Monday, March 30, 2020

I Think Topps Reads My Blog ... And Then Flips Me Off

Called it!

You may remember back in November when Topps came out with the NOW! sets of the Washington Nationals World Series victory.  I bought the set with the autograph that was to be shipped out later.  There was a false alarm in February when I got something else.  Well, the FedEx delivery came today.

Folded up in bubble wrap and a big yellow padded mailer was another one of these black envelope things.

Could it be Scherzer?  The future Hall Of Famer?

Or Soto? The breakout rookie star?

Robles? Another rookie phenom who I liked during the season?

Kendrick? The veteran journeyman who came through in the clutch?

Suzuki? Who returned to the Nats and won a couple postseason games?

Or would it be, as I predicted from the start, the one guy out of all of them who I know the least, and just don't have the same enthusiasm for ~ Patrick Corbin?

Yep.  Had to be Corbin.

I have no luck at all...

No offense to Patrick Corbin, his contribution to the victory was just as important as anyone else on the team.  And I can't knock getting an autograph numbered 6/99 and a team set of cards for the price of (well, four) blasters.  It's just I would have enjoyed any of the other guys better, ya know?  *sigh*

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Collecting Continues

I've missed a whole week of blog reading and posting.  I was doing some collecting of a different kind this week at work - gathering chromebooks for our elementary students to use during the next month (and however longer this thing lasts) at home, and distributing them on Friday.  Needless to say it's been a tough week, and I'm exhausted.  Haven't had the energy for posts with any brain power behind them.

The flow of cardboard hasn't stemmed though, I sent several packages out this past week and have even more to go soon.

Got one from Gavin at BBC Breakdown about Wednesday or so.  Let's check it out.

He started with a few Redskins.  This one is from one of the rare sets I actually am still building - 2014 Prestige.  Cool design and a ton of inserts.

Same product, just four years younger.  Prestige seems to be the product that I'd build annually if I built football sets as regularly as I do baseball.  I would actually say that I follow football a lot closer too, but just can't get into building the sets as much in recent years.

Two Heritage short prints - always welcome.  I feel like I have a shot at completing this set in a reasonable time, unlike most of the older Heritage that I've started from bulk base lots.  2020's popularity probably helps too.

I was really excited to see these in the stack.  I vaguely recall asking if he had dupes of my player guys.  I think these put me down to only one or two more for all the players I'm looking for.

And finally, this bronze version of British-born baby love wrestler Paige from 2016.  Gotta love hotness parallels.  Might have to put some of her other nice cardboard portraits on my non-sport wants page.

Thanks Gavin!  Always good stuff from you, sir!

Saturday, March 21, 2020

GOAT Or Garden Variety? We Shall See

Big news on the NFL free agency this week (and of course, it was run into the ground non-stop on the NFL Network etc.) that "TB is heading to TB" or Tom Brady is now a Buccaneer.

The biggest takeaway I have from this event is: The long standing debate will pretty much be settled in the next couple seasons...
Was the secret to the Patriot's success mostly due to Tom Brady's godlike genius behind center or Bill Belichick's winning system?
I always believed it was the latter.  Brady makes good decisions with the football, and is a pretty accurate passer.  But that's about all I'm willing to crown him for.  He's never been mobile, he doesn't have a particularly powerful arm to throw 60 yards at a time, and I think he gets more credit for creating plays than he's actually doing.  Peyton Manning was known for his long calls at the line and complex adjustments in mere seconds.  I didn't see as much of that with ol' Tom.  Now the broadcasters would gush over his brilliance during any lull in the action, but all I saw was a lot of screens and out patterns - high percentage plays.

So now, on the Tampa side, you have a decent coaching staff, some talented players around him, and their major problem was the quarterback's turnovers.  That will almost definitely change in their favor.  But will Tom lead them deep into the Postseason immediately?  If he's so far above the average player he will.

On the other side, will Belichick find at least a mid-level quarterback (Winston?) with issues and turn him into a league hero?  Will they continue to dominate the AFC East and the playoffs?  They have a lot of other holes in the roster to fix as well, but the coaching staff isn't breaking up too much as far as I know.

