The Fun-Time Baseball Hall: Tiger Nominees Sought

Gents (and two ladies):

First, the move went well. We've been out and about with the holidays since getting into our home 10 days ago, but slowly settling in. Thanks for the well wishes.

Second, a month ago I discussed my plans to build my own little Hall of Fame. Over time, I'd like to first seek nominations for each team, followed by a post discussing the nominees and referring to a poll. Yes, I swiped this general concept from White Sox Cards but my plan is to go beyond just one team and circle the entire league.

This is my way of getting familiar with each team's history by forcing me to do some research. I also simply think it will be fun to see how my readers vote. This will be your Hall as well as my blog's Hall.

I discussed the general rules - such as considering a player's body of work for the particular team - and I will lay out the full rules for induction when I kick things off in a couple of days.

First up will be the Tigers.

For now, if anyone has a Tiger to nominate, go ahead and do that here. I believe I have all of the big names, but if you have a lesser known Tiger you think should be on the ballot, let me know (and feel free to list your big names too, just in case.)


See Ya, Latos: My New Favorite Red!

Send me your Mat Latos's'es's (Lati?) cards!

Just picked up a Yonder Alonso auto - despite knowing he might not be a Red for long. Oh well, I still dig it and will root for him.

Latos, however, is awesome and I think has a strong chance of being dominating for years (despite the hitter-friendly park).

I had grown weary of Edinson Volquez, as well.

In short, a lot to give up but I'm a fan of the deal for Cincinnati. Yay!


Discounted Blasters

While shopping for cleaning supplies at Walmart, preparing for our move tomorrow through Tuesday, I found two blasters discounted 25% - a Topps Chrome and an A&G 2011.

I didn't buy one but I was surprised to see the markdowns already. I expect that next year. Is anyone else seeing this?

Should I buy one?

Don't make me buy A&G!

Speaking of which, I'm still looking to trade plenty of my A&G for other needs.

Speaking of which, part deux, my cards are packed and unlikely to be available for four or five days, but rest assured I'll still be looking to: finish Kimball Champions, acquire more GQ paper frames, find more Heritage 2011 short prints and see what I need from Topps Chrome (once cards from an upcoming break arrive). In short, I'll be ready to deal again in another week or so.

If I owe you an e-mail, and I know of at least one blogger who asked about some cards, bear with me.


Life Happens

Just a quick update here for my blogger friends. If all goes well, we'll close on our new house on Friday and be moving Monday and Tuesday - and of course be preoccupied settling in (including getting a last-minute tree up for our daughter's sake) - and then immediately doing some light traveling around the holidays to visit family.

In other words, in another day or perhaps two I'll be closing up my card boxes to prep for the move. I wanted to apologize to anyone I'm talking trade with at the moment because if we don't wrap up those deals very soon, then they'll probably have to wait awhile.

It's been a scattered existence for awhile since we sold our home in June and have been in ohsocramped temporary quarters - and it's been more crazy as of late - so if anyone happens to be waiting on something from me, please let me know. I think I have all my bases (so to speak) covered but I just want to be sure.

In fact, even if we've just been talking trade, send me a reminder. I know I have a couple of pending deals and I do believe I have them properly logged, but it wouldn't hurt at this point to remind me just in case.

Meanwhile, my P.O. Box will be open and checked for another four months so if anyone is in the process of sending me cards, you're good. I'll get word out about the new address once we're officially in the place.

Enjoy the holidays.


Poll Reminder and a New Card Draft

Just a reminder to vote in the poll for a name for my upcoming team-by-team Hall of Fame thingamajig. I'm still ironing out some final details for the series but I think it will be fun to do.

Meanwhile, in the past couple of weeks, I've now wrapped drafts hosted by two bloggers featuring an array of cards from their personal collections. Now, I've signed up with a third over at Cardboard Heaven for $15. There aren't many spots left, so don't delay.

Card Show Find: The Main Spark

I had a chance to pop in on my old favorite regular card show while traveling over Thanksgiving and found a few good buys, including some great shape 1978s as a chip away at my first childhood set. I also found a nice $1 box and grabbed a heapin' handful - and was thus discounted.

I'll feature a few of these over time, although posting may be sporadic or nil during our pre-holiday move to our new home.

One card I had actually never seen before features one of my all-time favorite baseball men. I had nearly named this blog after him in some way. This card is so generic, yet I love it. The non-descript hat, the scowl, the white sideburn...
This one is a bit rough but that seems to fit the man.
Sparky Anderson managed my favorite team during the time that I first found my love of baseball cards. (Click that there link for a bit more about that time of my life.)

Sparky was the king of baseball to me. As a whippersnapper, I read his autobiography, "The Main Spark". Sparky won a couple of World Series, of course, while he was in Cincinnati.

A few years later, Sparky ended up in Detroit, and won another World Series.

My family had always gone to Cincinnati when I was young, to see the Reds. That's how I became a lifelong fan. Later, in my teens, my Dad and I made the trip up to Detroit many times. Sparky was still king in my book.

Dad and I used to hang out after the games at Tiger Stadium where the visiting team would walk out to their bus. I had a few encounters with big league players as a result. Dave Stieb smiled. Jim Rice scowled.

