Monday, December 5, 2016
Double the Piscotty, double the fun?
How did I not know there were two Stephen Piscotty cards in this year's Topps Allen & Ginter set? Well, I'm not going to complain too much, because it's not like it's Aroldis Chapman or anything. Allen & Ginter uber collector Matt sent me another bangin' batch of bizarro Allen & Ginter cards from the dark side, this time hooking me up with my first look at the 2016 offering.
Topps really makes a lot of weird mistakes like this these days. Someone more cynical than I might argue that stuff like this is intentional, but if they were going to purposefully throw in extra cards of a key player it would most likely be someone from the Cubs, or Trout or Harper or something.
This year's version is a little more of a no frills look, using the same card stock as the regular set. Matt also sent over some more Cardinals needs from last year's 10th Anniversary Issue, where the cards had some foil printing and more of a smooth finish to them. Here's a comparison of Matt Holliday, side-by-side with last year's version. He's a... Yankee now. That's gonna be weird.
There's only one card of the Wizard in the set. Ozzie looks a little jealous.
Big thanks again to Matt!
Tuesday, November 29, 2016
A bunch more most wanted wants go down.
While we wait to see if MLB and MLBPA are ever going to resolve their collective bargaining issues, let's check out some Cardinals sent to my mailbox by Brian of Highly Subjective and Completely Arbitrary. Brian took down quite a few of my "top ten" needs, and has a package of want list needs of his own (+ Twins cards) headed his direction.
Piscotty made his debut in the middle of the 2015 season and has been a lineup mainstay ever since, so he'd had one of the longest "rookie card" lifespans of a Cardinal that I can remember. This is the gold parallel version of his 2016 Stadium Club card. This is a nice set.
I don't even know how long I've been missing this card, but it's mine now! The Stars inserts were hobby only if I remember correctly. I mostly bought the Topps rack packs with the 3 "vintage" cards in 2006.
Another from the "top ten", this is a really fun Fleer design from 1981.
Wacha is either moving to the bullpen or getting traded, depending on who you listen to. In either case, hopefully he can avoid the injury bug that has plagued him in his young career.
Here's another one that I feel like I've needed forever, but since it came out in 2014 it really hasn't been that long.
I should really buy more 2016 Chrome. These are really nice looking. Sorry, regular inferior base Topps.
Saturday, November 26, 2016
It all comes down to Ducks vs. Beavers with state bragging rights on the line.
Something very unexpected happened last week that I'm still having trouble grasping. The Ducks beat then-12th ranked Utah. On the road. It was their first road win. Today they head to Corvallis for their final game of the year, taking on in-state rival Oregon State. The Beavers are also coming off a win, although theirs was a little less surprising as they took out punchless Arizona. Usually, there's quite a bit more at stake for at least one of these teams, but for today it will all come down to pride and the usual rivalry beef.
There are actually more story lines here, but I think they will get temporarily buried in the hoopla of this rivalry game. Oregon could actually still head to a bowl game with a win here, even though they are not technically bowl eligible. College football has become positively lousy in recent years with lousy bowl games, meaning that schools with losing records will inevitably be invited to some games that need filler material. This happened to several programs last season. Oregon could be among those chosen and could conceivably accept an invite, but it has to be tough and not all that rewarding to count on at this point. Oregon's head coach could also get fired after this game. On the whole, to say things have not gone well since last winter is a huge understatement.
I think this will be a fun game to watch, and while both schools have had more downs than ups lately, it will be a chance for all involved to have fun on the football field one last time in 2016. This could also be Royce Freeman's last game, as the junior has had a disappointing season but could jump to the NFL. Unless, of course, that lousy bowl invite happens.
Tuesday, November 22, 2016
Cue the emojis.
I figured I'd go into the Thanksgiving break on a high note with this one. A treasure trove of wondrous cards arrived from buckstorecards recently, which ticked boxes in all corners of my collections. (Well, maybe not the hockey ones. I'm still saving that for another time.)
I think this is my first 2016 Topps Pro Debut card. I am not sure if I've been inside of a card shop this year, and hobby stores (and the internet) are pretty much the only way to get minor league cards these days. The one I used to make a trek to a few times a year closed suddenly, and we hardly even have a pro baseball team to speak of.
I'm not sure where someone in Canada might dig up a card of the 2012 Texas League champs, but I'm glad to have it! This team featured a lot of players that are currently mainstays with the big league club. At center stage is Carlos Martinez, holding the trophy.
This is my annual reminder to those who read deep into blog posts that I'm actually kinda sorta an Eagles fan and kinda sorta will take on their cards. Brent Celek is a trooper who has been through some dark days and plenty of quarterback changes. I don't understand NFL fans, really.
Here's the latest guy, the #2 draft pick, a rookie that is supposed to make us all forget the horrible Vick days (please don't send me his cards) and the Chip Kelly/Sam Bradford experiments. He's had his ups and downs, like most rookie quarterbacks.
