Thursday, January 18, 2018

2017 Rookie Class set from Topps On Demand

Topps put out a handful of On Demand sets in 2017. They're in the vein of Topps Now and Topps Throwback Thursdays sets, and available for a limited time through I pulled the trigger on the "2017 Topps MLB Rookie Class" set. It was available near the end of the year, and was pretty obviously just an excuse for Topps to cram a few more "RC logo" cards of Aaron Judge and Cody Bellinger before the calendar ran out. But I thought it looked cool and was a reasonable price.

Per Cardboard ConnectionUtilizing  a new design, the 12th set in 2017 On Demand is for the baseball rookies. Every 2017 Topps MLB Rookie Class set features at least 28 cards, including the full 20-card base set, five random Rookie of the Year Award Winner inserts for Aaron Judge and Cody Bellinger, and three (with a chance for four) bonus parallels. These can be either Orange parallels or Image Variations. The possible 29th card is a numbered parallel.

Looks like they had a print run of 2828 sets.

Here are cards 1-6. Definitely an early-90s vibe with this design. I started collecting in 1990, so it resonates with me, though I'd understand if older collectors turned their nose up at it.

Cards 7-12. With an early 90s-inspired design and the name "Rookie Class" I wonder if they were going for a Saved By The Bell / Beverly Hills 90210 theme. Maybe I'm just reading into it.

And the rest of the base set, numbers 13 through 20. I like that my often-underrepresented Padres got 2 cards in the 20-card checklist (Renfroe and Margot). I'll split the set up for my PCs, though I probably won't trade away the rest anytime soon for fear that I might decide to start collecting one of these guys down the road. Plus it's nice to know I own the set, even if it's spread around my collection.

Here are the 5 ROY inserts I got with my set. Again, just pumping out a few more Judge and Bellinger RCs into the hobby. Kinda silly, but I'll happily add them to the respective PCs.

Here are the parallels I got. Not bad! The Bellinger is an orange parallel of a ROY insert. The Benintendi is an image variation as well as being an orange parallel. The oranges aren't numbered. The only numbered parallel I got was the blue Alex Reyes /49. Honestly, that card was my only disappointment with the set, since Reyes' 2017 season was lost due to Tommy John and so I'm not sure why he was even included in this set that wasn't put together till the season was over. He still has his rookie status for 2018. But I guess Topps can't use the RC logo on his 2018 cards since they already used it on his 2017 cards. According to Cardboard Connection, you aren't guaranteed a numbered parallel with each set, so I shouldn't really complain about landing one.

Where I really lucked out was with this image variation of Aaron Judge's base card. It's a bit off-center, but still a nice pull.

Here's what the backs look like. It's on the same stock as 2017 Topps Now cards with the semi-refractor sheen on the back.

So that's that. The 5 different Judge rookies alone made it worth the purchase price to me (1.25 blasters), and the orange Bellinger and Benintendi parallels were also sweet pulls.. and if Alex Reyes makes a strong comeback, that blue parallel will look a lot better to me.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Smoothing over a trade with Sport Card Collectors

I've traded a lot in recent years with my bud who runs the Sport Card Collectors blog, but it's usually swapping blind PWEs... he gets some NY Giants and maybe a couple Yankees or a Griffey.. and I get some Padres and maybe a few PC guys. Once in a while, though, we break out the big guns and negotiate a trade involving better cards.

Sometimes working out a trade like that can be stressful, and under the pressure of year-end work stuff at the time, I overreacted to something and things nearly went off the rails. Thankfully cooler heads prevailed and we were able to keep our trading running smoothly.

This sweet Hunter Renfroe autograph was the card that kicked off our deal. It's a nice looking red parallel #'d /50. I really like these 2017 Topps Clearly Authentic cards. I wish the product had a less dumb name, though. Maybe like Topps Translucent? (might be too similar to Topps Transcendent.) Topps Crystalline? Topps Glass? Topps Lucid Edge? Topps Liquid Prime? Even just Topps Clear would be better than Clearly Authentic. I'm still waiting for Topps Clearly Inauthentic which will feature the same cards but with sloppily forged signatures by interns.
But enough of that, it's a nice card. Another thing Topps should do is include a few Tek-like base cards in each pack. The one-card-box approach Topps has been using lately is so risky for the consumer. At least some decent base cards and a parallel could take the sting out of pulling an auto of somebody not worth much.

