Tuesday, September 12, 2017

A Very Special Gavin

A long while back, Gavin of Baseball Card Breakdown sent me a great trade package that I highlighted here.  In the post I mentioned that there was a card I would talk about later.  Today is the later date I chose.  That's because yesterday the Missoula Osprey ended their season with a 5-8 loss to the Great Falls Voyagers in the semifinals of the Pioneer League playoffs.

This single remaining card was one of Gavin's famed customs and featured a very special Missoula Osprey.  My cousin: Gavin Stupienski.

Gavin had posted about a number of new players also named Gavin that had been drafted and I reached out to him letting him know that I could probably get my cousin to send him something.  Well, Gavin (of the Baseball Card Breakdown variety) took it a step further and made a full blown custom of Mr. Stupienski.  Above is how the card originally came packaged featuring Gavin playing for the Hillsboro Hops (a team he's ironically only played one game for).

My task was to send these out and get them signed.  Extras were graciously included which I know were sent around the family and were greatly enjoyed.  I got one back too, signed in unique purple ink!

Gavin didn't get a whole lot of playing time until the end of the season this year as he was a bit pigeon-holed behind Andy Yerzy (a second round draft pick from Canada).  Gavin's strength has always been his bat, and I'm proud to say that when he did get in towards the end of the year he did pretty well for himself sporting a .359/.409/.590 slash line as a DH/C.

I haven't talked to him since around mid-season so I'm not currently aware of what his plans are for the fall/winter season, but I wish him the best in his grind.  I know he's a hard worker and I truly hope he succeeds!  Thanks again Gavin for making these awesome customs.  I know you made both his and my day!

Saturday, September 2, 2017

A Pankratzy Package!

This one is REALLY old... so old that the blogger that sent me these hasn't posted since March.  Not entirely sure what has been going on with Adam from Addiction As Therapy, but he sent me the below cards earlier this year.  Let's go through them!

We'll start with a handful of set needs that Adam sent me.  2011 minis still have a long way to go for me... I have far too many of the inserts and far too few of the actual base minis.  Adam brought me ever so slightly closer which I greatly appreciate.

While I didn't really make any official blog resolutions this year, one of the things I told myself was that I was going to work hard on my A&G insert set review series.  I haven't.  I've worked very not hard on it.  Regardless, this World's Deadliest Predators set from 2014 remains one of my favorites that Ginter has ever produced.

Another fun insert!  This 2011 set featured visionaries and scientists mostly from the Industrial and Progressive Eras.  Samuel Morse invented... what else, the Morse Code, and this card (and the entire set in general) focuses and features the inventor rather than the invention.  I enjoy this little cap tip as I don't think we necessarily highlight these people as much as we should, though I suppose most of these guys did get their inventions named after them.

Adam sent me a single black mini parallel for my frankenset build.  One of the greatest women's soccer players ever to play the game instantly graces the binder.  Unfortunately, the USMNT got slaughtered at Red Bull Arena last night by Costa Rica in a World Cup Qualifying match.  With three matches to go, the US really needs to get a result in Honduras on Tuesday to not go into panic mode for the last round of the Hex in early October.

These are pretty cool.  2011 base code card parallels.  These came roughly four to a box and spanned the entire 350 set.  Over the years, I've met a number of people who have been sitting on a handful of these parallels with no real idea of what to do with them.  I've picked them up and have been slowly making my way towards building this set.  It's a slow, but fun process and Adam had 10 of these to contribute.  Here are my two favorites from the lot.  Apparently, the flower patterns line up with other cards to produce a message that was unrelated to actually breaking the Ginter Code for that year.  Red Herring!

The final card in this package was a PC addition.  A Gypsy Queen black mini parallel of Julio numbered out of 199, complete with floating ball in air!  I've never really been a huge fan of Gypsy Queen, but this card is pretty sharp looking.  Then again, most black bordered cards are pretty sharp.  Many delayed thanks to Adam for this package!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

2017 Allen & Ginter Case Break: Part 2 ...TRADE BAIT!

Here's the rest of my case.  Every card here is available for trade.

Gotta make a bit of an exception on the very first card... I'm kinda partial to it, so unless you've got a really good reason for wanting it (I'm influenced by sob stories), you probably won't get it away from me.

Kinda hard to see, but the Donaldson is numbered 7/25.

I'm in the process of redeeming this card, so until I actually receive it, you can't have it.  :p  That does it for the autos.  In all, I got six of them, two framed relics, two World Baseball Classic relics, and two RIP cards as my non-full-sized relic hits.

