Saturday, June 30, 2012

Trying to get back in the groove

Needless to say, while it is close to getting back to normal around here, it's still organized chaos. I just finally finished getting the last of the laminate floor down in the house. The pool, after a week of neglect and high temps, is a little on the oompa loompa hair side in color, so that is now my next project. Laundry is getting caught up. But the biggest pile? Well, maybe these two pics will give an idea:

That's the very desk I am sitting at. Just look at the stacks and stacks of cards not where they belong. How about we go through a little walking tour of the two pics, cuz basically, I want to drag out this post a bit.

In the first, you see my daughter's room in the background. I ate all the Tootsies from the bank; sorry. There are packs of '11 A&G (from the local Meijer's) along with '12 Topps series 2 and a bunch of other packs from some repack box I bought. Gotta organize those. Center bottom are Sox cards from Jeff Laws at My Sports Obsession. Just to the right of those are more cards from a repack box that also need organizing. At least the wrappers are gone. Right again and we have cards from JABO via Jeff Laws. Doubles Jeff didn't need, so I will take them gladly. Behind those we have more '12 Topps series 2 that need to go in their box, along with some '12 Bowman and yes - more from a repack box. Other highlights in the picture are my scanner, all the yellow envelopes from trades and eBay, Obi Wan and 3PO hiding among the cards, and a 08-09 Hawks pocket schedule.

Picture two starts with a photo my daughter put in my father's day card, which she handed to me while working on the floor. Crying while using power tools is not recommended. She's maybe 2 in the picture. She's 16 now. Ok, the clear 50 card case came from Matt at Once A Cub from a break. He threw in a bunch of great extras. Just in front of the pic of my daughter in a Duncan Keith auto I scored for $2. Then we have some Panini Elite hockey, that crappy stack of Debut no one seems to want, a Bernie Nicholls auto I pulled from UD Parkhurst (love those cards), and then far right are cards I put aside for certain bloggers, just cuz. BTW - the wallpaper should explain why Obi Wan and 3PO are hiding on my desk.

Wanna have some quick fun? Take a guess at what set is in the small white card box in picture #1. Get it right and I'll send you anything you want from my trade bait. One hint - that is a complete set in that small box.

So there you have it - my life totally jumbled together.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Getting ready to leave

Just waiting for the release to be signed. How about one more view from the 12th floor of Rush hospital? Dirty windows and all. I give you the Chicago skyline. That is the Eisenhower expressway at the bottom of the pic. Sears Tower in the middle. No - not the Willis. Sears Tower. And to the left is the John Hancock building. You can see US Cellular from where I am sitting right now, but I can snap a decent pic. Sue me!!!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

So far, so good

Sitting next to my wife in ICU, standard for a night stay in here after her type of procedure. We'll move to a regular room after a MRI to check the leads in her brain.

Two things. First - bald chicks are hot!!! Second, and this part makes this post somewhat card related, check out the view from the room we are in. That's the United Center, home of the Blackhawks and Bulls.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Special Edition SIL: a tremor in the Force

There's a lot of special reasons, not only for this Stuff I Like Special Edition, but also for the card being featured. I'm guessing a whole lot of you view this card and think "Ben Petrick"? I can see why you would think that. In the history of the MLB, Ben was never marketed as the next greatest thing the way Harper, Strasburg, Daisuke and others have been over the past few years. Ben was a 2nd round pick by the Rockies back in 1995. Two sport star at high school, Ben went to the minors, and through a little luck and injury came to the bigs and made enough of a splash to be considered as the catcher of the future. Things happened, though. His numbers started dropping. Ben was traded to Detroit and then quietly retired in 2004. His career stats are nice but the game wasn't working for Ben. Or really, Ben's body wasn't working for the game.

