Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Super Duper

Another Topps online product, but at least 20% cooler. 
Topps Super 70s (officially stylized Topps X Super 70s, but I'm not with that 'X' thing) is the latest offering in a year that can only be considered the year of being online. Everyone is online all the time. It makes sense, I guess, for Topps to keep cranking out online-only products. This one happens to be based off of the hilariously cool Super 70s Twitter account, which has of course taken on life of its own and has its own merch store. I was excited, in theory, about this product until I looked at the checklist, which was very short on cards for my collection.

There's only one base Cardinals card in the 100 card set (Bob Gibson), which is still in transit to me. Instead of jumping in on some box breaks, I took to eBay to buy what I really needed because I'm extremely online. The two cards that did arrive first to me are both insert cards, although they look very much like the base cards and don't seem to be all that much harder to pull than the base itself.

The cards are similar some of the older, thinner Topps Archives cards. I think there has been an online-exclusive Archives set or two in recent years that this fits right in with.

The team font on the front is very 1978 Topps, but also includes some design elements from 1975 (the dual-colored border) and 1979. All in all, it's not a bad looking mash-up. Was Ozzie's hairdo really "happening", though? The sideburns, sure, but... maybe we should have gotten a whole "Slick Sideburns" insert set?

It's no '79 Ozzie Smith, but it'll do.

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Cards for Christmas Eve (A Tale of Two Breaks)


It's Holiday Time and time for another #CrackinWaxMailDay from @CrackinWax -- throw another log on the fire.

Merry Christmas, everyone! I hope everyone is hanging in there currently. I had some free time tonight and thought I'd show off a few cards from my most recent mailday from Crackin' Wax. This time there were two new products on offer, one that's never been a favorite of mine but other seem to like, and another one that's a bit of a debut.

Bowman Draft is the one I'm never all that enthusiastic about. It's usually the third time we've seen the exact same design, and this year it's really the fifth if you could both of the "1st Edition" releases. We've also seen a bunch of Nolan Gorman cards in past Bowman sets. In any case, it all seems rather unnecessary.

The people are here for the "1st Bowman" cards, though. (Not to be confused with 1st Edition Bowman.) I did end up knocking out both the "paper" team set and the Chrome team set, which is nice because I've never purchased a pack of Bowman Draft in my life, nor am I planning to.

You could also call this set Bowman Photoshop and you wouldn't be wrong even in years where there was a lot of professional baseball happening. I guess I prefer Photoshopped MLB uniforms over college and high school ones (wait... do I?) I think the sweet spot would be college/high school/minor league with big league logos, but there probably aren't a lot of people out there that would agree with me.

This one is a refractor. It shines.

Speaking of shining, the inaugural Allen & Ginter Chrome set is here, and it looks... really nice somehow. Topps was able to turn my all-time least favorite A&G design into something good here.

I like the way that the border goes from silver metal to light, and I also like the gold accents on the logo.

There are minis, too. They only come in the basic version and super rare parallels. There are no card back variations, in other words.

I do like what they did with the background, as well. If it wasn't for the cost being a bit out of my price range, this would probably be one of my favorite releases of the year.

My lone numbered card of the breaks is this Tommy Edman green parallel. There are 99 copies of this out there... well, 98 now.

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Bring on the Night (Owl)

Winter is here and so are @nightowlcards cards. 
Tomorrow is the winter solstice, which means days are going to finally start getting longer again. Things are slowly, slowly starting to look up in the outside world as well. I'm not really here to talk about the outside world, though, I'm here to talk about something fairly meaningless in the grand scheme of things: baseball cards! Specifically, in this space we'll talk about a few cards received from long time blogger and current Beckett Vintage contributor Night Owl Cards. If you're not familiar with the ol' Owl, then I don't know how you ended up here.

Back in September, Night Owl sent me a stack of cards that crossed off a number of set needs, along with a couple of Cardinals cards. Packages that are heavier on set needs than team needs are usually a lot more productive in terms of actually crossing things off of my so-called list, but they're not nearly as fun to talk about. I didn't actually have this Gary Gaetti 1998 Finest card, but I probably would have passed it up if I saw it in a dime box at a show because I could have sworn I already owned it. However, the card I actually owned was Gaetti's "no protector" parallel which is only distinguishable from a base card that someone peeled the coating off of in that the back of the card has a bit of a foil background.

