Saturday, June 12, 2021

Stadium Club At Night

More @CrackinWax breaks? Why not? #CrackinWaxMailDay 
After the Trail Blazers were knocked out of the playoffs last week, I took it upon myself to take a week off from sports. To put it lightly, things haven't been going well for the Cardinals after they jumped out a division lead last month. The Timbers are on a break. And we're several months away from me paying attention to football again.

I've also been hard at work at pulling and sorting cards for people in the Spring Cleaning extravaganza. With limited space to put piles of cards, I end up piling up stuff on my scanner which prevents me from scanning cards for the blog. It's a vicious cycle.

I bought into a few more breaks at Crackin' Wax over the past couple of weeks, so let's go ahead and check them out while my scanner is free.

Last year's Stadium Club Chrome is just too tempting. It's a big set and I still needed a bunch of the team set. I was able to add a few more to the binders here.

Miles Mikolas has entered the stage of his career where he shows up to toss a few innings a season, apparently. I know that 2021 has been the season of the injury, but it's hard to see your team's normally strong rotation be decimated in the way that it has been.

Even Kolten Wong hasn't been able to stay healthy, and he's not even on the team anymore.

This year's Diamond Kings set has been the only thing I've been able to find consistently at the retail level lately. (I accidentally found out when they stock a few things on the toy shelves at a certain Walgreen's recently.) I wasn't very successful on this group break buy-in, but I did snag a Jack Flaherty insert. Flaherty is also injured.

The only Crackin' Wax break I bought into last week was a basketball (!) break, mostly to encourage Chris to continue to do NBA breaks. I did not do well. The NBA market apparently is starting to fall, finally, but not yet enough for my taste. I did end up with a Lillard card that I already had, plus a couple of Timberwolves non-rookies.

The latest package came with a couple of fun unopened junk wax era packs. I set aside a 1991 Studio pack for another day, but immediately opened the 1994 Sportflics hobby pack. I'll show off the pack in full at some point on APTBNL, but I will spoil that I ended up with this Todd Zeile card that I needed.

Card show in the morning? Can I do it?

Thursday, June 3, 2021

A Vintage Bounty

Who needs overpriced hobby boxes and resold retail when @Thorzul breaks all of the vintage you can handle? 
The latest batch of box break cards to be featured here is a bit different. Instead of chasing shiny this and numbered that and weird half-heartedly drawn squiggly lines by distracted young players, Death Stare Cards bought a quality batch of vintage cards online and turned it into a team break. I have been dreading this post for a bit, because my scanner likes to randomly crop out borders on pretty much any card made before 1980. I don't really understand it, but it's a thing. If you see any missing or incomplete borders, you can be assured that the cards themselves don't really look that way.

Obviously, there's a bit of risk with something that's being packaged together by someone on the internet, but I know that Thorzul has a pretty good eye for eBay lots, which isn't something I'd necessary be good at. Most of the Cardinals cards in the bunch were from the '70s and '60s, with a couple of nice condition late '50s cards thrown in.

This one has a big crease down the middle, but it's my first card from the 1960 Fleer set. This one turned out to be the worst victim of my scanner cropping issues.

Is it me, or does it look like Nelson's mitt is really huge? It's not, like, 1986 Fleer Mickey Hatcher huge, but maybe there's just something weird with the camera perspective.

When I first saw this Kellogg's card, I was hoping there would be more like this, but it turns out that this Cardenal the Cardinal was the only one in the lot for me. 

These next two were the biggest finds for me. This 1969 Steve Carlton isn't in perfect shape, but there's no visible creases, writing or paper loss. It's great!

In even better shape is this second year Curt Flood card. The 1959 set is my favorite of the era.

I figured I had most of not all of the 1977 Topps team set, but the Forsch Brothers card was new to me. I'm glad that I ended up with this and not the Astros slot.

Here's one from everyone's favorite woodgrain set. (Not 1987.)

It's maybe not the most power packed pair of Rookie Stars, but it still filled a need of mine.

There was another one from 1977 that I needed. I'm down to three left.

When I was young, Dal Maxvill was the Cardinals GM that everyone blamed everything on, so the thought of owning one of his baseball cards would have seemed absurd to me. 

Apparently Tim McCarver was considered for the GM job before Maxvill was hired. That would have been wild.

