Wednesday, February 27, 2019

A Massive Haul

All the cards from all the sports. 

I don't use the words "massive" or "haul" all that often, let alone together. I just couldn't think of better words to describe what I got from Sportscards From The Dollar Store back in November. All the big sports were involved, including hockey -- not pictured here because, while I enjoy the sport, I barely have time for it (and never know what to say about it) because I spend so much time watching all of these other dumb sports.

Cardinals cards are the first order of business here, and we kick things off with a couple of Harrison Bader rookie cards. Bader was my favorite Cardinal last season, and I'm thrilled to be piling up his rookie cards. The Stadium Club card is actually a black foil parallel with a low print run (I think?).

I don't talk about minor league cards enough here, but I love them. Jordan Hicks, who made the huge leap from A ball last season, is showing his best Pitcher Face here.

Here's another minor leaguer. Game used championship banner?! In baseball cards, you see something new every day.

With Jose Martinez somewhat surprisingly in the mix in the Cardinals suddenly crowded outfield, it will be interesting to see what Tyler O'Neill brings to the table in 2019. This is his "action" photo variation from last year's Heritage High #s.

I avoided Panini Chronicles blasters when they were on the shelf because I didn't fully understand the set, but it apparently gives Panini the chance to show off a bunch of set designs they didn't fully commit to. There's also a "base" design which is entirely exclusive to this set. This is a Press Proof parallel of the base design.

And this is what Score would have looked like, if Panini had released a Score set for baseball. I'm honestly not sure why they didn't. Score usually equates to affordable, and it was a well known thing back in the day. I think the budget looking design blends well with Panini's lack of an MLB license. If anything, the fancier high end stuff is where they start to embarrass themselves in the baseball realm.

Here's the "Select" design, which was not a thing -- except in Chronicles!

Switching gears to basketball, and the Blazers specifically, here's a super thick fancy card from the 2015-16 Panini Black Gold set. The cards are kind of impossible to describe in words. The whole thing is sort of encased in plastic, and lighter part of the design is kind of like a window. The cards are also kind of... hollow?

It's a huge Dame jersey card! Wait, no, it's... MASSIVE.

Current Denver Nugget and namesake of my fantasy hoops team Mason Plumlee also makes a fancy basketball card appearance.

I also like football... specifically, the Oregon Ducks! I bet you didn't know that (you totally knew that.) Like almost all things in the card world, Panini is responsible for this set. I wonder if they're planning on bringing it to the NBA.

It's a silver ink auto! Royce Freeman had a pretty solid rookie season, and I'm hoping he continues to do big things on the football field. Do NFL people collect him?

I've actually managed to catalog all of my Oregon Ducks cards, so I actually finally can keep track of what I have and still need in this area. This includes basketball cards. Tyler Dorsey was a big part of the Ducks Final Four team of a couple of years ago, and he's sense moved on to the Memphis Grizzlies. I do like the swatch used for this card an awful lot, with the Hawks diamond cut pattern on the jersey.

(I'm sorry I was mean to you, hockey. Go Blues!)

Thursday, February 21, 2019

A Pile of Cards Found Underneath Another Pile of Cards

Cards from @flywheels back in August make a reappearance. 

Cardboard Collections is the home of the Affordable Group Break, and I must have bought in to one last summer that was quite Panini heavy. Unfortunately, after logging everything I needed into my collection, I apparently misplaced the stack underneath another stack of cards that I've also neglected to write about. (I'll have another Affordable Group Break from Colbey to post about soon.)

2013 Panini Prizm represented the bulk of my want list needs, including the Prizm/Silver version of Oscar Taveras's Top Prospects insert and this 'RC' of long lost shortstop Ryan Jackson. Jackson spent the last two years with the independent Sugar Land Skeeters, if anyone was wondering what he was up to these days.

Panini made one real attempt to resurrect the Pinnacle brand, and then quietly moved on and pretended nothing happened. Some concepts just don't work well without logos.

Obligatory Yadi card!

The true gem of the lot was this Alex Reyes black parallel of his Scoreless Streak insert from 2017 Stadium Club. With Reyes back on track to be a contributor to the Cardinals roster this season, it's time to start dusting off those old Reyes serial numbered cards like this one... and send 'em all to me! Thanks!

