Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Next Step In My Collecting Journey

The new year is almost upon us.  It has gotten me to think about adding new wrinkles in my chase for cardboard.  Baseball card collecting is still very enjoyable to me, of course.  There is just always something different to add to you collecting habits.

I have gone after some Allen and Ginter insert sets over the last couple years.  Some of these have been very hard to complete.  I didn't think some of these sets with tens of cards would take so long.  I am not going after a complete set of 1989 Topps.

I am willing to try to complete a set in the 300-400 card range.  I will probably go after the base set for 2013 Allen and Ginter.  This will be the next step in my evolution as a collector.  The pursuit of a base set will take me to the next level of the chase for cardboard.

My strategy for trying to finish next year's Ginter set in a timely manner will be to trade and buy some of the short prints.  My current strategy for the 2011 Allen and Ginter Animals in Peril set is waiting on random trades or from pack pulls.  This current strategy is failing and slow.

Robert from $30 a week habit was the sender of this Snow Leopard card.  Every now and then a Ginter insert needs pops into a trade.  I am glad this was sent my way.

Robert is a set collector and seems to enjoy the pursuit.  He also is working on a frankenset of serial numbered cards from Topps and Bowman sets.  Robert is chronicling his serial numbered journey on his Serial Numbered Insanity blog.

A frankenset is a numbered, set of cards from different sets that are compiled into one set.  These sets usually have a them to them.  Robert's theme is numbered cards for example.

This may be another venture that I would like to try.  It will be fun for me to come up with a theme and see which cards I choose for my very own frankenset.

2013 is the year that I will add to my ever evolving collection.

Thank you for the trade Robert.  The Snow Leopard card is much appreciated.

Monday, December 24, 2012

The Right and The Wrong

I would like to start out this post by talking about music for a little bit.  My few, loyal regular readers probably know my opinions about baseball and baseball cards.  You may be able to tell that I love Los Doyers and loathe the Gigantes.  From reading some of my past posts, you may have picked up on my disdain for James Loney but, having a slight feeling of sadness when he was dumped in Boston.  The sadness was that my favorite whipping boy as left town and I had to find a new Dodger to poke fun at while watching a 162 game season.

I don't recall talking about music much at the Platter.  I often listen to some jams while writing some words for your pleasure.  A good album makes me happier to listen to even if the content is depressing.  It just puts me in a good mood to know that some talented people out there have made some songs for my consumption.

I have made it to modern times.  Instead of fumbling through a box of compact discs searching for Stone Temple Pilots "No.4" or for Oasis "Definitely Maybe," I can now find those albums easily through a music program.  I recently downloaded Spotify after hearing several people speak of its greatness.  It took me weeks to believe these people that I consider my close friends.

The download has been well worth it.  I went on a rock n' roll journey of The Offspring to The Clash to The Libertines to Queens of the Stone Age.  This program brought back my love of rock music due to its variety and easiness to use.

For the record, I have some Bloc Party "Silent Alarm" playing in the background.  If anyone wants to chat about some music, send me an email or leave a comment.  Baseball cards isn't my only love.

The Platter was showing some variety with a music chat.  Now, let me state some thoughts on the blog world's love/hate relationship to 2012 Panini Cooperstown.

Some bloggers have pointed out some of the faults of this set.  There main gripe has been that the hats get chopped off on some of the photos.  This is due to Panini lacking the MLB license to show team logos.  Night Owl may have been the first blogger that I saw write about this issue.

Ever since this emblem hiding had been brought to my attention, I have been noticing it every time I look at some of the Cooperstown cards.  It is now very noticeable to me now.  It still doesn't bother me much because the set has some good photography of some action shots that aren't often seen on cardboard and the shots of early 20th century stadiums are exceptional.

I still dig this set due to the amount of pluses that out way the negatives.  This set does get some things right like the checklist for the autograph set.

Not only is the autograph checklist superb because of all the hall of famers available but, also the signatures are on-card and have a nice design.

I picked up some packs and singles from this set the other day at my local card shop.  One of the singles that I picked up was this auto of Dave Van Horne.  He was the legendary voice of the Montreal Expos for over 30 seasons.  Van Horne was also rewarded by the Baseball Hall of Fame with the Ford C. Frick Award in 2011.

The Frick Award is very prestigious among broadcasters.  Only the greats get this honor such as Vin Scully and Bob Uecker.

Van Horne was also the guy that came up with the nickname "El Presidente" for former Expos pitcher Dennis Martinez.  That is a great nickname.

