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:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQV8M5G3nGsUPmTywkUbvHQ

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!

REASONS FOR FANDOM

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!


REASONS FOR FANDOM

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!



REASONS FOR FANDOM

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!



REASONS FOR FANDOM

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!



REASONS FOR FANDOM

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!



REASONS FOR FANDOM

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!



Wednesday, July 19, 2017

First Ginter Box of the Year + Contest #4 Results!

I recorded my first box opening of my case.  Within you'll find the winner to contest #4 (you can skip to the 03:35 mark if you're lazy).  This is the first time I'm seeing this product and you'll hear a lot of first impressions as well!



"We got a box... it goes this way."  Happy breaking!

Congratulations to our winner and hooray Ginter!

The Gintery Goodness Contest Maintenance Report

My contests have all but wrapped up and Allen & Ginter is upon us.  I first want to congratulate Chris of Nachos Grande and Josh D. of Royals and Randoms for winning two of the contests already.  With only the third post of my second contest, Chris swept in with some glorious rhyming (which I greatly appreciated):

"I know not who Topps will choose,
It may well be a Yankee, Cub, or Giant,
But this contest is not one I'd like to lose,
So my guess is a safe one: Bryant."

You're guess proved a very safe one indeed!  Congrats!

Josh won contest #5 with some sharp sleuthing skills.  He was definitely on board with this contest narrowing down the pool of possibilities to three players by the end of the 4th clue.  The player in question that I was thinking of was former Nationals all-star catcher Wilson Ramos.  Don't ask me how I came up with that player... if I remember, I think I just picked a card at random from a stack on my desk.  Congrats to you as well Josh!

We still have 3 contests to go though!  I can tell you right now that I'm going to post the results to contest #3 (the MadLibs) on a separate post because I want to highlight a bunch of the entries.

I'll have a video out later today opening my first box of the case while also showing off the winner of contest #4.

Contest #1 is below.  I randomized the list of commenteers and the winner is going to be the spot equal to the total number of runs, hits, and errors for both teams in the Cubs-Braves afternoon game today.  We'll flip this list over as many times as necessary to get a winner (i.e. John Sharp has the number 24 spot as well).  Good luck to you all!


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Grouping Together Some Braves Young Guns

I've been frequenting eBay quite a bit recently... probably a bit too much for my own good.  I guess it gave me something to spend my money on as opposed to buying a new box of something way overpriced... Stadium Club is already $130 for a hobby box.  No thanks.  I've tried local Targets and Wal-Marts too, but they really didn't have much that excited me (mostly just flagship).

To eBay I went hunting for deals.


I went searching by product and decided to take a peak at this year's Bowman's Best to see if there might be any inserts or base cards worth picking up.  I decided I wasn't really thrilled with the set, but all the same found myself putting the minimum bid ($0.99) on this Ian Anderson auto.  To my surprise, I ended up winning it, so I went and looked at the seller's other items to justify the shipping.  My first Matt Wisler auto immediately made the cut at $0.99.  Matt also notably gets the award for best looking signature on this post... though it wasn't too hard to do.


Also making the cut at the under $1 benchmark were this Kolby Allard and Anthony Alford.  I honestly still don't know why I picked up the Alford.  It went straight into my trade bait box.  I guess I couldn't pass up blue scribbles for four quarters.


This is where these sellers get you.  I could've easily walked away with those four autos, paid my $3 shipping and come out happy... but no.  Couldn't do that.  Instead I bid on this auto of recently called up Sean Newcomb; a gold parallel numbered 20/99.  I ended up spending $13 on it... probably a bit pricey, but I really wanted something of this kid's.

Sean grew up south of Boston and ended up going to school at the University of Hartford.  I remember watching this guy pitch for the Hartford Hawks once.  He throws hard and I was excited to hear that he got the call-up this year.  I've been trying to make a point and watch as many of his starts as I can when I'm at work (yes... I arguably get paid to watch sports... it's great).  He looked absolutely phenomenal in his first 3 or 4 outings and I actually missed his start where he got really roughed up.

I like this kid enough that I'm going to start actively looking for more of his cards.  In fact, right after pulling the trigger on this card, I went over to COMC and wiped them out of every parallel I could find under a buck.  I'll have that post eventually... but probably after Ginter mania.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Gintery Contest #5 - Clue #5

If you're looking for rules on this contest you can find them here.  Good luck!

Clue #5: I have made one All-Star Game in my career... a game in which I struck out.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Gintery Contest #5 - Clue #4

If you're looking for rules on this contest you can find them here.  Good luck!

