Friday, March 29, 2019

AAF Two Box Break

I've really been enjoying the Alliance Of American Football games since they started back in early February.  Topps jumped in and came out with the premiere set of cards on March 22.  I picked up two boxes from Blowout and they showed up a day early.

Breaking down to 24 packs per box, 10 cards per pack, and as you can see, there are three autographs per box.

Nice looking design with the team colors and logos prominent on the front.  If you haven't been watching, (and if not, you've been missing out if you're a football fan), there are eight teams in two divisions.  The color selections are excellent, and each team is named for a significant feature of their community.  Good idea for an insert set next year maybe.

So far, the Orlando Apollos are the dominant team in the league.  But the competition has been pretty consistent for all eight clubs, so as they go along, it's getting better and better.

To my delight, I basically got a set out of each box.  The second box was short one card, but was better in terms of inserts etc. as I'll show in a bit.  The most well-known people to football fans who aren't familiar with the league are some of the founders and executives.  Michael Vick was slated to be the OC for Atlanta, but when Brad Childress bailed (again?), and some family issues happened, he moved to a league office role in player development.  Steeler collectors might want the two top execs Hines Ward and Troy Polamalu.  And there's CEO Charlie Ebersol represented in this set as well.

Also some famous names in the head coaching ranks.  The Ol' Ball Coach is off to a great start with a 6-1 record in Orlando.  Mike Singletary is having all kinds of bad luck, but his team is better than their 2-5 record indicates.  Mike Martz and Dennis Erickson are famous from their days on the NFL sidelines.  And you might recognize Neuheisel from his college announcing.

Some of the more unique representations are the female assistant coaches.  I know someone collects women in sports.  These are right up your alley.  Dr. Jen Welter paved the way for women coaches with Arizona in the NFL, and has done the same in the AAF.

Most of these guys made some kind of splash in the big show too.  Trent Richardson played several years with a couple teams, and now leads the AAF in touchdowns.  Gavin Escobar was a high pick for the Cowboys.  Charles Johnson is tearing it up at WR for the Apollos, coming from a few seasons with the Vikings.  Nick Novak was a top 10 kicker for the Chargers, and Stacy, Mettenberger, and Murray were all high draft picks.  Murray was a commentator for CBS college broadcasts before he put the helmet back on.

The cards come in parallels, too, three or four per box.  Red are numbered to 99, blue to 50, and yellow to 25.  Got lucky pulling the Ol' Ball Coach.  Thought it was fitting that Denham was blue.

With 175 cards in the base set, these Future Stars round the total number to 200.  Some of these guys are playing and some are backups to this point.  Bercovici got what is probably the signature highlight when he was hit vs. the Commanders week 1.   He came back three weeks later and is playing well.

Lucked out on my auto hits.  Pressley is the league's leading rusher through 7 games.  Got a bonus 4th auto in the second box (instead of the last card for the set?).  I think it was either Ross or Philips.

Felton here is my last card for the second set.  If anyone is trading these, let me know if you have him, or any spares of the Future Stars inserts.  I'll even swap autos if there's someone you like better than one you have.

Gives you a look at the backs as well.  Nobody has stats yet, even college or NFL, they've all got the paragraph blurb.  Next year they'll probably have AAF numbers.  My only quibble with the design in the small card number.  Sometimes it's hard to distinguish 6's, 8's, and 9's with plus quinquagenarian eyes.

There is a digital code link to the AAF app which they have promoted heavily, but I have not delved into. 

Overall, I like these a lot.  Clean design with mostly readable text elements.  Topps was making stuff microscopic their last few years of licensed NFL cards.  These are better.  I hope the league thrives and Topps gets a chance to expand the set and diversify the inserts in the next several years.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Gavin Gives Greats, Girls, And Gridiron Gold

Gavin from BCBreakdown sent an answer package to the couple PWE's I've been mailing his way.  Got it last week.

Started off with some bonus Baltimore boys.  I'm really on an alliteration roll this post....

All the Redskins, which was the bulk of the package, were serial numbered.  This one is from the 90's, when just being serial numbered was cool.  Nowadays, 8799 is a silly number, but I like it.  Doesn't have to be rare to be fun, right?

These two Prestige Extra Points are also /999.  I just didn't scan the backs.  Prestige is generally a nice looking set, but I don't think I've ever bought a box.  Still waiting for RGIII cards to drop through the floor, but he seems to have dumped the ego a bit and helped 'em out in Baltimore enough to be signed on a couple more years.

RGIII Elite /999, and Nehemiah Broughton /250, which is weird, because I have the Ruby parallels numbered /299 in my checklist book.  Guess maybe the rookies are a different number or something.  Doesn't mean I know what I'm talking about.  These always remind me of the Priest Holmes rainbow I made a while ago.

Shiny baby blue Crowder out of 199, and an eBay 1/1 and rare appearance by Chris Thompson - his last one at 49/49.  Not sure if there's anyone else to throw the ball to this season besides CT out of the backfield.  Crowder signed with the Jets for next year.

