Thursday, January 30, 2014

It Hurts To Watch: version 5

Not long ago the baseball rules committee started looking into changing the rules for plays at home plate. As the blogger who posts the cards related to these very plays I thought it about time to give my opinion on the whole idea.

While it has been a great play to see when it happens. I personally am a fan of making a change to the play. We go to many a minor league game during the season. More often than not the games we watch are for the West Coast League. For those that don't know about the WCL it's a college wood bat league. These leagues feature players who are still in college, but want to show the MLB scouts what they can do if handed a wood bat. Our closest team has been one of the top two teams if not the top team in the WCL since its formation.

The WCL has a sliding rule for plays at home plate. A rule that I would like to see adopted in this situation. I fall under the group that doesn't need to see catchers or the player barreling down the line injured. Every year in the minors we see a minimum three close plays at the plate. Whether the runner is safe or out it is still the best play in the game if you ask me. Just with this rule in place more often than in the MLB both players walk away none worse for the wear. To me anything that keeps both guys playing is a win-win situation.

Adding to this not hurting the game is some of the best plays at the plate didn't contain the runner barreling down a catcher. A great example is the card above. Watching a rerun of the all-time best plays at home plate on MLB Network. This play rated third on their list. Not bad for a play where neither guy risked an injury. If this play doesn't prove we don't need guys colliding then plays number four through one proves it more. All four of the top plays didn't contain a collision, but had either a slide or just running through the base without collision.

Another reason for wanting to see the play ended is a personal one. Looking at the Devon White card above shows this reason. Cards where the player slid instead or ran through the catcher has that sweet looking dust cloud. As a photography nut I love the look of pictures or in this case cards. That contain the dust cloud that rises from the slide. More sliding means more sweet dust cloud pictures on baseball cards. You can call me selfish if you want for this. I'm more than willing to take the heat.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Nolan Goes Big

Lately I've seen a few blogs talk about these cards every so often. The big Donruss cards that were made in the early to mid 80's. While going through, and organizing the Nolan Ryan card I noticed three of these big cards in a page. The page sits in the rear section of my Nolan Ryan binder.I say binder, but thinking about it more now it is binders.
        While working on the organizing that is still an ongoing project. I decided early to put the dreaded Nolan Ryan set into its own binder. Doing this allowed me to break my Ryan binder better, and help with the organization. This cleared some space in the big binder for adding cards that have been sitting in top loaders. Putting these cards into the binder will allow me to once again enjoy looking through the cards every so often instead of having them sit in the box top loaded.

Enough about the organizing though lets talk big cards. As a person who enjoys the oddball items I just love these cards. The 1983 version is by far my favorite of the three in my collection. A return of these cards would be sweet in my opinion. Making it happen though I'd like to see two requirements. These would prevent things from getting out of control, and destroying the idea.

My first requirement would be the cards be exactly the same size as these originals were. At most you could shave a millimeter or two off, but keeping them as close as possible is important. I use four pocket pages for these cards, and they fit perfectly. Changing the size of these cards would create a problem in deciding what page size to go with. I know this has been the problem people have with these cards. I even have a smaller Topps card filling out the fourth spot in the page, and it just doesn't look right in the page. That lone card shows why it is important that these cards be the size they are.

The second dilemma is set size, and how to distribute. For me these should come in packs of four cards at most. The set size would go with what they had in the past of 50 cards at most. With the pages only holding four cards that would run you 13 pages for a set. I think if you go bigger then the problem becomes using to many pages to show off a set. 100 might work as there are people who put complete sets of Topps series 1, 2, and update into pages. For me though I'd go with the 50 cards.

Now that I've given my thoughts about the big cards. I'd love to hear what you think of these cards. Do you like them, hate them, or just indifferent? If they were to return what would be your ideas on the set?

Monday, January 27, 2014

Cards You've Never Seen

While the title says 'Cards You've Never Seen' this is a deceiving title. Some of you may have seen these cards before, and remember them. Others will claim that these aren't even cards at all. You would be so right in that observation. With baseball season coming up, and 2014 Topps starting to pop up. Another one of my hobbies are starting to appear as well. A few have been out already, but much like Topps they are about to be in season full force. What am I talking about you ask? Pocket schedules, that is what.

Over the years there have been a few teams from both the MLB, and minors who have gone with baseball cards in the design. As you will see there are different ways teams went about using the baseball card theory. Keep in mind these are all from my personal schedules so there might be more out there than what I'm showing.

