Sunday, November 27, 2016

Bangin' Batch of Bits brought by Bubba (Batman, broadcaster, black borders)

Worked out a sweet trade recently with Ginter aficionado Matt from Bubba's Bangin' Batch of Baseball Bits.

I thought Val Kilmer was a pretty cool autograph subject included in 2015 A&G and I thought it'd be cool to land a copy someday.. and, hey, now I did! I always seem to enjoy his work. Probably my favorite thing he's done is his first: Top Secret!, the silly movie from 1984. And gotta love Top GunTombstone, and The Doors. He's been in some good stuff more recently too, like Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and MacGruber. So yeah, very cool addition to my collection of misc. autographs. Kind of a neat-looking signature, too.

And here's another one! I don't watch much football these days, but I think Jim Nantz is one of the better national broadcasters working today. So when I saw this card among Matt's tradebait, I was down to work it into our deal. (I had originally naively tried to get Matt to give up his Ginter autos of Felicia Day and the late Stuart Scott, but he was understandably resistant to parting with them. In my defense, I thought maybe he had doubles... he does bust a ton of Ginter, after all!) But yeah, neat card. Looks like Jim balked a little on signing the "J" in his name, but doesn't bother me much. The "CBS" inscription is a nice touch.

Matt also threw in a great lot of 2016 Ginter X for me, I believe the first cards in my collection of this "evil twin" of A&G.

Nice cards. A bunch of appreciated PC additions for me here.

Even some randomness to round out the package.

Great stuff, Matt! Big thanks for the trade. Hope to deal with you again soon (We've got a couple interesting little projects in the works.)

Saturday, November 26, 2016

A box now and many more boxes to look forward to

I was active on Black Friday on the card front. In addition to linking my folks and in-laws some high-end boxes for xmas/bday gift ideas for me (excited about these! Heck, the month of anticipation is the best part), I grabbed a few deals for myself.

Here's what I ended up with:

2012 Topps Baseball Factory Set - Fenway Dirt Relic Edition
2013 Panini Beach Boys Box
2008 Bowman Chrome Baseball Hobby Box
2015 Panini Stars and Stripes Baseball Hobby Box
2008 Upper Deck SP Authentic Baseball Hobby Box
2012 Benchwarmer Vault Trading Cards Box
2011 Topps Baseball Value Box
2011 Benchwarmer Bubble Gum Trading Cards Retail Box
2014 Panini Prizm Perennial Draft Baseball Hobby Box
2014 Panini Prizm Perennial Draft Baseball Hobby Box
2014 Panini Prizm Perennial Draft Baseball Hobby Box
2014 Panini Prizm Perennial Draft Baseball Hobby Box
2014 Panini Prizm Perennial Draft Baseball Hobby Box
2014 Panini Prizm Perennial Draft Baseball Hobby Box

Yeah, I went heavy on the 2014 Prizm Draft, but it was a great deal (it was the quickest baseball product to sell out during Dave & Adam's black friday sale). A few bucks less than a blaster each, you get 3 on-card autos with a chance to pull the likes of Kyle Schwarber and Trea Turner (with a tiny chance of Kris Bryant ink, too). Plus there are still a few Gavin LaValley parallels I need. Grabbed enough boxes to qualify for free shipping. Unfortunately, Dave & Adam's hasn't had much else to get too excited over this holiday weekend. I seem to remember last year's sale was more impressive.

The other stuff was from Blowout Cards. Again, I grabbed just enough stuff to qualify for free shipping (which is currently set at twice as much as Dave & Adam's). Nice mix of baseball products, plus a Beach Boys box and I caved to pretty girls and bought my first-ever couple boxes of Benchwarmers. On the topic of non-sports, I was sad to see that boxes of Cryptozoic Ghostbusters are apparently sold out.. was hoping to score one of those if the price was right.

Rather than just have a box-bustin' orgy over the next week or two, I've decided to ration the boxes out over the next year. It'll be a test of my self-control, but I think it'll be nice to have things to look forward to. And I want to cut down on busting boxes (well, paying a lot of money to do so, that is), so grabbing a bunch when they're cheap and spreading them out seemed like a good idea to hopefully keep my ripping urges satisfied. There are really only a couple upcoming 2017 products I plan to buy a box or two of (Archives and Star Wars 40), so hopefully my Black Friday haul carries me through the year with minimal additional blaster and hobby box purchases.

