Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Sale on Cards!

There are many places to buy cards online. Some of them I use often. Some of them I use occasionally. Some I have used once but never again. Recently, I found a new place that I tried. A TCDB member named baseballcardstoreca posted that his website was offering a sale. So I went and checked it out. The site is the same as the TCDB username,, and every card on the site is $.25. Except for right now. Using the promo code 2020 at checkout will make every card $.10! So I went virtual dime box digging and came away with some good stuff.

Dime box 1973s? I'll take some. I was able to score some old Cubs, and some pretty good names, too. I believe this is my first Randy Hundley card.

My mini-collections, like my Rookie of the Year collection, got a boost. I like the bright blue foil Opening Day Dontrelle Willis, but the steal of this lot is the National Baseball Card Day Aaron Judge. This is the incentive card given for purchasing $10 in packs at the store. It's a nice find for a dime, I think.

I didn't forget about my All-Star MVPs. I picked up a bunch of SP Legendary Cuts from various years for this purpose.

My All-Decade teams got some help. Here we have the 80s.

The 1990s. Well, except for Ty Law, who is a member of the All-2000s team, but his rookie cards here are from 1995, so I mistakenly put them in this photo. The Steve Wisniewski that is so washed-out is a 1995 Ultra Gold Medallion, so the entire background is gold foil.

And here, the 2000s. I like the Derrick Brooks cards I got. There were some really cool ones, like the Skybox NFLPD subset, which is embossed. The two bookend Polamalus are minis.

I also found some college uniform cards of Heisman Winners. I usually prefer college unis in this collection. The Charlie Ward is an interesting addition to my Heisman collection, as he is playing basketball on it. Despite his stellar college football career, Ward passed on the NFL in favor of a 12-year career in the NBA. Jim Plunkett may not be in a college uniform here, but I wasn't to pass on a vintage Plunkett for ten cents.

I also was able to pick up a card here and there for various set builds.

Most of my order, though, was focused on refractors. I picked up some for my refractor frankenset and some of guys I collect.

All of these go in the frankenset. I love the look of the infield dirt as a refractor on Alcides Escobar.

Here are some different types of refractors, like refractor versions and different color variations.

I've never bought any Prizm baseball, but there was a good selection of Prizm refractors on the site, so I picked a lot of them for my frankenset.

My order was mostly refractors, and all for $.10 apiece! I don't know how long the sale will be going, but I know it is still. The site doesn't have a great filtering system to find what you want, but with a little bit of searching, you can probably find a few things you want. It's worth checking out.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

State of the Set: 2018 Score NFL Draft

I feel that there are too many sets on my wantlist that have been sitting there for years while I slowly chip away at them. This year I noticed that a lot of those sets are well within striking distance this year, so I've tried to swing some trades for set needs while focusing my recent Sportlots purchase on sets as well. We'll see how many sets I can kill before the year is out.

For the past few years, I have written a post that summarizes my set completion quests for the year. I still plan to do that for 2020, but I also decided to give a progress report for sets that I'm actively acquiring cards for along the way. I thought this might be more interesting than writing one giant post that tries to tie all the different cards from a trade or a purchase together.

Since the NFL Draft begins today, I think it's great time to look at 2018 Score NFL Draft.

Why I'm collecting this set: I bought a couple of packs of 2018 Score when it first came out and immediately loved this insert set. It's so colorful and I wanted to see full pages of it in my binder.

How long has it been on my wantlist (roughly)?: Well, we're about to start the 2020 NFL Draft, so this has been about 2 years now.

Current state of set completion: I have 27 of 30 cards, for 90% completion.

Current needs: #1 (Sam Darnold), #6 (Saquon Barkley), and #8 (Calvin Ridley).

Prognosis: With only 3 cards remaining, I'll bump this set up my list of priorities. I'm missing probably the most expensive card in the set (Barkley), but they aren't expensive cards. I think I just might knock this set off my list before year's end.