I don't have a ton of love for the 1973 set, but they do have some of the best manager cards I've ever seen. Will next year's Heritage set actually include managers?

Ray Washburn definitely looks like a rook here.

That's all for the cards from the break that I needed, although there's another stack of several dozen that I need to go through to see if they're possible upgrades. That pile includes a Keith Hernandez rookie card and a 1972 Bob Gibson. That's not nothing!

I also bought a stack of test issue 1987 Topps Stickers that were included with the break. They look identical to their more common counterparts, aside from having a darker back and much thicker stock. They wouldn't have made for a very interesting scan. If you aren't familiar, they're very similar to the early 2010's Topps album stickers instead of the more common thinner Panini style stickers.

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Mariners, Nationals, Anyone?

Some cards from other teams in recent @CrackinWax #CrackinWaxMailDay breaks. 
There are a ton of teams that have had no claims in the Spring Cleaning extravaganza. Perhaps I can entice someone with some Mariners inserts that I picked up as my random team in a recent Crackin' Wax box break?

Evan White has a career .544 OPS, so I'm not sure he was going to be a good pick for Rookie of the Year. But perhaps he'll be good someday, maybe?

This is my first Jarred Kelenic card. He's one of the top prospects in the game, but it looks like he is still trying to figure out big league pitching at this point.

If you're not into the Mariners... what about the Nationals? This numbered to 99 card could easily be yours!

If you're a fan of one of the other 28 teams, of course, feel free to check out the post as well.

I also have a few Cardinals cards to show off from the recent breaks. I was able to finish off the "paper" prospects set from 2021 Bowman, which means I can pretty much mentally put that set out of my mind. Of course, I'd still be interested in any needed inserts, parallels and fancy things from this set if anyone has it laying around.

When the 2017 Topps Fire set came out, about the only thing that was interesting to me was that Jim Edmonds was finally getting a new post-career Cardinals card for me to chase. How silly is it, then, that this ended up being the last base card I needed from the team set. It only took me four years to acquire this card. Weird.

There wasn't a lot to talk about in the 2020 Allen & Ginter X break, but I did add a Stan the Man base card to my collection.

I didn't end up "hit"-less, however. This red spring training swatch of the former Cardinal-turned-Astro Aledmys Diaz is numbered to 110 and shines brightly in person. It's pretty cool.

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

What Else? More Breaks

Cardinals abound in this latest round of @batcavelv box breaks. 
It seems like I mostly just post about box breaks these days. If only there was some other way to buy cards now, besides the going the stupid expensive route and buying a big thing online. (I actually have a hobby box en route, so don't listen to me.) Here's a few winter pickups from Tracy's Box Breaks.

You can find numerous examples of sets that look much better in hand than scanned. It's rare, but I feel the exact opposite about this Pinnacle Aficionado set. I don't like the texture of the card at all and it's tough to look at. But when I take a step back and see it on my computer monitor? Not bad! I can't really explain this.

My favorite thing about this bunch of cards is that I got what appears to be a whole team set full of these foil stamped 65th Anniversary cards. I'm guessing Tracy broke up a set here. These types of things can be very difficult to find in singles, so this was a pretty big score for me.

Here's a refractor version of Goldy's 2020 Topps Chrome card. Unfortunately, rookie mania has made it pretty costly to buy any Topps Chrome cards these days, so I'll have to continue to hunt for singles if I want to get all of the Chrome that I need.

Despite the red uniform, the Hot Rods are not a Cardinals affiliate. This has a tenuous connection to my team collection: Liberatore's offseason trade to St. Louis happens to be mentioned in passing in the bio on the back.

It seems that I am still missing tons of old Conlon cards. There are a bunch of variations in that first 1991 set. Stupid variations.

My "10 Most Wanted" list always seems to have a Stephen Piscotty card on it. There's one on it right now, in fact! At least I finally tracked down a copy of this one.

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Kings of the Diamond

Another #CrackinWaxMailDay from @CrackinWax features a new crop of Diamond Kings. 
Panini's new Diamond Kings set seems to be more of a blink-and-you'll-miss-it offering than in past years. Knowing full well that I won't be seeing any of this stuff on the retail market (which basically doesn't exist anymore), I bought into a break with our good pals at Crackin' Wax.

