Thursday, July 31, 2014

Card of the Day - 2013 Bowman Chrome : Onelki Garcia Base Blue Refractor Parallel ( 88 / 250 )

Down to two Dodgers left in my pursuit of the blue parallel set. Both are rookies with Onelki getting the call up last year for a cup of coffee in the bigs. With all the pitchers the Dodgers have in the fold I seriously doubt Onelki will see much time this year with the big league team unless there are a lot of injuries and in that case all I would have to say about the 2014 season is, uh oh.

Just like Paco I found a seller on eBay that had this card up on a buy it now auction with a best offer attached to it. Sent in my offer of $2 which was only a dollar and quarter off his asking price. No counter as he accepted it and I gladly sent him the money to get one step closer to finishing the Dodger subset.

88 of 250

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Card of the Day - 2013 Bowman Chrome : Paco Rodriguez Base Blue Refractor Parallel ( 204 / 250 )

3 Dodgers left on my Bowman Chrome blue parallel set. Still looking to complete the whole set of 440 so each card helps but finishing the Dodger part of it was/is at the top of my list.

Paco is one I have lost out on a few times on eBay as there seems to be a premium on his card due to it being a rookie card. I have my set limits on cost and his auctions always exceeded it. That is until I came across this seller that had it on a buy it now auction but also included a best offer option. Sent him an offer and he accepted the $1.50 bid.

Check one more off the list and now I was/am down to two Dodgers left.

204 of 250

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Card of the Day - 2013 Bowman Chrome : Hanley Ramirez Base Blue Refractor Parallel ( 161 / 250 )

Chugging right along in my pursuit to complete this set and I finally got my hands on Hanley. Again with most Dodgers not named Puig or Kershaw, Hanley here has not been up for sale on eBay that much. So when this came up for the same price of just a buck there was no way I could pass on that.

With the addition on this card I now have all the veterans on the Dodgers. Now I just need to work on the last three which are all rookies with the last one being a biggie in player and cost.

161 / 250

State of the Dodgers : Probable Last "Threshold" Passed While Still In First . . . 750K

I've been doing these posts every time I have surpassed any 100K level ( 300K, 400K etc. ) as I have been in first each time since I took over the top spot back in the 200K's. My last post I was still in first when I crossed 700K but I knew that would be coming to an end soon and I even stated that would probably be my last entry showing me in first while passing any significant point level. Surprisingly 6 weeks after that last post I am still in first as I passed 750K. Normally I only do one of these posts every 100K but as you can see from the leader board below I am about to be passed.

The second place contestant has shaved off almost my entire lead in the past 6 weeks as I now stand in first with less than 500 points separating the two of us. The top 5 have not changed as I have even widened my lead on the 3rd-5th players as I know they don't do this everyday. As stated in previous posts I know how and why my lead has basically disappeared but I will not do what the other person has been doing to remain number one. I do have certain "internet standards" that I won't cross and that is why my lead is gone. I expect it to disappear this week as the Dodgers are back in town and that is when the lead is chipped away on a daily basis.

So I will enjoy possibly my last day in first and say it has been a blast being on top for all this time. I still haven't won anything with all these points and I may never will but I will continue to earn them on a daily basis with the hope that one day I will. Till then I will use them for discounts at the MLB store. Kershaw Jersey anyone?

Last main threshold while in 1st

Monday, July 28, 2014

Card of the Day - 2013 Bowman Chrome : Andre Ethier Base Blue Refractor Parallel ( 209 / 250 )

Inching closer to completing the blue parallel set for the Dodgers and Ethier here was one of the last to finally find a home. Need just a few more.

With the demand for Ethier cards being low for the most part I do not see many copies of this card up for sale on eBay very often and when I do they are asking way to much for my taste. I might have to start looking at other venues to finish my set needs.

Finally saw this card for a reasonable price and snatched it up at that moment not knowing if I will ever see one at that low of a price again ($1). Only 4 more cards to go to complete the Dodger set. I am ever so close.

209 of 250

Attended Game Recap : MAVERICKS 8 @ Quakes 5 On July 26th, 2014

With the Howie signing and movie behind us it was time for the wife and I to meet up with our friends in Ontario for the Quakes game.

Husband and wife Frank and Janet with their son Joey and his better half Kaitlyn were dressed and ready to take in a ballgame. We were celebrating my mother's and Janet's birthday and even though we don't need a reason to get together it is always great to see our friends.

