Thursday, October 27, 2016

Spreading the Word on a Contest

In case anybody is unaware, Sport Card Collectors has a great contest going on with his TTT review.  Some great cards are for grabs, so go enter!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Cards from the SCC...That I Would Never Buy Myself

My latest trade is my first with blogger/review/contest holder extraordinaire, Sport Card Collectors.  It was a good trade to get, too, because he sent me some products that I will probably never break on my own.

The Panini Elite is a nice-looking product, but I will probably never buy it.  I got a couple of inserts here, though with SCC going back to the 70s with Terry Bradshaw and adding to my 2000s binder with Derrick Brooks.  I have a bunch of last year's Clear Vision, but only from grab bags at the local card show.  I've never actually ripped a pack.  Here are a couple of serial numbered parallels (?).  Tony Dorsett is a guy who I believe should be in my All-1980s binder, but he somehow was not selected.  I think he would have a been a better choice than both John Riggins and Roger Craig, however.  I personally would replace Riggins. But why, why, why is representing the Broncos on this card?  Who made that decision?  Dorsett was a Cowboy, end of story.  No one remembers him in blue and orange.  The question with the Montana/Young rivals is which binder it goes to: 1980s or BYU?  Just because of current slots in my pages, it will represent Young in the BYU binder.

Here we have arguably the premier offensive and defensive players of the 80s.  When I opened the envelope, I was sure I had the Taylor, but after opening the binder, I found I still needed it.  Great looking cards here.

Now here is a product that I have opened myself.  I've decided to complete 2016 Panini and one of the inserts.  I was trying to decide between the Accolades and the Legends of the Shield.  Well, thanks to SCC, I'm a quarter-war finished with both, so what the hey--I'll complete both insert sets.  Wantlists for the base and these two inserts sets have been updated on my wantlist page.

Thanks for the cool inserts, SCC!  I'll keep gathering some Giants for you, and I'm sure I've got more late 90s inserts you might want in the future.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Breaking Down a Baseball Card Trade

My last post set me at two milestones: it was my 50th post and it put me over 2,000 views.  I know, that's small potatoes compared to most blogs out there, but when I started this blog in January, I never thought I'd have 50 posts before the year was out.  As for the page views, thanks to all of you who read my drivel.

Why don't we commemorate the occasion with a trade from Baseball Card Breakdown?  First, Gavin sent me all the cards seen above, a good mix of PC players and Cubs, including some good Mark Prior, who is sorely lacking in my collection.

We'll start with Weeghman Park, where the Cubs will try to clinch a World Series berth tonight.  Okay,it's not Weeghman Park anymore, but it was when the Cubs played there during the last World Series they won.  What's that you say?  The Cubs didn't play at Wrigley, nee Weeghman when they last won the Series?  But it opened 102 years ago!  *Sigh*  Go Cubs!

Love this pic of Arrieta.  Here we have the reigning Cy Young winner looking like a rookie who has to fetch water for the vets.  And how cool is batting practice for a pitcher?  One reason I'm an NL fan.

As much as I love the Arrieta pic, what is up with this Ryne Sandberg Archives?  I'm not even sure his eyes are pointing the same direction.  That Pinnacle in the bottom left photographed nicely.  All in all, Gavin sent me some great looking 90s Rynos that I didn't have before.

Mark Grace is my all-time favorite Cub.  I love all of these cards.  Gold Label is a brand I missed in the late 90s.  I love the Wrigley inserts.  And even the ugly 1991 Fleer is good news for me.  I have this same card with a TTM auto on it, but this one will go in my binder.  And that Bowman International.  Who doesn't love a good American flag on their cards?  USA!  USA!  USA!

Here is an interesting card. I'm sure Gavin sent it because of Derrek Lee, who is another of my all-time favorite Cubs.  But as I looked at the back, I noticed that Ron Wright is from Delta, Utah.  Since I know some people from Delta, I decided to check out Mr. Wright's career.  Here is what I found.  Ron Wright is a cup of coffee player, appearing in only one Major League game in his career.  That one appearance, with Seattle, was nothing short of disastrous.  In three at-bats, he accounted for six outs.  In his lone MLB game, Wright struck out, grounded into a double play, and hit into a triple play.  That's it.  Ten years in the minors, one game, three at bats, six outs in the Majors.  And now his picture is in my collection.  This is why I collect; I love to own a piece of the history of sports.

