Thursday, May 26, 2016

School's Out for Summer!

I've made an executive decision.  It will now be an annual tradition to break something on the last day of school.  No, I'm not talking about breaking something the way that the kids might in an excitement-driven, adrenaline-fueled act of vandalism at the school.  I mean some cards, of course.  Yesterday I stopped by the store to pick up a blaster for this end of school break, but no blaster really caught my eye.  Instead, I went with a fat pack of 2016 Score and a Fairfield repack with 10 random packs in it.  It was a bit cheaper and a better option than a blaster of 2016 Leaf Draft that I don't really care to get.


Let's see what the repacks brought.

Repack Pack #1-2014 Topps Chrome

Can’t argue with a new Lacy.  The Tom Savage is a refractor, and the the Aaron Murray die-cut insert looks pretty cool as well.

Repack Pack #2--2015 Prizm

This is a pretty lackluster pack.  Here are a couple of draft busts who may be out of a job this fall and an undrafted rookie who rarely saw the field last year.  The design is Prizm’s best of the last few years, though.  It’s reminiscent of the always slick Select brand.

Repack Pack #3--2014 Rookies & Stars

Last year I picked up most of the rookies from this set at a card show, but this is the first I’ve ever seen the base.  I like the simple design and deep colors of the base.  The Ha Ha is new to my collection, as it’s the Longevity parallel of the base I have already.

Repack Pack #4--2014 Score

Nothing too great here.  No superstars, a couple of decent rookies in Kelvin Benjamin and Jimmy G, and an insert of Alfred Morris make up a pack that’s not terribly exciting.

Repack Pack #5--2014 Topps Platinum

Some decent players here, but again nothing spectacular.

Repack Pack #6--2015 Topps

I’m not a huge fan of Topps’ computer-chip border and paper-thin cardstock this year.  But this pack yielded 2 new PC additions, Aaron Rodgers and Jordy Nelson.  I also like the 60th Anniversary insert set and the Andrew Luck insert.

Repack Pack #7--2015 Topps

The second Topps pack brought me two rookies I like, including the Defensive ROY.  I love Earl Campbell. I don’t actively collect him, but I do tend to hold onto any cards of his I come across.  The Malcolm Butler card is cool simply because it is an iconic photograph and a piece of NFL history on cardboard.  Isn’t that what this hobby is about?

Repack Pack #8--2016 Leaf

First, I’m surprised that stuff this new is already hitting repacks.  Second, I guess I didn’t avoid the 2016 Leaf Draft anyway, even though I bought the repack in part because the blaster of Leaf failed to attract me.  The first pack is about as good as it gets, short of an auto.  Inserts of the top two picks, who happen to be quarterbacks?  In the same pack?  I’ll take it.

Repack Pack #9--2016 Leaf

I’ll always remember Paul Perkins from the game when he almost single-handedly beat BYU last year.  Well, he and Myles Jack.  But Perkins was an animal in that game.  Braxton Miller is a big name, but we’ll see how he pans out in the NFL.

Repack Pack #10--2016 Leaf

A couple of first-round defenders here in Bosa and Buckner.  While they’re not my favorite, I don’t mind college cards.  But I don’t like Leaf because if it’s going to be a college card, I at least want to see logos and real photos.

2016 Score Fat Pack

I picked up my first pack of just about the most recent NFL release.  I like the design.  It’s clean and the white border doesn’t steal the show like Score tends to do.  I like the licensed college photos.  I might consider building this set in lieu of the Topps flagship this year, but I think I’ll wait to see what Prestige looks like.  Prestige has the advantage of being able to us what teams drafted the rookies.  Let’s take a look at what came out of the full 52-card deck.

Some great photography here, really.  There does seem to be an overly shopped feel to it, though.  Some of the photos look more like sketches.  I only picked up two cards for PCs in this pack: Manning and Ty Montgomery.  I like that Beckham/Megatron Reflections insert, and the Evans/V-Jax counterpart appears to be a parallel.  I like the Jameis Winston Franchise insert.  It’s the first I’ve seen the set, so I don’t know if the red is standard or if it differs by team.  Either way, the card color and the Bucs uniform make for a pretty nice looking card.

