Saturday, October 21, 2017

Good Luck Ducks, Week 7: Back to the Drawing Board

Oregon looks to rebound after a lifeless effort. 

Coming into October, the general consensus about quarterback Braxton Burmeister was that he had a long way to go to become a legitimate passing threat in the Oregon offense. I certainly didn't expect to see his passing yardage in the single digits again Stanford before he was relieved, temporarily as it would turn out, by Taylor Alie. Royce Freeman was able to add another good day with the ball in his hands to his long resume, but Oregon absolutely cannot throw the ball down the field right now. Everyone knows this.

Next up on the docket is UCLA, a team that absolutely cannot stop the run. Everyone knows this. Considering that rushing the ball remains one of Oregon's few strengths right now, at least in theory, this could be the game that finally sees Oregon back in the winning column. Help is apparently on the way, as quarterback Justin Herbert has already returned to practice while he recovers from a broken collarbone on his non-throwing side. I am cautiously optimistic about both of these things, although this game could certainly go either way. They often do.

Some things with hyperlinks:

As a freshman Royce Freeman rushed for 2 TDs in a rout at Pasadena in these two teams last meeting.

Game time is 1:00 PDT. Broadcast channel is the Pac-12 Network. Your scheduled broadcasters are Roxy Bernstein, Anthony Herron and Lewis Johnson. Hooray, an afternoon start for once! Go Ducks!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Feetball from Canada

Cards from the sport people lose their minds over. 

Here's my annual-ish reminder that I'm actually a low key Philadelphia Eagles fan. If you're running out of ideas of things to send back in trades or are just wanting to mix things up a bit, I do keep a boxed, unsorted collection of Eagles cards that I started culling from my brief foray into collecting football cards in the early 90's. (They were REALLY cheap.) I'll probably never have a want list, but I did update my "Team Want Lists" page so there's an actual link behind the Eagles.

Sportscards From The Dollar Store is on to me and my alternate collecting interests, as he sent some Eagles, Ducks and even some hockey (Blues) cards my way recently. Let's check out a few.

Randall is my all-time favorite football player, which coincided with my amped up interest in video games in the early '90s and his on field exploits as a truly exciting player in a league whose default setting is usually pretty close to boring. I was even heavily invested in his late '90s comeback with the Vikings, probably because I was unemployed at the time and letting men on TV and radio shout at me about sports a lot in those days. I will eventually have my Cunningham collection online. There's not much to speak of it yet, although I am a proud owner of both his rookie card (1987 Topps!) and a larger framed reproduction of said card.

Jonathan Stewart is in his 10th NFL season, which makes me feel really old. He rushed for -4 yards last week against the Eagles. I'm pretty sure he didn't mean to run backwards, but his stats declare otherwise.

Like Stewart, LeGarrette Blount is another former Oregon Duck running back who has lasted much longer than your average pro player. Blount is actually on the Eagles this year, which I'm pretty excited about.

This might be my first Topps Finest NFL card (check the protective layer, guys). Mark McMillian was actually born out of the Tecmo era, as I believe he was on the roster in the 16-bit Tecmo Super Bowl III (under an assumed identity.)

Random Blues Card Alert! I have no idea who this is, but it's impressively dorky and cool at the same time.

Okay, back to football. Dave Tobey rounds out the post, a former Duck linebacker seen in CFL gear here.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Good Luck Ducks, Week 7: Stanford Time

The Ducks head to Stanford to take on their Bay Area rival. 

Oregon football is back in action tonight after suffering a rather demoralizing loss at the hands of the Washington State Cougars last Saturday night. It seems like an even more bitter pill to swallow considering last night's results, where the previously undefeated Cougars were even more dreadful than last Saturday's Ducks, losing 37-3 to Cal -- a team Oregon just beat handily with a bunch of backups and frosh running amok. Confused? So am I.

