Tuesday, January 29, 2013

No 2013 Topps Today

The title of this post says it all about the words that I am about to type.  Whenever, a new set comes out, I try to avoid seeing scans or reading reviews of the new product.  I do this to not spoil the fun when I rip a few packs of the new 2013 Topps set.

I enjoy opening a pack of cards from a set that I haven't seen before.  I enjoy the surprise factor.  I don't avoid the blogs that post about the newest Topps release to be a jerk.  The time will come that I will get to see the new base cards, inserts, minis or whatever other creative ideas that the masterminds at Topps have come up with this year.

Mark of the blog called This Way To The Clubhouse has written a post about some 2013 Topps cards.  I just saw the title and the top half of a Miguel Montero card.  I at least think it was Montero.  The Diamondbacks aren't too recognizable these days.

Anyways, you readers should check out his post because it is probably totally awesome.  I will just wait to read it after I plucked a jumbo pack from my local card shop and I can compare my observations with the things that Mark noticed.  His posts are good, so even though I am a biased fan of his, I will guarantee that the post is enjoyable.

Another thing that is enjoyable is the trade package that Mark sent my way.  Finding new trade partners is a piece of blogging that I really dig.  It grows the community and gives me new player collections to find a fit for and want lists that I have never skimmed through in the past.

He sent me a couple flashy 90s cards that really caught my eye and blinded one of them.

The above card is of Karim Garcia and it is an atomic refractor.  These were at the top of the mountain back in 1996.  A card like this of a rising prospect in the Dodgers organization would go for a price that I was unwillingly to pay back in the day.

The 90s was the decade where the Dodgers were racking up rookie of the year awards as their farm system was pumping out quality talent.  Garcia was supposed to be in line to have big league success like the other top Dodger minor leaguers like Mike Piazza and Eric Karros.

Prospecting isn't new in this hobby and I am sure that some sucker bought up a bunch of Karim Garcia cards expecting greatness, a fat bank account and bragging rights of discovering the next Doyer star.

Stardom would not be in the cards for Garcia.  That is good for my collection because people are willing to send me an atomic refractor of him.  I am sure that Mark wouldn't send me a Piazza atomic refractor.

Piazza atomic refractors are hoarded by all collectors like Yu Darvish cards.

Mark included a card of a Dodger that actually won the rookie of the year award for the team.  This card blinded my other eye when I looked at it.  The rest of this post is being transcribed by my personal secretary.

This Rauuul Mondesi card is from 1999.  It is also probably one of the last cards to feature Mondesi in a Dodger uniform.  He was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays before the 2000 season in a trade that brought Shawn Green to LA.

Mondesi hit a career high 33 home runs in 1999.  It was also a year of his second career 30/30 season.  Mondesi's first came in 1997 and I thought he was going to have about ten more 30/30 years. Mondesi was so good back then that I thought he might be able to be a 40/40 man just like Jose Canseco.

Rauuul Mondesi needs to somehow comeback to the Dodger organization in some capacity.  He was a very popular player while in LA and it would be cool seeing him around the stadium.  The Dodgers need a ripped dude with thick gold chains teaching the youngsters about how to properly wear heavy gold and big diamond earrings while trying to crush fastballs into the pavilion.

Playing with flair is a skill that Mondesi can teach.

Thanks for the trade, Mark.  Your cards should be arriving in a couple days.  Enjoy!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Standing In Lines

I have some pet peeves.  I am sure every human has some of their own.  Some pet peeves are just odder and stranger than the ones that bug me.  One of the common ones that I here from people are their disdain for waiting in long lines.

I'm not sure what gets people most upset about this ordeal, the waiting or being around so many random people that are also just waiting.  Long lines do bother me.  I am impatient at times and hoards of people often annoy me.

This is also coming from a guy that doesn't avoid crowds and lines.  I enjoy crowded, dimly lit dive bars.  I attend many sporting events, where lines and annoying people are prevalent.  I have also lived in or around big cities most of my life.

I can't avoid a crowd but, I enjoy complaining about it.

The Dodgers had their fan fest over the weekend.  Of course, I attended, well aware of the mayhem that was going to ensue in the stadium parking lot.  I was able to get tons of signatures last year.  It was crowded but, bearable.

The 2013 Dodgers Fan Fest was loaded with fans out to see some Dodger players on a nice January afternoon.  The crowd was way bigger than I had anticipated.  The Dodgers estimated that over 20,000 people showed up.  The line to get autograph wristbands was the longest line I have ever seen.

I didn't complain much about having to wait in a line for a couple hours or so.  I am so excited that baseball season is getting closer and to see a turnout like this means that other Dodgers fans are also getting the baseball fever.

One of the reasons that I didn't whine too much about the long wait for a wristband that was only going to guarantee me one signature, was getting to hangout with so many Dodger bloggers.  The Dodger collectors of the blog world had a nice showing.  We had our own mini fest in the parking lot and swapped some cardboard.

