Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Blaster Madness 3: 2018 Bowman

Naturally, something goes wrong when I try to get back in the habit of posting. This time, my computer has decided not to recognize my scanner anymore. It's okay, though, as I still have scans to work through.

The third installment of Blaster Madness focuses on 2018 Bowman. Bowman products essentially brought me back to the hobby, but the growing price (along with a growing number of parallels) has forced me to keep my distance the past couple of years. 

This year, I bought a single blaster of Bowman. In it, I found three cards that I wanted to share. Let's take a look.

First up is Kyle Cody's First Bowman card. The Rangers snagged Cody in the sixth round of the 2016 draft out of Kentucky. For Cody, this represented a drop in his draft stock, as he was selected 73rd overall (third round) by the Twins in the 2015 draft. Cody missed the majority of the 2018 season after having Tommy John surgery.

This is one of the few Chrome cards in my blaster. Ronald "The Condor" Guzman. Guzman is tall with an incredible wingspan, which earned him the nickname. Guzman spent most of the season at the MLB level as the club's primary first baseman. He seems to be a solid player that could have a decent career. The highlight of his season came against the Yankees in the Bronx, as Guzman crushed three homers in a single game, which also happened to be the first professional game his parents were on hand for. 

The last card I pulled would be the "hit" of the blaster. This gold shimmer refractor of DJ Peters is numbered 11 of 50. I don't know much about the card, other than I really like the gold shimmer. I'll hang on to this to see if Peters does anything with his career.

That's it for the third installment of Blaster Madness! I hope everyone is enjoying the end of the year!

Monday, November 5, 2018

Blaster Madness 2: 2018 Bowman Platinum

For the second installment of Blaster Madness, we take a look at 2018 Bowman Platinum. In terms of number of Ranger cards pulled in a single blaster, this has to be one of my better boxes. Let's take a look.

First pack Gallo mojo! When I first saw the cards, I thought I really liked them. Now that I've had some time to see them, I'm not sure I really care for the design. What are your thoughts?

Bubba Thompson was a 2017 first-round pick for the Rangers. I don't know much about him, but the talking heads that do know their stuff seem to think he will be a very important part of the Rangers' future.

Speaking of Thompson, he is featured in the Prismatic Prodigies insert set. I actually do like these.

Willie Calhoun was the key player the Rangers acquired from the Dodgers in the Yu Darvish trade. He hasn't really produced for us yet, but hopefully more time in Triple A will cure that. This is a cracked ice parallel.

I also pulled this purple parallel of Dee Gordon numbered to 250. I like the color more than I like the plain black, but that isn't really saying a lot. 

Overall, I do like this set. I'm excited to pick up the remaining Rangers!

Sunday, November 4, 2018

I (Sort Of) Won Gint-A-Cuffs X! A Post-Mortem

Okay, so I didn't actually win Gint-A-Cuffs X, per se. That honor belongs to Spankee, who clocked in with 127.5 points. Topps was kind enough to send a couple of boxes of Ginter as prizes, so I was fortunate enough to win the second box trough random selection.

The Commissioner was kind enough to send that box to me earlier this week, and I decided to go ahead and score it to see how it would do when lined up against my contest box. I didn't do a pack-by-pack breakdown, but I did list out all of the scoring cards and scan a few of them. Let's take a look! (Also, check out my concluding thoughts on Gint-A-Cuffs X and 2018 Ginter, in general, after the scoring, and see my set needs here!)

