? There's no telling, but I had a good feeling about this year, much more so than last year's game.

A couple of things that stuck out for me:

The sheer number of NL Central players on the roster. Sure, the NL East is stocked with pitchers, both starters (Philadelphia) and relievers (Atlanta). And the NL West has some truly, truly great players. But the top four teams in the NL Central (including Pittsburgh!) had at least three players on the roster. And many of them made significant contributions, including All-Star Game MVP Prince Fielder.

Speaking of Fielder, his three-run blast was a joy to behold. I thought it completely stuffed up the lineup for the Home Run Derby (if he in fact "picked" it at all) - Rickie Weeks, whose claim to fame is the most homers by a lead-off hitter in the past two seasons, over Lance Berkman, leading the league in home runs? But let's face it - nobody really gives a toss. Robinson Cano won the HR Derby, and that was enough for Ron Washington to bat him...eighth. When it really mattered, Prince came through with the first home run in Brewers All-Star history, an absolute bomb that erased Adrian Gonzalez's blast, and then some.

By the way, can we go ahead and say that Jose Bautista is for real? He's no Brady Anderson, that's for sure. On the left is a Jose Bautista card that I got quite by accident - I picked it up in a pack of Upper Deck that I got from the bargain bin at Target about a year ago. I almost included it in a trade package before I had a good look at what it was. While I don't collect Bautista's cards, I respect his ability and will hang on to this for a while.

Now for the pitchers. As I said, I had a good feeling about this year's All-Star Game. The reason can be summed up in four words: Roy, Halladay, Cliff & Lee. I hate facing them in the regular season, but I'm glad they're on the National League's side now in the All-Star Game.

Sadly, for every Cliff Lee there's an Adrian Gonzalez who goes over to the other side. It killed be when he hit that home run of Lee. Why didn't he do that for the NL? Still, you have to had it to Gonzalez. He faced enormous pressure when he went over to Boston, and was expected to put up monster numbers in a Ballpark That Was Made For Him. By all accounts, he has not only met those expectations, he has exceeded them. Well done for him. I just wish he didn't do so well during the All-Star break. Or the World Series, if it were to come to that.

On the post-game show, Brandon Phillips was interviewed by Ken Rosenthal and talked about how big it was that the National League got the home-field advantage for the World Series. I like his optimism.

Finally, I can hear you now: "Jonathan, why are you so gung-ho about the National League when four of the teams you collect are AL teams?" The simple fact is, there is one that isn't. And that's the team that I have been following for my entire life. Like I said, the glory days were the Pete Rose 1970s. That's the time (and place) where I'm from.

NL forever, baby!

Little Package of Goodness - Five Card Friday

Posted by Jonathan @ RGB Cards | Posted in , ,

I was the winner of the inaugural Five Card Friday giveaway, which you can find over at The Daily Dimwit. Sam was offering some Ichiro cards, and of course I jumped at the chance of getting those. What was great about it was that cards were all 2010 Topps inserts - card that I had collected for the insert set, but that I could use doubles of for my Ichiro PC. Yes, just what I need, more cards to scan. Well, I have, and here they are:

The two copies of Ichiro's rookie card are just that - Yo Momma copies, both the standard and the original back. I already have the original back, so this is my second - perfect for the Ichiro binder. The Turkey Red I *don't* have, so it's still on the want list. The Legendary Lineage card is great because of the connection - I started "semi-collecting" Sisler cards due to Ichiro. But perhaps the best-looking card is from the series I don't collect - the Peak Performance. I think it has a classy look.

Sam also tossed it a pack of 2007 Fleer Ultra. It has Ken Griffey on the outside. Does it have Griffey on the inside, too? Let's find out:

Gary Sheffield...

Ryan Howard...

A Cal Ripken insert (now we're getting somewhere)...

Ichiro! (pretty exciting)...

Hey, whaddaya know! It's a Griffey! So in a five card pack, I got a Griffey, an Ichiro and a Ripken. That's a great outcome. Thanks, Sam!


Posted by Jonathan @ RGB Cards | Posted in

You should see my desk right now. Seriously, here's a picture of it. Sorry for the crappy quality, it was taken on my phone because my wife has the camera:

Because my wife isn't here, I decided to spread out all my stuff and do some inventory and cataloguing. One of the things that I've been meaning to do for a long time, but never got around to it for a variety of reasons, is scan all the cards in my PCs. So far, I have scanned 12. I'm sure that I have a bunch of scans, but that was on the old crappy scanner. I want to re-do them using the new, good scanner. That's the scanner you can see in the picture. Pretty nifty, huh?

Anyway, those cards are the Ellie Hendricks card in my earlier post and 11 Lincecum cards. I have a lot more than 11 Lincecums, but those are the ones that aren't in the binder yet. The Lincecum collection is by far the smallest of my four PCs, so it seemed like a good place to start. If I had started with the Ichiro collection, I would have gotten discouraged and given up. Looking at it on my desk, I'm still discouraged.

By the way, the other half of my desk looks just as bad. That's where the cards that don't need scanning are located. And don't get me started on the kitchen table... least I have until Sunday to clean up my spread.

My first '75

Posted by Jonathan @ RGB Cards | Posted in ,

Earlier I had posted about how I am trying to accumulate 1975 Topps cards. That's because it's time I started compiling the birth year set. I still don't have much interest in collecting vintage of all stripes, but '75 Topps holds some particular significance. I have no idea how long it will take, and I'm scared of the number of big-ticket rookies (such as George Brett and Robin Yount) that are in the set. And before you ask, no, I have no plans to collect any of the mini cards. The regular set will be enough for me.

I had mentioned that the Earl Williams was my first 1975 card. Turns out, that wasn't true. While digging through my collection, looking for Cal Ripkens for a trade, I found another Oriole:

Yes, it's Birds all-time favorite Elrod Hendricks in a classic 1970s catcher baseball card pose. The card, as you can tell by the scan, is in quite good shape. I got it in a job lot of Orioles cards last May or June. I think it's a good start to the collection.

And with that, I'm off to eBay to find some more lots.With only five '75ers in my collection (and four of them stored in a warehouse in Dureya), I have a lot of holes to fill. Wish me luck!