Sunday, July 30, 2023

Sunday Funday PWE Round-Up

Catching up with chunky cards from @sanjosefuji and more! 
I don't even want to get into how far behind I've fallen in card stuff here or what led to this situation. Let's just look at some cards! The first bunch came over from The Chronicles of Fuji. Fuji managed to cram a sweet stack of memorabilia cards and relics into a small envelope way back when, and I'm excited to finally show them off to you all.

Oooh, even Joey Heisman thinks these cards are pretty sweet!

Of course, Harrington only finished in 4th place in 2001, but he and his school managed to raise his profile enough that he went on to a decently sized (but not terribly successful) NFL career.

Here's a blast from the past -- it's Josh McRoberts, or McBob as he was affectionately known during his short time around here in Portland. This is one of those neat looking letter patches that I own so few of. It's even autographed! It's just a manufactured patch, of course, but it definitely resembles the lettering on the Blazers jerseys at the time during the Adidas days.

The Blazers hits just keep on coming. This signed sticker auto comes from decorated Spanish star Sergio Rodriguez, who spent the latter half of the '00s in the NBA before resurfacing stateside for a season about six years ago. He's still playing professionally these days.

Zach Collins is the NBA's only living and breathing vampire (that we know of.) He's currently a key member of the Spurs after starting his career with Portland.

I think we all know this guy, for better or for worse. There's kind of a strange cut-out for the jersey piece on this card to go along with the wood theme.

Ha is still apparently the only player from South Korea to play in the NBA, which is kind of a cool distinction as he otherwise didn't have much of an impact on the league. He tantalized with his size, but I don't know that the league had as much structure in place twenty years ago to develop raw talent that they do now.

I really liked Gary Trent Jr. while he was with the Blazers and it felt like his trade to Toronto was the beginning of the team's downward slide, even if we didn't know it at the time.

Next up, we have some goodies from long time PWE trader (and Dodger fan) gcrl. A couple of the online exclusive Topps Mini cards were on offer, including this insert from the 2017 set.

This one is even more special as it's numbered to just 25. Ponce de Leon has bounced around a few organizations after his last appears with St. Louis, but he hasn't resurfaced in the big leagues yet.

I also snagged some Allen & Ginter set filling needs from gcrl, including a couple of base cards and this Randy Johnson insert. Will we see a normal late summer release for this year's Allen & Ginter set? I haven't checked the calendars in a bit because my budget for cards has dropped off dramatically of late.

Here's a few more inserts from last year's Ginter set. I kind of want to burn the card at the top.

Lastly, I claimed a few random set fillers from The Angels, In Order back in the winter. (Yeah, it's been awhile!) Those Royals jerseys definitely scream early '00s to me.

The 2014 Topps Heritage New Age Performers design is one of my least favorites. It squishes the player photo over to the side unnecessarily. I get how they were trying to make this look like it should with with the 1965 Topps theme, but it doesn't work for me.

I also claimed this slightly smaller ("mini"...ish) parallel card of Mike Sweeney from the 2005 Bowman Heritage set. I've managed to add some Bowman Heritage cards to my meager set builds since I started trading on TCDB, but that area could still use plenty of work.

Thanks again to everyone who has sent me envelopes of all sizes!

Monday, July 24, 2023

A Victory for El Maestro


Diego Valeri enters the Portland Timbers Ring of Honor. 
A couple of Saturdays ago, I went down to Providence Park to watch the Portland Timbers beat the Columbus Crew as the home team honored one of the greatest players in club history. The opponent was no coincidence, as it was the Crew that lost to the Timbers in the 2015 MLB Cup, a game which featured a memorable goal by one Diego Valeri mere seconds into the start of the first half.

Valeri was also named MVP of the league back in 2017. Attendees received this commemorative ticket (Erin also bought a special Valeri scarf made for the occasion.) It's been a rough season for the green and gold, but they're now unbeaten in their last three matches, including a win this past Saturday night in the inaugural Leagues Cup. Hopefully the fun we had on Valeri's big night is a signifier of better days to come for the Timbers.

Sunday, July 9, 2023

The Bootleggiest

Thoughts on 2023 Donruss featuring cards from a @Nachos_Grande break. 
When Panini lost their MLBPA license at the end of last year, it remained somewhat of a mystery as far as to whether they would continue making baseball cards at all. We'd already seen what the company can and can't do with no MLB license (lack of logos, less promotion, etc.) What happens when you take a knockoff brand and remove all of the active big league players from it?

You get... well... this! It's all retired players and prospects, baby. There are some positives about the set checklist, I suppose, like the addition of more Jim Edmonds cards for me to chase.

Instead of Rated Rookies, the Rated Prospect insert set becomes a subset in 2023. I believe this is my first Gordon Graceffo card.

Buybacks and oddball stuff aside, Ray Lankford's last appearance in a set was back in 2012, and that was on a Fan Favorites autograph card. Despite the brutal card design, the checklist is littered with old friends who hadn't been heard from in awhile.

Masyn Winn is one of the Cardinals top prospects and will likely be appearing in St. Louis before too long.

The white bordered cards are the base design, and there are plenty of colored parallels because it's Panini. They also added a take on the 1990 design. I'm glad they didn't colorize this photo.

New Vince Coleman cards? Yes, please! This red bordered parallel is numbered to the year (2023) as per usual.

I'm not sure if the Rated Prospect portion of the checklist is larger than the Rated Rookies typically were, but I know a number of players (see below) make multiple appearances on the checklist as Panini probably had a finite amount of prospects to play with.

Jordan Walker broke camp with the big league squad, so he is one of the few active players to wind up on the checklist.

Panini did the whole Juan Gonzalez reverse negative thing with this Walker variation. As with past Panini Donruss variations, I don't think this is any more difficult to find than its counterpart.

I probably won't buy any packs or boxes from this set, but I will continue to look at picking up the Cardinals cards that I need from it.