Tuesday, January 16, 2018

You've Got Mail #75: All Trade Bait, All the Time

Right before Christmas I received a number of packages in the mail, one of which was from Oscar of everyone's favorite trade bait blog. This was the smallest of the three packages I received from different people so therefore I scanned it in first as the others were quite large.

I'll start this off with two Barry Larkin cards that share a little bit in common. You might be wondering how a card from 2017 can share something in common with a card from 1988. Well, the answer is in the patch on the sleeve of Larkin on the All-Time All-Star card. In 1988, the Reds hosted the All-Star game, which I'm going to guess that picture is from. In that game, a low-scoring affair won by the AL squad 2-1, Larkin went 0-2 in two plate appearances with 1 strikeout. Other Reds in the game didn't fare much better as Chris Sabo appeared only as a pinch runner and registered a stolen base and pitcher Danny Jackson didn't even appear in the game. So, we've got a Barry Larkin card from the year the Reds hosted the game and a 2017 card featuring Larkin at bat in the 1988 game. 

Moving on from that, there really is no way to tie these cards together but it's just a nice selection. No, the Morgan isn't an original 1973, it's one of those weird "Berger's Best" inserts. 

A few more random Reds and playing off the 1988 stuff I mentioned previously, 1988 was Dave Concepcion's sunset season where he played a multitude of positions around the infield and even pitched and inning and a third! In 84 games that season, he only hit a paltry .198/.265/.244 and only came up with 8 RBIs in 216 plate appearances. Dibble was a teammate of Concepcion in 1988 but really had a great season in 1989 with a 10-5 record and a 2.09 ERA in 74 games.

The Reds weren't the only team represented, there was a good smattering of Indians cards as well. I know for sure the Kipnis GQ card is a duplicate but the Andrew Miller Heritage card is definitely a great addition.

I'd forgotten that Phil Niekro had played for the Indians in his sunset season of 1987. It wasn't too terribly notable though and after being traded from the Indians to the Blue Jays (which seems even more unusual) he was pretty much done, only appearing in three games as a Jay and being released a month after the trade. He latched on with the Braves for one game at the end of the season before calling it quits. 

Speaking of Blue Jays, getting cards of Joe Carter in an Indians uniform is really a welcome sight. Yeah, he's most remembered for his World Series winning homer in 1993, but he had a pretty good run with the Tribe before being traded to the Padres. Here's an interesting trivia note, the trade from the Indians to the Padres in December of 1989 and then the trade from the Padres to the Blue Jays nearly exactly one year later both involved a member of the Alomar family. For the sake of saving spare you the details but suffice to say, they were both pretty notable trades.

A few more Indians cards. Both of these I like a lot for many different reasons. First, the Eckersley card features him with the old school 70s Indians threads. The Omar Vizquel card has him during the glory days of the Tribe in the 90s celebrating a walk-off victory. I really dig the picture on that.

Here's a whole awesome batch of Expos cards. Pardon the funky look to the 1988 Fleer card, my scanner decided to be grumpy. Take a close look at the Felipe Alou card, notice the position? That's right, it says "coach". I've heard of manager cards but never "coach" cards. Looking into this, it's amazing to me how long Alou stayed with the Expos. He played briefly for them in 1973 and then a year later retired as player and joined up with the organization in many different roles ranging from batting coach to minor league manager. Then in 1992 he became the manager and held that post until 2001.

I'll wrap up this trade package with a few Hall of Famers on top and then Pudge, Ichiro, and Terry Pendleton on the bottom. I'm not sure how those last three cards ended up in the package but I'm not going to complain as definitely helped out with the variety. I think Ichiro cards are some of the coolest cards out there you can get and maybe someday soon, I might add him to my PC collection list.

That wraps up another great trade package from Oscar. A big thank you to him for sending it over and including me as a part of his Christmas mailings.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Press Play to Resume

You may remember a while back that I stated I was going to hit the pause button on the blog for a while due to the impending birth of our son.

Well, that happened on December 5th, a wild and crazy morning that I will never forget for sure. My wife couldn't sleep the whole night and about 6:30 in the morning woke me up saying she was in horrible pain. We decided to head to the hospital to at least get her checked out. We get there, after hitting every red light on the way, get checked in at labor & delivery and come to find out the baby was ready to come at any minute. About 10:05 that morning, Thomas Daniel Sanders arrived.

Mom and baby are completely healthy and it's been a whirlwind number of weeks since then including work, late night baby feedings and diaper changes, and also keeping my four-year-old entertained. 

