Saturday, April 21, 2018

An Announcement

When I last posted (since deleted), I noted that my grandmother was sick and in the hospital, but she was recovering. Life seems to have a cruel sense of humor. Less than two hours after posting that, my grandmother was gone.

That was April 11. Eleven days ago. Since then, I've had a really hard time with the grieving process. My parents divorced when I was three and my mom and I moved in with my grandparents. My mom worked three jobs to support us, so I rarely saw her when I was younger. My grandmother filled tat role as "mother." So this has been difficult for me to accept.

I don't share this to ruin anyone's day or to beg for sympathy. I understand and am very grateful for the fact that I had 35 years with my grandmother, and that it took 35 years for me to lose someone that I was this close to. 

I share this because I realize that between trying to finish my graduate program, find a job, and grieve, I can't devote any real time to this blog. Therefore, I will be taking a little break. I should be back by the middle of May or early June. Furthermore, I will not be trading very much. During this time, I will be moving, so trading would be difficult anyway. Hopefully, when I come back, I will be much more organized and trading will be easier. 

That doesn't mean that I am leaving everything behind. I still plan to read all of your blogs regularly. Your posts have become one of my favorite ways to get away from the world around me. So I plan on continuing reading them on a daily basis.

I even have a few posts that are nearly complete. I plan on finishing them and scheduling them for publication so that I at least have some new material on my blog over the next month or month and a half. 

I just wanted to let those who may want to trade know that I probably won't be able to for a little while.

Thanks for reading, and I hope everyone is well. Give your loved ones an extra hug tonight!

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Cards From Julie

Julie of A Cracked Bat fame sent a mailer full of Ranger goodies my way a couple weeks ago. It came at a perfect time - my dissertation was getting the best of me and making me a cranky person. It was nice to receive cards as a pick-me-up!

Let's take a look at some of my favorites from the package, shall we?


This Frank Catalanotto Status diecut comes from 2002 Donruss Elite. To make it more interesting, this is a NSCC exclusive...


...numbered 5 of 5! Sweet! I always enjoyed watching Cat play. He was one of the few highlights in some pretty lean years.


A Topps Finest Rookies card of Mike Lamb. Gotta love that Finest feel!


A beautiful, shiny foil Upper Deck card of Mr. Ranger, Michael Young. There is nothing wrong with this card. It's perfect!




These three came together in a cello-like pack. Produced to bring awareness to the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) organization, this were distributed...somehow. I'm not certain if they came in a package of something or if they were given away at games...there just isn't much information out there about the set.


All of the cards share the same backside. These have immediately become some of my favorite cards.

Julie, I can't thank you enough! Thanks for thinking of me!

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Yet Another Case Break With Hawks Breaks

Well, a few cases to be exact. I bought into a three-case player break for 2014 Bowman Draft (I chose Luis Ortiz, drafted by the Rangers but traded to the Brewers) and a single team case break for 2017 Bowman's Best. You know how this works, so let's get to it.


I've always loved the silver ice parallels. These, along with atomic parallels (which I believe are essentially the same thing), are always some of my favorite cards. This was the only parallel I got from the Draft break.


I also snagged this refractor auto in the third case of the break. It would prove to be the only auto I got, but I am happy with my haul.

As I mentioned, I had the Rangers in the 2017 Bowman's Best single case break. 



Willie Calhoun is featured on these inserts. On the top is the Baseball America Gradebook insert. Below is the Prime Cuts insert. The Baseball America insert also has a few autographed parallels, though I didn't get one.


This would have been my best hit from the break. It's a green refractor auto of Christopher Seise. I also got a base auto, but I forgot to scan it.

Not too bad of a haul. As they say, "them's the breaks!"

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

2017 Elite Extra Edition

My LCS had box of 2017 Elite Extra Edition for sale for a really good price. Though I'm not normally a Panini guy, I decided to give it a try. The box came with eight guaranteed hits, at least six of which were autos.


This is a base auto from the set. It's an on-card auto. Most of the autos in the set are on-card, though there are still a number of sticker autos.


There are also auto parallels. This is a diecut "Status" parallel featuring Detroit's Alex Faedo, numbered to 75.


The box contained a number of parallels, also. Unlike Topps, these parallels really pop.



Some parallels are diecut, like this one. 

My box had two relics. The first was this one:


This jumbo Future Threads relic features a jersey swatch from Rhys Hoskins, numbered to 99.

My last relic was this:


A jumbo patch auto of Ynmanol Marinez, now a member of the Miami Marlins organization. It's a nice patch and a low number. The only problem I have is the sticker auto. But hey, it does no good to complain now. 

I enjoyed this break. Having seven autos in my box (though not all are shown here) was pretty awesome. I also really enjoy the parallels. As I mentioned above, they really pop and stand out from what Topps would consider a parallel. 

Monday, March 26, 2018

A Violation of Common Sense


BEFORE I BEGIN: I am currently working on my "What I Collect" post for Night Owl's Blog Bat Around. It's taking me a bit longer than I anticipated (because my dissertation is ruining my life, as I have mentioned previously). I promise it will be published this week! Now, on to today's regularly-scheduled post...