Dodgerbobble met up with me in line while I was chilling with Arno the I'm Ballsy blogger and Zakwin the dude that prefers Plaschke in argyle sweaters.  Oscar from All Trade Bait, All the Time also stopped by for a chat and trade while I was waiting with Arno and Zakwin.

Dodgerbobble traded me an extra Ramon Martinez auto that he had gotten at a Dodgers Dream Field dedication in the Valley.  He also gave me some cards that we needed for our autographs through the mail endeavor.

I thank Dodgerbobble for taking a few minutes out of his time from signing autographs for his fans at fan fest to trade some baseball cards with me.

This was the first time that I met Arno in person.  Luckily, he was a cool dude, because the risk of spending time with a near stranger for several hours, waiting in line seems like a scary idea in hindsight.  Arno is also the first person that I met from a place called Temple City.  This place is supposedly in LA and I believe it is on the eastern part of the county.

Arno also had some cards to trade with me.  At some point during our long wait in line, we exchanged some baseball cards.  A Chin-Lung Hu signature is always welcome in my collection.  Huuuuu is in the running with Johnny Podres for most signatures in my collection.  Such an odd pairing to be racing against each other in anything.

I checked out a trade bait link on Arno's blog and saw this John Ely signature.  Ely is no longer a Doyer.  He was traded to the Houston Astros this off season.  This card also features Ely in an airbrushed version of his Chicago White Sox minor league uniform.  Ely's signature also has zero discernible letters.  Maybe I will give him credit for signing something that resembles a "Y".

Now that I discredited, the usefulness of this card to my collection, I will slide it into my non-Dodgers box and will maybe look at again several years from now.

I really wanted to get new Korean import, Hyun-Jin Ryu's autograph.  Ryu is a new rookie, chubby and possibly a really good pitcher.  After, waiting for 2 to 3 hours to get a wristband, Ryu was due to sign shortly at this point.

Arno, Zakwin and I all got wristbands to meet Ryu.  Mission accomplished.  The line to meet Ryu was pretty big.  We went from one line to another.  We were inching closer to getting some ink on a baseball.

After, finally getting Ryu's signature after about a half hour wait in his line was a relief.  I was getting hungry at this point, especially after staring at about 15 food trucks all day.

Ryu is also much larger in person than I thought.  He looked like a large man in the photos that I saw of him but, didn't look as tall as he really is.  Ryu has the body of David Wells and the face of a professional gamer.

After getting Ryu's signature, we hopped into the much shorter Shawn Tolleson line.  I didn't have a baseball card for him to sign so, I decided to add him as the first auto on my random 2013 Dodgers ball.  Many more Dodger players should be added to this from this upcoming season.  Paco Rodriguez, your next in line to be added below Tolleson.

I waited several hours in line and only got two autographs.  Some people may think that is insane and not worthwhile.  Normally, I would think the same thing.  The chance to hangout with some members of the blog world made the ordeal not seem too bad.  I had a really fun time just standing in a parking lot for the most part.

It is also odd that I got more signatures while waiting in line for a chance to get a Ryu signed baseball.  The score was 3-2.  Winner to the generosity of members of the Dodger Blogger Union.

I am not even counting the bundle of cards that Oscar from All Trade Bait, All the Time gave me.  The rubber banded stack that he gave me deserves and epic trade post of its own.

I hope the Dodgers hold a fan fest next year.  I also hope that they can maybe, sell tickets just to be able to better judge how many people to expect.  The Dodgers probably weren't expectant of a crowd this large.  Selling tickets would at least put a cap on the number of people that attend.  That will make getting many more signatures an easier proposition.

Fun day at Dodger Stadium.  Thanks for hanging out Arno and Zakwin.  Thanks for stopping by to talk and swap cards Dodgerbobble and Oscar.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Inching Towards Baseball Season

The Dodgers Fan Fest is almost upon us.  The fest is this Saturday and has a great line-up of signers scheduled to appear.  The list of current and former players that are going to be signing autographs is quite impressive.

Some big names are going to be showing up in the Dodger Stadium parking lot to mingle with the fans.  Such names as Tommy Lasorda and Matt Kemp.

The names that I am most looking forward to meet are some of the newest dudes to the Dodger family.  One of my top goals is to get a Zack Greinke autograph.  The Dodgers newest import from Korea, Hyun-Jin Ryu, is a player that I hope to get a signature from as well.

Mark McGwire is the Dodgers new hitting coach for this upcoming season.  He is probably going to be a popular signature at fan fest.  I am hoping to get a signed baseball by him.  McGwire was one of the stars of my childhood.  He was a masher that could hit a ball 500 feet.

Not all juicers could hit a ball that far.

Many of the Dodgers bloggers that I communicate with have expressed that they will be rolling to the fan fest this weekend.  Not only should I get some Dodger signatures, but I should also be getting some trade packages.  Some of the other members of the blog world that I hope to meet up with on Saturday, have been working some trades with me.  We will be conducting some old school face to face trades.

