Diamond Giveaway: Am I Missing Something?

Through the Topps Diamond Giveaway site, I continue to receive offers of cards like this:
For one of these:

Clearly I'm behind the game here but not only do I think the diamond die cuts are not particularly appealing to the eye, I'm not about to deal vintage cards like these for shiny new goofiness. What gives?

I will however deal my '73 Terry Forster, '76 Pete Varney, '77 Bruce Kison, '78 Rico Carty or '99 Andres Galaragga if I ever get same year/earlier year offers involving Reds, Tigers or Cubs I need.  


Nostalgic Wax: Why I Returned To Card Collecting After A 27-Year Break

Several years ago I discovered my old late '70s/early '80s sports card collection in my mom's basement. I packed them up and gave them a brand new home. My basement. And there they rested for a few more years.

Many, oh-so-many, years ago I had given up baseball cards. I think I was 14. I'm not sure why I packed away what had meant so much to me - probably the start of high school and new interests. Well, one new interest.

Girls came into focus right about then. Yeah, I'm going to go ahead and blame girls.

I had discovered baseball cards at age 9; football cards roughly a year later. The Hostess cards found on the bottom of packages of Twinkies and King Dons provided my gateway to the hobby.

With the cards in my own house, and because I'm a fairly orderly person, the long-neglected collection in the basement nagged at me. I needed a sense of order. I finally felt compelled to sort through them - and sort and sort and sort.

I loved doing it. Memories came flooding back. I remembered being 10 again. And, I learned a few things.

First, I apparently had snagged a few packs in 1989, 1990 and 1994 but I have no recollection of doing this. It was clear that the love I had for the hobby frittered at some point in 1983.

Second, I realized that after more than a quarter century of living, I liked reconnecting with the person I was all those years ago. It's probably impossible to understand if you're not a collector but something about those old cards that had passed my fingers countless times as a kid made me feel great. Not necessarily young again but, yeah, a little younger. It brought me a little comfort and a lot of peace to look through those cards - particularly the '78s that I first collected.

But another set kept calling for my attention.

At some point in the late '70s, maybe 1980, Gramps bought me a sack full of 1976 Topps at a garage sale likely not far from my grandparents Ohio home. The cards, if memory serves, had been stripped of Cincinnati Reds, my team, but there were probably close to 300 in the sack. It included randomness such as seven Bill Buckners and six Jim Wynns.

I hope I showed my appreciation to Gramps but the sad truth is I didn't understand these cards at the time. Maybe I couldn't figure out the obvious question of why there were no Reds. Plus, I had a deep connection to the cards I ripped from wax, the '78s and '79s. These '76ers were interlopers. Who were these players? They were sooooo old.

Older and, arguably, wiser now, I've fallen in a big way for 1976 Topps.

Which brings me to my third revelation that occurred upon uncovering my collection; a strong desire to finish what my grandpa started for me so many years ago.

I must build the complete 1976 set.

In the past few months, I've had great fun picking up cards from this set at area card shows. I've even added several of the missing Reds.

Once settled next week after an out-of-state move, I'll post my favorite cards from this set with the caveat that they'll be chosen from the cards I now own. There are plenty I still need - and plenty to trade to others chasing this set.
I grew close to my grandparents in my 20s. I had moved from Texas to within 30 minutes of their home in the last four years of his life. I know Gramps would have liked not only that I'm getting reacquainted with the cards in that old sack but that I'm finally chasing down the rest of the set.


Football Common Reminder Plus Trade Post

...and the trades just keep on rollin'. In hopes of clearing out as many trades - sometimes just sending cards - before I pack up my cards for the move, I've sent 20 packages out in the past 7 days. I really enjoy trading.

But before I get to one small trade, for the three gents who requested my '79-'83 football cards, thanks for helping me clear out room. These aren't the best cards, as I mentioned, but hopefully everyone is getting a few they're happy to get. And, your team claim puts you at the top for those teams if I decide later to purge more of the gridiron collection - which will mean better condition cards and more star players.

Now, for the deal, The Lost Collector sent along a handful of assorted cards for my team collections. AJ's blog is just great and we've arranged a few deals in just three months. We're to the point now, I think, that when one of us gets a mailer, the other knows it's our turn - rather than the traditional trade modus operandi.

