Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Bootleggin' with Panini

1991 Donruss is back from the dead... in basketball form. 
Similar to Topps Now, Panini has an online-only product that's printed on demand. I feel like it gets very little attention, although I'm not sure how much it deserves it. For the past few years (at least), they've produced an NBA set of rookies featuring an old Donruss baseball design complete with the iconic Rated Rookie logo. It looks wack, to fit with the vernacular of the early '90s.

The Blazers have had a rough season to say the least, but I decided to pick up Greg Brown's card from this set more as a curiosity than anything else. Brown is an immensely talented dunker, but is very young and hasn't had a ton of meaningful minutes to show whether he has a future as a rotation player. He seems like a cool dude, though, and I hope he ends up carving out a space for himself on the roster somehow.

The 1991 Donruss baseball set featured several different patterns using the same blue border in Series 1, but based on the two cards I purchased, I'm guessing that these all use the same pattern. In any case, the border isn't really the problem. The font is what's really tough to look at. I don't even know what to say about it.

I added Chris Duarte's card to my order as he's a Ducks alum. He came into the league as an older, readymade NBA rotation guy and has performed pretty well for the Pacers when's he's been on the floor. When you look at the back of the card, you can see that Panini abandoned the 1991 Donruss format entirely, and just did the Panini thing where you take the headshot portion of the photo and reproduce it on the back. Each card contains the print run of the set on the back, which is actually a bit of an improvement over how Topps expects you to just Google their print runs for the Topps Now line. Other than that, I can't really say that there's anything else that puts these cards above the Topps offering, but I am glad that I purchased these bits of weirdness for my collection.

Monday, March 28, 2022

Contest Update #2 and the DK Draft


Guess what? It's not good. 
After the second, pivotal week of the big NCAA tournament, things are really starting to come into shape. Unfortunately, many of our contest participants have ceased the ability to score more points, while only three of you still have your predicted champion alive in the tournament. I'm totally out as well, but I narrowly avoided last place (early congrats-ish to James20484 - please get in touch.) While The Lost Collector continues to lead the group, all of his final four teams are out. Meanwhile, maxleemar, Jafronius and ashbaugh88 have the most potential to move up. We do have, for the first time ever, a very real possibility at going to the tiebreaker score to determine the winner.

Today's card-o'-the-day comes from The Diamond King's recent card craft. This was a really cool idea he put together by having a group of participants submit an envelope full of nine cards, blind essentially, with all of the cards being thrown into a pool to be drafted among the participants. By luck of the draw, I ended up with the first draft choice and proceeded to snag this low numbered Jim Edmonds card for my collection.

This particular insert design is a tribute to the Polo Grounds, a place that Jim Edmonds and his fellow stars of the mid-'00s never got a chance to play in. It's retro for retro's sake, but it looks interesting and isn't a card you see every day. The only other must-have card in the draft for me was a Skip Schumaker autographed card that I had never seen before, but it was taken in the second round before my turn came around again.

I've saved the remaining 8 cards that I ended up with for future trades and such. It was definitely a fun concept and I wouldn't mind participating again in the future. At the very least, it gives a chance to swap out some things from your trade boxes for some other things you may not have seen or had before.

Thursday, March 24, 2022

A Thursday PWE Round-Up

The latest batch of PWE's includes a @nightowlcards variety pack. 
It's Thursday night, which means we're already well into the preweekend if you're into that sort of thing. I have a few more envelopes of the plain and white variety to go through, so let's get it going.

First up is a pair of gems from gcrl. It feels like Alex Reyes is entering some sort of make-or-break season to determine what kind of career he's going to have, which makes it less than ideal that he's going to begin the season on the IL, an unfortunately familiar place for him. The blue Chrome rookie refractor card of his (numbered to 150) is really nice looking, though. I like the way the triangular patterns in the background were used on the 2017 Chrome cards, even if I never liked the design itself.

The other aforementioned gem is one of those heavy metal cards from 1996 Leaf Preferred. This Eckersley card is actually a gold parallel, which might well be a first for my collection. At the very least, I haven't seen many of these.

Next up is small pile of things from Night Owl. The rookie variations from last year's Allen & Ginter set just serve as a reminder of how much better the designs from the first few A&G sets from Topps were.

Randal Grichuk just got traded to the Rockies today, so this one is a bit timely. It's a gold parallel card of the always classic Arch-in-the-background shot.