Here's the tentative schedule I've drafted up:

DEC 2016
2011 Topps Baseball Value Box (this was the worst deal; let's get it over with)

JAN 2017
2014 Panini Prizm Perennial Draft Baseball Hobby Box

FEB 2017
2012 Benchwarmer Vault Trading Cards Box (just in time for valentines)

MAR 2017
2014 Panini Prizm Perennial Draft Baseball Hobby Box

APR 2017
2012 Topps Baseball Factory Set - Fenway Dirt Relic Edition (ring in the new season with dirt)

MAY 2017
2014 Panini Prizm Perennial Draft Baseball Hobby Box

JUN 2017
2013 Panini Beach Boys Box (summertime is the right time for Beach Boys)
2011 Benchwarmer Bubble Gum Trading Cards Retail Box (some girls to join the Boys)

JUL 2017
2015 Panini Stars and Stripes Baseball Hobby Box (good way to celebrate the 4th)

AUG 2017
2014 Panini Prizm Perennial Draft Baseball Hobby Box

SEP 2017
2008 Bowman Chrome Baseball Hobby Box

OCT 2017
2008 Upper Deck SP Authentic Baseball Hobby Box (Update: there was an inventory error and Blowout was out of this box. I also made an inventory error myself and only counted 5 of my 6 2014 Prizm Draft boxes on this schedule, so I'll pencil in another one here.)

NOV 2017
2014 Panini Prizm Perennial Draft Baseball Hobby Box

So that's the plan.. but we'll see if I follow through with it or not. Hopefully the fact that I've posted it here will make me feel too guilty to give in and rip anything sooner. I'm also gonna label them and store them out of the way to help avoid temptation.

Some good stuff to look forward to. But for now, hey, I just got a blaster of 2016 Donruss Optic for a few bucks less than SRP off eBay. I won it on Thanksgiving Day, and the seller was just a few zipcodes over, so it arrived very quickly. There are a couple blasters of this on the shelf at my local grocery store that I've been tempted to grab, but I had some patience and saved a little money by shopping online.

Let's see what I got...

Pack 1 is heavy on Rated Rookies. I collect Jankowski and Donaldson, so this is a fine pack. The Lopez is a refractor, though you can't tell in the photo.

Pretty sure I already have that Sale DK (wait, actually no, I had the refractor, not the base). Strasburg is a PC guy. The Sonny Gray is a refractor.

A pink Strasburg (I call them Bubblegum Refractors, personally) and a Harper DK I needed. Nice.
David Wright is a refractor.

Bubblegum Dee Gordon. I might need that refractor Cutch DK, but it looks familiar.

Oh hey, there's a bubblegum version of the Cutch, as well.. cool. Also a Machado DK that I might've needed and a Donaldson insert that doesn't look too bad.

Final pack is a Tyler White hot pack, though I'm more happy about the Junior insert and the Trout base.

So that was an ok box for me. No hits or even any numbered cards, but picked up several PC additions. The rest are available for trade, so just give me a shout if you're interested in anything.

Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, November 25, 2016

The Blackest of all Fridays

It's Black Friday.

COMC orders of 20+ cards ship free this holiday weekend, not to mention tons of cards on sale. I've been loading up my inventory for a couple months now. Proud of my patience! This is shaping up to be my biggest order from them ever. Can finally ship that shit and complete my 1971 Topps set plus lots of other various stuff I've snagged.

I'm also checking out Dave & Adam's deals to maybe put a couple high-end boxes on my xmas list (I already snagged a few [more] real cheap 2014 Panini Prizm Perennial Draft hobby boxes). Blowout Cards and Steel City Collectibles also seem to be good retailers for buying boxes. Anything else of note I forgot, feel free to mention in the comments.

Anyways, good luck out there!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thanksgavin 2016

Happy Thanksgiving, all! We've been alternating between MST3K (for me) and Gilmore Girls (for my wife).. we typically have common ground between our all-time favorite TV shows, but these are a couple notable exceptions. Then it's off to the in-laws for the big dinner.

