Wednesday, June 19, 2019

The Rest of the Stash

Not just a hockey blog! 

Last week, we took a look at a few cards of the newly crowned champs after capturing their very first Stanley Cup. This time around, let's check out a selection of some of the great non-Blues cards I received from buckstorecards. All in all, this was quite a great lot, and I need to figure out how to get this things squared and still somehow avoid the high cost of international shipping.

I love that new Clyde Drexler cards are still being produced. This is an especially good looking inserts from this past season's Prizm set. The Glide is looking especially cool here doing some sort of midair move while some silly Lakers look on the in the background, dumbfounded.

Festus?! Yes, the dude that never played a minute, practice or otherwise for the Blazers, still gets cards in a Portland uni. I guess it's cool that he showed up for team photo day or something. Injuries suck.

Here's an Immaculate Dame. Rarely do cards from such a treasured line come into this household, so this was a nice surprise.

This past year's Court Kings set had several different tiers of rookie cards. Here's Anfernee Simons in Pissed Off Tier 1 and Super Happy Tier 2.

Along with Blazers cards, there was a flock of Ducks and Ducks alums. DAT's card from 2014 Bowman Platinum feature two pieces of player worn memorabilia. It would be funny if the players wore every single jersey they need to put on during the Rookie Photoshoot at the same time, and just peeled them off in layers. That's probably not how it works, is it?

Here's a couple of cool cards of the recently retired J-Stew.

Big super intense football close-up shot!

Here's another patch from a photo shoot. LaMichael is looking like he doesn't quite know what to do with the ball here. Are the balls differently shaped in the pros?

Doug was cool enough to send some Eagles cards my way as well, including this sticker auto of the team's on again, off again wide receiver Jordan Matthews.

Finally, let's end it on a good note, with a Cardinals cards. That's right, this is a baseball blog! This is a 1st Year card of the Cardinals uber-prospect Nolan Gorman. It looks like people are going to more or less hoard his cards for awhile, so any chance to get one of these is good for me.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Fake Cards

Hey look, it's a picture of a phone with a picture of a card that doesn't really exist on it! 

A long time ago, I dabbled with an app produced by Topps that allowed the user to collect virtual baseball cards on it. There were some elements of the app that I really liked (daily fantasy), but in the end, as a free-to-play player, I felt extremely disadvantaged and cheated, especially by a certain feature (again, daily fantasy). Of course, such is the life of the gamer that doesn't want to pay for the things that supposedly bring him or her joy. I rage quit the thing, and then came crawling back this year to see what had changed.

This is an actual card you can collect in Topps BUNT now. Just let that soak in.

In all fairness, though, a lot has changed. The fantasy baseball element has improved significantly, although it requires so much of the player's attention that it will never find enough space in my increasingly scattered brain these days. More importantly, however, there are actual things to do and "cards" to collect, even for the freeloading player.

(This is what one of the old cards looked like, at least when I originally played.)

I still can't see myself spending real dollars on this for some images of what are supposed to represent trading cards, but I am checking in daily and collecting (some of) the things. I don't know why I do this. I think I just got tired of other things that I can kill some time with while I'm waiting around to pick up my lunch, among other things.

I just looked back and read my original post for the first time since writing it, and can address some of the things that have changed, if you're one of those people who gave up on it.

  • Daily fantasy still heavily favors people who get the better (boosted) cards, which is what you'd expect. They pay money. However, there are interesting consolations for people that participate and are less, er, boosted.
  • Trading makes sense now, even though I still think the rating system is suspect. There's a smooth flow to the trading "feed", and with a little patience it became easy to understand how people work with trades. I actually managed to complete every tier of the Series 1 base set this year, with much help from these trades.
  • People still love the inserts! But certain people also have other weird goals, like collecting as many "Tier 1" (like the most common of all base cards) of their favorite player, for some reason. There is/was actually some sort of "Card Fusion" system where you could grind up a bunch of lower tier cards to make a better tiered version, but that feature was disabled right around when I showed back up. Suspicious!
  • Rules and gameplay features, otherwise, seem pretty stable. As do the bugs. Hey, it's been five years since I last touched the thing, so it makes sense.
If you are involved (or are thinking about getting involved), I go by 'madding' on the thing. If I know you from the blog (or you mention it), I'm sure I will be up for helping you out with some favorable trades. That's not to say I have anything good, of course. I'm a free player, after all.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

The Blues Hoist The Cup

For the first time in franchise history, the #STLBlues are champions! 

