September 30, 2015

A Pair of PWE Deliveries That Didn't Come With Bubble Gum

My most recent PWEs from Jeff may not have come with bubble gum, but they were great nonetheless. Jeff has been providing me a steady influx of new Broncos cards.

These are just a few of the new additions. I chose to show these three because they've not only been a huge reason that Denver is off to a 3-0 start, but they are my first 2015 Prestige cards. I kinda like the design, but I think it would be even better if the photos didn't have that 'misty' effect towards the edges.

I can cross off one more card from the 2015 Game insert set. I already had a copy of the Miggy, but I couldn't pass up the chance to show it off anyway. I love that retail, pink refractor of Betances. It's even better that it has the rookie cup on it!

He sent a few white framed GQ Nats and an awesome early Bernie Williams. I swore I had a copy of that Bowman Bernie, but I was mistaken. I'm glad to actually have a copy now. 

Thanks for another pair of great envelopes, Jeff. I've got a bunch of Braves and Falcons to send off your way soon.

September 29, 2015

Almost Had a Breakdown Looking Through That PWE

Sorry for the lengthy post title, it's been a long day(yes, this post was supposed to go live last night)...

I had a good day out at the card show yesterday, but I've forbid myself to share anything from the show until later in the week. For the first time, I am severely behind in writing up trade posts(and putting together return packages). So, I've made a deal with myself. As motivation to get caught up, I'm not going to allow myself to share my finds from the show until after a few back to back trade posts are complete.

There has been some really good stuff being delivered to my mailbox over the past few weeks. The contents of a recent PWE from Baseball Card Breakdown was certainly a prime example of that last statement.

I'll begin with some football since the season is still pretty young. I was thrilled to see the Virgil Green pop out of the stack. With the departure of Julius Thomas, I am hoping the Virgil will get a chance to make some plays this season. It's great to see a Von Miller that I didn't already have, and I may be staring at the new starting QB in the case that Peyton doesn't stay healthy.

Speaking of Peyton, this beauty is my first modern day mini football card. Not a bad guy to start with. From here, the package took a vintage turn.

This well loved Claude Osteen Topps Game card trimmed my set completion number down to two. I'm getting so close on this one. It's going to be so satisfying to cross that last name off my list and complete my first vintage set.

My favorite gem in this package was this 1961 Golden Press George Sisler, hands down. I had actually been looking at bidding on a copy of this card on Listia, but the numbers went too high for me so I ended up missing out on that one. I love this design and now that I have one in hand, I need to track down a few others to add to the collection.

Once again, Gavin, awesome package! Thanks so much, I've got a stack started for you and I added a few more to it while at the show on Sunday. I'll send them out soon.

September 26, 2015

The Captain's Farewell to Yankee Stadium - Told in Cards

I'm a day late posting this, but here goes. It was one year ago yesterday that Derek Jeter played his final game wearing the Yankee pinstripes. We all know how that game ended, but the good folks at Topps provided some cardboard reminders for us this year. Let's take a look.

Here he is running out to take his spot at SS one last time in front of the home crowd. He had a pretty good game, but let's skip to the important part...the bottom of the ninth.

There's the crack of his bat and...

...we have a fairytale, walk off ending!

The Captain acknowledges the fans...

...and does a victory lap of sorts. All the while, soaking in the crowd's appreciation.

His teammates showed him some love and appreciation too!

While I am certainly saddened that he is no longer on the field, his last appearance at Yankee Stadium sure was memorable!

Like so many other moments and images from his incredible career, I'll remember this image for years to come...and when I think of it, I'll smile. Thanks to Topps, I'll be able to relive that night anytime I want. Thanks for reading!

September 25, 2015

Bob Walked the Plank and Broke the Ice

I've been reading the great blog Bob Walk the Plank for quite some time. In fact, I'm not sure why I hadn't tried to contact Matthew sooner about setting up a first trade to 'break the ice'. A few weeks back, we exchanged messages and before I knew it, a padded envelope had arrived in my mailbox. When I opened it I was blown away! I've seen that the typical trade package from Matthew is comprised of a few high quality cards, and this one certainly fit that description. It was four cards in total, all of which were awesome new additions to my collection.

First, a really nice jersey card of the guy that mans the hot corner for the Nats!

Then came this incredibly attractive framed Desmond jersey from A&G. That's a great start, but the hits just kept coming...literally!

I think I stared at this auto for five minutes before moving on to check out the final card in the package. Though I list a lot of Nats and Rays on my 'players I collect' list, I don't have many relics or autos for most of them. This was a first on a few levels for me. It's my first Museum Collection auto and my first Jordan Zimmermann auto. I really like the design of this one. The colors of the photo and the blue signature really pop against the parchment-like background.

