Sunday, November 29, 2020

Cardinals! Blazers! Football Guys!

Three PWEs from @collec_sport run the gamut of the big three sports. 
I'm back from an unplanned layoff... nah, let's just call it a short period of inactivity for the blog. I hadn't intended to take the entire holiday week off, but that's how things played out. I may have had a different title for this post if life had gone differently (I'm Thankful for PWEs?) Tonight I'm taking a look at three envelopes of the plain and white kind sent from The Coffee Card Guy (aka Sport Card Collectors aka Cards Over Coffee.) These were some seriously loaded envelopes as you'll see shortly.

If 2019 was a lost season for Jordan Hicks, 2020 was... well, it was kind of lost for everyone. Hicks was one of the first names to officially opt out of the season, but he was unlikely to pitch regardless of his status considering the combination of factors including his young age, his incredible velocity, and his long road to recovery from Tommy John surgery. I sincerely hope we're talking about him a lot in coming springtime, because he was fun to watch.

I do not have many (if any?) gold Chrome refractors, so it was really cool to land this Marcell Ozuna version from the 2018 Topps Chrome Update set. I haven't heard anything about there being a Chrome Update set for 2020, but considering how underwhelming the regular Update set is, that's probably for the best.

It's Big City time! I actually really like the way these Stat Line parallels scan, compared to some card that have a primarily foil finish.

Closing out the run of Cardinals cards is this Trevor Rosenthal gold parallel from 2015 Topps, the last year that Topps truly created a gold bordered parallel. These parallels have looked pretty unimpressive lately.

Each envelope had a theme, and the second one featured Trail Blazers cards. I really like some of the basketball designs that Panini used in the years where they were still figuring things out before they settled in to the mess that they are today. (Granted, it's a mess that clearly makes them tons and tons of cash.)

LaMarcus Aldridge went full Beast Mode in the first two games of the 2014 NBA Playoffs opening round, setting a tone for the Blazers to pull off their first series win in fourteen years. I owned the card from Game 2 of that series against the Rockets and now have a copy of Game 1. Even if we hate how Aldridge left the team, Blazers fans will always have fond memories of him for this.

Ah, more Aldridge. I think I said my piece already. Moving on...

It's back to one of the present stars of the team with this CJ McCollum "Lord" parallel from the 2016-17 Panini Excalibur set. It wasn't too long ago that you could find stuff from this set cheaply, including repack packs. Now, of course, you can't find anything basketball card-related cheaply anymore. (If you can, please tell me about it... and don't tell anyone else! Shh!)

This is a nice card of Sabas, one of my all-time favorites. It's a blue parallel from the 2017-18 Donruss Optic set (powered by Panini!)

Last up is the envelope from the Eagles/football guys envelope. De'Anthony Thomas was never an Eagle, of course, but he is a big part of my Oregon Ducks collection. In case you wondered about my football collecting hierarchy, it goes something like this: 

Oregon Ducks cards ---> Oregon Ducks alums in pro football uniforms ---> pineapple on pizza* ---> certain Eagles cards ---> getting run over by a bus ---> Michael Vick Eagles cards

I'm actually finally organizing my Eagles cards and adding them to my collection on TCDB, so I will have an updated Eagles trading page here shortly. I'm going to keep all of the cards in boxes, though, but at least they will be in some sort of order with the dupes filtered out. Speaking of dupes, let me know if someone out there wants any of my excess Eagles cards. I really don't have room for a lot of football cards in my life.

And speaking of uninspiring Topps gold parallels (I did... really, I did!), these football gold parallels from 2014 are sort of oddly colored. They strike me as more of a yellow/beige than a true gold. Both of these numbered cards are of players (Ertz and Foles) from the Super Bowl winning team, though, so that's a big positive for me. Again, watch this space for more on my NFL collecting quirks if you're interested.

If you had asked me who led the Eagles in rushing in 2018, I would have said, "who?" And if you had said "Jordan Howard", I would have said, "oh, that's weird, I forgot about him." But you would have been wrong, because he didn't lead the Eagles in rushing in 2018. He led the Bears in rushing that year. And now I still don't know who led the Eagles in rushing in 2018. It probably wasn't Darren Sproles because he was a myth.

Kenjon Barner was actually an Eagle for several seasons, but this holds a loftier place in my collection because it's a Ducks card. In fact, it's a Ducks card featuring a throwback uniform from the '90s, giving it several more cool points. Cool points are all that matters in cards. They're way more important to me than "slabs" and "grades" and "pop" and all that nonsense.

I may seem pretty ambivalent about Eagles cards at times, but I definitely need to get my hands on all of the The Champ Is Here inserts from that Super Bowl winning team. That was a fun team and a fun game.

