Friday, October 30, 2020

Free Stuff Friday: Vol 11

#FreeStuffFriday makes its spooky return!  [UPDATED 11/1/2020 1:05 PM PST]
I feel like things are starting to get a bit more organized here, so it's finally time to bring back the free stuff. If you aren't up to speed on such things, please refer to the original post for the rules, especially in the first paragraph of the post (it's really only one rule.)

First up are some leftovers from some box breaks I recently participated in. The bottom six are from the very first Topps Heritage set from nearly 20 years ago. CLAIMED: Randa, Karros, Gibson/Scherzer

A few old school Cardinals are here, plus a weird Pacific Biggio mini and some Series 2 2020 inserts. Tatis?! CLAIMED: Slaughter, Schoendienst x2, Canseco, Biggio, Tatis x2

If you're a history buff, or a fan of the late '00s Upper Deck sets, maybe some of these A Piece of History cards will interest you? I've considered at times breaking up all of my non-collection cards into team lots, but I'd never really know what exactly to do with these. CLAIMED: U.S.S.R. Crumbles, Treaty of Versailles, Transcontinental Railroad

A few more pieces of history, some Brewers from the fancy 2020 Topps Gold Label set, and more! CLAIMED: Nevin, Yount, Yelich x2, Hiura, Jamestown

Here are all of my 2020 Allen & Ginter doubles. I only was able to buy a couple of blasters and enter into a couple of breaks. The design doesn't do it for me, but I'm hanging on to my non-doubles for now I guess. CLAIMED: Gibson, Rodriguez

More new Ginter. A Paul DeJong short print. A couple of 2020 Topps 206 (online exclusive!) cards. And a chance to become a Lehigh Valley IronPig for a day and get your own baseball card! (Yes, the code is unused.) Plus... a couple of other guys! CLAIMED: IronPigs, Decades Best Cardinals, Mike Yaz, Griffey, Brock

Monday, October 26, 2020

A Chilly Monday Night PWE Roundup

A trio of small envelopes from @Lost_Collector and more. 
Someone flipped the switch from summer to winter here in Portland rather abruptly, as it's been pretty chilly all of a sudden. Still, there are cards to post about back when we were deep into the swing of hot weather. First up is a plain white envelope from AJ of The Lost Collector. I have come across zero of Topps cards at any of the nearby Walgreens locations this year, which is only one less than the number of boxes I found at the drug store chain in 2019. Fortunately, AJ was here to help me out with a yellow Waino Walgreens parallel.

Also in the parallel department is this older Hoops card of Robin Lopez. It still shows him in his New Orleans Hornets (remember those?) uniform, freshly adorned with the now retired Blazers logo. I wasn't much of a fan of that particular logo.

gcrl has been very active in the card blogging world with his current project, cards as i see them. (I respect the lack of caps.) This is yet another parallel card that I needed, with this being the blue variation because it has a blue background. That's how they get ya.

If it's from '84, it must be that I've had this on my want list for decades. 1984 Donruss cards can still prove to be elusive.

PWE #3 comes from a neighbor to the north of Portland in The Diamond King. This one envelope definitely gave a boost to my Rasheed Wallace collection, as you'll see in a bit.

Most of the contents were of the basketball variety. Here's a nice Ozzie Smith insert to break up the run of hoopsters. I believe I own two copies of the memorabilia cards that this design was used for, but not the plain old non-memorabilia insert card. Until now!

That's Clyde the Glide. Real close-up like.

We back away from Drexler's face a bit here on this classy looking card from 1995-96 SkyBox E-XL.

A big Sheed slam brings the post home! This is a gold refractor, numbered to just 99. I like it!

A big thanks once again to everyone who has kept my mailbox busy through this messed up year.

Friday, October 23, 2020

A Two-Sport Showdown

NBA Showdown cards?! Yes, and more from @DenHartogJ including the familiar kind. 
I have a number of MLB Showdown cards in my collection, but I had no idea they made an NBA version until a healthy stack of each made it into my hands by way of Royals and Randoms this past summer. I had combed through the Trading Card Database pretty extensively to build my Blazers want lists, but because these sets are listed by year and not season (i.e. 2002 instead of 2001-02), they totally escaped my notice.

