Posted by: Chris | September 16, 2010

The Shark Watch

Jeff Samardzija made his first start of the season a few nights ago against the Cardinals. He was scheduled to pitch saturday against the Marlins, but was pushed up due to Carlos Silva not being available.

Jeff pitched really well, going 5 2/3 innings without giving up a run. He walked 4 and struck out one, but the biggest thing for him was that he used his off-speed pitches in key situations, which is something he has needed to improve on. Overall, it was a good day for Samardzija and I couldn’t be happier for him.

Of course I bought a new card of his, and it just so happens that it arrived at my door the same night he pitched. Sorry for the crappy ebay photo, my lazyness got the better of me again…

It’s a 2008 Bowman Chrome orange refractor numbered 4/25. Oh yea, and its graded a PSA 10, but I haven’t decided it I want to break it out of the case like I’ve done with some of my other Shark cards. As far as the rainbow goes, I now have the base, gold, blue /299,  chrome, chrome refractor, blue chrome refractor /99, and now the orange refractor /25. I’m not sure how many more are left in this rainbow, but I’m guessing just the red and gold chrome refractors are left, both of which I’ve never seen before.

Jeff Samardzija will make his next start Saturday against the Florida Marlins, as he tries to improve his record to 2-0 since he became a starter.

Posted by: Chris | September 11, 2010

A Welcomed Addition To The Blog

I week or so ago, I mentioned I was searching for a part time writer to help me out with this blog. Well I got an email from Mike, a reader who I have made a couple trades with before, and he was interested in helping me out. So without further adu, I am pleased to present Mike’s first ever post at On Card Autos, enjoy!

20 years later, I’m close to closure

Everyone can remember the first time an athlete made an impression on you. Whether it be on TV, with dad live at your first game, or in a convention center waiting in line for three hours to get 30 seconds of go-time at an autograph table. We all have those memories somewhere in the back of our minds, or maybe at the front of our minds.

My favorite athlete of all-time is Walter Payton. Hands down. Most know his story, very few people can negatively say much about him as a player. He is one of the icons of the sport of football and still one of the more popular players among Chicago fans. I grew up watching him play, and saw him for the only time at an exhibition game in 1986 against the Vince Ferragamo-led Buffalo Bills at Notre Dame Stadium. Payton scored a rushing touchdown that game, but I have no idea what the score was. Didn’t care, I got to see Payton score and the Bears won.

As I got back into the collecting game after about 15 years away (high school and college years were spent doing “other things”) and part of my directives were to create a Payton collection of cards I could pass down to my kids in the future as part of a “treasure box” which we may actually use an old wooden luggage box as the container for the goodies. But not just any old collection, I want at least one of every one of his mainstream cards aside from the variation parallels.

Without a card shop within 50 miles of where I live, no direct friends that still collect, and not a lot of knowledge of the current state of the hobby – I moved to the internet. And that is when things got rolling.

eBay was a longtime friend of mine in college. I’d buy textbooks on there, the occasional CD box set, and even bought two boxes of cards on there just because I could. But I never imagined 10 years later I would be sitting up at 2 a.m. on a Wednesday trying to snipe a 2004 Donruss insert card, just because it was on a list I found online. That was and is what I have become as a collector. Trying to finish off lists.

My Walter Payton collection has grown impressively over the past year. I have over 200 different Payton cards, from his Topps rookie in 1976 and the Crane potato chip card, to the 2009 Donruss and the fun double/triple/quad versions Payton makes better in those insert sets. I decided that over the course of the last two years of research I have done, that the nauseating amount of parallels that setmakers have made to make chasing “better” have just made collecting “harder”. For me personally, I am happy with just one version of a card. I don’t need the red, sepia, green, emerald, topaz and platinum versions of a base card.

I’m still on the hunt for about 20 more Paytons on my personally formulated checklist, and have found a couple websites and eBay stores that have been big helps to me. One of the reasons why I have continually read Chris’ blog was to get his take on the Cubs and the hobby, and what makes his personal quests to find those Nomar, Samardzija and Cubs cards so much fun. I enjoy that with Payton, and like the interaction with others who are in the same chasing boat as me. My shameless plug, if you have an abundance of Payton cards or neat items, let me know. I’ve got over 100 Payton doubles I would offer, or as Chris’ has found out, I might have some odds and ends to close a deal.

