February 28, 2009

2009 Upper Deck Spectrum Complete Set


As many of you know I decided to boycott hobby packs of this product for putting Kim Kardashian on the same box as Derek Jeter. I still don't understand that, but whatever. I was searching eBay as always for some Pujols cards from this set when I can across someone selling complete sets at auction. They were all ending in a relatively short amount of time, and all within minutes of each other from the same seller.

I figured I would bid on the one ending the soonest and if I didn't win, I had 2 more chances. I lost the first one, so I bid on the second. I ended up in a bidding war with someone and gave up when it was at $11 because I really didn't need this set in the first place. Third time is a charm because after a short bidding war with this one, I came away victorious at for $7.69 with FREE shipping. Take that Upper Deck. Hobby packs retail for $6.99 each, and I got the complete set for what it would have cost me for one pack with tax. I win!

I figured I would keep the cards I wanted, and list the rest on eBay and try to make my $8 bucks back. I have a bunch of players I like putting in my albums so by the time I am done, there may not be any left to sell.

Just a quick note on the design, which is that it's boring and purple. Why purple? It's not very masculine, nor does it even look that cool. I'm not even going to start on the Crayola assortment of parallels because I would be here all night.

Albert Pujols Want List Updated

I just want to let everyone know that I have updated my want list this week, and it includes the 2009 Topps Series 1, and 2009 Upper Deck Series 1. I am going to compile a list for the 2009 Topps Heritage soon. Clicking on the link at the right will take you to my want list.

I was able to pick up some cards from UD through trades, and cheap auctions on eBay but there are still plenty that I am missing. Please let me know if you have anything of interest, I will be more than happy to negotiate a trade.

Here is one of the cards I got in the mail:


That is the regular size one. This is one of my favorite Pujols shots, the after homerun one. I generally like the design of these, though this is the only one I have actually had in hand. They seem to fall at a very sparse rate of 1 or 2 per boz from what I have noticed. Most of the inserts from this set are going for around $3 of Albert. The other thing about the UD Series 1 is that the Starquest cards are only in retail packs, and there are way too many versions of these cards.

February 27, 2009

Bubble Mailer Day!

I love when I get to the mail box and there are bubble mailers stuffed in there. It makes my whole day. See, it doesn't take much folks.

Both of these were from trades, and from great people as well. The first package I opened was from Heartbreaking Cards and it was the missing link I was talking about earlier. Drumroll please..... 2008 UD X XPonential 2 Albert Pujols!!! After months, and months of searching for this card it is now mine... all mine! Thanks so much, Matt! First time trading with him and it was awesome.


Now my second package was on a long journey from Canada, and arrived rather quickly. This one was from Tricia over at The Hamiltonian, who sent me a great bunch of cards as always. She is a great trader, and very nice person so if you have any Hamilton cards, let her know she will give them a good home. I received the following cards:

2009 UD #343 Albert Pujols

2009 UD #479 Albert Pujols CL

2009 Yankee Stadium Legacy 6682 Melky Cabrera

2009 Yankee Stadium Legacy 6710HM 2008 All-Star Game (I love this card.)


Thank you so much Tricia!!!

The YSL All-Star Game card will probably be forever one of my favorite cards from this set simply because I was at that game. The whole All-Star Game experience from Fan Fest, Homerun Derby, and the All-Star Game were all experiences that I could never put a price on. I would have sold my soul to be at those events, and thankfully I was able to purchase all of the event tickets because I am a season ticket holder. Sooz and I went to Fan Fest together and had a blast, and for the Homerun Derby and All-Star game we were both there but she was working and I was playing. I can definitely see why Tricia likes Hamilton, any guy that can smash homeruns off the back wall of Yankee Stadium is okay in my book.

Sadly, I don't remember taking any pictures of these events. I think I was just interested in taking it all in and remembering it and not trying to worry about pictures.

2009 Upper Deck Rack Packs



These have finally surfaced around here, where Sooz and myself live. This week was our first sightings of 2009 Upper Deck retail products. We each picked up a rack pack the other day and we both came away with air, as in nothing great. I remember last year you got at least one Yankee Stadium Legacy card in each rack pack, and neither one of us pulled one. We each got 2 Starquest Purple commons, mine were Vladimir Guerrero and Lance Berkman. I have no recollection of who she got, but they were not anyone either of us cared for. Sooz did get a Jeter base card that I am stealing since she had it already, and I got a Yankees team leaders card which she will get since Jeter is on it and I have it.

One thing Sooz noticed and wanted to write about, was that the packs no longer have see through backs. They are silver indicating no sneak peeks at what insert card you might get in them. (I am giving Sooz credit for the observation) I don't like that, I think half the fun of these was rummaging to find a Pujols or Jeter pack to buy. Now, I will not buy another one because I really have no interest in putting this set together. All of my cards are available for trade.

Stop back some time later when I show off the missing link...

Those even-numbered Ring of Honor cards

I finally found the Derek Jeter 2009 Topps Ring of Honor #8.

Not that I was looking high and low for it, but I just didn't know where to get it. All the odd-numbered cards of the insert were put into the 2009 Topps Packs. In the case we busted, we completed the odd-numbered set.

However, at no point did Topps tell me how to get the even-numbered cards. There was no specially inserted card with instructions in the packs, nor was it written anywhere on the packs (I'm 99 percent sure of that).

I stumbled upon the even-numbered cards when I walked into BC Sports today. My boyfriend dragged me to the mall bright and early this morning to get a new pair of glasses. That's not fun and since the card shop is only three stores down, I ventured in there while he picked up his new frames.

Sitting on the counter was a box of Ring of Honor packs. There are five cards per pack, which is considered a starter pack. Apparently, starting last Friday you get a new card every week (and new ones are given out every Friday) with the purchase of a Topps product.

