Sunday, August 30, 2020

Moving Up the List

A couple of cards of the Cardinals franchise catcher from as he moves up the list of games played. 

Yadier Molina played his 2000th career game today, as he recently passed Ozzie Smith to move into third place all-time in Cardinals history in that category. To celebrate the achievement, here's a couple of nice Yadi items from Trevor of Bump and Run.

I don't often see Opening Day jerseys or autographs (could this be my first OD jersey?) because the odds of pulling them are usually so low, so I was pretty excited about this one. My scanner turned Yadi's red jersey swatch into more of a bubble gum colored square.
From the 2018 Topps sticker album comes this Yadi. I need to get more stickers. I wonder if there's a good way to acquire stickers (or packs) in bulk these days.

There were other non-Yadi cards to be found as well. Here's a pretty cool photo from what looks to be a night game. I'm really tired of hearing sports announcers talking about the lack of fans in the stands these days, but here's a reminder of the fan-filled days.

Trevor also became one of the latest to help out with the 2020 Topps Heritage cause. I just need 20-some odd cards to finish off the base set now.

Thanks again to Trevor and everyone else who has sent cards this summer!

Friday, August 28, 2020

Free Stuff Friday: Vol 10

The unclaimed leftovers from the group break are featured on today's #FreeStuffFriday UPDATED 08/30/2020 1:07 PM PDT
This might be it for awhile for the Free Stuff Friday thing. I still have way too many cards that I don't need, but I'm probably going to start having to look at your want lists to make any headway. If you have want lists, please let me know! If you don't, please start making them! CLAIMED: Yelich, Yaz, Mountcastle, Cate, Bohm

The Cardinals were actually claimed (by me!) but I didn't need any of these cards. Also, Cal Ripken. CLAIMED: Hutchinson, Ripken, McGwire(x4)

More Ripken, and a team checklist that just includes the team logo instead of any players. CLAIMED: Mussina, Ripken

I have no idea how this happened, but apparently I forgot to put a card in the last pocket of the page for this scan. I am baffled. CLAIMED: Erickson, Caminiti, Grissom

To fill out the last page, I added a few random cards from some group breaks I recently participated in. The D-Backs cards are minis. CLAIMED: Bonds

This may not be the final final Free Stuff Friday, especially if I see other people doing it again regularly. But this is probably the end of it being a weekly(ish) thing. As always, thanks for reading!

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Archives and the Orange Wave


The latest #CrackinWaxMailDay from @CrackinWax brings home another new annual release and more. 

Topps Archives is out, in case you haven't heard. You've probably heard. I usually like this release, but not enough to seek it out after it's been on the shelves for a few weeks. It's fun to pick up a blaster or a few packs and see what they did to the old designs, at least.

These Archives cards come courtesy of some more group breaks I bought into at Crackin' Wax. I do not like what they've done with the fonts here on the '74 design. It's not good.

I like these a lot better, even though they're still a bit off from the original 2002 release. Maybe it's the matte finish? I enjoy a matte finish. I wonder if it's somehow more expensive to not apply the ubiquitous UV coating that we've seen on every flagship set since 1994. There's a short printed version of the Yadi card that has Placido Polanco's photo on the back, the same photo used on the uncorrected error version of the original Albert Pujols card from 2002. I don't have this version yet.

The other design used is the 1955 design. It's fine, I guess. Of course, Heritage did it better.

There are enough rarities and inserts that I keep coming back to Stadium Club group breaks from last year. I suppose this year's version will be out soon enough.

There are parallels-a-plenty, like this red foil Goldy. Now I just need the black one, the sepia one, the black & white one, the absinthe one, the laser beam one, the big horrible void one...

Of course, the best card of the lot had to be the Paul DeJong Topps Chrome orange refractor, which is also numbered to 25 like the one I previously received. Of course, this one is an orange wave refractor, which just makes it another thing altogether. How do you like your refractors... wavy or non-wavy?

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

My First Melos

In a weird year, Carmelo Anthony joining the Trail Blazers was at the forefront of weird. 

