My Fantasy Baseball Expansion Plan: Interested?

I'm an overgrown nerd. I'll freely admit it. For more than 20 years now I've been playing fantasy baseball. I love the intricacies, the strategies and in recent years I've narrowed my focus to a couple of select leagues.

In particular, I run two pay leagues - deep dynasty setups of 12 teams (roto) and 16 teams (H2H style) with salary caps, draft pick trading and on and on. They're both on ESPN and I update everything that happens - full rosters - in a Google doc that's accessible from the front league page. These are very fun and active leagues if you love to study baseball, numbers, trends and all of that.

What does this have to do with you? Well, perhaps nothing. Those leagues are full. We average 1 opening a year and had zero in the roto league heading into this year.

I'm rambling instead because I've decided to open one more league that will go back to my fantasy baseball roots - a single-season league (although hopefully everyone will return year-to-year to draft fresh teams); 12 team, snake draft, mixed league, roto, 5×5.

The lineups will be:  C/1B/2B/SS/3B/CI/MI/5 OF/UTIL/9 P/1 DL/3 BENCH. 

Not this type of Bench.  That wouldn't make any sense.
The league will be its own separate league but will also compete against several dozen exactly the same setup leagues on a fantasy baseball advice Web site. That site will do all of the league strength calculations and the winner will win a fantasy baseball champion "Members Only" jacket. No joke!

OK, a silly prize, yes - and so we will charge $25 (payable via Paypal to me) and will pay the top two or three teams. Yet to be decided. Probably money back for 3rd.

I'm looking for a few serious baseball fans and fantasy baseball vets, preferably. I have six in the league so far from my ongoing leagues. I expect two or three more will join and thus I'll probably need two or three additional.

And, if you're interested then in a possible opening in the other leagues I mentioned up top, I'll put you first on the replacement owners list as currently that list is dry.

Thanks. Sorry for the fishing expedition but I figured this was a great place to look for great owners.


Great Day in (My) Card Collecting History

Seeing a post tonight from The Lost Collector reminded me that I too am celebrating two years of blogging as of today. Nearly let it slip past me.

Appropriately, I attended a local card show today. I picked up some beauts for my collection that I'll have to write about soon.

But, for now, this was a special day indeed. My 5 1/2 year old daughter wanted to go to the show with me after Sunday School. She's taken an interest in my card collecting for quite awhile now and likes to razz me about it. But this was the first time she said she'd come along. I can't tell you how this warmed my heart.

She had a nice time. She made me promise to buy her 10 cards. Well, as it turned out, a few dealers offered her some cards for free. Mind you, no 1953 Topps or 1955 Bowmans, of course, but kind gestures all the same and I was proud of my daughter for politely thanking them all.

One dealer told her to pick out a card from a Reds stash.

From the Kahn's Wiener 1994 collection, I present to you, Schottzie 02. The dealer then handed me a small box with assorted cards - including several mid-80s box topper type cards and what appears to be a full set of the Reds Kahn Wiener set. I haven't checked if they're all there for sure, but I think so.

Another dealer told her to pick from a box and she chose two diamond 2011 Tigers.

Then she saw this.
This is one of those oversize cards. This is more of a personal joke for us but I still admired her good taste in choosing this fine player.

Mustaches have long amused my daughter. If she sees a good one while we're out and about, she'll pull me aside to tell me. She laughs heartily at the very idea of a mustache. I can't tell you how much we've laughed together about them. I even grew a beard in November and December just so I could shave it into a mustache (for one day, while not leaving the house). I, let's just say, don't rock a mustache.

In any case, it was nice to go to a show with her and I appreciated the little gestures sent her way. Another dealer went to get her a glass of water when he heard her tell me she was thirsty. Yet another handed her a team set of - oddly enough - 1992 Cleveland Indians.

She had fun and she wants to go with me next time. I don't expect she'll be interested for too long, but you never know. Either way, I'll enjoy this while it lasts.


Wheel (er) House Mail Cards

Some of my favorite players both from teams I collect and sets I collect arrived in a trade completed this week with All Trade Bait, All The Time.

I've enjoyed the fine blog for quite awhile but had yet to make a trade with the gentleman behind it. 

I was able to send him the card he needed to complete a 1976 subset Topps set, and some other cards, and he sent me back a nice assortment of cards (including a nice surprise shown at the end) hitting right in my wheelhouse (a word I like to toss around that irks my wife for some reason).

Tony Perez is one of my favorite players from my longtime favorite team. This card is lovely - and in person the Red uni really pops in this shot. It also fits nicely in the Vintage Red collection I've finally cataloged. I'm collecting all Reds from the beginning (not of time, but of Topps) to 1983.