The 2020 season will be intriguing just to see how this turns out.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Safe & Sane

Ugh, I won't go into a whole narrative about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak or the worldwide consequences since everyone has already felt the effects in one way or another.

Of the 20-couple people in my office, I'm really the only one who is scheduled to actually show up on site regularly, and that's every other day.  Otherwise, we're taking help desk calls and doing administrative work from home.  It's kind of a drag, but at least I'm still able to work.  Though I sort of hope they give up after a few weeks and just let us off until this is all resolved.

Because then I could really get some things done in my collecting world!

I just looked it up to confirm, and the local monthly show was cancelled this past Sunday.
The Chantilly Show in Virginia has also cancelled.  Hopefully they have the second of three dates in July.

Hopefully, the National is late enough that it will still go on.

At the very least, I hope the Post Office stays operational.  I've got trading to do!

I promise I won't be sending any contaminated cards...

Be safe, stay healthy ... and sane!

Monday, March 16, 2020

Dispersing The Hoard #4 - First Baseball Box Breakdown

Ok, here goes.  A breakdown by year and alphabetic by product with approximate quantities of the first box of the baseball hoard.  Larger quantities are highlighted in bold.  There will be duplicates within quantities - mostly the big stars.  You can email your requests with the "Transmit Email" link to the right.


Bowman (& Retro) - 20 with 2 TTime inserts
Donruss - 15 stars
Fleer Focus - 20 stars with 4 Future Vision inserts
Just Rookies - a few notable names
Metal Universe - 25 stars with 3 inserts
Skybox - 85 with inserts and rookies
SP Top Prospects - 20 rookies
Topps - 200 stars with 4 Gwynn & 1 Aaron variations
Topps Opening Day - 15 stars
Upper Deck Ionix - 25 stars
UD Pros & Prospects - 25 stars and a few inserts
UD Vintage - 45 stars and lots of inserts
UD Yankee Legends - 125 cards


Donruss - 20 stars
Donruss Classics - 20 stars
Donruss Studio - 75 stars
Fleer Authentic - 7 stars
Fleer E/X - 35 stars
Fleer Focus - 40 stars and 3 parallels
Fleer (misc.) - 40 stars
Fleer Tradition - 50 stars and inserts
Leaf Rookies & Stars - 20 rookies & stars - duh!
Pacific - 15 mostly rookies
SP Authentic - 20 stars
SP Top Prospects - 15 rookies
Stadium Club - 20 stars and rookies
Topps (& Update)- 120 stars, Golds, & inserts
Topps Archives - 80 cards
Topps Chrome - 40 cards with some rookies
Topps Gold Label - 10 stars
Topps Reserve - 40 cards
Upper Deck Black Diamond - 20 stars
Upper Deck Decade 70's - <50 cards with some inserts
Upper Deck Hall Of Fame - 70 cards
Upper Deck Legends of New York - 75 cards


Bowman - 15 stars
Donruss - 25 stars and some rookies
Donruss Best Of Fan Club - 150 stars with s/n parallels and inserts
Donruss Studio - 30 stars and some inserts
Fleer Tradition - 35 stars with rookies and inserts
Fleer Box Score - 20 stars with Amazing Greats inserts
Fleer Focus - 55 stars  and inserts
Fleer Greats - 90 cards with a few inserts
Fleer Hot Prospects - 7 stars and a few inserts
Fleer Maximum - 14 stars and a few inserts
Fleer Showcase - 15 stars and a few inserts
Fleer Tradition - 12 stars and a few inserts
Fleer Triple Crown - 35 stars and a few inserts
Fleer Ultra - 15 stars
Leaf - 40 stars
Leaf Rookies & Stars - 12 stars
SP Authentic - 20 stars
SP Legendary Cuts - 45 stars
SPx - 9 stars
Stadium Club - 15 stars
Topps - 60 cards & a few Chrome rookies
Topps 206 - 20 stars
Topps Heritage - 30 cards
Upper Deck Heroes - 20 stars
Upper Deck Honor Roll - 20 stars


Bowman - 80 rookies, of course
Donruss - 125 stars
Donruss Champions - 20 stars
Donruss Diamond Kings - <50 stars with 10 framed parallels

Saturday, March 14, 2020

A Purple Pitcher Passed On By PadroGraphs

Whoops!  Missed my Friday posting slot.  Wasn't paying attention...

