Monday, July 13, 2020

Three PWEs and a Song

Some folks like @dvdgao stuck a stamp on an envelope and sent cards my way. 

It's a Monday night and I just watched live sports I have a rooting interest in for the first time in four months. (Portland Timbers, and yes, if it was up to me there wouldn't be any of this sports stuff happening for the rest of 2020.) Let's check out some plain white envelopes.

First up is Ryan from "O" No!!! Another Orioles Blog, who sent over some set fillers from the most recent Allen & Ginter set. I haven't seen (or don't remember?) what the 2020 design looks like, so I'm hoping that it was cancelled. Considering the current state of baseball cards right now, it's probably coming out next week and all boxes will sell out after 20 seconds. Things are nuts right now.

We're about to head into year 15 of the Allen & Ginter line. Topps continues to design really excellent cards here. This doesn't really track with what they do with some of their other brands, but it's nice to see that they know how to do something right.

Cardinals fan David sent along some more non-Cardinals stuff, hitting a few needs from some earlier Topps Heritage sets.

Mookie Betts cards, let alone insert cards, don't exactly grow on trees. I was happy to add this New Age Performers card from the 2018 set to my collection.

Lastly from David, it's a couple of New York team cards from the 2016 set.

Our third featured player is gcrl from cards as i see them. Someone remembered that I like the Cardinals, sending some cards of star players and obscurities like Anthony Garcia. Generally speaking, I like both equally.

Fleer Legacy was a short lived set (maybe one and done), but there are some interesting cards in it.

I know there were a lot of Topps Bunt (non-digital edition) defenders out there, but I was absolutely not a fan. Blue tint filter? Great. Still, the team collection needs what it needs.

In addition to the needed Cardinals cards was a healthy stack of 2003 Topps set needs. I picked just two of those cards to scan today -- both Mariners! -- including Garciaparra the lesser.

If you haven't checked out the YouTube series Dorktown on the history of the Seattle Mariners, you're missing out. It's fascinating. I've been watching it during my work-from-home lunches. I don't think Shin-Soo Choo (or Michael Garciaparra for that matter) ever get a mention, but there's a lot of interesting nuggets that are discussed.

This is the brand new music video from one of my favorite bands out there. It even features a notorious clown. Enjoy the rest of your week!

Friday, July 10, 2020

Free Stuff Friday: Vol 7

For #FreeStuffFriday this week, we have some weirdness, supplies and a lot of basketball. UPDATED 07/12/2020 6:07 PM PDT

Please read the rules from the initial post if this is new to you. Today's offering is going to serve a dual purpose, which I will explain a little further down the post.

First up is a bunch of Topps Big League box panels (sides?) As you can see, I cut these out of the blaster boxes so that only the side panel exists, but leaving the card area fully untouched for you to go wild with. Here is the complete list of what I have available:

  • 2020 - Aristides Aquino (from the first blaster I've been able to find in the wild in months!) CLAIMED
  • 2019 - Kris Bryant
  • 2019 - Shohei Ohtani
  • 2019 - Juan Soto
  • 2019 - Juan Soto
  • 2018 - Mike Trout (unfortunately, this one is fairly beat up and has creases that extend through the card area)
  • 2018 - Bryce Harper
  • 2018 - Bryce Harper (minor crease)
  • 2018 - Shohei Ohtani

Here's an unopened pack of cards I found in a long forgotten box. Includes several gum fragments!

I have no use for these. I'm not sure why it's called "Mini" when it's designed to hold a standard sized card.

Awhile back, I mistakenly bought a box of Ultra Pro 9-pocket mini pages -- you know, the Night Owl size. These are designed after the size first popularized by the 1975 Topps mini set and used in a number of sets and inserts over the past decade or so (Topps Mini, those mini inserts from the 2012 and 2013 sets, and more.) I don't use these and still have a ton, so tell me how many you want and I'll figure something out. CLAIMED: 10 pages so far. Still lots left.

As I mentioned earlier, this post has a dual purpose, and that is to shine a light on the Guilt-Free Basketball Card Club. I took a look over the list and see that I have many cards that I don't have homes for, so I'd encourage anyone who claims a card here (or even if you do claim a card) to take a look and sign up. I also took some names of people that I haven't heard from in awhile and italicized them. If you're one of those, it means I've never really traded with you or I don't know how to contact you anymore. Please get in touch or you might be taken off the list.

On to the nine-pockets... a few parallels here. CLAIMED: Hardaway, Stockton, White, O'Bannon

More parallels and inserts. You're probably sensing a theme here. CLAIMED: Allen, Jackson, Davis

I really like that Jamal Mashburn card for some reason.