I used to trade baseball cards with people in a face to face gathering.  The other kids in the neighborhood and I would meet up on weekends and swap some cardboard.  I was living in suburban Philadelphia at the time and mostly traded cards with Phillies and Mets fans.  There was also some kids that collected cards of some of the stars of the 90s like Frank Thomas and Ken Griffey Jr.

I am glad that face to face trading isn't dead and is still a way for me to acquire some Dodger cards.

Another way that I accumulate Dodger baseball cards is by writing letters and getting some autos through the mail.  I got a couple nice returns recently.

Jerry Reuss was kind enough to sign this card for me.  This is also an odd photo choice for Fleer.  Reuss pitched over 200 innings, in 1983, the year before this card came out.  Fleer had many action shots to choose from but, settled on Reuss having a conversation in an empty stadium.  Weird move, Fleer.

Reuss made this card better with a nice blue signature.

I also miss Reuss as a Dodger broadcaster.  The Dodgers have Vin Scully as the greatest announcer ever.  They also have no one else in their stable of broadcasters that range from awful(Eric Collins) to mediocre(Rick Monday).

Fleer could have at least told Jerry Reuss to act wacky like Mickey Hatcher here.  Hatcher must be a league leader in goofy, comical baseball cards.  Roger McDowell may be up there as well.

A card that features a player in an odd pose, such as holding a giant baseball glove, always stands out in a dime box.  I noticed that an interesting photo on a card pops out of 3200 count boxes of ten cent cardboard.

I sent this card, as well as a couple others, to Hatcher while he was the hitting coach of the Anaheim Angels. I sent this through the mail request way back in March 2012 to the Angels spring training facility in Arizona.  When the Angels dumped Hatcher early in the 2012 season, I thought this return was lost in a TTM wasteland.

Hatcher rejoined the Dodgers organization in 2012.  He must have became a nicer person being apart of the LA baseball team and decided to send me a few signatures.

These were nice returns.  Some more signatures should be added to my collection this weekend.  I will see some of you at the fan fest.  I can't wait.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The New Trend

The blog world has always provided some instant happiness into my life.  Getting some baseball cards that fit into your collection, at random, from a fellow blogger is always a joy.

The new blogger craze of sending out a plain white envelope with a couple of cards enclosed has hit the Platter with some well loved greatness.

Christopher aka Nachos Grande, sent me this crunchitty, crispitty, crossed up Mike Scioscia card.  I had mentioned on his blog that I didn't have a copy of a '86 Donruss Mike Scioscia.  Nachos Grande came through and filled the void in my Dodger collection.

The plain white envelopes being sent all throughout the card collecting blog world is putting smiles on the faces of many dudes across the country.  It is a similar feeling to getting a greeting card during a holiday or getting an extra meatball in a sub.

Getting a card in this condition reminds me of a collecting adventure that I may get involved with.  I have been mulling over the thought of picking up some 1910-1911 tobacco cards featuring Brooklyn players of that era.  Some of the cards that I will probably be purchasing will be in a condition similar to this Scioscia.  Nachos Grande was just getting me mentally prepared to not expect perfect cardboard.

The Classic Card Collector has been kind and answered some questions I had about cards from the early 20th century.  He also sent me some thinks that had some good information to better my education before I start throwing some cash around towards my next cardboard adventure.

I also received an envelope with some cards in slightly better condition.  Pat, from a blog called Hot Corner Cards, sent me a couple golden Dodgers.

I say golden based on their borders not their on-field performance.

Pat and I had an agreement for a small two card trade.  I sent him some Tigers that may still be in transit.

The two Topps Gold Dodgers are in really good condition as you can see.  That somehow makes them less interesting to look at as compared to the Scioscia.  I enjoy the battle tested story that the Scioscia card has to say.

If this starts a trend of sending me beat up modern cards, please make sure that they are only of cards of players I hate.  Such players include Juan Uribe, Adam Kennedy, or Andruw Jones and other other ex-Dodger that you can envision my disdain for.

I probably will send out some plain white envelopes this week.  I enjoy riding on the fun filled blogging bandwagon.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Import/Export Business

The NBA is currently playing a regular season game in London.  The game is between the New York Knicks and the Detroit Pistons.  Has the NBA been sending over regular season games to Europe for awhile now?

I am not a big NBA fan so, I am not really sure if they have been exporting basketball to England for several years now.

This is a good idea for the NBA to grow in a large city like London that also has wealthy people living within the city limits.  It is also a positive because the game started at noon pacific time.  Not too many sporting options to choose from on a Thursday afternoon.  Sports junkies like me need my fix as often as possible.

Noon on a week day for a pro sporting event works for me.

This has also led me to think of other sports that can be imported or exported to countries that may not be known traditionally to view or participate in the given sport.

Rugby could be brought into this country from England.  England has a pro rugby league and we have stadiums that could suit the dimensions of the sport.  The sport has confusing rules that I think the American sporting public could grasp after viewing rugby matches played at a high level.  Rugby has the physical nastiness that Americans enjoy in sports, it has speed and kicking for points just like our football.