One more thing, this auto that I snagged off the bid board, was less than a pack of Cooperstown.  Cheers to Spotify and for buying singles over packs.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Short. Sweet. Passable.

At one point, earlier this week, I was behind on sending out trade packages.  I ventured to the post office at the beginning of the week.  I arrived a little before the doors opened and there was already a long line of people outside the front door of my local post office.

It took me twenty minutes to mail off five trade packages.  I get really antsy while I wait in a long line.  My boredom and jitters from just standing in one spot is made worse when I stand alone.  Next time I need to go to the post office during the holidays, I should bring a friend so, I have someone to crack jokes with.

The United States Postal Service loses tons of money each year.  The post office probably does really well during the month of December.

The government should start brainwashing us into believing that other holidays are gift giving days.  This will post up revenue for the post office and generate more tax dollars with people purchasing gifts for each other.

Fourth of July should be made into a holiday where we send out presents to our friends and family.  Come on, government, get creative!  Some states are suffering financially.

I would like the post office to do well.  Things will be a lot tougher for card collectors if, the government ended the postal service.

I just need to avoid the post office during December when everyone else in America is there.  I survived it this year but, I was thinking mean thoughts like knocking over old ladies with canes and tote bags for purses just to get to the front of the mail line.

Luckily, these were just thoughts and nobody was harmed when I braved the madhouse of my local post office.  I don't want these ideas to pop in my head again.

If I owe anyone a trade package, you will get one sent your way in the new year.

The blog called I'm Ballsy, run by Arno, was having a card giveaway.  I was lucky enough to be one of the winners and was able to add to my Dodgers prospect bust collection.  I am looking forward to my card giveaway that I will be hosting in January.  So, many great bloggers like Arno deserve something free from the Platter.

This James Adkins auto was the card that I was after when Arno first posted about his contest.  Adkins was a 1st round draft pick by the Dodgers in 2007.  He was a left-handed pitcher out of the college that Lane Kiffin once failed at called the University of Tennessee.

Adkins was a minor league pitcher that struck out a bunch of dudes but, also walked a bunch of dudes.  He never found control on the mound.

Because of his high walk rate, Adkins has yet to make it to the majors.  He was last seen pitching in the Reds minor league system in 2011.

Thank you for the free auto, Arno!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

This and That

The Fall semester for school ended for me on Tuesday night.  The U.S. History class that I took focused on more modern years than the past classes that I have taken.  The years of the 1970s to the 1990s aren't my strong point in history knowledge.  It was a good time to learn about some years that my parents have lived through as well as some years of my life as well.

I can focus a little more time to my baseball card collection now.  I only have a certain quota to words that I can type/write in a week.  School eats up most of those words, so the Platter may be closed for days at a time while class is in session.

How about a long, entertaining trade post that features a guy with a superb level of focus that he delves into dime boxes for hours at a time?

Nick, from the blog called Dime Boxes:The Low-End Baseball Card Collector's Journey, has the super power of a long attention span.  It is hard for me to imagine sifting through a dime boxes for hours.  I love baseball cards for a dime.  I just have trouble getting though 800 cards or so.  I need a break and start getting antsy.  If I make it though an entire column in a 5000 count, I start to get a crazy thought in my head.

The thought to just buy the entire 5000 count box of dime cards.  I know that I will enjoy the some of the cards that I haven't even looked through yet.  Just buying the whole box would save me time and would allow me to go on my way to my next task.  Whatever that next task may be.

I appreciate the passion that Nick has for dime box digging.  It benefits his varied collection as well as the collections of many others in the blog world through his awesome trade packages.

This Brett Butler probably came from a dime box.  There was probably a table at a card show about five feet away from Nick that was selling high end autos/patches.  This card probably topped most of those and was purchased for pocket change.

Some Dodger fans have probably forgotten about this guy.  Some have had a special and expensive surgery done to remove all thoughts of Odalis Perez.

I remember that Perez did have some good seasons for the Dodgers in the early 2000s.  I also remember him complaining about his teammates lack of hitting publicly.  That didn't make his teammates or Dodger fans like him.  I also remember his awful playoff performance against the Cardinals in 2004.  He gave up 8 earned runs in 5 innings over the course of 2 starts.

The Dodgers lost both those games.  Thanks, Odalis.

I have been pondering whether or not to put up my want lists for the 70s Topps Dodgers team sets I am building.  Of course, this will be very helpful to the nice people that trade baseball cards with me.

Bloggers like Nick, have been sending me a solid amount of 70s Topps Dodgers without the aid of a list.  I am constantly upgrading the cards that I already own.  This Dave Lopes beats out my previous Dave Lopes card from 1976.

