Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Diamond King Is Running A Contest!!!

A new blog that is called The Diamond King is running a contest to get some buzz for his new blog.  So, please go and check out the new kid on the block and join his contest.  Everybody needs a start and this is a good way to check out what The Diamond King has to offer.  It is also a good way to get some free cards.

Dodger Variety Bundle From The Godfather

As a Dodger blogger, I look up to the man that I call the Godfather.  This guy is referred by the name of Night Owl by mostly everyone else.  Night Owl's blog is a million times better than mine.  His blog gives me something to strive for.  Night Owl posts well written articles and has his blog very organized.  If you don't believe me of the greatness of Night Owl Cards, please go and check it out for yourself.

Now that I am done waxing poetic about my adoration of Night Owl's blog, he also sends great trade packages.  Night Owl and I trade about once a month.  We send our packages cross country to each other.  He has updated want lists of all the Dodger cards that he needs.  His lists make it easier for me to know just what he is looking for.  Night Owl always sends me a great variety of Dodgers from all different eras.

Godfather Night Owl sent me some cards of Dodger Legends.  Heck, these are baseball legends.  The greatest pitching duo in Dodger history, Don Drysdale and Sandy Koufax.  These two cards are from the 1982 TCMA set.  At one point they may have been apart of a whole sheet of cards but, have since been ripped apart.  One of these days I will get a hold of a Koufax card from the 50s-60s.  But, as of right now, these are considered jewels of my collection.

Around a year or so ago, Joe Torre's charity that helps children of domestic violence, held a speaking engagement in Downtown LA.  Joe Torre, Sandy Koufax and LA Times writer/meddler T.J. Simers were to have a sit down interview.  It was a night that I won't forget.  Koufax was cordial, funny, and a great story teller.  I was so happy to even be in the same room as Koufax.  He is a living legend.  Even though my seats were pretty far back from the stage, I think that is the closest I will ever get to being next to a God.

The Godfather also sent along some cards of other Dodger legends.  He sent along some Jackie Robinson's that I did not have.  About a couple weeks ago, former Laker great Kareem Abdul-Jabaar, was whining to the media about not having a statue outside of Staples Center.  Kareem's words made him sound like a bitter child.  You can't whine for a statue.  But, I can whine for a statue of Jackie Robinson outside of Dodger Stadium.  Why doesn't Jackie have one yet at Dodger Stadium?  Whomever buys the Dodgers from the evil McCourts, please consider giving an all time great such as Jackie Robinson a statue.  This could be done when the Dodgers get new ownership.  Please.

Hideo Nomo isn't on the same level of greatness as the previous players pictured.  But, he is one of my heroes of modern Dodger history.  Nomo was very popular as a Dodger.  He had a funky delivery and a splitter that would just drop in the zone.  I wish the Dodgers would call Nomo up and bring him back for some recognition.  I am not saying he deserves a statue but, maybe a bobble head night where Nomo can throw out the first pitch.  The fans would like that and it would be a nice gesture to a man that helped the Dodgers win a lot of ballgames. 

Thank you for the trade package, Godfather Night Owl.  Your trade packages are always welcome at the platter.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Winnings From Cardboard Collections

Colbey from Cardboard Collections hosts a reasonably priced group break every month.  The price is always perfect for my budget.  Colbey also posts the box breaks at a good pace and ships quickly.  He is getting ready to get his group break going for the month of June.  So, please go check out his blog and maybe you could claim a team next group break.

Colbey was nice enough to pull tons of Dodgers for me.  I dominated this group break.  The bubble mailer that he sent me was mostly filled with some 90s Dodgers and a handful of cards from some packs of 2008 Timeline that he opened.  I really like the 1996 E-XL set.  Putting a frame on a card seems to always make the card more appealing.  It is still being done to this day.

Like I said, the bubble mailer was packed with Dodgers from the 90s.  Along with some nice Hideo Nomo cards were some nice Mike Piazza cards.  My favorite Piazza card that Colbey pulled for me is Pacific Mike Piazza card.  Pacific made some really colorful and unique sets back in the day.  Sadly, I didn't buy too many packs of Pacific growing up.  Good thing I can get some from trades or group breaks.