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

The Guilt-Free Basketball Card Club (GFBCC) Wants You!

The GFBCC has relaunched! Get basketball cards in your mail for little to no effort... guilt-free!  UPDATED 07/10/2020

This is the sign-up page for the Guilt-Free Basketball Card Club. Dreamy Ed O'Bannon* wants you to join the club! It's free(ish) and guilt-free!

How to Sign Up: Send me an email, direct message on Twitter or reply in the comments to this post. Make sure to include your current mailing address!

What to Do After Signing Up: Wait for cards to show up. Occasionally keep my want lists in consideration (PC / Teams / Sets) when you have some extra cards, especially if you haven't sent me anything in awhile.

Here's a link to the old club page. There are no real rules, and multiple people can claim multiple teams/players. If you only collect guys named Ed, that's cool, too!

Current Teams:

  • Atlanta Hawks - CardJunk
  • Boston Celtics - Mark H
  • Brooklyn Nets - Billy K (Cardboard History)
  • Charlotte Hornets - flywheels (Cardboard Collections)
  • Chicago Bulls - Jafronius
  • Cleveland Cavaliers - Tim H
  • Dallas Mavericks
  • Denver Nuggets - garyoh2020
  • Detroit Pistons
  • Golden State Warriors - Billy K (Cardboard History)
  • Houston Rockets - RAZ (The Raz Card Blog)
  • Indiana Pacers
  • Los Angeles Clippers
  • Los Angeles Lakers - Jafronius
  • Memphis Grizzlies
  • Miami Heat - garyoh2020
  • Milwaukee Bucks - Chris (The Collector), ToddSteb
  • Minnesota Timberwolves - Randy S
  • New Orleans Pelicans
  • New York Knicks - Billy K (Cardboard History), The Lost Collector
  • Oklahoma City Thunder
  • Orlando Magic
  • Philadelphia 76ers
  • Phoenix Suns - garyoh2020
  • Portland Trail Blazers - Bulldog (Nothing If Not Random), @jmswyo
  • Sacramento Kings - Rosenort (Condition Sensitive)
  • San Antonio Spurs
  • Toronto Raptors
  • Utah Jazz
  • Washington Wizards - CaptKirk42

Former (Relocated) Teams:
  • TBD
College Alumni: 
  • Illinois - Jafronius
  • NC State - flywheels (Cardboard Collections)

