Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Quite A Day For The Halos!

Today certainly has to be one of the more memorable days for the Angels, first they make what may well turn out to be the trade of the year with talented 1B Casey Kotchman and minor league pitcher Stephen Marek going to Atlanta for Mark Teixeira, then as they hunker in to play the Boston Red Sox in Fenway for the second of a three game series, John Lackey pitches 9 1/3 innings of a no-hitter, only to come away with a 6-2 complete game victory to raise his record to 9-2.

The Angels have the best record in baseball (and have for almost a week now), and have the largest lead in club history. Yet, they're STILL not playing their best baseball! They don't have a single player in any of the offensive league leaders (the closest would be Figgy ranking 11th in SBs). That all changes when you switch to Pitching stats though. The Halos have the #2 Strikout leader (Santana with 135), #5 ERA leader (Saunders at 3.10) and two guys on the Wins leaderboard (Saunders at T-#2 with 13 & Santana at T-#8 with 11). In fact the Angels rotation should have at least three 10 game winners this season, and could possibly have as many as FIVE! Lackey, Weaver and Garland all have NINE victories right now.

Onto the trade, I've said earlier that I feel strange about the trade, since I really liked Casey Kotchman and am very sad to see him go, but at the same time I'm really happy about getting that fabled big-bat that it seems every radio personality and ESPN talking head said that they needed to get. Let's hope they all shut up now.

Not surprisingly there are already 14 listings on eBay for Teixeira cards with the keyword "Angels" in the title. If you're really interested in acquiring the new Angel's best RCs you'd be looking at 2001 cards, one from Donruss Elite and the other from UD Premier. Both are autos, the UD serial #ed to 250, the Donruss to 19.

Welcome to the Angels Mark, let's see what you can do.

Team Trading Update

The following teams are no longer available:

New York Yankees.
Oakland A's
Washington Nationals

If you've got Angels cards and you want some of your favorite team, let's trade! Send me an Email to WMNOE@YAHOO.COM and we'll talk!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Wanted to Trade...plus...A'n'G

OK first of all, there's something WRONG with my browser. Every time I try to type a title in the title box it turns into some weird boxes. So then I have to write the title in the entry box and cut and paste. Same thing happens in the labels, which is why the last few posts haven't had any labels.

I'm using Firefox 3 for the Mac. I'm sure someone knows what I screwed up. I was messing around with my built in fonts a few days ago, I'm sure that screwed something up.

Here's the real point of this post:

I Bought Some Allen & Ginter packs today


Three whole packs at five bucks apiece. I was going to buy a few more, BUT I found G.I. Joe vehicles at Target earlier in the week and I blew the rest of my paypal money on the Ram/Trouble Bubble set.

Did I get anything good? Well, yes, actually I did. I pulled a Carl Crawford Framed Jersey. Pretty cool actually, and it was a fresh box, so I kind of messed it up for anyone else. But then again, if that was my "hit" in that box, I would have been massively disappointed.

Still, it's a Jersey, and I'm hoping I can trade it for something cool Angels wise.

Which reminds me, one of the reasons that I started this blog in the first place was to do more trading. To that end here's my proposal:

Send Me Your Angels and I'll send you your favorite team!

I love busting packs, so I buy them all the time. But I don't care about ANY of the cards in the packs, except for Angels. So, I'm totally willing to trade pretty much everything I pull for cards of Angel players.

I usually sort all my non-Angels in to team lots, except for the really big super-stars and inserts that I think I might be able to get a special trade for. So my team lots won't have any jerseys or autos, and probably not any serial numbered cards either, but other inserts will be in there. I don't have huge lots at this point, probably no more than 50 cards per team, and there's certain sets I won't include because I may be putting together a set at some point.

So if you've got Angels to unload, I want 'em, ALL of them. Commons, Stars, everything. I don't even care about doubles. I do prefer that they are near mint.

I've already made one deal for the Washington Nationals, so I won't have any Nationals for awhile. Lemme know your team and whatcha got, and hopefully we can make a deal.

Email wmnoe at yahoo dot com.

