Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Trade Post w/ Jason @ Hobbs' Knights

A big thank you goes out to Jason at Hobbs' Knights for sending me some great cards in a number of different sets that I am working on!

He was able to knock out a few more of my 2011 Topps needs including one of the great young players in our game, Starlin Castro.  Being a Cubs fan from the time that cable TV first came to our living room, I am hopeful that Castro will be the building block behind a Cubs resurrection rather than a trade piece to rebuild their depleted minor league system.  Jason aslo included some 1973 Topps on top of what we agreed to.  This has been a set that I recently started on and will be my first vintage set (when completed).

The 2009 Topps American Heritage set is one that I enjoy because of the historical topic.  Being a history teacher and a baseball fan, I have appreciated Topps trying to put both of my interests into a few sets over the years.  From Mr. Common Sense to Broadway Joe, I enjoy the backs of the cards as much as the fronts.  Does anyone recall what major court case Thurgood Marshall won prior to being named to the Supreme Court bench?  Hint:  It centers around a Kansas case.  Answer below.

Finally, some more of my 2011 Topps Heritage needs get erased with a couple of cards from players that I am currently watching as I type (although you are reading this a few days later!).  Josh Hamilton and Mike Napoli are trying to get the Rangers into the World Series.  The score is 2-0 in the top of the 2nd of game 2.  And finally, for my good friend and diehard Twins fan Wayne.  I give you the Twin Terrors in most years, but probably more terrifying to Twins fans this year as both battled injuries throughout a long season.  At least they let my Royals get out of the cellar!

Trivia Answer......Brown v. Topeka Board of Education, 1954.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Care Package from Potch - I MUST KILL THE QUEEN!

I got a message the other day from Darren over at PotchWheelerCards stating that I would be receiving a little care package.  It was anything but little and fulfilled a number of my needs and gave me a number of Royals to add to the collection.

Ever since I saw Reggie Jackson in The Naked Gun:  From the Files of Police Squad!, I have equated Reggie's Angels days with that movie.  Darren sent me over the 1983 Topps All Start card of Jackson to fulfill one of my needs from the 1983 Topps set.  I am now down to 13 cards to finish it up.  Enjoy the clip below.

He also included some 2010 and 2011 Topps plus a whole pile of Royals including some of my favorites like Willie Wilson, Kevin Seitzer, Kevin Appier, and Bret Saberhagen.  Thanks again for the care package.  It was just what I needed.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Trade Post

I have been behind in my posting recently so I am working on getting caught up.  First off is a trade post with blog reader Steve.  This was our second trade and one in which I was able to fill quite a few of my needs from 2009, 2010, and 2011 Topps sets.

Included in the trade were a number of wants as well as some former and current Royals.  The first couple of scans are from players that have had some playoff implications this year.  The first is David Murphy of the Rangers.  The second is a former Brewer so you might say what does he have to do with this year's playoffs.  Lorenzo Cain was one piece of the trade that brought Zack Grienke to the Brewers from the Royals.  We know what Grienke has done for the Brewers this year, and we know where the Royals finished this year (NOT in last as usual though!).  Cain, however, did not see any time in Kansas City until the last week of the season.  However, he did put up some very good numbers this year in AAA Omaha - .312/.380/.497 - 16 HR - 81 RBI - 16 SB.  He will either be a piece of the Royals next year or may be used as trade bait for some starting pitching.

The other two may only be remembered by Royals fans and some my wonder why Ryan Braun is pictured on a Royals card....completely different Ryan Braun!  However, Emil Brown will resonate some feelings by Royals fans albeit ones that I hope are now in the past.  Emil was what Royals fan have been accustomed to, a average player brought in to fill gaps, on an otherwise terrible team.  A place for average free agents to go to resurrect their career before moving on.  I hope that is starting to change as the Royals minor league system has been built and we are now seeing the benefits of those high draft picks.

Royals - World Series Champions - 2014......let me dream!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

1983 Topps Set Want List - Down to 14 Cards

I am down to 14 cards on my 1983 Want List.  If anyone has any of these and they would like to trade please let me know because I would love to work something out with you.  Most of my remaining cards are mainly commons with three exceptions, one being the Boggs rookie.  I could have swore I had that in my possession but it is M.I.A.  Within the last year I have finished off my 1980 Topps set so I am hoping to finish this one off before Christmas.

1983 Topps Want List

21 Orioles Leaders
117 Alan Knicely
181 Terry Felton
186 Whitey Herzog Mgr
284 Jeff Lahti
379 Guy Sularz
390 Reggie Jackson (All Star)
498 Wade Boggs
526 Checklist
642 Checklist
651 Angels Leaders (Carew/Witt)
680 Andre Dawson
704 Stolen Base Leaders
735 Tommy John

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Thorzul Helps with Three Years of Topps Wants

Bill over at Thorzul Will Rule and I completed our first trade.  He sent over some Topps cards from the last 3 years.  I am going to highlight a few of the cards that I consider really cool.  The first is a 2009 Josh Bard.  In a previous post I stated that my favorite position on the field was behind the dish.  Although the card doesn't depict Bard in action, I still like the catchers in full gear rather than with a bat in their hand.  Bard pictured with the Padres is now a backup behind former Royal and current Mariner, Miguel Olivo.

