Sunday, June 15, 2008

An Update

First off, I will be receiving a few Hanley eBay purchases coming soon.

Second, I'm gonna be getting a few 2008 Topps Series 2 HTA boxes soon, so I'll have my first box break coming up.

Finally, I think I might be closing in on my first Hanley trade! More to come soon.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Two More Cards to the Collection

Here's the two latest additions to the collection:

2007 UD Masterpieces "Captured on Canvas" - A nice, canvas-like card stock with a black frame border, silver lettering, and a jersey piece with a centered pinstripe. I like this card. From eBay.

2008 Spectrum Swatches (92/99) - Another one for the bad shipping files. Sent in an envelope in a transparent plastic clamshell case. Opened the envelope, the case was shattered. Little plastic shards everywhere. At first glance, nothing wrong...wrong. A scratch on the front of the card to the right of the swatch (you can see it in the scan, look to the right and slightly up from the right corner of the diamond). Unfortunate. Oh well, I won't return the card...I like this card. Look at it. Great design. I'll find a mint version somewhere. From eBay.

That brings the collection to 7 cards. Amazingly, 2 of 7 involved in bad shipping stories. Is this the way it's going to be, people???

Friday, May 23, 2008

What's the deal, cheapskate eBay shippers?!!

Ok, this is the second occurrence in a week of a very specific problem with eBay, so I will address it here. When you are shipping something through the mail where the content is fragile and susceptible to damage, why would you mail it in a common envelope? The reason why cards should be sent in bubble or padding-wrapped mailers is that there are significant bumps on route through the postal delivery system that a single top-loader will not protect against...when I ship out cards, I use bubble envelopes and sandwich the top-loader between card stock or two empty top-loaders...for a card that I'm sending to someone else.

Here's two examples of cards that I received from auctions I won off eBay. One card has been returned and hopefully I'll get a refund. The other card was only a dollar and it doesn't seem worth it.

First, an 2007 SPx Winning Materials jersey card that I got in the mail. It was sent in a penny sleeve, top-loader, folded into a piece of paper (the invoice) and mailed in a common white envelope.

Unfortunately, you can't see much due to my scanner (my digital camera having died doesn't help in producing much photographic evidence. However, the close-up on the right shows damage on the right side of the card. More importantly, coming out of the top and bottom of the X are creases. My first suspicion was that this is an impact damage...maybe someone's heavy book landing on the woefully unprotected envelope. However, and this is purely speculation, is it possible that this is a sign of tampering? If anyone knows anything about this type of damage, maybe you could fill me in. However, without any other evidence, my guess is that something landed on the right side of the card, causing it to bend and crease...which is a shame, because now the card is worthless.

The other card was an even greater loss. I don't want to speak ill of the seller/shipper because the guy is being great about making this right, but I think it is instructional as to why proper shipping is crucial in this hobby. When I opened the envelope (which had a blackish outline of the edges of the top-loader on the back of the envelope exterior), to the right is what I saw.

The top of the card, a great 2007 Artifacts quad jersey that is limited to 50, was pressed against the tape. Not only did the adhesive remove some of the top of the card's printing, but it also caused a pressure indention.

Even worse, the card was damaged, as the scan to the left clearly shows (left and right of the top two jersey pieces).

The worst part of this situation is that the card is a very nice card, especially for a player collector. Unfortunately, it is now damaged and pretty much worthless.

Seriously, sellers, these cards are getting banged up. If you are charging $3 to $3.50 for shipping and handling, please use a protected envelope. I use them, even at the cost of making a few bucks. It is a shame for these cards to get damaged.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Meet the newest member of the collection

I got some new cards, bringing the game-used/autograph collection of Hanley Ramirez total to four (4). That's right, double down,'s so money.

So, here they are:

2007 Fleer Ultra Dual Materials G/U (149/160) - from eBay (99 cents)

2007 Upper Deck Elements Clear-Cut Elements G/U Auto (165/314) - from eBay ($10.51)

Add them to the 2006 Topps Co-Signers and 2007 Topps Co-Signers Rising Star cards.

Too bad I haven't gotten a trade, but that's the beauty of eBay, right?