I love these BCB Customs.  That Kris Bryant faux 1989 Upper Deck is the crown jewel of this trade, in my opinion.  All of these customs are of my primary PC guys.  Awesome!

And let's not forget the Packers.  As a kid, I got the 1990 Score factory set for Christmas one year.  This is the first I've seen of the Supplemental set from the same year.  I want to know where the black border was for the rest of the set?  These two cards look better than just about any of the rest of the set with different colored borders.  Cool side note: from the back of these cards I learned that Tony Bennett hails from Alligator, Mississippi.  Who knew?

Thanks, Gavin for a great trade.  This was a fun package to get.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Apparently, I Am Highly Lucky and Arbitrarily Awesome

Before the NL Wild Card game, Brian, proprietor of Highly Subjective and Completely Arbitrary, held a contest.  The objective was simple: predict how many K's strikeout kings Madison Bumgarner, Noah Syndergaard, and their supportive bullpens would induce, and which staff would punch out the most opponents.  The tie-breaker was to name the individual batter with the most whiffs.

Well, as it turned out, I won.  I used a highly scientific process to make my picks.  It went something like this: I think there will be about 18 strikeouts in the game and Syndergaard will strike out more.  Thank goodness that was all it took to win, because my science of "umm, Brandon Belt" as to who would whiff the most was flawed; Belt didn't strike out once and my tie-breaker would have failed. 

As a reward, I got an envelope of goodies from Brian.

First, some BYU alumni Major Leaguers.  Vance Law is not as well-known as his father, hurler Vern Law, but he was a pretty good player in his own right.  Plus, he played for both BYU and the Cubs, so he's always been a personal favorite of mine.  Law came back to his alma mater as the head baseball coach for a while, too.  Cory Snyder set a bunch of NCAA records for the Cougars and had went on to a solid, if not spectacular MLB career.  He's a good guy and one of my few TTM successes to boot, as he signed some cards for me and my boys last year.  Wally Joyner has the distinction of becoming the first rookie named to an All-Star team since fan input started in the early 1970s. 

Now for some Cubbies.  The 1969 Deckle Edge Don Kessinger is now the oldest Cubs card I own, and it's in pretty good shape, too.  The Kris Bryant proudly states he was "ROY," and it's well-established on this blog that I collect anybody in that category.  The fact that is now the best player on my team is just gravy.  Todd Hollandsworth is another "ROY," though he played for the Dodgers when he won the award.  This is actually my first card of Hollandsworth as a Cub.  How is that possible?

But THIS.  If all Brian had sent me was this one card, then all of my prognostication of random numbers and educated guesses about which pitcher would have more strikeouts would have been worth it.  Here we have a Packers legend in true-to-life vintage--1966 Philadelphia.  This card is well-loved and has a couple of creases, but it is easily one of my favorite Packers cards in my collection.

Thanks, Brian for a great contest.  It was actually my first blog-sponsored contest win, ever. 

Monday, October 17, 2016

Continuing the Birthday Blast(ers) with Some Physical (Not Digital) Trade Bait

The second product of my birthday splurge was a box of Topps Bunt.  A lot has been said on the subject, so I'll quickly add my two cents.  I'm not into the digital trading card scene.  I tried it with Topps Huddle and Panini Gridiron, but I only went with the free stuff.  After a while I started thinking, "Why on Earth do I care about some random pictures of players that appear on my phone?"  The short answer was, "I really don't care."  So I gave up on the apps.  I don't hold it against anybody who does like the digital version, but it's just not my cup of tea.  The physical Bunt cards, on the other hand, looked like a lot of fun.  (Note: That is the only time I will refer to these cards as physical cards.  I'm trying to convince myself that I did not just buy a box of digital cards that I could hold in my hands.  I bought a box of a Topps product that just happens to share a name with the Topps app.  That is all.)

