Saturday, September 30, 2023

Good Luck Ducks, Week 5: Hello, Stanford!


Fresh off a rout, the surging Ducks head to Palo Alto. 
I'm not an I Told You So guy, nor am I one to make bold predictions. However, I made bold predictions to anyone in my general vicinity last week that Oregon was going to destroy Colorado and they certainly did that thing. It was very satisfying. Again, my issue was never with Deion Sanders, it was with the way the media was handling the Deion Sanders experience and how it completely overshadowed other programs that were vastly more worthy of recognition.

Moving on, there is a significantly less hyped game to play this week. The Ducks fly south to take on Stanford, a team that has not always been easy on Oregon in the past decade-plus. They've had some rough seasons of late which started to numb the rivalry, and it's expected that the Ducks should have a relatively smooth sailing game this time.

The Cardinal have struggled defensively under first year head coach Troy Taylor, which should be a scary thing when considering how unstoppable certain facets of the Duck offense have been so far. That would certainly include Bucky Irving, who has looked like he's working with cheat codes this season after a stellar 2022. And that's to say nothing of Bo Nix, who has been incredibly efficient with his passes once again. Many have declared the death of the run game in football at both the professional level as well as the college level, but I don't think Dan Lanning and Oregon are hearing any of that.

Notes and other things:
  • I promised an update on this whole Ducks gas station convenience store set and have posted a pack break here. It's really great to see all of these players get their own trading cards, making it one of the things about NIL that I most pleased about.
  • Where Are They Headed? Stanford could have snubbed the big college football realignment of the 2020s, but they ended up going all the way to the wrong coast to join the ACC. That will be... something, I'm sure.
  • Ducks Ranking This Week: 9 (AP). That is well enough to be looking down at the rest of the conference in a normal year, but there's still a couple of Pac-12 schools ahead of them and it could well be a dog fight until the end.
  • Bo Nix Heisman Watch: Skyrocketing, apparently. I would call out the bias of something called Ducks Wire, but they are citing FanDuel as their source. Gambling sites are never wrong, right?
  • Game time is 3:30 PDT on the Pac-12 Network. Go Ducks!

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

More Breaks from Colbey!


Cardinals and Eagles from this summer's Affordable Group Breaks. 
My box break participation has slowed down quite a bit this year along with my shrinking sports card budget, but that hasn't stopped me from picking up an occasional slot in the Cardboard Collections Affordable Group Breaks Facebook group. Cheap breaks are really the only reason I continue to use that particular social media platform.

My most recent shipment (from back in July) saw a healthy amount of Cardinals I needed, including a Dylan Carlson rookie refractor from the 2021 Allen & Ginter Chrome set.

This one looks to be from a random giveaway. I'm definitely psyched to have a card documenting Minnie Minoso's solo season in a Cardinals uniform.

This is a very strange card. If you look at it from the side, it looks like two cards glued together, which I suppose was necessary to create the netting effect (you can see through the net.)

Here's a nice numbered Lou Brock insert from Panini's most recent (and final?) Donruss set. I feel like that company is on the verge of closing up shop in the USA with all of the recent news and loss of licenses, but you never know. I would certainly wonder what would happen to all of the brand names and trademarks they own if they suddenly stopped making sports cards.

I thought that I had most if not all of the 2002 Donruss Fan Club team set a couple of times over, but I definitely needed this die cut Fernando Vina parallel and the short printed J.D. Drew "Favorites" card.

If the price is right and the year is also right, I do sometimes snag the Eagles in an NFL break. I really like the look of these 1996 Donruss cards, from one of the last years of their vastly superior classic jerseys. I remember both of these guys from Tecmo Super Bowl III on the Super Nintendo.

Here's a newer (2022) card that looks like it's straight out of the '90s.

Irving Fryar certainly looks strange to me wearing the Eagles current uniform look, which must have debuted around the time these cards were being produced.

Saturday, September 23, 2023

Good Luck Ducks, Week 4: Prime Day


The Quack Attack enters conference play against a ridiculous opponent. 
Oregon opens conference play today against one of the strangely overhyped teams of my lifetime. Since joining the Pac-12, the Colorado Buffaloes have tallied two Alamo Bowl appearances in twelve seasons and... that's it! Aside from a 10-win season and the weird COVID year, they have finished with a losing record in every season, including four double-digit loss seasons. Deion Sanders didn't just inherit a team on the skids, he started coaching the worst Power 5 conference team of the past decade. (Can anyone name a worse one?)

Of course, with a fresh gimmick and a fresh roster of players, the Buffaloes enter their final Pac-12 season with a tremendous amount of hype. It is also true that this team barely resembles last season's 1-11 team because, well, Sanders basically fired the whole roster and replaced it with a bunch of other dudes in the transfer portal just screaming for the spotlight.

I could turn this into some whole other thing where I complain about how the game has changed and blah blah blah, but I won't. This might yet be the last season of college football I really pay attention to because of the imminent conference realignment that spreads waste all over the past, but I'm trying to just be here for the moment. And the moment is where the Oregon Ducks stomp all over the Colorado Buffaloes once again.

