Friday 30 April 2010

A big pile of baseball cards

I have mentioned on a number of occasions that I keep my ears open for people travelling to the USA. A polite enquiry as to whether they would mind obtaining some baseball cards is never turned down. When my friend, who happens to be the head of the school I work in, ventured another holiday to Florida I didn't even need to ask. 'Would you like me to get some baseball cards?' she questioned.

Let me think...

Yes please.

Unfortunately mid-way through the two week holiday, an Icelandic volcano erupted. What followed was airport closures and no air traffic in or out of Europe. Major disruption all over, with no foreseeable end. My friend and her family were 'stranded' by the turmoil, somewhere in Florida. The family's two week holiday grew to four. She returned to school today after landing late last night.

I'm pretty sure I know what I would be doing if I found myself on an extended holiday, far from home. My friend, however finding she had more time on her hands than normal, was called daily by the fiendish siren, that is Walmart. Her weakness was to my benefit. On every trip some baseball cards were purchased. My haul, and I do not use that term loosely, was ;

4 Jumbo packs of 2010 'Unauthorised' Upper Deck series 1,
9 Jumbo packs of 2010 Topps Heritage,
1 Topps Match Attax starter set,
9 packs of 2010 Topps Attax.
She is meant to return in June for a short break. Anyone know the chances of Volcanic eruptions around June 20th?

Thursday 29 April 2010

Panini Adrenalyn XL World Cup trading cards

The Football World Cup moves ever closer and its time to look at the second set of cards available. Panini have two sets celebrating the World Cup, the first offering from Panini is Adrenalyn XL World Cup edition. This is in direct competition to Match Attax however Panini have also produced two European football editions called 'Foot 2010-Adrenalyn XL', 'Calciatori -Adrenalyn XL' and there is a basketball version of Adrenalyn XL too. As it is with all the trading card sets produced of late, you can purchase as a starter set ; a book to hold your cards, a playing mat, instructions, 3 packs and a limited edition card. I bought 7 packs (because that was all the money I had in my pocket at the time) plus I was given a free pack as part of a promotion. There are 6 cards per pack and these are a 'special UK Edition'.
There are 350 cards to collect;
250 in the base set.
25 Star Players - 1in 4 packs
25 Goal Stoppers -1 in 4 packs
25 Fan favourites -1in 8 packs
25 Champions - 1 in 25 packs
Although I haven't seen any, there are meant to be special material cards. The odds of finding one of these relics is not stated.

The free pack:
Mario Gomez Germany
Diego Forlan Uruguay
Vincent Enyeama Nigeria Goal Stopper
Bosingwa Portugal
Arjen Robben Netherlands
Gilberto Silva Brazil
Pack 1:
Yaya Toure Ivory Coast Star Player
Didier Zokora Ivory Coast
Julio Cesar Brazil
Christian Poulsen Denmark
Andrea Pirlo Italy
Michael Essien GhanaPack 2:
Harry Kewell Australia
Sergio Romero Argentina
Milos Krasic Serbia
Aleksandar Kolarov Serbia
Arjen Robben Netherlands
Lukas Podolski Germany

Pack 3:
John Obi Mikel Nigeria Fan Favourite
Hugo Lloris France
Jermain Defoe England
Dennis Rommedahl Denmark
Joseph Yobo Nigeria
Carlos Bocanegra USA

Pack 4:
David Beckham England
Fabio Cannavaro Italy
Steve Cherundolo USA
Angel Di Maria Argentina
Diego Lugano Uruguay
Julio Cesar Brazil Goal Stopper
Pack 5:
Tim Howard USA Goal Stopper
Michael Ballack Germany
Daniel Jensen Denmark
Frank Lampard England
Peter Pekarik Slovakia
Lucio Brazil
Pack 6:
Didier Drogba Ivory Coast
Simon Kjaer Denmark
Lucas Neill Australia
Jozy Altidore USA
Salvator Cabanas Paraguay Star Player
Raul Albiol Spain

Pack 7:
Clint Dempsey USA
Florent Malouda France
Javier Zanetti Argentina
Andre Ooijer Netherlands
Nicklas Bendtner Denmark
Milivoje Novakovic Serbia

I like these. A varied selection of international (and premiership) players. Quite a few unknowns and they couldn't have found a worse picture of David Beckham if they tried.

Tuesday 20 April 2010

2005 Topps Draft Pick #UH317

So a little birthday money came my way and what better way to spend it than on baseball cards. While packs of baseball cards would have been nice, I have neglected my player collection Pursuit of Jacoby, to conclude some of the various other sets in my repertoire. So I decided to use this unforseen windfall on some earlier Jacoby's that have escaped me. This 2005 Topps Update #UH317 is the first card to arrive.
I am surprised that it arrived from the USA so soon. If you haven't heard an Icelandic Volcano called Eyjafjallajökull, (my son commented 'It looks like someone just typed random letters on the keyboard) erupted bringing all European air travel to a halt. No outbound or inbound air traffic for 6 days now. The Easter school holidays were just finishing, so millions of people (by estimate) trying to get home were left stranded all over the world, and until today I presumed there would be no airmail.
The idea of an unexpected holiday extension sounds brilliant but I think the reality of sleeping on the floor of an airport departure lounge is harrowing. As fresh eruptions continue spewing a towering wall of ash, dust and steam high into the air it is thought that chaos it has caused will continue for many months.

Saturday 17 April 2010

Trade with Roy from Paper Chase

A little while ago I sent out a call for 2009 Goodwin Champions, as this was the set I had chosen to complete in 2009. I am fully aware that a little poetic licence has been taken to call this a baseball set, roughly a quarter of the base set of 150 cards are non-baseball. I think they did a damn fine job and the inserts are unique. A personal favourite is the Entomology series of 30 cards, who would think of putting butterflies and baseball together.
Roy from A Paper Chase answered the call and sent 21 cards from the wants list. As an extra bonus he also included the Big Papi jersey. Thank you Roy for the generous trade.

