Games People Play (on Trading Card Database)

We all love hosting/participating in various contests on the hobby blogs, right? (However, my annual Rose Bowl contest may be in jeopardy.) Various members of the hobby website, Trading Card Database (aka TCDb), also have contests every so often. Although I’ve often used TCDb for research purposes since the early 2010’s, I officially became a member in February 2018. Since then I’ve found myself spending more and more of my time there, especially on the forums. There always seems to be a contest of some kind going on at the TCDb forums and I recently took second place in one of them.

TCDb guru vrooomed (aka Dan) created an extremely original and enjoyable contest called “vrooomed’s Super Duper Scavenger Hunt #2 (this was the second edition of the contest). In this particular contest, entrants had to solve some very convoluted sports-oriented trivia questions (somewhat like a scavenger hunt) and answer with links to various cards found on TCDb. The contest lasted five days (one trivia question per day) and getting the correct answers was definitely more difficult and time-consuming than a simple Google lookup (and Google was definitely needed to come up with answers).

Both vrooomed and esteemed TCDB member griffey423 provided lots of prize cards for the five contest winners. Here’s what I won:

2019 Panini The National VIP #FT, #EJ, 2018 Topps Gallery #HOF-18, 2016 Panini Contenders Draft Picks #71, 2015-16 Panini Gold Standard AU #148 #'d 68/79, 2017 Panini Black Friday #39
2019 Panini The National VIP #FT, #EJ, 2018 Topps Gallery #HOF-18, 2016 Panini Contenders Draft Picks #71, 2015-16 Panini Gold Standard AU #148 #'d 68/79, 2017 Panini Black Friday #39
2016 Upper Deck Winter #W10, 2012-13 Panini Rookie Anthology #65, 2019 Upper Deck The National VIP Prominent Cuts #VIP-1, 2018 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions #145
2016 Upper Deck Winter #W10, 2012-13 Panini Rookie Anthology #65, 2019 Upper Deck The National VIP Prominent Cuts #VIP-1, 2018 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions #145

Although I don’t own other cards from the above card products, I’m really impressed by these cards. The Panini Sampson card is rather thick and serially numbered. And Gretzky and Woods (and the other non-baseball) cards? Those are my first of those athletes. And apparently some of these cards were exclusive to the 2019 National Sports Collectors Convention held in Chicago. But the prizes didn’t stop there.

2018 Topps #MLBA-27, #MLBA-43
2018 Topps Salute #TS-56
2018 Topps #TS-56

While the first 10 cards above were provided by the generosity of griffey423, these last three cards were awarded by vrooomed and they are definitely insert set needs for my 2018 Topps set.

Fun fact: vrooomed is also an avid reader of the hobby blogosphere and sometimes I’ll find that he has commented on some fellow blogger’s posts (just in case you thought the name “vrooomed” sounded familiar).

And with that, we give a hearty Stadium Fantasium standing ovation to both vrooomed and griffey423 for the contest, the prizes and everything they do for the members of the Trading Card Database. If you’re not already a member of TCDb (, I highly suggest you sign up. In the meantime, stay tuned…

Do You Remember (the Astrodome)

Mailday from Marc (Remember the Astrodome)

Back in December, I made a rather sizeable trade on Trading Card Database with Bru of the Marc Brubaker blog (formerly Remember the Astrodome). I sent Marc some ’90’s oddball cards (1990 Jumbo California Sunflower Seeds, 1993 Upper Deck Denny’s Holograms, 1996 Denny’s Holograms, a 2019 Topps Heritage Max Scherzer Candy Lid, a 2019 Topps Heritage Khris Davis Scratch-Off and a nice original 1969 Topps #458 Curt Blefary of the Astros). Marc sent me a big stack of cards I needed to move closer to completing various sets. Check ’em out:

Mail day from Bru (Remember the Astrodome)
Mail day from Bru (Remember the Astrodome)--love the packaging and the note!
A nice assortment of cards from Bru
A nice assortment of cards from Bru

Most of the cards I received are 2019 Topps Heritage (including a couple of short-prints) but I also received a 2018 Topps card and a 1996 Denny’s Hologram card of Tony Gwynn. I really love the 2019 Topps Heritage set and I’m happy that Marc put a huge dent in my want list. This set is about 87% complete. But tracking down those remaining short-print cards and those pesky Action Variation cards will take considerable time (and probably money). Still, at least I now have most of the inserts.

