Tuesday, January 31, 2023

More Than a Buck

A fresh bunch of Blazers, football players and hockey dudes. 
The always excellent Sportscards From the Dollar Store hit again with another bunch of goodies back in October. This latest bunch was heavy on (American) footballers with some other sports represented as well.

I won't rehash the story of the late Biggie Swanigan, but suffice it to say that it's one of the sadder ones. His last days in the league came in a reunion with the Blazers, who had originally drafted him. And then, unfortunately, the pandemic happened. Sometimes life really sucks.

Moving right along to better and brighter things, here are some Eagles past and present on the latest Panini Score design. I can always use more Brian Dawkins cards.

Did you all hear that the Eagles are in the Super Bowl again this year? Or, as some are calling it, the Kelce Bowl.

The Super Bowl also brings Andy Reid back to face his old Eagles team, which was led by Donovan McNabb for most of his time there. (See, I can make this batch of cards that I've been sitting on since October seem relevant today!)

A handful of St. Louis Blues cards always sneak their way into these packages as well. I feel like I always end up picking a Tarasenko card to scan out of the bunch to scan for these posts, so this time I brought along a friend for him.

Sportscards From the Dollar Store is my main (and probably only?) source of CFL cards. Of course, I'm only looking for CFL cards if they feature Oregon Ducks players, like '80s UO running back Tony Cherry.

A more recent Duck running back shows up here on the more modern Panini Prizm set from 2015.

I kind of like this year's Score design. It's distinctive, at least. Kayvon Thibodeaux still looks good in his Oregon uniform.

Speaking of Oregon players, this one is a real doozy. (Does anyone say "doozy" anymore?) I can count on one hand the number of printing plates that I own, so this was really cool to see. I'm not so thrilled that Troy Brown Jr. is a Laker these days, but unfortunately no one consults me about these things before allowing them to happen.

I wish I could add this one to the TCDB database, but Panini doesn't publish checklists for their plates as far as I can tell. Even more confusingly, these are often inserted into another product from another year, like National Treasures or something. Anyway, don't hate the card, hate the game.

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

It Must Be PWE Round-Up Time

Checking in on the plain white envelopes, featuring a fancy one from @breakdowncards and much more. 
The contents of my mailbox recently has been inundated with PWE trades from TCDB (if you know, you know), but I still want to make time for the reader/blogger friends who continue to send me stuff. First up tonight is an all-Cardinals offering from gcrl (cards as i see them.) 

The other night, the Dallas Cowboys kicker missed his first four PATs in an opening playoff game, and I saw multiple people mention the name Rick Ankiel in reference to his misdeeds. That made me a bit sad. Those four lost points could have spelled doom for the football team, but the game ultimately was a blowout anyway. Ankiel's meltdown was even more costly, but the Cardinals actually went on to win their playoff game on that fateful day. Ankiel's pitching career never fully recovered, though.

These Artist's Proof parallels are a little too much, if you ask me. I normally can go for the shiny stuff, but I'm not sure about this.

Panini was still trying to perfect their formula when this Prizm design appeared. This red, white, and blue parallel design also contains that "mojo" pattern that certain collectors love these days.

Here we go into the murky depths that is the scanned foilboard card. It's hard to tell what's going on here. Eli would prefer if you just left.

While I wasn't much for the '97 Score Artist's Proof design, I do like this "sunburst" pattern (cool kids call it Dufex, I think) on these '94 Pinnacle Museum Collection cards. I could certainly use more of these.

The next batch of goodies included this two-pack of Red Turkey cards from the All Cardinals All the Time blog.

These rest of this batch must have fit into the unwanted Cardinals dupes category, which is certainly relatable. I am proud to say that I never bought a single pack of this Topps cash grab from last year, the "Platinum Anniversary" Chrome set that was apparently delayed from 2021. The cards will look great in my binders, but the set is massive and features an all too familiar design. (I'm still working on the team set, of course.)

Jordan Hicks seems to be the forgotten man in the Cardinals bullpen because of the injuries that have plagued him. Let's hope that he can put together a nice string of productive outings sometime in the not too distant future.

These early Opening Day sets had large logos on them and were much more identifiable than the most recent offerings. Eventually Topps settled in to making them look like dollar store versions of their flagship set.

