Saturday, May 29, 2021

Mariners, Nationals, Anyone?

Some cards from other teams in recent @CrackinWax #CrackinWaxMailDay breaks. 
There are a ton of teams that have had no claims in the Spring Cleaning extravaganza. Perhaps I can entice someone with some Mariners inserts that I picked up as my random team in a recent Crackin' Wax box break?

Evan White has a career .544 OPS, so I'm not sure he was going to be a good pick for Rookie of the Year. But perhaps he'll be good someday, maybe?

This is my first Jarred Kelenic card. He's one of the top prospects in the game, but it looks like he is still trying to figure out big league pitching at this point.

If you're not into the Mariners... what about the Nationals? This numbered to 99 card could easily be yours!

If you're a fan of one of the other 28 teams, of course, feel free to check out the post as well.

I also have a few Cardinals cards to show off from the recent breaks. I was able to finish off the "paper" prospects set from 2021 Bowman, which means I can pretty much mentally put that set out of my mind. Of course, I'd still be interested in any needed inserts, parallels and fancy things from this set if anyone has it laying around.

When the 2017 Topps Fire set came out, about the only thing that was interesting to me was that Jim Edmonds was finally getting a new post-career Cardinals card for me to chase. How silly is it, then, that this ended up being the last base card I needed from the team set. It only took me four years to acquire this card. Weird.

There wasn't a lot to talk about in the 2020 Allen & Ginter X break, but I did add a Stan the Man base card to my collection.

I didn't end up "hit"-less, however. This red spring training swatch of the former Cardinal-turned-Astro Aledmys Diaz is numbered to 110 and shines brightly in person. It's pretty cool.

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

What Else? More Breaks

Cardinals abound in this latest round of @batcavelv box breaks. 
It seems like I mostly just post about box breaks these days. If only there was some other way to buy cards now, besides the going the stupid expensive route and buying a big thing online. (I actually have a hobby box en route, so don't listen to me.) Here's a few winter pickups from Tracy's Box Breaks.

You can find numerous examples of sets that look much better in hand than scanned. It's rare, but I feel the exact opposite about this Pinnacle Aficionado set. I don't like the texture of the card at all and it's tough to look at. But when I take a step back and see it on my computer monitor? Not bad! I can't really explain this.

My favorite thing about this bunch of cards is that I got what appears to be a whole team set full of these foil stamped 65th Anniversary cards. I'm guessing Tracy broke up a set here. These types of things can be very difficult to find in singles, so this was a pretty big score for me.

Here's a refractor version of Goldy's 2020 Topps Chrome card. Unfortunately, rookie mania has made it pretty costly to buy any Topps Chrome cards these days, so I'll have to continue to hunt for singles if I want to get all of the Chrome that I need.

Despite the red uniform, the Hot Rods are not a Cardinals affiliate. This has a tenuous connection to my team collection: Liberatore's offseason trade to St. Louis happens to be mentioned in passing in the bio on the back.

It seems that I am still missing tons of old Conlon cards. There are a bunch of variations in that first 1991 set. Stupid variations.

My "10 Most Wanted" list always seems to have a Stephen Piscotty card on it. There's one on it right now, in fact! At least I finally tracked down a copy of this one.

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Kings of the Diamond

Another #CrackinWaxMailDay from @CrackinWax features a new crop of Diamond Kings. 
Panini's new Diamond Kings set seems to be more of a blink-and-you'll-miss-it offering than in past years. Knowing full well that I won't be seeing any of this stuff on the retail market (which basically doesn't exist anymore), I bought into a break with our good pals at Crackin' Wax.

The design basically looks like last year's set, only with a significant chunk of the border given to a big red space that comes complete with a larger than normal team name. Usually it feels like Panini tries to downplay the team names as much as possible, so they don't get sued or something.

Here is what the design looks like with a black and white photo. I'm glad that they didn't try to colorize this.

One of my chief complaints with Diamond Kings is that they tend to reuse the same photos over and over again for the legendary players, but I'm pleased to say that I don't really recognize this one.

