Monday, January 30, 2012

Front and Back by Request

I had a request to scan the back of a 1987 Mini Topps from 2012 Topps Series 1 so here it is, enjoy!

 2012 Topps 1987 Mini Topps (Front)

2012 Topps 1987 Mini Topps (Back)

Not what I had originally planned

I planned on showing you my recent pickups from Nachos Grande group break but that will wait until tomorrow because I ran into 2012 Topps at Walmart this afternoon. This post will be pretty scan heavy but I figured I'd get some pictures out there to show everyone what the set looks like this year as well as the inserts.

 Base Cards

 Walmart Blue Border

Manufactured Patch from the blaster

Classic Walkoffs is on the top and I scanned two separate cards to show you from and back of it. Timeless Talents is the bottom card and once again it's a different card scanned to show front and back.

Golden Moments 

Golden Greats 

Gold Standard (card have foil showing milestone's for the players)

Golden Futures 

Golden Anniversary (just like diamond anniversary but golden and sparkly)

1987 Mini Topps (these are probably my favorite from the set)

Golden Giveaway Code Cards (I doubt I'll be participating this year)

Overall I like the design of the base cards much better than 2011. I'll be collecting the Golden Futures and 1987 Mini Topps for sure. I won't be collecting the other inserts unless they have Astros or PC guys on them. It was fun breaking the new product and I may break a hobby box in a couple of weeks to finish off the base set but I'll mostly be buying singles/trading. 

Good luck to all those who'll be busting boxes soon!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Trading with a soon to be "rival"

  When the Astros (or whatever their name will be that season) move to the AL next season they'll become rivals with the Texans Rangers. That's what every stupid sports talk show mentions when they discuss the Astros move to the AL. 

If you ask fans on either side they'll probably agree and say there won't be a huge rivalry anytime soon. When the Astros were great the Rangers weren't so great. Now that the Rangers are great again the Astros are at the bottom of the barrel. I'm sure there will be years where they're both competitive in the future but it's not happening yet. I'm sure most Rangers fans are pretty apathetic towards the Astros just like many Astros fans really don't care what's happening in Arlington. For the sake of baseball I hope a true rivalry does blossom for both of these teams but I don't like MLB trying to manufacture one. 

I got off course there so let me get back to the happy news, ha. After busting a mini-box of 2011 Bowman Sterling I made a trade with Brian over at Play at the Plate or PatP for short. He was interested in the Ogando dual relic I pulled and he sent me over the goodies below. It was a simple trade but a great one and I couldn't be happier with the results.

I don't have very many serial numbered Bagwells so it was great to get this beauty. The front scan doesn't do the card justice as it looks so much nicer in person. I was expecting a couple of Bagwells but nothing this awesome. 

Three orange Astros refractors are a nice addition to my PC. I didn't buy ANY Topps Chrome last year so every chrome card in my PC from 2011 was via trade. These cards look great in person and now I feel compelled to finish the Astros orange team set, ha.

This was the big piece in the trade we made. I love the look of the Masterpiece base cards and these relic cards are just as great looking. I know Berkman is now a Cardinal but it's still awesome to add a jersey card when you can. I do miss Big Puma but it was nice seeing him get a championship finally.

I just want to thank Brian again for the awesome and simple trade. Brian, don't worry even if the Astros and Rangers become EPIC rivals I'll still trade with you as many chances as we get. After all we know once they're done rebuilding the Astros will go back to being THE team to beat in the great State of Texas!!! Only kidding...kind of.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A Few 1938 Tobacco Cards

Due to a death in the family my girlfriend's mom recently went back to England, where my girlfriend and her family are from. While she was there cleaning her dad's house she found the following album from 1938 of Player's Cigarettes tobacco cards. 

The album has a near complete set, only missing two cards out of the 50. I know they aren't worth much money but they're gorgeous looking cards and it's cool to know that Katie's grandpa actually hand collected all the cards when he was younger. Most are in great condition, except for the fact that they're glued inside the album, but the fronts are excellent. I just thought I'd take a break from showing off recent trades and purchases to give you a look at a few of these.

