Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Pack Skirmish - 2015 Archives vs. junk wax (with a hit)

It's time for a good old fashioned pack skirmish! In fact, let's play two.

First up is a pack of 2015 Topps Archives vs. a pack of 1990 Fleer.

Archives comes out swinging with a star catcher, but Fleer sees your catcher and raises you a matching sticker.
Fleer 1, Archives 0

Wheeler is a dealer, but he's no match for the classic Astros uniform with the rainbow shoulders prominently displayed.
Fleer 2, Archives 0

Hey, two foreign-born pitchers! Tom McCarthy was born in Germany. He didn't have much of a major league career, though, so a winner is Yu.
Fleer 2, Archives 1

Oh snap! Me pulling a non-promised auto? That's only happened once before. That puts a smile on my face, even if Jeff Conine surely isn't anywhere near the top tier of names you could pull an auto of from this product. But I like him well enough and welcome this card into my collection. Fleer answers strong with a card of my hometown team, but this one is a no-brainer. Archives evens the score.
Archives 2, Fleer 2

Archives forfeits their turn thanks to nearly unreadable yellow text on a white background. I hope a Topps employee lost their job over this one, became homeless, and eventually died under a bridge a few months later. Hmm, maybe that was a bit harsh. I hope that employee kept his or her job, but learned a valuable lesson about intelligent graphic design. Plus, who's really at fault here, the designer who chose that shade of yellow (looks even worse in person than in the photo), or the manager who okayed the proof? Dave Righetti walks away with the win here.
Fleer 3, Archives 2

The Herrera RC is kinda cool, but sexy-and-he-knows-it Willie McGee shakin' his booty is unstoppable.
Fleer 4, Archives 2

Meh.. Let's give this one to the Finnegan RC.
Fleer 4, Archives 3

Whoa doggy! Two Hall of Famers facing off.. what are the odds? Eck vs. Kirby.. that's a tough one for me to call. Let's go to the stats. [...] In 24 lifetime plate appearances, Kirby hit only .130 against Eck. Archives gets the point to tie it up.
Archives 4, Fleer 4

Juan Marichal vs. Arsenio Hall. It's close, but I'll give it to Fleer thanks to Arsenio's charming smile. *waves fist up and around* Woof woof woof!
Fleer 5, Archives 4

Scrappin' shortstops! I like David Eckstein, but gotta go with Barry Larkin here with his Championship Year card.
Fleer 6, Archives 4

Welp, looks like the Archives pack has run out of cards, while Fleer is still raring to go with 5 more cards. Dwight Evans in a PC guy for me, so that's cool.

So while Archives delivered the biggest hit of the match with the Conine auto, Fleer prevailed overall.

Next bout..

2015 Archives seeks redemption against a weaker foe, pathetic ol' 1988 Donruss.

Mookie! The only way Donruss could compete with that would be with Mookie Wilson, thereby forcing a Mookie-off. (Could you IMAGINE?!) Alas, it's just Greg Gagne. And the piece of Stan Musial puzzle is no help. Archives jumps out to an early lead.
Archives 1, Donruss 0

Pack-fresh Caminiti rookie, bitches! I should send that bad-boy in for grading! LOL
Though really, Ryan Braun would lose regardless who '88 Donruss brought to the plate.
Archives 1, Donruss 1

Ron Guidry was 25-3 in 1978, always a fun stat to drop. Nelson Cruz is pretty good, but had some PED trouble. Gonna have to award the point to Guidry.
Donruss 2, Archives 1

Ooh, a "silver" grey parallel! That's #'d 168/199. Honestly, even if it was a base card, Cueto would easily beat that Braves mop-up guy I've never heard of. (Cue comments about how this guy was brutally murdered by his mom or someshit probably, like yesterday's post.)
Archives 2, Donruss 2

Sorry, Dwayne, there's not a card in 1988 Donruss that can beat Mike Trout. Archives takes the lead.
Archives 3, Donruss 2

Ha, there's a bush in the background of the Archives card, and a Bush in the foreground of the Donruss card. This one might be too close to call. Wait, I'm being told a recount in Florida narrowly gave the victory to Bush. *shudder*
Archives 3, Donruss 3

