Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas + Some Cardboard Gifts!

First of all, Merry Christmas!  I hope you all had a wonderful day, whether it be with friends, family, or working like myself.  No worries!  I have a fabulous family dinner waiting for me once I get out.  In the meantime, its so slow here today that I was able to take some time and write up this post.

I'll take the time to highlight two Christmas present I received!  The first is my Secret Santa gift courtesy Kin of I Feel Like A Collector Again AND Beans Ballcard Blog.  Yes, he's got two blogs, and yes, his second one is vastly superior only because he uses 'B' alliteration like I do.  Amazingly, we didn't duplicate a single word in either of our blog titles.

Kin immediately won over my heart by sending me tons of Ginter minis.  He even pre-slotted them into 15-pocket pages!

Some more minis.  The two black bordered ones both make my black bordered Frankenset that I'm working on.

These were by far my favorite minis included in the package.  I hadn't opened almost any 2017 retail this year, so I had previously had no access to these beautiful Horse in the Race minis.  Kin put a dent in my checklist with the above two...

...and ten more.  I think my favorite of this batch is the Scandinavian Coldblood Trotter as there's a beautiful foal featured on the card.  It also has a pretty awesome name.

Thanks for the awesome Secret Santa gift Kin!  Knocking minis off my wantlist is always some of the most fun I have.


Next up is a Christmastime bombing that All Trade Bait, All The Time sent out to seemingly the entire blogging world and I'm honored to be included in the mix.

We got pitchers not pitching, which is always fun.  Mahler going through these boxes of balls is a pretty cool shot.  I wonder if they had pitchers 'rub the balls up' pregame before the modern day official Delaware River mudding of the balls.

More Glavines!  One even complete with a psuedo-mullet!

Oscar hit up my Teheran PC as well.  I haven't gotten to open up almost any '17 Heritage, so the fake blue skies card was definitely a need.

Finally two of the newfangled Gypsy Queen cards.  I've never really appreciated this set all that much, and this year really isn't much of an exception.  The team nameplate at the top of the card is the only design feature that I really enjoy.  The green border parallel was definitely a need though, and who can say no to a Colon card?

Thanks for the thoughtful send!

Merry Christmas to all and thank the Lord for sending us his Son this day!

Friday, December 22, 2017

When a 1/1 Gets Outshined... by About Twenty Other Things

Hello blogosphere.  It's been a bit, and it might be a bit more before I really start getting back in the swing of things here, but I knew I had to get this post and another Secret Santa post up before Christams.

This particular deal actually started years ago, back when I was first introduced to Gavin of Baseball Card Breakdown.  One of the first posts I ever read of his was this one featuring his awesome 'pretty girls' customs. I eventually acquired a set of these for myself, but during that discussion I mentioned an idea I'd had for awhile that related to my Allen & Ginter collection.

Almost two years later and the trade has gone through, complete with tons of add-ons.

Here's what initially sparked the trade; a complete custom set of Allen & Ginter set 'cover cards'.  If you've read any of this blog at all, you'll know that at least 75% of my collection is focused around Allen & Ginter set builds.  I've got a binder (or binders) for every year of Allen & Ginter since its inception.  I figure that if I'm that committed to collecting this set, I might as well get a bit fancy with it.  I requested Gavin utilize his creative skills to print customs for me that announce the set build.  Here's what he came up with!

As you can see, he went with a different approach for each of these cover cards.  Some, like the above 2011 design utilized the art from the pack.  Others utilized the existing card design and/or border.

He also found some general logos for some (I believe this 2014 one features art from a Topps exclusive binder).

I promise any centering issues you see are no fault of Gavin's... these cards are simply a little difficult to scan/crop properly.  They all came out magnificent!

This back of all these cards are all the same and highlights the fake aging/staining process he uses.  I think its pretty nifty!

Gavin kindly provided two of each of these customs as my plan is to use these both on the outside spine of the binder and also on the very first page of the set.  Since Allen & Ginter is a 350 card set, it nicely fits into 39 nine pocket pages (Ginter is a bit too fat to double bag) with one extra spot.  These cover cards will now occupy that extra spot.  I like it.  The sets feel complete to me now.

We didn't stop the fun there. First we had to have some set building help featuring MINIS!  YAY!  Gavin has expressed his desire to complete this constellations set for awhile now, so I'm sure this is probably one of his dupes. I also received a single need from 2016 Ginter X along with a custom card (number 46 in the set in my book), the ONE TRUE DUDE.  

I also obtained some fun PC cards of various natures through this trade including an older Mike Minor auto and a really fun manufactured patch of the Braves big lefty from Topps Pro Debut (at least that's my guess).

This was a pretty sweet card.  I had one of those Topps seals of authenticity on it so I left it there for now.  It's one of those 1/1 blank back issues that Topps has recently become fond of.  I kinda hate the idea... cause ultimately, its just another money grab.  I would never consider these as 'part of the rainbow' of a set if I ever tried to complete one.  Even still, I very happy to be the owner of this card!  

I told Gavin it was my first Topps Fire card I've seen in hand, but I realized I lied to him, because I realized I received three such Fire cards in a recent-ish package from Julie that I haven't posted about yet.  So, this is my fourth I guess.  Still awesome.

Finally, the kingpin of our deal.  Well, at least it became the kingpin after much negotiation.  Gavin was able to procure this fine specimen for me from 1998 Donruss Signature Series.  This is my very first Maddux auto (for good reason too... they're all super pricey) and I'm ecstatic that its licensed and on-card.  I now have an auto for all of the big three Braves HoF pitchers from the 90's (Maddux, Glavine, Smoltz).  Maybe I'll start working on trying to add some of the more notable non-HoF guys now (Avery, Millwood, Neagle, Wohlers, Rocker).  I bet a couple of them have Archives autos out there.

In any case, this card is serially numbered on the back.  I was immediately curious when I initially saw it and had to investigate.  Apparently there are actually two versions of this card; a 'century marks' with 100 copies and this one 'millennium marks' which typically have 1000 copies.  Numbers 1-100 were reserved for the first set while 101-1100 were for the second.  It was also stated that Maddux only signed 400 of his Millennium Marks cards which means that this card is basically 482/500 in modern terms.  I thought that was pretty neat.

Gavin, you the man!  Thanks for the great trade!  If there's any chance you haven't discovered his wonderful blog yet, go check it out.  He's in the middle of a run counting down the Twelve Days of Beermas.  YUM!

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.