I have no idea what to make of college football sometimes, and it's difficult to imagine what will happen tonight. What we do know is that Stanford has the nation's top rushing leader by pretty much a million yards, which is so incredibly boring because it seems like Stanford always does this. Bryce Love has 1240 yards to his credit, averaging 10.5 yards per carry and basically lapping the rest of the field. On the other hand, Oregon's defense has improved dramatically (although there was nowhere to go but up), especially while defending the run. One could argue that they haven't really been tested in this area, especially not against a Stanford.

There is only one Stanford, fortunately, and Oregon plays them tonight. Late tonight. Talk about #Pac12AfterDark! Tonight's game is set to kick off after 8:00 PM local time, which is after the late local news starts on the east coast. Braxton Burmeister or, whoever, are set to take snaps for the Ducks and will face a team that also sits at 4-2 on the season, but Stanford has won 3 times in the conference versus Oregon's 1. The Ducks should be healthier this week with some key receivers (Charles Nelson and Dillon Mitchell) returning. Stanford really only became a rival to the Ducks in the current decade, but a win would definitely feel very satisfying.

For clicking and/or tapping:

The rivalry really seemed to start in 2009, with unranked Stanford knocking off a top 10 Ducks team at home. This was their 2010 response.

Game time is 8:00 PM PDT (seriously?!). Broadcast channel is FS1. Your scheduled broadcasters are hopefully some people that are still awake (Tim Brando, Spencer Tillman and Holly Sonders again.) Go Ducks!

Friday, October 13, 2017

Free Fantasy Basketball - One Slot Left!

Sign up now. Cards on Cards fantasy hoops is back for season 2! 

A last minute slot opened up for our free fantasy NBA league this season. Let me know if you're interested, either by commenting, emailing or replying via Twitter. It's fun, it's free, and there's even a prize!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Basketball Season is Back

It's fantasy hoops time as well. 

The NBA regular schedule begins super early this year, with the first counting games set to go in just a week's time. I realized it was (overdue) time to renew the Cards on Cards fantasy basketball league as well. I sent an email out to last season's participants through the fantasy website/app, and hope that everyone is up for participating again. If someone bows out between now and Sunday's draft, I will probably be scrambling to fill a last minute spot -- just be forewarned in case that happens.

In honor of the coming season (or out of boredom... more likely boredom), I picked up this repack box while running an errand tonight. Whenever you can't see any of the contents of a box of cards, you know you're taking a bit of a risk. I thought I'd at least post the two guaranteed cards in this space.

MarShon Brooks was in the league for just 3 seasons, so this isn't going to help me pay the bills this month. This will probably be heading off to Billy Kingsley at some point unless for some reason he doesn't want it.

This is some guy named Askia Jones, who went undrafted out of K State in 1994. I like to consider myself fairly knowledgeable about '90s basketball, but I had never heard of him before I went to Google. Jones traveled the world, playing professionally until 2010, but only logged 11 games in the NBA -- all with the Minnesota Timberwolves back in his first pro season.

For those who are curious, my 4 packs ended up being 2012-13 NBA Hoops, 1993-94 Fleer Series 1, and two packs of 2015-16 Panini Prestige. That wasn't so bad, although my guaranteed hobby pack ended up being the Hoops pack, which is just kind of rude.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Good Luck Ducks, Week 6: Yikes!

Oregon regroups after suffering significant injury losses, facing a familiar foe. 

It was almost comical how quickly and repeatedly Ducks players fell to injury last Saturday night. In the end, backup backs had run all over the Cal defense on the way to Oregon's 4th victory of the season, bringing the team closer to bowl eligibility. The toughest loss was Justin Herbert, aka the guy that Oregon could absolutely not afford to lose, and his broken clavicle. With two potential backup QBs having transferred out of the program before the season begun, the Ducks are left with a true freshman (Braxton Burmeister) and a fifth year senior (Taylor Alie) who has contributed most significantly on special teams in his Ducks career and had been set to play WR until those transfers.

