Huge Addition!!

February 6, 2009 at 2:11 pm | Posted in My opinions | 6 Comments

     First of all, let me warn you this has nothing to with cardboard 🙂  I know most of us usually try to keep our blogs as impersonal as possible, but I just felt the need to share this with everyone who keeps up with my blog on a regular basis as this is a very important step in my life.

     My wife and I just had our first appointment today and confirmed that we are going to be parents!!!  We couldn’t possibly be more excited.  This is the first child for both of us, and in the future there will probably be updates on here from time to time as I hope my son or daughter can enjoy this hobby with me as I know they do with many of you.

     I just want to take the time to again say thank you to all of the friends and aqauntences I’ve made through this blog, and because of this hobby that we all share.  You guys have all made the last year much more enjoyable for me, and I hope we can all keep this going for a long time to come.

     Here’s our first glimpse!!


It’s official, Rich Hill is an Oriole………

February 2, 2009 at 12:59 pm | Posted in My Collection, My opinions | 7 Comments

……….and the Cubs can blow me.  You can read about it here.

     I’ve been a die-hard life long idiot Cubs fan since I was old enough to know what baseball was.  I don’t know why.  I guess I like torture and misery.  I’m probably taking this a bit personally, since besides my retired player collections of Andre Dawson and Billy Williams, Hill was the only current roster Cubs player that I collected.  Now these are all but worthless to me.


     I think what really pisses me off about this whole situation is the fact that this is just another in the long line of epic failures on the part of the Cubs to develop players from within their own system.  Dontrelle Willis, Mark Prior, Corey Patterson, Felix Pie, and now Rich Hill.  That’s probably part of the reason why I sold this when I did.



     At this point, I’m just waiting for them to screw him up, or give him away for nothing.  Has anybody really taken a long, hard look at the Cubs off-season so far?  They got rid of one of the best 2nd basemen in the league last year in Mark DeRosa (he could also play every position in the game, except for pitcher).  His replacement is the so-so Aaron Miles.  They let Henry Blanco go to free agency and then sign Paul f’ing Bako for the EXACT same money that Blanco wanted.  They let Kerry Wood go to free agency.  They send Marquis to the Rockies for Luis “I forgot how to pitch” Vizcaino.  They sign a decent hitting clubhouse cancer in the person of Milton Bradley.  And then they basically trade Felix Pie, Ronny Cedeno, and Scott Olsen for Aaron Heilman.  An aging pitcher with an ERA upwards of 6 last season, who will be lucky to make the club out of spring training.

     And now, after Rothchild screwed with his delivery, and Pinella destroyed his confidence, they ship Rich Hill of to the O’s.  What did they get in return?  A player to be named later, who will most likely end up being a double or single A minor leaguer.

     Go Cubs Go!  Yeah right, I’m bitter.   Good luck Rich.  There’s one Cubs fan that’ll be watching a few Orioles games this year and cheering for you.

2009 Hall of Fame Voting – Wtf?

January 12, 2009 at 2:27 pm | Posted in My opinions | 9 Comments

     Another year, another vote, another disappointment for fans of “The Hawk”.

     Seriously, what do you have to do to get in?

Be one of the most dominant and feared players of your era – Check

400+ home runs – Check

1500+ rbi’s – Check

300+ stolen bases – Check

Rookie of the year – Check

MVP – Check (for a last place team to boot) – Double Check

8 gold gloves – Check

8 time all-star – Check

4 silver sluggers – Check

20+ MLB seasons – Check

     Call me a homer if you want to, but the HOF voting is skewed, and I’m pissed.  Seriously, if he never got in before, how suddenly is Jim Rice a better player in his 15th year of elegibility?  This is one of the biggest things that irks me about the BBWAA.  It’s the same guys voting every year.  This year Dawson improved in the vote total by 1.1%, which means there were 3-4 writers who decided Andre is a better player this year than he was last year.  I didn’t see him take any at-bats last season, did you?  Either a player is a HOFer or he isn’t.  Players don’t get better after they retire. 

     Now the case can be made that guys get worse as years go on when you consider McGuire, Palmeiro, et al.  That, however, is a different post entirely.  As far as I know, Dawson has done nothing in the last 8 years to damage his credentials.

     I suppose the only bright side to this is a selfish one.  As a player collector, I haven’t picked up much lately because all of the HOF talk has given a boon to secondary market prices for “my guy”.  Hopefully now, some of this will die down and give me another year to add to my collection on the cheap.