Colbey opened up some 1997 Upper Deck.  That set included a Jackie Robinson subset.  I think I got at least one Jackie in every pack.  I was left with dozens of cards from the Jackie subset.  These cards are very nice looking in person.  It is the perfect blend of retro photographs on a modern glossy card stock.

This was my big hit from the group break.  This card is a 2008 Timeline Chad Billingsley GU.  My Billingsley game used collection is growing.  I am still on the lookout for a Billingsley autograph.  So, please let me know if anyone has one for trade.

Thank you for pulling me soooooo many Dodgers in your group break, Colbey.  Please be sure to check out his blog and get in on his monthly group breaks.  They are always a lot of fun.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Fun Times At Dodger Stadium

Yesterday was a fun day of getting autographs of a couple Dodger players.  You can check out my post about it here.  The Dodger game that I attended last night was a bore and left me discouraged about the team's offense.  I know that there offense has been struggling all year but, last night just seemed more painful than usual.  But, today's game against the Florida Marlins was the complete opposite.

First off, the Dodgers were having a handful of players signing autographs and were taking donations to help out with tornado relief.  I got there later than I should have and the line was super long.  Sadly, I struck out on getting some autos of players that I don't have any of such as Ted Lilly or Scott Elbert.  But, the line to meet one of my least favorite Dodgers of all time was pretty short.  Awesome!

I got to get my picture taken with Darren Dreifort and he also signed a baseball card for me.  He was the second overall pick just after A-Rod in the 1993 draft.  Dreifort was the top pitcher in college baseball that year and seemed destined to be a force in the Dodger rotation for many years to come.  Sadly for Dodger fans and Dreifort himself, injuries ruined his career.  So, did signing a 55 million dollar contract despite being mediocre at the time of the signing.  The contract hurt him because it made the fans expect more and when he didn't deliver he was booed.  Not all of his pitching troubles were his fault.  He had what seemed to be hundreds of major surgeries. 

I am still happy to get his autograph despite my feelings about him during his playing career.  Dreifort became a poster child for brittleness and being overpaid.  Neither of which is his fault.  I am just giving you the perspective of some Dodger fans out there.  Maybe I am kind of sounding like an ass but, I expect Dodger players to perform well when they sign a big contract.  Enough of Darren Dreifort, I also met Tony the Tiger!

Frosted Flakes used to be my favorite cereal as a child.  A box of Frosted Flakes adorning the cartoon photo of Tony the Tiger would stare me in the face as I ate breakfast before school on a near daily basis.  I was pretty happy to see him hanging out at the pre-game festivities at Dodger Stadium.

Oh yeah, there was also a game played today.  My parents got really sweet seats for this game.  I got to see Clayton Kershaw dominated the Marlins.  Keshaw pitched a complete game shutout with the Dodgers winning 8-0.  He cruised through most of the game.  The only trouble came when Jay Gibbons misplayed a fly ball and Rafael Furcal dropped a pop up to give the Marlins a couple base runners.  That was the only trouble Kershaw got in and it wasn't his doing.

Kershaw also had a couple hits and an RBI.  He was even hustling on the base paths, taking an extra base when he saw the opportunity and beating out a double play grounder.

Kershaw was a hyped prospect when the Dodgers picked him in the first round about 5 years ago.  He has delivered since his debut in 2008.  He has gotten progressively better each season.  The Dodgers need to do what they did with Dreifort and show Kershaw the money.

I am pleading with whomever seizes control of the Dodgers from the evil hands of the McCourts to please lock him up long term.  Please don't let Kershaw become a Yankee in a few years.  Kershaw was a hyped prospect that has the goods to reach great heights. 

