Thursday, December 30, 2010

CC to the Sawx: My definitive Opinion

It's been a while. Hope everyone's had a great Holiday Season and looking forward to sending things out with a bang tomorrow night.

First off, the end of last semester was way too hectic. I'm behind on trade responses, keeping up with blogs, and things in general. Then I was in Mexico for two weeks.

And while all that was going on, this happened.


To be honest I'd already gone through the seven stages of grief about CC leaving the Rays. At this point, a number of the guys I watched come up from Charleston to Durham (CC, Young, Gomes) are gone, so I've been here before. Would I rather CC have stayed with the Rays? Unequivocally. But that's like saying you wish you could stay 23 and single forever: not gonna happen (at least for the 23 part). I'll still pull for the Rays (particularly with Elliot Johnson finally scheduled to come up next year) but it's a different team.

Organizationally it was the right move. The Rays can't afford anything near the 7 years/ $142 million CC is scheduled to get from the Sawx. They'll get some compensatory picks in return and the wheels will keep moving. Sad, but that's small market.

As for CC, I'm glad he's getting his. He was professional about the breakup (both its inevitability and its resolution) and will receive a much deserved payday. His knees also get out of the Trop, which was becoming a concern.

As for ME,  at least it's not the Yankis. I know, it's the Sawx (that's the mini-Yankis) but it's still not the Yankis. Bloggers aside (whom all-in-all are a great group), Yankis fans are #1 on my list of "folks I don't like to watch a game around." Sawx fans are #2, sure, but it's a distant #2. I can pull for the Sawx to be successful with CC in ways that just wouldn't be possible if he were employed by Hal, Hank, and Cash and being rooted for by the meandering bandwagon that comprises 95% of Yanki fandom.

In fact, as a preferred destination for CC the Sawx are probably the BEST of all possible worlds for him, career wise. The Halos would have been nice but they're not in a position to contend year after year either talent-wise or financially. If nothing else the Sawx are gonna hit, especially with González at 1B, so CC's offensive stats should soar. To borrow a phrase from Joe, who email me about this subject, going to the Sawx will be boom or bust: it'll put him over the top for the HOF or ruin his career. We'll see, but there's a lot of potential there.

Anyway, my two cents.

Have a good one and goodnight Pumpsie Green, wherever you are!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

It's Official: CC no longer a Ray

Go Rays Sox?

I'm happy CC is getting his as they say. 7 years and $142 million is nothing to sneeze at and money  the Rays couldn't afford.

AND it's not the Yankis (even though it's still the Sox). And even though it's the Sox they now have CC and Andrew Miller, two of my favorite guys, so I guess I can go there.

At any rate it's a strange day. I just hope that if Gene Conley and Pumpsie Green invite CC out for drinks he politely declines.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Randoms for other cards

Sorry this has taken so long. Things are...interesting and stressful around these parts at the moment.

Anyway, Deans wanted me to random the Maples and the Team USA dual among the non-hitting slot breakers to spread things around a bit. First cards go out tomorrow, the last wave on Saturday.

Congrats to Brian (who'll get the dual) and Arfmax (who'll get the Maples). Screenshots are below.

#1


#2


#3

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Group Break Hits: 1, 2, Oh My God

We had 5 boxes, so guaranteed hits. We got 8 so we came out way ahead on the odds. Of the 8 the Ramirez is /25, the Strasburg is /50 (right?), one of the Macfarlands is /500, the Maples is /199, and the Delmonico/Wolters is /500. The Braun orange is also /25. Vids are in the process of being uploaded.

Videos: 

Slot results: Get Ready

OK, I won't ruin the surprise for you, but skip down and pay close attention to slot #18 (especially in round d), owned by Dean who took the Giants. I'm sure several of you have been thinking "What's will CCC on this one?" Well, now you know. I'll be getting the vids up tonight (finally) but in the meantime here we go.

Dean and I are talking about how this is going to go down, but one thing is certain: he will NOT be walking with all three of those autos (he also had slot #12). He's a magnanimous guy and asked me to let him sleep on a decision regarding what he'll do and he sent me several scenarios, all of which will spread the wealth around.


A) Round
1) John Hochstatter USA
2) AJ Vanegas USA auto
3) Trayce Thompson
4) Dillon Maples USA
5) Bobby Abreu Angels
6) Brady Shoemaker
7) Alexei Ramirez--refractor
8) Mat Carson Refractor
9) Francisco Lindor USA
10 ) Jose Altuve
11) Kendry Morales
12) Torii Hunter ---refractor
13) Blake Swihart USA
14) Trevor Reckling
15) Kendry Morales
16) Christian Lopes
17) Stephen Parker
18) Dillon Maples USA---auto refractor /199
19) Josh Hochstatter USA