Specific Players:
  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar - defgav (Baseball Card Breakdown)
  • Ray Allen - ToddSteb
  • Mo Bamba - KO Rob
  • Muggsy Bogues - RAZ (The Raz Card Blog), KO Rob
  • Bol Bol - defgav (Baseball Card Breakdown)
  • Manute Bol - RAZ (The Raz Card Blog), KO Rob, defgav (Baseball Card Breakdown)
  • Earl Boykins - KO Rob
  • Shawn Bradley - KO Rob
  • Elton Brand - Billy K (Cardboard History)
  • Michael Cage - KO Rob
  • Marcus Camby - KO Rob
  • Clint Capela - KO Rob
  • Jevon Carter - Bob Walk the Plank
  • Vince Carter - Tim B (I Love the Smell of Cardboard in the Morning)
  • Wilt Chamberlain - defgav (Baseball Card Breakdown)
  • Tyson Chandler - KO Rob
  • Andre Drummond - KO Rob
  • Tim Duncan - defgav (Baseball Card Breakdown)
  • Mark Eaton - KO Rob
  • Julius Erving - defgav (Baseball Card Breakdown)
  • Kenneth Faried - KO Rob
  • Michael Finley - ToddSteb
  • Kevin Garnett - ToddSteb
  • Rudy Gobert - KO Rob
  • Anfernee Hardaway - Tim B (I Love the Smell of Cardboard in the Morning)
  • Allan Houston - Sport Card Collectors
  • LeBron James - Tim H
  • T.J. Leaf - defgav (Baseball Card Breakdown)
  • Larry Johnson - ToddSteb
  • DeAndre Jordan - KO Rob
  • Michael Jordan - Jafronius
  • Andrei Kirilenko - KO Rob
  • Damian Lillard - defgav (Baseball Card Breakdown)
  • Danny Manning - KO Rob
  • Donyell Marshall - KO Rob
  • Eric Murdock - KO Rob
  • Gheorghe Muresan - RAZ (The Raz Card Blog)
  • Dikembe Mutombo - KO Rob, defgav (Baseball Card Breakdown)
  • Dirk Nowitzki - Tim B (I Love the Smell of Cardboard in the Morning), defgav (Baseball Card Breakdown)
  • Charles Oakley - KO Rob
  • Hakeem Olajuwon - Chris (The Collector)
  • Shaquille O'Neal - Tim B (I Love the Smell of Cardboard in the Morning)
  • Gary Payton - Tim B (I Love the Smell of Cardboard in the Morning)
  • Scottie Pippen - Jafronius
  • Steve Nash - Chris (The Collector)
  • Theo Ratliff - KO Rob
  • Dennis Rodman - KO Rob
  • Bill Russell - defgav (Baseball Card Breakdown)
  • Dennis Smith Jr. - Tim B (I Love the Smell of Cardboard in the Morning)
  • Larry Smith - KO Rob
  • John Starks - Sport Card Collectors
  • Ben Wallace - KO Rob
  • Bill Walton - defgav (Baseball Card Breakdown)
  • T.J. Warren - Tim B (I Love the Smell of Cardboard in the Morning)
  • Spud Webb - RAZ (The Raz Card Blog), KO Rob
  • Buck Williams - KO Rob
  • Jayson Williams - KO Rob
  • Kevin Willis - KO Rob
  • Serge Zwikker - Tim B (I Love the Smell of Cardboard in the Morning)
Other Requests:
  • 1990's EX2000, 1990's SPx, 1995-1999 inserts - Sport Card Collectors

* Incidentally, Soft Focus Ed O'Bannon wants you also to know that he will one day be responsible for collegiate athletes getting compensated for their likenesses in video games... and, tragically, the complete demise of college video games.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

The Case Break Ship Came In

It's a #crackinwaxmailday as we look at my case break goodies from 2019 Topps Series 1. 

Crackin' Wax is easily my favorite case breaker site out there, even though I feel like I haven't been able to take advantage of their services nearly enough. (The Cardinals are a popular enough team that their slot is often gone when it's a PYT (pick yo' team) break.) They do a lot of things for charity and just generally seem like some good people. I did sign up for a year long prepayment program for some upcoming Topps and Bowman breaks, so this won't be the last you see from Crackin' Wax.

If I really want to enter this sweepstakes, I guess I need to find another one of these cards. I don't want to scratch off the code. Of course, I could probably use a code for a player who I don't make a collecting priority.

Man, gold parallels keep somehow getting more and more disappointing. Long gone are the days of the shiny metallic gold finish. In its place are some ovals or something.

This is another one of the gold parallels (numbered to 2019, of course.) Ponce de Leon's elbow got lopped off by my scanner, probably because it was angry that the card is actually slightly crooked. How does that happen these days?

Here's Harrison Bader's Rookie Cup card on the Topps Vintage Stock parallel. It's numbered to 99. As I always say, I wish all of these cards could be printed on so-called vintage stock like this.

In yet another one of those endless parallel scenarios, Jack Flaherty's Future Stars card appears on the same design as the gold -- only this is blue. Apparently it's for Father's Day. It wasn't released on Father's Day, however, so it just seems like a confusing name. (It's numbered to 50. Cool!) Flaherty was great last season and hopefully avoids any sort of a sophomore type slumpy thing.

The case break left me just one short of the 1984 tribute insert team set. I still need Miles Mikolas, if anyone has one to spare. A lot of Molina photos that are used show him in his catching gear, so it's nice to get a bit of a change with this one.

Another cool thing that Crackin' Wax does is include the cards hobby promo packs (aka "silver packs") that they earn by spending $$$ on hobby stuff. I think other breakers probably do this as well, but I still think it's nice. It's another shiny Ozzie for my collection.

