Sunday, September 2, 2012
Let's dig in
Trading has slowed down a bit for me recently.
Then again, that's to be expected once the school year hits.
I'm not sure about the rest of you, but I was a procrastinator during my high school years. If one of my assignments wasn't due for a few weeks, I'd put it off and wait until the last few days to complete it.
One of the first lessons college has taught me is to simply not do that. Get it done early, and you won't have to worry about it later.
Interestingly, I've found that I'm pretty good at diversifying my time. Schoolwork has never managed to completely overtake my life during my first couple years of college.
I've managed to set aside a great deal of time to support my non-school activities.
Of course, one of my "non-school activities" is simply collecting and trading baseball cards. As we all know, it can be quite time-consuming.
But because I just finished an essay for my film class about the components of a movie of our choice (I chose to rewatch Diner for the assignment), I now have time to blog about my latest trade spoils from Mike of "BA Benny's Baseball Card Buffet".
Apparently, his blog was one of the more acclaimed ones out there before I joined the blogosphere. I've read most of his material ever since his triumphant return a few months ago, and I can easily see why his blog was so popular.
Mike won the first prize in a recent contest held at "All Trade Bait, All the Time". Even though it wasn't the first prize, I was still infinitely satisfied with the great assortment of oddballs I received for my participation, my first contest win in the blogosphere.
I still had my eye on that first prize that Mike won, though. So I contacted him about it, and a trade was born. The "grand prize" was the definite crown jewel of this trade package, but we'll get to that later.
Mr. BA Benny was gracious enough to include a great smorgasbord of miscellaneous hits to my player and set needs, often my favorite types of cards to receive.
I've said it before, but I'll put these "Superstar Celebrations" inserts up against any others in today's hobby. Ever since the set's inception three years ago, it's provided the collector with some great shots from a set that won't break the bank.
I have about 100 Carlos Pena cards in my collection at the moment, which includes issues from more high-dollar sets like Finest and Topps Unique, but I'd have a hard time finding a better one than this.
It wouldn't be that tragic to see a set like Opening Day go in today's hobby, but I sure would miss these.
To a collector like myself, Bowman is kind of an enigma.
I can't remember the last time I've bought a pack of a Bowman product. I just can't justify spending the three bucks on a set that I probably won't even like.
Besides, most of the base cards I need seem to eventually find their way into dime boxes anyways. Heck, I even found a Bowman Draft Mike Trout rookie in a dime box at this show in February.
Still, the designs on the last few Bowman sets haven't been terrible.
The Chrome ones actually scan pretty nicely, which is more than I can say about most chrome-themed sets out there.
BA Benny was able to add the first two rookies to my Mike/Giancarlo Stanton collection here.
Even with all the crazy rookie card rules in the hobby these days, I'm pretty sure these are his true rookie cards.
This trade also did a lot of damage to my Gypsy Queen insert needs.
If this McCutchen is any indication, Gypsy Queen is the rare set where the inserts are actually better than the base cards.
These "Sliding Stars" inserts are among my favorites of 2012 thus far. A card like this is the cream of the crop as far as I'm concerned, especially given the tremendous backdrop of the Wrigley Field ivy.
My favorite, of course.
This might be the only time you see cards of Roberto Clemente and Jeff Francoeur in the same scan, so savor it.
I often wonder how many ballplayers have worn number 21 in honor of the late Roberto Clemente. I'm not sure if Francoeur is one of them, but it has to number in the dozens.
Cubs outfielder Joe Mather switched to number 21 in mid-season this year to pay tribute to Clemente, which instantly makes him one of my favorite Cubs.
Because of the heroics of Clemente, the number 21 will always have a significant amount of special meaning to me.
If you're thinking that this was the "crown jewel" I alluded to earlier, you're close.
This one was actually an unexpected throw-in on Mike's part.
Unfortunately, I already had a copy of this one in my collection. Still, it represents a "first" for me.
It's the first autograph "double" I've ever received.
I didn't have much time to think about that, because the next card in the package was the "crown jewel" I'd been waiting for.
Even though he has one of the worst signatures in existence, I still can't stop myself from drooling every time I see a Marlon Byrd autograph I don't already have.
Yes, I know he recently received a 50-game suspension for using a banned substance. But as I've mentioned before, it won't stop me from continuing my collection of his.
This one brings my Marlon Byrd autograph total up to a baker's dozen, and this particular one is my first of him during his tenure with the Cubbies.
The scan really doesn't do it justice. I can't describe it, but these Gypsy Queen autographs have a special "feel" to them.
I had my eye on it ever since I saw it was one of the prizes in that contest, and I'm glad it's finally found its way into my hands.
Oh, and speaking of contests, I just noticed that I hit the 100-follwer mark. Anyone have a guess as to what that means? (Stay tuned for an "official" announcement tonight!)
Much thanks to BA Benny for passing on his "winnings" to me.
That was definitely the best buffet I've ever attended.