Friday, December 15, 2017

Fuji, My Man!!!

Back in September, I pulled a Clayton Kershaw relic from '17 Heritage High Number. Fuji, the blogosphere's resident wise man, left a comment saying he would be happy to relieve me of the Kersh. I was happy to send it his way. 

Fast forward a month or so. I received a bubble mailer from way out west from one Mr. Fuji. I was not prepared for the awesomeness that was inside.

First, a disclaimer: in my haste, I failed to scan all of the cards - I only scanned those that needed images on the Trading Card Database (more on this in a later post). However, these cards were awesome and I'm happy to share them!

First up:


A sweet Tier One relic from Michael Young! I really love Tier One. I've always wanted to purchase a box to see what kind of luck I would have with it, but I just can't bring myself to pay that much. So when someone sends me a Tier One relic, it goes without saying that I get a little excited!

The second card I scanned was even better, if you can believe that:


Michael Young auto from UD Ovation Spotlight Signatures! What? An auto! Fuji, you really outdid yourself! I was and still am at a loss for words on this package.

As I mentioned, there was even more in the package, I was just a dope and forgot to scan all of them. Fuji, I really can't thank you enough! I'm on the hunt for cards to send in a return package!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Topps Redemption Update OR The Post Where I Admit My Love For Sage Steele

When Topps released the 2017 Allen and Ginter checklist, there was one autograph I knew I had to get: Sage Steele. I'm as mass communication scholar, and if I wasn't so interested in strategic communication, I would have studied sports communication.

Disclaimer: I hate ESPN. It has become to sports news what MTV currently is to music videos. Just too many people sitting at round tables screaming at one another. Mix in overtly political commentary and you lose my interest. I'm not saying that ESPN is wrong for doing this - I'm merely saying that format isn't what I am looking for. Unfortunately, the network really doesn't have any real competitors, so I'm stuck with it.

All of that being said, there are certain aspects I do like about ESPN. One of those things happens to be Sage Steele. She's brilliant and beautiful (two things I will never be accused of being - heyo!). Anyway, moving on.

I was at my local LCS when someone pulled the redemption for her auto. Ten bucks later, the redemption was mine! A couple months later, the card was mine!


To say I am stoked to have this card would be an understatement. There are a few other cards I would like to acquire from the set, including Jayson Stark and Ken Rosenthal, but I haven't been able to find one in my (meager) price range. So if you happen to have either and wouldn't mind working out a trade, let me know!

Topps also sent along a bonus card for the wait:


If anyone wants it, lemme know!

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

My Foray Into 2017 Topps Heritage Minor League

Or is it Minor Leagues? Not sure. Either way, I bought two boxes.

Last year, I purchased four boxes and was a card short of a complete base set. I also supposedly won something in the "Make Your Pro Debut" contest, but I never received my prize. Shocker - Topps fails to follow through. Oh well.

This year, the two boxes covered my entire base set. I have no need for any base cards, though I am still in need of some short prints. You can see what I need here. If you have any of those, lemme know!

Now on to what you came here for: to find out what my box had in it. First up, some parallels:


This ERA Leaders card is of the blue parallel variety and is numbered to 99. I'll be honest - I've never heard of any of these guys.



Next up, green parallels numbered to 99. I've never heard of Sanchez, but I've definitely heard of Daulton Jefferies. He was a first round pick for the A's in 2016 and played in Stockton (A ball) this season. I don't believe he made it to Double A, but if he gets there this year, I will most likely see him play - the Double A squad is based in Midland, about an hour and a half from me. I try to go once every couple of weeks, if possible. 

I also pulled a couple of white parallels:



Starting to sound like a broken record, but I have never heard of Dunning. Ortiz, on the other hand, I am very aware of. He was the Rangers first round pick in 2014. He worked his way up to Double A Frisco in 2016 before getting traded to Milwaukee in exchange for Jonathan Lucroy. Yet another trade that didn't really pan out for us (not Lucroy's fault, though). I was really looking forward to Ortiz as a solid number three in our rotation of the future; however, what hurt the most about that trade was sending Lewis Brinson away, also. 