Here's a new(er) one for my meager George Springer collection. I don't feel like I saw a lot of new Donruss Optic cards last year.

The end of the lockout means that Yadier Molina will actually get a shot at a full season in what is planned to be his final one. I don't know how pink became such a go-to color for Topps Chrome refractors, but I'm not complaining.

This is the first time I've added a card from the 2009 Topps Update Propaganda inserts set in quite a long while. This is right about when Manny Ramirez's career started taking a dark turn.

Night Owl also sent this nice six pack o' Turkeys from the first Topps version of the old cabinet cards.

Last up is a few (American) footballers from Trevor P. This is a really nice shiny 2005 Bowman Chrome refractor from the former Ducks star QB Joey Harrington.

I could have sworn I had this Dion Jordan rookie card already, but I must have been thinking of some parallels. It looks like Jordan is wearing Ducks gear here, but Topps Photoshopped it out of recognition.

Jason Fife only got one full season in as Oregon's starting QB after backing up Harrington before giving way to Kellen Clemens. I don't think he ever saw any regular season action in the NFL.

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Contest Update and an Arenado

Let's see who the leaders are after a busy first week. 
Let's just say that the opening week of NCAA tournament games lived up to its "Madness" moniker. Many top seeds fell, although just 2 of our 28 participants lost their predicted champion. I wasn't one of them, but my bracket is in complete shambles as I now have one of the lowest potential scores of the entire group due to losing all but one of my final four selections.

At the top of the standings is currently The Lost Collector, who is also second in "max points" currently. Max points is usually a better indicator of determining success due to the chaotic nature of the tournament. The current "max points" leader is 21Champs, sitting all the way back in 18th place. We'll see how that plays out. James20484 has the best shot at the worst bracket so far. Good luck to everyone and their brackets this week!

Today's card comes to us courtesy of the bougie Topps 582 Montgomery Club. (No, I am not a member.) I picked it up online for a reasonable price. The card vaguely resembles the 1992 Topps design, but also seems to be going out of its way to not look much like it at all.

On the reverse, it's explained that the special 2022 set "features a design inspired by the early days of Topps Trading Cards." I'm not sure that I really know anyone who would consider the grunge era to be the "early days" of Topps. They have featured the 1992 design several times much more accurately, as recently as retail inserts in the 2021 Update set.

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

March Radness - Final Reminder!

Get your picks in now! Also, PAGING JOHNNY G, your contest prize is sitting on my desk. 
I just filled out my bracket. The games are on tomorrow morning. Don't miss out!

By the way, Johnny G, the winner of the Bowl Pick 'Em contest, still needs to get in touch with me if he wants his prize.

Monday, March 14, 2022

Football Upstages Everything

Baseball cards take a back seat in this @forgotaboutblay hobby delivery. 
As jokes continue to swirl around the internet about the length of a certain professional football quarterback's retirement (it wasn't long), I thought I'd show off some stuff from another stellar batch of cards from Dennis of Too Many Verlanders fame. A good chunk of my football (Ducks, mostly) collection has been supplied by Dennis, so like how the long awaited opening of Spring Training ended up taking a backseat to the news of a certain former Michigan QB deciding to... whatever the opposite of hanging up your cleats is... the football cards are going to throw themselves fully in front of the baseball stuff for now.

First up, the Arik Armstead card from Panini National Treasures is an instant favorite. The design is pretty nice, but it's the throwback uniforms that really seal it for me.

This color parallel ends up clashing a bit with the Oregon uniforms, but there are a lot of colors that clash with their uniforms. (At times, their own uniforms have clashed with themselves.)

Speaking of Ducks uniforms, I actually really liked their jerseys from the Dennis Dixon era. It was easy to call out the crosshair pattern on the shoulders, but I kind of liked it!

Here's another look. This is from a Press Pass jersey card. Is Press Pass still a thing? I haven't a lot of college draft cards since Marcus Mariota turned pro, aside from the odd Panini Prizm thing.

DeMarco Murray won't be the most fondly remembered Philadelphia Eagles player, but the Donruss Dominator inserts look pretty nice.

Flipping over to basketball for a bit, this Panini Totally Certified design always annoyed me. It's great to have a large place for the player to sign, but they've cropped so much of the photo that it makes for a bit of an ugly card. The reason they did this, I imagine, is because they're using college photos due to the longer lead time needed to have these signed on-card. Totally Certified seems to have been banished to the Panini attic for now (it doesn't even appear in Chronicles), while the regular Certified brand lives on.

