Saturday, November 30, 2013

Upper Deck NPN Program actually works

Wow, here's a first for me....two posts in a single day.

However, after getting today's mail, I couldn't help but post.

Even though this isn't a Padres card, or even related to baseball, today's envelope just blew me away.

If you've been collecting for awhile, you've heard of the No Purchase Necessary (NPN) program. For example, Upper Deck offers a chance to obtain a free insert card (while supplies last). All you have to do is go onto their website and register electronically for that particular set. They even allow you to register for as many different sets and sports as you want.
Of course, once you register, you forget about it.
At least I did, until I got this card and letter in the mail today from Upper Deck...                  
Dear Collector,

Congratulations! We are pleased to advise you that your Method of Free Entry request from 2013 Upper Deck Football is a winning entry. Accordingly, we have enclosed a card from that set. We hope collector's like you will continue to support Upper Deck products for many years to come.

Please check our website at for more chances to enter.


Customer Service Department
The Upper Deck Company

Again, just WOW!
I know I've heard some of the horror stories about Upper Deck's Customer Service Deparment, but this is totally amazing, in that the NPN program actually works.
Without a doubt, I'll be entering again...early and often.

Panini's 2013 Black Friday promotion

Ok, I admit it. I got up early Friday morning and drug my turkey-sated, tryptophan-laden carcass out to take part in a Black Friday shopping spree. But, it's not what you think. The only store I visited was RyansCardz, one of my local brick and mortar card stores here in the Des Moines-area.

I found some sweet discounts, picking up a box of Panini Prizm Baseball, a box of Panini Prizm Hockey and some card supplies. What really sealed the deal, however, was the fact Panini helped sweeten the pot by providing dealers 2013 Panini Black Friday promo packs.

The promo set, consisting of baseball, football, basketball and hockey, has an exclusive base set featuring 49 regular cards and 12 Rookie Memorabilia cards, numbered to 99. Parallels include, Cracked Ice, with a reflective background, single-color Progression Proofs, 2013-14 Select Hockey Red prizm parallel cards, and Tools of the Trade cards, with swatches of colorful towels used at the photo shoots. Other memorabilia cards include NBA Championship cards honoring the Miami Heat, Breast Cancer Awareness and Rookie Materials.

Since Ryan noticed packs with memorabilia cards were thicker, he provided a "thick" pack for every box purchased, as well as a regular pack for every $25 spent on Panini products. I was somewhat surprised I didn't pull a single baseball card.

Not that I give a fiddler's fart, but the Black Friday set also includes "musicians" DJ Kool, Tupac, the Notorious B.I.G. and Snoop Dogg. These HRX cards have a QR code that allows you to access an "exclusive video." Unfortuantely, as you can see, I received one of those wastes of cardboard.

As for the "goodies," here's what I pulled...

A couple of the Red Prizm Hocky cards were pulled earlier that morning. I had the "luck" to pull a  Trey Bryan Tools of the Trade card, with a blue/white towel swatch. To me, basketball is a wuss sport, I'll take hockey any day and I'd ratherhave pulled one of those Prizm cards. The Wes Welker card is considered a Lava Flow card, due to its wavy background. The Flacco has a blue swatch.

These promo packs are supposed to have randomly inserted autographs, but according to Ryan, no one had pulled any of those to that point.

All these cards, except for the Stamkos and Crosby are up for trade, if anyone's interested.

Not too bad for a little early Christmas shopping, eh?

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Alas, poor Pluto

Have you ever wondered how Pluto lost its official planetary status and became relegated to a "minor" planet.
Let's just say,  it involved Barry Bonds and a ball that's out of this world.
Check out the following video to find out.....
If you can't open the video, it can be opened on YouTube at
(Blogger's note: Again, this is part of Nacho Grande's blogging contest. Be sure to vote for comatoad at )

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Recent E-Bay Padres pick-ups

I want to start out tonight's blog by thanking all the veterans out there for their service. Did you know less than 1 percent of the American population has worn a military uniform?

Here's me as a 2nd Class Radioman on my first Westpac in 1980. The second photo is getting ready for my Iraq deployment in 2010. Gotta love those ballistic goggles.

Ok, on to recent E-Bay pick-ups.
Ok, as most of you know, I collect everything and anything Padres. So, when I had the opportunity to pick up this 1974 San Diego vs. Los Angeles Dodgers program, I jumped at it. It's a very interesting read. While the cover is very slick and exciting, the inside consists of typewritten pages and just a few features. It's totally different from what the teams provide in this day and age. Although, I think you'd be rather hard pressed to pick up a program for 50 cents at your local ballpark -- even at the Class A level.


My other great pick-up was a 1/1 printing plate of of a 2006 Artifacts Jake Peavy Printing Plate. Below is what the the actual printed card would look like. I was pretty excited. While I have collected a few printing plates already, this is the first Peavy plate I've received.
By the way, if you haven't done so yet, be sure to go to to vote for me in the Nachos Grande blogging contest. I'm Comatoad, in Group P. You can read my blog entry in my previous post.
Again, thanks to all of the veterans out there. Semper Fi and Hooah!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

"The Secret LIfe of Joe Oliver"

On Christmas Day, 20th Century Fox is releasing "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty," starring Ben Stiller and Kristen Wiig, about a day-dreamer who escapes his anonymous life by disappearing into a world of fantasies filled with heroism, romance and action.

Based on the short story by James Thurber (I told you I was an English Lit major), the film was originally released in 1947 with Danny Kaye and Virginia Mayo in the lead roles

Which now brings us to today's card.

In 1990, Joe Oliver was tied for the National League lead in passed balls (16), with Joe Girardi of the Chicago Cubs. Oliver would record double figures in passed balls in 1995 (16, Milwaukee), 1993 (11, Cincinnati), and 1991 (10, Cincinnati). In fact, he would go on to allow a total of 77 passed balls over his 13-year baseball career.

Having been a catcher myself, I had a few balls that passed me by in the day. Sometimes the pitcher will miss the pitch call, throw a different pitch than what was called, or jut uncork a bad throw. Sometimes, you just aren't set up correctly behind the plate, or you may have a lapse in concentration

In Joe Oliver's case, perhaps he's just "Living the Secret Life of Joe Oliver."

Oliver, who was born in Tennessee, now resides in Orlando, Fla., where he coaches a high school varisty baseball team at Bishop Moore Catholic High School. What's that phrase, "A bad day of surfing is better than any good day of work." I'm sure he's imagined himself out catching a break or two while toiling behind the plate.

Who doesn't picture theselves as a modern day Superman. Of course, with all those passed balls during his "anonymous life" as a Reds catcher, I believe this may be a bit of a stretch. A catcher can dream, though, can't he? At least he was able to hit .247, with 102 homers and 476 RBIs in 3,367 at bats.
And here's Oliver's daydream of being a world-famous tight-rope walker, as he makes his way across the Andes Mountains. For some reason, he just can't drop that ball and glove.
However, this is probably Oliver's biggest "Walter Mitty" moment. For that matter, what Reds catcher doesn't imagine himself as Johnny Bench, leading the Reds back to their Big Red Machine glory days.
As for me, I'm realatively well-grounded in reality (unless you ask my wife). I think I'll wait for the movie, though.....
(Blogger note: This particular blog is part of Nacho Grande's Blogger Bracket Challenge. Please go to and vote for Comatoad in Group P in Round 12).