That is why I am hesitant to put a want list up.  I will probably would just have all the numbers listed for each set because there will always be a better card out there that will be closer to perfect.

After looking up some stats on old pal, Odalis Perez.  Did you know that Perez had a whip of .990 in 222.1 innings for the Dodgers in 2002?

Anyways, I enjoy cards of Dodger pitchers hitting.  This card of Chan Ho Park made me try to remember if he was a good hitter or not.  I surprisingly had no recollection whether Park was a hitting beast by pitchers standards or a no effort bum with the bat.

The internet is a great invention.  I looked it up to see how Park did in his Dodger career as a hitter.  I know he played on other teams but, those at-bats don't mean much to me.

Park had a breakout year at the plate in 2000 by notching 15 hits and even belting 2 home runs.  I am also intrigued by Park's 2001 season as a hitter.  That season he drew a career high 5 walks.

Who are the stiffs that walked Park 5 times in 2001?

One of my collecting goals for 2013 is going to be getting this card signed by Ron Cey.  I owe it to the greatness of this card to get a signature from Cey.

Cards from the Ted Williams sets need to find their way in a dime box that I frequent.  Cards from this set seems so rare to me.

The black and white photo background and the color photo in the front has you staring at this card a little longer than normal.  Your eyes study the detail in the photos.  These are going to be great binder cards.  The Ted Williams sets got it right.

The style of shin guards that Roy Campanella is wearing was still being used in the 90s.  Campy's gear was from the 50s.  I remember seeing catchers wearing those in the league that I played in while growing up playing baseball as a kid.

I am always happy to trade with the Dime Boxes blog.  Nick sends some great cards to me.  Thank you for the trade and having super dime box skills.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Always Happy When It's Free

The latest Dodger news over the last few days has my head spinning.  It seems so long since the team had owners that were willing to make moves to try and win championships.  Not moves that would make the team possibly good but, moves that may make the team great.

The Dodgers getting Zack Greinke is amzing to me.  This was a pure baseball decision from the Guggenheim ownership group.  The Dodgers needed a #2 starter and went out and bought one.  I have been waiting for an acquisition like this for years.

The real baseball world throws around big money to get what they want.  I can't survive in that world.  Luckily, I reside in the blog world and we can get some free cards just for being here.

Baseball Dad from All Tribe Baseball was just willing to give free cards out for people that claimed them.  My last post was about some free cardboard goodness that was sent to me by Dennis from Too Many Verlanders.

I will keep this them going for the rest of December.  So many nice bloggers are taking their time and adding nice cards to my collection that they will always get a mention on the Platter.

I have been seeing some boxes of Upper Deck MVP being opened on some blogs.  I enjoy the sleek, modern design.

The black border with a greenish center reminds me of mint chocolate chip ice cream.  That is a good thing.

This photo just doesn't quite cut it for me.  I can't keep my eyes off of Ichiro's left elbow.  The rest of his arm appears missing.  Someone needs to give him the rest of his arm back.

Fleer Ultra was a good competitor with Topps Stadium Club as far as photography goes.  Both products have churned out great sets over the years that were photography gold.

This Ichiro may be excused.

Those Ichiro cards were thrown in as extras because Baseball Dad is a cool dude.  This Eddie Murray was the card that I claimed.  My hall of fame Angels collection is lacking.  It mainly consists of about a dozen Rod Carews, a Nolan Ryan and maybe a Reggie Jackson or two.

Adding to my hall of fame collection is my top goal right now.  You may click on my "Current Goals" link to check out what my other priorities are right now.

This card makes me wonder about something.  When people were ripping packs of Topps in the 70s, did they ever wonder what baseball cards would look like decades later?

Did any collectors in the 70s think that a card would be made with a hologram, a die-cut "X", and an aging Eddie Murray awkwardly trying to catch a pop-up?

Thanks for the nice cards, Baseball Dad!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Assorted Bubble Mailer

The blog world is a great community to be a part of.  Sometimes a blogger is just willing to give you baseball cards for free.  Dennis from Too Many Verlanders, just listed a bunch of teams and lots for bloggers to claim.  Dennis was probably just wanting to clear some space in his collection while doing a nice gesture to his readers.

Bloggers do this on occasion.  They just want to help other people's collections while trying to keep enough space for cards that fit better into their own collection.

The Dodgers were already picked from Dennis' giveaway.  So, I went with the second best option.  The next best choice in my mind was getting a lot of multi-player cards.  That gives me a good chance for some trade bait and even some keepers.