b) Round
1) Miguel Montero--refractor
2) jimmy paredes
3) brandon short
4) andrew bailey
5) Dillon Maples
6) Ian Desmond
7) Phillip Pfeifer III USA
8) Carlos Quentin
9) Abreu--Angels
10) Henry Owens USA
11) Rajai Davis
12) Mark Reynolds
13) Michael Born
14) Nicky Delmonico---USA
15) John Simms
16) brandon short
17) edwin jackson
18) jimmy paredes
19) michael lorenzen USA

c) Round
1) Daniel Camarena USA
2) John Hochstatter---USA
3) stephen drew refractor
4) dillon maples USA
5) brandon short
6) rajai davis
7) christian lopes---usa
8) jimmy paredes
9) blake swihart
10) abreu
11) miguel montero
12) nicky Delmonico/tony wolters dual auto /500
13) andrew bailey
14) Dillon Maples
15) jd Martinez
16) trayce thompson
17) mat carson
18) stasburg gold chrome refractor auto
19) stephen parker

round d)
1 ) john hochstatter
2) jose altuve
3) jimmy paredes
4) brandon short
5) strasburg
6) josh Donaldson---refractor
7) francisco lindor
8) trevor reckling
9) phillip pfeifer III

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Group Break Results Tomorrow

If it's not one thing it's another. Guess that's life.

On the other hand the wait will be worth it. I can promise you that.

YYYYYEEEEESSS!

Just click and read. It's November so April Fool's isn't a possibility.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Random List for 2010 Bow-Chrome Break

Here is what we started with. I put how folks got the slot by their name. For example, Ryan has two teams (O's and Rockies) so he got a 'free' slot for the O's. Antonio picked up the Red Sox and purchased and extra slot, so he's got 2, etc.

Getting the cards up soon!

Ryan-O’s
Antonio-Red Sox
Antonio-paid
Nick-Twins
Nick-Royals
Arfmax—paid
Arfmax-paid
Waterman—paid
Dean—Reds
Dean—Pirates
Dean---Giants
Dean---paid
Dean—paid
Rod---Mariners
Rod--paid
Brian---paid
Benny---paid
Dan---paid
Dan---paid

Update: edited on 11.8 to include an extra name

Randoms:
Original List
#1

#2
#3



Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Oct/Nov Group Break: Back in Black: Bowman Chrome

Here is the deal: we're doing 5 boxes of 2010 Bowman Chrome.


Teams listed as "Open" are cleared for takeoff. Leave a comment to claim your team and drop me the Paypal to crawfordcards(at)gmail.com.

 To keep things simple we'll be using Joe Collector's pricing structure, found here (thanks JC!).


(6)Any team newer than 1980 including the Nationals are in Tier 3 $15

(8)Any team newer than 1961 shall be in Tier 2 $18


(16) Any team older than 1961 shall be in Tier 1 $21.75

This reflects an extra $1.25 per team to cover the $25 overrun on the boxes.

New Payment deadline is October 9. After that teams are opening up!!

Orioles 1901 (Ryan---paid
Boston Red Sox 1901 (paid
New York Yankees 1901 (Nick---paid
Chicago White Sox 1901 (Open
Cleveland Indians 1901 (Dan---paid
Detroit Tigers 1901 (SMG---paid
Minnesota Twins 1901 (Nick--paid
Oakland Athletics 1901 (Open
Atlanta Braves 1871 (Aaron & Dennis---paid
Philadelphia Phillies 1883 (ArfMax--paid
Chicago Cubs 1870 (Community Gum---paid
Cincinnati Reds 1890 (Dean---paid
Pittsburgh Pirates 1882 (Paid
St. Louis Cardinals 1882 (Ike & Tony---paid
Los Angeles Dodgers 1890 (Dean---paid
San Francisco Giants 1883 (Paid
Tampa Bay Rays 1998 (CarlCrawfordCards ~ Paid)
Toronto Blue Jays 1977 (D. Amos---paid
Kansas City Royals 1969 (Nick--paid
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 1961 (Open
Seattle Mariners 1977 (Rod---paid
Texas Rangers 1961 (Brian---paid
Florida Marlins 1993 (Chuck/HamRam----paid
New York Mets 1962 (BA Benny---paid
Washington Nationals/Expos 1969 (Open
Houston Astros 1962 (Open
Milwaukee Brewers 1969 (Ed--paid
Arizona Diamondbacks 1998 (Open
Colorado Rockies 1993 (Ryan----paid
San Diego Padres 1969 (Rod---paid

Monday, October 25, 2010

Chuck Harmon TTM

 A while back Troll did a great post on former Negro Leaguer and Big Leaguer Chuck Harmon. I'm a sucker for Negro League ballplayers and ttms, so when I saw that Mr. Harmon has his own website I thought "Sure, I'll drop him a line." He's also the man who integrated the Reds, which makes his story particularly cool.

Months went by and no reply. My success rate on ttms is pretty good and, to be honest, I hold no grudge against the guys who never reply or return the cards. After all, they have no idea who I am and I'm intruding on their daily routines with a letter seeking a signature and, in the case of Mr. Harmon, a sheet of paper with the question: "What is the secret to a successful marriage?" He's been married over 50 years so it seemed appropriate.