The 2010 cards shown are that of reliever Scot Shields and 2B Mike Aviles.  The shot of Shields should leave no doubt as to the strains put on a pitcher's arm.  No wonder some of the ligaments just snap.  Speaking of which, and I can say former Royal now, Mike Aviles came off Tommy John surgery during the 2009 season.  As of today, Aviles is a member of the Red Sox being traded for a utility infielder and minor league pitcher.  Aviles had struggled early in the season but recovered with a stint at AAA and was recently called back up only to be sent packing.

The 2011 highlights include 2 of my favorite action cards.  The first is the Indians' Jason Donald getting the White Sox Alexei Ramirez in a rundown.  Donald has played the whole season with the Indians' AAA team in Columbus but recently landed on the DL with a knee injury.  The next card is that of Rangers' SS Elvis Andrus turning the double play as Giants' Cody Ross slides into second.  Andrus is currently batting .281 with 110 hits for the A.L. Western Division leaders.

I have always appreciated good action photography on cards.  Although Topps has struggled in the photography department over the years, they do appear to be getting better with their action shots.  I want to thank Bill again for completing our first trade together.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Trade Bait for you Non-Sports Card Enthusiasts - Star Trek: The Next Generation

I hesitated to post this on my blog, but I decided if someone else wants/needs these and I can get some of my want lists filled then what the heck.  I must say that I have no idea how I acquired them.  I know that I had two partial sets at one time and I gave one set to a friend of mine.  So if you can give this batch of cards some T.L.C. then let's work something out.  These cards come from the 1992 Impel Star Trek:  The Next Generation set.  Here is a sample of some of the cards.

I have looked through the cards and it is not a complete set.  The 120 card set is missing cards 11, 29, 44, 49, 75, 82, and 113.  I do have 14 doubles and one bonus card (#1D - Cast Picture but with French words).  They are not in "mint" condition, but they are mostly in "excellent" shape.  They have been in a plastic case since I acquired them.  It bugs the heck out of me that I can't remember where I got them....but hopefully you will want them to come to you.

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Pursuit Continues - 2000 Upper Deck Legends - Legendary Jerseys

Thanks to a couple of purchases I have acquired 2 more additions to my pursuit of the 2000 Upper Deck Legends subset, Legendary Jerseys, both of which happen to be Giants.  The first purchase was a Bobby Bonds Jersey card that I bought for $1.04 + shipping.  A pretty good deal if you ask me.  I honestly don't remember much about Bobby as I grew up in his son's era.  I was first acquainted with Bobby during his 1980 season with the Cardinals which would turn out to be his next to last.  Even though he only played 14 years, he still hit a remarkable 332 homeruns and drove in over a thousands runs.  He was a three time All-Star, 3 time Gold Glove winner, and finished in the top 5 for MVP voting twice.  His best year was probably 1973 when he hit .283 with 39 homeruns and 96 runs batted in.  He also led the league with 131 runs that year along with being named the All Star Game MVP.  That game, played in the new Royals Stadium in Kansas City for the first and only time was one that I have heard stories about as my parents sat in the far corner of the upper deck.  Fortunately, Kansas City gets to play host again for the 2012 game.

My second purchase was for 2 Willie McCovey Jersey cards.  I hesitate to say purchase since I really came away with this one for free as I turned the second one around quickly on eBay and made my money back.  Again, about the only thing I remember about McCovey was the end of his career.  I do remember getting his 1980 Topps card that highlighted his 512th home run which set an all-time mark for National League lefties.  According to the back of the card, that came on a 3 run pinch-hit homer to defeat the Pirates on June 9, 1979.  McCovey finished his career with 521 homeruns and 1555 runs batted in.  He would be inducted into Cooperstown in 1986 with 81.4% of the vote.  He was the 1959 Rookie of the Year and the 1969 National League MVP.  His best year was probably his MVP season when he led the league in home runs (45), RBI's (126), on-base % (.456), and slugging % (.656) while hitting .320.

This brings my set total up to 5 cards out of 52.  The pursuit continues!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Trade with Potch Wheeler

Darren over a Potch Wheeler Cards came through in our second trade with some great cards.  Some that have even inspired a new upcoming series here at 26 Cent Summer.  He was able to fill some of my needs from a number of ongoing ventures including 2011 Heritage, 2011 Topps, and 2010 Topps Update.

First, my 2011 Heritage needs included 2 of the games best pitchers in Roy O and King Felix.  While the Phillies are continuing to lead the NL East, the Mariners are currently stuck in a 13 game losing streak that even the Royals have avoided this year.  Unfortunately, the Mariners still have a better record than my beloved Royals who are on their own streak...a winning streak of 3 games.  There's always next year or the next or the next.......

My 2011 Topps needs include future Hall of Fame catcher Ivan Rodriguez who just happens to be comforting the emotions of Nationals phenom, Stephen Strassburg.  Even though Pudge is in the twilight of his career, the Nationals surely got everything that wanted as a mentor for their young players.  While this is a touching picture, I don't care for a player card that doesn't either show the players face or him in game action.  Rather we get Pudge doing what he does best at this point of his career....counselling the younger players.