And the capper - a four swatch rookie of Josh Doctson.  I thought this looked familiar, but I have the gold foil version that looks a lot like this, so they make a good pair.

Some bonus babes to finish off.  Wasn't familiar with many of them besides Ms. McMahon.  That Ruby Riot chick kinda scares me.

Thanks Gavin!

Monday, March 25, 2019

Braden Holtby Knocks Out The Flyers

Had fun on Sunday with most of my Tuesday night 8-ball team at Capital One Arena in downtown DC for the Capitals vs. Flyers.

We sat in section 424 this time.  I get the tickets online that are both unsold seats and season ticket holders who resell the games they don't attend.  One of our players is a Flyers fan, and our captains can't really go during the week, so the matinee on Sunday was perfect.  It was just a long wait since I bought the tix, because you have to get them way in advance.  I try to get behind the goal that the Caps will shoot at twice, but no luck this time.  Still good seats, though. 

This was our view before game time.

Caps came out firing and scored early in the first.  They've pretty much had Philly's number all year, and today was more of the same.  Tom Wilson gets a tip-in with just under four minutes elapsed.

Not my photo, but this is the ground level view of the first goal.

There were a couple country boys sitting behind us who were more entertaining than the NBC play-by-play probably was.  They chattered and cheered almost non-stop, but it wasn't hostile or annoying, they made it fun.

Holtby was sharp all game, but had plenty of down time in the first period.

Caps put another one in about halfway through the second period.  Then just a couple minutes before the buzzer, Philly stuck one on the power play.

Vrana's breakaway made it a comfortable 3-1 after eight in the third.  Ovie tried to hook up Lars Eller with the ENG inside the last minute, but it was tipped away.

Congratulated by the team at the final horn, Holtby was first star for the game. 

Caps come away with 3-1 victory and dampen Philly's playoff hopes with the season sweep.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Collector's Log: Stardate 198205.15

It's spring of '82 and the trading season is in full swing.

Too bad I didn't list the players I added to my collecting list.  It probably wasn't anyone who's rookie year was around '78 or beyond, so that narrows it down a little from the PCs I have now.  I had already established a few guys for sure - Tiant, Torre, Osteen, probably Fregosi and Paul Blair, Jim Palmer, Ollie Brown, George Foster, and Gene Tenace.  It could have been Vida Blue, Cesar Cedeno, Bert Campaneris, Nelson Briles, but I'm just guessing.  I don't have any reference to my player collection list at certain times.  I only know that it peaked out at one point to 81 players. 

I think the '74 Red Sox trading was just for the team set -ish, before I started the full set.

More basketball was referring to actually (attempting) to play, not trading the cards.  Even though I'm 6' 3", lanky and can palm a basketball, I have no other significant hoops skills to this day.  So that was most likely a group of awkward white dudes throwing a ball at a rim.

I'm pretty sure the bus showed up at 7:30 at the top of our street, so I was cuttin' it close that morning.

More trading...Had to look up which Skowron that was.  Almost had to be this one....

Don't think that trade ever came to fruition.

I gotta think I bought this from a dealer too.  Can neither confirm or deny, really.  I remember that seeing the first one of these was really cool.  There had never been cards issued in the same year with players on different teams or new managers, etc. ever before.  I got these in consecutive years after that until 1984.  Unfortunately, I didn't get the Fleer set that year, which has appreciated quite a bit since then.

Still have this one upstairs, I believe, but it's buried in a box in the closet almost as deep as my comic collection is, which I have yet to post about after the first time*. I do remember this cover though.  Figured it was a concept I could get behind.  A pretty decent read if I recall correctly.

Skip ahead a couple weeks to another major collecting event.

Like the Skowron, that Musial was a '62 like this, though not as pristine.

Just this year I came into a significant enough starter lot to at least mark off a number grid for this set.  It won't become a primarly build until I finish '64 and then probably '57, which is going to be at least another year or so.  I've always liked this card of Stan, though and didn't have anything of his up to that point in 1982.

Wouldn't it be nice to only spend ten bucks and get a whole flagship set now?


This was the time when error cards were all the rage.  So much that they handed them out at the door of the show.  I love junk wax variations, but don't have much motivation to pursue rookie cards that much.  Guess it's all about what you grew up with in your collecting childhood.  This was also the time when I only had one binder and bought sheets as I needed them instead of three boxes every couple months like I do now.


Hey, it's a'62 Topps Hot Post!  Torre RC completes the trifecta of wood finished excellence, along with Bonds' full size Rookie Cup trophy.

Next time, more set builds, an unfortunate mishap, school's almost out, and game highlights!

* Leave me a comment if you're interested in comic book posts. 
What kind of things do you want to see?  Video tours through boxes? 
A rundown on my major titles?  The most valuable or most popular
books I have?

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

It's Not A Dream

While researching my upcoming line of ridiculously irrelevant relic cards, I came across a very strange set that actually exists. 