Considering the amount of Topps product I have bought in the past, I got the starter pack and the two next cards for free.

The starter pack consists of: R
RH2 Whitey Ford
RH 4 Cole Hamels
RH 6 Johnny Bench
RH 8 Derek Jeter (yay!)
RH 10 Brooks Robinson

I also got RH 12 David Eckstein and RH 14 Paul Molitor.

Along with the packs is a display, which actually tells you how to complete the set. You can also take home a nifty poster of the card set along with checklist and where to find each card so you can complete the 50-card set.


The five cards in the starter set can only be found there. All the even-numbered cards will be given out at hobby shops across the country and the odd-numbered cards can be found in Hobby and HTA boxes only.

Of course, you can always go to eBay.

February 26, 2009

Spring Training - Yanks v. Rays

Today the Yankees took on the Rays in the Spring Training home opener with Hughes starting for the Yankees, and Davis for the Rays. I happened to turn it on just in time to see Hughes bean 2 consecutive batters, which I thought was a great way to start off the 2009 season. Hughes pitched well in his 2 innings, as did Davis who struck out Teixeira. Jorge Posada smashed one in his first AB into the RF bleachers at Steinbrenner field. It was nice to see Jorge smash the ball this early after his shoulder surgery. Teixeira looked good at first stretching very well to scoop a 6-3 ground out from Kapler (sorry Sooz). Kapler also his a weak line drive to Cano for those of you keeping tabs.

The most important thing I saw in the first half of the game was Robbie Cano was looking very good in the field. Great range to the left and right for two different plays. His first AB he looked patient and not trying to smash the leather off the ball. Great news for the Yankees, but may be bad news for my collection if he is playing well. I would much rather see him play well and help the Yankees than to worry about how much another sticker auto is going to end up costing me.

I only watched the first half of the game before heading out to the gym. I can only take the first few games so seriously. But let me tell you, this got me all fired up for the season. I am usually bored in the winter and eagerly awaiting spring training, and more importantly the MLB package which surpasses pretty much anything on tv on any given night or day of the week.

Let's go Yankees!

Topps Red Hot Rookie Redemption


Well folks, after the estimated November shipping date my Red Hot Rookie Redemption #11 (Clayton Kershaw) has finally shipped. I like Kershaw, and it's a card I will hold onto until I see how he pans out. Then maybe I can trade him for Albert Pujols if he is decent, or Adam Lind if he sucks.

But they said 10-14 days it should be in hand, I won't be holding my breath. Keep your eyes peeled in your e-mail for the Topps e-mail if you have sent out redemptions for this sub-set.

Back later with some grumblings, hopefully some cards from Target, and some bubble mailer news.

February 25, 2009

2009 Upper Deck Spectrum


When I got to work last night I immediately zeroed in on this new product sitting on the shelf begging me to buy it. But upon closer inspection I saw that not only does Derek Jeter grace the design of this product but so does Kim Kardashian. Seeing her face on a box of baseball cards cemented the fact that I will not buy any of this product unless the cards are handpicked. Why on earth would I buy a box of this with even the slimmest chance of ending up with an autograph of that twit? Way to go Upper Deck. Some of the celebrities they put in products are not terrible, however what makes her a superstar? (I am refraining from saying what I really think, but tap your third eye and figure it out.)

In any case, I have my eye on several Pujols cards from this set on eBay and would much rather do that, and spend maybe $20 bucks and end up with the only cards I even want from the set. I am eagerly holding out for Heritage. While I am trying very hard to not spend money, if I do it is going to be on something that doesn't have "stupid" cards in it, and something that I enjoy every year. I can't say that I have enjoyed Spectrum that much in the past, or have ever pulled anything great from it.

Photo courtesy of Dave & Adam's.

Detox just to retox

I'm not here yet, but the temptation to buy a pack or a blaster is getting stronger by the day. I visited the local Target today just to stare at the cardboard shelf. I looked around and saw that Target finally has Upper Deck blasters.

Finally.

Then I thought to myself, what do I need this blaster for?

There are several Jeter cards in 2009 Upper Deck. But I have several of them. I did a quick inventory in my head of the cards I had and the cards I needed.

Upper Deck #261
Upper Deck #434
Upper Deck #466
Upper Deck Gold #261
Upper Deck Gold #434
Upper Deck Gold #466
Upper Deck O-Pee-Chee #OPC16
Upper Deck O-Pee-Chee Mini #OPC16
Upper Deck Rivals #R2 David Ortiz/ Derek Jeter
Upper Deck Starquest Black Ultra Rare #SQ6
Upper Deck Starquest Common Purple #SQ6
Upper Deck Starquest Common Silver #SQ6
Upper Deck Starquest Emerald Super Rare #SQ6
Upper Deck Starquest Rare Gold #SQ6
Upper Deck Starquest Uncommon Blue #SQ6
Upper Deck Stars of the Game #GGDJ
Upper Deck UD Game Jersey #GJDJ
Upper Deck UD Game Jersey Dual #GJDJ /139
Upper Deck UD Game Jersey Quad #GJDJ /15
Upper Deck UD Game Jersey Triple #GJDJ /69
Upper Deck UD Game Patch #GJDJ /25

So, there is no common card I need of Jeter. I got all the regular inserts. Pretty much all I need are short-print cards and game-used. Great.

No blaster for me. Back to eBay.

You ever look at your collection and think to yourself, 'Wow, I have a lot of cards.' Then, you look at the checklist and think, 'Why do I do this?'

On a side note (or not) ... I want a box of Heritage.

February 24, 2009

Sharing good news with my blogging friends

Today, I received great news and I wanted to share it. I told my boyfriend, Marie, my brother, my mom, my buddy Keith and now you guys (in that order).

