Sunday, January 21, 2024

Damaged Goods

Free to a good home. 
I accumulated a small pile of cards that I didn't feel completely comfortable adding to my TCDB Trade List, and similarly I wasn't certain if I should just send these out blindly to people knowing that in each case there's a flaw. People aren't always into modern cards with dinged corners and the like. I thought I would go ahead and offer these up here with the caveat that there's a noticeable flaw in each of the cards. Let me know if you want to know more details about the condition of any of these cards as it may not be evident by the scan. (Click on each image to enlarge, as usual.) Claim away in the comments, or by email/Bluesky/whatever.

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

An Icy PWE Round-Up


Envelopes galore from and and more!
Well, it's very icy here in Portland and it's taking its sweet time thawing out. There hasn't been any mail delivery all week, but we can still look at some cards I got back in November. Let's check it.

Night Owl Cards probably deserves his own tag here considering how many times he's sent cards over the years. This time it was a twin set of envelopes stuffed with Cardinals and set needs. Ryan Helsley came with his own fancy serial number stamped on the back (177/199). 

This one commemorates the rare and long impossible all St. Louis World Series. I believe it's from one of those early '70s Fleer World Series sets featuring artwork by the mysterious R.G. Laughlin.

When Panini makes pink and purple (and sometimes blue) parallel cards, I occasionally have a hard time distinguishing the difference and often have to result to comparing images online. That's not the case with Topps Chrome. There's no disputing that this is pink, unless you only see in monochrome like an old '60s television set.

Occasionally I have been gifted a special All-Star Game stamped Cardinals team set, but that wasn't the case this past year. I can cross DC off my list, though!

Here are some of the aforementioned set needs. I am now done with all of the non-SP base cards (including the High series!) from 2023 Topps Heritage.

I think I "completed" this set in record time, folks. Of course, I had to modify that statement with quotation marks because no Heritage set is ever truly complete, at least not by my standards.

Death Stare Cards aka THORZUL had his annual Trade Me Anything event a couple of months back, and I took it upon myself to snag a couple of cards from his freshly opened Topps Update box as per tradition. I have become less adventurous over the years at finding "anything" to send and have mostly stuck to want lists, but one of these days I'm going to find something weird with his name on it and send it on over to Milwaukee.

The other card I claimed was an Adley Rutschman foil parallel. I'm not overly fond of these checklist cards with the dumb captions, but my secret Adley stash is very small you see. One of these days, I might have to add an "unofficial collections" list to the menu.

The last group of cards was sent over from Jeremy of Topps Cards That Never Were.

Fortunately, Jeremy has been very patient with me, well, forgetting to mail the vintage-y cards that he claimed over the summer, but they're in the mail now (or at least will be when the streets thaw out.)

I was thrilled to land not one, but two mid-00's Jim Edmonds parallels for one of my highest priority player collections.

Oh Panini. We're going to miss your silly little "camo" parallels that just look like a failed pixel-based art project.

Topps isn't without blame here. I'm not entirely sure why they are so in love with foilboard "ice" parallels that just look like they have random shape patterns when scanned. I feel like Bowman Platinum is always made on a small budget, however, even if the "Platinum" branding would suggest otherwise.

I know that no one really misses Opening Day, but I don't really think they've found a suitable low budget replacement for it, either. I have not been a fan of Big League at all, even though for some reason I buy a box or two of it every year. (Probably because it's cheap?)

We end things here with another mid-00's Jim Edmonds card: a weird contest card doubling as an insert. I don't feel like the card companies really intended for collector's to actually hang on to stuff like this, but here we are nearly 20 years later and I'm still looking at it and talking about it.

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Contest Results!


Congrats to Pete L. and the rest of the winners! 

This year's big football contest is in the books and once again we have a brand new winner. Pete L. (LUGOAZUSA13) took home the top prize with an excellent batch of picks that landed him in the 99.6 percentile of all ESPN contestants. Danny L. (ConfidenceLad) and Brian P. (i miss old school espn) finished second and third, respectively. Taking home the worst place prize this year is John S. (Michigan 76), who unfortunately did not quite have the success that his Wolverines did on the field, but I'm sure he'll take a real title over this any day of the week.

If you're on the list here, please get in touch so I can get a prize out to you after the weather thaws out a bit.