Well the mail showed up Friday and these were in the SASE:
That card is courtesy of Daddy D, sig courtesy of Mr. Harmon. I really like the card itself as well. Most 58's are close-up portraits which makes this posed batting shot somewhat unusual. And of course there's that nice phat signature on there. Great stuff. I'd forgotten how much I enjoy getting vintage cards from former players back in the mail and haven't sent any in months. Gotta do something about that.

Anyway, this was included as a bonus:
I dig how the signature kinda got away from him but Mr. Harmon picked it up, going on down the card. The back is also pretty neat with a narrative about his career and popularity in his town, Cincinnati. 
On top of this he even answered my question about marriage. The answer: "marry the right person." That's pure zen.

Have a good one everybody and goodnight Pumpsie Green, wherever you are!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Holy Crop: This is How It's Done

Don't forget: we have the 5 box Bowman Chrome Break coming up. LOTS of teams available, sign up here.

Night Owl has done several definitive posts on cropping, but when I got my cards from the JC Break in the mail this afternoon I had to throw this out there.

First up, the regular 2010 Topps.
Good photo but not great. I appreciate the action shot, the signage on the outfield wall, but there's just not enough for a solid narrative. Again: good card, I like the action, but it's not great.

Then we have 2010 Topps Chrome:
The Chrome doesn't show up well on the scan but check that out. You've got the base about a foot from CC sliding in, a shadow cast behind him, the sign in the background reading "Energy." Darn right! And well done to whomever decided to take a step back on this one and revise the card for the Chrome issue. Very, very nice.

Have a good one everybody and goodnight Pumpsie Green, wherever you are!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Congrats Rangers fans....

on winning a great series. Now go beat the $#%^%$ing Yankees!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

We're going back to the Trop!

In other news don't forget the CCC Group break.

LET'S! GO! RAYS!

It looks like Sonny is in it to be the new Jonny Gomes. Peña has returned from exile, Longo is back (although limping), hopefully CC can shake off the terrible strike calls from last night and get back into it. Game ball to Wade Davis---he came up HUGE today. Let's see Price do likewise on Tuesday!

CCC Group Break: Twins, Both Sox, Mariners Many Others Available

Click here for details!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Will the real Tampa Bay Rays...

please show up! C'mon guys. Despite my best-laid plans it looks like I'll be in for the long haul on this one in some airport bar. Delayed flight mean I'm already in a bad enough mood, so let me go home happy!

Go Rays!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Playoff Almost Haiku

As many words as total hits:
That sucks

Seriously, words fail. C'mon Rays!

Monday, October 4, 2010

This one is for the Royals fans

You know who you are.

This was a largely meaningless series for the Royals at the end of a lost season but the Royals absolutely gave the Rays all they could handle in earning the split. And then you had Mitch Maier (or however you spell it) working Soriano for a walk with 2 outs in the bottom of the 12th, then Yost pinch-hitting Blanco for Dyson, then Blanco with the double. I know the Royals finally have some depth in the minors, but a team that battles into extras on the last day of the season isn't too far away from turning it around. I know all the clichés about waiting til next year but seriously, the Royals look ready to make some noise.

Go Rays!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

¡¡¡¡AL East Champs!!!!

Your Tampa Bays Rays!

Congrats gentlemen. Now let's finish off the Royals game and do some damage in the postseason.

It's like a Holliday

Many thanks to Eric Patterson of the Boston Red Sox for helping make this day possible.

Wade Davis takes the hill for the Rays against Sean O'Sullivan and the Royals. Longo is STILL out but hey, this year it's about winning the whole thing, not necessarily the division. Though, truth be told, I'd love to win us some division.

As reported in other sources, if CC hits another HR today (his 20th) he'd going the exclusive 20/40 club. This is interesting in a Trivial Pursuit, alignment of the stars kind of way, but not in a way that's statistically meaningful. Dude's had a great year with a high in power and consistently good speed. What more can I say?

And speaking of CC, anyone catch the in-game video of him discussing the GG? You could hear the frustration in his voice just talking about it. Seriously, how long can AL managers overlook him? CC's biggest problem has always been hype, that is lack of it. The stats are there, no doubt.
Have a good one everybody. Go Rays!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Expectation Management: Postseason and Personal Edition

Update on the Oct/Nov Group Break scheduled for this afternoon. All systems go!
Truth be told watching the Rays the past few nights has been tough but, as the title implies, this is as much a problem with my expectations as with the Rays' performance. I think the Rays should go out and ROLL the O's and KC, especially guys like Millwood and Chen, but they got shut out. Why knows why? My grief has a lot  more to do with what I expect at this point in the season versus what I expected in March. If you had told me then the Rays would have been assured a playoff spot and be battling for the Division Title on the last weekend of the season I'd have said, "Bring it on!" Of course now that those things have come to pass I'm greedy. I want them to win it all and do so now, $$@$ it!