+14 Favorite Team/Players
+1 Adrian Beltre
+1 Rougned Odor
+4 Joey Gallo (FP)
+2 Bryce Harper
+2 Kris Bryant
+2 Barry Larkin
+2 Jim Thome

-11 Damn Yankees
-1 Gary Sanchez
-1 Babe Ruth
-1 Rickey Henderson
-1 Miguel Andujar
-1 Aaron Judge
-1 Hideki Matsui
-1 Roger Maris
-1 Aaron Hicks
-1 Aroldis Chapman
-1 Clint Frazier
-1 Reggie Jackson

-1 Misc.
-1 Tyronn Lue

+3 Short-Print Mini
+3 Carlos Santana (#312)

+7 Black Border Mini
+3 Derek Jeter
+4 Jon Lester

+14 A&G Back Mini
+1 Babe Ruth
+2 Sean Manea
+2 Jacob deGrom
+2 Roger Clemens
+7 Joey Gallo (My FP)

+3 Short-Print A&G Back
+3 Anthony Rendon

+7 Red Brooklyn Back
+7 Justin Bour

+8 Baseball Equipment of the Ages
+2 Eye Black
+2 Modern Baseball Sunglasses
+2 Modern Catcher’s Mask
+2 Vintage Bat

+12 Fantasy Goldmine
+2 Bob Gibson
+2 Roger Clemens
+2 Tom Seaver
+2 Ernie Banks
+2 Greg Maddux
+2 Sandy Koufax

+8 Magnificent Moons
+2 Miranda
+2 Phobos
+2 Mimas
+2 Europa

+8 World’s Greatest Beaches
+2 Cozumel
+2 Bay of Angels
+2 Bondi Beach
+2 Trunk Bay

+12 World Talent
+2 Tzu-Wei Lin
+2 Yadier Molina
+2 Yoenis Cespedes
+4 Kris Bryant (FP)
+1 Aaron Judge (Yankee)
+1 Masahiro Tanaka (Yankee)

+3 Postage Required
+3 Two Penny Blue

+2 Indigenous Heroes
+2 Chief Cornstalk

+3 Flags of Lost Nations
+3 New Granada

+6 Baseball Superstitions
+3 Not Changing Seats
+3 Drawing in the Batter’s Box Dirt

+6 N43 Boxloader
+6 Caros Correa

+28 HITS!!!
+5 Billy Hamilton Full-Size Relic (Jersey)
+5 Michael Conforto Full-Size Relic (Bat)
+8 J.D. Martinez RIP CARD!!!
+10 Manny Machado Extended Mini (from Rip Card)

132 Points, Total!

That's right, had this been my competition box, I would have really won Gint-A-Cuffs! That rip card really put it over the top. I've never had a rip card before, and I swore that if I ever did pull one, I would rip it. Lesson learned! If I ever pull another one, I'll sell it! Now let's look at some scans!

Corre N43 Boxloader - 1 of 500

J.D. Martinez Rip Card

Machado Extended Mini - Front

Machado Extended Mini - Rear

Michael Conforto Full Size Bat Relic

Billy Hamilton Full Size Jersey Relic

Joey Gallo A&G Back Mini

Justin Bour Brooklyn Back Mini
Not too shabby! Everything except the Gallo is up for trade. I only ask that if you make a trade offer, please make it fair - don't offer to send me a ton of 80's and 90's junk wax! (I had a random person reach out a couple weeks ago and ask if I would trade an auto from a higher-end product for a bunch of junk wax....)

Now for some thoughts on my boxes of Ginter for GACX. Most of my commentary revolves around collation. My first box was short a hit. I ordered a second box, and it was also short a hit. I ended up buying a third box, and it had all hits in it. So did the prize box.

Beyond the hits, I also had issues with the inserts. The first box I purchased had zero "Magnificent Moons" inserts. Instead, it had eight "Baseball Equipment" inserts. Furthermore, both the first and second boxes had the same exact "World's Best Beaches" insert cards. 

Boxes one and two were clearly the problem boxes. Beyond the issues mentioned above, both boxes were nearly identical in the base cards included. Hell, the second box had the two copies of Christian Villanueva's short-printed mini (card #315). How the hell does that happen? That makes Ginter a very expensive set to build. 

Lastly, it's a bit of a bummer that Topps is now treating rip cards as hits. In the past, these were included in addition to the three promised hits. I won't complain on this one too much, especially since I had a rip card in my **free** box. It was just something that crossed my mind. 