Doug from Sportscards From The Dollar Store has been sending me Blues hockey cards for a couple of years now, but I finally found the best use for them. Tonight the franchise, which has been around since 1967, finally won its first Stanley Cup -- in rather extraordinary fashion. Left for dead earlier in the season, with an interim coach and a rookie replacement goalie few had ever heard of, they essentially rebooted and went on to go all of the way. They took the favored Bruins to 7 games, winning 3 on the road, finally giving Boston fans something to sulk about.

I thought I'd scan a few cards from the latest package from buckstorecards, just a few guys from the current team. There were a ton of other great (non-Blues) cards in the package, but I'll save that for a later post. Tyler Bozak spent his entire NHL career with the Maple Leafs before joining the Blues this season.

David Perron began his third stint with the Blues this season.

Team captain Alex Pietrangelo is shown here on Upper Deck's current MVP design, but the real MVP honors (i.e. the Conn Smythe Trophy) went to Ryan O'Reilly, who was extremely impressive.

Monday, June 10, 2019

A Box That Rocks

An assist from @INeedNewHobbies turns Goodwill finds into cardboard gold. 

I was able to turn a couple of separate Goodwill purchases last year into productive trades, the largest of which was worked out with I Need New Hobbies. A box showed up at Cards on Cards central that was chock full of baseball (and football) goodness, with a sprinkling of hoops thrown in. It can be a bit intimidating to select cards to scan and post about when getting such a large assortment of cards at once, but I managed to pick a few choice cards for the cut.

With a product that features choice samples of player worn memorabilia (it's even in the brand name!), it's easy to overlook the base cards and parallels of said base cards. For all of the different things I've seen written about Topps Triple Threads over the years (a lot of it is pretty negative), the base design gets lost in the shuffle. I usually like it. These two cards from 2010 are no exception.

A non-Cardinal Jim Edmonds card was added to my collection. Before Jimmy became an MVP threat in St. Louis, he was starting to put up pretty good numbers in Anaheim. Now he's one of the stable of rotating commentators on Cardinals TV broadcasts.

Scott found a ton of weird 1997 Donruss Limited parallels to send me, including this Brian Jordan card (not pictured: Jose Guillen). Normally, the "Limited Exposure" parallels would have a shiny refractor-like finish, but they apparently forgot (?) to do this on a certain grouping of these.

Another (former?) Cardinals commentator here in a 1975 Mad Hungarian card. Al might be retired from the game broadcasts, although I hear he pops up in the studio from time to time. I don't live in the Cardinals broadcast area, so I have to rely on MLB.TV and no actual local programming.

I was just mentioning my love for framed cards the other day to Erin, so it was fun to rediscover this card from the 2003 Donruss Diamond Kings set when I was choosing what to scan. If Topps is going to do any more "art" cards, they really need to consider contacting the guys who used to work for Donruss way back when.

Here's a much younger Albert Pujols in a bit of an unfamiliar position on a card -- baserunning.

As I talk about things I love again for the millionth time, have I mentioned lately how much I love the Fleer/Flair "Greats of the Game" cards? If I could go back in card collecting time (or suddenly become wealthy), it would be really fun to explore these sets that used to heavily feature retired players.

You can't really read the name so well, but this was another great get -- a Kolten Wong rookie refractor. Well, technically it's a "1st Bowman Card", although technically it isn't even that. He was featured as a Team USA member on a previous year's card.

Basketball time! Petteri Koponen was acquired by then-GM Kevin Pritchard during the 2007 NBA Draft (the Oden Draft), but never came over. He's only 31 now and was last seen playing for Bayern Munich (the hoops team?!) according to the always interesting Wikipedia.

Shiny Sheed!

A ton of Eagles cards were also included, several of which were 2008 Topps featuring weird uniforms that all looked like this. I'm guessing this was some sort of throwback they wore in a game back then, but I suppose it also could be a parallel? There isn't a whole lot happening on the field behind Westbrook there, which makes me wonder if this was even from a real game.

DeSean Jackson is back with Philly, which I have mixed feelings about. I wasn't a fan of his at Cal, and I'll never forget his splashy debut with the Eagles where he dropped the ball in celebration prior to entering the end zone on a would-be touchdown, a classic bonehead move. Hopefully he's less of a bonehead now?