As linguistic monkeys we're a lot like that as a species. We won't admit it but we expect things despite the fact outcomes may/may not be uncertain. We might say we plan for the worst and hope for the best but, more often than not, we entertain thoughts of the worst to inoculate us against it actually happening, as if fantasizing about a worst case scenario somehow assured us that it would never happen.

Which leads me finally to this: I want to apologize to all the folks with whom I've been in and out of touch over the past couple of months, group break participants in particular. I'm sure this is too much info, especially for a blog on baseball cards, but the compa had a miscarriage a couple of months ago. It was one of those events where, even though we both knew there are no guarantees a given pregnancy will come to term, the expectation was, of course, that it would. We were pretty unprepared for a negative outcome and it's taken me these months to get my head back straight.

Good news, of course, is that I'm back! Things are good, I'm catching up on business, looking forward to the postseason and getting back to things.

Go Rays!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

On the Longo/Price Flap

I'll come out with it from the start: I'm 110% behind Longo and Price.

For starters, there are a lot of great Rays fans, the "fan base," but we're a geographically dispersed group. I watched CC, Upton, Longo, Price, etc. come up through the minors. I'm not a Rays fan because I live in that area, I'm a Rays fan for REALLY different reasons. I have had to get pretty extreme to keep watching the Rays from way up here in ND, but that's life. In fact I have the Rays-Os on right now.

For me the rest of it breaks down as follows.

1) Jeff Passan over at Yahoo has a great piece on FL simply being football territory, but that's only half the story. Aside from spring training there is NO MLB tradition in the area. NONE. The Tampa area as we know it is relatively new compared to, say, New York, Boston, or Chicago, where baseball runs deep in the veins of the fans of losing teams and winning teams alike. Those people show up, win or lose, because their grandparents did likewise. It's a tradition, period. This is the same problem the Braves have had going back to the mid-90's when everyone jumped on fans down there. A significant number of folks in both Tampa and Atlanta are from somewhere else and have other loyalties. People that are fans of the game (as opposed to just a team/city) are a lot more likely to transfer loyalties or at least root, root for the home team and bring up their progeny to do likewise. Which brings me to....

2) Yep, look at the stands pretty much everywhere. Fewer and fewer kids. Baseball is hemorrhaging young fans to other sports and has been for a while. There are a lot of reasons for that, but let's face the present: if you are going to take your kids to a ball game you want that to be special. If you can only get to a game occasionally you want good/great tickets. In a lot of places that'll set you back over $200 for a family of 4 and no one has had a hotdog or bought a bobblehead yet. It becomes a lot cheaper if it's just a guys' night out with my friends. I mean, for $100 one can get a great seat and snozzled, making it cheaper to leave the kids at home. Which leads me to...

3) The economy. It stinks. In that area it's even worse. People are hurting and simply can't afford it, period.

4) The Rays were never SUPPOSED to afford it. The Rays were put in Tampa so the recently deceased G. Steinbrenner could watch the Yankees in person in FL. With the unbalanced schedule, having an extra doormat in the AL East all but assured the big boys (NY, Boston) would be right there to take up two playoff spots year in, year out. Think I'm wrong? Again, NO legitimate, sane business man or economist would recommend putting a team down there in that location in that stadium. NO ONE. And yet here we are. Only the Rays slowly built their way to respectability and are now one of the top dogs, which is bad for the big boys' revenue. When the Rays were lesser, so to speak, no one cared. Now that they are awesome all of these baseball people keep asking why no one comes. It's like asking why it doesn't rain when there are no clouds.

Anyway, I can understand Price and Longo's frustration. In short guys there just aren't that many folks down there who are fans, and even some of us fans can't afford it. That said, we ARE with you. I'm watching you kick ass all the way up here near the Canadian border like I was watching you when I was living in Mexico. Now clinch the playoff berth, assure the division and home-field advantage, and let's get back to the Series!

Friday, September 17, 2010

This is all I have to say...

about that. 

Thx anonymous DRays Bay guy who did this. And remember people, love is the greatest intangible of all. I think A-Rod said that.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Great game

I know you NEVER make the 3rd out at 3rd but still: hats off to Golson. It took a perfect through to nail CC. Who knew he had that kind of arm?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

What a Game: 1-0 in 11, Rays take over 1st

The word is EPIC.

Price was as advertised. Sabathia was as advertised. Former Durham Bull Reid Brignac came up HUGE. Congrats gents, great game.

