Friday, August 15, 2008

Team Trading - Budget Update

I have received a couple packages that were FAR more than I expected. However, in trying to add some better stuff for my end I delayed sending out longer than I would have liked. I should be mailing out tomorrow four packages, one of Yankees, one of Rockies, one of Dodgers and one of A's. I don't want to invade anyone's privacy by revealing who I traded with, but if you made a deal with me for one of those teams, they should be on their way shortly, and I apologize for the delay.

I'm usually very good with my trades. Over on, where I used to be a Super-Moderator, I have a stellar 100% trader rating with over 70 trades successfully completed. I used to trade on as well, and have something like 40 successful trades there.

With the influx of so many new Angels cards, I had to split my binder up between current and former Angels, which for a lot of teams would mean a lot of switching out cards. Not the Angels thankfully, and I waited until after the big trade before I did this, so while I have some great Casey Kotchman cards, he's now in the "Former" player binder, along with all my faves from years past, though I notice, I could use a few more Nolan Ryan as an Angel cards.

This week just didn't happen for me very well. I know, that doesn't really make sense, but just go with it would ya!

I guess the best news this week is that Allen & Ginter showed up at Target for three bucks a pack! If you're trying to put together a set of this stuff, that's the ONLY way to go at this point, since you're getting six cards for $3 (and usually a 7th too, since the minis are inserted as a bonus) instead of $5 per pack for eight cards. Sure, you may not get the BIG end hits, but if you're like me and cannot afford to buy a box in the first place, you're not going to get the "big" hits anyway.

Plus, and I almost hate to admit this, but the retail A&G packs are somewhat searchable. Packs are different sizes, packs with a mini are thicker than non-mini packs. So far, I'm four for four on minis, including one black border and one short print. I also pulled a Teixiera Jersey, and even though he's pictured on the Braves, the swatch is bright red, so it's going in my Angels collection.

Over the next few months there will be a ton of Baseball releases, most of them mid to high end products that I have no interest in whatsoever. Once a single pack of cards goes over the $10 hobby level, I'm priced out. I can splurge every now and then on something that costs $5 to $10, but I'm more likely to purchase packs that give me more bang for my buck, which is why products like Upper Deck Retail, Topps Regular, Topps Chrome, Heritage and Allen & Ginter are my go-tos for the year. At least I know what I'm going to get, and I wouldn't mind putting together full sets of any of those products. Do you see the commonality between those four sets? Yeah, they're all under three bucks a pack at retail. Heck, regular Topps is the same price Hobby or Retail. Chrome is only a buck more at Hobby than Retail, and so far, I've been luckier with the Retail Chrome packs, pulling many more decent cards from Retail than Hobby.

I'll probably dabble in the update sets, but as the Basketball season draws closer and the Baseball season winds down, my collecting focus will waver back and forth between the Angels and the UCLA Bruins in the NBA. Because when it comes to Basketball cards, I'm not a team collector in the normal sense, I only care about cards of former UCLA Bruins, which in the past hasn't been that tough of a challenge. This year with two top five picks, I'm probably looking at some decent cash for rookie cards, but I'm hoping I can trade for what I want anyway, or use eBay money, which reminds me, I've got some stuff to list soon.

Sigh, the Angels have now lost TWO in a row, both games they should have won. The bullpen hasn't been especially good lately, even Frankie (or K-Rod for the abbreviation challenged) hasn't pitched very well of late. He's in his contract season, and looking to score big with a multi-year contract. Conventional wisdom would say that that Halos will go after Teixiera with a big money deal, but they also have Garrett Anderson at the end of his contract too, so the off-season should be very interesting. However, winning a World Series just might make some of those guys want to stay for less.

I sure hope so, the team the Angels have right now is probably the best I've ever seen, and they are damn fun to watch.

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