I am thinking of going over this package in multiple posts.  The bubble mailer was stuffed with team bags filled with baseball goodness.  This post is the first team bag that I pulled out and sifted through.

This is one of my favorite cards from this particular group of cards picked out of a larger group of cards.  Phil Niekro is shown here as a confused old man.  Niekro may have had no idea what was going on while this photo was taken.

The cards that Dennis sent my way, had a great number of Topps rookie cards from the 90s.  Some of the cards have some very young looking ballplayers that would go on to have successful careers.

Sean Casey had a really solid career.  He finished his 12 year career with a .302 batting average and a .814 OPS.

The Dmitri Young part of this card is awesome.  Young is trying to look like a mean, tough guy.  Young can't seem to pull off the angry thug look.  Young always seemed to have the demeanor of a jolly fat man which is why he was fun to watch play baseball.  He was also able to load up on classic baseball rookie cards and was kind enough to unload them for funds for youth baseball fields.

There must have been a time in baseball history when Matt Morris could be on a league leaders card with Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson.  Schilling and Morris tied for the league lead in wins in the 2001 season.  Each pitcher had 22 wins and Johnson finished just below them with 21 victories.

The player that was just below Johnson surprised me.  Jon Lieber was once a 20 game winner in the major leagues.  According to the back of the baseball card, Lieber won 20 games in 2001.  I had to check baseball reference to make sure that this had actually happened.

Lieber did win 20 games with the 2001 Chicago Cubs.  I must have been blacked out when this happened.

I know that I am going to have so much fun going through this free lot.  The first team bag alone, offered so much variety.  It also helps that these cards have multiple baseball players pictured.

2000 Skybox brought us this gem of a skinny Guillermo Mota.  Mota has such a thin waist line and stick legs that he hardly resembles the version of Mota that has been playing the last few years.  I believe Mota is the all-time leader in steroid suspensions.  I won't actually take the time to look that up.  It just seems that whenever I forget about Mota, his name pops up that he is suspended or he is seen coming out of a bullpen just after a suspension.

Some more posts will follow, covering this free bunch.  I will have to have a card giveaway after the new year when people are actually reading blogs.  I feel the need to show some generosity to the other folks of the blog world.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Unnamed Sources

During the MLB winter meetings, numerous rumors are floated around to the media.  The writers, bloggers and tweeters of the sports world discuss these rumors to the mass public.  Almost all the people that read about various rumored free agent signings and trades have no idea where these ideas came from or how factual the reporting really is.

This time of year baseball fans are yearning for some games to be played and passing the time gossiping about the latest hot stove news.  

Dodger fans have been hearing a lot of different scenarios involving additions and subtractions from their team.  Some may have some truth to them and some may be flat out false.  I have a few rumors to spread of my own that came from sources with no name.

An unnamed source told me that Matt Kemp is about to sign a contract extension with the Dodgers.  This deal is worth a reported $245 million dollars spread out over 10 years.  This new extension will make Kemp a Dodger until the year 2029.  This deal allows the Dodgers to buy out Kemp's retirement years.

Another source of mine, that will go nameless, has confirmed to me that the contract also includes a Hollywood nightclub.  Kemp will become the sole owner of a flashy nightspot.  His club, which is also currently unnamed, will also have an upstairs loft that will serve as Kemp's home away from home.

Dodger non-prospect, Pratt Maynard, is going to be traded just before opening day according to some dude that seeks minor league autographs in Ogden, Utah.  This source claims that Maynard and his .670 OPS in Single-A last year will be shipped off to the New York Mets for third baseman David Wright.  This trade will take place just before opening day after the Wilpons will have conned enough New Yorkers into buying season tickets and will then dump the huge salary of Wright to the Dodgers for a scrub minor league catcher.

Unnamed sources have given me information about possible trade rumors involving Dee Gordon.  This information was told to me by a guy who's name I have forgotten and he claims to have read these reports in an actual newspaper delivered to his home.

This source claims that Gordon may be shipped off to another team for a third baseman or a relief pitcher or maybe even a starter.  Gordon may also be just a small piece in a bigger trade involving more than 5 players.

Oh wait, this last one about Gordon may be true.  At least some parts of what I wrote may actually happen.

These cards were sent to me by the Wax Captain and he is a Rangers collector.  The Wax Captian's Dugout is a somewhat newer blog and you guys should check it out.  

