Thursday, August 15, 2019

The Goods

A high quality cache of cards from @breakdowncards includes multiple numbered Yadis. 

I've reached a point in my card wheelings and dealings that I definitely feel like I'm overstuffing a lot of packages and just hoping something sticks. I just have entirely too many cards that don't fit my collection right now. I really need to stop buying packs, boxes, random lots at shows... yikes! In any case, this is big reason why it can be nice to receive a small amount of cards in one of these exchanges, where every card is super excellent. In the case of this grouping from Breakdown Cards, it was even free of shipping charges.

Aledmys Diaz hasn't done a ton since his surprising All-Star rookie season campaign, but he seems to have settled in as a solid infield utility type with the Astros, who are basically an All-Star team by themselves at this point.

Sheesh, I don't know what to say about this guy. Some pitchers just seem to be completely snakebitten with the injury stuff. The card looks really nice, though. I love the blue frame with the black border.

How many minor league team logo cards are there in the world? There needs to be a lot more!

Roger Maris doesn't have a ton of Cardinals cards, so I'm always excited when I obtain a new one. To someone who grew up in the '80s, it's somewhat shocking to realize that Maris isn't in the Hall of Fame considering how much I would hear about his single season home run record and his mentions among the Yankees greats. I feel like his early death probably worked against his campaign for the Hall.

I was really excited about Oh, the man who came to MLB with multiple nicknames, but he didn't really stick. He spent a couple of half-seasons as the Cardinals closer, but it wasn't memorable.

This is really awesome. I actually thought it was a custom at first, but it turns out it's from a 2003 food issue (!) honoring the 35th anniversary of the Padres. This is definitely my favorite Ozzie acquisition of 2019. I might have to celebrate and actually eat at a Carl's Jr.

The Carl's Jr. card is even better than this Padres throwback of the Wizard, and that's saying something. People love these cards. I kind of love these cards. I don't really know why, but it's true. I have a copy of the same Diamond Anniversary parallel of Ozzie's card with the Cardinals (from Series 1), but this was new to me. I just need to chase down the other parallels now.

Finally, here's a Yadi parallel numbered to 199. I'll let you in on a little secret, for those of you who are still reading by this point. Molina's cards often conclude my posts because Blogger batch loads uploaded images by filename when you go that route, and I usually name these images yadi(whatever). The letter Y is late in the alphabet, so there you have it. I could obviously rearrange these images to my heart's content, but that would cost me precious seconds.

Anyway, what I was going to say is that Panini Chronicles is super weird and intimidating. I bought a blaster and a jumbo pack of this year's basketball release, and I couldn't even bring myself to write about it. It seems to be their backdoor way to release even more sets without releasing even more sets, and it breaks my brain. You can get Score baseball (and basketball, which is weird) cards in 2019, but Panini won't even make a real Score baseball set. How hard would that be?

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Why Would You Trim a Card?

Doesn't everyone like soft corners and fuzzy borders? 

I picked up this Ray Sadecki online for a little bit of online currency, and when it arrived it just seemed a bit off. Physically altering cards (and not in the good way) seems to be in the news a lot lately, hopefully finally exposing the whole "grading" thing as the sham that I've always felt it was.

This card takes up less space than a modern card (not as wide), which could also be the result of some sort of factory cutting error. But with all of the dirty business going on, I was quickly supicious of the card.

This card in any condition isn't really worth all that much, which makes this even stranger. Do we have people going through boxes of low series vintage commons now with their super laser box cutters? I am definitely not mad at owning this particular copy of this particular card, or really accusing anyone specific of wrongdoing. Who can say what really happened here? It just seems really fishy, and I would rather the card was left alone.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Let's Make Some Trades!

Someone needs to update this stock photo and make it just dudes in their 40s. 

I have too many cards, and I need to find a way to get rid of them. I've said this many times over the past... well... many years. I think I've finally pushed things over the top again after purchasing a box of roughly 3000 cards for $10 at this past weekend's card show. I am not interesting in keeping 99% of them. It will be fun to go through the cards, however, and I'd like to put these (and other) cards in the hands of people who will appreciate them more.