It's back to football here with an extra shiny Prizm Draft auto.

Here's one last football card before we let the baseball guys have a bit of fun. I did hold back a few of the huge stack of signed cards for a future Ducks post, as I tend to do.

If you're strictly a baseball fan and are still reading this-- thank you! Mid-'90s Score parallels/inserts are a favorite of mine, as they don't seem to be too expensive and yet I still seem to need a ton of them.

Dennis sent a healthy stack of 1996 Flair cards, which offer a high end look in an era of overproduction. They are fancy, but not all that expensive anymore.

Imagine returning to collecting baseball cards after more than a decade off and finding out that someone really made baseball cards like this. Well, that's exactly what happened to me. I found a lot of things  about card collecting (Chrome, in particular) to be really eye-rolling when I first got back into it, but this is the right kind of silliness.

This pair of Press Proof parallels from 1997 Donruss claim a print run of just 2000. That doesn't seem like a lot by today's standards, but I bet it would be a huge ordeal to put together a whole set of these.

Lastly, Topps Finest cards are always appreciated here. Two of these gems from 1994 are refractors. I bet you can guess which ones.

Thursday, March 10, 2022

Contest Time! March Radness XIII

It's Year 13 of our annual contest! Pick all of the NCAA tournament games for a shot at a prize! #MarchRadness
It's back! Pick the best NCAA bracket and you can win a cool prize. There are also runner-up prizes. I will also select one game for anyone, including those who don't want to fill out a bracket, to predict the final score of (game TBD.)

Rules for 2022: 
  • Selection Sunday is March 13th, which means that is the earliest the brackets can be filled out. The games that actually count for the contest will start on March 17th.
  • Default ESPN scoring rules apply. You must fill out the entire bracket, including the tie-breaking final score of the final game. There's some disclaimers in there about the possible cancellation of games and/or the tournament itself. I didn't read it, and hopefully it won't need to be addressed.
  • First place wins a brand new blaster box of sports cards (subject to availability!) I will email the winner shortly after the final game to make the prize selection among the available products at the time.
  • Second and third place prizes will consist of some team bags of cards from your favorite MLB and/or NBA teams.
  • As always, the worst (honest) bracket will get something, too.
  • Click here now to join, and follow the "Create a Bracket Now" link. Make sure to fill out your entire bracket prior to March 17th!

Sunday, March 6, 2022

Featuring Kevin Kolb

Ducks, Blazers, Eagles and maybe even one Cardinal card headline a package of things received in December. 
While I may not be buying new (Topps) baseball cards for the time being, there's still plenty of things to show off here on the blog. From the country up north came another great package from Sportscards from the Dollar Store that, as usual, featured cards from all the sports.

Second year cards of Justin Herbert have naturally been a bit easier to acquire, but I still don't have a ton of them. I stopped signing up for the Chargers in group breaks once Herbert had passed his rookie year, and the prices were starting to get out of hand.

This NBA Hoops Rookie insert of Jermaine O'Neal is really nice looking card for such a budget brand. The "rookie" lettering printed on the card is embossed.

Here's a pair of Bowman Sterling jersey cards from Jonathan Stewart's rookie season. The green parallel on the left is numbered to 299.

And yes, here is Kevin Kolb! If the black borders and block lettering seem familiar, it's because this is from a 2007 set, and Topps used the same basic design as baseball for the other sports. I honestly haven't thought about Kolb in quite awhile, but it's a fun card.

It's too bad that The Original Whizzinator will always be Onterrio Smith's legacy, because he was a terrific running back when he was actually on the field. It looks like the Whizzinator is actually still a thing. There's a website! (I'm not gonna link it.)

I'm going to have to remember to go back and try to fill in my collection with as many Penei Sewell cards as possible from 2021, because offensive linemen don't typically get a lot of cards beyond their rookie year. This is a really nice one, although all of the different colors tend to clash with Sewell's Ducks jersey. Look for Penei's brother Noah to join him in the NFL at some point. He's pretty good as well. I believe there's four Sewell brothers in all.

All of the stars and glitter give this one a bit of a holiday or winter feel.

Here's the lone Cardinals card of the lot, but it's a good one. I'm a big fan of high end base cards, which I know are the source of disappointment for anyone who likes to spend big money on boxes of just a few cards.

Finally, in his fifth season in the league, I have my first Chris Boucher card. He was a favorite of mine at UO. He never got a proper rookie card as he was still injured when he entered the league and went undrafted, and his first official card ended up being in a Panini Instant set that commemorated the Warriors title that year.