Thanks yet again, AJ. Slade and hopefully more will be on the way before long.

Cool Cards From Things Are Funner Here

Trading friend Julie over at Things Are Funner Here surprised me with a collection of Reds and Tigers to complete our second deal. Julie went above and beyond the call here. She included a couple of dozen swell cards. I just have time right now to show off a pair.
Adam Dunn seems like such a throwback player. This card suits him well.
I have no idea yet what set this is from but it's another card I think is cool and Miguel Cabrera is a favorite of mine. I love unique cards such as this.

Thanks Julie for the extras. If anyone has found their way to Julie's blog, take a look. She always has something interesting to say and it's fun to stop by.

Cool Cards From My Sports And Sports Cards!

Jeff, over at the newly built My Sports and Sports Cards blog, and I worked out a trade after I commented on one of his posts recently. It turns out he's a Hoosier - and, of course, in a week I'm returning to my Hoosier roots!

We worked out a deal and I was stunned to see the great assortment of Reds and Tigers he sent my way. I continue to be amazed by the thousands of cards I had no idea existed, thanks to my 20-year hiatus from the hobby. Jeff sent me a little bit of everything including an Austin Kearns bat relic and a Tigers prospect Dan Fields numbered (apologies no scan of it right now).

I cannot stress enough how great it was to open this mailer. Jeff went above and beyond.
The scan here of Eric Davis does not do justice to what I received but I'm posting it because I'm a big Eric Davis guy (although I've yet to add him to my large PC list) and love the fact he played for my two favorite teams.

I can only hope that Jeff is even close to as happy with the package of cards he's getting.

Thanks again Jeff. Meanwhile, I'm now gathering some old Colts for you per your comment on the previous post.


Football Cards Must Go

If you can answer "yes" to any or some of the following, then you're possibly in luck.

Do you collect football cards from the '79 to '83 era?
Are you looking for set fillers from those years?
Are you looking for team set fillers?

I collected football cards as a kid but haven't since the '83 set. I've already separated the Steelers - my lifelong team of choice. I also set aside some of my favorite cards from the era.

Here's the thing: If you read my blog, you know that we're about to move from our house. It sold.

Congrats Potch!

Hey, thanks. It was a long haul but we're relocating to be near family so our little one has that more strongly in her life.

Wow, you're a family man? Who would've guessed? You struck me as a real meatball who doesn't care about anything but himself.

Hey, you're getting me off track.

Sorry, but you strike me as a bit of a narcissist. You've taken to writing about yourself in the third person in recent posts. I hate that.

No worries.

Anyway, so this is a shot in the dark but I'd love to send a good 100 to 150 football cards packing. I don't need anything in return. Then, the remainder will fit nicely in the box I've reserved for them.

No, I don't want to get a bigger box. 
This is not a football card but the Big Hurt, not surprisingly, played the game at Auburn U.
So, if anyone would like some from a particular year, team or teams, let me know in the next day or so. Thanks!

Contest! My Blog Name! Need Lady Cards! Exclamation Points!

Trading friend Ryan G. over at This Card Is Cool is running a cool contest. Take a look:


I enjoy Ryan's blog a lot - so much so I "borrowed" his backdrop, I later realized. Speaking of my blog, I've given thought since I started it to changing the name entirely. The name I picked on a whim one night was suggested by my lovely wife - sort of an inside joke. She didn't think I was going with it but I typed it in there to crack her up and voila!

What do you think? Change it to something reflecting my collecting interests or Midwest location or something playing off my other interests (literature, running, history).

Speaking of history (wow, I'm really stream of conscious this morning) can anyone suggest a set that has a lot of history cards (presidential, perhaps) or where I could go to find cards depicting women who have achieved in some (any) field? The latter would be to set aside for my daughter for when she's a bit older. If anyone has such cards they don't want, let me know.

I grabbed these guys (below) at the LCS the other day and it got me thinking along these lines.


Cool Cards From Garvey Cey Russell Lopes

I'll try to get a flurry of trade posts up but the truth is things are a bit chaotic now with most of the house boxed up already. I'm holding out as long as possible on boxing up the sports cards.

