Thursday, September 29, 2016

Kerry Kauses Kollection to Koruscate

I've been extremely active on the cardboard battlelines this month.  By my count, I've made two COMC purchases, three eBay purchases, and have made multiple trades over a variety of platforms (three on Zistle, two on TheBench, and four via this blog).  That number of transactions may not be a lot for some people, but I feel like I set some kind of record for myself.  I felt like I was getting a new package everyday!

Kerry, from Cards on Cards was one of the first to shoot me an envelope near the beginning of September.  While the trade itself wasn't massive, it was inspiring.

Kerry and I have traded a few times now, and I think a lot of the reason why is because our collection interests are fairly similar.  Both of us seem to chase the Allen & Ginter set each year which helps us both come up with trade bait.  In addition, Kerry has always chased the Topps Heritage set, and this year, I finally decided to do the same.  Kerry kindly sent me his duplicate short prints which are super annoying to find.

The actual inspiration for the trade came when I commented on his blog asking for this card.  In general, I would call myself a fan of country music.  I'm pretty much a fan of any music in which the singer is good and I can understand the words.  Tim McGraw was actually one of my first concerts, so he brings back enough memories that I was willing to trade for this card.

From the McGraw card, Kerry had obviously opened some Topps Chrome from this year.  He's opened some from the past as well, helping me inch closer to my 2014 Topps Chrome set build with this card.

The last card in the package was the above card of Julio Teheran.  Pretty much on its own, this card inspired me to do two things.  One of them I've already mentioned in a past post... and that was to start a PC of Braves pitcher Julio Teheran.  This was the first card that went into that PC!

The second was to go and make a senseless purchase off eBay.  After I saw the Teheran card (the first 2016 Chrome card I had seen), I immediately went to eBay and bought the lowest Buy It Now complete set of 2016 Topps Chrome that I could find.

I had $20 in PayPal credit stored up so I rationalized this purchase as a $35 one.  Shhhh, don't argue with my brain.  

I almost never do this kind of thing, because I like chasing a set and the thrill that the chase brings.  The problem was that I really liked 2016 Chrome... and I would've had to chase it.  I already have enough on my plate right now with Ginter and the silly Heritage SP's, so I decided just to outright buy the set so I wouldn't be tempted by any hobby boxes of the product.

I think it was a good choice.  I got the inserts too!  Thanks Kerry for the trade and boo you for making me spend $55.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Ginter Case Baseball Hits

I have quite a few trades I need to post this week, but I figured I would first round up my case of Allen & Ginter I busted almost two months ago now.  I completely forgot that I hadn't done this last post until I saw these scans sitting in my "to blog" folder.  So, without further blabbing, below you will find all my baseball hits from my 2016 Allen & Ginter case break.

This year, you were pretty much guaranteed two RIP cards instead of the normal one.  My first was a beautiful single subject card numbered to 25.  This one still resides unripped in my box of never-never land cards.

The second RIP card was this dual-subject rip numbered to 50.  I actually ended up ripping this card just the other day.  The post on that is here if you care to check it out.  I ended up with a Trout and Encarnacion extension mini which I was fairly happy with.

Here's a few of the baseball framed relics I received.  They were actually incredibly hard pulls this year.  My case yielded only four of them.  For the most part, the vast majority of boxes contained two full-sized relics and then either a framed relic or framed auto.  Clearly, the autograph rate was up this year as I received more autos than I did of these relics. 

These relic subjects certainly didn't disappoint though!  Two of the league's best hitters, a top tier pitcher, and a media icon that can't get his head out of his own ass.  I'm happy with them all!

The last few baseball hits are of the blue ink variety.  Year in and year out, Allen & Ginter always has an interesting auto list.  The non-sport subjects (most of which are usually short printed) tend to be all over the map and far as notoriety, and then the baseball subjects seem to be very random as well.  All of the baseball autos tend to be extremely hit or miss as, for some reason, Topps tends to shy away from getting auto subjects from your 2nd tier star list for this set.

Instead, they choose to short print baseball auto subjects of old-timers and superstars like Trout, Harper, Kershaw, and Bryant, and then throw in a bunch of rookie and sophomore year guys like the above.

Another rookie prospect found in the case.  This one came from the infamous #Box9.  Back when I pulled it, Peraza really hadn't seen all that much play.  He now is batting .326 in 66 games played this year.  I'd say that's doing pretty good!