Here are some of the sets we're talking about:

  • 2002 Donruss Diamond Kings
  • 2004 Donruss Classics
  • 2001 Donruss Studio
  • 2004 Donruss Team Heroes
  • 2003 Donruss Team Heroes
  • 2003 Donruss Champions
  • 1997 Topps Stadium Club
  • 2004 Topps All-Time Fan Favorites
  • 2004 Fleer Tradition 

That's not all there is, but you get the point. I also have stuff from other sets (late '00s Allen & Ginter primarily) that is completely unsorted from Erin's stuff because she stopped collecting pretty much everything not named Altuve or Yadi some time ago.

This is all primarily base cards, but I have plenty (plenty!) of other things including recent cards and inserts and so forth to augment any sort of trade package.

If we've never traded before, or if we've traded before, but it's been awhile -- let's get something going! Point me to your want lists. Or just tell me what team you like if you want a bunch of random mostly-not-from-1990 cards. And if we exchange stuff all the time, I'll probably send stuff your way anyway. I do appreciate those want lists, though!

One important thing to note... I'm not really looking for even trades, exactly. I just want to have a place to send this stuff. I do always appreciate something in return, even if it's in a plain white envelope.

Speaking of PWEs, let's tear through a couple more while we're here. Twitter guy @Markhoyle4 dropped this special Utz branded Paul DeJong card on me back in April without warning. This is the best kind of plain white envelope to receive in the mail. (There are some I want to light on fire, but they don't contain cards.) I had my very first bag of Utz chips pretty recently, and it was pretty delicious. I don't think they are easy to find on the west coast (I first heard of the brand from Mad Men, actually), so I had to snatch up a bag when I saw it. I doubt we ever got the bags that contained free cards, sadly.

Back in the early part of this big league season, AJ of The Lost Collector sent a PWE containing a cool orange parallel of Jack Flaherty. Jack has had some tough luck in the run support department, but he still looks like a future ace to me.

And here are some more cards from back in April that were needs at the time, including Miles "Mik" Mikolas on his not at all short printed variation Donruss card.

Feel free to hit me up in email or on Twitter with your addresses, links to want lists, cool money making schemes (well, maybe not), etc. I'd love to hear from you, and would love even more to send you some cards.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

What Time Is It?

It's Chrome Time! @CrackinWax #crackinwaxmailday 

We've reached the time of the baseball season where Topps rolls out the shiny stuff. Enter Topps Chrome, for (by my count) the 24th season. Thanks to a year-long subscription, I was in on a case break of the stuff, which means I probably won't have to touch so much as a blaster of the stuff, at least until Update comes out. In the break, I managed to snag the team set several times over, plus a parallel of each player, and insert and a special prize. Money... heh. Who needs it, right?

As we all know, the base cards don't always scan so well, so I mostly stuck to the shiny stuff. Here's a regular refractor version of the Cardinals current closer. I would love to see him get right and back into the rotation next season, but who actually knows what is going on with him.

Dakota Hudson has shown some promise in his rookie season as he's been a starter since the opening week and hasn't relented. He has some questionable peripherals, or so they tell me, but he's still mostly pitched like a middle of the rotation guy -- pretty impressive for a rook.

Paul Goldschmidt makes his Cardinals Chrome debut on a prism (NOT PRIZM HAHA PANINI) refractor. I really, really wish they had chosen a new photo for his Chrome card, something they've done in the past, but instead we're still stuck with this Photoshopped wreck.

Here's the promised insert. I'm not sure Miles Mikolas is a future star, but he was the de facto ace last season and has turned in a pretty good second half to date after being bludgeoned by the new-and-improved(?) baseballs in the first half of 2019.

Ponce de Leon's turn in the rotation didn't last long, as he was roughly as effective as his predecessor Wacha, which is to say... not very.

Yadi! Shiny Yadi! I believe Yadi is due back in the lineup soon.

Here's that promised special prize. Yes! I like that Chrome autographs are signed on the card after a long period of time in which they weren't, and I really like that Topps opted for a different photo on this one. Let's hope that Dakota is making this gesture a lot when he takes the mound against Pittsburgh tomorrow night.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Enter... The Collector

Baseball isn't fun right now, but collecting cards still is. 

Chris from The Collector (we'll just call him The Collector from now on?) signed up for the Basketball Card Club awhile back. I try to send out stuff periodically for those who are interested, with (generally) no questions asked. It's always a nice cherry on top when someone sends me something back, which is what The Collector did here.

