Monday, March 29, 2021

Mondays Means PWE Round-Up

Cards the cheap and somewhat reliable way including stuff from @nightowlcards and @acrackedbat on a Monday. 
It's late, it's Monday and it's been a bit. It must be time for another P. (Plain) W. (White) E. (Envelope) round-up. First up is a few things I claimed from A Cracked Bat back in December. 

I don't really know why I thought it was a good idea to try to collect as many mini Allen & Ginter cards as possible instead of being satisfied with completing the regular set. These are always fun to look at, however, though all of the different flavors of mini ensure that no one can put together a complete set of anything unless they go the popular "Frankenset" route.

Jack Flaherty inserts just can't be passed up. Flaherty takes the mound on Opening Day, which is just three days away now. Wow!

Here's a whole collage of Ginter minis from the venerable Night Owl Cards. Minis were stuffed in all sorts of nooks and crannies of a couple of envelopes. This actually doesn't even represent half of all of the minis that were sent my way. See if you can spot the non-human!

Night Owl also sent a few regular sized needs, including the legendary Eddie Murray.

Last up is some stamp-themed stuff from The Angels In Order. This "stamp" card is from a set released in 1992 that I'd never seen before. I think these might be baseball card-sized reproductions of actual stamps from the island country in the Carribean (St. Vincent), but I'm not totally positive.

I wonder if four dollars got you a whole sheet of stamps or if each individual stamp cost four dollars?

I also received some actual stamps in the form of this fearsome foursome of 1982 Fleer stamps. These are very cool, although they are so thin that one of these almost got permanently lost inside my scanner. Yikes!

Friday, March 26, 2021

Free Stuff Friday: Vol 14

Now with extra Sport Kings. (Sportkings?) 
A brand new Target opened in my area recently. I had made plans to be there on opening day to see if there was anything interesting in their trading cards area, but I completely spaced it and missed the opening by a couple of days. As you might have expected, there wasn't really anything worth picking up by the time I was there. I did see a few Sportkings (aka Sport Kings Gum) blasters on the shelf and figured it might be worth a blog post at least. I double checked the checklist and saw that Randall Cunningham was on it, which pretty much sealed it. Will I find the Randall?

The cards, purportedly made by college football card manufacturers SAGE, are interest enough I suppose. The artwork is mostly fine, save for this monstrously freakish Maurice Cheeks card. What did they do to you, Mo?! Why does it look like you weigh about 700 pounds?

I found the Randall! He's also on the autograph checklist, and each box contains a bonus pack that contains some kind of hit. I wasn't quite that lucky, however.

I also didn't notice that there was a Cardinals card on the checklist, so this Ted Simmons was a nice addition to my collection.

Everything else from the box (excluding Cunningham and Simmons) are available. Feel free to claim away below. The usual rules apply.

The Froome card is creased for some reason.

Jesse Burkett is also creased, despite these being pristine looking cards inside pristine looking packs. Weird.

Old Tom and Mo Cheeks could be getting ready to wrestle.

This Froome card is not creased, however.

 Speaking of Froome, here's the card from the bonus pack. Any Tour de France fans out there?

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Crackin' Donruss Wax


Donruss '21 is another new product I'll probably never see in the stores. Fortunately, @CrackinWax had a couple of boxes up for breaking so I was able to at least sample this product that is usually cheap and readily available. As you can already see, I did pretty well with this break. It's so frustrating, however, to say that I'd probably trade it all for being able to actually open my own cards.

The base design is, with the usual caveat, fairly solid. It's very Donruss-y. When stacked against the current Topps flagship design, I feel like I actually prefer Panini's offering.

As usual, there are blue foil parallels. Blue and red always bounce off of each other to make a striking design.

There's a new crop of Independence Day themed parallels this year, which I've professed a fondness for in the past. These are just covered in blue stars and again have a sturdier cardstock.

The Panini rule is that catchers in full gear will always look better than the rest of the cards. Here's a good example.

On to the trade bait section of the post. This looks like some sort of parallel (purple?) and it's numbered to 2021.