This was a fun day at the ballpark.  Kershaw dominated, Dreifort signed my baseball card and I met Tony the Tiger.  All in all it was a great day to be remembered.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Jamey Carroll And Dioner Navarro Autograph Signings

I am having a great day thus far.  I went to a couple autograph appearances and I am also attending tonight's Dodger game against the Marlins.  The Dodgers own my Saturday.  I love days like this, where Dodger baseball dominates my daily schedule.  I wish everyday was like this. 

My first stop of the morning was heading over to a Sports Authority in Sherman Oaks for a Jamey Carroll signing.  When I arrived the line wasn't too long and the event was well organized was again by the great folks at Sports Authority.  The signing was to begin at noon and continue until one.  Carroll being a nice guy, arrived early at around 11:30.  He started to sign autographs shortly after his arrival.  Which made Josh from Dodgerbobble and I very happy because Dioner Navorro was signing at the same time in a different part of the city. 

I got this card signed by Carroll.  A special thanks goes out to Godfather Night Owl for sending me this Topps Heritage card.  Retro sets look really cool autographed.  I also like how Carroll added his number on the card.

Carroll was a class act.  He talked to the fans and took pictures with the fans as well.  He seemed to like the story I told him of my mom selling his dad a Tommy Bahama shirt last season.  My mom used to work at the Tommy Bahama store in West Hollywood and Carroll's dad came in to buy a shirt.  Luckily, my mom was able to help him pick out a nice Dodger one and talk some baseball with him.  Carroll stated that his dad still wears the shirt and has since bought another one from the Tommy Bahama MLB line.

Navarro was signing about 20 minutes away from the Sherman Oaks Sports Authority.  Since, Carroll is awesome and signed early, I was able to get out of Sherman Oaks a little before noon.  Dodgerbobble Josh was willing to make the drive to a Kragen O'Reilly Auto Part store.  A nice Dodger fan named Theresa also made the trek with us to the Navarro signing.  Which was cool because she had some good stories about all the ball players that she has met.  Including a story of a paint pen breaking and spilling ink when she met Rollie Fingers.

We made it to the Navarro signing in good time.  There weren't too many people there.  We had to wait in line for about five minutes before we got to meet him.  The coolest thing about the Navarro signing besides getting his auto, were his cool shades.  They were reddish colored Ray Bans.  I have the traditional Ray Bans with the black frame.  But, seeing a different color up close made me want to get another pair.  Sorry, for the fashion talk but, you gotta have cool shades in LA.  It is sunny most of the year and Summer is around the corner.

The signings were run smoothly and I had a great time chatting with other Doyer fans.  These events are also free signings which makes them even sweeter. 

I hope the Dodgers win tonight to cap off a great day in LA.  It is now nap time before game time.

Friday, May 27, 2011

A Pleasant Surprise From Ebay

I am known to spend/waste hours each week searching Ebay for good deals on baseball cards.  I am usually satisfied with my purchases.  Ebay is a great way for a collector to stock up on some cardboard without even leaving the confines of there sofa.

This time around, I purchased some cool Dodger cards on the cheap.  It was being sold as a lot and included a 2009 Upper Deck Icons Chad Billingsley GU.  The seller listed some of the cards that were to be included in the lot.  After he listed what would be in the lot, he also stated that there will be "much more."  Whenever an Ebay seller states "much more," I am expecting an extra card of 1990 Donruss or a couple of cards from 1989 Topps.  This time the seller actually included some quality and quantity into my lot.  This was a big surprise.  I was expecting the Billingsley GU and about 9 other cards.  I got much more for my 3 dollar purchase.

Here was one of the pleasant surprises.  How did this seller know that I have been trying to bolster my collection with Pedro Guerrero cards?

I know that I was going to receive these two cards.  I was a Jeff Kent hater when he was a Giant but, I was a Jeff Kent fan when he was a Doyer.  I am a big fan of the 2006 Ovation set.  I like how the player and the baseball in the background protrude from the cardboard. 