I don't think I'd ever seen or was aware of embossed Topps Finest cards, but I knew as soon as I pulled this Matt Morris card out that something was different. It's definitely embossed, as some sort of parallels. The text and especially the player are raised in a quasi-3D fashion.

Topps did pink parallels in 2015 that were numbered to 50. I haven't seen many of these in the wild, so this was a cool find. Shelby Miller was once a very promising future ace-type pitcher, but he's had nothing but calamitous injury issues for what seems like a long time now.

It's almost time for some football, so I won't cringe so much at posting some football cards. Here is Ducks and NFL legend Dan Fouts towards the end of his career in one of those '80s football action photos. Fleer made entire sets out of these, but I see that they eventually made their way to the Topps NFLPA licensed sets.

Less action here... but more fancy 2017 graphics? The NFL rolled out this weird and usually awful "color rush" uniform thing that was specifically targeted for their little watched Thursday night games. Is it working now? I don't know if it's working. Anyway, it's cool to add another Blount card to my Ducks collection.

Finally, here's a Blazers card. It's a Zach Collins rookie card from the 2017-18 Panini Threads set. Somehow, I managed to completely miss the 2017-18 Threads set as these were totally new to me when they ended up in this package from The Collector. Panini puts out too many sets! I can't even tell you what I've missed from this past season.

Thanks for reading. I'm going to go and be really sad about David Berman now. (And I'll continue to temporarily pretend that baseball doesn't exist, which is what I have to do with the Cardinals current state of play.)

Monday, August 5, 2019

The Best of 50 Random Cardinals Cards

An impulse by fills a few binder needs. 

Fresh off a victory at Busch Stadium on Tuesday night, I decided to take the plunge and buy one of those overpriced plastic containers of baseball cards from one of the numerous team stores. If I had scrutinized the packaging label a little more carefully, I may have realized that this random assortment was going to be nothing but old cards -- junk wax era, to be specific.

While everything was firmly rooted between the years 1981 and 1993, I did actually knock out a few things on my want list. Besides, at least I didn't throw down $34-plus-tax for a Topps flagship blaster, right?

I have quite a few Conlon cards, especially from 1991, but I didn't have this particular variant. Like many junk wax era sets, there were variations galore, as internet sleuthing has discovered that many sets from this era had two or three distinct versions of every single card in the set (check out 1987 through 1991 Donruss, for example.) This particular Conlon set is notable for its first printing lacking MLB logos, while its second (and seemingly identical third) printing has the logos. I am missing a lot of the "no logo" versions.

Check it. No logo.

I'm quite sure I never saw a single 1993 O-Pee-Chee card until I was well into my 30s. Here's a good one of the recently inducted HOFer.

Yep, here's a regular ol' base card from the '80s that I needed. '84 Donruss is fancy Donruss, though. Go figure. How many '84 Donruss Don Mattingly cards do you own? Be honest!

Finally, a couple of the Cards cards were randomly from a 1989 Louisville Redbirds set. I am cool with this. If there had been boxes of random (Cardinals affiliated) minor league cards available, I probably would have bought out the whole store.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Are We Almost Ready for Some Football-Related Activities?

A multi-sport PWE from a Dodgers fan... no, not that one. 

Longtime card blogger Jim (aka gcrl) from Cards as I See Them sent over a PWE last March with some football guys and some baseball guys. It's weird to see football cards on this blog again after a bit of a hiatus (some people never take a day off from football), but it's August already and for all I know there's already been a preseason NFL game or two in the books.

I'm a very casual Eagles collector, but (excluding Michael Vick) it's always nice to snag a few cards of the green football dudes since I pretty much never buy football packs. Along with the cool Prizm rookie card of newish Eagles tight end Dallas Goedert, Jim sent over a card of the former Steelers '90s staple Charles Johnson. The Eagles apparently currently employ another, clearly much younger wideout named Charles Johnson. I guess he played in that scam league earlier this year. I am pretty sure Alliance of American Football blasters will remain on the shelves at the downtown Portland Target for another few years, considering how many dust-laden other football and wrestling products they still have kicking around from 2017.