The design basically looks like last year's set, only with a significant chunk of the border given to a big red space that comes complete with a larger than normal team name. Usually it feels like Panini tries to downplay the team names as much as possible, so they don't get sued or something.

Here is what the design looks like with a black and white photo. I'm glad that they didn't try to colorize this.

One of my chief complaints with Diamond Kings is that they tend to reuse the same photos over and over again for the legendary players, but I'm pleased to say that I don't really recognize this one.

It seems like there may be a few more inserts this year, although that could just be that I somehow lucked out and had some pulled for me. There's an insert set for "Debut" Diamond Kings, presumably where a standout rookie/prospect player was chosen for each team in the league. It's kind of fun, and it's still a bit of a nod to the way they'd choose Diamond Kings for the old Donruss sets.

On the other hand, this insert set seems like they just fused a couple of words together that started with the same letter without giving the subject matter any real thought. It's a new Ozzie Smith card for me, though, so that's certainly a positive.

I had the Tigers assigned as one of my random teams, and my allotment included this plum framed parallel of Hank Greenberg. This is where I need to mention that no one has claimed any Tigers cards in my Spring Cleaning extravaganza. This and more could be yours!

Late Night PWE Round-Up

Another round of the small envelope delivers including stuff from @dimeboxman and more. 
I have to admit to still being a bit shell-shocked from the recent death of my only pathway to buying trading cards in person and I haven't quite figured out what that means for my collection and my blog in the future. That's probably a better topic for another time, though, so let's just dig into a few things I received in smaller packages from kind folks who have spent their time here recently.

First up is a bunch of stuff from Nick of Dime Boxes fame. I am looking towards going to a card show for the first time in about 18 months when June rolls around, but I'm not expecting there to be vast quantities of dime boxes. We'll see what happens. The first card that rolled out of the envelope (or out of this post, anyway) is one of those mysterious modern Leaf cards. All I can gather from looking at the card is that it's a 2020 Leaf card and it clearly pays tribute to the 1990 design that caused such a stir back in the day.

Here's Eli Marrero on a SkyBox Thunder "Rant" parallel. It has purple foil to stand out by itself.

This one was a huge surprise, as one of my all-time faves hasn't exactly been on this earth and available to sign autographs for nearly two decades. I'd be interested to know the story behind this card, if there actually is one.

I opened a blaster from 2003 Bowman Heritage set recently, so the set has been on my mind a bit lately. It's not the best looking set by any means, but it interests me a lot more than most of what new stuff Topps and Panini crank out these days.

Speaking of new stuff, this Yadi card is a Chrome-d up version of the 1952 "Redux" inserts from the latest flagship set. It shines in person, of course.

Longtime Rockies blogger hiflew from Cards from the Quarry has taken the "Free Stuff Friday" thing (so 2020), flipped it to Sundays and run with it. I've claimed a few cards over the past few months, and have gotten some fun envelopes as a result. Alex Reyes is firmly cemented as the closer on this year's version of the Cardinals, even if the announcers constantly mentions his aspirations to move on to bigger and brighter things (i.e. a starting rotation spot.)

A Blazer sneaks in here. CJ and his squad made the playoffs for the eighth consecutive season, good for the longest active streak in the NBA. Let's hope that they do some big damage this time around. I'm just glad they avoided that horrible play-in tournament that should be killed with fire and never spoken of again.

It's a numbered refractor. It's swaggy.

Jason Motte's Upper Deck rookie card is featured on this one-and-done set called Icons, which continued the weird '00s concept where most rookie cards needed to be serial numbered. Nowadays, they print tens of thousands of them (if not a hundred thousand) and they're not numbered and people pay crazy money for them.

This Waino is an orange parallel that's numbered to 199, although it scanned in more of a salmon color.

Last up is a one-off card from Chris, The Collector. Unbeknownst to Chris, before the first Blazers playoff game that I ever attended, I had a photo of my next to a life-sized photo of Gerald Henderson while I was ultra-excited to go watch the team I'd been following all my life. He wasn't with Portland for a ton of time and was mostly a role-player, but for whatever reason I sought out his picture for the photo opportunity first. In any case, it was really cool to get this patch card of Henderson's that's numbered to just 10 copies.

Big thanks once again to everyone who has mailed me cards over the past year or so. It's made the tedious days a lot less tedious.