In 1994 the Eugene Emeralds set the bar pretty high. Not only did Eugene go with baseball cards they threw in some classic cards. Throwing in some other memorabilia the person in charge of this design did a very nice classic look. While normally it's not a good idea to start with your best I think that might be how this ends.

Seven years later the Chicago Cubs would put out a schedule using old Cubs baseball cards. Who knows if the Cubs knew about the Emeralds schedule when they came up with this idea. What I do know is they continued the tradition of keeping the bar high for any future attempts. One of the things I really appreciate about this schedules design. I can't confirm if the Emeralds used real cards, or just made their own up. As a baseball card collector who has not only seen some of the card designs. I actually had three of the cards in my collection at one point. Not sure if this adds into why this schedule appeals to me so much.

Another five years would pass before another baseball card schedule pops into my schedules. Unfortunately the Danville Braves didn't keep the high standards already set. In all fairness the team is a rookie level team. Looking at these cards my guess is they are fake cards just used as a design. I could see these being real, and wouldn't be surprised if they were.

Thank goodness that it would only take two years for the Detroit Tigers to get things back to normal. Going in a new direction than showing off cards. Detroit went in this new direction full force by using the 2008 Topps design on their 2008 schedule. Its an awesome design that I would have liked to see with the fake autograph to complete the look. Ordonez is the only cover I have, but most years team do multiple player covers so odds are there might be others out there.

Not finished with the Topps design, Detroit went with the concept in 2009 as well. Once again I like the idea of using a baseball card from the current year. In 2010 Detroit would shy away from the card design instead of going for the three-peat.

No team has attempted using baseball cards in any form since the Tiger 2009 schedule. Odds are one day the idea will once again appear. How its done should be interesting.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Sometimes You Win, and Someties You Lose

While the title might imply a possible win the truth is I have been losing quite a bit lately. Even with this I am still holding that 2014 will be the year of the cat. Things haven't been all that bad really as I've added a few Trouts to the collection in packs. This would mean when it comes to buying packs of cards you could claim I've been winning. We'll go with that to keep this running along. The losing has been on my thrift store buying, which has been fairly terrible.

Saturday the daughter, and myself had a plan. A plan that bombed in the worst way possible. In Portland they had an event called Kidsfest. Needing some information that their website claimed would be available by the handfull. We headed north to attend, and see what we could come up. Reality is there was not one piece of information, and the whole event if you ask me was aimed at kids 6-8 years old. Nothing like the wide range they had advertised. Not having any of what we were looking for made this the biggest waste of time ever. Throw in eight dollars to park, and ten dollars for both our admissions. We were out almost twenty dollars, and the gas to drive up there. Half an hour into the event we were heading back south.

Wanting to salvage what we could of this day. Stops at three thrift stores, and a stop for the daughter at a Claire's was in the works. Entering the first stop we went in full of hope that maybe this would go better. This store is the one I only get to visit on trips to Portland which seem to be getting a little more frequent lately.
              Two items peaked my interest, but one due to the daughter's pressure stayed. I have been picking up the old glass canning jars, and currently have five in the collection. One is about 1/3 full of blue marbles, and slowly gaining more when I come across them. Usually found at the swap meet or antique shops at the coast. The second a much shorter jar has some old game dice I found at the antique show in October. Number three, we have been picking up either a small stick, sand, or a cool sea shell whenever we visit the coast. Sadly the other two sit empty. This is why the daughter has banished me from buying any more of these jars. Her rule is I must dream up something to start in the other two, and something to put in the new jar before buying it. Normally I'd just buy the jars as I am the parent, but unfortunately it makes sense so I've played along. Kind of a way of protecting me from myself just using her as my stopper. Without all this I'd probably have ten or so jars right now so it works.
    The second item was twelve cups all with the New York Mets all-star game logo, and artwork. While I know a couple Mets fans, and might have been able to send most to them. Then kept one or two for my personal collection. In the end I just didn't feel like buying them.

Our next two stops were Claire's followed by another thrift store. At Claire's the daughter did well by getting a new necklace. As for me it was another dry stop with nothing of note. Still not willing to accept defeat I made a side trip to Toys-R-Us. Before Christmas I was in, and bought a playmakers Mike Trout figure. Seeing that there was a bigger figure for Trout I had to see if I could find one for the collection. Living in Mariners territory Felix was the only choice for the larger figures. Don't know if that was by coincidence or not. What I do know is they still have the entire batch.

Finally the last stop ended with the same results as I'd had all day. In the end though it wasn't a terrible day as we had fun hanging together. So I guess it might have been a win after-all.