As is the case with the MLB, these are cards for some sort of card game, which also includes special cards like noted hothead (aka "Hot Hand") Rasheed Wallace.

Pippen and Sheed defending Kobe here while the text reads "Defense wins championships!" seems like it must be from an alternate timeline.

Here we get a close look at the underside of Double D's shoes. They look very old school.

Here's the more familiar version, although I honestly have no recollection of someone named Alberto Castillo being a Cardinals player at any point.

This is, of course, the former Cardinals starting catcher and manager. He's currently managing the Royals now, as only he can.

Willie! This is certainly one of the last cards made from McGee's playing days, as the set came out in 2000 and 1999 was his last. Of course, there's no chance of any real stats on these cards, so it doesn't commemorate his career very well.

Josh also sent a bunch of set filling needs, including many from the elusive 2002 Bowman Heritage product. Biggio was one of the more familiar names in the bunch, and it certainly helped that I could actually read his signature.

Andy Pettitte's signature is a little more ridiculous, but we all know who he is. Besides, what would you do with all of those extra T's in your last name?


Smoltz still remembers what he was taught in his grade school calligraphy class. He can tell you a lot of things about the way things were in his day.

There were even more cards for my team collections, including a few from the 2003 Fleer Double Header set. It would be fun to open a box of this stuff someday.

On these smaller sized and closely cropped cards, Tino Martinez looks a bit weird here. Something is off.

Speaking of off, what's up with Shea Hillenbrand here? He's not even a Cardinal.

Surprise! It was actually Shea Hillenbrand's torso and Scott Rolen's legs. I'm not sure that this is a concept that works for me.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

That's Gold, Kerry!

A #CrackinWaxMailDay times two, featuring merch @CrackinWax and @LiteralQuirk merch. 
Another week, another round of box breaks from Crackin' Wax. Actually, make that two weeks worth of breaks. Where does the time go?

I bought in to no less than two quarter case breaks of the brand new 2020 Topps Gold Label. I always try to avoid anything that costs significantly more than a blaster and/or nets you fewer cards than your typical pack, but I've had a really hard time resisting Gold Label over the year. They're the stupid shiny thing I should be making fun of, and certainly would have made fun of a decade ago on this blog, but I can't help myself now. (Someone, please send help!)

There are two Cardinals in the set, but then you can multiply that by three (for each "Class" level). This isn't some weird blue parallel as far as I know. This is just my old scanner being weird, I guess.

There are black parallels as well. So you can take that two multiplied by three and multiply it by two again to get the number of unnumbered non-auto and non-memorabilia Cardinals cards in the set. I think this is a black parallel, anyway. They aren't super obvious, but the background has a darker look than the rest.

This is the face of a guy who didn't quite know what he kind of throws he was expecting to receive when he joined up with the Cardinals in 2019.

The drool-worthy thing about Gold Label is the autographs. As you probably know well, I'm not an autograph fiend or anything. I still think it's weird collecting signatures of other adults for no apparent reason. To be fair, collecting in and of itself is kind of weird. I'm getting weirded out just posting about this. Anyway, let's just say that these cards are really cool looking because they're thick and heavy and gold metal plated all around the border. I have several of these now from a few different sets they've released recently, and I kind of want them all.

I wanted them so much, in fact, that I entered yet another quarter case break and ended up with another autograph. There's a pretty solid amount of Cardinals in the autograph portion of the checklist (rare these days, oddly enough). I mentioned in the chat room of the first of these breaks that I was hoping a Goldschmidt auto would be pulled, but as always I'm happy to get a card of anyone in a Cardinals uniform.

Topps 206 Wave 4 was finally shipped, and I bought in to that break as well. I didn't end up with any of the parallels this time, but I snagged multiple copies of each of the two Cardinals in the bunch. RIP the great Lou Brock.