My Turkey Red 2020 quest is still going strong. Did you know that I also collect Turkey Red cards from other years? Night Owl clearly did, as he sent over this 2006 card of flash-in-the-pan Chris Shelton.

Here's a few Allen & Ginter cards from various years. I don't know why Topps went so crazy with the Rocky theme in the 2015 set. Did a new Rocky movie debut that year? I think there's already been a Rocky reboot of some sort, so maybe that's how these things lined up.

Finally, let's check in with the 2019 Topps Heritage set. Night Owl is a Dodgers collector, which you likely knew already if you're still reading this, so it's not surprising that he had extra Dodgers to send my way. Team collectors know the pain of an overflowing box of doubles (or in my case, many boxes.) The Kershaw card is one of the cloth-but-not-quite inserts, and the Maeda is a short print. The package also included the base Kershaw card which happens to also be a short print. Nice!

Stay warm, everyone.

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

An At-Cost Group Break (Results)

A few glimpses from a @stoffer81 & @pjpizzaman1 group break. 
Cards are expensive! Although I did find a little bit of cards for sale tonight at a retail outlet for the first time since July, purchasing once readily available products in stores at actual retail prices has been virtually impossible all year. (I know this is no shocking news to most of my readers.) That's why I was beyond appreciative that a couple of good Twitter follows hosted an "at-cost" retail group break featuring a variety of products. I'm just showing off a few of the Cardinals I ended up with as there's not a lot of new things out that people haven't seen before. (I'm also giving my scanner a rest for today. It's tired.)

I knocked off two more pesky Bowman Chrome cards from the want list thanks to the break, including one of the mega box exclusive parallels of Elehuris Montero.

Each 2020 Topps Update blaster comes with a "commemorative" card. It's not really fair to call these manupatches anymore, because they rarely seem to contain anything resembling a uniform anymore. The coins are a fairly neat idea, though. I was lucky to get a Yadi out of this given that there's only one per box, but upon flipping the card over you can see that it's a bit special.

It is, in fact, a gold parallel, number 26 of 50. If anyone has the unnumbered version of this an isn't attached to it, I would definitely be interested.

Bowman Platinum isn't really my thing because, let's face it, Walmart isn't really my thing. I have a strange sort of interest in this year's design, which as many have mentioned seems to have 1992 Fleer in its bloodline. To pull a signed card out of a retail product is usually a pretty rare thing, so I once again feel very fortunate to have ended up with this sticker auto of one the Cards top prospects Zack Thompson.

I also ended up with a bunch of Dodgers cards as my second, randomly assigned team. Those cards are largely in the process of being reassigned to more appropriate collectors now.

It's very clear that I'm going to have to change my collecting habits and strategies in 2021. Getting in good with guys who have access to this kind of stuff at such a reasonable price seems like a great place to start.

Thursday, December 10, 2020

A Thursday Night PWE Roundup

Cards from @Lost_Collector & @acrackedbat & more (& more!)

We're almost at the end of another week, but there's still time left to look at some more cards from small envelopes. First up is a much appreciated low-numbered Jim Edmonds card from The Diamond King. I know that every last card in Moments & Milestones was serial numbered, but I still think it's cool to get a copy of a card that only has twenty-eight of its kind out in the world somewhere. (Yeah, I know that there's presumably 29 copies of every black parallel that features this particular milestone, multiplied by the number of home runs Edmonds hit, but whatever. I like it.)

Next up are a few selections from the Pick Pockets of A Cracked Bat. If you haven't checked it out before, Pick Pockets is pretty much like Free Stuff Friday on steroids. I've seen so much good stuff there, like this custom Jim Grant card in the style of 1970 Topps from @wthballs.

I haven't really shown off (or acquired many) George Springer cards this year, because of, you know... the unpleasantness. It'll be interesting to see who he plays for next season. Someone asked awhile back if I was more or less inclined to drop him from my collection depending on if he changed teams, and I'm still not sure. Part of why I liked Springer was because I started following the Astros a bit. Just a bit, though.

Hey, any time you have a chance to snag a card from 1993 Topps Finest, you need to take that shot.