Friday, January 24, 2014

The Raz Recycles

Coming home on Thursday I did the usual routine. This routine is to walk in, and say hello to the dog. Afterwards we make the walk together down the block to our mailbox, and pick up the mail. Its a great routine that allows the dog to do his thing, and me to do a little walking even if it is a short distance. While everything seemed ordinary it would end up being anything but. As I reached inside the box I could feel a bubble mailer, and could tell it contained cardboard goodness. Looking at the address it became obvious real fast that Chris from 'The Raz Card Blog' had dropped me with a blindside mailer. Chris does a great job, and covers some of the sports I love. Lately he has been showing off some sweet NASCAR treasures that if I was a fan of his drivers would leave me drooling. Even as a Kyle Busch fan I can appreciate some sweet looking cards, or 1/24 diecast cars for Junior, or Danica Patrick.

Excited to find out what was inside, but forced to wait. Dinner had to come first as a hard day at work will leave a man wanting food just slightly more than cardboard satisfaction. Once finished I started to rip into the mailer, and noticed that there was something strange about this mailer. It wasn't until reading the letter attached that it became obvious what it was. Chris is a recycler, and did it with style.

Seeing all the cards Chris stuffed into this mailer I bet his fresh mailers were too small. The cards barely fit into the mailer he sent. To use a baseball term, Chris hit a grand slam in this mailer. Starting things off with a bang Chris went right to business by knocking off what is already my third set in this barely new year.

Thanks to Chris I can now cross 2013 Opening Day off the wants. Not a bad way to end the set if you ask me, Adam Dunn. Adam wasn't the only 2013 Opening Day cards he sent my direction.

If you've been reading the cat long enough you know how much I love the play at the plate cards. Chris not only sent me one of those beauties, but sent one I need for a subset. Throw in the Yankee who looks to be taking 2014 off sliding into what looks to be third, and Prince Fielder celebrating. Looks like a winning combo to me.

Not finished hitting up the 2013 Opening Day cards, Chris went all the way. Surveying all the damage he not only did he wrap up the set itself, but he hit every single subset. The coolest part is he hit my favorite the mascots the hardest.

Opening Day wasn't the only set Chris went after. Both series 1, and 2 of the flagship took some blows as well. 39 cards added to these two sets to be exact. All this left series 1 down to needing only three cards with them being 35, 173, and 322. I'm going to go out on a very small limb, and say this will be the next set to bite the dust.

While we've all seen most the cards over, and over again. I just had to show off the play at the plate card that came in the batch. With all the love double play cards get from the various blogs these had to be included to the final scan.

If anyone was to ask me what I learned from this package. I'd have to say that if Chris ever wants to do more recycling  I'd be more than happy to help again.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

An Almost Complete Ballgame

Tuesday was one of those wonderful days here at the cat house. Two packages of cards were in the mail, and two big batches at that. The first which was already shown on Tuesday came from Roger. The second a huge surprise came from Kevin who happens to be the founder of the online group TradingBases. It's a wonderful group that if you've come here enough you hear about often.
             The best thing about the group is it's much like the blogging community. People send cards to each other all the time not worried about what if anything returns. While my start in the group wasn't what it should have been. Since starting this blog I have been trying to send cards to other members when I can hit their lists. Most of the time its not as much as I'd like, but it has been improving. One day I'm hopeful I can repay the kindness everyone has paid to me over the years. Odds are it'll never happen, but I will keep trying.

Not long ago Kevin sent out what he calls his 5, and under set wants. This led to a simple PWE with one of the missing cards for one of those sets, and another just to make sure the original card wouldn't be lonely. What happened is those two cards multiplied into what I am calling an almost complete game.

To start off any game we have need our pitcher, and catcher. While I had a few pitchers to pick from I just thought why not pick a Red Sox card? As for the catcher this was my only choice so Molina gets to be that card.

Next came the home run. While we can't verify that this card shows Lind hitting a home run. I'm going to say for the sake of this game, and the way Lind is looking. We will call this a home run card.

After a home run we have to go all the way to the other end of the spectrum. Personally this is a pretty sweet angle for a bunt card if you ask me. I don't know how many batting cards are done with the centerfield shot, but I like it.

You can't have a game without some base-running. Gomez looks to be giving it his all by the look on his face. There was only one other choice to use as the baserunner, but I think Gomez might have won even with ten more cards to choose from.

