Tuesday, December 29, 2020

2020 Topps Allen and Ginter Chrome

Seems we've gotten more than our fair share of Chrome this card season.  I'll be honest both the Stadium Club and Allen and Ginter look great chromed out, but I don't know if we need a whole separate product for these.  I think it would be a lot nicer if they were inserts in the regular release.  But that's just my opinion.  

Ginter Chrome is a beautiful set, but autos are case hits and color per box is scarce as well.  Here are the odds and the NPN info.

Let's see who I got.  Won't take too long only 4 cards per pack and one of those is a mini.

No rookies but out of this small sampling that's not unexpected.  At least they were all baseball players.

Here is my mini.

I'm not overly impressed with the non-sport mini selection. I think I would have rather just had base mini's with multiple back variations.  But still a fun pack to open and I hadn't been to my LCS in a couple months so it was nice to talk shop and support my LCS.

Friday, December 25, 2020

2020 Topps Stadium Club Chrome Blaster Exclusive Parallels


Merry Christmas, everyone! As a follow-up to last night's post, let's check out the bonus pack from a 2020 Stadium Club Chrome blaster.

350 - Danny Santana - Stadium Club Chrome gets the X-Fractor treatment here. This is card number 350, which shows that the Stadium Club Chrome set (400 cards) is actually significantly larger than the regular Stadium Club set (300 cards), despite getting significantly fewer cards for the same price. I doubt anyone is trying to put together this set, though. Apparently it began life as Stadium Club Chrome Update before dropping the "Update" portion of the name somewhere along the way.

272 - Don Mattingly - This one has sort of a copper look to it because of all of the dirt in the background.

356 - Miles Mikolas - How do people feel about X-Fractors these days? Is everyone tired of them? I suppose that they're kind of fun.

308 - Roger Clemens - It's the Rocket. I know what I'm really tired of: those Rocket Mortgage tv commercials. Please make them stop.

Thursday, December 24, 2020

2020 Topps Stadium Club Chrome


Merry Christmas Eve, everyone! Let's check out a new pack of shiny cards. 
In a year full of inessential releases by Topps, this one at least looks really nice. This is the first pack of my likely one and only blaster find of the new Stadium Club Chrome. Topps had a Stadium Club Chrome set (once?) back in 2000 if I'm not mistaken, so this could be considered a 20th anniversary of sorts.

60 - Josh Donaldson - It's not really an action shot, but Stadium Club can make even the most mundane photos look nice, especially when up against the other sets Topps puts out.

291 - Willson Contreras - Is he jumping for joy? Hahaha, I really have no idea what's happening here.

CALW - Logan Webb Autograph - By some sort of stroke of luck, I managed to pull an autograph out of the first pack of my only blaster. These fall at a rate of 1:19 packs, which means roughly 1 in every 4 to 5 blasters should have something special in it.

PZ-12 - Rhys Hoskins Power Zone - All of the inserts get the refractor treatment, so these look pretty nice.

264 - Cavan Biggio - It's Biggio the Younger out on the deserted landscape of the infield.

261 - Charlie Blackmon - The last one up is a Colorado Rocky. (Rockie? No, Rocky!)

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Panini 2019-20 NBA Player of the Day Gold Pack

 I received this pack as part of a prize on a twitter giveaway hosted by Steel City Collectibles @SCCTradingCards out of McKeesport, PA.  These are 2 card packs don't know to much about them and doesn't have odds if there were autos or relics possible om the pack.  I did hear of the 2 guys I got in my pack tho some guys Kobe & Giannis so not bad I know there were possible rookies so could have been Zion or Ja's. below is the pack and fronts and backs of both cards.

Sunday, December 20, 2020

2002 Leaf Baseball

 If there's one lesson to take away from the vast archives of this blog, it's that a pack doesn't need to contain the hottest rookie or the biggest hit to be enjoyable. In fact, it's often the complete opposite where one can gain the most.

That being said...sometimes it is really nice to get a cool card. And since this is more or less the only place I have to talk cards, I'd like to share such a story here!

Over the weekend, I went to our local card shop. I wanted something to open, but wasn't feeling any of the 2020 products. Instead, I turned to some odds and ends packs of my favorite time: the early 2000s.

That brings us to today's pack: 2002 Leaf baseball, the return of the base Leaf line to baseball.