On a side note, the most recently acquired card, shown here as Joshua Jackson, was a Packers' 2nd-round pick. I remember wanting Jackson with the 1st-round pick, but the Packers took Jaire Alexander instead and still ended up with the guy I wanted them to take. It turns out Alexander is a much better player than Jackson, too. This is why I'm not an NFL GM. This year, I know a lot of Packers fans want a receiver in the first round, but I think they can still get quality in Round 2. I'm hoping for linebacker Zach Baun. Which means the Pack will take somebody much better that I'm not familiar with and prove my ineptitude once more. I still love the Draft, though!

Also, I'm still hosting a giveaway. To enter, post about anything you collect besides sports cards and leave a comment with a link to your blog post on my blog post. Entries close April 30 at 11:59 pm MDT.

Friday, April 17, 2020

Long Distance from Brazil

There has been a Blog Bat Around of late of "Things I Hate that You Love" and vice-versa. This is not that Bat Around. I'm trying to start a new one here. This one is inspired by Bo of Baseball Cards Come to Life, who posted a couple of weeks ago about a few various collections he has besides cards. Not only do I have a unique collection that was going to get a post anyway, I'd really like to see what all y'all have, too.

Using a public payphone on the streets of Cuiaba, Mato Grosso.
I spent the years of 2002 and 2003 living in Brazil. While there, I didn't own a phone. No cell phone, no landline. This was not uncommon, as many people used only the public payphones. Often, people would plan ahead the time they would call one another, then wait at the nearest payphone to their house for one party or the other to make the call. These phones didn't accept cash or coin. They had a card reader, and you would go into any store or shop and buy a card with a certain number of minutes. These cards were simply a necessity of life. But by the time I was buying them, card collecting was already deep in my veins, even if I hadn't bought sports cards for a few years before that. It was second nature to keep expired phone cards. I even found a little binder to hold them.

The cards are the size of credit cards. They were fun to save after they were used up because they were partly meant to be collected. There were series of themes with a few cards in the series. They were regional releases, so from state to state you'd usually find different designs. There were several different designs released concurrently, and each series was only released for a short time. I didn't go through them fast enough to collect entire sets, but there were a few series that I was able to get multiple cards from.

These three cards are part of a nine-card series commemorating the evolution of Brazilian currency. Here, you can see the change in currency from cruzados in the 80s, cruzeiros in the early 90s, and reais, which is the current form of currency. It speaks to the economic instability in the country that the type of currency used is changed so often. Can you imagine changing from dollars to some other form every decade or so? I'm not talking about the look of the currency; I'm talking about changing currency, like when Europeans moved over to Euros when the EU was formed.

This is the back of the currency cards. This is pretty typical. The card is inserted into the reader on the phone, and the bar code is scanned. There is information explaining the front of the card. In this case, it explains when the new type of currency was instituted and which political leader was in office. The blue marking on the left-hand card gives the series name and card number. These cards are from the Historia da Moeda Brasileira (History of Brazilian Currency), cards #6 and #9. There are nine cards in this set. The red mark on the right-hand card indicates when the card was released. These two are from February 2003.

The top two cards here are from the same series, about the blue macaw. The bottom card is a leopard. I don't know if the series was various animals or several about the leopard.

Some of the cards were promoting certain causes, like preventing Hepatitis C, ending hunger, raising money for the Alliance of Friends of Children with Cancer (the bird helping the kids build), and violence-free schools (the blue one on the right).

Some cards featured artistic endeavors. Clockwise from the top left: The Association of Visual Artists of Mato Grosso (a state in which I lived), an advertisement for a concert by the caipira group Ouro Preto Boiadeiro (Black Gold Cowboy), and the artwork of someone named Cris Conde. This person may or may not be famous, but I am mostly ignorant when it comes to art, so I really don't know.

You probably recognize these American cartoons that were popular in Brazil.

