Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Cards from The Collector

These cards are some true gems. 

There's just a handful of hours remaining before the big NCAA tournament (you know the one) gets started. If you're a huge procrastinator like myself, take this as your final reminder and get yourself signed up and pickin'.

Chris, The Collector, sent along some cards late last year, including this Dillon Brooks rookie card that I thought I'd use for good luck (Ducks) for the tournament.

He's not my favorite Blazer or anything, mostly because of how he left the team. Still, this is a fantastic looking LaMarcus Aldridge card, and it's numbered to just 49.

Here's a parallel DeFo for my Ducks football collection. Nice!

Chris upped the Hamm Count by one. I still need more Hamm(s).

This is from a 1979 TCMA release that I had never seen before. It's the "Baseball History Series", and the unnamed player on the front is Eddie Kazak. It lists his team as the Detroit Tigers on the back, but he never played for them. Strange.

This is one of those flagship Topps inserts that seems too nice and smooth to be dropped into a pack, but it was probably a hobby pack at least. No retail for this snob.

Finally, here's a literal touchdown machine in Royce Freeman, who is the all-time Pac-12 leader in TDs. And yards. And lots of other stuff.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

It's Selection Sunday... and the Ducks Are In!

Contest reminder! 

Fresh off four wins in four nights, Oregon won the Pac-12 tournament after expecting to be passed over by the selection. They pulled off a stifling win over the dreaded Washington Huskies.

With the field of sixty-whatever being set tonight, here's a reminder that you should all sign up for the March Radness contest. You should be able to begin filling out your brackets tonight, although you have until early Thursday morning to finalize your picks. Thanks for reading... and participating!

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Now We've Reached the '70s

A sampling of 2019 Topps Heritage cards I pulled. 

It feels like at the start of every decade, there's a pretty dramatic shift in the look of Topps cards. The transition from the '60s to the '70s was no different. Topps rolled out their only grey bordered set in 1970, and for someone who wasn't actually alive in 1970, I think it represents the era well. I wasn't entirely sure if I'd continue on with collecting Heritage cards into this decade that it's now paying tribute to, but here I am. Here are some cards I pulled from a (retail) jumbo pack, a $9.99 box and a blasters -- in no particular order.

It's always nice to get a Cardinals insert, especially when it's from a set I collect and know I will end up needing two copies. Topps always has to freestyle it when coming up with their insert designs, but this seems like it fits decently enough.

Short prints are loaded with stars and young players. I guess Mitch Haniger is one of the better players the Mariners have left, if he hasn't already been traded by now. The Mariners like trades.

This is a cool find. It's my first John Gant card, and I believe one of his first in a Cardinals uniform. He ended up filling in a gap in the rotation last season and did pretty well. The Cards have a ton of starting pitchers all of a sudden, which isn't the worst thing in the world.

Juan Soto was one of the top rookies last season, losing out to Ronald Acuna Jr in ROY voting.

Well, this is terrible. Did they really need to make a baseball card out of this? Of course, this is from the people who brought you polio on a baseball card.

Can Miguel Cabrera still play baseball, or is he just cashing (really large) checks at this point? This is a short print, because of course it is.

My third (and final, sadly) short print was Staring Marte. He is looking down at you from the green screen behind him.

When was the last time that Topps used real backgrounds on their Heritage cards? Have they ever done it? All of a sudden, this set is starting to annoy me. Michael Wacha is clearly in a studio somewhere, and he's not even wearing a real Wacha jersey. There's no uniform number on the front of this one.

This was my blaster hit. It looks cool, if you're into that sort of Bryce thing (I am not.)

As previously teased on Twitter, my very first pack (the jumbo) had a Chrome Refractor Carlos Correa in it. Along with the Harper card, it's up for grabs.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Contest Time! It's March Radness!

Pick all of the NCAA tournament games for a shot at a prize! #MarchRadness 

Back for the eleventh time, March Radness is here. You know the drill. Cards on Cards readers and random passers-by can fill out a bracket for a chance at the top prize, or one of the secondary prizes. There's also usually a "prize" for the person who does the worst -- unintentionally, of course.

