2009 Topps Allen & Ginter Hamiltons

August 27, 2009

I am working through Topps Allen & Ginter right now, both for my sets and my player collections.  My sets got a good start when I broke two boxes of the stuff.  My player collection did not fare nearly so well from those two boxes.

In my first box, I got one lousy Hamilton card.  You would think it would be the base card, but no – I managed to hit the Josh Hamilton Dick Perez sketch card.  All things considered, I was pretty happy about it.  Its a great looking card, and it harkens back to one of the greatest Josh Hamilton moments of the 2008 MLB season – the Home Run Derby at Yankee Stadium.

In my second box, I doubled my haul of Josh Hamilton cards.  I hit two of them.  Unfortunately – one of them was a double of the aforementioned sketch card.

I considered the math for a little while.  If the math holds, should I not end up with four Josh Hamilton cards out of my next box of Allen & Ginter?  Then I realized – I am not that lucky.  I contented myself with the National Pride insert that came out of the second box, and a sketch card for tradebait and called a halt to the box breaking for the product.

That’s when the completion project turns its focus outwards.  And as it so often does – help came from Marie over at A Cardboard Problem.  She dropped me a note asking if I needed a Hamilton base card (which I didn’t hit in two boxes).  I was pleased.  Later, I made a deal for another copy for my set (I am horribly obsessive – I can’t have one card fill two slots.  If Hamilton has a card in a set I am doing, I need two copies).

Marie also dropped me a note that she had obtained a Hamilton code card at a show.  I wish we had card shows up here during the summer.  Being in a hockey dominated market, shows are pretty much exclusive to the winter months.  I also don’t get any baseball blasters in stores, but let me save that rant for another day.  There are racing blister packs, but no baseball.  Yes, racing.  I love Canada, but baseball cards at Wal-Mart would just make it a little bit better.

The code cards are kind of neat.  I am not much for codes, but I am a geek, so I would have liked a shot at it.  Ultimately, the code was cracked before I had received my first box to break.  I guess it wasn’t quite as hard as the code maker thought.  Oh well, it happens sometimes.

I still need a few more cards out of 2009 Topps A&G, including the box toppers, and all the minis (easy ones and hard ones), but the set is well on its way.


2009 UD Piece of History Franchise History Patch

August 23, 2009

I have a lot of Josh Hamilton cards.  I just checked with my Beckett collections, and the current count is 275 different cards.  Twenty-one memorabilia cards, 17 autographs, and 79 serial numbered cards.  Of that number – not one of them was a patch.

That changed today.  I snagged this beauty off eBay via a best offer.  It came to me from Hong Kong for $27 shipped.  There is a minor ding on the upper left hand corner on the rear, but it doesn’t take away from the eye appeal of the front.  Its a four colour patch, serial numbered /25.  Lots of stitching , as well.  I think it is a pretty good way to break into the patch segment of the Josh Hamilton market.

Updates here have been sporadic for the last little while.  I have been swamped, as I am trying to finish up my PhD (or at least most of it) by Christmas.  I still read all the blogs I used to, comment when I can and post my cards when I have some free time to do some scanning, but grad school has been consuming my life for 6 years, and I would be very, very happy to have it done.


CNNSI: The Last Iconic Baseball Card

August 19, 2009

One of my favorite places to kill time on a slow workday is The Vault at CNNSI.com.  Basically, free (ad-supported) access to every Sports Illustrated article ever published.  There have been some duds, and there have been a lot of gems.  There is always a way to kill a few idle minutes.

The new issue (I’m not sure if it has even hit newsstands yet, features former football player Marc Buoniconti on the cover.  Its a great story.

The article that caught my eye though was about baseball cards.  Luke Winn takes a tour through Upper Deck’s headquarters, including the Game Used Jersey room.  It features pretty much what you would expect – oodles and oodles of game used memorabilia.  It also offers the somewhat terrifying prospect of Miley Cyrus cards being inserted in future products.  Um….yay?!?  Cargo pants from Farrah Fawcett, a briefcase from Sammy Davis, Jr.    Upper Deck has all this stuff.

The article also delves into the somewhat uncertain future of cards.  They are not anywhere near as possible as they once were.  Twenty years ago, things were good.  Twenty years ago when the last iconic baseball card was issued – Ken Griffey, Junior’s 1989 Upper Deck rookie card.  One of the interesting features is notes about the airbrushing done to make it look like Griffey was in a Mariners cap. 

Basically – read the article.  It talks about the good times in collecting, and some of the bad times as well.  Its worth a readto get perspective from someone who is outside the hobby.  Too much self-examination is never a good thing.