Finally, we have some Royals cards that were thrown in to top off a great trade.  Two of my favorite Royals from the 70s and 80s in Willie Wilson and Dennis Leonard are here.  For those that don't remember the Royals in their heyday, these two were part of a great core of players that led the Royals to numerous division titles, 2 American League championships, and 1 World Series title.  

Wilson roamed the outfield at Kauffmann Stadium making great catches, but he is best known for his speed on the basepaths taking extra bases on ordinary hits and wreaking havoc with pitchers and catchers with his thievery.  Wilson led the league in triples 5 times while regularly stealing over 30-40 bases a season with a high of 83 thefts in 1979.

Leonard ruled the mound with a team record 3 20-win seasons.  He stills holds Royals records for complete games and shutouts.  Perhaps, his best season was in 1977 when he finished with a 20-12 record and........listen to this........21 complete games in his 37 starts.  He finished that season 4th in the Cy Young voting.

Finally, one of the cards that has inspired a new series here at 26 Cent Summer is this John Buck card.  Now John Buck is not a great Royal.  He was a below average catcher that the Royals received in a 2004 three team trade involving current trade deadline bait Carlos Beltran.  However, he does play my favorite position on the diamond and this card will be featured again in the near future.

Thanks Darren for a great trade!

2011 Allen and Ginter Pack Break - Trade Bait

So last night I broke down a bought a jumbo pack of 2011 Allen and Ginter at Wal Mart.  I can now say that I have been there and done that.  I have no intention of completing the set so if anyone needs any or all of the following, please let me know.  My wantlist page is updated.

84 - Gregory Infante
87 - Colby Lewis
94 - Josh Rodriguez
103 - Andres Torres
167 - Adam LaRoche
173 - Mariano Rivera
181 - Mark Buehrle
193 - Jorge De La Rosa
310 - Matt Kemp

HH81 - Neil Walker
AOM13 - Eutherians
Black Mini 134 - Matt Cain

Friday, July 22, 2011

Big Fun Game with Napkin Doon

If you haven't seen his last blog post, go check it out here.  Napkin Doon is putting together a Big Fun Game (white elephant gift exchange) and he is looking for entries.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

EMAW #3 - Veryl Switzer

(3rd in a series on great sports figures from Kansas State University - Every Man a Wildcat)

Veryl Switzer is a long-time KSU icon.  He lettered in football and track from 1951-1953 before embarking on a professional football career.  While at KSU, Switzer was an All Big 7 selection each year and was a 1st Team All-American in 1953 when he lead the nation in punt returns with a 31.0 average.
1954 Bowman #105
In 1954, Switzer was selected as the 4th overall pick in the NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers.  He would lead the NFL in punt returns during his rookie season with a 12.8 average.  He would continue to play for the Packers for another year before heading to the U.S. Air Force for 3 years.  Following his military career, Switzer continued his professional career in the Canadian Football League first with the Calgary Stampeders and finally the Montreal Alouettes.
1955 Bowman #35
After working for the Chicago Board of Education following his football career, Switzer returned to KSU in a variety of capacities including Assistant Director of Athletics until his retirement in 1999.  He has been inducted into the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame, the KSU Sports Hall of Fame, and the Kansas State High School Activities Association Hall of Fame.

Now for your history lesson...Veryl Switzer was born in the town of Nicodemus, KS.  Nicodemus is the oldest and only remaining all Black town west of the Mississippi.  It was founded by a white town planner and a black preacher in 1877.  Most of its founding members were freed slaves from Kentucky, known as Exodusters.  The town would grow despite horrible living conditions (high winds and drought in a farming community), but when the railroad bypassed Nicodemus, the town began to dwindle.  It is currently home to less than 40 individuals but it is a National Historic Site with a full-time park ranger and museum.  Check out the National Parks Service website here.
Veryl Switzer in front of the St. Francis Hotel in Nicodemus.  Switzer and his siblings
were born in this building that he currently owns and hopes to refurbish.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Another Pursuit - 2000 Upper Deck Legends - Legendary Jerseys

So I have to thank Sewing Machine Guy for this one!  When he started posting about his pursuit for the entire 73 card relic set from 2010 Topps Magic, I began thinking about what type of similar conquest I could look to tackle.  So off I went to my boxes looking for the start of my new pursuit....and there it was.  My first George Brett jersey card from the 2000 Upper Deck Legends set.  Then I realized that I already had the Wade Boggs from that set, but where was it?  Upon searching through more boxes I found it.  Two down and 50 to go.  But wait, there are three cards that are pant relics, do those count?  That Gehrig will be impossible to get.  What about that Koufax signed jersey card?  Oh what the heck, throw them all in and I guess we will see where we go.  


From the scan above you can see that I have added another card to the collection with a Frank Thomas purchase.  I also have a couple of others on the way via eBay.  How long will this take?  Probably too long.  However, it will give me something to chase when I get tired of the current set that I am working on, whatever that might be.  I probably should focus on doing one thing at a time, but what fun is that!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Card Show Pickup - HUGE George Brett Bat Card

As a lifelong Royal and George Brett fan I am always on the lookout for "new" items to add to the collection.  While I was browsing at a table and sorting through some 1973 Topps at our local card show this past weekend, this card caught my wife's eye AND she thought I ought to get it.  How great is that.  Now in my earlier post I already said she bailed me out with the cash which I forgot so I guess you can see she got it for "our" collection.  The 2003 Fleer Flair Great Sweet Swatch Classic is huge measuring 5" by 7 3/4".  The picture doesn't do its size justice.  To put it in perspective, the swatch is roughly the same size as the recent Topps Kimball Champions mini cards.   They could have almost put the whole bat in there.  It is numbered 295/320.  I am happy to add it to my George Brett collection.  If anyone knows what type of pack or how you acquired these large cards, please leave me a comment.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Trade List Updated and Chicago Trip

My trade list page is updated with Topps Series 2 information including all inserts I am willing to trade (which is pretty much all the inserts I get).  If you want something send me an email.  I have my want list page updated also.

