Friday, July 29, 2011

Saying Bye to a Fan Favorite

As many of you know by now Hunter Pence was traded from the Astros to the Phillies. I'm sad that he is leaving as he was my favorite current Astros player but I am happy to see him go to a contender. He deserves to be on a winning team and I hope for his sake the Phillies bring home a championship while he is there. I'm not going to break down the trade right now as I'll let emotions settle before I do. The Phillies just got a great RF who works hard everyday and never takes a play off. 

Now I have to decide what I am going to do about collecting Hunter Pence from this day forward. Should I continue seeking out his Astros cards even if he isn't on the team? Should I continue collecting his cards even if he appears in a new uniform? Maybe I'll just finish my 2010 Topps Chrome rainbow and then quit collecting his cards. Honestly I have no idea at this point but I'm sure I'll continue to collect him in an Astros uniform since I still have lots of cards to go. 

What would you do? I'm sure you've been in this situation before so I'd love to hear your opinions, just leave me a comment if you want. I'll leave you now with a scene from the dugout courtesy of SBNation.

Hunter saying goodbye to his teammates during the 5th inning.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Mail Day from Topps

I mentioned in my birthday post that I received a package in the mail a couple of days ago. Turns out the package was from Topps and it had my 2011 Topps Diamond Giveaway cards in it. I was surprised at the quick turn around as I had only requested my cards a week before. Here are the scans of what I received.

Well this first one isn't from Topps it's actually from eBay but it came the same day so I tossed it in just for fun. I think I paid $1 shipped for this card so I can't complain too much.

1977 Topps card of some Brewer I don't know? The only reason I requested this card from Topps was the fact that it would be the oldest card in my collection. This card is 10 years older than me. I have bad news for Mr. Tim Johnson from 1977. I recently won an even older card from Napkin Doon during the Big Fun Game. I'll post about that whenever I receive it sometime soon.

Easily one of my favorite Astros during my younger days. He played the position I loved so naturally I looked up to him. Maybe one day I'll be able to meet him or send him a TTM to add to my collection.

How bad ass does Jeff Bagwell look in this picture? Polarized lenses never get old to me and he is rocking the classic gold star uni! Houston kids these days aren't as lucky as my generation because we got to witness Mr. Jeffrey Bagwell hit bombs all day. Hands down my favorite Astro in the history of the franchise.

Finally, the best card of the order (no offense Baggie). I mentioned in a previous post that I traded a bunch of vintage for this guy and I don't regret it one bit. I love this card so much and I can't wait to display it around my room. That bottom left corner isn't bent it's just the clear protective sheet that came on the card. Hunter Pence may end up playing for another team by the end of this weekend but I'll be keeping this card forever.

I'd like to hear your thoughts on the die cut cards and whether you think Pence gets traded before the deadline. Just leave a comment and let me know.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me!!!!

I know it's late but today is/was my birthday (July 27 for anyone reading this past midnight). I originally intended on posting a few mailday scans I had from Tuesday but I'll save that for tomorrow. Tonight I'm going to show you a few of the highlights from my amazing girlfriend.

Photo courtesy of Esteban's 
First we went to one of my favorite Tex-Mex restaurants here in Houston called Esteban's. I love their fajitas and everything they make is amazing. 

 Photo courtesy of Marvel

Then we went to see Captain America: The First Avenger in 3D. I am a big fan of comics so I was pumped to see this movie. I'm a Green Lantern fan but honestly I preferred this movie much more than the recent GL film. If you haven't seen Captain America yet go see it because it's awesome. 

My girlfriend also decided to indulge my card collecting habit by purchasing a few packs of 2011 Topps Series 2 from Target. I've included a few of the better cards from those packs below.

 Diamond Stars Josh Johnson

Adam Dunn Target Exclusive Red Diamond

 Bert Blyleven SP #570

Another interesting thing happened when she gave me the packs. She asked if she could open a few so I said of course. After opening them she told me she was addicted to the thrill of busting wax (couldn't care less about the cards) and wanted to help me open packs whenever I needed. It's pretty awesome that she's interested in my hobby at least somewhat now, ha.

