Friday, May 18, 2018

It's the Cardboard Clubhouse--Come Inside; It's Fun Inside!

Image result for mickey mouse clubhouse gif

My two-year old daughter has recently discovered Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.  For those of you who don't have kids between 0-10 years old, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse is a computer animated kids show along the lines of Dora the Explorer.  It's nothing like the old Mickey Mouse Club (Cue Paul Simon: Where have you gone, Annette Funicello?).  Instead it features a magical playhouse and a toolbox that flies around and just happens to have the correct random items that will help solve the episode's problems.  For an adult, it's a bit painful to watch.  The theme song is especially annoying, and its only redeeming quality is the fact that it's performed by They Might Be Giants, whom I have enjoyed since my youth.  But this song is annoying and--even worse--catchy.  So it had been in my head for a couple of weeks when I opened up my mailbox to find an unexpected PWE from Adam at Cardboard Clubhouse.  Hot dog, hot dog, hot diggity-dog!

When I opened up the PWE, I saw that I had struck gold.  Well, green and gold, to be more specific.  Adam sent me a handful of Packers cards with a note saying that he hoped they would be useful for me.  Well, they were.


I'll always welcome Charles Woodson to my collection.  He is undoubtedly one of my favorite Packers ever.  The next two cards are 1993 Skybox Impact.  I don't own nearly enough of this set.  Impact was consistently one of my favorite set designs of the year from the time it debuted in 1992 until 1996.  I didn't really care for the 1997 effort, and then it went away.  The 1995 version is shown on the bottom in Bryce Paup.  Paup was not with the Pack long enough.  He became a full-time starter in 1993 and earned a nice big contract with the Bills.  He was a great pass-rush specialist and guy I missed when he left.

Thanks for the PWE Adam!  See ya real soon!

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Can You Believe What This Dimwit is Giving Away?!

For anybody who may not be aware, acclaimed Astros collector and case breaker Dimwit has returned to blogging.  To raise awareness of his latest activity, he's holding a contest.  Check it out here.  Enter to win and good luck!

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Bowman Baseball Trap


I have plenty of other posts queued up, but after reading Gavin's and (Evil) Zippy's rants about 2018 Bowman, I thought I'd add my two cents.  I had a Target gift card burning a hole in my pocket and then last week we received a special "$5 off of $15 purchase" coupon in the mail in celebration of our local Target's now-finished remodel.  The time was ripe for some discounted card purchases.  I picked up a couple blasters (which I am saving for a later date) and three loose packs of Bowman.  I'm usually not a fan of Bowman because I'm just not much of a prospector, but I figured that if Bowman this year is just a lottery ticket for a Shohei Ohtani card that could bring in some extra cash, then I'd buy a few lottery tickets and hope to find some cards that I could keep.


I pulled these prospect cards out of those three packs.  Rutherford and Flaherty are the only names that sound familiar, but that doesn't mean that I know them to be great prospects.  Flaherty I only know because he has already made his Major League debut with my team's rival.  I do like the Eric Pardinho card, however.  I had never heard his name before, but learning that he is Brazilian was cool.  I gravitate to Brazilian athletes in the US since I lived in Brazil for a few years.  There aren't  too many baseball players who come from Brazil to play pro ball in America.


Here are the Chrome Prospects.  Once again, nobody I had heard of, but at least one is a Cub.  That's a keeper.   I should probably know the guy who is currently ranked as the Cubs' #5 prospect, but I don't.  In my mind, the Cubs' farm system currently consists of Jose Quintana, Mike Montgomery, Justin Wilson, and Aroldis Chapman, since that's where the investment of prospects has gone in the past few years.


From the "veterans" portion of the set, I need the Cody Bellinger for my ROY binder.  It's still embarrassingly skimpy on Bellingers.  I kinda, sorta collect Arenado, at least in the sense that I tend to hang on to the cards I pull.

With one insert per pack, I pulled these three.  At the beginning of the year, I was holding onto Willie Calhoun as a ROY candidate, but right now it seems that Ohtani is running away with the AL award.  Lindor is a great player, but I don't care much for the Birthdays inserts.  Something about them just doesn't work for me.

