Wednesday, August 31, 2022

2022 Topps Now Card Of The Month - July


Hope everyone is doing well.  So whenever you buy something from the Topps website, you get a certain amount of points that can be applied to future purchases.  I guess they expire after a while, because as my birthday approached I got an e-mail telling me to use them or lose them.  I looked for the cheapest baseball-related thing on the site and stumbled across the Topps Now Card of the Month.  I had enough points to get July's card.  

You don't know who the card subject is until you get least the player wasn't listed on the site when I chose it, and I didn't go back to Topps later to see if they revealed the player.  The print run is also limited to (I assume) the number of orders for the card.

I got the card from Topps in a padded envelope earlier in the week, and since I haven't come across a post in the blogosphere from a collector who has gotten one before, I figured I should document my addition.

The padded envelope contained the above Topps Now envelope.  The envelope was also covered in padding.

I opened up the envelope after popping some of those padding bubbles (admit it, you'd do it too).  The card came in a small snap case, and had one of those felt pieces in with the card to cushion it against the case.  Who is the subject of the July Card of the Month?

#M-July - Julio Rodriguez

Here's the back.  Sorry for all the glare from the Topps coating on the card:

My kid was pretty excited to see it since he was impressed with Julio's Home Run Derby performance:

Anyway, that's the card.  Cardboard Connection has a list of the Cards of the Month released so far as well as their print runs.  If I remember, I'll update this post with July's print run.

Have a safe Labor Day weekend, and thanks for reading!

8/31/22 Update:  A couple of hours after I published the post, I got an e-mail from Topps informing me that they have been made aware of the missing RC logo on the Julio card and will be sending a corrected version soon.  Woo, two cards for July because Hot Rookiez!

Friday, August 19, 2022

2021-22 Panini NBA Hoops Winter

With a wrapper that's virtually indistinguishable from its counterpart, the NBA Hoops Winter edition is essentially the same set as your usual Hoops, with a few design variances. I think this is only available in retail (Blaster) configuration. If you strike at the right time, you can usually find these online early in basketball card season, whenever that is.  Let's check out one of the blaster packs.

68 - Otto Porter Jr. - These look just like the regular Hoops cards, and are often mistaken as such in trades. The key differences are the "snowy" background (the top of the card must be the snow cloud (?), which adds a spooky layer to the masked coach standing in the background of this one) and the gold foil printing (instead of silver).

122 - Boban Marjanovic - You might recognize these guys from those insurance commercials. Why are there so many insurance commercials? How often in a lifetime does someone make a major insurance purchasing decision?

108 - Tyrese Haliburton - I always like photos that use this angle on basketball cards. You don't see that nearly enough on Panini's basketball products. There's so much action in the game and so little of it captured on cards.

51 - Monte Morris - If you're a collector of cards with cardboard cutouts in the background, then this is the card for you. People have all sorts of interesting collections!

163 - Caris LeVert - Here's some action! Even the bottom of the net makes an apperance.

7 - Paul George Skyview - The inserts also get the Winter treatment. It's a bit tougher to see the snow in the background of these, but the gold foil is a dead giveaway.

215 - Day'Ron Sharpe - Each blaster yielded two rookie cards, as opposed to the single rookie card in each pack from the regular Hoops product. I don't know why this is or if the rookies are actually double-printed in the Winter set, but I wasn't complaining.

235 - Franz Wagner - The snow definitely adds an additional layer of cheesiness to the already cheesy Photo Day shots on these rookie cards.

Thursday, August 11, 2022

2022 Topps Series 2 Blaster Pack


Hope everyone is doing well.  Madding over at Cards on Cards hosts a couple of yearly contests everyone should check out.  Both contests are based around college sports: one during Bowl season and one during March Madness.  I try to participate, although I have no real expectations to win, since college sports ain't my thing.

Anyway, I somehow wound up tying for the championship this past March Madness.  Instead of some sort of duel to the death scenario, Madding was gracious enough to award both of us with a blaster.  Due to my continued part time Target employment, I suggested that he e-mail me a Target gift card, which he did.  I told him my plan was to pick up a blaster later, most likely Topps Series 2.

It took a bit, but I finally found a blaster of the stuff at Target.  I saw it on their online site, but it was $25 (thanks, inflation!) and I was hoping against hope that it would still be $20 in the stores.  I would have preferred a couple of fat packs, but I still haven't seen those in stores.  

Anyway, the $25 blaster box comes with 7 packs containing 14 cards.  One of the packs comes with a Batting Helmet Commemorative Relic, making a total of 99 cards.  You can tell which pack has the relic; here is that pack:

#523 - Rhys Hoskins
#363 - Yonny Hernandez (RC)

Nice start to the pack with the Rhys in the throwback uniform.  

#610 - Guillermo Heredia
#625 - Gary Sanchez

There's 330 cards in Series 2.  Here's the link if you're interested in those types of things.

#502 - Mike Baumann (RC)
#584 - Noah Syndergaard

Thor's first card with the Angels.  Will he get one with the Phillies in Update?