But what I most remember is the night that Sparky Anderson drove by and gave us a nice wave.

When Sparky passed away last year, it was - well - it was just a particularly sad one to absorb.


Deck The Hall

Editor's Note: I've reworked the poll to give more choices. Thanks for the early input. Please vote again - the quick two of you who voted. You may vote for more than one choice. 

Gentlemen (and one lady):

A few days ago I mentioned I would be stea...er, borrowing, an idea from another blogger. White Sox Cards provided my inspiration.

I'd like to create my blog's own little Hall of Fame. (And, before I continue, please vote now in the poll for a name for this Hall. And, if you have a better idea, let me know. If I choose it, I'll send you a small prize.)

The reason for my Hall: Fun, of course, but also to force myself to learn more about the history of other teams - not just those I'm fairly intimately familiar with (Reds, Tigers, Cubs).

Over the course of a year, I will cover each team, running down a short list of achievements of the best players to ever suit up for said team. I will then ask for your votes.

I'd like to create exclusivity for induction.

* For teams in existence for 50 or more years, 5 players - the top vote-getters - will win first-ballot induction. For teams in existence 30-49 years, 3 players will be inducted. For all other teams, the ballots will be grouped and the top four will be inducted. In all cases, players must have received at least 75% of the vote to be inducted. So, if only one player for any given teams gets more than 75% of the vote, then only one player will be inducted. Thus, the percentage rule overrules the top vote-getter rule.

* Roughly one year after any given team is featured, a second-ballot will be held. Three more players will enter the Hall for each team more than 50 or more years old. Two more for teams 30-49 years old. One more for the newer expansion teams.

* In subsequent years, we'll probably go with a percentage for induction.

I will ask voters to consider a player's entire body of work for the specific team featured. If a player had a HOF career but played just 3 seasons with the team in question - perhaps they don't deserve induction to the team's Hall. Your call.

No baseball card element involved - strictly baseball and baseball-related activities.

I'm starting with the Tigers, one of my two favorite teams. They rank just a smidge behind my beloved Reds. I asked for nominations the other day. I'll be adding those names to others I've gathered. If you'd like to add anyone, let me know here.

And, if anyone has read this far and sees a rule tweak or two or inherent problem, feel free to let me know. Enjoy.


Unknown Origin: Robert Moses Grove

Two days after Thanksgiving, while traveling, I was able to dart by a card show outside of Chicago. It's the one I attended about three times between February, when I returned to collecting, and June, when we moved. I picked up some fun stuff, which I hope to share before too long.

And I got the below card. It was marked $1 but I technically got it for less as it was part of a larger gathering that the dealer cut me a break on. I like the look and the simplicity of this card.

Does anyone know anything about it? Set? Year? What not? Thanks in advance.


The Grass Is Always Greener With Vintage

Gaining focus.

It's one of my top collecting goals moving forward. This year, I jumped all over the map after returning to the hobby following a three-decade nap. I sampled bits and pieces of nearly everything new.

I couldn't focus. I couldn't find my collecting wheelhouse.

The year wore on and I struggled to complete sets I liked. I changed my mind a few times about what I liked. I got a bit disorganized.

I waffled on Heritage before buying all-in and truly falling for it. I sort of liked Lineage but couldn't get past the simpleton backs. Still, I went full force collecting the retired guys in Lineage.

I had to cut corners somewhere so I soon backed away from the much beloved Allen & Ginter. I hung on to a few favorite players and chased inserts - many that I love. I still have plenty of A&G for trade.

Topps Chrome came along and I was hooked again. The feel of these cards lured me in but not so next year. Too expensive. I have other thoughts about where to allocate my collecting dollars.

To sum up the year: Series 1 (yay), Heritage (YAY!), Gypsy Queen (paper frames!), Series 2 (looks familiar but sure), Lineage (boo), A&G (meh), Kimball Champions (YAY!), sampling Bowman (ick), Topps Chrome (yay), Update (hey, it's cheap)... on and on it went.

But at some point, it occurred to me that while I enjoy many new baseball cards - I get a bigger thrill out of and working on completing the sets of my youth (1976-83) and finding baseball cards pre-dating those years - specifically quality vintage cards from my player and team collections.

This is where the ever-generous SewingMachineGuy comes into the picture. Look at what he included just for the heck of it - with a few cards I had requested!
James Raymond Greengrass (born Oct. 24, 1927) played five seasons, from 1952 until 1956, for the Reds (known as the Redlegs for part of his tenure) and Phillies. He hit a lifetime .269, 69 home runs and 282 RBIs.
Glorious vintage Cincinnati Red! This is a friggin' 1953 baseball card! In terms of vintage, it is like nothing I've owned before.

SewingMachineGuy again demonstrated extreme generosity. Just a few months ago, he threw in a George Kell autographed card, for cripe sake! Mr. Greengrass capped an already great packet of cards - that including three short prints to help me move closer on the Upper Deck Masterpieces '08 set

Mr. Greengrass came at just the right time. (Is there ever a wrong time for glorious vintage?)

He came to wake me up to what I knew all along. Vintage is king. Fact is, I just feel better when I spend money on quality old cards. That speaks volumes. 