I will be in Chicago for a few days so I will get back in touch with you when I return on the 5th.  A fellow teacher and I are heading up there to attend the National Education Association's Representative Assembly.  Around 9000 teachers from across the country will be gathering to make decisions about what direction our  organization is heading in the upcoming year.  If any of you have paid attention to what has went on in Wisconsin and many other states with teacher's rights, you will know that our jobs are being challenged constantly.  Unfortunately, this attack on teachers has spilled over to other groups including all public employees.  Anyway, to some more upbeat events.

While in Chicago, we will be taking a couple of extra days to do a few baseball related events including a Cubs-Giants game, two White Sox-Royals games, and a Wrigley Field tour.  If anyone knows of a good LCS in the Chicago area that is easy to get to let me know with a comment and address.

Until we return...happy trading!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Local Card Show Pick-Ups - Nice Save from The Wife!

My wife and I met up with some great friends at the local mall this past weekend to have lunch and browse the local card show.  Of course, this was plotted way in advance as a lunch with friends with card show benefits.  My friend, Brian, a loyal Cleveland Indians fan and one helluva basketball official, just picked up the card collecting again after a brief stint with raising two teenage boys.  Anyway, after a great lunch and great conversation, we found our way from the food court to the card show.  I don't know how many tables constitute a "show", but if it is around 5 then I guess it was a show.  Now if you throw out the Grandpa and Grandma Beanie Baby table, plus the non-sports guy selling sports pictures/plaques/team keychains table, and of course the replica car/more plaques/etc table, the "SHOW" was down to 2 tables with any resemblance of sports card knowledge.  This show, which usually happens twice a year use to have around 20-25 tables of just sportscards.  Needless to say I was a bit disappointed. 

So after looking at one table where "Beckett" is proudly displayed on the table AND in the table owner's hand I quickly moved over to the next table and struck up a conversation with Rodney.  I always like the guys who have things spread out nicely, with prices on everything, but have boxes behind the tables with the odds and ends that demand someone asking about.  I also like the tables where before you can ask a question, you get a "hello how can I help you!"  At most tables anymore I think that I need to announce "I have money, I am not a pain in the ass to your business, I want your cards!"  Thanks Rodney for some great customer service.  After asking about my latest two set fascinations, he set out to find what I was looking for.

From one of those boxes come a handful of 1973 Topps singles.  Actually, they probably came from 10 different boxes but he looked through them and started picking the 1973 cards out so I could see what I needed.  I was able to knock off 35 cards from my 1973 Want List.  I picked up a Rico Petrocelli, whose MLB XM Radio show "Remember When" is one of my favorite things to listen to on Saturday mornings.  I also picked up a "Royal" Lou Piniella and an Al Oliver.  While I never pass up a Royal, I do remember growing up watching Oliver hurt the Royals in his brief stint with the Rangers.  Oliver is one of those players that I don't believe gets enough credit.  A lifetime .303 hitter with over 2700 hits, 500 doubles, and 200 home runs, he was as solid as they come.

Some of my other pickups included cards that captured some great action with the Kodak 110 Point and Shoot cameras.  Topps must have been relegated to the upper deck to take some of these photos.  Thank god Topps put names on their cards because other than that, you couldn't really tell who it was.  However, I think Oscar Gamble's 'fro gave him away.  I also picked up some of the manager cards including this one of the legendary Sparky Anderson, and also some great Boyhood Photo cards.  I wonder if Gaylord Perry grew up thinking about how he could hide a bat with too much pine tar from umpires.  

Now to give some props to my wife.  Ready to go to the card show...check...want list...check...card!  Thanks to my wife she saved the day (even though I must repay).  I love the fact that my wife shares my joy of baseball and baseball cards even though she thinks I spend way too much money on them.  She even picked out a George Brett card that caught her eye.  I will share that in another post.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Better Late Than Never To Finish That Hem ( With Sewing Machine Guy

Sad to say, that a while back I completed a trade with Larry, AKA Sewing Machine Guy, for some 2011 Topps Heritage that each of us needed, but I never got around to posting this until now.  Needless to say, I think I got a great deal.  One of my favorite cards was not even a part of the trade, as Larry included some Royals in the deal.  Besides my current favorite Royal Billy Butler's 2007 UD Masterpiece card, and newly resurgent former prospect Alex Gordon's 2008 UD Masterpiece card, I was surprised with my very first card of one of the Royals top prospects, Mike Moustakas.  "Moose's" 2009 Tristar Obak card was a sweet inclusion into the trade.  Now if you follow the Royals....ok everyone stop laughing right there, there are a few of you...then you know that Moustakas has been called up to take the everyday 3rd base job.  Moustakas has dominated every level of the minors and although he started this season pretty cold he caught fire after fellow Royal prospect and now Royal first baseman Eric Hosmer joined the big club.  Both have done a very good job and all of the Royals fans are hoping to see many more cards of these fine two ballplayers in the Royal blue!