I thought I'd use this as an excuse to hit some Gavin cards I didn't cover in my recent 2016 Season Review for guys named Gavin.

First, let's update my Gavin Escobar PC.

2013 Bowman Football sure did have a ridiculous number of parallels. I don't think this is even anywhere close to the full rainbow. The lowest #'d card here is /99.

The Cowboys have been surprisingly good this year. Dak Prescott stepped up and has done a great job filling in for an injured Tony Romo.

That concludes everything I know about the 2016 Dallas Cowboys.

I haven't heard anything about Gavin Escobar's performance this year.

Googling him just now, I found that a) he's been growing out his beard. b) his father died just a few days ago and as such he's questionable for the Thanksgiving Day game vs. Washington. Very sorry for your loss, Mr. Escobar.

Here are his stats:
Best of luck, Gavin!

And here's a new Gavin added to my Greatest Gavins minicollection recently. Gavin Dickey played in the Mariners' chain for a few years, never making it above AA before calling it quits after the 2011 season. Oh well, he's welcome in my collection! Certainly one of the silliest names of all the Gavins I've got cards of. *hu hu... Dickey.. hu*

That's gonna do it for today. Again, hope you're all having/had a Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Retired Refractor Review: 2004 Luis Tiant

I hardly ever have the foresight to plan out a post for a special day in the future, such as featuring a player on his birthday. But I had been thinking of doing another Retired Refractor Review post today, and this morning I saw a tweet from Mark Hoyle that it was Luis Tiant's birthday, so that helped me decide on a card for today's post and I snapped a few pics before heading out to work.

Tiant is often noted as one of the greatest players not to be in the HOF. Hall of Stats agrees, calculating a very strong score of 130, good for ranking him as the 34th best pitcher of all-time (..well, of those eligible). And he doesn't just have the numbers, as El Tiante was also a colorful character adding spice to the game during his 19 years in the big leagues. Gotta love the guy.

My Tiant PC isn't very big, so I went ahead and took pictures of the few other cards of him I got.

Some cards from the 60s including his rookie card from 1965.

Some cards from the early/mid 70s. I've also got his 73 Topps card in that complete set, not pictured.

Finally a Burger King oddball and a modern Upper Deck card #'d 3/100. And yes, I did print out little paper tabs to help me keep track of which cards are Burger King variations, since they often look the same as regular 1979 Topps only with a different card number on the back. This one actually is a photo variation, though, with flagship showing him still with the Red Sox.

So there you go, a decent little PC highlighted by a shiny /25 autograph. If anyone has any other Tiant cards to part with, I'd love to add to my collection.

Thanks for visiting and have a great Thanksgiving, everybody!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Hoyled Again (what's that you say? that blog title has been used dozens of times already? oh well)

A couple nice PWEs from Mark Hoyle have shown up for me recently.

If it's standard-sized cards you're looking for, you've come to the wrong place. Here we've got a couple Drakes panels. First is a trio of top pitchers, highlighted by Nolan Ryan. Then the second panel features George Brett and Tim Raines. Rock has been in the news again lately due to his final shot on the regular HOF ballot coming up. I'd vote for him. When unsure, I defer to Hall of Stats.. and sure enough, Raines comfortably makes it in there based on his numbers. Back to the panel, I looked it up to see if a 3rd guy was cut off, but nope, seems this one was just a 2-card panel originally.

More 2-card panels, these being from Kraft mac & cheese boxes in 1987. I collect all 4 of these guys, so the question is which PCs to sort them into? Ha, screw it, they won't fit well in my normal PC boxes anyways, so I'll just put them in the shoebox with my other oversized cards. Problem solved!

Topps Big, on the other hand, do fit ok in the PC boxes. I recently sorted/cleaned-out my card storage supplies. Ended up tossing many dirty top-loaders and penny sleeves. I also ended up tossing a lot of cloudy card savers, but as for the clean/good ones, I've taken to cutting them up to use as like backing boards for minis and slightly-big cards (in team bags). Works pretty well.

Anyways, when I get Topps Big in trades, they usually have beat up corners, thanks to sticking out among a stack of regular cards, but Mark must've busted a couple packs or something, because these are still pretty sharp.