He came to slap me around and remind me about the importance of focus. Thanks Mr. Greengrass and, oh yes, Mr. French.


The Fun-Time Baseball Hall: Nominees For Tigers, Reds Sought

The Hall of Fame news today, and a recent post from White Sox Cards, have led me to undertake a new venture on this here blog. I shall call it the "The Hall of Potch" or "The Potch Hall of Fame" or if anyone has a more creative name - and that shant be hard - please include in the comments.

In short, I'd like to solicit Hall votes from the sports card blogosphere. I will choose a team, solicit Hall nominees from said team and then feature short write-ups about the nominees - followed by a voting period. This is about baseball and baseball-related activities (announcing, for example). For each team's first ballot, the Potch Hall will induct the top 5 vote getters; then (six months later) another 5, then six months later, those getting 75% of the vote will be inducted. At that point, it will be an annual event.

NOTE: I'm still considering how to handle this for expansion teams. The induction process will be drastically different for these relatively new teams and they'll be combined in some form as well.

Please nominate players in the comments. Players must have been away from said team for at least five years. Players can include anyone from the team in question's long history.

To start, I'm seeking nominees for the Detroit Tigers and Cincinnati Reds. I realize that there are some obvious names you might not want to run through (Cobb, Bench, etc.) so don't necessarily worry about naming everyone. Those big names will obviously make the ballot. But, if there's a player you think might be lesser known/unsung, feel free to name that player.

Mainly, I thought this project would prompt me to look up some details - and learn more - about the great players to suit up for my favorite baseball teams - and perhaps my not-so-favorites. It's a labour of love, as UB40 might say, thus I apologize if this is something others have done before me. Please consider it flattery.

More will follow about the voting process once we have a slate of nominees.  


Fantasy Basketball: Owner(s) Needed

I run a couple of fun, free fantasy basketball leagues - each entering Year Three. We are recruiting an owner in each league. One is a very casual group - 14 teams, 14 keepers; the other is somewhat more hardcore - 16 teams, 16 keepers.

If you've played fantasy sports and are always frustrated by the owner turnover, dormant teams, etc. then never fear. I worked hard to recruit active owners and if anyone ever falls off the radar, well, they're replaced. I really work hard to keep things competitive.

Here's the league's link to the more laidback group

Here's the somewhat more intense group

I'll have a chat box open soon in the second league to allow owners to chat as needed.

If you join, you may end up inheriting a rebuilding effort if you're up for the challenge. Or, you may get a pretty solid team, depending on how it shakes down. If you're not up for a possible rebuild, then it's probably not for you. Just letting you know.

So, if fantasy basketball speaks to you and you'll be active on a near-daily basis, then let me know. Thanks.


Juust a Bit Outside Needs Drafters

A couple of weeks ago I took part in a very fun draft over at Tomahawk Chopping, where Mr. Chopping opened up a gallery of some 500 cards and allowed drafters to pick from them. For $15 we got to choose from a great selection of some 30 cards.

Well, Juust a Bit Outside (JABO) is holding a very similar type draft. Kyle, the proprietor of JABO, took part in Tomahawk Chopping's draft with me and eight others.

Now, he's looking for three more participants. If this is your thing, go sign up and tell him, please, that Potch sent you.



When I Was 7 + 3, It Was A Very Good Year

When I get around to posting about my 100 favorite cards of all time - and make no mistake, it's. going. to. happen. - inevitably several cards from the first Topps set I collected will make the list.

1978 Topps takes me back to my childhood like no other set. This was the first set I actively collected. My parents got me started by bringing me home a stack of wax packs at the time.

One of the cards that will always mean the most to me is this very card - the '78 Johnny Bench. I treated this with such kid gloves even then, that it's still in fairly good shape. Johnny Bench wasn't my favorite member of the Big Red Machine at that time, it was Mr. Rose (although no longer), but I still thought a lot of Bench - whom I once met down by the dugout at Riverfront Stadium.

Years ago, as a kid, many of my '78s were destroyed when our basement flooded. When I returned to collecting earlier this year, I discovered I no longer had many cards from the set. One of my key collecting goals is to build it back up and eventually complete it.

Jeff - my new trading friend and proprietor of Cardboard Catastrophes - gave me a big assist in a trade we just completed. He just posted about it here. Jeff sent me a nice-sized stack of '78s as he ended up with quite a few dupes from a lot he had once purchased. He also shipped over some 2011 Series 2 and much-coveted Kimball Champions.

Desperate to keep organized in our current living arrangement, I filed everything away right away, so that's it for the images, but I truly greatly appreciate the help.

My Kimballs for the Update Series are coming along pretty nicely, with more promised to be on the way, but my '78s - well - it likely will be a few years before I complete this set but complete it I shall.

My Take On The CBA

Taking the cue from Mr. Play At The Plate, here are my thoughts on the CBA:

I understand why it folded, what with the NBA Developmental League in place, still with its long history - starting in 1946 - it's a shame.

Oh, wait, he's talking about baseball.