 Album Cover
 Page One

Page Two
That's only a couple of pages but the rest look pretty similar with a few blemishes on some of the cards. I really like how underneath the cards there is a mini-bio of each player and his history in the sport of cricket. I'm not much of a cricket fan but there in England it's part of the Big 3 with soccer and rugby being the other two. I hope you enjoyed the look!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

"O" No!!! Another Trade Post

Tonight's trade post comes courtesy of Ryan over at "O" No!!! Another Orioles Blog. I contacted Ryan about helping him with some of his set needs in exchange for a few PC items. Ryan did not disappoint as he sent me some pretty awesome pieces which I'm excited to share with you. 

2011 Topps Update Cognac, 2011 Topps Update Walmart Blue, 2011 Topps S2 Diamond Stars Matt Holliday
I know what you're thinking, "Why would a lifelong Astros fan have a PC consisting of a St. Louis Cardinal?" Long story short my mom is in love with Matt Holliday AND I really like him as a person/player. He seems pretty down to Earth and I've seen him play so much when the Cards visit Houston that I've grown to love him. Also he hasn't been a Cardinal for TOO long so it's not like I'm rooting for Chris Carpenter or Molina.
2011 Bowman's Best Jonathan Singleton
I really wish Singleton was in his new Astros uniform in this card but the trade happened after the fact so I'm ok with that. Singleton is the biggest prospect in the Astros organization and he's one of the potential bright spots from the Ed Wade era. 

2011 Bowman Chrome Throwback Delino DeShields Jr.
DeShields is a high ceiling prospect that most fans are hoping turns into a solid major leaguer. He is a speed demon on the bases and if he can get on-base more the next few seasons he should help the rebuilding Astros.

Ryan, thank you so much for the great trade and I'm sure it won't be out last. I'll be on the lookout for more of your set needs and any Orioles you need. Also, congrats on hitting 100 followers on the blog. It's a great blog so it's a well deserved 100+ followers. Maybe by the end of 2012 I'll be closer to hitting the century mark.
After thinking about it I was wondering how many of you fellow collector's have a PC, whether it be small or large, of a "rival" team's player(s)? I know I can't be the only one so let your voices be heard!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Goodies from the Platter

Today's mail brought a beast package from Spiegel over at Nomo's Sushi Platter. I recently sent him some A&G minis and a random Matt Kemp card and he sent me this loot. It was way more than I expected and I love it. 

To most of you it's a plain old Brad Mills 2011 Heritage card. For me it's a blessing because I recently took this same card out of my Astros team set so I could get him to sign it when I meet him in a few weeks. Lucky for me I can add it back to the team set and use this card for the autograph. 

Two rookie cards of young Astros Altuve and Martinez. This may come as a surprise to some of you but I didn't previously own a J.D. Martinez base rookie from 2011 Topps. I had pulled/bought every other version of the card except for the base so I am happy to add this to my J.D. Martinez PC. The Altuve is a duplicate but that's a good thing again because I can use this one for TTM during ST. 

In the mail today I received two of these cards. One from this trade and a second one I bought on eBay. You guessed it though, I need both so I can have one in the Astros set and one in the J.D. Martinez PC. 

I was surprised to see a trio of vintage cards in the package (1981 is semi-vintage for me ha). Cedeno is an Astros legend, Rader and Reynolds are both names most Astros fans remember. These three additions are just the beginning of my goals to get more vintage into my PC.

If you read Nomo's recent post about Gonzo signing for him then you may have seen this card before. Truth be told I saw the post as well and when I read it was for a trade he had going I quietly hoped it was coming to me. Obviously I'm pumped to have this in my PC now because I grew up watching Gonzo play. He brings me back to the old days when the family and I would catch a game or two in the Astrodome.

It's funny how things work out sometimes. Sure I got some duplicates in the package but they were needed duplicates. Now I don't have to go searching my LCS or eBay for those cards. There were way more cards in the package but I didn't want to take up too much blog space showing off all the awesomeness. It's always hard to pick out the ones to post so please know the others will be just as loved. 

Thank you again Spiegel for the awesome trade and I hope to do some more trading throughout the year. 