Send us some top pro teams, England.  The sport can grow here.

I think MLB could send baseball pretty much anywhere that the sport isn't appreciated yet and it will catch on eventually.  Baseball just takes years to learn and understand.  It may take generations to play, live and breathe with the sports until it takes root in a sporting nation.

The countries that Americans introduced baseball to are now rabid about the sport.  Think about the passion that Japan and the Domincan show for the game.  Baseball needs a European presence to become closer to becoming a global game.

Maybe MLB could stage some games in Europe someday.  Stadiums will be an issue though.  There has to be one baseball stadium in Europe, right?  Just one?

That was just a thought that I was having while watching some daytime NBA action and digging through a trade package that was sent my way from Jim of the blog GCRL.

The trade package that he sent my way was puffed up.  The reason for the bulkiness was this Hideo Nomo tin.  I was surprised to get this as part of our trade.  I enjoy collecting Dodger knickknacks like this.  Someday, I will have half my house filled with items like this.

This tin was made in 1997 by Topps and it contained one moving action baseball card.  This tin was empaty so, I am not too sure what a moving action baseball card really is.  Maybe it was a film strip that one could play on his old school film projector?

That wouldn't be a bad idea for a release.  How many people have film projectors?  Would collectors take the extra time to dust off an old film projector to view such an item?

Jim sent me a few cards from this 2002 SP Legendary Cuts set.  This set in new to me.  The photography is stellar and I enjoy the simpleness of the card design.

I will have to chase down more cards from this set.  There are probably some good classic Dodger photos in this set.

This trade helped me knock a few numbers off my 70s Topps Dodgers team sets.  This project is moving slowly.  I am somewhat close to finishing some of the team sets from the late-70s.

With some luck and kindness from the blog world, I should be able to wrap up at least a couple of the team sets.  That is another one of my random 2013 collecting goals.

Thanks for the tin and baseball cards, Jim.

Also, England please send us some rugby.  I need a new sport to get into.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Different Types of Art

The weather was once again warm in Southern California.  The temperatures have been as low as in the 20s recently.  The coldness of the air took a break today and the warm sunshine gave me some extra motivation to do something fun.

Today was an off day for me from work.  I didn't want to waste it watching European soccer or watching reruns of Law & Order.

I checked the internet for something to do in LA that would be interesting and cheap.  I checked up on some local museums.  The Norton Simon Museum has been on my list of art collections to go and visit.  I decided that today was a good day to check out some Van Gogh and Manet.

This was a worthwhile trip to the art museum.  I was able to view many beautiful paintings and snap a good amount of pictures.

While looking at some fine works, I was realizing that I study paintings in the same way that I study baseball cards.  This may sound strange, but yes, I was thinking about baseball cards while looking at some of the best works from European painting legends.

I view this Manet by looking at the clothes of the subject.  I also glance at the subject's facial expression.  My eyes study every detail of this painting from the shoes to the beat-up black hat.

This Pedro Guerrero mini card does not stack up to the works that I saw at the Norton Simon Museum earlier today.  Not even close, but the way I study the details that make this card interesting is the same way that I was studying famous paintings.

This card stacks up nicely, with the rest of the bundle that Madding sent me from Cards on Cards.  This was one of my favorite cards of the package he sent my way.

Guerrero seems to be wearing wristbands that have pictures of him on them.  I have looked at this card very closely and it looks like he is wearing his own photo on his wrist.  It takes a big ego to do that and Guerrero certainly had enough flair to try to pull this look off.

He also looks mad.  Someone from the stands must have insulted his taste in fashion and Guerrero is trying to fight the heckler with a death stare.

If you are a scrappy underdog, facing a Goliath, it is always best to wear almost nothing but thin cloth.  That is what this depiction of David has taught me.

I also wonder if there was ever a time, where you would show up to a life or death physical altercation dressed like David is here.  Goliath looks more prepared for a scuffle and still loses.  He loses badly.  David has a stinky, bare foot pressed on his face.  That is a bad way to lose a fight.

It is also weird for me to think that, at one point, baseball players showed up to play games in Montreal Expo gear.  This actually happened in the 2000s.  The Washington Nationals have been doing so well building up there team and stadium that it feels like the Expos are a faint memory, that almost seems lost in memory.

I really hope some baseball fans in Montreal are still wearing Expos beanies like Masato Yoshii is rocking on his baseball card.  The Expos had a good uniform and it is a shame that it is lost to baseball history.

One of my top current goals is to build up a Greg Maddux collection.  His Dodger cards are always welcome here as well as his cards as a Brave or Cub.  Madding sent me a few Maddux cards that will look great in a binder.

I hope Maddux makes it in the Hall of Fame next year so, his cards will go into my National League Cooperstown binder.  He deserves a spot among legends like Steve Carlton and Tom Seaver.