I'm not saying it will be easy, but I'm pretty sure you can theoretically nail this player down after this clue.  A co-worker of mine was able to successfully guess this player after I gave him this fourth clue... though it did take him an hour plus the use of some of our internal tools, so I won't blame you all if no one gets it still.  :D

Clue #4: Not that many people would care, but I've had a positive WAR in every season I've played professional baseball.  That's not something Albert Pujols can say this year!

Friday, July 14, 2017

Gintery Contest #5 - Clue #3

If you're looking for rules on this contest you can find them here.  Good luck!

Alright, admittedly yesterday's clue wasn't super useful... and also quite hard to really investigate.  Hopefully this one gets you all going down the right path a bit more.

Clue #3: I've never had more than 500 AB in a season but I have eclipsed that dreaded 100 SO mark.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Gintery Contest #5 - Clue #2

If you're looking for rules on this contest you can find them here.  Good luck!

Clue #2: I was in the minors for five years before ever being called up, and even then, I didn't have rookie status until the sixth year.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The 2017 Contest of Gintery Goodness - Part Five

I first want to address contest #2.  Topps released its checklist early this morning (you can find it here) and the number one card in the set is Kris Bryant.  That means that our first contest winner is Chris from Nachos Grande!  Congrats man!

I think we're going to stop at five contests again this year.  For some reason it just feels like a good number.  So far I have:

1. The lazy man's contest of chance

2. A persistent man's contest (with a bit of thinking) Won by Chris - Nachos Grande

3. A subjective contest

4. A contest with a slight advantage to loyal reader's


What do I need... I think a bit of skill/sleuthing is what the doctor ordered here!

So here's the deal.  Everyday for the next week I have a post scheduled for 1pm EST so that's 10am for you folks on the west coast.  Hopefully that's not too early for you.  In any case, each of these posts will contain a hint referencing a baseball player that I have thought of.  The first person to correctly guess said player will win the contest!

You only get one guess per post.  Guesses will only be allowed on the post that is currently "live".  So once clue #2 is released, no more guessing on the clue #1 post.  That being said, you are more than encouraged to throw out a far-fetched guess even if you don't know that answer.  Who knows, you might end up being right!

Today is Wednesday and I currently have seven total clues (I very much doubt I'll need more than that), which means this contest will also end on or before July 19th.

...and yes, I'm going to attempt to make this fairly challenging.  We shall see how I do!  Good luck!

Clue #1: Though I have seen at least one Major League at-bat this season, I did not have one yesterday.  Then again, I don't think anyone really expected me to have an at-bat yesterday.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Two Timely Trunks of Thoughtfulness

I haven't gotten around to trading a whole lot recently, so the vast majority of my packages found on my doorstep have been purchases of some sort.  This changed last week when I received two awesome packages in the mail from fellow bloggers.

The first came courtesy Gavin at Baseball Card Breakdown after participating in his Big Fun Game.  I had an early round draft pick in his game and ended up taking one of Gavin's collecting babies in a Topps Retired auto of Jesse Orosco.  


My scanner clearly doesn't do too well with these heavy plastic encasements.  More importantly (and more exciting for me), I got another of Gavin's famed customs!  This one is an ode to the Simpsons, a show that hit its prime while I was still pretty young.  My parents never allowed me to watch it claiming it was "utter nonsense".  They're probably right... it is a show full of utter nonsense, but it also clearly works as the show has been around for 28 years now!


Gavin also included a whole bunch of extras with many a Brave and some Tony Gwynn's, but I wanted to highlight the above extra he included.  I'm pretty sure this package arrived on July 2nd and this card was tailor made for a Fourth of July blog post... I completely missed the boat on that one.

