Trade with Brad's Blog

I have a confession. Several months ago, before life got crazy again, I had a couple of trades in the works. I believe I fulfilled my ends of all of them but I have a nagging feeling that somehow one got past me.

If anyone reading this is quietly fuming over the ne'er-do-well Potch leaving cards on the table (figuratively) then please, by all means, leave a nasty comment here. I do not want to be that guy!

Trading is the best part of my return to this hobby. I've been working on wrapping up some sets and trading has helped very much. I haven't even written much about my refined collection goals focusing on Reds, Cubs and select Tigers vintage - so thus far my progress with those goals has come via card shows exclusively.

There are other goals, of course, and then there are goals I didn't even know I had. I recently completed a trade with Brad of the fine blog, Brad's Blog. I gathered up a couple of relics in his wheelhouse, and a couple of autos I won some 18 months ago in a Wicked Ortega contest and sent them his way - along with assorted other cards and a grouping of Frank Thomas cards that he didn't have for his super Big Hurt collection.

In return, I received these two awesome autos:

I have no idea how this happened.
I neither had an Aroldis Chapman card auto nor a George Foster card auto, even though I by chance ran into Mr. Foster a year or so ago.

I also got this card that I didn't know existed. I'm not sure what that swatch is from. Hopefully not boxer shorts.

Bobby Knight's legend has dimmed considerably in Indiana and the circles in which I run, but he's still Bobby Knight and I'm an Indiana University graduate. I ran into Knight once while visiting Assembly Hall on a random day back in the early '90s.

Brad threw in some nice recent Reds I needed, including this lovely Gypsy Queen frame of the legendary catcher and popinjay Johnny Bench.
Incidentally, anyone out there who has a GQ frame of anyone, any year, should feel free to let me know.

And, of course, that goes for autographs of Reds. I will labor to make a nice trade with you.

Thanks again for the trade, Brad.


Me, Mini-Me and the Reds

Usually the hum of living - work, playing with our daughter, relaxing, yard work, streaming Netflix late at night, putting food on the table - keeps me happy and pushing forward to the next day.

Other times, the reality of how fast life is going hits me hard. I might still feel like the fresh-faced 9-year-old taking in a game at Riverfront Stadium in the summer of '78; then I get a notice that some old classmates are meeting in my hometown for a 27-year class reunion. Yeah, 27. Odd, huh?

Wasn't it just a few months ago when I watched the Big Red Machine take on the Dodgers in a twi-night doubleheader - with Bench, Morgan, Rose, the Daveys (Concepcion and Lopes), Garvey, Penguin and others holding court?

Not according to the face in my mirror. Not mine, I have a life-size present-day Cesar Geronimo photo taped on the wall opposite my mirror.
Thankfully, my daughter, six years old next week, helps keep me feeling young (when she's not making me feel much older than my 44 years, 11 months with the piggy back rides, "bucking bronco" game and ongoing shoulder carrying requests).

She likes to tease me about my baseball cards but she's taken an interest in my collection and baseball in general. Because of this, last September for one of our Daddy-Daughter weekends we left my wife behind and headed to Cincinnati for my daughter's first game - a battle with the old rival Los Angeles Dodgers.

My wife scheduled it weeks in advance and I thought maybe, just maybe, it would be a playoff clincher. Well, the Reds clinched the night before, thus many starters were rested for the game we saw. But Votto played and we saw Homer Bailey's (startbeforehis) no-hitter!!! (What, not as interesting? Well, I like to think that my daughter brought him some good luck.)

We sat several rows behind home plate - splurging on a section that has a private bathroom area and where waiters come and take your order. I wanted her to have a great view of the action too.

The Reds lost but it didn't diminish the experience and the fun she had. She really enjoyed actually watching the game (almost as much as the popcorn and cotton candy). Speaking of which, I was up for Dad of the year feeding my daughter cotton candy at about midnight. In my defense, the game had been scheduled for 1 p.m. until ESPN two weeks before chose it as their Sunday night Game of the Week.

More recently, on Father's Day last month, my daughter and I stole away for another Daddy-Daughter adventure. More hotel pool time and another Reds game - a win against the Brewers this time. More popcorn and cotton candy too, naturally.

We walked away with a giveaway Reds gym bag (for me) and a Rosie Reds doll for mini-me. It joins the Brandon Phillips doll she desperately wanted (and, of course, received) at the game last fall.

Ah, she's delightfully quirky.