This is a pretty fun one. This mimics the 1987 base design a little bit, includes an economical jersey piece and is a parallel version that I'll just go ahead and call Candy Cane.

Lastly, here's another Braves numbered card. If I recall, some of the hobby inserts are usually numbered to 999 while they have unnumbered retail counterparts. That might be what's going on here. In any case, it stands out pretty well.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

March Radness Update and More

A contest update and a #CrackinWaxMailDay from @CrackinWax (who else?) 
The first week in the big NCAA men's basketball tournament is always chaotic, and this year was no exception. As much as the pandemic affected everything (because it affects everything), parity in college basketball continues to be a huge influence in recent years as the gap between the lowest rated and highest rated teams continues to narrow.

Momirka13 is the current leader, but as is usually the case, the brackets with the highest possible max scores are usually the best positioned to win the contest. Right now, bbcardz (Stadium Fantasium) and Cards from the Quarry are running neck and neck in the one and two positions for max points, with Tomahawk Chop trailing close behind. Even with all of the big upsets, the majority of the brackets still have their predicted champion in the running which is a good sign. Speaking of good signs, the Pac-12 is faring very well in the tournament so far, although it's unfortunate that one of the conference's teams will be eliminated soon with a first-ever Pac-12-on-Pac-12 crime scheduled for later this week. (Go Ducks!) I also had fun filling out a women's bracket this year for fun and am considering including it in the contest next year.

And now... on to the cards! I'm a bit late with this, but I thought I'd show off some more cards from some Crackin' Wax breaks from earlier this month.

Stadium Club Chrome continues to tempt me with its fancy cards. It feels like a lifetime ago that I found a blaster of this stuff in the wild. I had a few lucky moments like this last summer, but I'm sure my batting average on finding anything to buy at the retail level in 2020 was well below the Mendoza line.

The set was originally called Stadium Club Chrome Update (or something like that) and added an additional 100 cards to the checklist, but even in the original 300 cards they used different photos for some of the players. Can anyone identify the batter that was on deck (I think?) on this card?

The Rockies were my randomly assigned team in this break. I ended up with a refractor of a rookie catcher I'd never heard of. It's numbered to just 50 and is headed straight for my trade box.

The same break offered the online-only Allen & Ginter Chrome set. The majority of the packs led off with a hilariously mis-cut base card. I'm glad that this didn't happen to any of the Cardinals cards that I needed, but now I feel like I don't want to send this to a Rockies collector. Are there any fans of mis-cuts out there?

Ah, that's better.

This is probably the last you'll see of the Topps Holiday sets around here for awhile. I'm down to just two needs from the 2020 set and have a complete run of Cardinals base cards from 2016-2019, so I probably should avoid these breaks in the future.

Extra Big Mac

More group break stuff from @Nachos_Grande includes a healthy dose of the former single season home run record holder. 
Group breaks have taken up a much larger share of the content here at Cards on Cards, but my means to acquire new cards have pretty much been forced down that path. They can still be fun, though. One of the most cost effective ways is to join up with a smaller breaker who can give you a break on shipping fees instead of any of the numerous for-profit breakers that are starting to dominated the trading card landscape at the moment. Of course, longtime community blogger Nachos Grande is one of those smaller breakers who runs a Facebook group where you can sign up for as many breaks as you want and just have things shipped when you feel like it. This latest bunch of cards is the last batch before his first "breaker's club" breaks of the year. (If that sounds at all intriguing to you, you should check out his group.)

One of the nice things about buying into late '90s breaks as a Cardinals fan is that you're going to get a disproportionate amount of Mark McGwire cards. There was a lot of cardboard space (cardspace?) dedicated to Big Mac in 1999. It looks like he left a little bit of room for Fernando Tatis (Sr.) to sneak in there, though.

This one is also from the 1999 SPx set, but it's a fancy numbered parallel. McGwire may be a tarnished baseball hero, but he still has a significant following amongst collectors. A copy of one of his cards that's limited to 100 is nothing to sneeze at.

From the always strange Bowman Platinum line comes this Yadier Molina parallel. Walmart exclusive sets usually aren't among my favorites, although the base design for this 2020 set was at least somewhat memorable.

