Thursday, June 30, 2011

Cleaning the Sports Card Blogroll Before the End of the Month!

In July, we will be celebrating the third anniversary of everybody's favorite blogroll, the Sports Card Blogroll.  What started as a little thing for me so I can keep tabs of our favorite blogs has now turned into one of the must go places on the Internet for Hobby information. And with more voices and more blogs joining the fray, more and more information can be shared, and more and more trades between bloggers have been made.

Before we run our maintenance, I am happy to say that we have reached the high water mark in blog population.  There are 333 active blogs on the roll.  There were 312 blogs when last I kept up appearances on the SCBR, meaning that in the past month, 21 new blogs were added.  I think that's a new record as well.  Which is fantastic.

But now it is time to remove blogs that have reached the dreaded six months of inactivity mark.  It is always a sad task, and there are many reasons why blogs are left for irrelevance.  People may have been disenchanted with the Hobby (and there are many reasons for that).  Others have lives and while having a blog was a good release/escape, it is a commitment to continue to write.  And life takes precedence over Hobby EVERY TIME!  Regardless of reason, here are the blogs that we are now removing from the active roster and will now make their final appearance in the "Blogs Being Removed from the SCBR" section:

That's seven blogs that join the rank of the inactive blogs.  That means that going into July, the big blogroll reaches 326 active blogs, a net gain of +14 from last month.

As always, if you, or someone you know, is writing a Hobby blog that is not on the Sports Card Blogroll, please e-mail me at so it can be added.  And if your blog is being removed, but you plan on becoming active again in the Hobby Blogging Community, drop me a line.  Thank you very much.


JayBee Anama

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I Blame The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker for My Lack of Posts!!!

Nine days.


If you're wondering where I've been (isn't there anybody out there wondering where I've been??? Ego, hush), about a month or so ago, my brother-in-law gave us a few more Nintendo Gamecube games. Two of them. Super Mario Sunshine, and The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker.

Let me give you a bit of background first.

Understand that my family (meaning me, my wife, and my kids) has always been technologically behind the rest of the world. We didn't get our first DVD player until 2003 or 2004. We don't have .MP3 players (well, we did have one, then we kinda destroyed it). So when it comes to video games, we have a Playstation (not 2 or PS3... has that even come out yet???) and a Nintendo GameCube.

And that's it.

This doesn't include the Nintendo DS my kids have...but even that supposedly is now out of date.

Anyway, up until now, we never had any role-playing games. We have the Mario Kart Double Dash and Mario Party 4, and a couple of sports games. Since we bought a disc to save our progress, my kids and I have been hitting the games during the weekends, and are now one car away (the gold one) from finishing the Mario Kart Double Dash (we've unlocked EVERYTHING ELSE) and are playing the story mode in Mario Party (we've unlocked the Bowser Board and every game possible).

But now we have The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker. I was never a fan of the Zelda games. Too much work, and I was never good at the games. However, thanks to the Internet, we found walkthroughs. For the video game challenged, walkthroughs are notes about how to play the game...IN FULL DETAIL. Where you should go, what weapons to use, where to find the's all there. And my daughter and I have been following along on this game (which has really nice graphics), and now both of us are about a triforce away from facing the final villain of the story.

But the problem I have is that it's taken me away from this humble little blog. And I've been losing sleep because every time I play the game (whether it's on my profile or my daughter's...yes I play for her too as long as she's there), I wind up staying awake until 2:00 in the morning. And I wasn't even on the computer yet. So short of me risking my job and staying up all night. I go to bed, and then realize that I didn't even do anything for the blog.

And I say to myself...there's always this evening.

And I wind up playing the video game again.

And the cycle continues.

Well, now that the heavy part of the game is done, and all I'm doing now is just picking up maps and finding treasure chests (because that's what you do in this game when you're not beating the tar out of the monsters that are in the dungeons you explore), I will take a break from the all night gaming and come back to my blog and my dwindling readership.

So let's start off with a few things that I have been actually doing in between the gaming sessions.