Friday, January 5, 2024

A Yepez New Year


Group Break cards from Nachos Grande. 
This latest batch of Cardinals cards came from assorted group breaks held by Nachos Grande around the early part of fall. With one exception, these cards were mostly from breaks of products released in the past couple of years.

Juan Yepez was once an Atlanta prospect, but he didn't make it to the big leagues until he had established himself as one of the top bats in the Memphis Redbirds lineup, the Cardinals' AAA affiliate. While he had some bright spots in 2022 while Albert Pujols took him under his wing, Yepez didn't really get much of a shot last season and has since moved on to the Nationals organization. Of course, the framed Allen & Ginter mini card is going to get a lot more love than the generic looking Panini sticker auto, but I am happy to have added both to my collection.

Tommy Edman makes an appearance on another Panini product, this time a red, white and blue parallel from last year's Mosaic set. I don't believe there was a 2023 Mosaic baseball set as the number of Panini products in this sport dropped significantly after losing the MLBPA license.

The 2023 Finest break was one of the big highlights. I landed this Nolan Arenado green parallel that is numbered to just 99 copies.

Nolan's arm is bent at a very tough to look at angle here.

Another Arenado Finest highlight, this Headliners insert kind of reminds me of an old Fleer insert with a modern Chrome refractor flourish.

Apparently these 1994 style Draft Picks inserts from the 2021 Topps Archives set were quite a tough pull, landing at 1:24 packs or roughly one per box. I haven't found any Carlsons for sale on COMC since I ended up with this card.

It's back to the unlicensed realm here with a PPP (Purple Prizm Parallel.)

There's almost a good insert idea in here, but besides the obvious lack of MLB logos, there are some things I take issue with. I am not sure exactly what the weird angular pattern behind Goldschmidt's photo is supposed to represent, and that "Straight Fire" font is just hideous.

We travel all the way back to 2002 here with a second year Pujols card that mimics the original 1984 Donruss design. This would have been a fun set to collect back in the day, aside from it being marred by the typical short print confusion of the era.

I also added a numbered Stan the Man card to my collection from the 2021 Topps Gallery set. Gallery could be hit or miss for me (mostly miss), but I did like this particular year's design more than others.

Monday, January 1, 2024

Good Luck Ducks: Fiesta Bowl Edition

The Ducks fly to Arizona to take on the Conference USA champion Liberty Flames. 
Now that transfer portal season is over (or is it?) and most of the subpar bowl games are out of the way, we've finally arrived at college football's showcase day. Of course, Oregon is not taking part in the playoffs this year, but with a couple of highly touted quarterbacks on the way and an expanded field next season, we could be singing a different tune this time next year.

But really: who knows? In fact, that seems to be the theme of bowl game season. In the midst of transfer, opt outs and probably even a few suspensions, it's never easy to tell who is going to win these games. I have been running a contest to pick the winners of these games each year for the past decade and a half and I don't think I've ever finished in the top three. (To be fair, there are some good prognosticators out there, but I am just not one of them.)

Bo Nix is back for one last hurrah, making a statement to opt in to this game and maybe even take down a few more records in the process. Bucky Irving, easily my favorite Duck of the past couple of seasons, is headed to the NFL after forgoing his final season of eligibility, but he too is planning on playing today. While it was certainly a let down to fall from a possible playoff berth to a New Year's Six game, it doesn't sound like that let down is getting through to some of the key players on the team. With a strong coach who doesn't seem to have one foot out the door (that we know of!) and a bright future, a match today against a private Christian school from Virginia doesn't really feel like a disappointment after all. (I was about to call Liberty a small private school until I checked the enrollment numbers, where they have something like four times as many students as UO.)

Notes and other things:
  • I'm writing this a full eleven days before the actual game, so it's possible that someone mentioned above will have a change of heart and won't be at the game. Or, you know, a giant hole could form in the earth and devour us all.
  • Where Are They Headed? Well, Liberty isn't going anywhere, but Kennesaw State will be joining C-USA next year with Delware joining a little further down the road.
  • Ducks Ranking This Week: Oregon landed at #8 in the final rankings. Next year, there will be 12 playoff teams.
  • Bo Nix Heisman Watch: Nix finished a very respectable third place in the Heisman voting, with Jayden Daniels taking home the top honors.
  • Game time is 10:00 AM PST on ESPN in Glendale. Go Ducks!