Friday, May 24, 2019

Box Break: 2018 Elite Extra Edition - The Parallels

A couple of months ago, I bought a couple boxes of 2018 Elite Extra Edition. I was (and still am) on the hunt for a specific player that was featured in the product, but more on that later. 

When I got back into collecting, I stayed pretty far away from Panini. I'm not a fan of the logoless cards. However, some products feature players in either their college threads or Team USA uniforms. I can get down with that. I opened a box of 2016 Elite Extra Edition a couple years ago and enjoyed it. Let's see if this year is similar.

PS - There are a ton of parallels, so I'm not necessarily going to have commentary on all (or any) cards.

Greyson Jenista, Tie Dye Die-Cut #'d 8/10
Luis Encarnacion, Blue Aspirations #'d /99
Diego Cartaya, Blue Aspirations #'d /99
Jose Cosma, Red Status Die-Cut #'d /99
Cal Raleigh, Red Status Die-Cut #'d /99
Keiderson Pavon, Orange Aspirations #'d/100
Tristian Pompey, Orange Aspirations #'d/100 
Carlos Cortes, Red Aspirations #'d/150
Keibert Ruiz, Red Aspirations #'d/150
Brewer Hicklen, Red Aspirations #'d/150
Not too shabby. Lot's of color. I'm a big fan of the sparkly die-cut cards. Also, a couple of the kids featured on the international block look like they can't be more than 12 or 13 years old.

I'll be back early next week with the hits portion of the break.

How do you feel about EEE?

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Blaster Madness #7: 2019 Bowman (Part II)

My last post discussed my desire to try and get more value from seven blasters of 2019 Bowman than I would a single hobby box (seven blasters run about the same as a hobby box, in terms of price). If you read that post, then you know I feel like I did pretty well and got enough value from those four blasters to cover the hobby box.
Let's take a look to see if my final three blasters paid off. 

Right off the bat, I saw green.


This Ke'Bryan Hayes green refractor was in the first blaster. I like the green refractor look, but I was hoping for the green shimmer, as I like them just a bit more.


Well, I guess that counts as a win! Not a Ranger, but a green shimmer refractor of the Royals' MJ Melendez was in the second blaster. Both of these are numbered to 99. 


The first blaster also provided ink. This base paper (sticker) auto of Eduardo Jimenez was in the next to last pack. I know everyone seems to be big on the Chrome autos, but I really appreciate and like the retail paper autos more. I don't really know why, I just do. I just wish they were on-card.

But that isn't it...


The second blaster also gave me ink, in the form of this Shed Long base auto. First, heck of a name. Second, two refractors and two autos in two blasters?! Definitely a win!

If you are keeping track at home, you are probably asking, "What was in the third blaster?!"

Well.....

...

...

...nothing.

That's right, nothing of significance was in the third blaster. All base, no color, no extraordinary inserts. But hey, after two blasters like these above, you don't complain about a barren blaster.

So, after seven blasters, the final count stands as follows: three autos (one green refractor numbered to 99, two base paper), two refractors (green and green shimmer, both numbered to 99), one colored paper (blue paper, numbered to 150), and two insert parallels (gold refractor to 50, atomic refractor to 150). Not included in any of this discussion are the coveted "1st Bowman" base and Chrome cards.

So, my judgement:

Waaaay more value in the blasters than in a single hobby box. If a single hobby box had all of this in it, it would be consider loaded.

But wait, there's more.

I went back to the store a couple of days later and decided to get the two remaining blasters. So, as an added bonus, let's see how I did with those.


I'm really not sure what to call these. A speckled refractor? A disco refractor? Either way, this one features Angels' first-round pick Jordyn Adams.

How about another auto? Can I get another auto?


A gold paper auto of Sterling Sharp, numbered to 50! Nice! These blasters are killing it! Massive win!

So there you have it. If you ask me, the way to go with 2019 Bowman is definitely the retail blaster route. I hope you enjoyed reading along!