From the most recent Panini Chronicles Draft set comes this triple jersey card of the Blazers second round pick. It's a blue parallel that's numbered to just 99.

And here's the Blazers other rookie on a similar triple jersey card. This is the base version, so it's unnumbered. Portland entered the draft with zero picks, but ended up trading their way into Greg Brown, who is a raw prospect but a terrific dunker, and then signed the undrafted Trendon Watford. Watford played his way into the team's rotation before they ended up tearing almost the whole team down about a month ago. Watford even recently signed a long term contract, which is a huge deal for a dude that didn't even get picked.

Thursday, March 3, 2022

On Pause

It's time to stop contributing money to MLB, no matter how indirectly. 
With the labor dispute in baseball apparently set to go on indefinitely, content around here may start looking a bit different. It might possibly get a little... slow around here, depending on how much longer this drags on. I am not planning on spending any more money on this game, including cards, until baseball comes back again.

We do have the annual March Radness contest coming up, and I still owe people their prizes from the last contest. All of this will still be happening. I just wouldn't look for a lot of new baseball cards around here for awhile. I might not be actively seeking trades as much as I usually would, although I'm not going to be too sad if stuff keeps showing up in the mail. It just stings a bit right now.

Around the height of the market surge for sports cards, when everyone was digging up their "lost" treasures out of their closets, I happened to find some absurd prices for what is mostly a garden variety base card from the 2013 Topps Heritage set, featuring Derek Jeter and a third year Mike Trout appearance. I know Trout's first Heritage card commands a huge premium for whatever reason, but it seemed to be a bit ridiculous to pay so much for this one. The card is now down to selling for around the cost of a blaster now, and I imagine it will continue to fall -- like all baseball card prices -- if things don't turn around soon.

Like Jeter, I guess I'm getting out of the game now. Well... kind of. We'll see.

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Project: Randall (Update!)

A framed autograph from @flywheels updates the Collection of Cunninghams from 2021 Allen & Ginter. 
Thanks to a huge trade with Colbey from Affordable Group Breaks / Cardboard Collections, I finally have an update to last year's project to collect all the Randall Cunningham cards from Allen & Ginter.

Unfortunately, I'm having to add even more cards to my want list than I subtracted here, due to the release of the Allen & Ginter Chrome set. Yikes! I should really get going on this project, especially with baseball getting shut down and leaving a bitter taste in my mouth. It's probably time to focus on other things, like this.

If you happen to run into any of these cards (aside from those in bold), let me know as I'd love to own a copy.

Randall Cunningham #277 - FULL CHECKLIST: (bold means I own it)
  • Base
  • Silver Foil (Hot Box)
  • Glossy (1/1)
  • Mini Base
  • Mini A&G Back
  • Mini Black Border
  • Mini No Number (print run: 50)
  • Mini Brooklyn Back (/25)
  • Mini Wood (1/1)
  • Mini Glossy (1/1)
  • Mini Framed Printing Plate(s) (1/1)
  • X Base
  • X Mini Black
  • X Mini Red (/5)
  • X Mini Silver (1/1)
  • Chrome
  • Chrome Refractor
  • Chrome Blue Refractor (/150)
  • Chrome Gold Refractor (/50)
  • Chrome Green Refractor (/99)
  • Chrome Orange Refractor (/25)
  • Chrome Red Refractor (/5)
  • Chrome Superfractor (/1)
  • Chrome X-Fractor
  • Chrome Mini
  • Chrome Mini Gold Refractor (/50)
  • Chrome Mini Orange Refractor (/25)
  • Chrome Mini Red Refractor (/5)
  • Chrome Mini Superfractor (/1)
Randall Cunningham - AUTOGRAPH CHECKLIST: (bold means I own it)
  • Dual Autographs (w/ Vashti Cunningham) DA-CC
  • Framed Mini Non-Baseball Autographs FMA-RC
  • Framed Mini Non-Baseball Autographs Red Ink FMA-RC
  • Framed Mini Non-Baseball Autographs Black Frame (/25) FMA-RC
  • X Silver Frame Black Mini Non-Baseball Autographs FMA-RC
  • X Silver Frame Black Mini Non-Baseball Autographs Black Frame Black FMA-RC (/10)
  • X Silver Frame Black Mini Non-Baseball Autographs Silver Frame Gold Ink FMA-RC (/5)