The reality I know is that while I think she enjoys the game and ambiance, she's quite possibly already indulging me a bit as I share my passion. She sees what makes me smile and wants to talk to me about it and be a part of it. That's a pretty great feeling for a Dad.

One day, I hope she holds dear the memories (many still to come) at the ballpark with dear ol' Dad.


Tradeable Vagueness

Excuse the title. I'm working on perfecting the awkward headline.

I've been getting my trade groove on this week and enjoying getting back in the swing.

So, this is a blatant fishing expedition to see if anyone has a want list for 2012 Heritage (including a couple of SPs), 2013 Heritage (including an SP or three) and 2013 Archives. I have quite a bit - especially of the first and the last - for trade.

I'm desperately prowling for Heritage 2011 SPs.

I really need to hold my SPs back for SPs, as I'm sure you can understand why.

If you have needs from the sets mentioned above, please direct me to your want lists. I'm basically seeking Reds, Tigers and Cubs from those three sets but I still need to work up my own want lists.

This is all so very scattershot, so my apologies. Just hoping to get a trade dialogue started.

Meanwhile, because I dislike posting sans art, here's an auto I pulled from 2011 Heritage. RED SOX LEGEND Ted Wil....er, Ted Wills.

I'm looking to trade this for a Heritage 2011 auto from a team I collect.


You Bette It's the Oldest Card In The House

One of the coolest things to happen on the card front during my blog hiatus last fall - before my more recent hiatus - occurred when we attended a festival in Northeast Indiana last fall.

Editor's Note: Bear with me as I play a little blog catch up and intersperse some card-related news I never posted with more updated stuff. I've been collecting throughout my hiatuses (hiati?). Incidentally, I have a bundle of Heritage '12 for trade, as well as some Archives '13 and Heritage '13.

So, it was a pretty big fest, celebrating all things apple and homey and autumn-esque. Horse rides and corn mazes and pioneer demonstrations and sheep shearing and rifle shooting and live music and fried things.

There were three long buildings with crafts for purchase and viewing. In the middle of the fray, what do you know - a man and his wife selling cards!

Awesome people. The gent has traveled down from higher up in Michigan for some 20-plus years. He had a lot of Tigers stuff and assorted other old cards.

He had a few autographed baseballs. No certifications. He was a sports writer way back when and attended various events with a few greats of Tigers yore - Al Kaline and Willie Horton namely. Willie, he says, is a great guy who enjoys talking about himself in the third person. Mr. Tiger runs hot and oh-so-very cold. No surprise there.

So, after visiting with this couple for awhile, I went back to my family and did the festival thing. I had my eye on a few things in his booth so I told him I'd be back. Right then, I had my other eye on some kettle corn.

When we all returned late in the day, near closing time, he and his wife struck up a doting chat with my five-year-old daughter, who had spotted some old tobacco-style minis in a small case.

She loved the cards and whispered to me that she'd like one. He pulled out the collection - of actors and actresses from way back when - and we both got a closer look. My daughter chose this one.
Good choice. There's always been something about that woman. My guess is it's the eyes.

This is card #10 from the Third Series of Player's Cigarettes "Film Stars" released in 1938. I guess Series One and Series Two were released earlier in the '30s. Most of the great stars of the day seem to be in the collection with some others including: Gary Cooper, Joan Crawford, Clark Gable, Greta Garbo, Jean Harlow, Katherine Hepburn and Johnny Weissmuller.

Here's the back:
This, my daughter's card, is the oldest card in our house.

As for me, I bought, yes, one of the aforementioned signed Kaline balls. The gent had it marked at just $30 but with no certification there was a gamble involved. He said he'd sell it and the Bette Davis for $20 total. 

Later, back at home, for kicks I looked up this guy on the Internet. Not to verify my trust but to see if any old articles came up. Learned that he had been given a community award at some point not long ago - for many things including being generally a standup fella. That doesn't guarantee the ball is legit, of course, but it was nice to read.

I'm not an autographed ball collector. I've never purchased one before, although I have several that I've personally obtained - at the formerly named Comiskey Park in the early aughts and at The National in 2011. I also - in a pinch - had a novelty ball signed last year by the great George Foster, but I couldn't resist taking the cheap gamble on a ball by a Hall of Famer.

My daughter still loves her card, by the way. She takes it out every now and then and studies it. She loves that it's her own and I think she enjoys knowing she's sharing my hobby.

Search Me *shrugs*