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Time to Check Another 2005 Astro off the list

As some of you may know I'm currently working on acquiring autographs from all the members of the 2005 Astros World Series roster. I'm trying my best to get the autographs either in person or TTM. I've already received a few of the bigger names (Bagwell and Oswalt) from previous in person signings and some of the lesser known players through TTM. However, some of the players are harder to obtain than others. Some guys don't like to sign TTM much, some have retired and their addresses aren't in any databases yet. 

Adam Everett is one of those guys who I've had no luck with TTM. I decided that maybe I could just get an auto off eBay and I'd just replace it if I ever get the chance to obtain his auto in person or TTM. I bought this beauty off eBay for dirt cheap and I'm pretty excited to add it to my PC. I know it has a pretty decent size scratch on it (it was marked as Near Mint??) but since it's just a stopgap for the time being I'm alright with that. 

The autograph looks really sharp and other than the scratch I love this card. Everett was a fun SS to watch on the field. He's traveled around a lot since leaving the Astros and I hope he finds a nice home. If he's done playing for good then I wish him the best in retirement and hopefully I'll be able to meet him one day when the 2005 team has a reunion.

I still have a lot of the roster left to obtain but I have faith I can get close to finishing it this year. I'll keep everyone posted throughout the year. Tomorrow the Texans play the Ravens so I'll be pretty nervous over the next 24-36 hours.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Tomahawk Chopped

That will be my new phrase anytime I complete a trade with Derek from Tomahawk Chopping. After posting my Bowman Sterling results Derek showed interest in the Braves auto I pulled. After a few quick emails we agreed on a trade which sent Sean Gilmartin to Derek and brought Christopher Wallace down here to Texas.

2011 Bowman Sterling Christopher Wallace Auto #BSP-CW

Christopher Wallace was drafted by the Astros in 2010. He's a lifelong Astros fan from here in the Houston area and actually went to the University of Houston. I don't know if he'll ever be a fulltime guy in The Show but it's hard not to root for a hometown kid who is chasing his dreams of playing for the "good guys."

Thanks again Derek for the awesome and quick trade. I love trading with people here in the blogosphere and there's never a trade too small. I hope you enjoy the Gilmartin autograph because I know I love the Wallace. 

I hope everyone's had a great week so far and tomorrow is Friday so that's a plus.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Contest Winning's from The Daily Dimwit

Sam over at The Daily Dimwit recently held a small contest. All you had to do was leave a comment with one of your 2012 collecting goals and he'd random off the names. Lucky for me I was the winner and got to choose from one of his duplicate Astros GU cards. He threw in a handful of Bagwell's as well which made the win even sweeter.

I didn't have any of the Bagwell's Sam sent over so these instantly went into my Bagwell binder/Bagwell box. One of my goals is to get to over 180 different Bagwell's (remember I didn't start collecting until last February) and with these cards plus the few I picked up at the LCS I should be well on my way. 

2006 Bazooka Basics Relics Craig Biggio

Call me nostalgic but I love the look of these cards. It takes me back to when I was growing up in the 90's and I'd always chew Bazooka gum and read the wrapper comics. Speaking of those comics, I have no idea what half of them were about and I don't think I laughed once. I don't think anyone understood those Bazooka comics but their gum sure was delicious. This is my very first Biggio GU card and it hopefully won't be my last.

Thank you again to The Dimwit for holding the contest and sending me these awesome cards. I'll return the favor soon and I'm excited to get together when you come into town for the Tristar show.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Saturday's mail + Monday's mail = Awesome.

First let me start off by saying congratulations to Barry Larkin for making it into the Hall of Fame today. I remember watching Larkin as I grew up in the 90's and he was consistently dominant throughout the times I watched him. He deserves to be a HOFer and I'm happy to see him get in. 

I got 3 packages in the mail on Saturday but due to the Texans game (which they won, thank you) I postponed posting them until today. Today I also received 3 packages, one of which was from The Dimwit so it'll get its own post.

1962 Topps #304 Dick Farrell - Houston Colts
This is now the oldest card in my PC. One of my goals for 2012 is to collect a lot of the 1962 set in hopes of collecting it all one day. 1962 is the year my parents were born so that's the reason I decided on that set for my vintage set collecting. Getting a vintage Colt/Astro seems to be a great start to the 1962 set and I picked it up for less than $2.50.

