Tuesday, March 4, 2014
People like this sport, right?
There's very nearly no NFL offseason at all for the major sports networks, as they're already gearing up to cover next month's draft, which will be followed by endless amounts of news about contracts and workouts and summer camp and so forth. It's all a bit silly for a sport that only has 16 games and a handful of playoff games each season. I'm still a (very) casual football fan, however, and I recently received a 2010 Topps NFL factory set from Howard that I'm breaking apart as we speak.
I'm only keeping the Oregon alums and Eagles cards (except for Vick), so if you're interested in any particular player, team, or just want everything you can get your hands on for some reason, let me know. I scanned the only cards that people would probably find interesting in a factory set, which are the exclusive rookie variation cards.
These players are also present in the set itself, but there was a separately sealed wrapped with the five variation cards set aside. I think there are actually multiple variations, so I assume it's possible to get different versions of the same five players if you open multiple sets. I'm not completely sure about this, however, as I don't really collect football cards.
If I was a hotshot college star, I would hate to get drafted by the Lions.
The first few of these all looked to be staged photoshoots, but this one appears to involve some no good Photoshoppery.
And finally, there's this guy. Sadly, this card still probably has the most collector appeal of the lot. This wasn't exactly a great crop of rookies to put on display. Of the five, Bradford has put together the only salvageable career, but his career 79.3 passer rating isn't exactly blowing anyone away.
Monday, March 3, 2014
Another fresh set of envelopes hits the mailbox.
I've been more aggressive in my attempts to collect the various Cardinals cards from the flagship set this year. This doesn't mean that I particularly like the set. I'm just trying to stay a bit more on top of these things while people still have this set fresh in hand. I've made some trades lately that have included cards from 2014 Topps Series 1 and have also acquired a few plain white envelopes of the new stuff.
Pirates fan Big 44 Sports Cards sent over a Matt Carpenter Walmart parallel. Did you know that Matt Carpenter is my latest "player collection" player? It's mostly semantics at this point, since all of his cards to my knowledge have been in a Cardinals uniform or minor league affiliate, and I want all Cardinals cards anyway. This does, however, mean I will be tracking my progress on Zistle, and I'm actually starting to make some decent progress in getting all of my PCs cataloged so people will finally know what to send me. More on this later...
Jeff from One Man's Junk sent me some of his junk that even he deemed trash-worthy. This Shelby Miller The Future Is Now insert (and another unseen base card) made a couple of notches in my 2014 Topps team set quest.
And finally, I sent Giants fan extraordinaire ARPSmith some Giants inserts and he responded in kind with my first short print/variation type card of 2014. This Wainwright variation commemorates his Complete Game win in the deciding game of their Wild Card series with the Pirates last fall. It sadly feels like a lifetime ago right now.
I also received this so-called "red hot" foil Yadier Molina parallel. So many versions to collect! I'm giving this to Erin, so if anyone has another one, I would love to get my grubby mitts on it.
Friday, February 28, 2014
Hey hey hey HEY!
Who is he? Mark DeRosa, jack of all trades, was a utility guy that was a key bench player on a number of Braves teams early in his career. He finally got a shot at a full-time gig in a three year arc that included stops in Texas and Chicago. He's one of those guys whose reputation precedes his actual accomplishments on the field -- basically, your typical "great clubhouse guy" who isn't going to embarrass himself on the field. He concluded his impressive 16 year career by announcing his retirement recently.
How did he get here? After a rash of wrist injuries limited him in stops in St. Louis, San Francisco and Washington, the Blue Jays signed DeRosa as a free agent to enter the 2013 season which would prove to be his final hurrah.
Repeat offender? No
Other versions of this card: None. As we all know, Topps heavily relies on Getty Images these days for their cards, so for the more recent stuff I am going to try to track down the source image for these. I couldn't find a good match for this one.
Airbrushed Score: 5
Comments: I don't know, sometimes a card just looks weird. With Photoshop, there's a way that the logos and other markings just look like they're floating on the image rather than being part of it. The background is really blurry and I could probably convinced that I'm in the wrong here, which is why I gave this a fairly low "score".
Thursday, February 27, 2014
A slick trade with one of life's many Dodgers fans.
I've been trying to follow the blogs and do as much reading in my spare time as I can, but a busy daytime work schedule gets in the way. (Is there a good mobile option for reading these things yet?) I did manage to find the time to arrange a few small trades recently, including some with folks I've never dealt with before. One of those folks is Alex from Chavez Ravining, which has a better ring to it than Dodger Stadiuming. The linchpin of the trade was a 2013 Topps Heritage Miguel Cabrera Target parallel, which fills one of the many holes in my set.
Alex threw in some Cardinals cards and a couple of player collection needs as well, which is always nice. Here's a silly card. Incidentally, the guy that provided the voice of McGruff was sentenced to 16 years in prison for owning a massive pot farm and weapons stash. Oh, America!
Colby looks like someone poured mustard on his head here.
So... this is funny and topical!
Here's one for Erin's collection. She's been accumulating quite the Tulo stash lately. I bet she'd be happier if they were Yadis, however.