Today was a good day staring at works of art and going through the awesome trade package from Madding.  Thanks for the trade!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Learning About Vintage

It amazes me how popular old baseball cards are today.  I don't mean 1960s old.  I mean 1910s old.  Cards featuring players that may have never played a televised inning.  The players on early 20th century tobacco cards had to deal with opponents like Ty Cobb or unruly fans that enjoyed throwing rotten apples at rival players.

Those were harsh times.  Those little tobacco cards from that era fetch some good money at card shows in 2013.  When I was at the SoCal Baseball Expo on Friday, several folks were asking vintage dealers for old tobacco cards.  I didn't just over hear one or two guys asking.  I really mean that several fellows of varying ages asking for these types of cards.

I thought that was interesting and am glad that people love baseball history.  Baseball isn't just a game, it is a learning experience.  Someday, I will pick up some real tobacco minis when I learn more about them.  I need to learn more about the players from the first couple decades of the 20th century, learn the sets names, and know price ranges.  I also need to get some info on how to tell if a 1910 tobacco card is a fake.  This may be info that I need.

If anyone is an expert in collecting these cards, please leave me an email or a comment.  I will even take some answers from people that just think that they are experts.

A vintage vendor dude, had a box of cards labeled as new arrivals.  He stated that these were cards that he had just received and didn't sort them out by year yet.  The 5000 count box was filled with vintage goodness from the 40s-70s.

This Hank Greenberg really caught my eye.  I had never seen a card from this set before.  A fellow collector was sitting next to me.  As I was paying for my stack of cards, he noticed the Greenberg.  I asked him if he knew anything about this card.  I just knew the guy must be a vintage expert.  He brought reading glasses, a magnifying glass, and a briefcase.  This dude was legit.

Well anyways, he said it was from a set that came with a book.  The set is referred to as the 1961 Golden Press set.  These cards were a page in the book and had perforated edges for kids to rip them out.  The briefcase collector added that the set included all Hall of Fame players and was fairly cheap to put together.

I looked around online and found that the only cards from this set they may get pricey are the Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth.  Not sure, if I will go for the whole set, but I will try to look out for some more singles from the Golden Press.

I have a lot to learn about the older card sets.  I know way too much about card sets of 2012 and I am not sure any of that information will be useful in 50 years.    

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Cooperstown Goal Accomplished

I will continue to show off some of the goods that I purchased from yesterday's card show.  One of my top goals was to add to my Dodgers vintage collection.  I added two great cards to my collection that I showed in a post yesterday.

Another one of the goals that I had on my list was trying to build up my Hall of Fame vintage collection.  The SoCal Baseball Expo had plenty of vintage tables to chose from.  1971 Topps was the set I was most looking forward to find.

It is so much easier bringing a list and notes to a card show as opposed to trying to remember what you are searching for.  I wrote down a list of categories that I was out to purchase.  Sure enough, I followed my own guide and was able to stick to a collecting plan.

I have mulled over buying this Bob Gibson card on a few occasions.  I love this photograph and am a fan of crowd shots from the baseball eras before my birth.  I am not sure what stadium that Gibson is pitching in, on this card.  The field level seats looks like a big section.  Stadiums now seem to have less seats on the lower concourse.  This stadium that had the privilege of hosting Bob Gibson, seems to have endless rows of people sitting down low.

I enjoy Frank Howard towering over two legends to claim his spot as the top power hitter in 1970.  Harmon Killebrew seems too disappointed by being bested by Howard, that he doesn't even want to look at the camera.

Carl Yastrzemski looks like a thug in his photo.  Yaz appears more pissed about coming in third place and less saddened by this feat.  Yaz also looks like someone that could double as a violent felon.

The face of Yaz isn't the only picture from the '71 set that kind of creeps me out.  The set has this creeper named Rollie Fingers.  He didn't have a mustache yet and looks like less of a ball player without it.

Fingers, minus his 'stache, resembles a vampire to me.  No wonder, the Oakland A's had so much success in the 70s, they had Count Dracula on their side.

The playing field wasn't level even back in the 70s.

Baseball would be more popular today if Phil Niekro didn't scare off so many fans 40 years ago.  So, many of his cards make me not trusting of his face.  I would not climb into a van with blacked out windows with him even if he offered me an autographed baseball with inscription.

Niekro seems to have mastered having "dead eyes".  The "dead eyes" must have added about 1000 strikeouts to his career total.  Batters must have just froze for a second too long, while gazing into the Niekro Death Stare.

Hoyt Wilhelm is in the Hall of Fame of Vintage Creepy Face.  I chase down his cards, not only for his baseball accolades, but also because he has many disturbing looks.

Wilhelm has more looks than just "blue steel".

In his 1971 card, Wilhelm is bringing it with his grumpy grandpa look.  Grumpy grandpa is pissed to have his photo taking while taking a break on his perch.  He punched the photographer out five minutes after this photo was taken.  It took him that long to unwind from this pose.