Trades are flying fast and furious. I mailed 8 packages just yesterday and 6 a few days earlier. I'm going to try to post some - details likely will be brief. That said, please everyone know that I'm very grateful for all the great cards and generosity - and plethora of trading partners.

In just one of many deals, a first trade with Jim - proprietor of Garvey Cey Russell Lopes. I sent him some '09 O-Pee-Chee and various Dodgers and he sent me a nice assortment of Cubs, Reds and Tigers. Little time for scanning - but I did scan one of them - a card I somehow missed owning in my youth.

Thanks, Jim, for the nice cards for my team collections. If anyone else wants to deal, please see my trade pages - and also know that I'm looking ASAP to pare down my '79-'83 football commons (and some stars) from various teams as well as a hodgepodge of cards from all MLB teams. I expect nothing in return for lightening my load.


Baseball Cards and White Castle

This afternoon I stopped by the post office to send out eight trades, then Target to get some more packing tape for The Move.

After reading, yesterday, that Series 2 had arrived at some stores, I naturally checked out the aisle we collectors are all so familiar with.


But, hold on, an employee is opening up a box just a few feet away. I kindly ask her if there are baseball cards inside. She - kindly as well - peeks in and sees nothing but the hodgepodge of whatever those cards are that aren't sports cards. 

But, I peek too - and see something different. That lovely Topps logo and sweet, sweet visage of Joe Mauer. (Wait, what?) Well, it is a cool shot of Mauer. Mostly, though, I was just happy to see something new and fresh - even if the card design is of course now well known.

I bought a blaster. Sadly, I snagged just two Reds (Leake and Stubbs) and only one Tiger (Guillen) and two Cubs (Smardjsomething and Soriano). I'll update my 2011 needs list eventually.

My commemorative manupatch du jour is pictured. I like it but will trade it for one from one of my favored teams.
Here are a couple of the other cards I mentioned.
A nice shot. Still lovin' Detroit's "D" logo after all these years, I am.
But I don't get it, Potch, why the White Castle headline?
Oh, almost forgot, on the way home from my shopping venture, I drove by the spanking new White Castle in our soon-to-be-former town and picked up some sliders for me and the missus - our first in three years after swearing we'd never do it again. Maybe it's just me but they just don't sit so well once you pass 40. Should be an interesting night!

Random Kindness: Jaybarkerfan Style

I continue to be amazed by the kindness of sports card bloggers. I'm once again thinking about how pleased I am to have found this community after my interest in collecting was sparked again.

Recently, blogger Wes of Jaybarkerfan's Junk sent me a package chock full of players from teams I collect. Why? Just because, it seems. Just a pay-it-forward kind of fella.

What a good guy. Thanks again. I plan to scour your anthology lists and do my best to send you some needs, but it might have to wait until after our pending move.
Unlike Jaybarkerfan, Jay Bruce is unkind (to pitchers).
By the way, I'm certain this is getting repetitive but I want to get it out there as often as possible. We're moving to temporary digs for a few months. My cards will be packed up in a matter of days. Don't send anything to my Illinois address after June 11.

While I plan to keep my baseball cards with me, my football cards from '79 to '83 likely will be going into storage. I can access it but not as easily as I'd like. I'd love to ship a bunch out in the next day or three if anyone is interested in a certain team. Unlikely to be any superstars but several "name" players and perhaps I can help some of you fill out your team needs - although I realize there seem to be few seeking football cards.

To that end, at a recent silent charity auction I also picked up a binder of varied basketball cards from the '60s into the early '90s. I'll probably store these too but if anyone needs hoops cards, direct me to your needs list and I'll search around.

Thanks again, Wes!


My LCS Experience II: The Finale

My loyal readers (the two of you) may recall that my trip last month to my local card shop did not go well. Here's a handy link where you can find details on that experience.

Yet, I went back. I can't help myself. I just like being surrounded by cards I don't have. I like window shopping a bit. I like thumbing through whatever is on display. I always walk out with something new that's old.

So I enter the store and say hello. I got a quick glance and "hey" from the owner. I see several piles of various cards on the counter. In the past, I've seen his customers picking up such piles and looking through them and so I asked if he minded me doing the same. I said I was looking to pick up a few Gypsy Queens or new Bowmans, perhaps. Gruff as always, he said he didn't have any Bowmans - that they sold out fast - but "go ahead and look through the stacks for queens if that's your thing."

