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.


A&G and Me: Next Steps, Part Deux

First, thanks for the kind e-mails/comment about my last post. Nice to know people read the blog and just might even relate to a post now and again.

Unrelated, I've been involved in a slew of trades in recent weeks and I want to thank everyone for the great deals. You guys know who you are - even if I'm woefully behind on formal blog-style thank yous. (And, if you've e-mailed me in the past few days about a deal, I'll be back to you within a day as I had some serious want lists updating to do with the slew of deals coming and going. Thanks much.)

One set (available cards/needed cards) that had fallen through the cracks for me, as I haven't kept up to date with it, is Allen & Ginter 2011.

Roughly six weeks ago I posted a little about my goals for A&G - basically, collect Minds That Made The Future, Uninvited Guests and Mysterious Figures, along with a few select favorite players.

I've come a long way since then thanks to some great trades. This post is for anyone still looking for cards from this set. First is what I have available to trade (followed by my needs). Send me an e-mail (dw.reds@gmail.com) or leave a comment if you see a match. Also, on my front page I have want lists for various other sets. Let's make a deal!

A&G Available Base Cards

4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 13, 16, 18, 31, 53, 54, 54, 63, 75, 81, 85, 89, 94, 97, 99, 114, 130, 143, 144, 146, 157, 161, 174, 180, 182, 182, 196, 197, 199, 212, 241, 243, 246, 249, 254, 255, 256, 260, 269, 271, 273, 274, 300, 301, 304, 312(SP), 312(SP), 314(SP), 317(SP), 342(SP)

Available Minis
94, 279 (black parallel), 310, 321, 331

Available Hometown Heroes
12, 22, 22, 29, 31, 36, 79, 89

Available Uninvited Guests

Available Baseball Highlight Sketches

And now (drumroll) here are my needs:  

Uninvited Guests
4, 5

Minds That Made The Future
1, 2, 4-9, 11, 13-16, 18-22, 28-33, 35, 36, 38, 39

Base Cards
46, 82, 100, 140, 147, 194, 198, 223, 293, 299, 343(SP)

World's Most Mysterious Figures
1, 4, 8, 10

Hometown Heroes
8, 25, 30, 53, 77, 93, 94 


Nostalgic Wax: The Three Kings

Bench. Rose. Morgan.

Thirty-three years ago, these were my heroes. It sounds silly now, as a grown man, but I know most collectors can relate in some way. The 1978 cards of these icons felt like gold, like Disney World, in my hands.

I wanted to be them. Oh, I already knew that playing pro ball was pie-in-the-sky. A couple of black eyes from neighborhood games with the older kids made me jittery in the batter's box from age 7 on.

Instead, I wanted to be cast as legends on cardboard like them. (I guess I hadn't quite put two and two together.)

These three cards were true cardboard heroes to me. They remain among the favorite of my collection, entirely because of the memories they stir up. As a kid, I carried these cards everywhere  - and the wear on them proves it. I studied the stats, memorized them.

The history of their earlier years was hard to grasp. I only owned these cards. It was as if they had just arrived on the baseball scene right along with my interest in the sport. Never mind that they had won two World Series championships just a couple of years earlier. Never mind that arguably all had just passed their peak years.

That was a time I wish sometimes I could return to and that may explain a good bit of my preoccupation today with baseball cards. Life is much harder nowadays for me, of course. For all of us, I suppose.

Looking back, that age of innocence was oh-so-fleeting. But it's nice to be able to look back through the window that our old baseball cards open.

In 1978, I had a Mom, Dad and older sister - all together in the same house - the perfect family of four. We were happy - all flowers and sunshine.

To my parents credit, I was ignorant for a few more years about the trouble brewing. In 1983, I stopped collecting cards, coincidentally about the time my parents' divorced. Of course, other things were happening with me as well. Girls, for one.

My sister was already out of the house by this point. I was just hanging on - and soon got into my own fair share of trouble. Nothing too crazy or illegal. Mostly just losing focus. Sometimes I'm still stunned I got it together, went to college and graduated.

My cards were packed away by 1983 - maybe at Dad's house or maybe at home with me and Mom. I don't know. I probably didn't know then. They were relics of a childhood gone. They were kid's play.

I no longer feel that way.

At an age when this damn Charles Bukowski line has a hold on me: "The days run away like wild horses over a hill" - it's a comforting feeling to look at these old cards.  

Pete Rose, Johnny Bench and Joe Morgan haven't been my heroes for some 30 years. But their 1978 baseball cards again make me smile.

Search Me *shrugs*