Any game wouldn't be complete with some fielding. The group of cards Kevin sent only had two cards of people fielding. Due to this we get both Mercer, and Gyorko making the play. The fielding is also why this is almost a complete game. While it would have been much cooler to be a complete game. Missing are the first baseman catching a ball, and the ever popular double play card. Despite not containing these two plays this is an incredible package of hits to my 2013 Topps wantlist.

When all is said, and done we have to close this out with the pitcher, and catcher congratulations. As luck would have it the card represents my favorite team the Rockies. The best part about all these cards is I am the one who really end up celebrating the win. 26 hits to the Topps flagship series 1, and series 2 sets will leave a collector feeling that way.

Not happy with dropping such a memorable mailer on me. Kevin wrapped things up by throwing in an unopened pack of 2012 Topps update. Thinking about how to wrap up this whole ballgame. The pack gave me the perfect closing as we wrap it up with the ever famous newspaper. No better way to leave than the source of reading about last nights game.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Beware Of Masked Traders!

Earlier in the month the 4th to be exact. The cat posted about a day trip up to Portland. During said trip I made the attempt to complete two sets. Coming up short on both sets by a total of three cards. The first set was a self created 2010 Upper Deck, Ballparks. Missing two cards for this set I was close to begging for help. The second set was the 2013 Chasing the Dream, and  Mike Trout was the missing card.

In slightly over an hour of making the post Roger who runs the fantastic blog 'Sportscard Mask-a-Rade' stepped up with two of the three cards. Not only did he offer up two cards he started off by going after the Mike Trout card to start the party off right.

Subsets like Chasing The Dream are some of my favorites. With us being huge minor league fans here at the cat house. Any set or subset that focuses on the young players in the MLB is cool in my book. Throw in that big Angels logo in the background, and I was sold. This is the only subset for 2013 Topps flagship that I was interested in, and now its finished.

Ending this great PWE Roger hit me with Great American Ball Park. As I've said a few times on this very blog. I am a huge fan of baseball stadiums, no matter the team. The awesome thing about this card isn't just the picture. Much like Trout, this card completes another set. Not a bad start to the year if you ask me. Two sets taken down in one masked man, and his PWE.

All this has led me to believe. Beware of masked traders, and their PWE's. They will blow you away with what they can do with a simple PWE. Thank you so much for completing these two sets Roger. 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Another Great Day

So the Super Bowl will be the Denver Broncos against the Seattle Seahawks. This will create an interesting two weeks at work possibly even longer. It's a known fact at work that I grew up in Utah, and thus grew up to become a Broncos fan. Where it gets interesting is that I live right in heart of Seahawks territory. All this means that until the Super Bowl it will be on. Odds are it will continue after the Super Bowl from either me, or everyone giving it to me.

Not only was it great in the fact that my favorite team is going to the Super Bowl. While watching the game I actually followed through on what I posted yesterday. That is working more on organizing the Nolan Ryan collection. Today's adventure got a ton accomplished, but left me still needing to do more. Working down from what was accomplished yesterday 1983-1989 got the bulk of attention. From there I managed to do 1993, and 1994 in the newer stuff. 1994 was fairly easy as all I had in the binder was two cards. It wouldn't surprise me if I have more from that year floating in the stuff which has never made it into the binder. For right now though my attention will remain at getting the current stuff in the binder organized before adding the scattered cards.

A wrench into the mix was while doing all this organizing was the binder itself. After adding more pages to the current binder it was looking stuffed. The only way to relieve the pressure was to throw another binder into the mix. Luckily I have some extras laying around as I pick them up on the cheap at Goodwill on a rare occasion. Getting a new one can be a small problem these days though. I have been trying to color code them to try, and keep some resemblance of order. One day I'll do pictures, and get more in-depth on the system, but not today.

Into the new binder went the entire Nolan Ryan set. The ever popular set dedicated entirely to Ryan now has its own binder. Note the sarcasm. Missing now is a marker for the side so I remember what the binder contains.Until then it'll be more getting the collection in order, and seeing all the cards I've had in hiding this whole time. It'll be like discovering lost stuff you forgot you had. Talk about a rush of fun for possible future posts.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Even When I Lose It Turn Out Great

Despite that it is only a little over two weeks into the new year. I can't get this feeling out of my head that this is going to be a great year for the cat. This morning the wife mentioned that instead of me doing my usual running around hitting the Goodwill's in Salem or wherever. We should head over to town as she wanted to do some grocery shopping. She was even willing to let me drag her to another Goodwill I barely ever get to. This store gets less visits from me than the one near Portland. The reason is there isn't much to do in town so unless there is some sort of errand that forces me to town. I just never make my way over.

