Saturday, June 03, 2023

2023 Chip Ganassi Racing

I got an oddball pack ready to be opened . It's this year's Chip Ganassi Racing trading card set. It's the first time the team put out a trading card set. The set consist of 37 cards with 6 cards being autographed and numbered to 100. The pack contains 8 cards. I obtained the pack when they offered it on their social media page last month for $10 a pack with all proceeds going to American Legion. I jumped at chance to and it came in today. I have a few singles from the card set back in April at Texas Motor Speedway during the autograph signing when CGR drivers Scott Dixon, Alex Palou, and Takuma Sato gave them out after autographing the cards. Time to open the pack.

CGR-02 - Scott Dixon - six time Indycar champion and 2008 Indy 500 winner. He's currently 2nd all-time in wins behind legendary A. J. Foyt. I already have this card autographed by him. Nicknamed "The Iceman"
CGR-05 - Marcus Armstrong - his first season in Indycar driving only on road and street courses with Takuma Sato driving on ovals. Currently the leading rookie in Indycar this season despite not driving in two races, both of them ovals. There's a chance he might drive an oval this season. The official driver entry list for car no. 11 listed as TBA for the Gateway race.
CGR-08 - Sebatien Bourdais - former Indycar and Formula 1 driver turned to driving IMSA sports car full time joining the factory-back Cadillac team last year. Won three races last year and have already picked up a win this season at Laguna Seca.
CGR-10 - Earl Bramber - a driver I never heard til now. He's driving the team's Cadillac hypercar in World Endurance Championship along with IMSA. Took home a victory at 12 Hours of Sebring last year in the DPi class along with two other drivers.
CGR-13 - R.J. Anderson - another driver I never heard along another series. He's driving GMC Hummer EV in the Extreme E series. Found out Extreme E series debut in 2021.
CGR-30 - a foil card talking about team's successes from last year. This one about Earl Bramber winning 12 Hours of Sebring in the DPi class.

CGR-16 - another foil card. Scott Dixon became the all-time Indy 500 lap leader passing 4-time Indy 500 winner the late Al Unser, Sr. He dominated the race but ends in tears when he got penalized for going over the pit speed.
CGR-24 - the final card is a foil card. Scott Dixon won the pit stop competition at Nashville street course. Wouldn't it be much better to say he also win the race breaking the tie with Mario Andretti becoming the sole no. 2 in the all-time wins list?

Hope you enjoy the oddball pack from Chip Ganassi Racing. Even though they sold out of pack hope they offer more later on this season. If you catch Indycar race in person there's a chance you get a card from one of the drivers during the autograph signing. Indycar Detroit Grand Prix is this weekend. Let's see if the team's four drivers can take pole and win the race.

Friday, May 26, 2023

2022-2023 Panini NBA Hoops Value Pack


Hope everyone is doing well.  The NBA Finals are quickly approaching.  Joker and the Nuggets are waiting to see if Miami can seal the deal or if Boston can pull off the impossible.  Anyway, I'm finally kinda on time with a basketball post:

While fans eagerly wait for Topps to get back into the NBA card game, Panini continues to churn out dozens of sets.  I like the shiny as much as the next guy, but I also want to sample cards and still have some money left in the wallet.  Hoops is still on the inexpensive side at 7 bucks a Value Pack, so I'm in:

#28 - Immanuel Quickley
#85 - Clint Capela
#43 - Dalano Banton
#1 - Jayson Tatum

Here's what the release looks like.  You can't really tell from the picture, but the space surrounding the border is gray at the top and slowly turns white by the bottom.  Players can also pop out of the border, 1988 Topps Baseball-style.  The stars under the player's name seems unnecessary.  I do like the border color matching the team colors though.

#50 - George Hill
#8 - Grant Williams
#66 - Darius Garland
#24 - Derrick Rose

I came across an article discussing the NBA's uniforms.  I was looking for something that can break down why a team appears to have more than 3 jerseys to wear.  Yeah, I know it's because money, but I didn't know it's been the Wild Wild West since 2017.  Thanks, Nike.

#184 - Robert Covington
#141 - Brandon Ingram
#198 - Jarred Vanderbilt
#156 - Joe Wieskamp

Take, for instance, the baby blue Clippers uniforms Covington's sporting.  Nice throwback.  Apparently, this was their City Edition jersey.  The uniforms Jarred and Joe are wearing?  That's their Association uniform.  There's no longer a Home and Away jersey, but rather silly things like Icon, Statement, and Earned.  

I didn't mind the Alternate jersey back in the 90's.  Then again, I'm following the Bulls...Jordan in the home whites and away reds, with the occasional alternate blacks to freak the opponents out a little.  Now a team could have as many as 6 uniforms, and wear them whenever they want, as long as they're not similar to their opponents (the Timberwolves and Spurs couldn't wear their Association uniforms against each other).