However, I've since gotten the itch to start writing again. I had planned to start writing and posting again somewhere around Groundhog Day but I just can't wait that long as posting and writing and getting back into the blogging community is an itch I just need to scratch, plus it'll probably help me retain the little bit of sanity I have left.

Therefore, I'm glad to announce that I've decided to hit the proverbial play button on the blog and get things rolling again! I could turn this into some long winded song and dance about how I'm glad to be back and all that sort of thing, but as Dr. Seuss once put it, "The writer who breeds more words than he needs makes a chore for the reader who reads". With that being said so succinctly, I'll try to be brief so as not to irritate the good Doctor.

A few things:

1. A number of people sent me stuff while I was away and for that I am most appreciative. There were too many to name who I received care packages and PWEs from so at the risk of leaving someone out, I'll just issue a general thank you to those who took the time to mail me stuff. You know who you are.

2. I finally got my collection about 98% organized. I won't say 100% organized as I still need to go through and weed out some dupes and page up a few hand collated sets I acquired at the community yard sales last year but for all intents and purposes, it's organized. It was quite the task as well but I'll speak more about that in an upcoming post.

3. While I was away and when I wasn't being consumed with changing diapers and what not, I took some time to come up with some fresh ideas, one of which I'm very excited about that I'm calling "Multi-Player Mayhem", where I take a card with multiple players on it (a league leaders card, top prospects card, etc) and review the careers of each player depicted on the card. That should be a lot of fun and help everyone discover info about some perhaps forgotten players along the way. 

4. One thing I've fallen into a trap of is reviewing nothing but store bought items. I got a pretty nice loot of cards my birthday and Christmas including repacks, blasters, and some loose packs from local retail establishments. After I get through those, I'm going to try to be less reliant on store bought items as I need to watch my spending. I received a few items in the mail over the holidays (including my Secret Santa package) that I'll be sharing as well.

5. I also took the time to update my want list to be more varied. While I still enjoy getting cards of the Reds and Indians in the mail, I've added a bit more depth to the player collections and also split the list up into three easy to read pages ... baseball, hockey, and everything else. Feel free to check out the updated lists.

I'm going to ease back into a decent posting schedule and most everything that you'll see after this is scheduled every 3-4 days so I don't have to scurry around getting posts written and looking for content. When posts are scheduled, they'll usually go up right around 7:00 PM. My writing time at home is pretty much nonexistent so I have to write when and where I can, that includes my lunch breaks at work and pretty much any other time I can sit down and dedicate an hour or so to researching and writing. 

I hope everyone enjoys what I've got in store in the coming weeks and months.

Now, let's press that play button and get going.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Hitting the Pause Button

When someone makes mention of a pause button, my mind instantly thinks of a VCR. I think it was because my first introduction to the pause button when I was a kid. I was fascinated with the fact that I could press a button on the VCR and it would stop ... er, pause ... the tape I was watching instantly. The same holds true for baseball cards. As a kid, I thought it was so cool that I could open a pack of cards and see one of my favorite players on the Reds, or even one of the top players of the game, starting back at me.

Time went on and my fascination with the pause button faded as did my fascination with baseball cards. It wasn't until about five years ago that I got back into collecting and just over two years ago when I started this blog. 

Isn't it funny how time flies?

Now, I mentioned this back in my two year anniversary post and I'll mention it again here for those who missed it. In about six weeks, we'll be welcoming a new baby boy into the family. I mentioned in my anniversary post that I wasn't sure if I would be going on a hiatus or not. Over the last week or so, I finally decided what I'm going to do.

I'm going to dust off that old VCR and hit the pause button.

Instead of going on a full-fledged, cold turkey, blogging hiatus now that the new baby is due here in just about 5-6 weeks, I've decided to cut my posting down dramatically. I'll still check in from time to time, like if I get something in the mail from a fellow blogger, but mostly over the next couple of months, I'm planning on cutting way back on my posting. So much, in fact, that this may just be the only one of a handful of posts you see from me in November. Not to worry, I'll still be around on Twitter and I'll be reading and commenting on posts of fellow bloggers.

Once things settle down with the new baby and probably after the holidays finish up, I'll re-evaluate and see about hitting the play button on the blog again and keep on rolling. 

Hitting the pause button like this will allow me to do a few things:

1. I'll be able to focus more on helping my wife with the new baby.
2. I'll be able to come up with fresh new ideas for writing posts
3. I'll be able (hopefully) to get my collection organized in a timely manner. More on this in a future post as it's a complete mess right now.
4. I'll be able to pick up right from where I left off.

After all, isn't that the beauty of the pause button?