Monday, January 21, 2019

Is it Baseball Season Yet?

Cardinals cards from @SportCardCollec are getting me through the long winter. 

The next Hall of Fame class is about to be announced. There are flower stems starting to pop up from the ground at home. And the days are... slowly... getting longer. However, with Spring Training still more than a month away, and Opening Day even further down the road, it's hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Fortunately, I still have quite a backlog of card packages to go through, with another great bunch coming to me from New York (football) Giants fan Sport Card Collectors.

Shiny parallels were heavily featured, including this numbered to 99 version of Cesar Izturis's 2009 Upper Deck card. Izturis had a not extremely memorable single season with the Cardinals. I was surprised, though, to see that Izturis stole 24 bags in his lone year in St. Louis, which was 9 more than anyone stole for the team in 2018.

This one commemorates Matt Carpenter's career OBP of .377, which has remained steady a year after this card came out.

One cool thing about this Chrome'd up parallel of Adam Wainwright is that you can actually see the serial numbers from the back of the card shining through on the scan.

An older Wainwright won a Silver Slugger award in 2017. Again, that still doesn't explain why he had a bat piece on a card about his pitching prowess. If there's a memorabilia version of this card, it would make a bit more sense.

Finally, it's Shiny Yadi! Just like regular Yadi, only a lot more serious. This is one of those retail only rainbow foil (not Chrome) parallel-ish cards from the 2015 Topps Heritage set, which was fortunately just a one year experiment. And speaking of Serious Yadi, something something Cubs... ahh, who cares?! Let's play baseball already!

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Blazers from the Past and a Hilarious Error

Our recent contest winner sent some cards to me not so recently. 

I noticed that expert football prognosticator Trevor from Bump and Run Football Card Blog sent me another envelope awhile back that got buried under some other stacks of cards I need to blog about. I do open everything I get in the mail and log it into my collection as soon as I get a chance to, but after that the cards usually sit in a queue (aka a cardboard box) for me to write about. The box has been fuller than it should be lately. I'll blame the... holidays? Okay, sure.

An extreme close-up of Buck Williams appears on this foil parallel of Buck's 1994-95 Topps card. These are pretty nice looking, but not quite as fancy as their football counterparts that I discovered in my Goodwill purchase awhile back.

J.J. Hickson... honestly, I have no idea why I scanned a J.J. Hickson card. I am glad to add it to my collection (all Blazers need to be in my collection apparently), but he's kind of a lousy dude. Last I heard, he was in jail on a pretty serious robbery charge.

This card is wild! I love it.

Here's a card featuring Damon Stoudamire in a throwback jersey (I miss those!) on what looks like a precursor to Upper Deck's short-lived Upper Deck X baseball design. This is another reminder that, even though it says "Grizzlies" on the top, I still needed this card because Stoudamire is in a Blazers jersey. Were he in a Raptors uniform, but with a Blazers logo or team designation somewhere on the card, I would also want it. I should really probably narrow down what I collect.

On the baseball side of my collection, I promised a stupid error card and am delivering a stupid error card. Adolis Garcia, who is a Cuban prospect for the Cardinals and made his MLB debut last season, probably thought it would be smart to go by his longer name (Jose Adolis Garcia) here in order to not be confused with Adonis Garcia, his much older brother who used to play with Atlanta. Topps just kind of mashed their names together and messed this card up royally, both on the front and the back. I didn't fact check his bio info, but I think they at least got that straight.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Contest Results and Night Owl Cards

Both things are worth celebrating. 

There was virtually no movement from the result of last week's college football championship game in the contest standings, which means that Trevor from Bump and Run is the the winner of both the contest and the sub-contest. Pray for the Suns (reader Brian, who has participated in past events) takes home 2nd Place and bbcardz (of Stadium Fantasium) was dead last. OMG, indeed. These folks should look to be checking their mailboxes around the beginning of next month (still need a mailing address from a couple of you.)

Since roughly 7% of all Cards on Cards posts are about Night Owl Cards bubble mailers, now that I've got your attention after talking about prizes and stuff -- look at these cards from Night Owl Cards! I received a bundle of all-Cardinals goodies longer ago than I care to admit publicly, so let's check out a few of them. Panini's version of Donruss has its own version of Chrome, which has been around for a couple of years now. It's called Optic. They then parallel the heck out of everything, and end up running out of usable colors, which is how you end up with something like a "Red and Yellow" Prizm parallel.

I completely forgot there were Will Clark Cardinals cards in 2018, so this was a nice surprise. Clark has way more Cardinals cards than you would expect, but then again, so does Eric Davis.

I have said my share of negative things about Topps Fire, but when you're presented with a shiny Yadi like this that's numbered to just 25 copies, it's hard to say anything critical. This is a really nice addition to my collection, and is fun to stare at under direct light.

Hey, it's a card back! Topps used to sell blister pack All-Star sets, but at some point removed the All-Star designation (and logos), making the set this card came from more like "2018 Topps A Bunch of Good Players in the National League". Sadly, after essentially finally completing my Cardinals want list project (all years are actually covered now!), I realized I need far too many one-off cards from tiny sets. It was good to take this off the list.

The fancy Topps sticker here means this card is UNTOUCHED BY HUMAN HANDS. My only gripe is... Waino is great with the bat, but why did they use a bat piece to honor Wainwright's career best season in striking people out. I mean, that is a piece of HIS bat, isn't it? ISN'T IT?!

Manufactured relic cards aren't really my favorite thing in the world, but this card from 2018 Topps Update has a really appealing look and feel for some reason. Wow, this was a really Molina-heavy post, wasn't it? (Note: not complaining.)