Speaking of boneheads... well, this is an interesting insert design from the 2001 Topps Heritage set. I actually really liked McNabb as a player, but he has not impressed me in his post-playing days.

Ahhhhh yes. Action Packed... classic Eagles uniform... Randall! It's tough to get any better than this.

Did anyone ever get these cards signed? I feel like that white space is such a waste of an opportunity.

More #12. This is a wild, shiny Topps insert that makes it look like Cunningham is busting out of some kind of rainstorm.

The pièce de résistance, however, was this Big Mac gold thing. I am not entirely sure what to do with it, so it might end up on the wall near or between some of my unopened Starting Lineup figures for now.

Thanks again to Scott for this huge exchange of cards and such!

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Unnecessary Albert

Panini is trying to sneak more Pujols cards into my collection. 

Panini's relatively new re-launch of their Prizm brand into baseball produced a new Cardinals card of a former Cardinals star. A recent YouTube feature on the 2011 Cardinals season, which would prove to be Albert's swan song, got me a bit nostalgic for the big lug. Of course, I really don't need more Pujols cards in my collection, but here we are.

Panini turned over a good portion of the final 100 cards in this series to legends/former players, and Pujols gets that treatment here. Of course, I am pretty sure he's still active in the game and has an Angels card in this set already. It's just a bit weird.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Cards and Blazers from a Yankees Fan

More great cards from @Lost_Collector feature both of my favorite teams. 

Back in January, I received a nice package from longtime blogger and trading partner The Lost Collector. I decided to scan some of my favorite cards from said package, and write a few words about it in the process.

The Cardinals have had an up-and-down season so far that's been extremely frustrating to me. Fortunately, they're on the upswing of things. I've had a mental blog post running in my head for awhile now about all of the players that have left the team and gone on to be successful elsewhere recently, but considering the team's good (albeit brief) run of late, I am going to choose to keep it positive for now.

Questionable fonts aside, it was nice to snag this numbered parallel of Fernando Tatis the Elder, even if it documents his exodus from St. Louis to the far north.

Here's another, shinier document of one of my favorite moments in team history. Carp was never the same after a season in which he led all of professional baseball in innings pitched. Ryan Howard was also, unfortunately, never the same after blowing out his Achilles just seconds before this photo.

AJ apologized in advance for sending a bunch of junk wax era Blazers cards, but I was happy to receive them. There were (and likely still are) a ton of needs there, especially in the mid-'90s.

I'm so distracted by the shiny, blurry gold that I can overlook that this one documents the late great Kersey's departure to Toronto via the expansion draft. He bounced around the league for a bit after this, eventually popping up as a key member of a very good Spurs bench early in the Gregg Popvich era.

Meyers Leonard is never junk wax.

Here we have the many faces of Gary Trent the Elder. Actually, this just looks like one face... over and over again. Wow.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

A Cardinals Hit!

Another #CrackinWaxMailDay landed me an autograph from one of the game's top prospects. 

I've always been a big fan of minor league cards, but Topps chose to go the hobby-exclusive route when it came to producing cards from the smaller pro teams. This makes sense, of course, because this is a small corner of an already niche hobby. Unfortunately, it just keeps the cards off my radar more than I'd like them to me.

With that in mind, I bought in on a group break slot from Crackin' Wax for the brand new 2019 Topps Pro Debut set. Along with the Cardinals affiliated cards, I also was assigned two random slots. Those turned out to be the Marlins and Tigers, so if there's any interest in base cards for those farm clubs, just let me know.

The big surprise was the Nolan Gorman hit, but I was able to also put together the whole base team set (Cardinals edition) as well. Genesis Cabrera made two starts for the big club recently as Michael Wacha was bumped out of the rotation, but he didn't fare a ton better than his tenured teammate and is back in Memphis.

Here's the base Gorman card. I have a feeling I'm going to get sick of this guy's cards before he ever takes the field with St. Louis, but that's probably okay? At least, I sort of got in on the ground floor! One of my current frustrations is that his presence in every product now is causing break slot prices for my favorite team to be a bit inflated.

Andrew Knizner (KIZZ-nerr) is now up with the big club, backing up Matt Wieters with Yadi on the injured list. He was in this year's Bowman set as well.

Here are some other guys I know significantly less about. Baker was in this year's Bowman set and was in last year's Bowman Draft as well.

I'll probably have to find a Topps Heritage Minor League break to join this year as well, unless that price gets too out of hand.