OK, here are some of the highlights of the new CBA:

1. Houston Astros move from the National League Central to the American League West in 2013. I know a lot of baseball fans are up in arms over this but it doesn't much matter to me. On one hand, I hate to see Houston's tradition in the NL shot; on the other hand, at least it should create a great in-state rivalry (which no doubt will be a lopsided affair for several seasons at least, but still...). I don't think it's a big deal to move the NL out of Texas given the fact interleague play will be prevalent now.

On a highly personal level, I see the point of the desire some had to move Milwaukee back to the AL and I wouldn't have minded that given four of my favorite six teams are in the NL Central. But, really, moving Milwaukee to the AL West makes no geographic sense.

2. Two more Wild Card teams will be added to the playoff mix as early as next season. The Wild Card teams in each league would most likely face each other in a one-game playoff to advance to the Division Series. MLB now has until March 1 to determine whether the playoffs will be expanded for the coming season. I love this plan. It restores value to actually winning the division - including by putting wild card teams at an added disadvantage of having their rotations screwed up. 

3. Blood testing for HGH with a 50-game suspension for a first failed test, 100 games for a second and lifetime ban with the right to seek reinstatement for the third. Highly in favor.

4. A raise in the minimum salary from $414,000 this year to $480,000 in 2012, and ultimately to more than $500,000. Meh.

5. A luxury tax on teams that spend above an aggregate figure for players signed through the annual First-Year Player Draft and the near elimination of Draft-pick compensation for the signing of free agents. I have zero cents to add here as well. Honestly, for better or worse, I purposefully try to ignore this stuff for the most part and focus on the game.

6. Subject to MLB discussions with the umpires' union, the expansion of instant replay to include fair and foul calls on balls hit down the line in addition to others trapped by fielders. Replay has been used only to review home runs -- fair or foul, in or out of the park. I'm not too concerned about this slowing down the game but I realize many won't like it. I just think it's important to get some of those tough calls right and worth the time.

7. Restrictions for the first time on the use of smokeless tobacco on the field or in dugouts. Players are still allowed to chew, but while they're in an area where they can be picked up by a television camera, the protocol now is for them not to have pouches or tins of tobacco visible in their uniform back pockets. Part of me wants to say "leave 'em alone" - and, really, "leave 'em alone" - but yet I'm in favor of this given the hero worship factor for little kids. 

In fact, I'm also in favor of banning open spitting of said chew. Or get the players to at least turn their back to the playing field when they spit. Yes, I realize this is ridiculous and won't happen but I had several family members and friends this year tell me that they can't actually stomach watching baseball games any more due to the incessant spitting. It got me to paying more attention to that aspect of the game and it seriously is a constant. Can't imagine it's drawing in fans.


Contest Winners Revealed

Randomization is done. I apologize as I attempted to do a full screen capture but it would only let me scroll down so far on the screen so I could not get the time stamp.

You'll have to trust that I'm presenting these in order of randomization.

I truly hope I have not violated some cardinal rule of contest blogs. I thought about starting over but I just felt it was better to go with what came up the first three times rather than start over.

But, as random would have it, I'm in the middle of preparing thank you posts involving two of the four winners.

So here we go. And, as previously announced, the third time is the charm.

Here's the first random:

Here's #2:

And, finally, the winning randomization:

Thanks to everyone who entered this much-delayed first contest celebrating my 100th post a month ago.

Congrats to Robert! Congrats to Hackenbush! Congrats to A2 Wolverine! Congrats to Jeff Laws!

#1 - first choice goes to Robert 
#2 - second choice goes to Hackenbush
#3 - third choice goes to A2 Wolverine
#4 - fourth choice goes to Jeff Laws
#5 - Robert gets to choose another prize
#6 - Hackenbush
#7 - A2 Wolverine
#8 - Jeff Laws

Trading of picks or prizes is allowed. Both parties should notify me though. Taking into account the holidays, I hope to have this wrapped up with prizes going out a week from today.

Below are the prize choices. As you can see, I picked up a few mini and/or traded sets recently.

1. Signed 8x10 of the somewhat troubled Dwayne Jarrett. I won this at The National in August.

2. Leon Durham autographed card. Back in August I wrote about how several players, including Durham, signed a couple of cards for me at The National. Sorry I didn't get this certified or anything.
3. 1989 Fleer record-breakers from the below year (full set)

CLAIMED BY HACKENBUSH 4. The below card set from the 2011 National

CLAIMED BY A2WOLVERINE 5. Michael Pineda, Heritage (numbered to 300). This card was only available as a redemption giveaway at The National in Chicago in August. Bonus: It was touched by a Topps official representative - who handed it to yours truly. What? That's not a bonus? Well, it happened.

6. Complete set of 1987 (the wood grains) Topps minis (77 cards)

7. Fleer 1987 All-Stars (full set). Here's a sample...

8. Complete set Kmart Dream Team.

9. Fleer 1989 Update set (regular size).

CLAIMED BY JEFF 10. Choice of three relics from this modest grouping (if three are taken, the other three cannot be selected, sorry)

CLAIMED BY ROBERT 11. The lovely 2008 UD Masterpieces featured here two posts ago. This prize will include 65 cards of the 90-card base set. A nice starter set for anyone who missed these great cards.

