The Push for 1,000 and Trade Me Your Pat Burrells!

August 3, 2009

A few days ago, I received my 975th different Pat Burrell card in the mail.  If you’re familiar with the early days of this blog, you might recognize it.  After almost two months of waiting, this card finally arrived from the guy who purchased the Frank Thomas cards.

2003 Playoff Portraits Materials Bronze #24B 087/100


I have to say that this card is pretty high up on the weirdest cards of the decade list, at least for me.  This is the front, with a nice artistic rendering of a picture of Pat.  The card is textured with brush strokes, to mimic a painting.  None of that is really all that uncommon, but this is:


There’s a jersey bit on this card…on the back.  I don’t get it.  I guess Donruss didn’t want to squish the picture on the front, but it’s not even really worth putting a jersey on this card.  What’s even worse is that there is also an autograph parallel, similar to this card, with the sig on the back in the same cut-out.  What a terrible idea, all in the name of squeezing the jerseys and autographs into the set!  Anyway, that’s card #975 in my Pat Burrell collection.

Now, despite, the blahness of that card, I’m very excited about reaching 975 different cards because it means I’m closing in on the 1,000 card mark.  To get me there a little faster, I’m going to run my very first contest!  I will be updating the 2003-2006 Burrell wantlists over the next few days so that everyone will know exactly which cards I do not have.  Here are the prizes for the contest:

Anyone who sends me a new Pat Burrell card will receive five cards of their favorite player in return, if my collection cooperates.  If I don’t have those cards, I will do my best to find something you will enjoy.

Anyone who sends me a new Pat Burrell serial numbered cards will receive three serial numbered cards of their favorite team (once again, collection willing) plus the five favorite player cards.

Anyone who sends a new jersey or bat or wall or jockstrap will receive two hits of their favorite team plus the serial numbered cards and the base cards of their favorite player.

Anyone who finds a new autograph, will receive one or two autographs plus everything from the relic level prizes.

And the grand prize, which will go to whomever sends me card #1,000, will be everything above plus another autograph from your favorite team.  The grand prize will be awarded regardless of the level of card received.

In Case You Haven’t Seen This Somewhere Else…

August 2, 2009

…Head over to Trader Crack’s Blog for a chance to win a cut signature!  There’s a pretty good chance for an awesome signature.  Good luck to everyone!

2009 Topps Heritage Wantlist

July 25, 2009

Now that I seem to have a few more readers, I’ve decided to update and repost my 2009 Topps Heritage wantlist to see if I can get a little further along.  Also, you can find this and any future wantlists by clicking on the Patsearcher Wantlists Blog over on the right hand column.

Base set: 16, 18, 22, 23, 31, 36, 39, 43, 49, 60, 67, 71, 75, 79, 81, 94, 114, 126, 140, 149, 171, 177, 185, 194, 201, 207, 210, 212, 226, 254, 264, 268, 276, 278, 293, 300, 307, 309, 314, 333, 334, 339, 349, 364, 378, 383, 384, 386, 389, 391, 397, 407, 417, 418, 427, 428, 430, 431, 432, 433, 435, 436, 437, 439, 440, 441, 442, 447, 448, 449, 450, 451, 454, 458, 460, 461, 462, 463, 464, 465, 466, 467, 468, 469, 471, 472, 473, 474, 476, 478, 480, 481, 482, 483, 484, 486, 487, 488, 491, 493, 494, 495, 496, 499, 500

Baseball Flashbacks – 4, 6, 8
Mayo – Pujols, Matsuzaka, Ortiz, Pedroia, Wright, Longoria, Sizemore, Hamilton, Santana, M. Ramirez, Braun, Howard, Lincecum, Guerrero
New Age Performers – 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15
News Flashbacks – 1, 3, 4, 8, 10
Then and Now – 4, 5, 7, 9, 10

Hobby Shop Adventures: Pitchout Sports Cards (Part 1)

July 23, 2009

On a recent trip to the Jersey shore, I returned to the card shop of my youth.  Growing up, my family had a beach house in Avalon, NJ.  Every weekend my mom would give me $10-20 to head over to Pitchout to pick out whatever I wanted.  The shop was only about two blocks away and I spent at least one afternoon a weekend there, looking through cards and talking baseball with the owner.  It was my favorite way to kill a few hours in the early afternoon.

The shop is certainly the smallest card store I’ve ever been in, with standing room for about eight people max.  However, it will always hold a special place in my heart for being the place I really became a collector.  Most importantly for this blog, this shop is most likely the place I purchased my first Pat Burrell card and the place that rekindled my desire to collect last August.  Before last summer, I hadn’t been to Avalon since my family sold our house in 2004 and I hadn’t really collected since 2003.  Last Friday marked only my second trip to the store since I had stopped collecting.  I picked up some great cards, including an oddball Phillies set that I have been looking for FOREVVVVER (Squints-style).  More on that set in part two.  But first, the best thing I found at the shop is my very first Mark Reynolds autograph:

2007 SP Authentic By the Letter Rookie Signatures #116 06/75


Beginning with my enrollment at UVA last year, I have been half-heartedly collecting both Mark Reynolds and Ryan Zimmerman, two famous recent graduates of the UVA baseball program.  Reynolds is having a tremendous year, even if he is on pace to break his own single season strikeout mark of 205, which he set last year.  Reynolds is just hitting his power stride, having already connected for 25 home runs this year after only 28 longballs all of last season.  Reynolds has even attracted the attention of eminent blogger Mario at Wax Heaven.  Reynolds is definitely a player on the rise, and I am proud to call him a fellow Virginia Cavalier, even if it doesn’t appear that he graduated.

