Monday, June 18, 2018

2017-18 Panini Essentials Value Pack

The NBA Draft is this week, which feels like a weird thing to say because the Finals just concluded. Panini keeps rolling out more NBA releases no matter what the calendar says. Here's a new one I just discovered.

EL-15 - Reggie Miller Essential Legends - The inserts and parallels were bunched up at the beginning of the pack, which is strange. They are all thicker than the base cards.

ES-10 - Karl-Anthony Towns Essential Stars - One of the bright young stars of the league.

154 - Kristaps Porzingis Orange - This is, I believe, a one per pack retail parallel which is also thicker than the base cards. Porzingis is probably hoping the Knicks will get him some help in the draft.

148 - Dirk Nowitzki - Here's what the base looks like. It's a pretty intense design, but I kind of like it.

147 - Pau Gasol - Here's a look at the back design. Like Dirk before him, Pau is another longtime veteran big man.

146 - Spencer Dinwiddie - Like the rest of the later Panini releases in this year's calendar, the cards show off the new Nike jerseys. It looks like they missed a few letters in 'Brooklyn'.

145 - Joel Embiid - I really like Embiid, but I'm not totally sure why.

144 - E'Twaun Moore

143 - Antonio Blakeney - I have no idea who Blakeney is, but he's a rookie and I didn't watch much of the Bulls this season. They're starting to turn into the Bucks, pre-Giannis days, to me.

60 - Stephen Curry - We all know this guy.

59 - John Wall

58 - Kyle Collinsworth - Another rook that I haven't heard of.

56 - Kyrie Irving - Irving carried the Celtics this season, got hurt, and then they carried on just fine without him.

57 - George Hill

55 - Elfrid Payton - I was happy to hear that Payton finally got this thing cut off his head recently.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

2018 Topps Series 1 Miller Park Giveaway


Hope everyone is doing well.  Back on Monday, The Wifey, the boys, and my mother in law took my father in law to General Mitchell International Airport; he was flying out of Milwaukee for a conference in New Jersey.  I didn't find out until the day after that while I was working and sleeping (preparing for the overnight working), after the gang dropped him off at the airport, they all decided to catch the Cubs - Brewers game at Miller Park.  Lucky them.

They didn't stay the whole game (my mother in law has a thing about leaving early if it's a blowout or if she gets worried about traffic), which is unfortunate for them.  However, they did enjoy rooting for the Cubbies among the Brew Crew fans.

While I was given their game recap, I was told the boys were given baseball cards when they got into the park.  I checked online later and didn't see that it was on the Brewers' official promotional list.  They gave me the cards so that I could post them for all to's 2 promo packs of 2018 Topps Series 1!

They stayed til after the Sausage Race...the Chorizo won.
They were each given a clear package of 4 Topps Series 1 cards as well as a promo card for Topps Now and the upcoming National Baseball Card Day.  Here's what they got:

#40 - Carlos Santana
#346 - Max Scherzer (League Leaders)

As you can see, these are regular cards, nothing fancy about them.  I was kinda bummed about that, hoping they got some sort of Stadium exclusive release or something.

#231 - Joe Mauer
#144 - Jean Segura

The Mariners are in first place!

Here's pack two:

#164 - Adeiny Hechavarria
#20 - Chris Sale

#64 - Giancarlo Stanton (League Leaders)
#36 - Anthony Rendon

The Marlins aren't in first place!

Here are some backs, as well as the front and back of the promo card:

Anyway, those are the packs.  Series 2 was just released but APTBNL has kinda been going retro in recent months, so we're a little behind.  I should be rectifying that unless others beat me to it.  As always, thanks for reading!

Saturday, June 09, 2018

2015-16 Panini Excalibur

We have a local retail variety chain in Oregon that has a sports cards section. Occasionally that section has some interesting older packs, which is where I came to find these Excalibur packs from a couple of years ago at what I assume is a discounted price. The NBA season may have come to a close, but we can still open a pack or two around here.

37 - Al-Farouq Aminu - First up is a guy from my team. The Blazers found Aminu at an affordable price when they were attempting to rebuild, and he became an integral part of the team. He probably could technically be classified as a 3&D guy, but he's not a very conventional player.

75 - Jabari Parker - There's no photo on the backs of these cards, and very little room for stats. The Bucks logo is hypnotizing, and somewhat frightening. Fear the deer, indeed.

69 - Reggie Jackson - Mr. October.

64 - C.J. Miles - I would always get C.J. Miles and C.J. Watson confused, though I think the latter might be out of the league now.

