Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Truly Random

An eclectic collection of... hits? 

As many of you know, Area 40 aka JBF aka Wes went out blogging (blogged out?) with a bang this winter with a massive megabreak. He was an extremely generous trader who seemingly single-handedly kept the USPS in business over the years. I didn't get the word about the last big break until many, many slots were claimed, but I couldn't resist the option to add something truly strange to my collection. And, so, here we are.

None of these cards are real fits for my collection, so if anything here catches your eye, feel free to let me know! I may hang on to the Eagles cards as they sort of exist on the periphery of my collection, but I wouldn't be heartbroken to part with them.

I can't say tennis is my area of expertise, but couldn't they have found a better picture of Mr. Bhupathis? It looks like he was primarily known as a doubles champ. Every time I ever tried to pick up a tennis racket, I would end up hitting the ball way too hard. Badminton was more my game.

Here is a football guy wearing what appears to be Packers colors, but he could have picked up these duds at a mall for all I know. A quick check of the ol' Wikipedia tells me that Casey Hayward did in fact play for Green Bay and he also was selected to two Pro Bowls. Consider me football humbled.

This was back when all rookie cards were numbered for some reason.

Wheeler was a 5th round pick of the Diamondbacks back in 2010, but has been out of pro baseball for a few years.

Here's a football guy I know, although I know him best in a Broncos jersey.

Not pictured: the actual guy who signed this piece of tape they attached to this card.

Again, a numbered rookie card of a guy I never heard of, which is sad considering I paid a lot more attention to the Eagles and the NFL in general back in 2002.

Killian was drafted a few years ago by the Rockies, but he's had a rough go of it apparently.

I also wanted to throw a couple more cards on to the pile that I ended up with after buying some repack called a "Hot Corner Box" at Target recently. It was... not so hot.

I remember Rodgers being an Astros prospect at one time. It looks like he may still be in their system.

This guy has a unique name... and signature. I can't complain about that.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Radness Update and Some New Retail

Who's hot / who's not? 

Most people survived the opening week of the big NCAA tournament with at least their champion intact, but there were some crazy results nonetheless. Big time Cardinals fan (and Ray Lankford supercollector) rl16 is the leader currently, with the most points and most maximum possible points at this point. Henry Blanchette and sandyrusty are hot on the heels of 1st place, however. Bringing up the rear is James20484, who I will assume is not a bot and is an actual human that likes numbers.

To shift focus back to baseball cards, I bought a couple of retail fat packs from sets I hadn't checked out yet. I won't be collecting either of these sets, but they're an affordable boredom reliever.

The new Donruss set is certainly... something. Back once again are a slew of variations, along the same lines as last year's photo and nickname variations. It appears that all of the Red Sox players have variations where the team name is switched to "Titletown", which is just kind of obnoxious.

For the Diamond Kings subset, Panini draws heavily from the 1985 Donruss set, which is good by me.

The last 50 cards in the set are also '85-inspired, including this card of a guy I honestly had to look up despite his team being St. Louis. It turns out he had one plate appearance with Tampa Bay, which makes him eligible for a rookie card. He was part of the Tommy Pham trade last season and likely won't figure into the Cardinals plans for awhile.

Do any of Kyle Freeland's teammates call him "Ace"?

This is a parallel color that's exclusive to the retail jumbo packs. It looks nice, but it isn't the best look for Pittsburgh.

Nick Martini spent 7 seasons in the Cardinals minor league system before another team finally gave him a shot at big league playing time.

Here's a pretty slick insert of a player people like to collect. I think this is a parallel of an insert, the most evil of all things.

I also bought a Topps Opening Day pack. Opening Day cards to me mainly mean two things. One of them is Photoshop!

Here's a new insert design for this season. Oh sure, it was all "Fun" and games for Jackie.

These blue parallels haven't been serial numbered in years, but I still think their print run is set to the year it's made.

The other thing Opening Day is known for, of course, is mascots.

Tom Seaver approves!

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Cards from The Collector

These cards are some true gems. 

There's just a handful of hours remaining before the big NCAA tournament (you know the one) gets started. If you're a huge procrastinator like myself, take this as your final reminder and get yourself signed up and pickin'.

Chris, The Collector, sent along some cards late last year, including this Dillon Brooks rookie card that I thought I'd use for good luck (Ducks) for the tournament.