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Blaster Madness #6: 2019 Bowman

I went to the Dallas Card Show this weekend on the hunt for a box of 2019 Bowman. There wasn't much to find, and the prices reflected that scarcity. A regular hobby box was running around $140. I decided against that, believing the better deal would be to grab seven blasters.

On my way home, I stopped by the local Walmart and snagged four blasters. Let's take a look and see how I did.


This was the only paper parallel I managed to pull, featuring Roberto Ramos of the Rockies. The blue parallels are numbered to 150.


I also was able to pull this Rookie of the Year Favorites atomic refractor of the Blue Jays' Danny Jansen. It is also numbered to 150. I really like atomic refractors, but I really hate the Blue Jays. Though that may not be as true now that Bautista has fallen off the face of the earth.


Speaking of parallel inserts, I also managed to pull this Top 100 gold refractor of the Royals' Khalil Lee. I know nothing about this guy, but that can be said of everyone featured so far. Also, why isn't this set called "Topps" 100 or "Topp" 100? Seems like the kind of cheesy move that Topps would pull...and I wouldn't hate it.

And we finish with an autograph:


A green refactor auto of Matt Vierling. I don't believe green refractor autos are exclusive to blasters, but I do know that the autographs that are normally found in retail are sticker autos on paper cards (rather than chrome). Regardless, I was stoked to pull this.

So after four blasters, I'm willing to say that my value is already better than what I would have pulled from a single hobby box. I've watched a few breaks online and it seems that color is a hard thing to come by. 

This would indicate that production has been ramped up even more this year. That fuels my fear that the industry is starting to edge back in the overproduction of the 80s and 90s. I really hope I'm wrong.

Have you had any luck with this year's Bowman? Are you concerned that we are approaching a second overproduction era?

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

A White Whale Comes Home

There's always a method to the madness. A couple days ago, I posted about having some cards in my Watch List for a long time. The reason I noticed that is because I went to that list to remove a card that I watched for more than three years.

Another copy showed up on eBay and I was able to grab it for about half the price of the first copy.

I was pretty excited about getting this card in. It is one that I've always wanted, and it may be a favorite in my collection.


From 2012 Topps Update, this is the gold parallel of Matt Harrison's All-Star Stitches card. Yes, it's just a relic card, but it may be the most beautiful relic I've ever seen. The gold shimmer really makes the card stand out. Furthermore, it is representative of the only year Harrison made it to the All-Star Game. 


Even the back of the card is attractive. The framing and color scheme really work here. I'm a big fan, and I couldn't be more excited to have this card in my collection.

I went back to look at the first copy a couple of days later and noticed that it was gone. That afternoon, I received a package from COMC. I was intrigued, as I haven't ordered anything from there in a while. I opened it up and found the copy of the card that I watched for more than three years (it was on eBay through the COMC auction service). A friend purchased it and sent it my way as a nod to my late grandmother, who passed away just over a year ago. She was the one that got me into collecting. I miss her very much.

So, here's the story, in short: I watch a card for more than three years, then purchase a cheaper copy that appears. A couple days after receiving the card, I also receive the first copy as a gift. The world is a pretty incredible place.

What is the longest you've watched a card before pulling the trigger?

Monday, April 15, 2019

Blaster Madness 5: 2019 Panini Stars and Stripes (This Was a Good One)

I've got a number of scans from other blasters that I had planned on blogging about, but the contents of a blaster I purchased yesterday forced it to the front of the queue. I had to make a quick run to Walmart for a couple things and decided to grab one of the available blasters of 2019 Panini Stars and Stripes. I'm a sucker for anything Team USA, so thee cards are right up my alley. 

Each blaster promises two autographed or memorabilia cards per box, on average. Let's take a look at what I pulled.


First was this Caleb Pendleton auto. Pendleton is a member of the 17U National Team, a squad that works in the USA Baseball development program. Like Bowman, there may be a wait to find out if he makes it to the majors.


This was the third hit of my box, a Hunter Haas relic auto. The wait for Haas will be even longer, as he is a member of the 16U team.