After the parallels, I pulled two relics:


The first, a base plain white swatch from Brent Honeywell...


The second, a green parallel numbered to 99 with a red swatch from Rafael Devers. Not a bad hit - better than a plain white or gray swatch any day of the week.

Lastly, each box came with an on-card auto. My two auto's were:


P.J. Conlon and...


Andrew Stevenson. 

As I've mentioned before, never heard of either one.

Even though I have never heard of most of these guys, I still really enjoyed the break. Most everything is available for trade, though I think I am going to hold on to the Ortiz white parallel, the Devers relic, and maybe the autos (but that's not a solid "keep" yet). Lemme know if you're interested!
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**This entry has been sitting in my post folder, unfinished, for more than a month. The end of the semester really kicked my butt. Please watch for posts in the coming days covering some eBay purchases and, more importantly, packages from fellow bloggers! I hope everyone is well!

Saturday, November 18, 2017

A Topps Update...Update.

I've been buying a few packs of 2017 Topps Update here and there, mostly from Walmart. I would pick up a fat pack or hanger box on occasion and I bought a few packs at my LCS when I had to make a supply run. I guess I should blog about it.

Nothing has really struck a chord with me. The first thing I noticed was the ridiculous amount of photo variations. Here are just a few that I pulled:










The Judge variation actually came in the first (fat) pack of Update that I opened. I thought I had won the cardboard lottery...but then I saw that "short print" is actually code for "over-produced." That was a bit deflating.

I've also pulled a couple of the "Father's Day Blue" parallels:



The Chacin really doesn't look blue, but it is numbered just the same as the Knapp and Lively, so I guess it has to be.

In all, outside of the Judge and Ranger base cards, the only card I pulled that I want to keep is this rainbow parallel (that my scanner doesn't know how to handle):


So there it is. My underwhelming experience with 2017 Topps Update. Everything here, except the Judge and the Bibens-Dirx rainbow foil, are for trade. Lemme know!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

I'm A Loser

I'm a loser.

While this statement could probably be applied in multiple aspects of my life, I'm specifically talking about Gint-A-Cuffs. I have once again failed to win the glorious box-breaking battle (say that ten times). This year may be my best finish - third - that is probably due to about half the field failing to submit a score. Regardless, I didn't win, so I am still a loser.

Either way, I am working on finishing the 2017 Allen & Ginter set, as well as some Ranger team needs. If you have any of the following cards, please let me know so we can work out a trade.

Here's what I need for my overall Rangers team set:


And here's what I need for my actual set:

2017 Allen & Ginter
Base
1, 8, 13, 18, 19, 62, 64, 72, 77, 102, 111, 116, 126, 136, 190, 200, 232, 301, 303, 317, 322, 324, 326, 328, 331, 344, 349

Constellations Mini Insert 
4, 7, 8, 9, 10

Required Reading Mini Insert
2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 13

World's Dudes Mini Insert
1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 9, 10, 12, 17, 18, 20, 22, 23, 25, 26, 29, 30, 35, 37, 43, 45

Sport & Fishing Lures Insert
13

World's Fair Insert
6

I hope to hear from you soon!

Saturday, October 14, 2017

An Update

It has been a month and a day since I last posted anything on this blog. That is not due to not having anything to post; on the contrary, Julie from A Cracked Bat sent me a literal box full of goodies that I need to post about, but I just haven't had time to scan. Time has been my real nemesis.

Why has time been my nemesis, you ask? Well, I planned on graduating this December, so I had been busting my tail to finish my dissertation proposal so I could defend it, collect data, write my dissertation, and then defend that. However, my dissertation chair failed to tell me that we have an "unwritten rule" that mandates a 90-day period between proposal defense and dissertation defense. Because of that rule, there is no way that I can accomplish everything in time to graduate. So I'm here until May.