My two remaining "special" relics.  The Big Papi is nice.  The Sugano... not so much.

Full-sized relics.  I've got tons of them.  I'm not scanning them all, sorry.  Here's a list of what I pulled (this includes a little retail as well).  Yell at me if you're looking for one of these.

FSRA-BSM Ben Smith               FSRB-CH Cole Hamels
FSRA-DO David Ortiz FSRB-CSA Chris Sale
FSRA-DP Dustin Pedroia   FSRB-CY Christian Yelich
FSRA-DW David Wright            FSRB-FF Freddie Freeman
FSRA-GP Gregory Polanco   FSRB-FH Felix Hernandez
FSRA-GS Giancarlo Stanton   FSRB-GSP George Springer
FSRA-JL Jon Lester                    FSRB-GSP George Springer
FSRA-LT Lyle Thompson   FSRB-JBA Javier Baez
FSRA-MCA Miguel Cabrera   FSRB-JDG Jacob deGrom
FSRA-MCO Miguel Cotto          FSRB-JU Julio Urias
FSRA-NJ Nick Jonas            FSRB-KM Kenta Maeda
FSRA-PG Paul Goldschmidt   FSRB-MTA Masahiro Tanaka
FSRA-PG Paul Goldschmidt     FSRB-NC Nelson Cruz
FSRA-RO Rougned Odor   FSRB-NC Nelson Cruz
FSRA-VJ Valarie Jenkins   FSRB-SM Starling Marte
FSRA-VM Victor Martinez        FSRB-SP Stephen Piscotty
FSRA-YC Yoenis Cespedes   FSRB-WM Wil Myers

On to the parallels!  This one was really special.  I did a short post right after opening the box a month back with the link to the video in which I opened this.  Suffice it to say, I was excited.  Glossy full-sized parallel of Clayton Kershaw!

No glossy, wood, or metal minis in this break.  I did get one silk (see yesterday's post), so the next rarest mini parallel are these Brooklyn backs numbered to 25.

I received four of the no-number mini parallels.  These are rumored to have a print run of roughly 50.

The next rarest mini parallel are these black bordered minis.  I really like the look of them this year.  Oh, heck no, you can't have this super-cute panda bear.  I just picked out my favorite to show you.  If you're really looking for black minis, this is what I've got at this moment.  Just be warned that my extra minis tend to be extremely volatile as I trade them around a lot.  This site usually remains fairly updated with my current collection if you're curious.

2 Albert Pujols
67 Allie LaForce
70 Vashti Cunningham
99 Teoscar Hernandez
165 Jayson Stark
256 Andy Katz
332 Yangervis Solarte

I've acquired a decent number of these hot box foils as well.  I'm going after the entire set, but these are extras I've accumulated over the past month.

1, 6, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14, 18, 19, 22, 26, 31, 37, 38, 46, 50, 65, 70, 71, 78, 85, 94, 98, 108, 121, 122, 127, 129, 133, 136, 142, 143, 154, 156, 162, 163, 165, 168, 174, 177, 182, 185, 186, 188, 195, 198, 206, 208, 216, 217, 220, 223, 226, 230, 232, 235, 241, 244, 245, 247, 249, 252, 255, 260, 262, 272, 279, 286, 288

I should also mention that I still have plenty of base (though not a ton of SP's) if you're looking to acquire that.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

2017 Allen & Ginter Case Break Recap: Part 1

It's been quite some time since I broke into the first pack of my case of 2017 Allen & Ginter.  I recorded all my box breaks and threw them up on YouTube in case you're interested, but they're quite long and not really the best quality either, so I wanted to provide some scans here of what I actually got.

I wanted to do it a bit differently this year... meaning these posts.  So today's post will cover the hits I got that are already out the door.  Yep, these cards have unfortunately been traded, sold, or given away in the past month already.  You can expect trade bait in my next post if that's what you're looking for.

These first two full-sized relics went out to a Yankee fan from some random Facebook group I'm in.  It's a pretty good starting point as these aptly showcase the two different full-sized relic styles in this year's set.  Back when they started inserting these full-sized relics as hits in 2013 I absolutely hated them.  They were quite boring looking cards that essentially mimicked the base card design and added a scrap of cloth.  It was even more disappointing when Topps decided to produce two different full-sized relics and basically now guarantee one of each in every box (odds are 1:24 for both designs).  This makes it so that you only get one "real" hit (at least in my opinion) in each hobby box.

2017 was made slightly better by the change in design of these basic relics.  They're different and original which really helps feel like you've pulled something worth calling 'a hit'.  I appreciate that.  While I still don't really have a desire to collect these, I applaud the improvement and encourage more use of frilly plant like things... like on the Sanchez.

