Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Diamond Mining - Part VIII - Trade Review

The old tradefest continues to thrive on the Diamond Giveaway site, and I am up to 124 completed trades from my original six cards.  I haven't had time to update my massive graphic, so I thought for this week I'd show the original card I received when I used my code to the card(s) that I have turned them into.  Post a comment about your favorite/most improved trade!

Card #1
This gem has become...

Card #2
has magically become...

Card #3
 Turned into...

 Card #4
Is now an...

Card #5

Has evolved into the following...

and finally Card #6
has turned into...

Not too shabby, eh?

Friday, June 17, 2011

The Adventures of Joe - It's a No Go, Joe

Nobody took up my offer to send Average Joe on an adventure.  Joe had his bags packed, got a comfy new seat in a top loader and his original penny sleeve, and nobody bought Common Joe a plane ticket.

I must say I am a touch disappointed that nobody wanted to take Joe on a magical tour of the blogosphere, but 'dems tha breaks.

Now I have to break the news to Joe that all his aspirations of seeing the world were for naught.  All his hopes and dreams squashed.  I'm sure Joe will not take it lightly.  I'm sure Joe is tired of being locked in the closet for the past 20 years.

Excuse me while I tell Joe the bad news...

I was right.  He is crestfallen.  I've never seen him cry before.  Wait.  Hey Joe! Where are you going with that gun in your hand?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Crazy Collection Break Idea

I've mentioned in passing that our family plans on moving to a smaller house in the near future.  I am almost positive that storage will be an issue.  Storage for baseball cards will be an extreme issue. 

My wife has already clearly stated that the old collection will be low on the priority list for closet space.  Under the bed?  Nope.  Top of the closet?  Nope.  On the dining room table?  Not on your life.

So, I guess one of the thoughts I've been kicking around is breaking all of my doubles and singles I do not want from 1986 (81 for Fleer and Donruss) to around 2000 down into team lots.  What I'm curious about is if anyone would even want these.  I think that all I'd ask for is the shipping price to be covered, which would probably be a priority mail box.  I guess those run $10 to $15 to ship depending on the size of the box, and that isn't too bad to get cards of your favorite team.  Even though, I'd likely not go to extremes to box them in 800 count boxes.

Problem is, these aren't vintage cards, nor are they new shiny cards.  Another catch is I REALLY don't feel like picking doubles out, so you'd run the risk of landing twelve 1987 Topps Rich Yetts (I'm looking square at you Night Owl!).  Third catch is that I'd take singles of the Padres and keep all my Gwynns - so those would be some thin pickins'.

Am I crazy for thinking this?  Would anyone even remotely be interested in landing a ton of cards of their favorite team for 10 to 15 bucks?  I could even throw in football, basketball and hockey cards, too.


PS - I am a little hesitant about this idea, so don't take this post as a done deal.  I am just trying to gauge interest.  Ok?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Diamond Mining - Part VII - Breakin' The Law

If you’re muttering Judas Priest lyrics after reading the title, you’re alright in my book.  Breaking the law, that’s exactly what I did this past weekend when it comes to the Giveaway.  No, I didn’t break the law, I broke my law.  I finally had enough of people offering me vintage goodness for 1987 wood grain horror.  And not just any 70s vintagey goodness, but pre ’74 goodness, series goodness.

Last Friday, after a long day of working in the yard, prepping the old house so it looks good to someone with deeper pockets than mine, I hit the Giveaway.  Opened up my offers and there it was, a ’73 Rico Petrocelli for my ’87 Ryan.  In the past, good old Thoughts and Sox has crossed my path several times in the Mine.  T&S is always on the lookout for Red Sox, and there it was, Rico Suave starring me in the eye.  Boom!  I pulled that trigger.

I immediately emailed T&S and told him I landed a ’73 BoSox if he wanted it.  Within minutes, I had an offer for a ’72 Kranepool In Action, done deal.  I next traded that Kranepool for a ’71 Nate Colbert (Go Padres!) and then immediately turned that into a ’70 Colbert.  So, in a matter of minutes, I’d gone from a run of the mill ’87 Nolan Ryan to some 1970 grey glory goodness card of Nate Colbert, a Padre at that.  Don't believe me, check out the now massive Diamond Mine Diagram!