2011 A&G FF17 USS Texas
I grew up about 10 minutes from where the USS Texas is now docked. Growing up we went on numerous field trips to the San Jacinto Monument and the USS Texas. Even in high school I'd take off early and go out to the USS Texas to watch the ships come through the Houston Ship Channel. (If any younger kids are reading I do not condone skipping class ha) 

2011 Topps Lineage Michael Morse Auto
I started to like Morse when I saw him on a couple of episodes of MLB Network's Intentional Talk. He is hilarious and he's also a pretty good ballplayer. I'd been eyeing this one for awhile so it was nice to finally pull the trigger and purchase it. I'm excited to see the numbers he puts up this season, as long as it's not against the Astros of course.

 2011 Bowman Sterling George Springer Auto

George Springer is one of the top prospects in the Astros farm system. He was their top choice in the draft and scouts think he'll be a pretty good big leaguer. I used my eBay bucks on this auto which meant I only had to pay the $3 shipping so I'm okay with an investment like that. His auto does leave something to be desired though.

2001 Leaf Rookies & Stars Jeff Bagwell Dress for Success

This card is just beautiful. It has a nice picture of Bagwell, a simple yet good looking design and TWO pieces of GU memorabilia. I love GU bat cards and this one has to be my favorite I have now. I said I'd be focusing more on my Bagwell collection this year and for the most part I've stayed true to that. Not necessarily adding quantity to the PC but definitely some quality pieces. 

Tomorrow I'll show off the awesome cards I won from The Dimwit's contest. It's always fun winning contests but even more fun when the contest is run by an Astros fan.

Jeff Bagwell Should be in The Hall!

I have some bias on this subject but I'm sure anyone who watches baseball, specifically from the 1990's through 2006, agrees that Bagwell should be in the Hall of Fame. He never reached the 500 HR benchmark and he didn't have much playoff success. If you look at his numbers though he was one of the best first basemen of his era. 

Bagwell doing what he does best, looking cool.

He was Rookie of the Year, a 4-time All Star, an MVP, a Gold Glover, a 3-time Silver Slugger winner AND he accomplished most of his feats while playing in the Astrodome! According to Jayson Stark, Bagwell is the only first basemen to hit 400 homers and steal 200 bases over his career. Bagwell and Gehrig are the only two first basemen to have an OPS-plus of 130 or better in 12 straight seasons.

Two things may hold Bagwell out of the HoF for awhile. One of those is that he played in Houston where not a lot of people outside of the NL got to see him play. This can easily be overcome if voters would just look at his numbers and see that it's an impressive resume when compared to those who've come before him. 

The second and most irritating roadblock facing Bagwell is the suspicion that he used steroids or other PED's during his career. Bagwell has never tested positive for steroids/PED's, he wasn't named in the Mitchell Report and other players never mentioned his name along with steroids. Was Bagwell buff? Yea he had muscles but nothing freakishly large or abnormal. If you look at his rookie cards and compare them to the more recent cards you see a normal growth. In this article David Schoenfield mentions that Bagwell's stats take a pretty normal trajectory. 

I know the odds of Bagwell getting into the HoF this year are slim but there is hope. If he doesn't get in this year maybe he'll get in the same year as Biggio but I doubt it since the ballot that year is stacked. Bagwell provided Astros fan's with 14 years of pride and excitement. It would be a disservice to Bagwell, the Astros and Major League Baseball if one of it's best players of the 1990's was kept out of the Hall. I don't think it's fair to keep Bagwell out over speculation but if he gets in eventually that's all that matters to me.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Texans and Bearkats...Oh my!!

Today's post is dedicated to two teams that are near and dear to my heart. One is my Alma Mater and the other is a team I'll cheer for till I die. Today the Sam Houston State Bearkats play in the FCS National Championship game which is a pretty big deal up in Huntsville, Texas. Following the Bearkats game will be the Houston Texans playing their first playoff game in franchise history against the Cincinnati Bengals. 