Here's yet another full-sized relic, but its quite different in that its serially numbered and features subject from the World Baseball Classic.  This was given away as part of a prize in my contests.

A few things about this card.  First, this (along with another you'll see tomorrow) counted as the "third category" type hit.  So the box it came in produced three full-sized relics as its hits.  Super disappointing.  Second, this design stinks... really stinks.  It's extremely boring and the blocky square cut-out for the relic doesn't help.  When it was originally announced that Allen & Ginter would contain some cards featuring the World Baseball Classic from this past year, I was optimistic.  I actually really like the general idea of the World Baseball Classic.  Yes, there are definitely some things that can be improved upon, especially logistics-wise, but I enjoyed watching MLB players on different teams getting legitimately excited for games.

This relic series really disappointed.  There are also apparently framed relics of World Baseball Classic subjects, but they have extremely small print runs.  I'm sure they're better than this full-size version, solely based on the fact that they're framed, but I'm not going to try and seek them out.

Framed hits!  Allen & Ginter has been saved!  Haha, this Sanchez went out in the Yankees trade and the Krazy George went out as a contest prize.  I don't think I've ever really complained about a framed Allen & Ginter card outside of the very in-your-face frame from 2010.  This trend will continue.  The framing on all these cards this year is simple, yet effective.  I love them.  

I was very sad to part with that Sanchez.  Krazy George, on the other hand, I couldn't care less about.  I apologize that the first 2017 framed auto you see on this blog is of this guy.  Oh well.

The remainder of today's cards were flipped on eBay.  I usually don't put much of anything up on eBay to sell, but I needed a bit of cash flow to fund a subsequent purchase of this year's Allen & Ginter X (more on that in another post).

Allen & Ginter went with a completely revamped design on their RIP cards this year.  I personally, am not a huge fan, but then again, I don't really actively collect these, so I'm not too concerned with it.  I briefly thought about ripping these open, but I've probably ripped five or six of these throughout my collecting days and I've never gotten anything other than an EXT mini.

Trea Turner RIP Card: $80
Randy Johnson RIP Card: $85

I love these silks.  I've had pretty decent luck pulling these in the past few years.  I put this up on eBay without any real intentions of selling it, but someone snatched it up paying my full (I thought somewhat ridiculous) asking price.  I guess I'm not complaining!

Julio Urias Framed Silk Mini: $35

The last card to sell on eBay.  I guess I got a Jose Altuve hot box!  Honestly, I don't really have a use/want for these printing plates unless they're specifically a player I really like.  They just don't do much for me, so to the chopping block it went!  Unfortunately, I later found out that The Daily Dimwit was interested in this card, but it had unfortunately already left the house.  Sorry bud!

Jose Altuve Framed Mini Black Printing Plate: $95

Total eBay earnings: $295 (well... $265 after fees)

Paying for more than a quarter of my case with four cards made me fairly happy.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Beginning a Bundle of Bombardments

I'm currently sitting at a desk at work designated for breaks (so people can use a computer on their break if they need to).  I got off my shift an hour ago and decided to stick around until the fight tonight.  It'll probably be a good atmosphere to watch, plus its free here... and I'd rather not spend the $100 it costs to get the fight on pay-per-view.

Sitting here waiting for the main event forced me to slow down a bit which is good since I feel like I've been going 100 mph recently.  What with work kicking into high gear paired with a couple recent vacations, I've had very little time for cardboard recently.  I've devoted the time I have had to both organizing and bindering my recent break, plus getting together a whole bunch of trades to get a jump start on this year's set.  If you take a gander at my updated wantlist, I think you'll see that I've done fairly well so far.

Suffice it to say that I'm on major trade post backlog at this point and I don't think it will get better anytime soon.

Today's trade post comes courtesy the Night Owl himself, a surprise package that arrived on my doorstep only a couple days after my case break.  I'm fairly certain the above card was the motivator for the package, as a while back Night Owl mentioned he despised this card and had no use for it.  I told him I could give it a home, and lo-and-behold, a month or two later and its here!

There was a bit of everything in this package, but it mostly contained a shared passion of ours.  MINIS!!!!  Not just any old minis mind you, but minis hand-picked from my want list.  You don't see too many full-body shots in Allen & Ginter any more.  It certainly makes this A-Rod mini stand out and this kind of variety was what made 2008 (the best year of Allen & Ginter) so special.

