Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Pack Fresh Plate

Nabbed a fresh 2011 Topps Series 2 Hochevar magenta printing plate off eBay last week.

It looks good next to my Hoch base card.

But my wife is convinced that there is no way that this plate was used to make the card. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Trade Report: Capewood's Summer Clearance

A few weeks ago, I stumbled into Capewood's Collections 2011 Summer Clearance trade event.  In exchange for Astros and Phillies cards, Capewood sent me all the Royals cards he had in his collection.  Junk wax for junk wax. 

In other words, the perfect kind of trade. 

The vast majority of cards Capewood sent to me were ones I needed for my Royals binder, including this Kauffman Stadium card.   

And here is a good representation of the cards I received. 

Classics, prospects, inserts, and current stars equals a trading grand slam. 

Thanks to Capewood for a great trade and I'll probably be stealing your idea as I have piles of cards of teams I don't collect that I'd love to flip for cards of teams I do collect. 

Monday, June 27, 2011

A Card to Make Herman Melville Proud

I finally killed one of the white whales I've been chasing for months.  I won the card for under $20 (with free shipping), which was perfect for my budget.

I ended up with the blue variety, which are numbered to /25.  And, of course, the base version of the "E" card popped up on eBay the same day I won this card.  However, it was short printed (?) to /75 cards while the rest of the set had a 200+ card run per letter, which might explain why I had such a tough time tracking the base card down.
I like that it sticks out from the rest of the nameplate.

Now I need to find a new "white whale" to hunt down.  Maybe it's time to add some vintage cards to my collection in the form of some 1910 Murad Collegiate cards.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

A Busy Start to Summer

And there are no signs of it slowing down.

On Thursday and Friday, the wife and I spent time with my family celebrating my sister's wedding.  There was food, drinks, and dancing, and a good time was had by all.

Then, while my wife was studying for her bar exam today, I spent my day at the track watching some of my friends and family drag race.  I'm not much of a gear-head, in fact, I'm probably the least mechanically inclined person in my family, but I love going to the track and watching everyone compete.

My cousin Kyle drives a dragster (that's him in the picture below).

Sadly, his car broke on his first time-trial of the day.  Here is a picture of what was left of his drive shaft after the run.

After he launched off the starting line, he felt the back end lock up once he hit second gear.  His best guess is that the back end seized up which caused the drive shaft to sheer off at the weld.

Even thought Kyle's day was done, the day was not a bust because Kyle's brother-in-law (my cousin-in-law?) Josh has recently started drag racing.  He'd spent the past couple of years being Kyle's pit crew and decided it was finally time to get behind the wheel of his own car.  He's currently driving a roadster.

(This is the only picture of the car Josh has on his facebook page.   Imagine it with a large engine and flying down the drag strip.)

Josh lost his first run in competition after he broke out of his time by 1/100th of a second.  He bought back in, won his second round, and then fell asleep at the starting line (figuratively speaking, not literally.  I don't want people thinking he's narcoleptic) on his third run of the day which caused him to be knocked out of the competition.  It was fun to watch Josh gain experience on the track today.

Best of all, Kyle and Josh let me take the dragster for a spin before we loaded it into the trailer.  And by "spin" I mean I let it idle in second gear while I drove it in a circle in the parking lot.  It may have been a bit of a pussy move, but I didn't want to be responsible for another car getting broken today.

Kyle took a video on his phone of me behind the wheel but I can't figure out how to get it to embed.  I guess you'll just have to take my word for it.

It was also a successful day at the track because my friend Mark raced his way to a 1st place finish in the Pro division. 

And two other racers from my hometown won 1st place in their division.

It was a great day at the track and a great way to cap off a busy first week of summer.

P.S.  My wife's computer is back in service, so I once again have access to the scanner, which will come in handy when one of my White Whales arrives in the mail this week.  I can't wait to show off one of my biggest gets in a long time.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Strasburg Superfractor Raffle

Is anyone going to buy one (or more) $10 entry into the Strasburg Superfractor Raffle

It's a really cool idea and the charities all sound very deserving of the extra dough.  I just wonder how many people would be interested in the card now that Strasburgmania has died down.  On the other hand, imagine how cool it would be to only spend $10 to own one of the most fascinating and polarizing cards in recent history.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Fave Five: Eddy Mac

My wife's computer is "in the shop" until a new battery charger arrives later this week, which means she's using my computer during the day to study for her bar exam.  Therefore, I'm doing some late night blogging.

I was looking through some of my binders and thought I'd do a few Fave Fives of some of my Colorado sports card collections over the next week or so, with some purchases and trades sprinkled in as they arrive in the mail.

Today's Fave Five is going to feature my favorite football player of all time: Ed McCaffrey.  I've previously explained my love for Eddy Mac and, of the 43 McCaffrey cards I own, these are my Fave Five.

