Thursday, January 28, 2021

Star Gazing and Lumberjacking

The goods from more @flywheels affordable group breaks.

Cardboard Collections has cheap card breaks on the regular and has been doing it for awhile. I've missed out on the last few because of missing notifications, but Colbey does a great job mixing up the boxes that are opened each time and is highly recommended. Here's a few cards I received in his breaks from late last summer/early fall.

Stadium Club was still new at the time, which tells you how long I've been sitting on some of this stuff. I was able to knock off a couple of pesky parallels from my list, including this black foil Goldy.

I know the color doesn't always show up well in the scan, so this is a red foil Paul DeJong. This has great photo quality, as always.

I actually picked up a couple of Eagles slots in breaks, since they were ridiculously cheap and I have been in the middle of putting my Eagles stuff into TCDB. This has to be one of the worst card designs I have ever seen, however.

I ended up with several needs from the 1995 Leaf Limited set, which looks really nice in a scan.

The best card of the bunch, however, was this Albert Pujols jersey/bat combination, which is numbered to just 20. It has to be in my top few (top 3??) acquisitions of 2020. It's very cool.

Monday, January 25, 2021

Stacked with Ducks

A stack of Ducks from @realwesmore from a Twitter swap a few months back. 
You may know him as The Pancake King or perhaps by another name, but often times the cards from super trader Wes come randomly and by surprise. This was different, however, as Wes offered up a ton of cards from various sports for blind trades. I ended up picking out a few -- all for my Oregon Ducks collection. I could have held off on showing these until next football season, but maybe this will motivate me to add even more Ducks cards to my collection before September arrives.

This is a really nice looking Josh Huff card from a 2014 Upper Deck offering. It includes a two-color jersey swatch and is numbered to 125.

This one isn't signed, but it was my first Jake Breeland card. I have... let's see... two now!

I guess back printing plates are a thing? It's kind of amusing to me that they would make these for a set with such boring backs like this Press Pass product from 2008, but it's a plate nonetheless. I don't have many of those.

Here's the proof of the stacking!

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Football Contest Update

With only one game remaining, let's see how everyone is doing. 
The Super Bowl is now set, and we're left with the very boring matchup of Tom Brady (again) against the defending champions. Six of you out there picked (gave a score of 40+) Kansas City to win the Super Bowl, and are sitting in decent shape right now. Six more of you picked Green Bay, which... oh, so close! I'm no Packers fan, but I was hoping to see them win today so I wouldn't have to suffer through another Tom Brady Super Bowl. Four of you picked teams that didn't make it to this weekend at all, which means no one had Tampa Bay. If the Bucs win the whole thing, this contest will descend into total chaos.

Since you're probably here for cards, I'll mention that a couple of weeks ago I found some Panini Prizm football in the wild. They had a full gravity feed of loose packs along with a bunch of jumbo packs. I was disappointed that they had zero baseball (or basketball, hahaha!) in stock, but still left with some football cards because I had a gift card to burn. I snagged two of the jumbos and a single loose pack. Unfortunately, I didn't end up with any Oregon Ducks cards or Eagles cards, so these are all useless to me. Here's a few of the cards in no particular order.

Here's the only one I might consider selling or trading away for something of similar value. I don't follow the NFL closely, but I had thought of Claypool as one of those "hot rookies" before I realized that I likely only watched him torching the Eagles and everyone kind of did that this season. Apparently people only care about quarterbacks, though, which is a shame.

I know McCaffrey from his Pac-12 days and from his father playing for the Broncos when I paid more attention to the league.

Here's another guy who torched the Eagles, but he's done that to a number of teams I believe.

I have an accidental and completely unwanted Chargers mini-collection right now by way of choosing them in a few breaks so I could get my hands on some Justin Herbert cards. This one comes with a lot of unfortunate scratches that seem to plague these shiny products from time to time.

Another Charger here. This doesn't really look like a Prizm insert to me.

I figured I'd scan a Tampa Bay card because its their big day and all. If it was a Tom Brady card, I would have thrown it in the neighbor's yard (or probably just set it aside for Dennis.)

Since I have no rooting interest in any of these players, I'm going to go with this as my favorite of the bunch.

Saquon is saying "why am I like this?!"

Here's a Chiefs card to represent the other team in this year's Super Bowl. Sources tell me the wide receiver is injured and did not play today (source: the internet.)

I didn't know they ever used college jerseys on Prizm rookie cards. Is this normal? Perhaps McKinney didn't play in any early or preseason games.

Friday, January 22, 2021

Spicy Breakin'

An assortment of Cardinals cards from @Nachos_Grande group breaks. 
I've mentioned it here before and on Twitter that longtime blog Nachos Grande has a really good break group going over on Facebook. If you ask me, groups are really the only worthwhile thing on the beleaguered social media platform these days, and are honestly the only reason why I put the stupid app back on my phone.

Well, that's enough about me and my social media issues. Let's look at some cards! These are all sorts of things from Nachos Grande breaks over the past summer that I had saved up and shipped to me a few months ago.

It seems like everything is a parallel these days, but back in the early to mid-'00s it seemed like more of the parallels were numbered. This 'Xtra Points' gold parallel from 2003 Playoff Prestige is numbered to 150.

Here's one of the inserts from the most recent Panini Diamond Kings set. This goes to show you that if you just strategically chop up Stan the Man's photos you can trick yourself into thinking you haven't seen the same image on a million different cards. I think that's what Panini was going for, anyway.

