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.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

I Am A Reader

Before the Platter was born, I was a baseball card collector that read blogs about baseball cards.  The joy that bloggers had for their collections and the hobby in general, made me want to be like them.  I wanted in on this great community.  I even traded with some card bloggers before I started my own blog.

Baseball card blog fan, Steve, is the type of trader that I once was.  He doesn't have a blog of his own, but he must enjoy some of the words we write.  Reader Steve, as he is known as in the blog world, makes swaps with a bunch of other bloggers as well.  I see his name pop up in trade posts more than the names of people that actually run a blog.

Reader Steve liked a Bernie Williams Bat Relic that I posted on my other blog called Blog of Trade Bait.  Him and I have traded before and I gladly sent him the Williams along with some other Yankee cards with some New York Mets thrown in.

I was happy to get this auto of Kyle Russell and it is on-card as well.  Russell was a 3rd round pick of the Dodgers in 2008 and has worked his way up the minor league system as a power hitting outfielder.  He isn't much of a prospect being that he is 26 and just reached Triple-A last season.  That doesn't deter me from adding this signature into my collection.  Even if he never makes the big leagues, this card will still be in my collection.

You have seen this swell card from Reader Steve and now back to talking about being a blog reader.  I still read a bunch of blogs out there.  Each card blog has its own tone and offers something different than the next blog.  I enjoy all types of different themes that other people come up with.

post by John from the blog called Donruss 1982, listed his Top 20 blogs of the year.  I really like seeing another blogger give out some recognition to his fellow card writers.  This list got me thinking about which blogs entertain me the most.

I don't really wanna list them out in any order.  I would feel bad for slighting someone because I am sure that most of us spend a decent amount of time tending to our little hobby.  I just want to give a shout out and a thanks to some of the blogs that have helped me feel the sense of camaraderie and entertainment in 2012.

The Adventures of Napkin Doon is one of my favorite blogs to read.  Napkin Doon is a cool alter ego or is possibly a dude named Napkin Doon that is crazy enough to believe he has an alter ego.  Either way, his blog makes me laugh and his posts about an auction he rolls to at a magical card shop called Cleve's is a must read for me.  The Adventures of Napkin Doon should be a must read for you as well.

Does everybody read Night Owl's blog?  The answer to this question is yes, of course.  Even non-collectors probably read the words he types.  There is a reason that he is considered top dog in the blog world.  His posts are very well written and Night Owl has a good sense of humor.  I love it when he slams the Giants or takes a jab at the Yankees.  When you are the best in the business, you can get away with stuff like that and Giant and Yankee fans will still trade cards with you.  I am still too self conscious to put down other teams very often.  Night Owl is also a Dodger fan, which makes his blog that much more enjoyable to me.

One more blog that I would like to give props to for doing a good job this year is The Chronicles of Fuji.  This blog is run by Fuji and he is a good man from the Bay Area.  Fuji is such a good man, that every now and then he takes some Giants base cards off my hands to give to his students.  Fuji also just wrote a nice piece on former Oakland Raider punter Ray Guy.  Fuji was making the case that Guy should be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  Since I am an Oakland Raider fan, I fully agree with Fuji and when I read your words and agree with your statements, that scores points with me as a reader.  I also enjoy Fuji's posts about the items he finds at flea markets.  He finds some cool oddball cards and starting line-up figures.

I just wanted to mention a few blogs that made my life a little bit more fun this year.  I read many more blogs and will probably write about some more of them between now and 2013.  Many more blogs deserve praise and credit for their awesomeness.

Thank you for reading these words.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Fuji! Fuji! Fuji!

Isn't Fuji a great name to chant?  If there was a Blogger Olympics, the crowd would get behind Fuji because they would love shouting his name in a stadium.  Even if Fuji, couldn't jump a hurdle, the crowd at the Blogger Olympics would still adore him like a champion.

Fuji, as most of you know, runs a blog called The Chronicles of Fuji.  It is a great blog that shows sports cards, starting line-up figures and some oddball sets from old television shows.  Fuji has a solid variety act going on at his blog, that is something I envy.

Fuji is also one of the better traders in the blog world.  He must have meticulously crafted the perfect trade package to send me.

This is one of the greatest Hideo Nomo cards ever made.  The V.J. Lovero series that Upper Deck came out with in the 90s was genius.  This Nomo will stand the test of time in the card world.

