Posted by: Chris | October 11, 2010

From The Friendly Confines Of My Mailbox

I know posting has been sporatic lately, and I would love to get back on some kind of regular posting schedule, but I do want to thank all of you who have been checking the blog out everyday, your support is what keeps me going.

So back to the post, I have a few higher-end mailday cards I got this week, check it out:

first up, a sick Mark Grace bat card from the first set of T206 topps did in 2002

I picked this card up at my local hobby shop the other day, I figured it was time expand the Mark Grace section of my Cubs PC (Yes I know he’s in a D-Backs uni on the card, but beggers can’t be choosers)

The next two cards I bought off ebay, both for great deals!

The first one is another Nomar printing plate 1/1..I have been on a roll lately winning these, and it is really helping out my collection of him!

And the second one is a 2008 Bowman Sterling gold refractor of Jeff Samardzija, numbered /50. So now I have the base, refractor, black refractor, and gold refractor, which is every card in the rainbow minus the 1/1’s.

And lastly, one of the biggest trades I’ve made all year………….

Was for this amazing looking Ryne Sandberg sweet spot autograph! Words cannot describe how awesome this card is of one of the greatest Cubs of all time! This is deffinitly one of the top pieces in my collection.

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Posted by: Chris | October 8, 2010

What Do You Do In The Offseason?

Everyone has different ways of coping with the “offseason blues” as I like to call them. For me, it involves watching the Blackhawks and following mlbtraderumors.com religously. I am not a football fan at all, which makes things alot tougher for me, as every sports and radio station is filled with football talk 24/7.

So I am wondering what other baseball fans out their do during the winter once the playoffs end? Leave a comment and let me know as I am always looking for new ways to pass the time from November until February.

Posted by: Chris | October 5, 2010

My Thoughts On The 2010 Cubs

Well the season is over. It ended the same way it began, with a loss. The 2010 Cubs finished with a record of 75-87, good enough for 5th in the NL central division. They were never above 500 the entire season. The Cubs just couldn’t get it going this year, struggling with consistent offense in the first half, then sloppy defense in the second half. And it doesn’t help that next year, the team will be older, bloated contracts will increase, and the overall payroll is expected to decrease. I think we were all hopeing for something better, but deep down we knew our window of oppurtinity was 2007-2009, and with all the terrible contracts and no-trade-cluases, Cubs fans just have to ride out the storm and in a few years, start fresh and give it another try.

With only a few bright spots to look forward to in 2011, and not much to work with, GM Jim Hendry will really have his work cut out for him. It’s obvious he will have to move at least one bad contract if he is to do anything this offseason, and with Zambrano’s amazing second half, it looks like Big Z will be staying put. So that leaves two choices, Carlos Silva or Kosuke Fukudome. Both had career years in 2010, but neither of them are worthy of their huge contracts. Both Silva and Fukudome are heading into their last year of their current contracts as well.

So as we head into the 2010 offseason, here is what the Cubs look like:

C-Geovany Soto

1B-?

2B- Blake DeWitt

SS-Starlin Castro

3B-Aramis Ramirez

OF- Alfonso Soriano

OF-Marlon Byrd

OF-Kosuke Fukudome

Bench-Tyler Colvin, Jeff Baker, Koyie Hill, Darwin Barney

Pitching Rotation:

Carlos Zambrano

Ryan Dempster

Jeff Samardzija

Carlos Silva

Tom Gorzelanny

Randy Wells

Casey Coleman

So the huge hole in the lineup is who will be at first base next year. Xavier Nady, who is going to be a free agent, did a decent job for Derrek Lee, but we can certainly do better then Nady as our everyday first baseman. I didn’t fill out the bullpen because their are too many question marks aside from Carlos Marmol, Sean Marshall, and Andrew Cashner. Also, the Cubs, who now have a surplus of mediocre/average pitchers, will have to do something with their rotation as well.

Whatever happens this offseason, let’s hope things get better.

Posted by: Chris | September 29, 2010

I’m Giving Away Free Cards So Please Take Them!

yes, the title of this post is correct. I am getting rid of EVERYTHINg baseball card-wise that isnt part of my player collections or Cubs collection. So please, take them! I am not asking for anything in return, all I ask is that you pay for shipping and they are yours.

I have a ton of cards left all from the years 2003-2010 of all 30 teams. These cards include base, inserts, parallels, relics, autos team sets, everything! And I have no use for them and do not want them anymore. I feel they have become to much of a hassle and I just want  to be rid of it as fast as possible. So weither you want it all (about 3000 cards) or you want me to break them up in groups (the lowest I will go is a small cardboard box, about 500 cards) Please claim something from me! Again all you have to do is pay for the shipping costs, I ask for no cards in return.

These will not be grab bags, I will let you pick specific teams but only on a first come first serve basis. Also, since I dont have 500 cards of certain teams, I will give you everything of that team, and fill up the box with other random cards I have left over. Or you can certainly ask for a random mix and I will surprise you with some nice stuff. The lowest shipping cost for the small boxes I was talking about would be about $7.00 dollars for the 500 card lot, and depending on how many cards you want I will calculate shipping depending on what you want.

