A place where Colorado Rockies baseball card collectors (all 3 of us) can waste some time reading about our favorite sport. The Rockies and their cards will be the primary focus, but I like to go off on tangents as well so anything and everything baseball related may be covered here.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Tuesday Trade Bait #07 - New (for here) Relics and Autos

This is the first Tuesday Trade Bait that I have put up in several months, but I hope it was worth the wait for some of of you.

As always if you see anything that you like on any Tuesday Trade Bait page, just make a comment and it can be yours.



1997 Donruss/Signature Autographs Bobby Jones - Mets  CLAIMED

2004 Donruss/Playoff Honors Rookie Auto Aarom Baldiris - Mets  #'d  0436/1000  CLAIMED



2011 Topps/Allen and Ginter Relics Jed Lowrie - Red Sox

2011 Topps Manufactured Commemorative Patch Shin-Soo Choo - Indians    CLAIMED



2006 Upper Deck/Artifacts AL-NL Artifacts Blue Dan Johnson - Athletics   #'d 195/325    CLAIMED

2014 Topps/Heritage Clubhouse Collection Jose Altuve - Astros    CLAIMED



2011 Topps/Heritage Clubhouse Collection Josh Johnson - Marlins    CLAIMED

2008 Topps/Heritage Clubhouse Collection Johnny Estrada - Nationals



2001 SP/Authentic Game Used Edition Authentic Fabric Jeromy Burnitz - Brewers

2004 Studio Game Day Souvenirs Junior Spivey - Brewers



2009 Upper Deck/X  Memorabilia Blake DeWitt - Dodgers

2008 Bowman/Sterling Bat Matt Holliday - Rockies



Thanx for reading.



Friday, June 27, 2014

#10,000


I have been a bit neglectful of this blog since I returned from my sabbatical of working on the 2014 Quarry Unlimited set.  Well, it's probably been worse than "a bit neglectful," but I will try and do better from here on out.  I'll start today.


The number 10,000 has a somewhat interesting balance between being a cool milestone and being greatly underused by most people.  In fact there are only two uses in popular culture of 10,000 that spring to my mind and only one of them is worth a damn.


For just about anyone that grew up in the 1980's, the first thing that comes to mind with the number 10,000 is the fantastic alternative rock band 10,000 Maniacs.  In the back of my mind, I still have my early teenage crush on Natalie Merchant.  Even though the name hung around, in my mind this band ceased to exist when she left the group in the mid 90's.


The only other instance of the number 10,000 coming up in popular culture is the 2008 movie 10,000 BC.  This was one of those special effects movies that people tend to forget 5 minutes after it is over.  For me, it had more of a lasting impact.  It came out during my senior year in college where I was an anthropology major.  Needless to say, this movie and some of its more historically inaccurate moments were discussed ad naseum.  In case you are curious, the Pyramids of Egypt were not actually built by teams of wooly mammoths.


The reason I am discussing the number 10,000 is because as part of my Mountains to Climb in 2014, I have been working toward that number in my collection.  Before the mail arrived yesterday, I had exactly 9,999 Rockies in my collection.  Yes it did drive me crazy to finish on that number the day before, but I knew I had another package or two coming so it wasn't TOO horrible.  It turns out that I received four packages yesterday, a total of 15 Rockies from two small Sportlots purchases and two small eBay purchases.  I randomly selected one of the packages and the first card that I saw in that package would be #10,000 in my collection.

But first, let's look at some of the other 14 that could have been #10,000.

It could have been this 1993 Stadium Club First Day Issue Calvin Jones.  It would have been a little weird if my 10,000th Rockie ended up being from their first year of cards.  Not to mention the fact that he never even played a single game for the Rockies (or any other major league team) after being picked in the expansion draft.

It could have been this 1998 Topps/Opening Day Todd Helton.  It probably would have been fitting if my 10,000 Rockie was a Todd Helton, but alas it was not.  This particular Helton is from his "pre-rookie year" which showcased his 1997 September call up to the majors.  The odd thing is that this silver Opening Day parallel looks a LOT better than the gold flagship 1998 Topps set.