We arrived about a hour prior to the start of the game and I was till in autograph hounding mode. I had 4 autographs I wanted to acquire. More Julio Urias before he is promoted or God forbid traded, James Baldwin, Chris Anderson which I knew became a long shot as I found he was the starting pitcher so that limited the window if and when he would sign and Tom Windle. I headed down to the area above the walkway from the dressing room to the dugout where the players come out and I chose to sit on the dugout side as no other autograph seekers were there as all of them were on the opposite side of the walkway. Sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't. Also, I wouldn't be post game graphing which meant I had to acquire all my autographs pre game.

First person that I needed that game out was Chris Anderson and he denied me and everyone else as he kept saying "after" he would sign which I assumed meant after the game. Well there went my chance for him for the day. Next up was James Baldwin and after he set his stuff on the bench in the dugout he came back and starting signing for fans but was doing the other side and not my side. Luckily I got his attention and I was the second to last person he signed for. Thank you for the autograph James.

Next up was Julio Urias. Now I already have his autograph on a few things but I want more. Yeah, I can be greedy. Since I was on my own and I wanted a ball and a photo signed I had to figure out how to do this. Well I was the second person he signed for and I handed him my 8x10 photo first of him in a Loons uniform as I already have him in a Dodgers uniform that he signed for me last month. I had him use this new blue paint marker I bought and I think it came out great. Thank you for the 1st autograph Julio.

Now I wanted a black ball signed by Julio so I stowed my photos away and went on the opposite side of the walkway where everyone else was and got in the back of the line and pulled out a ball I wanted signed along with a gold paint marker. He had some problem with the person next to me and I didn't have enough time to bleed out my pen prior to him grabbing the ball so he signed it with a slightly dry pen. Still a decent autograph and once again thank you Julio for signing for me and all the fans. You might be only 17 but you have been a class act every time I've met you.

After that I stayed around waiting for Tom Windle and he never came out. Don't know what happened but hopefully he and Chris Anderson will be there next year as I don't think we are going to another Quakes game this year. Well I guess 4 autographs for the day is better than no autographs for a day.

Onto the game.

National Anthem

Quakes mascot Tremor

The Quakes and the Mavericks had a dual no hitter going into the 4th inning but that quickly vanished as by the end of the game the teams put up a combined total of 13 runs. A couple of mammoth home runs by Quakes player Chris Jacobs and a Maverick player that I can't remember the name of as I am too lazy to look it up highlighted the scoring. It was an entertaining game even though there were multiple mental and physical errors committed by the Quake players.

The wife and I had a great time but the best part is always the time we get to spend with friends and family. As always it was great to see Janet, Frank, Joey and Kaitlyn and hopefully we can meet up again in the near future.

We are at a baseball game and mom is the only one watching the game
At least someone is doing what you come to the ballpark for
= )

Player Appearance Recap / Signing : Howie Kendrick @ WSS Shoes On July 26th, 2014

The wife and I were heading out to Ontario to meet up with our friends and family and to take in a Quakes game later in the day. I obviously was in the autograph mode and was ready to acquire some more autographs at the Quake game. More on that on the next blog entry.

While I was looking at movie times ( saw Lucy which was a very good movie and not very long if your attention span is short ) a couple days earlier and I saw that Howie Kendrick was doing a public signing at a shoe store in Anaheim right off the 91 and 5 freeways which meant it wouldn't be that much out of the way on our trip to Ontario. I have seen from recent past signings with Howie that the lines haven't been overly long and that some people went back into line and got more than one autograph. With the signing scheduled to begin at 10 or so what I was told, I thought if we left at 10 and arrived around 10:30ish that the line would be short and I could hop in and out in about 15 minutes flat considering what I have heard. Ran it by the wife to see if she was OK with that and she said sure ( great wife, thank you again, plus I think it doesn't hurt when it's an Angel since she is fan of theirs ). Packed and ready to go we left at 10 on the dot.

We arrived a tad after 10:40 and as we drove by there was a crowd in front of the store. Would say at least 150 people but there was no real line. Wife and I both thought that it was just people milling around after the signing and we could still go there and get the autograph and leave. Parked and walked towards the store and we informed that no this was a "line" waiting for Howie who's signing was scheduled to start at 11. Uh... OK? I debated on leaving but an employee of the store said if you buy $20 worth of merchandise you can get into the VIP and pointed to the a line against a rail that had about 25 people in it. We both agreed why not and entered the store and ended up with 3 pairs of shoes. With shoes in hand we headed towards the VIP line.

Exited the store and went over to where the employee said the line was. It ended at the sidewalk and we ended up talking to a couple for about 5 minutes until a security guard approached us and asked were we there for an autograph. Responded yes and that we had bought merchandise so we were allowed into the VIP line. He agreed that we were allowed to stand in said line but that line was snaked around 5 more barriers that had no interconnecting sections to indicate that it was part of any line. So now instead of being 25th or so in line we were now at least 100th in line. Nice....not.

