Thursday, December 12, 2013

Dime Box Doozies

Cause Smoltz was totally a "future" star after he'd already been in the majors for 17 years and established his HoF candidacy. Good job Upper Deck.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Ultra Amateur

Recently I've been putting some of my full and near full sets into binders. Thankfully I had a ton of Ultra Pro pages left from the late 90's that I never used. It wasn't until this week that I needed to buy more. I saw in walmart that they had Ultra Pro pages for sale in 35 page packs. The UP penny sleeves I've been buying at walmart I have been very happy with. But these pages...JUNK. The pages I have from back in the day are heavy, thick and sturdy. These new pages however are very thin and flimsy. The cards fit very loosely inside the pockets and I'm afraid the borders of the pockets will tear each time I slide a card in. The packaging says that the pages are "Made in the U.S.A." So maybe producing a crappy product is what they do so they can put that label on the packaging. I'm not sure how I feel about that...

Sorry for the rant.

Monday, December 9, 2013

A trip to the LCS and a...big(??) pull..what do you think?

Last week I was in the town with the closest LCS so I stopped in. I wasn't looking for anything in particular but I figured I would get something. I ended up spending about an hour talking to the father/son team that runs the shop. The father is getting up there in years and it really seems like the hobby as well as the business has left him behind. I say this not just because of some of the things he said but also because they have factory sealed boxes of Topps, Donruss, Score etc. from the late 80's/early 90's that are priced at $35+. These are boxes that I could get 3 for $5 from a dealer at the show in the area I've been to a couple times.

Talking to the son was much better. He's in his early 30's and really has a handle on the state of the card business. We talked a lot about his biggest pet peeves in dealing with the card companies, mainly putting redemptions in a product for players that haven't signed autos in years. This isn't an issue for me as I've never pulled a redemption but it is certainly an annoyance that makes sense.

But let's get to the cards. Pretty much everything in the shop is overpriced but I couldn't go in without buying something. They don't have a cheap singles box and the singles they do have are overpriced. So after quite a bit of looking back and forth and back and forth I decided on three things.

First of all I picked up a pack of 2001 Topps Gold Label. I recently received a few cards from the '99 version as part of a prize package from Brian at Play at the Plate and quite liked them. So I thought I would give this a shot. Here is a parallel base card from the pack.

Jermaine Dye Gold Parallel #084/999

One thing I love about this shop is they have mystery card grab bags for $5. Every bag contains a hit or a rookie card of a super star. I know that I'm unlikely to get a card worth $5 or more from this but its a fun thing to purchase. This is what I got.


Actually quite a nice card and the couple that are listed on comc are for more than $5. 

Lastly I decided to buy a minibox from 2007 Upper Deck Elements. I was not previously familiar with this set. Apparently one hobby box has three mini boxes with each containing a different type of base card. One mini box has foil board cards, another is LTFX cards which I believe are more contoured, and the last box has PETG acetate cards. Each mini box contains five packs with three cards. The box I bought was the regular foil board. Each hobby box is seeded with three hits: a relic, auto and an auto-relic with normally one in each mini box. There are also dual (#/15), triple (#/5), and quad (#/1) auto cards that are rare inserts. 

Here is what the base cards look like.

In the fourth pack I pulled this card's a hit. A very meh hit. 

Then in the last pack...

Dual Elemental Autographs Jim Thome/David Ortiz 15/15

Well not only did I get one more hit than I expected but I got a big one. The thing is, I don't know how big. I asked the shop owner son what he thought the insertion rate was for this and he figured it was somewhere around 1:300 packs but said that was just a guess. Upper Deck was of course not kind enough to print the rates on the pack like Topps does (One thing I love about Topps). So I did some online research and can't find anything. doesn't have insertion rates. Comc doesn't have any dual autos listed. Cardboard Connection never reviewed this product. And since Upper Deck seems to have never released the print run numbers I have no clue how rare this card is or what it might be worth. Does any one have any idea? 