Arriving at the store, and going in. Once inside I headed over to the toys section. Toys is where this store will put any baseball cards when they have them. Looking around they had two boxes of cards. One box was a factory set of 1992 Donruss which I had zero interest in. The second box which was half full contained some 1993 upper deck cards. To me the price they wanted for the box was more than I was willing to ante up for 1993 cards. From there I made my way around the store before eventually leaving empty handed.

One of the great things about this town though is they have a 'Great Harvest Bread'. Going in we were only interested in getting a fruit bar for myself, a Kahuna bar for the daughter, and a cinnamon roll for the wife. What we left with was a few more items than planned. It seems this weekend is the 16th anniversary of this particular stare. The employee mentioned if we bought one more item to put us over ten dollars total. They would give us a loaf of honey wheat bread for free. Being honey wheat is our favorite we bit, and bought two cookies instead of just one to make sure. All I wanted was the fruit bar so I'll be sticking with that.

Our next stop would be the Goodwill I visit more than any other. Being the closest store will do that. This store wouldn't yield any better results than my first store. Leaving empty handed for a second time is was off to the last stop before heading homeward.

Once home this is where my major win would happen. Wanting to relax I decided to watch some television. Problem is there was nothing on so instead of just sitting there. I headed straight into the hobby room. Turning on the CD player on I started putting my latest PWE acquisitions in their sets. Finishing this, and still wanting to do more with the baseball cards. The Nolan Ryan binder started calling to me for some attention. Proudly I can say I just finished getting all the 1990, 1991, and 1992 Ryan's all organized by years. While it might not sound like much it is 13 pages of cards. Until today the entire collection was just in the binder with zero organization. The lack of organization has led to me adding two copies of the exact same card into the binder a few times in the past. Now the groundwork has been laid so that this will hopefully not happen again. It also has me even more excited now about maybe doing more tomorrow while watching football.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Tom Sets My Opening Day Line-up

While the set came out just under one year ago I am still working on completing the 2013 Topps Opening Day set, and subsets. Going has been very slow as I can't seem to find these cards anywhere. This is where Tom who runs the blog 'Waiting 'Til Next Year', and the cat crossed paths.

Tom had set the goal to try, and complete the 1987 Topps set. Doing the set he was running a contest to help with the completion process. Looking through what he needed I came up with two cards, and contacted Tom to let him know the cards would be on their way. No matter how the contest ends I have already come out a big winner thanks to the return trade Tom sent my direction.

What better place to start than with Seattle's new second baseman. Out of all the things the Mariners have done the last couple years. Signing Cano has gotten the people I talk to the most excited. Hopefully we get up to a game or two this year as I'd like to see him play in person.

Next Tom hit the Play Hard subset with two sweet looking cards.Gordon's card is kind of strange if you ask me, but Pedroia makes up for it with the sweet dive for the ball.

Following up the Play Hard's were some sweet Superstar Celebrations. If I had to give my opinion on what the deal is with these two cards I'd say. Ortiz is celebrating a home run near the dugout. Soriano is celebrating a game winning hit of some sort.

Rounding out all the fun Tom finished up with a Josh Reddick, Ballpark Fun subset.You can put me on the list of people who aren't too fond of these cards showing the pie in the face antics. I decided to attempt to build the entire 2013 Opening Day, and since these are part of that I'm collecting these as well.

Tom sent a great batch of cards my way. More than anything I was happy that I had two cards he needed for his 1987 project. Being able to help out a fellow blogger complete one of their goals is one of the great things about blogging. From what I can tell on Tom's blog. He completed the set, and is just waiting for the few remaining cards to arrive in the mail. Congrats on finishing so fast, and thank you for allowing me to be a part of it.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Fuji Takes Me Across The Country

On January 4th I did a post about a day trip running around hitting Goodwill's with a stop into a card shop. During that trip I took a run at two sets on the wantlist. I guess a fair way to put it would be a subset, and a self created set.

The self created set was the 2010 Upper Deck stadiums. There is just something about stadiums that I have always loved. When it comes to the game of baseball my favorite thing about going to a game is running around the stadium. When we first started going to Safeco Field to watch the Mariners my first desire would be to start checking out the stadium. I did it over, and over until I saw everything the stadium had to offer. Even now there are things I have found still need to be checked out. One day I'll get more into that, but not today.

This love of stadiums is what led me to buying the first few cards when I saw them at a card show last year. Getting those couple cards home I had to see what was with these cards, and if there were more. A small amount of research revealed that there was a card for each stadium. The cards were a part of the 2010 Upper Deck set. Next up was going after the entire group with a vengeance.