While it might not be as crazy as finishing out the season in the dog days of summer in a "bubble" in Orlando, if you had told me back in October that future Hall of Famer and completely out of work Carmelo Anthony would end up being one of the key pieces keeping Portland's season afloat, I would have been shocked. It was shocking. It's still kind of shocking.

I finally was able to get a hold of some Melo cards to document the craziness, after buying into a group break on eBay for the elusive Panini Chronicles set. In addition to the base card, I ended up with a teal parallel of his "Prizm Update" card. These Prizm Update cards seem to go for crazy prices online, but everything is crazy right now, especially basketball card prices.

A couple of the cards weren't, you know, Melo, like this teal parallel of the Blazers #1 guy. Only the metal ring around the Chronicles logo is actually teal on these, and it didn't really show up in the scan.

Rookie Nassir Little showed some promise this season, even starting five games, but didn't play in the bubble at all and apparently got hurt. Getting hurt has been an unfortunate theme for these Blazers as they now face elimination tomorrow at the hands of the dastardly Lakers. There's always next year... whenever that happens to be!

Monday, August 24, 2020

Nothing but the Hits


Only the best from @walktheplank82 with some St. Louis style hits.

When the 2020 Topps Archives checklist was announced, one of the first tweets I saw from card collectors was the excitement that Bob Walk made it to the Fan Favorites autograph checklist. Of course, that came from none other than Bob Walk the Plank, who sent me a stash of stuff back towards the beginning of the summer. It's always fun when one of your key players makes it into a set like this. Not that the blog was named after him, but I'm doubting Brendan Ryan will make it onto an autograph checklist in, let's say 2030 Topps Archives.

It's also always fun to get a new Jim Edmonds card, like this very on the nose "Shirt Off My Back" jersey card from 2005 Leaf. Memorabilia cards are still very much a thing now even if they aren't as sought after, but they've tended to veer away from the wacky names for sets like these.

I like this one a lot as well, although I'm suspicious about these so-called dual jersey pieces. They look exactly the same! I'm not sure if I have any other cards of Ankiel pitching for Team USA.

I've never been much of a Gypsy Queen fan, but these on-card autographs look really nice. I'll probably never be a big Stephen Piscotty collector because his time with the Cardinals was cut fairly short, but he's a solid player and I'm glad he got the opportunity he did in moving to Oakland.

This one is a Browns card, so it doesn't quite fit into my usual collection... but... it's really nice looking! And it's a bat card of a Hall of Famer, so it really looks like a keeper. I'll have to read up more on Mr. Ferrell when I get a chance.

Thanks again to Bob Walk the Plank! I hope you're enjoying some quality east coast craft brews when you get the chance.

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Chrome, Mini, and Don't Forget the Donuts

A bunch of @CrackinWax breaks on the latest #CrackinWaxMailDay brings the shiny donuts. 

Last week was a bigger week for me in terms of buying into breaks. This latest crop from Crackin' Wax included purchases from the latest Chrome, Prizm and Optic sets (Optic not included!) as well as a cameo from a new Panini Absolute set and last year's "on-demand" Topps Mini product.

The Chrome boxes proved fruitful to me, as I was able to land a few refractors this time around. Let's just pretend that you can see the rainbow effect on the DeJong and Edman cards here.

This orange Jack Flaherty is numbered to just 25. Consider me very pleased with this one!

Rangel Ravelo is one of those career minor league types, but he showed a little bit of promise when he finally got the call last season with the Cardinals. In any case, autographed Chrome cards continue to look cool as they're all done "on card".

Panini's new Absolute set is weird in that it's both expensive and unlicensed (of course), but as part of a "mixer" (a box break with multiple products) I at least ended up with this one example from the set. It's a silver numbered paralle. If anyone actually has any of the base cards from this set that can be spared, please let me know.

Topps Mini, in its more recent "On Demand" configuration, is always a bit of a gamble considering that at it's base price point you just get one jumbo pack per box while the set is huge. I can't imagine putting together the entire set, which contains mini versions of all three flagship series sets, but people are spending crazy amounts of cash on cards these days. I was super fortunate to land this low numbered Ozzie Smith insert parallel along with a Tommy Edman Update rookie card.

