Monthly Archives: October 2011

2012 Topps Fantasy League

If you are reading this, chances are you enjoy baseball cards.  I would suspect that some of you also enjoy playing fantasy baseball and football.  I would go further to suspect that if you’re a fan of those, you would maybe also like contests, prizes, and giveaways.  Well you’re in luck!  I’ve figured out a way to have all three combined into one card.

I know it’s a bit of a polished turd but try to follow me here.  What I’m proposing is a Topps Fantasy league.  It would require a bit of work on their part, but I don’t think it would be impossible to get done.  The first thing that would be necessary is an insert much like Topps Town or the giveaway cards from the last two years.  Add a QR code and a mobile app for scanning and managing your collection.  Then a website similar to The Topps Diamond Giveaway site would have to be set up  and run much like it is already with one extra function, the ability to host a fantasy league.  I imagine a partnership with an already established site wouldn’t be that hard to do.

Here’s how it would work.  Special code cards would be inserted into packs like they already are.  You would use a QR scanner built into the mobile app to scan the code.  You would then be issued a three card digital pack, plus a chance at a prize much like the “Digs” from this year.  The digital cards would make up your roster for your fantasy team.  You could then trade with other players to improve your team or sell them for “Digs”.   This way if people just want “Digs” they can sell their digital cards and people who are more interested in the fantasy aspect can easily improve their team.  Both camps would be happy.

The Fantasy league would have two options.  First would be the traditional leagues.  You would get together with friends or strangers and set up your own private leagues.  A commissioner would set up the rules and players would compete against one another.  The other would be a public rotisserie league where every one would compete against each other in several statistical categories.  Then it would be up to Topps to reward each leader with a prize.  They could set up benchmarks during the season to reward smaller prizes throughout the season and have grand prizes for the end of the year leaders.  If it was completely up to me I would make the prizes specific to the stat.  For example, who ever has the most stolen bases at the end of the year would receive a Ricky Henderson autographed base.  Most saves would win a Mariano Rivera autographed jersey.  If you get the most home runs, you win an autographed Hank Aaron bat, because we all know he is still the true Home Run King!  Obviously this would need some ironing out but I think it would accomplish a few things that are missing in the baseball card world right now.  First it may bring in fantasy fans that aren’t necessarily collectors.  Seriously, those guys are way more fanatical than most of us, and that is saying a lot!  The other more importing thing would be the building of a community of collectors online.  Not only would we be competing against each other, but it would give us a chance to trade and talk cards with people that we may not have been able to before.  I would think it would be a welcomed added value to a pack of cards.  It would be something that takes the cards beyond the shoe box or binder and extends the value of the purchase.  I’m not sure how willing Topps really is to be “Game Changers”, but something like this would be a good first step.

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Mobile Checklists, You Want ’em, You Got ’em!

If your like me, and I know you are, you would love it if one of the great card companies out there would get with the times and release a checklist app for our fancy phones.  I mean c’mon, there’s apps for everything!  If I want to find a recipe, there’s an app.  If I need to know the weather, there’s an app for that too.  Want to know your horoscope, there’s dozens of app for that!  Topps even made an app for a card flipping game that nobody plays.  Hell, the Kama Sutra has over 500 different apps available!  But when it comes to the single most useful tool for us collectors, there isn’t a single one to be found.  Even the #1 Authority hasn’t cashed in on this yet, but to be honest, we all know they’d just fuck it up beyond use and charge way too much for it!  I tried to create an android app with their app creator program but I soon found out I wasn’t smart enough to do such a thing, so I did the next best thing, I figured out a simple way to use Zistle along side with Google Docs to create checkable checklists on the go.  Here’s a quick an easy guide so you can do it too.

First go to Zistle.com.  If you’re not a member, that’s cool, it’s simple, free, and easy to sign up.  Not only is it your first key to getting mobile checklists, it will also help you break free from the Beckett chains!