Drawing on the theme of the Field Of Dreams movie, where the historical baseball players magically walk out of the cornfield, Leaf created these relic cards of (somewhat more modern) players...

...that contain actual cornstalks.

They're from the real location of the Field Of Dreams, so I guess that gives them some credibility as drawing interest from baseball fans.

Way to go out to left field, Leaf.  Not sure about "history", since don't cornstalks die out every year?

I guess they put their idea of the current "Dream Team" against the cornfield and called it an insert set.  Wonder if they had all the guys on site or they photoshopped the pictures against a cornfield.  Or shot at cornfields across the country?

They must think "If you print it, they will buy" too....

Monday, March 18, 2019

Sunday Show Loot

Made it back to the monthly show at Greencastle this morning.  Got there about 9:30, so I didn't miss to much hunting time.  Was over at my friends' til late last night, so I was a little slow early in the AM.  A light haul for me, but some interesting oddballs and a few bargains.

First up, I filled out a bunch of my 2019 flagship.  Tough to do from a monster box that only had a few runs that were in order.  I didn't carry my list binder with me today, so I was just eyeballing the numbers from my phone off the website.  I got enough that I could put names on the list and only got one I didn't need.  I can snag the rest in two weeks at back to back shows Saturday and Sunday.  Then I can actually write down and cross off the last ones as I go.

Also capped off my pending completion of the snowflake set with the Baez.

These are from my usual insert dealer who was talking about how Topps is trying to change the value of their flagship and other sets and inserts, but is only hurting dealers and collectors.  He broke two cases of Heritage with another guy and they didn't finish two sets of short prints among them.  And there are inserts that they never got and had to buy individually.  Not a big problem when they're average players, but he needed Judge and the like.  Two of his big collector buyers have dropped out of the game completely because of all the changes to the distribution and availability of new stuff.  I said I can see myself skipping flagship etc. too in the next couple years since I don't care nearly as much about new players and the Topps offerings are so hard to finish both cost-wise and with the new ratios of inserts an useless parallels.

Also found another dealer with consistent 25¢ inserts and cleared a bunch of these International Affairs from 2018 Update.  Put names on the remaining half dozen too.  Kept seeing a rainbow foil flavor of these.  Not sure if that's from Chrome or is another stupid parallel.

Sorry for the excessive desk space.  I didn't crop these photos after I shrunk them out of the camera.  This is the bulk of my Heritage purchases this year - only player collection stuff.  Still need a Torre Then & Now, and another space Flashback.

Some cool oddballs from my most familiar vendor Steve.  1971 Supers for a couple bucks each, the other Laughlin World Series for Charlie Keller (a bit o/c, but can't complain much for $2), another Laughlin card that I didn't know about until I saw it - All-Star Bobby Bonds from '74.  The set is numbered 33 through 73 by corresponding year.  The '79s are for Gavin at BBCB.

Gotta shift to other sports before I show the bargains.  Some of these are probably at regular price, but I just grabbed 'em while I could.  The Dryden leaves only Phil Esposito for the '72-'73 Topps set, and Mr. Hockey narrows my '79-80 down to Stan Mikita and the white whale Gretzky rookie.  I've got a long way to go on the '75-'76 set, but these two seemed a bit lower priced than average.  The '70 football fit my set being slightly imperfect.

A few more from Steve's football section.  Picked out the cheapy '71 game cards.  Still some more expensive stars to hunt for discounts later.  I saw the black name Rentzel, but didn't realize it was the 'b' version until I found the red version in his $1 each binder, so I went back and snagged it.  Just have to find the black name version of Calvin Hill too.

OK, now to the blowout sale items.  One dealer up front who usually has a really eclectic amalgamation of stuff in what feel like real shoe (or boot?) boxes, and strange penny sleeves, had all his stuff at one price.  I rounded out my purchases to an even number with the last couple RG3's here.  His cards haven't completely tanked, but this time, they were dirt cheap.

Back to baseball, these big names from the Immortals set usually go for a couple bucks elsewhere.  Not today.  The Mays caught a little glare in the photo.

Started a new Cal Ripken set from there too.  Not sure what these usually run, but it wasn't that much....

And finally, all these were in the same batch too.  Nothing earth-shattering here, but the McGwire Flashbacks are not only standard at three dollars plus, they're exceedingly hard to find.  I bought these two blind and needed one.  (I can fill in it's picture on the TCDB with the rest that I put up earlier).  The Heritage inserts turned out to be the '55 year, and not '54 that I'm working on, so if you need them, let me know.  The Fisk is one of the two out of five that I already had too.  Never seen those SportFlics before.

So to end the suspense (to those few that got all the way down here.... Every card shown here starting from the Robert Griffins was TEN CENTS!

Going to see the Capitals beat up on the Flyers next Sunday, and then the week after that there are shows in Ephrata, PA, and Chantilly, VA.  Both about an hour or so in opposite directions from here.