A lot of the cards from this week's breaks came from the 2020 Panini Prizm set. I think this was my third attempt at trying to get some exclusive "donuts" parallels from the Quick Pitch version of Prizm boxes, and it finally worked out this time. This red Tommy Edman is numbered to 149.

I also ended up with a needed Goldschmidt insert. Not bad! Now I just need the 732 other versions of this card, probably.

My randomly assigned team in this break fared even better than the Cardinals, though, as I ended up with 3 different Diamondbacks numbered parallels. It's just unfortunate that I haven't really traded with an Arizona collector in awhile, to my recollection. This one is numbered to 199.

It's weird to think about Bumgarner in another uniform (and clearly he is still wearing the Giants uniform here), but that's life in 2020. There's only 15 copies of this card... wow!

Out of the three, this is the one I'm most likely to want to hang on to. Instead of donuts, this is actually some kind of snakeskin parallel. I like it! Gallen looks like one of the better young pitchers in the game right now, which makes it all the more unfortunate that he was originally a Cardinals draft pick. That Marcell Ozuna deal stings a bit. Of course, the Marlins flipped Gallen for a different prospect, so what do they even know?

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Mega Group Break Results


Here's what was pulled from the 2020 Bowman Megabox and the 1999 Victory packs. 
I opened the packs tonight during halftime of the abysmal Blazers/Lakers playoff game. I already posted a couple of photos of the stuff you probably care about (i.e. the exclusive megabox Chrome cards) and we ended up with an autograph. Not bad.

Let's see who got what: 

Atlanta Braves - The Diamond King
    Bowman: none
    Victory: Team Checklist
Boston Red Sox - Chris
    Bowman: Mookie Betts, Bryan Mata
    Victory: Nomar Garciaparra (Big Play Makers), Jose Offerman, Shea Hillenbrand, Jin Ho Cho
Chicago Cubs - Trevor P
    Bowman: Javier Baez, Aramis Ademan
    Victory: Sammy Sosa (History in the Making), Benito Santiago
Chicago White Sox - defgav
    Bowman: Tim Anderson
    Victory: Frank Thomas (Power Trip), Mike Sirotka
Cincinnati Reds - Nachos Grande
    Bowman: Hunter Greene (Chrome), Nick Lodolo
    Victory: none
Cleveland Indians - OhioTim
    Bowman: Francisco Lindor, Tyler Freeman (Chrome), Oscar Gonzalez, Yu Chang
    Victory: Manny Ramirez, Sandy Alomar Jr, Russ Branyan
Colorado Rockies - @Billydsega
    Bowman: Trevor Story, Colton Welker (Chrome)
    Victory: Darryl Kile, Mike Lansing
Kansas City Royals - The Bucs Stop Here
    Bowman: Whit Merrifield
    Victory: none
Los Angeles Angels - The Diamond King
    Bowman: Mike Trout
    Victory: Tim Salmon
Los Angeles Dodgers - gcrl
    Bowman: Max Muncy, Tony Gonsolin
    Victory: Adam Riggs, Chan Ho Park
Miami Marlins - David
    Bowman: Jazz Chisholm
    Victory: Rafael Medina, Livan Hernandez, Kevin Orie, Cliff Floyd, Mark Kotsay
New York Mets - Mike
    Bowman: Ronny Mauricio (Megabox Chrome)
    Victory: John Olerud
New York Yankees - The Lost Collector
    Bowman: Anthony Volpe (Megabox Chrome)
    Victory: Tino Martinez, Bernie Williams
Oakland Athletics - Fuji
    Bowman: Logan Davidson (Chrome), Ramon Laureano, Sheldon Neuse, Jesus Luzardo (Rookie Favorites Megabox Chrome)
    Victory: Mark McGwire (Rookie Flashback), John Jaha, Kenny Rogers, Miguel Tejada, Jason Giambi
Pittsburgh Pirates - The Bucs Stop Here
    Bowman: Ke'Bryan Hayes (Chrome), Cal Mitchell, Bryan Reynolds, Sammy Siani (Megabox Chrome Auto)
    Victory: Kris Benson, Jason Kendall
St. Louis Cardinals - Cards on Cards
    Bowman: Elehuris Montero, Junior Fernandez, Dylan Carlson (Megabox Chrome)
    Victory: Mark McGwire (Magic 440), Chad Hutchinson, Mark McGwire, Mark McGwire (Magic 432), Mark McGwire (Magic 435), Mark McGwire (Magic 443), Mark McGwire (Magic 446), Ray Lankford, Mark McGwire (Magic 434)
San Diego Padres - David
    Bowman: Andres Munoz, Grant Little (Chrome), CJ Abrams (Megabox Chrome)
    Victory: Matt Clement
Seattle Mariners - Brian
    Bowman: Julio Rodriguez (Chrome)
    Victory: Team Checklist, Dan Wilson, Edgar Martinez, Ken Griffey Jr. (Ad Card in every pack - I'll probably only send one of these unless you really want them all)
Tampa Bay Rays - Jeremya1um
    Bowman: Jhon Diaz, Matthew Liberatore (Megabox Chrome)
    Victory: None
Texas Rangers - Brian
    Bowman: Willie Calhoun
    Victory: Royce Clayton, Ruben Mateo, John Wetteland
Washington Nationals / Montreal Expos - The Angels in Order
    Bowman: Jackson Rutledge (Chrome), Luis Garcia
    Victory: Carl Pavano, Dustin Hermanson, Vladimir Guerrero