It's on to the better sport here with a couple of inserts from last year's Allen & Ginter set. It's been a whirlwind year or so for Yasiel Puig, who left the Dodgers after last season and has now logged time with both Ohio-based teams. I feel like Puig would be a great attraction for an otherwise talent-starved (rebuilding?) baseball club, but with a contender he seems like an odd fit. I don't mind his enthusiasm, though, I guess?

I remember Ryu being one of the more talented rotation guys with the Dodgers when they faced the Cards in the playoffs way back in 2012 (?), but it seemed like he fell off the planet for a few years. Suddenly, he's one of the best pitchers in baseball in 2019.

Finally, let's end it with a trio of Cardinals Heritage cards. This is a good example of how this set doesn't have consistent grey tones (the border on Dexter's card is much lighter), but that was probably present in the set that it's paying tribute to.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Young and Patchy

Cardinals and Blazers gems from @CardpocalypseNC officially kick off "Catch Up Month". 

I'm finally back from two separate baseball-themed summer vacations, so it's time to get to work. By work, I mean, post about cards that have been sitting around for months. My goal is to be completely caught up before the month is over. (Where have we heard this before?)

First up is a slick batch of Cards on cards and Blazers on cards from Tim of I Love the Smell of Cardboard in the Morning. The card of the recently demoted Harrison Bader comes from one of those fancy online-only sets that Topps likes to use to line our email inboxes with targeted advertising these days. It's a bit thicker and glossier than your average Topps card, which makes me think it's probably similar to the pricey Topps Now stuff they've been doing for several years now.

Meanwhile, the Yadi photo variation is always appreciated. Even though the 2017 design is one of the worst things I've seen slapped on so-called cardboard, it's always cool to see a memorable moment captured on a baseball card. This one is headed to Erin's collection.

The NBA offseason is so short these days that we're already talking about training camp, contract extensions and things of that nature. CJ just got paid ($$$$), extending his stay in Portland to at least five years by adding on three and one hundred (seasons and million dollars, respectively.)

Zach Collins is someone that a lot of people are excited about, at least in Rip City. Zach is entering his third season and figures to get a ton of minutes now with several frontcourt mainstays departing and Jusuf Nurkic expected to be sidelined for quite awhile yet. He did just suffer an injury in offseason workouts recently, but training camp hasn't been ruled out for him yet.

While shiny Prizm cards are all the rage these days, Zach's green rookie parallel is no match for this super cool (and thick) patch card. It's numbered 13 out of 25.

Thanks again to Tim!

Thursday, July 25, 2019

'90s Cardinals Doing '90s Things

So excited! 

As I get ready to catch a few more Cardinals games (this time at Busch!), here's some good stuff from a huge stack of cards sent by All Cardinals All The Time that I received back in late February. The Ray Lankford collector extraordinaire sent me a ton of his dupes from some very neglected areas of my '90s section. (I'm pretending here that I have a section specifically for the '90s.)

Brian Jordan is just signing a helmet. He has big arms! Well, I can only confirm here that he has one big arm. It would be weird if the other one was normal sized.

I don't have a ton of Eck cards seeing as how his time with the Cardinals was a bit limited, so it's always nice to get one that I didn't have.

Having the most Ray Lankford cards on the planet (I imagine, at least) means that you've even got dupes of 1st Day Issue parallels. That's awesome.

I am not really sure what Ray is doing right here.

I clearly wasn't paying as close attention to the team as I do now back in 1997, since I used to get Mark Sweeney confused with Mike Sweeney on a regular basis. I should have remembered Sweeney from the EA game Triple Play '97, which I played a ton on the PC at the time (instead of watching real baseball, apparently.)

It wouldn't be the '90s (and specifically the '90s in Cardinals) without a fancy Big Mac card. He'll never be one of my favorite players, but this scanned well and I like it.

Early Matt Morris! With an unpeeled protector!

We finally say goodbye to the '90s (not that these cards were in any significant order) with this Metal Universe Edgar Renteria from 2000. These scan a bit better than most of your typical foilboard cards. Is that because of the unique texture?

Finally, I collected quite a bit of the 1990 Panini Sticker album set, but I didn't realize that the following year's stickers were so small. These are just slightly wider (and shorter) than a "tobacco" mini.

Go Cardinals!