Patrick Wisdom finally got his shot at the big leagues last season and played reasonably well, at least with the bat. Of course, with the glut of hitters who aren't known for their defensive skill at a particular position, he promptly got himself traded this offseason for utility guy Drew Robinson.

This was one of the biggest hits of the break, which of course makes it all the more disappointing that Wisdom is with the Rangers now. I don't really want to bust out the checklist now and whine that it wasn't Player X or Player Y, though. It's always awesome to get a low numbered autographed card on my favorite team. It's certainly not something that happens to me often, especially when dealing with the luck of the draw.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

New NBA Cards and an Announcement

The latest and greatest from @PaniniAmerica and their basketball line. 

Donruss Optic is hot off the presses, and I was surprised to see it on the shelves already when I was out shopping last Friday night. Of course, by the time I finish writing this, there will probably be three new Panini products out on the streets that I don't even know about. Such is life in the crazy sports card world.

I picked up one of those three-packs-and-a-bonus $9.99 rack pack deals, along with one of the same from Panini Prizm (that one was a bit of a dud.)

In the old SAT analogy style, the answer to Optic:Donruss is Chrome:Topps. Of course, Topps Chrome fans are way more likely to go for Panini Prizm than they are for Donruss Optic, but I can't really figure out if that's a supply thing or if the Donruss designs are just less exciting. (They're less exciting for some reason.)

Someone else can have this insert card.

Ditto. Ugh.

Oladipo suffered a gruesome injury and was just replaced with Wesley Matthews, which makes me wish I was a Pacers fan. I am not a Pacers fan, though.

Troy Brown Jr. was just a one-and-done guy at Oregon, but this is still a good reminder that I just completed some extensive work on my Oregon Ducks collection. You can check out my newly updated wants page here.

Here's the bonus pack. These are exclusive "blue velocity" parallels... whatever that means. I could have done a lot better with player selection, but someone might give one or two of these a home?

I almost forgot... here's the announcement! Did you happen to wonder why I included images of players I normally cringe at in this post? Doubtful, but... in any case, I am planning on re-launching the Guilt-Free Basketball Card Club soon, and thought if I showed off some of the more interesting stars in these packs, it might help spark some interest. The goal, of course, is for me to get rid of cards! I am expecting this to function pretty much like how it always worked, but I wanted to make sure to give new opportunities to people who may have been left out, as well as flush out anyone that isn't so into getting/sending cards through the mail anymore. Some of us, understandably, have the High Postage Blues.

Monday, February 11, 2019

The Only New Baseball Cards on the Shelf

More 2019 Topps because it's there. 

While I wait for my case break Cardinals to arrive, I dipped my toe into the 2019 Topps pool once again. On Friday, I picked up a $9.99 box that was hanging on the rack at the local Fred Meyer store while everyone else in town was preparing for a snowmageddon of unimagined proportions. (Seriously, people bought every single last organic banana. Why?! Also, it turned out there was nothing to freak out over weather-wise.)

The Chris Sale jersey card came from the box, as did this Al Kaline reprint. I'm really not interested in reprints of vintage cards when they're on the thin glossy stock of present day Topps, so this does nothing for me.

Topps is paying tribute to their 1984 set this year, as we all know. I think they did a solid job with the fonts on these, for what it's worth.

This is one of those Rainbow Foil parallels of a Reds player. I'll probably see Winker 20 times this season because of MLB's unbalanced schedules.

There were Cardinals to be had in the box as well, including this 'RC' of Adolis Garcia. I'm not sure he'll play a lot for the team in 2019, which fits with a lot of rookies that end up in Series One, typically.

Former Cardinal Luke Weaver appears here on his 1984 tribute. This is my second Cardinals insert so far from this set, which is nice because the rumor has it that all inserts are a tough pull relative to their overproduced base brothers.

Matt Carpenter gets the rare 1B/3B designation here. His annual position change takes him back over to 3B to make room for Paul Goldschmidt.

During an errand run on Sunday, I snagged some more cards -- one of the $4.99 jumbos. With loose packs rising to $2.99 this year for the first time (more cards, I guess, but still...), these seem like a better option. The gold foil stamped 150 Years parallels are fine, but I wish they would have just replaced the rainbow foils. We definitely don't need more parallels.

