Sunday, August 12, 2018

Shiny Style

The weekend in card purchases. 

I didn't go to The National. I didn't make it out to National Baseball Card Day. Hell, I didn't even make it to the monthly card show on Saturday. (I should never write this event on my personal calendar.) What I did end up doing is buying some new cards at Target to enjoy when I got off work on Friday. The centerpiece(s) of this purchase were a blaster and "value pack" of 2018 Topps Chrome. Yes, this is the bougie stuff I used to mock on this very blog until I acquired a taste for it.

You know the drill. Basically, everything here is going to be up for grabs unless it's a Cardinal card. I don't know much about Amed Rosario, but I can assume that his season must not be going well if Jose Reyes is still on the teams. Then again, nothing is really going well for the Mets.

Ugh, gross.

Gimme all your Harrison Bader cards. Thanks!

This was my only Superstar Sensations insert, featuring last season's prodigy Cody Bellinger.

Adrian Beltre in a refractor style.

Shiny Greg Bird.

Paulie D! Paulie D Parallel!

The blasters come with four "sepia" refractors, but these look way too dark and weird to look like old sepia-tone photos.

Topps should ditch these.

I think they did some version of these Future Stars inserts last year, and maybe even the year before?

The fourth sepia refractor is Michael Fulmer, who didn't get traded.

This would have been worth roughly four hundred million dollars if it came out last summer.

Some Cubs guy.

Pink refractors are the bonus from the value packs. If you shop at Target like me, you probably already knew that.

Late career Miggy refractor.

This is a "prism" refractor, which we've seen in other recent Topps Chrome sets. More on this guy later.

This is also a shiny one. I do have base cards that I don't need, of course. (No Ohtani, but I did get an Acuna.)

Prism. Not Ohtani.

Ahhh, this is just scary!

Three cards down for my Cardinals base set, which is pretty good for a set with so few cards per pack.

If you're still reading this, I also managed to pull a Whit Merrifield auto from a value pack from that other Topps set. You know, the one I'm "slow collecting"? This is up for grabs as well.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Let's Make a Deal!

No, not for this card! 

I've bought a bunch of the following sets, and should be able to help out anyone trying to build these. Please point me in the direction of your want lists if this is something you're working on.

  • 2018 Topps Stadium Club
  • 2018 Topps Big League
  • 2015 Topps Stadium Club (from an aborted attempt to start building the set)
As usual, my Cardinals wants and link to my collection can be found here. I also collect some sets if you're into that sort of thing. Even if you only have a card or two that I need, that's a card or two that I didn't already have!

Mr. Lawrence, by the way, was a recent Listia win. I'm trying to snag vintage cards whenever it makes sense to.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

A Quick Turnaround Deserves a Quick Blog Post

A free @flywheels Donruss Optic group break fell in my lap. 

I was staring at my phone Saturday morning (as I often do) when I found out about a free (cost of shipping only!) group break put on by Cardboard Collections. I didn't even feel I had time to read the details because I noticed that the Cardinals were still, inexplicably, not taken. Four days later, the cards are already in my hands. I felt like this was as good of a reason as any to let these cards jump to the front of the queue.

Two boxes of Panini's 2016 Donruss Optic were opened, and in addition to polishing off my base team set (only needed Yadi's regular card), I was able to snag quite a few parallels and one insert card.

This is Jeremy Hazelbaker, of early 2016 season fame. He didn't quite catch fire with the fanbase like Bo Hart once did, but I definitely saw a Hazelbaker jersey (or shirsey?) on my trip up to Seattle that summer to see the Cardinals/Mariners series.

Purple Hazelbaker. He went on to put up great numbers as a Diamondbacks pinch-hitter last season, but has struggled at AAA in 2018 as he's passed through a few organizations.

It's always great to get a card I needed of one of my favorite players of all-time.

Here's the insert card as promised. It's... something? I feel like Panini can sometimes put together an acceptable base card with their licensing restrictions, but the inserts are usually pretty wretched.

There were tons of Yadis in the batch, and Colbey even gave me a sneak peak on Twitter. Two of the Molina cards were numbered (to 299) Aqua parallels, which look a lot nicer than I would have expected, even though the border color doesn't really blend well with red. Two copies of a rare Yadi card is a perfect number for this household.

Here's the purple version of Yadi's Diamond Kings card. Maybe Panini should stick to sets featuring catchers, because you're not going to see a lot of logos anyway.

In addition to pulling the needed basic version of this card, I also snagged the "holo" (i.e. refractor) version. Nice!

Thanks again to Colbey and his generosity with this essentially free break. Be sure to check out his blog and/or Facebook group and/or Twitter feed for more Affordable Group Breaks, although few are sure to be as affordable as this one.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Not Dead Yet

A big trade stack from @dimeboxman as the trade deadline approaches. 