Here's another uncredited appearance of Austin Hedges. Also a Chris Brown buyback and a gold parallel Christian Friedrich.

I've gone on record as not being much of a fan of the Topps Gallery revival, but I always love seeing Big Dave Winfield in the brown and gold. A tidbit I found for my new @PadresBreakdown Twitter account is that today is the anniversary of Dave's HOF election. Cool.

Ha, I used the same photo for my custom overlay as the picture on the Gallery card.

This looks like 5 of the 8 total cards in the Padres team set of 2017 Bowman Draft. Nice. (I'm now just missing Buddy Reed, Fernando Tatis Jr, and Mason House.)

Getting into some good stuff here! Reggie Lawson blue mini, Blake Hunt (careful saying that name out loud!) refractor auto, and a couple numbered Campusano cards sharing the same photo.

More bright young Padres.

The package wasn't all Padres, though, as SCC snuck in a couple Gavins I needed, too. That's the first licensed Sheets card in my collection (I've bid on a few of his Bowman autos but keep getting narrowly outbid at the end), and it's a refractor, to boot.

Finally, this was the card at the heart of our big trade. MacKenzie Gore was the Padres first pick in last year's draft, and he's their #1 prospect right now. This 2017 Bowman's Best green refractor is #'d /99 and makes a great addition to my collection of upcoming Padres. I had recently picked up a Leaf Metal auto of his, but again, licensed cards are always more desirable. Here's hoping this kid is the real deal and makes his way up to Petco in the next couple years.

Thanks again for the trade, SCC! Your return package went out yesterday.. hope you like!

I also just recently mailed out cards to Angels In Order, Jedi Jeff, Tim B., and ARPSmith.

Note for people pulling cards from my wantlists: Adam is kindly supplying many cards from my 1980 Topps needs, as well as big lots from 1978 Topps, 1984 Fleer, 1984 Donruss, 1985 Donruss, 1987 Fleer, 1986 Fleer, 1982 Topps, and 1983 Topps. So you should probably hold off gathering up cards for me from those particular sets until I'm able to update/create my wantlists for them.

Thanks as always for stopping by!

Monday, January 15, 2018

Custom or Not A Custom

Time to play America's fastest growing quiz sensation Custom or Not A Custom!

Don Mattingly made his MLB debut in 1982, but the Big 3 card companies didn't bother including him in their 1983 sets. But in this day and age, cardboard wrongs can be righted, and there's a nice trio of what could have been.

Did you guess right? The Topps card is NOT a custom, it's a Topps Archives card. I made the Fleer and Donruss cards.

More Yankees Captains, now with Derek Jeter. This is an easy one: The custom here is the 1991 Line Drive-style card. I thought it looked good with that early photo.

The Donruss cards come from 2004 Donruss Originals. Panini should revive that brand, like as their version of Topps Archives. Current Donruss products pay homage to old Donruss sets with new-but-similar designs, but rarely come right out and use old designs unless maybe for inserts.

Zero-year Vlad sunset card that never was. Yep, it's a custom.

I'm still a little upset the Jays declined to call him up in 2012 despite his success in the minors, effectively ending his career. He could have easily played for 2 or 3 more years, and possibly gotten to 500 HR and 3000 hits.

The "Originals" gives this one away: Not a custom. Kirby's first mainstream card was 1984 Fleer Update. This "What If? card imagines what it might look like had Donruss also put out an Update-type set that year.

My Kirby PC has definitely made good strides over the past few months, and this eBay pickup is one of my favorite cards in the collection.

More Donruss Originals. Got these in my recent COMC order. I just love these "What If?" cards. What if Donruss put out a set in 1980? Might have looked like that Winfield. What if Craig Biggio was in 1988 Donruss The Rookies? Might look like that.

