Thursday, September 29, 2016

Expression Through Custom Cards

If you guys missed my last post (and it seems only the Fashion Shoes spambot is much of a loyal reader these days, lol), my Stranger Things custom set contest was decided by the outcome of the Dodgers @ Padres game last night.

Hunter Renfroe had a big night and helped make a winner out of Daniel Wilson, with 11 combined runs being scored in the game. Renfroe has been incredible since being called up recently, and has given Padres fans like me something to be optimistic about going into next season.

I was happy to see Daniel shake out on top, as he seems genuinely really into the show and the customs and I know they'll have a good home with him.

Another custom contest that has had a much less happier outcome for me is Jedi Jeff's "make a custom of yourself as a kid" contest. I excitedly crafted my submission for it, spending about two hours meticulously creating a passable representation from scratch of 1956 Topps (a set sited by many as their favorite card design of all time). I was really proud of it and felt good about my chances contending in the contest. Welp, the voting went live and my hopes sank. Last I checked, I was in dead last.. ain't nobody voting for me. I gotta admit, the utter lack of support I received hurt my feelings a little. :dejectedly kicks a rock while pouting:

While in the past I've drawn or written songs, these days my main outlet for creative self-expression is making custom cards. And so I whipped up a card to express my feelings regarding this perceived personal affront to me by the cardblog-reading public.

Yep, I've just given the finger to the cardsphere through a custom baseball card. At first I was worried that might be going too far, but then I remembered the name of my blog is Baseball Card Breakdown, and therefore losing my cool every once in a while keeps my blog on-theme, which is good. So suck it.

I'm happy with how this Johnny Cash Conlon-style card turned out.

But let's hug-it-out and get past this ugliness, moving on to a friendlier custom...

Watching Vin Scully's final Dodger Stadium broadcast last Sunday was a moving experience. Sadness was fresh in the air from the morning, with the untimely death of Jose Fernandez, through the late afternoon, with the passing of Arnold Palmer. And between them was another ending no one wanted to see, that of Vin Scully's tenure as Pope of Dodgertown. I again turned to custom card-making to express my feelings, creating yet another card honoring Mr. Scully.

This 1989 Upper Deck style card came out pretty good. I'll definitely make an effort to catch his final broadcast, this Sunday from San Francisco.

Finally, here's a Tony Gwynn SDSU custom:

This image of Tony from his days at my alma mater with complementing logo and full-name signature comes from a larger print I made a while back, but it only makes sense that I'd shrink it down to standard card-size. Took me a while to get around to it, but here it is.

And I whipped up a back with a photo from his hoop dream days and a little write-up on his collegiate career. As I've said before, I love the heck outta Tony Gwynn, and it's a sweet bonus for me that we both graduated from the same school, so I love to see that commemorated on cardboard.

There you have it, a few customs from the heart. Copies of all are available for trade, including the Stranger Things cards, so if you're interested in anything, take a look at my wantlist and drop me an email. Or if you're a regular trader-buddy of mine and would like me to throw anything here in with the next bunch of cards I send you, just let me know and I'll add it to your stack.

Thanks for stopping by! Sorry about flipping y'all off earlier via Johnny Cash.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Shoebox Legends trade (and contest update)

Let's take a look at a nice surprise PWE from Shane at Shoebox Legends, then we'll set the lineup for the Stranger Things custom contest.

Ooh, a couple hits! While I'm not really a team collector, it's always nice to receive hits, regardless of the team. And I guess with Underdog Collector and Marcus not being very active on the blogs these days, I may have kinda become the defacto dumping ground for Padre cards. Ha, that's cool.
Cory Luebke was a solid young lefty for San Diego in 2011 before injuries stalled him in 2012. He finally made it back the bigs this year, pitching ineffectively for the Pirates in a few games before being released and signed by the Marlins to a minor league deal.
Looks like Danny Payne never made it up top, finishing his career in 2011 at AAA. Still, though, certified autos are always cool to get.

Some Padres leaders from the past.

A couple cards for my 2011 Topps parallel frankenset, including Ortiz!