Saturday, December 7, 2013

2012 Topps Olympics blaster

The last box I picked up from Blowout was a 2012 Topps US Olympic Team blaster. I generally don't buy non-baseball products but I love the Olympics and I was intrigued by this set so I gave it a shot. The set is short on inserts but has a wide ranging base set. I got plenty of cards of big name US Olympians and some from people I've never heard of. Each pack included one bronze parallel with silver and gold parallels seeded 1:2 and 1:3 packs respectively. The only difference with the parallels from the regular base cards is the athletes name and the logo are in foil rather than ink. Here is an example of the base cards as well as each parallel.

I can understand having the same background for each card to accentuate the patriotic nature of the set. But I would rather the action shot cards, like those above of Lolo Jones, Allyson Felix and Jordyn Wieber, to have the background of the original shot. Posed photos, like that on the Tyler Clary card, make more sense to have a patriotic type background.

Overall this is an interesting set. I may pick up a hobby box in the future if the price is right.

Friday, December 6, 2013

A couple more hits

Recent Blowout purchase yada yada yada.

I also picked up a 2007 Upper Deck series 2 retail box and a 2011 Topps series 1 hobby box. Each contained one hit.

Nice! My first relic of a guy already in the Hall of Fame! The only thing is that the swatch looks and feels very modern. I thought back when Reese played they still wore wool jerseys. But the other Reese relics I looked up from all sorts of sets had many that looked similar as well as some that had a much more vintage look to them. So I don't know. Cool card to pull though.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

2012 Topps Chrome

One of the boxes I picked up from Blowout last week was a 2012 Topps Chrome retail box. The hobby version of this set has become outrageously priced, I assume because of sustained demand due to the possibility of pulling a Bryce Harper rookie card auto. The retail boxes Blowout was selling were very reasonably priced though at $30 for a 24 pack box. I didn't pull any autos and didn't expect to. But I did fill in a good portion of the base set as well as pulling some refractors and X-fractors. Here are some of my favorites from the box.

Weirdo Ginter box

Last week Blowout was running some deals all week in addition to their normal Black Friday fire sale. So early in the week I took advantage and picked up some boxes at great prices. The box I was most looking forward to busting was a hobby box of 2011 Allen & Ginter. I fell in love with A&G this year and jumped at the opportunity to get a box from a past set as previously I'd only been able to get a couple blasters from 09 and 12. Well this past Monday the boxes arrived and I got right to busting. I like to save the best for last so I saved the A&G box till the end. However I wanted to share it's contents with you guys first because of how strange the box was. 

Here are the contents:

Box Loader
CB-3 Dallas is Perfect in Oakland

Pack 1
20 Jeremy Hellickson RC
247 Yadier Molina
208 Marco Scutaro
AOM 19 Ascent of Man Hominini
AGR-EL Evan Longoria bat relic
226 Andre Ethier mini black border
HH26 Hometown Heroes Torii Hunter

A hit from the first pack and a nice one at that!

Pack 2
177 Aaron Crow
80 Joey Votto
179 Shane Victorino
218 Bobby Abreu
BHS-23 Baseball Highlight Sketches Mark Teixeira
315 Jayson Werth SP
FF12 Floating Fortresses La Gloire

 And so it begins. Only seven cards in the pack and no mini.

Pack 3
176 Brian Bogusevic RC
202 Nick Swisher
143 Carlos Zambrano
16 Gordon Beckham
47 Phil Hughes
287 Yovani Gallardo Ginter Code Parallel
122 Ryan Dempster mini
HH23 Hometown Heroes Dustin Pedroia

Pack 4
159 Shawn Michaels
40 John McEnroe
195 Tommy Hanson
292 Wade Davis
158 Billy Butler
87 Colby Lewis
163 Ian Kennedy mini A&G back
HH74 Hometown Heroes Jayson Werth