I need 91 to complete the base set;

1, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 22, 23, 24, 29, 31, 32, 33, 35, 40, 41, 42, 44, 46, 47, 52, 53, 54, 56, 59, 60, 61, 63, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 80, 83, 87, 89, 90, 91, 93, 94, 95, 97, 98, 100, 101, 102, 104, 106, 107, 108, 109, 113, 115, 116, 117, 120, 121, 124, 126, 127, 128, 130, 131, 132, 134, 135, 136, 137, 139, 140, 143, 145, 147 ,148 ,150

Friday 16 April 2010

Match Attax World Cup Edition

There are only 60 days until the start of the Football World Cup in South Africa. The World Cup fever that descends across England has already started; predictions of raising the FIFA trophy as winning finalists, concerns that England have some great players just not a great squad, player infidelity/injuries, will the girlfriends/wives be allowed to attend and so on. However all English football fans look towards the first game of Group C on the 12th June, that just happens to be England verses the USA.
At present there are 3 different 'World Cup' card/sticker sets available to collect. Topps foray into the football market continues with Match Attax World Cup Edition.
A unique feature for this set, which is not unusual to US collectors, but almost unheard of this side of the pond, is a supermarket special edition pack. The supermarket that has secured this exclusive is TESCO's, who appear to have their fingers in almost every single pie - mobile phones, Internet, insurance, clothing, food! and now collectable trading cards. No extra publicity however, these packs will be referred to as 'International Legend packs'.
I purchased 5 packs on a recent shopping trip. They weren't hard to miss, a massive display as you entered the store. Each of the International Legend packs has 7 cards, the regular packs contain 6 cards. What did the five 'Legend' packs reveal...

Pack 1:
Sir Geoff Hurst England International Legend
Rafael Van Der Vaart Holland
William Gallas France
Nikola Zigic Serbia
Vincente Del Bosque Spanish Manager
Carlos Pavon Honduras
Aaron Lennon England
Pack 2:
Marco Van Basten Holland Star Legend
Fabio Capello England manager
Theofanis Gekas Greece
Waldo Ponce Chile
Carlton Cole England
Wes Brown England
Wayne Rooney England MOM
Pack 3:
Marcel Desailly France International Legend
Jong Tae-Se Korea DPR
Karim Ziani Algeria
Mark Schwarzer Australia
Arthur Boka Ivory Coast
Marcus Tulio Tanaka Japan
Clint Dempsey USA Star Player
Pack 4:
Zico Brazil International Legend
Micheal Ballack Germany
Eduardo Portugal
Fabio Grosso Italy
Iker Casillas Spain
Bakary Sagna France
Park Si-Jung Korea Republic Star Player
Pack 5:
Franz Beckenbauer Germany International Master
Gilberto Silva Brazil
Jean Makoun II Cameroon
Dunga Brazilian Manager
Wayne Bridge England
MacBeth Sibaya South Africa
Stephen Appiah Ghana Star Player

I must admit to liking these special inserts, some brilliant names from the World of football past. I did purchase 1 additional (non-special insert) pack containing 6 cards.

Park Ji-Sung Korea Rebublic Star Player
Robert Koren Slovenia
Marek Hamsik Slovakia
Ramon Nunez Honduras
Serdar Tasci Germany
Arien Robben Holland
If I do decide to purchase any further packs, they will be the International Legend packs. For some reason, I'm sure it is psychological, the packs appear to be lacking without the legend insert. As always if your interested in any packs or packs just e-mail.

Wednesday 14 April 2010

Trade with Ed from Roll out the Barrel

Arriving home from work a few weeks ago the postman had kindly left a package by the front door. He is well aware of the contents of these little packages arriving from the US and doesn't attempt to squeeze them through the letter box. I eagerly opened the said package from Harland Wisconsin while I awaited the arrival of a member of my family who had a key. I surveyed the contents with great satisfaction and had almost worked my way through the backs of the entire collection when up strolled my son, who didn't bat an eye at the fact that I was very early and let me in. That was the last that I saw of the package from Wisconsin until two days ago.
Where had it been? Somehow it had grown legs and walked its way into a pile of papers where it promptly buried itself hoping for peace and quiet. While filing important papers (in the rubbish bin) I stumbled across the missing package. A short heart felt reunion took place, a few tears, some reminiscing and now its time to thank Ed from Roll out the Barrel for the excellent selection of Red Sox, including superb Dice-K cards.
Sorry for the delay in posting (and thanking). Red Sox cards are always a welcome addition to this household.

Sunday 4 April 2010

Trade with Greg from Night Owl

This is what I love about trading cards. The package that Greg sent along included almost all the cards I needed to complete the 1984 Donruss Red Sox set. Cards from this era, in particular Donruss have been elusive. To receive these 12 cards in one throw is brilliant. Not to stop there Greg also included a mixture of cards from 1974 up to 2010.
Thanks Greg. As always its great to trade.

Thursday 1 April 2010

Trade with Big B from Waxaholic

Waxaholic does it again. He has blown me away with these three relic cards that arrived in the post last week. I do not have a quad swatch in my collection so this is a very welcome addition, nor did I have a 'red swatch'. Practice jersey perhaps?
Nice to see the Man Ram alongside his former team-mates, although listed as a Dodger.
Thanks Big B.

Brian also included some lovely Junk Wax, which is always welcome and busted at 'Pursuit of Red Sox,