I guess this post was a bit long, but thanks for reading.  I like the idea of kicking back on the last day of a long school year and cracking some wax to reward myself.  The end of the year is always bittersweet, and this just helps add some sweet.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Grace Upon Grace: Trade with Wrigley Roster Jenga

As some of you may recall, Tony at Wrigley Roster Jenga had some fun last month with this card.  I mentioned to him that I wanted a copy because it was a card of my childhood hero that I did not own.  Tony sent me a copy, although I'm not sure how he managed to find one for me, what with all the turtles and cats who wanted it as well, and the extremely limited supply he possessed.

There was more to Tony's trade package than a single card, though.  He also sent some All-Star MVPs, in the form of a couple of sweet Denny's oddballs.  Those scanned better than I expected, too.

Tony and I may share a love of the Cubs, but we're at odds on football preferences.  I'm sure he was just as happy to unload some Packers on me as I was to return the favor and get rid of some Bears.  I needed all of these cards except the Morgan Burnett, but it still turned out to be valuable.  I noticed that this card didn't have the team name on front like the others.  So I checked it against the card I already owned, and found that neither card showed the team name.  I didn't collect in 2010, so I wasn't sure if all the rookies were like this.  A quick check on COMC revealed the following: no Morgan Burnett had the team name on the front, not even the parallels.  The Chrome version did, however.  And every other rookie I saw included it.  It would appear that Topps simply made an error and either didn't notice or decided not to correct it.  I'm guessing the latter, though, because it had been corrected for the Chrome run.  Even my dupes turn out to be a learning experience.

Anyway, thanks for the trade, Tony!  Any time you want some Bears, come to me.  I have many more to purge.  And thanks for not passing all of those Gracies on to me.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Another Zistle Trade

A while back, I posted about my first trade on Zistle, with user Mikeyj.  Well, we've pulled another one off and I've got some new goodies to show for it.

Here are a couple of BYU legends.  Folks are excited in Provo to welcome Ty Detmer back, now as the offensive coordinator.  He's pretty much an unknown commodity as a coach at the college level, so we'll see how it turns out.  There's also some purple to add to my Brad Sorensen rainbow and budding super collection.

I'm 9 cards closer to the 2015 Platinum base set.  I need just 15 more vets and 4 more rookies.

More set building help from Mikeyj.  The Rivers completes the 2014 Topps 4000 Yard Club set for me, and with the Janoris Jenkins, I am now one card shy of the 2014 Topps set.  Does anybody have #130, the Philadelphia Eagles team card?  I really want it if you do.

 What good would a trade be without some Packers?

Finally, here are some random PC players and a Todd Gurley, because I don't think I have enough Todd Gurley rookies in my collection yet.

Since it's small, I'll post the 4000 Yard Club set I just completed, with the new Philip Rivers taking his spot smack dab in the center.  Thanks for the set building help, Mikey!

Clean, Effective, Efficient: $5 at the Card Show

Last Saturday, the LCS held its (quarterly?) card show.  I'm really not sure how often it's held, or if there is any pattern to it, but I missed the last one and decided to check this one out.  More often than not, I have a table there, but I didn't have the entire Saturday free for selling.  Seriously, I had so little time that I spent literally less than 15 minutes there.  It was just long enough to say, "Hi," to a couple of friends and pick up a couple of grab bags on the cheap.

I read all the other blogs and everyone talks about dime boxes and quarter boxes.  Well, I guess that's just not how it's done in these parts.  In fact, I'm the only seller I've ever seen at a card show with a dime and/or quarter box.  Around here, grab bags are the thing.  So I'm walking around looking for something cheap to buy, and not having the time to peruse all the fancy individual cards in their individual top loaders, and I see a team bag with a Panini Clear Vision Joe Montana on the front.  It's packed tight, and has a sticker of $2 on it.  All I can see that might be in there is a bunch of Clear Vision, which I have never bought before, and some 2015 Topps Valor, which I have also never purchased, but I really like the 2014 version.  Just as I pick up a second grab bag, the seller sees me and says, "I'll give you both of those for $2."  I ask if he means each or total, and he says, "For both together."    Well, I'm sold!  I hand the man two dollars and turn to the table behind me. Before I get to the next table, let's see what those team bags contained.

Some commons in 2015 Topps Valor.  Once again I like the design.  Most of the photos use pretty good action shots, even if they are highly shopped.  The design in the scan looks like a forest or something in the background, but the physical cards don't look much a picture in the background.  I'm not a big fan of the little team logo in the corner.  It just doesn't seem to fit anything else on the card.