The last baseball auto I received was this black framed parallel numbered 11/25 of Mets rookie Matt Reynolds.  While I'll admit I love the black frame, the auto subject doesn't do a ton for me.  As a Braves fan, I'm as close to a "Mets hater" as you can get especially since I live up in the Northeast.  I certainly don't know much about Reynolds either other than briefly looking up his stats online (hint: they aren't spectacular).

I'd be remiss if I left this last card off this post.  While I've shown it already, and it isn't exactly a hit, it seems to be a decently rare SSP that I'm going to consider part of the base set since I have it.  Honestly, if I hadn't pulled the card, I don't think I'd actively go chasing this card down, as it's a bit gimmicky to me.  I suppose if Topps feels that they have to print SSP's, then this is the way to do them.  No errors, photo variations, or a base card numbered 351 (at the end of the set).  No, make the card somewhat unique... make it feel like its not part of the base set at all, and make it a unique or differentiating subject.  I approve of this.  Not saying I'd go buy these cards, but I'm okay with it existing.

Long story short... all of the cards above are still in my possession except for two:  The double rip card has been ripped and made its way to Duane, while the Blake Snell auto went out in my Ginter Contests.

The Urias SSP is tucked neatly away in my master set binder, but everything else you see here is free game.  Give me a shout if you're looking to trade!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

What Drives you to Rip a Rip-Card?

Oh the joys of rip cards.  The cards that embody the spirit of Christmas... well, not the real spirit of Christmas, but they do remind me very much of what Christmas morning was like as a little kid growing up.


Alas, Christmas presents never contained exactly what you wanted.

Image result for kid opening present gif

Rip cards do this to me.  When I pull a rip card, I'm obviously happy.  They're expensive little devils, are usually numbered fairly low, and have this hidden little present wrapped snugly inside of them.  My immediate reaction when I get one of these is to hoard it away for eternity... hide it somewhere I'll never find it so I can't ever extract the glorious goodness inside the card.  However, whenever I start embarking upon bigger trades, my rip-card collection sitting in never-never land will occasionally come up.

A year ago on this very day, I posted about a package I received from Jeroen.  My rip-card collection had to be accessed for that trade to go through (and for very good reason).

This year was quite a bit different.

Duane, of Democratic Roadkill and I have been talking about trading... for far too long.  Bottom line is that, for the most part, he has most of the same cards I do, but just more of them.  It sucks when that happens.  You have to start getting creative with outgoing trade packages.

I have a feeling Duane and I are going to be starting a revolving door of packages flowing back and forth.  This was just the primer.  What he sent me:

This was really the best I could do... I thought about scanning the cards, but instead I just took a crappy picture of the cards on top of my scanner.  Good enough, right?  In any case, Duane single-handed knocked my regular back mini want list down to single digits... for two separate years!!!  Not to mention, he did quite the job on a third year as well.

Here's what's left of my regular back mini want list for the past 3 years.

42, 118, 258, 303

30, 39, 79, 96, 102, 141, 157, 189, 197, 205, 211, 222, 224, 234, 240, 248, 253, 267, 288, 298, 323, 337

51, 52, 54, 339, 342

Originally, Duane and I were going to exchange minis (and we did do some of that), but somehow we got to talking and rip-cards came up.  Yep, those rip-cards I keep stashed away in never-never land.

Here's what happened (volume is low for the first 5-10 seconds.  Don't kill your ears by turning it all the way up):

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Gint-A-Cuffs Packs 19-24

Pack #19:
Starting off the last post with a favorite player mini: +3 (FP)
The commish says Monica Abbott is worth a point.  I suppose that should be true.  This is the type of "world champion" oddball I want in a set like this.  Heck, she just signed a contract for $1 million just a few months ago!  +1
Pack Total: 4 points
Box Total: 104.5 points

Pack #20:
The only card in the pack worth anything is the black bordered Kolten Wong: +3
Pack Total: 3 points
Box Total: 107.5 points

Pack #21:
I did a double take when I started writing about this pack.  Didn't I just write about that Bench card???  Did I really pull a duplicate insert in this box???

Nope. That is a screen grab from yesterday's post.  Uhhh.  Those cards are pretty damn close to identical.  Boo.

