Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Night Owl is All About the Shiny

Surprisingly shiny stuff from @nightowlcards includes a batch of Redbird parallels. 
When most of us think of Night Owl Cards and baseball cards, the '70s immediately jump to mind. (Specifically 1975 and minis.) Imagine my surprise, then, when a bunch of sparkly new Cardinals fell out of an envelope I received back from the Dodgers enthusiast back in February.

I've never been one to desire to "chase the rainbow" (we should really call this "Skittlesing") because I consider myself a team collector before a player collector. The conundrum is that a team collector like me still feels the need to hoard every version of every card of every player in that certain uniform.

These red ice (or whatever... actually, Cardboard Connection lists these as "red foilboard" for some reason) cards are serial numbered to just 199 copies. I'm not sure if I've ever pulled one personally.

Topps uses that "ice" effect on their base cards and a similar effect on their fancy Chrome Sapphire sets (see below), but the way they name these parallel designs is maddeningly inconsistent. Panini also does a version of this, and a version of the same pattern you see on X-Fractor cards like Jon Lester here (Panini calls these "building blocks" at times.) It makes me wonder if anyone has any original ideas anymore.

Acquiring a Chrome Sapphire card is a fairly rare achievement these days. I'm always appreciative when someone sends me one out of the blue. Otherwise, I seem to end up with a few of the cheapest ones whenever possible, similar to how I've treated Topps Now cards over the years. I really have a hard time bringing myself to spend more than one dollar on any single card.

I don't think I've seen this particular parallel pattern out of Topps before, but it looks like something Panini has used quite a bit on certain Chronicles and Revolution cards. (Go back to Pacific Revolution to see its origins, I think.) I'm not sure if this was pack pulled or one of those factory set parallels that must drive rainbow chasers closer to the brink of card madness.

Of course, we also have the familiar Stadium Club parallels to contend with. At least these are usually easy to identify, with mostly a foil color change here (red, in this case) or a chromium finish there. I'm glad we got one last card of Adam Wainwright as a batter, now that pitchers mostly don't bat anymore.

We're finally back to familiar Night Owl ground here with this four-pack of Allen & Ginter minis. My stack of unsorted A&G minis is getting disturbingly big at the moment, which means it's probably time to do some more of that dreaded organizing soon.

Thanks again to Night Owl and everyone else who has sent me some interesting parallels over the years.

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

More Affordable Breaks

Catching up with another bunch of @flywheels group break cards. 
My card purchases have nosedived in 2023, but I still have a cache of previously received piles of cards to go through before I'm all caught up. This latest bunch is from some Cardboard Collections Affordable Group Breaks that I signed up for late last year.

Panini used an awkward time to debut a brand new baseball product, Capstone, with their MLBPA license expiring at the end of last year. It's possible there will be another Capstone baseball release someday in the future, but I'm expecting Panini to scale back their baseball release calendar significantly now that they can no longer use active MLB players in their sets. (Minor league prospects, apparently, are still fair game for now.)

This was my first look at Capstone (I've since bought a blaster of it), and it's... well, it's okay. All of the cards are thick, and the most commonly found cards from the base set has this extra glossy sheen on them that actually clouds up the scanned images. (See the Nootbaar card for comparison, which doesn't use the extra gloss and instead uses an etched background.)

I really enjoyed receiving this card from last year's Panini Chronicles set. Obsidian is typically a high end brand for Panini in other sports, but it doesn't have its own separate baseball release.

I signed up for a few football breaks (go Birds!) as well. It surely must have been football season. This Wendell Smallwood parallel from the 2016 Donruss set made me wonder what Smallwood has been up to recently. He was last scene a couple of years ago on Washington's roster according to the internet.

The 1999 Fleer Tradition set adds the conference logo to each card for some reason. I received a bunch of these Eagles cards that were new to me, and picked and old favorite of mine (the Duce is loose!) for the scan.

It's back to baseball with the 2003 Fleer Tradition Update set. Again, I was able to fill a number of team collection needs with this one. This Eduardo Perez card is actually a glossy parallel numbered to 100, which is nice. Perez was a key bench guy for four seasons in St. Louis but is perhaps best known these days for being part of ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball announcing booth. (I rarely praise ESPN, but I really miss them having more baseball coverage. Now all we get are Sunday nights.)

This one has an insert-y look to it, but it's just part of the Update base set. I have so many Pujols cards, but I'm never surprised when I find one more.

I also believe I won some sort of giveaway during the breaks, as Colbey included a few extras. It's somewhat interesting that Bo's Topps football rookie card is significantly more expensive than his older baseball counterpart, but I think the general consensus is that there were vastly more Topps baseball cards produced than football cards in the same era. (Either that, or it's because the Raiders are cooler than the Royals?)

I was also gifted this Clint Frazier jersey card from the 2020 Topps Holiday set. I'll end up finding a new home for this one, I'm sure.

Monday, May 1, 2023

Spring PWE Round-Up

 Wrapping up 2022 with some sports cards from @Thorzul @OYERecs and more. 
It's fully springtime, but we're taking a look back at a few Plain White Envelopes that arrived at the end of last year.

First up are my returns from the annual Trade Me Anything affair from Death Stare Cards. I always look forward to this event where Thorzul opens a hobby box of Topps Update and trades off anything most anything not needed for his base set build.

This year's offering came up big in the Cardinals department, with a red jersey swatch of the reigning NL MVP and a short printed card of a Hall of Famer. These were definitely better cards than anything I personally picked up from my own experiences with 2022 Topps Update.

The second offering came from Dawg Day Cards. Angus, as many of you know, has sent a number of interesting cards my way over the years and this was no exception. Ifo Ekpre-Olomu is one of my all-time favorite Ducks football players, so it was great to add another signed card of his to my collection. I'm not really sure what jersey he is wearing here -- perhaps it's some sort of All-Star game thing?

If you're a fan of oddball cards and/or food issues, you're probably well aware of Post cereal cards by now. Did you know that there were separate Post sets issued just for the country of Canada? This is something I wasn't aware of myself until I started exploring the depths of the TCDB lists of sets. As usual with MLBPA licensed stuff, you get no logos with these cards.

Angus also sent along a nice six-pack of Panini stickers. These will head to my Cardinals albums, unstuck.

Last up is a couple of goodies from reader Neil. In 2015, Panini confusingly released a set called Elite and also included Elite inserts in their Donruss set with the exact same design. I believe this is from the regular Elite set.

Even with his retirement, I'm still able to keep with the tradition of ending many of my posts with a Yadi card. In this case, it's a fancy Tier One card of the Cardinals legend from 2019.

Neil operates a record label called Open Your Ears Records. Definitely check them out if you're into, you know, music and such!