Friday, November 29, 2013

The best blaster I've ever busted

To be honest I don't really care for 2013 Topps Heritage. On the other hand I love the 2012 version. So a few days ago I opened a blaster of it and could not believe the contents. Every single pack contained either an insert or a short print with a couple having both. There were three cards of particular note.

Adam Jones Heritage Chrome # 0484/1963

I know the Heritage Chrome cards are not rare but I love them. It would be awesome if Topps would release a whole Heritage Chrome set. I would totally buy it.

Well this is definitely an Adam Jones hot box!

Then in the last pack...


I couldn't believe it!! Still can't! Such an awesome card to pull. Virdon was never a star player. He played in the majors for 11 seasons with the Cardinals and Pirates and finished with a .267 average with 91 homers and 502 RBI's. He also managed the Pirates, Yankees, Astros and Expos. He's still alive and kicking at the age of 82. 

A very nice signature written by the hand of an elderly man that maybe isn't as steady as it used to be.This may be one of my most favorite auto's I have! So cool that a guy like this is still willing to sign for fans and for Topps.

So has anyone else ever pulled two hits from a blaster? 

Mega Box Mania

Yeah, what the title says. I've been seeing tons of posts from bloggers and on the Blowout forums about the 2013 edition of the Topps Baseball Mega Box. A lot of people seemed to be having great luck with them. So despite my earlier pledge to not buy any more Update Series I decided to pick up a box for the Update Chrome. The regular update packs were just a bonus. I did notice that the regular Update packs are 8 card packs that are guaranteed to be hitless just like packs from a blaster. But I was ok with that.

So I went to Wally World and while they had about 10 boxes in stock I took the first one on the shelf. The box didn't disappoint.

I didn't like the look of the Bret Saberhagen Postseason Heroes card I pulled from Update a couple weeks ago. This chrome Mo Rivera though I like a lot.

A very nice Michael Young Gold Refractor # 008/250

Surprisingly though the best card in the box came from the regular update packs.

My first Short Print Variation from the flagship series! Cool photo too with David Wright's glove seemingly suspended in mid-air.

This was a fun box to break but at $15 this will be the only one I'll break. The price is a little steep for what it contains.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


My dad found this recently while he was cleaning out some old boxes of papers. Pretty cool find. I don't think the auto is real. Though it isn't obvious that it's printed either so I don't really know. But I already have a ball signed and personally inscribed to me by Don Gullett. Reason being my dad went to high school with him. Gullett graduated two years after my dad and they never knew each other. But my dad remembers him being a star baseball player at McKell High School in South Shore, KY. On the other hand his mom was in my grandmother's quilting club. So my grandmother acquired the inscribed ball for me as a Christmas present when I was around 10 years old. Pretty awesome gift!

If you are not familiar with Don Gullett he made his MLB debut with the Reds in 1970 at the age of 19. He had a pretty successful career pitching for 9 years for the Reds and Yankees before he blew out his arm. He finished his career with a record of 109-50 and a 3.11 ERA. He also had the fortune to win the World Series four seasons in a row with the Reds in '75-'76 and the Yankees in '77-'78. I'm not sure I know of any player that has done that since him or before him other than guys on the Yankees in the 1930's and 1950's. Gullett was also the Reds pitching coach from 1993-2005. He has been out of baseball since and I believe he lives in Lynn, KY these days not far from my grandparent's house. I haven't had the privilege of meeting him yet but it would be pretty cool. 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Dime Box Doozies

Interesting card

Here's the back.

Uhh..that's not Turner Field. Looks like old Yankee Stadium. Nice job Fleer..

Also I don't think I've ever seen a stats line on a card that showed a player's percentage of the team's total. Interesting stat to see.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Dime Box Doozies

Photoshop Phail Upper Deck! You can get Glavine, Smoltz and Avery to sit for the shoot but not Maddux. So what do you do? Stick him in there after the fact and make it look bad. Good job UD...good job...