I believe this is a black parallel version of one of the Topps insert sets from 2018. I really wish it was somehow illegal to make parallel versions of insert cards.

I'm dead sure I must have needed this Matt Adams card or it wouldn't be appearing in this space here, but if I had seen this in a random card bin at a card show, I would have certainly passed it up.

Matt Carpenter is going to look weird in a Padres uniform.

Last up is an envelope from Baseball Card Breakdown that apparently got lost in USPS purgatory for a stretch. Maybe some lonely mail carrier was tempted by this seriously fancy Stephen Piscotty autograph. (It's really fancy!)

Alex Reyes, the former top prospect who was actually an All-Star as recently as 2021 is still out there looking for work, but I'm guessing he'll catch on somewhere. He's got too much of an arm not to find another chance. This numbered parallel of his Bowman 1st will at least be a nice reminder of what promise he had, but I don't think we can close the books on him just yet.

Word association: Shirt thief. (Sorry, Mike, but that's all I've got.)

Gavin also sent a five-pack of Portland Pickles cards from 2019. I feel like I'm going to have to track down a checklist of this set somehow so I can get it added to TCDB. I'll have to make a point to get out to another one of our local college wood bat team's games again this summer, because they are definitely fun.

Friday, January 13, 2023

Contest Results!

Congrats to @Nachos_Grande and the rest of the winners! 
With Monday's trouncing of Texas Christian University at the hands of the University of Georgia, the results for this year's bowl game contest are finally in! Nachos Grande takes first place, with 30 games correctly picked! Jim (Chasin' Bucky) and Jason (Go Gators!!!) finished second and third, respectively and will get some nice prizes as well. I actually finished in fifth place this time, my best showing in years. Bringing up the rear were three entries tied for the worst overall record, but only one can be The Worst: Bump and Run is the "winner" of the worst place prize on a tiebreaker.

Thank you to everyone who participated! If you haven't already, please get in touch and let me know what you're into so I can start getting your prizes ready.

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Cards from Oren

We've got jerseys! We've got signatures! We've got parallels! 
Reader Oren contacted me for the first time last year and we worked out a really nice trade. Oren was back for round 2 last fall with another generous batch of cards from the various sports that I collect. Let's take a look at some of those in no particular order. I'm going to drift from sport to sport here.

Carmelo Anthony's career as a Trail Blazer was brief, but thanks to Panini's parallel madness, he leaves a legacy of a ton of cards in the red and black. I have no problem with this really, but you would think that a player who was on the team for less than two full seasons wouldn't occupy such a large space in the binders.

I don't recall Earl Wolff's time with the Eagles, but after a few keyboard clicks it starts to make sense. His most significant playing time came in his rookie season, which was Chip Kelly's first with the team but also overlapped with Michael Vick's last season in Philly. I refused to watch any games with Vick on the field, so I might have just missed him.

Matt Holliday is one of the main players I collect, so it was great to see this All-Star jersey pop up. I don't have a lot of blue swatches in my collection, of course, so this is something a bit different. Holliday was set to be the Cardinals bench coach this year, but it was just announced today that he isn't going to be doing the job after all. Instead, Joe McEwing is joining the team.

Relative to my fairly small Eagles collection, I feel like I have a lot of Jordan Matthews cards. He left the team after a few seasons but came back during their Super Bowl run, which was fun.

Speaking of Super Bowl runs, do the Eagles have another one in them? If so, Kenneth Gainwell might have something to say about it. He's part of the Philadelphia backfield that includes 1000 yard club guy Miles Sanders and Boston Scott, who returned some kicks in that last big playoff run.

Mike Golic may best be known as a broadcaster these days, but he was a monster on the field in the '80s. I'm also not entirely convinced that he's not the same person as Jeff Garlin.

I bet you didn't think you were going to see two Nelson Agholor cards in today's post, did you? This rookie year card is an orange Chrome parallel.

Nolan Smith was a big star at Duke, but his skills did not translate to the pro game. At all. Fortunately, another rookie showed up in 2012-13 to take the point guard reigns for the next decade and beyond.

We end things on the best possible note with another Cardinals card. This is an always-appreciated gold parallel from the classic Gold Parallel Era of 2006 NLCS MVP Jeff Suppan. Nice!