...and wait a second!!! Didn't I just have that same ugly insert???

Close... but also nope.  This is silly.

Regardless... the pack still nets me points.
Mini insert: +2
Ugly insert: +2
Duplicate insert: +2
The most boring six points I'll ever earn: Priceless
Pack Total: 6 points
Box Total: 113.5 points

Pack #22:
Some nice old-timers start us off but they aren't worth anythng.  Again, the only cards worth points are the inserts.
Old Faithful looking steamy: +2
My father's favorite pitcher: +2
Pack Total: 4 points
Box Total: 117.5 points

Pack #23:
Freddie Freeman base card! +4 (MY FP)
Keuchel base card: +2 (FP)
Garneau base card! +... I kid... who has a Rockie as their favorite player anyways.
A curious kitty: +2
Pack Total: 8 points
Box Total: 125.5 points

Final Pack #24:
The Yankees finally rear their ugly heads.  They are both inserts though, so we have.
Whitey: +1 (Yankee)
Mattingly: +1 (Yankee)
Pack Total: 2 points
Box Total: 127.5 points

That does it!  We did maintain our >5 per pack average (5.15 points/pack to be exact).  The 127.5 points puts me at the top of the crowd of people who didn't come close to the leaders.  Both Brad's Blog (153.5) and Community Gum (142) had some pretty insane pulls (very jealous of that JeyHey book card).

Honestly, I did quite well for what was in my box (no "wow" hits).  I think that fact that I only pulled 3 or 4 Yankees really helped a lot.  It's always fun to "judge" a box like this though!  Thanks for hosting Mark!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Gint-A-Cuffs Packs 12-18

Pack #12:
This pack somehow got away with having zero scoring cards whatsoever.
Pack Total: 0 points
Box Total: 66.5 points

Pack #13:
I very much enjoyed this pack when I opened it.  A black bordered mini of a rookie who is having a pretty damn good season.  15-9, 3.24 ERA at the time of writing this... that's an all-star caliber season he's got going.  Heck, he might even get a few head-nod Cy Young vote points at the end of the season.
Anyways, points... that Maeda also happens to be a FP: +6 (FP)
Pack Total: 8 points
Box Total: 74.5 points

Pack #14:
That guy McBeth should've been a minus points card.  Don't get me wrong, I like me some frolf (or disc golf if you prefer), but I don't want a card of that guy...
This box had far too much Jen Welter in it.  This one just so happened to be numbered so it's worth more than almost any other card in the box at: +8
Pack Total: 8 points
Box Total: 82.5 points

Pack #15:
Kluber is a FP: +2 (FP)
Doby is an insert so he's worth points (as is proper): +2
The Numbers Game showing off their catchers: +2
Teheran quietly is having one of the best 5-10 seasons a pitcher could have... how do you have a .333 winning percentage with a 3.18 ERA.  That's insane.  That's less than the Braves actual win percentage of .393.  Good luck to him next year I say: +1 (FT)
Pack Total: 7 points
Box Total: 89.5 points

Pack #16:
The color scheme actually kinda sorta works with this Natural Wonders card: +2
The guy who might give Usain Bolt (why doesn't he have a Ginter card???) a run for his money nets me: +2
Pack Total: 4 points
Box Total: 93.5 points

Pack #17:
Scott Kazmir mini is a SP: +3
Bench without the catcher's gear... boo: +2
Why is Dee Gordon of all people in this insert set?  Maybe they needed another Marlin? +2
Pack Total: 7 points
Box Total: 100.5 points

Pack #18:
Another pack with zero point cards.  At least there weren't any Yankees!
Pack Total: 0 points
Box Total: 100.5 points

As expected, our per pack average dropped a bit to 5.36 points/pack.  We're now on pace for 132.66 points which would put me squarely in third place which wouldn't be all that bad considering the state of this box.  The numbered mini and the extra two minis I have received have helped quite a bit.  I do however, expect quite a few Yankees in the final packs, so that will probably hurt.

More importantly, writing up this post made me realize how much I appreciate Julio Teheran and all that he does for the Braves even though he gets almost no run support.  I've never actually attempted collecting in this fashion, but everyone else seems to, so I think I'll try my hand at it.  I'm going to start PC'ing Julio Teheran!