Trade with CHunter

Recently James from CHunter sent me a trade proposal. "recently" I mean July. I was very busy at the time then was out of the country for awhile so I put things on hold. And then I forgot about it. My bad!! Well a few weeks ago James contacted me again to see if I was still interested. Of course I was! So we put together a large trade with close to a hundred cards going each way. I filled a bunch of his team needs and a few PC needs and he sent me a whole bunch of Braves goodies. Here are a few of my favorites.

Nice pair of CJ cards from UD 93

Pacific always had some really cool inserts BITD.

Obviously Goodwin Champions was a much better set before Upper Deck lost MLB rights.

Don't see many players rockin the high waters anymore.

Ahhh MLB Showdown. I still have the full starter kit from my childhood. 

Really cool 3D card. I'd never seen one of these before. Reminds me of the Sportflix cards from the 90's except better.

Prado was a good utility player for the Braves but I'm glad they included him in the J-Up deal. We definitely got the better end of that trade!

Huddy is gone now, off to San Fran. A lot of fans seem upset that he's gone but I'm not. He was great for the Braves but at 38 and coming off a major injury, there's no guarantee he will still be able to contribute at a high level. Plus the Braves have such great young pitching the rotation should be as good if not better. I wish Huddy the best.

Johnson was never one of my favorite Braves. But it's a Braves auto of a player I didn't have before so I'll take it!

Thanks again to James for the trade and my apologies on being so delayed with it. If any of you are looking to trade with him he's a great trading partner and very generous!

Friday, November 22, 2013

The worst sportscard product ever created

At the end of my post about the Fairfield repack I mentioned that there was one more pack that needed it's own post. That pack was 2012 Leaf The Living Legend - Pete Rose

I've seen hobby boxes of this product on sale for less than $15 and each box guarantees a Pete Rose auto. That should tell you right away how awful this stuff is. Here's some proof.

Talk about an unflattering photo.

Because this is totally a shot that should go on a baseball card.

Leaf doesn't have MLB rights just like everyone that isn't Topps. So I don't get why they airbrushed out the Expos logos on Rose but not the guy sitting in the dugout behind them. They also refer to the teams by name on the cards and not just the city. They use "Reds", "Phillies" and "Expos". How has Leaf not been sued for this? They deserve to be.

This is the absolute worst pack of cards I have ever opened. There are no color photos. No stats on the back. The writing on the back doesn't even say anything interesting about Rose's career. It just sums up what the photo on the front is like, "Photo shows Rose waiting on deck while leaning on his bat." Literally, that is what every card is like. I can't believe anyone actually spent money on this product. I was fine with there being junk wax in the repack but this trumps it all. It is the full embodiment of JUNK WAX. I feel sorry for the trees that died to make this terrible product. What a load of shit.

Leaf made some good sets back in the day but this is the best, or worst, example of what a sad company it is now. I hate to say this but Leaf deserves to go out of business if they're going to try to foist this kind of horseshit on collectors. Before even getting this pack I had lost respect for Leaf because of the guy who runs their Twitter account. Rather than promoting his company he spends all his time trashing the other card companies and arguing with people who call him out on it. If they were struggling simply because of not having rights then I could feel sorry for them. But the fact that they put out such shitty ass products like this rather than making halfway decent stuff like Panini really ruins the company in my eyes.

Sorry for the rant. =)

Dime Box Doozies


Repack report

I recently picked up a 10 pack Fairfield repack. I'd never gotten one of these but I figured I'd give it a shot. Through the window on the front I could see that it contained a 2012 Topps Series 1 rack pack and a pack of 2006 Upper Deck Ovation. The rest was a mystery. I really didn't get much of anything interesting and halfway through ripping it occurred to me that Fairfield almost certainly actively pack searches. So I can already tell you I won't be buying any more of these. But here's what was inside.

Donruss 88

Donruss 90

It wouldn't be a repack without some junk wax. I fully expected at least a couple packs like this so I wasn't annoyed. And it is kinda fun to rip some genuine wax packs that are over 20 years old even if the cards inside are worthless.