I've saved the best gift for last. She bought me the shirt pictured below and it's going to be hard to top. I love it so much and I don't ever want to take it off. Ladies and gentlemen...
Yes that is an outline of Jeff Bagwell from Nike's Hair-itage line of shirts. It's so awesome I can't even explain it. The photo was taken with my iPhone and it doesn't do it justice. 

So there you have it, my awesome birthday has come to an end. I'll post again real soon with a recent mail day that was pretty spectacular. Hope everyone has a great week!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Discounted 2010 Topps Chrome Blaster

I was at Wal Mart and saw one box of 2010 Topps Chrome and decided to buy it since it was only $11.98. Not a great break by any means but it could have been worse I'm sure.

Notable Base: Stephen Strasburg RC
Refractor: Chipper Jones and Placido Polanco
X-Fractor: Jon Jay RC, Andrew McCutchen, Josh Beckett
Purple Refractor #/599: David Ortiz

Wasn't expecting much after reading the odds but I'm happy to see some bigger names for the refractors. All are FT, especially for anyone with the X-Fractor or Orange Refractor of Hunter Pence from 2010 Topps Chrome.

***I apologize about the scan but I didn't want to deal with scanning them separately as I hate how they're so bent. They annoy me in the scanner.***

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Best TTM Surprise Ever!!

Ok, I know the following isn't baseball related but I feel like I needed to tell everyone I possibly could. I'm a big fan of this show on the Travel Channel called, The Wild Within. It's a show about hunting mainly but not your typical Outdoor Channel hunting show. Anyhow, the host of the show is a guy named Steve Rinella. He seems to be a really nice guy and his show shed a new light on hunting for me. I decided to email him a few months ago about obtaining a TTM picture or something. I got a reply a week or two ago saying thanks for watching and some other friendly words. At that moment I basically wrote off any chances of getting an autograph. I don't mean that in a negative way towards Mr. Rinella as I know he's got a busy schedule with filming, writing, etc...

Fast forward to today... I'm checking my mail and I have a bubble mailer but I'm not expecting any baseball cards so I was confused. Then I saw the name Rinella on the return address and just assumed it was a coincidence. I open the package to find this...

 That's a copy of his book!!! Steve Rinella sent me a copy of his book!!! How crazy is that? He took the time to either a) package the item and send it himself or b) get his secretary to package the item and send it. Either way that's so awesome of him to do something as nice as that.

Now for me that would be more than enough but Mr. Rinella is such a great guy he went a step further and did this...

When I saw that I was just at a loss for words. This guy truly went above and beyond what any celebrity could be asked of. He really is a stand up guy and maybe one day I'll actually get the pleasure of meeting him. 

Mr. Rinella you made my week by sending this out and I'm truly grateful. I can't wait till the next season of The Wild Within. If you're ever down in the Houston area I'll be sure to buy you a couple of beers.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Diamond Die Cut Pence is Almost Home

 Photo Courtesy of Topps

I have only redeemed 21 codes in the 2011 Topps Diamond Giveaway so it's no surprise that I've yet to unlock a diamond die cut, much less the Hunter Pence die cut. Knowing I wasn't going to enter many more codes this year I decided to attempt a trade for the card. 

I ended up offering 12 (I don't remember the exact number but that's close enough) cards ranging from 1967-1987. Most of which were from 1967-1976. I don't have much interest in vintage at this time so I thought it'd be wise to give my best offer and hope it worked. I'm happy to say it did and last night I was surprised to log into my account and see the Pence DDC added to my collection.

I haven't requested shipping yet as I'm waiting on a few more trade offers before I do but I'm extremely excited to get this card. I know some of you may think I'm dumb for trading away vintage cards when I could have kept them and just bought the Pence on eBay for cheap. The truth is I wouldn't have cared much for those vintage cards and maybe by trading them they'll find a home that thinks the world of them.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Forgotten TTM Success

I haven't been doing TTM much lately so that's why I was surprised when I received these two cards in the mail last week. 
I sent to Heath Bell in the middle of spring training and just assumed I was too late when I never got a response. He was actually the third person I sent to this year (my first season of attempting TTM). I was pretty excited when I opened up the SASE and saw his card. In all the interviews I've seen with Bell he seems to be a pretty fun guy. 