I also got a 1979 Expos Perez and the card below from a set I'm not familiar with. Time to start cataloging my Perez collection.

ATBATT obviously knows me (well, he doesn't but it sure seemed like it when this package arrived) because he hit another favorite Red whom I don't mention anywhere and an awesome oddball in one fell swoop of a card. I seriously need to consider collecting the Crunch set of 22. Sweet.

There were (original and reprint) Whitakers and Morgans and Dawsons - including this perfect card from the 1980 set I'm chasing.
And a Morris and a Foster and Seavers too.

And then this nugget popped out! Seriously? That looks like an autographed Trammell, with ink to match the card and the hat. And an '87 DonRuss, which I kind of dig as opposed to the majority of DonRusses. Donrussi?

ATBATT got two signed Trammells TTM a few years ago and sent this gem along, figuring I would appreciate it. He sure got that right. It looks awfully pretty and he's a Hall of Famer, to boot!

What's that?


Chasing 1983: 745 and Counting

It's time to highlight another part of a deal that knocked massive chunks off of sets I've been chasing for 30 to 35 years.

Along with 1978s and 1981s (part of the trade I haven't reviewed yet), Paul at Carl Crawford Cards sent me 244 cards from the last set I purchased before discovering girls and trouble: 1983 Topps.

Yep, you read that right - 244 cards! I kid you not. And, reminder, this was just part - the biggest part - of the deal. I posted about the first part a week ago and a link to it is at the end of this post.

This shipment brought my in-house 1983 Topps percentage from 64 percent to 94 percent. I see light ahead! Truly, this is exciting. A couple of dozen of these cards were familiar to me as I once owned them before a basement flood at my mom's house sacked a good portion of that set (and almost all of 1979, sadly) long ago. It was nice to see them again after all these years.
Below are a few favorite cards of the 1983 portion of the deal.
Back in 1979, I thought Kent Tekulve was the coolest nerd on the planet. I knew nothing about him. Might not have been a nerd at all. He's rockin' the ol' Pirates duds though. I do know that.
Nice action shot of Mr. Pushbroom Stache. Who's that guy with him? I should know this.
Jim Rice walked by me outside Tiger Stadium in the 1980s. He pretty well ignored me and the other kids nearby. I didn't think at all about autographs back then but just wanted to say "hi". Kind of hard to believe, in a way, that he turns 60 in a month.
Fergie Jenkins is my favorite Cubs pitcher of all-time. I'm efforting as of late to collect all of his playing day cards. As for Leon Durham, I met him at The National in 2011. Got a few cards autographed as the right to do so came with the VIP package my wife treated me with. I wrote all about it and other former player encounters back then.

Bill Madlock is another former player I enjoyed watching who I got to meet at that The National. He signed several cards for me.

Dave Collins will always be a Red in my book. Never a Mariner or a whatever the uniform he's wearing here is.

Never heard of the Brave but I like the card. John Denny looks a bit like God here. Just guessing.

Finally, Senor Orange, or something like that. I'm a big Rusty Staub fan. When I see an old Staub card, I get it. I should probably catalog this collection and see what I need. It seems he's found a way on to my player collection list.

Meanwhile, I posted earlier today about 2013s for trade and have already worked out a couple of deals. If you missed it, take a look please. I'd love to work out some more.

Thanks for sharing the trip down memory lane and thanks again to Carl Crawford Cards. You can find more of the details of the first part of that trade in this post.


2013 Cards for Trade

I wanted to get some 2013 trade bait up for anyone interested.

I'm interested in offers of various Reds and Tigers minis, Emeralds, various color parallels, other inserts, Jarrod Parker inserts or parallels  or nice vintage Reds and Cubs, naturally. I have a want list for older stuff linked from the front page.

I also have an assortment of base cards from most teams if anyone has a want list to point out to me.

First, I have a Jose Bautista Commemorative Patch card for trade. Looks nice. 
I'd deal it for any of the rookie patch cards or any other Commemorative Patch, EXCEPT for: Adam Jones, Dustin Pedroia, Trevor Bauer, Yonder Alonso, Billy Butler or Ryan Braun.

Other stuff for trade includes...

