Presenting your newest Cincinnati Red

10 12 2008

He’s a pretty good catcher…


… about three years ago. For his services, the Reds give up Ryan Freel (oft injured, but fun to watch), Justin Turner (AA 2B who hits for average only) and Brandon Waring (Class A 3B with good power potential). The Reds also get around $1 million to pay Hernandez’ salary.

For Orioles fans, it’s addition by subtraction. For Reds fans, there’s a passive indifference tinged with optimism and a bit of wonder as to how this is going to work. Does this make Hernandez the main man behind the plate for ’09? Does Hanigan still get his shot, or is he backing up a guy who could still hit 20 out of Great American?

I’ve been down on ’09 since the loss of Adam Dunn.  And the realist in me says that’s where to start.  But with a new season and new players, the optimist in me is getting a little excited once more.

*UPDATED*  It appears that Reds get $3 million in return.  That’s a little better.  Deals like this depend on how the prospects work out, because Freel is no great shakes all by himself.


Zeroing In- The zeroinining

24 08 2008

It’s time to end this thing once and for all. Cards have trickled in through the month of August, and the magic number stands at 25 24. But this has taken way to long, and it’s my fault for letting it slip. But I’ve got the itch for eBay and older cards again, but I won’t let myself until my 2007 Topps baseball set is complete. It’s enough to tempt me into another blaster box of the stuff, and lord knows I don’t want to do that.

So please, please, please help me get what I need. If you’ve seen the original Zeroing In post and have been putting it off, now is the time. Today’s the day. E-mail me now at handcollated at gmail dot com. Before I go absolutely insane.

Below is the cleaned up list of what I still need. Looking for cards with no white marks on the black borders and sharp corners only.

13, 46, 86, 125, 139, 158, 220, 238, 254, 265, 302, 334, 385, 403, 428, 430, 432, 446, 492, 543, 568, 569, 575, 577

There. That’s not as imposing as the original list.

I’ll be away from a computer for the next few days, but would love to see that someone has all 24 cards.  Or 24 of you have one card each.  Just email me a wantlist, and we’ll work something out.


Two random packs

5 08 2008

2007 Goudey
Red backed:
57 Jeff Kent
64 John Smoltz
147 Phil Hughes
171 Ryan Zimmerman
Green backed:
19 Brian Roberts
22 Carlos Delgado
114 Frank Thomas
177 Nick Johnson

The part of me that quests for knowledge wants to look for a difference between the two colors. It’s being beat into submission by the part of my body that thought it was a good idea to mow the lawn in 105 degree heat. Maybe I’ll look later. Either way, only the Delgado and the Zimmerman survived their year at the local box store unscathed.

2006 Bowman Heritage
52 Ryan Freel
127 Magglio Ordonez
189 Jorge Cantu
201 Dan Uggla
BHP20 Mark Holliman
BHP61 Jamie Hoffman
Checklist 3 of 3
217 Yusmeiro Petit mini
10 Rafael Furcal foil

This was the pack I really wanted, or so I thought.  Man these things are hard to look out.  Wow.  Maybe it’s just the brink of heat stroke, but I’ve no desire to purchase any more of these things.  And, to add insult to injury, all the cards had a minor ding on the top border, with the exception of the mini and the Freel. The real Freel is currently dinged up himself, so it’s probably a cosmic thing that my heat oppressed mind can’t fully comprehend.

I was going to pick a winning pack from this debacle, but it’s like a two horse race where they both pull up lame on the first turn.  No excitement.  Just horsing limping.  So the lesson here is that loose packs at your local box store are probably filled with damaged goods.  So stay away and give your money to the local hobby shop.  I’m heading there tonight.

Oh and kids – don’t mow the lawn in 105 degree heat, even if you have a hydrating fluid ready to replenish your thirst. It’s just not worth the headache.  Literally.

Things I learned from the cards dayf sent…

1 07 2008

Dayf at Cardboard Junkie was swell enough to send some of the cards I needed from my 2007 Topps list. Here’s some things I learned from them:

41 Rich Hill – Rich is the only rookie to throw a shutout while being managed by Dusty Baker. Cueto and Volquez have each thrown at least 6 shutout innings this year, but have been pulled from the game before they could match Rich Hill’s feat.

64 Bobby Kielty – Bobby’s wife gre up best friends with Cliff Lee’s wife. I so hope that’s a Jeopardy! question some day.

396 Chris Capuano – Chris was the valedictorian of his class at Cathedral High School in Springfield.

505 Jose Bautista – Jose played with 4 different teams in 2004 alone.

659 Angel Berroa and Andres Blanco – Years from now, I will look at a card like this and remember the classic combo that was …

Zeroing In – 2007 Topps Baseball

1 07 2008

(Updated to add I’ll be bumping this to the top every day so you get sick of it and help me finish it.)

