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What makes a good trading partner?

Votto All-Star

I use the word “trading” very loosely.

The first time I trade with someone, I generally ask, “What team do you like? I’ll send you a package full, and you can respond with Reds after you get it.” That initial trade sets the tone for our relationship. There are some that I have been “trading” with for close to a decade now. But they aren’t really trades after a while. Eventually, they become, “Hey, that’s something so-and-so would probably like,” or, “I saw so-and-so blog about needing that card.” The card is then purchased and packed and sent off without notice or expectation of anything in return. That’s the way I like to “trade.”

The guy who gets most of my Mariners cards is Steve of Tridents and Trading Cards. I have interacted with Steve quite a bit, mostly on Twitter (his handle is @cardboardjones), and he has sent me some really cool stuff through the years. His most recent mailing contained just two cards…but both were cards that I needed.

The first, up top, is a Joey Votto card that also features Aroldis Chapman and Brandon Phillips. All three repped the Redlegs at the 2013 All-Star Game in New York. I liked the card the first time I saw it, but haven’t seen it cheap enough to actually buy (because card shops price their Reds cards WAY too high around here). I received the emerald parallel last week, and it was quickly followed by the base version. It’s awesome to finally have it in my collection, even if 2/3 of the guys on the cards no longer wear the Cincinnati uniform.

The second card is a 2017 purple parallel Scott Schebler.


I rarely buy cards at Toys R Us, so I have very few purple parallel cards. All of my purple Reds have come from other collectors. And I appreciate them. I do not put parallels on my wantlist, nor do I chase them, but I do want them. I only add them after they are received, then cross them out. The only time I really consider purchasing a parallel is if the price is sooooo low I simply can’t pass it up. Which, in Cincinnati, never happens. So I am very grateful to add this card to my collection.

Back to the question, what makes a good trading partner? To me, a good trading partner is one who drops cards in the mail just because, or who picks up stuff at shows or antique malls or card shops that others will appreciate, with no expectation of a return package. Which isn’t really trading at all, is it?

Thanks for being a good “trading” partner, Steve!


Useful or dupes?

My wife and I spent a few days in the Smoky Mountains last week. For the past two years, we have participated in the Great Smoky Mountains Marriage Retreat, sponsored by the Jacksonville church of Christ. It is a fantastic getaway, and refreshing to just turn everything off for a few days. I would highly recommend this retreat to any married couple, no matter how long you have been together. We were blessed to hear great lessons from God’s Word presented by Dan Winkler, B.J. Clarke, and Melvin Otey.

Cincinnati Reds

Of course, even when I’m not home, life goes on. The mail still runs. Packages still arrive. I was ecstatic when I got home Saturday night to find a package from the legendary Night Owl. The note inside read, “Useful? Dupes? You decide —N.O.”

First off, no Reds card is ever useless. Even dupes can be used—for trades, for TTM requests, for art projects that I will probably never ever tackle.

The package contained a handful of 1981 Fleer, all doubles. The only 1981 Fleer Reds card I am missing is Bill Bonham, “small hand on back” variation. I’m not really concerned about obtaining that variation which looks more like a printing error to my eyes.

Then there was a 2017 Joey Votto “League Leaders” card. Double. But far from useless. I’m always happy to have an extra Votto card.

Then we get to the non-dupes. Several 2017 Topps Update Series cards, including the future ace of the Reds staff, Luis Castillo, and the short-printed red jersey Jesse Winker. Moving along, there is a 2017 Topps Bunt Anthony DeSclafani and a 2017 Topps Gallery Winker. I had no cards from either set already, so it’s great to get started toward the team set in each.

Spring training is underway. Regulation baseball is right around the corner. The Reds have a young, promising team. 2018 will be full of growing pains with young players learning the ropes, and .500 looks to be a longshot. But you never know. You just never know.

New Topps #TBT, and again, I only want one card


Ken Griffey is the one I want. He is joined by Derek Jeter, Ichiro Suzuki, Ivan Rodriguez, Robinson Cano, and Yoenis Cespedes. Other than Junior, I really don’t care to add any of the other cards to my collection. Maybe Ichiro, but not really. Griffey is the main focus.

I’m not dropping another $20 for one stinking card. I did that once already, and I’m stuck with some non-Reds that I really don’t need in my house. I tried to eBay them, but I guess I was asking too much. So here’s the deal: if you buy these cards, and want to trade Griffey to me for any two of the 1968-style #TBT cards from about a month ago, e-mail me. I will gladly take it off your hands (and may throw some extra goodies in the trade package for you).

1968 Topps TBT

Sound good? I hope so. Let me know.

UPDATE: I bought the card on eBay. So this offer is no longer on the table, but if you would like to swing a deal for Stargell, Dawson, Molitor, or Fisk, let me know. They are still available for the right offer.

Topps Throwback Thursday on the way


I bit the bullet and purchased the Topps TBT cards that were offered up last week. 1968-style Johnny Bench, Nolan Ryan, Paul Molitor, Willie Stargell, Andre Dawson, and Carlton Fisk.


I got an email yesterday that they are on the way! The initial plan was to hang on to the greatest catcher ever in my Reds collection (still happening), and offer up the rest on eBay to try to recoup the cost. The problem is, I hate eBay. Absolutely loathe using the site. Selling is worse than buying. So here’s how you can help me out…

Take the extras. Ryan is already spoken for in a Twitterfied trade, but the other four are up for grabs. Let me know what you’re willing to part with (either Reds cards or green cash), and we’ll see if we can work something out. Send me an e-mail or a Twitter message or a smoke signal or something.

Some interesting names for 2017 Topps Series 2…


Topps posted this image on their Instagram account earlier today. Some very interesting names to a 1980s/1990s baseball fan like myself: Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, John Smoltz, Reggie Jackson, Dale Murphy (who should be in the Hall of Fame and no one can convince me otherwise), and Barry Larkin. Lots of modern guys for you young kids, too. I think the 1987 Topps design looks pretty spiffy with a white border, but these are only proof pages so the woodgrain will probably be in the final product.

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