A lot of the box breaks at Nachos Grande are of older sets, which is usually pretty intriguing to me. At some point Fleer tried to revive the SkyBox brand name and produced this apparently all-die cut set. I do love the throwback uniform here.

This card is significantly less visually appealing, but it seems to be some sort of silver parallel as it's numbered to just 299.

I'm always up for a Pacific box break. I feel like I've been searching eBay auctions for decades for something fun to open from Pacific but have never quite pulled the trigger.

Two of the breaks were from then-current year sets (Heritage, Allen & Ginter) where I actually was able to add some stuff to my set builds. Those are a bit boring to talk about, but I did like this Andre Dawson insert even if his photo is reduced to such a small portion of the card. I do like the design, but wish they could have left more room for the actual subject of the card.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

35 Years of Collecting

Turning back the clock on a @CrackinWax #CrackinWaxMailDay to a simpler time. 
1986 was the first year that I bought baseball cards. With Donruss and (eventually) Fleer selling for well above retail price, suffice it to say that I bought my fair share of Topps that year. Who would pay more than 35 cents for a pack of cards, anyway?! The latest (well, until my mail arrived yesterday) batch of breaks from Crackin' Wax included a jumbo box of 2021 Topps Series 1, which like previous years commemorates the 35th anniversary of one of their '80s sets. In this break, I was able to finish off my Cardinals base team set and also struck big with a numbered black bordered jersey card of Jack Flaherty. The white jersey clashes a bit with Flaherty's red spring training uniform, but it's okay.

I know what you're thinking now. This is the wrong red team! I actually ended up with two of three (?) jumbo box hits because I was assigned the Reds as my random team. This one heads to my trade box, of course.

I also snagged a "silver pack" Paul Goldschmidt card for my own collection. I never know what to call the background pattern on these cards, but they always look pretty nice in direct light.

The other break I participated in included a box of Allen & Ginter X and a regular Allen & Ginter box. With the former, I was able to chip away at the team want list a little bit with these two Cardinals from different eras.

I won't bore you with the details of the basic Allen & Ginter break, but I did add a decent sized stack of cards to my barely worked on set build. These two A's minis were probably the most interesting thing I found.

Monday, March 15, 2021

So Close You Can Taste It

Baseball is almost back! @daniel24303 with the Cardinals hookup. 
First off, here's a reminder about the big contest going on this month. I erroneously mentioned that the games would start on Thursday (because they always start on Thursday), but due to what I can only assume are health and safety reasons, Friday is the big day. You have a little extra time to get your bracket filled out.

Back in December, Daniel from It's Like Having My Own Card Shop sent over a really nice batch of Cardinals goods. Let's check out some of those cards.

Die cut cards are always appreciated. This 2004 Donruss Jim Edmonds card comes from the land of plentiful numbered inserts. I wish Topps would serial number their inserts, but they don't want a lot of people figuring out their print runs I'm sure. (They print a lot of cards, especially in 2021!)

A white Chrome refractor? How cool is that? The all-black base design of the 2007 set afforded Topps some room to play with their colored parallels.

Luke Weaver was on one end of a swap between my team and Daniel's team. I'm guessing if Weaver was in a D-Backs uniform here, he would have been less inclined to trade this.

Here's a really nice low numbered (18!) Matt Carpenter jersey piece from the 2017 Topps Triple Theads set. Most cards with larger memorabilia pieces tend to relegate the player to secondary status on the card, but I think the photo placement here works well.

My wallet really can't afford to get in on the '90s refractor game, so it's always nice when someone has a spare one to trade to me. I doubt a Scott Cooper card of any kind will set you back much, but some of these refractors can get really spendy.

I wonder what exactly happened to Sam Tuiavailala. He was a solid reliever for Mariners and put up good numbers for a couple of seasons after starting out with the Cardinals, but I haven't heard of him connected to baseball in any way since he was released out of the blue a year ago. I can't blame anyone for not wanting to play sports competitively in the current environment, but it still seems strange.