Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Hey, it's Kershaw, all diamondy and stuff

The title for this post is a little flip, considering that some people haven't had much luck with the Diamond Giveaway at all. But I think I'm running out of interest in the site.

That's probably because I've landed the other Diamond Diecut card that I really wanted. The Clayton Kershaw diecut was traded to me by reader Martin. I was so impressed by his transaction that I bumped his trade way up in the rotation.

(As mentioned before, these cards are really much more sparkly and shiny than is capable of being shown on scans -- also my scanner bed apparently is plagued by dog hair. But don't let the dull scan ruin your appreciation of shiny, shiny goodness).

This leaves only one other Dodger Diamond Cut to get -- Andre Ethier. I'm sure if I offered my Reggie Jackson Diamond Cut for Ethier, I'd land it right away. But I don't want to do that. Instead, I'm very close to requesting shipment of both my Jackson and Tommy Hanson Diamond Diecuts and seeing what I can get for them in the real world, instead of that World of Cynical Trading on the Giveaway site.

After all, I was able to land the Kershaw Diamond Cut card on the outside in a very fair and equitable deal. Martin even sent this card:

The red gypsy version of the Kershaw mini. Excellent! Gypsy Queen has disappeared off the shelves of my Target, so it's good to get items like this in trades. We must circumvent Topps' distribution techniques!

Once I have my Diamond Diecut cards delivered, the Givewaway site merely reverts back to the Million Card Giveaway site for me. I still can't get interested in the ring-digging thing. I dig for them when I pull the giveaway cards, but every single time I shrug my shoulders afterward. I don't think I'll get to the 45 rings you need to get something worthwhile.

Anyway, here are a handful more cards from Martin:

A couple Dodger cards from Gypsy Queen's bastard cousin, Topps Attax. Yes, I know the two sets have nothing in common. But since they arrived at the same time, they'll always be linked in my head.

OK, all right, I'll show James Loney, too.

Whoo-boy. The '90s. What a vast wasteland of a decade.

Any Carl Erskine card I don't have is terrific fun.

This is even better. A TCMA card of never-mentioned pitcher Ken Lehman. He appeared for the Dodgers in 1952 and 1956 (the Korean War came in between) before moving on to the Orioles. He died just last December.

And this card is fantastic. Former Brooklyn Dodger third baseman Don Hoak. I didn't know, until I read that back, that he was married to '50s singer Jill Corey.

As you can see, I'm equally amused by super sparkly modern cards that look like they should hang off your Christmas tree (the more I look at them, the more they look like Christmas ornaments) and basic-design, low-budget TCMA cards with photos of players in dorky poses.

If you have cards of both, you're my kind of collector.


  1. Love the Kershaw Die-Cut.


  2. I have a couple of those TCMA's too, they're definitely interesting, seeing as how they feature guys that Topps (or Bowman) neglected to show in their sets. As far as the Diamond site is concerned, I've had very little luck as well with the exception of the two die cuts I unlocked, being Cole Hamels and Vernon Wells as a Jay. Vernon will come home but Cole will probably be traded. Lord knows I get enough offers of 1986 Topps for it.

  3. I got my Mickey Mantle Die-Cut in the mail over the weekend. It goes up on EBay later in the week. It just doesn't float my boat, so I'll take the cash and use it for working some vintage sets.

  4. Topps Attax ... previously it was always a total waste of time. Was it a baseball card or was it a game? Turns out it was neither. Baseball card collectors hated it for being a fake baseball card, but gamers couldn't stand it either because it was such a lame attempt at a card game.

    But 2011 Attax finally finds its identity: it's a game ... rounded corners, coated-playing-card card stock, and best of all: an actual game requiring strategy and skill. It's not the BEST card game in the world, or the most complete, and it still has a lot of holes, but it's a real game nonetheless.

    A buddy of mine knows nothing about baseball ("what's a triple?" he asked when I was trying to explain fantasy baseball to him.) But he's a huge gamer...he loves all games including CCGs. He bought the Attax starter set for me as a gift because he thought it could bridge our two worlds. We proceded to *gasp* actually play the game. It's actually a lot of fun.

    But here's the kicker ... as he started learning the strategy for the CARD game, he was learning strategy for the REAL game (manufacturing runs, playing mind games when choosing pitches, etc.). The card game actually got him interested in baseball and now he rattles off all kinds of baseball stuff to me and he proudly declared to his wife what "RBI" stands for (although he still sometimes messes up and calls them "BRIs".)

    He and I and our wives actually have plans to go to a ball game together this year. Has it changed ME? Well, since Topps base has kind of run its course for me and I hate GQ (sorry everyone) and I'm fairly indifferent to Herritage this year, I find that I'm buying Attax like there's no tomorrow. And it's not just to try to complete the set or complete a team set, or anything else collector-related. I'm actually trying to aquire cards with triggered actions that I can use to beat him. (Just a tip...the draw/discard action is actually very helpful to turn over your hand if it is too heavily-weighted for the wrong half of the inning.)

    NONE of this would have happened without Attax. I'm not trying to gush or say "Topps Attax saved this friendship" (because I certainly have a non-baseball side that actually likes museums and sushi bars ... well, okay, NOT sushi bars but you get my drift) or any nonesense like that. But I will say that I will always appreciate Attax at a level never before attained. By making Attax a real game they have now appealed to more than just the six-year-olds out there and they're actually winning people over to baseball. MLB should thank them.