I received an email today from my editor about the results of a recent newspaper writing contest that our paper enters every year, the NJPA (New Jersey Press Assocation). I learned that I won first place in the sports writing portfolio category for newspapers that have a circulation of over 60,000. That means amongst all the big newspapers in the state including The Star Ledger and The Record, I won top prize.

Three of my articles were submitted in my portfolio. One was on Cathy Rush, who was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame last year. One was a game story from the Phillies run during the playoffs.

The other was a piece I wrote on the bleacher creatures at Yankee Stadium. I spent a lot of time sitting out there, making friends. Last year, before I went to the final game of Yankee Stadium, wrote this for my paper.

I hope you guys enjoy it.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Editor's note: Susan Lulgjuraj was a season-ticket holder in Section 39 of the bleachers at Yankee Stadium for several years before moving to southern New Jersey. She still visits friends and roots for the Bronx Bombers.

With Yankee Stadium hosting its last baseball game today and a new park being built, Lulgjuraj spoke by phone to friends who have been sitting in the bleachers even longer than her. The Bleacher Creatures are a group of fans in right field from all walks of life who came together simply to root for the Yankees but found so much more.

------------------

48 hours to go.

The tears have already started.

It's the last Friday night game at Yankee Stadium, a night that has become a staple for the regulars through the years.

Most "Bleacher Creatures" were there Friday, including those who thought it would be too difficult to show up today for the final game in The Cathedral.

"I've been crying the whole weekend," said Tina Lewis, 46, better known in the bleachers as The Queen. "It's been 30 seasons. I practically grew up there. It's like losing your home."

The Section 39 Bleacher Creatures became famous for more than their raucous behavior. It wasn't for the battery-throwing incidents or the profanities directed at opposing players.

The Creatures started the roll call, when each Yankee starter is called by the crowd in right field, until the players wave back. It's a unique relationship between players and fans, but it's not why anyone started sitting in the bleachers.

It just made it better.

"I was fairly new to the city, and I thought, 'Where can I go? Because I don't have many friends, and I don't want to stand out,' " said "Sheriff" Tom Brown, 40, one of the principals of Section 39. "It probably took two innings to feel part of something. Within a week, I was part of the inner circle."

That was in 1993, and Brown didn't stop going to games regularly until around 2002. Then, he and wife Dana Brown, whom he had met in the bleachers, had their first child and life took priority.

But not enough to keep him away from a smattering of games since, and certainly not for the final game.

"It was part baseball, part beer, part comedy improv," Brown said. "It was like going to a party with a baseball game right in front of you at Yankee Stadium."

Miles Seligman, 38, who started sitting in the bleachers in 1989, attended every game at Yankee Stadium this weekend. But he hasn't paid much attention to the score.

"I've been zoning out the last couple of games," said Seligman, who grew up in New Brunswick. "I'm trying to hold on to this image in my mind's eye. Parts of the upper deck, the way a patch of green infield opens to us, the whole geography of it. I want to have it in my mind for all time."

24 hours to go

The plans are being made: where to meet up, what time, and who's going to the final game.
Sheriff Brown and fellow Long Islander Justin Shibilski will be there in the afternoon. Even if Brown didn't have a ticket, he would have been on River Avenue.

Standing outside the gate, listening to the game on the radio and the cheers from the crowd, was still better than watching from home.

"There was a playoff game in (1995) against Seattle, and I was in Section 57 (the left-field bleachers)," Brown said. "I tried to go to 39, but the security guards wouldn't have it. I remember watching with different people, and it wasn't fun."

Everyone who has been part of the bleachers has a story of how Section 39 became home. Seligman loved the camaraderie. For Lewis, The Queen, it was an escape.

Lewis lived in California but traveled to New York every summer from 1979 to 1990. She spent every summer in the bleachers. She finally decided it would be cost-effective to move to New York, where "the Yankees ruled her life."

Lewis had ran away from home when she was 14. She said her parents had forced her into a marriage with a man who abused her.

At Yankee Stadium, no one judged her. It was a place where people understood her passion for the game.

"I've been through a lot in my life to get here, where I want to be," Lewis said. "It's very sad because it's the end of something. I know the stadium next door is going to be beautiful, but it will never be the same."

Game time

Not all the Bleacher Creatures will be in the house today.

"There are some that are upset about it, some people that are angry about it," Brown said.

Many said it's like losing an old friend.

Shibilski, 32, was choked up sitting in the upper deck with his father on Saturday as he watched Mariano Rivera come out in the ninth inning.

Shibilski had two stints as a Bleacher Creature separated by college. He now lives in Chicago. But he came back to celebrate the stadium and the friendships he created in the bleachers this weekend.

"It's a group of people that would not give each other the time of day under normal circumstances and are bound together by something," he said. "That's stronger than a building."

***

It wasn't until 1998, when I was 18 years old, that I sat in the bleachers regularly.

I grew up in a strict, patriarchal family. Women weren't supposed to like sports. The norm for my culture was going from your parents' house to your husband's. There was no middle ground.
After much pleading, I finally was allowed to attend Yankee games, which were just a 15-minute ride from our Yonkers, N.Y., home.

There was one condition: I had to take my younger brother, Johnny, with me.

The moment we sat down in Section 39, we were home.

***
Lewis turned out to be The Queen's married name. Her real last name was the same crazy one as mine. I didn't believe her when she said her last name was Lulgjuraj (pronounced La-ju-die) but I forced her to spell it on the spot. We discovered that we are cousins.

She passed the test, and when I mentioned her to my father, his response was: "You know she ran away from home."

But she found a home in the bleachers.

So when Yankee Stadium shuts down for good, a little bit of all us will go with it.