Scan of some the highlights of the trade

A warm Stadium Fantasium standing ovation goes out to Marc for this awesome trade. I look forward to more trades with Marc. Stay tuned…

Right Place, Wrong Time (for a Secret Santa Post)

2019 Secret Santa

Yes, I should have posted my Secret Santa gift last month but rumor has it that it’s better late than never. Thanks to Jon of A Pennysleeve for your Thoughts, a total of 32 card bloggers and Trading Card Database (TCDB) members had a Secret Santa gift exchange. My Secret Santa turned out to be a longtime TCDB member/guru who goes by the user name “vroomed”. If I remember correctly, I received my gift one or two weeks before Christmas. vroomed sent a nice stack of Dodgers cards from various products:

Assorted 2014 Topps Heritage Dodger cards
Assorted 2014 Topps Heritage Dodger cards

Whoa, some impressive 2016 Topps Heritage cards here including two Chrome (Kershaw and Puig), a Purple Chrome, and Action Variation and a relic card!

More assorted Dodgers cards
More assorted Dodgers cards

All of the above cards look really nice. I especially appreciate that vroomed sent me some serial-numbered cards including the 2015 Topps Gold Brandon League.

Yet more Dodgers cards and a sticker
Yet more Dodgers cards and a sticker

The Bowman’s Best Hi Def Heritage Atomic Refractor Corey Seager is a very thick card. The two Chasing History inserts are from the 2013 Topps Mini set. The Sandy Koufax insert is a 1987 Topps Mini insert from the 2012 Topps flagship set. The Fernando Valenzuela is a 1985 O-Pee-Chee sticker. Thanks so much, vroomed!

Both vroomed and Jon deserve a super Stadium Fantasium standing ovation and sincere gratitude for the Secret Santa gift exchange–you guys rock!

Caribbean Blue (Donruss 1992)

1992 Donruss card element
Screenshot from a 1992 Donruss commercial
Screenshot from a 1992 Donruss commercial

Wow. I can’t believe I actually won a contest prize over at Adam’s ARPSmith’s Sportscard Obsession. It really wasn’t due to due to a correct guess/prediction in one of his minicontests. None of the contestants in a particular mini-contest got the correct answer so the contestants user names were randomized and mine luckily came out on top.

The prize was a complete set of cards, as described in Adam’s original contest post, “The list will certainly include 1986-91 Topps, 1988 & 90-92 Donruss, 1989-91 Score and 1990 Fleer baseball sets and 1990 Score Football”. So as you may have figured by now from the title of this post, I opted for the 1992 Donruss baseball set.

Of all the baseball sets listed on Adam’s prize list, I had the least amount of cards from this set and this was definitely a set I wanted to complete. Although this set may have a bad reputation with some collectors, I’ve always found the design rather attractive, especially for a low-end product. The rather thin bars of light blue with their gradient effect at the top and bottom of most cards and the silver block-lettered names just strike me as pleasingly pleasant. See for yourself:

A sample of 1992 Donruss baseball cards

Adam even included the eight bonus cards, BC-1 through BC-8. The Florida Marlins and Colorado Rockies logo cards above are BC-7 and BC-8. The Marlins and Rockies would begin their inaugural season in 1993.

But that was not all Adam sent. He also sent a complete 33-card set of 1987 Topps K-Mart and a complete 33-card set of 1989 Topps K-Mart Dream Team. Both of these are sets I did not own. Check ’em out:

1987 Topps K-Mart Stars of the Decades: Box front and assorted cards
1987 Topps K-Mart Stars of the Decades: Box front and assorted cards
1987 Topps K-Mart Stars of the Decades: Box back and assorted cards
1987 Topps K-Mart Stars of the Decades: Box back and assorted cards
1989 Topps K-Mart Dream Team: Box front and assorted cards
1989 Topps K-Mart Dream Team: Box front and assorted cards
1989 Topps K-Mart Dream Team: Box back and assorted cards
1989 Topps K-Mart Dream Team: Box back and assorted cards

And so we give Adam (ARPSmith’s Sportscard Obsession) a well-deserved Stadium Fantasium standing ovation for the contest and the prize! Thanks Adam!

