Friday, June 25, 2021

Nachos and an Update

Group break stuff from @Nachos_Grande and a Spring Cleaning update. 
When I announced the Spring Cleaning event in May, I knew that it was probably going to be a bit of a misnomer with summer around the corner. Now that summer is definitely here and I am staring at piles and piles of cards instead of sealed up packages, I know that I ended up missing the mark. The update is that I hope to resume sorting and packaging and actually start mailing things out in the first week of July. A few things happened to delay the progress, some foreseen and some unforeseen. If you have any additional requests (or haven't signed up yet?!), now is definitely the time. I am still planning on prioritizing anyone that specifically sent me stuff for this, but in any case I am going to get the packages moving out after the holiday weekend has passed.

In the meantime, let's check out some more cards. Everything seen here was acquired in a series of box breaks from the Nachos Grande Breaker's Club. 1998 Pacific Online was a pretty perplexing set. I still needed a bunch of base cards from it, and also needed (and gained) quite a few of these "web" parallels. The foil is gold instead of silver, and there's some sort of online code printed on the back of these.

Did anyone actually "get online" with these cards? I wonder how that would have worked. I definitely had dial-up internet back in 1998.

These Home Run History cards are very similar to the QVC box set that also included a bunch of Sammy Sosa cards. They're actually inserts from the 1999 Pacific Private Stock set, however. They're a bit thicker and have a holo foil overlay at the bottom.

Topps Tek was pretty much an anti-set. No right-minded set collector would ever dip a toe in here. On an individual level, the cards look really nice.

These are a good time for player collectors, as long as one of your players is actually on the checklist. 

My feelings on the Walmart Topps Gallery sets of late are pretty well documented here. They're not... good feelings. I also don't have good feelings about Marcell Ozuna, considering what he was recently arrested for. Barring something completely unexpected, this is probably the last you'll hear of him around this place.

On to much better things... it's mini So Taguchi! What a palate cleanser!

We'll end things with this Lou Brock card from the land of serial-numbered insert cards. There's a conspicuous space where you might expect Lou's signature to appear, and considering that these are actually called Prime Signatures, well... something feels like it's missing! This is just how things were done in the 00's, it seems.

Thursday, June 24, 2021

2021 Topps: The Sequel

They're never better than the original, are they? A @CrackinWax #CrackinWaxMailDay case break review.
Instead of buying expensive boxes online, I decided to just buy in to a case break at Crackin' Wax to get my Series 2 fix and allotment of Cardinals cards. This isn't nearly as easy as opening up the packs myself, of course, but at least at the end of the day I'm not stuck with piles of things I don't need. (I do have a small pile of Cardinals base cards I don't need, though.)

Series 2 features the same Rookie Cup logo placement issues that plagued Series 1 and Opening Day. With the way Topps crops their photos so closely these days, it must be hard to find a spot for the poor cup. But that lower right corner is wide open there, guys.

Ah, happier times. Here's one of the first and hopefully last appearances of protective face masks on a Cardinals card. We'll see if Mike Maddux lasts the season.

One thing that is new about Series 2 is the debut of the new Players Association logo in its flagship product. Series 1 still had the old logo. I'm not really a fan of this new logo.

Insert time! The 70th Anniversary train rolls on with a non-rookie RC logo-adorned Dylan Carlson card that uses the 2004 design where Yadier Molina's actual rookie card made it's appearance.

I'm not sure why 35 is such a big number for Topps, but it keeps these tributes firmly set in the '80s for now. I ended up with both of the Cardinals cards from the Silver Pack Chrome inserts.

I also ended up with one of the 12 guaranteed hits in the break, a jersey swatch from that same Carlson guy again. (There's that superfluous RC logo again, too.)

The DH role is nothing to be celebrated, especially when it leeched its way into National League play last season. This might be my least favorite insert set of all-time, even if it leaves me with an odd Brad Miller card to track down. As the back of the card explains, Goldy already had logged 31 regular season plate appearances at the (non-)position prior to last season (interleague play! ever heard of it?)

I do have a soft spot for the 1986 set as a whole, considering that it was among the first packs I ever bought. It's weird seeing someone who played decades before the '80s show up on this design, though.

Hey, it's my first Nolan Arenado Cardinals card! Well... sort of. It looks like we'll have to wait until Update to get the real deal.

What do you think Topps does with the extra bits of cards that they don't use after making these die cuts?

Serious question, though: Has anyone looked into the environment impact Topps has made from a manufacturing standpoint? (Or Panini?) Think about all of those chemicals involved. Do they recycle anything? When Topps goes public, I suppose they might have to answer to some of this.

Does anyone who collects cards recycle anything, other than mailing supplies and card protectors?

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Two Dodgers Fans and a Rockies Fan Walk into a Bar

It's not a joke, it's a PWE round-up from @nightowlcards and more! 
It's time to look at the contents of a few more stamped small envelopes sent my way this spring. First up is a few cards from Rockies fan hiflew of Cards from the Quarry. There's been a near-weekly feature at Cards from the Quarry where a serial numbered card from each team is offered up for trade. I've claimed a few of these this year and was able to jettison some extra Rockies cards in the process.

Say what you will about Panini's Donruss sets, but they've definitely improved since the first offering back in 2014. This is one of the stat line parallels, which does have an interesting foil effect on it at least. The design is pretty rough, though, with the only really welcome element being the throwback baseball pattern on the sides.

The last card from hiflew is this Luke Weaver Prizm Draft card numbered to just 35. 

Next up is some cards from Dodgers fan Night Owl Cards, who has sent me a lot of cards over the years to put it lightly.

Night Owl keeps hitting my set wants, which is always appreciated. As a Cards fan, I'm bummed that Kris Bryant is a thing again. Sometimes that walk year will do that to a guy.