I apologize for the scans.  For some reason my scanner was cutting edges off some these.  This group of players is better than the last, and it includes a new Jordy for my PC.

Some more Valor, with some young stars and a Super Bowl MVP in the middle.

Here are some Honor parallels.  Not bad to include some some good parallels in a cheap grab bag.

We'll finish off the Valor with some legendary running backs and a rookie.

Now on to the Clear Vision.  These cards are acetate and completely transparent.  They're kind of cool, and I was surprised to find that these book at $2 per common and I had about 50 of them for a about 2 cents a card.  Not a bad purchase.  Let's see who came in the grab bags.

Montana and Manning here.  Both of these book at $6, and the cheapest I could pick them up on COMC would be over $1 apiece.  Since they both fit PCs, I'm happy with the purchase with just this.  But the fun doesn't stop there.

Why don't we add Brady, Marino, and the Original LT to the mix?  And another Packer PC, Eddie Lacy.

Here are a couple of subsets in the main set: Sophomore Standouts and Rookie ReVision.  Again, the Peyton is the highlight here, and I actually ended up with one in each bag.  My cart on COMC would be close to $4 for those cards alone. 

We'll end this purchase with some more base and a few rookies.  But here's the kicker: as I inventoried these cards, I learned that the DeVante Parker is an SP Variation.  So here I am with a wallet only $2 lighter and some great value in cards.

The next table has team grab bags that catch my eye.  Each team bag has 30 cards and is marked for $5.  I pick through and find two Packers bags, but one of them has cards I already own on the front and back, so I put it back.  I take the grab bag and hand the guy a fiver, and he gives me change!  I point out that the sticker said $5, but he says, "Oh that's pricing from an old card show.  I'm selling them for $3."  All right, I'll take it.  For 10 cents a card, let's see what I got.

Some Eddie Lacy, Ty Montgomery, and Clay Matthews.  I like the Select and Gridiron Kings.  I didn't buy any Gridiron Kings this year, but I think I might this next year, especially because Topps has lost its license.  I'm not sure if the card is cardboard or acetate or plastic, or what, but it has an interesting feel to it.

Some new Jordy Nelsons for my PC.

And some current Packers in college uniforms.

My only beef with this grab bag is that it contained some dupes within the grab bag, but how can I complain with the haul and the pricing?

So for $5 dollars total, I came away with nearly 100 cards, most of which have some good value.  No junk wax as filler.  And it took me about 10 minutes' time.  Clean, effective, efficient.  I wish I would have had more time to wander and look, but it was a successful show nonetheless.  Even if nobody around here believes in dime boxes.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Blockbuster Trade on Zistle

Zistle user DMK250 contacted me with trade proposal.  He offered me all kinds of junk wax and vintage from my wantlist in exchange for all kinds of rookies and inserts of Philadelphia Eagles.  We hammered out a trade, and it was MASSIVE.  So many cards changed hands (in the neighborhood of 500 total) that I didn't even try to scan and post everything.  Here are some highlights.

Let's start off with the BYU players, both of the football and baseball variety.  Wrigley Roster Jenga posted this same Golden Richards card last week, pointing out that most people know him as a Cowboy, not a Bear.  I want to point out that the back of this card lists Hawaii as his college, but he spent his first 3 years of college eligibility at BYU before his grades forced him out of school.  He's still a fan favorite in Provo, and people remember him fondly for the NCAA records he set while wearing royal blue.  His post-football life has been somewhat tragic, as I learned a few weeks ago from an essay written by a Chicago journalist.  I forget the writer's name and the essay's title, but the writer spent a weekend with Richards and saw first-hand the sad state of drug addiction and lies that make up his life.  It seems that I hear a lot about former football players who become addicted to painkillers and fall into a downward spiral.  And I don't know what can be done about that.  As much as I love football and would have played a lot longer myself, had I been blessed with more talent and size, there is an ugly side to it.

The majority of the cards I received were Packers, most coming in the 90s variety.  I like this Stars and Stripes Perry Kemp.  It's a set I know absolutely nothing about and had never heard of before this trade, but it's unique in my collection. 