Thanks for hosting the game Gavin!  I greatly appreciate your generosity.

~~~

I also recently participated in a group break hosted by Chris over at Nachos Grande.  I obviously took the Bravos and also ended up with the Rays as a randomized team.  You'll find no Rays cards in this recap... even though I got quite a few, there weren't any cards that particularly stood out to me.

The break included two boxes of Archives, a box of of Diamond Kings, a box of Topps Bunt, along with a bunch of extras and throw ins.  I particularly enjoyed seeing a few 2009 Upper Deck cards from a set I really never touched.


The Bunt box yielded the full Braves base team set (I think you're pretty much guaranteed the base set in a single box) plus this one really sweet blue parallel of Freddie.  I went golfing the other day and someone told me I swing my driver exactly like Freddie Freeman swings a baseball bat.  I loved it.


The two Archives boxes landed me a decent number of base cards with a couple dupes.  I never checked if I actually received the full team set or not.  Above are the two Braves inserts Chris pulled for me and I was quite happy with both of these.  I enjoy that the Glavine tall boy insert features a bit younger version of the loopy lefty.


I think these were the only two Braves cards I received from Diamond Kings... not that I'm complaining.  These are apparently both variations of Dansby Swanson and one of them is even framed.  Yay!  The cards are okay I suppose, but the Diamond Kings box was certainly not the reason I joined this break.

Overall, short of getting a hit, I thought I did fairly decent in this group break.  Getting five inserts/parallels across the break is pretty much as best as you can do in my book.  Chris also claimed he would fill a flat rate mailer with a whole bunch of extras and he made good on that promise plus some.  I received a box full of Braves and Rays from throughout the last two decades.  There was a whole lot of everything from Junk Wax, to 2012 Bowman, to just some randoms from the early 2000's.  It was great!


What was really great though was this surprise autograph of Terry Pendleton that showed up in the box.  This card really made me ecstatic as Pendleton has been a mainstay of the Braves organization for as long as I can remember serving as hitting coach, base coach, bench coach... basically all the behind the scenes positions.  He is clearly highly respected as he's survived two managerial changes along with some changes at the executive level as well.

Thanks so much for the generosity Chris!  I can't say I've ever even seen a certified autograph of Pendleton, let alone owned one!

Monday, July 10, 2017

The 2017 Contest of Gintery Goodness - Part Four

We embark today upon part four of this contest.  Some housekeeping.  From the title of this post you can probably infer that this is contest #4 in a series... if you haven't gotten in on any of the ones prior, they are still open!  Here's some links:

Contest #1 (Deadline: Midnight on July 19th)

Contest #2 (Deadline: Upon checklist release)

Contest #3 (Deadline: Midnight on July 19th)

Today's contest: (Deadline: Midnight on July 19th)


Comment below with the team you think will be featured on the first mini card I pull from this year's Allen & Ginter base set (so inserts don't count, parallels do).  Non-sport subjects will be disregarded and we'll use the franchise rule for players featured on defunct teams (i.e. Montreal Expos = Washington Nationals).  Obviously, since there are only 30 MLB teams, this contest will be limited to the first 30 participants (who knows if we'll even get that many).

Good luck and choose wisely!

Friday, July 7, 2017

The 2017 Contest of Gintery Goodness - Part Three

Onward with more contests!  We're going to do another MadLibs this year as I had a lot of fun reading all your responses last year.  So I suppose this is a selfish contest!  In any case, this year's MadLibs is entitled "Reasons for Fandom" and I'll highlight the top handful of responses on the blog (or maybe more if they happen to all be funny).  The winner will either be my favorite, or someone else's favorite if I can't decide... yes, it's super subjective, but too bad.  The rest of these contests are not.


If you don't know how to play MadLibs, its super easy.  Just provide me a word that fits for each of the below 21 categories.  21 words!  That's it, you're entered!


I've set the deadline for this survey to be the date of the 2017 Topps Allen & Ginter release.  So midnight EST on July 19th.  Speaking of deadlines, we'll make that the deadline for contest #1 as well!  Good luck!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

The 2017 Contest of Gintery Goodness - Part Two

Similar to years past with my contests, I'm planning on giving out multiple prizes and having plenty of different and interesting ways to win.  Hopefully you'll all enjoy them!  A reminder of the different things you can win and a link to the first way you can enter:

  • complete base set plus 20 random SP's of 2017 Topps Allen & Ginter
  • A selected 2017 Topps Allen & Ginter relic/autograph or two (2) full sized relics (by you) from those I pull (there will be a minor number of disqualifications, but you'll get to see the full list before choosing this option)
  • Your choice of six (6) 2017 Topps Allen & Ginter base baseball box toppers I pull
  • Your choice of 20 A&G back minis
  • A copy of every duplicate I pull from the 2017 Topps Allen & Ginter What A Day! set (on average this should be about 3/4 of the set)