When I think of Pacific Private Stock, I usually think of those weird (and slightly ugly) T206 sized minis and not the actual base cards. It turns out that I needed a number of base cards, including this Fernando Tatis card with the facsimile autograph.

Before this year's surprisingly impressive (and also expensive) Stadium Club Chrome release were the inserts you could find in the standard Stadium Club product. They all look really nice. This is actually a refractor version numbered to 99.

From the 2018 Panini Diamond Kings comes this Luke Weaver sticker auto. This is also numbered to 99. Not bad!

This might be my favorite of the bunch, however. These are game used bases (base chunks?) I wonder how many Hall of Fame votes Jim Edmonds would get this year if he hadn't fallen off the ballot immediately.

Like Luke Weaver, this one is another ex-Cardinal autograph. Optic's surge in popularity in the basketball market hasn't really translated well to the baseball market, although you wouldn't necessarily know that just by looking at box prices.

The rarest card of all of these breaks, however, is likely this Yadier Molina Downtown insert from the 2020 Diamond Kings set. Apparently these are case hits, which is why you aren't likely to see them on card show tables. The design is a lot more... New Yorker?... than a few of their NBA counterparts that I've seen.

Friday, January 15, 2021

Problematic Heritage

The High Numbers are finally here on this #CrackinWaxMailDay from @CrackinWax (who else?) 
If you've had a chance to check out 2020 Topps Heritage High Numbers, you've probably found or at least heard about the massive quality control issues. The scratches and off-centered cards won't really show up here in the scans, but the base cards in this set are by and large in pretty rough shape coming out of the packs, especially when compared to Heritage sets of the past. On top of this, the entire retail line was canceled after a lengthy delay that pushed the release out until the end of the year. This makes it significantly more difficult for someone with a budget like mine to put together the complete set. Heritage is usually pretty plentiful on the retail side, so it was disappointing to hear. (I should point out that a number of online checklists still list retail exclusives like megabox chrome cards, Bazooka inserts and scratch-off inserts that will never be found unless they enter the market through unscrupulous ways.)

That aside, I did pretty well on my half case break with Crackin' Wax.

Heritage High Numbers could also be called Bench Guys and Leftover Rookies. Brad Miller played a more significant role than expected with the Cardinals during the abbreviated 2020 season due to a hot bat to start and the expanded DH rule (is there a vaccine for the DH rule?)

Here you do see some of the centering issues. Nearly every player in this set is making this same pose or a slight variation on it.

KK opted for the over-the-shoulder look. Good for him. He was a fun pitcher to watch in what barely counted for a season, and I'm hoping for bigger things from him this year.

As always, I love the Clubhouse Collection design that's used for the game-used memorabilia. This time around they went with black borders and a background instead of the white that they used for the regular series.

The black is actually a bit washed out compared to the base cards, however. Still, they look nice, and I'm glad that I ended up with both jersey cards as they're pretty big names.

I also had the A's in the break as my randomly assigned team in the half case break. If you need any, I have tons of extras. I also ended up with two Chrome parallels of someone named Sheldon Neuse?

I also finally got ahold of some Topps UK by way of another CW break. The White Sox were unavailable for purchase and were randomly assigned to me, which added another card to my unintentionally growing Luis Robert rookie collection.

I did snag all of the Cardinals team set (sans Tommy Edman) along with this blue Yadi parallel, which is numbered to just 75. I have a feeling that the print run for this set was pretty small, but I'm not sure if there's a ton of demand to see the Topps base design yet again, only with a UK flag on it.

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Retro Fun

Going back in time a bit for a different kind of blaster. 
With the current state of baseball cards, I've had to find some different ways of making purchases. Box breaks and "online dime boxes" can be great, but sometimes I just have the urge to open packs and can't go down to the local megastore to scratch that itch. Recently, I stumbled across a blaster box of 2003 Bowman Heritage on eBay for a reasonable price. It was actually priced at the suggested retail price, which for some of these boxes used to be more than the typical $19.99 we see today.

The packs look great, so I had to show off a wrapper as well. I usually try to keep at least one pack wrapper for every set that I collect.

Each box apparently comes with its own poster, which describes the history of this particular set. In this case, Keith Olbermann apparently purchased some prototypes for a Bowman set that was never released, which features three distinct designs.

The back of the poster has the full checklist on it.

Here is the primary design for the veterans in the set. It's plain but fits in with some of the other white bordered Bowman sets.

Each pack has one parallel card, as is the custom for Bowman Heritage. For this set, the cards are a thicker version of the base card with a facsimile autograph included. For this design, the border also becomes black.

There are a handful of retired legends in the set, and each of them comes in three variations, one for each design featured in the set. This basically means that there are three different Willie Mays cards with the same card number. A few other present day players get this dual-photo design as their lone version.

Prospects appear on this unique "knothole" design. The selection of rookies/prospects in the set is pretty dire. Brian McCann was the best known player that I pulled.

I'm surprised John Olerud isn't in a lot of newer set. He was a fairly popular player for awhile.

I didn't pull many Cardinals in the box, but I did get the best known Cardinal from 2003.

Here's another retired legend in his "knothole" variation.

I also ended up with a jersey card. Considering how old this set is, I think I did pretty well to get a Hall of Famer here. There doesn't seem to be any sort of guaranteed "hit" per blaster, but per the odds it seems like it should be pretty common.

If anyone has any extras from this set, feel free to hit up my want list. Thanks!