Good Old Johnny Damon

Leave it to Johnny Damon to set this one up. For those of you that don't know who Kim Jones is, she is one of the YES networks puppets for asking questions the Yankees brass wants answered without doing it themselves. She also appears on the Mike Francesa show during the day on the YES network.

Sooz's editor was actually the person to find this clip, he didn't know who she was and just happened to click on this youtube video to find out.



Just a little laugh to break up the day.

A Cardboard Stalker

That is what I am going to rename the blog if I ever decide to become a Pujols stalker. I search nearly everyday on eBay for Pujols items, which is both sad and costly. However, once in a blue moon you come across something so ridiculous that it makes you question where the average IQ of humans is actually heading. I was searching today simply for "Pujols", no other search terms and I started at the last page as usual to see what was listed in the last 24 hours. I came across this book and my jaw dropped.

I am all for making a quick buck on random things, but really? This is a little crazy, even for me. As much as I love Albert, I don't see myself spending even $50 on this much less $500. I didn't even want my own high school yearbook, why would I want this? Now if he had autographed the book, that may be a different story and may fetch a price in the $500 range. The book is said to be mint, with no writing... I don't know about anyone else, but half the point of high school yearbooks was for people to get them signed, and for a keepsake.

Whatever. If this ended and I was the buyer for some horrible reason, I would invite all of you to come over here and kick me in the you know what for being stupid.

February 23, 2009

Book Review: The Yankee Years


I finally finished this book, and I must say that I enjoyed it thoroughly. As a life long Yankees fan I thought this book provided an insight into the clubhouse that was never really seen before even through the media at those times.

The beginning of the book focuses on how Torre was initially selected to manage the Yankees, as well as how he adapted to the expectations of George Steinbrenner and Yankee protocol. Then they move into the championship years, and there is plenty of commentary from players, coaches, bullpen catcher Mike Borzello also has a lot to say throughout the book. The book gives us the side of the story that only the players and coaches were really privy to at those times.

There is a big enough chunk of the book devoted to the "steroid era", and what was going on not just in the Yankees clubhouse but other places as well. Torre also talks about how McNamee ended up in the clubhouse, and how Clemens got him there. They don't mention any names of people doing anything, but it is interesting how Clemens needed him there on staff at all times.

After the championship years were discussed, you continue on your journey with Torre through all of the things he went through with the commentary of many people, which made for an entertaining read most of the time. There were plenty of things in this book that made me crack up, specifically references to Carl Pavano. The later chapters gave you a real sense of the difference between teams that work together as a team, versus what has been going on in the Yankees clubhouse for quite some time. There is also a discussion on how the teams in MLB have changed their scouting to more numbers type of reports, as well as VORP (value over replacement player) as opposed to just what they can do on the mound or at the plate. There is a whole new formula out there for predicting health breakdowns, and stuff that didn't exist until recent years. Rather interesting to read on how some other teams scout and sign their players.

Many Yankee fans hated Joe Torre for leaving and turning down $5 million dollars, but I was never one of those people. I agreed that they structured his contract in a very demeaning way, and had no interest in working with Joe on a mutually happy arrangement. For what he did for these teams, and all the championships, pennants, and post-season victories they basically told him to eat it and take a hike.

After reading this book, I have a greater appreciation for the 96-01 Yankees, if that was even possible - I do. I will also say that there are certain players that are just plain stupid and make me mad, not mentioning names (A-Rod). Bottom line is that all the Yankee fans that hate Torre for leaving and won't buy this book, are probably the ones that should be reading it. Everyone loved Torre (with the exception of the times he looked like he was asleep in the dugout, or put Farnsworth in to pitch) and this book will definitely give you a nice insight into what goes on in the Yankees organization, clubhouse, and managers office.

As far as Torre calling A-Rod "A-Fraud", it never happened once in the book. In fact, the person who said it might surprise you when you read it. I had mentioned that it was Larry Bowa, as I had heard that on the news and it isn't.

My favorite part of the book was the video that Billy Crystal sent the Yankees. I laughed so hard, and if you read this, or have read it you probably know exactly what I am talking about.

Bookcase Breakthrough

Well folks, two weeks later I have finally put it together. There is nothing in it, or on it but it's a start. This is going to be storing card supplies, and smaller boxes of cards and what not. Perhaps once it is filled up I will take a picture of my cheap storage unit. (I just tried to find a picture on Target's website but I don't see it.)

Perhaps next time Sooz is home we will take a trip to that Container Store and check out what's in there. Besides, there is a Target and Wal-mart across the street from each other in White Plains.

For those interested in the Moments & Milestones they mentioned (Lincecum & Ichiro), please e-mail me about that so we can work out a trade this week.

Anyway, I had nothing exciting to say today which is why there was a lapse in my blogging. Sooz was busy working all day on a story, so she was typed out by the end of the night. I am fairly certain everyone survived the day without our antics.

I plan on finishing the Joe Torre book once and for all tonight and writing my review as soon as possible. I only have about 30 pages left, and yes I understand this is taking me forever.

February 21, 2009

Fantasy Baseball News

Here is the list of teams that are participating in the fantasy baseball league:

Gabe's Babe
The Dude
Grand Cards
Cards on Cards
Victorious Secret
Purple Donkey
Carolina Xfractors
Boneyard Braves
Legion of Boom
MOJOJAZZ
gcrl
The Franchise

For those of you who like to gamble, pick a team based on the name and place your bet. I will post the draft results if I don't become lazy (good chance this will never happen, but I am hopeful).

I used to play alot of pool, and we used to stake a person for a certain amount of money and that side pool went to the person who picked the winning player (or team in this case). If you guys want to do something like that as a side bet amongst the non-participants and do a side prize that might be fun. I don't know if I could keep track of that, but maybe someone else in the league might want to run that one. Could maybe do $5 bucks per team, then whoever picks the winning team gets a box/blaster from that side pool depending on the bet from each person.