And we close with a couple blue parallels. 2015 Bowman parallels look damn good (hmm.. another parallel frankenset for me to work on? Ha, I probably shouldn't! Maybe someday). Jake Bauers went to Tampa in the Wil Myers trade, and had himself a solid season in AA, batting .274 with double-digits in homers and stolen bases.
The blue 2014 Topps Xander Bogaerts is a nice addition to my PC. Shane has himself an excellent XB PC, and this must've been a dupe he was kind enough to share with me.

Big thanks, Shane! I'll hit you back with some Red Sox soon.

Shane was a lucky winner in one of my recent contests, and his prize package was a fun one to put together. He seemed to like it! You can see his post on the goodies here if you missed it.

And speaking of contests, there were 16 entrants for my giveaway of a Stranger Things custom card set. Not a huge turnout, but I understand that obviously not everybody is a Netflix subscriber (plus some collectors don't necessarily care much about customs.. Fair enough). As for picking a winner, let's say the winning number is the total number of runs scored in tonight's (9/28/16) Dodgers @ Padres game. Here are the contestants in a randomized order (Again, this is not picking a winner yet, just assigning numbers):

We'll loop back after 16, so a 17-run slugfest would result in B Man winning.
Good luck to all you guys!

UPDATE! Game over: Padres over the Dodgers 6-5.. That means #11 is the winner.. Congrats, Daniel Wilson!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

A trade package when I needed it

I had a big Saturday, kicking off with a super card show. When I got home, a nice fat bubble mailer from CC at Twitch Collects Cards was waiting for me. I know there are some lucky/patient sumbitches out there who routinely let trade packages pile up before opening them, but not me. I generally tear into any package I get ASAP. But I didn't have time this day, as soon we had to head out for grocery shopping and dinner with the mother-in-law.

Then after that, my wife and I had to run to attend the taping for a Comedy Central stand-up special by Kurt Braunohler, thanks to her winning tickets. Braunohler might be best known as the host of a funny game show called Bunk. It was a really funny performance, and the first TV taping I've ever attended, so that was cool. We were up in the balcony (first row, stage left), so I doubt we'll get any screen time.. plus we were in the early show, which I bet was kinda like a "dress rehearsal" with the late show being the one that'll mostly be used for the special, tentatively titled Trust Me. But I'll definitely be interested in it when it comes out in a few months to see how it turned out.

And then when I woke up Sunday morning, the first thing I see when I get online is that Jose Fernandez was tragically killed in a boating accident. So shocking and sad. I spent much of Sunday listening to Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" several times throughout the day (hey, we all have our own ways of dealing with bad times that life hits us with).

I also watched Vin Scully's final home broadcast, which was pretty great.

Well anyways, CC's trade package was sitting there in the living room all the while, offering me something nice to brighten up the sad day when I was ready for it.

I wrote all that above Sunday. I got around to opening the package Monday after work. Let's check it out.

Would you look at that?! Jose found his way into this bunch of cards. While I had never had him as an official PC guy for me (unlike Giancarlo), he was definitely on the cusp. All it probably would have taken would've been for me to pull a minor hit of his or something like that to be the catalyst. Reading so much about him over the past few days, he really was a great person. It's a big loss.
Anyways, these are a couple nice cards.

Wow, this is an excellent Wil Myers hit/insert/parallel lot. I'm sorry these pictures didn't turn out very well.

Boom.. CC decimates the record for most Christmas Cards I've ever received at one time with these 4! He really has a knack for stumbling upon them on COMC, as these are not the first 12/25 cards he's sent me.
Cody Ross had some fine seasons in his 12-year MLB career, though he was out of the game in 2016. As for the football dudes (Paul Warfield is the one that's hard to read), I'm not all that familiar with any of their careers, but they're fine looking cards and I excitedly welcome them into my Christmas Card collection.

I believe the Ice Man card was sent in consideration for my Pride PC (gay pro athletes).. something like how in some of the comics, Ice Man is gay? Eh, that might be a reach for the PC, but I suppose he can sneak in. And Sgt. Slaughter is one of the few wrestlers I collect, so this retro TBTC card is appreciated.

CC included a bunch of Padres, and here are some highlights. That's an Edgar Gonzalez jersey relic. Super shiny Trevor Hoffman. Gwynn lot. HOF relievers. A 1971 Topps upgrade. And a chrome Chicken.. very cool.