Howie arrived right at 11 and started to sign right away but what should have been a 15 or so minute wait now became a little over a hour wait. If I would have known how unorganized this event would be I would have skipped it and got Howie at a future event. I only expected to be there till 11 at most but now we were there till almost 12:15.

What I can say though is that Howie was engaging to everyone and was polite and cordial. I have heard he was this way but it was the first time I have experienced it myself as I have never been able to acquire his autograph before. I arrived at his station after about a hour in line and he signed a 8x10 photo that I brought which I think came out great. He also posed with me for a picture that was developed in a tent near by. A nice little bonus.

Event was highly disorganized with wrong information given out to people ( various start times given out were 9,10 and 11 ) and false promises were given to people that chose not to purchase anything and were regulated to a general signing area. When I left there was at least 100 more people behind me and Howie was only going to be there for another 30 minutes. Sorry to those people as I know they did not all receive an autograph. Thank you again to Howie for my autograph.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Card of the Day - 2007 Topps '52 : Andy LaRoche Autograph Red Ink Variant ( 25 / 52 )

The $3 eBay special strikes again.

I was eBay dumpster diving again for autographs of past Dodgers and came across this one of former super prospect Andy LaRoche. He had so much promise and fans expected a lot. He finally made it to the big leagues and proceeded to bomb. He was traded to the Pirates in the Manny Ramirez trade and since then has been on two other teams. He is on the wrong side of 30. Oh what could have been.

A seller had this variant up for just $2.99 and I just couldn't pass it up as it was also hand numbered. It was a traditional auction so I had to wait the week to see if I would win the card and when it ended I was the winner. A nice variant card of a prospect that didn't live up to the hype but I welcome it to my collection nonetheless.

Love the retro look

25 of only 52

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Card of the Day - 2007 Bowman Chrome : Ivan DeJesus Jr. Base Refractor Autograph

A career that did not pan out as planned is the way I look at Ivan's. A lot of promise was attached to Ivan by the Dodgers and while he did make the club a few times it just never worked out. He was then traded to the Red Sox in the blockbuster deal that brought among others Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, etc. He played for the BoSox but never recorded a hit and then in the off season was traded to the Pirates and now is stuck in their minor league system.

I have never looked for his autograph on a ball or a card but this Bowman Chrome card showed up on one of my searches one day on eBay. With only a $2 opening bid I decided to throw in for that amount and that amount only. Since I didn't really care if I won it or not I put the bid in days prior to it's close and was informed a couple days later that I won it for $2. I can now say I have an Ivan Dejesus Jr. autograph.

Friday, July 25, 2014

BGS Submission Update Six - 2013 Topps Chrome : Clayton Kershaw Short Print Photo Variation Now Graded and Slabbed a Gem Mint 9.5

And once again we have reached the end of the week which means the final entry of my most recent BGS submission batch.

As per the norm the last entry is always a Dodger and always gem mint. I've had Ryu and Koufax spotlighted before as a last entry and once again we have a pitcher as Kershaw is the topic of today's post.

I have always loved this card as Kershaw is a dominant pitcher and 99% of his cards show him at his best doing his craft. This one though shows him after doing something on the offensive side of the ball. The card comes from the 2013 Topps Chrome series and is the short print photo variation. I just had to have this card and when I saw it online. I thought it would grade out nicely if I ever decided to go that route.

The card wasn't a priority as a few batches came and went and I didn't include this card in any of them. Well then the no-hitter happened and it was the perfect time to finally get it graded. My belief never wavered as I still thought it would grade out to a gem mint 9.5 and that's exactly what happened with only the corners being nicked to a 9.0. The other sub grades were 9.5 which meant the overall is 9.5.

This is my favorite non autograph card of Kershaw and with this now graded I am the proud owner of the only one that has been graded this high. Like most cards in this batch this one is not really an investment piece but just a great card that is nicely encased with a great grade.

Well that ends yet another week of BGS cards. I thought I was done with my submissions but I just received two cards that I may drop off. I might also wait a little to see if some of my Topps redemptions make it to my house prior to another batch. We shall see. Till then it was a great group of gem mints with the exception of the couple of disappointments on autographs.

Card of the Day - 2014 Topps : Hyun-Jin Ryu Manufactured Patch Insert

Another pre-release bargain purchase was had with this patch card of our favorite Korean Dodger.

Like Kershaw and Puig in series 1, Topps did a manufactured relic card of Ryu for series 2. I saw it on the checklist when it was released a couple weeks prior to the actual set release and put it on my need list. A few days later I went on eBay to see if anyone was pre-selling it and I found a couple with this one being the least costly. Traditional auction was my plan of attack as the BIN one was asking $10 for the card.