For me, the highlight of the package was this Alex Cobb Tier One autograph! Again, I am sad to say that this is my first Tier One auto and my first Cobb signature. It's a drag that he was poised to provide quite the 1-2 punch with Chris Archer at the front of the Rays rotation, but was cut down by TJ surgery. Still, I think he'll return next season to pick up where he left off. I guess if there's a silver lining to his injury(at least for this collector) I hope to pick up an in person auto once he makes it back to Durham during his rehab assignment.

That was an incredible way to break the ice Matthew, thanks! I'm sorry that I'm still working on your return package. Life has gotten in the way and I've not only gotten behind in posting about trade packages, but I've got several trade packages that are at least halfway complete and just awaiting the right finishing touches. I'm hoping to hit the card show in Raleigh this weekend and pick up a few cards to finish off a bunch of these, yours included. I want to be sure that there's some high quality when you flip through what I send back. Thanks again for a great trade package! I hope you'll enjoy the return as much as I'm digging what you sent my way.

September 23, 2015

Farewell to Another Baseball Legend

Lawrence Peter 'Yogi' Berra has left us. He was truly one of the greatest to ever play the game. He will forever be remembered as much for his 19 season/10 World Series Championship career as he will be for all his 'Yogi-isms'.

I recently picked up this oddball. I had no idea that this card from Ziploc even existed, but I sure am glad to have it in my collection. I especially love shots like this that have the Yankee Stadium facade in the background.

I leave you all with two of my favorite 'Yogi-isms': When you come to a fork in the road, take it! I'm not sure why I like this one so much, but it's always stuck with me. My other favorite is truly sound advice: you can observe a lot by just watching. Rest in peace Yogi.

September 22, 2015

A Godzilla Sighting in the Land of Listia

It's been a while since I took everyone on a trek through the interesting Land of Listia. Recently, I've gone on a few 'big game hunts' and spent some higher credit totals on a few items, but I've been really happy with the acquisitions I've been able to make. Tonight, I want to share none other than...

This awesome pre-MLB issue is the first I have in picturing Matsui in his Yomiuri Giants uniform. I think I'm beginning to slide down the slippery slope of chasing down Japanese issues of at least two of my favorite former Yankees. Earlier this summer, I picked up my first Japanese issue Ichiro, and now this one has taken its place in my collection.

The back is every bit as awesome as the front. I particularly like that it has the Tokyo Yomiuri Giants logo!

I suppose the only drawback is that when I rescued this marvelous specimen from the vast junk wax wasteland of Listia, it had been imprisoned in this PSA slab. I'm currently debating whether I should set this beast free or keep it enclosed on display. For the immediate moment it will remain trapped, but that may change in the near future. Either way, it is a wonderful new addition. I hope you'll join me again really soon when I share another recent trek through the Land of Listia. 

September 18, 2015

Tonight it's Tanaka Time Again

Since it's Tanaka Time in the Subway Series tonight, I thought it would be the perfect time to finally post this A&G Masahiro Tanaka relic.

It may be a plain gray swatch, and the standard Ginter relic design instead of the 10th Anniversary variety, but it is my first Tanaka relic and that makes it AWESOME! It came to me courtesy of Chris over at Nachos Grande. I was the very fortunate beneficiary of his luck(or lack thereof) pulling this in his case break. Chris also sent over a bunch of other Yankees that I was happy to add to my collection.

These Mighty Fine in '99 inserts from 2000 Skybox Impact packed a whopping 25 Yankees out of the 40 cards on the checklist. Chris sent 21 out of the 25 my way.

Burn baby, Bern!

Championship squad backstops.

Aces of the rotation.

The Captain and the closer. Technically, Jeter wasn't the Yankee Captain at the time this card was released, but you guys know what I'm saying.

Anyway, that wraps up another great trade package from Casa Grande. As always, I'm looking forward to our next swap Chris, thanks!

September 16, 2015

A Bangin' Trade Package

Historically, I've not been a huge fan of A&G. It's not that I dislike it, but I've just never really bought much of it from year to year. This year, I bought more retail product than usual for some reason, and I'll always pick up a discounted blaster from a previous year if I can find it. Turns out, it's a good thing that those are my Ginter habits because they helped me make a great trade with Matt from Bubba's Bangin' Batch of Baseball Bits. A while back, Matt contacted me about some cards he had that he thought I'd find exciting. Since I'm always up for a new trading partner, I started pulling cards from his posted want lists and prepped a first package to send to him. He had received what I sent and was prepping a return package during the peak of this year's Ginter sharing frenzy. I happened to make a comment about a few of the hits from his case and he was generous enough to include them. I knew I owed him, so I sent a bunch of additional set needs to him to thank him for the bangin' trade package.

We start with PC minis! I'm particularly partial to the two from 2015. I dig the look of the black border Rendon and I'm on the verge of adding Carlos Rodon to my list of players I collect. He's an NC State guy and I was fortunate enough to see him pitch for the US against Cuba, a game which he dominated.

Very cool that two of them were A&G backs. It's interesting to see the differences between the 2014 and 2015 side by side.