12. Set of 1986 Fleer Minis

13. Set of 1987 Fleer Minis

14. Auto racing card set distributed at The National. For some reason, mine included 9 of the 10 card set but not card #1. Be advised

15. 1987 Fleer Baseball Award Winners Set

16. 1987 Fleer Baseball All Stars

17. 15 minis from my available GQ and Allen&Ginter 2011 lists

Gypsy Queen minis
23 - Johnny Cueto
114 - Chris Coghlan
117 - Dallas Braden
122 - Derrek Lee
124 - JJ Hardy
129 - Aaron Hill
135 - Ryan Dempster
137 - Ricky Romero
146 - Melky Cabrera (red back)
169 - Orlando Hudson
173 - Adam Dunn
183 - Rafael Furcal
189 - Mike Aviles (red back)
193 - Carlos Beltran
195 - Bronson Arroyo (red back)
220 - Tyler Colvin
222 - Heath Bell
224 - Drew Stubbs
227 - Cameron Maybin
241 - Brian Roberts
267 - Jake Arrieta (red back)
281 - Juan Pierre
299 - Andruw Jones
319 - Elvis Andrus
346 - Shane Victorino
347 - Konrad Schmidt

Allen & Ginter 2011 Minis
279 (black parallel)

18. Skip selecting a prize and instead claim two additional entries for my next contest, planned for my one-year anniversary in February.

19. 1988 Fleer Baseball Superstars set


Contest Time: This. Is. Happening.

Is it just me or are one-word-sentences-for-impact kind of douchey? Yet, I still insist on trotting them out every so often.

I guess that says a lot about who you are, fella.

So, I've been taking names and checking them ... oh, I'm lying, I haven't really checked them yet but I will - and, hey, I just made you think of Santa Claus, so some lies are good amiright?

So, thanks again to those of you who entered my first contest a couple of weeks ago. I'm finally getting back to it.

Yes, the long-awaited, but probably really not all that interesting 100th blog post contest here at Potch Wheeler and The Cardboard Heroes will finally get started ... soon.

I've been busy. Trying to buy a house, traveling for work, taking on extra work, what not - but enough excuses.

At the moment, there's at least one other contest wrapping up at the moment here in our nerdy corner of the blogosphere CLICK HERE!, so I don't want to steal her thunder but in the next day or so I'll tally the entries and hit the ol' randomizer.

But first, I'll offer one more - no two more - ways to enter. You folks who managed to get past the ridiculousness up top are in luck!

In the comments, and your answers can be short, please let me know:

1) Your age when you first start collecting? Who got you started and how?
2) Your favorite MLB team(s)?
3) Your favorite set or insert set? You are welcome to provide more than one answer.
4) List your favorite players (past or present). List up to 10.

You must answer at least three of the above questions to get an entry into the contest. Answer all four and you get two entries. By the way, I'd love to have everyone post their age as I'm interested in the demographics of this hobby. However, you aren't required to do so for entry.

Once I tally the final entries, including the entries that came in a few weeks back, I will do three randoms. The third will determine the winners. I will send eight prize packages to four people. If a repeat name comes up in the top four, then I will move down the list.

#1 - first choice 
#2 - second choice
#3 - third choice
#4 - fourth choice
#1 - will get to choose another (fifth choice)
#2 - will get to choose another (sixth choice)
#3 - will get to choose another (seventh choice)
#4 - will get to choose another (eighth choice)

In the randomizer post that will come in the next couple of days, I will list the full set of prizes. Here's a peek at a couple of them.

1) Leon Durham autographed card. Back in August I wrote about how several players, including Durham, signed a couple of cards for me at The National. Sorry I didn't get this certified or anything.
2) 1989 Fleer record-breakers from the below year (full set)

3) The below card set available exclusively at The National in August.

4) Michael Pineda, Heritage (numbered to 300). This card was only available as a redemption giveaway at The National in Chicago in August. Bonus: It was touched by a Topps official representative - who handed it to yours truly. What? That's not a bonus? Well, it happened.

5) Complete set of 1987 (the wood grains) Topps minis (77 cards)

6) Fleer 1987 All-Stars (full set). Here's a sample...

7) Complete set 25-year Kmart oddball collection.

8) Fleer 1989 Update set.

9) Choice of three relics from a small grouping. No HOFers or anything.

10) The lovely 2008 UD Masterpieces featured in my previous post. This prize will include 65 cards of the 90-card base set. A nice starter set for anyone who missed these great cards.

I expect to have up to 20 choices total so stay tuned for the other choices. I'll also likely add some cards from your favorite team(s), unless you tell me not to do that.

I'm committed to wrapping this up and getting packages out before Thanksgiving.


2008 Masterpieces Theatre

Editor's Note: This post has been updated with current needs. Thanks Sewing Machine Guy!

I was late to the game when it came to this sharp set. My 20-year card collecting sabbatical meant these cards were fresh and new to me.

I found the set after dropping into various dollar stores: General, Tree and so on. I kept buying them as I just really love 'em. But like I've oft discovered since returning to this hobby early this year, finding the short prints can be a nightmare.

And, so, I call out to the blog world to see if anyone has any of the short prints collecting dust. I suspect not - but why not try, right?

Here's what I need still: 93, 95-102, 104-110, 112-114, 117, 118

In short, plenty. 