When in Zistle, create a collection under the collection tab.  For this exercise I went with the 2011 Topps main set. Mark the ones you have and the ones you want.  It’s fast and easy.  If you don’t have any cards for a set and just want to set up a checklist, just go through and add all of the cards from the set.  It’s quicker to use the list option and display 100 per page.

The next step is to export your collection.  Under the Dashboard tab you will find an Export My Cards option.  After you select that you will be taken to to the Export File page.  Choose collection if you want the whole set to be displayed or if you’d rather just have your wants or haves you can just choose those.

This may take a few minutes depending on how large the collection is.  When it’s finished it will appear under My Exports.  Click on that and then choose export file and then it will download the file to your downloads folder.

After that, you’re done with the Zistle side of things.  From here we go to Google Docs.  If you’re not familiar with Google Docs, it’s a cloud service for your various Office files.  You will need to sign up and register for this too, but it’s as easy as having a Google account.

The first step is to upload the file you just created using Zistle.

Just click the little upload icon next to the create button and find the file that was created.  In this case it was 324.csv.  Once it’s loaded it will show up at the top.

When you open it it will look a little messy.  You’ll have to delete a couple of columns and make the columns the right size for everyhting but in the end you should be able to make this…..

look like this……

From there, all that’s left to do is to download the Google Docs app to your fancy phone and you have a fully functioning mobile checklist.  Pretty easy huh?  If anybody wants to play around with this file here’s a link to it.  All I ask is that you don’t erase anything or go hog wild with it, I put it out there just for an example.

You’d think the great minds at Topps and Panini would be able to bring something like this to market.  It’d be as easy as making the app and putting QR codes on the dummy insert cards.  Or better yet, instead of  Topps continuing to mindlessly reprint their cards form the past, make those cards with a QR code for a checklist from the corresponding year.  It’d be a lot more useful than that stupid card flipping game!

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Wocka Wocka Wockenfuss!

So you’re probably wondering why I hardly ever post anymore, and when I do, I come strong with a beat up Johnny Wockenfuss autograph?  Is it because he’s a lifetime .262 hitter.  Nope.  Maybe it’s because he hit 86 career home runs over a 12 year career?  Not even close.  Maybe it’s because he’s a full-fledged member of the Delaware Sports Museum and Hall of Fame.  Wrong again.  The simple answer is, it’s my damn blog and I can do whatever the hell I want too!  That, and I like players with funny names and cards that make me laugh!  This covers both bases.  I’m easy to please.  That’s the beauty of collecting.  Some go out and search for low numbered parallel rookie autographs of the hottest superstars out there or search high and low for the sickest multicolored patch card of their favorite player.  That’s all fine and dandy for those who don’t mind spending a boat load of money, but for me, I like cheap!  If you buy cheap it’s hard to get burned.  The problem is when you’re a fan of cheap, it can be hard to find something worth collecting.  Not for me.  I can find as much, if not more, enjoyment in a beat up Johnny Wockenfuss autograph as others do in their 12 swatch 14 color patch cards.  Now don’t get me wrong, I’d love to have a shiny autograph of Hank Aaron or a Sandy Koufax Dodger Blue patch card, just not as much as I’d like to have the $400 one of those would cost me.  It’s a lot easier to part with the $2 this bad boy set me back, and get the gratification of finding a hard to find autograph of one of the game’s greatest names!  But that’s just me!

Here’s a list of other players that belong in my Great Name Hall of Fame Collection.

  • Rusty Kuntz
  • Harry Chiti
  • Dick Pole
  • Herb Score
  • Woody Held
  • Seth Morehead
  • Pumpsie Green
  • Razor Shines
  • Charlie Furbush
  • Johnny Dickshot
  • Wonderful Terrific Monds
  • Bake McBride
  • Doug Fister

Feel free to hit me up with a trade offer on any of these guys!  If you know of any others that I forgot, leave them in the comments.  I’m always looking.

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