After visiting the two stores I knew would finish the set I came up two cards short. This is where the great blogger Fuji who runs the fantastic blog 'The Chronicles of Fuji' came to the rescue. Fuji was one of two bloggers who responded, and offered up the remaining cards. Today when I arrived home Fuji's PWE was in the mailbox waiting for me. Included was what has to be one of my favorite baseball cards.

That's Right! I am now the proud owner of an autographed San Jose Fuji card. I've seen these on many other blogs, and often thought I need one of those. For some reason I just never contacted Fuji, and worked on a trade for one. Now I have one in my personal collection, and don't ask its not for trade. It's a very well done card Fuji that you should be proud of. I see that it has the number one, hopefully there is a two or one being considered in the future. Included with this masterpiece was the reason Fuji contacted me originally.

While some of these cards I think could have better pictures. This one is well done if you ask me. One of these days I'll break down the set, but today isn't that day. I'm still waiting for the last card to arrive. Throw in I have to think about how to do this as I have a couple older sets with ballparks on them to showcase. Once I figure it out get ready for the flood gates to open. Until then enjoy the photography used for this single card, and visit Fuji's blog. The guy does some great stuff that like this blog covers all sort of various goodies.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

2014 The Make or Break Year

While I have already done the 2014 goals post recently. I still keep seeing these pop up from time to time the last couple weeks. Every time one comes up I can't help, but think about how this year is going to be a crazy one in so many ways. Making the goals for collecting to try, and give me something to shoot for is only part of the story.

Not goals by any means, but there will be so much going on in 2014. Lets start with the fact that I need to lose weight, and have started by jogging in place in the house. Its going to be a building process as currently I can only do a couple minutes of jogging, and a couple of walking before I'm done. This is mind blowing to me as I work a very physical job. How I can do that job for 10 hours, and then not be able to do more is beyond me, but it happens. Currently my jogging is short, but it will build. I did this same thing in 2010, and got into a habit, and rocked it.That year both the wife, and me were losing weight for a Disney World trip so we had a goal. This year is just me, and my desire to fit into my clothes again.

Adding to all the business will be project the wife has planned for me. Looking around the house it hit her we have so much stuff here that needs done. First is she wants to get new carpet for the house. Before doing the carpet we need to scrape the popcorn ceiling in most the house. Then comes the fun of painting all, but two rooms as the two are already done. The most interesting room will be what was the daughters bedroom, but is now a storage for her junk. Before moving into it originally she wanted it painted a lime green color as she was into Tinkerbell, and the color fit. Things change though as I plan on possibly moving my hobby room there as its a bigger room than what I currently have. Moving in there would give me more room to spread out, and work on my hobbies. Just the thought of painting over that bright color before replacing it with something I like doesn't sound like much fun.

Finishing off the project are two things I really am looking forward to. First is we desperately need new furniture, and so something comfortable to sit on is a great thing. Second is we have talked for a long time about putting up pictures from our vacations in the living room. Its been almost 14 years of living here, and still no pictures. With my enjoyment of doing the Goodwill thing I believe I'll be able to find some frames. Once that starts happening it'll just be picking, and adding the pictures.

All these projects should make for an interesting year. As I've said a ton recently. If I can stop procrastinating we will be ok. The good thing is I'm ready to get going, but the weather hasn't been helping out. So far I've started the year off right as I've done a few things with the collection to use some of this built up energy. Now just need to keep running with it, and all will be golden. Who knows... Maybe if I get all these projects done this year my procrastinating won't be an issue anymore. Until then I guess I can just dream.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


This past Saturday I had the grand plan to make my way up to Portland, and hit the card show. Normally I go to the show on the other end of town. Thinking why not mix it up a bit, and do the other show. Problem was small bits of doubt were running through my mind. Being Christmas wasn't long ago my first thought was it might have less dealers than a normal show. Still thinking it might be fun to go, and see a show since its been awhile. Still on the fence as it would be a good idea the decision was made for me.

Watching the news they started talking about the high winds in Portland. Going with these winds were gusts that hit in the range of 45 miles an hour. Not a fan of dealing with gusts while driving a car at 65 I gave up on the whole idea of Portland. Wanting to still do something I decided on Salem, and hitting the two Goodwill's in town. Making my way into town I went to the first store where my best discoveries are usually found. Sadly I'll just leave it at I hit both stores in town, and came home empty handed. Looking to get a card fix I came up with the plan to hit the card shop in town between the two stores.