(I'd like to interject here that I've gone far out of my way to be nothing but polite and kind to this man in my handful of visits. I have little choice - he reminds me of the Soup Nazi - sans the laughs.)

So, I sat down and looked through the stacks. Ten minutes later, I had found five bronze- and green-paper frame Gypsy Queens. I also found plenty of Bowmans but nothing I really wanted except a Brandon Belt Chrome.

So here are the prices he quotes:

Brandon Belt Chrome: $30. "Really, I had no idea," I say. He offers, "These are hot. Bryce Harper's going for $150 on ebay." I say, "OK, what are these Belts going for?" He says, "About $50."

He then quotes me $8 each for three random green-paper frame Gypsy Queens and $5 each for three bronze-paper frames. I offered that I was surprised. That I had no idea they would be that high. I feigned ignorance, a bit. He says that the greens are very rare - much more than the bronzes.

Huh? Am I missing something? (Seriously, I'd like to know because maybe I am.)

I took a pass and picked up just these three instead. No more big spending vintage for me at this LCS.

I didn't really think I cared too much for these inserts but I couldn't resist two members of my favorite players collection - and pretty much any Jackie Robinson card works for me. (Side note: I also have the Carlos Gonzalez and Roy Campanella versions for trade.)

But back to the store story: In any case, we're moving four hours away in about two weeks so this is likely it for me and this particular LCS. Or, will I be lured in one last time and finally unleash my sarcastic streak that I've heretofore kept a lid on? Stay tuned.

Here's hoping my new LCS will actually feel like selling cards to customers.


Potch On The Move - What Does It All Mean?

In roughly 20 days, we'll be leaving the Chicago area after 10 years in the city and another four in the 'burbs. We've been planning this move for 18 months. We're heading about four hours away - back home to Indiana.

After 20 years in Texas, Ohio and finally Illinois - but now with a small family in tow - it felt right for us to get closer to extended family.

What does this have to do with cards?
Sparky has nothing to do with this post.
Well, a few things.

First, I wanted to alert my trading partners and the fine folks who occasionally just send cards for no reason other than kindness. Please don't send anything here after June 11 (a comfortable window for me to still receive everything). I'll keep you posted when we have our new address confirmed.

Second, I'm hoping to swing a few more last-minute deals before everything is packed up for a few weeks. I've updated my various pages: older Topps, new GQ, Bowman and Heritage. Make me an offer!

Third, I'd also love to pare down my cards to move - or exchange them for teams I collect. If anyone out there is trying to unload Reds, Tigers, Cubs, White Sox or Pittsburgh Steelers - and wants my cards from a certain team - let me know.

Or, I'd love to trade dozens from your team for just a card or two from my wants.

Finally, I've never mentioned this before - but I have tons of football cards from the late '70s / early '80s. I'd like to ship those out too.

Thanks for reading.

Masterpieces Theatre

Yes, I'm late to the game. The beauty of having dropped the hobby between 1990 and 2010 is discovering some gem sets that I missed over those two decades.

While traveling by car over the past several days, and with posts circulating about fun cheap stuff found at various dollar stores, I darted in to a couple such stores - Dollar Tree, Dollar General, Things For A Dollar But Truthfully Two Dollars, Can You Spare A Dollar Inc.? what have you - and picked up some random packs, including $1 packs of 2008 Upper Deck Masterpieces.

Love 'em! A lot. Including this all-time player fave!

And this even more all-time fave - and I guess my lone SP score!
And who doesn't like Yaz?
And, what do you know, my second straight post including the recently dearly department Harmon Killebrew.
And, then, here are some more. The below are for trade, if anyone is interested.

The above cards are #14 Dice K, #50 Mauer and #85 Chris Carpenter.

Also up for trade are: #22 Kosuke Fukudome, #28 Travis Hafner, #43 Chin-Lung Hu and #71 Ryan Howard.