The clouds behind Aramis are cool, but [I can't think of a clever Michael Jackson reference to make]. Donruss moonwalks back into the lead.
Donruss 4, Archives 3

How eerie, another HOF matchup! I swear I'm taking these cards in natural order, not tinkering. I love Ralph Kiner, but after my epic TTM return from the Chicken Man, I could never vote against Wade Boggs.
Donruss 5, Archives 3

I'm guessing that's Maz based on the chaw, but who knows thanks to the invisible ink Archives used. That's gonna cost them. Donruss answers with a happy infielder I've never heard of. You don't see many cards that look like that anymore.
Donruss 6, Archives 3

The crowd is booing! Oh wait, they're not booing, they're saying "Boo shell!"
Archives summons its last bit of strength with a Fisk that begs the question, "Is that the best photo Topps could come up with?" Still, Pudge easily bests Buechele.
Donruss 6, Archives 4

Archives is spent, but Donruss is still dealing. It's all over! 1988 Donruss wins!

There you have it. According to the final line score, I should have saved 98% of my money by buying junk wax instead of the discounted Archives blaster I grabbed at the grocery store last weekend. I had already opened the rest of the packs, and the blaster was a dud prior to these last two. I forgot what a one-trick-pony 2015 Archives was, with really the only draw being the Will Ferrell cards, which were seeded 1 per blaster, 2 per hobby box, and 1 autograph per bazillion cases. FYI, I pulled the Dodgers Ferrell card from this blaster, available for trade if anyone needs it. The SPs and any decent inserts are ridiculously tough pulls in this stupid product. I really hope the 2016 version is better when it comes to this stuff, because the Bull Durham cards aren't gonna be enough to carry it. But yeah, I pulled no SPs, of course, and my only other insert was a dumb Abraham Lincoln card that has no business being in Archives. The Conine auto and #'d Cueto parallel helped salvage the box from being a stinker.

The best of the rest.
Thanks for reading! What did you think of the new Pack Skirmish segment? ("skirmish" sounds funner than "war".) I might do a couple more of these. You may have noticed I was lazy and didn't bother cropping the photos at all, so apologies to those of you with slow internet connections.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

dual cardboard blast (trade roundup)

Just a couple trade packages arriving within the past week or so, but both were nice fat bubble mailers from my cardsphere hommies the Junior Junkie and SpastikMooss.

First up is Mr. Mooss. He had his eye on one of my extra Wade Boggs Always Sunny autographed customs, and was cool enough to do some COMC shopping on my behalf in exchange, scoring me a nice selection of cards off my wantlist.

Never get tired of these! Thanks to this lovely lot of 2004 Topps Chrome black refractors, I've cracked triple digits in my attempt to complete that parallel set. I'm now at 103/487 complete (21%).

And my goal of spelling out Baseball Card Breakdown in various letter cards has made great strides lately. With these 2 additions, I'm happy to say I'm over hump now, with 11 cards down, 10 left to go. I can currently spell BASE A CARD EA. Not familiar with Greg Halman, but Yonder Alonso was a Padre for a while, so bonus points there.

Whale miniiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiis!! With these 5 needs, I've completed the 2012 Allen & Ginter "Giants of the Deep" insert set. I'm not a big Ginter collector, but I like whales a lot and was drawn to these minis. Feels great to finish off that goal.

Here's some fun stuff, including 3 Glow Star stickers, getting me closer in completing that subset from 1993 Upper Deck Fun Pack. The coleslaw boots seems to be from a Ren & Stimpy game.

Hmm, I should probably have included the stickers in the previous picture. Some dudes I collect in there. As for the top row, vintage PC needs of Billy Williams and Reggie Jackson. Poor Billy came to Oakland just a teeny bit late to get in on their championship run. While I like to think of my Piazza PC as "complete" I do still like to add Padres cards of his I'm missing and the occasional crazy 90s insert.

Sealed junk wax! Always fun to rip, even if there's probably nothing in there I really need for my collection. Fingers crossed the gum is still bright pink so I can chomp down on that shit. Not even joking!

Great stuff.. big thanks, Mooss!