Wax Captian, thanks for the cards and I will let you know soon when I am mailing out a return package.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Just Because

I was at a card show last weekend.  Of course, I made a list of supplies to buy and some names of bloggers that I need to pick up cards for.  I needed to keep my spending within reason and stay on point.  No hobby boxes or high end singles or even some 2012 discounted blasters.

Nope, none of that.  I just needed the things on my list.  While searching for cards that will be included in trade packages, I had to pick up a few cards for my collection.  It is hard to look at baseball cards and purchase them, just for other people.

I needed something just for me as well as for my fellow bloggers.

Kenny Lofton was a very exciting player to watch while growing up.  He was the table setter on some really solid Cleveland Indians teams in the 90s.  His speed on the base paths and his sprinting grace in center field would electrify the Jacobs Field crowd during playoff runs.

Lofton had a great 17 year career and even had a solid 2006 season while with the Dodgers.  Lofton led the league in stolen bases for five straight seasons in the 90s and had 2428 hits in his career.

This is my third Fausto Carmona autograph.  His name change last year went from Fausto Carmona back to his real name Roberto Hernandez.  It was a whole mix up with his age.  He was actually three years older as Roberto Hernandez.

Fuasto Carmona is a cool name.  Roberto Hernandez is dull and generic.  Fausto Carmona once finished forth in Cy Young award voting back in 2007.  Roberto Hernandez will never get that close to any Cy Young awards.

I hope to obtain a Roberto Hernandez auto someday.  That signature will complete my Carmona/Hernandez collection.

While being on the lookout for Orioles autos and Rangers autos at the card show, I stumbled upon this game used glove card of Brett Anderson.  This is my first card of a player's fielding glove.  I have a piece of a batting glove but, nothing like this.

Some of these game used relics might be real.  This piece of leather could have been used in several of Anderson's starts.

More card companies should release cards with a piece of glove in it.  A Brett Anderson card normally doesn't fit into my collection.  This card does though and will look swell next to my new Carmona and Lofton cards.

This trip to the card show was worthwhile.  I didn't overspend and I found what I needed for the most part.  I still need to hunt down some cards to complete some trades.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Go Away Winter!

The weather is even gloomy in LA during this time of year.  The sky is gray and the rain has been off and on. The rain won't even get in a downpour that may be cool to look at.  Outside is just really glum and makes me very sleepy.

I wish the winter months were a boom time for receiving trade packages from the blog world.  The weather is much worse in most other parts of the country right now and I am sure a few collectors out there need a boost that comes with getting a bubble mailer stuffed with baseball cards.

This recap of a trade package that I got from Roy from Plain Gray Swatch will be the last bubble mailer from a blogger that I have sitting on my desk.  The trade packages are clear from my desk.  I think this only occurs during the holiday season.  During baseball season, I can't keep up with all the cards that I am swapping.

Here is a nice Chin-Feng Chen rookie card.  Chen had a whopping 2 hits in 22 major league at-bats spanning 4 seasons.  He also had 3 walks in his career as well as 13 foul tips.

I am actually that collector that wanted this card because of Chin-Feng Chen's appearance on the card beside Cory Patterson and Josh Hamilton.  Chen last played major league baseball in 2005.  Patterson, surprisingly saw big league action in 2011 with the Toronto Blue Jays and St.Louis Cardinals.

Josh Hamilton is going to sign a huge contract pretty soon.  He has been one of the better hitters in baseball over the past few seasons.  If the National League had the designated hitter like the American League, I believe the Dodgers would probably make a run at him.  Instead, Hamilton will hopefully stay in the AL with little chance to hurt the Dodgers.

I love getting older cards of Eric Gagne.  Gagne is shown here wearing the unfamiliar number of 48.  His hat looks clean too.  It doesn't have the sweat stains on the cap that was seen as sexy by thousands of female Dodger fans.

Gagne was a few years away from winning a Cy Young award when this card came out.  Nobody thought that this guy had Cy Young potential back in 2000.

Former Dodger Chan Ho Park announced his retirement from professional baseball a few days ago.  Park was a very good Dodger starter in the late 90s-early 2000s.  Park had back to back 200 strikeout seasons in LA during the 2000 and 2001 seasons.

Park left the Dodgers after the 2001 season and signed with the Texas Rangers for big money.  The signing turned out to be a disaster while Park had an ERA over 5 in each of his 4 seaons as a Ranger.

Park returned to LA in 2008.  He pitched well that season and helped the Dodgers get to the NLCS.  Park will always be remembered as a Dodger first because he pitched a lot of seasons for the team and he had his best seasons in LA.

Thank you for the trade, Roy.  This is one of my favorite Chan Ho Park cards.