Notes and other things:
  1. Colorado's Travis Hunter suffered a pretty disturbing injury last week that will keep him out for this game and possibly others. He's a big part of their game on both sides of the ball, so it's frustrating to see him miss the game especially if Colorado fans end up blaming any sort of loss on his absence.
  2. Where Are They Headed? Well, Colorado is back to the Big 12 after this season, where they previously spent 15 seasons and were a charter member. Maybe that early 2010's realignment didn't make sense after all.
  3. Ducks Ranking This Week: 10 (AP). There wasn't a lot of movement ahead of them, but their continued dominance against weaker opponents apparently said something.
  4. Bo Nix Heisman Watch: I mean, I figure he still has a leg up against Neon Deion's son, so that has to count for something.
  5. Game time is 12:30 PM PDT on ABC. Go Ducks!

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

More Jerseys and Autos from Oren


Reader Oren strikes again with an amazing collection of memorabilia cards and autographs. 
I'm not sure where he finds all of this great stuff, but I am always excited to put together a trade with Oren. This one even topped the last package! 

Andrew Knizner has had a really nice season as the #2 option at catcher with St. Louis, having found a bit of power that we hadn't really seen from him at the big league level.

For all of their shortcomings, Panini does put out some nice looking memorabilia cards from time to time. This dual relic from last year's Diamond Kings set is one of those, at least for me. It looks like last year might have been the last for the Diamond Kings set, as Panini really scaled back their baseball releases after losing their MLBPA license. Has anyone seen or heard of anything else coming out this year besides Donruss and Prizm? I think Diamond Kings would have been a much better fit for a bunch of retired players than Prizm was.

This time, Dylan Carlson shares the spotlight on a Panini jersey card with Alex Kirilloff. Time will tell whether either of these guys will ever fully live up to their earlier prospect hype.

This is probably my favorite of the whole lot. Whitey still has a nice signature for someone who turned 91 last year when the 2022 Topps Archives set was released.

Framed mini cards are best known as being an Allen & Ginter thing, but it's easy to forget that Topps was doing this before 2006 when the first modern A&G set came to be.

Speaking of Allen & Ginter, this card is very... white! I do prefer the mini memorabilia cards to these.

Yadi jersey cards are a bit tougher to come by than your average Cardinal, so I was pretty excited when this card popped out. They even did the rare thing where the jersey color matches the photo on the card.

This one doesn't have a memorabilia swatch or signature on it, but it's still a nice numbered Molina card.

There were also a few non-baseball cards included, like this dual jersey card of former Eagles starting RB Miles Sanders.

Zach Collins rocking a Panini headband?! I didn't know that I needed this, but I'm glad to have it!

The late Caleb Swanigan was part of the same draft as Zach Collins. Hoops autographs usually are on stickers, but they typically have a nice design and this is no exception.

Monday, September 18, 2023

Canadian Catch-Up Post


The catching up continues with another multi-sport package from north of the border. 
I am just a few posts away from being totally caught up and ready for the big move. This latest edition features cards from Canadian friend buckstorecards. And as fate would have it, the very first card I wanted to show off is, in fact, a Canadian one. (I do find it interesting that Upper Deck CFL cards have their California address on the back but state that they're printed in Canada.) Vernon Adams Jr. was with the Ducks for just a single season, but he had enough highs and lows to be remembered for quite some time.

Onterrio Smith will be remembered for a long time as well, but for a much different reason.

I couldn't quite get a good scan of this chunky die cut J-Stew card, but suffice it to say that it's a good one and it looks great in hand. It's numbered to just 15.

This is quite a bold card design. The former Eagles start TE is married to soccer star Julie Ertz, who recently announced her retirement from the US National Team.

Switching sports over to the one with the big round ball, I have to say that I pretty much never see Panini Recon cards. I'm guessing this is typically a hobby-only product, and Panini's price points for their hobby basketball card boxes don't ever make sense no matter what your budget is like.

I've managed to accumulate some impressive Ducks football jersey cards, but it's much more rare that I come across a Ducks hoops one. I'll have to try to watch more Ducks basketball games this coming season, although I think I say that every year. Some years it just works better than others.

I don't always scan every card when showing off these larger packages, but I absolutely have to show off every Goodwin Champions card I get because they are so ridiculous.

From wonky Drexler art to a fancy Prizm auto, we get a look at a key cog of the Ducks team that went to the Final Four back in 2017. Dorsey has mostly played professionally overseas, but did get into a couple of NBA games last season with the Dallas Mavericks.

Finally, we switch over to baseball with a card from the 10 Most Wanted list.

I don't officially collect Ducks baseball players, but autographs of players in Oregon uniforms? More of these, please! Anthony Hall was a 4th round pick in 2022 and is currently in A ball in the Yankees system.

Oh, there is more! Josh Kasevich was a 2nd round pick of the Blue Jays last year and spent this season in the Northwest playing for the Vancouver Canadians. Nice!

Saturday, September 16, 2023

Good Luck Ducks, Week 3: Hawaii Time

The Ducks host the Rainbow Warriors in their final nonconference test. 
After making it through a close one in Texas last week, the Ducks are back in Autzen tonight to face Hawaii. While the game shouldn't quite be the laugher that the first game against Portland State was, it's expected that this will be more of a tune-up for the conference slate than a major challenge. Of course, Hawaii brings a big passing attack and plenty of talented receivers.