These three feature old churches in Tocantins, a state where I lived for a while. Clockwise from the top left: Sao Benedito, constructed in the late 18th century; Our Lady of the Nativity church, constructed in the mid-1700s; and an unnamed (at least on the card) church in the city of Porto Nacional.

These are fun ones. Each set has four cards and you can put them together to form a little scene. You can see the two ocean cards in the middle are #s 1 and 2, and they fit together.

This is the only completed set I have in my collection. If I recall, you could also buy mini-figures, like animals or fire trucks, that could drive on the road. I never did pick up any of those.

Some featured games or activities. The top two cards have 7 seven differences to discover. Can you find them? The bottom is a word search.

Here are a couple of sports-related cards. Brazil last won the World Cup in 2002. I just happened to live there at the time. Even though I've never been into soccer, it was certainly a pretty fun experience. This card shows the four countries in Group F of the 2002 World Cup. The card on the right has some basic specs for a game of football: the size of the ball and the field, number of players, and number of officials. American football is 100% foreign and baffling to most Brazilians.

These cards are holiday-themed. The top two cards are for Valentine's Day. Sort of. They don't actually have Valentine's Day in Brazil. These cards are for Dia dos Namorados (Lovers' Day), and it is June, not February. The middle row is for Father's Day and Mother's Day, respectively. The bottom right is for Brazil's Independence Day. It shows a progression of the Brazilian flag with the words "From monarchy to republic in three flags." The last card is obviously Christmas.

This is one of my favorites. It features a Brazilian president named Juscelino Kubitschek. He is an interesting guy to me. For one, he is like Brazil's Lincoln or Washington; he is on the short-list of best presidents regardless of who you talk to. Second, he is known by his initials, JK, much like JFK here--and there terms as president were concurrent. In 1964, a few years after JK left office, there was a military coup and Kubitschek fled the country into self-imposed exile. He returned 10 years later after his political rights were reinstated.

But here is why I find Kubitschek so fascinating: he built the city of Brasilia. Warning: Nerd Alert! I'm about to give y'all a history lesson. If this is boring to you, skip to the next paragraph. Brasilia is the capital of Brazil, but the city didn't exist until 1960. Kubitschek's idea was to move the nation's capital to the middle of the country to alleviate some of the overpopulation of the coast. The issue here was that there was no infrastructure for a city. Brasilia, the new capital, was built in the middle of nowhere, with no roads or highways or anything running to it. The only way to the city was by airplane. So the city was built in the shape of an airplane.

This is an aerial view of Brasilia. The North Wing is more residential, the South Wing is a lot of commercial, and the cockpit area holds the federal buildings. Brasilia is much like Washington, DC, in that it is a city-state surrounded by a state. Brasilia, DF is made up of this large city and a handful of smaller "satellite" cities. Even though I lived in four different states during my stint in Brazil, Brasilia and its satellite cities is where I spent most of my time.

Back to phone cards. These cards all show different places. The top left is from the Plaza of the Powers (kind of like the National Mall in DC) in Brasilia. The building shown is a monument to important National Heroes of the past. I never went inside, but I did visit the Plaza a few times. The bottom left is the city of Cuiaba, where I lived for a while. The building I marked with the red arrow was the apartment complex I lived in. The other two places look beautiful, but I don't know where they are.

Rounding out my phone card collection are some that were simply ads for the phone company.

So, for those of you who stuck around this far, I have a giveaway. Anybody who plays along with this Blog Bat Around and shows off anything they collect that is not sports cards or sports memorabilia will earn an entry in the giveaway. Just leave a comment on this post with a link to your post, and you'll get one entry. To make sure that as many people know about this contest as possible, let others know about it. Get the word out on your blog and you'll get a bonus entry. To enter, your post must be published by 11:59 MDT on April 30.

What's up for grabs? It just so happens that I have doubles of three of these phone cards:

Three winners will get their choice of card. Winner #1 gets first choice; winner #2, second choice; and so on.

