Wednesday, December 22, 2010

And The Winner Is?

I figured my little hint yesterday would spark one of the few people working on my code . . .

Someone believes they've solved it and that someone is none other than Nick Jacoby.

Check out his post over at Cardboard Overload.

Solution is not given away, but he has completed the final task.  Thank you to everyone that took a look, I really enjoy creating these and will likely take the next step and put out my own set of custom cards for my next one so that I can have complete creative control.  Consider it the Ginter Code tune-up for anyone who will attempt to break that code next summer.

I figure I'll need to make it harder to really challenge these Ginter champs.

Congrats Nick.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

What to do ... what to do?

Sneak peak into my brain, maybe . . .

Tis the season!  Enjoy.

Oh and anyone who plugs/plugged this code endeavor, well consider yourself on my Christmas list.  I'll reach out to you if I don't have your address.

My Last Bit Of Brewers Gold

Anyone else out there holding some nice 2010 (or 2009) Brewers gold?  I'd love to make a trade.

Felipe Lopez was a nice fill-in during the 2009 season while Rickie was on the mend again.  Not sure where he ended up last year, but if memory serves me correctly he didn't do much of anything . . .

Saturday, December 18, 2010

2010 Topps Update Series - Tony Gwynn SP (US-203)

I'll add this card over to the Visual Trade Bait page in a few moments . . .

I honestly didn't realize that Tony Gywnn started his competitive donut eating days during his playing days.  That's quite the spare tire look he's sporting in this photo.  Couldn't we have gotten something a little more flattering?

Are there any Gwynn fans/collectors out there that want/need this card?  Please do let me know.  I'd love to make a trade.  For now I'll plop him beside the Nolan Ryan SP I found in the 2009 Updates & Highlights.

For those wondering, no, the code hasn't been broken yet, but several people have made progress.  I'm very excited for those several people!  Go bloggers go!

Friday, December 17, 2010

My First MCG Redemption: Sweet Mariner Action

If I could only remember where I was reading today that the MCG redemption cards seemed to be everywhere now, I'd point you to that person's blog.  The problem is I read a TON of your blogs today.  I probably left an electronic paper trail littered with comments, but for now know that I read this somewhere and that sets the stage for this post.

I dove headfirst into a jumbo pack of 2010 Update Series (what happened to the U&H moniker?  that was short lived).  Plenty pleased with the cards I nabbed, which I'll save for another post, I was excited to see I did indeed pull a MCG redemption code.

I then wandered over to to see what had been recently unlocked.  I saw a few 80s cards, a few 90s cards, a few 70s cards and 1 1950s card.  It didn't look super promising, but I thought what the heck, I've never done this before, let's give it a whirl!

Here's what I ended up with:

Stan, nice 'stache.  And I notched a cool little cartoon on the back as well.  A cartoon about someone named Jack Reed.

Well, overall, I'm happy with this experience, although I'm sure if I pulled a 1992 Mark McGwire I'd have a different stance.

More Brewers Gold & Contest Update

Brew Crew Kockout!  Another fantastic card from the 2010 set, and it's in my hands.  I'd really really really really love the gold or black parallel of Prince's card #1 from the set.  Pleading with you readers out there ...

This card came as part of the aforementioned trade with Nachos Grande.  He's building quite the sweet set of 2010 Ginter relics, so see if you can help him out.

Code Challenge #2 is now a week old, and remains unbroken, although I can confirm some chips and cracks have been taken out of it.

Just remember, I have tried to take some common concepts and put them to use in my code.  Some that I learned from the Ginter Code challenges and some that I learned on my own.  Pattern recognition is key.  First Ginter Code had words that interlocked from card to card to set the order.  Second Ginter Code had a group of 9 cards in order 1-9 that paired with another group of 9 cards in order to give you your start.  Third Ginter Code gave you birthday hints throughout the set to figure out how to group the cards and start the de-transposing.  All great codes in their own way, all primarily based on transposition and finding which pieces of text to read.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

I Told You I'd Steal This Idea - Visual Trade Bait

I've finally stolen the visual trade bait idea from the Project 1962 blog.