I regret not digging up a Darius Miles card to put next to Quentin Richardson.

Finally, here are some big names... and a couple of not-so-big. CLAIMED: Robertson, Doncic, Young

I'll try to be a little more active in the comments/on Twitter this weekend, so if you have any requests or questions, just let me know!

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Pros Debuting and Other New Stuff

Casually blowing bubbles while the next #CrackinWaxMailDay from @CrackinWax hits the mailbox. 

I have to be honest with you all. I am on the verge of stopping buying cards altogether. This post over at the Dime Boxes confirmed a lot of the dread I've been feeling. It's not fun anymore and it's probably time to get out. That being said, I finally found a blaster (Big League) to buy on Sunday and bought into a small break today. At the very least, there's at least a chance I'm going to start winding down here soon if something doesn't seriously change. If it wasn't for a lot of the great bundles of mail I've received from a lot of the people that read this thing and trade with me over the past few months, I really wouldn't have many positive things to say right now.

Moving on. Let's take a look at 2020 Pro Debut, one of the breaks from late June that I bought into over at Crackin' Wax. (Yes, I'm a bit behind, but the mail has suddenly gotten really off track lately as well.)

At some point, Topps decided that cloning the flagship MLB design wasn't simply good enough for its hobby only MiLB product, so these cards are a bit of a step up. The players are outlined in slightly raised gloss while the background is matte, giving it a light 3D look. Montero kind of looks like he's leaping out of his own baseball card here.

There are a number of inserts in this set, and a couple of Cardinals prospects show up in this Tape Measure Power set.

Big League has been widely covered by all of the blogs and sites already, so I'll keep my thoughts brief. First off, it's nice to see a Cardinal on one of these League Leaders cards. It was something that was easy to take for granted, but I feel like it's been a little bit. Jack Flaherty gets some well-earned props here.

The design is different. Different is nice, especially for Topps. I'm glad they haven't exactly settled in to a standard template for Big League, at least yet.

On the other hand, I don't know what to say about the Star Caricatures. I already exceeded my negativity quotient in the first paragraph of this post, so... moving on!

Fierce Kolten Wong! Yes!

I also snagged a bunch of brand new Prizm base cards and this silver Jack Flaherty. Apparently the silver Prizms are more of a scarcity now after appearing in nearly every pack that didn't have a different colored parallel in the past. It seems like Panini might be trying to capitalize on the popularity of its silver parallels in their basketball products, but the baseball cards are always going to look like generic off brand beverages in comparison.

It's time for the extra shiny stuff. There was a slot for a low budget 2015 Donruss that I super didn't want to buy, but did anyway. I ended up with a /99 Big Mac card for my troubles. I can't complain about that.

The Pro Debut break also yielded this chunky medallion card of one of the Giants top prospects, as the Bay Area team was one of my randomly assigned bonus teams. The card is up for grabs as you might expect.

Monday, July 6, 2020

Cards Now With Cards on Cards

Cards from @TomSOlson take it all the way back to 1990. 

Around the time I was placing my first ever order at Card Barrel, filling it mostly with late 80s and early 90s stuff that I hadn't managed to track down yet, came a package from P-Town Tom of Waiting 'Til Next Year. In said package was a healthy stack of 1990 O-Pee-Chee Cardinals cards, finally quashing my ideas of overpaying for a box of unopened OPC cards that are probably worth less than the cost of shipping even as they can be difficult to find. (1989, on the other hand...)

I won't bore you (much) with a bunch of cards that look identical to their much more common (in the States, anyway) Topps counterparts from the front. Here is some text in both English and French from the back of Vince Coleman's Record Breakers card for fun, though.

I thought I was well stocked for Upper Deck hologram team logo stickers, but it turned out that I was missing this one. I know very little about the 1992 Upper Deck Heroes of Baseball set and did not know it came with stickers. 1992 was sort of an off year for me and collecting cards. I jumped back on the train a bit in 1993 before giving it up for an extended period of time.

Tom is the first person to send me cards from my 1990 Panini Stickers want list in many years. I think(?) I was actually peeling these and putting them into the album. I need to find that album again. If I ever finish it, I was at least planning on starting another one from a different year.

Here's a link to the list if anyone has more of these.

Tom also included a card of Al Hrabosky from a Senior League baseball set circa 1989 that I had never seen before. I know I've seen some (or at least one) sets of these guys from Pacific Trading Cards, but not this kind. I also didn't know Hrabosky, who recently ended his long run as an in-game broadcasting analyst for the Cardinals RSN, had ever played in this league. He looks at home here, strangely.