Going in I went straight for his 700 count boxes of 2013 singles. My goal was to see if there wasn't just some stuff in there for myself, but possibly some goodies for trading. While I didn't find much for my personal collection I did come up with the following cards which are all for trade. So if you need one or all the cards let me know, and they are yours.

2013 Topps

GOLD- #US123 Tom Gorzelanny (1754/2013)
EMERALD- #622 Alcides Escobar

Post Season Heroes- #19 Jim Palmer
Post Season Heroes- #1 David Freese
Chasing History- #100 Phil Niekro (shiny style)
Chasing History- #69 Sandy Koufax

Next is where this post gets its name from. Looking around the store I noticed a stack of three boxes of Opening Day on the shelf. Noticing that there weren't any 2013 boxes out to be opened I asked if he would bring down one of the boxes so I could get some packs of 2013 Opening Day. Buying four packs I saw the first four cards I will be showing. All of which are for trade.

2012 Opening Day

M-15 Kansas City Royals mascot
M-11 "Billy" The Marlin
Superstar Celebrations- #SC-5 Joey Votto 
Superstar Celebrations- #1 Matt Kemp

Thinking I was doing great as I can use a decent amount of 2013 Superstar Celebrations cards. I was pretty pumped, and bought two more packs.

Diving Catch - #ES19 Mike Stanton
Fantasy Squad- #FS23 Matt Kemp
blue parallel- #160 Carlos Ruiz (168/2012)

Wondering what was up as I didn't recognize the final two subset cards from 2013. It wasn't until arriving at home it finally hit me that I had just bought six packs of cards for a set I'm only building the mascot cards from. Sadly the two I got are two already in the collection. My moment of blindness might help someone out there with their set. If you are that person let me know, and lets get get these in your collection.

Monday, January 13, 2014


There are so many historical numbers in baseball. While the number 5,714 is important in the record books. With so many records out there it is one that not many remember. We remember all the home run records as most of us have them ingrained in our mind. Some of us have the number 2,632 in our minds as it's the final tally for Cal Ripken Jr's consecutive games streak. There are just so many numbers, but 5,714 isn't one that gets a ton of time.

 Luckily for me Cliff from the online group TradingBases knows the importance of the number 5,714. How do I know this? Cliff was kind enough to send me a PWE that contained just that very number.

Cliff has just been waaaay to good to me lately. This card marks the second time Cliff has sent me a PWE in less than a month. The first PWE contained five new Nolan Ryan cards for the collection. Not finished Cliff once again showed off his generosity by dropping the card above on me. Adding new cards to the Ryan collection is often quite the slow process. Cliff seems to have cornered the market on adding new cards into this collection.

What I have been learning from all this is if you need any new cards for a player collection. Look to a collector of the same player as he'll know what you need.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

I Want Your Opinion.... So Give It To Me!

Before getting into the advice or opinion part of this post. Lets start with a little history, and why I am looking for your opinion. An opinion that might be huge in the shaping of my baseball card collecting.

When I started collecting baseball cards as a kid my goal back then was to collect every Chicago Cubs card made. Being young at the time, and knowing nothing more than the Cubs it was all about getting cardboard of players from my favorite team. My only two options to acquiring these cards were buying packs at the towns lone gas station/convenience store. The second was on the rare trips to Provo when my dad worked a Saturday. Head to the card shop in town, and buy either a team set or singles from past seasons. Using these two methods I had quite the collection of Cubs cards. As with any person when they grow older things changed drastically.

My loyalty to the Cubs changed as I moved on to collecting only Nolan Ryan cards. Deep down inside I was still a Cubs fan, but had no desire to collect their cards. The Cubs binder would be cast aside, and Nolan Ryan would be the focus. I collected mostly everything that had Nolan Ryan on it. The exception were the team leader cards, or the Fleer cards with two players posing together. Some of these still haven't made their way into the binder. This was my player era of collecting.

After the Ryan era came another era in my collecting. This era we will call the set era. Life had changed again as the Cubs were gone, and replaced by the Colorado Rockies. Nolan Ryan was still the man, but getting his cards were no longer a passion. While I do still add his cards, and need to organize this part of my collection. Trying to build some of the sets from when I collected in the past became the new focus. During this time I wasn't terribly committed to the idea, but gave it a little of my time.