So the purpose of the trade was to swap some 2011 Heritage.  I really don't know why I got involved with this year's Heritage set, but I bought a couple of packs, then a blaster, and another blaster, and the next thing you know........I am in deep.  I was able to cross a few more cards off my want list including a couple of the great "floating heads" cards of the A.L. and N.L. Strikeout leaders as well as Phillie ace Cliff Lee.  I don't know if I will ever get to completing this set as I have a couple of other sets taking priority over this one, but it's not like I have a deadline.

Thanks Larry for the great trade.  I love the Singer playing card!  You have inspired me to come up with a calling card for my blog.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Royals Hero - Paul Splittorff - 1946-2011

1971 Topps Rookie Card, 1974 Topps, and 1976 Topps

Today, one of my favorite Royals, Paul Splittorff, passed away at the age of 64 from complications with oral cancer and melanoma.  Splitt, as he was known by Royal faithful, worked on the Royals television network up until a couple weeks ago.  Although he had been hampered by vocal issues over the last few years, he was a joy to listen to whether he was doing color on tv or co-hosting the post-game show.

Splittorff was drafted by the Royals in the 25th round of the 1968 draft.  He would spend less then two seasons in the Royals minor leagues before being called up during the 1969 season.  In his "rookie" season of 1970, Splitt would go 8-12 with a 3.83 E.R.A.  He would go on to become the main lefty in the Royals rotation for over 10 seasons.  During the 1973 season, he would become the first Royals to win 20 games with a 20-11 record and a 3.98 E.R.A.  From 1972-1980, he would average 15 wins and 220 innings pitched.  Over the course of 15 seasons, Splittorff would go 166-143 with 1057 strikeouts.  He stills holds Royals records for wins, starts, and innings pitched, and was inducted into the Royals Hall of Fame in 1987.

"He wasn't blessed with a 100-mph fastball, he wasn't blessed with a Bert Blyleven curve, he wasn't blessed with a tremendous changeup, but he was blessed a good brain. He knew how to pitch," said teammate and Royal Hall of Famer George Brett. "He was blessed with a big heart and put it all on the line. He was always prepared; he was always in good shape."

Another Royal Hall of Famer and broadcast partner remebered his this way.  "Paul [was] probably one of the more underrated guys on our team," White said. "He not only played for 15 years but he won some huge games for us. I have memories of him beating the Yankees in Game 3 of the 1980 playoffs to get us to our first World Series."

Throughout my 38 years Splittorff was with the Royals in some capacity each year.  Upon retirement in 1984 he moved straight into broadcasting working Royals games along with Big 8 and Big 12 basketball.  Whether it was mowing down the Yankees in the late 70s or telling us about the game from the booth, Splitt was a thrill to watch and listen to.  Today, baseball lost a great man.  Kansas City and Royals fans lost a great ambasssador.  Splitt, you will be missed.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Trade Package of Michael Jordan Lookalikes and Former Royals

Sometimes when I am trying to complete a set I get more worried about filling the empty slots in the album rather than taking some time to look at the cards I get.  Sure I am checking some numbers off the want list but I may never look at these cards again.  So today as I was browsing through my trade package from Scott at Hand Collated I noticed something peculiar about the last three cards in the 2011 Topps stack he sent me.  Along with the 2009 Jason Giambi, I think you will see what drew my attention.  Do your best impression of Michael Jordan.....with the tongue out.

A couple of other cards that caught my attention were some former Royals.  David DeJesus was one of my favorite players the last couple of years, but after a trade to Oakland all that I am left with is the DeJesus t-shirt that I happened to be wearing today.  The other player was perhaps, the biggest waste of cash that the Royals have ever spent in free agency...and that is saying a lot considering our spending over the last two decades.  Kansas City fans were finally freed of the Jose Guillen debacle of the last couple of years when he went to the Giants at the end of the season.  While he still had some pop in the bat, the strikeouts and the atrocious defense were enough to make any fan turn on a player.  Now we know that the remaining pop in the old bat was courtesy of a little HGH bought as a gift from his wife.

I guess I just need to take a little time to see what I am getting.  You never know what will catch your eye.  Thanks again Scott for a great trade.

Monday, April 25, 2011

2000 Topps HD Trade Package...but I still need 24 more...any help?

I got home today and in the mail were the cards of a recent trade with Ron from New Jersey.  I traded some 2010 Topps Inserts for 3 2000 Topps HD cards.  A while back I dug through an old box and found these cards again.  This was the first "high end" box that I ever got to open thanks to a birthday present from my wife.  From Ron I received the Travis Lee, Randy Johnson, and Jose Canseco cards.  As you can see the photos on both sides are amazing with very high quality images.  This brings my want list down to 24 cards.  I never did buy any other packs of Topps HD back then so I am looking to finish this set off 11 years later via trades.  So if any of you have any 2000 Topps HD laying around check out my want list and let me know what you have.  Thanks Ron for getting me a little bit closer to the end!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Harold from Delaware is the Man! - Blog Namesake Set Completed

After starting this blog just over a year ago hoping to complete the first set that I ever started, I can now say that it is COMPLETE!  Harold from Delaware sent me the remaining 25 cards that I needed along with plenty of 2011 Topps and some Royals cards.  Upon entering into the card blog sphere and the trading that ensued, I have completed many trades but none sweeter than this one.  26 Cent Summer was started as a way to honor the 1980 Topps set that I started back when I was 6.  I had no idea that the first pack of cards that my dad bought me would lead to a lifelong hobby, nor did I know that it would take 31 years to complete that first set.  What a feeling it is!