Some Padre prospects, too. Particularly love the Jankowski parallel and the Margot.

And some Chargers. That's a swell looking Dan Fouts, with Philip Rivers and a /400 serial number on the back.

We close today with dudes I collect, including my first 2016 Bowman Platinum cards, plus a Mookie Bunt.

Great stuff as always, CC! Big thanks for another satisfying trade.

I've got a lot of posts I need to get to in the coming days, including a nice PWE from Shoebox Legends, plus the conclusion of my Stranger Things custom card giveaway which we'll get sorted out shortly.. so last call to enter there!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

September Card Show Haul

Very rewarding card show today! I had kinda been getting in a rut of spending all, or nearly all, of my time at the table space of my usual guy, Bill. This time, I mixed it up and bypassed his bins completely.

Also notable is that I bumped into a couple people I know while at the show. First Rod from the Padrographs blog said hi for a moment and apologized that he didn't think to bring any cards for me. A little later, a former co-worker of mine happened to be passing through the mall with her family and we chatted briefly before her youngins dragged her off. This might not be a big deal to you more social guys out there, but it's a rare occurance for me to run into people I know.

Anyways, back to the cards. Here's a nice overview photo of my haul. A couple boxes to rip, and some good progress on vintage sets I'm working on.. but that stuff will have to wait for another day to write about, and today I'll just try to cover the rest. I will say that lots of cards were from nickel boxes, ranging up to a couple cards from a 75¢ box. Only two big ones from 1971 Topps were over that.. the last two "big money" cards I needed from the set (but again, I'll do a separate post for my vintage setbuilds once I get my spreadsheets updated).

Cubs tradebait is in high demand for me thanks to a bunch of Cubbie collectors I've been trading with lately. Nothing too amazing here, but the slabbed Grace RC and the OPC Tommy Davis are kinda cool. Speak up if you want any of these.

Some cheap Griffeys, including a bunch of Pepsi cards. SCC, do you need any of these?

Vintage tradebait. Love that Dick Allen.. I need to check if that's an upgrade for me or not.

A bunch of nice vintage keepers for me. Minoso! Pepitone! D. Williams! B. Williams! Perez! Gamble! Tiant!

More tradebait. The Doc and Keith are #'d /1000 on the back.

More keepers for me, with a bunch of shiny 89UD-style cards and some gold. Lots of Fred McGriff here.

More cards. Sorry some of these photos aren't great. I will buy any/all 90UD Marquis Grissom for a quarter or less.. this one was 15¢. That Matt Harvey card in the lower left confuses me.. it's a 2016 reprint with a buyback stamp?

Picked up a few cheap football cards that caught my eye.

Even a basketball card.. love those colorful wave refractor type things.

And the rest. I think the Chris Speier is an upgrade for my 73 set. That gloriously miscut Walter Johnson will probably end up with Jedi Jeff. The Pirates auto will likely go to Matt Scott.

That's gonna do it for today. Thanks for swinging by.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Stranger Things custom cards

A couple months ago, Netflix released a cool show called Stranger Things. It was a big hit, harkening back to the likes of E.T., The Goonies, and the work of Stephen King. I'll admit I was reluctant to give it a shot at first, as I'm generally not really into X-Files type sci-fi stuff. But everybody in my department at work kept raving about it, so I ended up binging through the show's 8 episodes over a couple late nights. I really liked it a lot, and well, it was practically begging to have a custom card set made for it in 80s designs, the decade in which the show takes place. And so I made one!

It's another of my "Custom Nine" sets.. 9 cards, perfect for paging. A card in a design for each year from 1981 through 1989.

I'm pretty happy with them!

Let's do a quick little CONTEST!
Comment on this post to be in the running to win a couple cards of your choice from this set.
If the winner is either a follower of the blog (blue "Follow" button on the right) OR a follower on Twitter (@breakdowncards), they can pick any four cards.
If the winner is both a follower of the blog AND a follower on Twitter, they'll get a complete set of all 9 cards.
The entry period will be open for a few days, then we'll randomly select a winner per my usual method. If there are 22+ entries, I'll pick 2 winners. If there are 33+ entries, I'll pick 3 winners, and so on, so spread the word if you like. I'll most likely throw in a few bonus cards with each prize too.