Thanks to Rod Richards for a freebie refractor from this year's Heritage of my champion Nationals pitcher Patrick Corbin.  Rod was offering freebies and I requested Corbin to add to the stash of parallel Nats I'm casually building in honor of their victory season.

These things are pretty cool looking.  Love how it looks like the original black when turned to a certain angle, and then morphs into a shiny rainbow until coming around to the purple color.

But shiny on retro is still weird.

Thanks Rod!

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Dispersing The Hoard #3 - The Method To This Madness

So I'm all set to start with the first row in the first box of the monster hoard.  It's cards from the year 2000.  But I can't decide what is the best way to go about showing you enough about what's in all these boxes, while not making long, boring posts/videos with way too much specific info.  So I'll let you decide.

Method 1: Give a written breakdown of products by years and a general idea of the contents - whether it be base commons, stars, inserts, parallels, serial numbered, or rookies.
Bowman - c. 20 stars
Donruss - c. 40 stars, commons & rookies
    Best Of Fan Club - c. 300 stars, inserts, s/n parallels
    Studio - c. 50 stars and a few inserts

I can tell you now that the vast majority are star cards.  I have already done this in quick written form and can translate it with the occasional illustration.  This is very dry and not real entertaining, though it gives a good reference for later when you want to match up to your want lists.  I may end up posting this in some form either way.

Method 2: Still photos of each product spread out flat to show each kind of card within.

This would be the most complete reference for each product.  You do get to see each name available and all the inserts, etc.  (I know a lot of my lists are by number only, so that makes it tough to tell by a picture like this.)  It would also be the most time consuming method.  That would mean that there would be a couple hundred posts about the whole hoard, if not just the baseball.  I'm willing to do it this way, though if you want to see it.

Method 3: Videos of me sifting through everything in a year or a monster box row.

These would be like the case breaker videos.  I promise I would sift through a bit slower than this.  You would see most of the cards in a short time, but only for a split second.  These would be fun to watch, but not quite as informative for trading.  Plus, I'd have to split them into 30 second segments, or they'd take forever to upload.  30 seconds is around 75MB a file.

Method 4: You just send me your lists for the major sets from 2000 thru 2013.
2004 - small amounts of Bowman, misc. Fleer, Absolute, Prestige, Sweet Spot, Upper Deck, UD Pro Sigs, and other misc. Upper Deck.
     Larger amounts of Donruss (inserts, parallels), Elite (s/n), Leather & Lumber (ins), Studio (ins), WS Heroes (ins, par),  ....

I tell you what sets I have, and you tell me if you need stuff from them.  Then I go check your lists for those sets and we make a trade.  That popcorn you had lined up will have to be used for game highlights and pitbull videos, but you might get some trades going right away.  (Even though a lot of you are trying to cut back).

Keep in mind that I will be trading heavily in your favor when I can.  I am not after equal volume or value with these.  I will also sell, especially to recoup some of the cash I put out for the whole thing (which averages out to about $35 for a whole monster box) so my rates on filling a 400 count box will be quite a bit lower than your average dealer.

So I leave it to you.  What do you want to see?  Do you want to just experience looking through all 9 baseball boxes?  Or would you prefer a more detailed static inventory?  Or a combination of two or more? 

Monday, March 09, 2020

The Shining Stars Of Night

The Captain of Cardboard Composition, the Shepherd of Sport in Spencerian Script, the Pioneer and President of Prolific Player Prose - you know who he is - Night Owl, has struck again!

A few Nationals from off the beaten path.  I'm guessing that Kieboom is Archives or something ... checking TCDB ... Yep!  Very cool blue Fire Turner.  The lighter blue tinted area is actually silver foil in real life.  And the Scherzer Sweatsuit card is a leather ... I mean gold version. 

One more Nats parallel.  Rookie Cup Chrome Soto.  Sounds like a drink you could order at a coffee bar.  "Gimme a cup of Chrome Soto, please."  Though if I drink a Coke too fast, I get half a buzz, so I don't mess with coffee. 
But I digress...