Lastly, I want to specifically thank Mark for serving once again as our faithful Commissioner. Without his work, I'm not certain GACX would have happened! Also, a huge thanks to Topps for sponsoring the contest and providing prizes! As a winner (finally!), the prize was certainly appreciated!

Thanks for the read!

Friday, November 2, 2018

Blaster Madness 1: 2018 Topps Chrome

As promised, today begins my new series "Blaster Madness." Since I've moved back home, I haven't had the opportunity to purchase many hobby boxes. My supply of cardboard comes primarily in the form of blasters from Walmart. TO say my options are limited is an understatement, so apologies if my posts become a bit...redundant. 

My first offering for this series takes a look at a blaster of 2018 Topps Chrome. Let's take a look and see what I found.

First card of note for me was Adrian Beltre. Beltre signed with the Rangers prior to the 2011 campaign and has been the most popular player on the team since. Beltre may retire this offseason - I would venture to say that he most likely will retire. However, that decision hasn't been made. I would never be opposed to having Beltre back again for another season. If I'm being honest, I wouldn't be opposed to having Beltre slide into our open manager position. I can dream right?

Next up is a base card for my Joey Gallo PC. I really like this card. I haven't set out to determine when the photo was taken, but it was clearly after something good happened. If I had to put money on it, I would guess that this was taken after a walk-off hit.

On to the non-Ranger cards of note. This is my first Chrome Ohtani rookie. It will be interesting to see how long he continues to pitch and DH. I know he will strictly DH next year while recovering from Tommy John surgery...it will be interesting to see if he stays in that role after next season. If so, the Angels paid a ton for a DH.

I also pulled this Devers base rookie card. I'll be completely honest: I don't know much about him, so I don't have much to say about the card.

Keeping with the rookie theme, I also snagged this Rhys Hoskins rookie refractor. When I saw the "RC" designation on this card, I was a bit surprised. It feels like Hoskins has been around for a while, but I am guessing that he made his debut too late in the season last year to be included in Update, so his rookie cards are falling into this year's product.

The final card of note in my blaster was this sepia refractor of Mike Trout. I don't seem to pull many refractors of Trout, so this was a nice surprise. It will stay in my collection for now.

So there it is, Blaster Madness #1. Not the best blaster I've ever had, but certainly not the worst. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Some Recent eBay Pickups

I was originally planning on having an autopsy post to examine my Gint-A-Cuffs X entry, but some recent developments have convinced me to delay that post for a bit. Instead, I am going to take a look at a few eBay pickups I've received during the past few weeks.

The first couple of cards are from 2018 Panini Stars & Stripes. I've been trying to snag cards of Steven Gingery whenever I can. Gingery, a fourth round pick for the Cardinals in this year's draft, was the ace of the Texas Tech staff until he blew out his elbow in one of his early starts this season. I'm excited to see him get back to being healthy and to see how he will do in the Cardinals' system. This Silhouettes patch auto is numbered to 25.

This may be my favorite addition to my growing Gingery collection:

It's not autographed, but this jumbo relic comes from the player's nameplate. It's numbered 1 of 4. I really dig it.

I also snagged a couple of Matt Harrison cards. It's getting harder and harder to find Harry cards that I don't already have. However, there are still a few out there.

For instance, I didn't have this 2012 Prizm auto, numbered to 25. Now I do.

On occasion, I will intentionally grab duplicates of cards I already have, like this one:

This is the Brooklyn Back/Red Back of the 2013 Allen & Ginter mini. I know I have at least one of these already, and I believe that I actually have one or two more in my collection, as well. I gave all of $1.25 (with free shipping, if I recall correctly) for it, so it was hard to pass up.

That's all for now. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Gint-A-Cuffs X!

Trying to get this in under the deadline...I will format later to make it pretty!