But here is the real beauty of the box:


This is a 1-of-1 Jack O'Dowd USA Baseball patch autograph! How awesome is that?! Again, this guy may take a while to determine if he ever makes it to MLB, but it's a beautiful card nonethelless.

What's the best card you'v pulled from a blaster (of any product!)?

Sorry for the brevity, but today has turned out to be a bit busier than I expected                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Thursday, April 11, 2019

It's Been There Awhile

Yesterday, I was going through my regular eBay check. I have a handful of saved searches that I look at a couple times a day to see new postings of cards I want. I had an itch to buy something, but none of the new listings jumped out at me. So I flipped over to my Watch Items folder.

As I scanned through it, I realized that a couple cards had been in that folder for a while. A while as in years. These cards, for whatever reason, have never sold and are continuously re-listed. Let's take a look at a couple.


First up is a rookie variation of Yu Darvish from 2012 Topps. I know Cubs fans probably hate him, and a lot of Rangers fans were disappointed by him, but I'm still a Darvish fan. This card features Darvish throwing left-handed - something he's good at. Reports are that he can throw in the low- to mid-80's with his left hand. I've always thought this was a cool shot. 

I saved this listing when I first saw it at least three years ago. I'm on a budget, and rarely do I go out of that budget to get a card. I have waited for the price to come down, but it hasn't. A cursory search for the card on eBay now shows the cheapest listing at $12 or best offer, with $4 shipping. Maybe I'll swap out listings.


The next long-tenured card in my Watch List is this dual auto featuring Eric Campbell and my primary PC guy, Matt Harrison. Unlike the Darvish, the reason for not buying this card isn't money. while I think the price could be cheaper, I do think that the asking price here is fair. I just don't like this card. I think it might be one of the ugliest cards I've ever seen. So, since I know that I need this card for the collection, I drag my feet when it comes down to buying it. 


Lastly, the longest-watched item in my list. This hails from 2013 Triple Threads, featuring three nice patches from Harrison's All Star uniform. Unlike the last card, I think this card is a beaut! Like the Darvish, my problem here is cost. This card has been listed for $57 and has been for almost five years. I've tried emailing the seller to see if we could work out a deal for it, but I never hear anything back. So, the card will sit in my Watch List until it does get cheaper or I find another copy for less.

This leads me to what I believe is an interesting Blog Bat Around question: Which card(s) have been your Watch List the longest and why have they been there so long?

Friday, March 29, 2019

A Long Overdue Post

Back in January, one of the cardboard blogosphere's most beloved bloggers Wes (a.k.a. JBF) of Area 40 decided to hang 'em up. He decided to do so in grand fashion, collected what seemed to be a ton of unopened boxes and packs. And then - because he is the nicest guy on the Internet - he decided to give those cards away as a final farewell.

I was fortunate enough to have the Texas Rangers in the break. They netted me a number of awesome cards, the ones I like the most I will share with you here.


A 2004 Topps Clubhouse Collection relic of perhaps the greatest Ranger, Mark Teixeira. First, I like the card. It turns out that these were packed out in different tiers, meaning that some were harder to snag than others. Go figure. Second, I call Tex the greatest Ranger because his trade netted the Rangers Elvis Andrus (who is still our starting shortstop - check out his walkup music from yesterday's opening day), Neftali Feliz (the 2010 AL Rookie of the Year), and still one of my favorite players and main PC, Matt Harrison. Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Beau Jones were also included in the trade, but they had much less of an impact than the previous three. 


Hank Blalock also had a card in the 2004 Topps Clubhouse Collection set. I always liked Blalock...I was certain he would have a much more significant career than he did. I received another card for this set featuring Chan Ho Park, but I didn't scan it.


This hails from the 2015 Topps Strata set, the first year of the line if I remember correctly. I always thought it was cool that Topps included the MLB certification sticker so you could look up the event.

Wes, I never traded with you prior to this, but I can say that I was a regular reader. Your trade wars with Bob Walk the Plank were epic. I always looked forward to seeing what you were going to fire off next. There are seemingly few good people in the Internet, but you are truly one of them. Godspeed on whatever you choose to do next. Thank you.