Up until about 6 weeks ago, I can be honest and say I have never heard of Ben Petrick. Now, I am slowly working towards a complete collection of the few cards out there of Ben. Why? Well, I was a bored night after reading all the blogs that I decided to jump over to ESPN and see what OTL or E:60 video I could find. Getting to their site, I couldn't miss a link to a story about Ben and the reason Ben had to give up the game. Ben was diagnosed with YOPA - Young Onset Parkinsons. I have this fondness for people like that. See, my wife also has Parkinsons. Ben was diagnosed a full ten years earlier in his life than my wife, but they both got the same basic news: things will only get worse. Go back, now, and look at Ben's career stats. This is a guy that did all that, in the show, with Parkinsons. It's a bit more impressive to think you could get a hit off of Randy Johnson when you can barely write your name.

Ben did the best he could, but ultimately the disease decided the way his life would go. What caught my eye most about that ESPN article was the DBS (deep brain stimulation) he received. This was a procedure my wife and I have been talking about, on and off, for years, and finally decided this is the year we are doing it. If you read about what it is (and feel free to play doctor here - Helen is quite the looker), this is not something you just decide on a whim. So every chance we get, we try and find real people and talk about the procedure. Ben had the procedure twice, so I shot an email to Ben from his website, hoping for a response. Ben replied a day later, and has been nothing but a wonderful person to talk with. He has patiently answered question after question, bringing the surgery down from this awe magical wonder to a knowledgeable procedure. Hearing the real life preparation and the after surgery living has taken a ton of fear out of the operation. Don't get me wrong - I don't see this as a walk in the park. But I have an understanding of the other side. I just don't have the DBS company pamphlets to rely on and trust. We know what will probably happen before, during and after, and that eases a lot of stress.

So first - thanks Ben. I know I said it in email a couple times, but being open about life and the surgery has helped Kath and myself be ready for tomorrow. I'm going to go out on a limb and say you are a great friend for being there for us. I'll let you know when the surgery is done. My door is always open for you and your family if you are ever in the area.

And second, anybody reading this that would like to pray, or think good vibes for my wife tomorrow during the operation, we will gladly accept them. It may be a few days before I post anything even slightly card related, but I think you all will cut me some slack. Now you see how our loss from yesterday couldn't have come at a more inconvenient time. She won't be around to take part in this new chapter of our lives. It stinks, and it hurts and we miss Munchi so. We'll be okay, though. And we are as ready as we can be for tomorrow. Bring it!

Thought I would put a few of the links here for you to easily find:

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


This isn't a very baseball-y post. I didn't pull anything wonderful. I didn't score anything amazing on eBay. There's nothing great or cool or awesome in my collection. You won't read anything even remotely related to sports in any fashion, unless, by chance, I just keep typing and somehow I say something. It's a post about my dog.

I had something else planned for my post today, but I am just not in the mood. The past couple months, and especially the past two weeks, have seen an intense level of stress in my life and in the lives of my family. My daughter leaves for Haiti tomorrow. Friday is the biggest day around here in 12 years. And now, for some reason I will never understand nor accept, my dog passes today.

That's Munchi. She's an Affenpinscher. For the longest time we thought she was a rat terrier, until we brought her in for a grooming. "Nope - you have an affenpinscher". They pulled out a book and I think the picture on the page was Munchi, they looked so much alike. It's interesting how Munchi came to us. She was the proto-typical she-followed-me-home-can-we-keep-it dog. Except, it wasn't one of my kids she followed, it was the neighbor behind us. Munchi was there a couple years and the oldest daughter got married and took Munchi with her. And not long after, the rest of the family moved to Florida. Well, maybe a year or so later, the daughter came to us. Do you want Munchi? See, they had a new baby and were afraid that Munchi and the baby would not get along (trust me - they would have) and if we didn't take her, she would go to the pound. We hadn't had a dog up to that time mainly because my wife just didn't like them. We told the kids she was allergic. But here was Munchi, a dog no bigger than ToTo from the Wizard of Oz, needing a place to live. My wife caved, from the insistence of my daughter, and we took Munchi in. My wife is glad she caved.