Next for this newly acquired set:

  • Enter these cards in my collection on TCDB (Trading Card Database)
  • Inventory the associated insert cards I have for the 1992 set
  • Create a wantlist of insert cards
  • Put all of the cards Adam sent into a binder

Until then, stay tuned…

My Fantasy Baseball Teams: Update 4/21/18

Okay, so after a rough two weeks of fantasy baseball (ending 4/15), all four of my teams are playing bad sub-.500 baseball. Obviously, I’ve got a lot of work to do if I want my teams to finish with a respectable win-loss record in the standings. Here’s a more detailed look at how my teams are doing:

So Cal All Stars H2H

My Diamond Kings team (highlighted above) is down in last place in the All-Stars division after a 8-3 opening week loss to Noah Patterson and a 8-3 loss to Mark C’s Swag Team. Losing Josh Donaldson and Byron Buxton to the disabled list does not help. I did drop RP Blake Parker and added SP Chad Bettis and 2B Cesar Hernandez. Hopefully they will help me improve against my next two opponents, ThE tHrOwBaCks and SlappinDDs.

Trading Card Database Rotisserie Baseball

As seen above, my one rotisserie baseball team (BBCARDZ) is tied for eight place. A week earlier, I was hovering around second place for a few days but dropped down since then. My strengths in this league (so far) are Runs, Stolen Bases and Saves. My weaknesses are Batting Avg., ERA and WHIP. We’ll see if I can make some improvement in these categories over the course of the season.

 Yahoo H2H Money League

Ugh! 11th place again…this is not good. I lost to SF Giants 6-3-1 in the first week and lost to BluffingtonCrapShoot 6-4 in the second week. Since the season started I’ve dropped RP Brad Ziegler and SS Elvis Andrus (on the DL for 6-8 weeks). I also lost SP Rich Hill and 3B Jake Lamb temporarily to the DL. But I’ve added SPs Reynaldo Lopez, Andrew Triggs, Chad Bettis and utility man Asdrubal Cabrera. My opponents for Weeks 3 and 4 are BARTOLO! and Crush City.

MLB REAL ROSTERS (Los Angeles Dodgers, of course!)

I had not mentioned this fourth fantasy baseball league that I’m in before this post, but it has a pretty fascinating (for me) concept. As you can probably tell from the league name above, each fantasy team consists only of players from a selected MLB team. This is my third year in this league and I’ve done fairly well in this 20-team H2H league. Last year I took third place, and second place the year before that. Of course it helps when your MLB team consistently posts a very good won-loss record.

Through the MLB Dodgers first 14 games, they have a 5-9 record. Through the same period, my fantasy Dodgers team has a 10-16-6 record. I lost 8-6 to the Chicago White Sox in the first week and then lost 9-4 to the St. Louis Cardinals in the second week. I think it’s fair to say, as the MLB Dodgers go, so go my fantasy Dodgers (as long as I keep up with lineup and roster changes). My next two opponents in this league are San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Angels.

Coming Soon…

Look for my next post featuring the next installment of Los Angeles Dodgers 60th Anniversary cards sporting the 1977 Topps design. Stay tuned…

Mailday: Yet Another Transaction at Trading Cards DB

Thanks to a Twitter account that I created to promote Stadium Fantasium (@bbcardz–follow me!), I got in touch with a fellow member of Trading Cards Database and made a deal to acquire a nice lot of 2018 Topps Heritage base short prints. As it turns out, this fellow TCDB member is also a fellow hobby blogger. He is J. Meeks of My Cardboard Habit and here are the cards he sent:

Some 2018 Topps Heritage Base Short Print Cards

The 14 short print cards pictured above are cards I need to help complete the set. However, five other short prints were included in the deal that are duplicates. They are:

  • 415 Matt Wieters (Washington Nationals)
  • 423 Kyle Hendricks (Chicago Cubs)
  • 429 Mike Leake (Seattle Mariners)
  • 442 Josh Reddick (Houston Astros)
  • 497 David Freese (Pittsburgh Pirates)

These five duplicate cards are now listed in the 2018 Topps Heritage section of the Stadium Fantasium Trading Block (along with other available 2018 Heritage duplicates). Gotta give a huge thanks to J. Meeks (Twitter handle @cardboardhabit) for these great cards. Of the Heritage base short print cards, I now need only 60 along with 17 regular base cards. If things go right this year, I hope to complete this set by year-end or at least before 2019 Topps Heritage is released. Stay tuned…

My Trading Card DB Fantasy Baseball Team: BBCARDZ

On Monday (March 26) I drafted players for my team (BBCARDZ) in the Trading Card Database‘s “TCDB2_Roto” rotisserie baseball league. It’s a 10-team league made up of TCDB members. I expect this league to be very challenging seeing as I have not participated in a rotisserie league for maybe 10 years or more. This is not a money league so there are no cash prizes. Hopefully the players I drafted below will have good seasons and I can finish among the top teams.