Surprisingly, I still have a couple more vintage finds to write about on the Platter.  I may post about those later tonight before work.  Be sure to check back later to see what else I purchased.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Hooray For Brooklyn!

Today was the day that I cashed in on my free pass that I won from the blog, Vin Scully is my Homeboy.  The free pass was admission to the SoCal Baseball Expo in Anaheim.  The show was going to have some baseball card vendors so, I put my game face on and made the journey to Orange County.

This was a pretty far drive for me and the trip took me a little over an hour to arrive at the Anaheim Marriot. I was in search of some baseball card card finds and was in a positive mood about this show.  It helped that I won a free ticket.  Otherwise, I may have not attended at all and missed out on some vintage finds.

The few card shows that I have been to in SoCal, have had an abundance of vintage dealers.  A card show in Glendale that I have been to a couple of times had mostly vintage tables.  The show I regularly attend in City of Industry may be split among newer product and vintage cards.

This show in Anaheim, was mainly vintage tables.  Some newer stuff that skewed towards the high end, which is not my cup of tea.  I was happy to see some vintage cards for sale, I just wish this show had more variety.  Maybe some more newer singles in a dime box or low end hits in a $2 dollar bin.

I saw some quarter boxes which were nice.  The dollar boxes were nice to dig through.  I would have spent an extra hour at this show if I found one dime box.

The SoCal Baseball Expo had around 25 vendors selling baseball cards, memorabilia, and autographs.  I saw one of the vintage dealers that I was familiar with from the Glendale shows was at this Anaheim show as well.

I spotted his table and knew it was time to work on one of my goals for this show.  My top two goals were to boast my vintage Dodger collection as well as add to my Hall of Fame collection.

I finally pulled the trigger on this card.  The colors on this 1955 Topps Johnny Podres is eye catching.  I have been wanting this card for awhile.  It is now in my collection!

1955 was a huge year for Dodger fans.  The Brooklyn Dodgers finally beat the Yanks to win there first World Series in 1955.  Podres was the series MVP and pitched a shut out in Game 7 to clinch the victory for Brooklyn.

Beating the Yankees in a Game 7 is always sweet, it was even tougher for Podres because it was at the old Yankee Stadium.  Over 60,000 Yankee fans were in attendance and the crowd was probably pretty loud and obnoxious.  These were the days when Yankee fans actually showed up to playoff games.

Podres shut the Yanks down and Brooklyn became the champions.  Finally they over came, the Yankees dominance and claim 1955 as the Dodger's year.

This card will always have a special place in my collection.

I have been searching for a Bowman card of a Brooklyn Dodger, for a fair price for sometime now.  The Carl Furillo card spoke to me at the card show.  This card had to be mine.

The painted look of vintage Bowman cards are spectacular.  The color holds up on this 1952 card and the corners are decent.  I wasn't expecting to buy anything this nice and I am glad that I found this lurking within a mass of vintage boxes to pick through.  I chose the right box to search because I heard Furillo's voice.

I enjoyed my time at this show.  I was really able to focus and spend my money only on singles.  I was able to pick up some cards for the bloggers that won my little contest.  I also purchased more vintage that i will show in another post.

Roberto from Vin Scully is my Homeboy was at the show and got a sweet Hubie Brooks signature.  I was glad to see a familiar face and someone to chat with for a bit.  It was also nice to thank him in person,for running the contest that got me in the show.

Luck and fate were at play.  The Podres and Furllio were meant for my collection.

If any SoCal bloggers are attending this show on Saturday or Sunday and have any questions please comment or email me.  I was able to scope the place out and do some laps around the tables.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Only Way To Go

The SoCal Baseball and Sports Collectors Expo is being held in Anaheim this weekend.  The show is going to feature many autograph signers such as Tony Gwynn, Matt Kemp and Jesse Orosco.  The show is also going to feature some card dealers as well.

When I first heard about this show, I was reluctant to attend.  Anaheim is an hour or so away from my house.  I am also just not too fond of going to Orange County in general.

The show also has an admission fee and $10 parking plus the long drive.  This was a card show that I was going to pass on.

Then luck came into play.

Roberto from Vin Scully is My Homeboy has been running a bunch of trivia contests giving away free day passes to the show.  I thought to myself, that the only way I would be willing to make the trek to the OC was if I won one of Roberto's contests.

I won the golden ticket!  All my negative thoughts of attending this show have faded and now I am fully committed to having a blast purchasing baseball cards this Friday.  A free ticket will get me to drive to Anaheim.  That is all it took was a free pass.

The SoCal Baseball and Sports Collector's Expo seems like a pretty big show.  A lot of vendors, graders, and signers will be in attendance.  I am still not fully certain what to expect though.

To give back a little to the blogging community, I will like to run a mini contest so, you too can bask in the glory of getting something for free.

I will be sifting through baseball cards all day, mostly for my own collection.  I will probably take a few minutes from purchasing for myself to buy some cardboard for some other bloggers.

Here is the rundown for my quick, little contest:

1.  First 3 people to leave a comment telling me which team that they collect will receive a mystery grab bag that I will construct myself and mail out to you.