Munchi took to her new house great, except at nap time. We tried to be a cage family - put her in a cage at night, but Munchi would have none of it. If she wasn't hiding under a bed to avoid being placed, she was dang near taking your hand off for getting within a foot of picking her up. We finally gave up and let her sleep where she wanted, which was usually under the covers between my legs. That was the thing with Munchi, she always had to have contact with someone. It wasn't that she wanted you to pet her all the time, she just wanted to be in contact with you. You would sit on the couch to watch TV and she would jump up, do her turn, and plop down with her back to you, but in contact with your body. Munchi desired that tactile sensation.

Munchi went through the standard humiliations of being dressed up in doll clothes, even though my daughter had long stopped playing with them. But still, one Build A Bear outfit and a couple pictures seemed to be a standard bit of fun when a friend slept over. Munchi was the first dog I ever meet that liked the squeakers in toys. Most dogs would sort of look at you when you squeezed their toy. Not Munchi. She would put in on the carpet and work her mouth around, biting until she made it squeak, and then brought it over and aqueaked it like crazy until you grabbed it to play. Her Reese's was her fav, but a flying goose with dual squeakers got enough tug of war time as well.

Munchi was a real people's dog. In the summer, she would go out the front door, sit in the grass and just watch the world go by for 30 minutes or more. If you came over, she sure barked at you to let you know she was around. But sit down and in 5 minutes she would jump in your lap waiting to be scratched. You were her new best friend. She was friendly with everyone. And the people that were mean, she remembered you. Oh - she did not like the neighbor two doors down, and made sure that person knew it every chance she got. At night, you just had to look at her and ask if it was bedtime, and she would run to the bedroom and hop into bed, ready for a snooze. When I started working from home 8 months ago, I got a nice peek into her life during the day - a lot of sleeping on the couch. But 11:30 was always the time she wanted to go outside. Quite a few days, she skipped the couch and laid in the chair behind me. I could give her neck a scratch during calls.Working from home was never lonely with her around.

Munchi would play with the dogs next door, a bit at least. She had a blast if you started chasing after her, running in these impossibly tight circles, and then quickly changing direction. And rabbits were her favorite. She seeked them out every chance she could. Flushing them from bushes and hidden in the grass. I don't think she ever wanted to catch one, though. She sure acted like she did, but I recall one time, she was chasing a slower rabbit - I saw her pull up. I am not kidding. She easily would have caught this guy, and she pulled up, slowed down and let him get away. It was then I learned it was just a game to Munchi. When we saw rabbits in the front yard, you just opened the door and told Munchi "wanna get the rabbits?" She knew what that meant, and stepped on the stoop to find, and then chase, the buggers around for about 10 seconds. It was one of the many bits of fun she had.

She was so glad when you came home, just like most dogs. You had to greet her on the bed, wagging her tail and licking your face. It usually turned into a howling match when my wife would say, in higher and higher pitches, "didu miss me", followed with "I love youuuuuuuu". Poor Muchi's ears would have enough and would start whining along.

Munchi was the first dog I had that knew more than one trick. All my other dogs only ever understood "sit". Munchi had sit, sit pretty (on her hind legs only), high 5, lie down, turn around (360) and play the drum (pat her paw on the top of the treat tub). I really, truly think, Munchi was completely happy being in this family. I know she was an important member.

Couple weeks ago, she started acting like it was too bright. I didn't think much about it, and assumed she had rubbed her face into something she shouldn't and just irritated her eyes. I gave her a good bath and in a couple days, she looked fine. She didn't act strange otherwise, and came back to her old self, squeaking her toys and playing like normal. But a few days ago, something wasn't right. She started getting listless. She stopped eating. She got weaker fast over just 4 days. When we finally got to the vet, he ran blood work. Not good when we got the call a few hours later. He's an awesome vet, and waited after hours as we drove back so he could start treatments. Her liver wasn't filtering the waste, and her red blood cell count, which should be about 35-40%, was 13%. I was certain, though - she makes it through the night and it'll be fine.