Pack 5
277 Hank Conger RC
273 Brent Morel RC
9 Joe Saunders
55 Dustin Pedroia
132 Colby Rasmus
337Drew Storen SP
35 Adam Dunn mini A&G back
FF2 Floating Fortresses Mary Rose

Pack 6
24 Kristi Yamaguchi
70 Evan Longoria
2 Ty Wigginton
204 Jim Thome
229 Juan Pierre
83 Scott Rolen Ginter Code Parallel
156 Marlon Byrd mini A&G back
HH58 Hometown Heroes Jimmy Rollins

Pack 7
274 Stan Lee
298 Peter Gammons
118 Rafael Soriano
250 Ichiro
264 Adam Jones
344 Danny Valencia SP
315 Jayson Werth mini SP
HH53 Hometown Heroes Justin Verlander

Pack 8
94 Josh Rodriguez RC
59 Jeremy Jeffress RC
75 Jose Reyes
173 Mariano Rivera
22 Michael Bourn
309 Kurt Suzuki SP
FF15 Floating Fortresses USS Cairo

And here's another pack with only seven cards.

Pack 9
178 Ben Revere RC
254 Denard Span
56 Scott Kazmir
39 Stephen Drew
235 Cole Hamels
AOM 2 Ascent of Man Eukaryotes
HH100 Hometown Heroes Travis Snider

Annnd another seven card pack.

Pack 10
20 Jeremy Hellickson RC
44 Ozzie Martinez RC
193 Jorge De La Rosa
240 Matt Holliday
AGR-JP Jorge Posada jersey relic
298 Peter Gammons mini
HH35 Hometown Heroes Alex Gordon

A Yankees relic..yay.....

Pack 11
234 Chrissie Wellington
50 Carl Crawford
157 Corey Hart
63 Neil Walker
BHS-15 Baseball Highlight Sketches Aroldis Chapman
346 Brett Gardner SP
223 Chuck Woolery mini black border
HH80 Hometown Heroes Cliff Lee

Why is it that all of the Baseball Highlights Sketches cards vertical but the pictures in some of them are horizontal? Bad design.

Pack 12
34 Pedro Ciriaco RC
242 Cheryl Burke
30 Hanley Ramirez
117 Jonathan Sanchez
233 Ben Zobrist
313 Leo Nunez SP
SRU3 Step Right Up Fire Eating
MMF31 Minds That Made the Future Dmitri Mendeleev

Pack 13
86 Greg Halman RC
121 JD Drew
275 Justin Verlander
200 Josh Hamilton
68 Max Scherzer
AOM 25 Ascent of Man Homo Sapiens Sapiens
PP9 Portraits of Penultimacy Thome E. Dewey
HH15 Hometown Heroes Matt Holliday

Dewey looks like a shady used car salesman.  

Pack 14
263 Mark Trumbo RC
201 Andrew Romine RC
220 Prince Fielder
124 Chad Billingsly
41 Carlos Santana
325 Giancarlo Mike Stanton SP
WMF1 World's Most Mysterious Figures Rasputin
HH50 Hometown Heroes Josh Hamilton

Pack 15
262 Manny Pacquiao
238 Rudy Ruettiger
194 Rick Porcello
171 John Lackey
146 John Danks
122 Ryan Dempster
WMF5 World's Most Mysterious Figures DB Cooper
HH90 Hometown Heroes Ryan Howard

Pack 16
165 Jo Frost
147 Dubya
297 Travis Hafner
268 Dallas Braden
166 Geovany Soto
217 Shaun Marcum
WMF9 World's Most Mysterious Figures The Babushka Lady
HH94 Hometown Heroes CJ Wilson

Three WMF mini inserts in a row and five mini inserts in a row overall. Weird.