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Stars and Stripes

Some cards for a holiday weekend. 

I've been sort of stealth collecting the various Independence Day themed parallels of recent years. It's not that I'm particularly patriotic -- I just like the way the cards look. Both Topps and Panini seem to have latched on to the same idea, and both companies' parallels have a thicker retro feel to the cards overall.

You're only going to see the Donruss cards here, because they're much easier to obtain. I think I may have traded one of the Topps ones away recently (oops), and I might have a Cardinals one buried in a box somewhere. I'll have to rectify this as soon as I feel like buying cards again... which might be awhile.

I'm not a big fan of this name variation.

This works nicely against Soto's red uniform.

I've noticed that these all seem to be red and blue teams. Weird.

Even the Diamond Kings get the stars and stripes treatment.

Enjoy the day, everyone. Don't blow any fingers off.

Friday, July 3, 2020

Free Stuff Friday: Vol 6

I'm in a rush. Let's do this. #FreeStuffFriday  UPDATED 5:50 PM PDT 07/05/2020

I just went with a few standard 9-pockets this week. Please see the rules from previous weeks and let me know if you have any questions.

If you've claimed something oversized, particularly complete sets, please be aware that I ordered shipping supplies from USPS several weeks ago and they still haven't arrived. I might be able to get a few DIY packages into the mail that contain the flat items on Monday when the post office opens back up again... crossing my fingers here.

A women's college hoops legend, some wrestling and racing that I don't care about, a Dover reprint and some Pro Set / Pro Line promo cards. Maybe the music set fans will be into the Hammer? CLAIMED: Stone Cold, Hammer, Everett, Lieberman, Madonna, Banks

Hays is a sepia refractor and Semien is a silver Prizm variation. CLAIMED: Posey, Clark, den Dekker, Hays

Castro is a refractor and Crawford is a "fish-fractor". CLAIMED: Scherzer, Castro, Crawford, Peavy, Young, Avila

A few Cardinals rookies and more... stuff. Cole is a short print. CLAIMED: Gehrig, Stanton, Ruth

I have tons of extra 2020 Heritage base cards if anyone is still working on this set. I tried to pick out the familiar names. Also, the Knuckle Brothers, for some reason. CLAIMED: Torres, Sanchez, ERA Leaders, HR Leaders

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

A PWE Roundup on a Wednesday

Incoming cards from fellow card traders. 

As soon as I mentioned last week that I was going to start a regular thing here with the piles of PWEs that have been coming in lately, I knew it probably wasn't a great idea. I don't exactly do a fantastic job of sticking to things. This has been a weird week schedule-wise; I took yesterday off of work and Friday is a de facto holiday. I'll just use that as an excuse, sure.

First up are a pair of 2020 Topps Heritage set needs from Jay of Card Hemorrhage. Personally, my collection could stand to start hemorrhaging cards. I do occasionally put a shoebox full of (mostly dinged up) stuff out by the dumpsters that always seems to disappear quickly. Someone is either putting these to good use or doing something really weird with them.

I still have a ways to go on the Heritage set, with the now typical High Number series all but an inevitability. It would be cool to at least finish off the base set before a new one is released.

From AJ of The Lost Collector comes a group of really random basketball cards. I should say, they aren't entirely random, as they all fit into my collection of (mostly) Trail Blazers. Check out Pat's hair.

Panini's sticker collections are always a weird combination of cheap and surprisingly scarce, so I'm always pleased to add more to my stuff no matter what the year. I believe this is from the 2010-11 set, as Cunningham is in uniform and not in some weird draft day/photoshoot pose.

Here's Clyde the Glide on one of those super generic looking Leaf cards. He's wearing Rockets gear here, but I still make all of his cards a priority.

And here's the man they used to call the 6'8" Great from Michigan State. These days, he's probably the 6'6" Guy who Talks on TV? (Just kidding... I think?)

Lastly, there was an array of Cardinals goods from Brian of Highly Subjective and Completely Arbitrary. Delino DeShields is trying to avoid getting sucked into the spirally void here.

Big City makes an appearance on a rarely seen (to me) blue parallel from the 2015 Opening Day set. This does lend a different look to this design without it completely overtaking the card, unlike some parallels.

I didn't collect back then, but I noticed a trend of card products ramping up the stars and/or stripes a bit in their design elements in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. This set did come out in 2001, but I am guessing it was released prior to September. In any case, it has a very 2001 feel to me.

Finally, here's a card of Matty Mo for my 2003 Topps Heritage set build.

Thanks again to everyone involved. Let's keep the envelopes coming!