A call in the morning, and Munchi was still hanging on. She slept and was still with us. Ok - that's good, cuz she doesn't belong there. She belongs here. Next call from the vet about 2pm - it's worse. But we knew it would have to get a little more worse before it got better. 10% now, and fluid in the lungs. I know enough - that is way worse. Now I have to deal with 90 more minutes of work with this realization in my head. I can barely function. I get some crabby customers. A lot of muting of the phone so I can curse about their minor issues and being babies about it all while I am trying to finish my day. With 5 minutes to go, I am done. I take the last minutes as personal time, log off and go lay down. I think I have cried all I can cry today, and it still doesn't stop. I hardly ever ask God for anything. I figure I've "built up" my needs, so when I do ask, I can be sure to receive it. I just want my Munchi home. That's all I want. It's a simple ask, isn't it?

We, as a family, are heading out for dinner. Big day Friday, and daughter leaves tomorrow, so a nice family dinner. I get in the shower, and that's a great place to let it all out. I know. I just know my dog isn't going to make it another night, and the pain tears me apart. Dogs like this are rare. Sure, we got Munchi for my daughter, but really she bonded best we me. I think of the times I was angry because she followed me around too often, and how I just want her home so she can get on my nerves like that again. I just want her to lie in the crook of my leg, rest her head on my calf and watch TV with me. I don't know if life gets any better than that. Well, at dinner, we got the call. She didn't make it. She passed at 3:30. I can't say that I felt it, but I knew. I knew that tonight, and the rest of my nights, she won't be there to scoot under the covers to sleep with me. She won't lie on my stomach to get her good scratching. She won't bug me for a ride around the block in the car, or follow me to get a treat cuz she was a goodgoodgirl.

This hurts so bad.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Get yer repacks!

I was in the store a good week plus ago. I'm done with buying a lot of the items at Target or Walmart, mainly because my needs are low and I would rather not get a ton of doubles (or any more frigging Strasburg SPs). I have no desire to work on completing Archives. I'll get to Topps series 2. I am really going to wait and get a hobby box of '12 Ginter.

That being said - still gotta get something, am I right?!?!? So ok - how about one of the repack boxes? You know - bunch of older packs. Might get lucky, right? You can't beat the price, really. Twenty packs for twenty bucks. That comes on to.....carry the 7......square root of 15.3..... a buck a pack. I think. Yeah, I got a lot of filler, but I tried to pick a box that in the window I saw things I knew I didn't have. So really, I didn't get pilled on with a 10 packs of 2010 Topps or anything. I had a pretty decent range of Topps, Bowman and Upper Deck. Nothing older than 2005, mind you, but UD X, Baseball Heroes, Piece of History, Goudey, Spectrum. Who doesn't love ripping 20 packs, amirite? Here, in my opinion, are the three best pulls:

We have a 08 UD Spectrum of Thome. Said it before and I'll say it again - who can have too many Thome's?? In the middle is the KING of stirrups, a 2010 Topps of Josh Outman. And that is a bronze border, #97 of 399. The far right is a 2008 Goudey of Reggie Jackson. You may want to click on that picture and look close at the numbers under the Yankees logo. It's a 2008 Goudey mini short print, black back, #19 of 34. THIR-TEE-FORE. That card is officially the shortest print card in my collection.

BTW - I bought a 2nd repack. Couple serialed cards, but nothing like the first. I may try a third box, though. Go get one.


Was at my LCS the other day, cuz I....uh.... ah hell. I went to buy cards, alright?! Don't judge me! Anyway, I was undecided what to buy, but Pro Debut was just released. The Harper I pulled from Archives sold on eBay for $200, so maybe I can pull one out of this set.

Well, I did, but it was just common. Big whoop. And "big whoop" sums up the three packs I bought too. To get the 2012 design printed with practically no one you know is not very exciting. I like baseball, but I don't follow the prospects as closely as other people. I have other things to do, alright?! Don't judge me!