Every season is a brand new thing, and this year it looks like Oregon has no trouble moving the ball, which is fairly expected. The down side of this, at least so far, is that the defense also seems to have no trouble with the ball... moving. Yikes. While Texas Tech was certainly a quality opponent and a road win against another Power 5 opponent is something to be celebrated, I am not convinced that it's too early for concern at least on that one side of the ball.

Here's to hoping that tonight's game is more on the side of prep work for the coming weeks instead of a stressful time against an unfamiliar foe.

Notes and other things:
  • I'll have more on this gas station sponsored Ducks trading card set on another date. I can't find a checklist online, so I'm probably going to convince myself to pick up the whole set on eBay just to catalog it fully, which means I'll end up with a bunch of dupes. Are there any weird card collecting Ducks fans out there like myself?
  • Ducks Ranking This Week: 13 (AP). Oregon is holding steady, as there's only been one big upset per week so far. Clearly, this trend won't continue.
  • Bo Nix Heisman Watch: I mean, he's only ranking third out of other Pac-12 players in some guy's ranking this week, but at least he's in the conversation! Bo Nix still seems to me like the most college player of all college players at this point, which would make it a shame if he didn't win some big college award for all of his college contributions. College!
  • Game time is 5:00 PDT on the Pac-12 Network in Eugene. Go Ducks!

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

A Jumbo-Sized PWE Round-Up


Catching up on plain white envelope contents from this summer. 
I'm getting ready to move (down the street) in the coming days, so it's high time I get totally caught up on posting about cards mailed to me. This PWE round-up contains a whopping four envelopes, the first of which came from Marc Brubaker around the beginning of the summer.

Aside from the super slick Panini Capstone insert, the rest of the cards were all from the 2023 Bowman set. I didn't buy a single pack of Bowman until fairly recently, even though it was one of the earliest sets released this year. I just couldn't justify the expense for such a cheap looking and overproduced product, although I'm glad that I've been able to trade my way towards a good chunk of the team collection.

These inserts have a bit of a magazine design to them. Would anyone actually read Modern Prospects magazine, though? I am not sure that I know anyone personally that has a magazine subscription anymore, although I do personally pay through the nose for my monthly issues of Retro Gamer.

The meat of the Cardinals offense this season is represented on these few Bowman base cards. I have a feeling Nolan Gorman will end up in these smaller sets by next season.

Mr. Night Owl recently commemorated fifteen years of trading with yours truly and I just so happened to have another envelope of his in the hopper. For nostalgic reasons I suppose, I've actually enjoyed the 1988 inserts from this year's Topps flagship set quite a bit. We shall see if they roll into 1989 with next year's set.

The 2023 One-Two Punch insert set recalls the 2010 Legendary Lineage and the 2011 Diamond Duos insert sets, but I believe they primarily feature starting pitchers.

Slap a little foil logo on it and you've got yourself a rare parallel card. It's the Panini way!

Adding some of my long dormant set builds to TCDB has helped quite a bit, but I still have a ways to go on a lot of these old things. As soon as the 50th Anniversary inserts were announced way back in 2008, I was instantly interested in these things. It was a fun way to get to know some of the players who I hadn't paid a ton of attention to in the time I was out of the card collecting game.

So many minis! Night Owl also included another batch of Allen & Ginter small fries from various years. These are usually my lowest priority when trying to work out deals on TCDB, but I loved receiving these out of the blue.

I recently offered up some assorted vintage cards I no longer had room for, and Bo of Baseball Cards Come to Life was quick to respond with some thank you cards. The jersey card of Duck alum Demetrius Williams has definitely seen better days (was it run over by a car?), but it will still find its way to my Ducks hits shoebox.

There are a lot of weird mid-'90s college and unlicensed Rasheed Wallace cards out there, as I've discovered since adding him to my prized group of Player Collections. I'm not sure what "SR FORCE" is supposed to mean -- is it "Senior Force" or it supposed to stand for something?

Here's just a basic junk wax card that I needed, most likely because it has or doesn't have a dot on the back somewhere.

The 2007 Topps Chrome design looks pretty good on Reuben Droughns, and it makes me think that if I liked the NFL a little better, I might be interested in tracking more cards down from this set.

I am quite certain I have never opened a pack of 1981 NFL cards, so this Ahmad Rashad card was new to me. Although best known these days as a broadcaster, Rashad was a standout at Oregon when he went by the name Bobby Moore.

Last up from Bo is this pair of 2002 Fleer blink-and-you'll-miss-it parallels. The stats on the back use gold colored text instead of the usual black.

The last envelope of the bunch comes from The Elliptical Man, which included a pair of (former) Eagles on the familiar 2019 Donruss design. Zach Ertz was a key member of the Super Bowl winning team but ended up on the move after his contract had gotten expensive and with Dallas Goedert taking over as the #1 option at his position.

Miles Sanders departed in the offseason as very few teams want to pay running backs anymore. Sanders apparently found one in Carolina, however.