A nice, if plain, wrapper design, though you might notice right away the big drawback to this product: only four cards per pack. From what I can tell, that kind of held it back (and led to the next three years bulking up those card-per-pack numbers).

Let's not hold that against the set, though, before we dig in and see the cards! For more set info, here's the BaseballCardPedia article with set info and checklists.

And may I just say: there were only two packs left in this box, sitting near the register. Never leave the last pack, right?

116 - Moises Alou: A solid veteran to start out our pack. We also get a taste of the classic "signed by" notation for someone changing teams. Definitely something that went by the wayside in the last decade or so. I've never decided if I like this strategy, versus just leaving the team logos to match the picture. What do you think?

41 - Ryan Klesko: Solid player for a number of years. I checked his Baseball Reference page, and I never realized how close to a 50-50 split his career was between Atlanta and San Diego (plus a one year Giants stint). Kinda cool to be that evenly split!

33 - Alfonso Soriano: I always remember him as being anointed as a "next-best-thing" for the Yankees, which will always lead to even more publicity. He had a solid career, though, and his 2002 season went on to be his best (leading the league in runs, hits, and stolen bases).

Let's take a brief pause to look at the card backs:

The design is clean, if a bit plain. Always like the new, large back photo, but I do miss having any text (or more than one season of stats). That being said, while the look doesn't necessarily fit by itself, those descriptors fit with those '90s Leaf designs. As a minor point, I do get a bit of enjoyment when the design of the pack wrapper gels with the design of the set itself.

Now then: I've foreshadowed this enough, so let's look at the surprise found in this pack. Check out that checklist again: If you could get a hit, what insert set would you want it to be from? I know what I'd pick, so getting this sure surprised the heck out of me:

Roger Clemens autograph! Numbered out of 50! While his star has lost a bit of luster in the past 18 years, I am still super pumped to pull this card, and it'll make a cool addition to my collection. It's wild to think this has been sitting in a loose pack, waiting on the counter of a card shop for 18 years to be purchased. 2002 Leaf is also where I pulled my first patch card (and one of my first relics) back in the day (Michael Barrett!), and I'm grateful for how well this set has treated me over the years.

As I write this up, I am thinking that this pack serves to give another definition of a great pack of cards: one that gives you a great story, or a fun memory of beating the odds. A pack that leaves you with a smile, and a happy recollection when you see its contents in your collection.

It also serves to reinforce another hobby truism: never leave the last pack!

Thursday, December 17, 2020

2020 Panini Rookies & Stars Football Retail


I've been off this week (as well as two weeks ago...use those days off or lose them) and it's been spent finishing off the Christmas decorations.  The Wife has gone overboard with the decorations, pulling out stuff that hasn't been hung by the chimney with care in several years, but maybe the whole new house after 2 years with her parents part is the reason for that.  Oh well, I only locate the stuff in the basement or garage and then put it all away.

The plan two weeks ago and this week was to post some packs here, because as my collection slowly gets unearthed, the more packs I find stashed away for the site.  As you can see, that didn't happen.  Well, one is better than none:

I lucked upon a stack of these the day after the card vendor stocked the Target I occasionally work at.  I wasn't hopeful for anything when I came back the next day, but there was a stack of Rookie & Stars packs in the gravity feeder box (and nothing else).  I figured one pack for the blog is sufficient.

A pack costs $3.80, which is pretty expensive to me.  Then again, I normally would only get football (and packs like this) when they wind up in the clearance box.  10 cards per pack, and I'm hoping for "the hot rookiez" and some big time stars.  Here's who I got:

#10 - Le'Veon Bell
#68 - Kirk Cousins

I like that the background is team specific, but still not a fan of Panini's obsession with removing all other players in the shot.

#26 - David Johnson
#83 - Mike Evans

There's 200 cards in the set, with the first half being Stars and the second half being Rookies.  Here's the checklist if you're interested.

#40 - Patrick Mahomes II
#97 - Russell Wilson

Hey cool, got the biggest Star you could get, so this pack is a win for me.

#20 - Tyrann Mathieu (Action Packed)
#19 - Saquon Barkley (Ticket Masters)

No idea what the rarity is for these inserts.  The words "Ticket Masters" is a shiny red, so maybe it's a parallel?  Thanks for the lack of hints, Panini.

