Thursday, April 19, 2018

In the Mail - Big TCDB Trade

When it comes to trades, the one from last week on the TCDB is one of my biggest ever.  I don't keep track, but this is probably in the top five.  I can only think of two off the top of my head that were bigger.  217 cards of roughly $250 in value changed hands. This is why I joined the TCDB, to acquire large chunks off my want list in one fell swoop. The trade was with woodmangb. He wanted primarily my 1974 doubles, mostly hall of famers, and I received many commons from 1970 through 1973 with a few stars sprinkled in.

Here are the 1970 highlights.
1970 set progress: 108/720 15.0%

The big names from 1971 came by way of leaders cards.
1971 set progress: 149/752 19.8%

1972 had a lot of cards, including some nice names.
1972 set progress: 273/787 34.7%  That's a big jump!

There were about a handful from 1973, all high numbers.  I'm steadily closing in on this one!  But I still need the Schmidt rookie somehow.
1973 set progress: 649/660 98.3%

Thanks for the trade, woodmangb!  I hope we can finalize the next trade we're already negotiating!

Monday, April 16, 2018

In the Mail - Remembering the Astrodome

Another TCDB trade package arrived in the mail last week.  For the first time, it was from a fellow blogger who's also a TCDB member.  Many of you are probably aware of Bru over at Remember the Astrodome.  He was looking for some oddball Astros I had recently entered, and in return I received some Red Sox cards from 2018 Donruss and Topps.
 
2018 Donruss Diamond Kings Mookie Betts
I intend to go back thru Donruss's history and enter all the Diamond King Red Sox into my want list.  I just haven't gotten to it yet.  I've been entering tradeds, updates, and rookies from all brands though. Mookie here kicks the Diamond King initiative off.

These Pedroia and Betts cards, along with the Diamond King above, are my first from this year's Donruss. I see a lot of Donruss bashing in the blogosphere. But I actually like what they're doing since they re-emerged a handful of years ago. They somehow manage to produce a flagship set each year that is very distinctively Donruss at first glance, yet different enough to keep me interested. I wish they had a MLB license because the empty air brushed caps and jerseys are awkward. But they are doing the best they can do under the circumstances. And if it's profitable doing it this way, who can blame them.

2018 Topps Rafael Devers
This Rafael Devers card completes the series 1 Red Sox team set for me.  Matt Barnes and the Team Card were also in the trade.  I am eagerly awaiting series 2!  I'm also looking forward to Bowman and Finest Refractors!

I didn't know about Bru and his blog until making this trade. Now I read it regularly, and you should too if you haven't. There's a link on my blog roll at left.  Thanks for the trade, Bru!

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Local Card Shops - Minneapolis

Last week I was in Minneapolis and had a couple of free hours on Thursday.  I decided to spend the time at a LCS in the western suburb of Golden Valley.  I had been to this one a couple of times before.  I thought I was walking into Twin Cities Sportscards.  I didn't pay attention to the sign on the way in,  so didn't notice that the place was now called Papa Hawks Sports & Collectibles.  I didn't take a picture of the storefront, but their website is here.  The first two workers looked familiar and welcomed me as always. It's a very friendly place.

1985 TCMA
My favorite purchase there was this one of Yaz. It will make a nice addition to his PC.

I picked up two more 2018 Red Sox which bring me a little closer to completing the series 1 team set.

This 1972 card of Boog Powell brings my set completion one closer to 182/787, or 23.1%.
I recently added some flagship side sets to my want list. Donruss The Rookies were included, and this 2016 Henry Owens is my first pick -up.

I also picked up five more commons from the 1970 Topps baseball set.  That brought my set completion progress to 104/720, or 14.4%.

As I was paying the owner asked me if I knew he and his business partner had parted ways. I had not heard that. He gave me his business card and that's when I saw the shop's name change. He said the split was "very amicable" and even directed me to the other guy's shop. It was only one exit up the freeway. I had a little more time so I went and checked it out.

This was Twin Cities Sportscards, and they were back in their original location, also in Golden Valley, where I first found them a couple years ago. I was greeted by the owner, another friendly familiar face. This was the guy who gave me such good deals the last time I was at the store, in the other location. As I was looking around I started up a conversation with another customer who was seated at a table and flipping through some boxes. He was trying to complete some Topps baseball sets from the early 80's. I told him whatever he couldn't find at the shop I could help him out with, because I have doubles of almost the entire sets those years. He said he was on the TCDB so I told him my ID, telling him what I had was on there. He said, "You're EP? I know who you are. You've got that Red Sox blog that I read." So that was pretty cool. I've never met anybody in person who reads my blog outside of friends and family. I hope to meet more!

I got a text that I needed to go pick someone up, so I left without getting a good look at the whole shop. I will definitely make time to spend there the next time I'm in town. Because the visit was cut short, I only bought these two cards. That only leaves Devers for the series 1 team set, which recently came in a trade about which I've yet to blog.


Luckily, I left Minneapolis and returned home Thursday evening. On Friday it started to rain, then sleet, then snow here. It snowed all day Saturday and left us with about 12 inches. Today the dig out took place. Here's the snow plow coming by. If you live in a warmer climate, let me explain. They come in pairs. The lead plow takes the middle part of the road, pushing the snow over to the side, but still on the road, leaving a drift. The second plow comes along the edge of the road pushing the first plow's work up to the side of the road, and leaving a bigger drift at the end of the driveway.


Today was warm enough that some melting had started. What the plow left behind was more of a pile of slush than snow.

After I snowblowed it out, what remained was this pillar of slush, which will melt in the coming days, I hope.

