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.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Thinking Ahead To 2013

The Dodgers recently emailed an order form to purchase mini plan ticket packages.  The ticket packages are available for between 10 and 30 games.  They also offer packages that include the bobble head games.  The Dodgers are going with 10 bobble head giveaways this year.

After the end of every Dodger season, I always proclaim that I will never go back to Dodger Stadium.  I say that I will just watch the games at home and listen to Vin Scully.  I have a bunch of different reason why I say things like this after the conclusion of the Dodger season.  None of those reasons have to do with what transpires on the field.

I have been buying mini plans from the Dodgers since the horrid 2005 season.  Jason Phillips got over 400 plate appearances that year.  I still happily renewed in 2006.

Since getting the email notice from the Dodgers to renew my tickets, I have pondered whether or not to go back to watch games in person.  The seats in the Dodger Stadium pavilions are made of solid wood and are long benches.  Sometimes you are crammed tight with complete strangers for 3 hours.  The food also needs to improve at the ballpark.  The selection in left field is pretty much a Dodger Dog or overly salty nachos.  Those picks get boring after a while.

Also, not hearing Scully while I am watching a Dodger game is painful at times.  We, Dodger fans are so spoiled hearing him call a game that to see baseball being played without his pleasant voice is a lesser product.

Those are just some of my reasons for contemplating getting a ticket package for 2013.

Even with my whining, of course, I am going to renew.  I am addicted to baseball.  I am willing to put up with a bunch of crap at the ballpark that is off the field to watch my beloved Dodgers.  I probably could never go through a baseball season again without going to Dodger Stadium a bunch and patrolling the left field pavilion with pride.

2013 is going to mark the year, where I stop kidding myself and happily buy tickets for Dodger games months in advance.  No more saying that I will never go back.  I will always go back.

Matt Kemp plays for the Dodgers.  He came up through the team's minor league system, signed a long term deal last year to stay in LA and Kemp is really good at baseball.  Kemp is our guy.  He can take over ball games for weeks at a time.

Clayton Kershaw will be our opening day starter.  It is not even a question who will be on the mound for the Dodgers against the Giants on opening day.  I enjoy the stability and knowing that Kershaw can crush his opponents any game he enters.  I will be wearing my Kershaw jersey in Dodger Stadium on opening day.

The baseball addiction will never go away.

The Dodger Stadium jumbo tron doesn't show enough replays.  The replays they do show seem to be a few minutes after the play took place.  That seems way too long in our fast paced times and the television audience probably saw that same replay five times with Scully narrating it.

I can deal with that.  I usually watch the replay of the game after I get home from watching the game live.  If I feel I missed a play or had an obstructed view, the game will be on by the time I get home and I could re-watch what I missed.

I love seeing a big moment happen while I am in the stadium.  The roar of the crowd is enjoyable and feeling the nervous, anticipation that a stadium audience gets when something good or bad is about to happen.

I also don't want to miss watching Andre Ethier hit a baseball.  He always seems so angry and focused while out on the field.  Kemp smiles a lot and seems to have a relaxed swagger.  When Ethier makes an out he seems pissed at the world.  That is the same anger that I have watching him make an out at the plate.

I love that passion that he brings to his job.  I will feel like I am disappointing Ethier if I wasn't sitting in the outfield cheering him on.  He is too angry a dude to disappoint even though he may not even know that I exist or that my praying to the baseball gods help him get base hits.

I am in desperate need for baseball and am having major withdrawals.  Hockey season looks doomed and football only has one game a week that I care about.

The Dodgers have Kemp, Kershaw, and Ethier.  I will continue to ride the journey with them for our quest for a title.  Dodger Stadium will be my part time home on several nights in 2013.

The Dodgers also have Aaron Harang.  I love seeing the terrified look that kids have on their faces when they see Harang's face in person.

Hurry up baseball season.  I miss you!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Highly Collectible

Since this is the collecting off season, it gives me a chance to look back on some of the cards that have entered my collection.  Today, I was able to flip through my binder of current Dodgers and appreciate the cards that were added this past season.  Topps seemed to do a pretty good job capturing great photos of Dodger players in 2012.

I decided to pick some 2012 Dodger cards out that I think non-Dodger collectors will eventually pick up and add to their collection.

I skimmed through some of my non-Dodger binders to look for cards of players that I don't collect but, I still kept around because the card looked cool.  Some of the 2012 Dodgers that I picked out fit in the "look cool" category.  Bloggers tend to save cards that they enjoy just for the appearance of the photo on the cardboard.

This is the only David Wright card that I have in my National League binder.  I have kept it due to its awesome, leaping action shot.  Their are probably some other bloggers out there that have also held on to the beauty from 2010 even though they don't collect cards of New York Mets.

I am not a Tony Phillips collector but, this is the type of card that I must keep.  I believe I found this in a dime box at a card shop.

This card is great on so many different levels.  I should probably list them to make this an easier and more pleasant read.

1.  Phillips looks slightly confused and dumbfounded that his picture is being taken at a baseball stadium while he is in uniform to play a baseball game.  This should be the place that Tony Phillips would most expect to get his photo taken by complete strangers.