I am really excited to see Wacha get a chance to take the mound every fifth game this year. That should be exciting, providing that he doesn't encounter any hitches along the way.
Oh, there's Yadi. He says hi.
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
We used to have so many brands.
The second jumbo sized package from Howard in the past few months was comprised almost entirely of Cardinals cards from brands that don't exist today (i.e. not Topps) and from the years I couldn't call myself a card collector. These are The Lost Years. My interest in baseball cards began to wane as I got closer to high school graduation, and the year after I graduated there was no World Series. It was hard to even watch baseball again for awhile.
I have no memory of Mike Gallego as a Cardinal, but seeing him like this doesn't surprise me. Tony La Russa employed a number of players he coached in Oakland in his early days with the Cards. Dennis Eckersley and Mark McGwire come to mind most prominently, but there were quite a few others.
There are several variations on this Ron Gant You Crash the Game insert, so I'm not exactly sure which this is. It has a golden sheen to it, so I'm thinking it might be a gold parallel of an insert. Maybe. Who knows?
This looks like a dream I had once.
I've opened a few of these preview packs and I don't remember getting any Cardinals cards, so this is probably going into the binders.
There aren't many cards of Willie McGee in a throwback jersey, so I am really digging this card. He came back to the team at the tail end of his career and did pretty well in a reduced role.
This is a nice shot of Big Mac. Lost in all of the steroids nonsense sometimes is that McGwire was, or at least seemed to be, one of the nicer guys in the game. I can't really defend what he did, though. I don't care how many people were doing it.
Here's one for the ever-growing Ozzie binder.
I'm slowly discovering that there's quite an army of second-year Albert Pujols cards on the market.
I didn't know that Upper Deck got into the oddball game much after the early-'90s, but this appears to be a Post cereal card. I wonder if this came from a cereal box. I would probably buy more cereal (or cookies, or bread, or whatever) if you could get special baseball cards inside. Yeah, I probably shouldn't have admitted that.
There were a couple of nice Ginter parallels tossed into this group. Duncan had to retire way too early in his career, but he's one of the lucky ones to have a World Series ring to call his own.
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Value in a blind grab blister pack?
I've read a number of things about repacks lately and was finally bored enough in a Walgreen's to buy something I usually know better not to. I tend to stay far away from the type of repacks that offer nothing to random chance, as in the ones that don't contain actual factory sealed packs. Something about the luck others have had lately and the strange card on the front that caught my eye made me plunk down $3.99 for a sharp plastic blister pack of 100 cards, and I wasn't disappointed at all.
The card that caught my eye, of course, is the Mickey Mantle All-Star Topps Heritage card, done in the style of 1961 Topps. At first, I thought this might be a short print that I was probably missing from the 2010 Topps Heritage set, but those cards actually say "Topps News" at the top instead of Sporting News. A little research while waiting in line led to the discovery that these cards are from some sort of promotional set that has to do with the 2011 National Convention. In any case, this isn't your typical dime box card and, even though I haven't figured out if I'm keeping it or not, it made the entire purchase worthwhile.
The rest is just gravy. Here's a sampling:
It's The Hawk, on a blue '87 Donruss card.
I'm pretty familiar with all of the rack pack All-Star Glossy inserts from '80s Topps cards, but I'd never seen this one before.
I'm not sure what this was doing in the middle of the pack. Usually the flashiest cards are facing the outside of the package in order to entice prospective buyers who can't decide what kind of toothpaste they want. Like me! There is a less than perfect corner to this card, but otherwise I'm really surprised to see an insert from Harper's rookie year set.
Whoa! An actual card for my collection. And it's serial numbered.
Hmm... weird mid-'90s card from a set I'm not familiar with.
I wonder how much a pack of 2005 Fleer Showcase would run you these days.
The newly elected Hall of Famer wants you to look at his eyes, man. Or he's flipping us off. I'm not entirely sure.
I have no idea who Dave Goltz is, but it's a sharp cornered card from 36 years ago. That has to count for something.
Poorly cut Captain Hank thinks this pack is weird.
Here's a trio of excellent pitchers, with only the guy on the left still at it today. (This card is only two years old.)
There was actually a second, equally as rare National card hidden in this pack. This is officially crazy.
How about a dazzling Wizard card that I actually needed for my collection?
Um... I like O-Pee-Chee.
Friday, February 21, 2014
Applications of airbrushing to metallic objects.
Who is he? Tony Pena was a 5-time All-Star and 4-time Gold Glove winning catcher who currently serves as the Yankees bench coach. He also managed the Royals for several years about a decade ago.
How did he get here? Pena was an established star when the Cardinals traded Andy Van Slyke and two other players to Pittsburgh at the very beginning of the 1987 season. He struggled mightily at the plate in St. Louis but still managed to gain another All-Star selection in his third season as a Cardinal.
Repeat offender? No
Other versions of this card: None
Airbrushed Score: 8
Comments: Yes, they even airbrushed things that aren't technically cards. Man, that cap looks bad.