I was made aware of this blog, and this idea for trade bait during my first code contest when I was pimping a couple of "new to me" blogs.  I made quite a few new friends during those weeks, and the same goes for during this code challenge as well.

I've only added a couple of cards to the page, stuff I already had scanned in.  Some shiny 2009 Topps Heritage and a couple other cards I'd posted as available in trade before including the Roy Halladay propaganda poster card.

As you can see at the top of my page now there is a tab for "Home" and "Visual Trade Bait", a feature I didn't even know was available but I plan to make more use of now that I know I can add up to 10 other "pages".

I'll post an update as I add more cards to it.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Some Gold & Code Contest Update

Bernie's Bash Brothers.  Love it.  I love both you guys equally, but not as much as I'd love having a rotation and bullpen .  .  . but also not as much as I love the trade I pulled off with Chris at Nachos Grande.  You can see the relics I sent his way from the 2010 A&G set.  If you've got some lying around that you'd like to deal for cards  you'd enjoy more, I'd encourage you to look at his want list.  Chris is one of the easiest guys out there to trade with and his list is always filled with potential trade fits.  Check it out.

I'd still love to trade for any other 2010 Brewers gold parallels.  Let me know if you've got something.

Now for a little code contest update.  Last time I put up a code contest, I had a lot better idea who was working on it, and what they had managed to figure out.  This time, I know nothing.  Which is fine.  Just know that I'll be using a sliding scale for determining the prize.  Maybe it will slide all the way up to that 1951 Topps Blue Back Johnny Mize card.  Anyone find any interesting things in the code yet?

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Game Is Afoot: Code Contest

Good morning ladies and gents!  I'm always astounded at the number of people who click through to look at the codes I've created.  I believe the first code challenge brought in somewhere in the neighborhood of 400 page views, although I suspect that 100+ were from the champion himself, Mike from JD's Wild Cardz.

Who will be the first to crack Code Challenge #2?  You?  You???  YOU????  I'm just curious to see how many people may or may not be working on it.  Like last time, if you are kind enough to pimp this little code breaking contest like Nachos Grande I'll be forever grateful and throw you into a drawing for the prize if it's not solved.  Just let me know you did so.

Good luck!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Justin, You Complete Me

Maybe more specifically, you've completed my 2009 Topps Series 1 set by sending over Colin Balester.  And for that, I couldn't be more appreciative.

If you guys haven't seen Justin's site, or his want list please swing by and see if you can help him out.  He's looking for post-2000 Cubs cards as well.

So where have I been for a month?  Well, that's a great question, and I've got an equally great answer.  Job hunting!  Yes, Mr. Economy through me a curveball and decided to set me down swinging.  As you can imagine, cards were the first thing cut from the budget.  Okay, maybe not the first, but they were UP THERE!

Meanwhile I've been following the Brewers progress this offseason.  Very pumped to have added Shaun Marcum to the rotation. Now if we could just find a way to bring Greinke into the fold we'd be set.  Maybe a three-way where we move Prince?  Or perhaps a trade out west with the Angels who are looking for a bat.  I'm just hoping Doug Melvin doesn't settle for Carl Pavano - I'm not a fan.  Just don't like him.

I received some other trade packages in the past month or so and I'll get some things posted again now.

I still owe Justin some cards in trade, and I'll be getting something out his way this weekend, and I know there are a couple other people who are waiting for a post about a completed trade with me  as well. I haven't forgotten, don't worry!

Oh, and if you're into that sort of thing, I'm also working on the next SS92 code.  To debut sometime around New Year's.  And yes, Mr. Gellner, I know I still owe you a back-up prize from solving the first one.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Looking For Brewers Gold!


So here's the deal. I skipped the 2010 Topps set, but I would love to have something to remember the season that was 2009 for your Milwaukee Brewers.

I like tradin, so let me know if you've got any of these little devils lying around. I promise to find something you need, want, like in return.