Update: CONTEST ENTRY PERIOD IS NOW CLOSED. Thanks to all who entered!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Bumgarner vs Puig custom

I just can't help myself.

I had a template already made from the Odor/Bautista brawl, so it was easy to tweak it for the recent tussle between Madison Bumgarner and Yasiel Puig. I got into some hot water with the first one due to the photo. This time I just used a video image grab instead.

Not my greatest custom card ever, but kind of amusing!

If you'd like to trade for a copy, take a look at my wantlist and get in touch. Thanks!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Trade with $30 a Week Habit

I hadn't traded with Robert from $30 a Week Habit in probably a couple years, so I dropped him an email seeing if he'd be down to swap some cards, and he was kind enough to give me his new address and send me a bunch of good stuff.

The headliner of the package might've been a sweet lot of 45 cards to put toward my 2011 Topps parallel frankenset, highlighted by a beautiful Mickey Mantle orange refractor. Some other big names in here too, such as Chipper Jones and Todd Helton. Up to 16.82% complete with this monster.

The shiny continues with a great looking Wayne Gretzky Holographix card, as Robert hits me with a pair of Great Ones and a pair of LaDainian cards.

Pepitone! Robert is in the homestretch with his 1964 Topps set, and looks like he had a couple dupes I needed for my set, bringing me up to 28.52% complete. Very appreciated!

Jim Thome is a guy I've PC'ed on and off since pulling his first Upper Deck card from a pack as a kid, but only recently went ahead and put him on my wantlist, hoping to get him into my Hundred Card Club one of these days. Robert also collects him and had some nice dupes to send my way.

Wrapping up with a gold Klesko. I love the fat foil serial numbering on the back that you don't really see much anymore these days.

Big thanks for the trade, Robert! I rounded up a respectable return package for you today that I think you'll like, and will put it in the mail very soon.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Teke feeling the squeeze

Most of my available time for hobby stuff this week has been spent working on a cool little custom set which is just about done and I'll post about soon. I'm happy with it, though I will say it's one of the stranger custom sets I've made (wink).. so stay tuned for that. But for now, here's a quick one-card post.

Shoebox Legends recently posted a cheap second-hand Marquis Grissom pickup from 2016 Topps Archives Signature Series. Inspired, I took a look for some deals, placed a few bids, and ended up winning one of them, this Kent Tekulve. One of the coolest things about Archives Signature this year is it's got many oddballs in it like this. I know not everybody is in the pro-oddball camp, but I definitely am. I never lived in an area with any Revco Discount Drug Stores, but I can still appreciate the fresh design (well, "fresh" might not be the right word, but it's definitely an old design that hasn't been hammered into the ground by Topps like pretty much all their flagship designs).

Since it's a Phillies card, not Pirates, I didn't have to compete with Matt Scott and Bucco collectors of his ilk, so I got out the door in single digits. Not a steal by any means, but not bad for a sexy relief pitcher oddball #'d /55. Some poor schmuck likely spent around $45 for this one-card box. From looking at cheap singles from this product, it's apparent that there are a lot of stinkers. No offense to Teke, but there are a ton of his autos in there, kinda flooding the market. And I feel sorry for any John Franco supercollectors out there, as it seems Topps had the guy sign hundreds of different cards for the product. There are also lots of cards from guys like Mark Mulder that I don't think anyone has thought about in years, much less actively collected. So yeah, I'd be very wary of buying a box of this stuff unless it was heavily discounted.

Here's the back. As you can see, the Topps lackey who encased the card put it down too low and pinched it at the bottom. I've tried to knock it into place, but it's stuck in there tightly. And since the BCW one-touch magnetic is sealed with the gold Archives sticker, the only way I could fix it would be to break the seal to open the case, thereby hurting the value significantly. Not that this is an investment or anything, but I would hate to "alter" the card by breaking the seal. So I guess it's going to remain pinched for the foreseeable future.