     All in all, I’d rather see The Hawk in the Hall where he deserves to be.  If I was never able to afford another card because of it, so be it.  It’d be worth it to see one of the most deserving players of our life-time ensrined as he should be.

     Just my .02 – what do you think?

Hawk to the Hall presents – Highlights & Updates

December 11, 2008 at 4:46 pm | Posted in My Collection, My opinions | 4 Comments

     There are a ton of things I need to catch up on, so I couldn’t think of a more appropriate name for this post.  Trades, new aquisitions, new pages, new collections.  It’s all here.

     First off, I’ve added a lot of new Dawson cards to my player collection.  If you’ve never seen my PC before, or you’d like to see it again, you can check it out here .  I also have to say that I love the new Organize feature on Photobucket.  It’s so nice.

      I’ve gotten a few new Rich Hill cards as well.  You can see those here.  I really hope he can get his head out of his ass this year, and stay with the Cubs at the Major League level.  He is one of my favorite current players.

     In the last month or so, I’ve also decided to start a Billy Williams collection.  Not only because he is a Cub & a Hall of Famer, but because I love his autograph.  I don’t know why, but a player that I like having a nice, neat, consistent signature is very important to me in collecting.  I only have a few Billy’s so far, and you can view those here.  This is my favorite one so far.  I love me some Sweet Spot Signatures.

     I completed 2 very nice trades recently.  This has quickly become one of my favorite things about the blogging community.  The first trade was with Will at Box Busters, whom I sent a bunch of Pujols and other Cardinals.  In return, he sent me a gaggle of Cubs, including these 2 beautys.

I opened 2 boxes of 08 threads and got some great cards, but I didn’t get a single one of these bordered cards.  I think these were very nicely done, licensed or not.

He also sent me the hardest base card to find from 2008 A&G, which is awesome because I’m trying to complete this set.


And a whole bunch of Cubs shininess, including a Rich Hill Refractor.















     The second trade was with Paul from Paul’s Random Stuff.  I had a TON of Mets cards.  So, I sent them to Paul, and he filled the box up with Cubs and sent it back.








He sent me 2 great game used cards that I’d never seen before, and….














A great lot of Dawson cards, 3 of which I didn’t have yet.  Thanks again to both of you!


     Finally, because of the success of these 2 trades, I’ve decided to add a Trade page to my blog.  You can see the new tab up at the top which includes my Want List and my e-mail address, and the link to my Trade Bucket on the right-hand side where you can see what I have to offer.  So, if you have something, or you see something you want, feel free to let me know.

     As promised, there will be more regular posts coming soon, including my at-bat in the second Blog Bat Around.  See you then!

What kind of collector do I want to be when I grow up?

November 20, 2008 at 6:07 pm | Posted in My opinions | 1 Comment

     I’ve been mulling this over for a few days now.  A few months actually, and I still don’t have an answer to that question.  At all different times I’m a Player Collector, First Worlder, Second Worlder, Prospector, and Gambler.  Honestly, I still don’t know what brought me back to collecting in the first place.  Gellman’s idea however, has caused me to think a little harder about all of this, and to try and put it together into a series of cogent thoughts.

     First and foremost, I’m a player collector.  Whether you’ve checked out my blog before or are just looking at it for the first time, I think that’s pretty evident.  If I live to be 150 years old, I don’t think I will ever enjoy baseball more, or enjoy watching any player more than I did in 1987 watching Dawson play for my beloved Cubs.  They were horrible that season, last place in fact, but witnessing Andre at bat or in the field was something to behold.  And I guess that is what still has me collecting today. 

I have almost every base card ever produced, and over 100 game used and autographed cards, and I still haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of all of the Dawson cards that are out there somewhere.    I don’t think my collection will ever stop.  I doubt it ever could.  It’s a virtually impossible task for me to find, or even be aware of every card that has ever or will ever be made.  I think that’s one of the best things about being a PC.  There is always that next rush, that next eBay listing or card show, which may hold something you haven’t yet found.