Harper Thinks Highly of Hamilton

August 15, 2009

Josh Hamilton was once baseball’s ‘Next Big Thing’.  The current holder of that moniker is Nevada high schooler Bryce Harper.  This weekend, Harper is participating in the annual AFLAC All-American Game.  As part of the festivities surrounding the game, Topps makes cards for the participants, to be handed out to fans at the game, and also for insertion into future products.

Beckett.com has a story on Harper signing his cards for Topps.  A Topps employee predicts that these cards will be on eBay about 4 hours after they are handed out.  Depending on the smart phone / netbook capability of some of the fans, I’d say that might be a generous assessment.

Harper has one other card out – an autographed Team USA patch card from Upper Deck.  It sells for around $1000.  What does Harper think of this?  He thinks its ridiculous.  “If I was somebody and I was looking at a Bryce Harper card, I wouldn’t buy it. No shot,” Harper said. “I’d go out and buy me a nice dinner or something cool. A thousand dollars for a Bryce Harper card? No way. Maybe for a Josh Hamilton or a Derek Jeter, but Bryce Harper? No shot.”

One thing Harper doesn’t realize – potential almost always outsells performance.  Credit to Beckett for the Harper photo.


Allen & Ginter Wantlists

August 15, 2009

I finally got my cards sorted and lists made up, so I thought I should get this out of the way.  Starting off with the mini sets I was working on from last year, because I’d really like to get them done.  I’ve also listed the traders I have from this year’s set, so let me know if you are at all interested.  Drop a note, or post a comment if you are interested.

2008 Allen & Ginter Base Minis

7 10 37 61 64 78 81 87 171 175 176 179 196 197 198 201 221 250 251 265 266 270 273 275 283 295 297 298 299 300 302 303 306 308 317 326 333 337 346

2008 Allen & Ginter Black Bordered Minis

1 4 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 14 15 16 17 18 21 22 24 25 27 31 34 35 38 39 41 42 45 47 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 61 62 63 64 66 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 84 85 86 88 89 90 91 92 94 95 96 97 98 100 101 103 106 107 109 110 111 116 118 120 121 122 124 126 127 128 133 139 142 145 147 148 153 154 155 156 157 161 164 166 167 168 170 173 174 175 178 179 180 181 182 183 184 185 187 190 191 192 196 197 199 200 201 202 205 207 209 210 211 212 213 214 215 216 219 220 221 222 223 224 225 227 228 229 230 231 234 235 238 244 245 246 249 250 251 253 255 257 259 260 261 262 264 265 267 268 271 272 273 274 275 276 280 281 282 283 284 285 286 289 290 292 293 294 295 296 297 298 299 301 302 303 304 305 306 307 308 309 310 311 312 313 314 315 317 318 319 320 321 322 323 324 325 326 327 328 329 330 331 332 334 336 337 338 339 340 341 342 343 344 345 346 347 348 349 350

2009 Allen & Ginter Base Set

1 5 10 11 18 20 21 24 26 27 33 51 52 55 77 79 85 89 90 91 97 98 102 109 110 112 120 129 131 133 134 148 151 152 155 158 162 167 169 172 174 175 177 180 181 183 184 186 188 193 194 201 202 204 210 217 221 228 230 231 232 233 236 238 241 242 243244 246 247 249 250 253 256 259 262 263 268 269 270 274 275 278 280 283 286 292 295 300 301 303 306 307 309 311 313 314 315 316 317 318 320 321 322 324 325 326 329 331 333 334 336 337 339 342 343 345 347 349 350

2009 Allen & Ginter Black Bordered Minis

1-42, 44-51, 53-55, 57-110, 112-350

So, that is what I need.  Here is what I have for trade from 2009 A&G.  I have other traders as well, but these are mostly organized:

2009 Allen & Ginter Base Traders

4 6 61 63 68 72 73 75 86 107 114 116 118 122 126 142 145 149 154 163 176 191 192 216 220 248 261 281 296 310 319 327 330 348

Code Cards

91 187 227 256

Autograph

AGA-ES:  Ervin Santana

Relics

Chase Utley, Melvin Mora, Miguel Cabrera, Jimmy Rollins, Brock Yates

Baseball Highlights Sketch Cards

2 4(x2) 5 6 7 25

National Heroes

3 9 10 19 34

Hoaxes

4 12 14

Creatures of Legend

4 15

No Numbered Mini

Yadier Molina (155)

Allen & Ginter Back Minis

6 17 58 74 146 148 155 158 178

Base Minis

16 19 43 57 76 91 125 148 153 165 185 196 200 204 241 261 285 293 295 297 303 305 332 341


2009 O-Pee-Chee Box Bottom

August 12, 2009

A little while ago, I received an email from Jeremy over at The Hockey Cards Blog, offering up some Hamilton cards from Upper Deck’s O-Pee-Chee baseball offering.  I had the base Hamilton cards, and the easy parallel, but he was offering up something else as well.  Something a little bit different.