Like just about everyone else who has ever commented on the letterman autos, I am not a big fan.  The letter doesn’t even fit inside the opening, and it cramps the signature.  It took me a minute to realize that the autograph faces the opposite way of the words running down the righthand side.  I just don’t really see the point of the letterman if it’s not game used.  Nonetheless, I’m very excited to have found a Reynolds autograph for a reasonable price and I hope to continue to add to my Mark Reynolds collection.  Stay tuned for Part 2 of this edition of Hobby Shop Adventures.


July 22, 2009

Hi, welcome to In Search of Pat the Bat!

I have been collecting Pat Burrell cards since he first came up with the Phillies in 2000 and now I have made the insane decision to collect each of his cards.  You can check the current count of my collection on the sidebar and you can help out with my collection by checking out my wantlists, organized by year, at the very top of the page.  I’m slowly getting the checklist for each year together.  If you have a card from any year not listed, please e-mail me and I can let you know if I need the card.  Thanks and enjoy!

Remember to enter the Push for 1,000 contest!


Two More 2009s

July 19, 2009

If I know one thing as a player collector, it’s that I rarely ever pull the card I want.  As a result, I usually just buy the Burrell cards to save a little money on sets I don’t want to collect.  Here’s the Burrell base card from 2009 SP Legendary Cuts, which is a good looking set but very expensive, given the large number of cut autos inserted into the set.

2009 SP Legendary Cuts #75


Sometimes, I want to collect a set, but the Burrell card is just too tough to pull and I always want two copies.  That’s the case here, with Pat’s 2009 Allen & Ginter base SP card.  I found a seller with 2 copies for $1, as well as the Legendary Cuts card above, and I just jumped all over it.  Of course, now I will pull a Burrell SP in every box of 2009 A&G that I buy.


These three cards bring my total Burrell collection up to 955 unique cards.  The Legendary Cuts base card lets me put that set to bed and the Allen & Ginter gives me a good start on all of the parallels from that set.  Look for more Allen & Ginter parallels in the coming weeks.

Allen & Ginter First Impressions…With Gint-A-Cuffs Practice Scoring!

July 18, 2009

The other day I had a job interview in the small town where I went to college.  While I was there, I stopped in the local card store to check out some 2009 A&G.  These are the three packs I purchased.  I’m going to use them to practice for my upcoming Gint-A-Cuffs! boxes.  Away we go

Pack 1
65 Dexter Fowler
258 Felix Hernandez

333 SP
172 mini
54 Carlos Guillen
13 Travis Hafner
333 Nick Swisher SP +4 points (+5 SP -1 Yankee)
AGHS22 Ken Griffey Jr. +3
172 mini Jarrod Saltalamacchia (This guy’s name almost spans the width of the back of the card)
NP71 Josh Hamilton +4
Pack 1 Total: 11 points

Pack 2
127 J.D. Drew -2 (I am penalizing myself for purchasing a pack with this greedy bastard in it)
3 Manny Parra
25 Evan Longoria +2
37 Andre Ethier
125 Randy Johnson
178 Adam LaRoche +2
NH22 mini William Wallace Scotland +5 (Whoo Braveheart Mojo!)
NP74 Yadier Molina
Pack 2 Total: 9 points Gint-A-Cuffs/+7 points modified patsearcher rules

Pack 3

169 Kazuo Matsui
242 Mark Teahen
51 Ryan Perry
152 Phil Coke -1
96 Geronimo
254 Code Parallel John Maine +2
293 Mini Black Border Ian Snell +3
NP3 Jason Bay
Pack 3 Total: 4 points
Twenty-four points between three packs wouldn’t have been too bad a start to Gint-A-Cuffs.  I think this year’s version of A&G is the best yet.  Eliminating a lot of the white space has really made these cards a lot more appealing.  Three packs was enough to whet my Allen & Ginter appetite and I’m really looking forward to tracking down a box now.

Topps Magic is Making Me a Football Collector!

July 16, 2009

First let me say that I’ve never really collected football cards.  I’ve watched football all my life and played all the way through high school, but I never got into collecting football the way that I did baseball.  I have a few cards lying around – maybe 500 from the early ’90s – but I’ve never really been enticed to purchase any packs of cards.  Last week I changed my mind after seeing a box of Topps Magic busted on YouTube.  I loved the retro look of the cards and the college uniforms.  I decided that the next time I found myself in the card aisle at my local big box retailer, I’d pick up a pack or two to check them out for myself.  Here are the results of my first pack, from top to bottom:

157 LaMarr Woodley


It’s only fitting that the first Magic card I see in person is of a Michigan Wolverine.  Michigan is the team I grew up rooting for, mostly because their games were on TV every fall Saturday afternoon.  I’m still a huge fan, despite the tough times that have hit the program.  If I wasn’t already planning to try to build this set, I was after seeing this card.  I’m not sure if I’m going to go after the full mini set or not, but I will be chasing all parallels of the Michigan cards, the UVA cards, and Joe Flacco’s Delaware card.  I think Topps planted this card and two more Michigan cards in the other three packs I purchased just to get me hooked into this set.