But why did I break my rule of going one year back at a time?  I’ll rant why, because traders on the Diamond Giveaway are the stingiest freaks I’ve ever tried to trade with.  Sure, they’ll throw a 1992 Archie Cianfroco at you for your Tony Gwynn DDC, but as soon as you offer an ’87 Ryan for an ’86 Ryan, it’s like you b-slapped their mother.  So, after three weeks of no bites for my ’87 Ryan and my waning interest in the giveaway, I took that old cardboard.

And then I traded my way down to another ’87 Ryan, and turned that into a ’72 Chris Spier In Action.  psychedelic vintage, psyweet.  Two ’87s for a ’73 and a ’72 without the headache, methinks I’ve developed a new plan…

But, we’ll see if that plan works though because the DG is painfully slow at the moment.  I’ve been sitting on 108 trades for a while now, and it looks like the Trade Nazis are out in force.  Until next time, WAIT, I failed to mention I broke into the 60s.  Turned my ’74 Freddie Patek into a ’68 Tommy Davis.  If all I end up with is '68 Burlap, this experiment will be a success.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

To Build or Not to Build

To build or not to build,that is the question.  Whether 'tis nobler to complete a set or trade/donate the cards away.  Of late, I have been struggling with this issue.  My household is preparing for a move to likely a smaller house, and given the fact my wife detests baseball cards, it is a forgone conclusion that the old collection needs a major thinning.

This was evident during my recent Donruss spring cleaning (Yes, all those who requested cards, you will receive them...eventually).  During that cleaning out process, I decided that I could complete 88, 89 and 90 Donruss because I needed less than 50 cards for each set.  But, did I really need to complete those sets?  Am I trying to complete them because I like them or because I was painfully close?

Which leads me to why I want your opinion.  Do you complete sets only because they are your favorite?  Do you ever complete a set because you already have 90% of it done, even though you never intended on building that particular set?  I am curious what sort of answers I get to those questions.

I guess all of this leads to the fact that I have had a painfully difficult time shedding cards from my life.  I have no problem trading them, or even giving them to someone who wants them, but to just get rid of them seems counter-intuitive.  I know that I started the whole 1,000,000 Cards for Kids blog, and I have set aside copious amounts of cards to donate, but truth be told, I haven't dropped them off yet.  It was/is much more difficult than I thought finding a place that would take them.  Apparently, old cardboard of players that kids today have never heard of is a big issue with places that accept donations for kids.  Plus, storage is a major issue for them as well.

I think my last resort will be to take them to Goodwill and let them sell the cards.  Some kid might end up with them, maybe.  Who knows, I even toyed with the idea of giving them away in bundles of a 100 for Halloween, which I may still do.

Anyways, I have gone on a tangential plane.  Back to the building sets issue, I used to have the mantra that if I had at least 50% of the set completed, I'd go ahead and finish the set.  I figured, at 50%, it'd be cheaper to collate it than to buy it whole (according to Buckett).  But really, do I need a 1990 Score complete set?  I think I'd be better off picking the Padres and HOFers out, and then making someone else's mother or wife deal with the clutter.

What do you think?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Name the Game - 1971 Cookie Rojas #118

While reorganizing the blog, I found some old posts I had written for a new series I was trying to develop.  I have attempted new topics in the past, some flopped mightily and others were actually interesting, such as this one, Name the Game.  The point of these is to find an action shot from a baseball card and then try to determine the exact play and game that the photograph occurred.  I have done three previous versions, so I thought I’d raise this genre back from the dead.

Sticking with my original plan of starting at the first action shot (1971 Thurman Munson) and working forward (plus the fact vintage rocks), the next determinable card is the 1971 Cookie Rojas #118.  This card has all the trimmings for determining the game and play. 