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Nacho Value Meal

Catching up with some @Nachos_Grande group breaks. 
The only reason I haven't deleted the Facebook app on my phone once and for all (it's been deleted a few times) is because I belong to a couple of active card breaking groups including the excellent one run by Nachos Grande. It's another affordable option where you pay for breaks as you go, and decide when you want to have everything shipped. It cuts down on money spent on all sides. I still have a stack that I had shipped back in September that contains stuff from even earlier in 2022 and I'll show a few of the highlights here today.

The nice thing about these groups is that they lean towards older products that the fat cats at Big Breaker LLC won't ever touch. That occasionally means Pacific cards, which are weird and great! A long with some base needs, I snagged a pair of light blue parallels from the 1999 flagship set. 

Bazooka, you say? Yes, please! Again, I was able to knock off some base needs here, and I picked up one of these chunkier silver parallels as well.

There was also a pretty nice Albert Pujols insert to be found in the Bazooka box. These aren't super easy to come by, so this will be staying in a top loader instead of being used as the "stand-up" card the way it was intended to be.

Not all of the breaks were throwbacks, though. Here's a pair of Cardinals from the extra-fancy 2021 Allen & Ginter Chrome set. I haven't heard anything about a 2022 A&G Chrome set, but I suppose that's just as well because this stuff was stupidly expensive.

Next up we have a fake 1999 Donruss card. After Donruss went through their first bankruptcy and were dormant for a couple of years, the company that bought them revived the brand in 2001 and then made up some designs for the "lost years" where there weren't any Donruss cards. This Rick Ankiel "rookie" card was actually issued in the 2001 Donruss set. This company also eventually went bankrupt.

Speaking of weird fake card designs, I believe this Chance Caple card from 2000 Bowman is considered a "Retro Future" parallel. It uses a TV design on foilboard that completely fails to show up when scanned, although it doesn't look like much in direct light, either.

Last up is a rare autograph from the delayed 2021 Topps Big League set. I only say rare because I just haven't seen many autographs from this set at all, at least in comparison to previous seasons. Unfortunately, it looks like the Big League brand might be dead and buried, which is too bad considering that while it wasn't always the most attractive looking set, it actually felt like Topps put more than half of a second of thought into card design when coming up with these.

Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Footballers, American

A package of bird team cards from @forgotaboutblay where most of the guys are wearing helmets. 
I don't set many goals when the calendar flips to January once again, but I am hoping to get through all of the cards that were sent to me from blog-reading pals in 2022 by... oh, let's say the end of the month. It would be nice to get through it all before the first 2023 set drops, but I have no idea when that is. This latest group of cards features mostly football players from Dennis of Too Many Verlanders. As usual, he sent me so many really nice Ducks cards that I'm holding a couple more back for a reveal during next football season.

Jevon Holland has put together a nice first couple of seasons in the league. While there are many Ducks on NFL rosters at any given point in time, not all of them get regular playing time like Holland.

The other green team, the pro one, is represented well here. This card is very cool to look at in person, as the "1309" is actually punched out of the card. (I'm not sure how well I'm describing this, but it basically means that you can see right through the card!)

I was having a discussion with a friend recently about all of the over-hyped quarterbacks that came out of USC from the Pete Carroll days. Matt Barkley's name didn't come up, but he was a Carroll recruit and played his first season with the now-Seahawks coach.

That's not to belittle Barkley or these sharp looking cards that Dennis sent. He's been a serviceable backup in the NFL for a decade, including two seasons in Philadelphia. How many of us can say that?

Donovan McNabb was certainly better than a backup throughout his career (well, maybe not at the end with that other team.) This card is certainly weird, though. It looks a bit unfinished. I'm guessing the "Gamers" insert also has a version where there is game-used stuff on the left side of the card, but whenever these sets (usually DLP brands in the '00s) would essentially copy-paste the same design to a basic insert card, it always looked weird.

Na Brown! There's a name from the past. I was playing a lot of NFL 2K back in those days, so I was more familiar with the Eagles receiving depth chart than anyone should have been at the time.

Hey, this guy isn't wearing a helmet! I can't bring myself to peel the coating off of these Finest cards, even if they are refractors and would look so much better without it. I also won't refuse peeled cards in trades or purchases, so what do I know?