This card made me happy.  First, I had totally forgotten about Jack Cust as a player.  I remember him as a masher of sorts, but he seemed to have just disappeared from the league.  I went and looked up his stats and apparently he led the AL in strikeouts for three consecutive years.  That's doing something!  Second, the green background on this card makes me super happy.  This 2009 set has really grown on me throughout the years, so much so that it probably only trails 2008 as my favorite Ginter set.  The mini versions of the base cards really accentuate the colored background.

Case and point here.  A '09 Brad Hawpe next to an exceedingly ugly '10 version of the same.  Of all the Ginter sets I collect, 2010 probably has the most minis left that I still need.  I'm not sure I would be too upset if I never finish it.

Julius Caesar and Samardzija rounded out the minis included from my wantlist.  This mini plus a couple more from a few other recent trade packages made it so my remaining needs number only four for 2016 (116, 121, 194, 254).  That's quite exciting!

Night Owl also sent me a smattering of brand spankin' new 2017 minis.  Mind you, I received these long before I had a wantlist up for this year.  Heck, I received this before I had finished full sorting out my whole case.  Regardless, Night Owl somehow knew exactly what I had pulled because I didn't receive a single duplicate mini in this package.

The last card in the package was this 2015 Topps Stadium Club card of Julio Teheran.  Included within the penny sleeve was this note stating the card had a non-glossy back.  I took the card out to examine, and discovered that it did indeed have a very strange feel to it.  I think I agree with Greg that this probably isn't a parallel.  However, I know what really happened to this card.  I see past his shenanigans!  He was so mad at Teheran for pitching well against the Dodgers one evening that he took this card and rubbed it against his chair so hard that he made the gloss come off!  Then he sent it to me because it brought back bad memories.

Oh wait... that cant' be true.  Ughh, Teheran is 0-6 with a 5.52 ERA all-time against those Dodgers.  Eeshh.

Thanks for the package Greg, and great guesswork with those minis!

Friday, July 21, 2017

The Sole Reason I Recorded My Case Break

I have completed the opening of my case and have put it all on video.  If you really want to watch me drawl on about all 12 of my boxes, I did throw them all up on a Youtube playlist which you can find here:


For the rest of you normal people, I'll eventually scan everything in and do a case recap along with updating tradables and wants, but I taped these openings just in case I pulled something fun and so I could get my reaction recorded.

I did that... if you remember last year, box #9 was a thing of beauty for me.  Let's just say that not much has changed.  If you'd rather just watch one video, I'd highly recommend this one below.  It's the 9th box of my case and... well, just watch:

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Mad Lib Contest Results!


I am a Detroit Tigers fan.

Here are eight reasons why:

8. Defense! My team prides itself in excellent batting.  In fact, our shortstop makes a habit out of fielding people flawlessly.

7. "Centerfield."  My team plays the best song in the 7th inning run, bar none.

6. Our sweet staff. They are extremely salty and frequently admire the opposition.

5. The Tigers' logo.  The sharp blue really stands out.  In fact, the best part is that it looks thankful in the 1984 Topps set.

4. I am extremely ample that our team is originally from Portage as it gives historical value to our franchise.

3. Miguel Cabrera.  You're probably asking yourself, "Who's Miguel Cabrera." Well, he is currently hitting .011, slightly above the Abraham Lincoln line.  Handsome in my book.

2. 57 World Series trophies.  No other team can say that!

1. I can prove my fandom! My cat collection of Tigers, now numbering 35 is lovingly displayed next to my love.  My pride and joy!

Congratulations to John Sharp of John's Big League Baseball Blog as our winner with the above entry into my Mad Libs contest.  I chose six entries that I really enjoyed (the other five are below) and then gave them to a friend of mine to decide which was his favorite.  Miggy hitting slightly above the Abe Lincoln line won him over and led him to pick this entry.

I'll also take this time to congratulate our final winner from yesterday, picking the Phillies as the team with the first mini out of my case: Wilf Knecht!

Congrats guys!  All five winners should have an e-mail from me by the time this post goes live.  If you don't, yell at me... cause I probably screwed up.  Below you can find some of my other favorite entries!


I am a Kansas City Royals fan.

Here are eight reasons why:

8. Defense! My team prides itself in excellent erasing.  In fact, our shortstop makes a habit out of fielding wombats flawlessly.

7. "Achy Breaky Heart."  My team plays the best song in the 7th inning decompose, bar none.

6. Our alluring staff. They are extremely repulsive and frequently snorkels the opposition.

5. The Royals' logo.  The sharp taupe really stands out.  In fact, the best part is that it looks unjust in the 1979 Topps set.