65 - John Wall Crusade - These very swanky Crusade inserts are almost worth the price of the pack themselves. I'm not sure if the pattern here is supposed to be a camo look or Atari 2600. Maybe a little of both?

193 - Richaun Holmes - Holmes in a back-up center for the young Sixers squad. Does that make him officially part of The Process?

138 - Vince Carter - I hope Vince never retires.

135 - Chandler Parsons - And we end things with a nice throwback jersey. One of the things I dislike about the new Nike deal with the NBA is that most teams seem to have abandoned the throwback concept.

Friday, June 08, 2018

1991 Pacific I Love Lucy

For those too young to know, "I Love Lucy" was a beloved TV show back when it first aired in the 1950's. In 1991 (presumably for the 40th anniversary of the show's launch in 1951), Pacific and CBS created a 100-card set to commemorate the show's history.

The front of each card features a pink border. And, I do mean pink - like Pepto. There are hearts around each picture and the pink outer border is offset (inset?) by another border that's a darker pink with blue lines. The "I Love Lucy" heart logo from the show is feature in the lower corner of the card face. There is also a line or two of text which goes along with the featured image. The image is generally a still captured from the show and is shown in original black-and-white. Some images, though, are color.

The card above on the right is from the "lost" Christmas special which aired (in the colorized version shown) 62 years after the show's debut! Holy cow! (See what I did there? I tied in the other card's "moo-moo..." Okay, never mind.)

The middle image shows Lucy pretending to be a mannequin. I am particularly taken with the name of the store, as you might imagine (should you be scratching your head, it's my last name). I happen to also be enamored by the fact it features a scene from a fur store. You sure don't see many of those these days...

The card backs also feature a pink border with a darker pink/blue inset border. Inside the inner border, a drawn image of the cast takes up the top 3rd, roughly. There is a heart shape taking up the majority of the back. Inside the heart, information about the image featured on the front and/or tidbits about the show in general. At the bottom, the show's logo, the Pacific logo, the card number and copyright info.

You can find the complete checklist at TradingcardDB.

Thursday, June 07, 2018

2017-18 Panini Prestige Basketball Fat Pack


Hope everyone is doing well.  The NBA Finals are winding down with it being a foregone conclusion that the Warriors will lock up the title.  I hoped the greatness of LeBron would make it interesting, but one man cannot take down an entire team.  Is this good for the NBA?  I don't see how it is...I don't have as much fun watching the season as I used to.

Anyway, it's been a while since we had a basketball pack on the site, so why not commemorate the Finals with a pack of 2017-18 Panini Prestige!

This pack of 30 cards cost $5, as opposed to dropping $3 for an 8 card pack.  I don't know if there was some sort of price structure change (2 years ago madding paid 5 bucks for 10 cards!), but I'll take it.

We all kinda know what to expect with Panini, so lets get to it...6 cards per shot:

#78 - Nerlens Noel
#35 - JaMychal Green
#59 - Buddy Hield
#17 - Derrick Rose
#74 - Evan Fournier
#55 - Alec Burks

Not a bad look to the set.  It appears the borders are a slight adjustment from that year's NFL version.  The Prestige logo can get in the way of the photo like in that Buddy card.

#13 - Justin Holiday
#70 - Brook Lopez
#27 - DeAndre Jordan
#51 - Rudy Gobert
#21 - Terrance Ferguson (Micro Etch Rookies Green Parallel)
#77 - Harrison Barnes (Rain Parallel)

The Ferguson and the Barnes cards were flipped over in the pack.  I'm pretty sure these are the Green and Rain parallels the pack referred to.  Unfortunately, most of the cards in the pack have a pretty noticeable ding on one of the corners, as you can see on the Ferguson.

#103 - Avery Bradley (Rain Parallel)
#19 - Reggie Miller (All-Time Greats)
#10 - Kawhi Leonard (Stat Stars)
#5 - Kevin Durant (Stars Of The NBA)
#7 - Scottie Pippen (All-Time Greats)
#3 - Jayson Tatum (Rookie Class - Rain Parallel)

I don't remember if the Bradley card was also flipped over, but the Tatum Parallel was.  The "rain" stands out a little more on that Rookie Class set.  Not sure if getting 2 All-Time Greats in a pack is the norm or a collation thing.  Stars Of The NBA seems unnecessary...why not just an All-Star Game subset?