Selection Sunday is one week from tonight, and the games that count for the contest begin on March 21. Here's the boring rules stuff:
One of the requirements is having an ESPN account. ESPN should hopefully not ask you for any invasive information as part of the conditions for signing up. If they do, please tell me immediately and I'll consider other options. If you absolutely, positively refuse to sign up for one of those things, go ahead and send me your bracket before the deadline in some sort of legible form and I'll send you a prize if you manage to pick a lot of winners.
ESPN's default scoring rules apply. "Play-in" games (i.e. the games before the first Thursday of the tournament) do not count. Should you choose one of the play-in winners to advance in the real part of the tournament, not only do you do so at your own peril but you also have the advantage of showing success no matter which play-in team makes it in. PLEASE make sure you fill out the entire bracket, including the tie-breaking final score of the final game. I hate to disqualify people for not filling everything out, but it seems to happen every year. 
Along with bragging rights, the first prize winner will receive a 2019 Topps Heritage, 2019 Topps Gypsy Queen or 2019 Bowman baseball retail blaster box (your choice!). Three runners-up (runner-ups?) will receive prize packs for their MLB or NBA team of their choice including no less than one certified autograph or memorabilia card (or both?!). Worst place will receive something pretty horrifying. You probably shouldn't have given me your mailing address. 
If you'd like to participate, click here and click on the "Create a Bracket Now!" button (password = marchradness). The deadline is the morning prior to the first real (non play-in) tournament game on Thursday, March 21st, though I would suggest getting your bracket done by the night before just to be safe. Leave a comment here or send me an email if the invite link doesn't work or if you are otherwise having trouble joining up so I can send you a direct invitation. 
Don't forget to pick the tiebreaker score for the final game!

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Want List, Obliterated

I need a brand new 10 Most Wanted list, thanks to @chonk34 and a package that arrived today. 

My 10 Most Wanted list always feels like one of the more underutilized features of my blog, possibly due to the fact that it's only visible to desktop users. I may try to make it more mobile-friendly in the future, but I kind of like how it quietly sits there. We're now up to 53 cards acquired since I added the widget, thanks in large part to a package that arrived today from The Raz Card Blog. Due to the timeliness of this arrival, I decided it best to post about it tonight rather than put it in the lengthy queue of stuff I need to write about. After all, I do need to get to work soon on a new list.

Most of the cards on the list were either the last card I needed to fill a particularly tricky team set, or at least something that was going to put me close to a goal. Flaherty was brilliant last season for the most part, so it was great to not only finish off last year's Gypsy Queen set, but it also increased my Flaherty RC total -- always a good thing.

I am always tempted to fill my list entirely with Junk Wax Era cards, because it's just illogical that I don't have some of these things yet. This finishes off the Classic "Game" set from 1991 (I think these came with an actual game board), but I still need something from one of the add-on sets that year. Yeesh.

A couple of '80s Update/Traded set cards made the list, including Lonnie Smith here from the 1982 Topps Traded set. The Ozzie Smith card, his first with the Cardinals, was one of the first cards I sought after when I returned to collecting. For some reason, I never picked up the considerably less expensive card of the "other" Smith.

I don't recall the order of all of these on the list, but I do know that this Matt Carpenter card was at the top. It's a retail exclusive parallel that Topps has done for several years, and for whatever reason it was tough for me to find. I wonder if Carpenter and Troy Tulowitzki are cracking up about how often Tulo ends up on the DL.

I kind of broke one of my own rules here, because I wanted to keep the want list Cardinals focused. Still, I really found it frustrating that I didn't have a copy of this reprinted Ozzie Smith card from the 2016 Topps Berger's Best insert set. There will always be Ozzie Smith cards that are considered "most wanted" for me. And I can't guarantee that I won't break my own rules again.

I bought a decent amount of Cracker Jack boxes when I was a teen, so it was pretty surprising to me that I didn't have Pedro Guerrero's card from the first 1991 series. Well, now I do have it.

Technically speaking, this was the one card sent to me by Raz that I didn't need, as I had finally picked up a copy in a trade package just a couple of days ago. Still, it was pretty astonishing that it took me this long to finish off the base 2018 Topps team sets. This is also one of the better Cardinals cards of last year, at least in terms of photo selection.

2014 was officially the year that Allen & Ginter broke me, and I pretty much forgot all about it until summer had passed. I'm still trying to finish off this set, but I also needed this one last (short printed, of course) Cardinals card for my team set.

Finally, as is often the case, I end this with a Yadi card. This is one of those cards where I swear I've seen it about one hundred times, but I could never find any physical proof that I had this in my collection. I can now consider the matter of the 2013 Bowman Platinum set closed.

Except for those pesky inserts and parallels.

And autographs.

And parallels of inserts and autographs.

Why do I do this, again?

Monday, March 4, 2019

Three for Monday

Good things arrive in plain white packages. 

A few envelopes have arrived in the past couple of months, and I have been neglecting to write about them. I thought I'd round them all up in one post right here.

First up was an offering from gcrl of cards as i see them. Newer Cardinals cards and a brand new Damian Lillard insert card were added to my collection.

I've always liked the Lights Camera Action inserts from Panini's NBA Hoops revival. While a lot of cards these days seem to move away from capturing a cool moment in live action sports photography, these aim to feature it.