I'd seen of the the design on other blogs I liked them.  The inserts looked like fun sets, especially the Programs.    And I figured that I stood a good chance of completing the base set with a single break.  Sounds like a product that is right up my alley.

And, just as I had hoped, I did complete the base set.  I decided the only insert set I would try to complete would be the Programs set.  Aside from a few keeper inserts, everything else was trade bait.

So what did I decide to keep?  Well, let's take a peek.

How about a trio of Cubbies inserts?

I really like the Light Force inserts.  They take me back to the 90s, looking like a Skybox product or something.  But I've decided to only chase one insert set, and Programs wins it.  Until I pulled the Bryant out of the last pack, I thought the Light Force set was only pitchers.  You'll see why in a minute.

For a serial number that only runs to 75, this set is a sneaky tough pull.  These Title Town cards come only 1:1395 packs, or roughly every 38 boxes.  I'm not a Dodgers fan, but Steve Garvey's face makes this a keeper for me.

Here's a "Bob" Clemente Platinum parallel, numbered to 99.  I like this one, so I think it'll stay with me.

So what is up for trade?  I have some base that might interest people:

Dwight Gooden, Mets
Elvis Andrus, Rangers
Kyle Schwarber, Cubs
Sean Doolittle, A's
Jay Bruce, Reds
Aledmys Diaz, Cardinals
Francisco Lindor, Indians
Madison Bumgarner, Giants
Masahiro Tanaka, Yankees
Robin Yount, Brewers
David Wright, Mets
Jacoby Ellsbury, Yankees
Chris Sale, White Sox
Corey Kluber, Indians
Stan Musial, Cardinals,
Nolan Ryan, Rangers
Giancarlo Stanton, Marlins

One thing I noticed about this set and I like, is that the large logo in the background fits with the era the player actually wore the uniform.  Some of the logos have just subtle differences, and it's fun to see them all side by side.  Good move by Topps.

Speaking of uniforms, all of these Unique Unis are up for grabs:

And the last of the trade bait, including a couple of legendary pitchers in the Light Force series:

As much as I like the set, that Koufax photo doesn't look like it belongs anywhere near that amount of color in the background.  It just has an odd feel to it.

What do you think of the box?  I'll be putting up a Programs want list soon.  Hit me up if you're interested in anything I have to offer here, and thanks for reading.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Some Baseball Cards Come to Life

I've already shared some football cards I got from Baseball Cards Come to Life.  Now for those of you who have more a of an appetite for baseball, here you go:

We'll start this off with a couple of Cubbies.  I like cards that feature my favorite play in baseball, the double play.  I especially love the shot on this Sandberg, though, because it shows a different angle from most of the double dips in my collection.

Here are some All-Star MVPs for my collection.  I love this Cal.  The moment appears to be a missed opportunity to turn two, but the way it just looks like he is staring down the runner is great.  The Jeter is actually the back of a shiny card with Luis Gonzalez on the front.

This Piazza is a mystery to me.  It's a mini, obviously, and it's a 1999 Pacific production.  Beyond that, I'm not sure what I have here.
Pretty much all of Pacific's release mystify me.  I can never tell what I'm looking at.  Can anybody help me out on this?

Finally, we have some cards to fit into my Rookie of the Year binder.  The Nomo on the right is just an example of what makes Stadium Club one of the best products around.  I'm a fan of both of those Longorias.  (Can I pluralize his name like that?  It just looks so odd.)  I seem to have more lenticular Evan Longoria cards than is normal, and think this one is the third unique Longoria lenticular I have.

Thanks for a great trade, Bo!  Next time I'll up my game to match your trade package.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

More of the Trade with Baseball Cards Come to Life (The 2000s)

In my last post I mentioned that Bo at Baseball Cards Come to Life sent me way more than I expected from our trade. 

Today's post has a distinct New Millennium flavor, as I will highlight the All-2000s NFL team.  Many of these cards came from the years before I picked up collecting again, so some of them are actually the first I've own from their respective sets.  We'll start with the defense and special teams today.