I would love it if someone would claim the whole entire lot at once, as this would be the easiest, however shipping may come out to be like $25 dollars (rough estimate could be different amount) but Like I said, I can gladly do smaller lots.

So please, help me out clear some room. I will feel much better about my collection and the hobby once I clear all these unwanted cards out of the way. Thanks guys and if you would like a lot, email works the best but comments are cool too, email me at Cubsareawesome5@aol.com

Posted by: Chris | September 28, 2010

Vintage Versus Vindication

Mike has written us another article and I must say, this piece is well worth the read, enjoy guys!

Chris brought to my attention recently picking up a box of Topps 
baseball product from 2004, not because there were major hits in the 
box, it was going for $9.99 half off in the Wal-Mart checkout #18 
lane, or because it was a throw-in for a jersey auto of Jeff Samardzija.
He got the box because it brought back a memory. More than just one, 
but several good ones. The product, in this case 2004 Topps Opening 
Day, isn’t littered with jumbo relics, HOF chase autos or cards from 
the Paleozoic era with giant lizards on them. It was just a basic 
product that carried some weight for something different. Enjoyment.

Far too often in the Blogosphere new products are introduced, then 
hoarded, then picked apart and given a grade. Sometimes within the 
day of release or shortly after. While there are several avenues to 
find information, from Topps itself, Beckett, or just Joe Collector 
who has his or her own corner of the hobby equipped with a camera, 
razor blade and a hobby or blaster box to shred up, this hobby has 
changed. The enjoyment anymore seems to come only when the pack is 
fatter than the last one, with hopes of a Mantle or Ruth cut up and 
often the “gigantic” letdown when all that comes with the “hit” is a 
Jay Payton jersey card.

It made me think recently after watching a box break on a blog for 
2010 Topps football, and with Chris’ latest announcement about the 
hobby becoming “blah” to him, where did the fun go? What happened to 
opening a pack and enjoying the contents, not just sifting for the 
heavy pack because there might not be a letdown in it.

His 2004 Topps Opening Day reminded me of earlier this summer when I 
went back into my history bank with two separate boxes I purchased. A 
1987 Topps baseball rack pack box and a 1987 Topps football wax box. 
The baseball rack box was straight nostalgia. I immediately went into 
kid mode, as I could remember all the photos and knew who was on the 
card before I saw the name. I went back to church with my 
grandparents, with the number of the Clint Hurdle card (#317!) 
matching the page number of the Bible reading on the bulletin board 
that day. Obscure but true. The football box reminded me of my dad, 
when he used to go to the local Hooks Drugs and reward me for good 
behavior with a cello pack of 87 Topps football. Again, opening those 
packs this summer, I knew just about all of those 23-year-old cards 
before I gave them a once-over. Admittedly, my vintage football 
purchase was to get the Walter Payton box bottom for my collection, 
but the contents were still well-received.

So how did we get to this point? Many have their own theories, but my 
line of logic points to the instant everything in today’s society. I 
don’t have a card store within 50 miles of my house, so I usually go 
through the Bay or specific marketplace websites for my singles. 
Because everything is instant, if we don’t like it, we can resell it. 
And now that every pack has to have candy in it (ironically), if 
there isn’t a guaranteed something in the box, the purchase was a 
waste. I wondered watching the 2010 box break why companies bothered 
to make base cards anymore. It harkened back to the video Chris 
Harris from Stale Gum had from the 2010 National, with all those 
vultures at the show ripping Topps baseball product to get their 
minimum number of wrappers so they could rush into line for a 
Strasburg limited print – which immediately went on eBay.

My 87 Topps has inserts – the All-Star and 1000 Yard Club cards, but 
I could have cared less about those. I was interested to see if I 
could pull some of the HOF of the era – Rice, Marino, Payton in the 
football and Ripken, Sandberg, Bonds (say what you will – I needed 
him for my set!) and how many more Bo Jackson Future Stars cards I 
could add to the top loader box (last count – 17). Also whether I 
could point out Tom Foley, Garth Iorg and Bruce Hurst as quickly as I 
could Vai Sikahema, Jim Everett and Curt Warner – the other one.

Sometimes it isn’t about how much money you can get for a resale of a 
product. It’s about a memory. I’m not ignorant to the fact that in 
1989 we all wanted the Griffey Jr. Upper Deck because everyone else 
wanted the Griffey Jr. so we could get the cheaper Griffey Jrs. But 
what is missing from today, in my opinion, is meaning. Why throw down 
a portion of your paycheck, if you are lucky enough to have one, on 
product in hopes of finding a card so rare you probably won’t get it 
anyway? And if it was anything less, it was a waste of money? Find 
something you like, not necessarily something someone else likes. It 
may make your hobby experience more memorable than the last pack you 
scoffed at in the Wal-Mart aisle.

Posted by: Chris | September 26, 2010

Ouch

After Two great outing in a row, Jeff Samardzija finally has a bad game. He gave up seven earned runs over 5 innings, and losing to the Cardinals, the team he shut out a week ago for his first win of the season.  This will deffinitly be one to forget for the Shark. Jeff may get one more start before the season is over, so let’s hope he finishes the season on a positive note, and that the momentum carries into next year.