All this has led me to where my collecting is right now. Currently the collecting stands at a mixture of the last two collecting era's. Since starting this blog I came back with a force on trying to complete sets. Not only do I have the old sets still being worked on, but a big batch of new sets have come into the picture. Along with the sets I've been toying with collecting a few players for player collections. The player collections have been a year long process of narrowing down who if anyone I wanted to collect. Finally I narrowed it down to the big two of Mike Trout, and Wilin Rosario.
          Thrown into the mix are Kyle Seager, and Juan Nicasio as secondary player collections. My guess is in the not so distant future these two will either be full blown wants or will finally fall to the wayside. Lurking into this group is new Mariners catcher Mike Zunino. Mike is someone I currently have two cards of, and am undecided on where to go with him. His fate lies in the hands of the Nicasio, and Seager collections. If one falls to the wayside odds are Zunino will step in.

While all this is a blast, and has me enjoying collecting baseball cards like when I was a kid. This has left me a dilemma. As anyone knows there are a ton of Mike Trout cards out there. Hopefully Rosario joins into this fun along with one, two, or all three of the secondary guys. Lets be honest though, my problem currently falls with Trout.
       This is where I am looking for advice, or honestly an answer to a question. Being new to both sets, and players at the same time. When you buy packs of cards for a set you are building, and you get a card for a player you collect. Do you put the card in your set first, or do you put it with the player collection? So far I have no set method. Sometimes the card ends up in the Trout collection. Other times he ends up with the set he goes into. The plan for my collecting is to get two of the same cards. One for the player collection, and one for the set collection. Sometimes this might take awhile, but hopefully eventually I will get two cards. Keeping the two cards in mind, which way do you, or in this case which direction do I possibly go?   

Friday, January 10, 2014

Harry "the cat" Brecheen

With a blog name like 'The Prowling Cat' its only natural that this blog pays tribute to players who have cat nicknames. Until today the count was at two with those players being Don 'Tiger' Kaiser, and Andres 'Big Cat' Galarraga. Today the list grows to three as Harry "the cat" Brecheen joins the pride.

(card from internet search)

Born in Broken Bow. Oklahoma. Harry got his nickname of 'the cat' from his defensive ability. Harry spent his entire MLB career with St. Louis teams after being acquired in 1938. The lefty wouldn't make his first start with the St. Louis Cardinals until 1943. With a career 2.92 ERA, and a 133-92 it was the World Series when Harry would really shine. Playing in the 1944 World Series, and pitching in game four. Harry would win what was his only game by pitching a complete game, and only giving up one run. Eventually his team the Cardinals would beat their  same town rivals the St. Louis Browns 4 games to 2.

Two years later a return to the series came again. This time the team opposite the Cardinals were the Boston Red Sox. Brecheen would dominate the series by becoming the first lefty to win three games in a World Series. Even more impressive was how he did it. Both starts ended in complete games with game two being a 3-0 shutout. Game 6 would end with the Cardinals winning again 4-1. Still not finished Brecheen would appear in the deciding game 7, and get the win. Closing out the series Harry would end with a 0.45 ERA, and a 3-0 record in 20 innings. When he was done Brecheen owned the World Series career ERA record of 0.83 until 1976 when it was broken by Jack Billingham who would end his career with a 0.30 ERA.

The 1946 series would be his last as the Cardinals never appeared again while Brecheen wore a Cardinals uniform. Becoming a St. Louis Brown for the 1953 season as a player coach. Brecheen would go 5-13 before retiring at seasons end. Becoming a pitching coach from 1954 until 1967 for the Browns franchise. Even when the team moved from St. Louis to Baltimore, and became the Orioles. Sadly Mr. Brecheen passed away January 17, 2004 at the age of 89. 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Colin For MVP

Not long ago Colin who hails from the online trading group TradingBases sent out an e-mail to the group of some sets he was looking to finish. Luckily for both of us I had a few of the cards he was looking for. Embracing the inner blogger in me I never warned him that going through his webpage wants there were going to be some tagalongs. He asked for a warning if I found more for other sets, but what fun would that be? Sending him the cards he dropped an e-mail on me that a return would be coming full of cards for my 2003 MVP set.

Excited about getting some hits to a set that comes, and goes in the forgotten category. It seems like that the 2003 MVP will go for a long period with nothing. Then suddenly out of the blue a great trader like Colin will drop a batch of the cards on my doorstep.

The fantastic thing about what Colin did is not only did he drop some cards on me for the set. Colin dropped 42 cards off the list of remaining cards. What you see in this post is just a small sampling of the greatness Colin sent my way. Inspired by Colin's batch of cards. While at the card shop on Saturday I ended up buying two packs of cards which yielded a couple more cards that were missing. For not only the great package, but unknowingly pushing me to attempt more on the set. You are an MVP in my book Colin.