1.    Double play ball at second base.
2.    Opponents jersey and number is clearly visible.
3.    Day game.
4.    Bonus – Score board visible in the background.
Because of these four items, this card was easy to identify.  First step was to identify the stadium.  It’s obvious the Royals are on the road, and I do spy pinstripes sliding into second base.  So, it’s a day game at Yankee Stadium.  At the beginning of the 1970 season, Cookie was a Cardinal and then traded to the Royals for Fred Rico, after Cookie was hitting an abysmal .106 after 23 games for the Red Birds.  Cookie played 98 games for the Royals, and checking out Cookie’s game logs for 1970, we see the Royals played three games at the Yanks during Cookie’s tenure that year (August 14th, 15th and 16th).
The 14th game was a Friday nighter, so it’s out, but Cookie played in both the Saturday and Sunday day games.  So, we’ll look at the mysterious #9 sliding into second.  That’d be Ron Woods, who was in both games, but Ron never actually played in the Saturday game.  He was a pinch hitter that was then pinch hit for.  He never swung the bat in that game.  That makes the Sunday, August 16th the game on the card.  This is also confirmed by the scoreboard in the background that matches the Sunday game.
So, what play is it?  Looking through the box score of that game, we see that Ron Woods led off the bottom of the sixth with a single to left field against Ken WrightGene Michael then hit into a 6-4-3 double play.  There you go!
The 1971 Topps Cookie Rojas #118 is the first half of a double play in the bottom of the sixth inning during the August 16, 1970 day game at Yankee Stadium!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

2011 MLB Tournament Update - 2nd Round Complete

While not all of the 32 games have been played this round, each match-up has been decided.  The Elite Eight consists of the following duels:

(6) Cardinals versus (2) Giants
This ought to be a good series with considerable drama thanks to St. Louis' hot streak and the Poser-less Giants.  I'm anticipating a tournament rule change request any day now from Mr. Sabian.

(4) Braves versus (1) Phillies
The Braves are my bet to take this series.  The Phils were lackluster against the Marlins, but since the Marlins TANKED the second round, the Fightin' Phils made it into the next round.  If both teams get players back from the DL and keep them off the DL, this should be a humdinger.

(14) Mariners versus (2) Yankees
On paper, one would immediately say the Yanks have this one in the bag, but I'm not so sure.  The Mariners can't possibly stay this hot for long, but the Yanks aging lineup and their abyssmal rotation and injury woes will make this one close.  Too close to call.

(4) Rangers versus (1) Rays
I call this series the Redemption Series.  In a matchup of last years ALDS, the Rays look to reek vengence on the Rangers.  My heart says Rays, but my mind says Rangers.

This round should be closely watched.  If you make it out of this round into the Final Four, you've got a 75% chance of getting free cards.  A LOT of free cards.  Here are the remaining players and their NBA, NFL and NHL selections.

MLB Team Contestant NBA NFL NHL
Braves MCT Hawks Falcons Thrashers
Cardinals Diamond King Magic Patriots Kings
Giants Mark Lakers Steelers Penguins
Mariners Mariner1 Sonics Seahawks Sharks
Phillies Dan Sixers Eagles Flyers
Rangers PatP Mavericks Cowboys Stars
Rays Dayf Hawks Falcons Blackhawks
Yankees DawgBones Sixers Vikings Flyers

Friday, June 10, 2011

New Blog Design & Name

You'll notice this blog has undergone a massive overhaul.  The change is still a work in progress, so please bear with me.

While I am making the changes, feel free to praise or complain.  I like constructive feedback!

Obviously my biggest concern is the ability to read the post text over the Jack Murphy background.  I am very interested in your feedback on this!

Oh yeah, and somebody make a trade offer for my Joe Orsulak!  Read four posts down...  

Doc T

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Adventures of Joe: The Common Joe

Everybody, meet Joe.  Joe, this is everybody.

Joe is a seemingly common name on a common card from a common set.  Besides his awesome last name, Orsulak, Joe is nothing spectacular.  I mean the card, not the man.  His back is even graced with the decidedly dull card number 212.  Unless you call people that live or work in the borough of Manhattan, or you really like the boiling point of water, let’s face it, this number rarely ever makes an appearance in your life. Two hundred twelve is lifeless.

See, it's lifeless.

Now, you're probably asking yourself, "Why is this card relevant to my interests?"  It's probably not, but this card means something to me.  You see, back when I was an acne riddled, voice squeaking, gangly 14 year old, I counted my cards.  After a week full of school, practices, games, ballroom dancing (yeah, you read that correctly), I would take a box of cards into the family room, plop down on the ivory white sectional, turn on Mystery Science Theater 3000 and count my cards into the wee hours of the morning.

