Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Take a Bow, Man


Another #CrackinWaxMailDay from @CrackinWax digs into the new Bowman set. 
Bowman is out! If you're a fan of certain teams, you might have one of those coveted "Bowman 1st" cards on your checklist, but for some of us it means a bunch of retreads appear in the prospect portion of set. Still, these are new cards that I need at this point, although I might have to start thinking a bit more carefully about how I use that word "need" in the future. In any case, I picked up a spot in a Crackin' Wax group break that featured the new Bowman set. Let's take a look here.

There's the base team set. That it's. That's the whole set. The "veterans & rookies" portion of the set (they're even labeled this time for the first time maybe ever?) only exists to fulfill the mandatory quota of non-prospect cards so people can get their hands on those juicy, juicy 1st's. No one is ever going to consider that Dylan Carlson card his "true rookie".

On to the prospects. At this point, Matthew Liberatore still hadn't made an appearance on the mound for a Cardinals organization team despite being well over a year removed from the trade that brought him to St. Louis. Such is life these days. We did get to see Liberatore in spring camp with the Cards this year, however, and he looked pretty good.

Jordan Walker made his debut in Bowman Draft last year, so I don't have piles of his cards (yet). What do I think about the design? Well... it's very Bowman-y?

Elehuris Montero was part of the Nolan Arenado trade, but Topps only had enough time to Photoshop him into a Cards jersey instead of a Rockies jersey. As usual, there are Chrome versions of all of the prospect cards, with more limited parallels to chase.

There's often a throwback insert design in Bowman, and this year they chose to honor the very underrated 1991 set. Sure, the set was nearly as ugly as the previous year, but I had a lot of fun opening these packs back in the day when I could find them. The player selection was improving, although I feel that had more to do with draft results from year to year more than anything else.

I had the Royals assigned as my random team. In an effort to get someone to sign up for them in my latest Spring Cleaning feature, I'll show off a couple of their cards. I'm not sure who Asa Lacy is, but apparently he's someone who only wants to exist in the future and make weird faces.

Here's one of baseball's top overall prospects. At some point, there's going to be a grandson in the big leagues of someone that I used to watch play, and that's when I know it's all over for me.

Sunday, May 9, 2021

RAK Pack #3

One more time with a @CrackinWax RAK Pack. 
It's been a bit. Let's take a look at another "RAK" pack that I received randomly as a consolation prize for not striking big in one of the Crackin' Wax breaks. I ended up with two of these in the same week at some point last fall. You can see what I pulled last time here.

This one is from the 2019 Heritage High Numbers set, which I rudely am only lacking a couple of rookie cards from guys named Vlad (Jr.) and Fernando (Jr.) Why is it that I'm missing only those two and not, say, Patrick Corbin?

It's back-to-back Patrick!

Bregman is currently promoting something called Breggy Bomb Salsa, which is not something I'm sure that I'm ready for.

I always liked the 2015 Stadium Club design. I'm not as much of a Braun fan, though.

This minor league card is headed to my stack of minor league cards that will be divvied up for my latest Spring Cleaning extravaganza. Sign up if you haven't already!

Here's my first Cardinals card of the pack, and it's another one from the 2015 Stadium Club set. Matt Adams caught on with the Rockies recently, and I got to watch him play against the Cardinals in this weekend's sweep.


Each of the three RAK packs I've received in the past year or so has had something really fun in it for me, and this one was no exception. This is an amber parallel from the 2019 Topps Triple Threads and it's my all-time favorite player. Nice!

This Carlton Fisk card may be a bit off-center, but it's still going into my 2020 Allen & Ginter set build. Speaking of which... if you're looking for something to send to me to get in on the Spring Cleaning action, this is a good set to start with. I didn't buy much of it, so my want list is huge.

Here's a blast from the past. As sketchy as Upper Deck was, does anyone agree that Panini is probably even shadier?

It's the superspreader. Steer clear of the beard.

I remember thinking that Trumbo and Trout were going to be the dynamic duo in Anaheim for years, but it didn't turn out that way.

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Spring Cleaning 2021!

It's time to get rid of some baseball cards. Again.
I would like to get rid of at least 30 boxes of cards. I know that's an ambitious goal, but I'm sure a few of you are up for helping me out. I am going to make this as brief as I can so that you won't get bored, stop reading and wander off somewhere else. I am expecting to send out boxes of smaller size as well as bigger Priority Mail style mailers. I'm hopeful there will be something interesting for everyone who chooses to participate.

1. Claim a team below. More than one person can claim a team. I will divide up what I have amongst the people judiciously.
2. Send me a minimum of one card from my want lists. (Team Want List | Set Want List)
3. Send me your mailing address if I haven't sent you anything in the past year or so. If I don't know who you are or how to contact you, I am not going to consider your team "claimed" until you complete this step.
4. Don't be a jerk.

