Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Black Friday Cards

Free cards, more or less. 

I don't usually go all out on Black Friday (or Wednesday, or whenever it is now.) I usually look around to see if there's anything I actually need in case there's a nice deal on it. In the past couple of years, when November finally hit, I actually bought a new TV and more recently a PS4. This isn't really the norm for me.

For 2019, I wasn't really in need of anything significant, but I did know I hadn't bought any cards in awhile. I decided to make a couple of smaller orders from Panini and Topps. It was only today that the first order (Panini) showed up. I'd been intrigued by their "free" Black Friday packs for awhile, but this was the first year I actually bit. You get a free pack for every qualifying purchase, and there were a few retail blasters that they were selling that would earn you a pack. Unfortunately, by the time I actually remembered to go place my order, the basketball stuff I was looking at was gone. I ended up going with a couple of Donruss Optic baseball blasters instead, which netted me two Black Friday packs.

Each pack contains two cards, and one of the packs was thin. The other was decidedly not thin. The thin pack led off with this "Rookies" Vlad Jr. card. I've been pulling Vlad Jr. cards left and right this year, which isn't the worst thing in the world, but I'm not entirely convinced he's going to be a world beater. Something about a guy that doesn't really have a defensive position is concerning (see also: Alvarez, Yordan.) I should probably try to sell off the stuff I've pulled of his, or at least find a suitable trading partner.

The other card in the thin pack was a /25 card of the soccer legend Ronaldo. Even Homer Simpson knows who he is. I should also mention at this point that the packs you could choose from were something like "football" and "non-football". Of course, I chose non-football.

So how did I end up with this? I guess the "non-football" packs really meant "multi-sport", which includes college football. Barkley is the would-be star running back with the New York Giants now, but is pictured here in his college uniform. This was also what gave the fat pack its fatness, with a ridiculously huge (probably totally real) jersey swatch. It's numbered to 50.

Card two from the second pack is a parallel (/99) of the base set. Yes, there's actually a 40 card base set, but your chances of actually pulling a base card seem to not be so great. I wish I had scanned this a little better. I also wish I had pulled a Damian Lillard instead of a Kings player. Such is life when you are dealing with two card packs.

There's more to this story, however! Over the summer, I ended up with some "Panini Points", which apparently is some sort of thing they slip into boxes from time to time. Mine was in one of those Leather & Lumber blasters where you only really get a few cards. I had seen complaints online about this rewards system, mostly due to having to pay shipping on some cards that may not be worth much more than the cost of shipping. Well, the way to beat the system is to have these thrown in with an order you're already making. I picked up this pretty stellar on-card autograph of former Blazers star Cliff(ord) Robinson from a set that came out about 5 years ago for basically nothing.

I also picked up this /99 rookie jersey card of one Meyers Leonard. Meyers was formerly tied with Damian Lillard as the longest tenured Blazer, but that tenure ran out after last season as he was dealt to Miami. Even though it's not my style to start snatching up cards of Blazers who have recently moved on elsewhere, I realized that I'm always going to have a soft spot for the players on the recent team that went to the Western Conference Finals this past spring. I might not be as sentimental about them as I am with those players of the Finals teams back in the early '90s, but it was a fun season nonetheless.

And what of those Donruss Optic blasters, you say? Well, aside from a 150th Anniversary Mookie Betts parallel that will certainly find a home somewhere else, there wasn't much to talk about there.


  1. I think I know a guy who likes Vlad Jr. cards. You know where to find him.

  2. That Uncle Cliffy auto is really fantastic! I've heard a lot of bad things about the whole points thing, but it looks like it worked out pretty well for you. If you're looking to trade that Barkley swatch, you might want to see if Matt (Sport Card Collectors) is interested, as that is a fellow that he collects.

  3. I hope Vladimir has a breakout year in 2020, but I'm not as confident in him as I am with some of the other guys in this year's rookie class. That being said... there are enough people out there who stand by him, so it should be pretty easy for you to move his stuff.

  4. Love that Barkley! Definitely PC material! Go Giants! This is the first I have seen of the 2019 Panini Black Friday.


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