2.  His mustache/'fro combo.  Makes for a good baseball card all the time.

3.  The beer league quality of the Oakland A's uniform in the mid-80s.  The Oakland franchise was on the verge of some glory years with Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire.  I hope by then that they were able to buy jerseys in some place different than a back alley in China Town.

4.  Phillips is signing a baseball for a fan.  I love seeing athletes do this when I am at the ballpark and seeing it captured on a baseball card is sweet as well.

The photography in the 1971 Topps set is superb.  This Art Shamsky card is one of my favorite cards that I own from the 70s.  Shamsky appears to be flinching at a pitch coming towards the plate.  I love the angle that the photographer captured this image from.

I maybe own only one other Shamsky card.  This card still found a way into my binder because it is a classic card featuring a ballplayer that I know little about.

So, what Dodger cards from 2012 will be kept by non-Dodger collectors because they look cool?  This Dee Gordon caught my eye as a candidate.  Chipper Jones makes a cameo on his way to being a part of a double play.  Chipper will be remembered years from now, so future collectors will find it neat that he showed up in a card of some dude named Dee Gordon.

This is one of my Dodger cards from this year.  I wish Gordon will have some success at the big league level just so, Topps can keep making fantastic baseball cards of him.  Oh yeah, and his success will help the Dodgers win baseball games.

Hate the player, don't hate the card.  That is what I always say on daily basis.  Ask anyone who knows me.

Adam Kennedy is a bum.  Every Dodger fan agrees with that statement.  Kennedy had a decent career but, his 2012 Dodger season was pathetic and he actually got 201 plate appearances for the team.

This card is great though.  It perfectly captures day time baseball in LA.  The sun is warm, palm trees are seen beyond the outfield walls and Adam Kennedy is playing for the Dodgers.

This card is probably already collected by non-Dodger fans.  I could see some bloggers holding on to this A.J. Ellis card.  Nick from the famous Dime Boxes blog probably has several different versions of this card.  Dee Gordon with A.J. Ellis in a headlock is almost a must for any baseball card collector.

I believe this card has the best chance out of 2012 Dodgers to be collected in the future because it captures a great celebratory walk-off win.  This card will also probably be blogged about 20 years from now by some kid that can write circles around the lot of us.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Hall of Fame Centerpiece

My Dodger card collection has skyrocketed since I started this blog in March of 2011.  The number of Hideo Nomo cards in my possession has jumped in numbers as well.  Both of those occurrences are to be expected.  The Platter is Dodger dominant and is named after Nomo.

Obtaining more Dodgers and Nomo cards was my main goals when I first started out blogging.  The other aspects of my collection has also seen an increase such as the number of hall of famer cards that reside in binders and boxes for the hits.

I didn't intend to start collecting players in Cooperstown when the Platter began.  I just couldn't resist collecting the legends.

I tried to collect legendary Giants players such as Willie Mays or Juan Marichal but, that lasted about a minute.  The uniform makes them seem like bad people.

Cards of Giants players are much more appreciated over at the blog run by Arpsmith.  He loves the Giants and I love sending him cards of players like Brian Wilson.

As far as my hall of fame collection, I can tolerate every other team.  The Dodgers little neighbor to the south, the San Diego Padres, are okay by me.  A manupatch featuring Rickey Henderson is more than welcome to my collection.

This was the main element of the trade between Arpsmith and I.  I don't own many cards of Rickey as a Padre.  I have a ton of his cards as an Oakland Athletic.  One of these days I am going to dedicate a post to Rickey because not only was he a baseball superstar, he is also a cardboard superstar.

That deserves a post at some point.

My first card of Hanley Ramirez in a Dodger uniform!  This is probably the first of many Hanley cards that will find a spot in my collection.

The 2012 Topps Update Gold card is scratched off my list, now if only I can track down the base card now.

Koji Uehara has great sideburns.  His sideburns are better than mine.  I have to tip my hat to him.  Uehara is also a free agent.  Ned Colletti will probably off him a 3 year deal worth 12 million bucks.  That is how Ned rolls and I will be cheering on Koji.

Thank you for the trade, Arpsmith.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Good News and Good News

I just got back from a meeting with my college counselor.  I knew that I was getting close to being able to apply for graduation.  I counted only 2 or 3 more classes left.  Today's meeting was about making sure I had enough credits and to fill out some paper work so, I can obtain my associates degree.

The counselor was very helpful and told me that only two more classes for my associates in history and one more class that is required to transfer to Cal State Northridge.  Next Spring, I am going to work less and crank out the last few classes.  Getting my associates degree is going to be a huge accomplishment for me and by next fall I will actually be on a campus of a state university, taking classes, searching for parking and finishing up life goals.

2013 is going to be the start of the Decades of Spiegel.  I can't wait until next year.

Since, I am full of a lot of spirit and energy, it is time for a long form trade post.  This trade post is going to feature cards from blogger superstar named Night Owl who runs a blog that the world has read.  Night Owl sent me a lot of really nice Dodger cards.  He sent them in a little box.