It seems like there may be a few more inserts this year, although that could just be that I somehow lucked out and had some pulled for me. There's an insert set for "Debut" Diamond Kings, presumably where a standout rookie/prospect player was chosen for each team in the league. It's kind of fun, and it's still a bit of a nod to the way they'd choose Diamond Kings for the old Donruss sets.

On the other hand, this insert set seems like they just fused a couple of words together that started with the same letter without giving the subject matter any real thought. It's a new Ozzie Smith card for me, though, so that's certainly a positive.

I had the Tigers assigned as one of my random teams, and my allotment included this plum framed parallel of Hank Greenberg. This is where I need to mention that no one has claimed any Tigers cards in my Spring Cleaning extravaganza. This and more could be yours!

Late Night PWE Round-Up

Another round of the small envelope delivers including stuff from @dimeboxman and more. 
I have to admit to still being a bit shell-shocked from the recent death of my only pathway to buying trading cards in person and I haven't quite figured out what that means for my collection and my blog in the future. That's probably a better topic for another time, though, so let's just dig into a few things I received in smaller packages from kind folks who have spent their time here recently.

First up is a bunch of stuff from Nick of Dime Boxes fame. I am looking towards going to a card show for the first time in about 18 months when June rolls around, but I'm not expecting there to be vast quantities of dime boxes. We'll see what happens. The first card that rolled out of the envelope (or out of this post, anyway) is one of those mysterious modern Leaf cards. All I can gather from looking at the card is that it's a 2020 Leaf card and it clearly pays tribute to the 1990 design that caused such a stir back in the day.

Here's Eli Marrero on a SkyBox Thunder "Rant" parallel. It has purple foil to stand out by itself.

This one was a huge surprise, as one of my all-time faves hasn't exactly been on this earth and available to sign autographs for nearly two decades. I'd be interested to know the story behind this card, if there actually is one.

I opened a blaster from 2003 Bowman Heritage set recently, so the set has been on my mind a bit lately. It's not the best looking set by any means, but it interests me a lot more than most of what new stuff Topps and Panini crank out these days.

Speaking of new stuff, this Yadi card is a Chrome-d up version of the 1952 "Redux" inserts from the latest flagship set. It shines in person, of course.

Longtime Rockies blogger hiflew from Cards from the Quarry has taken the "Free Stuff Friday" thing (so 2020), flipped it to Sundays and run with it. I've claimed a few cards over the past few months, and have gotten some fun envelopes as a result. Alex Reyes is firmly cemented as the closer on this year's version of the Cardinals, even if the announcers constantly mentions his aspirations to move on to bigger and brighter things (i.e. a starting rotation spot.)

A Blazer sneaks in here. CJ and his squad made the playoffs for the eighth consecutive season, good for the longest active streak in the NBA. Let's hope that they do some big damage this time around. I'm just glad they avoided that horrible play-in tournament that should be killed with fire and never spoken of again.

It's a numbered refractor. It's swaggy.

Jason Motte's Upper Deck rookie card is featured on this one-and-done set called Icons, which continued the weird '00s concept where most rookie cards needed to be serial numbered. Nowadays, they print tens of thousands of them (if not a hundred thousand) and they're not numbered and people pay crazy money for them.

This Waino is an orange parallel that's numbered to 199, although it scanned in more of a salmon color.

Last up is a one-off card from Chris, The Collector. Unbeknownst to Chris, before the first Blazers playoff game that I ever attended, I had a photo of my next to a life-sized photo of Gerald Henderson while I was ultra-excited to go watch the team I'd been following all my life. He wasn't with Portland for a ton of time and was mostly a role-player, but for whatever reason I sought out his picture for the photo opportunity first. In any case, it was really cool to get this patch card of Henderson's that's numbered to just 10 copies.

Big thanks once again to everyone who has mailed me cards over the past year or so. It's made the tedious days a lot less tedious.

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.