Getting a James McDonald serial numbered rookie card would have been cooler 2 or 3 years ago.  McDonald at one point in his pitching career was the Dodgers Minor League Pitcher of the year.  He looked to be on his way to being locked into the Dodger rotation for the next several years.  The Dodgers gave him some opportunities to succeed.  He was okay as a middle reliever but was complete garbage as a starter.  In one game, that I think was in 09 or 10.  I am leaning towards 2009, where McDonald was struggling with his control, got booed off the mound and was crying on his way into the Dodger dugout.  That may have been the final straw.  The Dodgers traded him last season for the services of Octavio Dotel.  Dotel was a Dodger for maybe a month.

These two cards were apart of the random extra cards that the seller sent me.  Rauuul Mondesi is shown here beating out an infield single against the Giants.  Andy Laroche, like James McDonald, is another failed Dodger prospect.  I thought that Laroche was going to make me forget losing Adrian Beltre through free agency.  The Dodgers gave Laroche some at-bats at third base but, he never produced much.  Also, like McDonald, Laroche was sent to the Pirates as part of the three way deal that brought Manny Ramirez to LA.  Remember Andy Laroche?  He plays in Oakland now after failing in Pittsburgh.  Remember Manny Ramirez?  He now plays for nobody after failing a second drug test.  Manny is wallowing in the stench of infamy with Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens.  Good thing I never bought a Manny jersey.

I need to pick-up more Billingsley GUs.  I think that I have written that before at the Platter.  I also need to obtain a Billingsley autograph.  Please help me out, blog world.  Check out my trade bait and maybe there is a card that you may be interested in.

The seller also included this 2011 Toppstown Mat Latos!?!?  I bought a Dodger lot and he sent me a Padre?!?!  That was an odd inclusion.  I have no idea why he added this into my purchase.  He probably wanted to dump a Padre on me because Padre cards usually just collect dust in one's collection.  The Padres don't have too many collectors or fans.  If I was an Ebay seller, I may include random Padre cards in someones purchase also.  That may be one of the few ways to get rid of some Padre cards. 

The chance may be slim, but if anyone wants this Latos card, please send me an e-mail.   

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Bubble Mailers Arrive From All Over The Web

The bubble mailers have just been filling the mailbox for me.  I have been getting packages from some different sources in the card world.  I have gotten cards recently through trades and group breaks.  As you saw with my previous post, the hits keep on coming.

This first package that I got was received a couple weeks ago.  It was sent to me to complete a trade with Dustin who blogs at No Relics Pulled.  He sent me this sweet Edwin Jackson GU from the Futures Game.  The piece of jersey is bright red.  Which is good because it adds some color to my Dodger GU collection.  I really like relics that come from specific games.  I have a couple cards from the Futures Game and the All-Star Game.  Hopefully, card companies will release more cards like this.  As an example, maybe Topps can release a GU set of cards from jerseys worn during Opening Day. 

Dustin also sent me this cool Ryan Braun checklist from 2008 Upper Deck.  This is a great action shot from the photography department of Upper Deck.  Very nice card for my PC.  Thank you for the trade.  We will have to work out a deal again.

The next set of cards comes from GSN Cards and these were obtained though one of his group breaks.  Please check out his Youtube videos.  He usually states ahead of time when he will be hosting a group break on Blogtv.  GSN Cards usually opens up some high end Upper Deck products such as Sweet Spot of SP Authentic.

Teams are randomed for breaks held on Blogtv.  So, I am never sure what team I will end up with.  This time I got the Orioles.  Which, is a good team to have because they have legends such as Cal Ripken Jr.  GSN Cards pulled this nice Ripken GU for me. 

I was also able to walk away with this Brian Roberts serial numbered parallel from SP Authentic.  The card is #ed/299.  Both the Ripken GU and the Roberts serial numbered card are for trade.  Please shoot me over an e-mail if interested.

During a different group break that was hosted by GSN Cards, I was able to pick-up this Ozzie Smith GU.  I was happy to get the Cardinals in this break because they have cards of legends and Albert Pujols.  I am slightly attached to this Smith card.  So, if you are looking to trade for this, please come strong with an offer.