I was completely underwhelmed with my packs, but I don't know what I expected.  I mean, I knew that at least half the pack would be players who I would have to research just to have any notion of who they were.  But I bought it anyway.  That's not the end of the story, though.  I could have ranted like some of my fellow bloggers and been done with it.  But no.  I had to buy more.  Yes, a few days later, I saw a combo pack with 3 packs and 5 Camo parallels, and I bought myself another Ohtani lottery ticket.

The combo pack brought these prospects.  Yay!  I know Jordan Hicks!  Boo!  He's a Cardinal!  At least Jeren Kendall is the 1st Bowman card.

Some shiny prospects.  If you've really been paying attention, you probably noticed that three of these four have already been shown as the paper version.  Somehow I ended up with many of the same players from my two purchases.


Case in point: Bellinger, Buxton, Crawford, and Donaldson are all repeaters here.  Mejia and Banda are supposed to be pretty good down the road, but they both have struggled early in their MLB careers.

Nothing to complain about with these inserts.  Albies is a viable ROY candidate this year while Tatis should be something big later.

It's a Dodgers hot pack!  I'm not gonna lie--Senzel was the only name I recognized here.  But apparently Juan Soto is a pretty good prospect for the Nats.

This combo pack was better than the loose packs, but I've saved a little something for the end.  One pack was just what a pack should be.

Three veteran base, including a Rhys Hoskins rookie.  I won't complain about that.  Not one, but two inserts, and a parallel to boot.  Nick Williams has struggled a bit after a good call-up stint last year, but he still looks like a good enough player that I'm excited to pull an insert of him.  Not only did I pull a Chrome parallel, but it's also numbered to 50 and a Cub.  That goes straight to the collection.  And what's this last card in the pack?  It's a prospect card of Wunderkind Ronald Acuna!  This is one great pack.

Overall, I'm still not a fan of Bowman.  I can probably think of better ways to have spent $20.  But as I said before, I knew what I was getting into and throwing money after a chance to come away a big winner is never too bad when you get some other cool cards as consolation.  Still, a large part of me is wondering what possessed me to go buy Bowman again after it failed to impress me the first time.  I think I can safely say now that this will be the extent of my Bowman purchases this year.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

A Small TCDB Trade--With Shared Interests

I've never come across another card collector online that I could share any personal connection with--besides the love of cards, of course.  I've really never come across one that was all that close to me geographically, for that matter.  But a couple of months ago, a new member of the Trading Card Database sent me a small trade proposal that had some cards I really couldn't resist.  His screen name is twprkj, and I have no idea what it means.  But I did like the deal he was proposing.


First up were some great Pro-Vision art cards from early 90s Fleer.  When I was a kid, these were the coolest cards ever.  It was like comic book meets sports card and I loved them.  All four of these fit nicely into binders for me.


It was this Ammon Olsen card that helped forge the personal connection with twprkj.  Out of curiosity, he asked me what my interest in the Olsen autograph was.  He assumed I was a BYU fan, and he was correct.  I knew I was dealing with another collector who was quite familiar with BYU himself because Olsen never played for the Cougs.  I explained that I was, in fact, a BYU fan, but my true interest lay in the school Olsen attended after transferring.  Ammon Olsen became a Southern Utah Thunderbird after realizing he wasn't going to get much playing time at BYU.  As SUU is my Alma Mater, I will chase any player coming from there.  In our exchanges, I learned that he had graduated from an extension of BYU, BYU-Idaho.  Well, there you have it.  BYU-Idaho is where my wife's parents met back in the 80s and shortly thereafter brought a beautiful little girl into the world.  I would say her existence has impacted my life a little bit, right?  I don't know if twprkj is a BYU fan or not, but he did send the Jimmer Fredette card above as an extra in the trade.

The Ammon Olsen autograph was cool.  I now have autographs of all of the former T-Birds who played in the NFL and have had cards made of them.  There are two SUU players who have never had a card made of them and one more who has no certified autos.  But the star attraction of this trade was this:


That is a 2005 Topps Heritage Aaron Rodgers rookie SP!  It's only my second Rodgers rookie.  I couldn't believe it when I got the trade proposal.  I needed this card so badly that when I learned I was missing one of the cards twprkj wanted, I started pulling cards from my PCs of other players to keep the trade alive.  It was all worth it.  I have plenty of Cal Ripkens, after all.  But I never dreamed this would come available in a trade.  I enjoy basking in the giant tube television glow of this card's beauty.