I thought I may have time this week to get to scanning, but we experienced a tragedy on campus Monday night. I met with students until about 7:15 that evening. About 10 minutes after leaving campus, I received an alert via text message to let me know a campus police officer had been shot and the campus was going into lockdown. Sadly, the officer did not survive. The shooter was caught a couple hours later. I have really had a hard time wrapping my head around this...these tragedies are senseless and I just can't understand the hate on has in his heart that allows him to pull the trigger. I will say, though, that it was incredible seeing the campus come together in the immediate aftermath of this. One of the campus traditions is for a campus spirit group called the Saddle Tramps to wrap our campus statue of Will Rogers in red streamers on football game days. Monday night, they wrapped the statue in black and blue streamers in honor of the officer. Here is a photo:


This was posted on social media my the Saddle Tramps. I visited the statue the next day and snapped a photo myself, but it isn't nearly as beautiful:


Later in the week, I realized how therapeutic personal writing is for me. I say "personal writing" because academic writing isn't the same. I estimate that in my time in this PhD program, I've probably written 600-700 pages of original material, and that has only added stress to my life. However, writing on this blog is very cathartic. It helps me clear my head. I need to get back in the habit of writing for myself. We'll see where that goes. 

Thanks for taking a moment to read. If you feel compelled, I encourage you to comment. However, if your comment is of a political nature - discussing gun control, for instance - I ask that you refrain. You are certainly entitled to your opinion, but I don't want this to become a post about politics. Thanks in advance.

I hope you all are well!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

2017 Heritage High Number? Sure, Why Not?

In case you missed it, 2017 Topps Heritage Has been really, really good to me. So when my LCS owner sent me a text yesterday to let me know he got his '17 High Number in a day early, you know I was all over it.

I opened the box and, as is my custom, began by opening the first pack on the right. I don't know why I do it that way - I'm a creature of habit.

Anyway, the very first pack offered up my guaranteed hit:


A Clayton Kershaw Clubhouse Collection relic. I've never heard of this guy...I hope he's decent. You know how lefty pitchers are.

After that, I noticed this guy:


This is the image variation of Brandon Phillips' card. Not as nice as the action variations I pulled earlier this year, but I won't complain.

I also saw this in my box:


Evidently, Nolan has his own insert set centered on his career accomplishments. That's pretty cool.

I also pulled a blue parallel:


I know nothing about this guy other than he plays for Boston.

While opening the last pack in the middle "column" of packs in my box, I found something weird. As a superstitious person, this made me a bit uncomfortable.


These were the first two cards in the pack. Exactly the same, front...


...and back. In case you are wondering why this made me uncomfortable, check out the card number. I've never had a problem with collation in a Heritage product, so it was odd for me to find this in a pack. Even more strange (or coincidental) is the card numbering. I don't like it and I wonder how it happened.

Anyway, I was plugging along until I was opening the next-to-last pack. I opened it and saw a thick card. Once again, I assumed it was going to be a '68 Mint card.

Once again, I was wrong.


Another Clubhouse Collection relic auto card, this time of Addison Russell! It's no Mike Trout, but the relic is far superior. How sweet is that?!?!?!

Anyway, now I am debating buying another box. I know it's foolish, especially considering that don't need that many more cards to complete the set. But landing a big fish will do that to you.

Side note - I have a few posts in my queue waiting for scans. If you sent me something, please don't think I forgot you - I just haven't had enough time to scan everything yet!!!

Monday, August 28, 2017

Today Was A Good Day (I Didn't Even Have To Use My AK)

Today was the first day of classes. It is even more special for me, as I begin my last semester. If I keep on track, I'll finish my dissertation in October and I'll be done. October can't get here soon enough.

I also got a text from my LCS owner to let me know that my PSA order was in. I decided to drop in to pick it up. I had five cards in the order:


Five Kris Bryant rookies! Three PSA 10s and two PSA 9s (one of which is from Chrome). I decided a while back that I should get this graded and slabbed, for both protection and re-sale value. Bryant seems to have staying power (so far), and while I doubt he will be on Trout's level, it would be nice if his rookies grow in value in a similar way that Trout's rookie did. 