Anyway - who wants these cards? I think I have a couple nice ones, and the Bryce Harper common.
8, 32, 41, 49, 55, 60, 61, 65, 73, 85, 89, 110, 113, 122, 124, 145, 149, 160, 161, 162, 200, 208, AS-MH, AS-YA

Trade me for these - they make me ill. I have a weak stomach, alright?! Don't judge me!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Trades 13 & 14: incoming!

I am falling behind on the things I would like to get posted. Yeah - I suck. But I suck in a good way, in that..... actually no, I just suck.

Anywho - got a few more envelopes this week, and a couple we shall talk about here. Two trades that arrived in my mailbox on Thursday. You people must actually read this crap I write. Or maybe I have cool stuff. Or maybe I am delusional on both.

Anywho - let's start with the Night Owl. N.O. had a hankering for a Career Day that I pulled from a series 2 blaster. Sure, for the owl you are welcome to it. In return, he sent me card #29 from series 1, completing that set, as well as a few ChiSox. Highlights?

Dueling Cameron's. I wasn't sure why he left the Sox until a quick innerweb search tells me we got a certain Paul Konerko in return. Ok - good deal, good deal. Thanks Nighty Nighty for the Sox.

Same day, received mail from Andrew's Baseball Cards. He initially made a plea for followers. I am always willing to hit that button (Jeff = lemming) and then I gave his wants list a look over. Couple emails and bam - I cleared out a bunch of dupes and got some great White Sox in return. Here is but a few.

Who really can have too many Thomes - am I right? A nice gold Bowman. I think that boarder works far better than the standard black. Great duo with former Sox Big Hurt and current Sox Dunn. Plus Buehrle looking all tough. I wonder what he is thinking....

Thanks for the trades. You all have a great father's day, whether you are a dad or you have a dad to hang with. I was going to post this song, being a tribute to dads, but man, I am in a rocking mood. So hit the link, but let's jam to another Black Stone Cherry tune.

Friday, June 15, 2012

I wonder if there are any short prints

OMG!!!!! You can preorder these beauts here. I already bought the first day covers.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Ebay can you see

Been hitting up eBay a bit lately. When almost nightly you are forces to see Pirate Treasure Room's finds, Plaschke's Getzlaf collection, My Sports Obsession's free ebays, 30 Year Old's epic Dawson collection.... I could go on, but I think you get the point. The point is I am jealous. Not that I want those specific things (though I will make an exception on Jeff's White Sox cards) - I want stuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuff. So I got some stuff. Wanna see?

That's two from the Archives White Sox autographs, and we have the Kittle on the way. Badda-bing. Badda-boom - done. That blue framed Duke....that is just too gorgeous, and only 101 pennies. I saw it and I had to make it mine, being a old timer fan. I believe, with shipping, there is $13 in that picture.

This is one thick card. weighs a good ounce. 4+ cards thick. Crazy, I tell ya. But a nice on card auto from someone that is slowly developing into a good second defensive pair member. This baby ran me $3.50 with shipping. Less than a blaster - 3 autos and a serialed. SWEET!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Breaking the mailman's back - Trade #12

Quite the mail day here at 2x3 headquarters. With my trade activity, and a bit of buying on eBay, I am usually getting 1 to 2 packages a week. Not too shabby. Always open to find stuff that thrills me, then instantly goes into my personal collection. Today, the mailbox was stuffed with 4 packages. Four in one day. And oh, what packages they are. We have a trade that traveled many a mile to get in that mailbox out front. We have card pulls from a 3 box opening that are plenty sweet. And then two low cost eBay wins that were just too good to pass up.

So, you ask, are you going to show us already, or will you ramble on and on about the fate of the dinosaurs being linked to the invention of Quisp cereal? While that would make for fascinating discussion, I'll stick with the scans this time.

Let's take a look at yours and mine favorite European collector, Dutch Card Guy. I had read his site a few times, and how I never looked at his wants list stuns me. But I did, and while my package is still in transit, his came and baby, what an envelope. For starters, let's count 79 2012 GQ base. DCG didn't hit that list, he wrestled it to the ground in a choke hold and made it cry for it's mommy. You can see what's left after the wonderful carnage if you view my wants up top. Couple dozen to go - search your doubles and let's fill this for me, shall we?

