Thursday, August 17, 2017

National Baseball Card Day

Yesterday I wrote about my propensity to take my library books back late.  I'm going to keep myself from being too late today by writing up my National Baseball Card Day haul before it becomes a distant memory.  I missed NBCD last year due to complete ignorance.  I had no idea that you could go to a card shop and get some special cards last year.  Thanks to Bo for his alert, I knew about it this year.  However, I didn't know whether or not I was going to participate.  I was scheduled to attend a family reunion that day in a city that was the opposite direction from the LCS.  My wife wouldn't have been thrilled to have me travel 20 miles south, just to come back and head north to the reunion just to get some free cards.  As it just so happens, a last-minute invitation to take my sons camping with some friends solved the problem.  I packed up the gear and went camping on Friday night, knowing that I would have to leave the site early enough on Saturday to get cleaned up and go to the reunion.  While on the road, a realization came to me that the LCS was only about two miles from the mouth of the canyon.  So Saturday morning, as we came down off the mountain, I told my boys about National Baseball Card Day, and they were excited.  We pulled into the parking lot about 5 minutes after they opened, and we each picked out an item to purchase.  We made it home in time enough to get unpacked and bathed and were only late to the reunion by about 10 minutes.  Not bad, eh?

As for our actual purchases, my oldest boy took a grab bag of basketball cards.  My youngest boy chose a pack of Pokemon cards.  I opted for a grab bag of football cards, knowing that this shop owner puts a filler hit and a few unopened packs into each grab bag.  So on National Baseball Card Day, I got some football to bust.

I was surprised when I opened my grab bag.  Instead of a lot of loose cards with a hit and a pack, there were only a few loose cards with three unopened packs.  These mid-90s cards of mid-level players are pretty representative of the cards in the grab bag.

The three packs were 2 packs of 2016 Score and one of this year's Donruss.  Let's take a look.

The first Score pack featured a couple of Ohio State rookies and a great grab by Jaelen Strong.  I think Strong is the only keeper in this pack, and it will go in my miscellaneous cool cards binder.  The rest will be relegated to the trade bait box.

The inserts in this pack were better, with two parallels of inserts and and two inserts featuring two of the greatest QBs of all-time.  Not too shabby here.

Pack #2 contained another Ohio State rookie along with a hometown hero in Devontae Booker.  However, Booker played for the wrong hometown team and I'll be looking for a Ute fan who wants this card ASAP. 

The inserts in this pack also included two parallels.  Was that the standard insertion rate for a Hobby packs?  After seeing Tom Terrific and Peyton fall out of the same pack, these players don't create too much excitement, though they are great players in their own rights.  I guess it was just a tough act to follow.

The last pack was my first look at 2017 Donruss.  I like the base cards more than I thought I would.  The backs without full stats drive me crazy, the fronts look pretty clean.  One thing that has puzzled me for the last two years is the two different rookie card designs, which you can see on the bottom.  Please, Panini, either make them all Rated Rookies or make them all base cards, but please don't do both.  Personally, I would do them all as Rated Rookies so they were set apart.

This pack contained two inserts.  I've never heard of Carlos Henderson, but I like the Mariota a lot.  He's an exciting young player and I hope he continues to improve.

My hit for the grab bag was a J.P. Losman patch.  I know that the player isn't great, and nobody collects the Bills, but that's still a cool patch with some nice stitching showing.  It's numbered to 50, so it's not at all bad.

Enough of the football.  It's National Baseball Card Day, right?  All three of us got our free packs.  I have to say, my kids had much better luck.  My oldest ended up with a pack consisting of Bryce Harper, Kris Bryant, Corey Seager, Giancarlo Stanton, and Brandon Crawford.  Pretty good lineup, eh?  My younger son got Paul Goldschmidt, Bryce Harper, Chris Sale, Yoan Moncada, and Joey Votto.  Considering my kids love 4 players:--Bryce Harper, Paul Goldschmidt, Anthony Rizzo, and Kris Bryant-- and they got 3 of those 4, I was happy for them.  I think they fared better than I.

I collect Seager and I got the Trout, but otherwise, I don't have much interest in these other players.  Of course, I won't look a gift horse in the mouth and free cards are free cards, so I'm good.  But if you are collecting the set and could use any except for Seager and Trout, let me know.

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