2006 Upper Deck Ovation retail pack

I really liked this pack. Cool looking set with the cards being stamped to give them texture. I checked and a hobby box of this can be had for pretty cheap. maybe I'll order one sometime. Looks like it could be a fun box break.

2012 Topps Opening Day retail pack

I normally don't buy Opening Day but I really like the look of this insert set.

2012 Topps Series 1 retail pack

2012 Topps Series 1 rack pack

Interestingly this rack pack did not contain any colored parallels. So I am assuming that it didn't come from Wal-mart, Target or Toys r Us. I didn't realize these were sold anywhere else. Walgreens maybe?

2012 Topps Chrome retail pack

I was surprised to see this pack in there. Such great looking cards.

The repack also contained a 2011 Topps Series 2 and 2012 Topps update Series pack. Neither one contained anything worth showing.

There was also one last pack that I will devote a post to later.

Overall the repack was very ehhh. The UD Ovation and Topps Chrome packs were definitely the best part. But Fairfield won't be getting anymore of my business.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Giving Panini another shot

Every once in awhile I'll grab a pack or two of a Panini product just to see how it is and if it is worth collecting. I have yet to find anything that I really liked all that much. Prizm would be a great set if it had logos. yes I'm a logo snob. So what?

Well on that same Target trip that I talked about last night I bought a pack each of Pinnacle and Cooperstown Collection.

Here's Pinnacle:

This is what the base cards look like, if you haven't seen them already. I think because these aren't "chrome" style cards like Prizm the lack of logos seems more egregious. But I like the overall look of the cards. It does remind me a lot of the Pinnacle cards I collected in the 90's. If Panini ever got full rights to MLB I would most likely buy a good amount of Pinnacle.

This was an interesting insert. The card is a clear acetate which is definitely out of the norm. But with nothing on the card besides what you see there it feels like it is lacking something. Definitely something that they could improve on to make a really cool insert in future sets.

Nolan Ryan on the back.

Another interesting card. But again it just feels like it is lacking something, besides logos of course.

Overall an interesting pack. The price point was $3 which I think is a bit high. These seem more on par with Topps flagship products so $2 would be more reasonable.

Now Cooperstown Collection

These are the base cards. Eh.

Every pack includes one of these "Colgan Disks". What in the world am I supposed to do with this? It doesn't really work to put it in something. And it's too small to use as a drink coaster. Panini missed the mark with these.

This pack was $4...yeah...waste of money. Wayyyyyy overpriced. I won't be buying anymore of these ever again. In fact I think I've come to realize that all of Panini's baseball products are rather underwhelming and often overpriced for what they contain. I haven't tried all of their stuff but at this point I don't think I'm going to waste anymore money on their products. I'm not expecting to get a monetary return, particularly on retail packs. But I do expect to enjoy ripping the packs and see some well designed cards. The lack of logos is a big issue for me so if they ever get the rights I may get interested. But that is probably years away if it ever happens at all.. I think I'll stick with Topps for now.

Fabric and a little bit of incomprehensible ink

Today I finally got caught up on scanning everything that I've picked up recently so I had to think for a minute about what I wanted to show and talk about in this post. I decided to go ahead and show off my last two acquisitions from my recent eBay binge as well as a lucky pull.

First from eBay:

I got this Brandon Beachy Relic Emerald Parallel 16/18 from '13 Triple Threads for for an incredible price, $2.50 I believe. I was the only person to bid on the auction. Of course the seller advertised it as having five jersey swatches. But as we all know with it being TRIPLE Threads there are three swatches with five cut windows. Plus I love relics that use alternate jerseys. Much more interesting then the normal bland home white or road grey. 

This CJ Wilson Unity Auto Jumbo Relic Sepia Parallel 20/75 was another surprisingly cheap auction win. About $5 IIRC and that was with four or five other bidders. The relic fabric is very soft, not like a normal jersey. Since it's red it obviously is not from pants so I guess the Angels use a more cotton, t-shirt like jersey material. On the other hand, what is up with that signature? I understand that these guys sign tons of stuff throughout the season plus the hundreds of stickers and cards they sign for Topps. But can't you at least have a signature that actually looks kind of like your name?