As for the Hernandez/Gwynn Drake's panel, it also seems to be a 2-player panel originally.

Ah, here we go, back to normal sized cards. Nice PC additions for me here.

Going old school here. Dick Williams is a guy I collect.. HOF Padres manager. Gary Bell, on the other hand, is kind of an odd inclusion, as I don't collect him nor am I working on that Topps set. But hey, I'll never complain about random vintage thrown into trades.

Here's a cool one to finish off the post with. Mark's nephew Joey Rogers is an amateur ballplayer who helped his team win the Massachusetts Division 2 state title this past summer. Mark was nice enough to get this custom signed for me. Looks great! Best of luck to you, Joey!

While it's not something I had done before, funny enough, just the other day I sent out a couple more autograph requests through the help of third-party intermediaries, and am excited for those to hopefully come back successfully before too long.

Big thanks for the cards, Mark! I'll shoot you back some more Sox soon.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

the rest of my latest card show haul

Ok, the remainder of my pickups from last weekend.. let's bust this out.

I was stoked to find a rich deposit of 2011 Chrome parallels during a dimebox dig. Brought home a healthy stack of Xfractors, regular refractors, and even 3 purple refractors (which are #'d /499). Some decent names, too. Thanks to this lot, I've passed the 1/4 complete milestone with my 2011 Topps parallel frankenset, the Chrome section of which was lagging behind, so this was a great help there.

Here are a few all-timers. Ernie Banks is a guy I kinda collect, but am willing to part with cards of if my trader buddies holla at them. Hank Aaron on the other hand, nah, sorry Braves buddies.

And a closer look at the Satchel Paige base card from 2016 Topps Tribute. Very nice. Sometimes I think I should kick my Satchel PC into gear. Such a cool dude. Would love to pick up his '53 Topps someday.

Some more miscellaneous cards. Adrian Gonzalez makes his second shiny appearance of the post. John Donaldson is a bit of a sleeper PC for me (though I recently picked up a 12/25 auto but forgot to include it in my latest Christmas Card post). I might need to start a Francisco Lindor PC.. he just won't be denied. I picked up that Rolling Stones card with OM/Stealing Home in mind (He's one of those freaks who vastly prefers the Stones over the Beatles). I probably already have that Khalil Greene diecut, but it was worth the risk from the dimebox. AJ Reed wasn't able to duplicate his past success in the minors up in Houston last season (.164 over 45 games? ouch), but he's still got time to prove himself.

Some Bowman inserts from a few years ago.

That's pretty much it.. not counting lots of trade fodder that I won't bother posting because it's already pegged for trader buddies.

Thanks as always for stopping by!

Saturday, November 19, 2016

funny cards from the card show

I threw a few cards onto my stack at the latest card show pretty much just because they made me crack a smile.. and they were cheap so why not?

When I see a Booty this nice, I just have to grab it. Aren't you jealous of my awesome Booty?!

I saw this one and read the bottom as "GOD DOUBLES" and I'm like... Damn, Topps! I know you've been sucking Ortiz's little papi all year long, but to deify the man?!

My favorite Nick Toon is probably Sponge-Bob. I used to kinda like The Fairly Odd-Parents, too. Rocko's Modern Life, if you wanna go old-school.

Isaiah Pead. When you say his name, it's a sentence. Coincidentally, I just watched an episode of The League last night from a few years ago where this guy's name was mentioned dozens of times. Is he still a good sleeper pick?

Ok, Chris Polk and Johnathan Franklin aren't really funny names, but I'm posting them here along with the other Crusade cards I picked up. They really are nice looking cards, regardless if Panini or the modern Leaf knockoffs. (The cards in this post are all available for trade, btw.)

Thanks for reading!

Friday, November 18, 2016

The day the music died (card show cont.)

This post has a ton of baseball cards in it, but first give me a moment to eulogize the end of an era for me.

Yesterday, my favorite website got shutdown by the man. It was an mp3 site responsible for the vast majority of my music collection over the past decade. Out of all the gut-punches delivered by 2016 so far, this one hit the closest to home for me. I discovered so much great music there. Though I'm pushing 40, I've never felt the dreaded "out of touch with today's music" or falling into a rut of just liking the same few bands I've always liked. I might not like a lot of what's popular these days, at least I was familiar with it. And believe it or not, other old guys, there still are many new artists out there creating great songs to hunt down and fall head over heels over, regardless of your preferred genre(s). Not to mention all the hidden gems you've missed from years past.