This was the most recent request I sent out but again I completely forgot about it until the envelope was in my mailbox. I think it'd be cool to get as many auto's of NL Central players as I can. It doesn't matter if it's TTM, IP or a card from eBay. I think it's cool that he personalized it as it will go well with some of my other personalized autos. 

These may not rank as high as my Morgan Ensberg or Brian Cushing TTM's but I'm still extremely grateful for them. I know professional athletes are busy so it's always nice to see them get back to the fans sometimes.

Contest Winners!!!

It's time to announce the winners of my Shameless Plug Contest. I want to thank everyone who participated in the contest. I hope to bring you guys another one in the future with some even better prizes.

And the winners are.....

Third Prize consisting of an Alexander Edler GU jersey card goes to Matt from Tenets of Wilson.

Second Prize with the Lance Berkman jersey card and David Price relic goes to Play at the Plate.

The Grand Prize including a Drew Brees GU jersey card #'d 10/50, a Quan Cosby auto card and a Riley Cooper auto card goes to... Arpsmith.

Congratulations to all the winners and thanks again to everyone who entered. Winners just shoot me an email with your address with "Blog Contest Winner" in the subject line so I can get these cards out to you. 

Here's the video of the randomization for anyone who cares to watch it. 

Sunday, July 10, 2011

A Little Love for Team USA

Let me first start this off by saying how upset I am that the one Team USA match I didn't get to watch happened to be one of the most dramatic. I've been watching the USA women in the 2011 World Cup since the tournament started and I was pumped for the match against Brazil. Some plans came up and I ended up not being able to watch the match this morning but was given live updates by my girlfriend (yet another reason she is so wonderful). I do have the replay set to record tonight so I'll be able to finally watch the entire match instead of just the highlights.

I thought I'd give anyone who isn't watching yet a couple of reasons why they should turn on the television and support Team USA.

 1) Alex Morgan - Morgan, who just recently turned 22, is easily the most gorgeous woman on the field of any match Team USA will ever play. Not only is she gorgeous but she is also an extremely talented forward. She's the youngest on the team and sometimes it shows. But she always seems to be quick to the ball and in the middle of a lot of great chances.
Photo courtesy of Alex Morgan's Twitter

2) National Pride - I won't lie, the only time I ever pay attention to soccer is when the national teams have some tournament going on. Soccer jumps into my Top 3 sports whenever it's an international game with meaning. Knowing that our women are ranked #1 in the world makes me proud. Team USA wining the World Cup (men or women) would rank just as high as the Astros or Texans winning a championship. With international competitions it's not just one city cheering against another. Millions of Americans join together for a month or two to cheer for the same team. There's really nothing better than that.

3) Hope Solo - What can I say about Hope Solo that hasn't been said before? She's just a beast when it comes to goaltenders. Yes during today's match the ref called her for something she wasn't sure of but she made up for it when it mattered most. The way the day had gone for her she could have easily lost her confidence and given up during penalty kicks but she didn't. Megan Rapinoe said it best in her post-game interview when she said Team USA is so lucky to have Solo on their team. I'm sure it makes it easier to play when you've got faith your goalie will stop most shots that come her way. 

Photo courtesy of

4) Abby Wambach - Wambach had a hard time getting started in this 2011 World Cup but it seems in these past two games she's been heating up. Scoring the tying goal in a game of today's magnitude is a huge confidence booster even for someone who is already one of the best goal scorers in US Women's history. Here's hoping she can score a few more goals during the 2011 World Cup.

I pulled this card from one of the Upper Deck MLS packs from Dollar Tree


Thursday, July 7, 2011

Trade Time

I recently completed a trade with Chris over at Nachos Grande. I contacted him after noticing I had a few of his set needs and we worked out a pretty quick deal. I've been away from home for a couple of weeks so I'm just now getting to my mail. 

