Fantasy baseball?

Anyone? Anyone interested in giving it a shot this year? We can start a brand new league. Fresh teams, fresh draft. Just gauging interest.

If no one is interested, is anyone looking for a new manager for a current league?

Second Hand Collection

I’ve been neglecting to post this for quite some time, mostly due to laziness and a general sense that no one really cares. My friend, the one who had previously found a complete sets of 1980’s products for me at some local Texas auction house, came up big again. This time however, he bought out someone’s flea market collection. He had sent me photos, mid-adventure, of a particular set (’91 Studio) and asked if I was interested. I’ve always enjoyed that set, and at the price they were asking ($3) I couldn’t really say “no”. When I met up with him a few weeks later he opened the trunk of his car to reveal an entire utopia of junk-era wax. He had procured the entire collection the seller had available, allegedly for pennies. I didn’t even know what to say. It was his biggest haul to date and I was extremely grateful…

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Surprise from Dennis

I feel like a terrible person. Dennis did something super nice and it got left beside the scanner at work and wasn’t rediscovered until today. We recently moved office suites (in the same building, just down the hall) and it’s been a solid two weeks and most everything is still in boxes. Dennis, in his awesomeness, sent some “Christmas Cards” to folks he traded with this year (which is an awesome idea) and I was one of those lucky people. Our original trade was awesome enough, but Dennis went out of his way to spread a little Christmas cheer.

2014_Ginter_Buchholz_Relic

A beautiful red Ginter relic of Clay Buchholz, one of my favorite pitchers. Thank you so much Dennis! I know it’s terribly late to say that, but it was incredibly nice and very much appreciated. It, and the scanner, just got lost in the shuffle for a little while. If any of you haven’t traded with Dennis before, I highly recommend it.

Thanks again!

So Brock It Hurts

What does that even mean? I have no idea. All I know is that the collection has gone from “pretty complete” to “holy crap, you’ve got issues”. There is so much Brock, including some ultra-rare goodies.

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Lumocolor

I’ve had this tidbit floating around in the back of my head for a while now, and I don’t think I ever actually stated it publicly. Here goes.

If you’re using Sharpies, you’re doing it wrong.

Phew, there, that feels better. I came to this realization a while back and actually bothered to do a little research on it. Turns out that nearly the entire card industry DOES NOT use Sharpie brand pens for autographs. I know for a fact, and it’s confirmed by mutliple photos on their twitter account, that Panini uses these:

STAEDTLER_LUMOCOLOR_313

Staedtler Lumocolor

The size depends on the card. I’m assuming minis and small signing areas use the #313 (or Small/Fine) while the normal cards use the #317 (Medium). Usually in blue.

Don’t believe me?

Check out Panini’s twitter feed. Here’s a couple examples.

Screen Shot 2015-01-20 at 10.03.52 AM

That’s Chris Paul, signing last week.

Screen Shot 2015-01-20 at 10.05.22 AM

Here’s Michael Young of the Rangers.

See those black pens with blue caps? Yeah, those are Staedtlers. I also believe Topps uses them as well. Here’s an example, not directly from Topps, but from Bowman’s twitter feed, of a prospect signing his Bowman Chrome cards…

staedtler_pens_for_autos

I added the image of the pen next to it for comparison.

I’ve always used Staedtler products for art projects, mainly their pencils and Mars erasers, but when I started noticing a trend with the pens I went out and picked some up. They are awesome.

They dry instantly, there’s zero worry about them smudging. They write on just about anything, including Chrome and super glossy cards! They’re also certified by the ACMI which means they’re most likely acid free and fairly archival.

So, just as a PSA for all you autograph chasers, go hit up your local art supply store and pick a few of these up. Even if you’re not chasing players for their John Hancock, they’re just nice pens to use on a daily basis.

Traded

So, I’m a bit late with the Jon Lester pity party. Actually, there’s not that much pity to throw around. If the Red Sox were truly serious they would have offered him an appropriate contract last spring. They were looking to be cheap, thought he might take a discount, and misread the free agent market. It happens. I really liked Lester. He’s a solid pitcher, a top of the rotation guy, and he’ll be missed. There’s no ill will against the Cubs either. Theo threw “crazy money” at him and it worked. The Cubs needed someone. They desperately needed a face for the franchise and now they have it. I wish Lester and the Cubs all the luck in the world.

That said, we need to move on. Pitching needs to be acquired. As much as I want to believe in each and every prospect, you certainly can’t start the season with Clay Buchholz, Joe Kelly and 3 guys from AAA. There were also the other problems that needed addressing. Will Middlebrooks’ performance, too many outfielders, etc.