I also make some trades on the Sports Card Forum.  Before, I started my blog, I used to make multiple trades a week at that site.  I don't trade as much on the SCF anymore.  I am able to make enough trades through the Platter to keep me busy.

I did make a big trade with someone on the SCF earlier this month.  The package took awhile to get to me.  The sender wrote the wrong zip code and the bubble mailer itself looked to be in rough shape.  The package was heavily taped and was dirty.  Also, the sender was 83 cents short on shipping.  The package had a ragged trip to my house but, I got to say that it was worth it.  I got two of my favorite types of GUs.  These are both cards that the jerseys were taken from specific games.  The Kurt Suzuki is from the Futures Game.  The Kosuke Fukudome is from the World Baseball Classic.  The Fukudome jersey must have been made from a different type of material as compared to other jerseys.  The fabric has a different pattern and feel to it.  Maybe, that is why Japan has played so well in the WBC.  They are wearing special jerseys that give them super baseball powers.  Maybe.

Thank you to everyone that has sent me some nice cards. 

Monday, May 23, 2011

Hits, Hits and more Hits!

I remember a time when I first got back into collecting cards, way back in the fall of 2010.  During that time, I had to start my collection over from scratch.  I didn't have a bunch of GUs or autos to trade.  I didn't even have any that were in my PC.  I had to start ripping packs and buying some on ebay.  I eventually was able to amass a solid PC of GUs and autos in a short amount of time.  I was able to pick up some trade bait along the way. 

Having some solid GUs and autos as trade bait seems to lead to bigger trades.  I love acquiring autographed cards of Dodgers.  I busted a box of some Upper Deck Masterpieces awhile back and sent BA Benny a couple hits from my break.  He then sent me a handful of nice Dodger cards. 

Bam!  My first Hiroki Kuroda hit!!!  I love the way Topps Heritage Game Used cards look.  Great piece to our trade.

BA Benny also sent me a Bill Mueller game used bat card and a Derek Lowe game used jersey card.  Very nice!  Lowe was one of my favorite Dodger pitchers when he played for the team.  He was very consistent and had a good sinkerball. 

My hits collection keeps on growing thanks to BA Benny.  He sent me a sweet two piece jersey card of Jeff Kent.  He also throw in a Hideo Nomo game used jersey card #ed/250.  Both cards are welcome additions to my PC.

Cory Wade was a big part of the 2008 Dodgers bullpen.  He was a rookie that year and bailed the team out of many jams.  Wade was a one season wonder.  He has battled injuries and poor performances since 2008.  I appreciate what how he helped the team that year and was happy to get an auto of his.  BA Benny seemed shocked that I even wanted this card.  This was the card that sealed our deal.

If you have been reading the Platter recently, you may think that I only obtain cards throw trades.  Not so fast my friendly readers.  I also pick up some cards on ebay just like most collectors I know.  I found an Eric Byrnes on-card auto and a Yhency Brazoba auto on ebay for pretty cheap as you may expect.  I was a big fan of Byrnes when he played for the Oakland A's.  He played real hard and always seemed to hustle.  His career faded out in Seattle after some years in Arizona.  After Byrnes retired he started to play in a beer league crushing some high arching softballs.

I don't have much to say about Brazoban.  I only picked it up because it was a Dodger auto and it made me remember how fat Brazoban looked on the mound.  One of the charms of watching baseball is seeing a guy play a professional sport at its highest level, yet look out of shape. 

I busted a box of 2006 Flair Showcase a couple weeks back.  The box was cheap and brought me some great inserts and hits.  I know that there are many collectors of Vlad out there.  This card is available for trade.  I may eventually do a full post on this box break because it was very good to me.  In the meantime, I'll break it up and try and get some more Dodger hits for my collection.

"O" No! Things Are Funner Here

I took the weekend off from blogging and baseball as well.  I just needed a break from collecting and watching baseball.  It was a weekend to get refreshed and enjoy some other aspects of life.  The weekend was fun while it lasted.  But, now it is time to get back to the great sport of baseball.  It is back to blogging about cards and watching the Dodgers play the Astros later tonight.