Friday, November 20, 2020

Free Stuff Friday: Vol 12

Come and get it. #FreeStuffFriday  [UPDATED 3:50 PM PST 11/22/2020]
I've got more stuff. Please check the rules here if you haven't claimed anything before. Click or tap to zoom in for a closer look. [CLAIMED: McNeil, Lindor, Morgan]

I have more Allen & Ginter doubles this time around. Like most card sets this year, I wasn't able to find or buy a whole lot of it, but I have documented what I have here in case you need to purge or have a huge need to find something to send me and none of my other want lists are working out. Also pictured: some Topps Gallery Twins with goofy facial expression. [CLAIMED: deGrom, Piazza, Willis Tower]

This is a hodgepodge of stuff I got from box breaks. Billy Hamilton is a refractor. Hey, it's Earl Weaver! [CLAIMED: Robinson, Weaver, Lewis]

I talked about this set a little bit earlier this week. It's not my favorite. [CLAIMED: Kim x2, Lindor, Civale, Edman, Flaherty x1]

Other sports! A few late '70s Blazers dupes in various conditions (feel free to inquire further about any particular card to see if it might be an upgrade to your set or something.) I also included the bulk of this pack that I posted at APTBNL last week, aside from a couple cards I set aside for others, as I don't really do football. [CLAIMED: Jones]

Thomas and Mayfield are green parallels. [CLAIMED: Boyd, Mayfield, Wilson]

The rest of the football, plus some Bowman Chrome (including a few mega box cards... didn't know that was a thing) and a Teddy Ballgame 2020 Update insert. [CLAIMED: Williams, Higgins, Rutledge]

Minis and minis. None of these have fancy backs. [CLAIMED: Greinke x1, Giolito x1]

Spooky. [CLAIMED]

Thanks for reading, and let me know if anyone else is still doing free stuff day(s).

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Cards and a Gumball Box

A few fun things from a pair of @batcavelv group breaks as the weekend approaches. 
While going through my box of stuff to post about, I stumbled across a pair of stacks of things from Tracy's Box Breaks that date back to late summer. Tracy hosts super affordable breaks every so often through his blog, and has always generously kicked all sorts of other Cardinals related stuff my way. While the low numbered Adam Wainwright was the rarest find this time, it was an oversized thing that had nothing to do with cards that brought the biggest "wow" factor.

This is my first card from the Kenny Mayne game... sort of. I actually bought the first box set for Erin last year with the intention of actually playing the game and not actually treating them as precious collectibles or whatever. I was a big fan of Mayne, especially back in the day when I used to watch more SportsCenter than I do now, so it seemed like a cool idea. Of course, we haven't actually played the game, but that box is not going to count as part of any card collection. Maybe I'll pick up some more singles like Yadi here at some point for the binders. We'll see.

Tracy included a bunch of minor league Cardinals affiliated cards that I needed in the more recent package. Here's Anthony Reyes in his striped socks before he would pitch in a couple of big games with the parent club.

This Just Rookies design from 2004 is about as plain as you can get. There's a lot of white space.

Someone must have seen something in Stu Pomeranz back in 2005, because he had a lot of baseball cards before pretty much disappearing. His younger brother Drew is still enjoying a successful MLB career.

It wasn't all mid-'00s minor leaguers, however, as I also found a couple of parallels from 2020. This Jack Flaherty card is apparently a lime green version, if my eyes and brain are working together properly.

I was excited to get one of these green parallels as I believe they're only found in the blister packs at retail as the bonus card showing in front of the packs. I've been fortunate to find cards I wanted in these green parallels a couple of times, but obviously not lately.

Finally, here is the big fun thing that I'll still have to figure out how to store properly. It's apparently a box of gumballs (minus the gumballs) that Donruss sold at some point in the '80s. There's even a checklist on the side that shows all of the different players featured on these boxes. I guess that means I need to track down a Stan Musial box! The artwork is, of course, from Perez-Steele Galleries. Dick Perez, of course, was featured on all of the Diamond Kings from the '80s as well as some other smaller card sets that Donruss put out back then.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

A Gallery of Horrors

Topps Gallery, Allen & Ginter X and more in a #CrackinWaxMailDay from @CrackinWax of course. 
Online box breaks continue to be my primary source of new cards with retail purchases no longer an option, although I have been known to sprinkle in a purchase of a batch of singles or two every now and then. I've been meaning to check out that "online dime box" site that a lot of people have been raving about. Hopefully it won't be all cleared out by the time I get there, like the card shows used to be. In the meantime, here's some more break stuff that I picked up from Crackin' Wax.