Last day came and went and like the red foil Dodger set I was the only one to bid on the card. Won it for a few bucks and welcomed it to my every growing collection of the Korean sensation.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Card of the Day - 2014 Topps : Pedro Martinez Class Ring Insert

Always heartbreaking to see Pedro on a card when he is in Dodger blue. What could have been for the team if they held on to him. I still contend that that this was worse trade since I became a fan in 1981. A lot of people say it was the Piazza trade but at least we got to enjoy him for awhile and received some decent players in return. I won't even rehash the Pedro trade other than to say it was bad.

Another continuation insert set from Topps but unlike series 1 there is only one Dodger to acquire in series 2. Ramon's little brother Pedro. This card became another purchase from the hip as there was no set book amount yet and history of eBay sales were just coming around. There are two parallels for this card but I have no interest in those and I am happy and content with this base version of a future Hall of Fame inductee.

Cashing In With Alex Of Chavez Ravining

Don't remember when Alex did a post (I'm too lazy to go through his archives) on his excess inventory of autograph cards and that they could be had via trade or if you had any Chavez Points aka his blog's version of currency. Well, well, well...

I didn't have anything of note for trade and normally I wouldn't have gone after the cards BUT I had a massive amount of Chavez points from a trade we had done earlier. I was on top of the leader board with a total way over 1000 points. Well I never knew what I was going to do with them but when he did the post stating that people could use Chavez points to acquire these autographs I thought to myself why not.

Most of the players are fringe players and none fill any of my set needs but I love autograph cards and my thinking is I can use them for trade or even pay it forward on some contest I do. Be kind of funny if Alex wins his card(s) back.

I sent Alex a note I would take any and all that were still left as one other blogger had put a bid in for a few. After that was done I took the rest which was a total of 15. Here are the cards :

Topps Chrome of Adam Eaton and Kyle Gibson. Great condition on the cards and would be candidates for grading if they were Dodgers or big stars. I turned one of Alex's Puig cards into a nice BGS gem mint in the past so I know the good karma would be there.

A foursome of Bowman Sterling.
Roman Quinn, Austin Wilson and Cord Sandberg with some nice on card autographs. But why is Brad Miller a sticker variety? On a "premium" brand I would expect more from Bowman.

Jesse Winker, Andrew Mitchell and Erich Weiss in America's colors the good old red, white and blue. Nice simple Topps cards with on card autographs.

Jaye Chapman and Tony Campana.
Two players I know nothing about and two cards I would never go after under normal circumstances.
Non licensed and sticker autographs.

Another sticker and non licensed card in the form of Derrick Robinson and 2009 Upper Deck card of Alberto Gonzalez.

And to finish the batch up we have a Bowman Inception on card autograph of Daniel Corcino and a Bowman Chrome of Shawon Dunston Jr.

15 autographs
Many Chavez Points
No cash.
How can I not love this transaction?

Thank you again to Alex for first having a point system that I was able to use and also for putting these cards up for trade. If anyone is interested in these cards for trade feel free to contact me. I am still looking for 2014 Topps of Dodgers and I think that would be fair a for an autograph or 2.

BGS Submission Update Five - 2013 Topps Five Star : Mike Trout Base ( 40 / 75 ) Now Graded and Slabbed a Gem Mint 9.5

Second of two Trout cards and second to last of the submission blog posts.

The reason that this card is the more prized of the two Trout cards even though they received the same grade is that this card comes from the often damaged Topps Five Star brand as the corners are susceptible to chipping or bending due to the thickness of the cards.

I have had great luck with two other Five Star submissions and as those two came back as gem mint 9.5 I believed that this Trout card would join that group as well. I was right on the money once again and just like the Frank Thomas Five Star card Trout here is the only one in existence that has received a gem mint 9.5 grade. Granted it has been the only only submitted but I know that not all 75 copies of this card can get that grade so I have the first of a probable small handful.

Just like the Finest Trout this one is not really an investment piece but it is a cool looking limited card that has a great grade attached to it now.

5 down with 1 last entry to go. And you know I just love to finish all submission weeks with a Dodger.

New word made by DodgerPenguin
Copyrighted 2014

Only one in existence

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Another Great Trade With Alex Of Chavez Ravining

Alex was in town a couple of weeks ago to attend his first ever nighttime game with his buddy Dikran. Alex and I had been coming up with a trade for quite some time as I posted on my blog of cards I had that were available if anyone wanted them and he claimed a majority of them. You can see what he received in this trade on his blog post seen HERE .