With the injuries piling up (Royce Freeman was also knocked out last week's game), Oregon limps back to the field in Eugene to host the Washington State Cougars. WSU QB Luke Falk has his eyes on some conference records this season, including Marcus Mariota's TD mark (note: this was achieved in 3 seasons while Falk is in his 4th.) Indeed, Falk and the Cougs have had Oregon's number recently, and coming off of a win over USC, Washington State is highly favored to win this one as well. In fact, unlike typical seasons, it's probably the Cougars defense -- combined with Oregon's sudden question mark under center -- that has the Ducks most worried. Oregon's D has certainly improved, but will definitely have its hands full tonight.

The is the first of five straight tough games on the Ducks schedule, and if anything, it should be a valuable learning experience for what is largely a very young team. Even though the hopes of this season were largely riding on Herbert's shoulders, there are only so many opportunities to play college football games. Each one could be the one that the next Herbert or Freeman or... well... Onterrio Smith is realized.

Here are the links of the day:

Onterrio Smith destroyed the Cougars to the tune of 285 yards back in 2001.

Game time is 5:00 PM PDT. Broadcast channel is FOX. Your scheduled broadcasters are Tim Brando, Spencer Tillman and Holly Sounders. Go Ducks!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

The Handoff

Cards were exchanged. 

Gavin of Baseball Card Breakdown recently worked out the rare in-person card exchange with me, as we met up like business people during the hustle and bustle of the workday. (Actually, it was more of a handoff, as I hadn't quite put together something worthwhile to give back.) The longer I've been doing this blog/collecting/internet thing, the more I've veered towards sending random piles of cards to people catered to their interests rather than fuss over the minutiae of working out exactly who is getting what. For that reason, it's always nice to get an assortment of stuff that I hadn't counted on receiving. Surprises are great, etc.

Stupid Topps, can't even spell Carlos right. OH I GET IT. Actually, this isn't nearly as bad as some of the stuff they've pulled with Triple Threads. As a huge fan of the Tsunami man, I definitely appreciate this low-numbered multi-jersey card.

I bought a blaster of this weird Panini UO set from 2015 and managed to get the whole base set and many (most?) of the inserts, but I don't think I pulled this one. Ifo is one of my all-time favorite Ducks, and as far as I'm concerned there aren't nearly enough of his cards in the world.

I feel like this year is the best I've done as a Heritage collector, probably due in part to my constant nagging and pleading on this blog to get people to send me their extras. Kipnis is a short print in the regular (non high number) version of this set. His team is really good. They will probably win the World Series, although I did place some virtual bets on the Cubs because of my bold prediction here the other day.

Luke Weaver looked great this year, even taking into account the bumps he ran into in his last two appearances of the season. I think you can put him down for a rotation spot in 2018.

John Tudor should probably end every post here, just like he capped off his career: perfect. This is his state-stamped parallel from the 2013 Panini Hometown Heroes set.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Another Season in the Books

Kolten Wong & Co. sign off on 2017. 

For the second straight year, there was a bit of a premature end to the Cardinals baseball season. The playoffs are coming up, and after the Wild Card games I will likely throw my support behind another team (hopefully the Yankees, to be perfectly honest.)

As far as the Cardinals go, aside from this presenting a decent opportunity to show off a Kolten Wong photo variation card that I won recently from Listia, I am not sure what to say. At this time last season, I fully expected Mike Matheny to either be fired or given the chance to play out the rest of his contract while the team pondered successors. The Cardinals instead gave him an extension. While I haven't really given up on the players at this point, the whole really seems to be less than the sum of its part. Things have gotten stagnant. You can look at teams like Milwaukee and feel more excited about their future, and that's troublesome.

Mostly, I'll miss the long baseball regular season and all of the possibilities it holds. I'll watch bits and pieces of the playoffs and at least hope for a compelling matchup in the World Series (i.e. not Cubs/Red Sox. No thanks!) Soon enough, I'll be wondering about the Cardinals next trade target/free agent signing and questioning if there was a real reason why Juan Nicasio was available late in the season.

Until next time...

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Good Luck Ducks, Week 5: Familiar Foe

Oregon hosts former coaches and players in Eugene. 

The Ducks will try to rebound from a myriad of mistakes tonight after suffering a tough loss at Arizona State last Saturday. Key receiver Charles Nelson was out with an injury and it was heavily felt as Oregon managed to convert only one third down.