I do have four jerseys right now, Ben Sheets, BJ Upton and one other I forget and I can't be arsed to go look up. Plus I pulled that Crawford, and I don't mind trading that. I'll take any Angels relic for those straight up.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Vote Wax Heaven!

Please go ahead and VOTE for Mario over at Wax Heaven in this contest.

Wax Heaven was one of the first card blogs I started reading, and he's been consistently great. I have just recently gotten involved in sports card blogging, and it seems to be a pretty tight little community of really cool guys.

In any case, click the link above, and if you desire, please vote for Mario. Thanks.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Stupendous Start to Second Half

With an extra day of rest that the Halos certainly needed, our current arch-nemesis the Boston Red Sox were swept out of town yesterday after our SECOND come-from-behind victory in a row. The hero on Saturday was pinch hitter Erick Aybar who TRIPLED with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 7th driving in the tying and winning runs. Yesterday the heroes were Howie Kendrick and Casey Kotchman with HUGE RBIs in the 8th. The Angels have now taken five out of six against the BoSox this season, and swept them for the first time in 7 years. This is after Manny Ramirez' spectacular whale impression in the Sixth that allowed a couple of runs to score and begin the rout. Pictures can't describe this moment, and after about ten minutes of searching, I found the OFFICIAL highlight video. Leave it to MLB to take the fun out of this, it was originally posted on YouTube, and then removed

Mitigating this joy are two things: One - the Sox were without David Ortiz and Two - it's only July. The Angels really need to prove that they can defeat Boston in October, seeing is that they've killed us in three out of the Angels seven total playoff appearances. I, for one, will NEVER forget the 1986 ALCS when the Halos blew a 3-1 series lead, with ONE out to go and the lead, and Donnie Moore gave up that two run bomb to Dave Henderson. In fact, no true Angel fan should ever forget that moment, because it lead directly to the Bill Buckner error in the WS, and also to Donnie Moore taking his own life several years later. While one player's mistake lead to beloved infamy, the other lead to suicide.

In the immortal words of Marvin the Paranoid Android: "I'm not getting you down am I?"

Sorry about that.

ONTO better things, at 60 and 38, the Halos have the best record in Baseball at the moment, the vaunted Cubs and Rays are both a couple of games behind the Angels currently. We also have the largest lead of any first place team at 9 games. Should we start prepping for the post-season already? HECK NO! There's still two and a half months of baseball to play, and as the late Gene Mauch proved in 1964, no lead is ever safe.

Still, it's an exciting time to be an Angels fan. I'm really, really hoping to get down to the Big A this season, I've made it to at least one game each of the past three seasons, and I don't want that streak to stop. When I lived in San Diego I made it to the Murph on several occasions each and every season, and I don't even LIKE the Padres. For that matter, when I first moved back to L.A. from San Diego in 1998 I went to several Dodger games, and I HATE them. You'd think that I'd be able to get to a few more Angel games each and every year. Damn traffic.

Adventures in eBay - The Continuing Saga

So the Fukodome UD SP sold for nice $46 to a collector in Japan. I shipped the bad-boy out this morning (top-loader inside of a re-used bubble envelope, inside of a USPS Flat Rate International Envelope). I charge an extra $5.00 for international handling because it causes me to actually GO to the post-office, instead of printing out my postage online, and that infuriates me. I'm down with the postal restrictions due to 9/11, but come on, it's a FREAKING CARD.

The auction was a sight to behold to be honest. I did my research first, I checked the closed auctions for ALL Fukudome cards and discovered that only THREE of these SPs had been sold in the last 90 days. That's not a whole lot when you consider how many auctions are on eBay every day. The sold prices didn't vary that much, a high of $53 and a low of $48. I figured that my BIN price of $45 might actually work, but as of the morning on the closing date, there were NO bids. Not even at my starting price of $14.99! I didn't sit and watch the auction all day, I went out, and when I came back the price had ballooned up to it's final price. I was hoping that someone would snipe and drive the price up even further, but alas, $46 for a card out of a $5 pack is pretty good to me.