I picked up a healthy amount of Allen & Ginter X team needs this time around. The weirdest thing about this set this time around is that about half the set is colored in a much darker shade than the rest. I haven't personally opened packs or boxes to confirm that this isn't just an inconsistent printing process, though. Does anyone have a more lightly colored Kolten Wong?

In contrast, has anyone seen a darker KK card? It's weird, and not in the usual way that Topps is weird/inconsistent.

Here's one I needed from a set that I remember fondly from purchases from The Loot Locker (RIP). It's 2015 Bowman's Best. I just really like the design. If you're going to crop a player out of the background, it's nice when they put something else behind the player besides a blank void.

While it's true that I finished off the base team set in this year's Topps 206 set, I still need about 928434 parallels. This Piedmont backed-Big Mac reduces that unsightly number by 1. I would have scanned the back, but it just has the Piedmont ad on it with no other identifying info. These are unnumbered as well.

Now it's time to talk about the set from where this post gets its title. Topps Gallery is one of my least favorite sets every year in its current state as a Walmart exclusive. I have to give my usual disclaimer about not being an art person of any sort, so it really feels wrong for me to be too critical of others' work. I just can't handle some of this stuff, though.

Several different artists are used for this set, so you're bound to like certain cards more than others. Topps Gallery used to look like this, though!

I believe this one is a short print. Topps really went for the Stranger Things font with this set.

Again, some of these work better than others. This one almost looks like a photograph. It's cropped a bit weirdly, though.

There are Heritage inserts in this product to be found, and I was fortunate enough to snag one of them. Sometimes these are listed in auctions simply as "Topps Heritage" cards, which always throws me off for a bit by making me think it's a card I'm missing from my actual Topps Heritage collection. These are drawn, or "arted" as I like to say.

There was a hit to be found in the form of a sticker auto from Junior Fernandez. I'm now up to four of his autographs at this point, which is kind of a lot considering I only own 20 unique cards of the young Cardinals reliever.

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Enter the Big Black Void

Small envelope jams from @TLFrankKing @Scribble4Me and @breakdowncards as we journey into the darkness. 
I can't believe it's already... what month is it? In this time of very little sports, where it seems more likely than not that another shutdown of leagues is imminent, there are still a few cards to look at to pass the time. Let me just say that cards from trading friends in mailers of all shapes and sizes are a really nice diversion from the increasingly commercialized so-called hobby right now.

First up is a few things from The Legendary Frank King, a Rangers fan who may not be totally over the events of 2011. (To be fair, I don't think I'm totally over 1985 or 1987.) The reverse negative Paul DeJong parallel might be a first for me. These cards are just as absurd and unnecessary as they look, but as the team collectors' mantra goes: if it exists, I must have it!

This Jack Flaherty is of the indigo variety and is numbered to 250. Topps still seems relatively sane with their color parallel naming schemes, while Panini long ago veered off into territory that reminds me of the crazy names people come up with for different types of weed you can purchase.

In a more recent mailing from Frank came a need to kick some more Cardinals to the curb. I'm assuming he had a spot in a 2016 Topps Heritage High break, as all of the cards were from that set. This is my second Adam Wainwright black refractor pickup in a matter of weeks, which is a truly promising trend.

Paul from Scribbled Ink is a devotee of the Topps Home Run Challenge contest. He saw a card I had on a Free Stuff Friday post from this summer that had one of these codes on it, claimed it, and was nice enough to send a return. This card from the 2017 Bowman Chrome set is a nice addition to my burgeoning Jack Flaherty collection.

Several years back I picked up a lot online that contained a bunch of cards from this weird Upper Deck Game Face set, but I was still missing the Albert Pujols card. This has been rectified, thanks again to Paul.

Lastly, there's an envelope from Baseball Card Breakdown to discuss. Has Topps really been doing the online thing for half a decade now? Or more? This card is from their TBT (Throwback Thursday) online set from 2016. Of course, they've been "online" for a lot longer than that, for those of you who remember the days of eTopps. (I don't.) With the way things have gone this year, it seems likely that they're going to move most of their products towards online sales, which is a shame for impulse buyers like myself.

The second in the three former Cardinals from Gavin to be featured here is Luke Weaver, part of Arizona's return in the Paul Goldschmidt deal. He had a rough go of it in 2020, but haven't we all?

To wind things up, here's a Sterling signature from one and only Shelby Miller. Do you know personally know anyone named Shelby Miller? Of course you don't. 

It's a green parallel, not that it really came out well in the scan, and it's numbered 125/125 for those of you that like symmetry.

I guess I could show the back.

There you have it. Thanks again to everyone who has sent me stuff in 2020!