 I never thought that after 15 years, trading sports cards would bring back so many memories.   




Posted by: Chris | September 10, 2010

Jeff Samardzija Gets The Call…Again

A few days ago, five AAA players were called up to the big leagues by the Chicago Cubs. Among them, 25 year old pitcher Jeff Samardzija. This is Jeff’s second stint with the Cubs this year, and he is now out of options since he first got called up in 2008. Samardzija, who was once a highly touted pitching prospect, has lost alot of his luster with his inconsistentsy between being shuffled from the rotation to the bullpen in both the minors and the bigs. It seems the Cubs just can’t make up their mind with Samardzija, and it may end up costing him his career.

Hopefully both Jeff and the Cubs can figure things out and he can become the star pitcher he was ment to be.

as for the collecting aspect of Jeff Samardzija, Here is my latest pickup from my local card shop:

It’s a 2009 T206 polar bear mini. I’m not sure how many different parallel’s are in this set, but so far I have the base, bronze border, regular mini, piedmont mini, old mill mini, and now the polar bear mini.

Posted by: Chris | September 9, 2010

My First Box Of Cards In Almost 6 Months Is….

Well I broke down and bought a box of cards. I couldn’t help myself, I’m weak. But this isn’t any old box of wax. It’s a very sentimental box for me to open. It’s a box of 2004 Topps Opening Day. Why this ridiculous choice for my first wax box in almost half a year you ask? Well the reason is this; These were the cards that got me started in this hobby. I had a few random cards from years before, but never really cared for baseball card collecting until I bought a few packs of 04 Topps Opening Day at my Walmart one day out of sheer boredom. I loved the way the cards looked and it was in those packs that I pulled my first ever Nomar Garciaparra card. I still have it to this day, It sits in a toploader on my Nomar shelf with all my high end Nomar 1/1’s and Autos of his. It’s one of the greatest cards I own, and while It may not be worth very much, It means a hell of a lot to me.

So I have decided to go back and bust a box of my favorite cards ever that got me started in this hobby. I wont find any autographs or game-used cards in this box, but I will find something far more important to me, memories. And that is what this hobby is truly about.

Posted by: Chris | September 8, 2010

Contest Over At Drew’s Cards

hey guys just a quick update as I’m in a hurry here, but I wanted to give a shout out to Drew’s cards, as he’s having a contest to give away the contents of his box of 2010 Tristar Obak. So go and enter his contest if you want to win some free cards!

Hopefully I’ll be able to get a real post up later tonight when I get home so stay tuned!

Posted by: Chris | September 5, 2010

From The Friendly Confines Of My Mailbox

I got some really nice cards this week that wil help out both my player collections a ton. I made one trade and then 3 very nice ebay purchases steals. Enjoy!

First up, the trade. I made a deal with reader Johan, who is a well-known trader over on the Beckett message boards. He had a couple Cubs relics and wanted to know if I had any interest. I ended up sending him a pile of Ichiro and Albert Pujols base and inserts for them, but it was well worth it:

A Rich Hill relic from 2008 UD Heroes /50. I have alot of Cubs cards from this set, despite never opening a single pack of the stuff. And a Derrek Lee relic from 2008 UD A Piece Of History. I absolutely love ALL the relic designs from this set, there really nice looking, its numbered /180 too. A big hanks to Johan for the trade!

And next up, a few cards off ebay:

A 2007 Donruss EEE card of the Shark numbered /50. I love these cards and they are considered Samardzija’s second best rookie card. I have the base, blue parallel /150 and the red so now I just need the gold parallel /25 to complete that mini-rainbow.

Next up, a card I have been targeting for so long, and finally won for a great price. A 2007 Bowman’s Best Samardzija/Felix Pie dual autograph refractor /199. It took me forever, but I finally completed this mini-rainbow. I have the regular /275, the refractor /199 and the black /25. This is deffinitly one of those “the scan doesn’t do it justice” cards, because these look amazing in person!

And last but not least, yet another Nomar Garciaparra 1/1 to continue my amazing streak of 1/1’s!!