You can expect to receive a mix of cards for your team from a variety of sets, including (but not limited to):
1. Newer base cards (including stuff from 2021)
2. Older base cards (you guessed it!)
3. A few inserts and parallels, depending on availability per team. (Let's just say I don't have a huge number of Dodgers or Cubs, for example.)
4. Minor league cards where your claimed team is the parent club
5. A select few serial numbered cards, autographs, or relic cards. This will vary wildly from team to team. I'm not going to tell you which teams I have bonus goodies like this for, or else no one would claim anything.
6. Very little (if any) "junk wax", especially if you are receiving a small box instead of a big ol' Priority Mail mailer.
7. Something random?! You never know. 99% of what you'll receive will be for the team that was claimed, though.

More rules (what?!) This is all optional, but feel free to tell me if you want:
1. A larger box? This means a higher probability of junk wax, but I will also include more base cards from the past thirteen years of this blog's run.
2. Are you a set collector? Do you need base cards? The vast majority of my extra cards are sorted numerically by set, so it's easier for me to look at set based want lists rather than team specific needs, so I may be able to help you out without claiming a team.
3. Special requests (no Panini! no 1991 Fleer! no guys with hats?!) may be honored if they're not too unreasonable/time consuming. Yes, this includes other sports.

Claimed so far (more than 1 person can claim a team, defunct teams in italics): 

Arizona Diamondbacks
Atlanta Braves: Night Owl
Baltimore Orioles
Boston Red Sox: Matt (Diamond Jesters)
Chicago Cubs: Jafronius
Chicago White Sox
Cincinnati Reds: Nachos Grande
Cleveland Indians: OhioTim
Colorado Rockies
Detroit Tigers
Houston Astros
Kansas City Royals
Los Angeles Angels: Laurens
Los Angeles Dodgers: Night Owl, gcrl
Miami Marlins
Milwaukee Brewers
Minnesota Twins: gcrl
Montreal Expos: @MikeMatson67
New York Mets
New York Yankees: The Lost Collector, Bo
Oakland Athletics
Philadelphia Phillies: Elliptical Man
Pittsburgh Pirates
St. Louis Browns
St. Louis Cardinals: The Diamond King, Bo, David
San Diego Padres: Rod (Padrographs)
San Francisco Giants
Seattle Mariners
Tampa Bay Rays: Jeremya1um
Texas Rangers
Toronto Blue Jays: Derek
Washington Nationals

Special Requests: 
Randomness: Bo

Monday, May 3, 2021

Let's Get Repulsive

Cardinals of all shapes, sizes and years. 
Fellow Cardinals collecting blog All Cardinals All The Time shared another batch of Cardinals dupes with me a few months back. As usual, this stack of cards did not disappoint. It's not every day I get to add a card from the '50s to my collection, let alone one of Eldon "Rip" Repulski. Are there any Repulski super-collectors out there? I know he has relatively few cards, so I just want to know if there's someone out there hoarding copies of this 1955 Topps card, for example.

We jump (leap?) forward into the '90s with an autographed card from the 1997 Donruss Signature Series set. As I've said before, I love that this set offers collectors a chance at some really affordable autographs on the secondary market. I'm not the biggest autograph seeker myself, but if I were I'd be more drawn to this set (and TTMs) than new Bowman cards or something high end.

This might be the first time Dan Cholowsky has ever gotten a mention on this blog, but as it turns thirteen next month, I'm not sure that I would bet on it.

We go from a former top prospect who didn't pan out to a guy who has worked out well so far since his initial call-up last year. I don't know many that have doubles of Topps Now cards just laying around, so I'm guessing this was part of a bulk purchase. I'll sometimes look for cheap Topps Now cards to add to my collection, but they're often from a separate set. This might be the first one I own from the main set in their daily on-demand series.

Topps has certainly done the tobacco mini thing better, but I can never complain about getting more Pacific cards. It would be fun to open a box from one of their sets someday, although I'm always afraid that cards from this era are going to be permanently fused together.

With with minor league baseball (the pieces that Rob Manfred didn't destroy) returning tomorrow for the first time since 2019, it's only fitting to show off a young Ray Lankford AAA card here. So many minor league card photos end up looking like photo day at the local school.

Someday I will have all of the Walmart, Target, Meijer (?) and Walgreens parallels that I want. This is not that day. It's good to get another one for the team collection, though.

Mitchell Boggs isn't exactly a household name, but he was a part of the 2011 championship team and briefly held down the closer role that Jason Motte would eventually take over for their stretch and playoff runs.

I usually like Fleer Ultra inserts, but this is kind of an odd one. If I recall, I think the whole 2005 Ultra set sort of sticks out like a sore thumb in the otherwise attractive run of the Fleer product that dated all the way back to 1991. Of course, Upper Deck would end up taking it over and killing it off over the next couple of years.

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

A Post-Timbers Match PWE Round-Up


Envelopes from @sanjosefuji and more: featuring no actual Portland Timbers.

There was a big Portland Timbers match tonight that made me realize I've only purchase one Timbers card since the pandemic started. (It was a Topps card commemorating their 2015 MLS Cup win.) That really has nothing to do with anything as I show off some cards from a few small white envelopes that I received back in January. Let's take a looksee.