Also appearing in my mailbox back in October was another fine envelope from The Lost Collector. I'm always excited to pick up another Ducks card, especially in the Oregon uniform like Joey Harrington here. I hadn't seen this Sunday Soldiers insert before from a long lost Pacific release.

I think Panini Revolution is usually just a hobby only release, so I rarely see the cards. I can never tell one year's design from the next, though, as they're always full of sparkles and weird patterns. 

AJ also sent quite an oddball of a Big Mac card in the form of this Little League card that I assumed was handed out to actual Little Leaguers. Having been one of those kids before, I really wish I had been handed some free cards like this back in the day.

And here's a bonus one! I got this Greg Gross Kellogg's card from Johnny's Trading Spot awhile back as part of a consolation prize for completely failing to pay attention to one of his weekly games. I realized that I was really bad at that and figured it was all for the best if I decided to stop participating. As much as I like Kellogg's cards, I probably shouldn't collect them as there's plenty of competition. This will probably end up in someone's future plain white envelope of their own.

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

The State of the Blog

I know, weird timing, right? (Plus a new Twitter find.)

I have a couple of announcements. First off, I'm not renewing the Cards on Cards fantasy hoops league for the coming season, which is about to tip off later this month. It was fun being in a casual league, but the way the last season came crashing to a halt left a bit of a bitter taste in my mouth. I may revisit the idea if things ever get back to normal. This also reminds me that we never officially crowned a winner from last year.

Yahoo crowned a winner, however, after the league went dark in March. Congrats to Venus City Minds (aka KO Rob) who successfully defended his title, albeit in a strange way. I usually send off a prize to the league winner, but basketball blasters cost about as much as a month's rent in some places so I'll have to think of something else here. Manute's Glutes (aka Rob) was in second place when the thing was called, and I never got a chance to face off against either of them in the playoffs because they never happened. Oh well.

I'm also officially calling off my annual Bowl Pick 'Em contest. As fun as these things are, I just can't get behind this contest this year which is supposed to be about frivolity, randomly matched opponents and weird bowl game names but are actually going to involve young unpaid athletes putting their lives at risk. Who knows how many actual bowl games there will be? Since these games are mostly poorly attended anyway, aside from the very top games, I don't think the lack of crowds will make things much different, but it also will be even less fun to watch. Let's try again next year. I'll try to think of a different contest to hold.

As far as March Radness goes, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. I wouldn't hold out a ton of hope that the real tournament will happen. College kids, you know...

On a completely different topic, I managed to get hooked up with the entire Trail Blazers team set (sans rookie Nassir Little) from the brand new NBA Hoops Premium Stock set thanks to generous Twitter guy @DaEpicDonut. Premium Stock is only available in factory set form as far as I can tell, and offers another take on the NBA Hoops design from the recently concluded season.

All of the cards have the Prizm designation on the back and have this shiny sparkly pattern. This isn't a full parallel version of the Hoops set, though, as most of the cards use brand new photos with players on their new teams if applicable. This is my first and possibly last look at Trevor Ariza in a Blazers uniform in cardboard form.

Melo wasn't even in the league when the original Hoops set was released, so it's safe to assume the regular set and this set don't have the exact same checklist. I haven't done a comparison between the two, so I'm not sure if they replaced a few of the players with new ones or just re-did the checklist altogether.

Here's a shot of another now-former Blazer in action. Whiteside was mostly very good while his team was pretty lousy before the pandemic stopped the season, and was reduced to an under-contributing backup once Jusuf Nurkic returned to claim his starting spot. This returned Whiteside to roughly the same position he was in when he left Miami, unfortunately for him. Anyway, it's a cool looking photo.

Here's the whole bunch, which included a bonus Dame Chronicles card.

Next up- better news? And... maybe some baseball cards for once!

Monday, December 7, 2020

More Same Team Swaps, Please

Another batch of Cardinals extras from a Cardinals collector. 
I have somewhere in the neighborhood of 10,000 Cardinals cards that I don't need. They're dupes, as we call them. This is why it's always exciting to find someone who collects my favorite team and either has an up-to-date want list or uses TCDB to document their collection. (I do both!) I have been able to to unload a few stacks of Cardinals cards over the past year or two to All Cardinals All the Time, who I'm sure was appreciative of being to unload some of his doubles onto me. Such is the life of the external baseball card exchange.