It was a great trade, card-wise.  But it also helped me find a trading partner who understands my world on a little more of a first-hand basis, no matter how small the connection.  After all, the intermountain west just doesn't seem to have too much of an online card presence.

Friday, April 20, 2018

I Experienced Rhino Meadows and Lived to Tell About It

I have been active, as always, trading on TCDB.  Some these small PWE trades don't end up on this blog.  I don't know how many of you would be interested in seeing two cards added to my 1992 Fleer set build or how many TCDB traders are necessarily looking at my blog for recognition of their trades, as I know many bloggers do.  Some trades, however, just beg to be shown off.  This trade, with TCDB user rhinomeadows, begs to be shown off.


First of all, we have some help.  I don't have my wantlists posted for 2012 Topps football or 1993 Hostess, but I do have them on my TCDB wantlist, so I've been gradually putting them together.  I used to have a whole bunch of the Hostess cards, but I didn't really consider them "real cards" when I was a kid, so I got rid of most of them.  Now I recognize them as a nice-looking set with plenty of memories, so I'm going back for them.  This Triple Play Traditions card finished of the small insert set for me.


I won't turn down new Packers.  Especially if one of those is a sweet oddball of Super Bowl I hero Max McGee.  This card is a 1981 TCMA and is one of my favorite Packer cards now.

I used to think of the 1989 Score set as scarce.  I suppose it is, in comparison with the other sets of that year.  But I'm acquiring so many of them through trades that I've almost got all of the guys I collect, even though I never owned any of this set until a couple of years ago and have never actually bought any of it.  These three defenders all had a spot on the 80s All-Decade Team.


With this Pro Set Derrick Thomas rookie, I now have all of his rookies.  He is the first player from that great Hall of Fame draft class that I have the Topps, Pro Set, and Score rookies.  No, I don't even have all three of former Packer great Tony Mandarich, who was drafted before Thomas, not to mention Barry Sanders, Deion Sanders, or even Steve Atwater.


More all-decade players, this time focusing on the "big uglies."


First of all, let me say, "How did I never even know that Stadium Club Chrome was a thing?"  This was the first I had ever heard of it.  With these two cards juxtaposed, let's take a moment to observe just how horribly drab early Bowman was.  There is absolutely no character to the card on the left, especially when you look at what a card could look like.


This set was brand new to me, too.  It's 1997 Upper Deck Legends.  It's a great-looking set.  I especially love the photography on the Lynn Dickey card.  The smaller front photo of Dickey with Bart Starr is added coolness to the snowstorm of the main picture.


Finally, rhinomeadows had some 1999 Upper Deck of various guys in my collection.  It's a very Upper Deck looking design, but that's not necessarily bad.  I liked Upper Deck.  This set does have some issues on the back, however.


Apparently, the "Brwons" have "definately" found their starting QB.  Spelling aside, there is also a missing comma and at least one instance of awkward syntax here.  Most of the cards I received in this trade had some kind of typographical error on the back.  It pays to read the backs of your cards--especially if you're the one producing them.

This was a great trade that brought me a variety of cards for my collection.  I don't know how many TCDB people are reading this, but thanks rhinomeadows, if you are!

Thursday, April 19, 2018

COM(Refractory)C

The last post coming from my Black Friday order will feature my refractors.  I decided to build a refractor Frankenset, which also happens to be my one true Frankenset, in the sense that the card numbers actually go in order.  I have a couple of collecting projects that I consider Frankensets, but refractors are the only to be numbered 1-300.  I have a long way to go, despite the fact that it is a mixed sport set and I'm including Panini Prizms and some other cards that I have judged that fit the rainbow-y, refractor-y bill.


Basically, I did my shopping by going to COMC when the Black Friday sale was happening and finding the best looking cards and best players I could for under 40 cents.  No, I wasn't picking up any superstars, but I did manage to get a variety of sets and some names that I will probably remember years down the road.

I don't like the way these scanned.  At least they're not dark, like the base would be, but I would like to be able to see the rainbow a little bit.


I also tried to find different colored refractors, too.  Here we have pink, light blue, red-white-and-blue, sepia, and purple.  Not a bad bit of rainbow for the set.

I may be only about halfway to 300 refractors for the set, but these 18 brought me a little closer.  I don't know how long it will take me, but I'm excited for what this binder will look like when I finish.  I have most of my Frankenset needs on my wantlist page, but I haven't quite finished putting them in.  This will remind me to go ahead and finish that.