#136 - Jaren Jackson Jr.
#193 - Jeff Green
#110 - Mo Bamba
#168 - Landry Shamet

Mo Bamba's wearing the Orlando City Edition jersey.  But that's not this year's City Edition Jersey!  Yep, teams can swap them out for new designs from year to year.  I hope someone at Nike or the NBA did their research to find out how profitable all these uniforms are, but I'm just annoyed by it.  I'm sure I'm not the only one.

#280 - Tyrese Martin (RC)
#210 - Anfernee Simons
#251 - Christian Braun (RC)
#283 - Jabari Smith Jr. (Hoops Tribute)

The set was released back in January.  There's 300 cards in the set, with the rookie cards starting at #231 and the Hoops Tribute cards (honoring the 1992-93 set) starting at #281.  Some players have 2 cards in the base set, with their second card in Hoops Tribute.  

#246 - AJ Griffin (RC)
#209 - Josh Hart
#245 - Mark Williams (RC)
#282 - Chet Holmgren (Hoops Tribute)

Chet was the #2 pick in the draft, but did not play this year due to a foot injury in August.  That didn't stop him from getting some All-Star votes.

#240 - Johnny Davis
#204 - Darius Bazley
#67 - Evan Mobley (Teal Explosion Parallel)

We've reached the inserts section of the pack.  Yes, the inserts are found at the end of the pack.  I'm only guessing the Mobley is the Teal Explosion Parallel mentioned on the pack wrapper.

#13 - Jalen Duren (Rookie Greetings)
#20 - Malaki Branham (Arriving Now)
#272 - Luke Travers (RC) (Purple Parallel)

As usual, Panini does it's best Han Solo impression and never tells us the odds.  Again, I'm assuming the Travers RC is a Purple Parallel.

Here are the backs because playoffs:

Anyway, that's the pack.  It's standard Hoops, and other than the lack of stats (they had a 5 years on the back a few years ago) it's fine by me.  Hurry up, Topps!  I want to see 20 years of stats on the back of a LeBron card!

Have a great weekend, and thanks for reading!

Sunday, May 14, 2023

Topps I ♥ Bunnies

Last year I made a post on Topps packages on panda figures. I found something similar yesterday at a trip to Target this time with bunnies. It's the year of the rabbit. Like the motto of this site, we rip anything. $4 later this what I got.

A fuzzy green rabbit name Gumdrop. There are 14 figures to collect. Here's the checklist
A cute nice item to give to your kids.

Tuesday, May 02, 2023

2022 Topps Home Run Challenge


Hope everyone's doing well.  Like my other recent posts, I was planning to put this up during Spring Training to hype up the upcoming baseball season.  But we are well into baseball season now, so the hype is unnecessary.

I have yet to see a post in the blogosphere from someone who wrote about the Home Run Challenge, so here goes:

The Topps Home Run Challenge started back in 2018.  You could get special cards in packs (usually in Flagship) of a MLB star player.  There is a scratch off area on the back of the card; if you choose to reveal the code, you would then register the code on the Topps website.  After registration, you would then choose the date in which you think the player will hit a home run.  If you are correct, you win a card of that player.  I have no idea if there's one code assigned to the player, if the player has multiple codes, or some other goofy thing.

In case you were wondering what date(s) Ol' Jafronius would choose, it's pretty simple.  My boys (June 23 and September 18), The Wifey (August 3), and I (July 16) all have birthdays during baseball season, so depending on when I remember to submit my entry, I would choose one of those days, or something close to it if the player was off that day.

I tried my luck back in 2018 and 2019 and was unsuccessful.  For every guy I thought I had a chance with, like Ronald Acuna, Jr (67 HRs in those 2 years) or Matt Carpenter (51 long bombs in 2018 and 2019), I also had to roll the dice with Scott Schebler (only 19 homers in 2018 and 2019 combined) and Joey Votto (27 total in those 2 years).  I didn't play in 2020 or 2021; I assume I didn't care about it due to The Virus.  When 2022 rolled around, it was time to try again:

#HRC-6 - Aaron Judge (Home Run Challenge)

Judge was my first HRC pull, found in a rack pack of Topps Series 1.  This was probably what kick-started my wish to play again, since hey, if you'd bank on someone to hit a homer, it would be Aaron.

Welp, there goes that plan. 

If the code wasn't scratched off, I very likely would have won.  Using my birthdate strategy, Judge homered against the Red Sox on July 16, and hit 2 against the Brewers on September 18.

I also picked up a blaster of Series 1 around the same time:

#HRC-24 - Freddy Freeman (Home Run Challenge)

Freddy was the second player I got to play with twice, with the aforementioned Matt Carpenter going 0-for-2 in the 2019 HRC.

My guess is the ink used for the Judge code was much lighter for whatever reason.

Freddy was with the Dodgers at the start of the 2022 season so I used LA's schedule.  He failed to homer on The Wifey's birthday in 2018, so I tried my birthday instead:

At the 4:50 mark, boom!