Pack 17
3 Lou Holtz
205 Kendrys Morales
62 Alfonso Soriano
11 Marc Forgione
AGR-AR Alex Fraudriguez jersey relic
289 Paul Konerko mini
217 Shaun Marcum mini black border
HH65 Hometown Heroes Adrian Gonzalez

The card in the pack most deserving of a scan

Huh?! This pack contains a relic yet still has eight cards and includes two minis...I'm so confused. And at this point in the box I was pretty disappointed with it seeing as I had three framed mini relics including two Yankees, one being King Juice. The swatch even smells like steroids. (Whatever steroids smell like, that's what it smells like.)   

Pack 18
45 Annika Sorenstam
245 Brian McCann
295 Chris Carpenter
251 Ian Desmond
BHS-8 Baseball Highlights Sketches Cody Ross
345 Zach Greinke SP
MMF20 Minds That Made the Future Leonhard Euler

And here we have another seven card pack.

Pack 19
44 Ozzie Martinez RC
36 Eric Sogard RC
128 Michael Cuddyer
142 Michael Young
175 Jose Bautista
307 Ryan Ludwick
UG1 Uninvited Guests Bachelor's Grove Cemetary
HH38 Hometown Heroes Andre Ethier

Pack 20
14 Adrian Beltre
289 Paul Konerko
37 Fausto Carmona
271 Chris Young
258 Howie Kendrick
348 Russell Martin SP
61 Brian Roberts mini A&G back
MMF40 Minds That Made the Future Benjamin Franklin

Pack 21
95 Dan Uggla
71 Chris Perez
29 Johnny Cueto
78 Luke Scott
AGA-NC Nelson Cruz autograph
167 Adam LaRoche mini A&G back
HH36 Hometown Heroes Gordon Beckham

Well now I'm just completely thrown for a loop. Topps NEVER has boxes with more hits than advertised, at least not that I've ever seen. The bad thing is that I assume since I got an extra hit then someone else probably got shorted one. I'd gladly give them the Anabolic Emperor relic.

Pack 22
119 Nancy Lopez
206 Tsuyoshi Nishioka RC
38 Angel Pagan
184 Pedro Alvarez
67 Delmon Young
335 Jason Heyward SP
77 Rafael Furcal mini
SRU9 Step Right Up Knife Throwing
HH47 Hometown Heroes Phil Hughes

Now we have a pack with nine cards including two minis. This box makes no sense.

Pack 23
12 Hope Solo
126 Jair Jurrjens
211 Fransisco Rodriguez
257 Andrew Bailey
BHS-12 Baseball Highlights Sketches Armando Galarraga
312 Cody Ross SP
346 Brett Gardner A&G back SP
HH2 Hometown Heroes Colby Rasmus

Pack 24
228 Brandon Snyder RC
81 Yonder Alonso RC
213 Xavier Nady
152 Jordan Zimmermann
169 Dan Haren
281 Adam Lind
15 Diana Taurasi mini
HH3 Hometown Heroes Brian Wilson

  What a strange, strange box. Topps' collation can be bad at times as far as duplicates in a box, but I've never had a box with some packs having fewer cards than they're supposed to and packs with more cards than they're supposed to. Not to mention receiving an extra hit. Very odd indeed. Any of you had this happen to you before?

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Dime Box Doozies

I found this Julio Teheran card very interesting for the fact that it is obviously pouring rain in the photo. Not sure I've seen any others like it recently.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Trade with Play at the Plate

Over the last couple weeks Brian from Play at the Plate and I worked out a deal. I sent him some cards he was looking for an in exchange he sent me some Braves. I received a bubble mailer from him this morning and this is what was inside.

I love color parallel refractors from Topps Chrome. The purples that they put in blasters are nice but I love the oranges that they put in rack packs.

Sweet Chipper Jones commemorative patch!!

Thanks for the trade Brian!!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Dime Box Doozies

Andruw being Andruw...

He was such a flashy centerfielder in his younger days and sometimes it got him into trouble. At times he would take unnecessary risks in fielding a ball to show off for the crowd. More than once it got him removed by Bobby Cox in the middle of an inning. But when he went for it he really went for it. His speed and willingness to give up his body to catch a ball is what won him 10 straight Gold Glove awards.