Also stated in his recap post of the attended game he forgot to bring down my cards but promised to ship them to me when he got back home. No biggie. Knew he was good for it.

I really didn't ask him for anything specific so it was a batch of cards that would be unknown to me except for the last one which he did ask if I wanted and I said yes. The only thing in general I stated I needed were the base Dodgers from Topps series 2. He sent a few and then some. There were too many cards for me to post pictures of each as that would take up the whole blog post. Ha Ha. There was also another packet of cards that I will go over tomorrow as they were not part of the trade but from something else. Here are the highlights for me from the trade.

Like Alex has stated in his own posts it seems Topps does horizontal cards better than verticals. Love the Dee one with the ball about to be put into play. And look at Uribear doing something offensive and producing. The terrible 2011 and 12 seasons seem so long ago for Juan. Then you have Puig doing Puig things.

3 horizontals and now 3 verticals. They just seem blah to me. Even with that said I still wanted and needed these for my set needs. That's 6 base cards now I don't need to go hunting for at Frank and Sons.

Love me some Trout cards.
Other than Dodgers, Trout is the only specific player I collect. Needed his base card which Alex added to the pile and I needed the Saber insert and thankfully Alex had that as well. Also included is the red (Target) parallel from series 1 which I did not have. Not to be confused with the red sparkle parallel which I do have. And to top it off Trout's 2014 Heritage card was included as well. Wasn't collecting Heritage and still won't but I gladly will add this Trout card to my collection.

Kershaw gets his own group picture. The left card is the Saber insert which complements the Trout Saber card nicely. Though I love the Dodgers I do not actively pursue any Donruss cards as they are non licensed cards. What is funny though is that Alex has thrown in a few Dodgers in each our past couple of trades and I might have the whole collection now thanks to him. Lol. I'll have to double check on that later.

The "final" card of the batch is this gold parallel of the greatest Dodger lefty prior to Kershaw. One Mr. Koufax.

I already own the base, non numbered version from a case break I was involved in and wasn't looking to acquire this one as I had other cards that held priority. Didn't know Alex had this card but he asked if I was interested in it. How could I say no? Some people are not biggest fans of these manufactured relic cards but for the most part I like them a lot more than the "real" relics. This Koufax is a great addition to my collection.

64 of 99

And that is it for yet another great trade with Alex. He included a lot more cards that included Vladimir Guerrero, Trout and others but these were the big gets for me. Thank you again for the great trade Alex.

BGS Submission Update Four - 2013 Finest : Mike Trout 1993 Retro Insert Now Graded and Slabbed a Gem Mint 9.5

Onto the second half of my recent BGS submission batch and the first of two back to back Trout cards.

I already own two BGS 9.5 Trout cards but I just love these two (other one tomorrow) cards of the Angels superstar. As I've stated many of times before the 1993 Finest set is one of my all-time favorite sets and when Topps decided to do a retro insert based on it in last year's Finest brand I was all over it.

When I purchased this card I knew somewhere down the road I would have it graded as I believed it would earn a gem mint grade. I was worried about the centering on the card but that came back a 9.5. The only sub grade that received a 9 was the corners but with that being the only one of the four the card still received an overall grade of 9.5. Minimal investment potential with this card but that was not the purpose with this card.

One Trout down, one to go.

Card(s) of the Day - 2014 Topps : Dodgers Team Set In Red Foil Parallel Form From Series 2

Haren, Billingsley, Jansen and Guerreo

Series two of Topps flagship set for 2014 was recently released and as with the first series most cards are just a continuation. Whether that be inserts, subsets or just the base cards. I collect two parallels from the main Topps set and those happen to be the blue border cards and these red foil parallels.

Ellis, Crawford, Uribe and Kershaw 

I decided my plan of attack had to change for this go around. Series one I went and tried to acquire one card here, one card there and it took forever to acquire them all. The Puig alone took a good month plus to track down for an acceptable price. I am sure that they could have all been had from one seller but for some reason I didn't think of that. Duh...

Ethier, Kemp, Puig and Dee

So a week prior to the series release I went looking for someone that might have all of the red foils together as a pre-sale. Found two separate sellers that had them grouped together as a team set. One had it on a BIN auction for $12.99 with a best offer attached to it. The other seller had it on a traditional auction with a starting asking price of $4.99. Options.

Kershaw and the Beard

I went with the traditional auction to see if I could get all 14 cards for 35 cents each. That would be a bargain. Week passed and at the end of the auction I was the only one to bid on the set. With one felt swoop I acquired all my red foil needs for my set needs. Why didn't I think about doing this for series 1? Would have saved me a lot of time and suffering. Another lesson learned.