      I’m kind of on the fence when it comes to the First World / Second World classification.  I think financial restraints are causing me to straddle the border on this one, because if I had the disposable income, I think I would only bust high-end product like Exquisite and Ultimate.  But I don’t, so I don’t.  Obviously my player collection is largely Second World.  My favorite Dawson cards are all patches and certified autographs, and those are the ones on display in my home.  My First World instincts have kicked in again this year though.  Financial reasons aside, I think aesthetics had something to do with why I started opening boxes of mid-level product again.  I am currently trying to complete the base sets for 2008 Topps Finest, and Allen & Ginter, for no other reason than the fact that I like the look of the cards, and the design of the set.  I don’t even collect football cards, yet I can appreciate the beauty of a card like this.

So, until my monetary situation improves, I think I’ll be stuck somwhere between worlds.


     At times, I guess I could also be considered a prospector, because I still open packs and boxes just for the thrill of opening them.  I also look at is as gambling in a way, because like evryone else, I’m plunking down my hard earned money and hoping for that “SICK!!” “MOJO!!” hit of a lifetime that I can sell on eBay and become a millionaire.  The closest I’ve come so far is a Bowman Gold Refractor that I sold for $250.

And that’s probably as close as I’ll ever get.  Most of the time, I don’t even cover the cost of the box.  Yet somehow that doesn’t stop me from going in to my local hobby shop every couple weeks and buying more packs.  It’s the thrill of the chase I guess, and more than likely, that’s what keeps Topps and Upper Deck in business. 

     We’re coming up on the one year anniversary of my return to collecting, and I think I’ve learned a few things.  I know now that not every product that comes out is great and worth buying.  Hell, most of them are mediocre at best.  I’m starting to put together a pretty good idea of what I’m going to buy and not buy next year.  As far as my First World tendencies are concerned, we’ll have to wait and see if there is anything worth my time and money next year.  That’s what’s so great about this hobby.  There’s always something else to look forward to.

     My hopes for the future of this hobby of ours are many and varied.  I understand that there is a need and a proper place for the cheap, lower-end sets.  Some people only care about collecting base cards, and can’t afford more than $40 or $50 for a hobby box, and that’s just fine.  But, do there have to be so many, and do so many of them have to be so shitty?  I also understand the need for stickers and redemptions, as they have their place as well.  However, the big 3 need to realize that if they expect me to pay $250-$300 for 1 box of 5 cards, they need to find a way to get the athlete to sign the damn card.  I would never buy a box of Topps Sterling for exactly this reason.  What I think I would really like to see is at least 1 set a year that contains all veteran and retired players with on-card autographs and patches.  No Joe Koshanskys and Daric Bartons, no cheap white swatches, no stickers, and no unfulfilled redemptions.  I’d pay whatever they wanted for that.

     With the way the blogging world has grown recently, and continues to grow, I have high hopes that they may listen to our moaning and groaning and finally figure it all out.  I’ll be the first one in line for a box when they do.

Chicago Sportsfest – 2008

June 9, 2008 at 1:58 pm | Posted in Box Breaks, My Collection, My opinions | 1 Comment

     Hello all.  I was busy all weekend and haven’t had a chance to write until now.  I spent all of last week getting excited about going to Chicago Sportsfest in Schaumburg.  It’s a quick 20 minute drive from my house, and I haven’t been to a real big-time card show since April.  I hate to say that I was less than impressed.

     I left work at 5 on Friday psyched to add some new cards to my Dawson collection and hang out with my fellow collectors.  Unfortunately, there wasn’t much of either to be found.  I got to the show around 5:30, and even though there were only 2 1/2 hours left in the show that night, I was still asked to pay the full $12 admission price.  I was fine with that untill I got inside, and could see from the door that over half of the advertised 650+ tables were empty.  I approached one of the show organizers about this, and was offered several reasons in explanation, most of which I actually believed.  First, I was told that the Bears had suddenly decided to hold their fan expo the same weekend, so many vendors went there instead.  Secondly, a lot of the out of town vendors decided not to make the trip because of ridiculous gas prices, especially in the Chicago area where we are rapidly approaching $4.50 a gallon.  And thirdly, the most believable reason.  The National Sports Collectors Convention is being held in Chicago this year, and it’s only 6 weeks away, so most people are waiting for the much bigger and more highly anticipated show.

     Before I get labeled as being completely negative, I am glad I went.  I found an amazing card for my collection, and some incredibly cheap wax.  I only found 3 Andre Dawson cards at the entire show, and this was the only one not completely over-priced.