That is a mighty nice Dye swatch, #187/199. Always like a Thome. And Sale has a chance to really make it in the bigs, so a rookie card will fit in well with my Sox collection.

Here's a great 3 from the champs of 2005. Crede (there will be a Crede project in the near future), Podzilla, (and the missus), and Iguchi. I really like the Podsednik card. Yet another card I never knew existed. DCG also dropped a few more of the Bowmans, a nice Justin Greene Bowman chrome, two 86 Fleer in their softball unis and a couple others. I good century total of cards. Thanks much, DCG. You really want to help Dutch fill his want lists, so go check them out.

Tomorrow, we'll look at the box break haul.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

SIL Sunday: Satchmo

The great Satchel Paige. I think we all know the greatness of Satchel. If not, think of Jamie Moyer, and then multiply by 10. I did a quick search on this card; it's from a 2000 Fleer set called "Greats of the Game". I don't even remember buying this pack. For all I know, this may have been from a repack box of some sort I bought. I have just four cards from the set, but this is by far the best. The design alone wins it for me. A great head shot, simple team logo, gorgeous bronze/burgundy boarder, and no heavy gloss finish. Just the way the player and his team is listed is classy. A lot more newer releases of players from the past should look this beautiful.

 "Just take the ball and throw it where you want to. Throw strikes. Home plate don’t move."

If anyone sees cards from this set in a dime or quarter box, I will gladly pay you back.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

How about another blaster of Topps series 2?

I'm going to need to get the cards sooner or later, so yesterday I decided to go for a Walmart blaster. Blue borders and all, ya know. While the blasters for series one did score me a couple hits (relics), I am two blasters in and not much too show for them. Probably doesn't help that Topps seemed to raise the odds on hits. Or maybe I just got lucky with series 1. Really - what do I know in the long run?

Let's get to the scans, shall we?

Did far better in regard to Career Day and Dominance pulls. I like the color fade of the Career Day. I am starting to see the wasted space. But I have seen the Career Day as autograph cards, so that gives it some filler. The Dominance still look like crap. I watch the ESPN Gamecast cuz I want to follow the game. What I didn't need was the Gamecast strike zone on a card with the team logo in it. Blah. That Spahn is the manu patch I pulled. I pulled a Jim Palmer manu (with his number) in my other blaster.

Granted, I am not an O's fan, but holy crap - the O's REALLY need to go back to that home uniform. The block lettering looks so much better than the script, in my opinion. They only had them for 3 years - what a crime. Someone in Baltimore make it so for me. I like the throwback on the Verlander mini, but I am a sucker for a good throwback. And I pulled just the one die cut this blaster, but it looks goooooooooooooooood.

A couple days back, Nick at Dime Boxes ran a post about retail purchasing. I commented that I always pull left side from the middle. Well, I had to hit the LCS for some supplies. They had jumbo packs of series 2. Fresh opened box with all packs available. Pulled left side 3rd pack down....

Boom shaka-lacka. Right side is the lame side of the box. Always will be.

Final note: put the Harper RC I pulled from the Archives blaster on eBay. 5 days left - $115.50 currently. Keep going.....

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Series two blaster is in!

So a few bloggers have posted about getting their mitts on packs and blasters of Topps series 2. I am going to shoot for this full set (if only SOMEONE would hook me up with card #29!), so I found an excuse to head over to my local Target and sure enough, there they were. Grabbed a blaster box, a single pack and a couple packs of Archives. Archives had nothing great. The single pack of series two was eh - Fielder gold sparkle insert, and I don't know if a list of the SP are out yet for series 2. Ok - just found a small SP list - I got nothing. I am sure there are more than those dozen, though. I did pull two doubles in the box (nice sequencing Topps) and actually pulled 3 of one card, until I realized it was card 395, which has two players listed (got one of each) and a gold of one of the players. So technically, I just got a single player twice. Confused? So am I. Anyway - on to a couple scans.