Notice the option to "Double Down" on the back of the card; if I wanted to, I could risk not winning a card or getting a parallel card if the blast went more than 425 feet.  I chose not to "Double Down", and Freeman's bomb went 399 feet, so winner, winner, chicken dinner!

I got the card back in mid-September.  The card came in a case covered in bubble wrap.  

#HRCW-24 - Freddie Freeman (Home Run Challenge Winner) #56/206

I would have appreciated a follow-through swing for Freddie, since the card celebrated him hitting a home run.  I'm assuming the 206 is the total print run for winners choosing Freeman to homer sometime in July.  I don't know if I was the 56th winner or if I was randomly chosen to receive #56.

I do know there's an insert card in 2023 Topps celebrating the homer!

Moving on, I was able to get another card in a Topps Series 2 blaster pack:

#HRC-12 - Bo Bichette (Home Run Challenge)

As you can see, the code is unused.  I must have forgotten I had Bo when I entered my codes.  Turns out it was no big deal, since he did not homer on any of my family's birthdates.

I came across one more card in a Rack Pack of Series 2:

#HRC-2 - Juan Soto (Home Run Challenge)

If I got Juan at the start of the season, I would have been using Soto with Washington's schedule for a June and July entry.  By the time I got the card, he had already been traded to San Diego.   I had already missed my August window, so September it was...

...however Ol' Jafronius totally forgot to put the entry in for my son's birthday!  It was a bummer too, because he hit one that night against Arizona.  I looked at the rest of the schedule and saw that they were playing the Rockies in Colorado that weekend, so I randomly chose September 23:

Woo!  Unfortunately, I once again did not choose to "Double Down," and lost out on a parallel card.  Soto's homer went 440 feet.

I got the card in late November, in the same type of packaging as the Freeman card.

#HRCW-31 - Juan Soto (Home Run Challenge Winner) #63/370

Since Freeman kept the same number even though he changed teams, I would have assumed the Soto card number would have been HRCW-2.  There are only 30 cards in the checklist, so I don't know how high the numbering went.

Anyway, those are the cards.  Hope the tale was entertaining for you all.  Enjoy the rest of the week, and thanks for reading!

Friday, April 21, 2023

2022 Topps Heritage Minor League Baseball

Minor league season started few weeks ago. How about a pack from last year's Topps Heritage set? Will mention the player's current club as well this year's prospect status with the organization.

55 - Johan Rojas - currently on Phillies AA club Reading. He's the no. 6 prospect in the Phillies organization.

167 - Jeferson Quero - currently on Brewers AA club Biloxi. He's the no. 5 prospect in the Brewers organization.
59 - Everson Pereira - currently on Yankees AA club Somerset. He's the no. 6 prospect in the Yankees organization.
73PC-18 - Oscar Colas - Insert card of Colas. Currently up in the majors with Chicago White Sox.
111 - Robert Hassell - I'm already amassing accidental Hassell collection. 2020 8th overall pick got packaged to the Nationals as part of Juan Soto trade. This year's no. 2 prospect in the Nationals organization. Started the season on the injured list and as of this writing in Fredricksburg for rehab assignment.

141 - Henry Davis - subset of player's childhood baseball photos. Ranked no.3 as Pirates top prospect this year. Spent the March with Pirates spring training team. Currently on their AA club Altoona.

118 - Michael Toglia - currently on Rockies AAA club Albuquerque.

187 - Francisco Alvarez, Henry Davis, Diego Cartaya - you have two no. 1 prospects in their organizations on this card. Alvarez is the Mets top prospect and Cartaya is the Dodgers top prospect. Alvarez started the season in Syracuse til he got called up to the Mets after the team got hit with injury woes. Cartaya currently on Dodger AA club Tulsa.

Let's see if the remaining 8 players make it to the majors in the future.

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

2022 Topps Garbage Pail Kids x MLB Series 1


One of the casualties of 2022's on demand products was this crossover of Garbage Pail Kids and MLB. I forget which month I ordered this, but the pack/box finally came at the end of February 2023. This set features exclusive art by Keith Shore, however I wasn't sure what to think as I didn't care for his take on previous on demand products like Project 2020. I'm glad I didn't try to cancel the order because once the pack/box came I was fairly happy with the cards in hand. Let's take a look.

All of these cards are based off original GPK designs, just "touched" up by Keith. My favorite of this lot by far is the card of Albert Pujols. This is based off the card Roy Bot...

I don't recall what the odds were on pulling a numbered parallel, but this Braves fan got lucky!

Bronze "Rinsed Off Ronald" 01/50!

I am a fan of most of the Garbage Pail Kids releases and this one is no different. The only thing I'm not a fan of is the price. Packs I believe were $20 when they first went on sale, which was already expensive, but now they go for about x2 to x3 times that...if you can find them. Series 2 I believe is coming, but I'm not sure I'm going to bother. While these are cool, my money can go further with other GPK sets like the current Vacation series.