Assuming you read the title of this post, you now know that he offered me up the bottom of the box he busted, which features Josh Hamilton (among others).  The box bottom was rather star studded in fact, featuring Albert Pujols, Ichiro and Evan Longoria.

This was a quick and easy trade with Jeremy, and was a cool way to pick up a bit of an oddball item for my PC.  There were some sellers offering these cards up on eBay, but I was hesitant to pull the trigger.  Its the kind of card where a trade is just so much more palatable.

I don’t know quite what I am going to do with it yet.  I will probably cut them up.  Its just too hard to store, and I am under no illusions of this box bottom funding my retirement.  It will be cooler as a card.  If anyone out there collects the other guys on the box bottom and want the card after I complete surgery, drop me a note.


Finishing Up: 2009 SP Legendary Cuts

August 9, 2009

With the myriad of parallels, inserts, memorabilia cards, parallel inserts, insert memorabilia cards and parallel memorabilia cards, it isn’t very often that I get to wrap a set up very quickly after its release.  Sometimes I never get the chance to wrap a set up.

2009 SP Legendary Cuts was different.  Hamilton had four cards in it, a base card (check, got it off Sportlots), a dual jersey card with Reggie Jackson (BIN off eBay day after the set released), one with Bo Jackson (trade on The Bench), and a single jersey card which showed up a few days ago (a steal off Sportlots).  Its nice to put a set to bed like this.  Equally nice when it was a set where I enjoyed picking up each of the cards.  They all looked cool.  And the dual jerseys gave me a chance to pick up cards of guys I wouldn’t usually bother with.


A busy few days…

August 8, 2009

Its been an interesting few days in the hobby as a whole, and in the Josh Hamilton segment of it as well.

First, the obvious hobby news.  Topps gets an exclusive license from the MLB.  As an avid hockey collector, I am not really looking forward to how this is going to turn out.  Upper Deck has had an exclusive in the hockey world for quite some time, and it has a lot of drawbacks.  Simply put – UD seems to have gotten lazy with hockey.  There are tons of mistakes, which just don’t seem as prevalent in the other sports where there is competition.  I hope this doesn’t happen with Topps and baseball.

As for UD continuing to produce sets featuring players without logos – its an option, but not necessarily a good option.  In The Game has produced quality hockey sets without a license for years, but they just don’t have the same provenance as the licensed sets.  The die-hards appreciate and collect them, but they don’t catch on with the mainstream.

Moving on from the hobby news, which right now is just speculation because no one really knows how it will turn out to Josh Hamilton news.  Even though he hasn’t been hitting very well, there has been plenty of news floating about.  First, he reveals that he was taking medication for ADD which affected his appetite and caused him to lose about 20 pounds.  He’s gained some back, and stopped taking the medication.

The bigger news, in some circles was the publication of photos of Hamilton partying it up in a bar in Arizona during the off-season.  The Texas Rangers Blog summarizes the story quite well. It happened back in January, and Hamilton came clean to the important people in his life immediately after.  He didn’t take any drugs, which would have resulted in him likely failing an MLB-mandated drug test, but he did go out and get drunk.  And do body shots.  And be photographed doing both of these things.

I’m disappointed, but not stunned.  Obviously, the fairy tale would continue if Hamilton resisted temptation at every turn, and led a monk’s life from the time he stopped taking drugs.  I’m not surprised it didn’t turn out that way, though.  I don’t have any history of alcohol or drug problems, and I find it pretty easy to have someone twist my arm into a few drinks, and then a few more, and then a few more.  Its a slippery slope.

I’m happy Hamilton dealt with the issues quickly to alert those who needed to know, and hope that he has taken steps to ensure this doesn’t happen again.  As much as athletes seem like superheroes at times, its important to remember that they still have their foibles:  “I don’t feel like I’m a hypocrite. I feel like I’m human.”


I’m still alive!

August 4, 2009

I just haven’t had much blogging time lately.  I still have a bunch of A&G to get organized, but I had a family reunion last weekend that had been consuming my life for a while.  It went great, though and now hopefully I will have less running around to do and more time to relax a bit.  I have some pickups to post, and some wantlists to update.

I busted a second box of A&G, but my rough scoring didn’t set off any high Gint-A-Cuffs bells, so I didn’t bother with a break down or anything like that.  It was arguably cooler than my first box, but you really need to luck out with the multipliers.