That is all you have to do.  I will try to include something really nice to send your way.  Anyone that has traded with me in the past knows that I include a good mix of cards.


Sunday, January 6, 2013

From the Singles Boxes to the Binders

About a week into 2013, I have been staying the course.  The course of refraining from buying too many packs and digging through singles boxes to buy some cards.  I am still going to buy some packs this year but, only from select packs.  I did well with this plan in 2012 and will keep it going again in 2013.

Singles from newer sets are usually pretty cheap.  I still have a lot of gaps in my collection from 2012 cards because I didn't open packs of some products.  My local card shop has some boxes of 2012 singles for a dime or a quarter.

In 2012, Topps released a set of minis that are just like their 2012 Series 1 and Series 2 products.  The photos are the same, I believe.  At least most of the images are the same from the base sets.

I remember hobby boxes of 2012 Topps Minis going for a lot more cash than hobby boxes of Series 1 or Series 2.  I also remember packs of these being hard to find and a little pricey for a set of cards that I have seen before.

I was just waiting until I could pluck some singles from this set for under a quarter.  That day came yesterday and I was able to purchase a good stack of these little cards.

Skip Schumaker is a new addition to the Dodgers.  The Cardinals traded him to the Dodgers for minor league prospect Jake Lemmerman.  This trade is kind of old news since it happened a few weeks ago.

To my knowledge, this is my only Skip Schumaker card.  I may have several more but, don't feel it is worth digging around for a Schumaker card.

So, this was a good cheap pick-up for me.  This is the Schumaker card that I will keep until he has a Dodger card released.  One of my very, very minor goals of 2013 is to have Schumaker sign this card for me.  It will probably happen.

Earlier this morning, I watched an FA Cup soccer match between Liverpool and Mansfield Town.  It was a very exciting game and big boy Liverpool almost lost to the little guy, Mansfield Town.

I won't get to into this game because I will probably bore most of my tens of readers.  If any more sentences are typed about soccer at the Platter, I will probably receive some angry emails and a trade package filled with Juan Uribe awfulness.

I am now watching an NFL playoff game.  The game is the Colts versus the Ravens.  I actually can't explain why I am watching this game.  Because of Andrew Luck in his first playoff game?  Maybe for Ray Lewis' possible final game?

I think the real reason is because no baseball is on right now.  I am stuck getting more sporting fix from the FA Cup and an NFL match-up that may put me to sleep.  Any NFL playoff match-up that doesn't include the Raiders, may put me to sleep.

I would even watch a Yanks/Sox game on ESPN featuring Joe Morgan's return to the booth, with Hiroki Kuroda dominating for the Yanks, and Shane Victorino hitting a walk-off homer to give the Sox a 1-0 victory if it was on television right now.

I need baseball.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Weird Player Combos

Some baseball card blogs that I have been reading express a frustration with new cards and want to cut back purchasing new products in 2013.  The card collectors that are going to buy less packs or boxes, may impact trading in a way.

I enjoy getting some random Dodgers base cards from new sets that I wasn't going to buy anyways.  Products like Bowman or many Chrome products probably won't be purchased by me in 2013 or beyond.  Other bloggers do buy these packs though and some even send me the Dodgers from those sets.  If the blog community as a whole, spend less in 2013, will there be less trading?

If I bought less packs of new cards, then my trade bait will go down.  I will become less likely to pull that Josh Willingham auto that some blogger may want.

It is just a thought. I am just curious to see if less baseball card purchasing will impact the trade aspect of collecting.

The blog community will always have some free giveaways.  I think the contest or just plain old fashion, "here are some cards, please take them," is ingrained in our blogging hearts.

Too Many Verlanders ran a giveaway the old fashioned way and I swooped in to claim a bunch of cards.  The grouping of cards that the blog runner, Dennis, sent me, were an abundance of multi-player cards.  The trickiness of having cards with multiple players on them, is that over time the card may turn out to be downright comical.

Maybe back in 2001, Jose Ortiz was thought of to be a stud like Rod Carew or Roberto Alomar.  This is a really nice looking card with shooting stars and your eyes do follow the progression that Topps chose to showcase.

Ortiz had a short big league career and crushed a whopping 14 homers in 3 seasons.  To his credit, Ortiz did play 17 professional seasons in the minors, Japan and Mexico.  He hit 203 home runs in those seasons.  He was a pretty good ball player but, just not major league caliber.  Certainly not at the level of greatness that was Carew and Alomar.

Should this card go in my Rod Carew section, Roberto Alomar section or a solo page for Jose Ortiz?

Here is a Bowman product that I can enjoy.  This is a '99 Bowman's Best insert featuring Nomar.  The set is called Mirror Image and you can see a lurking player behind Nomar throwing.  See that dude?

Yes, that dude is career scrub, Pablo Ozuna.  The last year that Ozuna spent in the big leagues was with the Dodgers in 2008.  He had 32 awful at-bats where he racked up a .242 on-base percentage.