Disclaimer: Remember that just because I don't show a card doesn't mean I don't love it, because I love all of my cards ha. It's always so hard to narrow down which cards will be shown.

I'm still chasing the Astros complete Series 1 (just need some of the #'d blacks, Walmart blacks and a few diamond die cuts...excluding 1/1's). However I don't think I'll be going after too many parallels of Series 2 Astros.

You may not be able to tell very well from the scan but this is one of the foil cards from 2011 Attax. CJ may not be that great of a 3B but he's a real nice guy and is quite humorous. As far as Attax cards go... I'm not a huge fan of them but if they've got an Astro I'll collect it.

I enjoy the design of these cards and may consider collecting the set one day now that I've got a couple. I'm kind of sad to see Jeter get to 3000 as Biggio was the last to do it back in 2007. I was there for Biggio's 3000th and it was crazy so I can just imagine how crazy it'll be at Yankee Stadium.

I'm sure all of you can guess why I love this card. Not only is Drabek wearing the blue/gold but he's also rocking one of the sweetest mullets. I'm all for crazy hair, I'm looking at you Coco Crisp, and this hair is no exception. Can you imagine his son Kyle rocking a mullet with the Blue Jays?

Now I would like to show you a card that drove me crazy for a few hours. It's the 1997 Upper Deck Collector's Choice #120 of Bobby Abreu. I'll let you look at it first and then tell you why it drove me crazy. 
Does anyone else see what I see? I may be wrong but the front looks a lot more like Richard Hidalgo than Bobby Abreu. The back is obviously Abreu no doubt about it. I looked on the internet for awhile when I first saw the card and nowhere did I see any explanation on whether it was or wasn't Abreu on the front. 

I'd like to hear what you guys think. Am I dumb and that is Abreu on the front or am I completely justified in my questioning? I know most people don't care and I shouldn't care about it either but it has been driving me nuts.

Chris thanks again for such an awesome trade and hopefully we can work something out again soon. I hope you enjoyed your cards. Anyone else who may want to trade I promise I'll be getting my want list up soon so you can see what I do in fact need.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Great Contest over at the Argyle Sweater

There is a really cool contest going on over at Plaschke Thy Sweater is Argyle. It's simple to enter and it's well worth the chance to win some cool cards. Also while you're over there you should read his posts because they're actually quite entertaining.

Argyle Contest

Follow the link and good luck on the contest. Have a great weekend guys and girls!

Shameless Plug Contest!!!

As I said in the previous post I am having a contest to make up for the lack of posting the past few weeks. I also know contests can be a good way to get my blog out there in front of new readers. I'll be happy if even one new follower actually starts to read my blog daily. Setting the bar high I know, ha. 

It's a pretty straight forward contest and here are the rules. The contest starts now and will end July 10 at 11:59 CST. To gain one entry simply follow my blog and comment that you follow the blog. To gain a second entry just promote my contest by making a post about it on your blog and leaving me a comment with your blog URL. That means the max number of entries per person is 2. I'll input all the names into a list and randomize the list 3 times. #1 from the first randomization gets top prize, #1 from the second randomization gets the 2nd place prize and #1 from the third randomization gets the 3rd place prize. If someone wins twice I'll just go to the #2 name on the list of that randomization. 

Now for what everyone wants to know, what kind of prizes will be given out? These prizes may not be as good as what others have given before but they aren't horrible.

Grand Prize:
I know a lot of people will want the Brees so I thought it would be a nice grand prize. I personally pulled both the Brees and Cosby.

Second Prize:
It's hard for me to let go of the Berkman but I figure I can spare one, ha. I know everyone hates the manufactured patches but I figure some Rays fan may like it.

Third Prize:
I pulled this card on vacation and you wouldn't believe it came from a Dollar General pack, not too shabby.

Now you know everything and the contest is open. Remember the contest ends July 10 at 11:59 CST. Good luck to everyone and if you have any questions feel free to ask in the comments. Thanks for reading!