#480 - Colton Welker (RC)
#438 - Walker Buehler

Colton had only 37 at bats last year, enough to get him a card.  He was claimed off waivers a month ago by the Giants.  Maybe he'll get a Giants RC card in Update.

#SMLBC-57 - Adolis Garcia

The Chromey MLB Stars insert comes 1 in every 10 packs.  The fake Batting Helmet is next:

#BH-RM - Ryan Mountcastle

The "relic" is almost as thick as the other 14 cards in the pack.  The Helmets are only found in the Blasters.

#SMLB-32 - Walker Buehler

Walker Buehler hot pack!  The Stars of MLB insert comes in every pack.

#630 - Boston Bashers
#477 - Abraham Toro

Boston Bashers is a checklist card.  I miss the days of season highlights for checklist cards.

#419 - Tommy Edman
#556 - JT Brubaker

We finish the pack off with a couple of nice horizontal shots.

Here are some backs:

And that's the pack.  The Batting Helmet isn't worth the extra $5, and when this whole inflation thing calms down it's not like the prices are gonna go back to what they were.  Madding's wallet is gonna take a hit going down the line, unfortunately.  Thank you though for the contests and the opportunity to participate!

Have a good week everyone, and thanks for reading!

Monday, August 08, 2022

2022 Panini Absolute

Here's a blaster pack from one of Panini's latest baseball offerings. It features a young Albert Pujols on the wrapper, for some reason.

10 - Mickey Mantle - I wonder if Fanatics/Topps will go after Mickey Mantle's license again after Panini's time is up, or if that ship has sailed.

68 - Bo Bichette - With the player turned to the side, Panini barely had to do any work on this one to remove any offending logos.

ET-EH - Eric Hosmer Established Threads - Each blaster box has a "hit", and it happened to be in this pack. This is a very hefty card, thicker than the rest of the cards in the pack combined.

HW-3 - Albert Pujols Hall Worthy - There are a bunch of Pujols Dodgers cards in 2022 products due to his short time with the team last season.

RC-22 - Josh Lowe Rookie Class Green - Each retail pack usually has green foil parallel in it. This one happens to also be an insert card.

44 - Bryan Reynolds - After so much blue, this yellow-dominant card has the look of a parallel. It's not, though. It's just Pirates-colored.

2 - Frank Chance - We end things with a Cubs Hall of Famer. Who knew that there would be Frank Chance cards in 2022?

Thursday, August 04, 2022

1992 Score Football - Italy


Ciao amici appassionati di carte collezionabili!!
I came across this pack of football cards at one of the Dollar stores. Don't remember which
denomination of Dollar store, but was happy to find this random pack anyway.

I know nothing about soccer really. I have had a lot of foreign friends in the past and they
all like soccer (football) even if they weren't really sports fans. I guess it was just a 
somewhat normal thing to keep up with. 
Anyhoo, I just like cards, and I have an affinity about learning about different cultures,
even if it is only from one area of culture like with sports.
Since I don't know anything about the players; I'll focus on the visuals.  The card design looks
like a sort of cross between Score '92 baseball and football a little. I doesn't actually
mirror those sets, but seems like it fits in pretty well stylistically.

From the cards I pulled I noticed that they had a good assortment of vertical and horizontal 
action shots.


The best actions shots are the ones that feature two opposing players and the ball in the frame. Don't quite have that in these pics, but they are cool shots anyway.

The single shot ones always look like it might come from pre-game warmups or something.
Kind of a necessity sometimes if you're on a time crunch.

At least this one has a ref in it. Looks like real game action.

Closely cropped photo like this could be either posed or in-game action.

Even though there were a lot of horizontal action shots, my favorite action card from this pack
was this one of Mazinho. I think this is Portuguese for "Mallet". I guess he's like the hammer of the team. 

I really have no idea what's actually going on in this pic, but I looks like he's taking out at least one ref in frustration. 

Here is the back of that card for reference.

Here is a team captain card.

Here's the back.  A good idea to put the team photo on the back of the Captain's card.

And lastly... a cartoon depiction of Moreno Mannini.

Apparently he won the 1991 National Championship.

I somehow only got 14 instead of 15 cards. Kind of sucks, but at least I got a couple of cool ones for the "action shot" collection. I really wish cartoon cards were more prevalent in packs these days.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, August 03, 2022

2022 Rittenhouse Star Trek: The Next Generation Archives and Inscriptions


As a huge TNG fan I bought myself a box of this product as a birthday present back in May. It wasn't released until August, so here we are.

Each box boasts 2 "Inscription" autographs, 2 "other" autographs, and various inserts.

The base set is quotes from TNG.

Here we go.

First we have a quote from Ensign Robin Lefler, portrayed by Ashley Judd.

Our next two are a Locutus quote from Best of Both Worlds, and a Best of Both Worlds Insert.

Finally, quotes from Gowron and Okona.

If I had a complaint about this set, it would simply be the font used for the quotes. I feel like they could have chosen a less silly looking font.

In case you were wondering, below are the autographs I pulled. 2 are inscriptions made for this set, 2 are likely expired redemptions from previous sets. Quite happy with the two inscription cards.