So let's see what you have!

I'll end this post with one final picture. I keep these in the same little binder.

I guess these are the food issue oddballs of Brazil. These little cardboard coins came from little bags of chips. They feature cartoon characters who have been given soccer positions to make a team. I think they were to commemorate the World Cup.

I can't wait to see what all of your unique collections look like!

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

The Franchise 9: Philadelphia Eagles

Just two years ago, the Philadelphia Eagles won their first Super Bowl--their first NFL Championship since 1960. What I have usually found is that a team's Franchise 9 players coincide pretty well with the periods of greatest team success. It stands to reason, then, that the Super Bowl LII Champs would be well-represented here. But then you stop to consider that the Eagles were led to Super Bowl victory by backup QB Nick Foles, and you start to realize that the team that held off Tom Brady's sixth ring for one more year was a really good team, but not necessarily one with a lot of star power. Only one player on this list received a ring that year. The rest of the team is spread out pretty well through the other 53 years or so of this franchise's most recent history.

1. Randall Cunningham, QB (1992 Kenner Starting Lineup)

Of course this list has to include Randall Cunningham. He is, after all, known to generation of football fans as "QB Eagles." Anybody who has played Tecmo Super Bowl understands just how invincible one could feel just by taking the snap with the Eagles and running wherever they wanted. He was also a pretty good passer in that game. The thing is, his amazing video game skill set wasn't far off his real-life ability. Look no further than his 1990 season. Cunningham passed for over 3,400 yards and 30 touchdowns, while adding 942 on the ground. He made three Pro Bowls as an Eagle and received the Bert Bell Award (an alternative to the AP MVP) in 1988 and 1990.

2. Ron Jaworski, QB (1985 Topps)


Jaws was another Eagles signal caller who played pretty well, even if he didn't get the big-time accolades. Like Cunningham, Jaworski played well enough to earn the Bert Bell Award in 1980, but missed out on the AP MVP. (It went to Cleveland's Brian Sipe that year.) That year he led the team to its first Super Bowl appearance. He is still second in franchise history in passing yardage and touchdowns.

3. Donovan McNabb, QB (2005 Upper Deck Reflections)


Even though Eagles fan booed the selection of Donovan McNabb with the 2nd overall pick of the Draft back in 1999, he quickly won them over. McNabb quarterbacked the team to its second Super Bowl appearance in 2004. McNabb is the one player ahead of Jaworski in passing yardage and touchdowns. Although he was no Randall Cunnigham, McNabb was pretty mobile in his own right. He posted three seasons of 400+ rushing yards. He represented the Eagles in six Pro Bowls.

4. Harold Carmichael, WR (1978 Topps)

A member of the most recent Hall of Fame class, Carmichael was a huge target (think 6'8!) for the likes of Jaworski and Roman Gabriel. His 589 receptions, 8,789 yards, and 79 touchdown catches are all franchise bests. A member of the NFL All-Decade Team for the 1970s and one of this year's Hall of Fame class, Carmichael made four Pro Bowls and had one reception and one yardage title during the decade.

5. Jason Peters, T (2014 Topps)

Jason Peters is the sole representative of the Eagles' Super Bowl-winning team in the Franchise 9. For over a decade, Peters has been a rock at left tackle, earning seven Pro Bowl nods and two All-Pro nominations. Generally, he has been one of the best offensive linemen in the game. I would say Peters was the Eagles' MVP of the 2010s. (With all due respect to Fletcher Cox, Peters had a few more years with the team during the decade.)