Below are a few more images for the uninitiated. Speaking of which, I have dozens of dupes among cards 1-90 should anyone wish to start their own Masterpiece collection. Just ask.


I Have Only Just Begun To Blog!

My wife, daughter and I have been living much like gypsies since June when our Chicagoland house sold and we headed back home to Indiana.

Well, hopefully before Christmas we'll be in our house and, soon after that, my efforts to trade, blog more consistently, and so on will be much easier.

For now, we're still holed up with my Grandpa in a fairly confined space. We can't complain too much. We moved because our jobs became work-from-home flexible and we wanted our daughter closer to family.

As for baseball cards, there are a few things I'd like to do between now and mid-December.

1. Complete 1976 Topps.
2. Make significant headway on Heritage 2011.
3. Make significant headway on Kimball Champions. I need #96 and most everything from #101-150 (but check first as I have a couple of them heading my way, I believe).

Down on the List: Pick up some more 1978s and, speaking of being gypsies, Gypsy Queens and, what the heck, '11 Topps Chrome.

On my home page, I have wants and cards available listed for various sets. If you're having trouble scrolling about and finding what you need, please send me a note.

Too bad TV never showed this guy during the World Series.
Oh, and one more thing: I plan to get back to before the move, the contest I mentioned last month. Far too much work travel popped up since then but I've made detailed notes on who gets entered into ye olde randomizer. Also, I'll offer up another chance to enter before I get things started.


Topps Chrome Wants A Home

While I might be a bit late to the party, my inability to steer clear of 2011 baseball cards has continued with the purchase of many packs of the no-longer-latest shiny. I loved it so much I had to go back for more.

Yes, it was a moral imperative.

Honestly, I wasn't sure whether I'd like the product - it basically being the same "look" as the base product. But the feel is top notch, and I'm sure glad I missed the curly-cue problem of last year.

I have a slew of cards available to trade (see below). I also have several cards I need for the set (also listed below). In general, I'd love to deal refractor-for-refractor, orange-for-orange (or purple or whatevs). Obviously I won't sneeze at offers for your sepias and and other rareties!

Not listed below, I'd like to get various parallels of certain players - Reds and Tigers but also favorites such as Starlin Castro, Ryan Braun and Lance Berkman. 

Base Needs:
2, 3, 6, 8, 10, 11, 14, 16, 20, 22, 24, 26, 31, 33, 34, 35, 37, 38, 40, 41, 47, 53, 54, 55, 61, 63, 66, 67, 69, 72, 73, 75, 83, 85, 92, 93, 94, 98, 99, 100, 106, 108, 109, 114, 116, 117, 118, 122, 124, 125, 127, 128, 132, 133, 135, 139, 141, 149, 150, 152, 162, 164, 170, 171, 173, 174, 178, 179, 185, 186, 187, 188, 189, 190, 201, 207, 208, 209, 210, 216, 218, 220

15 (refractor)
27 (orange)
32 (orange)
36 (orange)
39 (x2)
42 (refractor)
45 (orange)
52 (orange)
57 (orange)
59 (orange)
79 (atomic)
84 (orange)
103 (refractor)
112 (refractor)
113 (orange)
118 (purple #to 499)
123 (orange)
130 (orange)
136 (orange)
147 (orange)
147 (x2)
148 (orange)
161 (orange)
165 (orange)
176 (orange)
198 (atomic)

Ah, thanks for reminding me, Kevin. I really dig the Vintage Chrome cards like the one pictured here. However, I don't dig this particular one so he's up for trade too. I'm also looking to deal: Teixeira, Sabathia and Adrian Gonzalez.

Again, seeking Reds, Tigers or Starlin Castro, Braun or Berkman.


Junk Sale, Part Three

The entire point of this post is to help you help me get rid of cards I don't want - from teams I don't collect. If you're looking to build a collection from your favorite team or teams, then send me a note.

I did this about six months ago and again about three months ago. I asked only for cards in return from teams I collect or a card or two off my key wants (GQ framed paper, Kimball Champions, Heritage 2011, 1976 or 1978 Topps, for example).

As a result of previous junk sales, I'm tapped thin on a few teams so if you want these teams: Dodgers, Cardinals, Blue Jays, Braves, Mets, Yankees, Phillies, Royals - I'm either completely out or fairly low but might be able to rustle up a couple of dozen. Also, I only have a handful of cards from the newer, expansion teams. Happy to send them, but there aren't many.

But for certain other teams I have anywhere from 40 to 100 cards to send.

I also have a solid stockpile of Reds and Tigers to send as a result of earlier junk for junk trades, so if anyone wants a healthy stock from those teams, let me know. Cubs too, I think.

And, if you'd like to expand the deal to include cards beyond "junk" feel free to make some suggestions. 

P.S. I haven't forgotten about the contest and I'm keeping track of the entrants so far. I'll have at least one more way soon to get another entry.


Details About My First Time ... No, Not That, A Contest!

When I started this blog, I didn't put any thought behind it.

Talk about stating the obvious.

Wow. Harsh. So, I called it "Potch Wheeler and The Cardboard Heroes" based on an inside joke here at home. The plan then was to come up with a real name at some point. I also planned to start writing something interesting. Still working on that.