Thanks again to Night Owl and everyone who participated in my contest. There's another one just around the corner! I have a feeling it's going to be pretty Rad.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

A Revolution on Basketball Cards

Yet more new basketball cards, featuring the Portland Trail Blazers. 

Time has passed, which means Panini has put out another NBA set. As I write this, I'm pretty sure I'm at least a couple of sets behind in their release calendar, but there's one I'll get to eventually and another one I surely can't afford to be throwing my money at. My quest for new Blazers card acquisitions this season continues as I bought into another eBay group break.

I believe the Revolution brand goes back to the Pacific days. I think Panini owns the old Pacific brands, somehow... really, I'm not sure how. This is sort of a low rent version of Topps (High) Tek, where there are multiple patterns for each base card. There are three vets and two rookies in the base set, and I came up one short on the team set by not getting a Damian Lillard card.

Vortex is one of the inserts. I ended up with two of these. CJ McCollum is not quite on the side of All-Star status, so I'm not sure what kind of trade interest any of his cards would get. I don't really know any basketball player collectors, so I'm not sure what to do with cards and inserts of star players unless I find a team collector who is a fit.

Jusuf Nurkic has actually supplanted CJ in terms of value, as he is now soldily the Blazers second most valuable player. In the first season of a big contract that he signed with the team, he has impressed by taking his game up at least half a notch, which you don't always see when guys get that first big money deal.

Here's one of the other designs. This is a "Groove" parallel. I am glad that Panini put the design name on the back of the card, because it feels like something Topps wouldn't bother with.

Rookies get special treatment on NBA cards, which means an entirely different background pattern here.

Neither Gary Trent (the younger) nor Really Lil' Penny have seen the floor much this season, which isn't terribly surprising considering their ages. Hopefully the practices are going well?

Sunday, January 6, 2019

My Favorite Cards of 2018

Okay, fine, my favorite trade package of 2018.

It's hard to pick a favorite. While I'm still catching up on trade posts from what is now considered last year (so last year), I thought I'd duck away from the trend of nominating favorites from 2018 releases. However, I'm always in search of a clever blog post name, so here we are. This big bunch of cards from A Cracked Bat was certainly among my favorite things to hit my mailbox this past year. While said blog's author Julie just announced she's quitting, I was happy to see that it was not the blog (or the hobby) that's getting the boot. There's always too much of that going around if you ask me.

Well, let's dig in. It's January, so it's official Bounceback Season. We're all hoping for a bounceback year from Carlos Martinez, who finished the season in the bullpen because he wasn't able to build up enough strength after recovering from far too many injuries to want to remember here.

My scanner was not in a bounceback mood, so it decided to make this Darrell Porter O-Pee-Chee card come out crooked. (Probably user error, to be fair.) I want to work on some of the older areas of my collections, like the '80s/oddballs and vintage Cardinals cards (to me, this is just pre-'80s) in the coming year.

Donruss pretty much invented the serial numbered chase card, and then continued to put numbered on pretty much all of their inserts until they went bankrupt or something. There are a lot of cards numbered to numbers in the thousands, like this Dmitri Young Rookie DK, but that serial stamp keeps tends to keep these things out of the dime boxes.

I was a big Luke Weaver fan, but it was frustrating to see him struggle to stay in games last season. His lack of success when he was pushed to the bullpen late in the season also didn't make a lot of sense. Hopefully, he will regroup and look more like 2017 Weaver in Arizona.

Triple Threads! Fancy stuff. It's time for Matt Carpenter's annual position change, which will see him back at the hot corner full time with the arrival of a certain slugger who swapped places with Weaver.

I was adding MLB Showdown cards to my want list the other day (I need, like, most of them!) when I thought I'd just take a glance at box prices. I figured these cards have no meaningful hits to speak of, and the "inserts" are basically just info cards for a game that no one ever plays. I was shocked to see that "booster boxes" (yes, this is technically considered a TCG/CCG) seem to go for $200-$300. I guess that's what happens when you're made by Wizards of the Coast?!)

Ozuna is a prime Bounceback Season candidate. Hopefully adding Paul Goldschmidt to the mix will take some pressure off of Ozuna at the plate.

I super love acetate cards. I hope people are casting some HOF votes for Scott Rolen.

I completed missed this Panini America's Pastime set, which must have been aimed at the high roller crowd considering that all of the base cards seem to be numbered.

Bonus Wainwright card! He's back for 2019. Have I mentioned this? (I most certainly have mentioned this.) I am hoping he ends up working in broadcasting when his career is over, because the dude is hilarious.

It's not pictured, but Julie also sent over a Topps Action Flats Mark McGwire figure from 1999. I already owned one thanks to another generous trader, but I recently discovered that the Topps cards inside are exclusive to the set. I think I am going to free the figure (and card) from its box and display it (the figure, at least) somewhere.

Finally, Julie sent me a whole mess of 2018 Topps Heritage cards for my set, because... I am still working on this set. I figured I would stop with this madness once Topps started saluting the '70s, but I haven't really decided on 2019 yet. We'll see.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Contest Update!

Don't forget to pick the final score for the championship game! 

With just one final game remaining on Monday, Trevor from Bump and Run is threatening to sweep the whole thing. He won the Belk prize (it turned out no one was close) and is in the big contest lead, followed by Pray for the suns and AZUSA13. All three have done very well picking games this year.

Meanwhile, bbcardz has the edge in the worst group of picks submitted. Last place also gets you a "prize", if you will.

I will try to get the prizes out as soon as 2019 Topps (retail) hits the street. Stay tuned.