6. Reggie White, DE (1991 Topps)

"The Minister of Defense" had already built a Hall of Fame career and carved out a space in Canton for himself before he ever made free agency history and joined my Packers. In eight seasons with the Eagles, White racked up a jaw-dropping 124 sacks--an average of 15.5 per season! To let that sink in, just consider this: after eight seasons in the NFL, Reggie White was already the career leader in sacks. I realize that the stat hasn't been around forever, but White left the Eagles as the NFL's all-time leader in sacks. That says a lot. He was a terrifyingly powerful man on the field, with a forearm shiver and bull rush that just pushed offensive linemen around. The closest person behind at that time had 92 career sacks. We don't even need to mention the six straight 1st Team All-Pro honors, but we just did. Not many people have utterly dominated opponents like Reggie White.

7. Eric Allen, CB (1990 Score)

While White is the team's all-time sack leader, Eric Allen shares that title for interceptions. His 34 picks with Philadelphia is tied with two other players, but Allen has one distinction that sets him apart from the others: he returned five of those interceptions for touchdowns. In four of his seven years with the team, Allen picked off at least five passes. He made five Pro Bowls while with the Eagles and was an All-Pro once. He will probably never get much mention as a Hall of Fame candidate, but he was always a game-changing play just waiting to break loose.

8. Troy Vincent, CB (1997 Finest)

After Allen left in free agency, Troy Vincent came in to replace him. While Allen was the better cover man, Vincent was a good cover corner who offered more run support. While with the Eagles, Vincent intercepted 28 passes and made 518 tackles, good for fourth and tenth on the franchise's list. He made five Pro Bowls and and All-Pro team for Philadelphia.

9. Brian Dawkins, S (2008 Upper Deck First Edition)

In the absence of Reggie White, Brian Dawkins is the best defender in the Eagles' Super Bowl Era. He is tied with Eric Allen for the team lead in interceptions and in is the top five in tackles. His 21 sacks is tops among Eagles DBs. Over 13 seasons in Philly, Dawkins built a Hall of Fame career on the back of nine Pro Bowls, four All-Pro nods, and a nomination to the All-Decade Team of the 2000s.

This team was really hard for me. There were many players that I simply don't know much about. These were players that played before my time and didn't reach such legendary status that I grew up hearing and reading about them. Harold Carmichael was among them, as were players like Wilbert Montgomery and Bill Bergey. I wasn't quite sure what to do with them. It wasn't until Carmichael was voted into the Hall of Fame to push him past some of his contemporaries. So, how do you think this team turned out? Let's hear your thoughts in the comments!

Some notes on this series:

  1. This includes Super Bowl Era players only.
  2. The "nine" in Franchise 9 is to fill a page in a binder. There is no intent to fill a roster or even a starting lineup.
  3.  A player can represent multiple teams.
  4. I tried to find a balance between steady producers with longevity and explosive players with shorter careers. Time with the team does count for something, as does impact with the team.
  5. For a link to Franchise 9 lists that I have already posted, click here.
  6. This is all subjective, so I'd love to hear whom you would choose!

Monday, April 13, 2020

The Franchise 9: Washington Redskins

Hail to the Redskins! One of the oldest franchises in history, the Redskins have had plenty of success over the years. Much of their winning happened before the scope of this project, but they have also won a trio of Super Bowls. Since the early 90s, however, winning seasons have been hard to come by. Not surprisingly, only one of these players played more than one season in Washington past their last Super Bowl appearance. The team just hasn't seemed to be able to find a franchise-changing player for quite a while. There are relatively few solid "star power" guys in the team's history.  In fact, I am more likely to think first of coaches or owners in connection with this franchise than players.  I think this is because of the team's identity as a team.  Washington's heroes are the unsung heroes.  We're talking here about original "Hogs" on the line of scrimmage. I know there are a couple of Redskins fans out there who know their franchise better than I do, so I'm sure they'll be able to tell me all the mistakes I have made. I will say that it was tempting just to put the entire original "Hogs" unit here and call it good.

1. Sonny Jurgensen, QB (2008 Leaf Limited Team Trademarks)

Aside from the inimitable Sammy Baugh, who is ineligible for this exercise, Sonny Jurgensen was the most prolific and efficient quarterback in franchise history. He ranks second in team history in passing yards, second in touchdowns, and second in QB rating among quarterbacks who played at least three seasons. No one quarterback is ahead of him in multiple categories.