Getting cards of Nomo in a non-Dodger uniform is also a plus.  He spent some short stints with other teams such as the Brewers.  Nomo was still a cardboard superstar, even while donning something other than Dodger Blue.  Card companies still churned out a fair amount of Nomo cards in the 2000s.  It was nothing like the 90s though, when thousands of new Nomo cards were printed daily at Topps, Upper Deck, Fleer or any of the other card companies of that era.

 Fuji's blog has a lot of interesting variety to it and so does the trade packages that he sends out.  These are my first minis from Japan.  These cards feature players from the Seibu Lions in the Japanese Pacific League. These cards were made in 2009.  The Lions had one the Japan Series title in 2008 so, these dudes were on top of the world when these cards were released.

Minis from America!  Dodger minis from '86 Fleer, '87 Topps and '90 Topps!  Look a card featuring Mariano Duncan with a jerry curl and he is signing autographs with a blue sharpie.  Good Dodgers sign autos in blue sharpie.

This lot also features a couple Fernandos and an Eddie Murray too.  Did these come in little wax packs?  How were they sold?  I don't remember getting cards like this back in the day.  It seems that minis from this era just popped up when I became a card collecting adult.

Not many bloggers include stamps of ballplayers in their trade packages.  Luckily, Fuji is one of them that does send people stamps of players like Steve Sax.  The other two stamps show Burt Hooton in science teacher glasses and Jerry Koosman looking like a sitcom dad.

Including items like this start to make a trade package epic.  Where else would I have found these stamps?  I haven't seen them at a card show or hobby shop.  Fuji came through big time with these.

Fuji also sends cards with little pieces of cloth in them.  I believe this is my 100th game used jersey card of Shawn Green.  I am always welcoming more.  Were Dodger fans bored with collecting game used cards of Green in the early to mid 2000s?

It seems that in those years Green, Kevin Brown and Gary Sheffield had a ton of game used cards.  To me, Green is the only one worth collecting of the three of them.

I will finish off this trade post with a classic vintage card.  This is the 1963 Topps Dodger team card.  The stats shown on the back from the '62 season show some outstanding numbers.  In 1962, the Dodgers had 3 players finish in the top 5 of MVP voting.  Maury Wills won the award, Tommy Davis finished third, and Don Drysdale finished fifth.

Tommy Davis had a grand season.  He won the batting title while hitting .346 and also had 153 RBIs that also led the league.  I feel those two numbers are reachable for Matt Kemp in 2013.

This was a memorable trade with Fuji.  I look forward to our next.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Adding to my Wants

The freeway traffic to get home, from the card shop I frequent, was awful.  I should have expected it because people are either fleeing LA to spend the holidays with their family or people are arriving in LA to spend time with their families.

It took me about an hour and a half to get home this afternoon.  That is almost triple the time it normally takes.  The trip was worth it though.  I was really excited to pick up some of the cards that I won on the bid board.  The shop's bid board ends on Tuesdays so, Wednesday is pick-up day for me.

Before I show you some of the cards that I purchased from Valley Sports Cards, let me ask my readers a question.  While driving the freeways of LA, I noticed that when traffic is moving slowly and you are in a tunnel, people just start honking their horn repeatedly for no apparent reason.  This happens often and I partake in this activity of honking my horn while slowly crawling through an overpass.  Does this happen in other cities?  Do people beep their horn while waiting in a tunnel in other parts of the country?

It is fun to do this and see the joy on people's faces while they honk their horn obnoxiously.  I recommend this type of behavior.

This is the card that had me trying to rush down to the card shop.  This is my second Hall of Fame auto from this year's Panini Cooperstown set.  I picked up a Fergie Jenkins signature from this set last week and you may check out that post if you want.

This time around, I am lucky enough to have been the highest bidder on this Andre Dawson autograph.  This signature is on-card and features Dawson's mean looking face.  I will probably be tracking down more of these signatures from the Cooperstown set because they are reasonably priced and the checklist is top notch.

I have also officially decided that I am going to go after some of the insert sets in this product.  One of the sets that I am going to try and complete is called Voices of Summer.  This insert sets includes some Hall of Fame broadcasters.

The Red Barber is the only one that I have so far.  I have updated my Set Needs list that is up top on the Platter's toolbar.

