Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Too Much "Hoozat Dude"?

Was browsing blogs today and saw the first post about the new 2023 Topps Flagship cards.  I really haven't read very many posts about them, but a couple other people said there had been a whole lot of hype around the new issues.  I guess it's all on social media now instead of across dozens of blogs, so that's why I haven't encountered any.

I've said it a lot - I stopped caring about the flagship set after 2020.  When the pandemic messed up the season, and then even when they could play, there were no fans, I really lost interest in watching baseball.  It just got weird.

Another contributing factor was that my two local teams weren't very good.  The Orioles did make impressive progress this past year, but I still didn't keep up with them.  And the Nationals have purged all but a couple players from their championship season, so I couldn't tell you who plays for them now.

That statement is true for the rest of the league as well.  Since I don't watch, I don't know the players very well anywhere.  Except for the stars and some of the regular starters.  

Got me to thinking - How many players in Series 1 do I recognize by name?  

Hmm, not bad.  They're getting closer to real LL cards

So I found a checklist that I could paste into a spreadsheet and then went through and separated the team cards, the league leaders, and the special combo cards.  Those account for 35 cards of the 330 in Series 1.

Of the 295 players that are left, I kept the ones I knew well - the stars like Juan Soto, Bryce Harper, Kris Bryant, etc.

And the names that I recognize from years before, either watching games or on the cards.  The Marcus Stromans, Darin Rufs, Alex Verdugos of the world.  Guys I recall names, but might not be able to pick out of a lineup.

I made a third column of names that were sort of familiar, but I wasn't positive.  Guys I may have heard of, but have no clue about otherwise.  Tyler Stephenson, Kendall Graveman, Matt Chapman, and three guys named Duran.  (Only one of which I probably have heard of - most likely via rookie hype in cards.)

I got nothin'.  Cool uni though...

The rest I deleted from the list.  Sorry, never heard of you...

My totals look like this:

Known players = 105

Unsure players = 31

Team/LL/Special cards = 35

So basically, the conclusion is that I only know about 30% of Series 1.  Maybe 40% if you fudge the numbers for the uncertain ones.  Now I do understand that Series 1 is only half the set.  And they sometimes keep the bigger names for Series 2.

But in the end, it's still way too few to be spending time & money chasing their cards.  And I even like the design for once.  Guess that's why I can't relate to collecting stuff like Bowman.

It was even more pathetic for my favorite teams.  I recognize four guys (out of 11 + team card) from the Orioles and a whole ONE guy from the Nationals (out of 10+ team card).  Sheesh!   I kept seeing O's & Nats as I was deleting a lot of the rookies.  I killed almost all the listings with "RC" next to them.

How many of the players in Series 1 do you recognize?  And does it affect your enthusiasm for the cards?  

Sunday, February 12, 2023

The Crown Jewels Of A Database Trade

It's about an hour and a half until the Super Bowl kicks off this evening and I'm avoiding the television but still sitting behind a screen as usual.  Been making some great trades on the Trading Card Database site, but this will be the first loot post for one of those.  

This batch was part of a trade with user CFoster11_23 that also included a lot of baseball list hits and Washington football singles from my wants.  I selected just under 250 cards, and sent 386.  That's the kind of trade I like, though I need to move out a lot of stuff, so if the ratio was higher, I don't mind a bit.

I shipped two major batches from the same sets off - 2015 Score football and 2019 Topps baseball.  I got this killer starter for 1998 Pacific Crown Royale baseball.

Nope that's just the beginning....

Ka-Blam!  I only need about 22 cards for the rest of the base set.  

While looking at these on the Database, I noticed the images were only at about 70%.  I figured I might as well try to fill them in, but I knew these wouldn't drop through my bulk scanner very well.  Boy, these are tough to scan even on a flatbed!  With only one straight edge, you have to align them with the edges of the glass plate.  And then the middle is open, so I put a regular card against the edge and lined up one CR card and then slid the other card away.  Not easy to keep them from moving.  Then you have to flip them over and do it again!  I got the first few dozen done and had to quit.  Will revisit that later.

Here's what the backs look like.  Those straight sections low on the sides aren't 90° angles either.

They do look cool all stacked up together.  Almost makes a 3-D crown.

Believe it or not, I got inserts too!  And two of them are complete sets!

These All-Stars are nice looking.  And how's THAT for fancy die-cutting? 

I'm sure these get beat to hell in the wild.  It'll probably be fun finding the other 17 with the points intact.

The whole set of Diamond Knights - which is only printed under the secondary photo on the back.

All of these cards are shiny like Pacifics generally were.

This was back in the late 90's when Roy Firestone was a prominent journalist.  There are 26 of these.

The other complete stack are the Pillars Of The Game.  Silver shiny in big doses.

Finally, there are these game-looking cards - Home Run Fever. 

Never seen this before, but if you press a thumb on the spots...

They reveal the numbers behind.  But it's not permanent like a scratch-off....

I opened the window and let the cool air flow across it, and they turned black again.  Cool!

My wants are up on the Baseball tab.  Will definitely be putting these in pages and a binder.  

How many of you like die-cut and ornate Pacific products?