2020 Topps Heritage Minor League appears to have been an under the radar release, and Crackin' Wax seemed to have scored a big deal as these break slots were among the cheapest I've ever purchased on the site. I completed the whole team set (okay, it's just five cards) including this short printed Nolan Gorman card. The cards are printed on completely different stock than the normal MLB Heritage cards, unfortunately. I'm pretty sure they were printed in the Topps On Demand facility, as they feel almost exactly like the Topps 206 cards -- thinner and kind of slick. The short printed Gorman card is actually significantly larger than the rest of the non-SP base set, which is interesting I suppose.

Let's roll the clock back a week, and time travel to 2015. The previous week's worth of breaks included 2015 Gypsy Queen. I already had all of the common base cards in this set, but did well to score this short printed Lou Brock card.

The Ozzie Smith mini came out of the hobby box exclusive pack of mini photo variation cards. At least, I think that was what was happening? In any case, I needed this. Any Ozzie addition is a good addition.

Speaking of good additions, it was fun to snag a numbered (to 499) framed Carlos Martinez parallel.

I don't have a lot to say about this year's Topps Fire. It's... not great. Last year's set has been the only one I've liked, but I have absolutely no idea why I would even recommend it to anyone.

On the other hand... it's another KK auto! It's obviously a sticker auto, but it's numbered to just 75.

Finally, in the RNG RTG (random team generation) department, there wasn't a ton to post about aside from this Juan Soto jersey card. To be fair, it's a great looking card for a company with no MLB license. This is exactly what you want in a Panini card. This also means that I bought a slot in a Panini Chronicles break, which is pretty much like setting money on fire. It's a set that's mostly focused on rookies, but it's unlicensed and there's barely any cards in a box. Let's pretend this didn't happen. Still, it's nice trade bait?

And there was merch! Crackin' Wax likes to throw in some freebies randomly from time to time, and in successive weeks I ended up with an LQ pin and a Crackin' Wax logo pin. I'm kind of tempted to take these to a polling place and get people to vote LQ or CW just to confuse people. Of course, it's too bad that Oregon doesn't have polling places anymore.

Monday, October 19, 2020

You Win Some and You Trade Some


Many minis, prizes and more in a big lot from @markle05 received over the summer. 
The summer already seems so long ago -- or does it? I don't know how time works these days. I think I'm finally over the hump with the last of the large-ish packages I received so far this year, as I'm here to talk about some stuff I got from Alex of Chavez Ravining. Alex must be geeked that his Dodgers slammed their way back into the World Series once again. Will they finally pull it off this time? It's the team that hasn't won in forever versus the team that has never won it. I know who I'm rooting for (it's, er, not the team with the massive payroll.)

This was a multi-purpose trade package with many different things to look at. Alex had a blog contest at one point, and I ended up landing these two chunky commerorative patch cards from recent years. These are certainly up for grabs, and will likely end up in my next Brewers and White Sox focused trade packages if I don't work anything else out.

Alex sent me a ton of minis for my endless quest to collect all things Ginter. I just went for scanning five of the minis from each of the three years featured.

That Dave Winfield card is the standout here, at least for me. Of course, the Babe is no slouch.

Here's another row of really good (to great) players, this time from last year's set.

I also claimed a trade stack from Alex, which sort of touched off the need for this post in the first place. I've had an increasingly difficult time getting ahold of color parallels from recent sets, so this was a nice get for me. Ryan Helsley's role in the bullpen continued to increase in importance over the abbreviated 2020 season, so it's easy to imagine him contending for the closer position next season... whenever that is.

Here's more A&G minis. These are all for my Cardinals binders, as you can imagine. I'm still mad about the Photoshopped uniform numbers in last year's set.

Alex included a handful of the "hot box" gold foil parallels for my collection, including this Big Mac. He looks happy here, and chock full of supplements. There was also a larger "box loader" style Big Mac from last year's Stadium Club set, but I didn't scan it as it wouldn't look any different than if I had scanned his regular base card. You know how that goes.

Someone please tell me who is going to win the World Series this year, because I need to make a prediction and I am waffling like crazy. My gut tells me the Dodgers won't win because they never win, but the Rays literally haven't won. And at least one of the Dodgers guys could probably pay off the salaries of every single Rays player on the roster.