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I'm really growing to love the Trading Card Database. It is a fountain of cardboard information and even facilitates trading with new people. This is great...until it isn't.

I recently completed a trade with a user that would net me the Adrian Beltre Players Weekend manufactured patch. I know, just last week I complained about these cards. Still, this is a card featuring a Ranger and I collect cards featuring Rangers, so you do the math. Full disclosure: I sent only four insert cards to the other person (who proposed the trade), so this "problem" wasn't a big deal. 

Fast forward to the day that I received the card. The other person sent the card in a PWE. Not a problem, but it is a relative thick card. So long as he put it in a toploader, the card should have made its way to me safe.

But it didn't. 

Turns out that the other trader doesn't really care about packaging, as he just threw the card in a team bag and then an envelope. No penny sleeve, no toploader. When it arrived, it had a vertical crease down the middle.


The crease isn't visible in the scan, but it's there.

This really bothered me. It still does. However, I decided not to say anything about it to the other trader. I felt that the card was essentially free so I shouldn't complain. Now I'm kicking myself because it is definitely outside of the acceptable timeframe to complain.

Still, it's a violation of basic common sense that anything sent in a PWE will go through an automated sorter, meaning that extra thick cards are at serious risk for damage. I wonder if he even felt the slightest built guilty when he received the bubble mailer from me that had each card in a penny sleeve and top loader. Doubtful.

Am I making too much of this?

Friday, March 23, 2018

Sportlots Comes Up Big (And Silky)

It's been a while since I last visited Sportlots. I love the site - I find that I can often get commons there as cheap or cheaper than anywhere else. However, I just haven't been purchasing many cards as of late.

That all changed a few weeks ago when I decided to look and see if any sellers had posted any cards that would fit into my player collections. I can usually spend $10 on Sportlots and come away with a bubble mailer packed with awesomeness. So I logged on and ran a search for Matt Harrison.

And there is was: a card I've been looking for for what seemed like ages!


This is the silk parallel from 2010 Topps Update, numbered to 50. If you take a look at my Harrison PC, you'll notice that I don't have any cards from 2010. I'm not sure why, but I just can't seem to find Harry's cardboard from 2010 Update (his card number is US248, in case you happen to have any!). I was stunned to find this on Sportlots; I was even more stunned that it was listed at $5. I couldn't click "Add to Cart" fast enough.

As I always do, I checked the same seller for cards that would fit my other player collections. I only found two:


You can't tell, but this is the Emerald parallel of Rusty Greer from the 2000 Metal set. I really like these cards, but it is abundantly clear that my scanner does not. 


I also picked up this Gold Medallion diecut of Greer that hails from the 2003 Ultra set. Nothing really special about it, other than I needed it.

Moral of the story: always check Sportlots when you're looking for a hard-to-find card for your PC!

What's the strangest place you have found a low-numbered or harder-to-find card for your PC?

Thursday, March 22, 2018

WWE and a Group Break


A few weeks ago, I went to a local WWE house show here in Lubbock with a classmate and her husband. House shows are events that occur during the week and are "dark" - that is, they aren't broadcast on television. I've never been to a WWE event, though I have watched plenty of wrestling. Who cares if it's fake? The performers are all incredibly athletic and the show they put on was great. 

My favorite part of the event, however, was watching the seven-year-old boy in front of me with his dad. It was clear that they watched WWE regularly together. I found out it was the boy's first live event and he was hoping to see his favorite wrestler, Randy Orton, that night. When the next-to-last match was set to begin, Orton's music hit and the kid went crazy! He brought a sign that he made and held it high, jumping up and down and screaming Orton's name. The dad watched with a huge smile on his face, clearly enjoying watching his son enjoy the moment so much. The match lasted about 10 minutes, and when it was over, I heard the kid say to his dad, "That was the coolest thing I have ever seen!" The little guy literally had tears in his eyes. 

Maybe this world doesn't suck all that bad, after all. 

When I got home, I jumped on YouTube to watch the video recap of a case break I was in. A couple of months ago, I mentioned that I participated in a break with Hawks Breaks, and that is who was running this one also. If you are interested, I suggest joining his Facebook group, as he often posts his breaks there first and then puts the leftovers on Facebook. Pricing is about the best that I have found, so joining is a great idea.

Anyway, back to the break. The case featured eight boxes of 2017 Bowman's Best for a total of 32 autographs. This particular break was a team break, so I purchased the Rangers. My spot pulled two autographs. First:


A Christopher Seise base auto. Seise is the #9 prospect in the Rangers organization after spending his first "year" in at Low-A Spokane. He was drafted 29th overall in the 2017 MLB draft, where he was considered one of the best shortstops available (though that particular draft was a bit thin at that position). 

My second auto was familiar, yet different:


Seise again, but this time was the gold refractor version. This card is numbered to 50!

The best part was that I got both of these cards for a team spot that I paid all of $10 for!

Well, that's it for this post. I have more scans in the folder that need to get published, so keep an eye out for new content coming soon!