November 13, 2016

The Most Wonderful Time of the Collecting Year

Alright, alright... I'm probably exaggerating quite a bit, but the 'Holiday Mega Box' part of the collecting season is upon us!

While perusing the card aisle at my local Target the other night, I happened to see this thing of beauty staring back at me(because of the contents, not because Big Papi is on the box). I wasn't even aware that the release date was near. I happily grabbed a box and brought it home. I really liked the bubble-like, sparkly design Topps put out last year and when I heard these would be done in the same way, I was thrilled! Though I'm still working on the last few I need from last year's set, it was one of my favorites of 2015. This year's offering is a 50 card set that thankfully eliminates the skip-numbering of the 2015 set. Let's get cracking!

Since I haven't been posting quickly, I actually had time to visit another Target and pick up a second box, so I'll show off all 16 cards I've pulled thus far. I decided against scanning any of the base Update since its been out for a bit. I've also already collated the cards into set-building order so there won't be any creative box vs. box comparisons or anything. Sorry about that...

Man, I really dig the way these look!

This scan was not nearly as interesting as the first one.

This was, by far, the best of the base dominated scans out of these two boxes. Two Yankees, a great Rookie Debut, and a World Series Champion are hard to beat.

Here is the final base card and the parallel and inserts. The Almora RC that's done in the x-fractor style is /99. I wasn't a huge fan of the 3000 Hits Club base cards, but these look better and the fact that I pulled Ichiro and Cobb to start may sway me to try to assemble the complete insert set. Getting back to the Almora, I'm torn. I like the x-fractor look, but it just doesn't fit the set. Last year the parallels were gold and black, numbered /99 and /50 respectively. Both were still bubble refractors and the color scheme kinda made sense. However, this year the x-fractor is /99 and the parallel that is /50 is the gold refractor(there are also regular refractors). None of the parallels sport the bubble look this year...I'm so bummed.

I've got a long way to go on this set, but I'm definitely going to piece it together. I'm sure that in the coming days and/or weeks that I'll be picking up at least a few more 'mega boxes'. Thanks for reading.

November 5, 2016

That Time the Durham Bulls Won the World Series

Wow! Here we are more than 48 hours after the final out of game seven and I'm still in awe of how great that game(and the Series) was. It was truly a team effort that ended the 108 year drought. However, once the rain had subsided and the tarp was taken off the field, the difference makers were a few guys that spent some minor league time in good ol' Durham, NC.

Mike Montgomery was a fave of mine during his time in the Bulls' uni. He was one of the few Cubs relievers that actually saw the mound in the Series and he was serviceable during his appearances through game 6. I'll always remember him for his part in a combined no-hitter in Durham a few seasons back, but I'm sure he'll be remembered by everyone else for the two pitches in November 2016 that earned him his first career save and earned the Cubs their long awaited third World Series championship.

There he is, Mr. World Series MVP, Ben Zobrist. Unfortunately, I wasn't going to the ballpark during the time he spent playing in the Bull City. I do have this card from the 2007 Bulls team set to remember it by though.

As I previously mentioned, I was pulling for the Cubs to win the championship and I was beyond thrilled that a few guys with some local ties helped them do just that. Congrats to all of the lifelong Cubs fans in our community, I hope you enjoy this victory and this new montage set to Eddie Vedder's 'All the Way'.

November 2, 2016

Game 7 Inspired Single Card Post

There has been high drama in the World Series this year. We sit in anticipation of tonight's winner take all game seven and I couldn't be happier! Mostly because I've been all in pulling for the Cubs and they've been able to stave off elimination for two straight games, but also because there is nothing more entertaining than the anything can happen feel of a single game to determine the WS champion. Of course, it's easy for me to say that when the Yankees are not involved and my emotional investment  isn't at its peak. Sorry to all the Cubs and Tribe fans out there, I hope you all make it through the game without too much suffering.

Anyway, a few weeks back I decided to take a chance on a razz in a Facebook breakers group. The prize was a box of 2016 Topps Triple Threads. I was surprised to actually win! The breaker let me choose a box on FB live and I watched as he cracked my prize. There was no HUGE hits, but I was playing with house money, so I was thrilled to just get some of these in hand for the first time. It seems particularly appropriate to share one particular card from said box.

Game six hero, Addison Russell! The scan really doesn't do this card justice. Besides the fact that Russell delivered 6 RBIs last night, there is another reason I feel this is a great card to share today. Just check out the message made by the relics. One's enough. This has obviously been the team's outlook for the past two games and it has resulted in their season continuing. On the final day of the 2016 season, one more game is enough to bring a third World Series championship to Chicago. Go Cubbies!