Monday, May 19, 2008

Time to Bring Out a Big Gun

OK...maybe none of the previous offerings were really enticing, so here's one:

2007 Fleer Ultra Autographed Ryan Braun Lucky 13 rookie card (limited to 23/499)
Look at this card. Rookie of the Year. Currently mashing for the underachieving Milwaukee Brewers. Low/High Beckett value of $60/$100. This is a great card, nice tight autograph on a holographic sticker. You're gonna love this card!

Make me a Hanley trade offer!!!

Update on Hanley Collection

Alright, so I haven't successfully completed (or initiated) a trade...but that doesn't mean I haven't been busy on eBay. I've got some Hanley game-used coming in. Scans when I get them.

Question: does anyone do any trading at hobby shops?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Awesome Pulls (grumble, grumble)

There are some stories about awesome pulls from box breaks that warm the heart. I remember reading in a Beckett a while back detailing the reward based fun for a son and his dad, getting blasters from Wal Mart and hitting a great autographed card. It reminded me of the times, as a kid, getting a retail box of 1990 Donruss or 1988 Topps because of the straight A's on a report card, and getting stoked just looking at the cards of my favorite players (oh, one the best was the 1991 Upper Deck Alan Trammell). Thus, when I hear about someone getting a great hit in some of the cheaper product busts or some long suffering hobbiest getting a lifetime pull, I feel the happiness they must of heart grows at least three sizes.

Of course, there are other stories where I get a bit more hesitant to share in the joy. In fact, the inner curmudgeon bubbles up a bit. Here's the story from Beckett online.

So, this guy walks into a hobby shop and opens boxes three consecutive nights. Sounds devoted. Fun. Wait, so he starts with Luxury Box, which was probably around $70. Not bad...totally do-able. Then he hits on a 2003 box of Upper Deck Golf, which sounds a bit expensive. OK, then he comes in the next night and busts 15 assorted boxes like UD Premier (~$500). The next night, he comes in and busts UD Black plus 10 boxes.

That's got to be some huge amount of money outlay, three nights in a row. That's a bender on a huge scale, and by busting some of the highest end product, he's kind of hedged his bets to get the big hits. Does this really need to be celebrated?

It isn't like he came into the store and got something he binged into some great breaks. It is like playing poker...if you have a marathon 48 hour session, you may see straight flushes, you may get those probability busting quads topping aces full, but it is because you played a whole bunch of hands. Why doesn't Beckett write about the same kind of guy, opening up a great many boxes, and getting all the guaranteed hits as things like a quad materials autograph Richie Sexson or a fan favorite A.C. Green but not hitting something ridiculous like the Octograph.

I know, this is crying over spilled milk, and I know that it doesn't increase your chances by purchasing bulk, but there just something about the tone of this story that irks me. I guess I'm just jealous that the guy has thousands to just binge on random boxes. Whatever.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Hanley to buy 2000 1932 Babe Ruth Cards

So, this website isn't a fan page...but here's a cheer for Hanley Ramirez hitting the jackpot.

6 years, 70 million dollars.

Great job, dude.

So, why Hanley and not Miggy?

The message to all the youngster...fundamentals. Are you a hard hitting player who can't field your position? Get ready to be shipped off as trade bait from the stingy Marlins group. Can you do it offensively AND defensively? Get ready to get paid.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Hanley non-Ramirez

Yikes! I can't believe I posted an unfinished lack of discernment between "Save As Draft" and "Publish Post" makes me feel ashamed. I guess I have control issues, much like Kason Gabbard.

Speaking of the incident last night, how about Richie Sexson getting pissed? Dude threw his helmet at Gabbard, then had harsh words! Pointing!!! Seriously, the most intimidating thing in the world must be getting yelled at by a man who's nickname is Big Sexy.

Worst nicknames list: The Bizarre, The Bad, The Bawdy Baseball Names.

One thing before I get to today's post...I don't know what to think about throwing at batters. Considering that there are some pitchers who have some awful control issues that seem to arise randomly (Rich Hill, any one?), I don't think I would trust a guy hurling a 94 mph four-seamer at my back and then having some mental or mechanical issue causing me to get beaned into Don Geiss-ville. Sorry, that last reference is to 30 Rock.

Oh, and what a douche-bag thing to say, Mr. Ron Washington: “Sexson overreacted. If we wanted to hit him, we would have hit him. He caused the melee, not us.” I can't wait for the next bench clearing incident involving the Rangers..."They overreacted. He only has a concussion. If we wanted to, we would have made him hemorrhage."