Let us get back to catching up on some trade posts.  I love the surprise aspect of trading cards.  Most trades that I have completed are semi-blind.  I know of a few of the cards that a bubble mailer will be carrying when I receive it but, the bulk of its contents are a mystery to me.  Cardboard junkies get a rush when they are about to open up a bubble mailer or a pack of cards. 

Ryan from the blog "O" No!!! Another Orioles Blog, and I have made a handful of trades together.  I think I started trading cards with him on the Sports Card Forum. 

I have yet to open up any Gypsy Queen but, I am getting some in trades.  The blog world has opened up a lot of this set so, finding specific cards for my collection has been pretty easy.  Ryan pulled a Ian Kinsler Green Framed card and an Ichiro Wall Climbers insert.  These cards have such great detail to them up close.  I am very happy to get these in trades.

Ryan also sent me this card along with a bunch of other cards of Japanese ball players.  I have no idea who Katsuhiro Maeda is.  This card is funny though.  I saw it and laughed out loud.  I wonder if Maeda is embarrassed of this card.  This card was released in 1996 so, he probably has seen it. 

I also made a trade with Julie from Things Are Funner Here.  Julie and I are continuing to be great trade partners.  I always have a stack of some Phils waiting to be sent out her way.  I think she also always has a stack of Doyers going for me as well.  That is how we keep our record trade pace.

She sent me this sweet Matt Kemp serial numbered to 999 paper frame card!  Kemp may be the last Dodger standing with all the team's injury issues.  He is having a solid season and sadly it may be getting overlooked by some fans.  Kemp is having a very good all around season.  He is fielding well, stealing bases, hitting for average and power.  His masterful start is being pushed aside in the Dodgers news cycle by stories about ownership issues and stadium violence.  It is a shame that Kemp's season is having a great season while other stories are surrounding the team.

Julie also sent along this 2009 Topps Brad Ausmus card.  This is my first Ausmus card with him in Dodger blue.  A simple card like this makes this trade even sweeter to me. 

Both of these trades were great.  I have traded with Ryan and Julie several times so, please check out there blogs.  Maybe even shoot them over a trade offer.  They are great to deal cardboard with.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A Play At The Plate Involving Nachos Grande

I have been getting a lot of trade packages in the past week or so.  I am getting a little backed up on them.  I have also been getting in some cards from group breaks.  It is now time to do some trade posts in pairs.  I lost order in which I received the bubble mailers, so I am going to pick a couple random ones from my pile to post about.

Nachos Grande joined a group break that was hosted at the blog Cardboard Collections.  Nacho beat me to the punch and picked up the Dodgers.  I sent him over some cards for his set and team needs.  Nacho was nice enough to send me some great looking 90s Nomo cards.  The Topps Laser die-cut is really cool.  They don't make sets like that anymore.

My photo doesn't do this Mike Piazza insert any justice.  The word "power" has fireworks exploding in the lettering.  The card has much more color on it than it seems.  Long live the 90s insert sets.

The second trade that I chose for this post comes from Brian at the blog Play at the Plate.  Brian sent me some big time mojo.  Since, my blog started, my collection of cards with game used bats and jerseys has really taken off.  Sometimes hits are just thrown in on trades.  The blog world is a great place to trade.

Here is a 2011 Topps Heritage Ryan Braun GU bat card.  Braun is probably my favorite non-Doyer.  I was at Dodger Stadium a couple days ago and the Brewers were in town.  Braun had a pretty solid game and made a real nice throw from left field to nail Aaron Miles at second base.  When the Brewers come to LA, I try to make sure that I am able to go to at least one game to see Braun play in person.  I don't get to see him on TV too much.  So, my best chance to watch him play is when he comes to Dodger Stadium.  Brewer fans should be really excited to have this guy locked up long term.