Here are some of the cards that Harold sent me to complete my 1980 Topps set and also some Royals he sent along the way, including my current favorite player, Billy Butler.

And finally, here is the first page of my notebook that contains the COMPLETE 1980 Topps Set.  I not only want to thank Harold, but also Matt, Jeremy, and Darren who helped me complete the namesake set of 26 Cent Summer with some great trades over the last year.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Score Book #1 - Opening Day - Royals vs. Angels

I have always been fascinated with keeping score at baseball games.  I think that started as my love for statistics was created with me entering the baseball card hobby and thoroughly going over the back of every card.  Until I purchased Total Baseball and the Baseball Encyclopedia (and before I had internet access) baseball cards were my source of player statistics and the weird trivia provided by the old Topps cartoons.

Last week, I was able to attend my 3rd straight Opening Day and my 4th overall.  While the Royals once again lost, I am happy to report that tonight they moved to 4-1 on their 4th straight walk-off win.  I can always dream that this will be the year although I know it won't have a good chance of happening until some of the game's best prospects in baseball get called up.  We are hopeful that the best farm system in baseball will equate to the Royals making the playoffs by 2013 or 2014.  By that time I will have waited almost 30 years for them to get back there.  Here is a copy of my scorebook from Opening Day.  If any of you regularly keep score at games you attend, I would love to hear about it along with why you do it.

Royals - 3/31/11

Angels 3/31/11

Another Trade with Nachos Grande via Trade Stack Claim

I took a short hiatus from the blog world for a little rest and relaxation baseball style.  My wife and I were able to head to Phoenix and catch a little spring training baseball during our school's spring break.  We went to 5 games (a 6th was rained out) including 3 Royals games.  We were also able to see quite a bit of baseball's top farm system as we attended 3 minor league practices.  If any of you baseball fans have not had the chance to head Arizona or Florida, you need to find some time.  It is a great experience and one that you can't get during the season.  While down there we were able to see games at the new Diamondbacks facility along with the Royals, Mariners, Indians, and Dodgers camps.  Upon returning from our trip we were able to catch the Royals-Angels on Opening Day and then again on Saturday.  I am proud to say that the Royals are currently in 1st place in the AL Central after 4 straight walk-off wins.  While I would love to see that continue, realistically I know the success will probably be short-lived.  While I won't ever give up on them, I can definitely say it more fun when they're winning.

Anyway to the trade.  When Chris over at Nachos Grande posted statistics from his trade stacks, one notable team that was missing were the Royals.  I told him he should definitely get some Royals cards in the stacks and the very next stack started with a 1985 George Brett All Star.  After giving him a hard time about his lack of Royals in the past I felt that I better be a good trader and grab that stack.  I waited for a couple of days as he put some other cards onto the stack including Chipper Jones, Matt Williams, Andrew McCutchen, and W.E.B. Dubois.  While the Brett card sealed the deal for me, the Dubois card closed it as the history teacher in me said that I couldn't pass that up.  I have really enjoyed the Topps American Heritage sets so the stack became mine.  On top of that he sent me some additional Royals cards for my collection including one of recently retired Royal favorite Mike Sweeney.  Thanks Chris!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Gran nachos y grandes tarjetas de béisbol es igual a gran comercio!

I guess we will see if Google Translate actually works, but it should be "Great nachos and great baseball cards equals great trade!"  Anyway, Chris from Nachos Grande sent me some 2010 Topps from my want list in exchange for some 2009 American Heritage and 2009 Topps Target Retro.  I was able to get quite a few cards off my list as I continue to complete some recent sets.  Thanks Chris for a "comercio grande".

Monday, March 7, 2011

Trade with "Heartbreaking Cards of Staggering Genius"

Matt over at Heartbreaking Cards of Staggering Genius sent me a huge amount of 2011 Topps and some 2009 American Heritage in exchange for some 2010 Allen & Ginter's Inserts and 2011 Topps Inserts.  I now need less than 100 cards to complete my 2011 Topps Series 1 set.  This trade is exactly why I love card blogging and trading with fellow bloggers.  It is not about $$$, but about set building and helping someone out with what they need in exchange for your needs.

The 2011 Topps included some stars but also some Royals, which I know Matt and I appreciate.  One notable current Royals that is shown as a Brewer is Jeremy Jeffress.  Jeffress was a piece of the Zack Greinke trade.  He looks to figure into the Royals future bullpen plans with a fastball that tops 100 mph.

As a history teacher I can appreciate the American Heritage cards a great deal.  I love the idea of putting America's historical figures on trading cards highlighting their achievements to our past.  Topps has thought a lot of this as well when you consider the number of non-sports subjects in sets like this and Allen & Ginter.