FIVE: Concentration

FOUR: Gallery Portrait

THREE:  Mile High Salute

TWO:  Intensity

ONE: Up in the Air

I'd eventually like to add a McCaffrey autograph, jersey relice, and rookie card to my collection, especially if anyone has one they'd like to trade away.  If that someone is you, please let me know.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Fave Five: The Mailman

My Dad is the rural mailman in my hometown.  His route has him driving 100-plus miles every day delivering the mail to all the farming and ranching families in our area.  My Grandpa (my dad's dad) was also a mailman, but his route was the town route.

Since today is Father's Day, I thought I'd highlight my Fave Five Mailman cards.

FIVE -- Finest

FOUR -- Purple Highlight

THREE -- Gold Achievement

TWO -- Beam Team

ONE -- Neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow...

Happy Father's Day!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Trade Report: Topps Series 2 from Tomahawk Chopping

Derek of Tomahawk Chopping had a good sense of humor about my post detailing the Martin Prado card that he's going to have to pry from my sweaty fingers.

I think it was probably wise of me to have waited to post it until after we worked out our trade, but he was a good sport none-the-less.

He sent along some 2011 Topps Series 2 cards in our trade.  The Hochevar and Fowler cards were ones which I was hoping to receive in a trade so I didn't have to buy them on eBay.

I'm not actually certain the Huston Street and Todd Helton cards are from Series 2, but either way, they were great additions to the trade pile.

Thanks a bunch Derek!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Hitting Two PCs w/ One Stone

Last week I was able to hit on two different personal collections with one stone when I won this Dexter Fowler team logo manupatch card on the eBay.

But, Eric, didn't you say that you wouldn't be able to spend any money on cards this summer?

Well, I probably should have said that I would be able to spend very little money on cards this summer.

And that's exactly what I did with this card, I spent very little money on it.  To be more exact, I spent a dime (plus shipping cost).  That's right, I won this card by being the only person to bid on it during an auction that started at a measly ten pennies.

Sometimes the cardboard gods can be fickle.  This wasn't one of those times.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Sub-80 (Twice)

SURPRISE!!!!   It's a golf post, but I disguised it by not putting the word "golf" in the title so that you wouldn't skip over it while you scrolled through your blogroll.

(ASIDEHow important are blog titles to everyone else?  For me, an interesting, descriptive, or intriguing blog title is 90% responsible for my visiting a post on most days.  And vise versa.

Yesterday was probably my most successful day golfing in my life.  I'll spare you all the details, but suffice it to say that every aspect of my golf game was running full-throttle and I was able to keep my mistakes to a minimum.

It also helped that there was virtually no one on the course for either round which allowed me to play 36-holes in a little over 3-hours.  I like to be able to zip around the course unencumbered by other players, so I typically try to play when its the hottest, because the heat seems to keep away the slow players.

I shot a 78 on my first 18, which is my lowest score in my career, and felt so good I decided to play a second 18, where I posted a 79. 

I was hoping to keep my low scores going today, but alas, I'm back on the 81-train.

And, for the sake of posterity, here are the rest of my scorecards from the past two weeks.

I was able to reach one of my goals, breaking 80, which leaves me with one other summer golf goal:  playing 100+ holes in one day. 

I'm fully convinced that it is achievable.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Oddball Mini Card to Make Derek Drool

For weeks (maybe months), I've been telling Derek of Tomahawk Chopping that I have a Martin Prado mini card that he can't have* but I keep forgetting to make a scan of it for him to drool over.

Why would I be so mean and tease him?  Why would I possibly want to keep a Martin Prado mini card from a Martin Prado collector?

Because the Prado mini is actually one-third of a "three-card mini strip" blank back Topps 2010 T206 card that the Topps Vault produced last year.  The other two-thirds of the card are made up of some Millwood guy from Baltimore and Luke Hochevar.

The card is longer than a traditional sized card.  I'd estimate that it was the size of three mini-cards placed side-by-side.  There are no perforations in the card, it's just one solid piece of cardboard.

Sadly, none of the "three-card mini strips" were not numbered 1/1 by the Topps Vault people, so the back is almost completely blank (which is why I scanned it with a colorful background).

If anything, this seems like more of a true one-of-one collectable item than any of the other blank back cards I own.  When I think of one of a kind card gimmicks, this kind of card seems like a no brainer.  I would imagine that they did not label it 1/1 because it did not come in the sealed Topps Vault case that the others did because of its size.  Therefore, a handwritten "1/1" label wouldn't be as believable because anyone could have written it.  I imagine it's a CYA move on Topps' part.

Also, I have no idea why these three guys were put together on this card.  They don't seem to have any connection to each other.  In the set, Prado is card #43, Hochevar is #70, and Millwood is #102, so it's not like they are next to each other in the set. 