There were even more Cardinals to be had in Sunday's pack. This feels like an important year for Paul DeJong in terms of finding out if he's going to be a star or just another cog in the machine.

Finally, here's Yadi! After I pulled this card, I realized his "face mask close-up" card that was circling the Twitters when this set was first released was actually his short print (or super short print? so dumb.) variation. This is the actual card I will end up with piles of.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Are We Ready for 2019 Topps Heritage?

Are you? Am I? 

I picked up this well-loved, but still cool card of the late Red on Listia the other day, and it dawned on me that this is what the next Heritage set is going to look like. I think I addressed my uncertainty towards my Topps Heritage collecting future in a recent post. We've hit 1970, after all. This set is older than me, but not so old that everyone considers it old. I feel like we've officially crossed a threshold. I'm a huge sucker for anything even slightly "retro", though, so I am not overly optimistic that I will be able to quit this thing cold turkey. I even bought a bunch of packs of Topps Archives last year, even though that set is far less interesting to me than what Topps continues to do well with their Heritage line. It's really one of their only enduring products that I can't find a lot to gripe about.

For a fun exercise, at least for me, I thought I'd stare some cold hard facts in the face and look at how many cards I still need to complete from prior Topps Heritage sets. I am only going to count base cards (no variations!) here. That also means short prints. I'll start with 2008, the first year of Cards on Cards, even though I have the entire 2007 base set (it was a bargain bin staple for awhile.)

  • 2008: missing 4 cards
  • 2009: missing 2 cards
  • 2010: complete
  • 2011: complete
  • 2012: complete
  • 2013: complete
  • 2014: complete
  • 2015: missing 44 cards
  • 2016: missing 47 cards
  • 2017: missing 17 cards
  • 2018: missing 18 cards

Now, keep in mind that 2008 was particularly weird (short prints were skip-numbered and there were a ton of black back parallels that seemed almost more common than their "normal" counterparts) and there are six sets that included a separate "high series". I also made a decision not to collect the box set only "high series" sets from 2012 to 2014. Those just weren't as fun, although I really consider the Cardinals cards a priority for my team collection. Still, it's no great surprise that all of my incomplete base sets are from the same years that there were both regular and "high series" full-sized sets.

In any case, this wasn't nearly as bad as I thought. I am kind of surprised that I am still missing so many cards from 2015 and 2016, but I feel like I purchased more packs/blasters in the past two years than I did in previous years, when I probably acquired more cards via trade in previous years. I don't think that I necessarily trade less than I used to, but I do feel like I've prioritized my team collection over these sets. I definitely don't feature the cards on the blog as much as I used to.

Speaking of which, if anyone has any extra Heritage cards lying around, let me point you to a list of Heritage want list links. I do need tons and tons of cards from the first six years of sets as well, because I didn't even think about cards back then. Life was so much simpler then.

Monday, February 4, 2019

A Tale of Two Blazers Breaks

One was great, and one was not so great. 

In my continued quest to be a little smarter about my card purchases, I went back to the eBay well and bought into a couple of breaks. As usual, I snagged the Trail Blazers. Last year's Donruss Optic had a "Fast Break" configuration that includes some parallels and fancy sparkly signed cards. While I didn't get any of the parallels (and there are way too many parallels in Panini products especially), I was able to finish off my Optic base team set and ended up with this gaudy Damon Stoudamire sticker auto. Not bad! I wish the Blazers could wear throwbacks like the one Stoudamire is wearing, which I believe dates back to around 2004?

On the other hand, Panini's Crown Royale is a hobby only (I think?) product with an all-die cut set. It probably has some nice inserts and such, but I wouldn't know as I only ended up with two of the base cards and nothing else.

There's a certain amount of failure built in to every group break, just like any pack or box one might purchase. I didn't check the configuration carefully, so it's entirely possible there just weren't many cards available in this auction. I still need to track down most of this team set, now that I know it exists. I just won't be all that motivated to, because as a product this Crown Royale set just feels a little flimsy and gratuitous.