While I was in the shop, I decided to grab a couple of boxes of the 2017 Topps Clearly Authentic. I watched a few case breaks of these and I really dig the cards. I opened the first box and thought to myself, "Oh great, a freakin' redemption." I'm still waiting on other redemptions, the last thing I need is another in in the queue.

But then I read the name on the card:


So...yeah. I'll take that. This is officially my first dip into the Aaron Judge auto-mania pool. I immediately listed the card on eBay. The card seems to bring decent money, and I would like to take advantage of that before his value bottoms out. That being said, there is definitely a part of me that wants to redeem this one.

My second box was okay:


Well, maybe it was better than okay. Alex Bregman is a nice pull, also! This is the second Bregman I have pulled (I also pulled one from 2016 Bowman's Best). That was a bad day at the shop!

If I am being honest, these aren't the first boxes of Clearly Authentic that I have bought. I also picked up a couple last week. The pulls weren't quite as nice.


Carson Fulmer was the first...


...And Javier Baez was the second. Baez isn't bad, and I think Fulmer can be a solid starter, but neither of these are on the Judge/Bregman level (in my opinion). 

So there it is, a handful of PSA Bryants and a handful of Clearly Authentic. 

It was a good day.

(And I didn't even have to use my AK)


Friday, August 25, 2017

New Blog Feature: #FinishingFriday

When going through all of my trade bait, I also went through a bunch of cards that I need to get into binders. I noticed that I have quite a few sets that I need to finish up, and that gave me an idea for Finishing Friday.

I know it sounds cheesy, but it was hard for my simple mind to think of a synonym for "complete" that started with the same letter as a day of the week. This is what you get. Deal with it.

Here's the concept. Every Friday, I will post the remaining cards I need to complete a set I am working on. If you have any of those cards, leave a reply in the comments with the card(s) number(s). Then, visit my Trade Bait page and see if I have any cards you need. Leave those in the comments as well. I will send you a message to let you know I saw your comment and then I will drop the cards you requested in the mail! Simple as that! Trades made easy!

Since I just posted my final post for Gint-A-Cuffs IX, I will continue with that theme:

This week's Finishing Friday set is 2017 Allen & Ginter! Here's what I need:

2017 Allen & Ginter
Base
1, 8, 13, 18, 19, 62, 64, 72, 77, 102, 111, 116, 126, 136, 190, 200, 232, 301, 303, 317, 321, 322, 324, 326, 328, 331, 338, 344, 349

Constellations Mini Insert 
4, 7, 9, 10

Required Reading Mini Insert
2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 13


World's Dudes Mini Insert

1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 9, 10, 12, 13, 17, 18, 20, 22, 23, 25, 26, 29, 30, 35, 37, 43, 45

Sport & Fishing Lures Insert
13


World's Fair Insert

6

Like the idea of Finishing Friday? Run with it on your blog too! Let's help each other out!

Thanks for reading!

Gint-A-Cuffs IX: The Final Stretch (Packs 17-24)

Running Total: 97.5


Pack 17
144 Frank Thomas
153 Sean Doolittle
207 Edwin Diaz
101 Jay Bruce
149 Mike Piazza
340 Hanley Ramirez SP (+1)
WaD Insert Ty Cobb (+2)
Luis Agayo PHILLIES BUYBACK (+1)
WD Insert Deep Sea Dude MINI INSERT (+2)
Pack Total: 6
Running Total: 103.5


Pack 18
259 Roger Maris (-1)
184 Jose Altuve FP (+2)
146 Justin Verlander
170 Jackie Bradley Jr.
47 Omar Vizquel
56 Rick Porcello
WF Insert Biosphere (+2)
132 Corey Seager A&G BACK MINI (+2)
Pack Total: 5
Running Total: 108.5


Pack 19
274 Laurie Hernandez
213 Blake Snell
180 Corey Kluber
28 Andrew McCutchen
27 Yulieski Gurriel
335 Lorenzo Cain SP (+1)
WaD Insert Cal Ripken Jr. (+2)
RR Insert Walden (+2)
Pack Total: 5
Running Total: 113.5