2. Joe Theismann, QB (2015 Gridiron Kings All-Time Stat Kings)

Theismann is one of those who leads Jurgensen; he is the team's all-time leader in passing yardage. He was also under center for the team's first Super Bowl championship. He ranks 7th in career Approximate Value, per Pro Football Reference.

3. John Riggins, RB (2014 Topps Valor)

Believe it or not, Hall of Famer and Super Bowl MVP John Riggins was a tough inclusion here. He almost didn't make it.   The analytic stat of AV has Riggins pretty low on the list, and when you break it down into AV per game, as I do to see who the most impactful players were, Riggins appears to be an accumulator. However, the running back who might have been here otherwise was Larry Brown. When I dug I little deeper into the statistics, I found that Riggins had more yards and more touchdowns per game than Brown, so I'm not sure why Brown was given the higher share of the team's wins. Riggins is a legend, and I'm sure Redskins faithful would want no one else here.

4. Art Monk, WR (2008 Topps Chrome Hall of Fame)

There may be no more underrated wide receiver in history than Art Monk. Ponder this: when Monk left Washington after 14 seasons there, he was the all-time leading receiver in league history. Yet he made only 3 Pro Bowls and 1 All-Pro team. Despite being one of the tops in the game, all it took for him to become an All-Pro was to become just the 3rd receiver ever to catch 100 passes in a season, setting the single-season mark with 106 in 1986. His 888 receptions for 12,026 yards still lead the team, and he ranks 2nd with 65 TDs.

5. Charley Taylor, WR (2011 Panini Limited)

Before Art Monk, there was Charley Taylor. Taylor spent his full 14-year career in Washington. Though he retired in 1977, only Monk has been able to surpass his receptions and yardage mark for the team, and not even Monk passed him in touchdowns, as Taylor's 79 is still tops in team history. While he was breaking records for the Redskins, he was also representing the team in 8 Pro Bowls and an All-Pro team.

6. Russ Grimm, G (1987 Topps)

The only Hog in the Hall of Fame, Russ Grimm was the heart of arguably the best offensive line unit in history. The Hogs paved the way to 3 Super Bowl titles for the team. As a firm believer that games are won and lost in the trenches, I have a great respect for these guys. Grimm was a 4-time Pro Bowler and 3-time-All-Pro and was named to the All-Decade Team for the 1980s.

7. Joe Jacoby, T (1992 Collector's Edge)

Joe Jacoby isn't in the Hall of Fame, but he did join his linemate Grimm on the 1980s All-Decade Team. From 1983-1986, Jacoby made 4 Pro Bowls and had back-to-back All-Pro seasons in that span. Injuries started to take their toll later in his career, but through his age-29 season, Pro Football Reference names notables figures such as Willie Roaf, Joe DeLamellieure, and Walter Jones as having the most comparable career to Jacoby. In his prime, Jacoby was one of the best there was.

8. Chris Hanburger, LB (1969 Topps)

There aren't too many stats available for Chris Hanburger's career, but just consider these: in the 11 year stretch from 1966-1975, Hanburger made 9 Pro Bowls and 4 All-Pro teams. Somehow, it took until 2011 to enshrine him in Canton, but he deservedly made it there.

9. Darrell Green, CB (1991 Score)

For a few years, Darrell Green held the title of "Fastest Man in the NFL." That's probably how I will always remember him best. Not only did he spend his entire career in Washington, that career lasted two full decades. Over that time, Green became the franchise leader in AV, interceptions (54), and defensive touchdowns (8--6 interception, 2 fumble). The 7-time Pro Bowler was named to the All-Decade Team for the 1990s and elected to the Hall of Fame in 2008, his first year on the ballot. Aside from Sammy Baugh, Darrell Green is probably Mr. Redskin to many fans.