It's the famous Terry Bradshaw! Well, nah, it's just a Terry Bradshaw. I suppose if you get paid to play sports professionally, though, that does make you a little famous.

If you want to feel like an old person, just say things along with the line of "Topps Gold... they sure don't make 'em like they used to" and then repeat that sentiment dozens of times for years on end on the internet. I am going to try to come up with some new material next year, I promise.

Here's a strange one in that I couldn't find it in the TCDB database. I'll have to look again. It's easy to get lost in that website even if you know what you're doing.

I wasn't fond of Topps Fire this year, which seems to be more the norm rather than the exception. It turns out that 2019 was the weird outlier, and I can't even explain why I liked that design. Maybe I just like huge block letters. In any case, I still need a bunch of stuff from this set if you've got anything laying around.

Autographs and memorabilia cards of lesser known players are always appreciated here at Cards on Cards. While Tom Herr isn't exactly an obscure player, I don't have many of his cards beyond the common junk wax era stuff. I wish there were more sets like the old Fleer Greats of the Game line. Topps has their Fan Favorites, which are cool, but they're stuck in the Autographs portion of the Archives set.

If you or anyone you know has a need for thousands of extra Cardinals cards (or even just a few), feel free to let me know.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Closing the Books on 2020

A #CrackinWaxMailDay in triplicate from @CrackinWax includes extra extras. 
With the global pandemic raging in our country, and the holiday season officially underway, I've decided I'm not going to the post office anymore this year. It's a scary time to be in a small building with a bunch of strangers even when everyone has masks on. This makes it a good time to wrap up just about everything I've received but haven't yet posted about before the calendar flips to 2021. I'm promising myself to also reevaluate my collecting practices and priorities as the sports card world has changed dramatically over the past year, and not in a way that suits me at all.

I'm not shutting down trades or anything, though. I'm just going to try to stick to using stamps as much as possible for the rest of the year as they are still plentiful and relatively easy to come by.

I'm actually not all that backlogged, at least by my standards, but I fell behind enough in my group break postings that I'm combining three weeks' worth of shipped cards from Crackin' Wax into one solid blog post. Let's check stuff out.

Bowman Chrome is as expensive as ever, so those cards are mostly a bit out of my reach. This year's set looks extra nice, though, with the extra design elements added to the chrome borders. This break was part of a mega box, which I didn't know was a thing for this typically hobby-only release.

I don't know why I keep coming back to this set. I do not like the design at all. I did get this purple parallel of Johan Mieses for my troubles, though. 

There's a new Panini Contenders release for 2020 and it does include MLB players with the usual Photoshop treatment from Panini. It always tends to look the same, no matter the year or sport.

I mean, seriously, does the design really always have to take up more than half of the real estate? With all of the different directions the text is heading, it's pretty tough to read anything on these cards anyway.

Here's one of the inserts. It's a different design, at least.

Crackin' Wax frequently includes extras in your package. This is probably the most practical of these that I've been sent so far. It's a microfiber cloth that is handy for cleaning dust and lint off of your cards, especially from those shinier surfaces. With everything in the hobby now being put under a powerful microscope, both figuratively and literally, these should really come in handy for people.

I also ended up with two more "RAK" packs, which are much like this one that I posted about a few months back. Depending on how well I do with the rest of the backlog, I may show off the contents of these in future posts before too long.

My second week was a bit smaller in focus, but I still picked up a couple of new-to-me Cardinals needs.

The Portraits inserts from 2019 Panini Diamond Kings look pretty nice, aside from the blank batting helmet here.

Finally, the third and most recent package included cards from a 2013 Panini Hometown Heroes set. I have all of the base Cardinals cards several times over from this set, aside from one pesky short print, so there wasn't much new for me here. However, I did get this needed Shelby Miller state stamp parallel.

I also struck out on a box/pack of 2017 Topps Mini, aside from this low numbered Rajai Davis parallel. This will probably sit in my trade box for awhile.

To top things off, I was also randomly gifted this Project 2020 card! It's the first time I've ever seen one of these in person, and it's chunkier than I expected. This would make a really nice stocking stuffer for a Dodgers/Koufax fan. In fact, I nearly reached out to a couple of different Dodgers fans that I've been sending cards to for a long time, but I'm not sure it's the type of thing either of those two would be into. I'm sure I can find a good home for it in any case.