If you follow me on twitter (@bdj610), you would know that I now have my master set of 2011 Topps Series 2. I just need eight more giveaway cards, and if Toys R Us is continuing their exclusive, the Purple Diamonds, I need those too. But I do have a complaint, which now that I have the full set, will be able to elaborate further on the blog.

I am also looking forward to the launch of the self proclaimed "Premier Sports Card Industry Blog." The thing is that they're supposed to be coming in July, 2011, and they've had this slogan since the site first appeared in March. All they've done since I've been aware of them is insult Gellman at SCU and then nothing for the last three months on twitter. I sent them an e-mail asking what they were about and have not gotten a response. And this was almost a month ago. So now, we wait. Will the meet or exceed the expectations they put upon themselves? Or will they crash and burn? July comes on Friday, folks. We shall wait and see.

Also this month, my daughter was in two dance shows. On consecutive Sundays, she performed in two shows (a noon matinee, and a five o'clock evening recital). Both Sundays, I was able to sneak off to Target and buy some Topps products from the local Target. On the second Sunday, I bought one of those four-pack hanger packs, with the bonus Diamond Giveaway card. The good news is that Topps has figured out a way to hide the back of the code card with an extra blank card so that you can't figure out the code on the back and thus nab a code for free without having to buy the product. In amongst the four pack of cards, included the following inserts:
  • Two Diamond parallels (Justin Smoak and Juan Miranda)
  • One Kimball Champion mini (Cal Ripken, Jr.)
  • One 60 Years of Topps (Eddie Murray...the regular one, not the original back)
  • One Topps Gold card (Sean Rodriguez)
  • One Topps 60 Card (Roy Campanella)
  • One ToppsTown Card (Carl Crawford...weren't these things supposed to be one per pack???)
And This!!!

2011 Topps Jim Palmer SP #393.

Tomorrow, we'll update the Sports Card Blogroll.  And welcome the first day of July with the return of the Random Topps Card of the Day.  On HOF Induction Day, we will also mark the return of the 2011 Topps Archives Project, starting with the newest inductee.

So my apologies for not posting in quite some time. Now it's off to Hyrule and sail the oceans once again.


JayBee Anama

Monday, June 20, 2011

If You Want to See All 60 Sparkly Cards in Series 2 Together...

Last week, I received an e-mail from friend of the blog, all around good guy, and Topps Super Collector Craig Parker (aka Craig from Texas).  Back in February, he scoured the internet and put images all 60 of the Series 1 Topps Sparkle cards on his website for people to use for reference purposes. 

Well he did it again.

In his own words:


"Hey there!  I hope all is well.  I appreciated the shout out you gave me on your blog when I created the series one Topps Sparkles checklist.  Well, I wanted you to know that I got after it again and created Series 2 so everyone can find those sparkles!  I hope that you add this info to your blog -- I read it every day and appreciate how you are always on top of everything.  Here it is:


Craig from Texas"
Both series of Sparkles are on his site RIGHT NOW!!!  So please take time out of your day visit his site, and print out images if need be (or at least take down the checklist for yourself).  So that when you're sorting out your cards, you can figure out if you have one of these beauties or not.  Then take time out of your day to thank the man for his hard work.
Thanks from this Topps collector. By the way, Craig, how far along are you on the big Sparkle hunt?
JayBee Anama

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Testing the Blog by Phone Thing Again.

We're going to try this post by phone thing again.

We're on our way to beautiful Crown Point, Indiana, to visit my wife's brother and his family. While there, I brought the collection of 2011 Topps 1 in the binder and my new acquisitions, a master set of 2011 Topps series 2, with all the basic insert sets (not including SP's or Original Backs) as well as both exclusive sets from Target and Walmart. This way I have something to do while the kids play in the heat.

I was hoping that there would be card shops in the area here, but the closest one won't pick up the phone, and the next closest is fifteen miles plus away. Not convenient for sneaking away and I'm not about to take any chances driving away from this house (I get lost driving in my neighborhood, no way I'm going exploring in NW Indiana).

I still am searching for card sheets for the mini cards (at least five or six) plus the scavenger hunt poster from S1 (two people offered, none have arrived), as well as somebody with a full set of this year's HTA giveaway set.