  • Your choice of 30 duplicate inserts (mini or regular sized, minis count as 2)

Now on to contest #2!

We hearken back to contest two of last year,
a contest not won by the blogosphere.
So we'll approach it again with hopes of success
a challenge for you all to reassess.
Again, we look to that hallowed first card
a spot that many would agree was marred.
A Cub Topps chose, which was probably fine
but not Rizzo, Bryant, or those of similar align.
"Jorge Soler?!" even Cubs fans yelled,
"does he deserve this honor so unparalleled?"
For 2017 I'll have you colleagues decide
who will Topps put Jorge Soler beside!
Just as last year, you get one guess a night
until the list is released and Topps proves one right.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Cleaning out the Scan Bucket

Just as the title of this post implies, this post is going to tackle a good number of scans that have backed up on me for one reason or another.  I wanted to get these out on the blog before Allen & Ginter season begins in earnest.  


This particular scan has been waiting quite some time to get blogged about.  Mostly, I just had zero motivation to talk about this experience.  I joined a Topps Series 1 group break back on product release... I think it was two jumbos.  Obviously I picked the Braves, and these were the only non-base cards I got from that deal... all I can say is that joining Nachos Grande's recent group break was a much better decision than this one.


This particular scan has been in the bucket for almost a year now.  I have no excuse.  I bought this lot of 12 cards off eBay on October 27th of last year.  They were three bucks a pop plus another three in shipping, so just shy of $40 for the lot.  That seems to be about half of what the going rate for these minis are, so I think I got a good deal (which is pretty much all that matters).


Another batch of 12 minis.  These are actually a complete set and I picked them up as part of a trade/buy with a member of one of those trading sites that I seldom frequent.  Ever since Zistle went under, I've gone back to square one on trying to sort/categorize my collections and details like 'where these cards came from' escape me fairly often.  All I do know is that it wasn't a blogger!  I also know that I'm grateful to have found this pesky set, as prior to this, I did not own a single card from it!


Lastly comes a scan that might be expected and comes with a fabulous story that you can read about here if you don't remember.  I received this redemption in the mail from Topps some time ago and have yet to show it off.  For a Ginter auto, the card is actually in pretty rough shape... enough for me to notice at least.  The top left corner (inside the frame) is dinged and the plastic covering part of the frame (the piece that doesn't let you touch the card) is really beat up and scratched.  I think that's the main reason the scan looks a bit blurry.  I don't mind though since it was pretty much a free card!

Happy 4th of July everyone, and I hope you all have tomorrow off and eat burgers or brats! 

Friday, June 30, 2017

The 2017 Contest of Gintery Goodness - Part One

Woo!  Allen & Ginter is around the corner... and you know what that means for this little blog!  

I'm holding contests.  Yes plural. 

The prize structure is roughly the same from past year, though I cut out the option of getting the entire set because that's basically what everyone seemed to want.  I wanted to be able to offer this prize to more people so now you get the base set plus 20 random SP's and will have the great privilege of chasing down the remaining 30!  Depending on how many people end up choosing this, I may increase the number of random SP's.  My plan is to have zero extra SP's in my collection after awarding these prizes.

Otherwise, if you are lucky enough to win one of these contests over the next couple weeks you will get to choose your prize from the following:

  • complete base set plus 20 random SP's of 2017 Topps Allen & Ginter
  • A selected 2017 Topps Allen & Ginter relic/autograph or two (2) full sized relics (by you) from those I pull (there will be a minor number of disqualifications, but you'll get to see the full list before choosing this option)
  • Your choice of six (6) 2017 Topps Allen & Ginter base baseball box toppers I pull
  • Your choice of 20 A&G back minis
  • A copy of every duplicate I pull from the 2017 Topps Allen & Ginter What A Day! set (on average this should be about 3/4 of the set)
  • Your choice of 30 duplicate inserts (mini or regular sized, minis count as 2)

I would note that these are all limited by who ends up wanting what.  Obviously, I will only pull so many inserts/minis/ect.  If needed, I'll have a drawing to see who will get to pick their prize first.  Regardless, everyone should come away happy.  I'll probably throw in some random goodies just because I feel like it as well!




Your first avenue to entry is simple, and is identical to last year!  Simply comment on this post!  So easy!

All commenteers will be thrown headlong into a random drawing.  Last one standing will get a prize of their choice (see above).

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

2009 Upper Deck Goudey - A Single Pack

A while ago I busted a single pack of 2009 Upper Deck Goudey.  It's been sitting next to my scanner for months now and I'm just now getting around to writing about it.  Let's take a quick peek.