Some great defensive backs here.  I love the diversity I see in the safeties here.  Polamalu will be remembered for his hitting, while Ed Reed built his career on creating turnovers.  Charles Woodson was just a jack-of-all-trades, but he was good at it all--run support, coverage, playing outside, slot, or safety--Woodson could do it all.  Devin Hester did start his career as a DB before attempting the other side of the ball, but he made the team as a returner, of course.  He gave me some heartburn, as I am a Packers fan, but in my mind, he's the most dangerous returner of all-time.  No disrespect to "White Shoes" or Mel Gray or anybody like that, but no other return was a threat to score every time he got his hands on the ball.

I was never really a big fan of this pair of linebackers, for different reasons.  But there is no denying that they were nightmares for opposing offenses.  Brian Urlacher's career still boggles my mind.  I still remember how he terrorized the Mountain West Conference as a safety at New Mexico.  His combination of speed and size is hard to beat.

I love cards of sackmasters actually sacking the quarterback, like the Demarcus Ware pictured above.  The Zach Thomas on the far right is actually a rookie, and I'm not sure what the set is.  The brand is Score Board and it seems to be from the "Autographed Collection," but I can't find any other information on the set.  Still, it's a nice rookie of a player who never got the love he deserved, in my opinion.

And here is our defensive line.  I really like the Ultra Dream Team insert set.  This was the first time I had ever seen it, and Bo sent me a few.  I've added the rest to my want list on Zistle because I really like the card.

Now for the offense.

I love this collection of Tony Gonzalez.  First, it features him as a Chief, and most of my cards have a Falcons uniform.  Second, there is a wide variety of sets that had no representation in my collection before.  The first three on the bottom row are my favorites: Upper Deck Artifact, Fleer Platinum, and Topps Reserve.  Am I alone when I say that I miss Fleer?  I feel like Fleer put out some of my favorite sets every year.

I'm not a Randy Moss fan at all.  Here he is representing four different teams in one trade package.

Some more wide receivers, and another of that Topps Reserve set I'm liking so much.

My running back collection for this decade is seriously lacking.  Running backs have such short careers that some of these guys started and ended their careers while I was not collecting.  As a result, this is just the fourth Edgerrin James card I own.  Also a travesty is the fact that before I got this package, I owned more cards of LaDainian Tomlinson as a Jet than a Charger.  Here is Upper Deck Ovation making a football appearance.  I never even knew Upper Deck made an Ovation football, but like its baseball counterpart, I really like what I'm seeing.

We'll end with a bang.  Brady and Manning are GOAT 1.a and GOAT 1.b, in my opinion.  I don't say that lightly; I am well aware of the quarterbacks of yesteryear and their achievements.  I'm not biased toward these players because of my generation.  I feel these two have earned it.  I may take up this issue again in another post someday, but right now this display of cards from Baseball Cards Come to Life has gone on long enough.  Though I still haven't finished with this trade yet.  You'll see more later.

Friday, October 7, 2016

A Somewhat Lopsdided Card Trade Come to Life (1980s and 1990s All-Decade)

Bo, the proprietor of Baseball Cards Come to Life, recently posted some of his new acquisitions of players he didn't care for much.  I commented on his post that every single one of the cards he posted could fit easily into my collection.  That never happens, that someone posts a bunch of cards that I PC all of them.  He responded that those cards weren't available, but he had some stuff I might like.  And just like that, our first trade was born.

I sent him about 75 cards, mostly commons, to check off some of his sets he was building.  He told me he'd pull a similar number of cards for me.  Well, I don't think this was a fair trade.  This is what I got in return for my 75 cards:

About 150 cards, mostly of Hall of Famers and legends.  For 75 2015 Topps flagship base cards?  What am I supposed to do with this?  If subsequent trades go like this, I will probably die owing Mr. Bo more cards than I can imagine. 

All kidding aside, Bo more than came through in this trade and I appreciate his addition to my collection.  I'm going to break this trade into separate posts. 

Here are the All 1980s representatives that I got from Bo.