Samardzija is now 2-1 in his 3 starts since joining the rotation with a 6.00 ERA, a huge improvement from the 18-something ERA he had before getting sent down earlier this year.

As for his baseball cards, I just picked this one up off of ebay for a few bucks with shipping:

It’s a 2007 Bowman’s Best prospect card of Samardzija numbered /499. I have now completed the rainbow with this, I have the regular /499, the white /299, the green /249, and the blue /99. The 1/1 purple has been on ebay, but I got outbid as it sold for a shocking $64 dollars a few months ago.

Posted by: Chris | September 23, 2010

There’s Always One Player…

Every year, no matter how the Cubs are doing, their always seems to be one guy who shows so much promise this year, but then never quite figures out how to repeat their success the following year, when it really matters.

Last year, that player was Randy Wells. He had a great rookie season going 12-10 with an ERA under 4 for a team that finished second. Now this year, becoming the number 3 starter, Wells has never quite been as consistent as he was last year. He’s either really good and completely dominates the other team, or he struggles and gives up 5 or 6 runs by the 5th inning. Hopefully this is just a sophomore slump and Wells will be able to come back next year and return to form. He has shown signs of becoming a good middle-end rotation pitcher, and I think he will only get better as he progresses.

So as I look at all the young talent the Cubs have playing now, I can’t help but wonder who that guy will be come 2011. Starlin Castro looks like the real deal (knock on wood) So I don’t think it will be him, and we really haven’t seen enough of Andrew Cashner to determine what he will be like, so my gut tells me it will be Tyler Colvin. Colvin has been amazing this year going all the way back to spring training where he hit over .400 right now he’s tied for most homers by a rookie with 20, but is done for the season after getting hit by that bat against the Marlins. He has shown excellent power from the left side, something the Cubs have been missing, but his plate discipline needs work and that leads me to believe that once teams get a scouting report on him, he will start to fade.

Hopefully that isn’t the case, as I like Tyler Colvin alot, but it always seems to happen every year…

Do other teams have this problem or is it just a Cubs thing?

Posted by: Chris | September 22, 2010

Where I Stand With This Hobby

I realized that the amount of posts I have written lately have little to do with baseball cards, and moreso with the game of baseball. The reason for this, I believe, is because of my dieing interest in our hobby. Don’t get me wrong, I still love baseball cards, but I just don’t feel it anymore. If you remember I wrote a post on how I bought a box of 2004 Topps Opening Day, the nostalgic box that got me started, and after about 5 minutes I was bored to death with it.

Maybe I’m just being more selective, or maybe it’s the fact that their hasn’t been a single interested product released in over a year, but for whatever reason I have completely lost interest in this hobby. The only thing that is keeping me connected to the hobby is my Jeff Samardzija collection. Ever since Nomar retired they haven’t made any new cards of his, so I have nothing else to chase. And Samardzija has only been in 3 Topps products this whole year, so even my Samardzija collection is suffering a little.

With that being said, you can expect a slight change around here with the topics I write about. I feel like writing about the current news in major league baseball is much more fun and interesting for me then the current news of this hobby. I will still write about all my maildays and cool stuff I see on ebay, but if your visiting my site to read about all the latest hobby news, then my suggestion to you is visit a different site like A Cardboard Problem or Sports Cards Uncensored. But if you are looking for opinions and and news on players and topics happening in MLB, then On Card Autos is your place.

Posted by: Chris | September 21, 2010

Samardzija Continues To Dominate

So I’m sure by now you are all sick and tired of me writing about Jeff Samardzija, but with how good he’s pitched recently, and all the nice cards of his I’ve been getting, I just can’t help it.

Jeff took the mound Sunday against the Florida Marlins, and he showed that his first start was no fluke. Giving up only 2 hits, however they were both home runs, he pitched very well and improved his walk/strike out ratio as well. So all in all, another solid outing by Samardzija as he improves to 2-1 on the season, still undefeated as a starter this season.

Samardzija will make his next start Saturday against the Cardinals, the same team he shut out during his first start. This will be Jeff’s first start at Wrigley Field so good luck to him!

Posted by: Chris | September 17, 2010

Now This Is A Cool Idea

I was reading A Cardboard Problem earlier today, and they were featuring a sneak peak at the 2011 Topps flagship cards. One thing that I really liked are the inscription autos. Not only are these cards on card autos, but in addition to the normal player signature, Topps had the player write a “happy anniversary” inscription as well. This is a pretty cool idea and I am wondering if all the inscriptions will be the same, or if some players will write different things. I bet you if Manny Ramirez is in this set, he will be writing more then just “happy anniversary”

Overall, the entire 2011 flagship looks to be a very interesting product. I enjoyed 2010’s flagship, but it really didn’t hold my interest for long, and I’m hoping that changes in 2011. You can bet I will obtain at least one of those inscription autographs, maybe I’ll even make some sort of attempt to complete the set, (doubt I’ll get very far, but it gives me something to do.)

What do you guys think of the idea?

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