The Braun, pictured above, would be #1 on my list. It looks creepy and awesome with that huge head in the background. The Prince card, the notorious bowling-ball celebration would be very cool to have as well.

If there are other parallels (do they still do the black ones?) I'd be interested in those as well.

I'll go back to mourning my horribly wrong World Series prediction now.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Expanded Playoffs?

It's like they're reading my mind. It looks like my comments the other day were directly in response to this article (they weren't), but I'm glad to see expanded playoffs are getting a serious look.

That and a 7-game divisional series, which in my opinion is long overdue.

Game 1 Thoughts

Honestly, I thought the game was over last night when Cliff Lee and the Rangers jumped out to a 2-0 lead.

I just don't believe in these Giant bats, and I still believe it goes no further than Game 5. In my 4-1 prediction, I thought this first game was the one that had the potential to let Lincecum sneak by Lee.

I know the rest of America is cheering for the (s)crappy, waiver-wire, non-Bonds San Francisco Giants, but not me, I'm sticking with my boys the Rangers. I'm looking forward to Game 2 tonight, and seeing the Rangers even up at 1 apiece before heading home.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Playoff Baseball and Why I Can't Root For San Fran

I love playoff baseball. Why this sport plays a 162 game schedule, to sift through all the statistical anomalies only to allow 4 teams in from each league boggles my mind.

Now, I'm not advocating 8 teams per league like hockey (and maybe baseketball, I checked out on the NBA years ago), but maybe 6 teams per league?

Why not? The two best teams in baseball aren't in the World Series anyway, and I'm not even saying that with negative connotations. I'm going to try to watch every out of the Rangers-Giants series. I find it fascinating. Hitting (and Cliff Lee) versus Pitching (and some waiver wire fodder).

This series is going to be great. Very low rated, but fantastic baseball. This I assure you. The Giants pitching will make the Texas squad as low scoring as their own team of misfit infielders and outfielders.

Now back to the playoff system. Can we just fix this up? I don't care how you do it. I wish the solution was adding two more teams to make four 4-team divisions in each league, but I get the sense teams would be contracted before they were added. I just don't like the 6 team NL Central nor the two 4-team Wests.

In my dream scenario, you'd go all out on realignment with 4 divisions, and 4 division winners with 2 wild card teams, much like the NFL does. Two best division winners get a bye and we go 7 game series in every round. I really don't understand the point of the 5 game series. You play all year, 6 months, 162 games, just to reduce each team to positions players plus 2 or 3 starting pitchers and a couple of bullpen guys? This is nonsensical. 7 game series. Everyone wins. Oh, and schedule in some day-night double headers during the summer to get the regular season wrapped up in late September and get these series going a week earlier.

Do you see why this is a great idea? You pull 4 more teams into the "playoff fever" and the best teams are still saved from being bounced by "a team that doesn't deserve to be in the playoffs" (I'm calling this now, because I know how some of you think about adding more teams to the playoffs).

So there you go, let's get on it. More playoff teams, one more round of playoff baseball. If need be eliminate some games from the regular season schedule. Maybe we can distance ourselves from the shamed record book by retreating back to a little bit shorter schedule to include more action packed playoff baseball.

You with me?

Now back to the World Series. I'm pulling for the Rangers. I like what Nolan Ryan did there, the attitude he instilled in that staff. I like the Cliff Lee angle and I like that offense. Now, I'm not hating on the Giants, and I'm sure 75% of America considers them the underdogs and will be cheering for them, but I just can't get behind that team.

Yes, they have GREAT pitching, but I can't support a team GMd by one of the worst GMs in baseball that put together a team of Juan Uribe, Edgar Renteria, Freddy Sanchez, Travis Ishikawa, Cody Ross, etc, etc. I just can't. I love Lincecum and Cain and Wilson, but I just can't support this team.

Now for my prediction. I've got the Rangers in 5. I believe all the games will be close, but in the end, I see the Rangers bats defying the odds and overpowering the Giants arms.