I hope that made sense, I know what I am talking about but I feel like it may have translated poorly. But notice, I didn't say who was representing each team in fairness.

E-mails about the draft were sent out earlier today, please take a look at that and get back to me if you need to.

Living In Cardboard

It's everywhere I look. Every nook, every cranny has cards or a white cardboard box in it. There are scattered plastic snap cases filled, loose piles, top loaders, penny sleeves, and shipping supplies but mostly cardboard. I am sure I am not the only one suffering from this disease, as there are many of you out there just like me.

In a recent attempt to try and bring some sort of semblance and order to this debacle, I began throwing other things away, like clothes, to make more room for cards. I know that sounds crazy, but some things I can live without.

I saw a small bookcase in the Target flyer 2 weeks ago for $16 bucks, and I literally ran there to get one because I figured I could slap that together and use it for cardboard storage. I won't say that the purchased bookcase (which I HAD to have the same day it was seen) is still in the box, unassembled. I was going to put it together tonight, but clearly I decided talking about putting it together would be more fun than actually doing so. So now I sit here, writing this and staring at Jay Leno doing essentially nothing. (I'm working on motivation.) Target needs to get blasters in so I stop wasting money on bookcases, and waste it on cards.

I still have not started my 2009 want list that I swore I was going to do weeks ago. I gotta say, I no longer care. In case anyone was looking for that list to actually happen, it probably won't so don't hold your breath out there.

Anyone else have a literal "cardboard problem"? I feel like it's a constant battle to get everything sorted and put away and sometimes it ruins the fun of collecting and buying, so I guess that explains why I rarely put stuff away unless it's in my PC. Some people hate clutter, I embrace it.

I just had my best idea yet. I will finish Joe Torre's book since I have no idea what happened to the 2005-2007 Yankee teams, I am on the edge of my seat with anticipation. Stay tuned for an attempt at a decent book review from someone who never reviews books.

February 20, 2009

Another Day, Another Albert

I know I swore off game-used jersey cards, but could I have resisted this? Serial numbered 133/149, and a dual swatch (all white of course). Yummy.



The only problem with this card is that it may make me want the single, triple, and quad cards. If I win the Mega-Millions tonight, I promise they are going to be purchased within minutes of checking my ticket.

Albert was put into a PC-3 Snap case, which is how I store all of my PC game-used and autograph cards, and will be joining his friends in my 800 count box labeled PC Pujols. Welcome home, buddy.

A Different Kind of Mailday


There are many signs that baseball season is coming. The first for me is the Yankees invoice for my tickets, of course they are always first because they want their money. The next would be the countdown to pitchers and catchers, which usually prompts the third sign. The third sign being going over to Amazon to pre-order my copy of the Baseball Prospectus. That was my mail-day yesterday. A nice heavy box from Amazon arrived around 12:30pm, with my shiny new book. Next is the fantasy baseball draft, and armed with this book, a few magazines, and useless knowledge I should be able to draft a decent team (I hope).

Anyone else pick this up this year or in the past? I think it's a great prediction of the upcoming season, and it's great for keeping an eye on the farm systems because they do give you information on up and coming prospects.

Speaking of fantasy baseball, I believe I have one spot still open. One last call to all!

February 19, 2009

A Jeter I don't care for

eBay has everything a card collector needs, no, wants.

However, it has so much more that I don't want, but never did I think there would be a Derek Jeter card on eBay, I wouldn't want to get my hands on. If it's Derek Jeter, I got to have it. Right?!

I stared at this card for about 30 seconds, wondering 'Why don't I like it?'



It's a Derek Jeter letter patch card with his autograph. I've seen signatures on messgae boards with every one of these cards and have been jealous everytime. It's a cool card to have ... except now.

This is why I don't like the card.





For those of you who don't see the issue right away is the fact that Jeter has no letters on the back of his jersey. It's just his number. Again, no letters.

Maybe I'm getting a little tired of manufactured items. This year Topps had a boatload of these types of cards with the Legendsd Letteman Patch cards and the Legends Commemorative Patch cards that replicate patches from memorable events. In both instances, the cards were replicas and don't produced to represent the period of time that card came from.

In this case, there is nothing to duplicate because there are no letters on the back of Yankee uniforms.

I'm not sure why it took me this long to realize this, but that's what happens when I'm left alone for two days.

A stop at Dr. Wax

I went up to The Back Stop this weekend after I stopped at the bank. The Back Stop is the home to Dr. Wax.
I occasionally stop in when I am in the Toms River, NJ area. It's about a 45-minute ride and since there is no bank branch in my area and the closest one is in Toms River, it just seemed like a natural fit to go over and visit Dr. Wax. I hadn't been there in quite some time, so I paid Dr. Wax a visit.
We had a great conversation, which could mean some exciting things for the future of A Cardboard Problem. Some of you who were at our live case break might get what you asked for, but in the meantime, I also bought a card from Dr. Wax.
Unfortunately, he doesn't have tons of Jeters because of the area. It's right on the border of Yankees and Phillies fans and there are tons of guys who go there and grab his cards, which usually leaves me with a tiny inventory. I did find one card and made sure I deposited my check before I got there.
Here's the card:

I love the two different grains on this card. The great thing about the card is that it's two guys who have a little home in my heart. Bernie Williams and Derek Jeter will always make me smile when I think back to 1996, 98, 99 and, of course, 2000.

"Honey, about that car ..."

This week's SI cover story features Cole Hamels ... you know that guy, the 2008 World Series MVP. He had a great performance throughout the playoffs and looked unstoppable.

As far as the article goes, there wasn't much in there I didn't know about Hamels. Although, I suspect that those who don't know about the Phillies as well as I do will learn some information, including the bar fight he got into when he was in the minor leagues.