Here are some All-Decade players from the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s teams.  I love that Zenith Atwater, and I think 1994 Upper Deck (represented by LeRoy Butler) doesn't get as much love as it deserves.  It's definitely a good-looking set.  The Walter Payton is pretty beat up, but it's okay.  At least my trading partner warned me about it.

Though there were many, many more football cards, I've just given you a small sampling.  Now let's check out the baseball.

Here is a smattering of the Cubs DMK sent me.  Love the Upper Deck Heroes Black Aramis Ramirez.  I'm trying to pick up all of the 1993 Topps Gold parallels of my PCs, and this trade brought me a few of them, including this former Cub utility-man Steve Buechele.

All of these cards fit PCs.  You'll notice another 1993 Topps Gold.  I love the Eric Karros and Mike Piazza on the same card, as I collect both of those players.  I'm not a Dodgers fan, but LA sure had a run of Rookie of the Year award winners in the 1990s, so I have PCs of Karros, Piazza, Todd Hollandsworth, Hideo Nomo, and Raul Mondesi. 

I'll leave you with some oddballs, highlighted by two hand-cut Gracies from card magazines.  Thanks DMK250 for the trade.

Some Weekend Sorting

So my wife took the boys on a road trip to Boise for the weekend and left me home with the newborn.  While the baby slept, I decided to get some sorting and storing done.  This is what my house looked like for two days.

It felt good to have the down time to decompress.  A common sentiment among card bloggers is no different for me: card sorting is a great stress reliever.  I got some scanning done, too, so I'll be able to get some posts done this week.  If you have sent me a trade package recently, I'll probably get to posting it much sooner than I would have without the quiet house this weekend.  Happy collecting!

PS-Check out Sport Card Collectors new contest.   He's always got something great on his blog.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Want a Ton of Cubs Cards?

I received this message in my inbox about a month ago from Andy at Ain't Nobody Got Time for Cardboard.  Wrigley Roster Jenga had done a post about getting "Graced" by Andy, and I left a comment for Tony that I was interested in one of those cards.  Andy must have seen my interest, and he reached out to me, from one rookie blogger to another, about a trade.  Not too long after, this arrived for me.

He wasn't kidding around about a TON of Cubs cards.  Let's run some of them down, starting with some cool minis.

Mark Grace was my hero growing up.  Got a couple of new ones here.  This Diamond Kings, though.  This has to be one of the most distorted faces I've seen on a DK card.  It's almost frightening.  I think it's the straight line on the cheek.  It's Picasso-esque, but not in a good way.

Included were some great and fan-favorite hurlers.

Are these guys considered hurlers now, too?  Full disclosure: I'm a Cubs fan, not a Chicagoan.  I had no idea who Graham Elliot was until I saw this card.

Jake Arrieta, because he is The Man right now.  He's so much The Man that I almost want to do it all caps.  I'll refrain, though.

Rick Sutcliffe and Kerry Wood fit in two PCs for me, as Cubs and ROY.  So do Kris Bryant and Jerome Walton.

Geovany Soto was a ROY as well. Though his time at the top was short-lived, I still root for him.

Derrek Lee was my favorite Cub during the mid-2000's, but I wasn't collecting then.  Hence, these are just my 3rd and 4th Lee cards.

There were some more all-time great Cubs: Ryno, the Hawk, and Ernie.

 And some current stars and young hotshots.

There were some more former Cub fan-favorites, including Starlin Castro, who has apparently remembered how to play ball at an All-Star level again this year, but while wearing the wrong pinstripes.

I like these throwbacks.

And these are some beautiful ivy cards.  That Reed Johnson has vaulted into contention for my favorite card.  Nothing is more baseball than tracking a fly ball, ivy on the wall, and seagulls.  Wait, seagulls?  Yes, there are seagulls.

These two cards are a head scratcher.  They feature the same photo, same stats, and come from the same set.  But they are numbered differently.  They both appear to be on the 2007 Topps Checklist.  What's going on here?  Can anybody help me out with this?

Andy also threw in some prospects here.

And some vintage.

There were even managers and future managers, coaches, and broadcasters.

All in all, there were 310 cards here.  I'll bet Andy didn't even know that.  I don't know how I'll ever match this quantity in a return trade, but I'll try my best.  Thanks a million Andy!  Most of those cards were brand new to me and fit nicely in my collection.  A little bit of everything Cubs, and I can always go for that.