     This is my first of what I hope are many.  This is from the 2005 Leaf Century Collection, and there are several parallels of each player.  It has an actual 34 cent Wrigley Field stamp embedded in the card, along with a jersey swatch, and an on-card autograph.  It is serial #’d 6/34.  This is only the second on-card auto in my collection.  They seem to be really hard to find for Dawson.  Anyway, I love this card, and this whole chase set, and as usual, I really hope DLP gets back into baseball!!

     I also picked up some amazingly cheap wax, and struck out as usual.  One of these days I’ll learn to stop buying wax, but I couldn’t pass up these prices!  My first box was my 2nd tin ever of 2007 Sweet Spot Signatures.  I couldn’t not buy a tin for $55, but as with the first tin, my pulls were less than stellar.

     I still love Sweet Spot.  They are gorgeous cards, and I’m sure I will open more, especially if I find them at this price.  I just haven’t had the best luck so far.

     I also picked up a box of 2005 Diamond KIngs.  I love the design of this set, but I had never opened a box before.  I found a box at the show for $47, and figured now was the time to open my first box.  However, my usual luck continued.

     My first hit was a Laynce NIx auto #’d to 100.  This actually is a decent hit I suppose since your aren’t guaranteed an auto in the box.  There are a ton of different autos that I have seen from this set, but the only guarantee on the box is 2 game used OR auto cards.  So I guess I came out ahead in the game.  It’s just that there isn’t much hobby love for Laynce.  He’s not in Texas anymore, and he’s only played 29 games in the last 2 1/2 seasons for Milwaukee.  But, he does have a very neat, unique auto, and he could be on the verge of a career resurgence as he hit 24 HRs in less than 400 at bats in AAA.  So, who knows.

     My second hit was a much better player, but still not much hobby love.

     It’s a Tony Gwynn Heritage Collection bat #’d to 100.  I really like the card, but aside from the fact that bat cards just don’t seem to be all that collectible, Gwynn himself doesn’t seem to get much love from collectors, despite racking up 3,141 career hits and a lifetime .338 batting average.  He was a 15 time All-Star, a 5 time Gold Glove winner in right field, and a 7 time Silver Slugger.  He also played all 20 seasons of his major league career in San Diego, and oh, by the way is a member of the Hall of Fame!!  Yet, you can buy a sealed 2007 Topps Sterling Tony Gwynn box for about $120 on eBay, with the mystery pack!  That’s a $250 wax box selling for $120 because it’s Tony Gwynn.

     Anyway, like I said, I’m glad I went just for the Dawson auto/stamp.  And I had a lot of fun opening some wax, especially at the prices paid.  As usual, any of my non-Cubs cards are available for trade, including the one’s in this post.  Just leave me a message in the about me section, or send me an e-mail.


The newest Chicago Cub phenom

June 5, 2008 at 4:33 pm | Posted in My opinions | 4 Comments

    With their first pick in the 2008 Major League Baseball Draft, the Chicago Cubs have selected….Andrew Cashner.  A 6’5″ right-handed pitcher from Texas Christian University.  I have no idea who he is, but his draft info is pretty impressive, as you can see in this snippet from

“A move to a short-relief role has suited Cashner extremely well. As TCU’s closer, he’s been virtually unhittable, though he has struggled with his command. He’s had a big spike in velocity, up to the upper 90s to go along with a very good slider. College closers have become intriguing Draft picks over the past few years and Cashner has positioned himself to be one of the first taken.”

The most amazing thing to me is the fact that I cannot find 1 single baseball card adorned by Mr. Cashner.  Hell, I had to search just find this picture.



















     If you’d like to see Andrew in action, take a look.


2008 Topps Series 2 – Update

May 31, 2008 at 10:39 am | Posted in My opinions | 3 Comments

     Just a quick aside to the post below.  I actually contacted one of the human bags of excriment that is trying to sell the Fukudome/Japan card for $900 to just simply ask him wtf??  His response: “I got an offer of $300, but I’d sooner eat it for that.”. 

     Wow.  So apparently this is what card collecting has come to in 2008.  It’s a little bit funny.  As I look around at all the other blogs that I read on a daily basis, I have yet to see 1 single review or box break for Topps 2.  The boxes have been out for 3 days now.  Doesn’t that seem a bit odd to you??  I might be headed back to opening more 2007 wax for a while.

