Sunday, December 18, 2016

Christmas with All Trade Bait All The Time

Here amongst the baseball card blogorati -- which is sort of like the Illuminati but with bubble gum stains-- discussions often turn from baseball cards and baseball to discussions on beer and bourbon and other similar vices. Since we are all collectors, a lot of us like to collect experiences on tops of our cards.

One of the guys with whom I interact regularly is Oscar from All Trade Bait, All the Time. Oscar is a unique dude. He is a Dodger fan -- which is as unique as sand at a beach in Florida in the blog world -- but he is studying Buddhism on the way to getting a Masters degree in Buddhist Psychology. Oscar also is one of the beer guys, as he gets together with buddies and samples beer and cigars.

Oscar is just a all-around good dude.

He confirmed that with his "club PWE" mailings recently. Here's what he sent to me:

This card is a subtly terrible photo. The way the lighting hits Brock's mouth makes it appear that he's missing a tooth or two up front in his mouth.  He also looks a bit hungover. 

Oscar, is Brock a member of your beer club?

This photo looks like Vaughn was in a photo studio in front of a green screen and the background was photoshopped in. In fact, I'd bet dollars to donuts that is what happened here. I don't think that lighting behind him occurs naturally.

Is Gary Sheffield a Hall of Famer? The answer to that question has to start with the elephant in the room: his steroid use is admitted and well known.  He gave an interview saying that Barry Bonds introduced him to the BALCO labs. He claimed he did not know that BALCO supplied him with steroids. 

I tend to give very little weight to such claims of a lack of knowledge.

The more relevant question relates to his overall numbers. On some levels, he should be a Hall of Famer. The Bill James Hall of Fame Monitor puts him #78 overall with a 158 score (likely HOFer is around 100). The Hall of Fame standards test is a Baseball-Reference creation that puts him at 61, with the average HOFer around 50. 

On the other hand, looking at JAWS and WAR, though, and comparing him to right fielders, his career WAR is below the average HOF RF, his 7-year peak is below average, and his JAWS is below average. And, the black ink and grey ink standards there also say he is not a Hall member. 

I think that's right. Just because he went over the 500-homer mark does not make him a HOFer. He doesn't get there without steroids, either. Sorry Gary.

Not sorry.

The Brewers paid Franklin Stubbs $4 million over 2 years, yet lowballed Paul Molitor after the 1992 season and offered less than $1 million a year. 

I don't get it either.

Minis! These UK Minis were never on my radar screen in the late 1980s. Apparently enough of them were printed then, however, that they are typical filler in repacks. The "Tiffany" version is pretty cool though.

This is what it would look like if a baseball player were also a stalker. Probably.

Another mini! I keep putting off buying the 12-pocket sheets for these cards, and yet with GQ and A&G pushing out more and more minis, I am probably going to have to break down and buy them. Zach Davies had a good year last year -- he's a solid mid-rotation starter for the Brewers. Hopefully, going forward, he will end up lower in the rotation thanks to others jumping him rather than him sinking down without being passed.

And, finally:

Thanks to all the random parallels that infect Topps sets like the Zika virus migrating into Miami, I feel like I have or should have this card already. But, it's a high number in Heritage, meaning it's a short print. Why is it that I have about three or four of those chrome parallels for it, but this is the first copy of this card in my collection? 

Are the chrome parallels more readily available than the regular base set cards? If so, that's ridiculous. Base set cards should be more plentiful than parallels. They should -- if set collectors meant anything to Topps, that is. 

Well, at least I like beer.

Thanks, Oscar, for the PWE, the beer recommendations, and the fact that you are just a good dude!


  1. I know this post is about a trade you had completed, and I was wondering if you would want to work out a team trade with me. I team collect the Indians. I am trying to unload any cards that I have that don't fit any of my personal collections. If you are interested, my email is Tim(underscore)Gretchen(underscore)marriage(at) our two names start with lower case letters.

  2. You are right about Oscar, he is one of the good guys. Always enjoy my interactions with him. One of these years I'm going to set up a beer trading network with him as my west coast connection.

  3. Those U.K. Minis are cool cards. I have a few floating around my card closet, have always thought it would be a cool card set to put together. The set is floating around on Ebay for next to nothing, but I am hoping to stumble across an old box one of these days.

  4. Thanks for the compliments, Tony.
    Love the beer song and the line about Valentin the stalker. lol