Then again, if it weren't for bean balls, then we wouldn't have glorious, wonderful baseball moments like Ryan vs Ventura or Martinez vs Zimmer.

Ok, so, here's the lowdown of this post: Hanley search on Google. Here are the google results from a Hanley search. Is there any connection to Mr. Ramirez? Please excuse this lame conceit, but I'm no Rob Riggle.
  • Hanley Center - sobriety. Huh. Let's see-ee-ee. Hanley da Marlin hits a lot of doubles, and alcoholics love doubles. I love scotch.
  • Hanley Wood - At first, I saw the name of the company and thought that I had a gimme. Wood, bats, knock it out the box Luke! However, here's what the company says..."Hanley Wood is a leading-edge business-to-business media and information company reaching audiences in residential housing and commercial construction." Do what? Well, they set up websites, and Hanley has this...and this...and even this (myspace is idea for the futures).
  • Hanley, England - Ok, it is a town that is part of the metropolitan collection of Stoke-on-Trent. The place has a world class ceramics collection (is the rookie of the year trophy made of ceramic?). They have a railway station, and Hanley has, um, a motor that doesn't quit on the basepaths. Dammit, this is hard, um, here we go, the loosest connection possible: Hanley, the most populous town in North Staffordshire, is generally described as the capital of the Potteries, a title to which it has certainly the greatest pretensions - 1893 journal. Flip the 8 and the 9 and you get this: Hanley Ramirez was born in 1983. Dude, I should get a conservative talk radio show which my tenuous logical abilities.
  • Jim Hanley - Ok, a comic book store in New York. Hanley Ramirez's nickname is Han Ram. Lost, the show on ABC, has a writer named Brian K. Vaughn. Brian K. Vaughn is the writer of the critically acclaimed and award winning graphic novel series "Y: The Last Man." They sell Y the Last Man at Jim Hanley's Universe. Circles! CIRCLES!
  • Hanley Innovations - This one is easy, and I'm blessed because I'm tired of writing these: Hanley is aerodynamic. He's greasy fast!

Alright, two cards up today...none of the other cards have been requested, so they're still up. I'll delete the pictures when they're needed.

2006 UD Artifacts Antiquity Artifacts Jeremy Bonderman (35/50) - Nice two color patch but there's a string loose.

2000-2001 UD MVP Pro Sign Autograph Shareef Abdur-Rahim - I got this card when UD couldn't fulfill one of those damned redemption cards. Yeah, great trade off, UD, a rookie autograph card vs. two autocards of Shareef Abdur-Rahim and Marcus Fizer. Scintillating. Of course, Shareef's auto is nice looking.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The First Post

Hello blogosphere. Since I've let StandardChuck lie fallow, I've decided to start up a new blog project involving my hobby of collecting sports cards.

Now, there are many card enthusiasts writing unique blogs that have inspired me to start "Trade Me Your Hanleys". The first site that really got me re-interested in sports cards after many years is the 83 Fleer Project. One guy, many 1983 Fleer cards, and an incredible access to former player home addresses...a great combination of an unusual premise, tenacity, and pure simplicity. Great blog.

Now, there have been other blogs that I have been keeping an eye on, but the one that's going to be the template for me is the Wax Heaven. I've been checking on Mr. Mario Alejandro's blog for many months now and have enjoyed his candid takes on his adventures in collecting. I love the fact that he's an avid collector of Jose Canseco and Andrew Miller (mirroring my own transition from Nolan Ryan to Hanley Ramirez) and he writes with enthusiasm that I probably won't be able to muster.

Anyway, so here's the deal. I want to collect Hanley Ramirez cards. Why Hanley? Why not! He's a young up-coming shortstop playing for a crappy team. I've always loved the SS position (even collecting Alan Trammell cards during the 80's...yeah, I traded a Bo Jackson black-and-white card for an Alan Trammell rookie card). Hanley is one of the best SS in the NL. I was living in Miami during the inaugural Marlins team. Enough reason for you?

So, the two cards you see above (2006 Topps Co-Signers rookie card autograph and 2007 Triple Threads Rising Star triple relic autographed card) are the entirety of my Hanley Ramirez collection. I will try to get 'em through pack rips and through eBay searches, but the blog is beign established to get Hanley cards through the fine art of trading.