Each box of 2009 Upper Deck Goudey contained 18 packs with 8 cards per pack.  This was really my first real look at this product as I wasn't collecting until after Upper Deck lost its license in 2010.  I think I may have gotten one or two of these cards as throw-ins in a trade package, but I don't recall any with this exact design so they were probably from a different year.

The design really doesn't do it for me.  While I will say these cards look better in-hand than on the scanner bed, the background colors really are a bit vomit inducing.


The art styling here seems a bit odd to me as well.  There are certain cards like the Utley above that look completely hand-drawn, while others, like this Drew here, seem to be a photograph with a filter.  The change in detail level between cards confuses me.

I don't mind these card backs.  They're fairly simple and get across what they need to, while choosing to feature (and highlight) a short write-up on each player.  They're legible and fairly informative.


 I did get a Brave from the pack which was nice.  Not really a great looking card though.  I always hated Andy Pettitte growing up.  He pitched a decent number of games against the Braves in the World Series and seemed to always get out of hot water even though we hit him fairly well.  Super frustrating.


This Kinsler card is weird... almost square.  It's like they cut an inch off the top of a normal baseball card.  Small boy instead of tall boy?  In any case, I don't like them.  I'll stick to my tobacco cards.  This last card featuring Yankee greats is pretty darn cool.  The red frame makes it stand out a bit too, and even though there still exists some of that strange background coloring, there's much less of it so it's almost a decent card! 

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

2017 Allen & Ginter Preview - Evaluating Inserts

You all know I'm an Allen & Ginter set collector above all else by now.  As has been customary for me the last few years, I ordered myself a case of the product... and paid for it long before Judge and Bellinger mania began.  The release date this year is Wednesday, July 19th which is almost exactly three weeks away!  If you can't already tell, I'm pretty excited.

The sell sheet for the product has been out for quite some time, but I figured I'd go over it and highlight what I like/don't like about what I'm seeing.  I'm pulling this info from Cardboard Connection and you can find it here too if you're curious.


I'm not going to say a whole heck of a lot about card design because a picture can really only tell you so much.  I will be perfectly honest and say that I wasn't overly impressed with the direction they are taking with the base card design this year.  I'm actually really curious how this design is going to implement non-baseball subjects.  I do think there are ways that this design could actually work, so I will reserve further judgement.


Same with the minis... can't really say too much about them yet.  I am excited they are going back to full black minis instead of speckled black borders.  This may mean the end of Allen & Ginter X as we know it, but I might be okay with that seeing as it was just another money sink for me.


The autographs are interesting.  I will say this frame looks awesome, but I've come to expect that.  Another thing I think I like is the fonting they've chose for the "Allen & Ginter" text.  It's more blocky and less scripty than the past.  Different, but I like it.

It appears as if Topps has kept the same configuration on the product (same 50 SP's with 12 expected per box, same 3 hits per box as well).

Finally the insert sets... which are always my favorite.  Here's what's been announced thus far with a few predictions/opinions:


What a Day! (above): This is your annual 100 card baseball themed insert set.  I actually really like this and it looks like its designed fairly well.  I'm excited to see if they'll use dates not just from last year and if they'll use pictures from the games in which the player actually "went off".  This could really be an awesome set depending on both those things.  Reminds me of the Baseball Highlights Sketches from 2009-2012... sets that I tended to enjoy.
Revolutionary Battles: Super, SUPER excited for this set.  I hope it's not just 10 cards.  I've always loved historically based cards and this set could potentially be awesome. 
Sport Fish & Fishing Lures: This set somewhat intrigues me... but I also have zero faith in it.  I'm not big into fishing at all, so I also really don't think I will understand it.  Probably doesn't have much potential to really be all that good looking either... we shall see.  
World's Fair: I feel like A&G has already done something like this before.  I don't know what direction they will take it.  I think they could probably come away with a halfway decent set if they highlight locations the World's Fair has been at.  Not expecting much here.


Mini Inserts
World's Dudes (above): The sell sheet states that this is going to be a 40-card set. Woah... that's going to be a lot of ugly red.  The set itself *could* be okay I suppose.  It's certainly immediately better than last years big mini set of US Mayors, and the year before featured First Ladies which was a bit of a snooze-fest as well.  So that's something to be happy about.  These could at least be entertaining.
Bust a Move!: This is a complete crap-shoot for me.  I have zero clue about dancing, though I still see possible potential here.  I think it would be pretty cool if they highlighted dancing athletes (i.e. Cam Newton dab, Jose Bautista bat flip, Chicago Cubs dancing in the bullpen, ect.), but I doubt that's what they're going for here.