That's it for today. Have a great weekend, everybody.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Turning two with

Topps has been doing a thing called Throwback Thursday sets, similar to Topps Now but multiple cards and available for a week. So they unveil a set of like 5 or 6 cards for the price of a blaster and take orders for a week, then print up how many were ordered. While there have been a couple previous sets that kinda caught my eye, I finally caved and bought one recently. It's the Next Generation Shortstops 6-card set in the style of 1993 Topps First Draft Pick subset.

I thought the cards looked pretty cool, plus I collect Xander Bogaerts and have small, budding PCs of Trevor Story and Carlos Correa. The print run turned out to be 770 for this set.

The other 3 guys I like just fine, though am not currently PCing them (but no, sorry, I'm not breaking up the set so they're not up for trade). Let's be honest, I'm pretty much a "player collector slut" and may very well decide to PC these guys one of these days. Corey Seager seems to have NL ROY wrapped up this year. Nice to add one sorta-limited card of his to my collection.

The cards are printed on Heritage-style stock. Which is fine.. but since 1993 Topps was the first flagship set for the company to feature glossy backs, it's a bit of a disconnect to see the card with a dark, rough back. Overall, I'm happy with the purchase and wouldn't rule out snagging a future one of these Throwback Thursday offerings that jumps out at me.

And on the subject of print-to-order rookie infielders, I also recently picked up my second Topps Now card...

Love the brown Friday home alts. Ryan Schimpf, a 28-year-old rookie second baseman, came out of nowhere to give Padres fans an interesting story in an otherwise largely forgettable season. He was named the NL Rookie of the Month for July thanks to 9 homers and a slugging percentage of .705. This card commemorates a game-winning jack last month. He's literally got no mainstream cards at the moment besides this one Topps Now card. Not even a Bowman or Pro Debut or whatever. So right now, this is pretty much the only game in town if you want a Schimpf card. Which I did. So I bought it. (Update: And just hours after I originally published this post, he cranked a game-winning 9th inning homer with the Padres down to their last strike to stun the Giants. He got another Topps Now card out of it. Not sure if I'll go after that one. I consider the one I have to be his "true rookie card" since it came out first.)

It's card number 377 and had a print run of 378.. dang, so close to parity! I bought this off an eBay seller for a couple bucks less than the original 1-card price from Topps. Hopefully Ryan continues to develop and raise his average, sticking around with San Diego for a while, but maybe his longball luck this season is a fluke and he'll be out next year.. who knows.

That's it for this time. Thanks for reading.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Late to the Party

Big weekend here at Baseball Card Breakdown HQ. Friday, my wife won us tickets to go see TJ Miller's comedy show (He's probably best known these days as playing Erlich on Silicon Valley). It was hilarious, but it was the late show and ran even later than scheduled, so we were both pretty pooped by the time we finally got home.

Speaking of being late, I'm a little late on Trevor Story mania, with his impressive rookie season cut short by injury, but I won an auction for a Ginter framed mini auto the other day..

I like it! I was lucky enough to win a 2016 A&G complete set with SPs, and not that I'm foolish enough to go after a "master set" or anything, but maybe I'll add a few hits to it too. I wouldn't mind adding the weird Urias SP one of these days.

Next let's change gears for a trade recap. Angus from Dawg Day Cards recently got in touch with me about swapping cards.

Nice lot of Gwynn/Padres oddballs!

Is it just me or did Denny's hologram technology go down in 1993? I couldn't get a good view of this one.

Yeah! Angus was able to find several cards on my dwindling 1971 Topps wantlist including the distinguished Norm Cash and Jim Bunning. While I had just recently picked up a '71 Vida Blue, I'm happy to get a second one of that iconic card that I can put with the PC.

Thanks for the great first trade, Angus! I hope to soon send you back some stuff you're equally happy with.

Again, great show. Though an alternate version of "Don't You Want Me" ("Cocktail Bar") will never leave my head.

Then Saturday my wife's dragonboat team had their big race of the year. Me and Annie went down to cheer them on.

Saturday night, Annie had a sleepover, as we dogsat a cool pooch named Jack who belongs to a teammate. That was cool except for a stressful dream I had where we lost him. But luckily the dream was not realized and he was safely returned to his family Sunday morning.

Now I'm just trying to have a lazy Sunday and spend some time on a custom card project I've got in the works.