These came frikkin' fast, 'cause N.O. had just mentioned that he had an extra Mays insert like two days ago, et voilà!  The NAPpy was a bonus!

As was this Then & Now with Reggie and Bo Jac...I mean Jorge Soler.

Well, they have the same basic expression on their faces and everything.  Plus the blue background....

Three fantastic retail Ginter minis.  These are almost as cool as the dogs.

Speaking of which...  I have to admit, due to a lapse in bookkeeping, this is actually a dupe.  But I might send it off to a friend who has a Frenchy or an Instagram model that has one for an autograph.

Now we're getting to some major star power.  I always dread when Trout and Ohtani are still on my want lists for inserts.  They aren't found too often in with the rest of the singles.  So it's a great relief to get them here.

Continuing that theme, here's Trout from 2019 Stadium Club along with Lindor's Warp Speed.  Bonus points for the Trek reference, Topps!

Again with the Titans of Taters.  Ohtani, Lindor, and KG Jr. are off my lists!

Thanks so much, Greg!  I knew as soon as I saw the return address I was in for some good stuff!

What big stars are you often stuck seeking set after set?

Saturday, March 07, 2020

Collector's Log: Stardate 198210.05

It's October 1982, time for postseason baseball!

My buddy Mike had a nice workbench setup in his basement, and we did a lot of models there.  This particular one was for my stepfather at the time.  Not sure if this is the exact kit or not, but it looked something like this:

I remember the wheels distinctly.  This was when Knight Rider was popular, so it had something to do with that.  Don didn't end up owning the real thing.  He got one of the first year Fieros later, and stashed it away for a long time.  I might have painted the Trans Am black, with a little red tint on the middle between the headlights...

Here are the lineups for the Brewers Angels ALCS Game 1.  I left after the fourth inning, when it was 7-3 Angels.  They added a run in the 5th and that was it.

Tommy John pitched a complete game.  You don't see that in the postseason much any more.  Baseball Reference doesn't even mention the pitch counts.  Hadn't noticed the subtle difference between the photos in his '83 Topps cards until just now.

Both of these guys did the same thing the next day.  Angels win again.  Vuckovich pitched 8 in the loss.  Must be why he looks grumpy.

Over in the NL, the other Championship Series was starting after a rainout.

Bob Forsch, who looks a bit like Carlton Fisk in some of his cards, also pitched a complete game shutout with six strikeouts, and had two hits, a run, and an RBI.  These days, a pitcher would be out of the lineup the rest of the week after a performance like that.

I was apparently rooting for the Angels, which is no surprise, since Mike was an Angels fan full time.  Plus, they had Don Baylor, Doug DeCinces, and Bobby Grich, three of my player collection guys.

There's that guy in the Trans Am again...
Remington Steele was one of my favorite shows at the time.  You can see why Pierce Brosnan got the role of James Bond a little while after this.

A psychic moment on my part.  Pitch #136 went over the wall in center off the bat of my guy Baylor.

Gretchen was the German Shepherd that I grew up with.  She didn't have the typical color markings of an average shepherd.  She was light tan all over and just a streak of black on her tail (and the nose, of course).

This one's probably from about 1974 or so
We were both raised together from pups.  She was a great family dog.  I remember one time we couldn't find her until we heard her collar tags clinking against the bath faucet ~ she had climbed into the tub to hide from a thunderstorm.

I don't believe this was an instance in which we used ammo of any kind.  More like we ran around yelling "pew pew pew" and "bang bang".  I liked putting the gear on, but the game was never my favorite in any form.

Now we knew who was playing in the Series...

And it didn't start well for the Cardinals.  I was still rooting against Milwaukee.  I collect Cecil Cooper, but again, the Cards had more guys than that.  Keith Hernandez, Bruce Sutter, and Gene Tenace off the bench have their own sections in one of my binders here.

I still have a wooden sorting tray I made with 30 card-sized compartments and a hole for your finger to pull the stack from within each one.  But I don't recall what the "lineup tray" was except that I know I used to lay out the batting orders in cards when watching games at home back in the day.

Next time: Who wins the series? and Mom puts one over on me!