For the record, I contacted Topps and they sent me the header picture on this post, cuz holy sh*t, look at the crappy setup of both the foil printer and the sheet cutter. The dude working both must be that frigging blind. I could give dull scissors to a 90 year old Parkinson's patient without meds for a week that has only had a diet of Lic-A-Maid and Jolt cola, being chased by man eating robots, and balancing on a yoga ball, a full sheet of cards and get a more centered cut than that. Quality control? Ahhhh screw that!

Did pull two die cuts. Nice to see those back. Dominance is a lot of wasted card space, like the Golden Moments cards. Career Day looks nice. Maybe it the blue with the Dodgers. I hope they shade that side matching the team colors. That would make for a nice card. I quick eBay search says they do. Yay Topps.

All in all, it's series two. Fix the printing and cutting calibration.

Monday, June 4, 2012

A blaster of Archives

So from what I read, the Bryce Harper card in 12 Archives is a super-duper short print...

I guess, after further review, that blaster didn't suck as much as I thought it did.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Trades #10 & 11: Queens in pale hose

"Man - you get mail everyday" is what my wife said to me yesterday when I walked in the house with two yellow padded envelopes in my hands. Yes honey, yes I do. Thanks to this great group of card bloggers, with their needs list so prominently placed for my eyes to browse, I am able to work out some great trades with some great bloggers.

Today's post is brought to you from a fairly newcomer and from someone that, to the best of my knowledge, has been around a while. Both knocked it out of the park with putting cards in my hands that I needed or desired. Far too many to scan - let's enjoy the highlights.

We start with Matt over at Once A Cub. Through a post by the Daily Dimwit, I found Matt's blog (good read - go check it out), then his needs list, then his email, and then a trade setup. We both made a good dent in the other's Gypsy Queen needs. Base and inserts are what I got back and it was what I needed. Here's three of the best in the bunch.

McCovery and Kofax - does it get better than that? And you have a Jeter in the middle. Now, I have never seen this Glove Story before, and I have to say, WTF Topps? Okay, we ALL know the play. We have seen it a hundred times in instant replay. But is this the best picture of the play Topps can find? For starters, the subject of the card is blurry as hell. The angle cuts off Posada's head. You have to look a bit to find the ball (it's just below the A in Athletics on the jersey). Because of the angle, you can't see Jeter's arm, which means the whole Glove Story-ishness of the card is gone. I just think Topps blew this one. Final side note on Matt's stack: 31% of the cards he sent were Yankees. Didn't realize I was missing that many. Thought, considering his break down of a case of Archives he opened, maybe there are just that dang many Bronx bombers in the set.

The other package came from Rhubarb_Runner at e rayhahn, rayhahn. El RR started this trade with a request from my trade bait. Didn't take too long to get this one worked on. Gotta say this - RR is fast with his post. I am just heading out later to get mine in the mail, and his is already here.'ll have your cards in a few days. I promise! Actually, I may have to find something else to add - I feel like I am getting the way better end of this trade. Here's the stars of the package.

That's a serialed Thomas from the 04 Donruss Leather and Lumber #964. Again - a card I never knew existed. I was really an unfocused collector. We have a Konerko bat relic that will pair up nicely with the Nellie Fox bat relic I have from the same set. I love that summit card, even if a cheater is in position #2. You can forget how great other people realize your player was until you see them placed on a card with people you consider to be stars in the league. I put the Buehrles up they to make a point. Most people don't realize Mark was a big fan of the black alternate jerseys of the White Sox. The White Sox equipment manager lets the pitcher decide the uniform worn that day, and Mark always picked the black. So these pics must be early before his superstition came into play.

Man - I LOVE CREDE!!! Great underrated 3rd baseman and could he wear a uniform. And that killer Thome is from the fan packs. I bought a couple - never got any Sox. Now I do.

So two great trades. Check them both out and maybe you too can get cool stuff. Just not cool like mine. :)