Thanks for playing! Let me know if any of you don't want your cards shipped, in case you already have them or something. The cards from the unclaimed teams will be available on a Free Stuff Friday.

Allen & Ginter is Coming, Eventually...

Cards from the venerable retro themed set courtesy of @nightowlcards have me contemplating what I want to keep collecting. 

Every year, part of me hopes that the Allen & Ginter set is canceled, just to let me breathe a little and save some books. Don't get me wrong -- I still really like the cards for the most part. But here in 2020, with the likelihood of me finding cards on shelves anywhere hovering somewhere around zero, I'm not sure I have it in me this year. I did find that the set, usually a summer staple, was delayed until mid-September. I'm not sure if that's going to change anything for me in terms of finding cards or being excited to buy the cards (online, I guess?)

Everyone's favorite avian blogger Night Owl did send me a really nice stash of Ginter cards from past releases that will be quickly heading to my binders as soon as I find some time to do some sorting. Here's an array of non-baseball minis, featuring that weird sport(?) that was on ESPN2 a lot when most major sports were shut down, plus a dog, a pirate and some other important looking people.

I did not know that Max Kepler was German until I saw this card. Admittedly, I don't really follow the Twins much, but I have heard that they are good now.

Birds! There's even an owl from the Owl.

Even though I feel like 2018 Allen & Ginter was everywhere, moreso than other recent years, I somehow didn't have even a single copy of this card. This is headed to my Cardinals binders in the 'B' section.

Another Twin by was of Night Owl's team, the Dodgers. It's weird that the Dodgers seemed to struggle to find a place for Maeda in their rotation. I guess that's the curse of being loaded with high priced players year after year.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Three Shiny Cards and NBCD

A quick wrap on a #CrackinWaxMailDay from @CrackinWax and a brand new card. 

Last week's package-o'-mail from Crackin' Wax was a fairly light one as I sat out many of the breaks because they weren't a good fit for me. I did jump all over a 2018 Finest break, because it's tough for me to stay away from anything with Jack Flaherty in it.

It's just a base card, but the odds came down in my favor, as I landed another Flaherty rookie that I didn't already own. I haven't officially added him to my list of PCs yet, but I'm on high alert for his cards, especially in 2014 and 2018.

One of the boxes was one of those Donruss Optic megawhatevers, where this "Shock" parallel of Carlos Martinez was pulled. I like the solidly colored parallels in Optic a lot better than these, to be honest.

I also picked up, not from Crackin' Wax but from good ol' eBay, this Yadier Molina from this year's National Baseball Card Day giveaway. Of course, this wasn't a giveaway to me, because I live a million miles away from the nearest card shop and everything is closed anyway. Let's just say the price was right (ugh, I guess?) The design is kind of loud and looks more like a Topps flagship insert thing from around a decade or so ago. Unlike previous years, there's not going to be any stadium giveaway team sets with this design for obvious reasons, so I can consider my 2020 National Baseball Card Day situation to be completely resolved now.