Now that my 2017 Black Friday is done, I'll be able to move on to 2018 findings.  Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

COM(Football)Cards

I recently began showing off my Black Friday (yes, the Black Friday from last year) COMC order.  I started with an eclectic mix of baseball players that mostly filled insert and short print set needs.  I tend to shy away from common base cards on COMC because paying 50 cents for common 2012 Topps card can be a little painful.  But the same price for an insert seeded just two per box is doable.  Today, I want to post my football card haul from COMC's Black Friday shipment.


Some base cards are worth it, though.  I used COMC to finish off these two sets.  The three 1988 Topps cards were stars that I had not seen available through trades or in my LCS's monster box of 1988 singles.  The 2008 Topps rookies were mostly rookies, but there were a couple of subsets that I hadn't found in a few years of set building.


2013 Topps Strata is also done.  I have completed the entire set, plus both versions of each rookie.  Rookie cards in this set had different photos for hobby and retail packs.  I had to pick up the Michael Vick when I noticed that I didn't actually have the base card for the set; I had slipped a Black Onyx parallel into the binder without noticing.


More rookie card photo variation fun.  I decided to collect all of 2015 Prestige plus the SP rookie photo variations.  I don't know why.  It's something I've never done before and don't plan on doing again.  For my own purposes, I don't feel the need to have all the SPs in a set for it to be complete.  That may make some completionists bonkers, but I know what I want for my collection.  COMC has provided most of the rookie SPs for really good prices, but I don't know that I'll ever pull the trigger for Jameis Winston, Marcus Mariota, and Todd Gurley.  I guess it's just a half-hearted effort to get the full set included SPs.


It's been slow going with some of these 2016 Panini rookies.  This feels like a set that I should have finished already, but I either haven't found the price I want to pay for the rookies, or I get distracted spending my money elsewhere.


Now for some insert set needs.  I'm down to seven cards needed for my 2013 Panini Prizm Brilliance set. Apparently, I already had the Russell Wilson, so that card is an extra and available if anyone is in love with it.


Another shiny set that I'm trying to build is 2016 Absolute Unsung Heroes.  I love the concept.  I love the look.  And I love the checklist.  This is a fun set to me.


The last insert purchase is a pair of needs from 2016 Panini insert sets.  If I weren't building these sets, I would still have taken both of these cards for my All-1980s collection.


Speaking of all decade teams, here are some fun cards that I picked up to fill out my binders.  Kellen Winslow is my first look at Panini Unparalleled.  It's really shiny and kind of interesting.  I haven't decided if I love it or hate it yet.  I picked up the 89 Score Derrick Thomas rookie after trying to trade for it on TCDB.  When I realized how cheaply I could snag it on COMC compared to the book value we were using in the trade, I pulled it from the trade and replaced it with some other cards I wanted.  The Terrell Davis you see here is a cool Sample Card from 1998 Playoff Contenders.  I didn't know that when I bought it; I only noticed it when I scanned it.

Here are three cards I got because of the players' college days.  This is the first card I have to represent Danny Wuerffel in my Heisman Trophy binder.  Luke Staley and Ziggy Ansah both are BYU guys, with opposite career trajectories.  Staley was the big man on campus during his time at BYU, winning the Doak Walker award and setting all kinds of records.  Then he was drafted in the seventh round and never played an NFL down.  Ansah, on the other hand, came out of nowhere and only started his senior year.  Then he went on to be a Top-5 pick and All-Pro in the NFL.  It's funny how things work out.


From BYU to SUU here.  My Brad Sorensen collection is growing a bit at a time.  Miles Killebrew became the second T-Bird drafted in 2016, and he is represented here with a SAGE stickergraph.


Finally, some Packers that I couldn't pass up.  A Brett Favre oddball and some vintage.  This is my first card of Hall of Famer Henry Jordan.  John Hadl's best days were before Green Bay, but he was a solid quarterback.  I love the hair here.  I don't think I've seen too many cards of players with full-on male pattern baldness featured on the card.  At $1.50, Henry Jordan was the splurge of this group.  The rest were all 75 cents or less.  I'm happy to find them.

I have one more section of COMC Black Friday to show, and then I can focus on cards I actually acquired this calendar year!