First up are some Blazers and Cardinals cards from Fuji. This Robert Pack card has been something I've desired going all the way back to when I was a teen, which is pretty silly because it's probably never been worth more than a buck at any point in its life. These Rookie Standouts inserts from the first Upper Deck basketball release were "hot" back in the day, much like the first run of the Fleer Rookie Sensations cards. When you combine that with the rampant local interest of the Blazers (everything was overpriced around here), I just never felt like on my jobless teenaged budget I could afford to splurge on something like this. Pack wasn't on the Blazers for very long, but he was very exciting for a bit there on an elite team that didn't have much room for him.

It's fitting that Randolph Childress wore number 12 with the Blazers, because he was never much more than a 12th man. You still have to love the hologram cards, something that seems to have completely disappeared since last millennium.

Here's a trio of Blazers from the "Special Edition" Upper Deck in 1995-96. These foil-heavy cards usually don't scan all that well for me, but this looks fine.

Fuji also sent some Cardinals along, including six of these 1993 Upper Deck B.A.T. cards that are some sort of tri-fold concept. I only included three of them in the scan, but they're all very cool. I've never actually seen these folded before, so I'm not entirely sure what they're supposed to look like in full form. Based on the year, I assume this set was released when I was still collecting cards as a teenager, but I hadn't seen or heard of it until this blog thing happened.

The last of the bunch of cards from Fuji is this mini Jack. It's a quality card of a quality pitcher.

Recent contest runner-up Trevor of Bump and Run passed along a couple of needs from the odd 2017 Honus Bonus set. I came across an unopened box of these online recently for a decent price, but it's probably best that I didn't pull the trigger because I am pretty sure I have most of the base set and a few of the silver parallels squared away. It's still tempting, though, in a time when it can be tough to find cards to open without opening up several lines of credit.

I was wondering if the Final Boss had pitched his final pitch, but it looks like he's returned to pitch in the KBO again in 2021 at age 38. He also closed out games for his Samsung team last season, which makes me wish I had looked harder for him during those late night live ESPN KBO broadcasts a year ago when there was a dearth of live sports to watch. I wish they had continued those broadcasts this season. Like most things these days, the games were broadcasted remotely, so it's not like they could have been expensive to produce.

The last grouping of cards comes from gcrl / cards as i see them. The bulk of these were set filling needs, but the Dmitri Young parallel comes from the lone ranger 2005 Topps Rookie Cup set. The tricky thing here is that the card looks completely orange to me, yet it scans red. I don't even know anymore. It's numbered to 499 in case you're curious.

I don't miss much about 2020, but I miss the times when I would randomly get Turkey Red cards in the mail. I'm guessing that won't happen so much this year. I'm also referring to this year as a future thing when we're already about a third of the way through it (yikes!)

Oh hey, I know this guy.

This six pack of 2020 Ginter cards rounds out the last envelope, which also rounds out the post. In hindsight, I wish I hadn't scanned the Chapman card, but what's done is done. Feel free to vandalize your computer or phone screen when you see his card pop up.

Monday, April 26, 2021

Current Cards and Some Turkeys

A heap of fancy Cardinals and more additions to my Turkey Red collection. 
The last package I received in the mail that was postmarked with a 2020 date stamp was from Jeremy of Topps Cards That Never Were. This was another excellent bunch that included several numbered cards, the highlight of which was a 2017 Topps Heritage Minors parallel of early NL Rookie of the Year candidate Dylan Carlson. I'm not sure what kind of parallel this is (it's quite a bit paler than the base card), but it's numbered to just 25. I've been avoiding looking at the 2021 rookie card market of late, but I wonder if there's been any interest in Carlson, who won't turn 23 until after this season is over.

Tommy Edman has been the Cardinals leadoff guy all season, the first to start at that slot in the first 20 games or so since David Eckstein. Although he's locked in as the starter at second base, he's also played quite a bit of outfield in the early going due to some injuries out there.

In an interesting twist, Jack Flaherty has been getting tons of run support. He's off to a 3-0 start to the season, although pitching wins only really matter in fantasy baseball. I really like these "Carolina Blue" parallels from Donruss Optic, and would have a hard time staying away from the mega boxes they come in if I could actually find any.

Paul goes Purple Parallel on this Chrome refractor numbered to 299. Unfortunately, Goldschmidt seems to be off to his now typical slow start to the season. Hopefully warmer weather brings a warmer bat. He still is excellent in the field, as the infield defense has actually taken a step forward with Edman fully replacing Gold Glover Kolten Wong and fellow Gold Glover Nolan Arenado replacing glove owner Matt Carpenter.

I really expected Junior Fernandez to make the opening day roster considering how the team had been using him since he first was called up. He didn't, but maybe he'll get a shot later on down the road. This die cut parallel from one of Panini's prospect offerings is numbered to just 99.

Even in a pitching rotation with a couple of my favorites (Wainwright, Flaherty) in it, I'm always excited to see KK pitch. He looked really good in his second outing of the season and is a rare lefty Cardinals pitching threat.

Along with some killer Cardinals, Jeremy also sent over a huge pile of Turkey Red needs from the various 2020 Topps sets. Click or tap to view them in their full glory. If anyone has any extras of these, I still need a bunch-- mostly from Series 2.