No doubt.

For a few months, I kept PW&TCH (that stands for Potch Wheeler and The Cardboard Heroes but I shortened it right there to save time). The name grew on me - quirky and all. Then, after our Chicagoland house sold and we made our big move back home again to Indiana, I changed it to "Indianaland" briefly and, finally, "Indianaland Picture Cards".

I realize it was somewhat less original but I sort of liked the sound of it and thought it reflected the new life and, well, was just a little bit more legit sounding. But, apparently when it comes to blogging and, well, life in general, I'm a bit fickle. I've started to realize the obvious - that the initial choice may have set me apart a bit more. 

And, after all, it's all about the catchy name to help fool readers into thinking you have anything interesting to post. It's all about that, right? No? My bad.

In any case, as I've mentioned, I've decided to let my three readers decide. So, if you haven't noticed, there's a poll on the home page. Do you see it? It's right over there. No, on the left. Right, the left. Up top! There you go. So go ahead and vote if you please.

Many of you have already done so and, for that, I thank you.

And, oh wait, there's more. I'm celebrating my 100th post.  

Happy for ya. When?

Right now. This is the 100th post!


Wow, don't get too excited.

Sorry, you've been around for what seems like forever.

Um, anyway, I'm celebrating by holding my first contest. And, what's more - I've decided you don't need to plug it on your blog to get an extra entry. I mean, sure, I wouldn't mind if you did - and I'll be taking notes - but no pressure.

Oh, I'm kidding about taking notes.

Or, am I?

Wow, you're a jerk.

Sorry, I'll admit it. I'd love to get some more followers.

So, I'm giving away prizes. What follows is both specific and vague and I of course will narrow down the final full prize list in my next contest post. But, for now, I wanted to get the early word out.

I'll random the entries and award prizes to the top few on the list. (I'm not sure how many yet.) #1 gets first choice, etc.

Ways To Get Entries:

1) So, like I mentioned in the previous post, those of you who commented on that post already get an extra entry. That window for an extra closed with this post.

2) Entries also will go to those of you who comment on this post AND follow my blog. With your comment, you will need to please mention you follow my blog. And while I'm stopping short of asking for contest pimping, and won't give entries just for that, I will give an extra entry if anyone comments here and mentions they read about it on your blog.

So, basically, you're asking for contest pimping, only in a roundabout passive aggressive way?

Yeah, that's pretty accurate.

3) Between now and the official Official Contest Post, I will post maybe a couple of routine entries to the blog - perhaps a trade bait post, such as what I have to trade on the Topps Chrome front. In one of these entries, I'll mention that anyone commenting will get an extra contest entry.

4) Currently there is no fourth way to get an entry but I might come up with something because apparently the whole point of this contest is to complicate both my life and the fun you attempt to have by reading card blogs. You're welcome.

Below are a few of the possible choices. Actually, I'll likely include all of these and some more - short of receiving a whizbang trade offer between now and then. You know, if someone wants to complete my 78s or 80s or 81s or 82s or 83s.

The Prizes

a) complete set of 1987 (the wood grains) Topps minis (77 cards)

b) complete set of 1986 Fleer minis (120 cards)

c) Michael Pineda, Heritage (numbered to 300). This card was only available as a redemption giveaway at The National in Chicago in August (read on);

d) Various relics/autos (no HOFers or anything like that but a few decent ones - but ones that don't fall into my preferred collections.) This prize choice might be something like "choose three relics from this list" - followed by the list.

e) 50 to 100 random cards from your team (fyi: I'm tapped out on a couple of teams. Please check with me before selecting this prize - and I know this might not be a "prize" to many longtime collectors but perhaps for a newbie it will.)

f) signed 8x10 of some NFL player. I won this at The National in August.

g) Fleer 1987 All-Stars (full set). Here's a sample...

h) Fleer record-breakers from the below year (full set)

i) A couple of The National giveaway card packs issued by the various card companies, including an auto racing set. And, this one:

j) Complete set of this thing pictured here.

k) This Leon Durham autographed card. Durham signed a couple of cards for me at The National, including this one below. Sorry I didn't get it certified or anything. I think I took a pic of Durham right before he signed though, if you're questioning me. And if you are, how dare you! Sorry, I can be a real d-bag. Eh, no worries.

l. Complete set of a Kmart collection from the 80s.

And, so there you go - some likely choices for prizes or "prizes" if you're less than impressed. Meanwhile, I might see what else I can scrounge up around here between now and the Official Contest post.

- Potch, Out

Who are you Ryan Seacrest now?

(Alas, the search continues for a trademark sign-off.)


Baseball Cards On Cake

I can't put into words just how much I love my daughter. I've tried, but it's pointless. There are no words. 

I tell her several times a day, of course, but I'm also letting her know in my writings to her that I plan to share with her when she's older. I want her to know what I was thinking before she arrived, when she was born and throughout her years.

She's the world to me. She's also a miracle child - the fact she's even here after many challenges. I'm very blessed to be a Dad.

She turned 4 in late July, followed by my birthday a few weeks later. Leading up to my day, my wife asked my daughter what kind of cake I should have.

She insisted on a baseball card cake for Daddy!