During one of those weekend rituals, I came to a watershed moment for a teenage collector who had started out with a handful of cards, sorted by team, wrapped with rubber bands and stored in an old Vans shoebox.  I was approaching the 25,000 card mark.  It was an almost celebratory moment when I hit 24,900 cards with a pile of 200 or so more cards in my collection to count.  I was going to crest the 25,000 card mark, and I wondered, who would be the 25,000th card?  Would it be Canseco?  Gwynn?  Ryan?  

I quickly began counting the cards and as I approached the milestone, I remember getting giddy.  Giddy is not something a 14 year old boy should get, which likely explains the severe drought of dates in high school.  Anyways, as I counted 24,999, I shuffled the card over and saw Joe.  Average Joe.  Common Joe.  I was surely less than thrilled, but I set him aside and placed Joe into a penny sleeve as his humble reward for being card 25,000 in my collection.

But, I eventually grew to love that card, and whenever I see a Joe Orsulak, I always think of that evening.  I’ve loved that card so much, that I feel I must set Joe free from my card closet and send Ordinary Joe on an epic adventure.  This adventure has two purposes: 1. To see what is the best card(s) I can receive for Standard Joe in what could be a seemingly never ending series of trades and 2. To see where Typical Joe goes through other people’s trades. 

To accomplish this, I am placing Usual Joe into a top loader and posting him as trade bait.  Whoever makes the best trade offer for Joe after one week of posting will win Joe.  Then I’ll take whatever I received for Joe and post that as trade bait, and so on, and so on.

The other part of this adventure will require feedback.  I plan on placing a note inside Joe’s top loader.  This will be similar to Where’s George, the money tracking website.  The note will instruct that person to email me and let me know Normal Joe’s location and what you sent/received for Joe.  As long as Joe is in circulation, I will post his whereabouts.

So, who wants a 1990 Joe Orsulak #212?  Best offer by 9:00 PM EST June 15th wins!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Restful Night

I am happy to report that my daughter came through the surgery like the little firecracker she is.  She was a little groggy and grumpy after coming out of the anesthesia, but she is doing well now.

Almost as important, I am proud to say that her mother made it through the surgery with flying colors.

I give my sincere thanks to all of those who posted their well wishes, and to all of those that kept my little girl in their thoughts and prayers.

Albeit a non-traditional community within this sphere, I am thankful to know there are good people in this world who take the time to support others.

No where did my junk wax Donruss want lists go...

Monday, June 6, 2011

Restless Night

Tonight is a restless night.  Tonight, I should be asleep because I have to be awake and ready to go to the hospital in about five hours.  Tonight I cannot sleep because I have to take my daughter to the hospital for surgery.

I alone am taking her tomorrow.  My son has had two surgeries and they were too much for my wife to handle.  On the second surgery, the nurses asked my wife to leave because of her emotional state.  Since I am the father, the husband, I am the emotional rock.  The one they turn to in difficult times to be the leader.  I find that ironic because during normal times, I am rightly branded as the scatter brained dramatist.

I do not know why I am sharing this, as I am extremely introverted unless a topic that I am extremely familiar with is at hand.  Or if I've had a beer or two, and then one cannot shut me up.  

I guess I decided to share these thoughts in this forum is because cards calm my mind.  One difficult night several months ago, I sat in bed sorting a 3,200 count box.  Was it because that box of Score desperately needed attention?  Not likely.  It was because it felt like the puzzle pieces were coming together.

As I sorted that box, I could feel the heat emanating from my wife.  With every shuffle, I felt her skin bristle.  She finally sighed, looked at me and said "Why must you sort those cards?  The sound makes my skin crawl."  I blankly looked at her and replied, "Because it gives me solace.  It calms me."

For some unknown reason, baseball cards calm my mind.  I cannot describe it, but I am sure someone reading this knows what I mean.  Cards live an odd juxtaposition in my life.  My wife detests them in seemingly every cell of her being, but they soothe me.  It is a fine line of my existence having a hobby that irritates the one I love.  I've been told before to always be who you are, and not emulate that which you are not.  That being said, it is hard to pursue that which those you love do not understand.

I digress...While I type this, I am taking a break from sorting my Donruss boxes.  Pulling singles and seeing how many cards I need to complete 88, 89 and 90 Donruss.  Do I truly need to complete those sets?  Not likely, but it quells my thoughts of my daughter, and allows me to function as the emotional rock I am supposed to be. 