The story was mostly related with his relationship with his wife Heidi (people might know about her than him) and how she has helped him come out of his shell and embrace the media. Apparently, he is striving to be the next Derek Jeter or Tiger Woods.

His celebrity status has gotten him spots on David Letterman and The Ellen Generes Show. He's also been to book signings, autograph signings and Q&A sessions.

But the new found fame doesn't get him a car, at least not right away. According to the SI article, Heidi is still waiting for that Camaro.

And the misunderstanding over the 2010 Chevy Camaro he won as the World Series MVP and promised in a post game interview to give to Heidi. ("I kept waiting for them to deliver it, so I finally called and they said you have to order it online, and it'll take eight months. I was like, I thought I just for the one that was on the field!")




Oh yeah, and they plan on adopting an Ethiopian and his sibling.

February 18, 2009

More to 2009 Topps

After opening an entire case of 2009 Topps, we thought we saw everything we needed to when it came to the brand.

We were wrong.

After making a trip to Target for no other reason than to stare at the cardboard aisle, I saw there was something different in the Topps blaster. Marie had sent me a picture earlier stating that you could get commemorative patches of legends. She thought, as did I at the time, that the cards were the ones we pulled out the case, the letter patches. However, after reading the packages, there is an entirely different set out there for collectors.

The patches are replicas of important events that these players have participated in.

Here are photos on eBay of examples of these cards.

According to Beckett, there are 50 different cards in the set.

LPR1 - Babe Ruth1921 World Series
LPR2 - Babe Ruth1927 World Series
LPR3 - Lou Gehrig1928 World Series
LPR4 - Lou Gehrig1933 All-Star Game
LPR5 - Jimmie Foxx1934 All-Star Game
LPR6 - Mel Ott1934 All-Star Game
LPR7 - Ted Williams1946 All-Star Game
LPR8 - Ted Williams1949 All-Star Game
LPR9 - Jackie Robinson1949 All-Star Game
LPR10 - Roy Campanella1949 All-Star Game
LPR11 - Mickey Mantle 1951 World Series
LPR12 - Mickey Mantle 1952 World Series
LPR13 - Ted Williams1953 All-Star Game
LPR14 - Roy Campanella1953 All-Star Game
LPR15 - Ted Williams1954 All-Star Game
LPR16 - Mickey Mantle 1954 All-Star Game
LPR17 - Duke Snider1954 All-Star Game
LPR18 - Whitey Ford1954 All-Star Game
LPR19 - Jackie Robinson1955 World Series
LPR20 - Mickey Mantle 1956 World Series
LPR21 - Don Larsen1956 World Series
LPR22 - Ted Williams1960 All-Star Game, Yankee Stadium
LPR23 - Ernie Banks1960 All-Star Game, Yankee Stadium
LPR24 - Roberto Clemente 1961 All-Star Game, Candlestick Park
LPR25 - Roberto Clemente 1962 All-Star Game, RFK Stadium
LPR26 - Roberto Clemente 1962 All-Star Game, Wrigley Field
LPR27 - Ernie Banks1962 All-Star Game, Wrigley Field
LPR28 - Mickey Mantle 1962 World Series
LPR29 - Roberto Clemente 1963 All-Star Game
LPR30 - Nolan Ryan1969 World Series
LPR31 - Tom Seaver1969 World Series
LPR32 - Roberto Clemente 1971 All-Star Game
LPR33 - Thurman Munson1971 All-Star Game
LPR34 - Carl Yastrzemski1971 All-Star Game
LPR35 - Nolan Ryan1972 All-Star Game
LPR36 - Bob Gibson1972 All-Star Game
LPR37 - Carl Yastrzemski1972 All-Star Game
LPR38 - Nolan Ryan1973 All-Star Game
LPR39 - Tom Seaver1973 All-Star Game
LPR40 - Reggie Jackson1973 World Series
LPR41 - Reggie Jackson1977 World Series
LPR42 - Thurman Munson1978 World Series
LPR43 - Cal Ripken1983 All-Star Game
LPR44 - Mike Schmidt1983 All-Star Game
LPR45 - Cal Ripken1983 World Series
LPR46 - Nolan Ryan1985 All-Star Game
LPR47 - Cal Ripken1985 All-Star Game
LPR48 - Nolan Ryan1989 All-Star Game
LPR49 - Cal Ripken1989 All-Star Game
LPR50 - Cal Ripken2001 All-Star Game

Bubble Mailer: A Great Choice

Dave from Fielder's Choice hooked me up with this Derek Jeter card. I have the base version of this card, but if you look at the bottom right-hand corner there is a little silver stamp on it. It's a Team Topps card, a card I did not have.
Ah, there you go Derek. Into the nice little spot in my binder - far, far away from the crazy Canuck.

Thanks Dave. Together we saved this Jeter card.

2008 Moments & Milestones For Trade

I just wanted to throw this out there for anyone awake right now, or for the morning. I have a ton of players for trade and I just want to get rid of the cards. I want Pujols cards obviously, and my want list of these is posted on the side. I have a ton of Smoltz, Maddux, Sheffield, Hafner, Ichiro, and some others. Please say you want them. Pretty, pretty please. I also have some UD Documentary for trades - trades will be for Pujols from this set or Yankees.

I just finished packing up some trades, eBay sales, and Tricia's prize and trades. One of the best perks of blogging is trading. I love getting bubble mailers full of Pujols cards, and Yankee Stadium Legacy. I also like getting rid of cards that are under-appreciated here, and will go to someone who cares about them. More importantly, it frees up space for Albert.

E-Mail me. I'm awake and will probably be reading more of Torre's book which I am almost half way done with. Great read so far.