Quick aside, but a few months ago Topps Bunt had some digital Cards That Never Were available. I thought that was super cool at first, but later grew very frustrated. They made the cards super hard to pull, first off. I drained my coin balance on packs hoping to pull one, coming up empty. Topps really needs to ease with the manufactured scarcity with their fucking digital cards! Obviously in real life you can't pull a Koufax or Hank Aaron auto in every blaster, but with fake cards, there's no reason to be so stingy with cool pulls like that. Come on, the whole point of digital cards is you could pull ANYTHING! How cool is that?! But no, Topps gives you 99% boring digital base cards. Add to that Bunt's move more and more into selling digital packs for "diamonds" that can only be obtained by paying real money... and I'm done with the app. Same with the Star Wars Card Trader app. Oh, another thing that sucks about those Cards That Never Were is they ripped off the blog of the same name. Even used the dude's font, but he wasn't involved at all. That seems like a dick move by Topps.

Last one for today.

Yep, it's a custom! Nate Colbert is one of my top guys I collect. I thought is was pretty cool when I came across this photo (even bought the original negative from the Topps Vault). I had never seen a pic of Colbert on the Jays. But as the blurb on the back of the custom states, he was with them in '77 spring training before retiring. So yeah, this is another year-zero sunset card that never was that I'm very happy I could bring into the world. (Seems like a lot of guys I like have their careers killed by Toronto. Vlad, Gavin Floyd, Mark Buehrle, and Nate Colbert. Oh well.)

That's all for today. Thanks for reading!

Sunday, January 14, 2018

TRADE BAIT from the card show and beyond

Postage rates are going up in a week, so I'm hoping I'll be able to rustle up some trades to mail out under the wire and save a little money. Everything in this post is available for a trade, so if anything catches your eye, take a look at my wantlist and get in touch!

First we'll start with some stuff I picked up at the card show last weekend.

(There are a lot of pictures in this post, so for bandwidth concerns, I'll leave them small. But just click on them to enlarge.)

This Matt Jones booklet was a pretty good deal, and honestly I bought it for the case. Matt Scott hooked me up with a Wil Myers booklet card a while back and I've been meaning to get a proper case for it, so this was an easy buy. Again, I'm keeping the case, but the card is available.

Freddie Freeman jersey, and a Tyler Vail green refractor #'d 75/75.

More numbered cards.


More autos. Rio Ruiz, Orlando Hudson. The scout card has a pic of Roy Halladay on the back, for what it's worth.

Team USA autos of Bryce Brentz (Red Sox) and Brady Rodgers (Astros). Michael Choice.

Shiny Car-go, Jordan Montgomery, Braxton Davidson.

That's the end of the stuff from the January card show.

These Diamondbacks were cheap combined-shipping add-ons from a recent eBay purchase. Tony Womack and Matt Williams autos from Topps Archives Signature Edition.

Some autos I've had available for a while now.

Now we're getting into some good stuff. Robert Refsnyder #'d /25.

Dale Murphy and Tom Brunansky

Paul O'Neill, Rob Dibble, Dave Stieb

HOFers Carlton Fisk and Rollie Fingers. Stuff like this I probably wouldn't do blind trades for, but I'd listen to offers.

and more Cubs. Nomar #/25.
Cubs autos
yet more Cubs
Anybody still working on 2015 Stadium Club? Anybody want a starter lot?
Anybody still working on 2016 Stadium Club? Anybody want a starter lot?
Anybody still working on 2017 Heritage? Anybody want a starter lot?
Anybody still working on 2017 Archives? Anybody want a starter lot?

Anybody want a 1971 Topps starter lot? Many of these are poor quality, but some good ones too.
Anybody want a 1973 Topps starter lot? Many of these are poor quality, but some good ones too.
Vintage oddballs.
Non-card related, but remember a couple months ago when I was consolidating my CDs collection? Next on the block is my Mystery Science Theater 3000 collection. This is basically the complete original series on DVD and DVD-R. Not looking for much in return here. The burnt copies are just looking for a good home, with enough cards or cash to cover postage.

Ok, that's gonna do it. Let me know if you could take some of this stuff off my hands in exchange for stuff on my wantlist.