The follow up to the nice start brought me an International parallel of Altuve, a Michael Taylor Chrome prospect, and an awesome Sale refractor. As good as this stuff was, the best was yet to come.

A trio of Ginter relics really started the process of knocking my socks off. I really enjoyed getting to see Matt Moore in person as a member of the Durham Bulls again this season. That's something I'll hopefully have the chance to repeat next year with Alex Cobb. I guess that's a collector's silver lining to them needing significant rehab time due to their respective TJ surgeries. The Desmond bat is a perfect complement to the jersey relic that 'Bubble Gum Jeff' sent me a while back. The Lakey Peterson wetsuit relic was the first one that I had commented about. It was great to see it included in this first trade, but it was not my favorite card of the entire package. That distinction belongs to this one:

This is my first Rodon autograph. That it is a framed mini is just a bonus. I've hunted multiple Rodon autos throughout the first part of the 2015 collecting season and haven't been fortunate enough to land any of them. I was thrilled to have the chance to trade for one and even more excited to actually stare at it in person. Thanks for an incredible first trade Matt, I hope it's not our last.

September 11, 2015

Never Forget...

The World Series helped our nation to begin a healing process 14 years ago...

...and the United We Stand subset from 2002 Topps gave us some memorable images from a time when everyone was pulling together to try to keep from falling apart.

Today, I pray that we always remember...and continue to heal.

September 9, 2015

Our Last Bulls Game of the Season

This past Saturday, I took the family to our last Durham Bulls game of the 2015 season. It was a great day to be at the ballpark. I went autograph hunting with my daughter, spent time with my family, and saw some fireworks.

We even got to see one of my favorite 'newer' Rays players, Steven Sousa Jr., on a rehab assignment. It was a great night! I think I'm already ready for next season to begin. Here are the autos I was fortunate enough to procure.

In hindsight, I kinda wish I had gotten Souza to sign a copy of his 2015 Topps Chrome, but I had the IL All Star set card from last year and I figured that was a pretty good choice. I was lucky enough to get one more signature though.

Snell has been one of e best pitchers in the minors this season. Across multiple levels, he posted an ERA of 1.33. He was a lot of fun to watch after getting the promotion to Triple A. This is his Cream of the Crop Bowman Chrome mini refractor from 2013. The scan doesn't really do it justice at all. I'm hoping that this kid is going to be the next in the long line of homegrown Rays pitchers when he makes his debut, likely next season.

September 4, 2015

The Ultimate Tribute - A Single Card Post

Recently I've been on a wrestling kick. Well, that streak continues in this post. When I was younger, I watched wrestling as often as I could. In the late '80's and early '90's, I was mesmerized by one performer in particular.

It was this guy. The Ultimate Warrior! He was exciting, energetic, mysterious and colorful. My 10 year old self thought he was the best. Looking back, he may not have been a great wrestler, but to me, he was a great entertainer and one of my childhood wrestling heroes. 

I won this card in a Listia auction a few weeks back and it arrived recently. This card is so perfect for me in many ways. It reminds me of the many times watching his matches while I was growing up. It reminds me of how happy I was when I heard he would be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame last year. Most of all, it serves as a perfect final tribute to one of my heroes. For those who don't follow wrestling, Warrior was inducted on 4/5/14 as the card says, he was at Wrestlemania the next day, and made an appearance on Monday Night Raw the day after that(see video below). The next day, he was gone to Parts Unknown.

Rest in peace, Mr. Hellwig... your Warrior spirit will truly run on forever!

September 3, 2015

Busting Chrome - The Hobby Box Edition

I heard that Topps Chrome retail had started showing up in stores over a week before the official release date. So, I went hunting for some. Target after Target, Walmart after Walmart and I found nothing. Then the official release date came and went...still nothing. Since I couldn't get my retail fix, I contacted my former LCS owner. He was able to sell me a box for a really good price. Here's my hobby box haul.

I actually pulled the two autos out of the first three packs I opened, but that doesn't make for a good presentation. I hit one of the high number SP rookies. It would have been nice if it was Buxton or Correa, but I can't complain about what I can only assume is beating the odds on that pull(haven't seen actual SP rookie odds). The green refractor Wainwright is #/99 and the purple Fernandez is #/250. In addition to these, I hit right on the odds for the regular refractors and the prism refractors too.

The base auto Moya was less than exciting for me, but I may know someone that would be interested in it. The Wong is quite shiny, as is the Hamels and Barnes. I was fortunate to pull the refractor parallel of Jose Pirela and the prism refractor of Ian Desmond for the team/player collections.

The orange refractor Pompey auto #/25 was a heck of a pull! Oh wait, is that a Christmas card? Why yes, it is, 12/25! I honestly couldn't care less about the player, but it was another example of beating the odds in this box. Overall, the box wasn't the greatest as far as anything hat I was interested in, but it could have been way worse. Some of these are already on their way to new homes, but if anyone is interested in any of these, let me know and we can work out a deal. Thanks for reading!