It could have been this 2008 Topps/Heritage Willy Taveras short print.  Many of you have probably never seen this card because it is one of those extremely hard to track down short prints from 2008 Heritage.  Counting the green/black back SPs and the High Numbers series, that set was about 50% short-printed and I congratulate anyone that has even come close to finishing it.  I am still three cards away from the Rockies TEAM set.  I am glad this was not #10,000 mainly due to the frustration factor.

It could have been this 2013 Topps/Allen and Ginter Wilin Rosario framed mini relic.  There were three Rockies (Dexter Fowler and Jhoulys Chacin were the others) that got a framed mini relic in 2013 A&G and coincidentally I received all 3 of them on the same day in three separate packages.  While I do collect them, relics are not a huge part of my collection so it would have felt strange for #10,000 to be a relic.



Now that we have seen some of the "runners-up," let's take a look at my 10,000th Rockie.

This is a 2000 Finest Ballpark Bounties Larry Walker insert.  It may not show up well in the scan, but this card is absolutely beautiful.  The large baseball in the background has a mirror finish while the rest of the card is chrome-plated.  I recommend that you track one or more of these cards down because they really add something to a collection.  It added a fifth digit to mine.


Thanx for reading.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The Colorado Rockies in 2014 Topps Series 2 + Checking My Predictions

At the beginning of this card collecting year, I wrote a post about the Rockies that appeared in 2014 Topps Series 1.  Since Series 2 has just come out, I figured now would be a good time to continue the look through the 2014 Topps Rockies.  I should note that when I am referring to Topps rookie cards and total cards I am only talking about cards as a Rockies player.  If you are still curious about how many Twins cards Michael Cuddyer or Justin Morneau have, then may I suggest you start a blog about the cards of the Minnesota Twins.  Today, like most days here at the Quarry, we are all about the Rockies.  Let's take a look at the remaining 11 cards of the Colorado portion of the 2014 Topps flagship set. 


THE RETURNING STARS



  Michael Cuddyer
Total number of Topps flagship cards - 6
Topps rookie card - 2012 Topps #454

Carlos Gonzalez
Total number of Topps flagship cards - 11
Topps rookie card - 2009 Topps #503

Wilin Rosario
Total number of Topps flagship cards - 3
Topps rookie card - 2012 Topps #184


THE STARTING PITCHERS



Jorge de la Rosa
Total number of Topps flagship cards - 8
Topps rookie card - 2008 Topps/Update #132

Tyler Chatwood
Total number of Topps flagship cards - 3
Topps rookie card - 2012 Topps/Update #210


THE PHOTOSHOPPED NEW GUYS



Justin Morneau
Total number of Topps flagship cards - 1
Topps rookie card - 2014 Topps #465

Brett Anderson
Total number of Topps flagship cards - 1
Topps rookie card - 2014 Topps #431


THE MIDDLE INFIELDERS



D.J. LeMahieu
Total number of Topps flagship cards - 2
Topps rookie card - 2013 Topps/Update #15

Josh Rutledge
Total number of Topps flagship cards - 2
Topps rookie card - 2013 Topps #553



THE QUESTIONABLE INCLUSIONS



Jordan Pacheco
Total number of Topps flagship cards - 3
Topps rookie card - 2012 Topps #219

Ryan Wheeler
Total number of Topps flagship cards - 2
Topps rookie card - 2013 Topps #488


In general, the photography for the Rockies is slightly better in Series 2 than in Series 1.  There are a couple of interesting photos, but nothing really great.  I still like the 2014 Topps design, although the more I see it the more it looks way too much like 2013 Topps. 

My biggest problem is that there are way too many cards that look similar.  The Rosario and the Cuddyer are both wearing the alternate purple jersey and are cropped similarly.  The de la Rosa and the Chatwood look like exact mirror images of each other.  The LeMahieu and the Rutledge are both similar double play shots, but at least they are wearing different colored jerseys.  The Morneau and the Anderson are both obvious Photoshop jobs but at least they got their uniform numbers correct.  

Next let's look at the way Topps has used the future stars designation in this entire set.  The Future Stars label was always applied to a September call up not a player with almost 3 full years of big league experience.  Wilin Rosario was a Future Star in the 2012 Topps set, not this one.  If you wanted a Rockie to put that label on, perhaps Corey Dickerson would have been a better choice.