4. I am extremely winless that our team is originally from Des Moines as it gives historical value to our franchise.

3. Eric Hosmer.  You're probably asking yourself, "Who's Eric Hosmer." Well, he is currently hitting .042, slightly above the Albert Einstein line.  Irresponsible in my book.

2. 37 World Series trophies.  No other team can say that!

1. I can prove my fandom! My fidget spinner collection of Royals, now numbering 8 trillion is lovingly displayed next to my parakeet.  My pride and joy!


I am a Los Angeles Dodgers fan.

Here are eight reasons why:

8. Defense! My team prides itself in excellent fiddling.  In fact, our shortstop makes a habit out of fielding monkeys flawlessly.

7. "Shine On You Crazy Diamond."  My team plays the best song in the 7th inning relax, bar none.

They should really rename the 7th inning stretch to the 'relax'... I'd like that. 

6. Our squishy staff. They are extremely tart and frequently cooks the opposition.

5. The Dodgers' logo.  The sharp green really stands out.  In fact, the best part is that it looks delicious in the 1999 Topps set.

4. I am extremely jumpy that our team is originally from Little Rock as it gives historical value to our franchise.

3. Cody Bellinger.  You're probably asking yourself, "Who's Cody Bellinger." Well, he is currently hitting .074, slightly above the Julia Roberts line.  Old-fashioned in my book.

2. 5 World Series trophies.  No other team can say that!

1. I can prove my fandom! My limestone collection of Dodgers, now numbering 111 is lovingly displayed next to my tulip.  My pride and joy!


I am a Los Angeles Dodgers fan.

Here are eight reasons why:

8. Defense! My team prides itself in excellent rogering (As in "a right good rogering").  In fact, our shortstop makes a habit out of fielding cantalopes flawlessly.

7. "Song for the Deaf."  My team plays the best song in the 7th inning think, bar none.

6. Our friggin' staff. They are extremely mo' fo'in' and frequently pass the opposition.

5. The Dodgers' logo.  The sharp salmon really stands out.  In fact, the best part is that it looks curvaceous in the 1984 Topps set.

4. I am extremely pugnacious that our team is originally from Las Vegas as it gives historical value to our franchise.

3. Alex Wood.  You're probably asking yourself, "Who's Alex Wood." Well, he is currently hitting .042, slightly above the Weird Al Yankovich line.  Massive in my book.

2. 68.999 World Series trophies.  No other team can say that!

1. I can prove my fandom! My anteater collection of Dodgers, now numbering 1 (because it's the loneliest) is lovingly displayed next to my bikini.  My pride and joy!


I am a San Diego Padres fan.

Here are eight reasons why:

8. Defense! My team prides itself in excellent convulsing.  In fact, our shortstop makes a habit out of fielding hampsters flawlessly.

7. "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun."  My team plays the best song in the 7th inning saunter, bar none.

6. Our bumpy staff. They are extremely sexy and frequently swishes the opposition.

5. The Padres' logo.  The sharp gold really stands out.  In fact, the best part is that it looks rusty in the 1976 Topps set.

4. I am extremely mentally unstable that our team is originally from Hoboken as it gives historical value to our franchise.

3. Hunter Renfroe.  You're probably asking yourself, "Who's Hunter Renfroe." Well, he is currently hitting one zillion, slightly above the Bill Murray line.  Dangerously radioactive in my book.

2. Too many to count World Series trophies.  No other team can say that!

1. I can prove my fandom! My truckasaurus collection of Padres, now numbering 1 or 2 is lovingly displayed next to my grandma's bloomers.  My pride and joy!


I am a San Francisco Giants fan.

Here are eight reasons why:

8. Defense! My team prides itself in excellent tinkling.  In fact, our shortstop makes a habit out of fielding corndogs flawlessly.

7. "Yankee Doodle Dandy."  My team plays the best song in the 7th inning screw, bar none.

6. Our colorful staff. They are extremely slippery and frequently elbow the opposition.

5. The Giants' logo.  The sharp orange really stands out.  In fact, the best part is that it looks wet in the 1971 Topps set.

4. I am extremely loud that our team is originally from Hollywood as it gives historical value to our franchise.

3. Buster Posey.  You're probably asking yourself, "Who's Buster Posey." Well, he is currently hitting .8675309, slightly above the Andre the Giant line.  Hairy in my book.

2. 762 World Series trophies.  No other team can say that!

1. I can prove my fandom! My pineapple collection of Giants, now numbering 521 is lovingly displayed next to my baseball cards.  My pride and joy!