Notes:

  • Dear MLB Network: would it be too much to have the HOME broadcast for these games. The homerism of the YES network crew is understandable but for a game on a non-Yankee network is a bit much. And leads me to....
  • Tom Hallion ejecting CC in the 9th. The YES guys couldn't believe CC got himself tossed. Most reasonable human beings would have noticed the strike zone was a little shaky at times. There were moments when Price was outright squeezed. The second strike to CC was a ball for most of the night and the third strike was on-again, off-again. Too close to take? Sure. Unquestionably as strike? Ummm, no. Should CC have been barking? Maybe not. Which leads me to...
  • Tom Hallion, remember that a good umpire is like great wallpaper. He's a good background piece and the game doesn't come together without him, but if you know the ump's name at the end of the night he's did something along the lines of purple stripes on green. And I now know your name. The strike zone last night was TERRIBLE. Don't believe me? Green is a ball, red is a strike. 'Nuff said. (I got this at DRays Bay who got it from www.brooksbaseball.net)Which leads me to....
  • Joe Maddon. Love you. Your AS LF just got kicked out of the game over a questionable call from an ump with a wandering, widening strike zone. Go out there and tell that gentleman all the unspeakable things they say to each other in the parking lots at Phillies games. Do it, if only for the children.
Looking forward to more tonight! Have a good one everybody and goodnight Pumpsie Green, wherever you are!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Biggest series of the year starts tonight!

Rays-Yankees people! And MLB is putting both the Monday and Tuesday games on the tube. It'll probably be the Yes Network broadcast but this should still be must-watch TV.

Monday we have two Cy Young candidate left-handers squaring off, Sabathia and Price.

Tuesday it's Nova (he of the "B-12 shots") and Garza.

Wednesday it's Hughes versus Shields.

A few notes:

  • CC has been on FIRE the past few weeks. He's raised his BA by about 10 points and his OPS by 33. Hopefully those numbers are gonna hold. 
  • The pitching match ups are break even. Game one is a toss up. Nova versus Garza is tight but I'll give a slight edge to Garza. If the REAL James Shields shows up the Rays have a big advantage in games three, but that's a big "if." Which leads me to...
  • No disrespect to the All-Star Hughes but he's been roughly on par with Wade Davis this year. What kind of difference does it make to be on the Yankees as opposed to any other team? You hear nothing but talk about Hughes being an exceptional young pitcher (he has a below average ERA+ of 94). By comparison a number of folks have been saying for months that Davis should be pulled from the Rays' rotation in favor of Hellickson. Davis's ERA+? A slightly better-than-Hughes 99.
  • There have been rumblings that the Rays' bullpen has tired from early-season overuse. And Soriano gave up a two-run walkoff homer to Aaron Lind today. I'm not saying the two are connected, but I'm just sayin'. If the Rays are going to make a deep run they need the pen' to be rock-solid.
Looking forward to it. Go Rays!

Have a good one everybody and goodnight Pumpsie Green, wherever you are!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Whaling Part 2: The Satchel Paige

This is THE card I've been chasing since I got back in to collecting.
What can you say? The man was a legend, by which I mean his greatest exploits are not "officially" recognized by MLB because they are not "verifiable" by league-approved means. I get it, I really do. Despite the lack of "official" stats, no one from that era disputes Satch's prowess. His team barnstormed with that of Bob Feller. His dominance of Josh Gibson, perhaps the greatest home run hitter of all-time, is amazing. What sealed it for me, though, is his take on why you don't eat fried foods: they angry up the blood. This of course is very, very true. 

As and aside, a while back I even got a chance to shake hands with Larry LeGrande who was Satchel's last catcher on the Satchel Paige All-Stars. All I can say is if you get the chance to meet Mr. LeGrande at a game you need to GO. 

Good stuff, good stuff.

Have a good one everybody and goodnight Pumpsie Green, wherever you are!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Whaling Part 1: The '61 Maris

(And yes, I'm ambivalent about the title)

I'm ashamed to admit it, but I never appreciated Roger Maris until I moved to ND. I always felt he was a flash in the pan who put together a couple of good seasons but not much else and that he would have never gotten the attention he got if he'd played somewhere other than NY.

I'm an idiot.

The '59 season in KC was good, the '60 season in NY was spectacular, and the '61 (despite the 61 HRs that get all the press) was only a hair better (161 OPS+ in '60, 167 OPS+ in '61). He never approached those highs again and injuries obviously took their toll, but the career itself doesn't get nearly enough credit. Maris was a ballplayer that we'd all appreciate more if he HADN'T played in NY. Mantle should have broken the record, not Maris. He wasn't the anointed one and if he hadn't done it in Mantle's shadow...things would have been different.

 I was torn between the '61 and '62 but finally decided on the '61.
As a card there's a lot to dig here. On the one hand there's the historical coincidence of it being the card issued during the year he hit the '61 HRs. But then we've also got what, objectively speaking, is a sublime baseball card. Maris in the shadow of the batting cage, bat over his shoulder, looking over his right shoulder. We've even got some light that washes out the cages, giving them more depth, and highlighting Maris's face.
And then on the back we've got a cartoon "Maris" smacking a homer and another of him receiving the MVP trophy. And that was in 1960 on the cusp of the amazing 1961 season. And I love that it includes the first bush-league season in Fargo. Wrap your head around that: 114 games in Fargo! He grew up there so I'm sure he was fine but it only gets above 75 degrees here 3 months out of the year. That's some cold baseball.