The 2018 Cardinals season can probably be best described as a merry-go-round where people are constantly falling off. It's been more thrilling, it's been dizzy, and there's been a surprising number of casualties. The club is just barely above .500, their staff ace keeps finding new ways to get injured, but they're not out of the race just yet. There's just hours left before the non-waiver trade deadline, and you still don't know if this team is buying or selling.

Someone who is always buying (transitions!) is Nick from Dime Boxes. Back in April, he sent me an envelope stuffed full of cards I could use, and it took me until late July to make things square (and write this post.) I'll delve in to some of the cards that he sent, because that's what I do here.

My Twitter feed has been pretty consistently flowing with random pictures of baseball cards these days, but I always seem to drop what I'm doing whenever someone posts a Bowman Heritage card. I need to get more of these things.

I'm not sure about the border color here, but the rest of this card is pretty cool. I like that it's not colorized.

This feels like the 10th consecutive season that Lou Brock and Dee Gordon have shared a Heritage Then & Now card. I'm a bit tired of it. Next year should break up this duo, with 1970 being an anomalous year for Brock and the stolen bases category and Gordon moving over to the American League.

Nick sent along quite a few cards I couldn't really identify, including a minor league card of an obscure player that I have a PC for. Nice!

This is from one of those many attempts at a baseball card game set, apparently, and it's another thing I'd never seen before. It's officially known as the 2007 Trade Up set.

I think it's safe to say now that Topps Fire was my least favorite thing of 2017, which also means that I still need a ton of cards from said set for my team collection. I surely didn't open any of this stuff.

Here's another mystery item. This is from 2013. I guess I could check out the website, right?

'90s Pacific parallels! Swanky!

I blinked and nearly missed this year's Gypsy Queen set, which is fine with me. This is another one of the very weak areas in my collection. I feel like I didn't see much of any of this stuff on the shelves, although I'm not often tempted. I should probably go to next month's card show and try to pick up what I'm missing.

I will always have a soft spot for 1986 Topps, the first set I ever bought packs from. Somehow, I never actually had one of the Willie McGee cut-from-the-bottom-of-the-box cards from this. I really love this picture, which is clearly a photo from Spring Training in Florida in the '80s. Look at these kids in the background that are just hanging out at the park, not even watching Willie McGee!

Finally, it bears mentioning that Nick sent me a healthy stack of Heritage needs, mostly from the past two years. These aren't as much fun to post about, but I did pick the young talented Phillies starter Nick Pivetta to represent the lot.

Thanks a bunch to Nick, and everyone else who has been patient with me!

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Now We're Up in the Big Leagues

A new set from @Topps is all about value, and I like it. 

I don't frequently have great things to say about Topps these days, so I feel like it's only fair to point out how much I like the new Big League product. It's affordable and fun, and reminds me a bit of some of the mid-'00s Bazooka and Fleer sets. I won't collect the set, but I am sure that I will pick up more of this stuff if it stays available at the current prices. (In fact, I have two more blasters on the way from Prime.)

I bought a loose pack, whose first card was the water feature out in Kansas City.

Gold(ish?) parallels fall at one per pack, or three per fat pack. I'm not a big fan of the color. It's sort of in between yellow mustard and brown mustard.

The loose pack contained a numbered (to 100) Adam Duvall parallel, which was a nice surprise. Some Reds fan will probably appreciate this.

I also bought a fat pack and a blaster. In the fat pack, recently traded reliever Zach Britton was one of the parallels.

An auto in something that cost me $4.99? Not bad. It's a sticker auto, of course, but I'm sure Pirates fans wouldn't spit on this.

I originally assumed these were some sort of nickname insert, but I can see now that this is supposed to be a Player's Weekend parallel. It's weird when a parallel has a completely different design.

Tyler O'Neill's first official Topps rookie card ended up being my only Cardinal pull of the purchase, which is frustrating. I think my Cardinals luck died after I pulled the Harrison Bader /25 auto out of a Bowman Megabox.

In the blaster box, there's a 4-card "bonus pack" of blue parallels. This a nicer color, and is very Bazooka-like.

Is this Photoshopped? I haven't done one of these in awhile.

Embed from Getty Images

Why yes... yes it is.

There are caricature cards in this set, both the original artwork (rare) and reproductions (not so much). This is one of the reproductions. It still congratulates me on the back, for some reason. (Side note: not a caricature fan.)

This is really hard to read, at least for me. Red and blue together usually makes my eyes want to reboot. It's a Ministers of Mash insert, although I would have preferred Monsters or something like that.

This color looks a bit better on an Astros card.

Finally, here's another Player's Weekend parallel. What is up with that nickname? Is it his gamer name or something?