February 17, 2009

A-Hole Leaves Many Holes In His Story


I don't know how widely broadcast his press conference was this afternoon, but for those of you that missed it... Consider yourselves lucky. He read a prepared statement at the beginning and prior to starting it he tried to use his "boy-ish" charm, if you will, to say, "I'm a little nervous. Well, alot nervous." OK, right.

After his prepared statement the bozo running the press conference said that the media could ask one question only, and no follow-up questions (which was key in aiding A-Rod in avoiding direct answers). The basically answered every question with, "I was young, and naive and immature. I'm sorry." He basically only said that he did this with his cousin who bought the stuff over the counter in the Dominican, then they did this in the bathroom with no guidance or knowledge of the substance or how to administer it. The best question in my mind that was asked was from Joel Sherman of the New York Post, in which he asked A-Rod if you had no idea the effect of this PED or how to take it, why did you have your cousin inject you twice monthly for 3 years with no idea what it was or could do? His answer was evasive and apologetic.

This is far from over, and if you ask me it made him look worse than when we all knew nothing. He should have just taken what was coming, grown a pair of balls, and answered like a man. Now, he will face even more scrutiny and questions and the Yankees will have this media circus following the team for reasons that have nothing to do with playing baseball. Thanks for the distraction for the team, A-Hole. Thanks for not caring enough about "moving forward" as he said, to tell the truth and try and regain some trust from his teammates and baseball fans. Now his teammates will have to cater to his hurt feelings and bruised ego.

This was just another example of why he will never be in the same league as Derek Jeter.

(photo courtesy of Designated Blogger)

More bubble mailers: Todd's E-citing gifts

Better known as Todd Uncommon (at least around here), Todd sent along some nice goodies that have certainly found a friendly home here at the Derek Jeter headquarters.
Todd included two eTopps cards, one of Jeter and one of Ian Kennedy.
Here's the scan of the Jeter card (eTopps don't scan well):


He also included a napkin from The Trop. I know it seems weird, but I was thrilled about this. It has become a holder for me for a much-needed item.
I love traveling to new Major League baseball stadiums and I have been to a new one every year since 2002. Last year, I visited Milwaukee and Tampa Bay. I bought lots of items for myself while in Milwaukee, including a Gabe Kapler t-shirt for myself and a Ryan Braun one for Marie. However, while in Tampa, I forgot to visit the gift shop and forgot the one thing I get from every stadium I visit - a team shot glass.
I have no Rays shot glass and right now the napkin will be a holder for that spot until I visit Tampa again.

So, thanks Todd.

Still catching on bubble mailers: Old School Fun

Old School Breaks had a lovely free group break where he was giving away the hits from the box. I got the Yankees and hoped, prayed, begged and pleaded with the baseball card gods to get me something Derek Jeter.

Apparently, they didn't like that and I was one of four people in the break to get nothing.

However, I think I won anyway. John sent along some consolation gifts and I got some really great cards. It's always fun getting Jeter cards that I don't have as I slowly, but surely build my Jeter collection to greater heights.

In case anyone is wondering, I have 1,213 unique Jeter cards now. I'm getting there.
Here are three Jeter cards John sent along:

But that wasn't all. There was also some Gabe Kapler goodness sent along.

And that's always fun too.

February 16, 2009

2009 Fantasy Baseball Now Open

The fantasy baseball invitations went out a short while ago to those who paid to join. Settings for the league were updates, as were points. Please check it out and if you have any concerns, please e-mail me.

I am also waiting on 3 more to pay/join. If we do not get 3 more teams I am going to cap it at 10 and move on. I'm sure I can get at least one more person to join. So for those of you on the fence, speak up and let me know.

The draft date was just set because they would not let me continue without one, so I just picked anything for now. That can, and probably will be changed.

Contest Winner Announced!


Congratulations to Tricia from the Hamiltonian on winning todays contest!

The answer was Days of Our Lives, the soap opera that airs on NBC weekdays. We watch the show everyday, or should I say DVR it, then fast forward through the characters that are annoying.

So there you have it, we can be women sometimes.

Contest Question


The moment you have all been waiting for has arrived. The trivia contest that Google will not be able to answer, and will give you a little more insight into the two of us. May the best man or woman win!

QUESTION:

What daytime television show that has nothing to do with sports, and is for women, do both Sooz and myself watch everyday?

One guess per comment and per person. Good luck.

February 15, 2009

Contest #2 Prize

Tomorrow at 4pm (EST) there will be a contest question posted. Each person can submit one answer/guess per comment. We will notify you once the answer has been guessed correctly. The question will not be something you can google, so it will be interesting to see who gets this right.

I will show you all the prize, and in light of recent media, I am sure someone out there will enjoy wearing this as much as I do. The shirt is brand new, it will not be my game-worn version.

I Never Met a Red Sox Fan I Liked...

until about a week ago, at least. I met "Section 36" through a trade proposition e-mail in which he scanned a bunch of cards that he thought I might want, including some Yankee Stadium Legacy cards. He was interested in Red Sox cards, which is great because all I would use them for otherwise is kindling for Sooz's Chipper fires.

Here is what I escaped with from Section 36, this doesn't include my favorite card that I somehow forgot to scan. My favorite from this trade was a 2003 Bowman Heritage First Year Robinson Cano card that I have wanted for quite some time. I put him in my binder already and I am too lazy to take him out and scan him. Sorry.








With all the Red Sox cards I have laying around, and Section 36 not liking the Yankees I think him and I might get along famously well.

Hooray for Card Junkie



I received one of my favorite pieces of mail today. The kind of mail that comes from Jeffrey at Card Junkie and usually contains some Yankee Stadium Legacy goodness. Mail day definitely delivered the goodness, with two Yankee Stadium Legacy cards inside. I got a Derek Jeter, and a Mike Mussina card both from the 2009 Upper Deck. One thing I noticed about these is that the writing across the top is smaller this year than last years cards. No big deal, just an observation. Jeff's cards went out in the mail today, so keep your eyes peeled next week buddy. He is a great guy and trader so stop over there and check out his blog.