I picked up a few packs of Cooperstown today as well as paying for my Dawson auto.  One of the cards that I pulled was this card of Exposition Park in Pittsburgh.  The "moment in time" photography of this Ballparks insert set is really grand.  This photo makes you feel like you are watching a baseball game in the beginning of the 20th century.

The Ballparks set is also on my list to complete.  If any of you kind bloggers can help me out, that would be awesome.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving, blog world!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Fun Trade Partner

I have traded with people long enough in the blog world that sometimes I don't even have to mention to someone that it is time for a swap.  Some of my regular trade partners just mail me cards when they think that they have accumulated enough cards to send my way.  I do this too sometimes.  I just package a bunch of cards for a blogger and mail it out to them.  I usually just shoot them an email to let them know that some baseball cards are in transit to their home.

Julie from the Phillies blog, Funner Here, surprised me with a trade package.  Her blog used to be called Things are Funner Here but, she shortened the name.  Just wanted to clarify so, people don't think that there are two Julies in the blog world and one of the Julies is stealing a blog title from the other.

Julie and I have been trading Phillies for Dodgers for over a year now.  Maybe even close to two years ago was our first trade.  There has been a gap that we haven't traded in a while until she sent me an awesome package full of Dodgers and other goodies.

This Hideo Nomo card is one of my favorites that she sent.  This Circa Thunder card was designed by someone that loves lava lamps, the 70s and acid.  The influence of those three things makes for a nice looking card.  Maybe Topps should hire a graphic designer like that.

A rookie card of my favorite Dodger to make fun of.  James Loney had so much potential and he had some hype among Dodger fans when he was racing through the minor league system on his way to the big leagues. Now Loney is probably hoping to get at least a one year deal from somebody.  A team shouldn't give him a multi-year deal.  He never lived up to expectations of being able to hit for good average with some power in his bat.

2007 was his best season and it was in limited time as a 23 year old.  Loney had 375 plate appearances with 15 home runs and an on-base percentage of .381.  The 15 bombs he hit in 2007 are still his career high.  Between 2008-2011, Loney had seasons of getting well over 500 plate appearances and never hit more than 13 home runs.

Russell Martin was part of the core that came up through the minor leagues with James Loney.  Martin had some good years in Los Angeles before leaving for the Yankees.  Martin is now a free agent hoping that no team will notice that he batted .211 last year with a .311 on-base percentage.  Martin also had a career high 95 strikeouts in 2012.

Martin is really hoping that teams see his 21 home runs that he hit last year.  He hit 13 of the home runs in tiny Yankee Stadium.

Martin is the type of player that should stay in the American League, far away from the Dodgers.  He seems like the type of player that will hurt his former club despite his declining numbers.  I would rather ignore Martin than root against him.

Thanks for the trade, Julie.  I have some cards already set aside for you, now I just need to make a trip to the post office.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Retail Satisfaction

During the baseball off season, card purchasing plummets for me.  When the baseball season ends, I kind of need a break from watching baseball as well as collecting cards of the sport.  My time with my collection is used mostly for organizing and getting ready for 2013 Topps.  I will be ready and prepared for that day.

I haven't bought much 2012 Topps Update, even though I have enjoyed the last two editions.  I like seeing players on fresh cardboard, featured with their new team.  This is a thought that I believed to be 100% true.  That is until I picked up a 2012 Topps Update blaster just to try and acquire the many Dodgers and inserts that I still need.

This Ichiro card doesn't bother me too much.  I already have a couple of his cards that feature him in a Yankee uniform.

Ichiro looks happy to be announced as a Yankee.  Playing in Seattle the last few years or so has had to be awful.  This Ichiro card will stay in my collection.  The Yankee-ness isn't too prevalent to annoy me.

This card here is way too Yankee for me.  I love watching Ichiro play but, that huge manupatch NY logo is just obnoxious.

Sorry, Ichiro, but this card is for trade.  Anyone that wants to trade me a Dodger manupatch or a Hall of Fame manupatch, please let me know.

This was my guaranteed fake patch in the blaster.  This isn't a bad one to pull with enough Ichiro fans out there that will be interested in this card.

Now onto cards that I pulled that will stay in my collection.  Matt Kemp baseball cards will always be welcome at the Platter.  This is a nice looking card of Matt Kemp celebrating a walk off victory.  He is also probably in a joyous mood because he knows that he will have his pick of the ladies at a Hollywood night club post game.