Side note, can we get Will Clark to DH for both teams? I'd settle for letting him throw out the first pitch and maybe get some light pinch-hitting duty.

I miss you Will.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Mmmmmmmmmmmm Steak!

JD's Wild Cardz has a contest going . . . but I think I prefer Heinz 57.

Nonetheless, if you like shiny Chrome-y goodness as well as possible super-double-secret prizes, you should check it out!

Stay Tuned

JD's Wild Cardz will have a breaking news announcement sometime soon today!

You won't want to miss it.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A&G Blastery Goodness?

Ruiz looks like he's spent quite a bit of time at the post-game buffet table, am I right?

Millwood is proof positive that if you pitched good once a bunch of years ago that some franchise with a terrible pitching staff will still let you go out and throw every 5 days when you aren't hurt.

I don't like Shane Victorino. I'm pretty sure it's solely due to him playing for a fantasy nemesis. I'm sure he's gritty as heck, but I hate him.

This is one of the worst cards I've ever seen. I have no idea what I'm looking at.

And one of the cooler subsets in the A&G product this year, if you ask me, and you didn't, so I'll tell you. Really I dig the art and the stare from De Coronado. Staring contest between him and Ian Desmond . . . no clue who would win. It would be close, but I'm going with Coronado. It's really too bad his ship was eaten by Nessie.

When will I just stop posting the TDH cards, they're pure pain. I'm going to need to roll off back to back Ginter Code wins in 2011 and 2012 just to feel better about it.

For the record, I've heard rumblings that there is another code coming up . . . not on my site again though (yet).

Monday, October 11, 2010

A&G Blaster Pack #5

I'm leading once again with the mini from the pack. I think Topps did a nice job on the design of some of the mini-subsets and no-so-great on others. Visually the grey is appealing to me, and anchors the card. Dinosaurs are cool.

Who's more ferocious? Velo-ci-raptor or Mike Leake? You're right . . . not Mike Leake. Where' the game face Mike?

E-Jack pre-trade . . . nice game face, but Velociraptor still wins.

Some guy named Tejada. Sorry Mets fans, I'm not required to know who #79 out of spring training is. My knowledge goes deep, but not this deep.

Mark Reynolds once tried to kill a Velociraptor, but he swung and missed him.

... ... ...

Friday, October 8, 2010

Still Testing The Theory: 2010 A&G Blaster Break

Moving onto pack 4! Little less commentary today, but here we go . . .

I'll lead with the Black Bordered mini parallel of AAAA player Chris Davis. Sorry Chris, the dream is dead. Enjoy your AAA HR titles.

Lucy ...

Durango! (I don't know who this is)

Please enjoy the Barton scan.

Ian Desmond looks angry doesn't he? Does anyone else get the feeling the Nationals will be all the talk of the 2013 season?

Bleh, TDH cards . . . I loath you.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Trade With Kelly At Baseball Obsession-itis

One of those mutually beneficial trades. Kelly had some of the 2009 U&H lying around that I needed, and I had a little of the same, along with some 2009 A&G to knock of her lists.

There's still more damage to be done on those lists, so if you have a minute, swing by and check those out. It's all nicely Google doc'd so you can come back to it later.

I pictured my favorite card from the trade. Looks like something that should be over at Play at the Plate!

On an unrelated tangent - hmm I think that's redundant, ah well - I did another 2010 A&G Blaster Pack Break to try and prove or disprove JD's Wild Theory. More on that in the AM. Now for some night time baseball action, oh wait, it's all on TBS so I can't see it. Shame!

My ALDS Game #1 Yankees/Twins Photo Tour

Just grabbed a couple of the pictures I liked that I took at last night's game.

1st pitch!

Liriano was dealing to open . . .

A-Rod, Jeter, and Cano . . .

Thome gets hit by a pitch (you can see the ball after the richochets in the upper left corner of the picture)

Cuddy homers!

Twins try to rally . . .

Jeter tells Mo to shut the door.