Now recently I was in Target and of course picked up some cards, most of which I will blog about in the near future. But they had one lonesome loose pack of 2013 Series 2 left in the box and of course I couldn't leave it there all lonely. This goodie was inside...

Pablo Sandoval Chasing History Relic Gold Parallel 02/99

WHAT?! I've pulled a good number of hits from non-flagship retail packs this year but nothing from flagship. And not to mention that this one somehow managed to elude the pack searchers and was in the last pack left in the box! Wow!! And like I mentioned above, I love it when alternate jerseys are used for relics, especially this nice bright orange.

That pack was probably my last flagship purchase until 2014 Series 1 comes out in a couple months. Quite a nice send-off for 2013!

Monday, November 18, 2013

A Blasterific Update

Recently I swore off buying anymore of this year's Topps Update Series. Too many fillers, too much junk. So what did I do the next time I was in Wal-mart? I bought a blaster of 2013 Topps Update. Idiot...

Oh well at least I did pull a few nice cards.

I hate the Yankees just like any other self-respecting non-Yankees baseball fan. But that's a guy I have nothing but respect for. Can't wait to see him in Cooperstown.

I pulled two gold parallels which I believe is standard for a blaster.




I'm kinda ehhh about this insert series. A lot of the photos are too dark.

And lastly, the manu-patch.

I suppose these are cool cards. I'd probably be more interested if I got a Brave. Any Giants collectors out there looking for this one?

Now I swear I am done with the Update series for this year.

Topps and their photo fails

I like Topps. I always have ever since I first started collecting in the mid-90's. As a boy with a meager allowance I liked to spring for packs of Topps cards because they just felt like they were of a higher quality than a lot of the offerings from other manufacturer. Granted, I loved UD Collector's Choice too. Don't judge. But these days Topps seems to be a regular target for bashing and vitriol from collectors, and often deservedly so.

Due to Upper Deck's own stupidity with their 2010 release they've all but been pushed out of the baseball market. And Panini and their plethora of logoless products is really no more than a chihuahua that bites at Topps' substantial ankles and begs collectors for attention. With Topps having the exclusive rights since 2010 they seem to be getting lazy in some areas. Here are a couple examples from cards I've pulled recently from the Update series.

I've seen a few other bloggers show this card and talk about it's awfulness. Topps has a bad habit of photoshopping player's heads onto someone else's body when they can't find a good photo. While they've been doing it forever I think this is the absolute worst one I've seen. It is my assumption that rather than employing their own photographers, Topps buys the shots they need from other sources like the AP, Getty and freelancers. But I don't know how they can manage to not find a decent photo of a player in the correct uniform by the time the cards go to print. Particularly for the Update series. It just seems lazy on Topps' part and lazy on the part of whoever created this photoshopped monstrosity. (Apologies to Kendrys Morales)

Here is a case of more laziness by Topps photo selectors. Because they fill the Update series with all of these junk All-Star Game and Home Run Derby cards, one would think that Topps would perhaps task a few photographers to capture shots of the players specifically for them. Maybe they do that anyways. But here are two examples of awful choices of photos. The lighting in the Pedro Alvarez card is such that his left eye is shadowed by his hat brim while his right eye is not. Because of that it looks like he has a black eye. Maybe Topps wanted us to think Alvarez picked up a nice shiner pre-game by getting in Prince Fielder's way at the food table.

The photo for the Clay Bucholz card on the other hand is distorted and grainy. It looks as if he was in the outfield while the photographer taking the picture was in the photog's bay by the dugout and it's so zoomed in that the photo was distorted even on a 2.5 x 3.5 card. I mean, really? They couldn't find a better shot of Bucholz from the entire All-Star workout or game? These days the photographers have Ultra Extra 23509233 Megapixel DSLR cameras with 2,000,000x zoom yet this photo looks like it was taken with a point-and-shoot digital camera from 1998.


And yet for some reason I still give these people my money...