October 15, 2016

Some Tim Horton's with My Morning Coffee

Yesterday I received a cage that contained some goodies from Tim Hortons.

Those donuts look and taste like cardboard... Wait! Those aren't donuts, they're my first two additions from this year's Upper Deck Tim Hortons Hockey set.

Here's a closer look. It's hard to see, but the top of the Saad has some foil loss. No, that's not from where I tried to take a bite, it was from the tape that was used on the penny sleeve it was shipped in. At first, it frustrated me that the card was damaged due to incorrect packaging, but in the end it's not terribly noticeable and I'm really glad to have a few cards from this set. I'm thrilled that UD has continued its partnership with Tim Hortons and brought the set back for a second year. Similar to the inaugural set, this year's cards are not short on shiny foil. I, for one, love he design!

Here's a look at the backs. The only thing I would have liked better here is if they were able to include full career stats. After getting this first taste of the set, I'm hoping to pick up a few more in the coming weeks or months. Thanks for reading.

October 9, 2016

Now Starting at QB for the Denver Broncos...

Paxton Lynch!

My Broncos seem to be playing it safe with Trevor Siemian's shoulder injury. So, after stepping in just before half time last week and playing a solid second half, Kubiak is starting the rookie Lynch this week against the Falcons. I've been slowly acquiring Lynch RCs since the draft and figured this would be a perfect time to show off two that haven't been featured here yet.

I grabbed this Panini National Convention exclusive RC relic off of eBay shortly after the end of the National. Even though it's a plain orange swatch, not a sick patch, this is one that I'm thrilled to add to the PC. The other acquisition comes courtesy of a first time cardsphere trading partner.

Sports Card Collectors posted this as one of the inserts pulled from the box of Donruss a Football that was reviewed. I immediately tried to work a deal for this. I offered up a Rueben Randle relic card and before I knew it, this card was in hand. thanks for the deal SCC! I love the design(and shine) of this one. The scan doesn't even begin to do it justice. Hopefully his performance today is as brilliant as this card. Go Broncos! Thanks for reading.

October 8, 2016

My First Look at Chrome Sapphire Singles

As many of you are already aware, Topps decided to issue the entire flagship checklist in a special Chrome factory set that was only available online. The announced print run for Chrome Sapphire was 250, non-serial numbered sets which also contained parallels limited to 5 copies and superfractor 1/1. The retail price for sets was over a grand so I knew there was no way I was going to get my hands on one of those, so I began looking for select singles to pick up. I found an eBay seller that offered flat rate shipping regardless of the number of auctions won. I placed bids on several Yankees, Rays, and a few other random singles. At the end of the day, I only won three auctions. Let's start with one of the main cards I wanted to add to the collection.

Over the past two seasons, I have really enjoyed watching Richie Shaffer play in Durham and he provided one of my favorite moments of last season when he hit his first MLB home run. I've posted about that before so I won't go through the specifics again, but for those who are curious, you can see part of the aftermath on his 2016 Stadium Club RC. I kept with the 'favorite Durham Bulls' theme for my next pickup.

Mahtook has spent a good bit of time with Tampa over the past two seasons. I'm hoping that he can put it all together and have a breakout 2017 season. I was shutout on the Yankees I bid on, but the last win brings me a great addition to my post-season highlights collection.

I'm not a Royals fan by any stretch, but this is a really cool team picture taken in the midst of their championship celebration. Maybe at some point in the near future I'll have a chance to chase a card like this for the Yankees or the Rays. Anyways, off the topic of the Sapphire Chrome and back to the 'former Durham Bulls' topic.

Taylor is probably my favorite Bulls player over the past two years. I was thrilled that he got the call to the bigs this season. I am actively searching out copies of this card and any or all parallels from Heritage High Numbers. I believe the existing parallels are 'reverse stock', red back, and gum stained. If anyone out there finds any and you're looking to relocate them to a new home, I'm your guy. Thanks for reading.

September 23, 2016

Single Card Post - Finishing Ferrell

I was recently reminded that as much as I enjoy trading with fellow members of the cardsphere, local trades still have their place. Well over a year after the set was released, I can finally cross the final 2015 Archives Will Ferrell card that I needed off my list.

This trade was far more labor intensive than most that I've conducted over the past few years, but having this in hand was worth the effort. In the long run, it 'cost' me around 12 or 13 various 2016 base singles that my local trading partner needed for his own set building purposes. Considering the fact that I'm not really working on completing any 2016 set except Stadium Club, it was a small price to pay to finalize one of my favorite(if gimmicky) inserts of last year. Thanks for reading.