"How about that?" - to quote a legend.

She has no idea how happy that made me - that she pays attention to my hobby and wanted the theme for my cake. Very sweet. 

My wife asked if I could spare a few cards. Um, yeah, not much of a problem there. So I opened the junk box and snagged a few at random.

I plan to share who ended up on the cake in a later post but for now...


I've had a lot of fun since I started this blog. I haven't been as prolific as many bloggers, but I've been more prolific than I expected - given work, family time, a few other hobbies and a crazy year selling a house, moving to temporary digs and at least part of every weekend (and some week nights) home shopping.

Yeah, I'm here admitting that when I started the blog I kind of figured it would fizzle. But now, I'm fairly sure I'll be around for awhile. Sure there might be some extended breaks down the road but in general I hope to post every other or every third day or so.

The reality is that my return to collecting this year, and the blog, have been not just fun - but cathartic. Part of the fun? The many blog contests.

Now I'd like to try my hand at it. Nothing too fancy. Baby steps. (I'll announce full details in my next post - my 100th.)

If you haven't noticed, my blog has a new name. Well, actually, it's just a placeholder - the poll explains more. My contest will relate to my blog name, in part.

You're welcome to vote in the poll and you're also welcome to tell me (in the comments here or in my next post) to tell me why you voted the way you voted. Doing so will get you one entry.

I may or may not mention this in the official contest post - where other ways to get entries will be revealed. If not, a bonus to those of you who read to the end of this post.

So, thanks again to all of you for reading. And, maybe don't get too excited about the contest. I'm trying to finalize a couple of decent prizes and I'll probably offer a few choices to, say, the top three chosen via ye ol' randomizer. 


1977: The Easy Way Out

A few weeks ago I read a Craigslist ad about some baseball cards for sale. I check there every so often for some good laughs.

But this ad felt like it might have some merit. Namely, a full set of 1977 cards were listed for $175. While that price was far too high for my liking, it still got my attention. Typically, on Craigslist, I wouldn't have been surprised to see such a set listed for $800. Lots of delusionary thought among card-listing Craigslisters.

So, I sent a lukewarm e-mail to the address and soon learned that the set - and some other small sets - would be included at a garage sale the following weekend.

And, so, it was on.

I thought if this 1977 set was in decent shape and I could get it for more like $100, then I'd probably bite. For one, I didn't have much in the way of '77 Topps. My first cards to collect as a youth were 1978s. I'd love to finish that set one day. A couple of years later, my grandpa brought me home a bag full of glorious '76s. Speaking of which, I'm closing in on finishing that set. Do you need some of them? Can you help me out?

But back to 1977. Long story short, I took the easy way out. I bought the set. Had a great chat with the couple selling it and ended up buying it and several mini-sets (which I'll discuss in future posts) for a grand total of $100. While I love the thrill of the chase, I kind of enjoyed taking home this full set - already in a binder - and I'm loving flipping through it every few days. Eventually, I'll select my top 10, or maybe more, cards from the set.

In any case, it's definitely not my favorite from the '70s but it's great having it in house.

And while it's my first official full set, I'm not really including it as such. 1976 will be much more rewarding for me after hunting it down and completing what my grandpa first started for me some 30 years ago.

As for the '77s, this is where you come in. My purchase left me with a smattering of dupes. Want some? I'd love help with my '76 set and '78 needs.

Click here for my 1977 available list. Click here and scroll through for my 1976 and 1978 wants.


'76 Cards For Trade

Random post here to see if any of you fine bloggers and blog readers are looking to acquire any 1976 Topps. I've updated my trade list here. All cards listed under "available" are available - even though I haven't included the names with a few of them yet.
I'm getting close to completing the set so if you can help me out with anything, I'd appreciate it. Or, make offers.

And, if you're searching for 1977 Topps, e-mail me your needs and I'll look through what I have. I just came into a haul from this set and thus have many available to trade. I'd love to fulfill needs from my older sets if at all possible - particularly 1978s!

Enjoy the playoffs!


Heritage Collection: Minor Points

My attempt to build the 2011 Topps Heritage set continues but it won't extend to the Minor League Heritage cards. That said, I do enjoy seeing some of the minor league players on this card stock/design and so I went ahead and turned to ebay to pick up a few from the Reds, Tigers and Cubs.

(By the way, click here for a look at my Heritage needs and available cards.)

I'll start with the prospect Tigers. I'm guessing the pink involved a special promo night of some sort. Kind of cool to see on cards. I have high hopes for Jacob Turner.

Here are some more prospect Tigers. I had picked up a Nick Castellanos jersey relic a few months ago in a Crinkly Wrappers group break draft. I have high hopes for him.

Next are the prospect Reds that I snagged, including a couple of catchers. Take a look here, immediately after this sentence.

And some other young, possibly future, Reds.

And, finally, here are the prospect Cubs. I feel like I've been hearing about Josh Vitters for years, yet he just turned 22!
I admit I don't follow the Cubs' farm teams like I do the Reds and Tigers but I've heard a lot about Jackson. He finished the year with the AAA Iowa Cubs.

Is he the most prospecty of the Cub prospects? Could be.

Search Me *shrugs*