And other than possibly looking for the Purple Diamond Toys R' Us exclusives for Series 2, if anybody would like to send me a complete set of the S2 Diamond Giveaway cards (used, although unused works too), please send me an e-mail.

That's it from the road. The drive home should be interesting. It always is.


JayBee Anama

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Topps Prime Nine Promotion...What Is It???

You've probably found one of these cards when opening packs of the latest product 2011 Topps Series 2. With its striking colors and the huge number on the front of the card, with redemption information on the back, you're thinking that this is the Red Hot Rookie campaign for 2011.

And you wouldn't be more wrong!!!

Replacing the successful (depending on who you talk to) Red Hot Rookie campaign from 2009-2010, Topps, partnering with MLB Network, presents a whole new series 2 redemption program called Prime 9. Fans of the MLB Network know that Prime 9 is the channel's countdown series where the top 9 (because there are nine players, nine innings, yadda yadda yadda) plays, players, moments, or something significant depending on the topic of the show. Now Topps and the Network is incorporating this concept into their new redemption program.

Starting July 18, the MLB Network will announce the Prime 9 subject for the week. Ideally, the identities of the subjects being chosen will be kept a secret until the announcement. The subject could be an active player, could be a legend, nobody knows for sure. But the key is that there will be one player per position (so expect the announcements to follow along with the card number - this part is pure speculation...who knows how these will come out)!!!

Now collectors with these cards can bring the cards, after each announcement is made of course, to their nearby HTA store and the store, if participating properly, will reward him or her with a Prime 9 chrome refractor card. Each card that is submitted will enroll collectors in a sweepstakes. The grand prizes (2 of them) include either a trip to the World Series, or a trip to the MLB Network to meet and greet the talent. Other prizes will be announced later.

Now the card included in this article is just A SAMPLE!!! I am not saying that the player depicted is going to be in the final set. That would ruin the surprise element that Topps and MLB Network is trying to hold with this promotion. If indeed the subject is in the set, I do apologize for spoiling the surprise.


JayBee Anama

P.S. Now if somebody can direct me to a complete set of this year's HTA weekly giveaway (the 25 card set), I'd greatly appreciate it. jba

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

If This is His Topps Card, Then What Card is This?: Craig Biggio

I can't believe it's been almost two years since we last played this game.  You'd think between the differences between the retail sets and the regular cards from the last 6 years, I'd actually have written these more often.  But alas, the muse had left me...


Spurned on by the Night Owl's pack breaks, one of his comments made me dig out the pair for tonight's feature.

Craig Biggio was one of the best players ever to don the jersey of the Houston Astros.  An unselfish player, he would play whatever position he was given, and excelled!  Originally a catcher, he moved to second base, then centerfield (and having to play against that hill out in center at Enro...I mean Minute Maid Park), to left field (briefly), then back to second base.  Very unselfish, he knew when to take a pitch (holds the record for most times hit by a pitcher with 285 plunks). A five-time Silver Slugger, a seven-time All-Star (as a catcher, then at second base), in his 20 seasons in Houston, Biggio (half of the Killer B's with Astros slugger Jeff Bagwell, or a third of them if you add Lance Berkman) had 3060 hits, 291 of them home runs, drove in 1175 runs, stole 414 bases, and finished with averages of .281, .433, and .796 (batting average, slugging, and OPS).  He punched his ticket to Cooperstown upon retirement, and is the only player in the history of baseball with 3000 hits, 600 doubles, 400 stolen bases, and 250 home runs.

Funny thing is that I did include him in my mock 2011 Topps Archives Project as the second subject in what was supposed to have been completed in 2009 (this project stalled as well, but I promise it will make it's comeback during HOF induction - you can pretty much guess who the subject is at that point - but I digress). 

On to the cards.

So here is card number 1:

This is his 1993 Topps card #680. Now I loved this design because of its use of very minimal design elements on the front of the card (the color banner below makes it look like it's holding he large picture that takes up most of the card...again, a play on the scrapbooking element of card collecting).  Here he is possibly turning a double play against the Cubs, who did I mention he killed constantly?  That's current Yankee's manager Joe Girardi trying to break up the impending double play (possible game 05/07/1992).