In comes Cal, with former Duck defensive back Justin Wilcox at the helm along with some former Duck assistants at his disposal. Both teams sit at 3-1, with rebuilt defenses and new head coaches, still trying to figure this season out.

I'm writing this on an Amazon Fire tablet, so let's get to the links:

Back with the usual format next time. Game time is 7:30 PDT on FS1. Go Ducks!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Time to Let It Go

The season is over for the Cardinals, whether I like it or not. 

As a totally biased observer, sometimes it's hard for me to understand why there's little love for the Cardinals franchise these days from outside of the fanbase. But I do get it. People get sick of teams after they have a period of sustained success. While not yet mathematically eliminated from the NL Wild Card race, this will be the second straight year that St. Louis has missed the playoffs, reminiscent of the two seasons following their unlikely 2006 championship. Except, of course, that these last two seasons are not coming on the heels of a World Series ring, but a bitter defeat and early playoff exit at the hands of the Chicago Cubs. This is year six of the Mike Matheny regime, and it wasn't a good one.

Fortunately, I have some fantastic cards from... you guessed it... a Cubs fan to cheer me up. This is part two of the feast of cards set upon me by Jon of Community Gum. Let's look at a few things from the other side of the rivalry.

Here I am rediscovering 1987 Topps. I totally forgot about this set! It's been, what, five long years since Topps put miniature tributes to this set in with their flagship product? This is actually my first bronze foil version of the Rediscover Topps line, which I am told is actually their most common variant. (Hopefully I have the right color here. Sometimes it's hard to tell with foil stamping.)

Jon included a note with this one stating that it was a repack pull. I feel like J.D. Drew is in the upper echelon of what one can expect to pull from a repack. My guaranteed hit or whatever you want to call it is usually some swatch of WBC or Futures Game jersey from a guy who never made it to AAA. I've got nothing against those guys, of course, but when you don't even get a card of a guy wearing any MLB team's uniform, it's hard to get too excited about it.

You know what always cheers me up? Ozzie Smith! Or, more specifically, cards of his that I didn't yet own. I don't often get a chance to buy Topps Finest stuff, so this insert is extra nice. Most of my Finest purchases are base cards out of quarter boxes at card shows.

I really irrationally love Topps Tek (Hi Tek?) and all of its various incarnations. I think this might be only my second card from its recent revival. I think I am just a huge sucker for anything printed on clear acetate. I am the guy that I used to make fun of, folks.

2008 SPx is like the baseball card version of a fidget spinner. Or maybe disc golf? Has anyone tried tossing these cards around an open space? Do they have a boomerang effect?

I'm taking a brief detour here, but Erin's player collections often get a disproportionate amount of attention here at Cards on Cards. This is a fun shiny parallel of Tulo from the waning moments of his Rockies glory days.

I'm probably coming across as a lot more negative than I should considering that I'm poring over all of these terrific Cardinals cards, but I do want to reiterate that I still think Allen & Ginter's shift to full sized relics are a bit of a cop out. This is a nice design, clearly, but the framed relics were always one of my favorite things to look forward to about this set each year.

This card was printed seven years before I was born, but foil stamped just a couple of years ago. It's strange to think about. I need to track down an unstamped version of this card, actually.

There were a lot of Finest cards in this package. This is probably the centerpiece right here. Wong still hasn't put things together for a full season, but he's shown enough in streaks that I still remain hopeful about his career.

This is just a plain old refractor parallel of the same card. No big deal. I probably couldn't find this in the quarter boxes, to be honest.

Another helpful note was included with this Yadier Molina card, noting that it came from the All-Star team set. I only scanned the front to show how little there is to distinguish this from his regular flagship base card. They used to actually put NL or AL logos on these, but the only way to tell now by looking at the front is noticing that the Topps logo is not actually printed in foil. Still, I am super happy to get this card so I am no longer tempted to buy the whole stupid set just for Yadi.

Well, we'll see how much the world loves the Cubbies after they win their second straight ring next month.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Good Luck Ducks, Week 4: Sun Devil's Night

The Ducks enter conference play unfazed and undefeated. 