I've always had a sort of unofficial PC of Smoltz because he was far and away my favorite player growing up, but I don't really physically put aside his cards into a "special place" or binder.  To be honest, my PC of Smoltz really isn't that large considering the number of his cards out there.

I think I am going to try and do Teheran the "right way"... at least for a little while just to see what it feels like.  I'll set his stuff aside... I'll spend a bit of money on him (future COMC purchase post incoming)... I'll feature a few of my favorite acquisitions on here.  We shall see!  The bottom of my want list has been updated with this fact, which leads me to: 

Send me your unwanted Julio Teheran cards.  Please?

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Gint-A-Cuffs Packs 5-11

Pack #5:
This pack almost got away with zero scoring cards at all, however Hank Aaron came through in the clutch and saved it for me with a very nice looking Baseball Legends insert: +3 (FT)
Pack Total: 3 points
Box Total: 33 points

Pack #6: This was an interesting pack to say the least...
Our second hit of the box yield a bat(!) piece of Buster Posey.  That's good for: +5
This pack also contained two minis back to back.  A SP mini (#348): +3
...and a A&G back mini of the same subject from last pack!!!!: +2
We round the pack up with an insert of my "real" favorite player: +3 (FT)
Pack Total: 13 points
Box Total: 46 points

Pack #7:
A point for Greeny (why no Golic???): +1
A point for a Bravo: +1 (FT)
Pack Total: 2 points
Box Total: 48 points

Pack #8:
Somehow, we've already gotten all three hits in this box.  This one is somebody's favorite player so it gets a 1.7X bonus: +8.5 
Seaver gets: +2 cause he's a fancy insert
Pack Total: 10.5 points
Box Total: 58.5 points

Pack #9:
A black mini of a rookie: +3
Another butt ugly Natural Wonder..: +2
Pack Total: 5 points
Box Total: 63.5 points

Pack #10:
This pack would've been zero points if not for the commish's ruling on The Numbers Game: +22
Pack Total: 2 points
Box Total: 65.5 points

Pack #11:
Somehow we've avoided Yankees all the way up to Pack #11.  This one I don't mind so much: -1
Oh, but George Lopez... I do mind him: -1
Frank Thomas brings us back to a zero sum: +2
...and my buddy Inciarte puts us in the green! +1 (FT)
Pack Total: 1 points
Box Total: 66.5 points

That will pretty much ice it.  We have already busted all 3 hits and we're sitting at 66.5 points.  That puts us at an average of 5.68 points per pack and puts us on a pace to hit 140 (not good enough).

Definitely not the best box I could have picked.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Gint-A-Cuffs Box Loader + Packs 1-4

I opened and scanned this box over a month ago now.  Now I get to go through it again and assign Gint-A-Cuffs points to it.  I'm not too excited about my prospective score this year.  Last year's box was definitely better.

Starting with the boxloader.  I pulled this same boxloader in my case break.  To be fair, I expected a duplicate since the boxloader set is so small this year.

Boxloader: +4 points
Box Total: 4 points

Pack #1:
Maikel Franco is somebody's FP: +1
That's a Yankee: -1
Freddie Freeman is my FP, plus that's a A&G back mini: +7
Baseball Legends are apparently worth points: +2
Pack Total: 9 points
Box Total: 13 points

Now, that would seem like a great pack... and it is.  But I assure you, we only go downhill from here.

Pack #2:
US Mayors are somehow worth: +2
Steve Kerr being Steve Kerr: +0
Rollie Fingers wore #34... I didn't know this.  That makes him worth: +2
Pack Total: 4 points
Box Total: 17 points

Pack #3:
The Market Street Cable Car is awesome.  I'd actually like to see that eventually: +2
Butt ugly inserts should not be worth: +2... but they are
Pack Total: 4 points
Box Total: 21 points

Pack #4:
Oh!  A hit!  Of a poker player?!?!?!  WTF?  Can I give myself negative points? -2
I feel like Corey Seager's RC should be worth something: +5
Same thing for a regular back mini that I didn't have: +4
Another Numbers Game card that is still worth: +2
Pack Total: 9 points
Box Total: 30 points

Trust me, the overall math is right.  I didn't cheat.  I just divided up the points the way I thought they should be.

This first post actually puts me at a rate of 6.5 points/pack which would actually surpass the current leader.  We already have our first hit though, so I'm not terribly excited about my prospects.