Luke Gregerson was a former Cardinals draft pick that was traded before he hit the majors, but finished his career in a Cardinals uniform. I try to forget his time in that uniform, honestly.


Night Owl also found a couple of Cardinals cards that I needed. This one was chunky enough to warrant its own envelope. I haven't looked at the Series 2 checklist all that carefully yet, but I'm guessing there's another one or two of these manupatch cards that I need to track down.

Series 2 is also carrying on the 70 Years of Topps theme with star players (old and new) on designs of the past. We'll hopefully check out a few of those next week. It sometimes produces weird results, because I swear I've seen a card just like this before.

Last up is another 70 Years card, sent from Dodgers fan gcrl of cards as i see them. I think I end a lot of my posts with a Yadi card, but I think it's always a good way to go out.

Feel free to actually write my joke in the comments, if you're so inclined.

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Stadium Club At Night

More @CrackinWax breaks? Why not? #CrackinWaxMailDay 
After the Trail Blazers were knocked out of the playoffs last week, I took it upon myself to take a week off from sports. To put it lightly, things haven't been going well for the Cardinals after they jumped out a division lead last month. The Timbers are on a break. And we're several months away from me paying attention to football again.

I've also been hard at work at pulling and sorting cards for people in the Spring Cleaning extravaganza. With limited space to put piles of cards, I end up piling up stuff on my scanner which prevents me from scanning cards for the blog. It's a vicious cycle.

I bought into a few more breaks at Crackin' Wax over the past couple of weeks, so let's go ahead and check them out while my scanner is free.

Last year's Stadium Club Chrome is just too tempting. It's a big set and I still needed a bunch of the team set. I was able to add a few more to the binders here.

Miles Mikolas has entered the stage of his career where he shows up to toss a few innings a season, apparently. I know that 2021 has been the season of the injury, but it's hard to see your team's normally strong rotation be decimated in the way that it has been.

Even Kolten Wong hasn't been able to stay healthy, and he's not even on the team anymore.

This year's Diamond Kings set has been the only thing I've been able to find consistently at the retail level lately. (I accidentally found out when they stock a few things on the toy shelves at a certain Walgreen's recently.) I wasn't very successful on this group break buy-in, but I did snag a Jack Flaherty insert. Flaherty is also injured.

The only Crackin' Wax break I bought into last week was a basketball (!) break, mostly to encourage Chris to continue to do NBA breaks. I did not do well. The NBA market apparently is starting to fall, finally, but not yet enough for my taste. I did end up with a Lillard card that I already had, plus a couple of Timberwolves non-rookies.

The latest package came with a couple of fun unopened junk wax era packs. I set aside a 1991 Studio pack for another day, but immediately opened the 1994 Sportflics hobby pack. I'll show off the pack in full at some point on APTBNL, but I will spoil that I ended up with this Todd Zeile card that I needed.

Card show in the morning? Can I do it?

Thursday, June 3, 2021

A Vintage Bounty

Who needs overpriced hobby boxes and resold retail when @Thorzul breaks all of the vintage you can handle? 
The latest batch of box break cards to be featured here is a bit different. Instead of chasing shiny this and numbered that and weird half-heartedly drawn squiggly lines by distracted young players, Death Stare Cards bought a quality batch of vintage cards online and turned it into a team break. I have been dreading this post for a bit, because my scanner likes to randomly crop out borders on pretty much any card made before 1980. I don't really understand it, but it's a thing. If you see any missing or incomplete borders, you can be assured that the cards themselves don't really look that way.

Obviously, there's a bit of risk with something that's being packaged together by someone on the internet, but I know that Thorzul has a pretty good eye for eBay lots, which isn't something I'd necessary be good at. Most of the Cardinals cards in the bunch were from the '70s and '60s, with a couple of nice condition late '50s cards thrown in.

This one has a big crease down the middle, but it's my first card from the 1960 Fleer set. This one turned out to be the worst victim of my scanner cropping issues.

Is it me, or does it look like Nelson's mitt is really huge? It's not, like, 1986 Fleer Mickey Hatcher huge, but maybe there's just something weird with the camera perspective.

When I first saw this Kellogg's card, I was hoping there would be more like this, but it turns out that this Cardenal the Cardinal was the only one in the lot for me. 

These next two were the biggest finds for me. This 1969 Steve Carlton isn't in perfect shape, but there's no visible creases, writing or paper loss. It's great!

In even better shape is this second year Curt Flood card. The 1959 set is my favorite of the era.

I figured I had most of not all of the 1977 Topps team set, but the Forsch Brothers card was new to me. I'm glad that I ended up with this and not the Astros slot.

Here's one from everyone's favorite woodgrain set. (Not 1987.)

It's maybe not the most power packed pair of Rookie Stars, but it still filled a need of mine.

There was another one from 1977 that I needed. I'm down to three left.

When I was young, Dal Maxvill was the Cardinals GM that everyone blamed everything on, so the thought of owning one of his baseball cards would have seemed absurd to me. 

Apparently Tim McCarver was considered for the GM job before Maxvill was hired. That would have been wild.

I don't have a ton of love for the 1973 set, but they do have some of the best manager cards I've ever seen. Will next year's Heritage set actually include managers?

Ray Washburn definitely looks like a rook here.

That's all for the cards from the break that I needed, although there's another stack of several dozen that I need to go through to see if they're possible upgrades. That pile includes a Keith Hernandez rookie card and a 1972 Bob Gibson. That's not nothing!

I also bought a stack of test issue 1987 Topps Stickers that were included with the break. They look identical to their more common counterparts, aside from having a darker back and much thicker stock. They wouldn't have made for a very interesting scan. If you aren't familiar, they're very similar to the early 2010's Topps album stickers instead of the more common thinner Panini style stickers.