Finally, let's look at my "Questionable Inclusions."  Ryan Wheeler should NOT be in this set.  How he could have been included, while Corey Dickerson was left out is mind-boggling.  Dickerson had 213 plate appearances in 2013 and 148 so far in 2014, made the 2014 Opening Day roster, and has never appeared on a Topps flagship or Update card.  Wheeler had 42 plate appearances in 2013 and 25 so far in 2014, did not make the 2014 Opening Day roster, and had his Topps rookie card in 2013 Topps Series 2.  He is not even a rookie this year!  I'll continue this diatribe once I review the Gypsy Queen Rockies. 

I have less of a problem with the inclusion of Jordan Pacheco in this set because he was on the Opening Day roster.  My problem is he is listed as a third baseman in this set despite the photo clearly showing him as a first baseman.  Pacheco was the regular third baseman in 2012.  In 2013, he was the backup first baseman to Todd Helton.  However, in 2014 he was the backup catcher.  I think this should have been labeled 1B although I wouldn't have had a huge problem with C, but 3B is just plain laziness on Topps' part.


THE INSERTS


 I didn't include inserts in my Series 1 coverage, but I figured I would put these in just because I feel strongly about them.  Let's start with the new to Series 2 insert set, Saber Stars.  I don't like it, but I also don't really have a problem with sabermetrics being the focus of an insert set.  This one is just odd and quite ugly in my opinion.  What makes it odd is that my rudimentary knowledge of sabermetrics says that a high BABIP usually means a player is lucky.  So is it good to be the leader of that category?  Hopefully Topps can improve on their quality and understanding of this concept because it doesn't seem as if sabermetrics is going away anytime soon.

The Rockies were also included in the holdover 1989 Topps Die Cut minis.  I have made known my opinion about this insert set before, but I think it deserves another tirade.  The borders are still too fat and the little zit on the bottom of the card is just idiotic.  The 1989 Topps design also is experiencing a bit of overkill due to its inclusion in Topps Archives as well.  The worst part, however, has to be the colors for the Rockies.  The Rockies were not around for the original set, but the teams that were around pretty much received their team color scheme unlike some other Topps sets of the era.  Why then were the Rockies given a red, blue, and silver color scheme that looks like it would better fit the Nationals?  And why are the player names in red?  That is UGLY!!!!!!!!!   WORST.  INSERT SET.  EVER.  Sorry for the overused Comic Book Guy phrase, but it really does fit this time.



MY PREDICTION RESULTS


Okay now that I got that out of my system, let's take a look at my prediction for how the Rockies would appear in Series 2 and Update.


1. Carlos Gonzalez
2. Michael Cuddyer
3. Jorge de la Rosa
4. Tyler Chatwood
5. Wilin Rosario
6. either DJ LeMahieu or Josh Rutledge
7. Brett Anderson
8. LaTroy Hawkins
9. Justin Morneau
10. Jordan Lyles
11. Corey Dickerson

Update Possibilities

NEW ROCKIES ALREADY IN SERIES 1
1. Drew Stubbs
2. Brandon Barnes
3. Boone Logan

RELIEVERS/BACKUPS
4. Franklin Morales
5. Adam Ottavino
6. either DJ LeMahieu or Josh Rutledge
7. Jordan Pacheco

POSSIBLE ROOKIES
8. Charlie Culberson
9. Tyler Matzek or Kent Matthes

Well the first thing worth noticing is that I correctly guessed that the Rockies would get 11 cards in Series 2.  Of those 11, I got 8 right.  I hedged a bit with LeMahieu and Rutledge, but both were included.  Pacheco and Wheeler were the other two I did not expect to be in Series 2.  I went off earlier about Dickerson, so I will just skip him.  The other two left off were off season additions LaTroy Hawkins and Jordan Lyles.  Neither of those omissions is THAT bad, although Hawkins probably should have made it instead of Pacheco.  But I'm okay with that especially since Pacheco is no longer with the Rockies and would not have been in Update.