I'll try to post more later when I get the chance if anyone is interested in anything specific - let me know!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

JD's Wild Theory: Part 3 . . . It's Getting Sketchy

Pack three (chosen by JD himself as the big winner) featured this sketch card of Mark Buehrle's perfect game from last season. Very cool. Not Theory Proving Cool yet however.

Side note, the mini was this:

Feels like there should be a Spice Girl or the Queen involved in this card.

Contest: Can't Have Too Many Cards

Especially these cards!

Pretty sure I don't a single of these vaunted rookie cards from the early 80s. I'd love to win. Maybe you would too?

Swing over, and check it out. A comment gets you an entry into the 500th post contest.

JD's Wild Theory Part II: The Hunt For The Undies

I know there's a swatch of some wrestlers undies waiting for me somewhere in this blaster. JD says so. I don't want to have to purchase a second blaster to prove him even more wrong. So let's dive into pack #2

Neil Walker? Is that his name? This guy must be 29 now. I remember when he was the young up and coming catching prospect in the Pirates organization. I believe some injuries set him back the better part of a decade. Of course my memory is horrible. But here it is, one of 13 of his rookie cards!

Sometime back in 2019 I'm going to come back and look at Mr. Hollands card and remark how young he looks. Baby faced! I'm a fan of his and hope he bounces back into form in the playoffs and next season. Still nothing to prove JD right . . . yet!

Matt Kemp. Man, I wish I didn't confuse you and Andre Either all the time. You're basically the same person to me - which solely has to do with the fact that you both arrived on the scene at the same time, both played outfield, and I'd never heard of either of you when you were making impacts on rival fantasy baseball teams. I can't remember which guy is better though either. Still nothing in our hunt for the undies.

Roy Halladay is a superstar, and I love him. I wish him well in the post season. However I can't bear to look at this card.

Jorge Posada mini. I believe this is a regular backed mini. Definitely not a retail exclusive mini, although with a little work, maybe he could be the next "Hot Tejada"?

Sorry JD, nothing to prove you right here, but we've got 6 packs to go.

In honor of my appearance at the Twins/Yankees game tonight I'll do another pack break at lunch and post the results. Thus far I've opened packs #7 and #8. Any requests for the next one?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

JD's Wild Theory

Mr. JD. I'm calling you out. I have terrible luck with blasters, but you say they're filling them with all sorts of fabulous prizes. Including, but not limited to: diaper swatches, autographs, cool retail exclusive minis and other fine treats.

So here I am, going back on my word not to touch the Topps Allen & Ginter product. But just know it's being done for friends . . . and in the name of SCIENCE!

I can assure everyone this is for the greater good, the trading community, and again . . . SCIENCE.

So with this I bring you . . .


Okay, here we go. Someone called Scott. Old timer. Cool? Maybe. Part of the greatness of buying a blaster? Likely not JD.

Mr. August! Very cool, but not Theory Proving Cool.

Let's pretend this is Balderdash. You guys ever play? Gosh, what a great game for people who like to bs each other. Lyle Oitker is the world record holder for holding both his hands over his head while holding one object in his left hand. He did this for 19 days, 11 hours, 58 minutes, and 12 seconds. Amazing.

Stoic Alex Rios. Game on!

Oh, and then these GD cards. Okay, I'll let it fly. Although we had the right concept for solving the Ginter Code, we were using this cards as the text to build from (since, oh, you know we didn't know we had to give up and email Topps with some random giving-up sort of statement). Many of these cards contain typos on the back. A select few have text on the front that doesn't match the first sentence from the back. We thought we were onto something between these and the celestial star cards. We knew we had to chunk some sub-set of players cards out by birthday, and then use the astrological breaks in the months to order the whichever cards fell into those 12 star signs. Ah, anyway, not even close to Theory Proving Cool. I promise.

Lastly, a mini. A Twins mini. Some sort of non-regular back. JD, it's yours if you want it.

But what, what's this? One more card? Relic??? Auto??? Oh, checklist. 1 Pack down, 7 to go.