 -  - - - ---o

Next up to the plate is new dad The Junior Junkie (congrats on the bundle of joy!). I was lucky enough to be a part of his recent epic mailing, even though he had very recently bought a couple custom sets of mine (thanks again!), so he definitely didn't owe me anything and was just getting a jump on our next trade, knowing he'd be a little preoccupied for the foreseeable future. So no rush, but I'll have to hit him back one of these days.

That's a big Gwynn lot! While I've already got most of the overproduction era cards, there are definitely some PC additions among these guys.

And here's a nice Greg Maddux lot to add to my Mad Dog collection.

David Ortiz represented.

A bunch of Giancarlo cards, highlighted by a dufex Pinnacle insert.

Some Padres hits and inserts. I don't know if Mike Thompson or Jon Knott ever showed much in the way of signs of greatness, but cool to get their autographs nonetheless. And neat A-Gon relic and Spangenberg Future Star.

And this picture wraps it up for us. Oops, I should have included that Maddux with the others, but oh well. I believe it's #'d /500 or something. The San Diego card in the lower left is Austin Hedges (I should have included it with the other misc Padres). Another unopened pack! I watched a little of Yo! MTV Raps back in the day. Probably even ripped a couple of these at the time. I should do a separate post where I rip these junk era packs I've gotten.
And the kicker! A custom blogger card of TJ himself, autographed and personalized to me on the back. Very cool! Thanks, man!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Crushing the Quarterbox (card show recap)

When I'm digging through bins of cards, I'm usually looking for 2 types of cards: old cards and new cards. So like, vintage or recent. I pretty much already have the vast majority of 80s/early 90s cards I want. I wasn't collecting in the late 90s or 00s, so I don't know which random Pacific inserts sell for a hundred dollars on eBay and which can be had for 18¢ on Sportlots. For me to pick up a card from this period, it's gotta look cool enough to really catch my eye, or maybe have a serial number on it to let me know how rare it is. I end up quickly thumbing through tons of McGwire, Ripken, Bonds, A-Rod, and other stars from those days that loiter in the bins.

Anyways, this post features a bunch of cards I bought from the 4 for $1 bins at the card show yesterday. It was probably my all-time largest haul of singles from one seller. While I won't show off all of them (many are already set aside for trader buddies), there were 193 cards. And without a bag, it took a great effort to get all the cards safely into my car without the stacks spilling everywhere.

Some of my favorite pickups of the day. The Tom Seaver and Ted Williams aren't in great shape, but I was still excited to throw them on my stack.

More vintage. The Willie Mays is a PC addition but the rest of these are available for trade.

I don't really care about Scott Rolen, but this card looked really cool. The baseball in the background has a cool 3-D thing going on. It reminds me of those Crystal Ball inserts from last year's Stadium Club.. but whereas those cards are super thick, this one is standard thickness.

I'm a sucker for these Bowman mini shimmer refractors. That said, I suppose these are all available for trade.

These are also available for trade besides the Mookie, Altuve, and Adam Jones.

I love these Galley of Greats inserts from last year. In my haste, I grabbed 2 Beltre cards, so one is available for trade.

Cutch PC additions.

Certified autos are tough to pass up for that cheap, even though these guys aren't familiar to me besides maybe Tony Armas, Jr. All available for trade.

SP variations. I grabbed the Geovany Soto purely for the magnetic case. Once I got home and was trying to figure out why a common warranted such a prestigious case, I noticed the sparkle.

More cards for me. Turns out the Bryce on the right is a photo variation SP... nice!

More cards for my tradebox. The top row are all numbered /199 or less. Anybody want to trade?

Cards of guys I collect from when I wasn't collecting.

These are also cards.

More cards.

Did I mention I grabbed a lot of vintage cards?

..because I did. I did grab a lot of vintage cards.

If all those cards from the show weren't enough, that afternoon when we went shopping, even though I had no intention of buying any retail that day, I took a curious look at the card section just in case the grocery store had anything good on closeout special (which just about never happens). And yep, they did...

Couldn't pass up this trio of discounted blasters. I will try to practice some self-control and ration out these packs on rainy days over the next few weeks. At the show, I had been looking out for something to rip but didn't find anything interesting at a price that grabbed me, so I was happy to run into these later at the store. (They also had a couple discounted 2015 A&G blasters that I passed on.)

So yes, it was a big card day for me!
See you next time.