Originally I was going to launch this feature with 1990 Topps, but things have happened and I needed to change my focus for now. Still, I wanted to start with an easy one, and this set should fit the bill.

I hadn’t touched baseball cards since 1994, when I bought a box of Fleer at a card shop that I had to roller blade for a half hour to get to. It was a hot, sweaty experience, but provided both good exercise and a good distraction from the rigors of college life.

I have a son now, and one of the memories that I have of my father is hearing stories about the guys on his cards. I wanted my son to be able to experience the same kind of thing with me, and for him to look in awe through plastic pages and see some of the legends of the game from both long ago and today. So with that in mind, I bought a box of 2007 Topps baseball.

The cards were nice, and brought back another baseball card memory of my father. We were looking at 1971 Topps cards somewhere and he told me how difficult they were to find in good shape because of those black borders. I figured things had come a long way as my series 1 box provided little in the way of damage and the surprise of a Gold Derek Jeter parallel.

The series 2 box, however, proved disastrous. This one contained more than it’s share of damaged cards, and I seriously considered buying another one to fill in some of the holes. Then for my birthday, my brother sent along a complete series 2 set. Crisis averted, right? Well, no. It, too, contained whitened corners on most of the same cards that I needed already. But I did fill in a number of gaps, too.

I’m starting out 122 cards short of the complete set, and I’d like to finish it quickly.

So here’s my rules for Zeroing In: Until I complete the set I choose to “zero in” on, I cannot buy or trade for cards from any other set on my list. No game used cards, no starter sets, no vintage rookies – nothing until the sharp, seering focus I impose on myself is lifted by the completion of a set. So starting now, it’s all 2007 Topps in both trades and purchases until I get this thing done.

There is one exception, and that’s for hobby boxes of new releases I plan to collect. Those can still be bought and opened.

So here’s the list. I’ll probably create a link on the side to keep you all up to date on sets I choose to do this with. Help me out, if you can, by emailing wants to handcollated at gmail dot com. I promise I’ll give them a good home.

1, 2, 3, 13, 18, 23, 34, 41, 42, 46, 47, 49, 54, 56, 64, 71, 72, 73, 76, 83, 86, 87, 98, 101, 108, 109, 116, 119, 120, 125, 133, 134, 139, 144, 145, 146, 153, 158, 159, 167, 172, 174, 182, 187, 205, 207, 208, 212, 220, 225, 226, 229, 238, 239, 241, 246, 248, 250, 254, 255, 263, 265, 271, 273, 277, 285, 288, 290, 298, 299, 300, 302, 316, 318, 322, 326, 328, 329, 332, 333, 334, 335, 342, 368, 372, 385, 396, 403, 407, 408, 412, 415, 427, 428, 430, 432, 433, 435, 446, 451, 454, 478, 486, 489, 491, 492, 496, 505, 543, 556, 568, 569, 575, 577, 586, 602, 603, 611, 631, 654, 658, 659, 660

Here’s how I finished it:

  • 5-22 8:55 – The first three cards removed, 119 to go. Thanks Target Blaster!
  • 5-23 10:12 – Another two cards from the Blaster, 117 to go!
  • 5-28 9:32 – One card from the Blaster, 116 left…
  • 5-30 1037 – a card from the Blaster. 115 more needed.
  • 6-2 11:39 – Missorted Eric Wedge, damaged Brad Hawpe. 115 needed still.
  • 6-2 8:57 – one more blaster hit, 114 left
  • 6-3 9:06 – one final hit from the blaster, 113 to go
  • 6-4 9:09 – 5 cards from a jumbo pack. 108!
  • 6-17 3 more from a blaster jumbo. 105…
  • 6-27 34 in trade from Jim at Tastes Like Dirt… 71 to go
  • 6-27 4 in trade with Shane from Shoebox Legends… 67 to go
  • 6-30 22 from the Cardboard Junkie… 45 left…
  • 8-8 8 in trade from Bill at Trading Bases… 37 left
  • 8-13 1 in trade from Tim… 36 left
  • 8-18 11 in trade from Bobby Leonard at Trading Bases…  25 left

Mail Day!

29 06 2008

Mail Day was actually Thursday, but I’ve been very busy with work and family life, so I’m just getting around to this one…

First off, and completely unrelated to baseball cards, a box from the Beer of the Month club arrived, allowing me to sample beer from across America in the comfort of my own home. Oddly, the Beer of the Month actually comes bimonthly, no doubt in an effort to discourage alcoholism. So far I’ve tasted a couple of Brooklyn Brewery‘s finest, including their Pilsner and their Lager. Not bad, but I’m more of a dark beer kind of guy, and there’s a wheat beer and a black beer from Choc currently chilling in my fridge. I’ll keep you beer conaisseurs posted, if you’d like.