Have a good one everybody and goodnight Pumpsie Green, wherever you are!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Not sure what's funnier...

that we're supposed to think that Gibson signed 2000 of these or the idea that he signed then all on the back.

2010 topps t206: The Review

After getting beat last night tonight the Rays are PUMMELING the Sox, so all is right with the world. (This will post in the morning---I'll go out on a limb and call the win). I'll get back to regular programming beginning tomorrow but in the meantime, here are my unsolicited thoughts on the 2010 Topps t206 break.

Here's the video recap, and here are the hits.


Design: I love the design. I actually like it better than last year's 206 or even Ginter. The hats/no hats thing is a bit weird but whatever. The original 206 is pretty eccentric so I'll deal. I also like the no # variations with a different pic on the front. My one issue with that is those cards seem to be so much BETTER than the regular cards, why not do the whole set like that? It's a legit question.

Minis: I like the minis, I like the variations. It's a personal thing, but I feel like this year's design adds enough to the feel of the original set so as to be unique and not just a rip-off.

Hits: Now we're getting into the soup of things. Topps has obviously added some high-value hits to the product (the Mantle books, etc.) at the cost of producing an even checklist with value distributed up and down. I understand the appeal of the massive hits to a lot of collectors, but it's at the cost of people who'd just rather rip a great box of cards. Our two plates made the break, but we're still at least a hit short. I'm sure the folks who landed hits are stoked (and rightfully so) but in a vacuum I feel like the hits were pretty weak. That said, I'm happy with the Rays I got (including the CC mini!).

Overall: As a group break product this was fun even though we didn't score the mega hit. However, if I'd thrown down on this as an individual looking to land something mega-awesome I'd be hurt. I recognize that a lot of it comes down to disposable income, but at $82 a box you need at least one solid hit to anchor a box. No disrespect to the guys we pulled (I live in Twins territory and I'd even say I'm a Kubel fan), but $5 autos just won't do it. I'd much rather have a cheaper product with those kinds of autos or, at the same price, a product without the whale hits and better distribution of value.

2/5 CCs

Sunday, September 5, 2010

September Group Break Videos!

Here we go! I'll update the links as the vids are finished over at Youtube.

Box 1

Box 2

Box 3

Box 4

Box 5

Edit: Problem with #3 is now fixed!

Catching up: CCs from Joe

There are a few posts I owe people as a consequence of my "non-absent absence." While Youtube is waiting to upload videos (longer than usual even!) I'll go ahead and get started.

Joe and I had traded once before and he'd sent me some great stuff. This time he contacted me about a DK CC auto /10 and, because it was the summer and I was bouncing around a bit, things were kind of off and on. I didn't have anything right in his wheelhouse but I sent him a bunch of relics and he sent me the agreed upon CCs. Or so I thought. Right after he sent the package he dropped me a line and told me "to be sitting down when I opened it up." Glad I did.
In addition to the agreed upon DK auto there was this Turkey Red Cabinet card (inset card is for size.) This thing is AWESOME. I hadn't realized until just now the background is slightly different from the regular-sized card, either. Where the regular one is CC in an abandoned ball field the larger version is "CC fighting zombies in a post-industrial apocalyptic wasteland." Very cool.

And then, of course, the CC DK. Here its with the two DK jerseys I have, both courtesy of Joe.

Great additions to the collection, and needless to say I owe you, Joe! Thanks again.

Have a good one everybody and goodnight Pumpsie Green, wherever you are!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Puttin' on the hits: The Ghost of Jason Kubel Break

Video and the review will be up tomorrow, but in the meantime here are the hits.

As with the "Dodgers Box" Icons Break, this one will forever live in infamy as the "Ghost of Jason Kubel" Break.
The Relics:

Do the printing plates count as relics? If not then we got shorted 2 hits! Again, props to Sooz for advice in handling Topps customer service. Any more input is appreciated.

The Cycle Backs:


Two variations:

A month ago those Strasburgs were worth $15K. Now? Who knows?

And finally the autos:


That's right: not one, but TWO Kubel autos. The odds are astronomical. Plus, that makes THREE Koob hits in the last two breaks. Amazing. 

Boxes are Broken! Scans soon, video and such later; Advice needed

not to set the bar low here, but we are short at least one hit (from the last box). Also, I'm guessing printing plates count in the 2 guaranteed relics/autos per box, correct?

Any advice on how to go about getting in touch with Topps about how to get the missing hit(s) would be awesome. I've seen different folks have been successful working this out, so I'm hoping it goes well!

Friday, September 3, 2010

My Bob: The T206 has landed!

Break on Saturday afternoon or Sunday at the latest! Still have the A's, D-Backs, and Mariners available for $13.50 (full price on subsequent breaks). If I fail to pull the compa a Peña in this break I'm in deep *&^%.