This time it’s a printing plate from his Georgia Tech days! Which makes this my oldest Nomar 1/1. I have boughten exactly 5 Nomar 1/1’s in about a month’s time, and I haven’t paid more then $10 dollars for any of them! Can’t beat that deal!

Posted by: Chris | September 3, 2010

Help Wanted

It’s been no surprise that things have really slowed down here lately, I haven’t been posting nearly as much as I would like to, and truth be told, I think I’m starting to suffer from blogger burnout. I don’t plan on stopping this blog anytime soon, as it has been way to much fun and I have met alot of great people while blogging. But the sad fact is I just don’t seem to have enough time lately to write on a consistent basis. I noticed that on the days I do write posts their are a ton of people that visit the blog, and even days I dont write I have a steady stream of people, and I wish I could give them some new reading material when they visit the blog.

So, with all this being said, I am looking to add another writer to the On Card Autos staff. A “guest writer” if you will. Someone to write a post every so often that will go up on the blog so that their will be much more new material to read on here. If you are interested in part-time writing for this blog, please leave a comment or send me an email. I’m going to do this on a first-come first-serve basis so whoever wants the job, gets it.

You can write as often or as little as you’d like. Whether it be once a month or once a week, it doesn’t matter to me. You can write about anything baseball or baseball card related. This gives any of the readers out their a chance to express there thoughts on our hobby, without the hassle and time of running a blog of their own.

If anyone is interested, please let me know! and I will be getting a real post up by tomorrow so stay tuned!

Posted by: Chris | August 29, 2010

My Nomar Collection Is In Full Gear

I have been on a tear lately when it comes to picking up cards of my favorite player, Nomar Garciaparra. I’ve been collecting him for a few years now, but have really lacked some key cards that make my collection special. His autos sell for a ton of money, much more then most of you would think. And if its not a printing plate, a 1/1 of his will sell for BIG money, were talking Strasburg type cash here.

Recently though, I was able to pick up to very nice 1/1’s to add to my collection. It’s very rare that a Nomar 1/1 that isn’t a printing plate stays in my price range, but this week I was able to buy 2 of them, both for great prices!

This first one here, I was expecting for it to go for alot more then it did, so I was very happy to have gotten it:

Yes, I know, I’m lazy and used the ebay photo, but at least its not a bad photo. This card is from 2003 Fleer Focus and has a canvas-type feel to it which is pretty sweet.

And next up, what I consider the crown jewel to my Nomar collection (for now anyways) Is this beauty of a card:

A 2003 Play Ball Nomar 1/1. I love the way this card looks and Play Ball is one of my favorite old-school card designs so I was very happy to find this card and the price was unbelievably cheap! This card currently sits on my desk so  I can stare at it every chance I get.

So, there you have it. I picked up 2 more Nomar 1/1’s to add to my collection, and I may have one more surprise coming in the mail to show off……

Posted by: Chris | August 26, 2010

Lou Who?

The Cubs are 3-0 since Mike Quade took over as manager for Lou Piniella, granted all 3 of those games were against the Nationals, but the fact is, we won 3 in a row. Quade has done an excellent job and although I don’t expect him to be back next season, I am glad we finally found someone capable of managing a baseball team.

On a completely different note, I have been super busy lately and haven’t had much time for blogging. Things don’t look to be any less busy anytime soon but I will do my best to write something as often as possible. Finally, If anyone is expecting a package from me, I have mailed everything out today so you should be recieving it sometime soon, thanks for all the trades guys!

Posted by: Chris | August 22, 2010

So Long, Sweet Lou!

I’m sure most of you have already heard the news by now, but in case you haven’t, Lou Piniella has resigned as manger of the Chicago Cubs to go home and take care of his ailing mother. Former third base coach Mike Quade will take over as manager for the remainder of the season.

I really don’t feel like getting into it that much. I’m glad he’s gone and the sooner it happened the better.

The fact that they didn’t call up Ryne Sandberg to finish out the season was quite interesting to me. This says that the Cubs don’t have full confidence in Ryno to be the manager next year. Which I have to agree with. I would much rather see Joe Girardi or Bob Brenly (my first choice for the job)

But that’s another post for a later time, right now, It’s Piniella’s day.

so here’s to sweet Lou, I’m sure gonna miss you screaming at umpires and throwing punches at Rob Dibble…

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