Here is card number 2:

The picture is a bit brighter here than in card #1. And the name font is different in card #2 than in card #1.

So the question is, if card #1 is his Topps card, then What Card is This (card #2)???  Leave your answer in the comments. Have fun figuring this one out.  The answer (with commentary) to come later on today.


JayBee Anama

UPDATE:  June 14, 2011.

Commenters were quick to point out that card #2 is from this year's 60 Years of Topps reprint set.

Now that we know the answer, it's time we find out the question we all want answered:

How could you guys screw up the font for the name???

Your reprint is not even close to the original, it's not even funny.  And don't try to say that you don't have the original fonts, because you've reprinted cards from this set over the years and the fonts were identical.  What happened here??!


Monday, June 13, 2011

Live from Wheeling Donuts, a Two Pack Break of 2011 Topps II

Two Packs of 2011 Topps Series 2.  What's in them?  Let's find out!!!

I was writing this post and sent it at 3:57 p.m. via my cell phone.  However, it seems to have been lost during transmission.  Here it is again.

So I found myself having to take the day off because I had to take my son to the doctor's office (I only found out about it yesterday but forgot all about it until we got the phone call to remind us of it).  Afterwards we found ourselves going to my family's latest business endeavour, Wheeling Donuts.

My family has been in the bakery business for a very long time, starting with my grandmother (who I have mentioned a bit in this humble, little blog).  My family also ran a bakery in Winnetka for a number of years, moving to Wilmette for a couple of years, before having to call it quits.  Since then, we have also opened a small cookie and cupcake shop at a mall, first in Northbrook, then in Skokie.  But we've decided to get out of the mall and in August, will open the shop at a new location in Park Ridge, IL.  You can visit the site of Mrs. A's Cupcakes and Cookies by clicking on the hyperlink.

Wheeling Donuts has been around for 16 years or so, and starting June 1, my family took over the business.  So it's a lot of work, but it looks to be very good for my family.

But I digress.

On Sunday, I bought two packs of the latest product to hit the shelves, 2011 Topps Series 2.  Something to tide me over until I find that master set on the Bay.  And what better place to do a pack break than at a donut shop? 

Just bear with me, will you? I mean you read (hopefully) my post up to this point (probably wondering where the text was if you came here a while ago).  So here is what came the packs of cards.

Pack #1 included the following cards (rip):
  • Chris Tillman, Orioles #636
  • Brett Myers, Astros #428
  • Brandon Beachy, Braves, RC #446
  • Neftali Feliz, Rangers, ASRT #600 (All-Star Rookie Team...deserved it...but Topps had to fit that Strasburg kid somehow)
  • Livan Hernandez, Nationals #451
  • Raul IbaƱez, Phillies #656
  • Hank Aaron Red Diamond #RDT30
  • Lou Brock Kimball's Champions #KC-76
  • Craig Biggio 1993 60 Years of Topps #60YOT-101
  • Travis Snider, Blue Jays #382
  • David Freese, Cardinals #452
  • Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals #660
Pack #2 offered the following cards (tear):
  • Phil Coke, Tigers #391 (someday there will be a guy named Pepsi in the big leagues...BOOK IT!!!)
  • Fernando Rodney, Anges #581
  • Jason Hammel, Rockies #338
  • Brad Emaus, Mets RC #427
  • Casey McGehee, Brewers #608
  • Bobby Abreu, Angels #528
  • Tulowitzki/Jimenez Diamond Duos #DD-22
  • Joe Mauer Diamond Stars #DS-3
  • Nick Hundley, Padres #384
  • Mark Teahan, White Sox #565
  • Mike Fontenot, Giants #577
  • Brad Hawpe, Padres #572
So there you have it.  Possible highlights of the pack break include the McGehee card (with the retro uniform), the Joe Mauer Diamond Stars card (sparkly), the Hank Aaron Target card (one down, 14 to go..yeesh), and the Craig Biggio card (which I'll be writing about on a later post).