A card I've wanted for a while (not THE card, that's coming) has been a 1950's Clemente. Well, thanks to a little paper loss this guy fell into my lap:

So yes, wtf was chewing on that upper right hand corner? Other than the the card is in really good shape. OK, depending on your perspective that might be overlooking a lot but it's more than good enough for me.

As for the card itself it's a great portrait of Clemente, odd positioning of the "autograph,"and it lists him as "Bob." I know that's short for Robert, and that you hear a lot of folks refer to him as "Bob," but did he ever really go by Bob? It's not listed on his BB Reference page so it makes you wonder. All in all a classic late-50s Topps-type card and a nice addition to the PC even if it might carry the plague.

Anyway, there's been some malaise around, some talk about uninspiring 2010 products and such, so I thought I'd put the 1959 Clemente out there. Cost? A little more than a discount blaster.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

What are your Whales & Discount Teams

First up I got notice the 2010 T206 is on the way. Due date of 9/3 because I live up near the north pole. We've got 3 teams left, 13.50 for any of 3 four:  A's, Dbacks, Mariners. Leave a comment to claim the teams. PP to my email address (crawfordcards (at) gmail.com). This is a one-time deal, full price next month for the 2010 Bowman Chrome.

I've been chasing this one card for a while but a few weeks ago I hit "bid" with 2 seconds to go and landed it for a decent enough price. It's not a CC but a great vintage card. Before I roll it out I want to know: what cards are your whales? Not necessarily anything REALLY expensive like the Wagner or a 52 Mantle, but the cards you track on ebay and salivate over only to get outbid? 

I FINALLY landed one of mine and let me tell you, it feels pretty #@$* good.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

September Group Break Sign Up: 2010 Topps 206

Here is the deal: we're doing 5 boxes of 2010 Topps 206.

 To keep things simple we'll be using Joe Collector's pricing structure, found here (thanks JC!).


(6)Any team newer than 1980 including the Nationals are in Tier 3 $13.75

(8)Any team newer than 1961 shall be in Tier 2 $16.75
(16) Any team older than 1961 shall be in Tier 1 $20.50

Here's a list of who has teams and has paid as of right now. If you are already in double-check this to make sure it is right! To claim a team leave a comment (I'll turn of moderation) and email me. Send PP to crawfordcards (at) gmail.com.

Open teams summary: A's: $20.50
D-Backs, Mariners: $16.75

Baltimore Orioles 1901 (Ryan---paid
Boston Red Sox 1901 (Stephane--paid
New York Yankees 1901 (Nick---paid
Chicago White Sox 1901 (Arfmax----paid
Cleveland Indians 1901 (Dan---paid
Detroit Tigers 1901 (Mike---paid
Minnesota Twins 1901 (Stéphane---confirmed
Oakland Athletics 1901 (Open
Atlanta Braves 1871 (Aaron & Dennis---paid
Philadelphia Phillies 1883 (ArfMax--paid
Chicago Cubs 1870 (Dean---paid
Cincinnati Reds 1890 (Dean---paid
Pittsburgh Pirates 1882 (Dean---paid
St. Louis Cardinals 1882 (Ike & Tony---paid
Los Angeles Dodgers 1890 (Dean---paid
San Francisco Giants 1883 (Brian---paid
Tampa Bay Rays 1998 (CarlCrawfordCards ~ Paid)
Toronto Blue Jays 1977 (D. Amos---paid
Kansas City Royals 1969 (Nick---paid
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 1961 (Stephane
Seattle Mariners 1977 (Open
Texas Rangers 1961 (Brian---paid
Florida Marlins 1993 (Chuck/HamRam---paid
New York Mets 1962 (BA Benny---paid
Washington Nationals/Expos 1969 (Stéphane---confirmed
Houston Astros 1962 (Pair---paid
Milwaukee Brewers 1969 (Ed--paid
Arizona Diamondbacks 1998 (Open
Colorado Rockies 1993 (Ryan----paid
San Diego Padres 1969 (Rod---paid

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tampa is currently down by a touchdown...

and a two point conversion. Toronto's defense seems to be flagging a bit but I'm still not going to be overconfident heading into the ninth inning.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Discount Teams, Semester Begins, yada yada

First up I got notice the 2010 T206 is on the way. We've got 4 teams left, 13.50 for any of these four:  A's, Dbacks, Astros, Mariners. Leave a comment to claim the teams. PP to my email address (crawfordcards (at) gmail.com). This is a one-time deal, full price next month for the 2010 Bowman Chrome.


The semester is upon me, has been for about a month. Things are stabilizing, hope to get back to regular programming this weekend. Also hope to break the 2010 T206, so it should be a good one!