Pack 20
4 Babe Ruth (-1)
24 Ken Griffey Jr.
41 Chris Sale
53 Brandon Belt
224 US National Park Service
253 Brandon Phillips
SF Insert Walleye (+2)
275 Joe Panik Mini
Pack Total: 1
Running Total: 114.5


Pack 21
74 Cal Ripken Jr.
270 Jason Heyward
172 Aaron Judge (-1)
99 Teoscar Hernandez
110 Ted Williams
347 Warren Spahn SP (+1)
WaD Insert George Brett (+2)
135 Josh Donaldson Mini
Pack Total: 2
Running Total: 116.5



Pack 22
11 Brandon Finnegan
68 JD Martinez
151 Jacoby Ellsbury (-1)
219 Johnny Cueto
23 John Smoltz
81 Carlos Carrasco
WF Insert Westinghouse Tower(+2)
95 Dee Gordon A&G BACK MINI (+2)
Pack Total: 3
Running Total: 119.5


Pack 23
44 Anthony Rizzo FP (+2)
106 Sean Manea
178 Clayton Kershaw
105 Brett Gardner (Yankee) (-1)
100 Ty Cobb
316 Adam Wainwright
WaD Insert Greg Maddux (+2)
302 Jon Lester BLACK BORDER MINI SP (+6)
Pack Total: 9
Running Total: 128.5


Pack 24
240 Masahiro Tanaka (Yankee) (-1)
167 Andres Galarraga
124 Kyle Schwarber
282 Christian Yelich
FSR Dansby Swanson HIT (+5)
SF Insert Dorado (+2)
210 Didi Gregorius BLACK BORDER MINI (Yankee) (+3)
Pack Total: 9
Running Total: 137.5

Boxloader



BL-AB Alex Bregman FP (+6)
Pack Total: 6
Running Total: 143.5

Final Total:143.5


Well, there ya go. 143.5 points. I believe that is the most I have ever scored on a box. I owe it to the Favorite Players list, which got me points via a hit multiplier and through standard extra points. Let's see if 143.5 will be the high water mark this year (I doubt it).

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Trade Bait Organization

After the flood, I decided to re-visit how I have my cards stored and organized. The first step of this process was to go through all of my trade bait and make sure that I have it listed correctly.

That was one hell of a first step. I can't imagine the time necessary for those of you that have shelves upon shelves and boxes upon boxes of cards. Good on you.

When it was all said and done, you could tell what sets I collect. I ended up with five 3200-count boxes. Allen and Ginter, Gypsy Queen, and Heritage (and other Heritage products like High Number and Minors) each had their own box. A four box contains all of my other trade bait. The final box holds sets that I still need to get into binders. Here's what they look like:


I put labels on each box so I don't have to go digging inside to determine what's in it. One part laziness, one part genius. I know. Anyway, nothing really exciting about that.

The other part to this cardboard reorganization is an updated Trade Bait page. If you take a peek over there, you'll notice a few things. First, there is a link at the top of the page that says "Hits for Trade." That page is exactly what it says it is. DISCLAIMER - I still need to update that page. I know that there are cards listed that I no longer have and there are cards that are not listed that I need to add. I am going to try to get to that this weekend or next week. So if you see something you want, email me and I will check on it.

Second, I have put in all that I have for trade (in terms of base cards) in the primary trade bait page. If you need any of those cards, let me know and we can work something out. To make life even easier for you, I have linked each set to the Cardboard Connection checklist page for it. That way, you can look up card numbers for players, teams, etc. Take advantage of it!

I'll keep updating my trade bait page as I open packs. I'm not certain if I will open anymore 2017 products because it's simply too expensive right now. But if I do, you can count on an update.

I hope this will encourage some of y'all out there to trade with me. I'm looking forward to finishing off some of these sets (especially 2017 Allen & Ginter!). 

Thanks for reading!