Night Owl is above using bubble mailers.  He prefers sending a stack of baseball cards in a cardboard box.

This card is instantly one of my favorite Mike Piazza cards.  Piazza won the All-Star Game MVP in 1996.  The game took place in his hometown of Philadelphia and it was also the city that I was living in at the time.  It was big news in the area that the city was hosting the All-Star Game and for a local boy like Piazza to win the MVP honors was a perfect story for the game.

I am not sure if this card has been on the Dodger Card Countdown that Night Owl is running.  I don't remember seeing it.  This Piazza may have a chance.

Oddball cards featuring Dodgers always have a binder spot in my collection.  Even Dodger players that I prefer not to look at, get a placed in a binder if they appear on an oddball card.

This is a fantastic action shot of Steve Garvey.  It shows him crushing a baseball and showing off his popeye forearms.  The bottom blue part on the bottom takes away from this photo a bit.  Topps needs to acquire the rights to this photo, revamp Stadium Club and churn this card out for the masses.

It is only that simple, Topps.

These are some of my first 2012 Topps minis.  I have been staring at boxes and packs of these at my local card shop for weeks.  I have been tempted to buy a box or at least a handful of packs.  I must refrain from doing so and just wait until the hundreds of Dodger bloggers out there get some dupes and mail them to me.

The Javy Guerra card is a neat daytime celebration photo.  It would be better if Dioner Navarro wasn't in this picture.  I am surprised the Dodgers actually won this game with Navarro in the line-up.

Are collectors getting frustrated with the over saturation of parallels.  We have all different colors or parallels and also mini sized ones.  When is too much of one card.....too much of one card?

Night Owl has been purging his collection of relics since the card companies got involved in a scandal.  The scandal involved the card companies knowingly buying fake jerseys from some scumbag and sticking the non-game used jerseys in cards.

I understand Night Owl's frustration.  I still would like to obtain cards that have photos of Dodgers on it.  The prices of relics has dropped and the ease in which bloggers mail me them has been beneficial in my quest to obtain Dodgers.

Night Owl gladly dumped a handful of relics on me and I gladly accepted.  He sent me a couple Shawn Green cards.

This is a well designed relic of Paul Lo Duca.  It has a tiny photo of his face, a tiny piece of cloth and a tiny version of a Dodger Stadium ticket.  Fleer added a lot of stuff on this card and I like the effort.  It gives my eyes many things to look at and focus on.

This card is also slightly smaller in size and has a perforated edge on one side.  I miss the creativity that Fleer used to bring to the table.

How many more years until MLB gives another company a license to compete with Topps?

One of the relics that Night Owl included features a dude that I never heard of.  He is wearing a Dodger uniform and it stumped me.  This doesn't happen very often.

I had to Google Mike Nixon's name and look up his stats.  Nixon was drafted out of a baseball player factory called Arizona State University.  The Dodgers picked him in the 3rd round of the 2002 draft.  Nixon didn't pan out for the club and his baseball career ended in 2005.

He does have a spot in my collection though.  I may never own a Mike Nixon base card but, I at least have this one of him.  I really like the mountain and the brick building in the background of his photo.  The stadium that he is in is probably pretty nice with a mountain popping out of center field.

This was a wonderful trade and it took me a while to pick out some cards that I wanted to feature at the Platter.  That is usually a good sign of how well received this trade box was.

Thank you for the cards, Night Owl!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Can't Find A Fit

I am the lucky guy that has this weekend off.  I haven't had a weekend off in awhile.  Earlier today I ventured out to a card show.  I remembered to write down a list of things to focus on at the card show.  Whenever I go to a card show, focus seems to be a problem.  A good list helps immensely.

One of the things on the list of items to keep an eye out for was supplies.  I needed some top loaders and maybe a binder if it was cheap.  Another aspect of hunting down supplies is trying to find plastic holders for oddly shaped cards.  This can be tough at times because some dealers may not be selling any random protective plastic casing for the one dude that may need it on that particular day.

One of the cards that needs to be encased is this 2002 Flair Box Topper Kaz Ishii.  This card was sent to me by Napkin Doon and it is my first Ishii autograph.

This card is also thick due to the slice of wood that Ishii signed.  I will have to roll by my local card shop and try to find something to help display this card.

Napkin Doon also sent me this card which has the ability to stand on its own.  See evolution is real.  This baseball card proves it.  Cards have the strength to stand now.  Pretty soon they will be walking and causing a ruckus.

I am not sure what type of plastic case I will buy to house this card.  Maybe something that is used for ticket stubs?

I really like this card.  Not only were Shawn Green and Paul Lo Duca two of my favorites in the early 2000s but, this card has a lurking Eric Karros.  Karros is seen walking up towards the plate while Green and Lo Duca are congratulating each other for a job well done.

Napkin Doon writes a unique blog and he sent me some interesting cards which I appreciate very much.  Napkin Doon's blog is always entertaining and has good wit to it.  Go check it out especially for his Cleve's Auction posts.

Thanks for the trade!