59 DeShawn Wynn


The design on these cards, which is derived from the original 1951 Topps Magic, is pretty similar to 1951 Bowman baseball, with the addition of the position and the college team nickname.  The black bar is also centered at the bottom of the Magic design, as opposed to off to the left on the Bowman cards.

191 John Carlson


123 Justin Vargas Mini


You may have noticed the very bland backgrounds of all of these cards.  The vast majority of the cards that I have seen feature mostly grass with maybe some shrubbery or trees in towards the top.  Unfortunately, on this point Topps deviated from the original 1951 cards, which had a lot of character in the backgrounds.  Hopefully this is just an anomaly among the cards that I have pulled from packs.

186 Philip Rivers


159 LenDale White


On the closer inspection afforded by my scanner, it appears that most of the faces on these cards are pretty lifeless, much like 2009 Goudey.  Granted that his face is behind a facemask, but Philip Rivers really only has eyes.  Even LenDale White’s face is a little flat compared to the rest of his body.  Overall though, I really like this set and I’m going to attempt to put the set together.  However, Topps has made that task very, very difficult.  Both retail and hobby have a 1 in 3 insertion rate for the short prints.  However, according to the officially released checklist, there are 50 SPs among the 250 base cards.  Given nearly impossible perfect collation, that’s 150 packs for the short prints.  Retail has roughly 4 base cards a pack, so you should be able to make 3 complete short sets before you complete the SP set.  Right now I have 2 SPs, so I’m 4% of the way there!  This heavy SP load surprises me, given that Topps seems to have found the right balance in both Allen & Ginter and Topps Heritage.  Both of these baseball sets feature robust SP lists, but at a ratio that makes completing the set both possible and challenging at the same time.  Back later with the goodies from 4 more packs of Magic.

A Very Topical Insert Card

July 10, 2009

There have been many insert sets from both Topps and Upper Deck that crib from current events, including presidential races and the like.  It makes financial sense for the card companies.  They can try to capitalize on the interest in popular topics by creating a chase insert set.  The mock-up Madoff card from 2009 Allen & Ginter is a great example.  However, there is no insert set that is more of its time than this 2000 Fleer Burrell:

2000 Fleer Mystique Rookie I.P.O.  #RI3


This insert set was released a few months after the dot-com bubble burst in March 2000.  The late ’90s and very early 2000 was a period in which anyone with a harebrained idea that tangentially involved the Internet could raise millions of dollars in the stock market.  As many people know firsthand, there was a rush to enter the market to snatch up these Internet-based retailers, many of which eventually filed for bankruptcy.  In 2000, 422 firms completed an IPO, raising a combined total of $97.4 billion.

This insert set is brilliant.  Rookies and IPOs just seem to make sense and I’m surprised that it took until 2000 for one of the companies to think of it.  The checklist of the set is fairly successful in mimicking a batch of IPOs.  Josh Beckett and Alfonso Soriano lived up to the early hype and have had star quality careers.  Pat Burrell never lived up to the hype surrounding his debut, but he has put together a fairly solid career.  Rick Ankiel had to completely reinvent himself as a hitter but has pulled through nicely on the other side.  Nick Johnson has struggled with many injuries and never really gotten his career off the ground.  The rest of the checklist is filled with borderline major leaguers.  Kip Wells is somehow still in the league despite posting a career 65-96 record and a 4.71 ERA.  He has pitched in 23 games this year out of the Nationals’ pen.  Eric Munson played in 360 games over parts of 8 seasons while hitting just .214.  Ruben Mateo hasn’t played in the major leagues since 2004.  He played only 295 games over six seasons.  Mark Quinn placed third in AL ROY voting in 2000 but hasn’t played in the majors since 2002.  Ben Petrick played just 240 games over parts of five seasons.  He last played in 2003.

This insert set is a terrific example of a set that would never work outside of its own era.  However, in its era, it made tremendous sense and also provided a Pat Burrell card that I truly enjoy.

Aaarrrrgggh! Pat’s an SP!

July 8, 2009

2009 Allen & Ginter is live and auctions are starting to pop up all over eBay.  The last couple of days have seen pre-sells of the Burrell card with no pictures.  All the auctions have Pat listed as card #334, which makes an SP unless they did something hinky with the SP numbering this year.  The first picture went up at 10:30 last night:

AGBurrellLook at that smile!  I think the girls over at Dinged Corners will have to add this to their collection.  I really like the black border this year, with all the ornamentation.  It’s an improvement over the plain black borders of the past couple of years.  The base card will almost certainly look great as well.  I can’t wait to get my hands on these Burrell cards!