JayBee Anama

Sunday, June 12, 2011

2011 Topps Series 2 is Now of Last Week Anyway...

Here is anoher post that should have been put up last week.  My apologies for not getting it out sooner.

But in any event, as you probably all know, 2011 Topps Series 2 is now live, and all of our favorite casebreakers have been busy putting everything they found on the Bay.  This is always a fun time for me because I get to see what all the SP cards look like, without having to break the bank to get them right away (if you notice, I still have not finished the 2009 SP's yet, and I have a ways to go with the 2010 and 2011 due time hopefully...)

So after perusing the bay and setting up to keep tabs on a few auctions, I thought that now would be a good time to display pictures of the 25 legends/retired players/HOF's that are interspersed within packs of Series 2 Topps.

660 Brooks Robinson
650 Frank Robinson
645 Bob Gibson
626 Nolan Ryan
410 Reggie Jackson

405 Ryne Sandberg
425 Johnny Mize
480 Roberto Alomar

490 Duke Snider
651 Eddie Murray
375 Andre Dawson
570 Bert Blyleven
516 Tom Seaver
450 Mickey Mantle

393 Jim Palmer
460 Robin Roberts
630 Joe Morgan
355 Bob Feller
435 Pee Wee Reese
510 Hank Aaron

600 John Smoltz
530 Sandy Koufax
590 Juan Marichal
505 Greg Maddux
640 Eddie Mathews

Lots of Braves (Aaron, Maddux, Mathews, Smoltz) and Orioles (Both Brooks and Frank Robinson, Palmer, and Murray).  Canadian team fans will love seeing both Dawson and Alomar depicted as an Expo and a Blue Jay respectively.  Creepy thing about both Aaron's and Mathews "A" is that it's white.  For some reason, I thought that the ink was not printing on the A, but it's there, in white above a faded baseball used for the logo.

So the want list has now been updated with the above 25 cards.  If anyone has these cards and are willing to part with them, please let me know.

Otherwise...LET THE GAMES BEGIN!!!


JayBee Anama

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Just When You Thought the Sparkle Cards Couldn't Get Any More Complex...

The number one source in the Hobby has posted today that inside packs of 2011 Topps Series 2 are cards that take the Sparkle concept to a whole new level.

That's right...DOUBLE SPARKLE CARDS!!!

In an effort to make people actually look at the base cards, a limited number of cards will, based on the picture, have an even larger, more obvious sparkle to them.  Almost blinding, I know.  But there is a reason for the insanity.

If you manage to get all 3 (that means, only three subjects are involved) of these double sparkle cards, you have to be the first person to send an e-mail to Topps (who in turn will probably ask you to send the sense in sending scans or a picture...they want PROOF), and you will get an autographed bat from today's best players (no idea who they might be). 
None have been seen on the Bay...yet.  Which means if they do show up, the bidding wars will be extremely interesting to follow. 

Now, the boys and girls at Beckett asked a very interesting question to go along with the announcement.

1. Is this too much of a good thing?
2. Is there one thing you would eliminate from the hobby? (BASEBALL ONLY)

I've posted my responses, and so has a certain Mr. Harris with his take on it all.  I am pretty sure I know what the most popular answers are going to be.  But I can't wait to see how people respond to them.

Later on, hopefully, I'll be able to get to see some pictures of the new cards.  And hopefully, buy a set.  Cross your fingers.


JayBee Anama

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Four Sheets of Random Topps Baseball Cards...Or Are They???

Below are four pictures, each containing nine totally random cards, just as if they were in 9 pocket sheets.  This isn't a precursor to the return of the Random Topps Card of the Day (starting up again in July).  But they were selected randomly. 

The questions I am posing to you the readers are these: 
  • What is the significance of these seemingly random selection of cards?
  • Why these cards?
  • Where did I find the information to get them?
I know on a post last month, I said I was going to do this.  Let's see if anybody is paying attention. 

I will give you one hint.  One of the cards included above shouldn't be here.  It is on here because my source included it, and it turns out that it probably shouldn't have.  But alas, it's above.

The answer before the end of the day. 


JayBee Anama