I'm pretty sure a lot of these cards were in my collection, way back when I was a kid.  In fact, that Sean Landeta looks familiar to me, and 1988 Topps were the first cards I ever got.  Regardless, all of these cards are new to the binder.

Here are a few guys who spanned the decades, finding a place on both the 80s and 90s teams.  Love the Reggie White, as it is probably one of the first cards to feature him in the green and gold after his history-altering signing with the Pack.

Cool oddball Dominos Pizza card of Elway.  Bo actually sent me several of those Dominos Cards, and they're a welcome addition.  The Thurman Thomas and Cris Carter Silver Set are part of a redemption set Upper Deck gave from Touchdown Predictor cards.  You would pull a card with a player and a date, and if the player scored on that date, you could redeem for the whole set.  If I remember correctly, the set included a special "Touchdown" card of the player who was redeemed.

And here is an all 90s guy and Packer legend.  But seeing Brett in purple makes me cringe.  Will these two go into my binder?  Probably not, though technically they should.  Hey, my binder, my rules.  And I can break them if I want.

I present the rest of this trade later, as Bo hit many more football and baseball needs for me.  Thanks, Bo! 

More of a Birthday Blast(er)

Last week I had a birthday, and I used a nice rebate check from a utility company to treat myself to some cards.  I found out that Wildwood Enterprises was running a deal that was $15 off a purchase of $100.  Wildwood specializes in retail boxes and they usually have some good deals on selected products, but they don't carry a lot of variety in their inventory.  With the coupon, I picked up 2 blasters of 2016 Panini Classics football, 4 blasters of 2016 Panini football, and a retail box of Topps Bunt.  With the coupon special, I ended up getting the 7 boxes for about $15 per box.  It sure beat heading to the local store and paying a bit more per box.  Anyway, I'm trying to pace myself so I have something to break when I get the itch.  I'll share my findings with you as I go.

Here is the second box of Panini Classics.

Pack 1

The insert and the rookie are both pretty good subjects to have on a card.  It's my first Sterling Shepard, and I've been impressed with his play thus far in his short career.

Pack 2

Another solid rookie.  Dak has been surprising.  I thought he was a bit underrated entering the draft, but I never expected him to look like a veteran from Day 1.  The Emmitt and Deion will go into my 1990s binder.  This was just a pretty good Cowboys pack, wasn't it?

Pack 3

There's a blue back of Fred Taylor's son, Kelvin.  I've always been a sucker for a good running back, and Earl Campbell is one guy I wish I had been able to see play. 

Pack 4

Three cards to go into binders for me here, LaDainian Tomlinson, Shannon Sharpe, and Cris Carter.  Here is the first rookie of this box who didn't ring a bell for me.  Daniel Lasco was drafted by the Saints, if anybody is wondering.

Pack 5

Another Earl Campbell, this time in the form of an insert.  The first Packer of the box comes in the form of Antonio Freeman.  A great player yes, but a Legend?  Not sure I agree with that.  Devontae Booker will probably be unloaded to some local Ute collector, unless somebody here wants it.

Pack 6

Another blue back, this time of Willie McGinest.  For a guy who collected through the 90s, I was surprised to find that the base and this parallel from this box are the first 2 McGinests that I own.  I'm not overly attached, however, so if some Pats fan out there wants them, they're available.  Does anybody out there collect Patriots?  I know there are lots of Red Sox bloggers out there, but I don't know if any of them collect football.

Pack 7

Strahan will go in my binder.  The Team Tributes card seems odd to me, as a tribute to historical team that is pretty much still intact.

Pack 8

Darrell Green will go in my 1990s binder.  The rest are available.

So there is Box #2 of my birthday blaster splurge.  Those are the only 2 Classics that I picked up, but I kind of wish I had gotten more.  I won't be chasing this set, so most of these cards are up for trade (including those in the last post), except where I noted. 