Super BoSox fan Mark Hoyle sent along this Orlando Cepeda poster from the 1967 Topps set. Yes, insert cards have existed long before I ever started collecting, let alone was born. Of course, people didn't exactly call these things cards. These posters have an old newspaper feel to them, and are roughly four times the size of regular cards. You should be able to see in the scan how they fold to fit in the pack.

New (to me) trader Jason, like gcrl, is a big time Dodgers fan, and he sought to help me out with my 2019 Topps Cardinals. I'm now down to the point where I mostly need inserts and parallels like this 150 Years foil stamped Yadi. Go check out Jason's blog, WNY Dodgers Fan, when you get a chance -- especially if you have any extra Dodgers cards.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

A Massive Haul

All the cards from all the sports. 

I don't use the words "massive" or "haul" all that often, let alone together. I just couldn't think of better words to describe what I got from Sportscards From The Dollar Store back in November. All the big sports were involved, including hockey -- not pictured here because, while I enjoy the sport, I barely have time for it (and never know what to say about it) because I spend so much time watching all of these other dumb sports.

Cardinals cards are the first order of business here, and we kick things off with a couple of Harrison Bader rookie cards. Bader was my favorite Cardinal last season, and I'm thrilled to be piling up his rookie cards. The Stadium Club card is actually a black foil parallel with a low print run (I think?).

I don't talk about minor league cards enough here, but I love them. Jordan Hicks, who made the huge leap from A ball last season, is showing his best Pitcher Face here.

Here's another minor leaguer. Game used championship banner?! In baseball cards, you see something new every day.

With Jose Martinez somewhat surprisingly in the mix in the Cardinals suddenly crowded outfield, it will be interesting to see what Tyler O'Neill brings to the table in 2019. This is his "action" photo variation from last year's Heritage High #s.

I avoided Panini Chronicles blasters when they were on the shelf because I didn't fully understand the set, but it apparently gives Panini the chance to show off a bunch of set designs they didn't fully commit to. There's also a "base" design which is entirely exclusive to this set. This is a Press Proof parallel of the base design.

And this is what Score would have looked like, if Panini had released a Score set for baseball. I'm honestly not sure why they didn't. Score usually equates to affordable, and it was a well known thing back in the day. I think the budget looking design blends well with Panini's lack of an MLB license. If anything, the fancier high end stuff is where they start to embarrass themselves in the baseball realm.

Here's the "Select" design, which was not a thing -- except in Chronicles!

Switching gears to basketball, and the Blazers specifically, here's a super thick fancy card from the 2015-16 Panini Black Gold set. The cards are kind of impossible to describe in words. The whole thing is sort of encased in plastic, and lighter part of the design is kind of like a window. The cards are also kind of... hollow?

It's a huge Dame jersey card! Wait, no, it's... MASSIVE.

Current Denver Nugget and namesake of my fantasy hoops team Mason Plumlee also makes a fancy basketball card appearance.

I also like football... specifically, the Oregon Ducks! I bet you didn't know that (you totally knew that.) Like almost all things in the card world, Panini is responsible for this set. I wonder if they're planning on bringing it to the NBA.

It's a silver ink auto! Royce Freeman had a pretty solid rookie season, and I'm hoping he continues to do big things on the football field. Do NFL people collect him?

I've actually managed to catalog all of my Oregon Ducks cards, so I actually finally can keep track of what I have and still need in this area. This includes basketball cards. Tyler Dorsey was a big part of the Ducks Final Four team of a couple of years ago, and he's sense moved on to the Memphis Grizzlies. I do like the swatch used for this card an awful lot, with the Hawks diamond cut pattern on the jersey.

(I'm sorry I was mean to you, hockey. Go Blues!)

Thursday, February 21, 2019

A Pile of Cards Found Underneath Another Pile of Cards

Cards from @flywheels back in August make a reappearance. 

Cardboard Collections is the home of the Affordable Group Break, and I must have bought in to one last summer that was quite Panini heavy. Unfortunately, after logging everything I needed into my collection, I apparently misplaced the stack underneath another stack of cards that I've also neglected to write about. (I'll have another Affordable Group Break from Colbey to post about soon.)

2013 Panini Prizm represented the bulk of my want list needs, including the Prizm/Silver version of Oscar Taveras's Top Prospects insert and this 'RC' of long lost shortstop Ryan Jackson. Jackson spent the last two years with the independent Sugar Land Skeeters, if anyone was wondering what he was up to these days.

Panini made one real attempt to resurrect the Pinnacle brand, and then quietly moved on and pretended nothing happened. Some concepts just don't work well without logos.

Obligatory Yadi card!

The true gem of the lot was this Alex Reyes black parallel of his Scoreless Streak insert from 2017 Stadium Club. With Reyes back on track to be a contributor to the Cardinals roster this season, it's time to start dusting off those old Reyes serial numbered cards like this one... and send 'em all to me! Thanks!