Despite all of the complaints, believe it or not I still like the 2014 Topps set.  I'd probably put it somewhere around mid-pack compared to all other Topps sets, maybe comparable to 1967 or 1974 in terms of quality.


UPDATE PREDICTIONS

There are a lot of possibilities for the Rockies in Update and I do think they will have possibly 12-15 cards in that Series.  Just in the past two weeks, 4 Rockies have made their big league debuts.  Here is what I think will be Colorado's oversized portion of Update.

ALL STARS
1. Troy Tulowitzki
2. Charlie Blackmon
3. Nolan Arenado (?)

VETERANS
4. Drew Stubbs
5. Brandon Barnes
6. LaTroy Hawkins
7. Franklin Morales
8. Jordan Lyles

ROOKIES
9. Corey Dickerson
10. Charlie Culberson
11. Eddie Butler
12. Tyler Matzek
13. Christian Bergman
14. Kyle Parker

I am guessing that the Rockies will get three All Stars, although it could be as many as 4 and as few as 1.  I am also assuming that no Rockies player will participate in the Home Run Derby.  From my original guess, I left off Adam Ottavino, Boone Logan, and Kent Matthes.  Matthes is a guarantee not to appear with the Rockies because he was waived at the end of Spring Training.  Ottavino and Logan are victims of the numbers game that usually doesn't work out well for middle relievers.  The rookies are listed in the level of certainty I have for their inclusion.  Bergman and Parker might have to wait for 2015 Topps Series 1 for their debut cards.


Thanx for reading.


Saturday, June 14, 2014

My newest side collections


Before we begin, let me state that I am still first and foremost a Rockies collector.  That will more than likely never change.  However, I do occasionally like to dip my toe in the water of other things.  During my hiatus I felt comfortable enough to embark on a new player collection and a (partial) set collection.  Let me now introduce the new things you can send me if you are out of Rockies.


BEN REVERE




Up until mid-April, the only two things I knew Ben Revere for were his membership on the 2012 Topps Rookie Cup team and having, in my opinion, the best card in my 2013 Quarry Unlimited set.  However around mid-April, Jim from The Phillies Room had a post that showed Ben Revere as hailing from Richmond, KY.  Those of you that have traded with me might know that that is where I live.  There are very few pro athletes from Richmond and I can't believe that I missed this one.  He went to high school in another town, so I'll cut myself some slack on that one.  Either way, I am happy to add Mr. Revere to my card collection.  I am not going to be a "super-collector" tracking down 1/1 cards or small printing cards.  I am going to be a "mega-collector" of his by gathering any card with a print run of 25 or higher.  I will be collecting him as a Phillie (like the first card) and as a Twin (like the middle card) and as a rec league softball player (like the last card).  I hope to have a want list up in the near future, but as of now I only have 30/301 of his cards so I need quite a bit.  



2014 TOPPS ARCHIVES (1986s only)




2014 Topps Archives was pretty much met with a collective yawn about the card blog community.  Allow me to join in that yawn.  If it wasn't for the inclusion of my favorite set of all time, I would have not given this set a second glance after getting my Rockies.  However, the 1986 Topps set was included so I feel honor-bound to collect it.  I am not 100% happy with the set, but I will get into that more later when I have the set complete and do a review and comparison.  I really think my blog is the perfect place for that to happen, because I can not only compare and contrast with the original 1986 set, but I can also compare and contrast with my 2012 Quarry Unlimited set which used the same design.  I am going to have a lot of fun with that and I hope I will be able to give my readers some fun as well.  As with Revere, I hope to have a want list for this set up shortly, but as of this moment I have 0 cards. 




MY ONE OF COLLECTION





In my Mountains to Climb for both 2013 and 2014 I mentioned this new collection, but I haven't gone any further.  I'm still not going to here either because it will probably take too long, but I am going to say that a full explanation of this collection will take place before the end of this month.  I am going to try and make it well worth the wait, but after nearly two years I think my write up would have to be like a new Charles Dickens novel to achieve that goal.  That isn't going to happen, but I'll still try to entertain you a bit.



Thanx for reading.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Where I've Been + A 2014 Quarry Unlimited Preview


The inclusion of this video will make sense shortly.