This is the only Sam Houston State card I own. I pulled it out of a PressPass discounted blaster last year. Rhett Bomar isn't the Bearkats QB but he'll have to do for this post since my options are limited. The Bearkats have a high powered offense and they'll need it today but I'm confident they'll bring home the win.

The next two cards I'm going to show aren't my best Texans cards but they're special for another reason. On New Year's Eve I was visiting family up in small town Texas when I noticed my 5 and 6 year old cousins had 2011 Topps Football cards. Being the Texans fan I am I told them that if they had any Texans I'd buy them from them for $2 a card. I know I overspent offering $2 a card but I at least wanted them to be able to grab another pack for giving me theirs. So long story short I bought 2 little base cards for $4.00 BUT my cousins went home a little richer.

If you would have told me at the beginning of the year the Texans would win the AFC South I'd have agreed with you. However, nobody saw the Texans making the playoffs with a 3rd string rookie QB coming in towards the end of the season. Yates hasn't played perfect but he hasn't been horrible in the few games he's played this season. Just making the playoffs is a big deal to Houston fans but we're hoping they can at least win their first game.

This is the guy who'll have a huge weight on his shoulders today. Arian Foster is the key to the Texans having a successful game. TJ Yates has to play a mistake free game but he doesn't have to make all the plays, Ben Tate can run for 100+ yards we know, Andre Johnson (when healthy) is a top 3 receiver in the NFL, Brian Cushing and the rest of the D seem to answer the call when it matters most but the rhythm and the momentum of the game relies on what Foster can do with the ball. Foster is talented, he's fast, he's determined and he still plays with that chip on his shoulder from being undrafted. Those are the reasons I think he'll have a great game and lead the Texans to their first playoff win.

Am I being optimistic with my predictions? Of course I am. Am I being unrealistic with them? Not at all. It's about time Houston area sports succeed at the next level and I can't think of a better day than today to start. 

Bulls On Parade!!!

Eat 'em Up Kats!!!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Best Mailday in Awhile

I am really adding a decent amount of young Astros to my collection and the next two cards are some of the best. Both came via eBay thanks to a giftcard I got awhile back.

2011 Bowman Platinum Triple Auto CWJ 53/89

I'm a huge Jason Castro fan and I hope he stays healthy so he can become the longtime catcher for the Astros. I bought this card mainly for Castro but it's a nice bonus to get Brett Wallace and Chris Johnson's auto. I almost bought this card months ago when Platinum first came out but was hesitant because they were all redemption's. Topps must have had these cards waiting because within a few weeks the redemption's on eBay turned into actual physical copies.

2008 Bowman Chrome Bud Norris Auto Refractor 232/500

If you think this card looks familiar then you're kind of right. I have the regular version that I posted a few months ago and now I have the refractor! I love Bud Norris and it's been fun to watch him grow. There is something really attractive about on-card autos, even when they're crooked like this one. Next up for me is the X-Fractor version and then eventually the Orange. 

I've had more cards come in this week so I'll be posting a few more maildays this week. Looking forward to the Texans first playoff game this Saturday. Bulls on Parade!!!!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

I don't think Bowman Sterling is for me.

I stopped by my LCS this morning to pick up some binder pages and a handful of Astros commons. While I was there I decided to spend some Christmas money on a mini-box of 2011 Bowman Sterling and a jumbo pack of 2011 Update.

After busting open the box I realized I may have had more fun and better results busting 3 more discounted A&G blaster than this product. (Speaking of which I did buy one more blaster yesterday but that'll be for another post) At least with A&G I could continue building my set. You live and you learn, at least I can use the pulls as trade bait hopefully. Here are the noteworthy cards from both the Topps Update and Bowman Sterling.

The Jimmie Foxx is my second Diamond Anniversary SP (the other being the Gehrig I pulled).

X-Fractor 105/199

The Panik is probably the best pull of the mini-box. I don't know much about him but what I've read they say he's got a bright future with the Giants.

As always these cards are for trade if anyone is interested. If you've got a decent baseball card fund then Bowman Sterling may be for you but I don't think I'll be chasing this set anytime soon. I've realized I like the fun of collecting a set with multiple interesting inserts and if I'm going to drop $50 I want more than 5 cards.