In the meantime my dog just ate 1/2 a loaf of zucchini bread. Tonight is going to be ugly.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Discount Group Break Teams Available: White Sox, A's, Astros, Mariners


Pick a team from group a and one from group b for $27 (normally $37.25): a) White Sox, A's b) Astros, Mariners. Leave a comment to claim the teams. PP to my email address (crawfordcards (at) gmail.com)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Granny Goes Ape

Granville Wilbur Hamner, "Granny" to the baseball world, spent most of his 17-year career with the Phillies, splitting '59 with Philly and Cleveland, then popping up for three games with the '62 version of the KC Athletics before calling it quits.

I remember a post on a Phillies bb card blog where the blogger stated that if your biggest bat is named "Granny" you are in deep. Phills lost to Empire's team, the Yanks, 4-0 but your Granny was a MONSTER, going 6-14 with a 1.181 OPS. Sadly he only scored 1 R and had 0 RBIs.
This '58 Granville (sounds like a car with fins and whitewalls, doesn't it?) is courtesy of Daddy D. Granny was a respectable 5'10" but that can of chew (or whatever it is) makes him look like an escaped Oompah Loompah about to do some serious damage with that bat. 
And no kidding, Granny WAS something of a pitcher. Too bad the '58 design leaves no space for the pitching stats, but it's worth mentioning that his stint with the A's was exclusively as a pitcher. Kind of a reverse Ankiel. 

Thanks for the card Daddy D.

Have a good one everybody and goodnight Pumpsie Green, wherever you are!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Real or Fake?: Or why I rarely spend more than $20 on a card

I'm thinking this CC patch card right here. Might be real, might not. If it is real it's the ugliest high-end patch card ever. If it's fake it's so bad why would you even bother? Either way, who would throw down $40 plus for this?

And don't forget the contest over at BA Benny's place. Free cards are always good cards.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Have you ever seen an auction like this?

It's one thing to sell authentic looking reprints. It's quite another to go this far.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Today's the deadline to pay up for the group break

If you don't pay your team opens up.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Don't Forget: Pay up by the 5th for the Group Break

if you haven't already. Details here.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Wade Davis: The Man

As I write this (Friday evening), Yahoo has yet to post the big news that the Rays beat the Yankees to move to within 1 game of the lead in the AL East. Instead the lead story is that the Yanks acquired Lance Berkman from the 'stros. Unfortunately all the money in NY can't buy a time machine to bring in the 2006 Lance Berkman (163 OPS+), the 2004 version (159 OPS+), or even the 2009 version (139 OPS+). They'll be getting the 2010 version which, while above average (117 OPS+), isn't the hitter you imagine when you say the words "Lance Berkman." So, while I'm sure he'll have some big moments with the new club, it's not AS big a deal as people would have us believe.

No friends, the story of the night was Wade "I'm pitching for my life" Davis. Everyone was in LOVE with Wade after a solid end to the year last year but have been calling for his head during a so-so year with a contending club. The numbers, however, tell a different story. How different? Going into tonight Davis had an ERA+ of 99. That's just below league average, and I'd say decent for a number 5 starter in his first year in the bigs. By comparison, media darling Phil Hughes, the All-Star he out-pitched tonight, had an ERA+ of 100, or exactly LEAGUE AVERAGE. Think media coverage doesn't matter? Hughes has been negligibly better than Davis yet made the AS team. Davis, on the other hand, has had folks saying we need to send him down to AAA. RIDICULOUS.

Anyway, congrats on a great start last night Wade! Way to go!

Friday, July 30, 2010

CC minor league cards: When ebay goes....right?

Everyone is (quite rightly) pissed and blogging about the Beckett shenanigans admission, so I thought I'd post about something that went RIGHT recently.

We all know ebay is full of nuttiness, and I've posted about it myself from time to time. However, sometimes when you see an auction up you gotta jump in. When I saw an auction for 346 DIFFERENT CCs with 123 numbered cards, including 11 jersey cards and 2 bat cards, I went for it. 

There were red flags, notably the cards were listed as a single, massive lot, with nothing listed save a photo of a 1999 Bowman RC and a Ginter bat card. 123 numbered cards---is that a typo? Moreover, I already owned over 350 different CC cards, so the odds of picking up a lot that had significant overlap were pretty good.

Well, I added over 150 CCs to the pc for less than 20 cents a card. If I were to have purchased these cards over the next few years I would have gladly paid more for many of them. Two examples are these CC A-Ball Minor League cards, one of which was in my COMC cart (at $2.50!) when I pulled it from this lot.
Very cool card. CC running the bases before he was the base stealing machine he is today.
CC (looking 12) with a cat hair left in the scanner for good measure. What I really like about these unlicensed cards, though, are the backs:
They are king of goofy, with no stats, the usual "CC almost went to Nebraska" story, ads for local companies, and that's about it. Reminds you of how transitory A-ball is for some guys. The high draft picks usually aren't around there for long, so the ink is barely dry on these cards before they've moved on.

That said, if you are looking for any CC in particular I now have a TON of doubles. Drop me a line and I'll look through them.

Have a good one and goodnight Pumpsie Green, wherever you are!