Brian threw this GU of Sheffield in the trade.  I wasn't expecting it but, I'll take it.  Sheff had some monster seasons as a Dodger.  I just wish he had a friendly personality.  He seemed paranoid.  That everyone was against him.  The media, the front office and the fans at some point during Sheffield's brief Dodger career were fed up with him.  Assuming, Sheffield gets into Cooperstown, which team will he be representing on his plaque? 

These are a couple cards that I really appreciate getting in this trade.  The Rauuuul Mondesi card is a 1998 reprint of his 1992 Leaf rookie card.  The photo of Rauuul looks really old fashioned to me.  Rauuul looks like a baseball player from the 70s.  I like the retro feel of this card.

Brian also sent me a sweet Chan Ho Park rookie card.  Park at some solid seasons as a Dodger, pitching as a starter as well as a relief pitcher.  Great cards of the Dodgers of my youth.

I want to thank both of you guys for the trades.  Stay tuned tomorrow as I pick a couple more bubble mailers filled with cards to post about.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

My Friends Are Generous

I went to the Dodger game last night and the giveaway was a Clayton Kershaw bobble head.  I met up with some buddies in Los Feliz for some pre-game beers.  A couple of the friends that I met up with are also card collectors.  Whenever I see one of them, he usually gives me a stack of cards.  Sometimes, I bring cards with me to give him and sometimes I don't.  Which makes me feel guilty.  This time I brought over some Dodgers GUs and a Quinton Groves rookie auto to give him.  Groves is a linebacker on the Oakland Raiders.

I picked up an extra Rod Barajas autograph at the appearance that I attended recently.  The extra auto was for my other collecting buddy that I was meeting up with.  I wasn't expecting any sort of return for the Barajas auto.  But, he gave me a very sweet card in return.  I will have to hit him back with some other goods.

Here is a sampling of the type of stack that I usually receive from the first buddy that I mentioned.  I gave him a couple GUs and the Groves auto.  I probably owe him more for all the cards that he has given me over the past several months.

 He usually doesn't throw in any vintage.  But, I am happy to pick up a 1976 Topps Jim Palmer.  I am also happy to pick up a Jack Morris rookie card.  I am slowly building a collection of Jim Palmer cards from the 70s.  This is completely unintentional.  For some reason, his cards are usually cheap, even though he is a hall of fame pitcher. 

These are the types of cards that I expect from my friend.  He joins a lot of group breaks, especially higher end products.  I am not able to join too many high end breaks so, some cards from those sets usually don't find there way into my collection.  The Ichiro is a green refractor numbered to 199.  That is some great looking shine.  The Ryan Zimmerman is numbered to 299 and is a blue refractor.

These are a couple cards from sets that are completely new to me.  I have never heard of Dugout Axcess.  This was a product released in 1998 and produced by Skybox.  When I think of Skybox, I think of all the flash and pizazz that they put into there basketball sets back in the early 90s.  The baseball set that they released in '98 is really dull looking.  1998 Dugout Axcess may be the most bland looking set that I have seen in awhile.  I almost don't believe that Skybox would come up with a set without bright colors.

The Mike Piazza card shows a nice photo of him getting ready before a game.  As I like to mention, the Dodgers should have never traded a catcher that mashes and has a cool mustache.

The Raul Mondesi card is from 1999 Ovation.  The seams of the baseball are raised and kind of simulates the feeling of a baseball.  This is an awesome looking set.  The detail on the stitching makes it look like actual string.  Upper Deck used a lot of great detail when designing this set.

Let's get back to some modern shine.  The top card is a Ryan Braun card from 2008 SPx.  My friend also included several other base cards from this set.  I like the vertical die cut design with a hologram.  The card looks to be from the future.

The bottom card is from 2005 Donruss Elite featuring Kerry Wood and Shawn Green.  The card is serial numbered to 1500.  I didn't know that Elite has been around so long.  I thought the set was only a couple years old and focused on college players.

This was the card that I wasn't expecting to get.  Like I mentioned earlier, I was just going to give my friend the extra Barajas auto.  He wasn't having any of that.  So, he gave me a Johnny Podres game used card.  I was shocked that he gave me this.  Podres was a World Series hero for Brooklyn in 1955.  He shut down the Yankees in a Game 7. 