As apparent in this group of players, the Redskins have had more success as an offensive team than a defensive team.  Today's standards would say that offensive prowess equals fireworks, but that's not the case for this team, which had its heyday by plowing over opponents with heavy equipment in the 80s.  The result an offense-heavy team without the superstars that everybody would recognize as great playmakers.  These guys are hardhat and lunchbox guys.  And that is the takeaway I have of the franchise's identity as a whole.

Some notes on this series:

  1. This includes Super Bowl Era players only.
  2. The "nine" in Franchise 9 is to fill a page in a binder. There is no intent to fill a roster or even a starting lineup.
  3.  A player can represent multiple teams.
  4. I tried to find a balance between steady producers with longevity and explosive players with shorter careers. Time with the team does count for something, as does impact with the team.
  5. For a link to Franchise 9 lists that I have already posted, click here.
  6. This is all subjective, so I'd love to hear whom you would choose!

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Easter Sunday 2020

For my final Easter post, I have a couple of videos and the account of a people who were visited by the risen Lord. Happy Easter!

3 Nephi 11:9-15

9 And it came to pass that he stretched forth his hand and spake unto the people, saying:
10 Behold, I am Jesus Christ, whom the prophets testified shall come into the world.
11 And behold, I am the light and the life of the world; and I have drunk out of that bitter cup which the Father hath given me, and have glorified the Father in taking upon me the sins of the world, in the which I have suffered the will of the Father in all things from the beginning.
12 And it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words the whole multitude fell to the earth; for they remembered that it had been prophesied among them that Christ should show himself unto them after his ascension into heaven.
13 And it came to pass that the Lord spake unto them saying:
14 Arise and come forth unto me, that ye may thrust your hands into my side, and also that ye may feel the prints of the nails in my hands and in my feet, that ye may know that I am the God of Israel, and the God of the whole earth, and have been slain for the sins of the world.
15 And it came to pass that the multitude went forth, and thrust their hands into his side, and did feel the prints of the nails in his hands and in his feet; and this they did do, going forth one by one until they had all gone forth, and did see with their eyes and did feel with their hands, and did know of a surety and did bear record, that it was he, of whom it was written by the prophets, that should come.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Easter Week 2020--Hear Him! 1 Corinthians 15:12-23

1 Corinthians 15:12-23

12 Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?
13 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen:
14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.
15 Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.
16 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:
17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.
18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.
19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.

Friday, April 10, 2020

Easter Week--Hear Him Moroni 10:32-33

Moroni 10:32-33

32 Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.
33 And again, if ye by the grace of God are perfect in Christ, and deny not his power, then are ye sanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ, which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your sins, that ye become holy, without spot.

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Easter Week 2020--Day of Fasting

The Gospels of Matthew (17:14-21) and Mark (9:14-29) both describe an incident in which Jesus' disciples were confronted with a boy possessed of a spirit. Though they tried to cast it out, they were unsuccessful. After Jesus made the boy whole, His disciples asked, "Why could we not cast it out?" The Lord replied, "This kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting."

This past weekend Russell M. Nelson, President and Prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, called for a worldwide fast on Good Friday, April 10. The purpose of this day of prayer and fasting to ask that:
  • the present pandemic will be controlled,
  • caregivers will be protected,
  • the economy strengthened,
  • and life normalized.

Anybody, of any faith, is invited to join voices and faith in this day of fasting and prayer. This is my friendly extension of this invitation to any who would like to participate tomorrow.

1 Corinthians 7:5

5 Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.

