Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Crackin' That Chrome

I've bought into a total of four group breaks.  Group breaks are antithetical to my idea of collecting.  I like collecting my team cards but I also like to complete sets.  I could easily use that money towards blasters, singles, or even buying a complete set outright.  The allure of landing a big PC hit is temping so I can understand the draw.

Two of my group breaks have come at the hands of Crackin' Wax. The husband and wife team are entertaining on the stream, have a passion for the product, and treat the cards well.  For whatever reason I decided to buy into their 2017 Topps Chrome, half-case break.

I strongly dislike this year's Topps design but Chrome cards typically look nice, even if the base design isn't savoy.

I have't yet to hit a nice card in my group breaks so did I have any luck this time?

As expected, I hit all of the base cards with some extras to boot.

The lone insert of the bunch.  I don't recall if this exact card was in Topps Flagship.  I know this insert set was included previously.  I will admit these are a fun look at at a player's Bowman cards.

Unfortunately, no Chrome color this time around.  The colored parallels are really what make Chrome exciting and pop.  While disappointed, getting a total of 4 base parallels felt like a surprise.

Enough teasing with the boring cards, you came to see some hits!  It turns out the very first hit of the break was for ME! I could not wait to see that beauty in person.  And wouldn't you know, I had another hit on the way!

When my spoils arrived at my house I checked and double checked but did not see the two autograph cards! After e-mailing Crackin' Wax, they quickly said they would track down what happened.  A day later, the mix-up was solved and the cards would be on their way to me shortly.  100% professional service and in no way nefarious.

My two cards literally came to me from the Tampa Bay Rays.  After trading us back Erasimo Ramirez (who admittedly has performed adequately since coming over to the Mariners), I couldn't believe that I had been fleeced by the Rays, again.  All was well, though!

There we go.  A purple parallel of Dan Vogelbach! I would have much rather preferred Mitch Haniger, as Vogelbach is going to languish down in AAA for who knows how long.  An auto numbered to 250 is still a solid hit.  The base auto was a nice little bonus.

I'm not one to buy into group breaks regularly but I can confidently say that Crackin' Wax has done well by me.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Day 8: Family

30-Day Challenge: Day 8

If you're in the path of the solar eclipse, quick get outside! Don't forget your glasses!

  • Card: A card that reminds you of a family member
    • 1983-84 O-Pee-Chee #131 Ken Solheim
  • Music: A song about drugs or alcohol
    • Green Day - Geek Stink Breath

I've posted this card before so nothing more to say about it.
Except, look at how horribly miscut this card is!

Fittingly Day 8 is about family because I am 99% sure it was my parents who bought me my Green Day CDs.  I don't recall exactly the age I obtained my first Green Day CD.  All I can tell you was that it was before I ever had a job.

I don't know if my parents knew the lyrics to the CDs but I bet if they did know they would have taken them away.  For instance, the song below, Geek Stink Breath, is about methamphetamine use and the phrase "geek stink breath" refers to the poor dental hygiene methamphetamine users have.  

My parents DID take away my Adam Sandler CD for being too vulgar.  Fair enough. His comedy is rather profane.

I often wonder how strict of a parent I will be when I have children.  Would I buy my 13-year-old son a Green Day CD?  I think so.  As long as they like the music for the music and not because it's glorifying drug/alcohol use, I think I would allow it.

My wife on the other hand...I would trust my kid would be smart enough to recognize that just because you hear something about "adult" things, does not mean you should try it.  Also, maybe my kid will be just as ignorant as I was about these kind of subjects.

Growing up I was ignorant about a lot of "adult" things.  For instance, I loved going to Winston Cup (NASCAR) races.  I had no idea that Winston was a cigarette brand until I started hearing controversy about a cigarette company sponsoring NASCAR.

Similarly, with the Busch series.  I did not know it was a beer company.  I just thought it was the name given to the stock car series.  I can safely say that these sponsorships did not corrupt me in any way.  I never started smoking and I only drank Busch Lite in college because that was the popular beer on campus.  I didn't drink Busch because I had some fond connection to when I was 10 years old watching NASCAR.

I'd say I turned out pretty well-adjusted.

Monday, August 14, 2017

An Alternative Baseball Card Day

I didn't make it out to a card shop on Saturday to pick up my pack of free Topps cards for National Baseball Card Day.  My schedule Saturday morning was packed.  When I woke up I had to finish cleaning the house and yard for my wife's baby shower that afternoon.  We will be having a baby boy at the beginning of October!

After cleaning up, I needed to leave the house before the two dozen ladies stormed upon my house.  I planned to see Dunkirk in IMAX, which didn't leave me any time to swing by my LCS. I did, however, have a chance to stop at Target to pick up a blaster and hanger pack of Topps Chrome since it is next to the movie theater. There was nothing of interest in my packs so I'm not going to bother showing them off.

Dunkirk in IMAX should be the only way you see the movie. The tension of the movie felt ratcheted up even more given that the screen was larger and the sound had greater depth. I've read some articles about how the movie is not completely accurate but these inaccuracies do not take away from the powerful nature of the film.

Anywho, while I didn't partake in the official pack openings, I did pick up a Seattle Mariners stadium giveaway set on eBay.  I didn't need cards of the jabronis Topps was giving away on Saturday. I wanted my Mariners!

Cano leads off the Seattle team set and is the Seattle representative in the main promo set.  This design is much better than the Topps flagship design.

A quick look at the back of the cards.  

This could be Iwakuma's last card as a Mariner.  He has been sidelined with injuries this year and with his age, the Mariners will likely move on from him.  