The only reason that I remember him playing as a Dodger is because I remember questioning, why is he a Dodger.

This is such a nice looking card though, that I will place this in the random Red Sox section of a binder.  Nomar deserves that for being a good baseball player, played decent as a Doyer and for not being Pablo Ozuna.

I still have several more team bags to scope through that Dennis sent me.  I will pull out a bundle of these cards randomly and show off the cardboard fun.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Keep Mentioning It

As I am sitting here watching a soccer match between Sunderland and Liverpool, I am reminded that after the Raiders NFL season ended, I have no sports to truly feel passionate about until the Spring.  The NHL seems to not want to resume games.  Hockey is one of my favorite sports and watching the NHL gets me threw the doldrums of the baseball off season.

I try to watch some NBA action and it just doesn't interest me as much as baseball, hockey or Raiders football.  I also occasionally watch the English Premier League.  The EPL is where I get my soccer fix.  I at least try to feed my sporting fix with soccer.  It is a struggle for me to get into a league and a sport with so much history and tradition.  Learning about English soccer will take me several years to fully understand the sport, culture and where the location of Queens Park is.

My sporting interests will be sort of rested until baseball season.  That will give me extra days to build up some anticipation and passion for the 2013 Dodgers season.

Luckily, the blog world really has no off season.  I never have a chance to really take a break from my collection or from the Platter.  Baseball cards always offer me a chance to type some words about or flip through a binder to enjoy some of my pick ups.

Trade packages always show up year round.  Trading takes a slight dip in December but, never fully disappears.

This trade package was sent to me from Adam, whose blog is called My Cardboard Mistress.  Adam is the one that sent me my favorite Topps parallel.  A nice shade of blue surrounding Hawaiian tough guy, Brandon League.

This card shows League's tattoos on his arms and protruding from his chest.  The art of his tattoos will probably help me give him the benefit of the doubt if he struggles in 2013.  I may go easy on him with my commentary from the Left Field Pavilion at Dodger Stadium.

It also helps that League looks like someone who may be related to me.

Adam included a bunch of Allen and Ginter insert needs for me.  The more I mention the insert sets that I am chasing, the greater the chance that a fellow blogger will mail me some.

I don't want to say what Rocky Mountain Oysters are.  Please look it up online or just try some for yourself.

Napoleon and Cyrus the Great getting featured together at the Platter.  I am showing range and variety on this blog now.  That has to count for something.

I just showed Napoleon looking like a distinguished champion.  Now, let me even things out and show Napoleon's major defeat at the Battle of Waterloo.  That is only fair, right?

I sent out a bunch of bubble mailers today to complete some trades.  The Blog of Trade Bait has been quite lately due to the holidays.  With the holidays over, let us get some trades going.

Thank you for the trade, Adam.  

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The Better Collection

The year 2013 is upon us.  I am actually looking forward to the new year.  I am usually pessimistic about the new year and expect the worst to happen.  Going into 2013, my thought process is more positive and am looking forward to a brighter outlook.

Some people I know may read that opening paragraph and think that I have lost my mind.  It is rare when I want to point out positive aspects of life.

In my last post, I talked about going after the 2013 Allen and Ginter set.  Set collecting will be a part of the fold for me this year.  I have completed insert sets before but, chasing a base set is foreign to me.  Trying to hunt down short prints to complete 2013 Allen and Ginter next year is one of the collecting adventures that I look forward to in 2013.

Bill Madlock played 15 seasons in the big leagues.  He played about 2 and a half seasons with the Dodgers.  He doesn't have too many Dodger relics out there.  Brad, from Brad's Blog, had this card above listed as trade bait on his blog.  I needed a tiny piece of Madlock's jersey for my collection so, a trade was born.

One of the things that makes Brad a cool dude is that he grew up in the same suburb of Philadelphia that I did.  We went to the same schools a couple years apart, we probably bought hoagies and iced tea from the same Wawa.

It's really neat finding a fellow blogger that you have a past link to,that you learned about through a passion for baseball cards.

Aside from set collecting in 2013, I will also make it my goal to buy some singles of the newer Bowman products.  I am not a fan of prospect heavy sets.  I need my sets to have star power, scrub relievers and old school ballplayers.

Bowman packs don't even get touched by my hands.  I don't even remember opening any Bowman packs in 2012 or maybe even 2011.  That is, if any pack of Bowman is memorable.

Bowman also has a lot of parallels to go along with its base set.  I probably need to track down several versions of this Clayton Kershaw to have a colorful looking binder page.  The chase will be on in the singles bin.

The "Singles Bin"?  That should be the name of a new singles bar that I am going to open up in Reseda.

Another thing that makes Brad cool is that he sent me this mini of Julius Caesar.  This is back to back trade packages that have sent me a Allen and Ginter insert need.

I am slowly chipping away at those sets and should have at least one completed by this day in 2014.

Thank you for the trade, Brad.  Richboro pride!