Back to baseball, here's a sponsored insert from this year's Topps Update. In a few years, I expect every baseball card to have some sort of corporate sponsored tie-in.
This is one of the first cards I got to see from any 2016-17 NBA set, so it got me excited about the new basketball season. I'm not sure I should get excited about Festus, however, as it seems like he's not very likely to be a part of the Blazers plans this season.
Here's the impetus of the trade, a numbered (69/99) rookie year autograph from the one and only Marcus Mariota. The former Duck all-everything player is starting to turn some heads in the No Fun League, and my personal assistant assures me that this card is a wise investment that will pay off dividends in the future.
Sunday, November 20, 2016
About six months too late.
I finally added my 2016 A&G want list to the blog, if anyone has any extras laying around. Also, this bad boy is up for grabs if you've got something similar to offer, and more in the Cardinals department of things. I pulled it in a blaster last night. My neighborhood grocery/variety store finally added a proper trading card section, which means it's going to be a long winter. I had been dreading this for quite some time.
Saturday, November 19, 2016
Oregon takes on 12th ranked Utah today.
We're down to just two games left on the schedule in an extremely forgettable Ducks season. A quick check of the Pac-12 standings reveals that the Utah Utes, today's opponent, are in the thick of a three team race for the South Division title and a berth in the conference championship game. The same quick check reminds us that Oregon has nothing left to play for but pride, and even that has been in short supply of late.
Things are bleak if you're an Oregon fan. After showing signs of life for roughly a game and a half, the Ducks regressed to the point of getting their beaks stomped in consecutive weeks. Both USC and Stanford are quality teams with bowl games on their respective dockets, but it was disheartening to see Oregon get pummeled the way that they did the last two weeks. Considering that the Ducks lost to the Utes by 42 points last season, a road revenge seems fantastical at best.
The script isn't likely to change today, but as a famous gasbag once said (and then kept on saying...), "that's why they play the games."
Wednesday, November 16, 2016
Cards I purchased that you didn't send to me.
The vast majority of my posts here show off cards that others send me. When it comes down to it, the point of this blog for me is to acquire new cards that I'm interested and trade off ones I'm not. It maintains the trading "circle of life" so to speak to always give a nod to whoever sends me stuff and some of the things they send, and I am sure that most people enjoy seeing their own efforts acknowledged in a public forum. But for whatever reason, I can never get myself fully on board with blogging about the stuff I buy for myself. I'm not a huge sports card shopper, but I occasionally splurge for a small pile of cards that fit into some of my various collections. When I hit up COMC earlier this month, for once I didn't immediately catalog and file away the stuff I bought for myself.
My card shopping mantra, which extends beyond just the online world, is that I'm up for buying pretty much anything if it's less than a buck. I'm not entirely sure what led me to this, but I plugged in "Topps Black" and "Cardinals" into the search engine and ended up with a whole pile of minis. Somehow, a Gypsy Queen sneaked in there among all of the Allen & Ginters.
These black parallels from last year's Stadium Club set supposedly have a print run of 201 cards according to the internet. Because they aren't actually numbered, they seem to be extremely affordable. I wonder what's going to happen to "Topps Now" cards in a year or three...
I can't remember where I first saw this card earlier this year, but I knew I had to have it. It's modeled after the original 1991 Fleer Ultra set and features a vibrant (colorized?) photo of Dan Fouts with the Ducks. If Oregon was smart, they'd roll out this kind of throw back someday. Just don't do it this season, because I don't want to remember anything about this season.
Another entry from the "Topps Black" search netted me one of these harder-than-you'd-think to find Walmart parallels from the 2011 Topps set. Certain Series One blasters from that year could be found containing nothing but the parallels making those an easy get, but starting with the next series, they became much more of a rarity on par with the shiny foil parallels from the past few sets.
I bought Blazers, too. Imagine that! Maurice Harkless is beginning to emerge as a much needed third scoring option in Portland's lineup after being acquired from Orlando for the proverbial bag of beans (a late 2nd round pick from 2020+).
More Topps Black. Beyond Matt Holliday, there is just a dark void. Similarly, entering a Walmart store is like disappearing into another plane of existence.
I usually hold back the Ducks cards for a weekend pep talk gameday post, but it might be time to clear the deck with everything I've been holding back and start something new next season. I like this card. I need more shiny non-airbrushed or Photoshopped Oregon cards.
This guy is becoming a media giant. Massive shoe contract, State Farm commercials, hip hop album... he's ticking all the boxes. Oh yeah, also, he plays basketball pretty well most of the time.
Mason Plumlee is kind of fun center to watch, if you're into watching a modern unconventional style of center. He's going to get a triple-double before this season is out, just mark my words. This is a fairly low numbered jersey card that was very affordable, although the back of the card revealed that his jersey bit came from his time with the Nets.
Noah Vonleh! He's shown some flashes of being an NBA player. I just felt like I needed something of his with the Blazers because he doesn't have a ton of cards at this point.
Thanks for bearing with me. Next time, it will be about you again.