#130 - Andre Roberson
#189 - Thomas Bryant (RC)
#126 - Russell Westbrook
#165 - Justin Jackson (RC)
#146 - John Wall
#196 - Furkan Korkmaz (RC)

Back to the base.  Here the checklist if you are interested.  200 card set, with the last 50 being rookies.  This leaves 5 cards per team...not sure how they chose who's in.  For example, Tony Parker is not one of the 5 Spurs.

#198 - Sindarius Thornwell (RC)
#120 - Rudy Gay
#174 - Tyler Lydon (RC)
#115 - Trevor Ariza
#195 - Milos Teodosic (RC)
#110 - C.J. Miles

Here are the backs of the inserts (I didn't scan a regular card, but I think you all can assume what it looks like...and you're right):

If I counted right, Panini / Donruss released 24 NBA card sets in the 2017-18 card year (retail / hobby / high end).  It seems to me that most of these sets are the same, just different amounts of glossy / foil / whatever.  Then again, I don't have samples from all the sets, it just seems to be the way Panini operates.

Anyway, that's the pack.  Enjoy what's left of the Finals, and thanks for reading!

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

1991 Champs Hi Flyers Motocross

All things early 1990s trading cards were on fire back in the day.  We were all supposed to get rich, or die trying.  These 1991 Premier Edition Champs Hi Flyers Motocross Trading Cards, with their pink and purply pack, were going to get us there.  Heck, they even threw in a free sticker to make you feel like you were getting a deal because they were "too hot to hold down!"  Good stuff all around.  There are 10 cards in this pack so grab your favorite spirit and kick up your feet, it is time to cash these bad boys in.

Congratulations are in order.  I have chosen wisely.

I was going to do these individually, but I don't know any motocross racers so you get these 8 in one photo.  I kind of like the design with the 1990s Saved-By-The-Bell style background on the cards.  I think the best card I got was the Mike LaRocco who was elected to the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 2014.

I scored a Jeff Stanton card who was elected to the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 2000.  Here is my obligatory sticker and limited offer for a hat and race cap.  Actually, that shirt is pretty sweet and I went onto eBay to see if I could buy one.  No luck, but I am keeping an eye out.

Here is a shot of the back.  Mac here is sporting a great 'stache and a sweet mullet.  For those that can't read the impossibly small writing on the back, Mac is 23 and single.  Watch out ladies....

There you have it.  Did anyone collect any of these back in the day?

Monday, June 04, 2018

1993 Pro Set

Pro Set football cards were released at the height of my interest in professional football. They had a lot going for them at the time, especially in that the photos looked great and the prices were right. Unfortunately, they flew too close to the sun and things fell apart quickly. One of the first I looked into when I returned to card collecting was to find out whatever happened to Pro Set. Here's a pack I bought online recently from 1993, the company's last full set of NFL cards.

14 - Johnny Bailey Stat Leaders - I had never seen this set before, so I knew that the first card would be a surprise, no matter what it looked like.

369 - Mike Tomczak - On first glimpse, the design isn't great, but it still contains most of the elements that made me interested in the 1990 and 1991 sets. (The absurdly low prices for entire boxes were a big draw, too.) That '93 Pro Set' logo is awful and almost unreadable, however.

179 - Keith McCants - Here's a look at the back. A second full color photo is a nice touch. These are pretty light on stats (last 3 seasons), even when looking at offensive players at skill positions.

259 - Chris Doleman - Another sign that I used to be a lot more interested in the NFL than I am now is that I've actually heard of most of the players in this pack. I'm sure I couldn't say the same about a pack from 2018, even though my favorite team just won the Super Bowl.

444 - Mark Rypien - Speaking of Super Bowls, here's a former Super Bowl MVP.

399 - Steve Young - Back to back Super Bowl MVPs, in fact.

114 - Vinny Testaverde - And here comes Vinny to break the streak we had going.

 79 - Jim Harbaugh - So many quarterbacks.

210 - Patrick Bates - Bates was a rookie safety in 1993.

30 - Troy Aikman - Another star QB and Super Bowl MVP.

60 - Vinnie Clark - Not the best photo here. I'm not sure if Pro Set still had access to the NFL's photo archives at this point or not.

41 - Mark Stepnoski - Here's Aikman again, this time behind his center.

1 - Marco Coleman - Coleman was Pro Set's Rookie of the Year. The actual ROYs that season were Carl Pickens (offense) and Dale Carter (defense).

220 - Greg Robinson - Another Raiders rookie.

 150 - Edgar Bennett - Finally, here's Bennett, a big back who won a ring with Brett Favre's Packers.