All things considered, the non-conference portion of the Oregon Ducks 2017 football schedule could not have been better. Sure, some injuries occurred, but after 3 games the Ducks lead the nation in scoring and number of rushing touchdowns. The defense has been tested and has passed some tests that the 2016 and 2015 versions likely would have failed. In fact, despite all of the scoring, the real hero of the Wyoming game last week was the Ducks defense. It's been awhile since that side of the ball was the reason to watch an Oregon game.

Arizona State is first up on the conference docket, a road game in Tempe under the lights. The Sun Devils have not exactly gotten off to a roaring start to their season, but all of their games have been close. The Ducks have won ten straight in this series, but will be tested by a team that has been perfect in all of its red zone opportunities so far.

Links and such:

Arrion Springs and the Ducks came out on top in a walkoff shootout win over the Sun Devils during their last visit to Tempe. 116 points were scored!

Game time is 7:00 PDT. Broadcast channel is the Pac-12 Network. Your scheduled broadcasters are Roxy Bernstein, Anthony Herron and Lewis Johnson. Go Ducks!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Heritage Takes an Encore

"Bringing Back The 1968 Topps Design... Again" 

Whether we like it or not, Topps has decided to extend the Topps Heritage set the past few years to more than 700 cards. For someone who is so fed up with the flagship set that I may as well treat these as the de facto Topps cards to get for the year, you would think I would want more, more, more of these. (And to that, I say, bring back Topps Total!)

Nevertheless, I picked up packages of 2017 Topps Heritage High Number in three configuration options: a fat/rack/jumbo retail pack (20 cards), a hanger box (35 cards), and a blaster box (a bunch of packs and the smug satisfaction of getting a bonus... pack... I guess?) As usual, it's more of the same. Players that changed uniforms, rookies and players that were just left out for whatever reason comprise the smaller 225 card set. At least there are only 1/4 as many short prints to track down this time.

This is a really fantastic looking card, except for the subject. I would have loved to pull a card of someone with Yankees pinstripes if it wasn't this chump. This is one of three cards in this post that I'm not planning on keeping, in case there's any interest. See if you can find 'em all!

This is my first Cody Bellinger card. I'm about as impressed as Bellinger looks.

There are more Game-style inserts in High Numbers, but this time there's only the Target exclusive rookies. They started over with the numbering of these at 1 again, which I'm sure won't be confusing at all to anyone.

David Ortiz retired after last season, but that didn't stop Topps from cramming another Big Papi card into America's already bloated snack hole. This one is up for grabs, because I actually pulled two of these.

Like previous High Number efforts, Rookie Performers are back. Nothing in this set is probably going to be as expensive or tough to get a copy of as Clayton Kershaw's Rookie Performers card from the 2008 set, but that's okay I suppose. (I still need five 2008 Rookie Performers cards, though I fortunately have Kershaw and Scherzer. Votto, on the other hand...)

Short print, blue sky, blue cap. Lots of blue skies on these cards.

Mike Leake, also a short print, was the only Cardinal I pulled in this entire exercise. Of course, he's not even on the team anymore.

I've seen a lot of Manny Margot cards in 2017, which must be why I could have sworn that he was also included in Target's rookie Game cards from the first set. He was not.

Here's another SP and some blue sky.

Gift Ngoepe is the first African-born player to make the big leagues, and it took him a long time to get there. He first appeared in the WBC and the minor leagues back in 2009. At 27, he's still young yet. I guess that's easy for me to say.

Now and Then are just generic highlight insert cards. This is Buster Posey, not that you'd know by anything printed on the card.

This is not the character from Mad Men, sadly.

If you guessed that this is card number three that's up for grabs in this post, you would be absolutely correct. The Venn Diagram of Red Sox fans and Panda fans probably does not intersect at all, so I might have a bit of difficulty moving this one.

We end with a very talented pitcher that Seattle coughed up. Short print. Blue sky.

The set want list will be updated momentarily. I do need all Cardinals, still, as I often do.