Thanks Matt!  This was a great trade.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

I forgot I had those.....

Today, while going through a 5000 count box of cards I ran across some of the first "high end" cards that I ever collected.  I remember that my wife bought me a box of them for my birthday and I opened them thinking how impressive the picture quality was.  It was basically the same feeling I had when Topps Stadium Club first came out, but these were much cooler.  When I gave up on collecting in 2002 I pretty much forgot about these until today.  I came across my 2nd favorite player, Mark Grace, while going through this set.  Even though I grew up in Kansas, when we first got cable TV (and all 13 channels that came with it!) I spent my summers watching the Cubs on WGN every afternoon.

I also scanned in the Derek Jeter Ballpark Figures insert.  Although I am definitely not a Yankee fan I can appreciate what Jeter has meant to the Yankees during the last 16 years.  I was not real impressed with this insert set compared to the base set.  I guess having ballpark attendance figures on the back of the card was kind of a letdown.

This was also one of my first "box breaks" as I usually just bought a few packs at a time.  I was able to put together 73/100 base cards while collecting 3 inserts also.  Considering there were 20 packs of 4 cards each, I guess Topps decided to count the 4 checklists I pulledd as "cards" even though they are on regular card stock.  Anyway, I have updated my want list to include the remaining 2000 Topps HD cards needed to complete my set.  I would love to get this set and my 1980 Topps set finished off in the next couple of months.

EMAW #2 - Keith Thomas

1953 Topps #129
Most people around northcentral Kansas would not know the name Keith Thomas.  However, most would probably say they have been to Kite's, a bar in Manhattan's Aggiville District.  Keith "Kite" Thomas is the namesake of that bar, one of Aggieville's most historic bars, and one that was recently name the #1 College Sports Bar in the Nation.

"Kite" Thomas was born in 1923 in Kansas City, KS.  Following a stint in the U.S. Navy during World War II, he came to Manhattan, KS and played basketball and baseball at Kansas State University.  His collegiate baseball career would only last one year (1947) when he was signed as a free agent by scout Lee McPhail for the New York Yankees. (Would anybody care to guess why a Royals fan would care about Lee McPhail?  Answer at the bottom.)  Thomas went on to play 5 seasons in the minor leagues before being drafted by the Philadelphia Athletics in the Rule V draft away from the New York Yankees.  He would go on to make his major league debut on April 19, 1952.  He would continue to play with the Athletics until he was selected off waivers by the Washington Senators on June 30, 1953.  Thomas would play his last major league game on September 27, 1953 when he was traded to the Chicago White Sox and sent to the minors.  He retired from baseball the next year.

Thomas would end up playing in 137 games over his 2 major league seasons.  He batted .233 with 52 hits, 7 home runs, and 32 runs batted in.  His best professional season came in 1950 with Beaumont (TX) when he had 156 hits, 109 runs, 42 doubles, 8 triples, 16 home runs, 111 runs batted in, and batted .283 in 149 games.

In 1954 he would move back to Manhattan and open the now famous Kite's Bar.  The tavern was said to dispense more beer than any other in Kansas during the 1950s.  He would continue to operate the bar until he sold it in 1969.  He would eventually end up owning over 37 Pizza Hut restaurants in the eastern Carolinas.  Keith "Kite" Thomas passed away on January 7, 1995 at the age of 71 in Rocky Point, NC. Keith Thomas is on the Kansas State University All-Century Baseball Team.

(**Lee McPhail would serve as President of the American League from 1974-1984.  He would overturn the controversial call in the infamous Pine Tar Game which would eventually allow the Royals to defeat the Yankees.**)

**This is the second player in the EMAW Series, a look at the history of Kansas State University players on cardboard.  EMAW stands for Every Man a Wildcat, a popular phrase amongst Wildcat fans.**

Friday, March 4, 2011

Trade with "No Ones Going To Read This"

Today, I received a package I had been anxiously awaiting from Jeremy over at No Ones Going to Read This.  I sent some inserts to him in exchange for some cards that have reduced my want list for my 1980 Topps, 2009 Topps, and 2010 Topps Sets.  He also sent along some Royals cards and a card that I will feature in my new EMAW Series at a later date.

I was able to get my 1980 Topps Set wantlist down to 19 cards thanks to cards like Floyd Bannister and Reggie Smith.  Bannister had a good career but some may be more familiar with his son Brian, who I have watched pitched for the Royals the last couple of years.  Brian is currently continuing his career over in Japan.  Smith is one of those players that I don't believe gets enough credit.  In a career that spanned 17 years with the Red Sox, Cardinals, Dodgers, and Giants, he hit 314 home runs and collected over 2000 hits with a career .287 average.  He played in 4 World Series finally winning one in 1981 for the Dodgers.

I was also able to knock a good number of cards off my 2009 and 2010 wantlists.  One of my favorite names in baseball, Marco Scutaro, was included with his 2010 Topps card.  My wife says the next dog we get she is going to name Scutaro.  I actually think it has a good ring to it.