Daniel 9:3

3 And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes:

Isaiah 58:6

6 Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Easter Week 2020--Hear Him Alma 7:11-13

Alma 7:11-13

11 And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.
12 And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.
13 Now the Spirit knoweth all things; nevertheless the Son of God suffereth according to the flesh that he might take upon him the sins of his people, that he might blot out their transgressions according to the power of his deliverance; and now behold, this is the testimony which is in me.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Easter Week 2020--Hear Him Hebrews 4:14-16

Hebrews 4:14-16

14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.
15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Monday, April 6, 2020

Opening Day of Spring Break (A Sort of State of the Set)

I finished my 2020 Opening Day box break, even without a Major League Opening Day. Opening Day is probably my favorite break of the year because it usually nets me a complete set and a good portion of one of its fun inserts in a single box. This year didn't quite get me what I was looking for, but it was a fun break as always.

Here is (almost) the Cubs team set. Javy Baez is missing from this team set because I didn't pull a Javy. Right away you can see that for the first time ever, I failed to get a complete base set from the box. Baez isn't the only missing base card; I fell four short of the set.

I did manage all of the Rookie Cup cards. Here is our battery of young stars.

And here is the rest of our lineup. I don't know why, but the Rookie Cup really caught my eye this year. I know it has been pointed out already, but Yordan Alvarez, AL Rookie of the Year, is has the rare RC/Cup combo.

As always, there is some fun photography. I really like that top row.

Now, for the inserts.

There's Javy Baez! I pulled four blue parallels, and I did pretty well, I think. One blue is my man Baez. Another is the blue parallel of hot rookie Bo Bichette. The other two are available for trade.

In my first Opening Day post, I pointed out that I pulled duplicate Mascot cards of the Tampa Bay mascot. That trend didn't change, as you can see. All of these are available for trade, minus one Clark for my collection and one Orbit that I already traded away on TCDB.

Spring Has Sprung was probably my favorite insert set that I pulled. It's a 25 card set, but one I would have considered building, especially with a starting point of 5 cards from my box. Alas, the duplicate bug bit again. As far as dupes go, these are a couple of good extras to have for trade bait. Acuna, Alvarez, and Griffey all fit in my collection. The Alvarez was probably my favorite pull of the box, since it's a Rookie of the Year collection need for a player who hasn't had a ton of cards as of yet. The extra Acuna and Griffey are both available for trade.

For a couple of years, Opening Day made its stickers the one-per-box hit. Not so this year. This set is a preview of Topps Stickers. This is an excellent crop of players. It's a Bo Bichette hot box! I could almost say the same about Javy, except for the fact that his base was missing.

The Team Traditions and Celebrations set has been the insert I've built in the past. I didn't care to build it this time, but I'm keeping the Jackie Robinson statue for my Robinson collection and the baseball chandelier card because it's just so cool. The other two cards are up for trade if there are any takers.

I'm not a huge fan of the Opening Day inserts this year, but by happenstance, I'm going to complete the set. I pulled these . . .

these . . .

and these. If you're counting, that's 15 total Opening Day cards. There are 15 cards in the set. But you eagle-eyed readers may notice that the dupes have struck again, this time with two Toronto cards. That leaves me one card short (Milwaukee).

The inserts I really wanted were the Dugout Peeks. I knew they were pretty rare, but I didn't know how rare until I saw the odds on the pack: 1:2310. So I didn't pull one of those. I did, however, beat the 1:937 odds to pull my first relic from an Opening Day box.

A Cardinal. Normally, I'd be a little more upset about this, but there happens to be a collector of Cards card in Oregon who keeps sending me stacks of Cubs. Now I at least have some return fire. Kerry, this one is yours.

In the final count, I have 196 of 200 base cards. I'm missing #s 128 (Javier Baez), 132 (Clayton Kershaw), 163 (Christian Yelich), and 175 (Austin Meadows). I expect to finish this one up pretty easily.

This week is Spring Break for us. Like many others, my job has turned into 100% work on the computer, so I'll be using Spring Break to take a little screen break. This will probably be my only card post of the week. However, it being the week before Easter, I feel the need to make some short scriptural posts that you may see throughout the week. If there has ever been a time in my life that we need Him, I feel it now. Enjoy your week, everyone!