Diamond Mining - Part VI - Expansion Era

Late in the evening hours on Friday, June 3rd, the Diamond Mine practially exploded.  Everything had pretty much ground to a standstill, and very little trading had happened for a week or so.  That is until 9:00 PM EST.  I went into that day with seven cards and about 40 completed trades.  I ended that day with 17 cards and almost 70 trades.

Things started out with an extremely benign trade for a 1999 Alomar that yielded a 1998 Molitor.  In itself, not too exciting.  Both HOFers, but nothing spectacular.  Then IT happened.  I refreshed my trade screen and someone was offering 11, I said ELEVEN, cards for that 98 Molitor.  The first card showing was a 93 Mo Yawn.  Meh, I thought.  I expanded the selection and then saw more 93 Who's-thats, then I spied a 96 Pedro Martinez.  Ok, that alone makes it a doable trade for me.  Next I searched for the REQUIRED 1997 card to continue the mining adventure.  The last card on the page was a '97 Bobby Bonilla.  Bingo.

Not that the Bonilla made me take the trade, but it satisfied my quest.  I accepted the trade, and then immediately thought, "Why would someone offer 11 cards for a '98 Molitor?"  Then the horrifying thought that someone mistakenly selected "All" on the trade screen, and I just emptied someones cache.  I immediately felt remorseful.  I read the FAQ and saw you can't void a trade, so, I decided to make the most of it.

From that mess of 11 cards, I have turned them into a decent showing.  That one 1998 Molitor (which was originally a 2006 Andy Marte - who?) has become:

1996 Dennis Eckersley (HOFer)
1992 Lance Parrish (AS)
1992 Joe Orsulak (one of my all time faves)
1991 Carlton Fisk (HOFer - and winner of Night Owl's Cardboard Appreciation contest as the greatest card EVAR)
1993 Carlos Martinez (Haven't moved this one, yet - However, I do have my eyes on a sweet Dave Bergman, 700 Club Member Extraordinaire - WAAAAAAAASSSSSSSSUUUUUUPPPP)
1991 Roberto Alomer (HOFer)
1995 Tom Glavine (AS and future HOFer)
1999 Gary Sheffield (AS and future retired asshat)
2004 Richie Sexton (Haven't traded this one, yet)
2005 Ivan Rodriguez (AS and future HOFer if he isn't busted for Roids)
2008 Miguel "Am I 36 or 39?" Tejada

I must say that's NOT TOO BAD for a 2006 Andy Marte.  That's also a pretty good start to a pennant winning team.

As far as the other cards, I'm on the precipice of the 60s.  My 1971 Ollie Brown became a 1970 Manny Mota.  Nice.  And I also landed a 1972 Padres Team Card, which was originally a 1977 Rod Gilbreath.  Sweet.

Here is the new graphic.  It's gotten so big, I've had to splice it from two screen grabs.  Yikes.

One day, I'll lay out each "shaft" individually and let you vote on the greatest improvement, which I'm sure the 2006 Andy Marte will win.

Until next time, keep a look out for Uncle_Doc on your trade screen and keep me in mind...

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The 700 Club

I apologize in advance for this "skit."  When I am sick, I think of the weirdest things.

As President and inaugural member of the 700 club, I call this meeting to order.  Before getting to business, let's take roll.  Powell?



He's missing "In Action." Rimshot.


 The Little General is present and accounted for, Sir!

 Heh, little general.  Jackson?

 What it is!


What the %#@& do you want mother %@#*%#?  No, you can’t have my autograph.

Ok then, Brett?

 Did I ever tell you the story about Whitey Herzog and Pedro Ramos?


Don't tell me that story again, Brett.  It makes me want to shower with my shorts on.

Just for Men-andez?

 Ugh, here.




Easy Clubber.  Jackson?

I said, "What it is!"





All those in favor of replacing Bergman?




 It's about damn time!


So, Whitey invited Ramos over to his hotel room...

No one wants to hear about Whiteyball!  Mattingly?

I should have used this on Bergman when I had the chance.


 Where the women at? (RIPuckett)


Here. Hey!


 Golly, I'm just happy to be here.



Everyone except me.  Bonds?  Bonds?  Bonds?  Has anyone seen Bonds?  Wait, what are you doing in that corner, Barry?
 Just taking my B-12 shot!

I am so sorry.
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