Constellations: Pretty excited about this set.  Space on cardboard always gets me... and its pretty hard to do wrong.  Big expectations here.
Required Reading: I'm actually surprisingly looking forward to this set.  I wouldn't call myself a huge reader, but I think this is exactly what these insert minis should be focused on.  Highly recognizable odd-ball stuff.  I don't expect a beautiful insert set here, but I definitely expect to learn something.  B+:
Magicians & Illusionists: I'm not expecting a whole lot here.  While I'm somewhat intrigued by magicians, I don't think cardboard can really do them justice.  Magic is all about presentation, and I truly don't think there is a good way to represent magic on a piece of cardboard.  I'd love to be proved wrong though!  Topps, impress me!

Obviously, there's more than just those inserts.  Topps never fully spoils the A&G checklist until release day.  There's always surprises to be found which is part of the fun of the product.  I'm still as excited as ever to dive into my case in three weeks!

Also, if you've been around my blog in the past, you'll know I do a contest on the release of Allen & Ginter.  That's not stopping this year!  Look for posts on that starting later this week!

Monday, June 26, 2017

I Didn't Truly Realize How Far $80 Goes.

A few days ago I started a post with some recent Teheran pick-ups from eBay.  Those cards were part of a much larger purchase where I had to eclipse $80 to get 15% off the entire purchase.  I thought of it like grabbing a discounted hobby box.


I started off with a bunch of BIG cards.  I'm trying to chase all the non-baseball boxloader sets that Allen & Ginter has put out.  There's not a whole lot of them and they don't tend to be too pricey, its just that no one really wants to send them because they are so big and awkward.


This Pride of the People set from two years ago happens to be one of my favorite boxloader sets.  I was actually pretty disappointed when last year's Ginter boxloaders only featured baseball players.  According to the sell sheet, it looks as if that is going to be the case this year as well.


2013 had this massive 21 card set featuring wonders (ancient, natural, and modern).  If you've never seen these old style boxloaders (before 2014), they're enormous and actually quite hard to find in decent condition because of how clunky they are to store.  These babies take up the entire scanner bed by themselves.


I was also lucky enough to find one of these boxloaders from 2008 in my price range which was around $2-3 a card.  I was happy to cross a number of these off my list and throw them into proper storage, which for these is a small plastic filing 'cabinet' (but really... it's just a box).


These are some cool ones.  Even though I already had all three, I was happy to nab all three of these for a buck as they are somewhat rare minis seeded one per half-case.  You also don't see them all that often, so I figured I would pick them up as a bit of trade bait.


Who doesn't like planes on one of the better Allen & Ginter designs??


...or sharks for that matter!


Back to cards I actually needed... these are mini inserts called Baseball Icons.  They were seeded in every other hobby box, and these last three finally saw me complete the 17 card set!


This Thurman Munson might have been my favorite card from that entire set.  Lookin' mean after just finishing his swing.  Hey Panini, I don't see a logo on this card... you could probably do something like this.


Fast forwarding to a bit more of the modern side of Ginter.  I'm still working on this framed relic set from two years ago.  I've put quite a good chunk into it and am now almost two thirds complete.


This particular relic might have dropped down to the cheaper end of spectrum after seeing the subject get suspended this season.  I don't mind.  I'm happy to add it to the set build!


Finally, I dropped some money into cards I'd probably never get in trades.  The above Gymnasticon plus all the other minis below are cards I needed from case hit mini insert sets.  


They all tend to be quirky or odd (like the above very gross cockroach), but I must have all the minis, so they all get bindered away.


One of my favorites of these pickups was the above Shovel Racing card.  I remember attempting to do this type of thing as a kid, but I can't say I ever really got above 10mph... let alone 70mph.  Wow!


The final two case hit pickups come from sets I've barely put a dent in.  For whatever reason, these two sets plus the Fashionable Ladies sets always seem scare and tend to command a higher price-point.  $8.25 for that guy in a Fedora... seemed like a good deal at the time.

Even with all the Teheran's plus all of the above, I had yet to hit my $80 mark.  I thought about adding some more (even pricier) case hit inserts, but they all seemed a bit too ridiculous for my liking.  No, instead I went with something that I don't usually collect.

I was in the Ginter section of eBay, so it was inevitable that their algorithms would start understanding what I was after.  


Silks started catching my eye and the fact that both of these were pretty steeply discounted from their original list price helped out a lot as well.  Braves pitching... right up my alley.  I've always wanted a few more of these silks to add to my collection.  They are A&G cards after all!

Those two ended up putting me quite a bit over that $80 budget, but with the 15% off I figured I had walked away with that Glavine almost for free... almost.