He's not my favorite Blazer or anything, mostly because of how he left the team. Still, this is a fantastic looking LaMarcus Aldridge card, and it's numbered to just 49.

Here's a parallel DeFo for my Ducks football collection. Nice!

Chris upped the Hamm Count by one. I still need more Hamm(s).

This is from a 1979 TCMA release that I had never seen before. It's the "Baseball History Series", and the unnamed player on the front is Eddie Kazak. It lists his team as the Detroit Tigers on the back, but he never played for them. Strange.

This is one of those flagship Topps inserts that seems too nice and smooth to be dropped into a pack, but it was probably a hobby pack at least. No retail for this snob.

Finally, here's a literal touchdown machine in Royce Freeman, who is the all-time Pac-12 leader in TDs. And yards. And lots of other stuff.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

It's Selection Sunday... and the Ducks Are In!

Contest reminder! 

Fresh off four wins in four nights, Oregon won the Pac-12 tournament after expecting to be passed over by the selection. They pulled off a stifling win over the dreaded Washington Huskies.

With the field of sixty-whatever being set tonight, here's a reminder that you should all sign up for the March Radness contest. You should be able to begin filling out your brackets tonight, although you have until early Thursday morning to finalize your picks. Thanks for reading... and participating!

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Now We've Reached the '70s

A sampling of 2019 Topps Heritage cards I pulled. 

It feels like at the start of every decade, there's a pretty dramatic shift in the look of Topps cards. The transition from the '60s to the '70s was no different. Topps rolled out their only grey bordered set in 1970, and for someone who wasn't actually alive in 1970, I think it represents the era well. I wasn't entirely sure if I'd continue on with collecting Heritage cards into this decade that it's now paying tribute to, but here I am. Here are some cards I pulled from a (retail) jumbo pack, a $9.99 box and a blasters -- in no particular order.

It's always nice to get a Cardinals insert, especially when it's from a set I collect and know I will end up needing two copies. Topps always has to freestyle it when coming up with their insert designs, but this seems like it fits decently enough.

Short prints are loaded with stars and young players. I guess Mitch Haniger is one of the better players the Mariners have left, if he hasn't already been traded by now. The Mariners like trades.

This is a cool find. It's my first John Gant card, and I believe one of his first in a Cardinals uniform. He ended up filling in a gap in the rotation last season and did pretty well. The Cards have a ton of starting pitchers all of a sudden, which isn't the worst thing in the world.

Juan Soto was one of the top rookies last season, losing out to Ronald Acuna Jr in ROY voting.

Well, this is terrible. Did they really need to make a baseball card out of this? Of course, this is from the people who brought you polio on a baseball card.

Can Miguel Cabrera still play baseball, or is he just cashing (really large) checks at this point? This is a short print, because of course it is.

My third (and final, sadly) short print was Staring Marte. He is looking down at you from the green screen behind him.

When was the last time that Topps used real backgrounds on their Heritage cards? Have they ever done it? All of a sudden, this set is starting to annoy me. Michael Wacha is clearly in a studio somewhere, and he's not even wearing a real Wacha jersey. There's no uniform number on the front of this one.

This was my blaster hit. It looks cool, if you're into that sort of Bryce thing (I am not.)

As previously teased on Twitter, my very first pack (the jumbo) had a Chrome Refractor Carlos Correa in it. Along with the Harper card, it's up for grabs.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Contest Time! It's March Radness!

Pick all of the NCAA tournament games for a shot at a prize! #MarchRadness 

Back for the eleventh time, March Radness is here. You know the drill. Cards on Cards readers and random passers-by can fill out a bracket for a chance at the top prize, or one of the secondary prizes. There's also usually a "prize" for the person who does the worst -- unintentionally, of course.