Just a note for everyone: Post office is closed Monday, so don't get giddy about picking up the mail Monday.

February 14, 2009

2009 Upper Deck 2 Pack Highlights









I bought myself 2 packs for Valentines Day as I mentioned earlier. There wasn't any "mojo" in them, but some cards I would like for my PC so it's cool. I'm always happy to add Yankees to my binder, especially Mr. Cano. I scanned those and some of the insert cards in case anyone is interested in those. Although there were no Pujols cards in either pack, I did get an e-mail from Tricia at the Hamiltonian that she had the Pujols base card, and the Pujols CL card if I needed them. Sweet!! Now I am done with Upper Deck because I am sure someone will come up with the other card in the set of him for me, or I will pick it up on eBay. Stop by the Hamiltonian and check out her blog, she just posted a pack break one.

I only opened 4 packs of the 2009 Upper Deck so I don't think I could make a fair judgment for a review. The one thing I will say is that the cards are pretty much the same as last year, with a different bottom and the back are virtually the same as well.

I decided that it's a joy and a pain that Target has not had any blasters. My credit card and wallet are thanking Target, while I curse them. Though my wallet is obviously smarter, I can't help but wonder what might be lurking in one of the blasters that seem to not exist. Last year at this time there were UD packs and blasters EVERYWHERE, as well as Topps. It's scarce around here except my job, which has hobby packs/boxes. My next mission is to find all Pujols Starquest cards (and while were at it, I don't think I ever got all of last years).

Happy Valentine's Day!



Just wanted to wish everyone a Happy Valentine's Day! I bought myself 2 packs of cards last night for Valentine's Day (see there was my excuse), and I didn't do too terrible but it wasn't really worth what was paid for the packs. It did scratch the itch though. I also got a fruit/chocolate covered fruit arrangement that is delicious and not very diet-like. Great gift idea if anyone needs a last minute one.

Anyone make any fancy plans? I'm not really a big fan of this holiday, just a Hallmark excuse to sell crap people don't need. Everyone should treat people the way they do today everyday, but what do I know. I plan on going to the movies later, though there isn't much out to see. I will also scan a few cards from my packs later.

If anyone wants to send me an Albert Pujols Upper Deck and or Upper Deck CL for Valentine's Day feel free. I know Sooz will gladly accept Valentine's in the shape of Derek Jeter (and no I don't mean that literally she doesn't need any cut-out silhouettes of the man).

February 13, 2009

A Small Request


Would it be asking too much for drug stores, gas stations, and supermarkets to carry baseball cards? After going to all Targets within a reasonable driving distance, my job (which was only to return keys, but that's another story), I really feel like once those stores close there needs to be something in case you are having a wrapper attack. That's what I might call it, a wrapper attack. I think it was McDonalds that used to advertise a Big Mac Attack, not to be confused with McDowells from Coming to America because they had the golden arcs, not the golden arches if you recall.

I did make a small, insignificant purchase earlier but told myself I had to wait until everything closed to be able to open said purchase in case I got nothing good I would not be able to buy anything else. I keep telling myself I am not going to buy anything until Heritage comes out, but I am itching to open things. It really is a problem. Does anyone else know of any places that are open 24 hours with baseball cards?

P.S. If anyone needs a Christmas gift for me, that picture in real life on my driveway would be super. Then we could have a giant blog party opening all of it, promise.

I have a contest ready to go, and it is going to be posted probably Sunday or Monday evening. It is going to be a wacky off the wall question that I am still trying to come up with. The prize will be disclosed prior to the question.

Had enough ARod?

This moved from the Associated Press:

NEW YORK — An unauthorized and highly anticipated book about Alex Rodriguez is coming out a month sooner than planned.

Publication of Selena Roberts’ “A-Rod: The Many Lives of Alex Rodriguez” has been moved up from May 19 to April 14 as scrutiny builds on the Yankees slugger after he acknowledged using banned substances from 2001-2003 while playing for the Texas Rangers.“A-Rod,” which reportedly includes salacious details about Rodriquez’s private life, was originally titled “Hit and Run: The Many Lives of Alex Rodriguez.” Publisher HarperCollins, which this week listed the new release date on its Web site, has announced a first printing of 150,000 copies.

The Yankees have their first regular-season game in their new park on April 16.

----------------------------------------------------------------

Other than the story that Roberts wrote on for Sports Illustrated, she also has this book coming out. I haven't kept up on certain Yankees stories because my time is usually spent researching and paying attention to other sporting events for work.

I wasn't aware this book was even slated to come out. It makes everything ARod said about her all the more interesting. Was she ever escorted by police out of his building?

Probably not. It was more likely a security guard or a rent-a-cop on site. But I wonder the depths Roberts went to get her story. I have no problem with her journalism. She is just reporting facts, but the tactics are a little hazy.

When it comes out, I am sure ARod will get his new crisis-management firm, Outside Eyes, to get tell him everything he needs to say in the next interview that takes place. Yes, it's true. He has a crisis management group to get him through this process.

One question: Do the Yankees and Joe Girardi deserve an apology from Alex Rodriguez?

-Sooz

Bubble Mailer Catch-Up: Say good-bye to Josh and hello to Derek

I contacted Tricia and The Hamiltonian. After checking out her want list, I noticed I had one card that she needed, a 2008 Topps Chrome Josh Hamilton refractor.

We traded one card for each other. She got the shiny card (ask Marie why they're called shiny. My overbearing bitchy side gets the better of me).

I got this card:



Us chicks got to stick together.