I appreciate the fact that Topps included a current season photo of Segura.  I can tell by the patch on his right arm.  

I do wish Topps would use a new photo of Mitch Haniger.  They have been using this photo since the Spring Training Topps Now set.  The Topps Now sets were supposed to be unique.  When Topps continues to use the same Spring Training photo, when Haniger has surely plenty of regular season photos, it is very disappointing. 

Diaz has not been the reliable, lock down closer that I had expected him to perform like.  He's still been pretty solid in the closer role.  He's young and I think he will get even better with more experience.  

This is my favorite card in the set.  The Paxton photo looks excellent with the 40th Anniversary patches prominently shown.  Paxton was pitching lights out this year until his most recent injury. This is his second stint on the disabled list.  He loves going on the DL. 

I believe every team set featured one legend card.  A Griffey card would have been nice but Edgar is nothing to sneeze at.  The Mariners retired his number over the weekend, making a big show about the retirement weekend.  In typical Mariners fashion, they lost every single game against the Angels. They sure do know how to disappoint their fans.

I hope everyone had a good National Baseball Card Day!

Monday, August 7, 2017

Trading with Condition Sensitive

This year I've opened only one current hobby box.  The usual suspect would be Topps but the Flagship design didn't interest me.  Other Topps boxes are overpriced thanks to the Aaron Judge gold rush.  None of the other set designs have grabbed me either.

What was the lucky box, then? It was 2016-17 Panini Presitge. I previously posted about this set, remarking how I enjoyed the cards.  Even after opening a box, I'm still a lot of cards short of the base set.

I saw Rosenort at Condition Sensitive post about opening some packs of Prestige and decided to see if I could chip away at my want list.

Is JR Smith copying Nik Satuskas or is Stauskas copying Smith? The world may never known.

I miss the old Raptors with their cartoon logo and purple uniforms.  I can understand why they would change away from it though.

The always elusive rookie cards. Diamond Stone saw a measly 7 games of playing time. Marquese Chriss saw far heavier playing time. He played in 82 games averaging 21 minutes per game. He's clearly the better rookie out of this trade.

Thanks for the trade, Rosenort!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Bo Knows Baseball, Bo Knows Trades

Bo over at Baseball Cards Come to Life! recently acquired a huge lot of cards and graciously listed the sets, offering to comb through the cards for people.  Not only that but he offered up a little game afterwards for a chance at even more cards.

Before I jump into the package, I want to give a shout out for Blue Tape and Pull Tab Awareness Week.  You can head over to Gavin's blog to read all about it.  Bo's trade came nicely packaged in a hard plastic container, so no complaints from me!

With the procedural matters out of the way, let's see what Bo found for my set want lists!

Here we have a selection of 2016 Bowman base. I know people typically pay no attention to the base set in Bowman but when I first got back into the hobby last year I didn't realize prospects were the main focus.  I like the designs of the cards so I'm working towards this modest 150 card set.  

I've slowly been working on series two of 2015 Topps and I am still about 100 cards away.  I'm in no rush to finish this set as these cards will likely be in high supply for some time.

2013 Panini USA Baseball Champions.  Last year I opened a cheap box of this set chasing Kris Bryant autos.  I came away with no major hits, unfortunately.  I did come close to a complete base set, minus the short prints at the end of the checklist, so I'd like to finish it mainly for that reason.

Back again we come to 2008 Topps, this time the Chrome set.  Not much to say about these!

A gold foil parallel from 2008 Topps.  The gold foil parallel isn't the most exciting.  Neither is Rick Van den hurk.

The last card in the trade was Edgaaaar Martinez from 2016 Stadium Club.  Loved by all of Seattle, here we see him in action as the Mariners' hitting coach.  Hopefully soon we will see him in the Hall of Fame.

This set of 1990 Topps Traded was not part of my wish list but as part of Bo's game.  As a set collector I can really appreciate getting any complete set, even if it was not a set I was after.  Notable rookies in this set include Wazzu star John Olerud, overhyped Kevin Maas, David Justice, Todd Hundley, and current Mariners TV color commentator Mike Blowers.

Thanks for the excellent trade, Bo!  I'm working on a return pack and hope to get that out to you soon!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Seeing Gold

536 Gold 2008 Topps + Update Cards

I've never been one to chase parallel sets. It's hard enough as it is chase the best set.  I can understand why people put together "Frankensets" as an easier way to make a parallel set.

2008 Topps has only four parallels (/2008, /67, /1, and non-serial numbered gold foil) so a Frankenset does not make much sense.  I had my eyes on a couple gold starter sets for 2008 Topps on eBay. After selling some Magic cards on eBay I decided to splurge seeing as how this is my favorite set.

Between Topps and Topps Update, I acquired 54% of the gold parallel set.  Not a bad haul! The seller said he has another 200+ gold cards that he could sell, which I'm seriously considering.  The toughest card to find will be the gold Kershaw from Update.

Many of the gold Update cards had slight printing issues, unfortunately. The cards have a gold base and then a gold sparkly printed on top.  This resulted in an overlap of the gold printing.  The flagship cards did not appear to have the same printing issue.

As you can tell, the gold circles do not match up. This is the worst of it.  The rest have minor issues, if any.

Lastly, some pointless trivia for each set:

Flagship highest serial number 2004 and lowest serial number 3.  Topps Update highest serial number 1975 and lowest serial number 301.

Being only 54% complete for the sets, it makes me wonder, have you ever completed a parallel set?