So far, Cherrington seems to be maintaining the trust of the Fenway Faithful. He’s made moves that, for the most part, have made sense. He’s bolstered the infield, added a few key bats, and started the rebuilding process with the rotation. Let’s take a look at the players who’ll be changing zip codes.

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Team Sets Ahoy!

The checklist gods have been exceptionally merciful this year. Red Sox cards are actually down to somewhat normal levels. A short print here, a hard to find auto there, but for the most part team sets were absolutely the way to go. Since that’s the bulk of my collecting, I suppose I should get around to talking about them at some point. It’s also nearly the end of the year, which means just about everything has already been released, so it’s a good time to go back a month or so and look at some team set picks ups from the Fall and Winter.

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Fall Malaise

I fully realized I hadn’t posted in about 3 weeks, and I really wasn’t that concerned. Late fall and early winter are kind of down seasons for me, at least historically. I’ve trimmed back my video game binging to merely a game or two, baseball cards have ended most production runs for the year, the holidays happen whether we want them to or not, and work generally grinds to a halt. That would be the perfect time for reflection and insight into the year thus far, but the lack of motivation usually takes it’s toll.

I’m also unsatisfied with my own web projects in general (don’t worry, it happens every year). About now I start noticing how dated my designs looks, I contemplate redesigning it, and it’s pretty much a 50/50 that I actually get around to it. This year in particular my general design is bothering me. It’s bland. It’s lacking any visual interest, probably because it was intended to emphasize text and fontography, which I then ignored. It’s also minimalistic, which of course was the trend at the time I rolled it out. That’s the problem with trends, they die. Currently, “massive fonts” and “full screen images” are in. Don’t worry, not going in that direction.

Oh, and I also smoked a turkey for Thanksgiving. How’s that for a random segueway?

I think I had mentioned my love for the barbeque arts in passing on previous posts. It’s gotten slightly out of hand. I’m smoking whole briskets and pork shoulders now. My pulled pork is actually quite good. I’m catering a small party next weekend. Go figure.

The turkey was actually pretty easy. Quick Simon & Garfunkel rub (Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme, get it?) inside and out, and some butter injected into the breasts. Smoked at 325° for 2 ½ hours with apple wood. Easy as pie. Nice and golden and crispy on the skin, smoked and juicy on the inside. Completely blew our previous fried turkeys out of the water.

turkey

turkey2

 

While the turkey was awesome, the highlight of the day was my kiddo finding snails in the backyard. She’s completely fearless, and just all around awesome. Not that a snail would hurt anyone, but most girls would run away screaming. I’m a proud daddy.

snail

After dinner I settled in for some traditional Call of Duty. I’m actually pleased with this years offering. It’s clear what the extra year of production time did for it’s development. I don’t think you’d get anyone is disagree that Advantaced Warfare is far more polished that the previous few years. It’s good to get that fix of “twitch” shooter back. I had been missing it for quite a while. It’s like wearing that old comfortable hoodie, the one you just dug out of the closet because the weather is finally cold enough to wear it. Turkey, apple pie, and headshots, what could be better?

There have been some baseball cards purchased over the past few weeks. Most of them are going towards a rainbow that I’m nearly finished with. I’ll tease it with the best of the bunch, and you can clearly see why. Puns!

clear

Yeah, that’s pretty sweet.

There’s not really that much else going on. I’d post more cards if I actually cared about any of the sets released in the last couple weeks. What I should do is round everything up and make some end of the year checklists for things I’m missing. There we go, I just gave myself a to-do list. That might actually get done. The website redesign, meh, 50/50.

Bowman Chrome

I previously mentioned my dislike of Topps Chrome, and that buying the misfortune of others in large lots was pretty much my bag. The same could be said for Bowman Chrome, although I have less of an issue with Bowman Chrome due to it’s slight differences. While Topps Chrome simply reuses the checklist and the photos from Flagship, Bowman at least changes it up a little. Sometimes different photos, a different group of prospects, etc. I had seen basic team sets on ebay for anywhere between $6 and $15, but I felt like I could do better. I wanted that “master set” but didn’t want to break the bank. Luckily, I found two sellers looking to offload a case’s worth for next to nothing. The first lot was 30 cards for $5 and the second was 26 cards for $4. I now have the basic team set twice over (or one for the team binder, one for the player binder) and (I think) all but one of the inserts, including a good handful of parallels. Let’s see what $9 can buy…

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August Pickups

I have such a weird pile of stuff from this summer that I never bothered to post about. It’s sort of all over the place. There wasn’t any rhym or reason to it. It was mostly “I’m bored with current sets, what can I pick up for cheap?” Great motivation right?

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