I've definitely had too much quality time with this this winter and spring. Hopefully I've put it away for the last time this season.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Michael Chavis Says It Ain't So

We all know the routine by now. Player takes drug test. Player fails drug test. Player gets suspended. Player denies taking said substance. EP doesn't believe the player. OK, so I added that last piece. But I have to admit its true. I never even think twice about it. I always think the player is guilty, and I'm not sure I want to know what that says about me. Even when the player is a member of the Red Sox, I believe it. eg. Roger Clemens and Manny Ramirez. 

So that brings us to this guy. 

2015 Choice Greenville Drive

Third baseman Michael Chavis is the top prospect in the Red Sox minor league system. I've posted about him before. Last week it was announced he has tested positive for a performance enhancing substance. He's been suspended for 80 games. He was going to play for AA Portland, but 80 games is a huge chunk of the season. I hope this doesn't derail what was looking like a promising career.

2015 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects

Like so many before him, Chavis has gone into full denial mode. He went to Twitter with a lengthy post about the test result and maintained his innocence. His tweet can be found here if you are interested in reading it. 

2014 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects Chrome Refractors

Here's the crazy thing...I believe him. My gut tells me he's telling the truth. I don't know Michael Chavis from Adam. But there's something about the words he uses and how he phrases things that makes me buy it. 

What do you think?

Thursday, April 5, 2018

In the Mail - A Spanish Trade

The Red Sox won their home opener today in fine fashion.  I saw the highlights, but hope to catch a replay of more of the game on YouTube.  David Price pitched very well again.  Is it too early to say I think he's back to his old form?  I'm still waiting for Andrew Benintendi to do something.  But a lot of the other hitters are more than covering for him.

Most of my recent trades on the TCDB have been to add cards to the complete sets I'm trying to complete.  That's fine and dandy, but sometimes the players are unknown and the trades lack pizazz.  The trade package I received in the mail yesterday was an exciting break.  The trade was with madams30.  The majority of what I received were Red Sox cards from the 1993 Spanish Pacific set.


Starting in 1981 when there were multiple flagship sets produced, the 1993 Spanish Pacific is the earliest Red Sox team set that I have not yet completed.  For the longest time I was mistaken in what it really was.  I saw it listed as "Pacific" in some places and "Spanish Pacific" in other places.  So I assumed there were two versions, and decided to go after the English version.  Well that proved very difficult to do.  Everything I saw, no matter how it was labeled, was in Spanish.  I'm embarrassed to say I only figured out in the past six months that there is only a Spanish version.


I like how the entire card is in Spanish.  It's a nice change of pace.  I wish baseball cards were made in more languages as well.  But I realize there wouldn't be a market for that.  I may look into O-Pee-Chee to see if any of their cards are entirely in French.  If so, I might try for some Red Sox team sets.  Does anybody know off-hand?


I wish I would have taken Spanish in high school.  We had a two year foreign language requirement to graduate.  I reasoned that since I was closer to Canada, French would be better to take.  So I took that.  But I've been in far more situations since then when Spanish would have been useful than French. Really the only time I find French useful is during the Tour de France each year.


1993 was a ho-hum year for the Red Sox.  Former tercera base Butch Hobson was their manager.  But they did have an interesting cast of characters in lanzadors Roger Clemens and Frank Viola, receptor Tony Pena, and jardinero Ellis Burks.  It was the last year depicting Wade Boggs playing tercera base for the Red Sox.  And Carlos Quintana was in the process of handing the reigns of primera base over to up and coming Mo Vaughn.


At first glance the card brand Spanish Pacific seems like a contradiction.  After all, Spain is on the Atlantic Ocean.  But if you consider that more countries along the Pacific Ocean rim speak Spanish than any other single language, then it makes sense.


For good measure a couple of 1972 Topps came my way in the trade as well.  That set now stands at 23.0% complete.  Thanks for the trade, madams30!

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

In the Mail - Another TCDB Trade

The Red Sox were off today.  Such a bummer. Tomorrow afternoon is the big home opener. I can't wait!

Another small trade with another member of the TCDB arrived yesterday.  Five more cards were in a PWE from the 1972 Topps set. The trade was with Sportzcommish.


It's a small trade, but everything helps the cause. In return I sent a 1958 and three from the early 70's. One was the 1975 Boog Powell. Unfortunately, I mistakenly entered the Orioles from that year as being for trade when in fact most of them were not. So Boog is now on my want list again. I've since corrected the problem so I don't keep going the wrong way. It's not the first time I've found mistakes I made in my first days of entering cards in.
1972 set completion: 179/787  22.7%
1975 set completion: 658/660  99.7%


I had another trade package arrive today which I haven't had a chance to scan. Hopefully I can show it off tomorrow. 

Monday, April 2, 2018

In Today's Mail - TCDB Trade

The Red Sox are 4-1 and looking good.  Their starting pitching has been amazing, even with two guys in the rotation that wouldn't be if everyone was healthy.  The hitting is also picking up.  It's only five games in, but I'm optimistic.

I have six trades in the works at various stages on the TCDB right now.  The first of them arrived in the mail today.  There weren't any big names.  It was just a bunch of commons in my quest towards the 1970 complete set.  The trade was with belijr.


There was also one card from 1971, another common.  In return I sent a bunch of 1970 Red Sox and a 1972 Petrocelli.

I love how the TCDB will automatically add the cards received in trade to your collection, and remove cards you traded from your collection.  There's no manual entry required.  That was easy!

Here's the latest situation.
1970 set: 99/720  13.8%
1971 set: 98/752  13.0%