So, here's how the deal will go down:
  1. Email me at with the card that you're offering and the card that you want. Please send a clear scan so that I can trust that the card is mint/near mint.
  2. I'll send you my address and phone number. You send me yours.
  3. Once your card is in my hands, I'll send out your card post-haste.
  4. In order to keep complete transparency, I promise to post on here details of the deal (excluding names and contact information). Any comments made by trading partners will be posted unedited by me. Honesty is crucial to trading, and I promise to be straight up.
  5. (optional) We write up our reasoning for the trade and/or our reaction to the trades. This can lead to fun writing, especially if you're into prospecting.
OK, totally geeking out now. Here are the cards available from this post.

2007-08 Upper Deck SP Rookie Edition SP Limited LeBron James game-used jersey card - The card came from a retail blaster box of SP Rookie Edition. I usually don't buy blasters at retail stores (except for those pesky Trademark Moves, but more on that stupid obsession at a later date) but not a bad pull for a "One memorabilia card per box." I don't have a price for this on Beckett or on eBay.

2006 Upper Deck SP Legendary Cuts Dave Concepcion bat card (184/225) - I love SP Legendary Cuts as they usually do a great job with the classic designs. However, this card is a puzzler, particularly because they used such a blurry picture. It looks like Dave has no eyes. Beckett L/H $3/$8

2005 Prime Patches Major League Materials triple relic autograph Wade Miller (44/85) - I love Prime Patches cards. They feature classic designs and great patches. This card has Miller's hat, jersey, and shoe patches. The auto, though, begs for more. The setting of the sticker obscures some of the first name and has some schmutz on the foil. I don't want to wipe at it for fear of scratching the foil. Oh well. Also, too bad that Miller's career seems over...he was a good pitcher during his 'Stros years. Beckett L/H $6/$15

2006 Bowman Chrome Prospects Gold Refractor (14/50) - Oh, the prospecting joy of Bowman. When they hit, they really hit. Here's the latest Tampa Bay pitching prospect, Andy Sonnanstine, on a gold refractor, limited to 50 copies. I have to admit that I don't like refractors, especially the checker-board design...such an eye-sore. Anyway, this card is priced Beckett L/H $20/$50.

2008 Topps All Star Game Patch Albert Pujols (214/499) - I hate this card. These specially manufactured patches that have never seen a playing field or even one of those "events" that make a relic "event-worn." I mean, I'm sure that the voracious need to obtain more memorabilia to make cards drives the card companies to their wits' end, but come on, a crappily manufactured mini-jersey and then a small picture of Pujols makes it a card of his??? I mean, how special is it when these fake relics are mass produced to 499 copies? This is the problem with trying to have two ensured hits per HTA get nonsense like this. eBay price $19.95 Buy It Now.

2007 MLB Artifacts Divisional Artifacts relic Jim Thome (103/130) - He's a masher, and he's not bad. Too bad he'll go down in history as just another slugger. He's consigned to the Kevin Mitchell pile, right? Beckett L/H $3/$8

2005 Prime Patches Major League Materials dual jersey Mike Cameron (01/14) - A nice card, a bit boring, but could be worse right? Anyway, Cameron is a great outfielder, and this is a low-serial numbered card, so maybe I'll get some interest from someone...anyone? No pricing due to rarity...but really, can this be worth that much?

2005 Topps Co-Signers Changing Faces Hypersilver Blue Adam Dunn/Austin Kearns 83Duo-A (08/10) - I was really stoked getting a Mark Teixeira/Nolan Ryan Changing Faces card that was limited to five copies. That was great. Getting an Adam Dunn and Austin Kearns card limited to 10 isn't bad from the same hobby box. However, having soooooo many of these dual cards really made the value decrease. Anyway, anyone want it?

2007 Fleer Ultra Hitting Maching Jersey cards Carlos Beltran and Nick Swisher and Faces of the Game bat card of Omar Vizquel

Ok, now the detritus from my great Fleer Ultra hobby box. I got Ryan Braun autographed Lucky 13 card and a Francisco Cordero auto card from this box. Talk about alot of hits. So, left over were these cards. Beltran looks like he'll never live up to his potential. Swisher is a great player who'll never become a super-star. Omar Vizquel better make it as a Hall of Famer for fielding: a natural at shortstop.

ALRIGHT, there you are folks...hope this draws some interest. Thanks!