I'll probably hit the Topps Bunt box next.  Until then.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Birthday Blast(ers)

Last week I had a birthday, and I used a nice rebate check from a utility company to treat myself to some cards.  I found out that Wildwood Enterprises was running a deal that was $15 off a purchase of $100.  Wildwood specializes in retail boxes and they usually have some good deals on selected products, but they don't carry a lot of variety in their inventory.  With the coupon, I picked up 2 blasters of 2016 Panini Classics football, 4 blasters of 2016 Panini football, and a retail box of Topps Bunt.  With the coupon special, I ended up getting the 7 boxes for about $15 per box.  It sure beat heading to the local store and paying a bit more per box.  Anyway, I'm trying to pace myself so I have something to break when I get the itch.  I'll share my findings with you as I go.

All three products are new to me.  I decided to crack into the Panini Classics first.  In each blaster of Classics there are 8 packs of 8 cards each.  There is one blue back parallel per box on average.  Other than that, well, Panini is notorious for not stating their odds.  I found pretty quickly that I could expect one rookie and one insert per pack, though.

I'll run you through the first box.

Pack 1

First impressions: I like old-style design without necessarily recreating an existing design.  The card stock feels grainy, like a vintage card, but it's thicker than I expected.  The way the player is outlined creates a pop-up feel to the cards.  The rest of the design is simple and incorporates the team colors and logo.  The team name up top, though.  That hurts my eyes.

No, that is not a blurry photo.  The team name is written at least 4 times, with each new writing underneath the previous and getting lighter.  It's frankly hard to read and the overall design would be better without it, I believe.

I was somewhat surprised to see the insert in the pack (Future Legends Jameis Winston) made no attempt to look vintage.  It's a straight-up modern card, and a pretty slick design in my opinion.

Pack 2

Lots of quarterbacks in this pack, including my man Favre.  The Torry Holt you see there is a blue back parallel.

Pack 3

I don't know why, but that top row makes me think of fantasy football.  That would be a pretty solid team, and one that is actually believable, as all those guys could be picked up in different rounds.  The Classic Clashes Elway/Favre insert is bittersweet to me.  I love that it will fit my All-1990s binder perfectly, as it is the only card I have that features both that team's quarterbacks.  But it also just reminds me of Super Bowl XXXII and Elway's helicopter into the end zone.

Pack 4

I'm starting to question the "Legends" criteria.  So far, I've pulled Ricky Williams (maybe), Doug Williams (in some aspects), but Mark Chmura?  I don't agree with that one bit, and I'm a Packers fan.  I suppose part of stems from his legal troubles.  Yes, I know, he was acquitted in a court of law, but the doubt still lingers in my mind.  I like to think that if I'm going to hero-worship, I want as little dirt as possible on them.

Pack 5

The Burbridge is another blue back.  I have to say, that for most of these rookies, I've had to look up their drafting teams to know where to file them.  Eli Apple and Laremy Tunsil are the only two I've known so far.  Burbridge and Jackson were picked by the Niners and Bengals, respectively.  Just in case you were wondering. 

Pack 6

The highlight here for me is the two legendary linebackers who will go in my 1980s binder.  The Next Level insert features the player in a college uniform on the front and a pro uniform on the back.  Panini is making full use of its two licenses, and I've been pretty pleased with the result from across different products.

Pack 7

Why is there a Dwight Clark Classic Moments of "The Catch" without a picture of "The Catch?"  Part of me thinks, "Oh, I've seen that play a hundred times.  I don't need it on a card."  But then I consider that one of the main reasons I collect is to build my own little history of the game.  Shouldn't I have a card of a Classic Moment that actually depicts the Classic Moment?

The Thurman Thomas, by the way, ends my hunt for Thurman Thomas cards.  Until I decide to expand my All-Decade collection, I have all the Thurmans I need.  He is just the 3rd player (Rod Woodson and Junior Seau) that I have completed for the 1990s binder.

Pack 8

The last pack of the box is more of the same: 4 current players, an insert, 2 legends, and a rookie.  Look at Andy Dalton run there.  He looks like a legitimate running back with his four points of contact on the ball.  Good for him.

Overall, I was impressed with my first purchase of Panini Classics.  For the price, I got to add a quite a few cards to my binders.  Next up, I'll break that other box of Classics before moving on to another product.  As I mentioned, I'm trying to draw this out and not binge on it, so I'll post the results as I get there.