I know the music-listening landscape is becoming streaming focused these days, but as card collectors, I'm sure you guys understand how obtaining an mp3 to add to your collection is much more rewarding than streaming a song. It's not too unlike holding a physical card in your hand verses having a Bunt digital version. (Some of you older guys might feel the same way about vinyl records or CDs verses mp3s.) Just something about streaming music that's fine is certain settings, but ultimately unsatisfying as far as your collection goes. My wife has a Spotify account and loves it. Maybe once I finally get a smartphone, I'll give it a shot.

I recently started maxing out the capacity of my 160gb iPod, finding it hard to cram on more songs and having to make some tough choices about what to delete to free up space (currently at 23,599 songs on the thing). So maybe it's for the best that my mp3 supply has been severed. It would only get more frustrating for me as my collection grew too big to get a handle on. But still, it's a sad time for me, realizing my days of new music at my fingertips are finally coming to an end. And with the current climate, there's not much hope thinking, "oh well, a new site will come along and take the place of the old one." As far as buying stuff on Apple Music or wherever, that's an option for the occasional album I know I really want, but the selection is much more limited (I dig plenty of obscure shit), not to mention I don't have nearly the funds to check out everything I have a cursory interest in.

Anyways, back to the cards... I got sidetracked for a few days with contest wins n' such, but now let's continue recapping card show haul from last weekend.

I paired up a bunch of cards for today.

A pair of shiny Bowman refractor reprints.

A pair of Rizzo cards.. the shameful trade haunting Padres fans everywhere.

A pair of Wil Myers cards.. slightly less shameful deal for Padres fans than the Rizzo trade, though Trea Turner seems to be the real deal (2016 NL ROY runner-up behind Corey Seager) and we shoved him out the door.

A pair of Clint Frazier Bowman diecuts. Perhaps he'll end up being the Indians' Rizzo-esque shameful one-that-got-away. It's worked out well for them so far, though, seeing as Andrew Miller carried the team to the cusp of a championship.

A pair of Stantons.

A pair of hometown parallels. Adam Jones and Bartolo.

A pair of co-signers. Maddux and D. Lee. Dunn and Griffey. Yep, scored a cheap, low-numbered Junior, sneakily masquerading as an Adam Dunn card.

A pair of Rangers hurlers.

A pair of Cespedes refractors. Where do you think he'll end up for 2017? Back with the Mets or someplace new?

A pair of shiny Beltres.

A pair of pointing Correas.

A pair of hot young Bowman's Bests.

A pair of autos. Chris Jones was a solid player (though not the white guy [from Granite] from the 80s with the same name whom I need an auto from) and an oddball 73-style Joe Garagiola (which isn't a certified auto, but sure seems to be legit).

A pair of Goldschmidts, with a Chrome rookie and a #'d Tribute green parallel.

A pair of Griffeys. Sorry, my camera got mistakenly switched on a wack setting, resulting in a blurry photo. But yeah, it's a gold parallel Fleer Ultra checklist and an Etch-A-Sketch insert.

A pair of Xanders. (I'd say he won that "duel". Never even heard of the other guy.)

A pair of Bowman "1st" cards.

A pair of Bowman refractors.

A pair of Clemente reprints with films over them.

A pair of modern cards of legends.

And we close with a couple neat-looking cards of young dudes. Addison Russell was a big part of the Cubs' success in 2016. Dylan Bundy had his first full season in the bigs and put up decent numbers. I would have probably snagged this Bowman black wave refractor regardless who it was, to be honest. Just love the look of these. I almost expect them to be electrically powered somehow. (Seriously, how long till a card company makes a thick hit card that lights up or something with a battery embedded in it?)

All the cards in this post were comfortably less than a buck each.. many were from a dimebox (I think the guy let me have 108 cards for $10) and the others were from the 7-for-$5 bins.

Still more to show off from the haul, but that's enough for today.
Thanks for swinging by.. Have a great weekend, everybody.