Cut to the Chase:
CTC-8 - Ryan Braun
CTC - 15 - Dustin Pedroia

Chasing the Dream:
CD20 - Tommy Milone
CD13- Drew Hutchison
CD10 - Giancarlo Stanton
CD23 - Jose Altuve

279 - Vicente Padilla
95 - AL Wins Leaders
168 - Kyle Farnsworth
41 - Daniel Hudson
240 - JJ Putz

Calling Cards
CC- 5 Jon Papelbon
CC - 10 Tim Lincecum (possibly pending in deal, I'm unclear at this time)
(I have Brandon Phillips)

72 Minis
2 - Dan Haren
7 - Craig Kimbrel
31 - Mark Teixeira
35 - Felix Hernandez
39 - Yu Darvish

Chasing History
CH5 - Yogi Berra
CH26 - Chipper Jones
CH34 - Robin Yount
CH36 - Kerry Wood
CH40 - Mike Schmidt
CH41 - Johann Santana

Target Reds
90 - Andy Pettitte (CList)
111 - Casey Kelly
187 - Nick Maronde

Walmart Blues
I have a stack of these. I'm looking for Anthony Rizzo, Jarrod Parker (of course) and Reds and Tigers. (I already have Latos, Arroyo, Fielder and Fister.)

Thanks for taking a look.


My First eBay Sale: Success or Failure?

The other day I wrote about buying a blaster of Topps 2013 in search of Reds, Tigers, Cubs and Jarrod Parker cards.

I came up pretty short across the board in finding those cards so that night I decided on a whim to try my hand at eBay for the first time ever. After a blogger changed his mind on the patch I pulled, I decided to list it and see if I could recoup a few dollars from a somewhat disappointing purchase.

I listed this Bryce Harper manupatch at a $4.99 start and went with the 24-hour auction timeframe. I reviewed some of the ins and outs of listing, decided instead of free shipping to go with $2.00 - and later got some great advice from a few bloggers about packaging/mailing.

Long story short, the card sold that night for $19.38, not counting the $2.00 shipping. It appears this card is going anywhere from $8.00 to $23.00 on eBay. I like the card, actually, but was surprise I got what I got. I think the appeal will wear off some as the set ages a few weeks.

Interestingly, another seller popped up early in the sale day and listed the same card for an auction ending at the exact same time as mine. I was concerned as he had several other cards available and combined shipping options. He also was a highly rated seller. Choosing the same auction ending time as mine seemed bush league but all is fair I guess.

In the end, it didn't matter. His card fetched almost $4.00 less than mine!

I had never sold on eBay before, although I also asked bloggers about it last spring when I pulled my greatest card find from a retail purchase - a Bob Gibson/Matt Holliday dual auto from a value pack at Walmart. I'm still planning to sell that card as it was going for more than $200 - although I may have missed my window on that.

I'll likely rarely sell on eBay as I prefer trading but there are some bundles of cards in my trade list that have gone unclaimed for some time that I may end up listing.

In any case, it feels good to get my first eBay sale in the books. It felt even better when the buyer paid with five minutes of winning the auction!


Comfort Card Show Prep

Looks like I'm heading to a local card show tomorrow!

Is it sad for a 44-year-old man to get giddy that the wife is letting him out so he can have a chance to stand near, while largely ignoring, a small group of other grown men in a Comfort Inn meeting room, all of us searching for pictures of other grown men?

Don't answer.

No matter, I'll be on the prowl to see if I can knock a few more cards off my 1976 list. I've been so darn close but in a holding period for 18 months. I'll also look out for Topps set needs from 1978-83. I'm foolishly working on them all at once!

One great trade helped me out greatly with 1978, 1981 and 1983. I'm still planning a post related to the bounty I received for the latter two years.

As for the show, truth is, I'm doubting I'll find anything from the late '70s and early '80s. I've been to this show several times in recent months. Lots and lots of newer stuff (so I'm at least interested this time in seeing what they have from this week's release) and then there's one dealer with some old stuff - some late '50s and '60s cards.

That's perfectly fine with me of course as I'm chasing all vintage Reds and a good spot of vintage Tigers and Cubs. And, as always, I typically have an eye out for a superstar of yesteryear - perhaps a Hall of Famer who has managed to evade my collection.

To wit, here's something I brought home the last time I attended this show a few months ago.
My first card of this legend.

Did you know Willie McCovey was born on May 6, 1931? You didn't? Neither did Willie, who was born on Jan. 10, 1938. After this post, I'll be selling this error card for $35,000 on eBay.
In short, what I'm saying is I always go into a show with a plan and I seldom stick to said plan. But that's OK. It's all about having a little fun.
And no place better for that than when standing near, while largely ignoring, a small group of other grown men in a Comfort Inn meeting room, all of us searching for pictures of other grown men.

Giving eBay a Go

I remain one of the few U.S. residents to have never sold anything on eBay. This is about to end.

I'm hoping for a few tips on shipping. I know how to properly protect and ship for an eBay buyer but I'm curious if there's anything special that should be done for shipping labels and if it's critical for seller protection to get tracking with all packages. I'm certainly assuming it is.

Anything else you think I should know?

I appreciate any and all tips.

Meanwhile, I listed last night some 2013 cards available for trade. Take a look at the end of the post if you are in the market and missed it.


Search Me *shrugs*