Friday, December 29, 2017

I Got Zapped!

I feel like this title has been used many, many times before I put it up there. As I am certain everyone knows, getting "zapped" means that you received a crazy good package from one Mr. Zippy Zappy. Before the holiday, I was zapped for the first time.

A while back, I pulled a rainbow variation of Luis Torrens' 2017 Topps Update card. I finally got it in the mail to Zippy earlier this month. I had no expectation of anything in return - I was happy to help out a Torrens collector.

But Mr. Zappy would have none of that.

I received several repacks - all of them amazing! Let's have a look at the highlight of each pack.

For the record, these came from the same pack and I couldn't decide which I liked better, so I chose to share both. I'm really starting to fall in love with non-Topps minor league cards. The Alfaro is a 2013 South Atlantic League All Star card. Love it! I also love these Gallery of Greats inserts and did not have the Beltre, so this was a welcome addition! 

You can never go wrong with a Pudge card. I haven't bought much Bowman this year, so this was definitely on my list. I love old school Upper Deck, mainly because the photography was great. Here, we see Kenny Rogers catching the pigskin. I'm certain Nolan Ryan threw it a year before. (See what I did there?!)

Zippy even included an auto! This one comes from 2013 Panini Prizm Perennial Draft Picks and features Alex "Chi Chi" Gonzalez. Chi Chi was cut and re-signed with the Rangers earlier this offseason. He's a first round pick, so hopefully he can put something together. The Bell hails from the 1983 Topps All-Star Set Collector's Edition, the first of it's kind in my collection.

Lastly, we finish up with a Sega CardGen card of Michael Young. This, too, is a first for my collection. I've been wanting one for a really long time (I've had a Matt Harrison Sega card in my eBay watchlist for a year or more).

I was unaware that these were Topps products. It's cool to see everything written in Japanese!

Zippy, thank you for the cards! They are truly appreciated!

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Cards From The Night Owl

Recently, I shared the results of my foray into 2017 Topps Update. Spoiler alert: I wasn't impressed and felt there were too many photo variations.

The legendary Night Owl left a comment asking if one of the cards was available. It was and I sent it his way, happy that it found a home.

A couple of weeks ago, I received a bubble mailer (I think - I can't really remember, to be honest!) from Mr. Owl with an assortment of goodies inside! Here are the highlights:

This Sonny Siebert is an addition to my 1969 Topps set build, which is coming along very slowly (but surely!).

I didn't venture into Topps Chrome very much this year, but I am certainly very happy to receive this pink refractor of Yu Darvish. Darvish is still unsigned, and I am hoping that means he will eventually find his way back to the Rangers. I'm starting to find that I am going out of my way to snag his cardboard.

Speaking of guys that I have been unknowingly PC'ing, the is the "negative refractor" of Cole Hamels. I really think Topps missed the opportunity to call these "negafractors" - it sounds way cooler. Anyway, I'm always happy to add a Hamels to the collection!

Night Owl, thank you for the cards! I certainly wasn't expecting anything like this in return!

Friday, December 22, 2017

An eBay Insert

I've found myself searching for oddball Ranger teamsets lately. One of the sets that I've found was printed as a promotional item (I think) by Jarvis Printing in 1984. The cards look pretty standard, if such a things exists, for promotional cards:

The front consists of a basic picture with the player and team name in a big blue box. The rear features a few stats about the player, including marital status and where he lives.

Other than that, there really isn't much to talk about with this card. However, I do want to briefly chat about what the seller included in the package:

A tri-fold brochure titled "Mickey Mantle: His Final inning." I thought that this would be a neat account of the literal final inning of his baseball career...

...But it wasn't. Instead, it's a brief account of the Mick's hard-partying lifestyle and how that lead him to an early death. Furthermore, it tells of his acceptance of Jesus Christ as his Lord and savior.

Now, I'm a believer of these things - I, too, have accepted Jesus as my savior. But, I don't know how to feel about this. I'm certainly not upset by receiving it. I guess I just feel odd receiving it from someone that I have never met. I dunno, I digress.

What's the strangest thing - if anything - an eBay seller has included in a package to you that you did not purchase or request?

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

An Unexpected Mail Day

Some of my favorite days are those when I receive a PWE or mailer that I was not expecting. Recently, Kin of Bean's Ballcards sent a PWE my way. It contained something I have been trying to get my hands on for a while:

This is a 2001 Dr. Pepper SGA (stadium giveaway) card of Rusty Greer. Dr. Pepper sponsored a number of these sets in the 90's and early 2000's, but haven't done so recently (I don't believe). They aren't necessarily rare, but when they do get listed on eBay, they often run $7 to $9 a card, plus shipping. I just can't bring myself to pay that much for a copy. So I am indebted to Kin for helping me out!

Kin, I am currently looking for something to send back your way. Also, by the time this posts, I should be back home in the Metroplex, so maybe we can meet up at Duane's or catch a Stars game! Thanks again for the help!

Monday, December 18, 2017

Trade With It's Like Having My Own Card Shop

Daniel, the proprietor of It's Like Having My Own Card Shop, recently hit me up to let me know he had a few cards that were on my Set Needs list. I was happy to see his email - my set builds have slowed to a near-stop lately, so this was quite exciting. 

We quickly agreed to a deal and I received the cards a few days later (I was a bit slower sending my side- apologies again, Daniel!):

All from 2017, these knocked out some needs from my Allen & Ginter, Gypsy Queen, and Heritage sets. The two Ginter cards each completed the  respective insert sets for me.

Thanks again, Daniel!

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!
**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
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

World's Fair Insert

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!!!