Full stats! You've gotta love that. There's really no bio information at all here, though.

Monday, August 17, 2020

Mega Group Break Sign-Ups

Sign up here for a shot at a few cards. 

Back in May, I hosted a free group break here and thought I'd do it again as soon as I found something interesting (and cheap) to tear into. The rules are the same this time, but I'm going to recap them here.

  • To participate, you must send or have already sent me something that I need in 2020 (this could simply just be one card)
  • Cards won't be opened on camera or anything fancy like that, but I'll post a full recap here once I open the stuff.
  • Teams can be claimed here or via Twitter, but I need your mailing address if you haven't sent me anything recently. Timestamps will be used, and in case of a tie, blog comments will win out.
  • If the break isn't full after a couple of days, at my discretion I may open this up to claiming a second team. UPDATE: You can claim a second team now if you'd like.
  • Cards will be shipped via PWE. Bonus cards may be included to fill the envelope, if possible.
I am breaking a box of 2020 Bowman Mega Box (Megabox?) that someone accidentally left on a store shelf, as well as six loose packs of 1999 Victory for fun.

Arizona Diamondbacks
Atlanta Braves - The Diamond King
Baltimore Orioles
Boston Red Sox - Chris
Chicago Cubs - Trevor P
Chicago White Sox - defgav
Cincinnati Reds - Nachos Grande
Cleveland Indians - OhioTim
Colorado Rockies - @Billydsega
Detroit Tigers
Houston Astros
Kansas City Royals - The Bucs Stop Here
Los Angeles Angels - The Diamond King
Los Angeles Dodgers - gcrl
Miami Marlins - David
Milwaukee Brewers
Minnesota Twins
New York Mets - Mike
New York Yankees - The Lost Collector
Oakland Athletics - Fuji
Philadelphia Phillies
Pittsburgh Pirates - The Bucs Stop Here
St. Louis Cardinals - Cards on Cards
San Diego Padres - David
San Francisco Giants
Seattle Mariners - Brian
Tampa Bay Rays - Jeremya1um
Texas Rangers - Brian
Toronto Blue Jays
Washington Nationals / Montreal Expos - The Angels in Order

Break is now closed. I will add the unclaimed cards to the next Free Stuff Friday post.

Friday, August 14, 2020

Free Stuff Friday: Vol. 9

This week is all about football. Read to the end for a group break announcement! #FreeStuffFriday  UPDATED 08/16/2020 11:15 PM PDT

I always say that I don't really collect football cards, but I do have a fairly extensive collection of cards of Oregon Ducks players that I've built up over the years. I'm also at the point in the pandemic where I might actually catalog all of my Philadelphia Eagles cards, which have remained completely unsorted and untouched for years now. So in the spirit of the game that is not my favorite game, here are some other football cards that I don't need.

The first four in the first image are serial numbered, but nothing else is. Also, the two Marino cards aren't in perfect shape by any means. The die cut Warrick is marked as a promo card. CLAIMED: Dunn, Hayward

A lot of these cards are leftovers from a lot that I found at Goodwill and decided to bring home with me for some reason. There aren't a ton of big names, but I tried to scan cards of names I've heard of at least. CLAIMED: Harbaugh, George, Sharpe, McDuffie, Frerotte, Smith, Anderson

I think these are all base cards, but it is a nice looking set. CLAIMED: ALL


More of that same Donruss Preferred set, plus a few early '90s inserts. CLAIMED: Collins, Singletary, Greene, Lott, Stewart, Muhammad, Morton

Things are getting a little weird here, including a hologram card and some of those old school Pro Set insert cards. CLAIMED: Moon, Ismail/Brown, Stewart, Robbie, Clayton

Okay, now that that's done -- here's what you stayed for. My next "free" PWE group break is upon us. I will be opening a 2020 Bowman Mega Box, plus six loose packs of 1999 Victory baseball just for fun. This will have the same rules as my last Topps of the Class break. Sign-ups will be posted on Monday at noon PDT, so please don't claim any teams here