1. (6) Mookie Betts (Bos – OF)
2. (15) Giancarlo Stanton (NYY – OF)
3. (26) Cody Bellinger (LAD – 1B,OF)
4. (35) Josh Donaldson (Tor – 3B)
5. (46) Dee Gordon (Sea – 2B)
6. (55) Edwin Encarnacion (Cle – 1B)
7. (66) Chris Archer (TB – SP)
8. (75) Dallas Keuchel (Hou – SP)
9. (86) Roberto Osuna (Tor – RP)
10. (95) Trevor Story (Col – SS)
11. (106) Edwin Díaz (Sea – RP)

12. (115) Rich Hill (LAD – SP)
13. (126) Matt Carpenter (StL – 1B,2B,3B)
14. (135) Rougned Odor (Tex – 2B)
15. (146) Justin Smoak (Tor – 1B)
16. (155) Ender Inciarte (Atl – OF)
17. (166) Ian Desmond (Col – 1B,OF)
18. (175) Danny Duffy (KC – SP)
19. (186) Trey Mancini (Bal – 1B,OF)
20. (195) Taijuan Walker (Ari – SP)
21. (206) Jake Faria (TB – SP)
22. (215) Mike Clevinger (Cle – SP,RP)
23. (226) Austin Barnes (LAD – C,2B)

This league has the usual five pitching categories (Wins, Saves Strikeouts, ERA and WHIP) and the usual five hitting categories (Runs, Home Runs, RBIs, Stolen Bases and Batting Average).

For this draft I had the sixth pick and did not have to draft while at work. Again I think I did ok. I did draft a couple of closers this time but did not draft a catcher until the last round. Catcher is such a thin position so I might not take a big hit at that position. My hitter-heavy roster should make up for any catcher shortcomings. Like every other baseball fan, I can’t wait for Opening Day. Stay tuned…

Mailday: Another Trade on Trading Card DB

Thanks to the awesome trading features on the Trading Card Database, another great TCDB member reached out to me to propose a very nice trade. dsorek offered nine of the cards I needed to complete the Topps Series 1 base set. In return I sent a couple of Cubs 1983 inserts also from Series 1. I’ve only been a TCDB member less than a month and I just realized that after both parties deem the transaction as “Completed”, the site added the cards I got to “My Collection”–how cool is that? Thanks dsorek and Trading Card Database for making this happen!

Nine cards from 2018 Topps Series 1

With these nine cards, I am only two cards away from completing the Series 1 base set (not including short prints). As of this post, I now only need #275 George Springer and #347 Kolten Wong, at least until Series 2 arrives. Until then, stay tuned…

Mailday: First Trade on Trading Cards DB and Vintage Goodness

Trading Card Database Trade

The Trading Card Database (aka TCDB) has been one of my go-to resources for helping me properly identify various cards in my collection. I’ve been using that wonderful site for years and have been so impressed with its growth and usability. So I recently decided to register as a TCDB member and contribute some card images of my cards that weren’t already on the site. I also input my 2018 Topps cards onto their “Collection” feature and created a trade list and wantlist of 2018 Topps cards. In case you didn’t know, what’s also cool about TCDB is that reports are generated of member trade lists and wantlists so that other members can initiate trades. This resulted in a very nice TCDB member named SteelPerogie offering to make a small trade with me. He asked for a couple of ’83 inserts of the Cubs and offered a couple of ’83 inserts that I needed (pictured above). SteelPerogie even included a couple of Topps coupons, which I immediately used to buy more 2018 Topps Heritage cards. Of course I’m especially happy to get the Bellinger card. Now I’m only 77 cards away from completing the 2018 Series 1 (100 cards) portion of the 1983 insert set. I’m not in an urgent rush so I’ll be pretty happy if I can just get to 50% of this insert set before the end of the year. Thanks Steelperogie!

Vintage Goodness

The day I received the ’83 Topps inserts, I also received a 1969 Topps card that I purchased from an eBay seller. The acquisition of this near-mint #375 card of HOFer Harmon Killebrew means I only need five more cards to complete the set, not including the variations and deckle edge inserts. I know NM condition cards of the elusive five will cost an extremely pretty penny but I’m in it for the long haul. The 1969 cards are the first I ever bought as a youngster, so these are pretty special to me. I also input my 1969 Topps cards and deckle edge cards into the Trading Card Database. Perhaps TCDB will also have a hand in helping me complete the ’69s.

Stay tuned…