My second package was from Jim at Tastes Like Dirt. In exchange for some of this years Upper Deck baseball cards, he knocked 34 cards off my 2007 Topps wantlist,including the Mark Loretta card adorning the Zeroing In post, Lastings Millidge and his one handed batting stance, and Luke Hudson, Ramon Ortiz, and Daniel Cabrera all pretending to pitch. Quite a group of cards. Thanks, Jim!

The third box was short on 2007 Topps, but big in heart. Shane at Shoebox Legends put together quite a collection in exchange for a number of 1990/91 Upper Deck hockey cards, including 4 cards from my 2007 list (he actually sent 5, but one of the cards Jim had sent too, and I forgot to let him know), and three other cards from various sets. I also told Shane I was a Cincinnati Reds fan, so he also included an Upper Deck Joey Votto rookie and a Ryan Freel Bowman Heritage card, too.

As if that weren’t enough, Shane introduced me to 1989 Topps All-Star Doubleheaders. For those unfamiliar with this set, it’s essentially mini reprints of a players 1989 Topps card and their Topps rookie card printed back to back on a thin sheet of paper and stuck in a plastic display stand. John Franco now proudly watches over all my posts from home, and Shane also added two unopened packs. Here’s hoping I can pull the other Red from the set, Danny Jackson, to keep John company.

On top of that, the box contained a Topps Heritage fleece 1958 Reds emblem, two packs of Heads Up! Baseball Stars and two packs of 2005 Upper Deck All Star Classics. Good stuff all around. Thanks, Shane!

The cards have been marked off my Zeroing In post, and I’m currently in need of just 67 cards, with more on the way from Dayf at Cardboard Junkie.  If you can help, drop me a line.  I’d love to get this thing over with.

Yet another 2007 Topps pack break

18 06 2008

I had to purchase a Topps pack down at the local card shop in order to get some free swag, and since I’ve severely limited myself by my Zeroing In rules, it’s a 2007 Topps Hobby pack from series 2.

Here’s what I got:
642 Sean Henn
641 Hideki Okajima
636 Mike Rabelo
352 Carl Pavano
583 Joe Inglett
562 Jamie Moyer
644 Jared Burton
624 Jeremy Brown
347 Chicago Cubs
603 Los Angeles Dodgers (need!)
596 Texas Rangers
398 Jacque Jones Gold Parallel (430/2007)

573 Gustavo Chacin First Edition
533 Erik Bedard
548 Jason Kendall
511 Kenny Rogers
381 Ronny Paulino
456 Ted Lilly
558 Steve Trachsel
515 Josh Phelps
556 John Patterson (need!)
494 Orlando Hudson
356 Curtis Granderson
DS27 Charles De Gaulle Distinguished Service
GN258 One of Ryan Zimmerman’s 47 doubles
JDSF52 Even though it says game 52, it talks of game 49. Odd.
TS2 Alfonso Soriano Topps Stars
TP9 Macus Giles Trading Places
MHR358 I think we all know what these are by now
JD3 Dimaggio was a streaker
430 Justin Morneau red parallel (damaged)
334 A.J. Burnett red parallel
372 Shane Victorino red parallel
510 Alex Rodriguez red parallel
332 Chris Young red parallel
337 Jason Isringhausen red parallel
496 Ryan Klesko red parallel
573 Gustavo Chacin red parallel
470 Gary Sheffield red parallel
449 Francisco Liriano red parallel
I could have been a winner
489 Doug Davis (need!)
338 Juan Pierre
339 Jonny Gomes
538 Wily Mo Pena
370 Troy Glaus
406 Ryan Madison
428 So Taguchi (damaged)
429 Carlos Zambrano
391 Kelvim Escobar
485 Tadahito Iguchi

When I first flipped through this pack I thought it was nothing special. On second look, there’s a gold parallel (of a guy who is no longer playing), a 1st edition card, and 7 inserts, all of which are pretty bleah. And I only pulled two Gustavo Chacin cards, leaving me one short of the hat trick. At least the red parallels were all pretty decent. Those may be this packs only saving grace, but they don’t do a set collector much good, do they?

Speaking of set collecting, I picked off three more cards from my list, a pretty bad performance from a 50 card pack if you ask me. I guess the mathematician in me could figure out some odds by dividing needs into over all cards, and then finding out how many I should get in a random assortment of cards. But that seems like a lot of work for 2007 Topps.