Regardless, I'm glad to own it.

*If I'm going to be honest, if Derek were to make me an offer for this card that I couldn't refuse, I certainly wouldn't refuse it. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Fave Five -- 1/1 cards

One of the aspects of the modern hobby that did not exist when I was a kid is the advent of the 1/1 parallel. 

Here are my Fave Five.

FIVE -- Blank Back Cards

I bought these two blank back cards from the Topps Vault eBay store last year.  They are fairly gimmicky, but I'm a sucker for any card variation for my player collections.

The backs of the cards are blank, save for a Topps hologram sticker and a hand written 1/1, hence the "blank back card" moniker.

FOUR -- Printing Plates

Some people dispute the 1/1-ness of printing plates.  The dispute comes from the fact that there are usually four different colors of ink used in the printing process, therefore there are four colors of printing plates.  Some people use this fact to say that a printing plate is actually a 1/4 parallel.  Either way, I like them.  Here are a handful of the printing plates I own.  I only included the cards that say "One-of-one" or "1/1", rather than the "one of a kind collectable" that adorns the backs of recent Topps printing plates.  I did this because it seems to me to be a cop-out on Topps' part.  They are playing to the printing-plates-aren't-1/1-cards crowd.   
Just the same, here are some of my printing plates.

Ryan G of This Card is Cool pointed out today that the non-negative images on printing plates is probably due to the offset printing method of card printing.  I always assumed that the printing plates should be a mirror image to the card they printed, similar to a rubber stamp or the bottom two printing plates.  It would seem that the bottom two plates were not from an offset printing shop.  Consider me baffled.

THREE -- Topps Umbrella

The lone non-Hochevar 1/1 card in my collection is this Dexter Fowler 2010 National Chicle Umbrella logo parallel.  I love the simplicity of the card.

TWO -- White Whale

When I began my Hochevar collection last year, this card was one of the first card I bought.  It was my first 1/1, my first autograph card, and my first jersey card.  I'm actually very happy I stumbled into it when I did because it definitely fueled my hunger to track down every Hochevar card produced.  It's kind of crazy that one of the first casts of my card-fishing lines hooked the proverbial white whale.

This card is technically a printing plate, so I still need the other three colors to complete the set.  But I don't see that happening anytime soon.

This card is one of those weird cases where the first card of this series that I owned was the 1/1.  I've been slowly working my way up the 2009 Triple Threads parallel ladder, adding the /10, /50, and /75 variations to my collection.  I still need a /99 card, as well as two other parallels, the numbers of which I can't find online at the moment.

ONE -- Platinum

Putting this card in the number one spot was a no brainer for me.  It is easily the crown jewel of my Hochevar collection.  The story of how I came to own this card can be found HERE.

This card is a beauty and it will take a very special card to knock it off the top spot in my Fave Five 1/1 Card list.

This May be a Silly Question, but.....

I've had some good luck with getting feedback online lately.  For instance, the other day on Twitter I asked what the term "HTA" meant with regard to boxes of cards.  Turns out it means "Home Team Advantage".  I'd seen the term used often but had never known what it meant.

A couple of people answered my question and didn't give me grief about my ignorance, so I figure why not ask another question that has been on my mind.

For people who review boxes of newly release products, how do you go about getting the boxes from the companies?  Did you contact them?  Did they contact you?  Do you request certain products or do you just review what is sent to you?  Are there certain stipulations they ask of you, such as whether or not you can sell the cards or whether you have to put their logo on your blog sidebar?

I'm not particularly looking to do such reveiws (although I certainly wouldn't turn down the offer should someone from Topps or Panini or Upperdeck be reading this), I've just always wondered how people get the "hook-up" so to speak.

Feel free to email me the answer to this question if you don't feel comfortable letting the world know your secret in the comments section.  And I won't publish your email unless you give me permission to do so.

And stay tuned for more silly questions as they pop into my head.

Monday, June 13, 2011

A House Warming Gift from Hiflew

Avid Rockies collector Hiflew of Cards from the Quarry sent me a house warming package in the mail and it was quite the doozy. 

I love receiving packages from Hiflew because he usually includes a pile of his Rockies duplicates.  My Rockies collection has easily doubled thanks to his generosity.  This package was no exception.  He sent me a 200-count box full of cards and probably half of them were Rockies cards.  Here are some of the highlights.

There were some seriously sweet Rockies cards that I was more than happy to add to my Rockies binder.

And, as usual, he touched on many more of my personal collections, including some Royals,

some fantastic early-90s Broncos,

and, most unexpectedly, a manupatch letter that I'll add to my Alphabet Set.

Finally, there were a handful of mustache cards that I'll be adding to my Mustache Set, including one of the bushiest soup strainers that I've encountered.

Thanks again to Hiflew for the fantastic care package!  It's guys like you that make the card collecting community a great place.