Then to top it off, Jeremy included some Royals cards and one Kansas City Blues cards from the Obak Tristar Set.  This is the first card that I have from that set.  The old Kansas City Blues were one of the best minor league teams back in the day as they were a farm team for the New York Yankees.  In some ways, you can say the Kansas City Royals are also a farm team for any MLB that has money to spend.  Maybe the future will change that with the current #1 farm system in baseball.  "Moose" Skowron hit 31 home runs with 134 RBIs to win the 1952 Minor League Player of the Year Award.  The Royals include the 2007 Goudey Alex Gordon, the "next George Brett", that unfortunately has never lived up to the hype, and Reggie Sanders, a former Royal rent-a-player.  I also received three 2009 Allen & Ginter's mini cards of my current favorite player Billy Butler, my wife's favorite former Royal and current Athletic Coco Crisp (love the name!) and recently retired Gil Meche.  Meche was one of the Royals recent infamous free agent signings that we overspent on and never got much in return.  Meche has a couple decent years but battled injuries before retiring prior to this season and WALKING AWAY from $12.5 million.  I am glad my team didn't have to spend that $12.5 million for a bullpen arm this year, but how can you walk away from that much cash!!!

Thanks a lot Jeremy for this great trade!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

This Day in Baseball Card History - ???

I have always wanted to take a card and try to figure out when, where, and at what point of the game the photo was taken.  I saw another blogger do this a few weeks ago so I thought I would try it with one of the cards from my favorite player, George Brett.  The card in question is the 1994 Topps George Brett.

Royals Stadium is the location.  The game is a Royals-Brewers game.  The score is 4-1 in the bottom of the 2nd inning.  The count is 2 balls, 2 strikes and this ball was put into play.  Brett is also 0 for 1 with 1 RBI on the day.  It is a day game and the time is 2:21.  We also know the bottom of the Royals order is Hiatt, Gagne, Wilson with Haney pitching.  With the famous Royals crown scoreboard in the background this should be easy!

With a little investigation of the Royals Schedule we can narrow it down to a couple of home series with the Brewers.  Based on the current score and the final scores of those games we can narrow it down the exact day.  This was Brett's second at-bat of the day.  In his first at-bat he hit a sacrifice fly that scored one of three Royals runs in the 1st inning.  In the bottom of the 2nd inning Brett worked a 2-2 count before grounding out in his last at-bat of the day.  The Royals would go on to win the game 8-7 and push their record to 30-24.  Others on the card include Brewers pitcher Jaime Navarro, catcher Joe Kmak, 2nd base umpire Dave Phillips, and home plate umpire Rocky Roe.

Sunday, June 6, 1993

Thanks to for providing the official box score for the game.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

2011 Topps Inserts to Trade

I have added an "Items to Trade" page.  Right now, it only has the 2011 Topps Insert cards that I am willing to part with.  I will trade for any of the base cards on my "Wantlist" page which includes 1980, 2009, 2010, and 2011 Topps as well as the 2009 American Heritage and AH Heroes Sets.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

EMAW #1 - Elden Aucker

Elden Auker graduated from Kansas State University in 1932.  Nicknamed “Big Six” because of his All Big Six League selections in football, basketball, and baseball, he signed his first professional contract with the Detroit Tigers for $450 even though he was offered a $6000 contract with the Chicago Bears football team.  After being hurt playing football at Kansas State, Auker developed his trademark underhand pitching delivery that caused havoc with major league hitters.  He spent the majority of his ten year major league career with the Tigers while also spending time with the Boston Red Sox and the St. Louis Browns.  Auker finished with a career record of 131-101 and a 4.42 E.R.A.  He played in the 1934 and 1935 World Series for the Tigers.  In 1934, Auker pitched a complete game victory in game 4 against the St. Louis Cardinals.  He also started game 7 but suffered the defeat after being knocked out of the game in the 3rd inning.  Auker then received a no decision after starting game 3 of the 1935 Series against the Chicago Cubs.

1939 Play Ball #4

Auker was, perhaps, best known in his later years as being the last remaining pitcher to face Babe Ruth, strking him out on 4 pitches in 1933.   He also defeated the legendary Satchell Paige 2-1, stopping a 33 game Kansas City Monarchs winning streak while playing summer ball in 1931.  In his retirement, Auker and Ted Williams became close friends while living in Florida.  Williams and Auker would discuss pitching and hitting with Williams trying to get under Auker’s skin proclaiming, “Goddammit Elden, pitchers are dumb, dumb, dumb.”  Still, Auker considered Williams to be the finest hitter ever to play the game.

Elden Aucker was elected to the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame in 1969 and was the first member of the Kansas State University Hall of Fame.  Former university president James McCain called him the greatest all-around athlete in Kansas State University history.  Aucker’s baseball and life stories can be found in his autobiography, Sleeper Cars and Flannel Uniforms.

EMAW Series - Coming Soon

So what the heck is an EMAW?  And what is it doing on a baseball card blog?  First of all, EMAW is an acronym for Every Man A Wildcat.  It has come to be a symbol of fans from my alma mater, Kansas State University.  After reading a number of  card blogs with many posts that are significant to those particular blogs, I decided that it was time for 26 Cent Summer to have something of its own.  Therefore, I will soon introduce to the blogging world the EMAW Series, a set of posts chronicling the players that have been an important part of Kansas State University athletics.  While this series will not be limited to baseball, I will focus on those former players that have made their way into the cardboard world.  I hope to include a mix of older and new K-Staters as this series progresses.  So may the blogging world beware, EMAW is coming to you!