Of course, after paying eBay and PayPal fees (which TOTALED about $7) my profit is down a bit, but hey, this is 'found' money that I can use on other eBay items, and I have already. BUT that's a post for another time.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Now this is awesome

Yesterday I found an interesting item at the grocery store, a Baseball Snack Pack, complete with a small bag of salted peanuts, a small bag of caramel corn, a couple pieces of bubblegum, and a pack of cards. Advertised on the top it says "Everything you need for a ball game". Indeed. I couldn't tell what type of cards were in the box, but I bought two anyway, because they were a buck. The pack turned out to be last years' Topps Opening Day, without gum. Odd. Nothing to write about out of those packs.

This afternoon I turned in a $4.00 winning lottery scratcher at this newsstand that has quite a decent selection of hobby packs. They had one of the higher end UD packs that guarantees an auto or a relic in each pack for $20. There were also some mid-level packs that were reasonably priced, and of course Hobby Upper Deck Series 2 at $5.00 a pack. So I turned in my ticket, added a buck and some change, and bought one. Initially I thought it wasn't that great, the only insert was a team USA card, which aren't that exciting to me at this point, though they might be nice when the Olympics start.

I hadn't realized I pulled this baby:

I'm not a big fan of gimmicky short-prints, unless I pull them, but in checking the prices out on eBay, I couldn't not put it up for sale. If I could get $40 out of this card, I'd be a very, very happy budget collector, because I could use that Paypal money to get a ton of Angels. Besides which, as nice as the UD set is this year, I seriously doubt I'm going to put together a set, though you never know, because I actually just got another box ordered on Upper Deck Kids.

THAT's how work it when you're a budget collector.

Edit: I posted this and realized that I forgot to link to the auction

Friday, July 4, 2008

Oh and...

Happy Independence Day

Now, as your homework, look up a copy of the Declaration of Independence and read it.

All of it.


Quick Update

I haven't really bought a whole lot lately that's worthy of writing about, mid-season slump maybe?

One thing I can comment on though are those re-packaged old wax products that you see in places like Toys R Us, Target, Blockbuster or heck I've seen them at grocery stores. You might find them in places like CVS or Rite-Aid. They're all made by one company, but I'll be darned if I can remember who they are at the moment, I want to say Fairfield or something like that - I'm sure someone else knows.

The value is definitely good for the most part. Their bread and butter product is an 8 pack of older cards for $9.99. Usually you'll get a decent mix of older product, one or two of the packs will be at least a retail mid-line product. You'll even get some old 90's Topps still in wax! One that I bought recently had an 87 Topps pack as well, and I've gotten mid-80's Donruss out of those boxes.

You know what, I like them. I really do. See, I don't have a ton of that old stuff sitting in binders or boxes, I got rid of 90% of my sports card collection about 10 years ago during a life-changing move. If I had 3200 count boxes full of old worthless commons from the 90's I probably wouldn't bother, but since I don't, these old packs are fun for me to bust. Next time I buy one I'll definitely post the break. They also have larger packages that are more expensive, and smaller ones with ore recent jumbos.

They do other pre-packs as well, 100 Baseball cards for $4, and these are usually a hoot and a hollar to buy. You'll get a couple of name stars, and then some very, very esoteric issues. Sometimes there might be regional sets, or minor league sets. There's always a couple of shiney inserts, and you'll usually score at least $4.00 worth of cards. I can certainly overdose on those blisters, but once in a while they're fun.

I've only purchased one of the combo "Guaranteed Relic Card and 2 Bonus Packs" packages, a NBA themed one that had two packs of Topps 06-07 retail packs and a 2001 Karl Malone Game Worn Jersey from UD. I sold the Malone on eBay for a couple bucks, and the packs weren't bad, but the price was too high at $10 for a cheap hit.

Being on a pretty strict card budget (the less spent the better, especially these days), I can usually get away with one of the cheaper packages whenever we need something from Rite-Aid or Target. It's not a trip to the hobby store which are becoming exceedingly rare, so I need to get my card fix somehow, and this is a viable alternative. For the moment.