#157 - Steven Montez (RC)
#115 - Antonio Gibson (RC)

Here's my rookies.  I've heard of Gibson at least. Here are the backs because vacation:

Wow, no stats on the backs.  I do get a glimpse at the fear-inducing logo of the "Washington Football Team," so I've got that going for me.

Anyway, there's the pack.  As I mentioned before, I'd usually only get a sample of this when they come up in the clearance section.  I prefer to sample Score and Donruss because at least I'd get some stats on the back.  Anyhow, nothing I've complained about before isn't new to you all, dear readers. 

Enjoy the rest of the week, and thanks for reading!

Thursday, December 10, 2020

1992 Upper Deck Football Series 2

 I recently acquired a box of 1992 Upper Deck Series 2 football from a buddy.  Each pack has 15 cards so a lot of cards in a box for a series that only totaled 220 cards.  Some cards there was only one of and some cards as many as 5 in the box, with that said I don't believe I completed 1 220 card set so collation is suspect would have thought get at least a complete set here.  see below for some pictures of pack, label w/odds of the inserts, fronts & Backs of the cards.

Tuesday, December 01, 2020

2020 Topps Update Baseball (fat pack)

 Topps released their Update set few weeks ago. It received a lukewarm response mainly due to the checklist. With pandemic cancelling this year's All-Star game and shortening the season Topps had find a ways to fill remainder of the set. They settled on few subsets such as players previous All-Star games and homerun derbys. Let's see what's in this 34 card pack.
U-156 - Wilmer Flores - lead the Giants in homeruns this season
U-193 - Miguel Cabrera - active leaders subset
U-19 - Yasmani Grandal
U-101 - Nick Dini - didn't play a single game for Royals this season
U-246 - Greg Holland - finished the season with 1.91 ERA and 6 saves. Now a free agent.
U-154 - Mariano Rivera - All-Star subset. They used stock from past All-Star games. This one is from 2013 game, Rivera's final appearance
U-288 - Giancarlo Stanton
U-223 - Chris Devenski - only played 4 games this season as he sidelined with elbow soreness. Currently a free agent
U-29 - Aristides Aquino - MLB debut card. Had poor season hitting .170
U-63 - Terrance Gore - got only 2 games one as defensive replacement and the other as pinch runner before spending rest of the season with Dodgers alternate training site. Currently a free agent.
U-124 - David Ortiz - Big Papi from 2004 All-Star game
U-279 - Bryce Harper - from 2018 All-Star game
U-82 - Kenley Jansen - lead the team in saves.
U-197 - Zach Green - currently a free agent
U-10 - Anthony Alford - finished the season with Pirates

U-129 - Hunter Pence - he was released in late August and call it a career a month later

85TB-8 - Fred McGriff - 1985 insert set
TR-26 - Nick Castellanos - Turkey Red insert set

TR-9 - Craig Biggio - got an Astro
U-130 - Richie Martin - didn't play this season after breaking his wrist
U-16 - Phillip Diehl - pitched 6 games with whopping 10.50 ERA before getting sent down to their alternate site
U-222 - Scott Barlow
U-296 - Mark McGwire - All-Star homerun derby subset. This one from 1992 as Big Mac took the crown
U-219 - Zack Greinke - the quirky Greinke was sure having his own fun on the mound. I still think Astros gave up too much for him. They should have kept Seth Beer
U-44 - Jorge Alcala
U-115 - Brad Peacock - only pitched 3 games dealing with shoulder issues. Currently a free agent.
U-149 - Nick Solak
U-93 - Tyler White - released before the season started
U-169 - Yadier Molina - from 2017 All-Star game where he cranked out a homerun
U-180 - C.J. Cron - knee injury ended his season early. Currently a free agent
U-177 - Andy Burns - strangely they included him in the set despite his last MLB appearance was in 2016. Currently a free agent
U-28 - Eduardo Nunez - only got in two games before knee injury finished his season. Currently a free agent
U-150 - Ken Griffey, Jr. - another KGJ card to chase. This one from 1994 homerun derby which he won his first of three.
 U-178 - Jarrod Dyson - finished his season with White Sox after Pirates traded him. Currently a free agent.

Might as well call it all end of the season free agent pack.