This card is of a golden moment that took place on April 28, 2012.  Kemp crushed a 10th inning home run to give the Dodgers a 4-3 win over the Washington Nationals.  This game is also significant because this was Kemp's 11th home run in the month of April.  This feat moved him past Gary Sheffield for most ever in the month of April by a Doyer.  Knocking Sheffield down the Dodger record books is always a good thing.

There is also one more reason why this game will be noted in the history books for.  This game marked the debut of Bryce Harper.  His first game was at Dodger Stadium with over 54,000 fans in the seats.

The pride of Sherman Oaks, Giancarlo Stanton, is in a tough position.  Stanton is a guy that the Marlins should be building around.  Did you know that Stanton had a slugging percentage of .608 last season?  Did you also know that he is only 22 and hit 37 bombs last year?

This dude is legit and should be on a team with aspirations of winning now and not retooling for the future.  It would be a shame not to see someone of Stanton's talent playing in crucial games in September and getting a chance to play in a pressure packed playoff game in October.

The baseball world will want to see Stanton with those opportunities.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Ending A Cold Streak

Opening up a pack of baseball cards is a pure gamble.  You pay money to rip open foil packaging in the hopes that the cards inside are ones that you would like to keep.  Hopefully, the pack at least contains cards that you can flip for something that suits your collection.

I have been on a cold streak when it comes to playing the pack ripping lottery.  Over the past couple months, I have gotten some nice parallels, base cards and inserts.  But, none of those cards made me jump up with a high kick like David Lee Roth.

The game used and autos haven't been pulled has frequently.  This Mark Reynolds 2012 Allen and Ginter Game Used Jersey was one of my more recent hits pulled from a pack.  I got this one from a blaster that was being sold for a little under 20 bucks at a card show.

Luckily, the blog world is home to many Baltimore Oriole collectors.  One of them will get their hands on this card at some point.

This card also didn't get me too excited when I pulled it.  I was mostly surprised that I even was able to pull something with cloth on it from a blaster of Ginter.

I needed to start buying some packs of something non-Topps.  I felt the best way to change my luck and pull some nice cardboard was to give Panini a try.  I have seen some photos and read about the 2012 Panini Cooperstown Baseball set.  It was time to give this product a shot.

The card shop that I go to had some packs of Cooperstown.  This Tommy Lasorda was the top card of one of the first packs I opened.  This card sold me on this product.  I haven't seen this photo before and Lasorda hasn't been popping up in many Topps sets lately.  A black and white photo of Lasorda and his gut throwing batting practice is classic.

The cards in this set remind me of the Conlon Collection cards from back in the day.  The glossy photos featuring baseball legends is a welcome return to the hobby.

Cooperstown also has an insert set featuring the legendary baseball announcers in the Hall of Fame.  I pulled the Red Barber from this set.  Vin Scully is also in this set and I will get my hands on that card soon enough.

The Voices of Summer set also have Harry Kalas, Ernie Harwell and Ty Cobb on the checklist.  Wait?!?!  Ty Cobb was a voice of a summer?  That doesn't seem right but, that is another card that I will eventually get my hands on.

Panini went all out by using some great photography for this release.  Some old school ball parks are included in an insert set.  This is a card featuring the former home of the Boston Americans.  The stadium was called the Huntington Avenue Grounds.

The park seems to have a seating style mostly seen at a Nascar event.  The field also seems to have a short porch in right field.  It must have been a haven for bombs hit by left handed hitters.

Boom!  I actually pulled an autograph of a card that I will keep.  I won't have to do the extra work to trade it for something I want.  This card is the first Hall of Famer signature that I have pulled myself.  I have met Tony Gwynn Sr. and got his autograph.  I have traded for a Gaylord Perry auto before.  But, never pulled one from a pack that I bought myself.  That makes this card mean a little bit more to me.

This is the type of pull I have been talking about.  An on-card autograph of Fergie Jenkins fits in my Hall of Fame collection and ends a cold streak of the dullness I have been pulling.

The Jenkins and the Lasorda base card makes opening 2012 Cooperstown worth it.  The set offers a lot for fans that love the history of baseball and collectors that enjoyed the Conlon Collection sets.  The photography is superb and the checklist is amazing.

This set is Platter approved and I will be opening up more of this product.  I will also be chasing the Voices of Summer insert set.  Please be on the look out for the want list that I will be adding for that pursuit.