2008 Topps Series 2 – The first Topps product this year I will not purchase

May 30, 2008 at 11:58 pm | Posted in My opinions | 7 Comments

 So far this year, I have purchased at least 1 box, if not several, of every Topps product that has been released.  As always, I got a call today from my local hobby shop to let me know that they received their case of Series 2 Jumbo boxes.  I was all set to leave work and head over there, when I saw this all over eBay.

     From what I have been able to gather so far, this is the only Kosuke Fukudome card in Topps Series 2.  Despite the fact that the Topps Company official website has for months, and still to this very minute, lists card # 645 as being Fukudome, along with Gold, Black, and Platinum parallels, and Printing Plates.

     Yet, what do we get??  A short printed, no number gimmick card of Kosuke in his WBC team Japan uniform.  Oh, and by the way, one of them can be yours on eBay for anywhere from $300 to $900.  Also, Sox fans, you’re in the same predicament if you want an Alexei Ramirez rookie card.  He shows up in another no number gimmick in his Cuba uni. 

     So, what does all this bitching add up to??  Me not purchasing Topps Series 2, and many other base set collectors most likely doing exactly the same.  It’s your frigging base product.  Why can you not just make the base cards you say you’re going to make, and then put in your fruity gimmick short-printed inserts.

     I can’t wait for someone to buy one of these things for $200-$300 only to find out a few weeks later that there are thousands of them out there after people open more wax.  Giuliani anyone??  How much are 2007 Poley Walnuts or Jeter Mantle Bush cards selling for?? The last time I checked, $10 and $3 respectively.

     Maybe one of these days, they’ll figure it out.  Until then, I know where I can get an ACTUAL Cubs Fukudome rookie card.

2008 Bowman – The pull of my life(so far, I hope)

May 29, 2008 at 12:10 pm | Posted in Box Breaks, My opinions | 7 Comments

     Hello all.  Sorry I haven’t written in a few days.  I’m a bit torn about the hobby right now.  I haven’t opened any new wax since I bought my Bowman jumbo.  I will still write about that at some point in the near future, I promise.  But anyway, I did get a few new Dawson cards in the mail, which you can check out here.

     Now I’m going to give you a little insight into the mind of a collecting addict.  I haven’t opened any new boxes or packs in almost 2 weeks, which is quite a while for me.  From February till now, I have opened an average of about 1 box per week.  So, after almost 2 weeks, I was starting to get that itch.  I’m sure some of you know what I’m talking about 🙂 

     On my way home from work yesterday, I drove right past the card shop, and then the rest of the way home I’m reasoning with my self in the car.  “You don’t need to buy any more cards right now”.  “But I haven’t busted any wax in almost 2 weeks”.  “Yea, but you haven’t been very happy with most of this year’s releases anyway.  Just concentrate on your Dawson collection”.  “I could just buy a few packs though.  What could it hurt?”.  And so on, all the way home.  I actually drove home, pulled into the garage and parked….and then the little collector in me won the argument.  I got back in my car, drove back the shop, and after BSing with the owner for a little while, bought 7 randomly selected packs of 2008 Bowman at my slightly discounted rate of $2.75 a pack.  And I’m so glad I did.  Out of those 7 Hobby packs, I got more good “pulls” than I did out of my entire Jumbo HTA box. 

     Out of a measely 7 packs, I pulled a Michael Buschmann Gold refractor #’d to 50, a Daric Barton on-card rookie autograph, and this.

     A 2008 Josh Vitters Bowman Chrome Prospect Gold Refractor Autograph #’d to 50!!!  Needless to say, this is the best pull of my collecting life thus far.  And as much as I hate to say it, it’s already sold.  Yes, I know I’m a Cubs collector, and yes I’m in the hobby for the collecting aspect of it, but I got so much for this card, there was no way for me not to sell it.  From what I’ve seen so far this year, there are maybe 1 or 2 BCP cards that actually gain value, however ridiculous the initial secondary market price is.  Plus by selling this 1 card and working my eBay magic correctly, I should be able to pick up at least 10 really nice Andre Dawson cards that I have had my eye on for quite some time.  Maybe even my White Whale 

     If Vitters ends up become the next (insert superstar’s name here), then I may end up with a little bit of seller’s remorse.  But, if he busts out or is just another average Major Leaguer, then I’ll be happy with my decision and my new Dawson’s. 

     But, I’d really like to know what you think.  Did I do the right thing?  Let me know.

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