For the last couple of months the state of the blog has been nearly non-existent.  That doesn't necessarily mean I have abandoned the blog.  I have been keeping my want lists up to date and reading and commenting on many other card blogs not to mention trading.  Regardless, I have not been putting any new material on this blog.  I do have an explanation though.  I have a limited amount of time per day to allocate to blog purposes and for the past two months I have devoted that time to preparing the 2014 Quarry Unlimited set.  Yes it is coming back for a third consecutive year and I have a really good jump on things this year.  In order to get that jump, I had to take the time away from writing.  I am not going to give away all of the secrets of the 2014 Quarry Unlimited yet, but I guess I can give a few teasers as a mea culpa for my unexplained absence.



We will start with my 2014 Quarry Unlimited header which will accompany every post.



The 2012 header was fairly generic, because I was just figuring things out back then.  I liked the color scheme and knew that I wanted to fit the 2013 version with the time frame of the set.



Since the 2013 header was based on the 1977 Topps set, I used a font based on my favorite movie from 1977, Close Encounters of the Third Kind.  It was fairly easy to choose something from 1977, because I don't remember 1977.  I was born in October 1976, so I while I was around in '77 needless to say the culture from that year did not leave an indelible mark on me.


1988, however, was right in my adolescent wheelhouse.  I had a problem in that there was too much stuff from 1988 that defined the year to me.  For me, Guns n Roses (seen above), the Disney Afternoon cartoon lineup, Beetlejuice, Alf, and the Kentucky basketball scandal dominated that year.  However, the one thing that dominated my life more than anything that year, including baseball cards, was my Nintendo Entertainment System.  I played Nintendo constantly whether I was with friends or alone.  I loved it!  Therefore I wanted to use some type of font related to Nintendo as my 2014 Q.U. header.  But I wanted more this year.

Not this font though.


One other thing that made its debut in 1988 that impacted my life for the next several years was my favorite television show of all time, Mystery Science Theater 3000.


Not this font either.

Now I didn't actually see it until it started on Comedy Central a couple of years later, but it debuted in 1988.  Either way, I was hooked from the first time I saw Crow, Joel, and Tom Servo making fun of Ed Wood, Steve Reeves, and Gamera among many others.  I wanted to incorporate both my memories of NES and MST3K in this header and I think I accomplished my goal.  Check it out and see how I did.




The theater seats shadow was a no brainer, but I tried several different fonts.  I finally settled on the font that gave me PLENTY of headaches in 1988.  This font came up whenever a game froze up and hundreds of letters filled the screen.  It was cause of many thrown controllers and general aggravation, but sometimes the aggravating events in life are the ones we remember the most.


But now onto the cards themselves.


Unlike the first two years of the Quarry Unlimited set, this year's set will not be based on a classic Topps design.  This year's set will be based on one of my favorite non-Topps sets of all time, 1988 Score.  Yes the classic "Skittles set" will be all over this blog throughout the fall and winter of this year.  My biggest problem was that the card back was a very important part of the 1988 Score set.  The back was the only inclusion of the logo, team name, and a HUGE write up on each player.  It was also the first set to ever feature a full color photo on the back.  Since I only do card fronts, I had to improvise and improve a bit when designing my set.  I think I have not only improved the set, but I have also kept the original spirit of the set intact.  I have made a six pack of teaser cards, one of each color.  Since I am doing my first non-Topps set, I figured the "poster boy" of the set should be the biggest name not currently signed by Topps, Matt Wieters.  Check out the Wieters rainbow.






As you can see, my only major change is replacing the three stars from the original set with a team logo.  Additionally, I replaced the name Score with the name Quarry.  I had avoided putting my name on the first two sets, but nothing else I tried seemed to work in that space.  As a note, this is not the "official" Matt Wieters 2014 Q.U. card, just the prototype


What do you think?  Is the header just the greatest thing you have ever seen?  Does the 1988 design still work?  Did I do it justice?  Why does a silly cartoon bird head make the Orioles look so cool?  Do any of my obscure references need further explanation?  Let me know the "score."

Thanx for reading.