I am so glad to have friends that collect cards.  I am also very thankful that my friends are so generous.

Pulled Some Dodgers At The Quarry

Recently, in the blog world, we have been blessed with a lot of group breaks.  Group breaks are a great way to stock up on your team needs.  Johnny of the Rockies blog, Cards From The Quarry, hosted a very cool group break.  This break was really good to me.  I didn't have too many Dodgers from the 03-04 Bazooka sets.  Johnny was nice enough to pull some base, parallels and inserts for a fellow NL Wester.  Johnny also pulled a lot of 1998 Bowman cards for me.  He also opened up some 2008 Upper Deck Documentary cards.  As you all know it is very hard to have dupes from this set.  So, getting a stack that I needed from this set along with some parallels was totally helpful.

Johnny and I also worked out a trade.  I picked up a nice Todd Helton GU with a pinstripe at a local card show.  I sent it his way and he sent a gem over to the Platter.

One of my minor PCs is collecting cards of Japanese ball players.  Johnny sent me this 2011 Topps Kosuke Fukudome GU for the Helton that I sent his way.  I really like the 2011 Topps game used cards.  I love stats and rankings.  The Topps 60 game used and insert sets display a top ten list on the back of each card.  This Fukudome card states that he the top batting average in 2010 batting from the 2nd spot.  He batted a robust .353 from the 2 hole.  I like how Topps picks a lot of random categories for the Topps 60 cards.  I may have never known that Fukudome was a beast batting out of the 2nd spot in the line-up.

I actually have a burgeoning Fukudome game used collection.  This is my third relic of his.  That may not sound like a lot to some bloggers out there but, for me this is a pretty high amount for a non-PC player.  I definitely have more Fukudome game used cards than Ryan Braun or Ian Kinsler game used.  Very odd.

Johnny pulled a bunch of 2008 Upper Deck Documentary cards for me in his group break.  I didn't have any of the gold parallels from this set before.  I was able to get a few from this break.  Also, being able to get a Clayton Kershaw rookie card that I didn't have is always a welcome addition.

One of the reasons that I chose this break was the years of the boxes being broken.  1998 Bowman had a lot of Dodgers that I needed such as Mike Piazza and Eric Karros.  Also, 2003-2004 Bazooka had some cards of players that I collect.  I was lucky that I got a some Bazooka cards that I needed.  The paralells from this set looks good.  The border is kind of purple and also kind of red.  The base cards also look cool.  They have a retro look and feel to them.  These cards will look great signed. 

Cesar Izturis was one of my favorite Dodgers from the early to mid 2000s.  I didn't mind that he wasn't much at the plate because he could dazzle with the glove.  When Izturis was teamed with third baseman, Adrian Beltre, the duo was a joy to watch.  Nothing got by those two on the left side.  Bazooka captured a great shot of Izturis turning a double play against the Braves.  Thank you for the cameo, Marcus Giles.

The Adrian Beltre card is from 1998 Bowman.  He was a young kid in the minors when this photo was taken.  The Dodgers signed him as a teenager in the 90s out of the Dominican Republic.  Beltre was a bonus baby and much was expected of him.  The Dodgers rushed him through the minors and he had to learn on the job at the big league level.  He struggled in his first few years with swinging at bad pitches and injuries.  But, I will never forget the 2004 season he had.  That year, he slugged 48 bombs and had an OPS of 1.017.  I remember him getting clutch hit after clutch hit as he led the 2004 Dodgers to a division title.

Johnny was very kind to pull me the Shawn Green pop-up insert from 2003 Bazooka.  I am very tempted to actually pop Green out and put him on display.  But, I must resist and place him in a binder.

This was a very fun group break.  Johnny picked some boxes with a lot of Dodgers in them and I thank him for that.  Also, I thank him for the trade.  The Fukudome relic is a nice addition to my collection.