Selection Sunday is one week from tonight, and the games that count for the contest begin on March 21. Here's the boring rules stuff:
One of the requirements is having an ESPN account. ESPN should hopefully not ask you for any invasive information as part of the conditions for signing up. If they do, please tell me immediately and I'll consider other options. If you absolutely, positively refuse to sign up for one of those things, go ahead and send me your bracket before the deadline in some sort of legible form and I'll send you a prize if you manage to pick a lot of winners.
ESPN's default scoring rules apply. "Play-in" games (i.e. the games before the first Thursday of the tournament) do not count. Should you choose one of the play-in winners to advance in the real part of the tournament, not only do you do so at your own peril but you also have the advantage of showing success no matter which play-in team makes it in. PLEASE make sure you fill out the entire bracket, including the tie-breaking final score of the final game. I hate to disqualify people for not filling everything out, but it seems to happen every year. 
Along with bragging rights, the first prize winner will receive a 2019 Topps Heritage, 2019 Topps Gypsy Queen or 2019 Bowman baseball retail blaster box (your choice!). Three runners-up (runner-ups?) will receive prize packs for their MLB or NBA team of their choice including no less than one certified autograph or memorabilia card (or both?!). Worst place will receive something pretty horrifying. You probably shouldn't have given me your mailing address. 
If you'd like to participate, click here and click on the "Create a Bracket Now!" button (password = marchradness). The deadline is the morning prior to the first real (non play-in) tournament game on Thursday, March 21st, though I would suggest getting your bracket done by the night before just to be safe. Leave a comment here or send me an email if the invite link doesn't work or if you are otherwise having trouble joining up so I can send you a direct invitation. 
Don't forget to pick the tiebreaker score for the final game!

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Want List, Obliterated

I need a brand new 10 Most Wanted list, thanks to @chonk34 and a package that arrived today. 

My 10 Most Wanted list always feels like one of the more underutilized features of my blog, possibly due to the fact that it's only visible to desktop users. I may try to make it more mobile-friendly in the future, but I kind of like how it quietly sits there. We're now up to 53 cards acquired since I added the widget, thanks in large part to a package that arrived today from The Raz Card Blog. Due to the timeliness of this arrival, I decided it best to post about it tonight rather than put it in the lengthy queue of stuff I need to write about. After all, I do need to get to work soon on a new list.

Most of the cards on the list were either the last card I needed to fill a particularly tricky team set, or at least something that was going to put me close to a goal. Flaherty was brilliant last season for the most part, so it was great to not only finish off last year's Gypsy Queen set, but it also increased my Flaherty RC total -- always a good thing.

I am always tempted to fill my list entirely with Junk Wax Era cards, because it's just illogical that I don't have some of these things yet. This finishes off the Classic "Game" set from 1991 (I think these came with an actual game board), but I still need something from one of the add-on sets that year. Yeesh.

A couple of '80s Update/Traded set cards made the list, including Lonnie Smith here from the 1982 Topps Traded set. The Ozzie Smith card, his first with the Cardinals, was one of the first cards I sought after when I returned to collecting. For some reason, I never picked up the considerably less expensive card of the "other" Smith.

I don't recall the order of all of these on the list, but I do know that this Matt Carpenter card was at the top. It's a retail exclusive parallel that Topps has done for several years, and for whatever reason it was tough for me to find. I wonder if Carpenter and Troy Tulowitzki are cracking up about how often Tulo ends up on the DL.

I kind of broke one of my own rules here, because I wanted to keep the want list Cardinals focused. Still, I really found it frustrating that I didn't have a copy of this reprinted Ozzie Smith card from the 2016 Topps Berger's Best insert set. There will always be Ozzie Smith cards that are considered "most wanted" for me. And I can't guarantee that I won't break my own rules again.

I bought a decent amount of Cracker Jack boxes when I was a teen, so it was pretty surprising to me that I didn't have Pedro Guerrero's card from the first 1991 series. Well, now I do have it.

Technically speaking, this was the one card sent to me by Raz that I didn't need, as I had finally picked up a copy in a trade package just a couple of days ago. Still, it was pretty astonishing that it took me this long to finish off the base 2018 Topps team sets. This is also one of the better Cardinals cards of last year, at least in terms of photo selection.

2014 was officially the year that Allen & Ginter broke me, and I pretty much forgot all about it until summer had passed. I'm still trying to finish off this set, but I also needed this one last (short printed, of course) Cardinals card for my team set.

Finally, as is often the case, I end this with a Yadi card. This is one of those cards where I swear I've seen it about one hundred times, but I could never find any physical proof that I had this in my collection. I can now consider the matter of the 2013 Bowman Platinum set closed.

Except for those pesky inserts and parallels.

And autographs.

And parallels of inserts and autographs.

Why do I do this, again?