Here's what I need still:
1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 13, 15, 17, 18, 19, 20, 24, 27, 29, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 38, 39, 41, 45, 46, 52, 53, 55, 57, 59, 60, 62, 63, 65, 66, 67, 68, 73, 76, 77, 78, 80, 81, 82, 83, 86, 87, 88, 90, 91-114, 116, 117, 118, 119, 120

In short, a crap load.


Bowman For Trade

If you see anyone you'd like, let me know.

Below is what I now have available for trade - and then what I own of the teams I collect. Comment or e-mail: dw.reds@gmail.com. Thanks.

Red = claimed


BP78 - Cole Figueroa
146 - Wade Davis
BCP18 - Tyler Bortnick
BP41 - Ty Morrison

130 - Clay Buchholz (green)
TP57 - Kolbrin Vitek

64 - Trevor Cahill

BP23 - Vinnie Catricala
198 - Greg Halman (gold parallel)
BP56 - Kevin Mailloux

193 - Jeremy Jeffress
BCP20 - Everett Teaford
BCP103 - Brian Fletcher
BCP9 - Carlo Testa

152 - Danny Valencia (gold parallel)

211 - Gregory Infante

138 - Koji Uehara
167 - Vladimir Guerrero

55 - Jorge Posada
61 - CC Sabathia
BBR11 - Slade Heathcott (The Lost Collector)
BP104 - Ben Gamel
22 - Curtis Granderson (Tomahawk Chopping)
Yankee Stadium Legacy 5/31/11
Yankee Stadium Legacy (9/25/11)

70 - J.P. Arencibia
BCP102 - Eric Thames - Chrome

11 - Josh Hamilton
40 - Ian Kinsler

58 - Torii Hunter
89 - Kendry Morales
158 - Jered Weaver
95 - Dan Haren (Tomahawk Chopping)

47 - Miguel Cabrera
47 - Miguel Cabrera
BCP72 - Avisail Garcia

BP98 - Tony Wolters
BP26 - Chun-Hsiu Chen

BCP4 - Nate Freiman - Chrome
BP35 - Jason Hagerty
BP101 - Rymer Liriano
12 - Orlando Hudson

BCP27 - Amaury Rivas - Chrome (Tomahawk Chopping)

112 - Johnny Cueto

165 - Jaime Garcia (gold parallel) (Cards on Cards)
BCP90 - Adron Chambers - Chrome (Cards on Cards)
BP90 - Adron Chambers (Cards on Cards)
96 - Chris Carpenter (Cards on Cards)

209 - Brian Bogusevic
209 - Brian Bogusevic
BCP32 - Albert Cartwright - Chrome

8 - Ted Lilly
147 - Hiroki Kuroda
66 - Andre Ethier (gold parallel)
BP89 - Allen Webster
TP81 - Chris Withrow

37 - Logan Morrison
BP69 - Elih Villanueva

BCP39 - Aaron Baker - Chrome

BP63 - Austin Hyatt (Tomahawk Chopping)

72 - Tim Hudson
FF10 - Freddie Freeman

36 - Johan Santana (gold parallel)
BP51 - James Fuller
24 - Mike Pelfrey (gold parallel)
BCP81 -Blake Forsythe

185 - Ian Kennedy

BCP34 - Ben Paulsen

WHAT I OWN (Reds, Tigers, Cubs)

Reds: Edinson Volquez, Johnny Cueto, Cody Puckett (chrome), Brandon Phillips (blue), Brandon Phillips 2x, Dave Sappelt (chrome) 2x, Yasmani Grandal Topps 100, Mike Leake, Travis Wood, Yonder Alonso, Aroldis Chapman, Drew Stubbs, Travis Wood, Matt Klinker

Tigers: Miguel Cabrera, Alex Avila (gold), Alex Avila, Austin Jackson, Austin Jackson (finest futures), Wade Gaynor (chrome), Wade Gaynor (green), Tigers prospect Avisail Garcia (chrome), Avisail Garcia, Austin Jackson, Victor Martinez, Corey Jones

Cubs: Matt Garza, Cubs prospect Michael Brenly, Starlin Castro (finest futures), Kosuke Fukudome (international), Starlin Castro, Marlon Byrd (green), Marlon Byrd 2x, Aramis Ramirez, Alfonso Soriano 2x, Evan Crawford

Search Me *shrugs*