-1 CC Sabathia (Yankee)
+2 Fantasy Goldmine Insert Bo Jackson
Pack Score: 1 point
Running Score: 1 point

+3 Claire Smith Mini A&G Back
+3 Fantasy Goldmine Nolan Ryan (FT)

Pack Score: 6 points
Running Score: 7 points

-1 Reggie Jackson
-1 Clint Frazier
-1 Andy Pettitte
+4 Mike Leake Black Border Mini
+2 Baseball Equipment of the Ages Vintage Bat

Pack Score: 3 points
Running Score: 10 points

+2 World Talent Mike Trout

Pack Score: 2 points
Running Score: 12 points

-1 Giancarlo Stanton
-1 Masahiro Tanaka
+1 Elvis Andrus
+2 World’s Greatest Beaches Trunk Bay
+3 Flags of Lost Nations Zaire

Pack Score: 4 points
Running Score: 16 points

+1 World Talent Gleyber Torres
-1 Greg Bird

Pack Score: 0 points
Running Score: 16 points

+2 Baseball Equipment of the Ages Vintage Cleats
+3 Zach Davies #333 Mini SP

Pack Score: 5 points
Running Score: 21 points

-1 Don Mattingly
+2 Sean Newcomb FP
+2 World’s Greatest Beaches Paradise Island
+1 Reggie Jackson A&G Back Mini

Pack Score: 4 points
Running Score: 25 points

+2 Bran Dozier FP
+2 Fantasy Goldmine Ted Williams

Pack Score: 4 points
Running Score: 29 points

-1 Lou Gehrig
+2 Baseball Equipment of the Ages Modern Baseball
+2 Rafael Devers Mini A&G Back

Pack Score: 3 points
Running Score: 32 points

+2 World Talent Pedro Martinez

Pack Score: 2 points
Running Score: 34 points

-1 Brett Gardner
-1 Luis Severino
+2 Baseball Equipment of the Ages Modern Sunglasses
+6 Sean Newcomb (FP) #343 Mini A&G Back SP

Pack Score: 6 points
Running Score: 40 points

-1 Sonny Gray
+2 World Talent Erasmo Ramirez
+2 Francisco Mejia Mini A&G Back

Pack Score: 3 points
Running Score: 43 points

-1 Derek Jeter
+2 Baseball Equipment of the Ages Eye Black
+3 Flags of Lost Nations Zanzibar

Pack Score: 4 points
Running Score: 47 points

+2 World’s Greatest Beaches Cozumel
+4 Yadier Molina Black Border Mini

Pack Score: 6 points
Running Score: 53 points

+7 Amed Rosario Framed Mini Autograph
+2 Fantasy Goldmine Ozzie Smith
+1 Claire Smith Mini

Pack Score: 10 points
Running Score:63 points

-1 Dellin Betances
+2 Shohei Ohtani FP
+4 Joey Gallo MY FP
+2 Baseball Equipment of the Ages Baseball Sweater

Pack Score: 7 points
Running Score: 70 points

+2 Jim Thome FP
+2 Fantasy Goldmine Tom Seaver

Pack Score: 4 points
Running Score: 74 points

+2 World’s Greatest Beaches Bay of Angels
+3 Baseball Superstitions Between-Inning Routine

Pack Score: 5 points
Running Score:79 points

+2 World Talent Jose Altuve
+3 Paige Spiranac Glow in the Dark Mini

Pack Score: 5 points
Running Score: 84 points

-1 Gary Sanchez
+1 Champ Pederson
+2 Baseball Equipment of the Ages Vintage Baseball
+2 Kelsey Plum Mini A&G Back

Pack Score: 4 points
Running Score: 88 points

+2 Fantasy Goldmine
+5 Davis Ortiz Full-Size Relic

Pack Score: 7 points
Running Score: 95 points

-1 Didi Gregorius
+2 Baseball Equipment of the Ages
+4 Jack Flaherty Black Border Mini

Pack Score: 5 points
Running Score: 100 points

+2 World Talent Hyun-Jin Ryu
+1 Nolan Ryan Mini (FT)

Pack Score: 3 points
Running Score: 103 points

Box Loader
+7 Natural Wonders Mount Kilamanjaro

Pack Score: 7 points
Running Score: 110 points

+6 Yu Darvish Framed Mini Relic
Pack Score: 6 points
Running Score: 116 points